5 Things: David Coggins
If you’re looking for instructions on tying a Double Windsor knot, there are roughly a wheelbarrow’s worth of books out there — not to mention, ya know, YouTube. Thankfully, David Coggins’s new book Men and Style ditches the well-trod instructional tropes found in most menswear writing for something with more meat on its bones. The book explores the history of men’s style through a collection of essays and conversations with some of the most stylish guys under the sun, making for an essential reference manual for a life well-lived. We recently caught up with David to learn a few of his own essentials for living well.
"I go trout fishing whenever I can – mostly in Montana or upstate New York. But this year I finally went bonefishing in the Bahamas. It was incredible, one of the great experiences, wonderful and challenging and thrilling. But the setting in South Andros, on the isolated flats at the edge of the island is just as amazing. It’s truly one of the wild places on earth. I stayed in a simple lodge where they keep their focus where it should be, on the fishing, with tremendous guides and a solid fleet of flats boats. When you come back around sunset for a glass of rhum agricole you know you had a special day, and you’re right."
"Founded in 1954 in Japan, Ring Jacket is very good at making elevated clothes that you want to wear every day. They’re interesting without being exhausting. Made in Osaka, they’re available at the Armoury in New York. The brown houndstooth tweed coat is top of my list of fall acquisitions, and I’m prepared to live in it all winter."
"I love to grill—who doesn’t? At our cabin in Wisconsin, we have a big fieldstone grill where I usually do one ambitious session a summer over a wood fire. About six hours of grilling equals about six Leinenkugel’s, the wonderfully average local beer. There’s also an old Hibachi my dad got on eBay, probably well after midnight, and I think it cost more to ship than to buy. But most of the time the cooking is on the Weber, one of the great American inventions. I don’t get too technical, that’s why I love to start with the chimney. Paper in the bottom, charcoal on top, no lighter fluid. Just the groundwork to do what needs doing."
"If you like to smoke cigars you might gravitate toward classics: the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2, the Cohiba Siglo IV, or any Montecristo, Upmann or Trinidad. And you’re right to do so. But on a recent trip to Italy I was turned onto this less exalted option by Giovanni, who owns a wonderful pipe store on via dei Servi in Florence. They’re gnarly cheroots that look right out of A Fistful of Dollars. Smoke half at a time, a full one can lay you low. A box of five is eight euros. Works well in the field, though looks very good with a suit. Don’t worry when they go out, light it again when you have the chance, and offend the minimal number of people with a habit you know you should quit."
"This beloved joint on Main Street in Bozeman, Montana is probably the best restaurant in America that closes at 2 pm. Eggs, hash browns, biscuits, gravy (surprisingly good), pie (also good, though not surprising). Everything made in house. If you’ve got time then head across the street to Vargo’s the most excellent bookstore that also sells jazz CDs (why not?). But the Western Café is really an early morning destination, the type of place that’s busy at 6 am. You want to eat right then get out fishing on the river where you belong." [H]
Pick up your copy of Men and Style here.
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