Snappin' is back. We've been talking about it for the past couple years, but 2011 is probably the more official year of snapbacks being on the scene for fashion kids and on the shelves of retailers that have kept their ear to the ground in terms of what's hot. The in-trend wearing of snapbacks got me thinking about the origin of the popular late 80s/early 90s style hat. After a little digging I found that snapback hats are thought to have originated in the mid to late 1800s– when different types of hats were being used for the old American pastime of baseball. At the time, several different caps were being used with the baseball uniform– straw hats, boating caps, cycling caps, jockey caps, etc. So a less modern, more basic version of the snapback might have been around.
Brooklyn Excelsiors and New York Knickerbockers in 1858
The official baseball hat (as we know it today) was first worn by the Brooklyn Excelsiors in the mid 1800s, but the hat first became an official part of the baseball uniform on April 24, 1849 when the New York Knickerbockers unveiled their official club uniform.
old style (vintage) baseball caps
I guess if there was a "snapback" back in the 1800s, the "snap part" had to have been similar to the metal snap buttons you often find on windbreaker jackets. There is still some speculation on how far back the history of snapping baseball caps go. But what we all know for sure is that the famous snapback caps we know today came about in the 1980s, and were made popular by the hip-hop/rap music culture of the era. That's where American Needle comes in…
Tupac Shakur wearing an American Needle snapback
American Needle (AN) is the original snapback maker, and started selling "the snapback" everyone loves today in the late 80’s. The vast majority of the high fashion snapbacks of the time were American Needle designs. A lot of the hats were worn by musical icons of that era – even American musical icon Tupac wore American Needle's Blockhead style in the movie Poetic Justice. And now, AN has brought back many of their originals for us to indulge in… pretty sweet, right? Moreover, they've chosen to giveaway 5, yes five of their original Blockhead style snapbacks to The Urban Gentleman readers. I mean, who doesn't love a free snapback?
To win: Follow on Twitter, Fan on Facebook, and/or sign-up for T.U.G Mail. Then simply comment or retweet. And as always the more ways you enter the higher your chances of winning. (winners are chosen via random.org)
I'm pretty intrigued by American Needle's history (In 1946, American Needle supplied the first Major League Baseball team caps ever sold to fans in a ballpark – in Chicago's Wrigley Field. ), and I'm very impressed by the vast array of hats they have. I've never quite seen an online retail collection of hats like theirs. They manage to cover most, if not all, historical style baseball hats. (plus you can search them in order from 1869 onwards, check that out here.) I actually felt like I got a mini history lesson just from perusing there website. Case-in-point: I didn't know that the Braves franchise was first in Boston, then Milwaukee, then moved to the best city for the team– Atlanta 😉
From left to right: 1908 Boston Braves, 1915 Boston Braves, 1934 Boston Braves, 1940 Boston Braves, 1946-1952 Boston Braves, 1953-1965 Milwaukee Brave, 1968 Atlanta Braves, 1974 Atlanta Braves, 1982 Atlanta Braves.
Read more of American Needle's history, and see some historical photos below –> CONTINUE READING MORE >>>
This week we've featured lots of rucksacks/backpacks, and while some of you may mainly carry these for style, we have something for those who are "hard core" backpack wearers– those who wear them when biking, mountain-climbing, hiking, yanno, stuff like that…
Their Story: Chrome started in Boulder, Colorado 14 years ago when a couple of guys needed bags and couldn't find anything that met their standards. So they got the toughest materials they could find, headed into their garage and started sewing. Functional seatbelts from used car lots were re-purposed into bag straps, and tough vinyl fabric salvaged from old furniture was sewn into bag liners.
Before long, people were knocking on their door. Word was out that Chrome was making the best messenger bags around. What started out of necessity became a business with an ethic: build functional products that people can rely on and do it well.
Eventually they moved to San Francisco, a city with a huge urban cycling scene. The business grew. Bags were joined by clothes, gear and shoes. "Our products showed up from Brooklyn to Berlin to Tokyo. But what matters today is what mattered in the garage – building products that work, and standing behind everything they make."
Our favorite Chrome bag: The Pawn. Their most compact, all purpose pack with a seam-sealed, roll-tight, waterproof compartment (beer cooler). Made in the USA (we like this). Guaranteed for Life (we like this even more). Dontcha just love how so many products Made in the USA have lifetime guarantee these days. We'll be giving away The Pawn, read more below…
Check out one of Chrome's many videos below…
Yea, we're going to drill it into your mind a little more, having atleast one rucksack in your wardrobe is a must. Whether you opt for vintage or brand spanking new and designer branded, having a rucksack or backpack is the most traditional way a man carries his many belongings.
Get The Look…
Street Style/ Rucksack Inspiration…
Check back later this week for more rucksack/backpack features and a rucksack/backpack giveaway.
More Photos Below –> CONTINUE READING MORE >>>
See is one of those shops that just catches your eye when passing it, so much so that you just have to walk in… that's exactly what happened with us. Not only was the store great– classic, stylish, and slightly minimalistic (to put more focus on the frames), but the store probably has the best curated collection of eyewear photos that I have ever seen (see a few below). Oh, and did I mention that the customer service was awfully fantastic? Well, it was and and we didn't even buy anything.
Katie, the store's manager (her customer service was SUPERB ) briefly schooled us on the eyewear industry and how "designer" frames at a Lenscrafters or Pearl Vision or any other eyeglass retailer aren't created by the designer, but are actually designed by the retailer. Then a label is just slapped on them along with an huge increase in price. But See Eyewear, not only design and make their own frames, they get materials and inspiration from all around the world– not to mention the prices aren't that bad either. So if you're on the market for new glasses definitely check them out.
This is probably my favorite photo from the store.
MORE PHOTOS BELOW –> CONTINUE READING MORE >>>
Here's another hodgepodge of Valentine's Day Gift Ideas
We meant to post this watch as a great Christmas gift idea, but unfortunately didn't get around to it. So we have our opportunity again with Valentine's Day. Tokyo Bay has a Do-It-Yourself Watch kit that will truly make any guy feel like a man.
The limited edition DIY tool box contains nine quality tools essential for ‘do it yourself’ watch repair, enabling the wearer to become the pro themselves. The DIY watch kit includes two mid size classic watch faces in a cream dial and black dial, alongside four different colored straps in military canvas, sporty nylon and hard wearing leather. Back up batteries and slug pins, which hold the strap onto the watch case, are also included to keep the watch in working order. All components put together create the ultimate in modern hand built watches.
Purchase it, here.
Kings Underwear, we gave away a ton of their stuff for Christmas. And since then we've had a chance to review them ourselves– very soft and comfortable stuff. So if you think your man will be purchasing Victoria's Secret for you, then maybe return the favor and get him King's Underwear.
RumbaTime watches would of course make for great mini V-Day gifts for friends and crushes. Maybe buy a bunch in red, pink, white, and black and just pass them out like the Santa of Valentine's Day.
More Gift Ideas:
Valentine's Day Gifts for Men, $25 or Less, click here.
Valentine's Day Gifts for Men, $100 or Less, click here.