The LodgeCast Unboxing & Review: Sterlingwear Commuter Coat

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Sterlingwear of Boston is an iconic coat manufacturer in the USA and produces the official peacoat for the U.S. Military since the 1960’s. This new coat is based on the 1800’s miner, cowboys, and workmen coats! Watch the video for more information. Thank you Sterlingwear for the support!

 

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A Trip Down Memory Lane With American Razor Barber Shop

An eight year old boy and his father get ready to partake in a bi-weekly trip to the local barber american razor window for articleshop. As long as he can remember only one barber shop has cut his hair. This particular barber shop is located in a strip mall. As they approach the barber shop the sight of young and old sitting down patiently waiting for their turns as they watch sports on TV quickly floods the boys field of view. Upon entering the shop the sounds of laughter and muffled discussions fills the air. All the familiar smells and fragrances of musk and bay rum rushes into his nostrils as the father and son have a seat. Copies of Sports Illustrated and hunting magazines fill the shelves and it is the only time the young boy will have a chance to read these magazines. Suddenly his father signals the barber and the waiting begins.

Finally it is the young boys turn, as he gets up and looks around the barber shop he is fascinated by all the sports pennants hanging on the wood paneled walls. The only words that he is instructed to speak to the barber are, “please give me a trim and taper.” For the next 30 minutes the young boy sits on the same chair were young and old alike sit. Once american razor chairs up closethe haircut is complete and he has examined it through the handheld mirror the boy slowly rises from the chair and once again becomes an eight year old but his father has given him one more responsibility because he must pay the barber. Not only will he pay for the cut but he will also give the tip. Before he leaves the cash register the barber produces a bowl full of candy and the man-child quickly obliges and walks away completely content. 

Scenes such as these are played out all around the world and the setting may be different but barbering and life go hand-in-hand whether you’re young or old every man needs grooming. It seems like barbershops today are popping up on every corner and sometimes within a block or two of each other. Social media and superstar status have become the norm but in the college town of Fullerton, California one barbershop has been in business for over 50 years and its soul remains intact.American razor bruno spraying bottle

The shop is located  a few miles from California State University Fullerton and Fullerton College. The city has a large college population and many people are only passing through but the barber shop is a constant. During the last 50 years a few cosmetic changes have taken place but the original barber chairs remain. The wood paneled walls and the back bar got a face lift  but the shop layout and atmosphere is the same and the current owner has alot to do with that. Bruno Sanchez has been barbering since 1983 and took over the shop in 2011. Bruno is an old-fashion type of barber with the gift of gab. He may tell you stories that’ll make you question their validity but will be wholeheartedly entertaining. There is no sense of flare or “prima-donna-esque” tendencies. 

American razor closer view of whole shopAlthough Bruno may not have tens of thousands of followers on social media or possess any barber battle belts or trophies the shop is true to professional barbering. Make no mistake this is an old-fashion barber shop. What I mean by old-fashion is not a time warp or leap to another century because this shop is an original 1960’s men’s barber shop. We are talking pre-Beatles and pre-hippies! I cannot remember the last time I saw a shop in person or social media that had live plants. The colors just really pop and I am not sure if Bruno or anyone else realizes it but that is true 1800’s-early 1900’s barber decor. 

The name of the shop has changed to American Razor Barber Shop and is an institution where men can receive grooming services. A place that is not work or home american razor eaglebut is the magical third place where camaraderie and style are intertwined. 

This is my childhood barbershop where I remained a patron well into my teen years and as an adult I have been back a few times and sat in the same chair. I may be older and have a few more accomplishments under my belt but that barber chair is not concerned whether I am a child,  Mr. M, writer, publisher or a filmmaker because in that chair I am a patron. 

Walking into American Razor barber Shop floods my mind and senses with memories of being a child and the awe in which I viewed barbers. That reverence continues because barbering is sacred and vital in all communities. I am sure if anyone would have american razor bruno laughingmentioned barbering as a “game”, “hustle” or “brand” in this barber shop back in the day they would have been ridiculed and badgered.

