The Company We Keep

ian jordan posted this November 25th, 2014

Horny Toad has always been guided by the idea that things are better when we’re among friends and sharing with others. We place a high premium on keeping good company. Our employees, partners, vendors, retailers, distributors, and loyal customers make up the fabric of Horny Toad, and we’re grateful that all these people have chosen to collaborate with us.

There’s actually a word for this feeling: Hygge. Pronounced “hyoo-gah,” it’s a Danish idea that loosely means “simple, cozy, togetherness.” There’s no direct English translation, but Hygge is a celebration of the relationships and things that enrich our lives, whether that’s a great meal, a favorite sweater or your closest friends. Our design director encountered this word on an inspiration trip to Copenhagen, and after really digging into its meaning we realized we embraced hygge a long time ago. Now we have a word for it.

As we look back on the year and take stock of our friendships, we can’t help but feel a warm sense of appreciation – and hygge – for all the good in our work and our lives. We’ve been lucky enough to partner with folks who bring richness to our company and remind us that what we’re doing is so much more than making and selling clothes.

Founded on the desire to make a difference in the world beyond just making clothes, Horny Toad has partnered with socially and environmentally active companies, organizations and individuals since the beginning. As we grow, so do our partners, so every partnership is meaningful and woven into the fabric of how we do business:

• When you place an order from us, it is fulfilled by Planet Access Company. PAC is a life-skills training group with a mission to positively change the lives of adults with developmental disabilities by providing them with training and work opportunities. The PAC work crew processes 100% of Horny Toad’s inventory and every unit of Horny Toad clothing is picked, packed, and shipped with unmatched enthusiasm by the PAC crew.

• We support and participate in Search For Adventure, an adventure travel program funded by proceeds from PAC and a grant from Horny Toad that provides members of the PAC work crew trips to the great outdoors. Every year about 50 clients and a handful of Toads travel together, enjoying places like the Appalachian Trail, our seaside town of Santa Barbara and everywhere in between.

• We’re members of 1% For the Planet, meaning we donate 1% of gross sales annually to environmental and social causes that inspire us.

• We’re members of the Conservation Alliance, a consortium of Outdoor Industry companies that fund conservation projects. Every year our employees vote for which grassroots non-profit organizations receive the grants they need to protect the wilderness we all love. We also volunteer with local member company employees and local grantees for a day of environmental action through the Backyard Collective. We get out of the office and get our hands dirty doing good work to preserve and protect the open spaces in our own backyards

• We stay closely connected to our roots in Telluride, Colorado by continuing to support MountainFilm in Telluride whose annual program of films and national tour bring awareness to environmental and social issues.

•  At Toad Headquarters in Santa Barbara, you’re just as likely to have a tasty Tibetan lunch made by the finance department as you are to catch an impromptu dance party from the sales team. With one big, bright, open room full of Toads and pups, our work environment feels more like a family picnic-meets-think tank than an office. From our annual Grilled Cheese Smackdown to monthly Fun Committees and regular Lunch & Learns, we think we’ve figured out this whole work-hard-play-hard balance.

• Most importantly, we want to acknowledge our customers. We hope what we do beyond making clothes is what makes you feel good about wearing the clothes we make. We value every note, comment and photo we get from you – it inspires our next move and makes us feel connected to you.

So consider yourself in good company. We’ve built Horny Toad on the foundation that the choices we make are as important as the clothes we create and we pride ourselves on being good partners in our relationships. So call it hygge, call it the holiday spirit, no matter how you say it, we appreciate you.

Modern Flannel

ian jordan posted this November 13th, 2014

Modern Flannel
(Click to view: Dot Matrix Shirt, Birddog Flannel Shirt, Earle Shirt)

Image Map Horny Toad Dot Matrix Shirt Horny Toad Men's Birddog Shirt Horny Toad Men's Earle Shirt

We get excited when Horny Toad pops up in new places, so we were super psyched to see our friends at The Manual calling out our flannels as their go-to autumn gear this season. The Manual: The Essential Guide for Men is a website that performs just as a it sounds – it offers tips and insights on how men can live full, engaged lives whether it be through fashion, food, drink, travel, grooming or culture. So check out Austin Parker’s recent post on the our “Modern Flannels” and see why the folks at the Mannual are picking up three of our favorite shirts. 

