Archive for January, 2013

Thrifting & Patience

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I have mentioned that patience plays a major role in successful thrifting and my latest tie haul has proved just that. Last week I was on my way home from work when I thought that I would quickly pop in one of my regular thrifting spots. It had been a long time since I had purchased anything from this store, but I knew that it was only a matter of time and this was my lucky day.

5 Classic Ties

A wonderful assortment of ties

As soon as I got near the tie section I spotted what looked to be a repp tie. When I got closer it turned out that not only was there a repp tie, but there were a few repp ties and two other gems as well. The ties most likely all belonged to that same person. I say this because all of the ties were from two local and now defunct menswear stores(minus the one Brooks Brothers tie).

My streak of good luck did not end there and I will offer this advice as to why. If you find a few items that you think all belonged to one person go back in a couple of days and see if there is more. This is exactly what I did and it paid off. I stopped back in a few days later and there were 4 more ties. All in all, I scored 9 beautiful ties for $4.50.

4 more classuc ties4 more ties!

Woodhouse Lynch Clothiers Tie Lablel

D.H. Peer, Ltd Tie

Authentic English Regimental

 

This thrift has encouraged me to learn more about these two local menswear shops. I was already familiar with Woodhouse Lynch Clothiers from an earlier thrift. I then found this article on Tom Lynch in the Columbus Dispatch (see here). Jerry Woodhouse the other owner is currently the president St. John’s Bay Rum and was featured on Ivystyle.com (see here). However, I still need to know more. On the other hand, I have not heard much about D.H. Peer, Ltd. I do know that they were located in the Dayton, OH area and operated from the early ‘80s though the late ‘90s. Needless to say I have a lot more to learn.

Hopefully I will have more to share about these establishments in the future as everything that I have found by them has been excellent. If anyone out there has any information or stories that they would like to share please contact me at oxfordclothbuttondown@gmail.com .

More Tie Pics!

Non-Stripe Tie Close-ups

Brooks Brothers Tie Close-up

Green Flower Close-up

DH Peer Close-up

 

 

United States of Trad: Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Daniel Patrick  Moynihan

Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) was an American politician, intellectual, and a very stylish man. Moynihan was the United States’ Ambassador to the United Nations and to India, part of four successive presidential administrations (J.F.K-Gerald Ford) and a United States Senator for New York (D) (76-’94). and this is only a brief glimpse into his illustrious career (NYT Obituary). More importantly for the purpose of this post he was well versed in traditional American style even though he did not hail from the prep schools of New England, but rather from the New York’s Hell’s Kitchen via Tulsa, Oklahoma. Before the pics I leave you with this letter from Moynihan to Brooks Brothers from the book “Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Portrait in Letters of an American Visionary.”

 The Letter to Brooks Brothers

November 24, 1980

Sirs:

As a customer of thirty-five years standing this spring (I bought my ensign’s outfit from you!), I hope you won’t mind this friendly “return.” As I have gotten older, with less time available for shopping, and somewhat more credit, I have taken to buying socks, shirts and sundries in rather large quantities. Such is your quality control that they tend to go on seemingly indestructible and then collapse in the manner of the one-horse shay.

In just such a manner a complete wardrobe purchased for India lasted four and one-half years and then disappeared in a fortnight. The point of the tale is that last spring before a trip to the Middle East, I stopped at your downtown store and stocked up on various items. I bought one dozen socks, one of which I enclose. All of them developed holes within a month. Of the kind you will see. This is something I know you would want to know about, and which I would like made up for in whatever manner you think best.

Moynihan in a Repp tie

Young Moynihan on the street

Daniel Patrick Moynihan by TypewriterMoynihan and NixonNote the 3rd buttonhole on Moynihan’s jacket.

Moynihan

Moynihan in Seersucker

Moynihan Moynihan in PinstripesMoynihan Green Bow TieMoynihan Suit & JacketMoynihan in Suit with Desert Boots

The Natural Shoulder Jacket & Southwick

Southwick Harris Tweed New

There are lots of details associated with traditional American jackets. They are typically undarted, single vented, with patch pockets and have a 3/2 roll, but none of these details are quite as important as a natural shoulder. As it would turn out this is one of the hardest details to find today. I was recently on the hunt for a new blazer with all of the details that I mentioned above and was having a difficult time. After my hunt was over (I ended up with a Brooks Brothers 3/2 1818 Blazer) someone asked me why I had not taken a look at Southwick and the only answer I had was, “I didn’t think of that.” Disappointed in myself, I reached out to Southwick telling them about my troubles and they ended up sending me a beautiful Harris Tweed Sport jacket in their Cambridge Model.

