All posts by carrie

16 minutes


everything we love is tied to a memory. even a t-shirt.


there are 16 random minutes of my life that, for some reason, i remember just about every day.

i don’t try to think about these things. they just pop up in my head.  there, then gone.


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field books

technologies such as basecamp, google docs, and outlook task lists makes knocking out “to-do’s” more streamlined and efficient, i suppose.


but, when i really want to make something happen, i get a pen out of my pocket and grab my moleskin.  it is always within arm’s reach.


i recently went through my old moleskins from the past 10 years.  i found about 200 bucks in cash tucked away in the pages…. and found a lot of “to-do’s” over the years that i haven’t quite gotten to.


nevertheless, there’s nothing better than just writing something down.




i+w turkish towels

If I could take 3 things to a desert island, 2 of them would be Turkish Hammam towels. And the 3rd: a Turkish textile woven from wool and silk to be used as a cozy wrap around my body or neck.


Turkish towels are somewhat of a trend right now, but I was spoiled to learn of their traditional usage in their native origin: the Hammam baths in Istanbul.


There still might be a time and place for a big thick terry cloth towel. But the thin and tightly woven Hammam towel feels like a buffer or a squeegee on your body… the only difference: It is a gorgeous textile from an ancient civilization.


We use them after showers in the summer months and also keep one or two hung in the guest bathroom as a hand towel.


My other pick to take to the desert island: a very loosely woven wool and silk “wrap” made in the same land, Turkey.


I wrap up in it on the couch all year long, keep another one in my purse in case it’s chilly, and in the winter – I wrap it 4 times around my neck.


It is to me like my niece’s “Mia” (blanky) is to her… I throw a fit if I leave home without it.




you never forget your first

There’s something special about your first.


First pair, that is. And in this case, the very first pair ever of Imogene. And of Willie.


Before we officially started this company, we spent a long time developing the patterns for our inaugural women’s fit, Imogene… and men’s fit, Willie. Nestor would sew one of each and Matt and I would try them on.


It wasn’t right.


Then he would adjust the pattern and make the next set. It still wasn’t there. And then again. Still a no-go. This went on for 5 months. And then there was that one magical day when we slid the prototypes on with critical eyes and defeated spirits… Finally, they were ready to go and right! We knew it.


So from that day forward forward, I wore the very first fit approved Imogene, and Matt – his Willie. Both, made from 100% cotton rigid fabric.


As years have now passed, Matt only has added 4 more Willies to his personal collection. (He starts a new pair at the beginning of each year. He sticks to Willie, because that is the best fit for him. Not for everyone.)


I, on the other hand, got on the bandwagon and started testing and wearing new fits as we have made them, and got away from rigid and into stretch.


I looked in our closet several months ago admiring Matt’s collection of 4. And then I looked over at my side of the closet. A shit ton of jeans on hooks. I was grossed out and a bit ashamed of my collection of… too many. So I decided at that very moment to go back home to that very first pair.


I love the fit. I love that it is second skin to my body. I love that those 2 pairs of pants pretty much chronicle our lives. But what I love the most: that first Imogene and that first Willie take us back to the beginning… to home. Where it all began.


There’s something special about your first. Where were you in your life when you got your first pair?



wes lang


Another long-drawn-out true story from me.


In the summer of 2012, a man that we admire named Bob Melet, created a pop-up store in Montauk, New York. When I received the email from Melet Merchantile announcing the pop-up, I honed in on one thing and one thing only in the email: an image of a piece of art.


I was taken by the piece. I clicked on it, blew it up to inspect and admire every detail. And then, after I gazed at the piece of art as long as I could, I started searching the web to attempt to find any more information I could about the artist.


His name was Wes Lang.


I spent the summer looking at Wes’ pieces online. Anything that was out there, I think I found it. I loved every minute of looking at every piece on my little computer screen. I just pretended like the scavenging via online was my trip to a gallery that had all of his pieces on the walls.


Meanwhile, I shared with Matt my interest in this artist and his work. Matt, a secret college fine arts/painting major, had known about Wes’ work for several years already.


About six months later around late November, I realized that Matt was going to have to be in New York on my December 1st birthday. I was halfway kidding (but sort of not) when I told Matt that, since I was going to be alone on my birthday, I was putting in my first and only ever birthday gift request: a Wes Lang painting. He laughed in my face!


I swear… just 2 days after I put in that ridiculous request, I got a call from Alex, one of our teammates at the shop. He said, “Hey – some guy called and left a message for you and Matt. He said that he and his girlfriend are driving from New York to LA and stopping through Nashville. They wanted to meet you. He said to call him back if you can. His name was Wes Lang.”


What the hell?! I screamed to Matt in the other room and told him that Wes Lang just called the shop! “Call him now!” I said.


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a matchbook collection



When I was little, we had a huge 20 gallon glass jar on our sunporch that was full of matchbooks from all over the world. As I can remember, not one match was ever lit from any of the books.


I’m not sure where that big glass jar is now. I need to ask my mom. She saves EVERYTHING.


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our gift to you



There are 4 material objects that I can’t live without. Or rather, these 4 objects make my life really good:


1. Tweezers for my chin.

2. Q-tips for my ears.

3. Aquaphor for my lips (and eyes).

4. Black graph-lined moleskins (and a Micron 01 Pen) for my mind.


And then there is number 5, the object with the most heartstrings:


5. Pattern hooks. For my jeans.


As of today, we are passing this can’t-live-without obsession and tradition down to you. Not for your patterns, but for your PANTS! (Hopefully just for your i+w pants, that is.)


My love and addiction from pattern hooks goes way back… about 25 years.


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pen pals: carrie + nami

There’s nothing better than making fast friends with a stranger. Especially when not speaking the same language.


A bit of backstory… Matt started going to the Chief Blackhawk Antique Motorcycle Swap Meet in Davenport, Iowa several years ago. I joined Matt for the trip the following year, and since then, it has become a family tradition to head to Iowa every September for the meet.


I remember him sending me pictures via text that first year, specifically pics of a Japanese crew that had made the pilgrimage to Davenport. He had no clue who these kids were, but he loved their pants! And so did I.


Yet again last September, we saw the same motorcycle enthusiasts from Japan at the meet… all still wearing the same pants from years past. Finally, instead of just gawking at them (and their pants), we introduced ourselves…


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chip’s “one year where”


When we say somethin’, Chip Cox takes us seriously.


Last year we introduced a campaign called “One Year Where.” Long story short: if you bought your jeans last January, you could buy another pair THIS January with a 40% discount. (FYI: hopefully to your liking, the same campaign is running this month, for January 2014!)


So along with the campaign last year, we “talked” about the idea of starting a contest in which the wearers would chronicle the life of their jeans in the 365 days following…


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i+w on the sartorialist

Behind that head of hair: Our precious Elise, Media Director at i+w and queen Pennyweight. Wearing the Elizabeth jean and Himel leather jacket on The Sartorialist today.