GORPED-out vintage bandana face-off: Arc’teryx vs ... Gucci??

H.T.G. Facemask Roundup Pt. 2

This is HARD TO GET, a newsletter about awesome stuff that’s (almost) impossible to find.
A couple personal facts about HARD TO GET worth knowing:
1) When we leave home these days we stay wrapping the rarest fibers around our face, and  

2) Whether we're blazing the Criterion Channel on the damn couch; caressing smooth manzanita bark in a forest; or seeing what the fuck is good at the neighborhood H&R BLOCK while wearing a high-pile Kapital fleece vest, please understand that we KEEP THE GORP ON US AT ALL TIMES!!

Today's newsletter -- a roundup of rare GORPED-OUT bandanas -- combines both helixes of H.T.G. DNA.  
We put some cool North Face Purple Label finds in our recent Japanese Bandana Roundup, but this is something else entirely: a vintage North Face joint with an optical-illusion-style topographical map depicting Alaska's Mt. McKinley, a.k.a. Denali, a.k.a. the namesake of North Face's iconic '90s fleece jacket.  
Sun-faded color scheme, 1980s-ed out, slightly misshapen lettering in the logo... incredible. This one's asking $53 shipped, here.  
Two more vintage rarities, from Arc'teryx and Columbia, in screaming color combos. The Arc'teryx one we found for $70 shipped here and $65 shipped here -- priced a bit high in both cases, maybe because when it comes to the 'teryx ppl get mesmerized watching organiclab stories and lose perspective. 

The Columbia one, meanwhile, is only $5 (!) plus shipping, here. 
Right now it's super tight to do things like mutual aid in yr community; organize rent strikes; respect vulnerable workers' picket lines; and, say, protest outside yr mayor's residence until he / she houses yr city's unhoused population. 

If u decide it's time for some "self-care," though, you might opt to swaddle yr grill in this haute-GORP woodland-scene $218 vintage Gucci joint.  
Osaka's Montbell is so routinely fire that even though these bandanas aren't in short supply we're including them here. 

A bandana themed around carabiniers and knotted ropes *could* turn crazy corny in lesser hands, but Montbell goes with a pattern-jumbling pop-art approach ... and crushes it. The cave-art motif on the right could feel similarly on-the-nose, but it works. Bunch of colors available for both of these, just $9 each, all here. 
Closing things out is this fantastic "OUTDOOR ESSENTIALS" bandana, dated 1990. It's a hand-drawn trail manual, featuring poison-sumac illustrations and cartoon animals warning against various forms of ruinous human encroachment -- kind of like a wearable nature-needs-to-heal / we-are-the-virus meme:  $25, here. (Update 9:13 am PST: a reader DMs to inform us that they copped this — WE TOLD U TO NOT SLEEP ON HTG!!)

Comedian Brandon Wardell on Bootleg Bart Simpson gear and how Ned Flanders is a slept-on drip lord

This is HARD TO GET, a newsletter about awesome stuff that’s (almost) impossible to find.
Brandon Wardell is a very funny comedian: We caught his stand-up act in San Francisco last fall and he crushed it; a few years back Bob Odenkirk tha god hand-picked him to go on tour and do a joint comedy album together; and he's a tight follow on Instagram and Twitter, where he's done things like invent a friendly viral emoji sheriff and get suspended for impersonating Dead Joe Biden. He also co-hosts the podcast "Yeah, But Still" and popped up w/ a selfie stick in the Curb Your Enthusiasm season 10 premiere.
More important than any of that, though: he gets off consistently bold fits, to the eye-catching extent that when you image-search him, one of the top results is someone trying to sleuth out who made a fleece he wore on I Think You Should Leave. (By Parra, sold out.) Speaking of expert-level fleeces, not just anyone could rock the Salomon tie-dye pullover we put in our Rare Vintage Fleece Guide a few weeks ago, but Brandon copped it like a damn champ.

We hit him up last week as part of our H.T.G. Homey Outreach Campaign, where we ask interesting ppl about some unique / cherished thing they own. He chose a circa-1990 Bootleg Bart  shirt... 
HTG: Your "G.I. Bart" shirt is wild. How did this come into your life? 

