Shaggy’s back

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Dogs always find there way back home and J.Press’s Shaggy Dog is no different. Not only have the Shaggy Dogs returned, but J.Press’s website has also returned online after being down for the past week or so. No major shocks in terms of the new site, but it was nice to see them updating it as well as the return of a perennial classic.
J.Press Real Shaggy DogShaggy Dogs are back in a plethora of colors (J.Press Shaggy Dogs 2017). They are available in the core colors that I always recommend for sweaters including navy, charcoal, and wine. There are also a few seasonal colors like burnt amber and pine green. Black, one color that I have never seen before is also being offered. I found this interesting as black is usually relegated to knit ties and shoes in world of trad.
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One of the most interesting aspects of its return is its pricing. While $245 is by no means inexpensive this is what they cost back in 2015. I remember because I did a post about the soaring cost of Shaggy Dogs. Maybe the Shetland market has plateaued?

When I first learned about trad style a Shaggy Dog was a serious desire for me. For those of you that are in that position today I thought that I would share what I have learned about these sweaters since my acquisition. From an older post,

If you do not have a Shaggy Dog let me warn you that they are very very warm. This can be a bad thing. For instance, it is a challenge to wear one in the office without immediately over heating, but this week it was a savior. With a cold spell keeping the temperatures in the single digits my Shaggy Dog helped keep me warm as I trekked from the parking lot to the office which was great. What was even better is that when I lost heat on Friday the Shaggy Dog allowed me to fend off the cold until the furnace was repaired Saturday evening. It is times like this when the Shaggy Dog really shines.

 

So It Goes

The Uniform

One of my goals has been to establish a dependable source for my essentials. In my case essentials means OCBDs and chinos. I thought that I had my chino situation taken care of, but it’s not looking that way.
FullSizeRender(23)I have been pretty content with my J.Crew Essential Chinos in Classic fit. I will be the first to admit that they are not perfect. The rise could use another 1/2 inch and the leg opening could lose 1/8 of an inch, but overall they are great. I have learned that its easier for me to live with these slight imperfections than it is to chase the unicorn that is perfection (Psst, perfection is not real).
FullSizeRender(21)I was looking to order another pair of these chinos last year (or maybe the year before) when I could not find them. After a call to customer service it turns out that J.Crew had revamped their naming conventions and the Classic Fit was renamed the 1040 fit. I don’t love companies doing this, but at least they were still making my chinos (This is foreshadowing.).

Fast-forward to today and while the 1040 fit is still available they no longer offer the Essential Chino. The Essential Chino was their work-appropriate chino. They now only offer the broken-in fit. They do have other options that may work for me in their Bowery fit chinos. They may even end up bringing these back, but that isn’t what this post is really about.

What I want you to take away from this post is their is no “done.” Our favorite items will always be changed or discontinued. It is unavoidable. There is nothing I want you to do, but to accept this as I am learning to do. We may even find something new that we like more than what we had.

Who You Width?

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For the longest time I thought that my perfect tie width was 3.25″. I have jackets with 2.75″ lapels from the boom years and 3.5″ from the 90s. A 3.25″ ties seemed to work pretty well with all of them, but I saw a picture of myself this week and began to rethink it all.

Picking out the the right tie width for yourself is not rocket science. Like almost anything in clothing it is all about scale.There are only a few things that you need to consider which are your body’s dimensions, the size of your lapel, and size of your collar, but its easy to forget that it is not all math. I myself had lost sight of this.

Here are the pics that I referenced above. The picture directly below is of me in a 3.25″ tie. It looks a little too wide. The picture below it is of me in a 3″ tie. In the past I would have said that 3″ is just a little to skinny, but looking at the two pictures I would say that 3″ tie looks a little better. Others will of course disagree. That is fine.

The moral of this story is that style cannot be achieved purely by following equations. There is a little bit of art to it and a lot of personal preference. Another important thing to keep in mind is that your opinion will change. That is okay too. Growth is good. Just remember not to throw out all those ties you didn’t think worked at the moment!
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Casual Tartan from Lands’ End

Tartan Casual Shirts

With fall fast approaching I grabbed a few of Lands’ Ends’ Sail Rigger Oxford shirts in Tartan (see here).

I have heard some good things about LE’s Sail Rigger shirts. The good being that they are must-iron and that material feels substantial. On the downside, I have heard that they can fit a little boxy. I have not worn mine yet so I can’t speak to the pros and cons quite yet, but I did buy one traditional fit and one tailored fit (in order to get the patter that I wanted). More to come.
Dress Stewart OCBD
While I have not worn these shirts yet at first glance they appear to a good value. The Tartans are great, finding Tartan OCBDs is rare, and the sales price was fantastic as I got both shirts for under $40. The prices have changed since I purchaed, but the Dress & Black Stewart shirts can still be had for $19.99 (see here) which is a fantastic price. The others are retailing for $49.50, but there is currently a 25% off sale and I am sure that a 40% off event is just around the corner.
Green Tartan OCBD

I am not sure that I mentioned it above, but these are casual shirts. They are alpha-sized (S,M,L) and there is not much collar to roll. I will stick my neck and say that I actually prefer smaller collars on my casual shirts which is a blog post in itself. I see these shirts getting a lot of wear this autumn from casual Friday’s to Sunday hikes and everything in between.

More Chore

Ivy Chore Jacket

Not only did I post about J.Crew’s chore blazer (Blazer Chores), but I also picked up one for myself. The results are in, and I like it!

Why did I like about it? At the most basic level It gave me the feeling that I was wearing a sport coat, but it dressed it down in a way that made it more acceptable to the crowd that does not like that type of thing. It also has a cool factor as chore jackets are definitely in at the moment. For us ivy guys it has great shoulders, a 3/2-ish roll, and patch pockets galore. Basically it is a more accessible Keydge (The Weejun on the Keydge) albeit a bit more casual than even a Keydge.
Chore Blazer without tie
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Chore Blazer with Tie

IMG_0691So what is there not to like it about this blazer? In my opinion it does not look good buttoned. I don’t think it is just the cotton construction, but something about it reminds me of a lab coat when buttoned (see the picĀ  directly above for reference). I wore it unbuttoned. It will also be tough to dress up outside of chinos and should be considered business casual at best. It does working cuffs which presents a problem for those that need them shortened. In my case the sleeves need to be shortened so much that it should not present a problem.

I wanted to get you all some feedback while they are still available. I almost forgot. I purchased a 38R. It fits like 38S…or maybe a 37S