Spinoza said, “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.”  So when we come across that rare thing that’s truly excellent, we pause.  Such moments demand attention.

We had one of these moments this fall when we visited Context in Madison, WI.  Situated on a gorgeous stretch of King Street on the isthmus, Context is that rare store that combines beautiful, must-have clothing with a depth of knowledge that comes only with obsessive dedication.  And it’s all wrapped up in a personal warmth that welcomes you in.

Sam Parker and Ryan Huber started Context 10 years ago, and have been on a tear ever since.  Context stocks everything a man needs to look his best, head to toe.  But the thing to know about Context is that they’re denim guys.  They bring a denimhead’s obsessive research to everything they do.  Take their Model CXL 113 leather jacket, a collaboration with Schott NYC and Horween Tannery.  Every detail on this jacket was meticulously considered. They dug into the Schott archives and sampled nearly every leather Horween had to offer.  And the jacket has stood the ultimate wear-test:  Ryan was wearing it when he crashed his motorcycle earlier this year and emerged unscathed. 

The same meticulous attention to detail has gone into other collaborations as well, including the Momotaro + Context 0701 113XX jean and the Melzers Boxing Club Chromexcel Medicine Ball. There's nothing half-assed about anything these guys do.

We came away from our trip to Context both inspired and challenged to raise our game.  We know it’s just clothes, but there’s a glimpse into something deeper here.  Is there a greater gift a man can give another man than the motivation to reach higher?  It’s like T.S. Eliot said, “Excellence encourages one about life generally; it shows the spiritual wealth of the world.”

We’re proud to be part of the Context story.  You can learn more about Context on their website at, or even better, go pay them a visit at 113 King Street in Madison WI.  Believe us, it’s well worth the trip.