Final Thoughts and Favorite Things

Well, it’s been fun here at Well Spent, and to all of you out there, thank you for reading. I don’t know who “you” are, specifically, but I’m a human and I’d see that people were reading everyday, and I really do want to thank you. All of you.

I suppose now is a weird time for an introduction, but let’s get weird: years ago, I started out in print, moved to digital, went back to print and then did both, all before the age of 25. Staffs shrunk, I turned to freelance and as the places (and editors) that were most amenable to my bylines disappeared, I thought I was done writing, at least in this capacity.

I was fucking bummed. All I ever really wanted to do was make good points and make people laugh, mostly, and tell good stories while doing so. Instead, I was writing product copy and mailers for Unionmade Goods*. It wasn’t a bad job at all — I still write copy and genuinely enjoy the pursuit — but there are a lot of fucking rules.

Anyways, I had pretty much stopped writing by 2016 — I was editing at another site and wrote a thing on Election Day 2016, but that was really it. In the words of a writer I like, my fingers had stopped working. Then Brad reached out to me in early 2017, asked me what my deal was and basically resuscitated me. For almost three straight years I got to write four times a week and have people read my stuff. In the interim, I picked up other work outside the copy purview and now am actively working out muscles I thought had atrophied, calcified or otherwise been rendered useless. I don’t even know if he knows (I guess he does now) how much it all meant on a personal level. I mean, I don’t need to explain to anyone who has written a single thing ever about how nice it is when someone without your last name validates your work, but to get a job doing so will always be genuinely special. So thank you Brad, I literally have no idea what I would be like without this and I enjoyed every single day I got to work with you.

And again, thank you to all the readers, the commenters, the haters and the weirdos. You all made it worth it 10 times over.

To S.O. Crane, you’re the best. I’ll probably never get to meet you and I think you got mad at me a few times but I always knew you were reading. You’ve even commented on things I wrote elsewhere, which was a full-circle moment I wasn’t expecting. To Josh_Lee, you asked about where you could find other stuff I wrote one time and it literally made my month and (as you can tell) I remember it to this day. I didn’t respond in the comments because journalism school, but if you still want to know, you can find some of my stuff at Heddels and old stuff at my personal site (there is definitely a cartoon duck at the top, you’re in the right place).

Anyhow, I read Well-Spent before I started working at Well-Spent, and it’s been such a blast to be a daily cog. I would look at Brad’s Instead of Rent columns like five times over and Google any brand he was into. Nick cracks me up to this day, and to say that he didn’t inform the way I write would be disingenuous and dumb. Everyone who was here before, you were great too and I’m so fucking happy to have been part of this site.

Thank you again,


*Towards the end there, it got tougher and tougher to find things to say at UM, which lead to a handful of product descriptions that would have no doubt gotten me fired if they had ever found their way onto the site. Such as:

Hate your feet? Like ruining normal things? Are you confused by colors in general? This shoe answers all those questions with the phrase “Snow Globe.” Rendered in an aqua that can be most accurately described as “60% Off Blue” and handmade in Maine by people who 100% wished they were making something else, these shoes feature leather laces, brass eyelets, long periods of regret and a gum sole.

And another:

For the menswear aficionado that both resents themselves and loves spending money, we bring you the Glove Hat. Why is it called the glove hat? Because there’s a fucking glove at the top. But not an actual glove. Like, you can wear it if you have small hands, but there aren’t any fingers. In fact, it’s just open up at the top, so good luck with that. To recap, this one’s been designed to not work well as either a glove or a hat, but it was made with wool, which probably matters to some of you. Anyways, if you buy this, we probably won’t be friends.

See? I was a mess.

My Favorite T-Shirt: Save Khaki

I have, like, eight Save Khaki Supima Crew Tees and won’t apologize for it. The 100% Supima cotton is Charmin soft and lightweight for those of us that run a little hot and — if you size these up to head-tilting degrees like I do — they have the best length-to-boxy ratio I’ve found, which is important to someone whose day can be ruined by a bad t-shirt. Get ’em here.

My Favorite Button-Up: Our Legacy / orSlow

Confession: I don’t wear a ton of shirts that have full plackets these days. Over the past few years, I’ve worked in settings that are cool with whatever it is that I happen to do, and thus have been able to avoid dress codes, developing an affinity for sweaters along the way that can best be described as “unhealthy.” I still do wear a couple, however, which is both a testament to their construction — I literally haven’t bought a new one in almost two years — and also to how good they are. First, the Our Legacy Box Shirt goes with everything, the heavy cotton flannel works across seasons and it’s actually as versatile as copywriters promise everything else to be. (As a copywriter, and one that has semi-ingenuously promised versatility on a number of occasions, I’m allowed to say this. It’s my culture. And to be clear, that culture is mostly unquantifiable adjectives and complaining about briefs.) I also have an orSlow Button Down in a 3-Year Wash that is unimpeachable. 100% cotton, perfectly washed, just the right amount of boxiness, full of elements that thrived in the ‘60s… it’s like The Irishman if the Irishman was the work of an admirably meticulous Japanese man named Ichiro. Get the OL here and the orSlow here.

My Favorite Sweatshirt: Chimala / Anatomica (but actually Uniqlo and Champion sorry not sorry)

I bought the Navy Blue Crew Neck from Chimala like four years ago and have worn it at least once a week since, I think. I have absolutely no way of verifying that information, but it feels right so I’m going to go with it. Chimala does one of these every year, and while they’re exorbitantly priced, I challenge you to come up with a hypothetical addition to your closet that would get more wear than a damn near perfect crew neck sweatshirt that’s crazy soft, sturdy as hell and cut to actually be comfortable. Also, the weight of that loopback fabric needs to be studied, documented and turned into the subject of an entry in an esoteric but impactful scientific journal. It’s perfect and I regret nothing. Get this year’s version here.