Austin Parker – October 16, 2014

Whether you’re heading to a saturday afternoon wine tasting, or simply heading out for an afternoon walk with your trusty four-legged friend, Fall weather calls for a little more than the typical jeans and t-shirt you got away with this summer. Let’s be honest, aside from hipsters and lumberjacks (and maybe a few too many ski town “bros”) flannel hasn’t really been a part of most of our wardrobes for a few years. That’s about to change. After relaunching their line earlier this year, Horny Toad’s new outdoor lifestyle focused shirts are the perfect foundation for wearing around town this fall.

The cornerstone of the line is the Birddog Shirt. Featuring hollow-core polyester fibers, it has excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, and more importantly wicks moisture and dries quickly, so you can wear it directly from the office to the trail. Expect this one to be a go-to piece for a few seasons to come.

Not everything has to be technical though (our gear addicts on staff might beg to differ). The all new Earle is 100% organic cotton tweed, favoring classic construction and design. The athletic fit compliments the throwback colorway and iconic pattern. Just don’t be surprised when this one gets stolen by your girlfriend.

Our last pick isn’t quite flannel, but the Dot Matrix Oxford is a classic working man’s shirt that belongs in your closet. The subtle texture and heavier blend make this the perfect layering piece for an outdoor evening or night at the bar. You may need to just get one in every color. Right now is perfect time to expand and update some of the tired shirts you’ve been slowly wearing out, and it’s time to look at flannel again. Horny Toad’s fall line proves that you don’t have to work in a logging camp or drink terrible beer ironically to look good in a classic flannel shirt.

Potatoes Gratin, Farm Style

dweber posted this November 13th, 2014

This is one of those recipes that when you taste it you can’t believe how something so simple can be so crazy delicious.

This is all you need: 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, a big sweet onion, two cloves of garlic sliced, a few sprigs of thyme, salt & pepper, 3-4 cups of homemade chicken or vegetable stock.

Peel and slice up the potatoes and onions and put all the ingredients in a big sauce pan. Add the stock to not quite cover and bring to a boil on the stovetop.

Bake at 400° for an hour. It’s not necessary to transfer to a gratin dish if your sauce pan is oven proof. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving – it’s very hot when it comes out of the oven. 

On the off chance there are leftovers, this is really good reheated the next morning topped with a poached egg, or at room temperature for lunch with salad.

Bread, the Slow Way

dweber posted this November 11th, 2014

What is it about fresh baked bread? It’s kind of amazing to what lengths people will go to get magic out of flour, water, salt and time.

This method of making bread comes from Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. It’s pretty much one of the farthest things from quick you can get. It takes weeks to bring the starter to life if you’re going from scratch. It then takes a day for the leaven. Then another whole day to make the bread finally happen. It’s worth every minute. And a minute is about how long it takes for your friends to devour it.

On the photoshoot we did for Fall 2104, we knew we’d be shooting inside the cabin all day, so we made “the bread”. Then we shot it and ate it. For real.

If you like to cook, hunker down and make this bread in celebration of November as National Bread Making Month. 

Start by adding water and flour to leaven, which is made from water and flour that’s been brought to life by time, warmth and the yeast spores that float around your kitchen and live on your hands.

Mix it all up, add a little salt, let it rise and shape the silky dough into a beautiful puffy ball.

Baked at 450 degrees in a dutch oven for 20 minutes covered, then pull the cover off and cook for another 20 minutes. Cooking it uncovered is the secret behind that almost architectural, caramelized  and protective crust. Every time it comes out of the oven you just can’t believe you made it yourself. 

It’s even more amazing on the inside, and the smell of fresh baked bread can’t be beat. 

Here’s the prop we made for the photoshoot, shot by our photographer David McLain

Deste models the Revery and kneads the bread.

The gang sits down to eat in the cabin we rented in Tivoli, NY.

The enthusiasm is just as real as the bread. You can’t fake this stuff.

