The Best of 2014: Style & Grooming

These are Gear Patrol’s best style and grooming stories of 2014.

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A lot happened in 2014, from the legalization of marijuana in Colorado to the beginning of normal diplomatic relations with Cuba. Of course, all of the really big happenings and news had absolutely nothing to do with us. But in our little nook of the universe, we did manage to have an awful lot of fun. We drove the McLaren 650S, grilled up a pin-bone sirloin and put on some fancy new cologne — and that was all in, like, one afternoon. (We also explored everywhere from Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail to the Highlands of Scotland.) So to remind ourselves of the year that was, and to share all that our crew has seen and learned, we’re doing a retrospective on the year’s best stories, from buying guides and product tests to photo essays and original videos. These are the 14 best style and grooming stories of 2014.

Böle and the Study of a $7,000 Briefcase

By Henry Phillips: Although Böle, a small Swedish tannery on the northern banks of the Baltic Sea, is producing what may be the best leather goods on the planet, you still haven’t heard of them. That might be their intention, though. Read More »

Photo Essay: Respect for the Blade

By Mike Henson: For many, shaving is a daily nuisance. Not so for everyone, we recently learned when GP writer Mike Henson shared his love of the straight razor shave. We asked him to catalogue his antique collection and got more than we bargained for in passion, history, and a set of beautiful tools. Read More »

The Rise of the Fashion Watch

By Jason Heaton: It wasn’t so long ago that watches with fashion brand names on their dials were routinely dismissed as pretenders, mere arm candy for people with more money than good sense or taste. While there are still plenty of those watches twinkling from department store jewelry counters, other brands — ones more often associated with jewelry, luggage and trench coats — have quietly elbowed their way into loftier company. These five made a splash at this year’s BaselWorld. Read
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At Toronto’s Garrison Bespoke, a Different Look at Custom Suiting

By Peter Saltsman: Garrison Bespoke, a small shop on the fringes of Toronto’s financial district, is known for being ahead of the curve, responding not just to trends, but to their clients’ every imaginable need and want. We know this because our writer up north, Peter Saltsman, recently became a client. Read More »

How to Re-Wax a Canvas Jacket

By Travis Smith: Before synthetic fabrics were the premium in waterproofing, there were thick waxed cotton jackets. These are the jackets your father’s father wore while he chopped down trees for the log cabin he decided to build on a whim. If you’re lucky enough to own one, you need to know how to re-wax it properly. Here’s a guide. Read More »

Road Trip Style: Italian Tuneup

By Jason Heaton: A top-down road trip out of town is a great way to enjoy a summer weekend. Writer Jason Heaton decided to take his Alfa Romeo Spider on such a journey and for a much needed refresher on Italian style. Read More »

The Guide to Smelling Like a Man This Winter

By Jack Seemer: Your clothes change with the seasons, so why not your scent? It’s time you tried something new and unexpected this winter. Read More »

Tested: TravelTeq Trash

By Jeremy Berger: TravelTeq’s humbly named Trash briefcase meets an extremely wide range of needs and wants, and also includes features that you may not need or want — but you can’t argue that they’re pretty cool. Read More »

Nice Threads: Surveying the World’s Most Luxurious Suiting Fabrics

By Ben Bowers: The difference between a $5,000 suit and a $50,000 bespoke suit, besides a raise to a C-letter job title, is fabric. The math is fairly simple: The rarer and more elusive the sheep or other furry mammal that supplies the hair/wool/what have you, the more premium the fabric. Here’s the rundown on the world’s most luxurious suiting fabrics. Read More »

A Style Guide to A River Runs Through It

By Eric Yang: While watching A River Runs Through It to inspire ourselves for our fishing issue, we couldn’t help but take stock in its unforgettable style (and Oscar-winning cinematography). Oxfords, waistcoats, felt, and not a single pair of shorts in sight. What proceeds are 28 modern interpretations of a squarely 1920s look — a handsome one at that. Wade in and who knows, maybe you’ll catch a few items of your own. Read More »

Field Watch Buying Guide

By Shane Griffin: Field watches tend to be ignored among the tool watch set, mostly because their definition is a bit less clear than divers’ or pilots’ watches. In fact, a field watch’s rugged build and clear dial markings makes it the perfect candidate for all sorts of expeditions. These five are particularly excellent candidates for bumps and bruises, be they from scree-scrambling, brush-clearing or desk-bumping. Read More »

The History of Flannel

By Tucker Bowe: Flannel is more than just a plaid shirt. It’s a fabric with a deep history stretching back centuries. Here’s where it came from. Read More »

Are Facials for Men?

By Chris Wright: Getting pampered in a Brooklyn barbershop proves a revealing — and refreshing — experience. Read More »

Guide to Life: How to Pack a Suit

By K.B. Gould: You have a job interview. Or maybe it’s a wedding. Either way, you need to pack a suit. Unfortunately, they’re not the easiest things to fold — not well, anyways. Any schlub can throw one in a bag, but keeping it wrinkle free requires a little extra work. Sure, it’s a hassle. So is tying a double windsor knot. But if you want to keep a prospective employer (or the cute redhead at the reception) focused on something other than wrinkles, it’s a hassle that you’re going to have to own. Stay crisp and professional with these simple steps. Read More »

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