All posts in Accessories

It’s Your Thing

the-isley-brothers-its-your-thing-disc-az

I found Christian Chensvold from Ivy Style’s post on Beatnik Prep refreshing. It’s not so much that I loved the style, but that I liked seeing someone inject their own point of view, interests, and style into the look whether that look be Ivy League Style, Prep, or Trad. One way that I do this is with my sneakers.
Polo Shirt & Sneakers
patagonia and sneakersI love running sneakers. I especially love running sneakers from the late 80’s-90’s. Even though I have weaned myself off of sneakers over the years they are still a part of my life. I primarily wear these sneakers for errands (especially when too cold or rainy for no-socks), neighborhood walks, hiking, canoeing, urban exploring, and the most casual of social events. Like Christian I even have a name for this style which I call 90’s hip-hop cross country team prep. Not a real thing or very catchy I know. I take a pair of khaki chino shorts and a polo shirt or chinos and a blue OCBD add my sneaks and there you have it.
Nike Icarus
OCBD Sneaker CollectionThis style is clearly not for everyone, because it is extremely tailored to me. This is in fact my point. This inclusion of running sneakers speaks to my personal interests and experiences. It makes my style my own and not just rules from a book, but still keeps the Trad vibe or at least I think it does. It also speaks to a great comment that a reader Fred left on the Modern Trad blog post,

I’m glad to see that you are looking at a modern take on trad. Trad was in its hey day around fifty years ago. Trad has evolved and I don’t want to dress like it’s 1966. I want to take the trad ideas and evolve them into today. That’s the intellectual challenge. What is the modern equivalent of trad. What does it mean to be trad in 2017?

While I may disagree with Fred about Trad existing in 1966 I think that his underlying point is spot on or at least the point I took away is. This point is that you cannot stop growing and changing which I truly believe. My other point is that it is okay to incorporate non-trad articles of clothing that you like into you Trad wardrobe. It does not make you less Trad. Just don’t try to convince others that these items are the Traddest and everything will be fine.

What are Polo Belts?

Polo Belt

I want to get a leather belt that is thinner than 1.25″. The reason why is that I have grown very accustomed to the thinner front of surcingle belts. I don’t want it to be a dress belt as I plan on wearing it with my 5-pocket cords. This search led me to Sid Mashburn. While looking at their selection of 1″ leather belts I noticed a belt (pictured above) that they referred to as a “polo” belt. I had never heard the term and thought nothing of until I saw a post on polo belts on Red Clay Soul.

I’ve been digging on the polo belts lately.  I love the idea, as well as the culture from which the polo belts originate.  Born in Argentina, they are typically leather belts with color-specific designs woven in to represent a team or a location.  While they’ve been around forever, they were made popular, maybe even mainstream, by royalty:
Polo Belts

Head over to Red Clay Soul for more examples of the polo belt, where to find them, and a few ideas on how to wear them. Read the full post here: Polo Belts by Red Clay Soul

Trad Cold Weather Accessories: The Tartan Scarf

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Men are often left out in the cold when it comes to accessories, but the colder it gets the more we gain. As we add layers for the additional chill in the air we start with a sweater then add a coat next up comes the hat, gloves, and scarf combo. I will start with one of my favorite cold weather accessories the scarf.

When it comes to trad scarves there are essentially three choices. There are solid scarves, school boy scarves (think regimental stripes), and tartan scarves. I have at least one of each style, but I overwhelmingly favor tartan patterns. I have added a few pictures below of my growing tartan scarf collection.

If you are wondering where I got all these scarfs I will tell you. They were either gifts, purchased at deep discount, or found on the second market. Scarves make great gifts as sizing is relatively easy and one can never have too many. Also, like all shopping, it is a lot less expensive to purchase off-season or end of season. Last , but definitely not least the scarf is one of the few items that I suggest shopping for on the second hand market. Again, the one-size fits makes them easy to source. Just be to sure to drop it off at the dry cleaner before taking it home!

I haven’t had the chance to wear one of scarves yet, but I know that I will get the opportunity soon enough. Which means that this is the right time to start taking stock of your winter accessories so that you are prepared when the time comes. Don’t get caught out in the cold without one!

Tartan Scarf 1
Tartan Scarf 5
Tartan Scarf 6
Tartan Scarf 4
Tartan Scarf 2
Tartan Scarf 3
Tartan Scarf 6

Fall Foulards

Giacoma tie close up

The leaves are turning, the temps are dropping, and you can order a pumpkin flavored anything. Fall is finally here and everyone is excited. For us trads, it is not so much the previous mentioned items as it is the return of layering, Shetland sweaters, and tweeds to mention a few. One item that I am especially excited for are foulard ties.
RedGreen Neat TiesTweed and TieA Foulard (also called a neat) is a symmetrical pattern that consists of small-scale repeating shapes such as diamonds, dots, medallions, pines, and of course flowers. A foulard is technically a kind of light weight silk, but today the term is used interchangeably with neat.
Red and Yellow Foulard TieBrooksgate neat tie
Foulards are not strictly for fall/winter items. However, I find them to be a better fit for myself with a tweed than in the summer with a blazer and chinos. I do break them out if I am wearing grey wool trousers and blazer. If I had a chance to wear suits this would be another occasion to break out the foulards. Until then I will just enjoy them when the weather turn cool bringing out the tweeds and cords.

 

 

A Few More Foulard Ties 

TieCollection-PatternClose-upYSL Foulard TieGreen and Red Flower Neat TieGrey tweed, yellow tie, and university striped shirt

Watch Band Wash up

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My main watch band was in need of some attention. I say main, because I have worn this band 99% of the time for the last 2 or 3 years. I say it needed attention, because not only was it starting to look dingy but it was also developing its own smell.
IMG_1952

 Before Washing

Luckily for me I remembered reading something somewhere on cleaning watch bands. The somewhere was a menswear forum and the advice was from Ask Andy Trad veteran’s Patrick and Ensiferous. These two suggested soaking watch bands overnight in water with a teaspoon of dishwasher detergent.
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 After Washing

Last night I gave it a try. I purchased a small bottle of dishwasher detergent at the grocery for $3. I filled a small plastic container with hot water added a teaspoon of the detergent dissolving it before adding in my watchband. This morning I pulled it out of the container, rinsed under tap water, and let it try off.

My watch band is not good as new, but it looks and smells so much better! I thought that I may have to throw it away, but it has a lot of life left in it. This is good news to me and this band, but bad news for all of my other watch bands that were hoping to get some playing time.