I hope that barber shops, wherever they may be, will be encouraged to develop an institution that is built upon tradition and is conducted in a professional way because you never know who that child may grow up to be. Maybe a man who will one day write about you for his website and barber magazine. Never underestimate the influence of this ancient profession known as Barbering. Thank you for taking the trip down memory lane with me. 

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My Grandfather’s Photograph Has Been Restored!

I am excited to show off my amazing Grandfather’s photograph, before and after, vpc busines card1restoration by the good folks of Vintage Pixel Co! Now my family has  a great restored photograph and a digital copy that will last the test of time!

Such a great honor to have my grandfather’s photograph on their business card. Email them for information and tell them GA sent you!
[email protected]

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Getting Inked At A Traditional Tattoo Parlor

Gents,

This past Saturday, we decided to spend a few hours at the recently outside of tip top tattoo parloropened Tip Top Tattoo Parlor in Fullerton, California. The visit to the shop was a special occasion because I had arranged to get a piece done by guest tattooer Lisa Del Toro. I am a big fan of her art and tattooing and having the chance to finally meet her was super special.

Shop owner Dre Perales has a knack for creating amazing shops and is also the proprietor of Tip Top Barber Shop in Whittier, CA. A man of great diversity who can give a great fade and some of the best traditional tattoos around. More than just possessing amazing talents Dre is a stand up guy who operates from an old school belief of fairness, equality, and innovation. The shop exudes traditional tattoo parlor styling with the pinups and panther on the window declaring the mission of the shop, traditional and old school.The shop is all business and does not welcome “Drunk Kids, Brain Vampires”, which may be directed to the large college population in the area from Cal State Fullerton and Fullerton College. It is a warning and counseling session all in one, come back when you are serious and sober. Dre is not ashamed to put his tip top parlor counter and flash wallphilosophy on the doors before you ever set foot in his establishment. I would not expect anything less from Mr. Perales.

Once you set foot in the shop there is about 10 feet to the counter with ample seating and iconic traditional flash that is original DP (Dre Perales) and other artists adorn the walls. It feels like you have stepped back into time when shops only had flash on the wall and no special effects or ambiance to lure you in. From the counter you can see the artists only a few feet away engaging in their art, you get a front row seat to individuals who have made a commitment in ink.

I was stoked that Miss Del Toro would be in town for a few days and  agreed to tattoo me. Once I walked in the shop, I am not sure how she knew it was me but, she looked up and with a smile that could melt glaciers she said, “Hello Mr. M!” We have never met but something told me that not only was I at the right shop but the right artist was going to create lisa at tip top tattoo parlor smallersomething special with ink on me. I watched her work efficiently and intensely upon her client as I leaned against the counter like a child on Christmas morning waiting for my turn!

Soon enough my turn would arrive and she quickly ascertained the correct size and location of my tattoo and repeatedly asked if I was ready for it. I quietly wondered if there was an uncertainty oozing from my face. With precision and complete professionalism she began to pierce my skin with the machine and the motorized humm would fluctuate with the change in pressure and stroke technique. We talked about our life journey, ideals, family and peppered with the occasional “Are you ok Mr. M?” Not only is Miss Del Toro a great artist and tattooist but complete tattoohas tons of wisdom that she freely dispensed. Although Miss Del Toro knows alot of “influential people” she does not act holier than thou! The time quickly passed and after a few hours I could barely wait to see the completed piece.

The design was based on a traditional Ed Hardy design with a beautiful Jaguar and snake entrenched in battle. I picked the piece based on a similar painting that I saw at our exclusive one-one photo shoot with the legendary artist and tattoo legend, Ed Hardy (our Winter/Spring issue cover). To have Miss Del Toro create the tattoo on me was special because we “met” on social media a few years ago and I never thought we would actually meet, especially since she is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada and we are in Southern CA.