Wardell: "I was on tour in Portland last August and went into this vintage spot called Heir. It's Bart in full military garb, holding an assault rifle in one hand and an American flag in the other, parachuting down into the Middle East. He's saying 'Hussein you can't touch this,' like M.C. Hammer. I think he might also be a black Bart? For a bunch of reasons it’s a shirt I can’t really just wear out -- I need to be in the company of people who I know -- but it’s nice as an archival piece." 
HTG: There’s a whole grody sub-genre of Desert Storm Bootleg Bart shirts -- I haven't seen yours before, though. 

Wardell: "It's funny, I’m rewatching a lot of season 2 through 8 Simpsons right now, and there are perfect episodes, like 500 jokes per episode, but it’s also tender: There’s a lot of heart, sweet family stuff and nothing really implying that Bart is an imperialist or anything. No pro-war-Bart-centric episodes. It's sort of the same thing where you read old Calvin and Hobbes and Calvin doesn’t have a piss fetish, and yet culture really ran with him pissing on everything." 
HTG: Bootleg Bart got put to so many different purposes in the early ‘90s: Ppl were making these racist-imperialist Gulf War Bart shirts, and at the same time there were revolutionary Malcolm X Barts and pro-Mandela Barts ...

Wardell: "This is the only one I own, because I just happened on it. I haven't developed a huge Bootleg Bart collection, but that could easily change. By the way, as far as Black Bart, I was watching an episode where you see Dr. Hibbert’s whole family, and his son looks exactly like Black Bart. So there's a question, in terms of canon, where a lot of the old Black Bart shirts might actually be Dr. Hibbert’s son?" 
HTG: You were born in 1992, so this shirt pretty much captures the moment when you arrived on the planet. What does it mean to you on a personal level? 

Wardell: "Well, I came of age during the Iraq ‘reboot’ so that’s sort of my cultural relationship with the shirt. Obviously I was a baby when MC Hammer was big and the Gulf War was happening but I still know about all this stuff. And the fact that he's parachuting over Iran in 1991 and however many years later you've got John McCain saying 'bomb bomb bomb Iran' -- it's weirdly prescient." 
HTG: It's still relevant, in a few bleak ways.  

Wardell: "By the way, vis-a-vis early Simpsons, do you remember the episode where Flanders wears the Assassins? They're so sick. A friend pointed out that the new Aimé New Balances look a lot like them. The Assassins are kind of a dream shoe of mine -- people have tried to do DIY real-world versions but they don't look good. But yeah there's a full Flanders fit check in that episode and he looks good. I do think Ned Flanders is an underrated fashion icon. People don't talk about that enough." 

HTG: Have you been going extra hard on e-commerce these days? 

Wardell: "Slightly harder, because it’s the only option, but right now getting fitted feels kind of like a fool's errand, because who are you doing this for? Also I feel like, being a comedy guy, I can’t just post earnest fit pics with no twists. If I cop a new piece, at best it's an Instagram story. It disappears after 24 hours. I posted a story with that Salomon fleece you wrote about — thank you for exposing me — but posting a grid fit-pic in quarantine just feels wrong."
Thank you @bswardell for coming by! If you’re unfamiliar with who he is, check him out he is hilarious!
August 8, 2019
Follow Brandon on Instagram here and Twitter here 

Find the "Yeah, But Still" podcast here

Check out Portland's Heir shop here

-Bootleg “G.I. Bart” shirt (same as Brandon's) here 

-Bootleg Bart "Saddam Sucks" shirt here

-Bootleg Bart "Yo Iraq" shirt here 

-Bootleg Bart x Hard Rock Kuwait City shirt here 

This cactus-print windbreaker is a Top 10 stunner

Iconic GORP for yr quarantine Fit Pantry, Pt. 3

This is HARD TO GET, a newsletter about awesome stuff that’s (almost) impossible to find online.
Look at this hairy king, self-isolating under lush foliage, noble beast in one hand, back-country clout-goggles on deck in the other: This is Sierra Designs co-founder George Marks, circa 1965, looking like a damn GORP-FED WALRUS. 
Sierra Designs has a long history of dope shit, but to the degree ppl think about the brand these days, they probably picture their 60/40 Mountain Parka, a touchstone of '70s and '80s GORPLIFE. Robert De Niro rocked a version of it* in The Deer Hunter, a movie about how the global capitalist war machine can drive even the swaggiest outdoorsman insane. 

