Crocodiles, Alligators, Oh My!

July 8th, 2013

As menswear enthusiasts and collectors, we’re always on the hunt to step up our game.

It doesn’t get any bossier than exotic leather. Crocodile and alligator are lifelong investments that represent the pinnacle of luxury.

Here, Alex and I share some of our favorite exotic pieces.

    1. Serious Business

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    The first alligator piece I ever purchased was the brown belt in this look; a used Ralph Lauren Purple Label number I found on eBay for a steal. I’ve had it for years and still wear it several times a week.

    After I picked up my Montblanc Timewalker (also used from eBay) I tracked down alligator watch bands in several colors (brown, black, tan), along with a spring bar tool to easily swap them.

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    This beautiful briefcase was handmade by Frank Clegg. It’s one of those legendary pieces that has the potential to instantly become a family heirloom.

    On a separate note, a linen suit with gator skin seems like a perfect fit for summer. The combo has a very “southern luxury” feel.

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    If you’re considering investing in some exotic skin for the first time, a captoe lace-up is a wise choice. It’s an elegant and classic footwear shape that will never go “out of style”.

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    2. Family Heirlooms

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    “As you’ve probably picked up by now, I get most of my favorite clothing items from my father. Every time I got back to Texas to visit I take a peek into my dad’s closet and try to find the coolest items with the most dust on them.

    On my last trip home it was these crocodile lace-ups. As my father begrudgingly handed the shoes over to me he mentioned that these were his favorite shoes for a very long time and he made me promise to take good care of them. Honestly the thing I love the most about the shoes is how much they meant to my father, and how beautifully broken-in they are. As soon as I put them on they felt like I’d been wearing them for years. I went sockless to a wedding the first time I wore them and I didn’t get a single blister; that’s magic right there.”

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    “The belt is also a hand-me-down from my father. It matches the shoes perfectly.”

    The durability of alligator leather makes it perfect for a wallet, like this bifold, too.

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    “These pants were from Dan’s MAB collection that he designed a couple years ago. They were a little long for me so I had them hemmed and cuffed, just short enough to show off the shoes.”

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    3. Luxury Casual

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    Exotic skin is inherently dressy, but it can be worn casually as well.

    A pair of loafers and a duffle bag, for example, can be dressed-up or down, and both perfect for traveling in style.

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    Here’s an easy recipe for a sharp casual look this summer: lose the tie and swap out the suit trousers for a pair of slim white jeans.

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    Bill White, founder of Scarpe di Bianco, was the one who convinced me to invest in my first croc footwear.

    They were expensive, but every time I wear these custom-made beauties I feel like a million bucks.

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    Thanks, as always, for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Articles of Style

     

    Photography by Alex Crawford

    • http://www.mensdesign.com Edgar

      Love that look. aside from crocodile I think they also make ostrich.

      over all good look.

    • Maetha

      3rd look is fire.

    • CJ

      I miss the feature where you would recommend items equivalent to the ones youre wearing!I’m dying for a linen suit but don’t know where to start. Budget isn’t quite at Dan’s level either haha

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        We’ll be bringing it back, in a much bigger and better way, along with some other added features to the new site. We’re working on a major website re-build this Fall…

        Cheers,
        Dan

    • Joe

      Dan,

      Outfit #3 is money brother. I might be stealing your look in these NYC streets.

    • http://profblack.blogspot.kr/ Professor Black

      I like the white on bottom/grey or darker color on top Dan. You’ve been killing it with that look the last few weeks. Alex, this is a great look for you man. You can really sell this type of mature and refined style.

    • Anonymous

      all of these looks (and items, especially the last bag) are a bad cartoon…

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        I don’t know what that means, but thanks for reading!

    • Anonymous

      your father told you to simply take care of the shoes and the first time you wore them you went without socks!?

    • Don Pierre

      Brilliant! Best post featuring Alex. Dangerously Stylish Dan.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thank you Don Pierre!

    • Matt

      Dan I love look 3, if you don’t mind can you tell me where that watch strap is from?

    • Brady P

      This is one of those classic TSB posts with fantastic items sprinkled in w/ great tailored pieces. Always like seeing Alex in the photos ;) Being someone who also has a close sartorial relationship with his father… your lucky to have the same shoe size. As previously stated, Dan, those custom Croc loafs are dirty! All the leather pieces featured in this post are enough to drool over. Well done Gentlemen

    • http://themodernprep.wordpress.com Marshall Mulherin

      Yo Dan I’m feeling this beard length right here. Clean but still keeping that jaw warm

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        hah thanks player

      • Chris

        co-sign

    • http://eightgiants.com josh

      These are great looks! Always an inspiration.

    • John B

      Alex’s best look! I didn’t expect to see alligator bags to be honest, but it was a nice surprise. If only I could get one..

    • Pete

      Dang that suit on #1 is perfect.

    • Kiel

      I for one, would love to see Alex in shoots like this more often. I know, he;s the photographer though, so I imagine there are practical limits to how that can be. I’m sure some kind of trans-dimensional portal was used to make this happen.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        He’s definitely more comfortable behind the camera…but his style has come a long way! It’s the TSB advantage :)

    • Carter

      Sick post Dan and the team! That linen suit with the patch pockets is boss as well as the scarpi loafers in look #3. Alex, your killing as well bro. Dan, saw an IG pic from that wedding with the guys in Jordans! Nice touch.
      Be Well TSB team!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks Carter! We got some great shots from that wedding coming up. 10 groomsmen all in different Jordans :)

    • http://urbsuburbstyle.com/blog/ Paul

      Love the third look – easy summer style at it’s best!

    • Tom

      Hey Dan,

      You should get the MJ patent installed on all your custom shoes…just because you can

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pch3hoUtfJ0

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        hahahaha everybody wants to be like Mike.

    • Dan

      Dan, you paid seven grand for that bag?

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Frank and I are friends…it’s all about who you know ;)

        • Brady P

          Just stop it, that bag is probably the most beautiful piece of leather Ive seen. Frank is extremely talented, and that bag is by far my favorite piece he makes. I was assuming you “borrowed” it for this post, considering its rarity and hefty price tag. But you actually owning it is another story. One word for you… ENVY, pure envy

    • Bob

      love the teal linen shirt

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Me too. It’s vintage, if you look closely you can see how beat-up it is…makes it even better

    • BF

      Damn, those loafers in look #3 are beyond baller

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        My favorite pair to date!

    • TO

      Some beautiful pieces here gents!

      Alex, your dad must have been quite the dresser.

      Dan, one of the craziest looks you’ve done in a while with no. 3. “Luxury casual”, can’t put it much better than that. Love the colour/texture palette on that one.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks TO! Alex’s pops was clearly a boss.

    • cam

      funny timing on the post dan…i’ve been contemplating on purchasing the gucci drivers with bamboo horsebit in the brown ostrich leather for a few months…i believe you’ve pushed me over the edge now…btw, that linen suit is perfect

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Those sound awesome… definitely head-turners. I have a pair from the Gucci bamboo collection and they’re great – very durable…I traveled Europe for three months with those and a pair of Sperrys.