We had to shoot fast because once the feeding frenzy began, it wasn’t long before the bread was gone!

#ModernTraveler: Whitefish, MT

dweber posted this November 7th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 2.11.32 PM

You might think that Whitefish, Montana was a town built on the old railroad industry that came roaring through the Rockies in 1904, but the town of Whitefish was actually built on the irresistible charm of its locals. True to tradition, hearty locals overflowing with charm (and just a hint of innocent mischief) continue to make this mountain town a Paul Bunyan-esque Wonderland for residents and visitors alike. With a bustling local economy and a deep, fun-loving affinity for the great outdoors, it’s easy to assume that every Whitefishian was probably a bubbly boy or girl scout who hiked into town and never left. Their enthusiasm for their home is abundant and infectious and one can’t help but feel right at home upon arrival. Every winter they roll out the welcome mat with celebrations like the Whitefish Winter Carnival, complete with costumed pond skimming on Big Mountain (the local Mountain Resort), a penguin plunge, Beer Barter, yetis, hockey tournaments, vikings, snow sculptures, and even Wayne Newton. On a more serious note but just as dazzling, Glacier National Park is in Whitefish’s backyard and offers some of the greatest hiking and biking in the world. Catch stunning views of the Rockies and great opportunities for a glimpse of some of the more wild residents in Montana. So grab some bear spray and a flask and prepare to do Whitefish the only way there is – the local way.

What to do:

Loula’s Café: Located in the historic Masonic Temple building in downtown Whitefish, there’s nothing mysterious about this place: It’s just good, homemade food. Adhering to the farm to table motto serving up local produce and Montana pork and beef, Loula’s has been dishing out Whitefish’s premier comfort food for years. Lemon stuffed French toast is always a crowd pleaser, the fried chicken and mashed ‘taters will have you seriously considering seconds, and the eggs benedict with truffle oil hollandaise is truly something to write home about. Their large portions are great for filling up or refueling after a day on the slopes, or just pop in for an afternoon snack – Huckleberry Peach Pie, anyone?

Glacier National Park: Just 32 miles from downtown Whitefish is the West entrance to one of the country’s greatest wonders – Glacier National Park. From the West entrance you’ve got loads of great hiking options to choose from. The Lake McDonald Trail is 12 miles along the west side of the lake, or Avalanche Lake Trail is a stunning 6 mile loop with spectacular views (but get an early start since it’s a popular trail). After a morning hike, take the scenic “Going to the Sun Road”, a magnificent route that connects West and East Glacier. With its rugged terrain, this route is not for the faint of heart but the views are well worth any butterflies in your stomach. On the Sun Road, stop at the Logan Pass midway point for a great view, a few close encounters with native Big Horn Sheep, and a bear sighting or two. If you’re headed to Whitefish, you’re headed to Glacier.

Whitefish Trail: Recently completed as a result of a community collaborative project, Whitefish trail whisks outdoor enthusiasts through some of Western Montana’s most scenic public and private lands. Miles of stacked loop trails, scenic overlooks, and gated logging roads make this trail system one of the best kept secrets in the country for hikers, bikers, dog walkers, and equestrians.  You really can’t go wrong with any of the trails, but we love the Swift Creek Trail for it’s gorgeous views of Swift Creek and Smith Lake. Whether Smith Lake is pleasantly blue of frozen over with a frosted topping, you’re sure to see a ton of deer, insane views of the Whitefish Range, and generally feel like you’ve stepped into a scene in A River Runs Through It.

Tupelo Grille: If you’re looking for some Cajun Southern Comfort food in Big Sky Country, you’ll find all the spice you need at Tupelo. With the recent remodel and an updated Piano bar, Tupelo is the place to catch live music and satisfy your inner foodie any day of the week. We like the shrimp and grits, the Montana Lamb with cherry chutney, and   the most mouthwatering gumbo we’ve ever had (seriously). Saunter on into the bar to catch the smooth sounds of late-night jazz and consider having dessert as an appetizer – the bread pudding perfectly compliments a great bottle of wine.