Founded in the East Bay, Sierra Designs is the focus of our Rare Self-Quarantine Nature-Walk Buyer's Guide, Part III. (Here's Part I and here's Part II.) 
Quick H.T.G. Personality Quiz: Do you own a more beautiful windbreaker than this Sierra Designs stunner? 

If you answered "Yes," yr Personality Type is: SUSPECTED LIAR

Asking $140 here. (Update: 8:49 a.m. PST: A reader lets us know they just copped it. Sleep on H.T.G. at yr own peril!!)
But let's stick with the classic 60/40 Parka right now, named for its ~ 62% cotton / 38% nylon fabric. Someone in Yokosuka, Japan, is selling this intensely fresh color-blocked version here, identified as '90s era ... 

They're asking $1500 for it, which is a) goofy as hell and b) mmmaybe kiiinda justified, given its dopeness / rarity?? If you toss a damn rack-plus into this beautiful cash vortex pls tag us when you gram it. 
Blessedly, you can find nice 60/40s for much less money: 

- Navy here, $143. 

- Khaki -- excellent for pairing with some sold-out taupe Hokas -- here, $58 and here, $59. 

- 2015 Japanese-market reissue in tan, $162, here. 

- Grey, $35, here.

- Japanese-market reissue in blue $150, here.
There are also some nice designer "homages" floating around: 

- Visvim Gore-Tex Totem, black, currently $285 at eBay auction here. Beige, $495 at auction, here. Black, signed by designer Hiroki Nakamura (?), $1300 (!), here. 

- Nanamica x North Face Purple Label, $375, here. 

- Engineered Garments, blue, $320, here. 

*BTW De Niro's Deer Hunter joint was made by Holubar Mountaineering Ltd., where Sierra Designs co-founder Bob Swanson got his start in the outdoor-fibers game. Holubar's vintage stuff is fire, too; the brand recently did a reissue that sold out fast. 
We fux with this Sierra Designs tan / orange anorak, which they reissued a few years ago in a limited run. There's one of them in "new without tags" condition on eBay right now: 

Homey's asking a buck eighty, here.  
Switching gears, this jacket is dope as hell: 1990s-ed out in the extreme + GORE-TEX waterproofing + made in Canada like a damn Arcteryx Alpha SV + sick teal/orange colorway + excellent condition =

We love it. $199, here. 
This one is just flames. Hits in a very similar register, and it's only $34, here. 

Buy it and it's probable that whoever does organiclab.zip will respect you. 
Besides the Cactus joint up top, there are some nice Sierra Designs windbreakers out there, including this pink-blue-mint multi-pocketed one, $98, here; and some others in the $15 to $30 range, here, here and here. 
These color-block shorts are cool but we'd probably cut out the mesh liner if we were gonna rock 'em. $22 here and $20 here. 
These are unprecedented times and the HTG mantra remains a) donate / do mutual aid in yr community, b) cop small and local while boycotting Amazon and Whole Foods and c) keep the criterion channel blazing and take these safely-distanced nature walks when yr able.

Also: Unlike covid particles, the HARD TO GET newsletter is AIRBORNE DRIP that you CAN share with everyone you know, so do that. 

Hunting for magic mushrooms from home — in jawn form

This is HARD TO GET, a newsletter about awesome stuff that’s tough to find. 
Mushrooms — they’re fire, yet so mysterious. Just the other day we learned that networks of underground mycelia connect entire forests, allowing distant trees to “communicate” with each other in something like a naturally occurring internet: Mycologists refer to this as the “Wood Wide Web,” which is tight. 
When it comes to rare mushrooms, we've gone to great lengths to cop. We’ve visited Portland-area markets to buy elusive Pacific Northwest matsutakes … we've foraged for chanterelles and cepes with our cool French aunt in the woods of Auvergne ... navigating the produce section here in California we've been known to toss a fat maitake into our basket LIKE IT'S NOTHING … and on occasion we’ve even expanded our damn horizons by eating schedule 1 narcotic ass psilocybin chocolates under the shade of a live oak. 

