By Nick Caruso
Summer 2012, we have arrived. Actually, depending on your time zone you may have arrived months ago. Regardless, we’re officially starting out-in-the sun months now and a guy’s gotta be outfitted properly.
I’ll admit that I’m a t-shirt guy year round, but warmer times call for very specific threads. My choice of t-shirt for the summer? Bear Sole. The premium t-shirts from this independent brand are far more than a summer staple; they are a life philosophy and a design challenge rolled into one. Jonathan Trainor, a very personable and attentive man, is the founder of Bear Sole. He grew up spending his summers with his family and friends vacationing in the relaxing, inspiring, meaningful, and symbolically serene Adirondack mountains. On the Bear Sole website, http://www.makeyourowntracks.com, Jonathan describes the most important part of those months of his youth: late night conversations on the docks at the lake where he and the people closest to him expressed to each other their very essences. You can picture it: Dusk. The first stars peeping through the flowing sky; a handful of friends on the dock have just watched the sun set. The only sounds are chirping crickets, thumping bullfrogs, and the occasional fish jumping. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a great deal of my past in similar situations – secluded lakes, the middle of nature, free from city stressors – and nothing prepares you for the freedom you feel, nor will you ever feel the comfort and the boldness that comes with that freedom in any other setting. It’s unique, and changes you.
I think that in nature humans feel most… well, natural. We feel most willing to explore our natures, in awe under the boundless universe. Like the Adirondack black bear that symbolizes the wilderness of Jonathan’s favorite place, and serves as an embroidered logo on the chest of his shirts, we all feel looser and most comfortable when we make fresh tracks through the wilderness – whatever that means to us individually. Especially to those of us who tread throughout the “concrete jungle” on a daily basis an escape, a chance to be in touch with our innermost self, is paradise and something to strive to. These t-shirts are more than just super high-quality Peruvian cotton, which is by nature clean, strong, and when woven into long threads, very breathable. If you’re going to make your own black bear tracks through the wilderness, through the city, through your backyard, there isn’t a better shirt to be wearing than a Bear Sole.
My Bear Sole shirt is a very true blue; black is the other option. These aren’t no-frills shirts, but their essence is a simple, straightforward, and essential one. Simplify yourself with one of these luxurious shirts and you’ll feel more comfortable in your skin than with any other garment. I’m a thin guy, and I find it hard to get my hands on clothing that fits the way I want it to. The instant I slipped into this shirt I was quite taken and even exclaimed aloud, which alarmed my roommate. When I explained to her what had happened – that I’d just put on an immediately comfortable shirt that, like Jonathan says on the website, I didn’t want to ever take off. Maybe she didn’t quite grasp what I was trying to express – that this shirt is unique. That it’s important because of its fit and its quality and its meaning. But she would understand if she made her own tracks inside one (if you’re reading, roomie, your boyfriend would love one). Do your body and your soul a favor – make your own tracks, feel comfortable and natural – get to the website and read Jonathan’s story. And change the way your summer will feel in your own Bear Sole.
Hey, guys, great party! I love being out here on the beach/in the park/on your rooftop patio! I brought some beer too. It’s chilled to the perfect temperature, and condensation is just starting to build on the outside of the bottle – prime drinking! It’s a new microbrew/cheap, popular beer/classic brew our dads drank, and if you’re like me, on a warm night/slow afternoon/hot day like this there’s nothing like an ice cold, refreshing…uh…oh no. I…er… Wouldn’t ya know, these bottle caps don’t unscrew? Someone brought a bottle opener/jackknife/pliers, right? Anyone? No one? Anyone know how to open these with their teeth/belly button or something? Oh. Well. Sorry, guys… I guess we’ll just have to have these later or something unless we can figure out a way to…BAM!!! Check out THIS bad boy! An ace up my sleeve/I’m such a card/didn’t bet on this, did you?!!
What’s that? Yeah, okay. Too much build up and too much schtick? Thank you for your criticism, Captain Hard To Please. ANYWAY. For those of you who APPRECIATE my gesture, and the amazing illusion I just pulled off in front of your very eyes, allow me to explain: This may look like your everyday, precision-machined piece of steel artwork, but it has a name: the Ace Bottle Opener by Dan and Dave.
It’s thin enough to slip in your pocket/wallet/secret compartment in your jacket, or just keep tucked away on your bar/in your picnic basket/in your shoe for the next time you want to make a little magic for your unprepared/easily impressed/totally rad, summer-lovin’ friends. This excellent and stylish tool/conversation piece/unique gift is sold by the company Dan and Dave at http://www.dananddave.com. The site is geared toward magicians and those aspiring to learn the crafts of magic and cardistry, so there’s more than just gadgets like this. Find ultra-premium playing cards for your next slight of hand adventure. Or at least take care of the skin on those hands with the coffee scented lotion (it comes in a very classy vintage-looking apothecary-type pump jar). The online store is full of all manner of intriguing and useful items, but a good place to start is with the Ace Bottle Opener, and then maybe become enamored with the idea of becoming the next slight of hand expert/pundit/most popular guy at the party. I don’t know how to count cards, but I can assure you, this is one you won’t want to be without when the sun is hot and the beer is cold.
You’re almost there. Nearly outfitted and ready to take the summer plunge. You feel loose, natural, and comfortable in the perfect t-shirt you’ll never take off again. Your friends are impressed by and jealous of your nifty bottle-opener trick. All you need now is to top off your look with the best hair product you can get your short-to-medium-length-hair-havin’ mitts on. Look no further than Jonathan Product Dirt texturizing paste to unclean your coif. Dirt uses sugar emollients, botanical extracts, and proteins to condition and strengthen your hair at the same time it’s making it look trendy and natural. It’s even good for you – there are no mineral oils or paragons, and Dirt features UV filters that protect your hair to keep it healthy and oh-so just right.
I’ve been using this paste for a couple weeks now and it’s different than anything I’ve used before. The first thing I noticed when I initially opened the jar (and, truthfully, every time since) is the scent. It’s like sweet, manly almond candy. The feel on my fingers is terrific too – pliable and easily managed, easy to apply. I tend to keep my hair short (because in some areas it has begun to keep itself nonexistent), so it’s the perfect length for the piecey, washed-but-unwashed look. Dirt keeps my hair looking exactly the way I want it to – shiny, casual, messy, and inviting to fingers (actually, keep your fingers away – my hair looks perfect and you have no business futzing with my follicles). Who wants to show up to his friend’s BBQ or beach party with limp, lame, uninteresting hair? Not I. Not you. Mess up your clean-cut, boring, pre-summer look with some Dirt, and while you’re at it check out the shampoos, conditioner, and styling tools available at http://jonathanproduct.com.