Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Style Share return: Brooks Brothers tie

Another Style Share return, this one from November.

Brooks Brothers blue

This one was a repeat contributor, as TDP had claimed another Brooks Brothers tie from a couple months ago.

Style Share return Brooks Brothers

photo courtesy TDP

He paired it with a navy double-breasted Brioni sport coat, and on a date no less.

One of things that I like about this whole series of posts is that not only is someone giving an entirely new life to an article of clothing, but the pieces that I've sent out have been worn for work, research, play, and even a lunch date with the family. Not too shabby at all. As always, many thanks to everyone who has participated.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Style Share: December

I'm trying something slightly different this month with Style Share, and I've arrived at this idea after reading comments from some regulars on the site. For the first week after posting (up until Dec. 28th), the items in this months entry will only be available to those who have commented on this site under posts other than Style Share. So, if you've commented on different entries in the past (I'm thinking of folks like Mr. Readerston, JH078, JKG, YankeeWhiskeyPapa, MarcoBerlin, and others) but haven't been quite quick enough on the draw, this one goes out to you...

As with other entries, the only thing I ask is that the recipient of said item of free* clothing email me back a photo or two of them wearing it for a follow-up post on this site. First three items claimed will be sent out.

Robertson tartan

Unclaimed from last month, this lovely tartan tie features some great colors. Goes with just about anything.

Lands End tie

Lands' End tie in silver/brown, navy and red. Wintry mix.

Liberty of London tie

Liberty of London paisley in amazing colors. Might be madder. Either way, it's gorgeous.

Pendleton hat

Pendleton newsboy tweed hat in size large. If this fit me, I would be keeping it for sure.

two tone hat

One of the coolest hats I've seen in the past year. Vintage two-tone driving cap in gray-flecked tweed and black cotton velveteen. Insane.

Dunn & Co jacket

Best for last? If this chocolate corduroy Dunn & Co jacket fits you, you should be able to slay the town. Side-vented. I think it's a 42l, but check following measurements to make sure it fits you. Shoulders (seam to seam across back): 18"; Sleeves (outseam): 25.5"; Chest (armpit to armpit across front): 20.5"; Length (base of collar to bottom): 31"

As usual, claim your item in the comments, then email me through the address listed on the site.

*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!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Style Share return: Polo Ralph Lauren tie

As mentioned in previous posts, I've gotten several Style Share returns back lately, and so I'll try to get them all featured in fairly short order.

Polo silk in green and off-white

This nice little green and off-white Polo Ralph Lauren tie was offered up in November, and The Cable Knit Charlestonian snagged it.

Polo tie details 1

Polo tie details 2

photos courtesy The Cable Knit Charlestonian

He sent a couple photos back, with details on the details...

  • Polo Ralph Lauren reversible herringbone/Gordon tartan scarf.
  • Vintage Chaps Ralph Lauren houndstooth plaid blazer.
  • Merona marled cotton cardigan.
  • Polo Ralph Lauren oxford.
  • Polo Ralph Lauren tie.
  • Agave jeans.
  • Club Room socks.
  • Vintage Florsheim Imperial saddle shoes.

I'm especially digging the reversible scarf, but the whole outfit looks insanely warm and nicely-layered. Many thanks to Scott (and everyone else who has participated so far).

P.S. The Cable Knit Charlestonian is running a fun contest on his site right now, so swing by if you dare rock a crazy holiday sweater.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bad news and good news

Bad news: Having symptoms that seem directly related to serious maladies suffered by relatives in the past and going through several bouts of testing to find out what the issues are.

Good news: Going through those rounds of tests only to finally find out that nothing is, in fact, wrong with you. Sometimes bodily issues that are indeed minor manifest themselves in ways nearly identical to stuff that keeps ones mind distracted and a bit distant. In this case, anticlimactic is a good thing.

Bad news and good news are never that great to get together, but I suppose if I have to get them, I'd certainly prefer to receive them in that order.

At any rate, December is now half over and despite the cold I'm feeling a bit rejuvenated. Haven't posted in ages, but hopefully updates will come more regularly now, including another Style Share return and one more Style Share for the year in the near future.

red scarf and combo

My favorite red scarf (sadly starting to show signs of age) has been making regular appearances, and the weather has been oddly un-winterlike. At worst, a v-neck sweater under a sport coat or suit will be enough for warmth, and sometimes I can even peel back to a sweater vest (like today).

red scarf detail

The details on everything are unspectacular in terms of name value, but I love how everything works together. Vintage Lands' End tie (Charter Collection!), Brooks Bros OCBD, Lord Jeff wool sweater vest, Pendleton scarf, and a Kenneth Cole (wha?) jacket that fits like a charm. Down below, and not pictured, were dark brown chinos and some beater penny loafers (perfect for days when wet roads, salt and gravel melt threaten the soles of nicer shoes).

