Sunday, March 24, 2013

Complementary caps

There's a reason that I haven't made too many posts about hats on this blog, and there's a reason for that. As a person who is roughly six and a half feet tall, I simply get self-conscious wearing them most of the time. My ears get cold very easily in the winter, so I stick to a knit cap of some sort, and while I've taken to wearing flat drivers caps during cool spring and warm fall days, most others end up tucked away except for rare occasion.

Having said all of the above, I recently came across a couple hats that I simply couldn't pass up, even though both fall a bit on the bolder side of the aisle.

Stetson drivers red

Stetson red label

First up is a vintage Stetson drivers cap in a bright, cherry red. This is exactly the sort of cap that I've been wearing a lot lately (I have a tartan and a couple tweed flecks by Pendlton), but this one is screaming loud. I'm telling myself that I can get away with it once in awhile, and photo proof may or may not happen ever.

Pendleton tweed hat

Pendleton herringbone tweed

Next up is another vintage hat, this one a killer green herringbone tweed by Pendleton, complete with a medallion and a couple feathers (for good measure). This one definitely isn't as low-profile, but at least has a more reasonable color palette going on.

I'll never be able to pull off a fedora, but I think I can get a couple wears a year out of both these slightly jaunty hats. For less than $5 each, that's probably worth it, right?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Style Share: March

I said I'd be back this month, and here I am. By doing Style Share a little less often, I think I'll be able to offer up even better items, and I think that holds true here. Haven't heard of this before? Well, basically I give away 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).

This month, I'm going to welcome in spring with open arms with four great ties and hold onto the cool weather with one great tweed hat. I'm sending out the first three items claimed, so let's do this!

Green Brooks Brothers

I just missed St. Patrick's Day, but frankly this Brooks Brothers tie should sail clear through summer. Nice greens and blues without being too crazy.

Brooks Brothers flowers

Beautiful navy Brooks Brothers tie with a flower motif. Spring. Easter. Summer. Everything. Wear it with a dark suit and play things down a bit, it goes with anything.

Brooks Brothers foulard

Another Brooks Brothers tie, this one in a nice foulard print. At this point, you're probably wondering why I don't just sell these things on ebay. The answer is that I really like my readers. Again, this one can go with so much and leaves your pocket square options wide open and bright.

Robert Talbott madras

If the above weren't enough, how about a mega vintage Robert Talbott madras tie? Cream and faint pinks and blues. Linen suits, white bucks, the whole nine yards. Claim it before I keep it.

flecked tweed hat

The wind was still whistling here today, and probably will be for a couple weeks yet. Size small. True measured circumference of 21.5". I have a hat like this I wear incessantly and it's great.

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!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Handiwork revisited

Nearly two years ago, I wrote a post about a little project I was working on while passing some hours one evening.

hand-sewn pocket square

Since that post, I'd worn the hand-rolled pocket square several times, and it was only today that I realized I had never properly photographed it in action.

I started a couple other clothing-related projects around the same time (including making a scarf out of a chopped-up tweed jacket with a few moth holes in it), but mostly abandoned them. Time with an infant (and then toddler) got to be much more important, and instead of learning the fine art and sewing and spending time with a needle and thread, I funneled time into other pursuits.

pocket square plus outfit

Truth be told, I only finished two edges of the above pocket square, but with some strategic folding and stuffing, it doesn't really matter. Sometimes life interrupts intentions in a good way, and the two rough edges are a good reminder of that when I wear it.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Style Share Return: Red Italian tie

Recently received another Style Share return from the month of December. Reminded me that I should probably do another one soon, and I will within the month of March.

Red Italian tie

This lightweight, nice Italian silk number was claimed by the UK-based Bruce Partington-Plans.

Italian red tie

Photo courtesy Bruce Partington-Plans

As usual, I'll let him give the details.

The shirt's nothing to write home about but the jacket was another charity (thrift) store steal from a couple of years ago. Hanging on a rail surrounded by polyester raincoats and leather jackets, this wonderful wool jacket made by Magee of Ireland would probably have cost upwards of £265 ($413) when it was new and it came home with me for £5 ($7.50)! The pictures from my ancient digital camera really don't do it justice - the deep russet brown with red herringbone and blue check made it the perfect choice to go with this tie.

I always love it when readers combine their thrift scores with a return, as I know it makes me excited to know that others are out there finding great stuff (and honestly, it just makes me want to get out myself).

Thanks again to Bruce Partington-Plans for participating.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Before the buyout

It's long been known that vintage (before they were bought by Gap and given a make-over) Banana Republic clothing and accessories are actually very well-made and in a completely different realm than what the brand has become known for in recent times. In fact, Scott Adams has gone so far as to dedicate a site to Banana Republic when they were known as a "Travel and Safari Clothing Company." Needless to say, if you walk into one of their stores today, you're probably not going to find anything that holds up very well on either of the aforementioned.

I've often talked of patience on this blog in regards to thrifting, and I've certainly tested my own while trying to hunt down a new briefcase or satchel for work use. Since last summer, I've been dragging around an older messenger bag that I received back in the era when I was cycling to work every day. It's certainly seen better days, and has several holes and wear spots that have had me in search mode for a half a year or so now. In a combination of sheer frugality and the thrill of the hunt, I passed over several decent bags in the past couple months that would have set me back a little more than a Benjamin Franklin.

Banana Republic bag

My patience finally paid off this past week in the form of a new, old stock bag by the aforementioned Banana Republic. Likely made in the mid 80s or so, it's made of a light green, super heavy cotton twill, with a ton of nice detail work and very solid construction (made in the United Kingdom).

Banana Republic bag bottom

All leather trim and brass fittings, it should definitely take a beating. On the plus side, it has enough room for me to haul my lunch, my umbrella, and anything extra I need to stow in it through the course of a day.

Banana Republic bag tag

So, after my long wait, I managed to pick up this piece for a grand total of $12 (before tax). I doubt I'll find anything better for a long while.