May 2015

Letter from the Editor

Let’s talk about how to talk about what you do for a living.

Mostly because I’m still working out how to do so. And, as much as I’m trying to find a better anecdote to articulate my trouble, only one leaps to mind.

(And I’m on a deadline.)

So, several years ago, during the middle of the night, one of my good friends was awakened by a string of phone calls.

He and his girlfriend had fallen out earlier in the evening. 

In his mind, as is so often the case, he felt he’d done nothing wrong. So, without much further thought, he’d returned to his dorm room.

Naturally, she did not appreciate his callous treatment of the situation and wanted to speak with him directly.

In the middle of the night, during a brief reprieve of ongoing calls from his distraught girlfriend, he elected to answer a lone call from an unrecognized number.

Upon answering, he quickly realized the caller was his girlfriend’s mother. She’d gotten ahold of his number and, to his surprise, announced she was standing at the front door to his building.

Nervously, he went downstairs and met her mother at the front door, where they proceeded to chat for a few minutes.

She revealed that her daughter was deeply upset because he’d forgotten their three month anniversary. She’d not had too many serious relationships in the past and, as such, placed a great deal of emphasis upon celebrating even the most “minor” moments.

In an effort to rectify the situation, her mother had purchased a Tiffany’s necklace for him to give as token of reconciliation.

As he accepted the signature blue bag — still somewhat confused and disoriented — he was instructed to walk to the car and give the gift to his girlfriend.

She’d been sitting, awaiting this moment of approval throughout.

(The latter two sentences are rather strange, but I had to finish the story for effect.)

For all of this, I mean to highlight three things (because lists seem to be the thing to do now, right?):

One. Non-standard events — like the aforementioned three month anniversary — can mean a very great deal to some people. Two. For others, they mean absolutely nothing at all. Three. A third thing, because who on earth would dare to have a list with only two items?

It’s through this knowledge that I filter all of my thoughts, tweets, and ideas about Need.

When I open my Twitter app and begin to tap out a message of pride for my work, my subconscious has started to gently nudge me in the opposite direction. (Or, in my latest manifestation of guilt, I’ve started apologizing profusely when tweeting about Need.)

Although people certainly care about us doing well, the last thing they want is to exclusively hear a daily update as to how great everything is going. (Or not, as the case may be.)

The reality is that people care about people, not brands. They care about you doing well, but they don’t need you to become a small public relations outpost for your own successes.

And it’s an exceptionally fine line to walk.

As an aside, I urge someone to build an alternative to LinkedIn for precisely this purpose.

LinkedIn is a hell-scape riddled with the worst language, ideas, and means of communicating in the professional world. People don’t want to endorse, connect, or “InMail.” They want to meet other people, hear about their achievements in a dignified way, and then leave.

There ought to be a receptacle for professional achievements and accolades, where you can follow people you care about and can see updates to their portfolio, awards, fundraising moments, and so on.

Back to the main point, for all of this, I mean to say that no one really cares.

You can spew words onto Medium, Twitter, and Facebook about what you do, but the reason you’re garnering recommendations, faves, and likes, respectively, is almost exclusively attributable to people caring about you. Not your brand, company, portfolio, or otherwise.

At some point in recent years, we lost track of that idea. We began to engage in a collective bullshit parade around the notions of “connecting” and “networking” and (shiver) “synergy.”

The reality is that if you’re doing something fundamentally good, people will praise it on their own schedule and volition.

Of course, marketing and PR are important components of business. I’m just here to say that those must not rely upon the foundational team continually linking to themselves.

The best way to talk about what you do for a living? Be a human and talk about it when it’s prompted and when it’s relevant.

Why am I writing this to you, dear Need member? Simply put, if it’s not already obvious, I’m lending a great deal of brain cycles to the topic of communication and presentation.

I want to give Need the opportunity to present itself on its own terms, without clamoring for people’s approval.

Rather than sending innumerable emails, re-targeting, and so on, I want Need to be about people and fundamentally good product, design, and story-telling.

Which segues nicely toward the topic of Volume 2.6, Eclectic.

Why “eclectic?”

Simply put, we wanted to praise the notion of being your own person for the sake of being your own person. You might be wearing a white t-shirt just like everyone else, but, understanding the unique character and story that’s gone into that item of clothing, you’ll stand well-apart from the crowd.