The Downtown Fullerton community has alot of history embedded into the buildings and streets that continually draws large crowds to the vintage stores, restaurants and shops. The consumers are seeking something that had been lost in America, pride and craftsmanship. Whether it is a barber giving a traditional haircut or tattooist creating artwork on the human canvas, people will always be drawn to quality and professionalism. Dre Perales has created a great shop that undoubtedly continues to create its mark not only upon skin but also in the community at large. The tattooers in the shop are more than able to handle their own, even apprentice “King Curtis (Kirk)” which I barely realized I was mispronouncing his name the whole time. Sorry about that. Thank you very much Dre for getting Miss Del Toro to guest spot at your shop! Miss Del Toro, words cannot express my gratitude for the piece of artwork you created, Bravo!

Tip Top Tattoo Parlor

Miss Lisa Del Toro

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How To Look And Be Tip-Top Pt. II: Tip of Your Shoes

Gents,
Continuing our discussion about the life philosophy of Tip-Top, we begin to discuss theAE boots particular elements of those things that are within your control. As we previously said, the basis for being and looking Tip-Top (How To Look and Be Tip-Top) is style, grooming and life. With the framework of looking good from the Tip of your shoes to the Top of your head, we begin at the Tip of your shoes.

I have written several articles about shoes in the past (Allen Edmonds Broadstreet, Shoes Are Essential) and strongly believe that they are one of the most powerful essentials to style that can speak volumes without ever saying a word.

The process for choosing the best shoe for the right occasion can be bewildering to some but there are a few rules of thumb that can eliminate faux pas. Rule #1, let the occasion highly influence your choice of shoe. A formal or informal occasions may require you to up the ante and select a classic/elegant or tennis shoe. Rule #2, make an impression with your shoes and let the shoes speak for themselves. Although, making an impression with your shoes cannot be the overriding factor. Going to a picnic in wingtips and trying to play volleyball in nike shoethem may not be the best choice. Rule #3, know your style and clothing because you may not be able to pull off the desired look. Not everyone can rock penny loafers or Harley boots and a pair of 501’s so be cognizant of what your personal style.

More importantly, know who and what you are before you venture out to the wild blue yonder. The best impression you can make is that which comes natural to you. No shoe, hair style, or article of clothing can ever substitute for the type of person you truly are and that will either attract or repel others.

Starting from the bottom, Tip of your shoes, and working our way to the Top will help you not only understand your style but also portray it effectively to others. Regardless of your choice of shoes remain passionate and confident in who and what you are and only then can you achieve a state of being Tip-Top.

Mr. M
Founder/Editor
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How To Look and Be Tip Top

Gents,
There are many notions, ideas, and beliefs about sayings that have been tip top older genthanded down from previous generations but one in particular has really stood out and has become increasingly relevant and that is “tip-top”. You hear it spoken in various contexts and they center on appearance. According to the dictionary the word was first used in 1702 and denoted the highest point. The word has grown and includes excellent, first-rate, and very well. The term is used as a noun, adjective and adverb. The grammatical categories really blow the idea wide open and give a clearer picture of the word.

In the noun form the word denotes that something is at the highest point, for example the very tip-top of the mountain is 7,000 feet. In this regard there is a lower point in comparison Tip top mountainswith the highest “tip-top”. As an adjective the word means very good, excellent or great, for example the classic car is in tip-top shape. In this regard it is not low or poor condition. In the adverb form the term means very well which is indicative of action that brought about the condition, for example when Johnny uses pomade to comb his hair it is tip-top.
Now that the formalities of the word are out of the way we can plug this into men’s style, grooming and life.

There is more than just a technical meaning because it is a life-philosophy. No matter how you look at it, if you incorporate this philosophy into your life there must be confidence, pride and passion.The basis for being and looking tip-top is style, grooming, and life. The particulars are to be defined by the individual because there is no cookie cutter template, we are all unique. Whether it is going to a barber shop every two weeks or polishing your dress shoes there is a realization that your are the primary focus and need to feel and look like a million bucks! A man does not have to spend a month’s wages on shoes and a suit because denim and boots from the thrift store can achieve the same tip-tip top shoestop condition. The foundation is taking the time and extra effort to achieve a heightened and/or improved look.

