On the Map

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While John Simons has definitely been on the map for the Ivy set in London it was not on my radar as a shopping option. That is until my recent popover purchase.

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Since my original purchase (see here) I have grabbed a few more of their own brand shirts. The reason is their amazing madras fabric that is gauzy and cool along with the patterns that they were doing them up in. The tartan-ish madras featured above was the tipping point. It was just too good for me to resist and I am so glad that I did not. I also picked up another madras popover and  the gingham popover seen below.

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I will say that my purchases did not come without some challenges. My first popover actually came as the button-front version instead of the popover. I sent a few emails that were met with no reply which was frustrating. I understand that this does not inspire confidence, but I want to be honest. As a side note, I have heard that they are great over the phone. A call seemed like a hassle to me and I ended up just keeping the button-front. Internet shopping is not without its pitfalls.

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Sizing is also a little challenging. Challenging is not the right word. What I found is that the sizing is not consistent. It was consistent among the exact same product type but not type to type. Luckily for them I am used to this as very few shops are consistent in this area. Luckily for me everything fit good enough.

Despite all of these issues they have succeeded in making a fan out of me. The products spoke for themselves. The madras fabric is some of the best I have ever touched, I love their patterns, and even their labels are cool.

The OCBD Re-up

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I get a lot of questions about the OCBDs that I wear. The answer is not one that most people want to hear which is that they are 99% all old Lands’ End shirts that are no longer available. My supply of these shirts is however running low and I need some new shirts. Lucky for me there are a few sales going on to help me out.
Michael Spencer OCBDFirst up is friend of the blog and advertiser Michael Spencer. He is currently running a $40 off per shirt 4th of July sale that continues through the 15th of July. This drops the price to $95 per shirt which is a solid value. I currently own two Michael Spencer shirts and love them both (see pics above & below). I did a review last year which you can find here (OCBD Michael Spencer Reivew).  I also posted a review from Steve a reader and commenter of the blog which is also very helpful (Michael Spencer Review). I like the classic fit and the softly lined collar myself, but he offers all the options including unlined. If you don’t have one in your closet I recommend trying a candy stripe with a flap pocket. I think that this is a killer look.
IMG_6317Next up are the fellas that like to put a squeeze on our pocketbooks, J.Press. While J.Press does not currently have their OCBDs on sale they do have sales on lots of their dress shirts with a price of around $82.50. I stepped out of my typical solid blue OCBD and went crazy ordering a blue and red striped pinpoint shirt. Check out the sale here (J.Press Sale).

I did this post because not only do I understand the struggle, but I am still going through it. The all-cotton OCBD without non-iron treatment and a collar length greater than 3 inches is not as easy to find as it used to be and the price reflects that. So not only am I glad that there are still companies out there making them, but that they throw us the occasional sale to ease the pain. Stock up while the getting is good.

The Air Conditioning Returns

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I thought that I would offer up some evidence that despite my past several posts I have not fully gone over to the dark side that is casual. Here are a few looks from the past week where I not only wore full-length pants, but I even sported the occasional tie. While I don’t have much to add to this post I do think that it underscores that I am (or at least no longer) an ideologue. Whether that is for better or worse is yet to be determined, but my money is on the latter.

Blazer without tieDog emblematic tie Wash n Wear Blazer

How to Polo

The Polo Shirt

Today I am going to talk about how to polo. Nope, not the sport, but the ubiquitous short-sleeved shirt. While the polo shirt has been cast as one of the bad actors in the crime that is business casual it does have some redeeming qualities. One is that it can help you stay cool in the heat and the other is that it at least is has a collar.

I have pulled together two of my recent polo based looks as examples. The first look is the tucked in chino with shorts. This is a great look if you are doing something outdoors, but still want to look kind of put together. This could be anything from a company picnic, to one of the many summer festivals, and anything in between. What to note. When it is hot I like to wear baggy shorts to stay cool. Baggier shorts also provide room to tuck in the polo. Surcingle belts are a nice touch to keep it all, excuse my french…preppy. Lastly, ditch the socks and wear boat shoes, camp mocs, loafers, or even a simple canvas sneaker.
Polo in Casual Setting My second variation is even more casual. Here I have went with the untuck and a pair of purple Patagonia Baggies. If you are curious what I was doing in this outfit I was going to the car wash, running a few errands, and as you can see ended the outing at the driving range. You know when you see people wearing gym shorts and t-shirts well this is my spin on that. I am sure that this far too casual for some of you, but for those that it is not give it a go. I actually get a ton of compliments when I wear this.
Polo in Super Casual Setting You may be asking, but Jerrod you did not tell us much about polos? That my friend is the awesome thing about polos. There is not much to know. What I will say is do not overthink it. In the past I have referred to polo shirts as t-shirts for adults. I think that this is a good outlook to have.  As far as colors go I recommend white, navy, and forest green. In terms of material I recommend cotton pique polos.

Another great thing about polo shirts is that you can find them anywhere and everywhere. In the pictures above I am wearing old Gap polo shirts, but you can currently find some good looking ones at O’Connell’s, Lands’ End, J.Crew, and probably a ton of places that I overlooked.

Did I just buy something from A&F?

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First off, if you wondered where I went last week I was down and out with food poisoning or the stomach bug. Whatever it was. It was the worst. Second off (That is a joke!), the answer is yes, yes I did make a purchase from Abercrombie & Fitch.
A&F Chambray PopoveSo, what did I get??? More popovers of course! If you can’t tell from my last 3 posts I have been on a popover kick. There has been two main reasons for this. The first is that my office has not had AC for the last month so I have had to go casual everyday in order to properly layer for the inevitable afternoon heatwave. The problem was that I don’t have that many casual clothes hence the recent string of purchases. The second is that I like them, I think that they look cool, and there have been some good ones around lately.

I purchased three popovers in total primarily to get the deal they were offering. One in chambray, one in light denim for that late 70’s prep look, and a classic blue OCBD. I like the chambray one and the denim one a lot. The chambray’s fabric could be a little thinner and softer. The denim is way softer than I anticipated. Both fit true to size. The OCBD runs larger than the others. I will probably send that one back.
A&F Popovers Order

I can’t tell you that Abercrombie is returning to its roots and will be the place to go for ivy gear in the near future. What I can tell you is that a lot of there new offerings aren’t half bad and the sales are abundant. My hats off to Aaron Levine for what he is doing over there. Hopefully there is more cool to come. The good news for you all is that they still have a lot popovers left and they are all on sale! Check them out here.