OTC: What We Carry Everyday

What I Carry Picture

OTC was recently asked to contribute a photo to the British site Everyday Carry UK showing what our editor-in-chief has in his bag and on his person any given day.  As bags and the stuff of life have always been a big part of OTC, we were happy to oblige.

While the sack may change based on need, style, and mood, what’s inside is fairly consistent.  When we tried to edit all the stuff down to a manageable representation of gear, one item inadvertently left out of the photo was a fantastic Chester Mox wallet that keeps his all-important Metro pass secure.  In addition, although out of view, the bag used that day was the Courier Messenger Bag from Frank Clegg.

This brief exercise reminded us of the many great brands, creative companies, and exceptional individuals we have met over the years.  We have linked to a few of those brands represented here.

Clockwise from top:


OTC Lauded by Refinery 29, Real Men Real Style

431C2357We here at OTC are honored and humbled by the fact that two top style websites, Refinery 29 and Real Men Real Style, recently selected Off the Cuff as one of the best style blogs out there.

Both of these websites are serious fashion and lifestyle authorities in their own rights, so being chosen by either as a leading site is pretty darn great.

Refinery 29, a certified style powerhouse and serious influencer, named OTC one of the “Seven Men’s Bloggers Ruling the DMV Style Scene.”  They wrote, “If you’re a fan of classic design, check out OTC, which covers everything from workout gear to suits and briefcases.  Author Chris Hogan curates a healthy mix of general news and D.C.-based fashion info, so all of your bases are covered.”

The hugely popular Real Men Real Style named OTC a Top Ten Style Blog for 2014.  Their review was incredibly thoughtful, noting that our “posts are always detailed and lengthy, and you can count on their writers to dive deep into whatever subjects they handle,” and that “their attention to detail and their exacting standards for men’s attire keep them in this year’s Top Ten.”

Our thanks go out to both websites for their votes of continued confidence and extremely kind words.  We also thank our thousands of readers around the globe – about 40 countries last time we checked.  Without all of you, the world would be a little less dandy.

OTC already has eight years under its belt, and we look forward to the next eight. Cheers.




We are thrilled to be partnering with the footwear and accessories company ECCO as one of their brand ambassadors. Long before they reached out to us, we had been wearing ECCO’s comfortable and stylishly functional shoes for years. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, ECCO has expanded its offerings to include belts, bags and a host of other well-designed and well-built products.

While sporting a bespoke suit is something we enjoy as much as the next guy, in the real world, casual clothing and performance gear play a big role in getting through the day. For most of us, having a solid pair of casual shoes, a comfortable and supportive running kit, and a handy day bag is a basic necessity.  ECCO is a brand we respect and with which we are honored to be associated.  We use and wear their products and endorse them without reservation.

Unlike many other shoe companies, ECCO is a truly global and completely vertically integrated brand. Founded in Copenhagen by Karl Toosbuy in 1963, his goal from the start was to create the best shoe company in the world – a mission his employees still take very seriously. As they like to say, “from hide to High Street,” ECCO controls the entire sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution process. Products are manufactured in one of their five company-owned factories and sold in 1,100 ECCO stores and through14,000 other points of sale in more than 90 countries. In fact, every year ECCO opens 120-150 branded stores, including relocations or refits of existing stores.

As a brand ambassador for ECCO, we will be testing and reviewing products, communicating company initiatives and offering OTC readers some exciting deals and contests. While we proudly support many outstanding brands dedicated to maintaining high standards and commitment to craft – such as Frank Clegg Leatherworks, J. Panther Luggage Co., and Ledbury – our formal relationship with ECCO is a first.

For the past month or so, we have been highlighting two particular pair of shoes via our social media platforms. The Fusion Moc Toe and BIOM running shoes we have been testing out on the road, as it were, and are some of the most comfortable shoes we have worn.  We will review those shoes in more detail later, but in the meantime, to learn more about ECCO and check out its range of products, visit the company’s website.



Complex.com Loves Off the Cuff

Certain websites have a lot of influence when it comes to measuring your impact in the somewhat hazy universe of social media and the blogoshpere.  One of the biggest heavy hitters is Complex.com, a hugely influential site for male consumers who are “style-makers and trend-spreaders.”

To help it’s readers get a handle on what menswear blogs they should be reading, Complex just released this incredibly detailed, handy, and downright witty guide to the best of the web for men.  We here at OTC are thrilled to not only be recommended by Complex, but highlighted for our unique take on making classic East Coast, Ivy League style cool enough for today’s guys.

We are also proud to be listed alongside some good friends and equally outstanding sites Ivy Style, The Trad, and Unabashedly Prep.




We here at OTC wish to offer up a big, sincere “Thank You,” to everyone who voted and supported our nomination!  OTC’s founder and editor-in-chief, Chris Hogan, made it to the winner’s circle and was crowned “Dandiest at the Derby” by Brooks Brothers’ fans!

Thanks are also due to our photographer par excellence, Mr. Steven Ritchie, and Mrs. OTC for her invaluable guidance when it comes to ties and choice of image entries (and, frankly, everything else).

Brooks Brothers is an American institution when it comes to classic Ivy League and American preppy styles, but it also leads the way in connecting with a new generation of customers fluent in Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and mobile e-commerce.  While we celebrate and promote the many outstanding start-up and boutique brands helping to redefine the best in menswear and American style, historic and invaluable brands like Brooks Brothers continue to set important benchmarks towards which we all race.

Last year, OTC ran a series of in-depth articles on the history and importance of Brooks Brothers.  Please take a moment and have a read:

Brooks Brothers: American Icon (Part I)
Brooks Brothers: American Icon (Part II)
Brooks Brothers: American Icon (Part III)
Brooks Brothers: American Icon (Part IV)