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About a month after I originally made the post, though, Giuseppe of An Affordable Wardrobe dropped in and staked his claim.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.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Black and Blue

It's been that kind of summer. On top of welcoming a child into our lives, things have just been incredibly busy in every way. Work is slammed busy, which is certainly not bad considering the alternative, and most nights I come home and either don't have the time or simply forget to take a picture of anything I'm wearing. I'm under no delusions that anyone is coming to this site for fashion advice, but the little part of me that isn't incredibly self conscious started this blog to try and document me developing my own personal style.

It's just starting to creep into my favorite season now, with slightly cooler temperatures that are more befitting tweeds and slightly more layering, which my wardrobe in general is more suited for (although I've certainly built up my warm-weather garments over the years). Today, there was just enough chill in the air to finally break out my vintage velveteen jacket, and I kept it fairly conservative with a few pops of color.

black and blue combo

For some reason or another, my camera didn't want to cooperate on the full-body shots, so this is a rather poor representation of my outfit, which consisted of aforementioned jacket, a pair of navy blue Lands' End pants, a blue/white university stripe oxford, and a super-chubby wool tie. Burgundy penny-loafers cap my feet.

black and blue detail

As I mentioned above, I tried to keep things fairly conservative in terms of overall colors (with only really 4 represented in total with black, blue, red, and white), yet really set things apart with texture. The smooth, soft jacket was in definite contrast to the bright, sharp edges of the pocket square, with the thick wool tie (in somewhat similar colors) tying back into the pants, shirt, and square. I know that matching pocket square with tie is a rather major faux pas (one that I've been guilty of on more than one occasion), but with the drastically different textures between the two, I felt like I could get away with it here.


I'm going to get back to a normal posting schedule here soon, I think.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Style Share - September

If you've been following this blog for more than a month, you know the routine. If not, please peruse some previous entries to get an idea what this is about. 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.

Enough of my blabbing, onward to the goods!

Brooks Brothers brown diamonds

Dark brown Brooks Brothers with white diagonal grid. Simple and solid. Somehow unclaimed from last month. Offering it up one more time.

House of Windsor

Birds and berries motif on a beautiful Bernard Weatherill House of Windsor tie.

Brooks Bros foullard

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

Polo tie

Classic Polo Ralph Lauren horsey motif tie. This one has more than a hint of purple in it (the picture probably doesn't properly show this), and it's great.

Brooks Brothers burgundy

Another Brooks Brothers, this on in a seriously classic color scheme that's perfect for fall colors. Burgundy, gold, and green; what could be better?

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!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fading rays

It finally seems like the tail-end of summer here, and while there's just a smidgen of chill in the morning air, it's still warming up during the daytime hours. The result is what might be my favorite season of the year. Evening walks are a must, and I often find myself veering just a bit off-course when strolling to and from meetings during the workday. It's not full-on fall clothing season yet, so I'm mostly getting a final few wears out of my lighter stuff before it goes away for a couple months. Today, it was a khaki-colored lightweight wool jacket with a faint blue windowpane, a vintage Gucci tie and a striped button-down with blue, navy, and green.

up top

A minimal tie clip just for a bit of separation and an older cotton pocket square with a pattern that I like peeking out of the pocket.

middle section

Down below, I went with some cream-colored chinos and my vintage Florsheim wingtips.

down low

They're the v-cleat style and click when I walk on pavement and/or tiles. At first I found it quite annoying, but now I just have to imagine myself as a racehorse or something. Although I will know it will mean winter is just around the corner, I'm kind of giddy about the thought of pulling some tweed out of storage and adding it to the daily rotation.

p.s. new Style Share coming Thursday night (approx. 9:30 p.m. CST). Brooks Brothers and Polo ties are just a few of what will be available.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

In defense of brown

Over the past couple years, I've gotten the distinct impression that in many corners of the internet where men's style is discussed seriously by gentlemen (who have many hours of the day to spend on the subject and many thousands of posts to their names to prove it), the color brown is regarded as little more than the color of peasants and the khaki-wearing masses. In this current era where super-thin lapels and Mad Men styling is all the rage, it's gotten even more of a bad rap.

Now granted, I love color and I've learned to embrace it more and more over the years, but I will never be one of those fellows who holds a grudge against brown. It's always a solid base to build upon, and while I may be inadvertently flaunting just how out-of-touch I am, I'd have to say that in some permutation it probably makes an appearance in my clothing choices roughly 3-4 days out of the week.

check and blue and brown
As mentioned above, it's a solid base to build upon, and depending on ones mood, it can be ultra-conservative or actually play off even brighter colors in a way that I think works surprisingly well.

details details
Here, I paired a micro-hounds tooth jacket (actually, the upper half of a suit) with some brown chinos. Up top is where I let the colors play a little more, with a light blue gingham shirt, an eye-popping red linen tie and a red, white and blue pocket square (this one, actually). Sure, it's nothing that will get me called out for being a peacock, but I'd also argue that it's not completely boring either.