Wishing you nothing but good news and good health for the holidays. I think I'll reiterate that a couple more times on here just for good measure.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Style Share return - vintage Robert Talbott

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I've gotten a bunch of Style Share returns lately, and this one dates back to the fair month of October, when it was much warmer round these parts.

vintage Robert Talbott

This vintage Robert Talbott tie (with embroidered ducks!) was claimed by Eric, who sent back the following pictures.

Robert Talbott duck Style Share

photo courtesy Eric

Upping the ante, Eric sent not only a detail, but a full body shot with shoes and socks and the whole kit and kaboodle. Great glen plaid jacket with a white OCBD, some charcoal pants and brogued oxfords of some sort. Great stuff, all around.

Thanks to Eric for the pictures. As with all the Style Shares, I hope he and everyone else who has participated gets many great wears out of the items they received.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Woolen weather

After an incredibly long fall, the temperatures finally fell a bit here this week, and unless the predictions are wildly off-the-mark, we'll have at least a bit of snowfall in the next couple days. I'd actually done the ceremonial closet-flip a couple weeks back (moving light pants and short sleeve shirts to storage while hefting out the heavy sport coats and wool pants), but hadn't gotten to actually wear much of anything due to the unseasonable temps.

This week, though, I piled wool on wool on cashmere on wool and stayed warm even when the wind picked up late in the day. Apologies on the photos, but it has also reached that time of year when it's dark when leaving for work in the morning and nearly dark when arriving home. Natural lighting is hard to come by except on the weekends.

wool and cashmere and wool

Up top, a dark gray Polo University Club jacket, a Lands' End button-down with a vintage cashmere Lyle and Scott sweater vest and a rad wool knit tie courtesy of a trade with Kleidsam back in the day.

tie closeup

Told you that tie was cool. I thought I needed a close up.

Herringbone pants and cap toe oxfords

Down below, I paired some older (made in the U.S.A.) Johnston & Murphy cap toe oxfords and some wool herringbone pants. The pants are actually made by Gap, and like a couple other older pairs that I own, are of surprisingly good quality. Nobody is going to mistake them for Paul Stuarts, but for $3.99 they'll more than suffice.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Style Share return: Polo tie

After a bit of a lull, I've had a load of Style Share returns lately, including the following entry. This one goes back a couple months, to the fair month of September.

Polo tie

This classic Polo tie was claimed by Prinz Ulrich von Boffke, who runs a couple interesting niche blogs of his own, and who layered this one up right.

Polo tie Style Share return

photos courtesy Prinz Ulrich von Boffke

On a lovely fall day, the tie absolutely pops with a dark suit, a contrast collar shirt, and a super rad tweed overcoat. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention that I was really jealous of his leather briefcase bag.

Thanks again, PUvB, for your photos, and for everyone else who has played along and participated in my little attempt at spreading some style.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Style Share: November

A huge, special shout out to my good friend Ryan, who donated the rad tartan ties below to Style Share for this month. He had a surplus and decided to spread the love. How's that for getting into the spirit?

As always, the only thing I ask is that the recipient of said item of free* clothing email me back a photo or two of them wearing it for a follow-up post on this site. First three ties claimed will be sent out.

Brooks Brothers blue

Brooks Brothers tie a nice navy / baby blue / cream pattern. Play it up, play it down.

Polo silk in green and off-white

Polo tie in emerald and off-white. Kind of a slubby, rough silk and perfect for fall. Goes just as well with a suit, a loden coat, or a Barbour. Versatile.

Munro tartan

Lovely tartan in red, blue, and dark green with a hint of gold. Straight-up lovely and perfect for the holiday seasons.

Robertson tartan

Another tartan tie in somewhat similar colors, maybe just a little more understated. Goes with just about anything.

Tie Rack

Tie Rack Tie for Leonardo Strelli in a lovely, repeating inverted flower motif. Kinda deco, classy, and playful all in one.

As usual, claim your item in the comments, then email me through the address listed on the site. Happy hunting.

