Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Slow motion tie haul

Although I haven't had a big tie bonanza in some time, there was a period of about a month where I found one decent tie every time I ventured into a thrift store. They were often the only good things I found on my adventures (other than some great toddler outfits), but a couple of them filled holes and some others will probably find themselves returned to the wild at some point.

four ties

First up is this stack of really varied pieces, from several different makers.

paisley and prints

I don't have too many green ties, so the Lands' End on the left definitely fills a void, and while I knew nothing of Pineda Covalin, the Mexican bird motif charmed me (in an Hermes, Ferragamo-esqe way). The construction on it is quality and I can't quite decide whether I should keep it or not. The Polo piece is one that I'm still torn on as well, as I fluctuate between thinking it's bold and something I need to keep while at other times thinking I need to burn it with fire. The far right Lands' End is also a keeper. Lovely summer colors.

madras and plaid

Stack of madras and plaid, again from different makers.

madras and plaid ties

After not finding any madras for ages, I ran across three all in just over a weeks time, including the two, old Talbott pieces in the middle. Of these three pieces, my favorite may very well be the really unique "Country Traditionals" plaid cotton tie by Pendleton. It's not madras, but the greens, blues, and reds are really lovely and it's casual in all the right ways.

I've promised myself I will get rid of at least one tie from my collection with every one that I bring in, so this slower uptake makes for easier decisions than finding two handfuls in one swoop.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Style Share return: Two-tone cufflinks

Last month, I broke from tradition a bit and offered up a batch of cufflinks on Style Share. I wasn't sure how well they'd go over, but the minimum got claimed and there was interest in others as well. Perhaps I'll offer a few more in the future.

links 5

Bruce Partington-Plans claimed these chunky silver tone brushed/matte deco style numbers.


Photo courtesy Bruce Partington-Plans

As always, I'll let the recipient (him) explain...

The shirt that I thought would be the equal of the 'links was quite possibly my find of the year - an Ede & Ravenscroft two-fold cotton black/blue pinstripe number. Ede & Ravenscroft is the oldest tailor in London (est. 1689) and holds the Royal Warrant (i.e. Purveyors to The British Royal Family). Their off-the-peg shirts usually start around £70 ($110). I found my one, hardly worn, in a local charity (thrift) shop for - £3 ($5)! The woven silk tie is also a second-hand find and another good old British name - Wolsey - for only £1 ($1.50). I think the pattern sits well with that found on the cufflinks.

A fellow thrifter from across the pond! Thanks again to Bruce Partington-Plans for participating.

Monday, July 16, 2012

One of these things is not like the others

It's no secret that mens clothing and accessories of different brands are often made under the same roof. A good portion of silk knit ties are made in the same place, as well as grenadine's. A lot of the nicer Polo Ralph Lauren (made in Italy) stuff is made by Coreliani and so on and so forth. There's a lot of re-branding that takes place and some label-associated mark-ups that would truly make heads spin.

3 striped ties

I mention the above because lately I've run across a lot of different ties from the same era that all bear a remarkable similarity to one another. None of these labels are ultra high-end, but starting prices on them (at least at time of retail) had to vary a fair amount. Note the ties in the aforementioned picture and their prints. They'll all fairly similar repp stripe ties with alternating colors, all of the same width, with the weave of the silk all running in the same direction.

3 ties, one BB

Flip them over and the labels tell a different story. The discerning eye probably caught that the Brooks Brothers tie had a slightly different print (the thick bars being more narrow than the other two), but it still gives the same overall effect. If that weren't enough, check the following Lands' End tie (which I tried to give away several months ago on Style Share):

Another almost exact match, at probably a slightly lower original price-point than either of the aforementioned.

The moral (as always) is not to sweat the labels too much. If you like it (and it fits), and it's not complete crap quality, the only people who are going to make a big deal out of the difference are those who you don't want to hang out with anyway.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Something old(er), something new(ish)

I've lamented my lack of summer-weight sport coats a lot on this blog, but over the course of the past month I've run across several great pieces. A couple of them have gone into regular rotation, and a couple more of them will be added to that cycle as soon as my tailor returns from a family vacation to Greece.

My most recent (and current favorite) find is this light blue, almost chambray-colored 100% cotton number. Many will scoff at the brand name (Stafford), but it's vintage and fairly well made. Considering it set me back a whole $6 and fit me dang well right off the (thrift) rack, I'm not about to get too snobby with labels.

cotton and cotton madras

I paired this new find with one of my favorite ties in my entire collection, a find from way back when I first started this blog. I've found more madras since the three in that linked post, but they're still some of my favorites.

Not quite as sweltering here, but still very, very warm. With a couple months of summer left, I should probably just buckle down and quit complaining, as it sounds like it might be the new norm.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Over the shoulder outside

It's been really, really hot here lately, and shows no signs of abating. This screen capture shows what the next five days holds in store, and the 10-day looks similar.


The week previous is similar, so it's pretty much a broken record around here. I only have a few summer-weight sport coats, and frankly even they get hot on days like this. From late-morning until the sun goes down, really the only respite is to remove the sport coat and sling it over your shoulder if you're walking more than a few blocks outside (that is, unless you want to have a glistening sheen on your forehead when you finally arrive at your destination).

silk linen shots

Still, it's best to combat the heat as much as humanly possible, and this cream-colored silk/linen sport coat (a recent find custom-made for a local high-end men's clothing shop) mostly does the trick. Here, I paired it with some navy trousers, penny-loafers, a navy silk knit and one of my old cotton pocket squares. The tie was a trade with oft-commenter Mr. Readerston, who I hooked up with a couple madras numbers he had scoped out from a previous post.


Here's a close-up, which shows off the nice pick stitching on the coat, as well as the textural details that I thought played off one another nicely.

Speaking of those who comment on this site (and friends), I was lucky enough to have dinner with Yankee Whiskey Papa the other evening. Great conversation, as always, and I apologized profusely to him for having to endure our current blast oven temperatures.

Hope you all are staying cool, wherever you call home.