The stripe.

stripes

If you were stranded on a desert island with only one pattern, you probably want it to be the stripe. No pattern is as versatile.

Stripes can be:

  1. horizontal, vertical or diagonal
  2. narrow, wide or a combination of the two
  3. subtle or bold in color contrast
  4. formal or whimsical

Stripes can indicate:

  1. a prep
  2. a sailor
  3. an inmate
  4. a barcode

The 7 American manufacturers below give you the opportunity to pay homage to the stripe (without getting shipwrecked). Check them out. You will discover more possibilities (than even you ever imagined) for the much loved stripe.

Fishs Eddy* – Made in USA

You’ll have to think long and hard to come up with any item that is more iconic and more comforting than the heft of a diner coffee cup. (And don’t you have a day job?)

Think about those late night (or technically early morning) visits to your favorite diner. The place envelopes you like a blanket. It is full of familiar smells (bacon, eggs and the like). The lighting is not great. But that doesn’t matter because no one looks good at that time of day anyway. The vinyl booths (a tad greasy) and the formica tables remind you of simpler times (even if you are too young to remember them). And the steaming hot coffee is plentiful.

You wrap you hands around the heavy cup and a sudden warmth fills you – mind, body and spirit. (Something that never happens at Starbucks!) Part of the magic is the lateness of the hour but the rest is that cup.

Thanks to Fishs Eddy, you can recreate these Hopper-esque moments in your home with the Green Band Cup and Saucer (above, $8.95). This 7 3/4 oz. capacity cup is microwave and dishwasher safe. It also stacks easily in your (limited-capacity) cabinetry.

To complete your in-home diner, Fishs Eddy also makes dinner plates, side plates, bowls, platters, and mugs. All of the same commercial quality that has become the Company’s hallmark.

And just in case green is not your color of choice, Fishs Eddy also offers their diner-ware in Cinnabar, Cobalt, Black and Manhattan Blue Plate.

Visit www.fishseddy.com

*Not all of the products Fishs Eddy sells are made in the US. Please read source information carefully.

Ana Candles - Made in Trenton, New Jersey

Can you turn a passion for stripes into a profitable business?

If you are Frank Weeden, you can.

A self-titled stripe aficionado, Frank created the Ana Candle. The 14″ colorful striped tapers (left, $24/pair) first appeared on the scene in 1994. Since that time they have gained a loyal following that delights in the “perfect symmetry, smooth finish and deep richness” of each wide or narrow stripe.

Given the effects of colors like wasabi, mint, bamboo, raspberry, sienna, turquoise, latte, wedgwood, peacock, cyan, chiffon, daffodil, lime, honeydew and blush, you may be tempted to forget about quality. Fortunately for you, Frank isn’t.

Each Ana candle is made with 100% biodegradable premium quality paraffin wax and lead-free cotton wicks. The tapers are engineered to have a 14 hour burn time (approximately) and to be virtually smokeless and drip-free. And talk about attention to detail – the wicks are pre-trimmed at the factory so that each taper is ready to use straight out of the package. (Yeah!)

To further ensure that you get your stripe fix, the Company also makes a lively array of striped pillars for all of those corners of your home (and/or yard) where candlesticks dare not tread. The 3″x3″ cylinders have a burn time of approximately 30 hours and a delicate Evening Primrose scent. (Tapers are all unscented.)

And just in case you should ever stumble upon an occasion where stripes are not appropriate (and I personally cannot imagine what that would be), the Ana Candle is available in a luscious palate of solid tapers ($18/pair) as well.

Visit anadesigncorp.com.

Freaker USA – Made in Troy, North Carolina

Think you know everything there is to know about koozies?

Then you haven’t been Freaked.

A spirited (and that is perhaps the biggest understatement I have ever made) group of NC creative-types has created a one-size fits all container sweater that will change your life — or at the very least your attitude toward it.

The Handy Randy Freaker (left, $8) is one example of the uber-insulators’ funky and festive designs.

But it is not just the Freaker’s vibrant colors and patterns that make it stand out from the 100s of koozies you have been given at trade shows, sporting events and weddings. The strong and tightly-knit Freaker can do something that no common koozie would ever dare.It can conform to the size and shape of whatever bottle, can or vase you choose to insulate.