My father taught me tip-top meant that a man should look good from the tip of his shoes to the top of his head. In order to look tip-top a conscious effort must be made to maintain a style, grooming and life but not just superficially because the conduct and behavior would truly depict if you were tip-top or in poor condition.Every man has a responsibility to pass on this tradition to younger generations but never in arrogance, always in humility. It can be something as simple as how to properly match socks with dress shoes and pants or how to choose the pomade that best suits your hair.

Mr. M
Founder/Editor

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The Classic Style of Denim

Gents,

One current trend that captured our attention is the selvedge denim industry. Denim is one of the most interesting fabrics used to make clothing because in its final form the product feels stiff and rugged. Denim is made of cotton twill weaved together for maximum strength and durability. The image that best captures the toughness of the fabric is the Levis denim tag that depicts a pair of jeans tied between two horses that are pulling in different directions. Surprisingly the jeans are not pulled apart and are able to withstand the extreme use and abuse.

We enlisted the help of Self Edge and put together a few threads for men available online or at one of their 4 locations; San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Portland.

Not only is denim defined by rugged durability but also for its sophistication. Denim can be worn by a car mechanic in a rough and tough environment of dirt and oil but also fashionable enough for a lawyer with a sports coat and wingtips! Honestly, I cannot think of a more classic and versatile fabric.

Flat Head Navy Chambray Long Sleeve Shirt 

* 5 ounce Selvedge Japanese Chambray

* Selvedge accents

* Chainstitch runoff

* Raw fabric

Pants

Strike GoldII05 Jean- Slim Leg (Pictured Left)

* 14.5 oz Unsanforized Japanese Selvedge Denim

* Hidden Rivets

* Button fly

* Deerskin leather tag

* Iron male rivet- copper female rivet

* Slim fit

Stevenson Overall Co. La Jolla Jean 727-Slim Tapered (Pictured Right)

* 14 oz. Rope dyed Unsanforized Japanese Selvedge denim

*  6.5 Gauge warp and weft threads

* Pure indigo dyed

* Single needle stitched

*  Leather backed buttons

* Hand sewn belt loops

www.SelfEdge.com

Pictures by Daniel Funaki

www.facebook.com/daniel.funaki

Mr. M

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Review: The Broadstreet By Allen Edmonds

Gentlemen,

The thud from a rubber heel and the slap of the leather sole declares that a Gentleman is on the move, with each step confidence and style becomes audible. A quality shoe contains high-grade materials and craftsmanship that makes a lasting impression. I am pleased and honored to review the Broadstreet shoe from an American institution, Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation Belgium, Wisconsin.

Established in 1922, AE  has weathered many economic and global conflicts, ranging from the Great Depression, WWII and Disco! Although there has been changes in manufacturing and fashion, AE remained on course and never compromised on quality and craftsmanship. Not only did AE supply GI’s during WWII with standard issue Army boots (above image) and dress uniform shoes, the Park Avenue model has been worn by U.S. Presidents (Reagan- Bush II, Obama on occasion)! Whether a Gentleman was fighting on the Stock Exchange or at the Battle of the Bulge, you can bet they were more than likely wearing AE.

The Broadstreet made its debut in 1922 and was re-released in 2012 for the 90th anniversary. The name originates from the cross street at the New York Stock Exchange. It is a two-tone spectator shoe with a wingtip pattern. The shoebox I received is a matte black box emblazoned with gold lettering that reads, “Allen Edmonds The Great American Shoe Company”. Before I opened the box, AE displayed confidence in the quality and craftsmanship of their product.

Opening the shoebox reveals another surprise, because there is two soft cotton bags that protect the shoes from dust. Picking up the bag I noticed a sturdy and solid shoe that were not heavy and felt balanced. As I pulled the shoe out of the bag, the smell of fine crafted leather was strong and revealed volumes of information about its creation. The shoes bear the signature of being handcrafted, with crisp lines and stitching that serve as testimony of solid craftsmanship. The shoe is beautifully matched with a rich walnut and bone finish. I hesitated to wear them for a few weeks but eventually I would need to.

