Birkenstock Birkies

Fuseproject re-envisions a line of wet-and-dry clogs from Birkenstock.
Fuseproject touts these as a new line of innovative products to promote ‘outdoor engagement as well as work environments’. With their similarity to the tired crocs brand, they may have a hard time positioning these as new and innovative vs. yet another ‘me too’ product. More accurately they are a welcome update to Birkenstock’s existing wet-dry clogs that have been popular with the food and restaurant industry for years. If Birkies are as durable as the originals, then these look like a great alternative for casual rain footwear.
Birkenstock Birkies.

Hey Pilgrim!

Hey Pilgrim! Sir Realist Spring and Summer collection. Hey Pilgrim! is a small fashion boutique based in Bangkok who wish to bring the quality of hi-end brands to the world of street wear/casual wear. Their work is inspired by travel, music, movies and life. Inspiration I think I can relate to.

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Rushfaster, everyone’s favourite Australian bag store, recently launched SqueakyTee. While not yet shipping outside Australia, it’s worth keeping this store on your radar for their great collection of awesome t-shirts, hoodies & singlets from around the world. I hope they ship internationally soon, some of those designs are near impossible to find in my neck of the woods.
T-Shirts, Tshirts & Tees –

Swims Dress Overshoes

Are dress overshoes becoming fashionable again? I could just just see myself buying a pair of the Swims mobster, the boot cut pictured above, as an alternative to wearing sandals and carrying my shoes in a bag. The rainy season is long here and I always dread stomping through water in dress shoes while en-route to some meeting.

SWIMS allows you to wear your favourite shoes regardless of weather conditions, while also providing a classy look. Slip’em on before walking wet or muddy streets and slip’em off when you arrive. Enhanced comfort is assured and your shoes will stay shiny and clean.
– Pull on & pull off loop – Intelligent fit and great stretch ensures a good fit – Our unique inner lining serves many purposes: Low frictition when slipping on & off, moisture prevention, insulation to keep feet warm in cold weather and a unique polishing action. – Extra traction helps for better grip on slippery surfaces – Shock-absorbing heal – Tear-resistant – Waterproof


North Face Denali Jacket

It’s that time of year again and this is about as warm a jacket as I will ever need. It’s great for use as an in town or causal hiking jacket, but serious hikers or mountaineers should look elsewhere. Familiar North Face style and price! Made with fleece with nylon reinforcement on upper body for extra durability. $165.00 at REI.

Birds Feather T-shirt

If you are going to wear a t-shirt and jeans to the office, which in my case is just 2 floors up from the living room, you might as well do so in comfort and style. I love the hand-drawn look of the art of this Tee from Finn. I must have a thing for birds and brown because I bought something similar just a few weeks ago in Charlottetown. $58.00 from Freedom is Natural Nirvana.

Crocs Footwear

Just about every second person I ran into during my recent trip home was wearing a pair of crocs. That is enough to give me pause but since my daughter absolutely loves hers I bought myself a pair. They are surprisingly comfortable and just about perfect for the variable weather here in Taiwan. Crocs seem to illicit strong reactions from people who either love or hate them. Me? I’m somewhere in the middle. They are quite practical and at $30.00 they are somewhat cheap too (numerous knock-offs abound for less than half the price).

Katamari Damacy Tees

Fun art on a tee by Keita Takahashi and Ryo Kimura. This and others are available from the Panic Goods store. In addition to the Katamari designs Panic has a whole set of self-designed t-shirts that help bring out your inner geek or promote your favourite Macintosh software developer. Panic somehow has succeeded in making ftp software seem cool. I bought the above design and a couple others for either $19 or $25 depending on selection.
Like many others Panic prints on American Apparel and while they are much better after a washing I’m afraid I just don’t get the hype. Perhaps I am old school – I always thought that heavier weight cotton equaled quality. These are pretty thin which is incidentally one of their selling points. Interesting.
The Panic Goods store

L.L. Bean Carefree Unshrinkable T-Shirt

Non-fiction (Tiger Brand), my former Canadian supplier of t-shirts and sweats for 20 years or more, moved their manufacturing to China last year and the quality of their products has taken a definite hit. I have a few tee’s upstairs that just can’t compare to the formerly Canadian made product. Non-fiction were a Canadian institution, likely one of the few low end apparel makers still with a factory in Canada and unfortunately what’s good for profits is not always ultimately good for customers. When I can I wear nothing but simple black t-shirts like these. Taiwan and the parts of Asia I frequent are unassuming so I can luckily get away from needing to wear the overpriced ‘high fashion’ clothing that so many others love to wear. This year, as summer approaches, I’m going to give LL Bean another try. I haven’t bought into the American apparel sweat shop free line yet. The L.L. Bean Carefree Unshrinkable T-Shirt is made from “soft 6.3 oz. 100% cotton fabric, which is jersey-knit from strong, smooth yarn that’s ring-spun for durability. Soft jersey-knit taping on the neck seam. Straight hem. Durable double-needle stitching”. Made in Peru I think. At $12.00US it’s as cheap and of much higher quality than what I can find in Taiwan.

Flame 5 Bluetooth Enabled Jacket

While I am still spending too much time finishing off a research report from years ago, something which feels more like a book than report, it does lead me in the direction of some not so recent but cool research efforts. The Flame 5 is a Bluetooth enabled jacket which communicates via heat. Judging from the weather reports stating that we are to expect some cold temperatures this weekend (8˚C) I wouldn’t mind having a someone send me a sms to make me warm.

Flame 5 (F5) is a jacket that connects to your personal mobile via Bluetooth and enables communication via heat. If a person sends an SMS (TEXT) to a remote person wearing Flame 5, the clothing heats up depending on the personal message. Flame 5 works with standard Bluetooth mobile phones.

Different levels of heat depending on the message or the ‘hotness’ of the person calling? Groan. This work was developed at the Ambiente Group, Fraunhofer IPSI and naturally the concept has been widely reported all over the web.
More here

CMYK Zip-up Red

To keep warm this winter and declare my (and yours) fleeting allegiance to four-colour printing this CMYK Zip-up in 0-95-95-5 is a definite fun choice. Might make a good layer under the Timberland jacket mentioned earlier. The need for some red in my wardrobe, the childish desire to express my designer geekery, and the fact that along with t-shirts you can never have enough fleece makes this an obvious purchase for the upcoming pre-Chinese New Year spending spree (I’m already past Christmas it seems). For you normal people, CMYK is a subtractive color model used in color printing. Unisex sizing in S, M, L, and XL. This is Veer branded wear and will cost you $69.00US.

Waterproof Timberland System2 Layer Shell Jacket

It’s cold, it’s cool. One day it rains, the other it’s sunny. Welcome to winter in this part of the world. Timberland’s à la carte approach to layering helps keep you prepared for all kinds of weather. Timberland’s System 2 Layer Fabric System Jacket lets you combine shells and liners for optimum levels of water protection, insulation, and breathability, whether you’re visiting Taipei or Beijing, or flying back to Vancouver. This jacket might just be what I have been looking for to help cope with the rapid changes in temperatures and weather here and when I travel abroad. There are a number of different manufacturers with different approaches to layering but none seem to have a store near here and I still like to try-on my clothes (vs. ordering online) before purchase. So the ubiquitousness of the Timberland brand wins in this case.
Kudos to Timberland for providing a label (see page) on their shoes that describes the environmental impact of producing each pair of footwear in their catalogue. Their so-called “nutritional label” goes as far as providing a complete list of their factories, with addresses. (Paraphrased from
The Men’s Waterproof Timberland® System2 Layer Shell Jacket retails for about $199.00US.