Great Northern Brewery: Named for the Great Northern Railroad that helped jumpstart Whitefish, this brewery has the best views and brews in town. Situated in a modern glass building right downtown, there isn’t a bad view in the house as you soak up the glory of Whitefish Range before your eyes. Cheers to a great and exhausting day of exploring with some of their local beers on tap. It’s not just the names that get us, but the “Good Medicine Imperial Red Ale” and “Dark and Ominous” stout are as flavorful and delicious as they sound.

What to wear:

Mojacette: Deftly engineered to act like a jacket but feel like a shirt, the Mojacette Shirt is made of richly colored flannel and fully lined with a buttery T-shirt knit, both made of 100% organic cotton. Jacette styling includes snaps at the chest pockets, cuffs and front placket and a relaxed, shirttail hem. The fit is feminine, but relaxed enough to wear over tee shirts.

Highroad Pant: At the intersection of workwear, streetwear and get-out-there is the Highroad Pant. Made from a sturdy and substantial twill, it’s mostly organic cotton because we love it’s natural comfort, but we added some poly for durability and a hint of spandex for movement-enhancing stretch. A soft peach finish ensures love at first meeting, and a great fit means the love is built to last.

Faroe Jacket: Here’s the sartorial equivalent of hot mulled cider in front of a roaring pub fire. No, the Faroe Jacket won’t save your life in a blizzard, but it’ll certainly warm your spirits through the gray days. Inside, there’s a 60-gram layer of poly insulation for all-around warmth – plus a split lining of plaid poly-wool flannel on top and poly taffeta below (for easy mobility). The cotton-nylon shell is wax-treated for good weather resistance, and the coat boasts six exterior pockets to hold your gear and gadgets.

Mission Ridge Pant: All work and no play make twill a dull fabric. So we jacked these khakis with fresh threads and an updated fit for town-to-trail versatility. Soft organic cotton makes them all-day comfortable, polyester adds rugged punch, and there’s a dash of spandex stretch for active movement. The fit is modern – somewhere between slim and relaxed, and everywhere you want to be.

Presidential Sandwiches

dweber posted this November 4th, 2014
JFK's "Bay of Pigs" Pulled Pork and Apple Bacon Slaw Sammy

JFK’s “Bay of Pigs” Pulled Pork and Apple Bacon Slaw Sammy

So you’re probably thinking to yourself, “What do sandwiches and US Presidents have in common?” Well aside from each inciting fierce loyalty in followers, both sandwiches and US Presidents have a place of honor at the table today. In honor of National Sandwich Day (November 3) and Election Day (November 4), we came up with a few sandwich recipes based on some of our most infamous US Presidents. So get out there and Vote today and grab a sammy as well, because nothing says democracy like choosing the perfect sandwich!


JFK’s “Bay of Pigs” Pulled Pork and Apple Bacon Slaw Sandwich (makes 6 servings)

To make pulled pork:
3 lbs bone-in pork shoulder or pork butt, with the excess fat trimmed off.
1/2 cup ketchup
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp dried sage
2 cups fresh apple cider
salt and pepper for seasoning

Put all ingredients in a slow cooker, coating the pork with the juices and seasoning. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 6 hours. Once the pork is done, pull it out of the slow cooker and shred ( it should come right off the bone!). Pour half of the leftover sauce on the shredded pork and use the rest to make a homemade BBQ Sauce: In a saucepan bring 2 cups of strained crock pot sauce, 1/2 cup of ketchup, 1/2 cup of brown sugar and pepper to a boil on medium heat, stirring until the sauce is nice and thick! Pour sauce over pulled pork or keep for sandwiches.

To make apple bacon slaw:
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 granny smith apples, skinned and julienne
4 strips of crunchy bacon diced into bacon bits (or more if you really love bacon)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp apple cider

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and let sit in your fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

With your pulled pork and your slaw all made, toast a few rolls and butter or mayonnaise the bread, then stuff with a heaping mound of homemade pulled pork and top with a big spoonful of apple bacon slaw. Drizzle some of that homemade BBQ sauce on there and you’ve got a sandwich that even Jackie O. would roll up her sleeves for.


