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Filtering by Tag: J.Crew

Early Morning Paddle.

Erik Engstrom

I'm an early riser. As the sun makes its way to the sky above our heads, I am usually starting my day. Like any sane person, I enjoy a cup of coffee and venture into the rest of my day. I am not one to over complicate mornings. I don't need the stress of picking which outfit to wear. I don't even check the weather to plan accordingly. And yes, I have made giant mistakes with wearing sweaters on days that it is 80 degrees out. 

Today was not one of those days. 

As any other day, I arose before dawn and prepared for a little scouting. My friend Merritt and I enjoy exploring the Mississippi River. We are drawn to places with rich history, beautiful sites, and a vibrant wildlife. So, as everyone lays asleep in bed, Merritt and I canoed the Mississippi River. Merritt works over at Sanborn Canoe Company and we were so fortunate to grab a Prospector canoe for the trip. 

Amongst the abandoned back waters, Merritt and I were amazed at the mystifying landscapes. The Mississippi River in Southeast Minnesota is a strange and under appreciated sector of American outdoors. It's beauty and deep American roots can be found when paddling the waters. 

Just in our morning we were able to make simple, yet life giving memories. We'd watch loons dive deep into the waters, storm clouds stretch across the sky, and a beaver searching the river. I can easily forget how enchanting this place can be. But once I start seeing with my eyes open again, I'm filled with wonder. I'm just waiting for a dinosaur to roar across the bluffs. Seriously, this place looks just like Jurassic Park!

Sanborn Canoe is an American brand with roots that run as deep as the Mississippi. What began as a project building a canoe for a Boundary Waters tripped quickly took a turn to selling some of the best canoes and paddles in the business. Not only are they beautiful, they are high quality. If you make your way to Southeast Minnesota, I encourage you to stop by the shop and say hi to the guys. 

Merritt and I were ever grateful exploring the waters. We even made it back to shore before those storm clouds turned to actual storms. 


Photography: Merritt Ogren & Erik Engstrom 

Spring Layers.

Erik Engstrom

I love styling layers. The Winter's brisk air makes layering an easy task. However, come springtime it's not that easy. Especially when you live in Minnesota. One week can be perfect 50 degree weather and the next day a snowstorm can hit instantly. I'll trade my layers for a paid vacation to the Caribbean any day. 

However, I live in bipolar Minnesota. I haven't been able to put away my winter jackets just yet. And the days it is warm, I tend to need a jacket by nightfall. 

So here are a few tips for bipolar Spring (especially for you Midwesterners). 

  1. Light tops - Your body needs to breathe! Put away your flannels and fold up those itchy wool sweaters. This is not the season for those tops. Pick fabrics that are light. Don't have too many bells and whistles on your clothing. Keep it simple. I picked up this Oxford from Gap the other month just for Spring. It really comes in handy on those hot, steamy days. Roll up the sleeves and feel the breeze. Pairing it with a light blazer (from J.Crew) is a perfect combination. 
  2. The jacket - This is the tricky one. Find a jacket that can combat any weather. My Orvis jacket is excellent for those chilly nights by a bonfire, running through the April showers, and light enough when leaving the house. 
  3. No comfy clothes - I know it's simple for people (especially Midwesterners) to fall into the trap of sweatpants, yoga pants, and a sweatshirt. Just because it's cold doesn't mean you need to change your entire aesthetic. Mama Engstrom would not approve. Neither does your love interest. You know she loves when you look good and dressed up. So keep her happy. 


Shop the Look:

Orvis Barn Coat
Gap Oxford Shirt
Gap Clean Khakis
J.Crew Chore Blazer
Red Wing Heritage Classic Mocs

Photography: Jed Cranor 

Let's Be Real.

Erik Engstrom

It's been awhile. 2018 is among us. Resolutions were made, and I may have already failed... whoops. 

As you can tell, I've taken some space from this blog for awhile. I wanted to start the new year well and with high hopes. I have however been thinking a lot about this blog. What is this? What is it used for? How do I express myself to you, the reader? 

I think there is always the risk of having a psuedo-personality when portraying yourself online. There is the risk of masking your true self before hundreds of people. And I am longing to be one that does not do that for you. 

If there is one lesson I've learned from 2017 it is to be authentic. I'm not talking about Instagram's #liveauthentic. I'm talking being myself and being real with you all. I celebrate the fact that I can be a serious, deep thinker yet a goofy, wild child.  

So as we look towards the future I promise to be me. I promise to be silly. I promise to laugh. I promise to tell real stories. I promise to share my authentic opinion on products. I promise to be Erik.

This is me.


Shop the Look:

Orvis Barn Coat (similar)
J.Crew Flannel (similar)
Levi's 511s
Red Wing Heritage Classic Moc
Warby Parker Lionel

Photography: Will Palumbo