Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Yay or nay? The vintage dinner jacket.

If you're a person that celebrates a holiday during this time of year, I hope that you've had a good one. If not, I hope that you've at least had the chance to spend some quality time with family and/or friends.

I've been incredibly busy, but things are calming down now and I have a good little batch of posts I plan on making. Since the last entries were fairly popular, I thought I'd kick things off with a post highlighting a rather interesting find that I made in the past week.

vintage dinner jacket
It's a vintage After Six dinner jacket in khaki, with decorative braiding along the lapels and tops of pockets. It has one button in front, as well as on the sleeves, and it caught my eye immediately when it was hanging on the rack.

vintage dinner jacket detail
It's a bit on the oddball side, but it fits me like a glove, and I figured it would make for a nice change of pace when the weather gets a bit warmer.

By definition, it's formal wear, but it's such an unique piece that I think it can inhabit a real crossover area in my collection, pairing it with everything from light khakis to blue jeans.

So yeah, I bought it (for 5 dollars). Would you have?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tags and Textures: Mint green silk tie

Last week I tried to do a little something new by starting up a series of macro shots showing off textures and colors of different items of clothing that I love.

soft green silk
This time out, I'm featuring a light, minty green 100% silk tie that is one of my absolute favorites to wear. Instead of smooth silk, this one is slubbed, giving it an absolutely killer texture that almost looks like paper maché in places.

soft green silk tag
Not to mention, it has lines of blue, dark brown, and white running through it, so it can play off everything from a blue and white university-striped oxford and dark brown belt and shoes to something like baby blue pants and a white belt.

soft green silk detail
Basically, it's everything you want in a tie for when the weather gets warmer.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sporting birds and a sporting dog

As I write this, sleet is clicking off the windows, and while the temperatures weren't bone-chilling today, it looks like we've locked into a cold-weather cycle that isn't going to crack any time soon.

During these winter patterns, I often find myself going without a true jacket at work. Unless the temperatures are going to be warm enough where I can get by with something lighter (and by lighter, I mean a heavier tweed or my favorite camelhair herringbone), my cold weather uniform usually consists of a shirt and tie with a sweater of some sort over the top, with a heavier coat (like the pea coat mentioned in this post) to get me through the outside elements.

True enough, I could get an overcoat that I could then layer over the sweater combo and a regular jacket, but alas, I haven't yet found anything in my budget that fits my ape-arms.

At any rate, there's still plenty of ways to make things work.

pheasant tie
This combo features the great pheasant tie I found recently paired with a Land's End pinpoint dress shirt and a Brooks Brothers cotton v-neck knit sweater. The red Pendleton scarf makes another appearance as well. If one can believe it, each of those previous four items were $2 each from a thrift store. Down below is a pair of black wool pants and some newer Florsheims that I wear when I think the weather is going to turn to muck (as it now has).

Elsa and me
Minus the jacket, the outfit doesn't turn too slouchy, although it may be a bit on the Mr. Rogers side (but really, who isn't a fan of Mr. Rogers?). Elsa the sporting* dog enthusiastically agrees with my tie choice, and makes me look positively sleepy in comparison.

*If "sporting" is defined as an insatiable urge to chase tennis balls and any small toys that squeak

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tags and Textures: Navy knit silk tie

I've been trying to incorporate more texture into shots for this blog lately, and after receiving some nice comments on my last post, I had an idea for a series of photos that highlight both the textures and tags of various clothing items that I love.

silk tie
First up is this vintage navy blue (which tiptoes ever so slightly towards purple) knit silk tie. From a distance, it's somewhat inconspicuous, and in this shot one can get a vague sense that it has some texture and depth, but those small details are about all that's offered.

Silk knit tie tagsThe tie has two tags, one from the (now defunct, according to web searches) men's store it came from, the other denoting its fiber content with a nice shield motif.

silk knit tie detail
A close-up reveals an incredible amount of detail in the knit, with repeating patterns of dots and lines that really pop in the right light.

All silk navy ties are not created equal.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rediscovering a classic

The temperature has dropped pretty drastically here lately, with overnight temps settling down in the single digits (Fahrenheit). Days have crept up into the 20s and even the low 30s, which means that it's time for serious business when dressing for the day. In past years, my go-to coat was a leather shearling coat that still sees some appearances on cold days, but the other evening I remembered that I'd acquired a vintage pea coat (complete with a name stamped in the lining) late last spring and had been stashing it for major thermometer drops.

vintage pea coat
The coat is incredibly heavy, and I've found that it's so warm that I only need to button the middle two buttons during the morning temps, while I drop down to one in the later part of the day (pictured).

