Archive for November, 2011

Casual*Prep is Hard

Baracuta Jacket

*I included the term prep in the title of this post with a little hesitation. I have issues with the word, which I will discuss in the future. I have used it here because it is the most widely understood term for the style of clothing which I am describing.

Things have been been a little hectic lately. Although, it does not take much to overwhelm me as I am a man of routine. I spent all last week painting my living room (see pic 2 – it looks darker in person). Plus, I had weekend plans (sadly this is not the norm). Actually, it was getting dressed to go out on Friday that  inspired this short and late post. I was trying to dress casual as I was going out with a friend and I didn’t want to look as if I were still in my work clothes. While selecting my outfit I discovered that dressing casually is hard (see what I consider casual below).Baracuta Jacket                                                               What I consider universally casual

What do I know about casual dress? I have learned from my work experiences that people love to dress casual. And that when people say casual they mean jeans. Everywhere that I have worked my co-workers have been excited to wear jeans on Fridays. My new workplace has recently allowed employees to jeans anytime, and they do. Even though it is permitted, I never wear jeans. Not even on Friday. It is not that I hate denim. I just don’t find it to be that comfortable.                          Navy sweater                                                                                  Friday’s Outfit

I do dress casually at work. I wear khaki chinos and a blue ocbd. I don’t think that it gets much more casual than that. My co-workers on the other hand do not feel that way. It gets even worse for me on the weekend. I tend to want to dress exactly like I do at work, but with clothes that I have worn out at work. My friends do not consider this casual. So, I have been trying to strike a balance keep between looking casual and feeling presentable.

The solution that I have come up for weekends (work remains the same) is leaving my shirt untucked. Believe me, I know that this is a cardinal sin in the world of traditional clothing. I find myself wanting to tuck my shirt it in so badly, but I don’t want to look the same all of the time (just 99%). I am not going to lie, it is not so bad. I am getting used to it.  Navy Shaw Collar Outside                                           Saturday’s Outfit (Look, I even have athletic sneakers on!)

I am even beginning to warm up to the untuck.  As it would turn out the urge to tuck is directly related to the length of the shirt. In pic 3, the shirt is kind of long. In order to compensate for the length I tucked a little bit of the shirt up and under my sweater. This improved the look. In pic 2, the shirt is short. It actually might be a challenge to keep this shirt tucked in. I thought that this shirt worked the best out of the two. I am going to have to continue to work on developing a distinct casual look. I will let you know if I make any more progress.

A Traditional Home

I have just recently moved into a new apartment. It is in an older building in a historic section in Springfield, OH. It was almost exactly what I was looking for: it has high ceilings, a built-in bookcase, and lots of other great details. There are some down sides to the apartment as well.  It can get cold, it is easy to blow a fuse and there are lots of other minor issues due mostly to how old the house is. However, I have really been enjoying the apartment and I am excited for the opportunity to decorate it. Currently, I am debating paint colors. I need to make my purchase in the next day or so and I still do not have my mind made up.

So, I decided to go for a walk to clear my mind. Plus, I hadn’t made a post this week and I wanted to cover something other than clothes. One of my favorite things about moving into a new neighborhood is noticing what I have never before seen. I am still in that discovery stage. I like to go for walks and run outdoors which has helped me to discover a few homes that I have already come to appreciate. I had seen most of these houses before I moved in, but I had never had the chance to pay so much attention to the details of them. My neighborhood is a mix of well maintained homes and houses that have not been properly cared for in a long time. What I really like about the homes in this area is the variety of styles in which they were built. Today, I took a few pictures while I was out walking to.

Brick Home with PorchThis house is located one door down from me. It is one of the first houses that I had the chance to closely examine and is still one of my favorites

Cool Brick Home DetailsThe brick work is so nice. I love looking at the details. I think that I look like a tourist when I go for walks. Sometimes I have to tell myself to move along.

Tan Home 1This house is located a door down from me in the opposite direction. This is just one example of the wide  variety of homes in this area. This house has some great details as well, but I didn’t get any good pictures of them.

Large Tan HomeThis home is located directly across the street from the previous house. I am very interested in what it looks like on the inside. They have home tours in this area of Springfield, and I cannot wait to go next year. I hope this home is featured.Grey Home

I have never thought of grey as being a traditional color for a home or interior. Recently a coworker (who has a great sense of style) was telling me about how she likes using grey as a neutral. While on a run, not too long after that, I noticed this house and I thought that it looked great in grey. I have since noticed numerous grey homes. In fact, I think that I am going to use a light grey in my bedroom.

Grey House PorchThere is something that I really like about this porch. English Looking Home This house appeals to my inner anglophile.

Small Building

I like small homes as well. This is the smallest of the two external buildings that belong to the mansion turned funeral home that is directly across the street from my building.

Westcott House

This is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Westcott House. It is currently a museum and is very cool. It also reminds me to get plants for my house and to take care of them.

It was a nice refreshing walk. I came back to my project with a renewed since of energy. I have a tendency to want everything today. Looking at these homes helps me to remember that nothing happens overnight. In the near future, I hope to include pictures of my apartment and its progress. I just need to keep working steadily and to greatly improve upon my indoor photography skills. I did take one picture of a building that was in disrepair. I guess we all have projects to complete.

Carriage HouseVictorian Home

The home looks to have seen some restoration.



Sweater Review

ll bean signature sweater

So, I am  finally getting around to reviewing a new sweater. It has been a time consuming process. I have now ordered two sweaters, returned one and kept one. Actually, I am still thinking about returning the one that I kept  However, this is nothing new to me. I almost never get it right the first time.

Sweater 1

I decided on the LL.Bean Signature sweater that I previewed in my earlier post (and pictured above). It is brushed lambswool and I was interested in the texture (I have never had one). I liked the marl grey color. Plus, I thought it would give me a new brand to try. It was a little bit of splurge for me at $79, but they did offer free shipping.

I received the sweater and I was excited. It was great… just not for me. Great material, great color, but it did not fit. It may have been due to how thick the wool was, but it looked really bulky on me. It was also a little on the long side. I have learned that if the fit is off I need to immediately return it, because I will never wear it.

I wear a small in most brands. I ordered a small. It didn’t fit any tighter than what you would expect a small to fit like. This was my fear in ordering from LL Bean signature. I have too many times found that when a brand targets younger demographics the clothes tend to fit really really tight. I was happily surprised and disappointed at the same time. I now feel like I can safely order from them, but this sweater must go back. It might have worked well as an outdoor sweater, but I was looking for something more work compatible.lla bean signature ssweaterSweater 2

Still dwelling over the loss, I got back on the internet and started hunting for a replacement. I noticed  Brooks Brothers was having a 25% off on all sweaters sale. I did not hesitate. I ordered  the shetland crewneck in clipper (light blue). I debated between the clipper and the cobblestone. I was worried that the cobblestone would have a red/pink tint to it (I am now a little disappointed I didn’t choose it). I went with the clipper. This sweater is regularly $98, but with the sale it was $73. Still expensive for me ($83 shipped), but very close to the previous sweater and I had a void to fill.

Brooks Brothers wool sweater

I am pleased with the quality. I ordered a small and it fits pretty well. The shade of blue is a little light for me, but I wanted to try something a little different. I do like the variation that the mixture of white adds to the sweater (see below).Brooks Brothers sweater

I have now worn the sweater one time. It went fairly well. I was not completely comfortable, but that is almost always true for me when I am wearing a new article of clothing. I have never had a Brooks Brothers shetland wool sweater and I am interested in how it will hold up over time.  I will keep you posted on any new developments.