Cotton Summer Bow Ties

 handmade bow ties

We put these together on special order today for @mathewsandoval. Still a bit to warm in LA to be wearing a wool bow tie to a wedding, so these cotton ties should do the trick.

Smith Brand Officially Opens!

Cheers & Happy National Bow Tie Day! We have officially opened our web store today. As a very (very) small business, we count on the quality and integrity of our products as much as we do the relationships and strengths of our wonderful community. For all those out there who have helped us get off the ground, I hope we can thank you enough.

We are looking forward to the organic and natural growth of both our products and the future of Smith Brand.

custom bow tie

How to Tie a Bow Tie Vol: 7

Friend of Smith Brand, Mike Bruny just posted this wonderful video on his blog in regards to tying a bow tie. He is attempting to pull this off while using only his monitor as a mirror, no easy feat as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks again for the shout out, that pink tie looks dynamite! Find more bow tie videos from Mike at

Twitter Photo Galleries

Twitter just released a new user photo gallery feature. It shows recent photos tweeted by said user. I see a general theme happening in my stream, can you tell what it is?

bow ties

My New Handmade Work Shirt

As Charles Eames once proudly proclaimed, "The details are not the details. They make the design." That single phrase perfectly describes why my new work shirt is the best work shirt this world has ever seen.

My wonderfully beautiful and wildly talented lady recently took up the task of crafting the perfect work shirt for me. The pre-production happened in two steps; first by measuring my awkward body, and secondly in having me choose the details that I find important in a good shirt. These two steps being the perfect balance of form and function.

Form (her); neck size, arm length, wrist diameter, chest size, arm hole size, shoulder width and front and back panel length.

Function (me); pen pocket, expanded box pleats, drying loop, button down collars, rear collar button, sleeve placket button and most importantly...the perfect fabric.

handmade shirt

I say "awkward body" because I'm 6 feet tall and weigh 130 pounds. That means a long thin torso with equally long and skinny arms. Off the rack shirts either fit my body well and come up short in the sleeves, or fit my arms well and have a baggy and boxy torso.

As you can see in the photo above on the left, this shirt fits well in both my torso and through the full length of my arms. That sleeve length allows me to ride my bike, run a sewing machine, high 5 hobos, really anything in total comfort and ease.

Nearly every single shirt I own has a button down collar. I have a narrow neck and face, so the taller, more structured shape of a button down collar ends up framing my head in a much more flattering way.

I use my breast pockets in the most un-cool ways possible. Basically, if it will fit, it's going in. I love keeping my phone there, money, paperwork, I would keep a sandwich in my breast pocket if the size was right. With that in mind, the pen pocket custom sized for my favored Uni-Ball Vision Micro really kicks this pocket up a notch.

handmade shirt

Men's shirts come standard with a box pleat in the center of the back. From a design standpoint, this is a useless detail. As you can see in the top left photo, I had Yuko spread that pleat all the way out to the shoulder-blade, allowing for more mobility in the shoulder and upper arm.

The top right photo shows the rear collar button. This keeps a necktie or bow tie from slipping out of its propper placement inside of the collar. The same photo also shows the drying loop on the yoke.

The lower photos above show the impeccable finishing details that you simply will not find in a off the rack shirt. The photo on the left is the top closing button, and the photo on the right is the cuff and sleeve placket button. Notice that no button stitching is visible. The buttons are attached using only the top fabric layers, leaving a clean smooth finish on the other side.

handmade shirt

The first piece made was the collar, once the size and fit was perfected, the rest of the shirt construction can continue. The final touches are the button holes, 15 total.

If you would like to order a hand made shirt from the lovely Yuko, too bad, she is my tailor, and my tailor only, hahaha...

Sunday Morning Vintage Adventure


Had a fun morning at the Alemany Flea market with @OkudairaYuko this morning. As usual, tons of vintage clothes and junk. Almost pulled the trigger on a 20's coin purse and an antique watch, but neither ended up in the bag. Maybe next week we will finally pick up that perfect wool picnicing blanket.