Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Style Share return: Tyrolean hat

I'll be back soon with some posts from yours truly, but I've gotten a batch of returns in the past couple days and they'll be hitting the site over the next week or so as well. This time, it's the Tyrolean hat from just earlier this month.

wool hat

It was claimed by repeat contributor TDP.

Tyrolean hat return

photo courtesy TDP

I'll let him give the details on ensemble.

I paired it, completely incongruously, with a Turnbull and Asser silk scarf, vintage navy cashmere overcoat, Lands' end destroyed cream cotton trousers, and Borgioli mahogany captoes. Unseen: Kiton wool grey unstructured glen plaid jacket with subtle pink overcheck, and Pink spread-collar shirt from a downtown italian camiceria.

I am jealous of this get-up, partially because it's been too warm here to even attempt such layering, and partially because I was never able to leave the house wearing this hat myself. :)

As usual, I thank TDP for his return contribution, and for everyone who has played along so far.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Style Share return: Robertson tartan tie

Another return back from the month of December (which oddly feels like so long ago already).

Robertson tartan

This time out, it was the Robertson tartan tie (claimed by JHo78), featuring a color palette that includes, but certainly was not limited to the holiday season.

tartan tie and ensemble

Photo courtesy JHo78

Here's the details, courtesy of JHo78 himself:

I put it together with a white ocbd, a merino sweater and a slightly bluish gray herringbone Harris tweed sportcoat. Down below are dark jeans and my own pair of Florsheim longwings in cigar.

This looks like something straight out of my personal playbook. I'd throw a linen or cotton pocket square in that sport coat just for good measure, but I dig, I dig. Thanks to JHo78 for his contribution back.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Waiting game

Well over a year ago now, the book True Prep hit the bookshelves. Around the time that it came out, I was sort of interested in purchasing it (especially having somewhat recently found The Official Preppy Handbook), but held off buying it, knowing that my stack of books I'd been meaning to read was somewhere between knee and mid-thigh level when stacked on top of one another.

Fast forward over a year later into the dead of winter and wouldn't you know it, I find a copy peeking at me from the thrift store shelf.

True Prep

At only $1, this time I couldn't pass it up (especially considering it looked brand-new). Like the predecessor before it, the book is a microscopic look at prep culture and all that it entails, and while I'm sure there's a lot of truth in it, it reads like a giant piss take to me. Definitely worth what I paid for it, but I probably would have felt somewhat burnt had I paid full price.

It wasn't my only find at the same stop, though, as I not only got a really great navy and bright green silk ribbon belt, but an insanely electric linen tie that might best be described as Pantone Warm Red C. It's so summer it's not even funny.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Style Share: January

If you've been following this blog for any amount of time, you know the routine with Style Share. I offer up some items of clothing and the only thing I ask is that the recipient of said free* item email me back a photo or two of them wearing it for a follow-up post on this site (I'll give you credit for the photo and even link your blog if you have one). There are a few hold-overs and a few newly-offered items. First two items claimed will be sent out.

Lands End tie

Really classic-looking Lands' End tie in silver/brown, navy and red.

Pendleton hat

Pendleton newsboy tweed hat in size large. If this fit me, I would be keeping it for sure. I'm guessing this would best fit a size 6 3/4" to size 7 1/4" or so noggin.

Brandeis wool and cotton

Vintage 50% wool / 50% cotton tartan tie made for Brandeis in the UK. Really lovely in an eye-popping tartan and a fabric mix that gives it a nice heft for fall or winter.

wool hat

Nice wool trenker (or Tyrolean hat, as Guiseppe, who can show you how to pull this off, refers to it) hat in dark gray wool with a dark green band. I've tried to wear this out of the house about 10 times, but I've been thwarted every time. Someone please take this off my hands and rock it.

red italy dot

Lastly, a very pretty red silk tie with black dots. Made in Italy, this one doesn't feature any other distinguishing tags, but it's very sharp and pops nice in these cold months.

As usual, claim your item in the comments, then email me through the address listed on the site. It's really that simple.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but if you see something you like that doesn't get claimed and you want to trade/purchase it, just email me. I've actually traded for a few items in the past and frankly it's nearly just as fun for me.

