Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week David Bevan writes about Mark McNairy's Dirty Bucks.
About five years ago, my parents killed Christmas. I’m not totally sure what sparked the decision, but at some point, there were no longer any presents under the tree and instead, we received “investments.” This usually included a piece of artwork or a stock or anything else they could enjoy much better than my younger brother and I might. My brother was devastated and I didn’t really know what to make of it, mostly because I didn’t have any idea what I’d want to invest in. Until very recently, anyway. Last fall, it became clear to me that if I were going to spend money on clothes or footwear, it needed to be with the future in mind. Everything should last. I had to feel confident that the shirt was one I could wear in ten years, that the jacket’s one I’d want to have on when I’m watching my kids play soccer in rain, that the shoes are those I’d consider wearing, or simply still could wear, on a date night with my wife. It was time to look ahead.
Last December, I stumbled across this pair of Mark McNairy's Dirty Bucks. They weren’t cheap but they were handsome and handmade. Suede’s tough to care for, but I knew I could make them last. They would be an investment, but one I’d have to finance myself. When I shared my weird, First World epiphany with my mom a few weeks earlier, she reacted just enough for me to know she thought I might either be stoned, or sounding way too much like my dad for her to be thrilled. So I bought them for myself, a gift for surviving 2009, and that was wise. These shoes have been like a good friend since. I wore them in winter in spring with denim. I’m wearing them around this summer with shorts. And back when I didn’t have air-conditioning, I’d wear them and not much else: everything looked a little soft, but the shoes remained smart. My parents are in town to visit right now and the night they came in from the airport, I was wearing my Dirty Bucks. My mom complimented them right away.