This post was written by Billax. Billax is not only one of my style role models, but a friend and a man that was Trad back when it was called Ivy League.
Fit, coordination, patterns, and textures are key elements in presenting a well put together outfit to the world. Of course, a well put together look pleases the man who creates it, too. Textures play a special role in my outfits since I am largely colorblind. That doesn’t mean the world is shades of gray to me, it means that colors I think are magenta turns out to be Forest Green or a shirt I think is yellow turns out to be orange. It’s awful, but I have good help! I’ve come to believe that a deficiency in one of the senses, heightens the others. In my case, tactility, the sense of touch has became very sensitive. I don’t just SEE textures, I am carried away by touching them. Just running my hand across an LL Bean rough Shetland sweater mentally transports me to the forests, the hills, limestone outcroppings, and fields of the Kettle Moraine of my beloved Wisconsin…
… even though I’m almost always in North Carolina or California. In fact, were I offered fully accurate color vision in return for giving up enhanced tactility, I’d decline the trade.*
I’ve contended in an earlier article that their are four sub-styles of the Ivy League Look. You can read that article at: http://wearingtheivyleaguelooksince1958.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-4cs-of-tnsil-ive-long-sought.html
In the country flavor of Ivy I contend that textures are at their most developed and most interesting and it’s clear that I’m primarily a country style Ivy guy! Sure, I like the hand of Cashmere, but smooth as it is, it’s not top of list. That rough Shetland sweater resonates with me. Sure, I wear the other three forms of the Ivy look as situations and events require, but if nothin’s on my schedule for the day, in the Fall you’ll likely find me in corduroys, an LL Bean Field Coat, a Chambray shirt, rough Shetland crew neck sweater, and the rest of that country outfit!
Here, then, are some of favorite textures from my closet:
Sam Hober Lambswool tie
Sam Hober Grenadine Silk tie
Brooks Brothers Camel Hair Sport coat
Scottish Merino Wool ribbed sweater of multiple yarn colors.
“Donegal Mist” hand-woven cloth in a sport coat. The composition of the cloth is 60% wool 35% alpaca and 5% Cashmere. Note the VERY long strands of Alpaca, which when seen in the right light gives these jackets their famous “aura” or “halo.” The wonderful complexity of “hand” in this cloth is unrivaled in my opinion.
Orvis 6 button country cotton moleskin vest
Brooks Brothers Donegal tweed. Handwoven cloth with flecks of colorful home-dyed wool inserted into the wool on the loom
J. Press Cavalry Twill trousers
LL Bean Rough Shetland Crew neck
LL Bean Lambswool V-neck sweater with Saddle Shoulders
Brooks Brothers 5 pocket Narrow Wale Corduroy trousers
Sam Hober Chalk hand Ancient Madder pocket square
Orvis Goatskin suede Harringtron jacket
Wigwam wool socks. The creamy sock is the Husky athletic sock and the marled brown, tan, and gray sock is a heavier Ragg wool named the El-Pine. Note the individual fibers at the edge of each sock.
Andover Shop Shetland Shaggy Dog cable-knit sweater
O’Connell’s Scottish Shetland cable-knit sweater
Brooks Brothers Seersucker button-down casual shirt
Royal Silk raw silk pocket square
Andover Shop sweater of 80% Baby Alpaca and 20% Wool
J. Press Whipcord trousers
* The sense of touch for cloth or fabric is called “hand” in the textile industry. Academic studies done for the textile industry repeatedly demonstrate that practice in judging the hand of a fabric is highly accurate and repeatable over time. One such academic paper can be seen here.