*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!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Erring on the wide side

If you've spun through the world of men's style lately and run across any advertising in your travels, you've likely noticed that the most popular trends (and ones that have been for awhile now) are skinny lapels and super trim cuts. The show Mad Men has had a large hand in this, but makers like Indochino have seemingly trimmed down their lapels to pencil-thin as well. I own one vintage (50s era) suit and wear it once in awhile, so the trend certainly doesn't bother me (other than the super slim fits, which don't work for me), but I also know that as a whole this infatuation will likely pass in time and things will even out. Trends ebb and flow, but the classics stick around. That's just how it goes.

Recently, I ran across a sport coat with the exact opposite problem; it had massive (and I mean massive) lapels. Fortunately, it had several other things going for it, as not only did it have an interesting pattern that I liked (a multi-color check with crosshatch overlay that looks something like a chunky hounds tooth from a distance), but it was thick as my thumb and 100% wool that oozed texture. My wife had her doubts about it, but I couldn't pass it up, and earlier this week when the temps hit low double digits, I pulled it out and let it ride.

thick sport coat

Obviously, this thing isn't for the faint of heart, and although it's dated in terms of cut, I have to admit having a weak spot for it. As mentioned above, I don't really have anything against skinny lapels, and I might as well not be biased against fat ones either.

thick sport coat and pants

To play up the texture angle, I paired it with dark green corduroy pants, a smooth merino v-neck, and a shiny silk repp tie and pocket square. The end result is... unique? Perhaps that's a bit too generous and I more closely resemble a fellow stuck in an era that's much closer to my actual birth date than the present time. Either way, I won't apologize too much.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Style Share: An Assessment

It was just over a year ago that I came up with the idea for Style Share on a whim after going to an estate sale and finding an abundance of treasures, many of which I didn't end up purchasing (and somewhat regretted later). I had lots of different reasons for starting the project, some of which I'll discuss below, as I reflect a bit on the past year of giving stuff away.

My first reason for starting the project was a philanthropic one; I wanted to spread the joy a bit. At the time I came up with the idea, it seemed like I was stumbling upon trove after trove of great stuff, and while there have been months where I've had a hard time coming up with items to give away, most of the time I've found enough great stuff to both add to my own collection and hopefully add interesting items to the collections of others at the same time.

The numbers break down as such:

  • Number of Style Shares: 11
  • Number of items given away: 34 (30 ties, 2 shirts, and 2 hats)
  • Number of returns: 19

Despite an initial desire to open a shop with some of my extra items, I eventually settled on the free idea for a couple reasons. One is simply because nobody else was doing it. A good portion of style blogs on the internet have associated shops (which is nothing against them, as I still may do one), but I wanted to see what the act of giving something away would prompt.

At the same time, for somewhat selfish reasons, I knew that it would be a lot harder for me to generate content on a regular basis with having a child come into my life this past year. In that regard, Style Share was my way of bringing in some crowd-sourced original content for the site when I didn't have my own time to keep it updated regularly. I figured it was sort of a win-win situation. I got content (and in the case of a couple gents who run their own style blogs, so did they), and the recipient got something small out of the deal.

So, what have I learned from it all?

When I first started, I figured that the return percentage (which is at roughly 56% right now) would be a little bit higher, but I guess I can't argue too much with over 50%. People get busy and I know as well as anyone that sometimes it's just kind of hard to stop for a moment to get a decent picture. Frankly, it's not much out of my pocket, and I'm not going to sweat it. All told, the 11 giveaways have probably cost me a couple hundred dollars or so, which . Then again, I've found things like this couch for probably 1/20th (or less) their actual value, so I can't really get too mad.

As always, thanks to everyone who has played along so far. Look for another entry to hit the streets in the next couple days or so...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Style Share return: Liberty of London tie

Another excellent return, this one from December.

Liberty of London tie

This Liberty of London paisley (which I couldn't quite figure out was ancient madder or not) was claimed by JKG.

Liberty tie + pocket square

photo courtesy JKG

Here's a shot that he sent along, with the details, in his words.

The lovely tie (thank you) is matched with a spruce-colored merino vest, a blue-on-blue stripe pattern jacket worn as an odd, and a pale blue shirt which has dark blue, light brown and yellow pinstripes (though the colors are difficult to discern). Below, mid-grey flannels (with an ADG-approved 2" cuff), dark olive socks with a finely-spaced horizontal khaki stripe and lastly, Florsheim Imperial longwings of some vintage, pebble grain cigar and ever-so-slightly too large for my foot.

