Well. I fully understand that this is probably relevant to “some” Europeans directly and everybody else by proxy but fuck yeah, finally, I HAVE FELT SPRING! Yesterday (Sunday) I actually spent some time in the garden, I mowed that lawn LIKE A BOSS. It was therapeutic if I’m honest, especially with a cold one balancing on the fence post for hydration.
I was even able to shimmy one of the little ones into the garden GUILT FREE while I GOT SHIT DONE! On a personal level life always feels that little bit rosier when such feats have been reached…
Anyways, moving on as it’s getting late and said “little ones” will be chanting “Daddy, Daddy” from the top of the landing any time soon. Also, I have a beer on the go that will only get warmer and warmer the longer I type!
So onto tonight’s chap…
He’s called Christian. He’s a family man/therapist/Seattle-based denim head/solid member of the Truman Boot Company army and like myself a great believer in the Walking Dead comics/series, even though season 7 is a bit shit if we’re honest?! (Seattle based therapist, hmmm, if only you were around in April ’94)
Every day Christian aka @denim_and_whiskey looks sharp and crisp. He has the ability to up-dress his denim and carry it into the office which a lot of us, if we are being honest, would not have the patience to do. Plus, he can pull off a fedora which instantly elevates you into an exclusive little club that I have resigned myself, to the fact it, exists at the other side of the window to me. Every time I try a fedora on I see the “NO HOMERS” Simpsons reference at the back of my eyelids and instantly return it to the stand!
Again I’m rambling on so let’s move on and sit back, relax, pour yourself a whiskey (mine’s an easy drinking Old Grand-Dad Bourbon, what’s yours?) and listen to the thoughts of Christian as @denim_and_whiskey answers the @clobbercalm 10@10.
MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Christian Bringolf aka @denim_and_whiskey
LOCATION: Seattle, WA
OCCUPATION: Licensed Psychotherapist
1. So Why Instagram?
I think it’s a better social media platform to share my creativity, love for photography and clothes. I think like many of your previous guests, I’ve tried Facebook but felt like I was inundated with info that I didn’t care about. Personally, I like the challenge of being able to use a picture to communicate a message. Plus it’s just fun and there is definitely communities you become known in. IG started out for me as something just therapeutic. I work in mental health field and it’s very easy to just pour yourself into that work. Taking pics of clothes I like is calming and simple, plus I get that instant feedback from people….if the pic is good.
2. Why Denim, Boots, Workwear, Ruggedness?
Denim and boots, to me, communicates a quintessential masculinity. I’ve always wore jeans and boots. Jeans always lasted a lot longer, get the snot beat out of them and still look good. All the guys, actors, musicians I looked up to wore denim and boots. Workwear is cool. Plain and simple. I know some of the pieces I have are more modernized versions of workwear and wouldn’t necessarily stand up to the rigors of hard out door work, but every piece of clothing I buy now, I really do try to live and beat em’ up good.
3. What are your thoughts on the rise in popularity of “Instafashion” and the community it is creating?
It’s definitely interesting. When I first got into IG I treated it like Facebook. Then when I started to post more seriously and consistently, I started following other users and watching the brands they wear. Before too long I found myself scouring the web for deals on these same items that looked so damn cool in other IG users’ photos. The window shopping can get borderline obsessive, but I think I’ve made peace with that….I think. The community aspect has been interesting. Being part of a community on IG was not something that I even considered when I joined. I just figured, “everyone for themselves”. Never-the-less, I have met some stand up individuals that have morphed into other things outside of IG in my personal life.
4. Top 3 brands to shop and why?
1. Truman Boots, Truman Boots, Truman Boots. I love boots. I love made in America boots and Truman fits this for me. I’m a minimalist at heart, but a consumer by nature. One pair of Truman’s would likely last me for the rest of my life and I’d be able to pass them down to my kids. However, because Truman has so many different gorgeous leathers, awesome boot names and styles it has been hard not to stare at them like a dog does at a piece of meat.
2. Vermilyea Pelle is next on the list for me. Living in Washington I actually had the pleasure of visiting their shop and getting to see how all of their products are made. Why do I like their stuff? Simple, it’s made from some of the highest quality leather around, it’s made by like one guy, it’s a small business I get to support, the pieces I buy from them are heirloom pieces and they are made in USA under one roof. BOOM!
3. Rogue Territory is a new like for me, but they have quickly risen to the top 3 brands I shop the most. I recently picked up their ISC work shirt and love it. I think I wore it for a week straight before I rotated it out. I like cut on all their stuff. The shirts, for me, have a slimmer fit as well as the denim. Additionally, I feel like Rogue Territory embodies a minimalist spirit in their pieces. And yes, you guessed it I love that they are Made In USA.
