Norhtern Grade DC 2015

From Friday, May 29 through Sunday, May 31, Northern Grade – the nationally-acclaimed roving marketplace, featuring brands that manufacture their goods in the U.S. – will land in Washington, DC, for the first time. The two-day, free and open-to-the-public retail experience will take place inside of Union Market’s Dock 5 space, located adjacent to the market. Dock 5, home to previous fashion events, including the Gilt Warehouse Sale and Thread, will be transformed once again into a bazaar-like journey, showcasing a variety of local and national Men’s and Women’s fashion creatives, along with music, spirits and fine cuisine.

Northern Grade DC will welcome on-trend brands, including:

  • Filson (Seattle, WA)
  • Chippewa Boots (Fort Worth, TX)
  • The Brooklyn Circus (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Brookes Boswell (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Gamine Workwear (Boston, MA)
  • United by Blue (Philadelphia, PA)
  • HEUCY (New York, NY)
  • Coronado Leather (San Diego, CA)
  • Pierrepont Hicks (Brooklyn, NY)
  • 1775 Clothing (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Stock Manufacturing Co (Chicago, IL)
  • Krammer & Stoudt (New York, NY)
  • Shockoe Atelier (Richmond, VA)
  • Lumina (Raleigh, NC)
  • Throne Watches (Brooklyn, NY)
  • 440 Supply (Raleigh, NC)

Several local DC brands will also be part of the fun:

  • Gordy’s Pickle Jar
  • Appointed, Florescent Co.
  • Boldfoot Socks
  • Be Clean
  • Gitli Goods
  • Mallory Shelter Jewelry
  • Kicheko Goods
  • Caryn Cramer
  • Local men’s boutiques Mutiny DC and Federal

Style setters may recognize the exclusively-made in the USA market from cities such as Austin, Moscow, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Minneapolis. “After collaborating last year with GQ and Fashionsita for separate men’s and women’s marketplaces last year, we are beyond excited for the launch of our first combined event in Washington DC at Union Market”, says Northern Grade Co-founder Katherine McMillan. “We have produced 21 events all around the country over the last few years, but this will be the most diverse line up of brands we have ever had involved in terms of style and product offerings”.

Northern Grade will set-up-shop adjacent to Union Market, at Dock 5, on Friday, May 29 from 3-8pm; Saturday, May 30 from 11am-7pm;Sunday, May 31 from 11am-5pm.


Ledbury Pops into Georgetown


Richmond, Virginia, based shirt-maker extraordinaire, Ledbury, is back in the national capitol for the 2014 holiday season.

The brand, best known for its e-commerce approach to Jermyn Street quality shirting, opened up a seasonal pop-up shop at 1254 Wisconsin Avenue. Situated in the historic retail heart of DC’s menswear shops, it will run from November 15, 2014 through January 25, 2015. The shop also boasts a sharp new design concept that’s a minimalist take on its annual Ledbury Quail Hunt. It’s the living room-cum-wardrobe you’ve always wanted.

Another exciting feature is that they are debuting the limited run Georgetown Collection. Ledbury designed four limited-edition shirt styles that will be sold exclusively in the pop-up shop – along with the rest of the Ledbury range – and are inspired by the notion of a winter weekend in the District. The collection features flannels and brushed twills.

Although we, very regretfully, had to miss the big opening shindig last week, the Ledbury crew sent along the first shirt available from the Georgetown Collection (pictured above). It’s an incredibly soft flannel, with an awesome blue, white and pink plaid. This slim-fit shirt is casually sharp and sports a natty short point collar.

Do yourself a favor and make time to visit America’s Capitol city this holiday season, and don’t forget swing by Georgetown and pick up a limited edition shirt from an equally capital brand.



“It all begins with the fit.” Peter Agati, Paul Stuart’s shoe buyer, is a shoe guy through and through.

He knows shoes and he knows that what matters most is fit. If the fit is off, nothing else matters. If the fit is right, everything else falls into place. His first trip to a shoe factory is what sealed the deal for Peter. Walking the floor and watching in amazement how many people’s hands touched each shoe hooked him. “Most people have no idea how much handwork goes into shoes, and how much well-made shoes matter.”

The main thing to understand about Paul Stuart’s shoe department is that is it a fully integrated component of Paul Stuart. It is not merely a licensed space operated by an outside brand. No, Peter has spent several years building up a service on par with their brand’s larger reputation. It’s a luxury service department that can fit you properly and provide a degree of customization that results in a pair of shoes that are truly made to order.

Chris Hogan (Madison Avenue, 10.21.14)OTC had been invited to participate in a special brand influencer Made to Order footwear event at Paul Stuart’s Madison Avenue flagship store. OTC’s founder and editor-in-chief, Chris Hogan, spent the day being fitted from their Italian Classic collection. These shoes are not inexpensive, but neither are they overly expensive. In fact, the quality, construction, fit, and materials are equal to most custom labels.

In addition to Peter Agati, Ron Rider, agent for some of the world’s leading shoe makers, was also on hand to ensure that Chris’ fit was spot one and help to create a unique pair of Paul Stuart shoes.

After testing out a variety of lasts, we settled on the one that indeed fit like a glove. As Peter noted, his main job was now done. The fit was right. Now, it was a matter of style, design, details, and finishes.

What did we come up with? We’ll get into that in the coming weeks as we share with you pictures of our Made to Order Paul Stuart shoes as they come to life.