Prefer the taste of soda from a bottle? The Freaker fits. Like to drink your malt liquor from a 40 oz can? The Freaker fits. Too cheap to buy a real vase so you try to “dress up” the tacky one from the florist? The Freaker fits. (But honestly, you really should spend a few bucks on a new vase! And save your Freaker for your beverages.)

In short, use of the Freaker is limited only by your imagination. If you need to keep something warm/cool or simply want to outfit it, odds are the Freaker fits. And don’t worry if you stretch your Freaker, you can easily return it to its original proportions by machine washing it.

The Freaker is truly the last koozie you will ever need. (Of course, the patterns are so fabulously zany you will not be able to buy just one!)

Warning: With the purchase of a Freaker you become part of the nation-wide Freaker party hosted by a gloriously outrageous group of nickname-giving, moist-handshake-preventing, fun-facilitators. You’ll never be the same.

Visit www.freakerusa.com.

NIDO de suenos – Made in Brooklyn, New York

Subtle. Elegant. Beautiful.

These are all words that can and should be used to describe NIDO’s Sailor Ring (left, $100).

Made of raw white porcelain with a white glaze, this ring has a cool, smooth tactile quality that makes it a pleasure to wear. (The ring is available in sizes 6-10 so the perfect fit is easy to achieve.)

Adapting the much beloved nautical stripes into sophisticated jewelry, NIDO has hand-embellished the top of the Sailor Ring with a series of narrow of blue and grey stripes.

At a distance these stripes blend together, appearing almost to be a solid block of color. As a result, the stripes become a secret shared only by the wearer and those who really pay attention. (Does anyone else really matter?)

NIDO works with a variety of materials from paper to wood but has a special affinity for clay – its materials attributes and its sustainability.

Visit NIDO.

Richer Poorer*- Made in USA

Love pattern (particularly stripes) but not sure how to incorporate them into your very buttoned-down wardrobe and lifestyle?

Meet Richer Poorer.

Let’s face it. Traditionally men have not had as many opportunities to express themselves through dress as women. Most men prefer to play it pretty close-to-the-vest when it comes to major wardrobe staples like suits, sport coats, pants and shirts. So that leaves them only ties, pocket squares and socks to play with.

Richer Poorer understands that. They also understand that most men do not want to make huge, bold fashion statements. However, they do want to look modern and with-it, not boring or stodgy.

That is what makes the Company’s line of socks unique. They are more stylish than solid black or brown socks but not too fashion-y. Most of Richer Poorer’s socks utilize both conservative patterns (stripes and dots) and colors (blue, grey, black, and brown) making them the perfect way to punch up your look without 1) looking like you are trying too hard and/or 2) without drawing too much attention to yourself. (Looking for something more bold? They’ve got that too.)

The Stripe (above, $18) is the perfect example of Richer Poorer’s not-to-radical modernization of the American man’s foot. The classic navy and white stripe would be as appropriate with khakis, a polo and loafers as it would with a navy power-suit and cap-toes. (Of course, they would also look great with more daring ensembles.)

The combed cotton socks feature a blend of nylon, spandex and elastic to help it retain its shape and stay up. They fit men’s sizes 6-12.

Visit www.richer-poorer.com.

*Not all Richer Poorer products are made in the US. Please read source information carefully.

From Our Old Friends

Apolis Global* – Made in California

Striped trunks for spirited dunks. Get ready warmer days are coming.

Above from left to right: (Both available in even sizes 28-38) Katin + Apolis Striped Chambray Swim Trunks ($128), Katin + Apolis Archive Swim Trunk ($108)

Original fifty post: The tote.

*Apolis Global makes/sells products that are made outside the USA. Please read source information carefully.

Caroline’s Cakes – Made in Annapolis, Maryland

The tastiest stripes on the planet! Whether you crave caramel, chocolate, lemon, red velvet, coconut or carrot cake, Caroline is the answer. And if you cannot decide on just one flavor, you can get 1/2 and 1/2. Life really is sweet!

Above left to right: 7-Layer Caramel Cake - the yellow cake with caramel icing that made Caroline famous ($58); 7-Layer Lemon Cake - lemon cake with lemon curd infused buttercream ($58); 7-Layer Delight Cake – yellow cake with alternating layers of chocolate ganache and famous caramel filling and covered in Southern Fudge icing ($58)

Original fifty post: The picnic.

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