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Comparing Three Doc Martens

I love Doc Marten Boots and I’m not sure why. They’re not particularly comfortable, practical, or honestly even that good looking. Somehow though I’ve still managed to accumulate three different pairs from different lines within the brand. They’re laughing all the way to the bank even with my criticisms.

My first pair was a 1460 in cherry red. Holy crap it was tough to break in. I remember I’d put folded paper in my socks to keep them from rubbing my heels raw. I wore them everyday for months and it eventually yielded to my determination. The leather feels authentic and over the years the boot has been scuffed up from motorcycle rides and late nights. I’ve never worried about this boot falling apart, it feels sturdy.

My second pair was a set of black Cartors. I found them at Nordstrom Rack for half the cost of my 1460s. From afar they look like the classic black docs but picking them up I could tell that there was something not right about them. I think my main complaint is that they’re synthetic leather and thus have a much softer feel and a different shine than the 1460s. These did not require any break in. They’re acceptable to wear if my outfit requires black boots but if these were my first docs, I would not have been impressed.

My third and hopefully last pair is a set of Chelseas, mono black so that I can wear them with my service dress if I want. I had been on the hunt for Chelsea boots for a while but none really caught my eye like the Docs. So after a putting it off as a maybe for a year I ended up buying it. They’re not too comfortable to walk in but my main complaint is the insole. It is cardboard. It’s hard to get a picture because it has some fake black cover they have over the heel of the insole. I thought it was some packaging material I had missed the first time I wore it. When you walk it feels like your socks are slipping around on dense cardboard inside. For $150, I don’t think this the quality one pays for. I gave them a shot though, maybe the cardboard becomes like memory foam after a while. I’ve worn them about 10 times. Still not pleased with the insole.

Overall I’d say get the 1460s, they’re the classic look, and be ready to break ’em in. They also have a vintage “made in England” line for $230 but I think Docs are quite pricey as is so I won’t be trying those any time soon.

The Harvard Class Ring

Everyone knows about that massive brass rat the MIT students wear. Does Harvard have something similar? Harvard class rings aren’t as universal as the brass rat is to MIT but they are around. Harvard class rings are almost universally signet rings; however, there is no “official” ring. It seems there are competing efforts between the Coop and the Harvard Shop for class rings. Our student run newspaper, the Crimson, had an article picturing the Balfour ring advertised by the Harvard Shop. The Coop, Harvard’s bookstore and the providers of Harvard regalia advertise the rings from Herff Jones. Lastly M. La Hart & Co seems to have a licensed ring. I went with the one from Balfour because I personally prefer the look, I think their signet ring looks more classic. The Balfour ring also seems relatively cheaper.

Why do I want a class ring? Well firstly I think signet rings are classy but I don’t have a signet of my family crest passed down for generations like others. Secondly, class rings are a military tradition and thus commonly worn at my workplace.

I inquired about their style sizing and included it here for anyone else that needs the info: L – 18mm x 15mm, M – 16mm x 14mm, S – 13mm x 11mm, XS – 12mm x 10mm.

I’m very pleased with the amount of customization allowed. Each side can be customized with the student’s house and school. People commonly engrave class year on the sides as well. Mine has the Extension School’s coat of arms on one side and Kirkland House’s on the other.

The cheapest option with no precious metals is around $400. It took a long time to produce, two months. I upgraded to a rose gold version later and they gave me a large discount for turning in my original ring.

Moncler Swiss Ski School Jacket

My latest ebay find is a Moncler Swiss Ski School Jacket! Moving to Colorado has been a great excuse to buy a new snow jacket. In college I wore Patagonia but I’ve been meaning to step it up for a while. I think I could fit in with my Harvard classmates wearing a Canada Goose but trying them on I wasn’t too impressed. Canada Goose kinda strikes me like LV does today. It’s a luxury brand but a really mainstream one at the moment. The top of this luxury winterwear food chain though is probably Moncler, a designer brand much more focused on designer fashion today rather than their expeditions of old. In the featured picture is Moncler CEO Remo Ruffini with ski instructors wearing the jacket. Ruffini is credited with transforming Moncler from a practical brand to a designer brand.