With my usual layering, I imagine that the coat would easily suffice for sub-zero temperatures (buttoned up to the neck), as it blocks wind like no other and heats up the body quickly with a bit of walking.

I can't believe I never owned one of these before. It's definitely become an instant staple.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Style Share - December

Last month, I introduced a new idea on the site that basically involves me spreading the joy a bit in terms of things that I find. If you want to know what's going on with this post, read that older entry for a few more specific details.

While I haven't had any returns (yet) from those initial items sent out, I am not going to be deterred. Since December is quite a month of holidays, I tried to pick out items that would work well in regards to the colors of the season. If you're one of the first three people to comment on this thread (or shoot me an email through the one listed in my profile, but by commenting you can publicly stake your claim), you get your choice of the below listed items, for free.*

As with last month, the only thing I ask is that the recipient of said item of clothing send back a photo of them wearing it for a follow-up post on this site. It doesn't have to be anything super fancy or Esquire-esque. Just enough to show me and my readers how you used it in an ensemble.

Okay? Onward to the items!

Brooks Brothers
Blue and gold is seriously ornamental, and this is is a really cool dark, dark navy and gold repp tie from Brooks Brothers. I'm sure you could find something to wear with this in order to slay the town.

Hart Schaffner & Marx
Vintage (likely 70s) medium weight wool Hart Schaffner & Marx suit in a windowpane pattern of light green/white and black with red and blue highlights. Marked a 44L, but measurements are as follows:

  • Chest (armpit to armpit across the front): 22"

  • Length (bottom of collar to hem in back), single vent : 32.25"

  • Sleeves (shoulder seam to hem on outside) : 26.5"

  • Shoulders (seam to seam across back) : 18.25'

  • Pant waist : 35" (no pleats)

  • Pant inseam : 31.5" (with .5" extra to let out without a cuff)

Own it. So many options for doing this one up in style.

Lands End duo
Not one, but two lovely 100% silk Land's End ties in the colors of the seasons. So many different combinations that you'll have a hard time deciding how to roll. Or just wear them at the same time like a futuristic Marty McFly (scroll to bottom to see what I'm talking about).

LL Bean
Vintage L.L. Bean red chamois cloth shirt in size 16 tall. Broken in and beautiful, wear this while going full-on lumberjack as you cut down your holiday tree. Couple it with a beard and/or pancakes, bacon, and a hot toddy.

Chaps tie
Classic Chaps by Ralph Lauren in candy-cane red and green repp, complete with embroidered steeplechase horse heads in gold. Get kissed under the mistletoe, or just hold this above your head.

Get involved in my modest little experiment and get a piece of clothing to keep. Easy, right?

*Seriously, it's free, and yours to keep forever. No strings attached. I won't share your name on the site or with anyone else unless you have a blog of your own that you want me to link. Please note that all clothing will be used (but certainly not stained, smelly, or damaged, as I do have standards), so please only agree to participate if this sort of thing doesn't gross you out. Thanks.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A hat and a hankie

Although they've watered down their brand a bit as they've expanded far beyond what they were initially great at (embroidered towels? night lights? really?), I'm still a huge fan of Pendleton Mills clothes, especially when I run across one of their older pieces. I have a couple shirts in red tartan patterns that are among my favorite pieces to wear on cold fall weekend days, and I used to own an old gray peacoat that I wore for many, many years before it gave up the ghost.

Pendleton cap
At a recent family dinner, my mom surprised me with this truly awesome tartan driving cap that she'd found thrifting (hey, what can I say, it runs in the family). As I've mentioned in other posts, I often feel self-conscious about wearing hats (simply because they make me even taller), but the low profile of this Pendleton number is perfect, and the wool keeps my head warm on the winter days when a stocking cap isn't necessary.

The second find is something I haven't worn yet, and I'm still looking for the right occasion to mix it in; That's right, I bought an ascot.

It's my first ascot, and oddly enough I found it on the same exact day that Giuseppe warned against them. It's the nicest one I've ever seen thrifting, though, and for 99 cents I couldn't pass it up.

Someday, I will work it.

P.S. Monday night (Dec. 6th), I'll unveil the items for Style Share for the month of December. There's more than just ties this time out, so swing back and stake your claim.