I’m not an Expensive Hoodie Evangelist — I wear Champion and Uniqlo proudly, I’ll die on this hill — but I do very much like to have an Expensive Hoodie in the rotation, and I have a navy blue one (THEMES) from Anatomica that you should all be jealous of. It’s made in Japan, it’s 100% cotton but the fleece-back kind, it’s heavy but not like in a Greenhorn on The Deadliest Catch kind of way, and when sized properly – I take a large and I’m 5’9 so absorb that how you will — it fits like the LA DA’s office assumed gloves would. Also, mine is like five years old and it has zero things wrong with it, so do yourself a favor and buy one of these and luxuriate in something that was originally intended to be a sweat receptacle. Get it here.

My Favorite Jeans: Chimala

For those that know me, jeans aren’t an every day thing, but the Chimala Wide Tapered are good jeans. I get compliments on these jeans, which is something a human should be into, so I’m into these. If you don’t know Chimala, it’s great and I emphatically cosign it. I worked at Unionmade for years — end-days confession time — and was surrounded by some of the best menswear out there and I basically only cared about Chimala and three other brands. Get ’em here.

My Favorite Pants: Barena / SMOCK Man / orSlow

I’m fucking obsessed with pants. I’ve spent more money on pants than I’ll ever admit, regardless of who I’m speaking to. It could be the lone deathbed request of my closest relative and I’d just shout “PASS” like a lunatic to avoid the question, which is a protracted way of saying that I take this pant shit seriously and also that I couldn’t pick a favorite because sometimes I feel one kind of way and other times I feel a completely different (but — spoiler — pretty much the same) kind of way. Like it would be irresponsible of me to not put the Barena Arenga/Cosma trouser on here because it’s a perfect pant and I own like four pairs and probably would storm whatever Venetian castle they’re made in if they ever stopped making them. But also, I just got some Smock Yoyogi Pants and — while very similar — those hit so hard that I had to remind myself that suiting wool isn’t ripstop-durable and that I probably shouldn’t wear them four times in a week. But THEN I also would be remiss not to shoutout the orSlow Climbing Pant, of which I’ve acquired a few pairs over the years and could not recommend more highly, especially in warmer weather. The one thing these all have in common? Elastic waistbands. Don’t let anyone tell you there’s a time and place for them, because that time and place is always and anywhere. Anyways, pants. I’m just happy they’re not lethal. Get Barena’s here, here, or here, the SMOCKs here, and the orSlows here.

My Favorite Outerwear: ts(s)

I’ve written about ts(s) a Red Flag number of times but as is my brand, I’m cool with that. Their Fly Front Raglan Sleeve Coat they do every season might be one of my most worn items ever. I got the black one with blue pinstripes like three years ago and wear it a lot. Perhaps too much. There’s genuinely nothing remarkable about this coat — I have other ts(s) outerwear that has cool water repellent fabric and a Stone Island piece with pockets that require a manual — but I wear this one more because it fits great, goes with everything I’ve ever owned and can handle as many layers as a sane person could incorporate. (Honorable mention: That Sandy Liang Checkers Fleece that everyone wrote about and is 100% worth it.) Get it here.

My Favorite Accessories: Scott & Charters

I’m not a big accessories guy — watches are cool but I’m not at a point where I’m comfortable discussing those, nor are my mentions — but I’m a really big hat guy so that’s what I’ve got. If you want a beanie and can find a Scott & Charters Ribbed Wool Watch Cap, buy it. Made in Scotland from hardy-ass 100% wool, I’ve had two for years and they still hold up. Shrink it if you have to — I did — but get one. (here).

My Favorite Stores: Maas & Stacks / Mohawk General Store / Opening Ceremony / RTH / Union Los Angeles / American Rag / Noah

Maas & Stacks might be my favorite store in the country. No one has as much exciting shit that’s also wearable, and very few places edit as hard as they do. Do I know them? Yes. Does that impact this? Not at all. In fact, I’m probably harsher than I should be and I still think they’re the best.

See my thing on the Yoyogi Pants. Also, I like Mohawk General Store’s vibe.

I have no idea if I like Opening Ceremony or if I’m just endlessly fascinated by what finds a hanger in there, but I have never been able to pass by one without walking in.

RTH has comfy pants, cool people, and is very political on Instagram. All three are good by me.

No store is more interesting, no one does high-low better and no one is as unapologetically — and admirably — themselves like Union. I can’t remember the last time I went to LA without making a trip, and I go to LA pretty frequently.

The store is an absolute mess, but if you’re into Where’s Waldo and also shopping, American Rag is for you. You’ll wander past a Barena rack and then hit a Prospective Flow rack and a Stussy rack and then a Junya rack and then one with SK Manor Hill and before you know it you have literally no idea where you are and why nothing is marked. It’s a trip, but a fun one.

Noah – Duh.

Honorable Mentions:

C’H’C’M’ — I wish I could buy like half the inventory every season, but the shit in there is also so well made that that would be completely unnecessary.

Aime Leon Dore — Not thrilled that I like Aime Leon Dore, but I do. I always go in, always am tempted to buy something — mostly coffee — and I always leave thinking about something I saw. Maybe that’s ok.