The walnut finish is rich and deep and highlights the intricate design patterns. The wingtip pattern is a classic design that allows the walnut and bone finish to compliment the circular and linear shapes that oscillate between light and dark tones. The patterns found in the bone are subtle and in the background, while the finish highlights the foreground. In addition to the walnut and bone finish, the leather sole is dark translucent brown that displays the layers of leather. Overall, the colors and shades create a simple but powerful statement that is timeless.

The shoes are very comfortable to wear because AE has crafted them with comfort and style in mind. Beneath the insoles is a layer of cork that will eventually conform to the shape of the foot and produce an “orthotic-like fit”, AE calls this feature “custom cork comfort”. The shoe is constructed by hand using their 212-step 360o Goodyear welt construction process. The Broadstreet comes in a few color combinations, a matching belt is also available.

If I had to rate the shoe 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I would confidently give the shoe a 12+! The shoe is crafted with high-grade materials and quality construction. Moreover, the shoe is re-craftable, which is the process of rebuilding the shoe from the bottom up for a fraction of the purchase price. Now that the topic of cost has been broached, the price of the shoe (about $345) reflects the high-grade material and quality construction. In a previous article (www.gentlemensavenue.com/category/style/shoes/) I stated that a quality shoe may cost you around $400 and will last you more than 10 years, which works out to $40 a year for a hand crafted shoe made in the U.S.A!

It is not rare to find AE vintage shoes selling for $150+, which affirms the craftsmanship and longevity of a high quality shoe. The Broadstreet is a portrait of what you could expect to find at a shoe cobbler 91 years ago. If you are in the market for a quality shoe with a timeless design the Broadstreet is a homerun. Whether you wear them with denim or pinstripe slacks the Broadstreet will impress. Check out AE’s website for many great shoes and follow them on Facebook for great deals and special pricing.

This really blew me away, I visited a store as a secret customer and the service was amazing! It was during the busy holiday season and I walked in wearing old cowboy boots, 501’s and a vintage Pendleton and was treated like a Fortune 500 executive! Wait it gets better, the young woman that helped me was very knowledgeable and courteous as she brought me several shoes. She treated me like a customer who was going to make a purchase, even after I told her I was just looking. Thank you Kesia and Jeff for everything! (@Philadelphia location now, I believe)

Overall, AE shoes and customer service proves they are “The Great American Shoe Company”.

Allen Edmonds on Facebook

www.facebook.com/allenedmonds

Allen Edmonds online

www.allenedmonds.com

Mr. M

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LYB!

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A Peacoat Anchored in Quality

Gents,

As a writer I rarely get blindsided by the subject I am writing on but when I began discussing the Authentic Model Peacoat with Sterlingwear, I thought it would be a normal review about a high-quality coat. I was wrong and I hope the following review conveys the depth and intensity of this amazing Peacoat.

Previously we posted a brief introduction on the origin of the Peacoat (www.gentlemensavenue.com/intro-peacoat/) and after receiving the Authentic Model Peacoat from Sterlingwear I need to add something that is often overlooked. Not only are Peacoat’s designed and utilized by naval personnel, they have also successfully transitioned into the civilian market like no other military specification item. The Hummer vehicle has transitioned into the sport utility market but it does not retain the military specifications. The Peacoat sold by Sterlingwear is cut from the same exact patterns as the U.S. Naval issue.  The only difference is the shell material that is slightly different from the military specs (100% wool) with 80% wool and 20% nylon blend.

The initial impression of the Authentic Model Peacoat is its high-quality manufacturing and military origin. The coat features a surprisingly soft exterior with 6 sturdy buttons embedded with clear anchor symbols. Some Peacoats are advertised as “Official Naval Specs” but are made of a rough wool exterior, cheap plastic buttons, and barely noticeable anchor symbols. The Authentic Model Peacoat is double breasted with wide lapels that remind you of its naval origins. The coat has two slanted pockets on the front and a third smaller pocket for change. The pockets are deep and fully functional.  One feature that may go unnoticed is a button located under the lapel near the collar that can be used to prop up the collar and fully close the Peacoat.