*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, November 16, 2011

Non-Discrimination Policy

If you're a thrifter who seeks menswear accessories on a regular basis, you probably already know that one of the best places to find certain items is actually in the women's accessory area. I personally scan through scarves and silk shawls and squares just about every trip out, as there's often something great to be found. In fact, I've run across both of the ascots that I own this way (and passed on several others), and have found a lot of great pocket squares by digging through mounds of polyester discards as well.

Really, though, I'm not super picky when it comes to pocket squares, and even use women's scarves on occasion. I have a couple smaller vintage Vera pieces that pop with color and fit into my breast pocket nicely, and I've even previously posted about a souvenir scarf that sometimes pokes a corner out of my pocket.

It's a good thing I don't discriminate, either, because otherwise I probably would have passed on the following vintage cotton ladies handkerchiefs.

handkerchiefs 1 and 2

A couple with organic colors and flower prints.

handkerchiefs 3 and 4

A couple more with brighter colors, and more flowers.

purple handkerchief

A simple, purple handkerchief, with the most glorious worn texture.

At 13 by 13 inches, they're exactly the sizes they need to be, and depending on whether I'm feeling simple or want a bit more dash of pattern, I can let nothing but block colors and lines peek out, or more of the flowery prints. I've already worn a couple on separate occasions and their lovely colors and unique texture make them new favorites in the collection.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Style Share return - Brooks Brothers tie

Continuing a nice string of recent Style Share returns, another photo hit my inbox recently.

Brooks Brothers 1

This one courtesy of Mason, who snagged the above tie from the August edition.

Brooks Brothers tie

Although I mentioned in my original post that I thought it was a fairly conservative print, he paired it up with a really cool, dark Glen Plaid jacket and a pink Brooks Brothers OCBD to set it off a bit. Shows you how much I know.

Thanks again for the return, Mason, and for everyone who has participated so far. Another installment will be arriving this month yet at an unspecified day and time. :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Layers and textures and fading rays

After an incredibly extended late summer and mild fall, we've gotten our first few tastes of actual winter here lately. One day, it was so overcast that it was still dark when I arrived into work, and another found rain turning into sleet and snow. Although long winters tend to make me feel a bit cuckoo, I have to admit feeling a bit invigorated when those days with a real crisp chill in the air finally arrive.

It's been enough of a change that I finally hauled my winter bins out of the basement and stashed all my summer garb for hibernation. In doing so, I was not only excited by things I hadn't seen in months, but items I'd picked up in the off season and had yet to wear. The act of layering for fall and winter always makes for much more exciting possibilities (for me, anyway) when it comes to texture and patterns.

tartan, tweed, cable

With one of my first real cold-weather outfits, I perhaps went a bit overboard. Here, I paired a tartan tie with my trusty herringbone tweed jacket, a red cable-knit v-neck sweater, and a brick and gold pocket square. Oh yeah, and some cream-colored corduroy pants.

detail shot

Hey, at least the shirt is a solid color, and yes, I did mean to leave the button-down collars flicked out like that. It was close to Halloween and I thought they looked like vampire teeth, so gimme a break.

Just kidding, actually I really like how they visually flow with the neck of the sweater, as well as mimic the natural "V" pattern of the herringbone. It most definitely leans towards sprezzatura, but it felt right to me for the aforementioned reasons.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Style Share return - Pendleton tie

I guess I just had to silently get grumpy to myself about not receiving any Style Share returns in quite awhile, because after TDP offered up a nice picture of him with the Brooks Brothers tie from October, another return hit my inbox late last week.

Pendleton tie

This time, it was Jason, also from last month, who claimed the thick Pendleton tie pictured above.

Pendleton detail

photo courtesy Jason

As stated in his email, Jason paired it up with a Gant Rugger ocbd, vintage Lands' End jacket, and green Rugby cords. Tons of great fall colors all working together well.