Nixon’s “I am not a Crook Monsieur” (makes 4 servings)

3/4 cups whole milk
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, divided
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper for taste
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 lb sliced ham
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 4 oz)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 oz)
1 long loaf of ciabatta bread

To make béchamel sauce:

In one saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until hot. In another saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in flour stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Add thyme then gradually whisk in milk. Simmer for 2 minutes while whisking, then remove from heat and add salt and pepper.

To assemble Sanwhich:

Cut the rounded top crust off of the bread so that the loaf has a flat top. Then slice loaf in half horizontally. Fill with mustard, ham, and half the Gruyere. Toast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees until cheese is melted and top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and spread your bechamel on top, sprinkle the remaining gruyere and parmesan on top. Broil until golden brown and bubbling (about 6 to 7 minutes). Garnish with pepper and any remaining thyme for taste and let sit for about 10 minutes before eating. While you wait for it to cool, read instructions on how to set up your wire tap.


“Coolidge as a Cucumber” Veggie Wrap (makes 4 servings)

2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise
1 red or orange bell pepper, widely sliced
2 tbsp olive oil for marinating
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup hummus
4 pieces of lavash bread (about 9″ in diameter)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 cups baby spinach
1/2  red onion, sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

Brush both sides of the zucchini slices and  peppers with the oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. On a grill or grill pan, grill veggies until tender and slightly browned (about 4 minutes per side). Spread 1/4 cup of the hummus over each layer of lavash bread and sprinkle pine nuts on top. Top with a few slices of zucchini, red pepper and cucumber, a handful of spinach, a few sliced  red onions, and a sprig or two of mint. Roll each of them up and cut in half on a diagonal.


And the winner of the #HTHalloween Pet Costume Contest is…

dweber posted this November 3rd, 2014

Wow! We were blown away by the amount of photos that were submitted for our #HTHalloween Pet Costume Contest! From cows to cowboys, we loved all your furry friends so much and decided we couldn’t just give one award for best costume, so we picked three winners and a whole bunch of honorable mentions! Thanks again for all your submissions and congratulations to our winners – You may not be spooky, but you sure are cute!

WINNER of Best Homemade Costume – Edward Scissorhands


WINNER of Most Natural Looking Costume – Boyscout


WINNER of Best Couple – Darth Vader & Darth Vader


And A few very Honorable Mentions…



Jan 7 2013 Canon Photos 109








#HTHalloween Pet Costume Contest

dweber posted this October 27th, 2014

We love Halloween at Toad HQ because we’ll take any excuse to dress the office pooches in ridiculous outfits. This year, Leo looks like he’s ready to be the belle of the Fall Ball… Dress up your pet for Halloween and submit a photo to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or with #HTHalloween and be entered to win a $100 Horny Toad Gift Card! Submit your pictures through Saturday, November 1 and check back on Monday, November 3 for our winner. Happy Halloween!

For the Love of Beer

dweber posted this October 14th, 2014


The month of October always reminds us of a few things – pumpkins, yellow leaves, homemade costumes, and beer. Beer is a big one. So big the Germans actually dedicated a whole month to the celebration of beer, or Oktoberfest. Okay, so we know the real Oktoberfest ended on October 5th and doesn’t actually extend the whole month of October. But we Toads love a good excuse to drink good beer and catch up with friends. So in honor of Oktoberfest and all things hoppy and joyful, we caught up with one of our favorite local craft breweries, Telegraph Brewing Company.

With the tapping of their first keg in 2006, Telegraph has steadily grown to be one of California’s best craft breweries and one of our favorite like-minded, sustainable business cohorts. They’ve graciously donated to many a Horny Toad fundraiser over the years and joined us in supporting tons of local causes, like the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition. Perhaps you could say Horny Toad and Telegraph were sewn from the same oats. Delicious, distilled, environmentally friendly oats.


From the building to the brewing, Telegraph Brewing is committed to making excellent craft beers while minimizing their environmental impact. “Our Tap Room and Distillery is housed in an old Quonset hut from WWII,” Brian Thompson, the founder of Telegraph, explains. “The huts were designed as modules and were shipped all over the world. The one we’re in was actually a warehouse. It’s an iconic American building, so we gave it a modern twist to increase its functionality without compromising its historical integrity.” And Telegraph is all about functionality and integrity. “The brewing industry as a whole is very water intensive,” Brian says, “so sustainability is a big focus for us, especially with these recent drought conditions.”