Today’s H.T.G. celebrates a version of rare-mushroom hunting … rare-mushroom-jawn hunting. 
In Tokyo a couple years ago we popped into the store Sun House and found a mushie-themed, Japan-exclusive North Face Purple Label bandana — the only one left in the shop. We dropped ~2800 yen on it like the dollar was STRONG, but when we tried to find one of these to include in last week’s Japanese bandana post, we came up empty. This might be damn near UNCOPPABLE??
Rarity rating: 🍄🍄🍄🍄/5 Rare Mushies. 
Brighton’s Story Mfg. make a bunch of mushroom-themed clothes. Some of it feels a little on-the-nose and/or like it's perpetrating headshop stolen valor, but we like this cotton shirt-jacket, dyed using purple-leaf plum and babul-tree bark. Maidens Shop in Japan seems to have once carried it but it's gone now. Some other Story Mfg. mushie options are still in stock elsewhere.  
🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄/5 Rare Mushies.
We fux w/ Online Ceramics but have only bought a couple things of theirs, one being this Mushroom House x Cactus Store t-shirt. Cactus Store is dope as hell: they made the instantly iconic Bernie 2020 cactus shirt we wrote about in our Bernard-merch roundup (which GQ and New York Magazine went on to swagger-jack without saluting H.T.G. The Original Trendspotter but that's cool). Cactus Store also follows Hard to Get on Instagram which shows good judgment. 

The original shirt is sold out at Online Ceramics. You can find a size M here for a nutty $200 asking price and a size L here for a less nutty $80. Recently Cactus Store did a reprint for $50, which is mostly sold out but still available in XL and XXL here. 
🍄🍄🍄🍄/5 Rare Mushies. 
There are some other cool Online Ceramics x Mushroom House joints. On the left is the “Mushroom Mandala Spiral” long-sleeve, $80 and currently available at the Online Ceramics site in M, XL and XXL. But we really like the “Tricky Three” fatal-fungus-guide tee on the right, which is: 

-Available in all sizes in white from L.A.'s excellent Ooga Booga here for $60 
-Available in black here in M for $100. 
🍄🍄🍄/5 Rare Mushies. 
Here's a lovely, totally un-selfconscious, un-hypebeasty option from Maine's Liberty Graphics, a.k.a. "America's Original Water-Based Ink T-Shirt Printer." $23, here. 
🍄🍄/5 Rare Mushies.
Similarly un-selfconscious and very sick: there is a magazine called Fungi Magazine and it has a merch store, and it carries these “Dancing Shrooms” khaki caps for $25, here. 
🍄🍄🍄/5 Rare Mushies.
Stussy made a cool mushroom-print fine-wale corduroy workshirt a little while back. It retailed for ~$135 but there's a size small here, $60. 
🍄🍄🍄/5 Rare Mushies.
Last fall, artist Phyllis Ma put out "Mushrooms & Friends," a small-run zine featuring hyperreal mushie tableaux -- the zine sold out a bunch of places but it's still in stock at Printed Matter, $25, here. 

This year Ma put out a Mushroom & Friends sequel and it too looks wavy -- and is in stock at Printed Matter. 

They also sell $15 poster versions of Ma's images for livening up the crib, which yr spending all yr time in these days anyway. 
🍄🍄🍄/5 Rare Mushies.
Speaking of livening up the crib with rare art: One of our favorite visual artists we've stumbled across on Instagram is @tomjones92_, who likes to render naive characters against bare fields using Fineliner pens and colored Promarkers. Mushrooms figure frequently into his delightful work, which you can DM him about buying. 
🍄🍄🍄🍄/5 Rare Mushies.
Finally, few figures loom as large over the North American mushroom game as Paul Stamets, a legendary mushie hunter / theoretician / scientist / proselytizer. 

Stamets sells a cool t-shirt depicting "The Mushroom Life Cycle" at his site, $19, here. 

He also wears hats made out of a felt-like mushroom known as amadou, pictured above, and if yr really about this mycophile life you can buy one of your own through a variety of Etsy shops. This one was hand-made in Translyvania (!?) and sells for $190 custom, here. 