Pendleton and pants

photo courtesy Jason

He even sent along a second shot showing the details (and left me curious about the footwear as well). Thanks again for participating, Jason!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Out with the old and in with the slightly less old

Earlier this evening, my wife and I finally got rid of the piece of furniture that we'd owned for nearly as long as we've known each other. Way back when we first met, a mutual friend of ours was getting rid of said piece of furniture (which she herself had bought used!), and my wife snagged it for her small apartment as a way to save a bit of money. Later, it moved with us to our rental house, then finally the house that we bought, where it lived for years and years as we slowly purchased nicer pieces to surround it with. It was one of those pieces that was comfortable as hell, but frankly was starting to really show its age. It had a few ink spots from a dropped marker, the fabric was starting to show wear in multiple spots, and one of the cushions was permanently flipped upside-down after one of our dogs found a small tear in the covering and decided to perform crude surgery on it (see below).

bad dog

We'd talked about paying to have someone re-cover it, but ultimately decided against it due to the cost involved and the fact that a new upholstery job simply wouldn't mask some of the larger issues. In the meantime, it's just been sitting there as we kept our eyes out for something interesting at a reasonable price. Fortunately, our patience (or indecision) paid off, and we ran across this insanely beautiful couch this past weekend.

new sofa

Made by Patrician (who apparently cater more specifically to the corporate, healthcare and government markets), it's a very well-constructed sofa in the mid century modern style, running a full 7+ feet in length. It has a chrome frame, naugahyde cover, and it looks like it's barely been used. I have no idea what this sort of thing would cost new (even back in the late 60s or early 70s when it was likely made), and even though we needed some help from family who own a van in getting it home, I think it was well worth the c-note we spent on it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Style Share return - Brooks Brothers tie

Has it really been over 4 months since a Style Share return? Sadly, it has.

Brooks Brothers burgundy

Fortunately, TDP got back to me with his contribution after snagging the above Brooks Brothers tie earlier this month.

Brooks Brothers return

photo courtesy TDP

Rocking the trad look, he paired it up with a lovely tweed jacket from the Andover shop (thrifted, what a score!), and a white Brooks Brothers button-down shirt. I'm betting that the tie blended in perfectly with the fall leaves in his locale as well.

Thanks TDP, for sending the photo in. There will be another Style Share next month sometime (the 10th edition), so stay tuned.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pinwheel in the pocket

Although I've built a fairly large and vast collection of tie over my years of thrifting and hunting around, one area that I'm still trying to round out a little more are different accessories. I've managed to put together a wide array of very cool belts, and because I don't wear them very often (or frankly, find them very often), I've only purchased a couple very nice ascots over the years. I've managed to put together a small, but solid rotation of pocket squares, but like ties, I'm always on the hunt for something nice.

outfit detail

A couple weeks ago, I ran across this lovely silk piece with hand-rolled edges and a starburst pattern featuring eight different colors and a border and center dot of black. It may seem sort of gimmicky, but other than the obvious nice quality, one of the things I really love about it is its versatility. I've worn it 3 times already, with 3 completely different colored outfits, and based on the way I let it flow, I can work a nice number of color combinations. One day, there were two shades of blue peeking out, and another it was olive and taupe.

pocket square detail

Today, I plucked a bit of the burgundy and a small wedge of the silver side (without being too fussy about it, of course) to go with a subdued outfit of color-flecked gray Pendleton sport coat, a merlot-colored merino sweater vest, and a chunky wool fair-isle tie from Lands' End. It's a fairly simple pattern, but darn if it hasn't been a go-to in the past couple weeks.

As if you couldn't tell, the weather is getting colder here, and it's officially into my favorite season in terms of wardrobe. It's also nearing the end of October, and you know what that means...

baby in costume

Halloween officially becomes fun again when you have a child to dress up, and Matilda (who's almost six months!) is shown here in her penguin outfit with a pumpkin we grew in our garden. She's still too little to trick or treat, but that's no excuse to not be festive, right?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Style Share - October

Hey, it's everyone's favorite time of the month! Although you may have thought I'd discontinued it, Style Share is here and not going anywhere (for now at least). As always, the only thing I ask is that the recipient of said item of free* clothing email me back a photo or two of them wearing it for a follow-up post on this site. First three ties claimed will be sent out.

Brooks Bros foullard

Vintage Brooks Brothers with a great, softened geometric print, amazingly unclaimed from last month. Cream, teal and purple coloring to jut at a right angle from too conservative.

Brooks Brothers burgundy

Yet another Brooks Brothers unclaimed from last month, this one is in perfect fall colors. Burgundy, gold, and green; what could be better?

vintage Robert Talbott

Vintage Robert Talbott tie in burgundy with an embroidered duck motif. I know that duck hunting season started last month in a lot of states in our fair country, but it's not too late to own this one.

Pendleton tie

Pendleton tie in super thick wool in deep, dark fall colors. Pair it with a tweed, pair it with a dark suit or wear it with jeans, it will work with just about anything.