Telegraph is a relatively small brewery but they’re able to use only 4.25 gallons of water per every gallon of beer (whereas other small breweries use about 10 gallons of water per gallon of beer). And all of their ingredients are produced west of the Rockies, getting hops from the Pacific Northwest, barley that’s grown and malted in Santa Barbara, oranges from Santa Barbara County, Corriander from Palm Springs and cold-pressed coffee from a local roaster. “And,” Brian excitedly adds, “a beer made from 100% local ingredients is on the horizon!”


We’ll be some of the first people lined up to try that 100% local beer, because if it’s anything like their current selection, it’s going to be darn good! At any given time Telegraph has about 10 different beers on tap and they’re constantly rotating. Currently, the Cervza de Fiesta Pilsner lives up to its name as a party for your taste buds, while the Ravena Stout is a silky, swoon-worthy dark beer that you’ll want to savor until the last drop. The complex Los Padres Saison is both peppery and citrusy, while the White Ale is simply, perfectly refreshing. And what did Telegraph bring to the 2nd Annual Horny Toad Grilled Cheese Smackdown? Their award-winning flagship California Ale – a West Coast twist on a Belgian Pale Ale that can definitely hold it’s own against any gooey, cheesy goliath.

When some of Team Toad recently popped in for a beer tasting on a perfect Fall Sunday, the garage doors were flung open, the family-style tables were packed, the darts were flying, and a food truck outside was serving up tasty Indian street food. “We wanted to recreate the pub! We want this to be a place that families can come, a meeting place for the community. It’s all about kicking back and enjoying with your friends and family.” And on any given day, that’s exactly what you’ll find at Telegraph.


Sustainability Update: Acrylic

dweber posted this October 14th, 2014

When it comes to the fibers we use to make our fabrics, we put a lot of thought into our decision-making. We’re big fans of organic cotton, merino wool, recycled polyester and Tencel because they look and feel great. We especially like these fibers because they’re produced by sustainable means – something that we feel strongly about. Acrylic, on the other hand, is a good example of an economical fiber with a lot of great properties, but when you take a closer look at how it’s made, its environmental costs make it much less desirable. Acrylic is tempting because it’s soft, bulky and lowers the costs of sweaters when blended with wool, so not using acrylic is a decision that we’re proud of, and one that reflects our commitment to choosing more sustainable fibers.

So what exactly is acrylic? It’s a cheap, ubiquitous fiber that is widely used in knit tops,  sweaters and hats. It was first developed by the DuPont Chemical Company in the 1940s when the “better living through chemistry” trend was introducing massive amounts of plastic into consumer products. Acrylic was one of those “wonder-fibers” spun from heavily treated synthetic fibers made from polyacylonitrile – soft plastics that are still found in loads of products, from missiles to tennis rackets. We’ve come a long way since the 1940s and today’s synthetic fibers can be blended with natural fibers, but the process of converting polyacylonitrile into acrylic yarn remains a chemically intense, dirty process that releases tons of harmful toxins into the environment annually.

So although it’s cheap and plentiful, we choose not to use acrylic in our clothing. We opt for natural alternatives that are durable, warm, and more sustainably produced. Natural fibers like wool, cashmere and cotton breathe better than synthetic fibers and inherently wick moisture away from the body. Our Machino Merino is 100% merino wool that is heavenly soft, itchless, naturally stretchy and uniquely adept at handling moisture. We also love the  Samba Sweater Yarn for its lightweight, layerable and lovably soft qualities; it’s made from 40% merino wool, 30% cotton, and 30% Tencel (our favorite eco-award winning fiber). With options like that, who needs acrylic?


Marlevelous Long Cardigan, 100% Merino Wool


Vector Sweater, 100% Merino Wool


Cardamon Cardigan Short, Samba Sweater Yarn


Cardamon Cardigan Long, Samba Sweater Yarn