We shot Volume 2.6 all across Dallas with help from our team, Jordan Laessig, Hannah Morrison, and Amber England. And special thanks to Jake Vines for being our model this month.

Yours sincerely,

Matt Alexander

P.S., So many words. Apologies.

  • Watsi Photo Journal
  • Laguna Pocket Tee
  • Nui Short
  • Dupree Scratch Shirt
  • Stanley Wingtip Brogues
  • LS Regular Chambray
  • Alex Tie
  • Pacific Cropped Chino
  • Dopp Kit
  • Aftershave Lotion
  • Urban Garden

Watsi Photo Journal


Before I descend into a lengthy, personal treatise about why this is an important cause, the brief version is that we’re selling a limited-edition photo journal for a remarkable charity, Watsi.

It’s a beautiful publication, comprised of rich photography and heart-wrenching story-telling.

And, best of all, one-hundred percent of the proceeds from the sales of these magazines will be donated directly to fund healthcare for people around the world.

Now, the longer version.

Last September, during a visit to Portland for XOXO, I met Daniel Agee.

At the time, he was taking advantage of the situation — with hundreds of creative minds descending upon the same area — to craft and create a fascinating interview series, For Yourself.

Knowing many of the people who were attending were prominent, successful creators, Daniel wanted to know what those people did for themselves everyday. And the answers were fascinating.

In the time since, I’ve continued to keep up with a variety of Daniel’s creative work. And, with his latest, I’m deeply proud to have it grace our site.

Daniel partnered with Watsi — a young charity devoted to funding healthcare for people around the world — to share the stories of those they’re helping and, indeed, those they wish to help in future.

Watsi is doing remarkable work. And this publication is a strong reflection of that fact.

The magazine is in very limited supply and, again, all proceeds will go directly to fund healthcare on Watsi.

If the magazine is too much or you wish to simply donate, I urge you to visit Watsi and make a donation directly.

  • $22.00

Laguna Pocket Tee


As I mentioned in my Letter for this Volume, white t-shirts are not just white t-shirts.

Although they’re basic, staple items that all gentlemen ought to own, that’s not to say you should wander into your local petrol station and purchase a pack of plain white t-shirts.

People will know. They’ll smell the faint scent of ethanol and microwaved shame-burritos. And they’ll know what you did.

Instead, you should lend some thought to the story behind the product. (Unless shame-burritos are your thing.) That story will engender confidence in your appearance and it’ll be memorable.

The key to clothing is memory. It’s derived from a moment of pride and excitement when purchasing and it’s something that ought to be attributable to all manner of clothing.

In this instance, BeGood — a purveyor of eco-friendly clothing — have crafted a basic white t-shirt with one-hundred percent organic cotton.

It’s exceptionally soft, stylistically unimpeachable, and seasonally agnostic.

The Laguna Pocket Tee is something you’ll remember, regardless of its unbelievably low price.

  • $18.00
  • Select Size

    S M L XL

Nui Short

Aloha Sunday

Shorts are a polarizing topic in the world of menswear.

Some gentlemen believe them to be perennially inappropriate, whilst others see them as harmless, thermally-friendly options for the warmer months.

At Need, we’re thrilled to side-step the controversy with Aloha Sunday’s Nui Shorts.

The Nui Shorts are not just shorts, they’re also boardshorts.

Whether you’re sitting poolside or you’re outside your local coffee shop, the Nui Shorts are versatile, exceptionally comfortable, and objectively attractive.

With their 16-inch length, they’re an ideal length for a diverse array of occasions, whether submerged in water or not.

They’re made with a printed cotton nylon ripstop fabric, sporting a zip fly, mesh pockets, and right front ID pocket.

And they’re made in the US.

Dupree Scratch Shirt

Lifetime Collective

From time-to-time, it’s important to throw caution to the wind and wear something utterly unique.

And, for such an occasion, we submit the Dupree Scratch Shirt by Lifetime Collective.

Technically, it’s a well-made Oxford shirt, sporting button collar, front pocket, pleated detail on the back, barrel cuffs, and tonal stitching.

Stylistically, it’s a striking thing to behold.

When it arrived in the office, everyone reacted in a tellingly similar manner. First, surprise. Second, rave reviews of its bold pattern.

Paired with dark denim or shorts, it’s a shirt well-suited to casual summer happy hours, immediately separating you from the crowd of subdued tones and gingham patterns.