As always, claim your item in the comments, then shoot me an email to let me know your address so I can get you your tie.

*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, October 12, 2011

Golden leaves and gold buttons

The past couple weeks have been kind of a haze around here, in some ways rather literally. Just about the time we had a weekend all planned for ourselves to get a lot of things done, a flu bug swooped through our household and basically wiped out my wife and I for a couple days each, somehow sparing the youngest one in the household. Everything got put on hold for a week or so, but we're hopefully out of the woods again now and ready to slip into a new steady schedule.

A couple weeks ago I made a post about a jacket that had circuitously found its way into a friends hands, and how I had then met him in person for dinner and he extended the favor of a jacket to me. The lighter, vintage black Gant jacket has made several appearances since then, as it's just about the perfect weight for days that start out on the cool side then warm up to indian-summer temperatures. Today was yet another one of those days, and after seeing more leaves than usual coming down this week, I decided to play off the gold buttons of the sport coat with a gold silk knit tie from a haul back in May.

gold, black and navy

As mentioned above, the jacket is actually black, but when paired with blues actually sort of takes on some of their coloring and looks closer to the very traditional navy blazer. I picked a shirt with a faint pattern that played with the boxy weave of the tie and yet another square pattern in the pocket square.

gold black and navy detail

Below, I went with gray chinos (the spray-starched lines of which were completely obliterated at the end of the day when this pic was taken) and black wingtips. Fairly understated as a whole, but with just a few little hints of color.

YWP, thanks again for the jacket, and good eyeball on the sizing. As you can see, it fits quite well, even without alterations.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Here and back again

Almost three months ago now, I made a post about a rather insane sport coat that had lived in our household for a great deal of time despite not fitting me or anyone else I immediately knew. I figured that someone would try to claim it in the comments, and was surprised when nobody did.

About a month after I originally made the post, though, Giuseppe of An Affordable Wardrobe dropped in and staked his claim. He was not only one of the inspirations for me starting my own blog, but someone I really look up to in terms of style, so the decision was an easy one; I sent it on its way immediately and hoped that at some point he'd make a post with him wearing it and I could find comfort knowing that it went to someone would get some use out of it.

As it turned out, the coat didn't fit him and no alterations could change that. Being the good chap that he is, he passed it along to Yankee Whiskey Papa, another fellow blogger that I had exchanged pleasantries with and who has on multiple occasions participated in Style Share and produced winning returns each time. Needless to say, I was excited, especially since he actually spends time on sailboats.

sailboat coat

Over a month ago, he sent me back these pictures of the coat in action, and they got buried in my inbox until I remembered them this week*. As YWP tells it...

I wore it with signal-orange pants, red pocket-square, and striped scarf, all nods to the colors of sailing.

Needless to say, he knocked it out, and I'm glad it has found a new life being worn and enjoyed instead of hanging on a hanger.

* I was reminded of the photos because I had the fortune of hanging out with YWP earlier this week. Not only did we have a delicious meal, but were fortunate enough to enjoy it outside on one of the nicest days of the year. Much good discussion was had and he even hooked me up with an excellent, older lightweight navy Gant SC in my size. Brass buttons and all. Thanks again for the curry, conversation, and coat, YWP.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Casual Friday

I work in an environment that doesn't necessarily require that I wear a tie most days, but I've made a habit of it over the years and my co-workers somewhat independently (and somewhat possibly partially influenced) have largely followed suit. I have interactions with a lot of different people from a rather vast strata of pay grades, and while I certainly can't make any real claims that dressing nicer has helped said interactions, I really do think it helps.

While I certainly wouldn't consider our department a bunch of sartorially obsessed folks, it's certainly noticed (and commented on) when someone is really rocking it, and like the virtual giveaways in Style Share, I've hooked up everyone in the office with ties and other random stuff that I've come across that I think they'd like.

That said, sometimes they've given me a bit of good-natured ribbing when I wear something a little bit more daring, and I'm fine with that. It's never been mean-spirited, and heck, I probably deserve it... Yesterday, I wore an ascot, and even though I knew I'd probably catch a few comments for it, I didn't expect them to start passing photoshopped images around the office near the end of Friday afternoon...

ascot meme

Instead of being offended, I found it hilarious, and while a lot of them are definitely insider-baseball in terms of massive geek-speak, I was flattered that they tried to make me into an internet meme.