5. Where’s your favourite place to shop these brands?
Honestly, I don’t have a lot of time to get out and shop. Most of my shopping is from my couch, roughly around 9pm. If I do shop anywhere, I head on over to Blue Owl Workshop in Freemont. They carry everything a denim addict could want. RGT, 3sixteen, Oak Street, Tanner Goods, Naked & Famous, Chup Socks to name a few.
6. When did you decide to voice and share your love for your threads on social media?
I started taking my love for denim and posting on IG more seriously probably around summer of 2016, so not that long ago. I started following guys like @lahmansbeard and @doppki. I think those two guys were what helped bring my content more continuity and elevate my pics.
7. What’s the secret behind your great images; Who takes them? When are they taken? How do you capture the magic your followers enjoy so much?
I just bring my camera and tripod everywhere with me and look for the right light. I started out shooting with my iPhone, because it’s convenient but I wasn’t satisfied with the shots. Now I take all my shots with a canon DSLR and a 50mm. I will usually set up my tripod and camera, focus the shot, set the timer and take a pic. Sometimes I get the shot right away and sometimes it takes 15-20mins. A lot of running back and forth and small adjustments to the focusing. I typically like to take my shots around mid-morning early afternoon. I especially like to take pics if its overcast, lighting is better. I usually want my pics to have some kind of contrast to it, usually in the clothes I’m wearing. I try as much as I can not to be monochromatic…..don’t always happen though.
8. What feeds do you like to follow and check in on? Who should we check out?
@lahmansbeard: he was helpful to me when I first started out. I would ask him questions and he was kind enough to respond. He’s a pretty legit guy as I’m sure you know. He is very consistent in his shots, they are almost always crisp, clean, and on point. Half the time I see his posts I’m like, “Damn, I need those boots or pants or shirt he’s wearing.”
@doppki: his account, to me, is unreal. His photos are always so clean and his pairings are simple and hard not to look at. For me, when it comes to picture quality, I keep trying to imitate what he’s doing.
@whaleysworld: not even sure what to say about his account, other than if you are into denim, boots, workwear, follow him, his photos are amazing, what he throws together is inspirational and I always end up spending money after looking at his feed.
9. What tips would you give new starters on Instagram to help them get there feed off the ground and successful?
Follow the users and brands that you’re interested in. It can take a while to develop your voice “brand” so don’t be afraid to make mistakes and ask lots of questions. Go slow, be patient. Don’t buy your followers. If you are consistent in what you do, you will eventually build a following of people who actually care about your posts, which is way cooler and more genuine.
10. And Lucky Last, You’re going to be stranded on a desert island, you can take 1 outfit (4 items) and 1 drink ONLY with you.
What would they be? Who made them? Why are you taking them?
1. Truman Boots: I know, it’s a desert island, but I wear boots all year round regardless of temp. So if I’m gonna be stranded, I’m gonna look good doing it and protect my feet.
2. Rogue Territory Stealth Sks: this pair of denim has become a second skin as of late. They are light weight and have been able to take a beating.
3. Seiko Solar Chronograph: its just a versatile watch and I don’t feel self-conscious wearing it. Plus it has a compass on it….so, that might come I handy.
4. Filson waxed canvas jacket: everything Filson makes is meant to stand up to the elements and make you look good doing it.
Yes Christian! And again the 10@10 hits the nail on the head when it comes to sniffing out a lover of all things great and plant/animal-skin related! Wait, what do you mean “not so hard with such an amazing amount of feeds out there” Ok yeah, it’s not difficult BUT it is a privilege to be part of it and to have the opportunity to talk to you guys week in and week out about all things…errrr rugged (can I use that word) ;S
And surprise, surprise, RGT (Hi Karl) made it to the island once again, Filson also! It’s a tough kit Christian, there’s years and years with you right there!
Not sure if I have mentioned this in earlier posts but here at @clobbercalm HQ (myself and Callum perched at the island in my kitchen) have decided to make a conscious effort to feature small start-up businesses! Don’t get me wrong it’s very tempting to keep featuring the bigger boys and absorb the publicity they help us achieve but let’s be honest, it’s so cool to hear from a start-up that’s putting his neck on the line to overcome all the elements and make life work the way they want it to. The fact they are usually making something denim/canvas or leather related on here is not only a bonus but a credit to how inspiring the denim and leather industry actually is, to so many of us!
Sooooooo, on that note, this Monday sees us talk to @indigoashby. A dude who, as it stands, still works full time around making his dreams come true and a manufacture of denim. Every day he is overcoming the struggles and enjoying the tribulations of becoming a manufacturer within the magic of the fabric, denim.
It’s a top feature guys so please search this dude out here @indigoashby and tune in on Monday for what he has to say!
Have a cracking weekend + continue to stay close people.