Mushie flex rating: 🍄🍄,🍄🍄🍄,🍄🍄🍄 

12 rare Japanese bandanas to cover yr damn face

HTG Facemask Roundup Pt. 1

This is HARD TO GET, a weekly newsletter about awesome stuff that’s tough to find. 
Facemasks: it's your duty to wrap 'em on when you leave the crib. U can approach this duty in a utilitarian way, or you can approach it with panache like you're Jeanne-Claude and Christo doing a beautiful public-art installation on your own head. 

With option 2 in mind we're launching a new H.T.G. series rounding up DOPE FACE-MOUNTED COVID BARRIERS we come across, starting with a selection of Japanese bandanas. 

Here are video instructions -- courtesy of H.T.G. homey and actual bandana expert Jonathan Lukacek -- on how to fold a bandana into a double-pleated mask, no sewing required (bandit style, it turns out, is much less effective):  
How To - Make a mask from a bandanna, no stitching required. @two_ears_brand idea from @ooe_yofukuten entire video is on my YouTube. Link in profile. I tried to get Hans Zimmer to do the OST he said he was “busy” so I hired the dude who did Get Smart...
April 2, 2020
TWO EARS BRAND "Marvel" Bandana, Verte:
Based in Osaka, Jonathan hand-prints beautiful selvedge bandanas in partnership with Ooe Yofuketen under the name Two Ears Brand. They're about to put out their flagship "Marvel" model -- based on a never-produced 1880s prototype -- in a luminous shade of green. $50, preorder here.  

Two Ears’ “Liberty” bandana is available in turkey red from Oakland’s Standard and Strange, here.

KAPITAL "Ikari Makuri" (Too Angry):
If yr looking at Japanese bandanas (or Japanese joints period) you can't escape Kapital. Philadelphia's Totem is selling the four-eyed smiley-faced one that Bane is rocking up top, here, $43, for those pandemic days when you're feeling your best. But what's more appropriate in these maddening times than hitting the streets (very sparingly) in a bandana that says “Mother Fucking Pissed Off"? The “Ikari Makuri” cat loosely translates to "too angry” -- damn right. 

- Available in red from Ann Arbor's Today Clothing (who have a bunch of nice Kapital bandanas) here, for $37. 

- In navy, at Boulder's Canoe Club, $34. 

- $50 each on eBay in all four colors.

KAPITAL Mikado Max:
An eye-poppingly wavy Kapital option, available in black from Today for $37 here and in green from Canoe Club here, $34. 

THE NORTH FACE Purple Label, Welcome to Yosemite (Bear):
North Face Purple Label is officially available only in Japan, but you can self-import their Welcome to Yosemite bandana via eBay here for $60.

THE NORTH FACE Purple Label, Yosemite map:
We like this TNF Yosemite bandana even more, printed with a map of the valley. Cop it for $60 on eBay.

PALOMA HAYES VALLEY vintage fabric masks:
Using the last of this vintage kasuri fabric for some masks today. Love the labels on this thing. Hoping someday to go back to japan to hunt for some more. If this shit ever gets sorted out that is.
April 8, 2020
Not technically a bandana, but H.T.G. homey Paloma Hayes Valley, who we interviewed here, has been hand-making masks out of vintage Japanese fabrics. The runs are small and sell out fast -- try to grab one for $20 here. 

Snow Peak makes dope shit, even if they were the go-to camping outfitter of the yuppies in Parasite. Their hand-drawn Nasobi bandana is sold out on the Snow Peak site -- but we found several colors available for $45 each here. 

Mickey vibing out amongst music notes and paisleys, courtesy of former Number (N)ine designer Takahiro Miyashita. Here for $120, which is a steep price for a bandana -- if you feel compelled / able to splash out on this level, consider making a matching donation to a facemask fund like this one, prosperous king. 

MOUNTAIN RESEARCH a.i.t.m. (anarchy in the mountains):
Next up, anarchist-outdoorsy (?!) themed bandanas from Tokyo's Mountain Research for $45 here, and another one in collaboration with Vancouver's Haven, for $43 USD here. We like to eat psychedelics in the great outdoors every now and then and think  anarchic thoughts, so these strike a chord.
We'll do a separate vintage-bandana roundup before too long -- until then enjoy this breath of fresh pre-covid air from the god Issey Miyake, asking $46 here. 

Enjoy the weekend if time still holds any meaning to you, keep the Criterion Channel blazing when yr inside, and stay safe.

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