I didn’t give much thought to Moncler since they were out of my price range but shopping on Rodeo I wandered into their boutique. The quality, warmth, and lightness of their jackets immediately impressed my friends and I. It was a clear step up from Canada Goose, the fill was thicker but the jacket still felt lighter. I was truly close to purchasing a $1700 Kander ski jacket that day. Finding a perfect fit in a boutique is rare and usually I have to hunt down luxury items I want by traveling to multiple stores. The Moncler on Rodeo only had one Kander in my size. I didn’t buy it, but I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

So after a month in downtown Denver I’ve seen snow twice, bought my lift pass for the season, and bought new bindings for my snowboard. Shoutout to Arbor and Stoked Ride Shop for the pro discount! Last up is a new outfit for the season. 

I found this listing on ebay, it’s a jacket that used to be worn by ski instructors at the swiss ski school, probably about 7 years ago? The featured image is from a 2013 article and looking at their YouTube it doesn’t seem like the swiss ski school uniforms look like this anymore. I’ve got myself another vintage item.

I love the idea of taking a ski vacation to the alps, though I haven’t had the chance to do it myself. The jacket embodies the trans-Atlantic mood I’m going for. Now I’ll fit right in at Vail, the most expensive ski resort in the nation from what I’ve heard.

Is this a Real Vintage Rimowa?

I’ve been obsessed with RIMOWA since I decided on doing that traveling livestyle all those vloggers are into. Rimowas are basically aluminum cases that get dented as you travel. Put a few stickers on there and boom you have a lovely travel patina of sorts. Now-a-days Rimowa sells carry ons and check ins that pretty much match any other except for their distinctive aluminum exterior. You can even buy them without that exterior but I wouldn’t do that, if you can afford a thousand dollar plus carry on bag you can afford the extra weight fee. The new ones are nice and sturdy but that’s not the one I want. Each Rimowa boutique has a display with a donated vintage Rimowa suticase, not for sale, I asked. The look of the suitcase appealed to me much more than the bulky modern ones with wheels and extendable handles (convenient as they may be). So I took to ebay.

That’s when I found this. A 1970s-ish? Vintage Rimowa suitcase for $300 with shipping. For those of you that know Rimowa, that’s actually pretty cheap! And it’s in good condition. Now for the question you always have to ask with luxury items on ebay: is this real?

Well I contacted Rimowa and they told me they don’t authenticate suitcases. I then asked them for an archive I could perhaps look this model up in, they told me they didn’t have one. Rimowa if you’re reading this I know you have a $100 book for sale with photos of old Rimowas don’t tell me you don’t have an archive.

So it was up to me. I took a real close look at the logo, it’s consistent with their older design. The handle looked familiar, it was the same handle as a background on their website (the featured image of this post). But that wasn’t good enough. So I took to their instagram and scrolled… and scrolled… and scrolled until…

Ah hah! I think? They have the same blue lines around the side and the same latch locks. The center lock of the center suitcase is off. So close to a perfect match. Would it really be out of the question for a company to change lock designs over a decade though? Did Rimowa ever use this lock? Well I googled vintage Rimowas and scrolled… and scrolled and scrolled… no really this took hours… until…

A match on the lock! A post from another blogger looking through a Rimowa exhibition. Though the ebay Rimowa doesn’t have that handle or that exterior.

So either someone frankensteined a fake Rimowa by looking up very obscure pictures of real vintage Rimowas or this Rimowa was made before the handle update and after the lock update.

I pulled the trigger and bought it. The seller said it came from the 80s but I think it was from the 60-70s when they had the old handle. Fittingly the suitcase also made an extensive trip shipping from the Kiev to my home in Denver. I stole the Turkish cargo sticker from the packaging to put on the suitcase. I bought a few Rimowa stickers as well. They’re beautiful but so expensive, $10 a sticker! If I were to purchase every city I’ve been to on their sticker collection it would cost me $160… in stickers.

And here it is! Ready to join me on many more adventures. The first stickers are Orange County, Madrid, and Paris.