Southwick unbuttoned

Southwick Jacket with CordsTie & Jacket

First, let me provide a little background on Southwick. They have been manufacturing American styled, natural shouldered jackets in the USA since 1929. The company has been and is still located in Massachusetts. They distribute their garments through retailers. You can find the menswear store nearest you that offers their clothing on their website (Southwick).

The Cambridge model is the essence of Ivy League Style. This jacket has all of the bells and whistles; Hook center vent with 5/16 top stitch, 2 button sleeves, patch and flap pockets with a wonderful 3/2 roll, and yes, a very soft shoulder. Needless to say the jacket is undarted and single vented as well. The Cambridge model is trimmer and shorter than their other sack model the Douglas, but is still very much a traditional sack cut. Even though the jacket is trimmer than the Douglas it is not fitted. It reminds me of the sports jackets that I see while scouring over college yearbook pictures from the early 60’s, especially in Harris Tweed.

Southwick & ShetlandShetland and Sport Jacket close-upHarris is the tweed of all tweeds. The Harris Tweed industry was kick started by Lady Dunmore in 1846 and has been around ever since (Learn more here: Harris Tweed.org ). It has also been part of traditional American style from the beginning. Tweed jackets found themselves at home on college campuses across America during the time that classic American style was being defined and for good reason. Tweed, especially Harris is a handsome fabric that can withstand rough treatment and allows itself to be dressed up or down. In fact, I wore it to a more formal event where I received countless compliments and I threw it on over my Shetland for warmth on a sunny winter’s day to head over to the coffee shop and get some work done. It worked perfectly in both settings.

Harris Tweed Close-upA beautiful example of Harris Tweed

Overall I was very impressed with this jacket. I was a little worried that the Cambridge model would be too fitted and not sack like at all with a Thom Browne-ish length. When in reality the jacket seemed like someone dusted off an old pattern rather than updating one. Most important of all the jacket has a very soft natural shoulder and personally I love the lapel roll which a bit more pronounced than most current 3/2 jackets. This jacket has left me longing for another which is all that you can ask, long live the natural shoulder jacket.Southwick Tweed and J.Press TieJ.Press Tie with Southwick Tweed

Lands’ End 10-Wale Corduroys

Corduroy Close-up

My fall wish list consisted of green cords and I was dead set on getting a pair. I ended up opting for a pair of LE Tailored Fit wide-wale cords which is actually one of the pairs that I previewed (green corduroys). To my disappointment they did not work out. They were just a bit too wide (pardon the pun) not in the wale, but in the leg. Luckily I had ordered another pair of not green, but of the umber LE Tailored Fit 10-wale cords.

The 10-wale corduroy trousers are great. The leg width is almost a ½” skinnier than the wide wale pair, which is great since a size 30 waist is already pushing it for me. They will need to see the tailor to get the extra fabric taken in around the waist, but I am very impressed with the width of the pant. In fact, they are very, very close to the width of my classic fit J.Crew Cords which area size 29” waist. I have heard that the fit of LE trousers varies widely and when you find a pair/style that fits you should double, or even better triple up while the getting is good. After this experience, I believe it.

The umber color isn’t the green that I wanted, but it is versatile. So far I have paired these trousers with tan, blue, green, and burgundy sweaters and they have all worked really well. The only issue I have with the umber color is that in certain lights and next to certain colors it can take on more of a gold and less of a brown tone. I am hoping that after a little more wear that the gold tone will fade a bit.

All in all, these are really nice trousers. The 10-wale is was not noticeably thinner than the wide-wale, but it is definitely much warmer than the fine-wale trousers that I own. Umber is not as festive as green, but it is probably more practical and the colder it gets the more I find myself picking them out of the closet. I was going to pick up a pair in burgundy before I published this post, but it looks like I have already missed out. I should have taken my own advice and doubled up as soon as I knew that they fit, live and learn.

*This is my first venture in purchasing pant from LE. While I am ordinarily a 29” inseam I required a 28” inseam from LE. I hope that this helps.

LE Corduroys and Green Rugby SweaterLE Corduroys and Burgundy SweaterCords and BB SweaterCorduroys and Blue Sweater