As an added bonus, we also got to catch up with our old friend Mark Rykken, who runs Paul Stuart’s custom clothing department. Much as Peter has done with the company’s footwear department, Mark has created a custom clothing haven for the most discerning clotheshorse. We even met the lady who sews all the buttonholes by hand, no easy task.

Thanks goes out to our pals at Deo Veritas custom shirting and Bull + Moose for the fantastic dead stock tartan tie. Lumina Clothing Company provided the Cone selvage denim jeans, Beltcraft sent along a bespoke suede belt, and Dapper Classics is the source for those killer socks that everyone noticed. As always, those are Eye Buy Direct glasses.

The navy blazer is actually a family heirloom. It’s a vintage J. Press jacket that belonged to Chris’ father and still has his dad’s monogrammed brass buttons. The pocket square was a gift from Alan Flusser.

It’s all about things that last.

In the meantime, below are some more images of the day, captured by our talented – and stylish – photographer Sean Pressley. Many thanks to Sean for spending the day knee deep in shoes.















Last week, we traveled up to New York City for the invitation-only party to celebrate the U.S. launch of the new book Rowing Blazers. Held at the newly inaugurated Polo/Ralph Lauren flagship store on Fifth Avenue – opening only days earlier – the event was a fun, crowded,  and sartorial cacophony of colors and patterns.

Penned by award-winning oarsman Jack Carlson and with principal photography by F.E. Castleberry, Rowing Blazers is a celebration of the historic garment upon which that most classic of men’s habiliment, the classic blue blazer, rests.

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Alan Flusser in his office (9.23.14)

Not only did we spend the evening among 700 smartly dressed folks, we also had the pleasure of whiling away the afternoon beforehand with our friend and mentor Alan Flusser (above). It goes with saying that his outfit for the evening aptly reflected Alan’s mastery of color, pattern, and personality.

We also had the honor of OTC’s editor-in-chief being highlighted in Hodinkee’s watch spotting roundup of the Rowing Blazer event (below). For those who don’t know about Hodinkee, it is the web’s premier resource for watch news, product launches, in-depth industry reporting, and fascinating insights into the world of horological curiosities. Only one watch publication was invited to actually attend the Cupertino launch of the Apple Watch: Hodinkee.

Rowing Blazers 49 (OTC)

Rowing Blazers 48 (OTC)

Rowing Blazers Hodinkee Crw

A big thanks also goes out to the brand partners who outfitted our E-in-C for this fantastic event. Bonobos provided the Windsor single vent blue blazer and Heritage Washed Chino khakis; both trim, modern updates of preppy classics. We again joined forces with Deo Veritas to create a custom dress shirt, this time in a light purple gingham check. Still the best online custom shirts we have found. Eye Buy Direct provided us with new glasses and sunglasses for the trip. And to answer the question many folks were asking, yes, that was Frank Clegg’s Courier Messenger Bag in shrunken leather into which our copy of Rowing Blazers went.

Now, on to some great images from the September 23, 2014, New York City launch party for the new book, Rowing Blazers.

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Rowing Blazers_2

RALPH LAUREN Rowing Blazers Launch Event

RALPH LAUREN Rowing Blazers Launch Event

RALPH LAUREN Rowing Blazers Launch Event

RALPH LAUREN Rowing Blazers Launch Event

RALPH LAUREN Rowing Blazers Launch Event

RALPH LAUREN Rowing Blazers Launch Event

RALPH LAUREN Rowing Blazers Launch Event

Ivy Style & FYG

Rowing Blazers FYG Shoes

RALPH LAUREN Rowing Blazers Launch Event

Rowing Blazers Pants

RALPH LAUREN Rowing Blazers Launch Event

RALPH LAUREN Rowing Blazers Launch Event

RALPH LAUREN Rowing Blazers Launch Event

RALPH LAUREN Rowing Blazers Launch Event

RALPH LAUREN Rowing Blazers Launch Event

Rowing Blazers (Checv. & Flusser)

Rowing Blazers PRL Display

Rowing Blazers Bulldog Blanket



Art of Style Invite (Large)Art of Style was a big success, a ton of fun, and a chance for all of artist Samara Shuter’s DC fans to meet her in person.  The Huxley, our venue for the evening, was fantastically cool and made us all feel right at home.

The event and its omnipresent hashtag #ArtOfStyleDC, received great media coverage, including The Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, Friend of a Friend, Greg’s List, and numerous fashion and lifestyle bloggers.  Thanks to everyone for the support.

We could not be happier with the outcome and already the question is being thrown at us, “We need more; when’s the next one?”

We’re already working on that.

With close to 200 guests in attendance, we had a full room, a lot of conversation, and lots of eyeballs on our in-house brands.  The bar was busy, but so were the tables for Bull + Moosestubble & ‘stache, Read Wall, and the Nice Laundry crew who were roaming through the crowd.

Personally, OTC had the chance to meet many readers, chat with great industry folks, and of course hang out with Sam Shuter, our guest of honor.  With all that out of the way, let’s get down to the photos!  If you were there, maybe you’re here.  And, if you missed The Art of Style, here’s what you missed.

If we missed mentioning you in a photo, no worries.  Just leave a comment and we’ll make sure you are recognized, or email us directly at otc (at) oofthecuffdc (dot) com.

























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