The interior of the Peacoat is fully lined with fleece making it both elegant and functional. The yoke (from about mid to upper part of the jacket) and sleeves are satin and feel very smooth and warm. Inside the coat is another slanted deep pocket. The back of the coat is vented with a two-piece tack. The Authentic Peacoat is Sterlingwear’s warmest coat due to the full fleece lining.

Putting on the Peacoat is unlike any experience I have ever had because you wear the coat and it does not wear you. What I mean is, while the coat is designed to protect you from the elements, and made with military specs, it does not feel bulky or awkward. It feels form fitting and designed to protect from cold weather. Most coats or jackets that are made to combat the cold are bulky and not form fitting but that is not the case with Sterlingwear’s Authentic Model Peacoat. The shoulders of the coat feel like they are wrapped around your shoulders and the sleeves are perfect in length. One interesting aspect of the coat is that the exterior pockets are located about mid length so that when you place your hands inside they produce a regal posture that is very masculine.

How well does the Peacoat handle real life situations? I did not want to write a review based upon looking at the coat or wearing it around the house so the coat and I hit the town for a few nights!

Night number one, I went out to check out some bands at a small venue. I decided to wear my ol’ cowboy boots, 501 Levi jeans and a button up shirt. Once everything was prepped and ready to go I put on the coat and took a good long look in the mirror and I was ready. The coat looked casual without being over the top. The venue felt a little warm so I decided to unbutton the Peacoat and I was fine. I received a few compliments and that was pretty amazing because it was dimly lit but people noticed I was wearing a Peacoat based on the unique design.

Night number two, I went out to dinner wearing wingtip dress shoes, slacks, dress shirt and tie. As I was getting ready I wondered how the Peacoat would handle the semi-formal attire. I put the Peacoat on and it had a completely different look from the night before because it was now elegant and classy.

Night number three, I attended a local outdoors artwalk on a cold night located in a “hip” downtown area. I wore Khaki pants, polo shirt and the Peacoat had a sensible and practical look.  The Peacoat kept me warm when buttoned up and if I felt too warm inside a gallery I unbuttoned it and I was fine.

All in all, the Authentic Model Peacoat from Sterlingwear is one of the most versatile coats I have ever worn and believe that is why it is successful in the civilian market. Other Peacoat manufacturers do a disservice to a great coat that has not changed in the last 200 years. Sterlingwear has been the sole supplier to the U.S. Navy since 1968 and continues to provide high–quality Peacoats to the military and civilian market. I applaud Sterlingwear and the American men and women who manufacture these amazing coats to the high standard sold to military and civilians looking for high-quality made coats.

Gentlemen of tradition and distinction have always searched for high quality coats and the Sterlingwear Authentic Model Peacoat should be considered because it has a versatile appearance and works well in many social settings.  Honestly I cannot think of another coat that has so many different looks and produced with excellent craftsmanship.

Sterlingwear on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/sterlingwearboston

Sterlingwear online:

www.sterlingwear.com

Mr. M

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LYRMBGB!

 

 

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Fight Winter With A Peacoat

Gentlemen,

With a chill in the air and temperatures dropping Ol’ Man Winter is here! Winter officially starts December 21, 2012 in the Northern Hemisphere and it is a good time to highlight a great traditional coat that will keep you warm and last a long time.

The Peacoat was created in the 1800’s and remains unchanged for hundreds of years. First used by European Navies the Peacoat was designed for warmth and protection from the elements. The coat is recognizable due to the wide lapels, double-breasted, anchor buttons and dark navy color. The Peacoat is made from Melton Wool and extremely durable. The name is derived from the Dutch word “pij” which is coarse cloth and “jekker” which means jacket. Eventually the coat used by sailors became known as the Peacoat.

There is much debate and controversy about what constitutes an authentic Peacoat and I will not adress that in this quick introduction to a great coat. Stay warm Gentlemen!

                                                           

The sole provider for the U.S. Navy is Sterlingwear of Boston, Mass.

http://www.sterlingwear.com/

Mr. M

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LYRMBGB!

 

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