Archive for July, 2018

Lay of the Land

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There is going to be a decrease in pictures of me in ties, blazers, and sport coats. I hope that this temporary, but only time will tell. Wondering why? Well the reason is that I started a new job last week.

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I have written about this before, but it’s worth revisiting. Ties, blazers, and sport coats are tricky in the modern office. This is especially true when you are not upper management. There are all kinds of connotations and associations that go along with these items and while that is not necessarily your problem you may feel the consequences.

My advice is to play it safe. Take stock of who wears what and try to understand the office norms. If ties are the standard you are golden. If no one wears ties including all of the directors and VPs it may be best to hold off until you have established yourself. Of course you can always throw caution to the wind, but you may end up keeping your tie and losing your job.

So for the meantime I will be in my basic uniform of blue OCBD, plain-front khaki chinos, penny loafers, and olive surcingle. Luckily for me I am okay with that. In a couple of weeks I might wear a blazer with no tie as outerwear to the office just to ease into it. Oh, and the office runs cold so lots of Shetlands ;).

SailBoats, Whales, & Guatemala?

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I picked up a new surcingle belt and the design is not the most typical. Generally you will find surcingle belts embroidered with nautical themes, preppy animals, or preppy sports themes. None of these things are bad, I wear them myself, but sometimes you want something a little different. Cue the belt.

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I loved this Guatemalan design with dogs (link here) the moment I saw it. I posted it in on one of my Instagram stories and I got a ton of questions about it so I knew I was not alone in my admiration. I thought that this belt would be a great way to add some color to my outfits. I knew that it would look great with olive chinos as well as the standard khaki/blue OCBD combo. Along with adding color I thought it was a nice way to break up my standard look and add a little bit of individuality into the mix.

I got this belt at Leather Man on the Eliza B site (see here). In my opinion it is a steal at $42. Leather Man is my de facto place to get belts. If this belt does not do it for you they have you covered as they have plenty of others.

On the Map

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While John Simons has definitely been on the map for the Ivy set in London it was not on my radar as a shopping option. That is until my recent popover purchase.

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Since my original purchase (see here) I have grabbed a few more of their own brand shirts. The reason is their amazing madras fabric that is gauzy and cool along with the patterns that they were doing them up in. The tartan-ish madras featured above was the tipping point. It was just too good for me to resist and I am so glad that I did not. I also picked up another madras popover and  the gingham popover seen below.

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I will say that my purchases did not come without some challenges. My first popover actually came as the button-front version instead of the popover. I sent a few emails that were met with no reply which was frustrating. I understand that this does not inspire confidence, but I want to be honest. As a side note, I have heard that they are great over the phone. A call seemed like a hassle to me and I ended up just keeping the button-front. Internet shopping is not without its pitfalls.

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Sizing is also a little challenging. Challenging is not the right word. What I found is that the sizing is not consistent. It was consistent among the exact same product type but not type to type. Luckily for them I am used to this as very few shops are consistent in this area. Luckily for me everything fit good enough.

Despite all of these issues they have succeeded in making a fan out of me. The products spoke for themselves. The madras fabric is some of the best I have ever touched, I love their patterns, and even their labels are cool.

The OCBD Re-up

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I get a lot of questions about the OCBDs that I wear. The answer is not one that most people want to hear which is that they are 99% all old Lands’ End shirts that are no longer available. My supply of these shirts is however running low and I need some new shirts. Lucky for me there are a few sales going on to help me out.
Michael Spencer OCBDFirst up is friend of the blog and advertiser Michael Spencer. He is currently running a $40 off per shirt 4th of July sale that continues through the 15th of July. This drops the price to $95 per shirt which is a solid value. I currently own two Michael Spencer shirts and love them both (see pics above & below). I did a review last year which you can find here (OCBD Michael Spencer Reivew).  I also posted a review from Steve a reader and commenter of the blog which is also very helpful (Michael Spencer Review). I like the classic fit and the softly lined collar myself, but he offers all the options including unlined. If you don’t have one in your closet I recommend trying a candy stripe with a flap pocket. I think that this is a killer look.
IMG_6317Next up are the fellas that like to put a squeeze on our pocketbooks, J.Press. While J.Press does not currently have their OCBDs on sale they do have sales on lots of their dress shirts with a price of around $82.50. I stepped out of my typical solid blue OCBD and went crazy ordering a blue and red striped pinpoint shirt. Check out the sale here (J.Press Sale).

I did this post because not only do I understand the struggle, but I am still going through it. The all-cotton OCBD without non-iron treatment and a collar length greater than 3 inches is not as easy to find as it used to be and the price reflects that. So not only am I glad that there are still companies out there making them, but that they throw us the occasional sale to ease the pain. Stock up while the getting is good.