Not too long ago, something caught my attention as I was scrolling through Huckberry's selects on my Facebook feed, trying to avoid trolls, stupid memes, and confused Boomers. A Hawaiian shirt. Yeah, you know the classic "Aloha" popped up, much like one that might be adorned by many of my literary and life heroes like Hunter S. Thompson or Charles Bukowski, but this one was different.
The California Cowboy version was like a social swiss army knife, with trap doors, hidden pockets, and sparkling little secrets throughout the garment. These mad geniuses had updated the Hawaiian shirt from fit to finish to the lining, perfect for any warm-weather adventure.
A leaner cut, a proprietary terry cloth blend lining that is soft as baby seal fur, and pockets for your beer, phone, and included bottle opener. There are even finely printed American Psycho "Bone White" style business cards with pick up lines or as they like to call them "ice breakers."
And it doesn't stop there; for colder weather, they have created a shirt designed explicitly for Apres Ski with a buttery soft flannel and thermal lining with similar tweaks in fit and accessories - but winterized. And for the man of extreme leisure, they even have a robe that brings the same soft lining, a kimono style fit, and a fucking champagne pocket.
So we thought it would be fun to embrace the heritage of California Cowboy and pair up their garments with a writer and a beverage - to inspire you to get your leisure on, socialize a bit and put down your damn phone and read like an adult.
We also got the chance to catch up with Drew Clark, the founder and visionary behind the brand to learn a little bit more about it - check the interview below and inspired mix, perfect for the last summer sunsets as we transition to fall.
The Bird of Paradise in Sunset Red screams Hunter S. Thompson, the legendary wordsmith, journalist and arguably the creator of Gonzo journalism. If you haven't read any of his work, The Rum Diary is a great place to start, set in Puerto Rico in the late 50s it's Thompson's long lost novel that is perfect for poolside reading with an aged bottle of rum by your side (of course).
The Indio Palm feels like a day at the track with Charles Bukowski, the derelict poet laureate who loved booze, women, dead-end jobs, the hobo life, bar fights, and betting the ponies. At times staggeringly eloquent and profound, possessing a raw wit that was often imitated but never duplicated, and perhaps one of the most influential American poets in decades. Betting On The Muse is a posthumous collection of work that pairs perfectly with a simple yet finely crafted pilsner from Crooked Stave. Great for campfires, read out loud with vigor followed by a good howl at the moon.
The Highwater in Neptune Blue does away with the classic "Aloha" imagery and embraces the understated, yet elegance of chambray. Imagine yourself on the streets of San Francisco in the early 50s, headed into a beatnik bar before it even knew it was a beatnik. Your head full of wine, rooms full of smoke and jazz, and you are ready with your bottle opener. This pairs well with Jack's lost novel The Sea Is My Brother that was only recently discovered and finally published. Take this down to the beach, load up a backpack with wine, some french bread, and a blanket to fall back on - adventure is calling, are you going to answer?
The High Sierra brings visions of classic Warren Miller movies, a man who loved the sport of skiing so much he dedicated his life to it. Vintage flickering reels of Europeans doing what they do best after a day on the slopes, drinking like they mean it. Apres Ski with this autobiography, and then round up your friends for a Miller marathon of ski movies that will take you back to the golden days of long skinny skis, tight pants, big hair, and Vaurnets. Make it classic with some Veuve, why don't you?
The Yukata robe means that you are all in, so you might as well embody your inner intellectual "Dude", break out the Jean-Paul Sartre and get to existential-izing your damn self. Simpletons will fear you, women (well they might question you, but they will see the book and might give you a shot), and lesser men will stare in awe as you roam around with your canned Mai Tai. This robe is pure comfort with the soft terry cloth lining, perfect for an intense philosophical reads from one of the true masters. According to Sartre, "man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards." Get on with it then, might as well do it in a kimono.