24 February 2009

Pleasant Surprises

A couple of weeks ago, I found this belt for $1.99. It's cut narrow, just how I like them, and the leather is butter soft. Besides, my old brown belt has been with me for 16 years and was really showing it's age, so this was two bucks well spent:

This evening, as I was putting it away, I caught a glimpse of the nearly worn off label embossed into the back side. Turns out it's a Coach belt, an old one, presumably from the days when that brand meant something more than trashy label encrusted sneakers and cell-phone covers.Sometimes I turn up the good stuff by accident, without even knowing it. (Shameless bragging)

In other news, the new goofy tote bag from L.L.Bean arrived recently. The label bears another pleasant surprise, the magic words: Made in U.S.A.

I knew the boots were still coming from Maine, but I wasn't aware they were actually making the old "Boat and Tote" up there. It may be too bad that American manufacturing of quality goods is so rare that finding it prompts a gleeful sort of surprise, but the bright side is that of all Bean's many products, two of the most iconic one's are still being done right.


ms. mindless said...

if bean can still manage to make things in america at such a reasonable price, what excuse do other manufacturers have?

Andrew M. said...

Nice finds Giuseppe. I was just thinking about getting a tote for carrying books to class. I hesitate, though, because around here only the ladies carry totes to class. I was wondering what you usually use to carry stuff to class, and what you used as an undergrad, etc. I like the Jack Spade messengers, or Land's End has some nice bags. I detest the gaudy backpacks most students carry. Any opinions would be appreciated.

Giuseppe said...


I use the old canvas totes. In Boston, it's not so uncommon to find all kinds of people, men and women, using them to carry all kinds of thigs.

I have a normal sized one from Land's End, natural cavans with navy handles, that I use most of the time. It's beat to hell, but I like it that way. When I have a lot of big stuff to carry, I have an extra large one in navy blue, with kelly green handles. (see the post "Rumpled Architect" from earlier this month.) I find them to be sturdy and reliable. They work well with a jacket and tie, but in a very New England casual sort of way. PLus, they're pretty chaep, so it's easy to have a few different ones' in different sizesa and colors.

The Jack Spade stuff looks alright, but it's a bit precey and fashion-y for my taste. I do sometimes use a messenger bag on my bike, but it's from Bailet Works of New Hamshre. Can't go wrong with those, they're indestructable.

Hope that helps.

Pigtown*Design said...

Giuseppe... another classic post from my friend Maison 21. This one's about his collection of canvas carrying bags. You just can't go wrong with one!

heavy tweed jacket said...

We have a bunch of canvas totes up in the attic that only seem to get used for trips in the car. I should remedy that. That belt! Wow. I used to have a Coach belt circa 1984 that was about that color and a surcingle shaped belt. If they were still making them, would buy another in a heartbeat. Great find!