Archive for February, 2012

Accessories Part 2: Watchbands

Watchbandmontage

In part 1 of my accessories series I discussed how socks can be used to add color to your outfit. In this post, I will be moving up from the ankle and focusing on the wrist, to be more precise I will be discussing watchbands. The type of watchbands that I prefer to wear are the canvas or grosgrain ribbon variety. These bands like many other traditional clothing items got their start in the military (at least the khaki/olive). I even wear mine on a faux-military styled Timex that was made for Target ($40) a few years back. What I like most about this type of watchband is that they are easy to find and come in a variety of colors.

You don’t need to travel to far to find a cool watchband. If you are looking to purchase one similar to those featured here a few good places to find them are Eliza B, O’Connells Clothing, Central Watch, JPress, Smart Turnout, or even Target and J.CREW. Watchbands like these cost anywhere between $12-30. They are an easy and fun way to spice-up an outfit. Like any other clothing item, giving consideration to texture, pattern, and color will maximize their effect. Have fun!

WatchbandsMy Small Collection

Everyday-WatchbandMy every day watchband

Navy and White watchbandNavy and White

Navy and RedNavy and Red Double Stripe

MulitstripebandMulti Stripe and my favorite band

Red stripe on NavyRed stripe on navy

GreenRedTanTan, red and green

SummerbandSummer Band

I have included a few examples of how you can combine color, pattern and texture.

Shetland Sweater and WatchbandClipper blue shetland, ocbd and multi-stripe

Burgundy sweater and univ stripeBurgundy sweater, univ stripe ocbd and red-navy double stripe

GinghamGingham and summer band

Gingham-RedStripeAnother summer time combo

Brooks Brothers: 346 Sweater Review

346-Sweater

I have been so satisfied with my Brooks Brothers Shetland sweater that I decided to head down to their outlet store to try to score another. Actually, I was dreaming that I would find the cobblestone colored Shetland that I did not order and that has since sold out on the online store. My high-hopes were quickly dashed, but, I did find a “346” sweater that I liked. 346, is branded as a younger sportier Brooks Brothers line that is sold exclusively at Brooks Brothers outlet stores, but it is probably better known for being of lesser quality than the retail store line along with the other  Brooks Brothers “made for outlet’ clothes . I haven’t had any experience with the 346 or the Brooks Brothers outlet line. I did however, really like the color and pattern of the sweater. Plus, I need something to write about, right (ha-ha)?Brooks-Brothers-346-Sweater

BB-346-sweater-close-up

346-Sweater-up-close

Before I get to the sweater I want to touch on “made for outlet” clothes. I mention that Brooks Brothers manufactures clothing for their outlet stores, but I am not singling them out, it is a common industry practice. Among the stores I frequent Polo Ralph Lauren and J. CREW both produce clothing specifically for their outlet stores. J. Crew has taken this concept even further by opening up an online “outlet store” on the J.CREW website (very interesting move, btw).  I only took time out to mention “made for the outlet’ clothes because I think it is important to understand what you are purchasing, not because I have an issue with it.

Brooks-Brothers-346-Sweater346-Sweater

Back to the sweater, I really like it. It turns out that others do, too. I have received several compliments while wearing it. It is sized well and has a nice shape. I am a true small and the sweater is a small.  I generally prefer saddle shoulders as they look less bulky, but these shoulders do not look bulky at all. Other highlights are that the collar is not slouchy and the waistband has a nice amount of elasticity to it. The best part of this sweater is the color and the weave. The burgundy (Eggplant?) and blue Birdseye (Norwegian?) weave looks great with my khaki chinos and maybe even better with brown corduroys. If I had to offer one criticism, it would be that the texture is coarse for lambswool. Overall, it seems to be another great addition to my ever growing sweater collection, but these are still honeymoon wears. I will keep you posted on how it holds up over time.

A Great American Family: The Du Ponts of Deleware

duPonts-of-Deleware

The du Ponts came to America after fleeing from France during the Revolution. Welcomed to America by president Thomas Jefferson Eleutheress Irenee du Pont Nemours was encouraged to set-up a powder mill. Jefferson knew that Eleutheress had learned to make gunpowder from the famous chemist Lavoisier. in 1802, Ireneee built his mill on Brandywine Creek near Wilmington, Delaware. the rest is history. Du Pont is still one of the world’s largest chemical firms and to this day the du Pont family has considerable influence. The du Pont family still observes the dictum from Irenee’s father; “No privilege exist that is not inseparably bound to a duty.” I will let the  pictures from Life magazine’s August 19, 1957 edition tell the story of this this great American family.

