It should come as no surprise that two of my go-to distractions – I mean, blogs – are well-versed authorities on two of my favorite subjects: Texas style and Texas-made products. Thanks to Texas Style & Substance, which is penned by the Dallas-based writer and style maven Kristie Ramirez, it’s easy to keep up with the latest offerings from Texas’s most creative designers and to stay hip to the state’s steady stream of boutique and restaurant openings. 

Kristie’s posts have tipped me off to everything from (clockwise from top left) Be Inthavong‘s leather-woven handbags; Tiny’s No. 5, in Houston; native Houstonian Alexandra Knight’s handmade leather shoes and accessories; and the opening of Timothy Oulton’s Dallas showroom. [Full disclosure: Kristie is one of Texas Monthly‘s writers-at-large and she’s the fashionable mastermind behind our Essentials page. Read her October and November installments here and here.]


So too has the Diego Files quickly become a fail-safe source whenever I’m in need of a little Texas travel/lifestyle inspiration. Its curator-in-chief, Vincent Friedewald, has a nose for sniffing out cool under-the-radar hideaways and wish-list-worthy products (always beautifully photographed) from artists, designers, craftsmen, and inventors who hail from this great state of ours.

Photograph courtesy of the LBJ Presidential Library

Plus, Vincent’s write-ups/reviews – of places like the Hideout on the Horseshoe, near New Braunfels (top left), and Terlingua’s Far Flung Outdoor Center (bottom right) and made-in-Texas finds like Canoe’s Tool and Tack Gift Box (top right) and Paris Texas Apparel Co.’s Lone Star–themed neckties (bottom left) – always shoot from the hip and are entertaining to boot. [Full disclosure: I’m completely unable to resist the charms of the Diego Files’ ridiculously photogenic namesake (that face!)].