Liberty tie detail

photo courtesy JKG

And another good detail shot, for good measure. From the description, those shoes sound a lot like a pair that I own. Thanks to JKG for participating.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Unseasonable weather, unseasonable finds

I'm not sure what it's like in your part of the country, but it is downright weird in my neck of the woods. The temperatures have been hovering about 35 degrees above normal on a consistent basis for most of the winter, and we recently hit 70. Part of me is wondering if the average temperature this summer is going to be something like 115, and the other part of me thinks that it won't be too long before we're socked with more than a foot of snow.

And really, both could happen. That's just how strange things have been. Nightly jogs clad in track pants and t-shirts and early January work days in light sport coats and pants. Heck, today I had to remove a thin v-neck sweater from my layering simply because it became too hot. I've been tempted to break out some seersucker or madras just to be a smart-ass, but I figure that would be tempting fate just a bit too much.

bright ties

I guess it should figure that I'd run across this selection of ties during this warm blast. I have a couple go-to madras ties in my collection, but I can always use a couple more (especially one that's so based around the color pink) and the selection of light stripe ties completely fills an empty hole. The tie second-from-right is particularly unique, as it mixes stripes of smooth, refined silk with thin bands of raw blue silk, creating something that on first glance looks a bit like an error, but on second creates a subtle touch of texture (and in fact, I'll probably have to feature it in a future installment of Tags and Textures).

Here's hoping you're not stuck in a snowdrift. Meanwhile, I'm trying to soak up enough vitamin D for two people while this lasts.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 in review

As I did last year, I've decided to devote an entire post to my favorite finds and posts from the past 12 months. Not only is it fun for me to go back and look at what I've written in that time, but for newer readers to the site, it serves as a good entry point to find what are hopefully some of the more interesting entries.

Favorite find (sport coat): This would probably be a tie between this vintage cotton velveteen sport coat (which can been seen a little better here or here) and a beautiful glen plaid sport coat that I never managed to get photos of. I will remedy that situation as soon as the weather cooperates.

Favorite find (sweater): Okay, so I won it in a contest, but this amazing Pendleton sweater (which is one-of-a-kind) made my day, and has gotten a lot of use. So. comfortable.

Favorite find (pants): It's taken colder temps, but I've been wearing the heck out of these great black and white wool herringbone trousers.

Herringbone pants and cap toe oxfords

Favorite find (shoes): Pretty much a bust year for finding anything decent in my size, and therefore my favorite pair also defaults to the vintage Johnston & Murphy captoe oxfords pictured above. They're made very well and I'd actually put them on a par with the Allen Edmonds that I've owned.

Favorite find (ties): I picked up a lot of interesting ties throughout the year (and gave some of them away), but the best single stop find of the year had to be this tie bonanza, which hooked me up with 5 Brooks Brothers and a bunch of other great stuff in one swoop.

the rest

Favorite find (accessories): Sure, they're nothing amazing, but these vintage cotton handkerchiefs have gotten tons of use since finding them.

Favorite find (furniture): This one is a no-brainer. My wife and I were looking for a couch, and serendipity called, placing this amazing vintage piece in front of us for just slighty more than a Benjamin.

new sofa

Favorite non-clothing-related post: Duh. Although, this post about my wife makes me smile every time I read it.

Favorite style-related post: In terms of photos and overall look, I feel like this wedding outfit and this brown, blue, and red combo were some of my best.

check and blue and brown

Most interesting string of events: Behold, the power of the internet! This post summarizes a trip that an article of clothing went on across the country.

Favorite series of posts: For the second year running, this one goes to Style Share. It's been a lot of fun so far, and I again thank everyone who has participated. A runner-up might be Yay or Nay which has gotten some great responses and inspired some fun discussion.

patch madras close up

Most commented-on post: This post about a crazy patchwork jacket was one of the aforementioned Yay or Nay posts, and it took on a life of it's own awhile after I posted it. After a bit of spirited discussion, everyone seemed to agree to disagree and it settled down.

As I mentioned the previous year, I'm certainly no style expert, and while their are certainly posts that could be deleted in order to save some face, I prefer to keep everything as a living document of the process. Along the way, I just try to have some fun, learn some things, and meet some nice people in the process. 2011 was no different and hopefully 2012 will be more of the same.