Archive for August, 2016

Quick Cord Roundup

Last week I had one foot in summer and the other in fall. This week there is no looking back. I opened up my closet to examine my fall line-up and what I found was a need for a new pair of cords. I jumped online and found a few corduroy options to share.

Cords, Sweater and Vest

Lands’ End has rolled out there fall cords ($79). They have a 18-wale and a 14-wale, but more importantly they offer a tradly 10-wale cord (see here) as well. They are available in both their tailored and traditional fit. I will be interested in hearing how this year’s trousers fit. They offer the traditional tan, but also have a nice color called Brown Umber. I have a pair in this color and I have found it very versatile (pictured above). On the downside my previous pairs of LE cords have had an extremely short self life (Worn out wales). Tread lightly.
Brooks CordsCorduroys pants have also surfaced over at Brooks Brothers ($108 – See here). Brooks offer 14-wale and an 8-wale. They come in the Clark and Milano fit. I don’t have much experience with Brooks trousers, but I do know that most trads prefer the fuller Clark fit, but as we all know fit is different for everyone. Brooks also has a very nice green color. On top of that it was nice to see the tassel loafers paired with them on the website (see image above).

O’Connell’s (O’Connell’s Cords) has there cords out too, but thats no suprise because they always offer their cords! I have heard nothing but good things about O’Connell’s corduroy trousers, but like most things at OC they are not cheap. The prices range from $100-200. Sizes are limited, but they do have the best offering in terms of color.

Corduroy trousers are invaluable in the fall/winter. They have a great texture, they are warm, and you can dress them up with tweed or down with a Shetland. As you can see there are already a few corduroy options available. If you see a pair that you like I would order them sooner than later. I have learned the hard way that cords tend to sell fast which is why I am posting about them now!

End of Summer Tartan Shirts

Here in Ohio I have been noticing summer drawing to a close over the past 2 weeks. We have been experiencing both summer and fall temps with Autumn in the air. Everyone is getting excited for the cooler weather and all of the layering that comes along with it, but until then we still have to deal with heat. This is the time of year wear a muddy madras shirt in browns, blues, and greens is indispensable, but I have found another late summer option in my poplin tartan shirt.

I have always thought (and still do to an extent) that tartan shirts are strictly for fall and winter wear. However, there seems to be a tradition of trads sporting tartan shirts in lightweight fabrics during the summer. I say that because these lightweight tartan shirts can be found at O’Connell’s and Mercer’s. I also recall seeing some from Brooks Brothers in the past and J.Press having them in walking shorts.
Gordon Broadcloth

Mercer & Son’s Dress Gordon in Broadcloth ($155)
Tartan Shirt in Broadcloth

O’Connell’s Blackwatch Shirt in Broadcloth ($145)

One thing that I found interesting about these shirts are the patterns. These shirts are primarily made in Dress Gordon and Blackwatch Tartans. This is great for me as Dress Gordon is by far my favorite tartan with Blackwatch being a close second. I seem to recall seeing some in Dress Stewart, but I could not find one available at this time.

As the weather transitions and the colors of summer start to fade lightweight tartan shirts make a great pairing. The poplin will keep you cool while the tartan colors are a nice nod to the changing weather. Additionally these shirts can be worn when warm weather is far far behind us and we are dreaming of madras again.

Papa Needs a Brand New Bag

My current work bag (pictured below) was a more or less a lucky find. It is made by Billy Kirk’s lower tier label Brothers Bray. I first saw it in a Urban Outfitters ad. I liked its drab colors and simple construction. Its utilitarian design spoke to me. Plus, it was right around $100. After 8 years of service my bag is now approaching retirement I am starting my search for a brand new bag.
Current BagI started my search at Filson. Filson sells the trad bag which is the Filson Original Briefcase (see below). I am sure that my bag’s similarities to this classic bag is what caught my eye in the first place. However, priced at $325 the Original Briefcase is not cheap.
Filson Original Brief Case

Looking for more affordable options I spotted a few great looking alternatives at L.L. Bean. One of the bags is labeled as a tote and the other two briefcases, but I think that all of them would work well in our business casual world and would be a improvement over the backpack trend that I have been seeing over the last few years.

The L.L. Bean West Branch Tote ($159) – This bag is strikingly similar to my current bag. The only thing that it is missing is the olive green accents. Priced at $159 this is a good looking bag. It is high on my list. If I go this route I will probably switch out the brown shoulder strap for an olive one.
West Branch Tote
The L.L. Bean Heritage Waxed Messenger Bag ($149) – This bag is similar to my current bag, but is also noticeably different. It has the olive green accents that I like, but it lacks a leather bottom which in exchange gives it a more casual look and feel. Overall it is a great looking bag at a great price.

Heritage Waxed Messenger Bag

The Sportsman’s Briefcase ($119) – This bag is actually very similar to the Filson Original Briefcase. Albeit it is not as rugged the Filson, but to its advantage it has a great 80’s Original Preppy Handbook vibe. On top of that it is probably the most professional looking of the bags that I have listed, but I could see it being confused as suitcase.
Sportsman's BriefcaseI hope this list helps out all of my fellow office dwellers. With the need to carry laptops, tablets, smart phones, and an assortment of other work supplies a bag is a necessity of the modern professional. These bags will make your day-to-day life easier while still retaining some semblance of trad style.

Transition Time

The dog days of summer have set in making the days long and hot, but don’t get too distraught as fall days filled with Shetlands and tweeds are just around the corner. Over the last the week I have used this time of transition to fill holes in my summer wardrobe and to get a head start on fall.

My first purchase was a new bathing suit. I had grown tired of my previous pair of trunks. With summer sales abound I picked up a deeply discounted suit from PRL. I am not sure if  this the most trad pattern, but it is what I like.
PRL Bathing Suit
Next I picked up a Varsity Town’s “Madisonairre”, brown tweed herringbone jacket on the secondhand market. I am very excited about this purchase. A brown herringbone tweed has long been on my want list (See my list here). It has all of the details that I look for (3/2 roll, dartless, swelled edge, hooked vent) minus patch pockets. I am still working out the fit details. More to come on this, but until then check out this post from Ivy Style on the Madisonairu (See here).
Brown Herringbone Tweed 3/2 JacketSummer is great for outdoor fun and I am not looking forward to its end, but it is the least exciting sartorial season. Now is a great time to spend a humid afternoon indoors taking advantage of summer sales and planning for autumn. I am off to find a pool.