  • $78.00
  • Select Size

    S M L XL

Stanley Wingtip Brogues


Grenson’s Stanley Wingtip Brogues are the benchmark upon which all other shoes are judged.

Sporting a soft, burnished tan leather and built using the Goodyear welting construction method — a cornerstone of fine footwear design — the Stanley is simply one of the most attractive, versatile, and perennially relevant shoes ever made.

Some will balk at the price-point, whilst others will see a shoe that will last a lifetime. Rather than spending $150 on brogues once a year, invest in a pair that will shape and grow to become your signature style for years and years to come.

Whether in hand or on foot, the Stanley is simply a breathtaking object to behold.

(The Stanley typically fits half a size large, so plan accordingly.)

LS Regular Chambray

Welcome Stranger

I don’t know how many times I’ve written this, but you should own a straightforward chambray shirt.

There’s no excuse. They’re perfect for all manner of outfits, they’re universally appreciated, and they’re guaranteed to get you 10.5x more compliments on a daily basis, regardless of the rest of your appearance.

Welcome Stranger’s Chambray is a refined, attractive, and fundamental necessary option for the contemporary gentleman.

You should own one. Go now. The button’s right here.

  • $120.00
  • Select Size

    S M L XL

Alex Tie

Lifetime Collective

Statistically speaking, ninety-nine percent of ties are terrible.

I know. I was stunned, too. But, science.

Living firmly in the one percent of attractive, acceptable, and non-terrible ties is the Alex by Lifetime Collective.

Sporting a “scratch grey” pattern — picture scratching a stone across another stone — it’s a neutral, subtle, and versatile look.

It’s unique and riddled with character. And, statistically, it’s one of the best options on the market.

  • $32.00

Pacific Cropped Chino

Aloha Sunday

Cropped and slim-fitting, the Aloha Sunday Cropped Chinos are as different as they are great.

Although, on paper, they immediately conjure images of musicians in linen outfits wandering wistfully along a shoreline, the reality is much, much more contemporary and attractive.

Paired with all manner of shoes and shirts, these are Need Guaranteed to markedly improve your social life.

It’s a modern, comfortable, and summer-friendly look. And it’s one that we are intent to promote throughout the warmer months.

Dopp Kit

Bro's Leather Goods

First things first, apparently people have never heard of a dopp kit before.

We ran a promotion around the last dopp kit we sold and were inundated with email from people asking what a dopp kit is in the first place.

So, for the sake of Enlightening all of you, a dopp kit is a “small toilet bag, made of leather, vinyl, or cloth, that is used for storing men’s grooming tools for travel.”

You ought to own one. Your ancient ziplock bag does not suffice.

Bro’s Leather Goods’ dopp kit is a beauty to behold. Made with one-hundred percent vegetable-tanned leather, it’s a minimal and objectively good-looking bag for your necessities. (Measuring in at 8” x 6” x 3.5”.)

Whether you’ve got a quick weekend getaway on the books or you’re traveling abroad for an extended period, this dopp kit will serve you well.

Also, seriously, who doesn’t know what a dopp kit is?

  • $65.00

Aftershave Lotion

Fellow Barber

Shaving everyday will wreak havoc on your skin.

Before you know it, you’ll look like you’ve been simultaneously aged by twenty years, whilst also being bitten by mosquitos throughout.

The solution is a good aftershave lotion, moisturizing, soothing, and ensuring healthy skin.

Fellow Barber’s Aftershave Lotion is an all-natural, sulfate and paraben-free option. It’s made in the US and not tested on animals.

And, in practice, it’s gentle, effective, and smells great. It’s so gentle, in fact, that you could use it everyday as a moisturizer. (It won’t cake in facial hair.)

Avoid the pitfalls of a non-moisturized shave and the associate Indiana Jones-esque moment of aging.

  • $25.00

Urban Garden

Beard Brand

Cultivating the longshoreman-turned-lumberjack look for the summer months? You need some decent beard oil.

Amongst other delightful perks, good beard oil will encourage cleanliness, healthy growth, and comfort.

Because, really, who wants to see a filthy beard? Or have you scratching at it all the time?

Even that sentence was uncomfortable to type.

Beard Brand’s Urban Garden oil features a cool, crisp, and light scent for the warmer months. And it’s made with all-natural ingredients in Spokane, WA.

Treat your beard well.

  • $24.00