Eleuthere Irenee - Thomas JeffersonIrenee with Thomas Jefferson

New-York-Harbor-1885Du Pont dynamite helping to clear New York Harbor 1885

DuPont-factory-1854Powder Mill outside of Wilmington

Lammot and Alfred

duPont-Company presidents-history

uPont-Company-presidents-history2

duPont-Company presdients-History3

Du Pont-Board MeetingDu Pont Board Meeting

duPont-Cuban-HomeIrenee’s Cuban Home Xanadu

swimming-CubaOne of his two daily swims

Colgate-Darden -Crawford-GreenwaltVisiting in-laws Colgate Darden and Crawford Greenwalt

Francis-Victor-du PontHighway expert Francis Victor du Pont

Henry-Francis-DuPontHenry Francis du Pont renowned horticulturist

William du Pont Jr.Horse expert and bank president William du Pont Jr.

George-duPontEngineer F. George du Pont at Remington Arms Co. which is controlled by Du Pont

Henry B. duPontVice President Henry B. du Pont (right)

Lammot-du Pont-CopelandArt Collector Lammont du Pont Copeland

yachtsmanYachtsman Pierre III secretary of the Du Pont firm

Jane DuPontJane “Dedo” du Pont daughter of Pierre at her coming-out party

Mrs.DuPontsVictorine and Mrs. Henry B. du Pont

duPonts-of-Deleware 4 du Ponts all named Irenee

Accessories Part 1: Socks

Multi-Striped-Socks

As I have mentioned here before, I wear a blue OCBD  (oxford cloth button down) shirt and khaki chinos almost every day. While I love the simplicity of my dress code, it does not produce the most exciting outfits. Also, I work in a casual office and do not get to utilize a tie or jacket. After a while I started to look for other ways to add some color to my “uniform.” Since then I have learned that socks are a simple way to add color, patterns, and even texture to my otherwise drab outfits.

Here are a few examples of argyle socks.

Blue-Orange-Gree-Arglye-Socks

Grey-Burgundy-Striped-Socks

Blue-Yellow-Green-Argyle-Socks

Green-Navy-Grey-Argyle-Socks.jpg

There are a lot options when it comes to socks. They come in almost any color and pattern. I am an advocate for argyle, rugby stripe, regimental, and fair isle socks (in the winter). My only other recommendation is that you get over-calf-socks (OTC). I am not a fan of constantly having to pull my socks up and I think that OTC socks offer a better fit..

Another reason why socks are such good accessories is that they are affordable. You can spend $30-40 and get a really nice pair of wool socks. However, you can also go to Target and get a cool pair of socks for $5.  Most of the socks featured in this post came from The Gap, Target, J.Crew, and maybe Kohls. This fits in nicely with my motto of “affordability and availability.”

Examples of striped socks.

Red-Navy-Striped-Socks

Blue-White-Striped-Socks

Multi-Striped-Socks

Multi-Striped-Burgundy-Socks

Fine-Stripe-SocksBlue-Green-Striped-Socks

Not striped, but I like these and wanted to include them.

White-Dot-Socks

Another article of clothing made by my talented sister. I usually wear these with slippers. They are warm and cozy.

Handmade-Socks-2

 

Handmade-Socks-ShoesI do need  a pair of red socks. I like the way they look with brown suede

Socks are a great accessory. In this post, I only used a few pair of shoes and the same pair of chinos to provide some examples. I could have made even more interesting color combinations by mixing in different pants and shoes. So, start thinking about mixing suede shoes, corduroy pants, and wool socks or navy chinos, red socks, and brown shoes. I have found that by experimenting with different sock, shoe, and pant combos that I can make what were very similar outfits look pretty different. After you get done reading this post, take a trip to your sock drawer, take stock, and start working up few outfits. If you are anywhere near as boring as I am you may find that socks can help you mix it up.