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Corduroy Close-up

I have made a few fall pick ups last week, but I am still waiting on the right weather to wear them. In lieu of a review I will share my latest acquisitions. My thinking is that this may inspire some of you out there to try something new this autumn or to fill that hole in your cool weather wardrobe before the cool turns ice cold.

First, I grabbed a pair of Lands’ End 10 wale cords in the tailored fit. I mentioned these in the my last cord post(Quick Cord Roundup). I have had issues with both the tailored fit and the quality of their cords, but with constant LE Sales they were purchased for cheap. On top of that LE has a great return policy so the risk is minimal.
le-cordsPurchase number 2 is from LE as well. It is a Harrington style jacket often referred to as a Baracuta, because that is the company that produced the iconic jacket. LE calls their jacket a Barracuda and this one comes in Black Watch. My guess is that I will either love it or it will look too neo-prep and I will hate it.



The last item that I bought is a pair of pants for casual wear. I don’t like wearing jeans, but sometimes I want to wear something a little more casual than chinos and that is where I hope that this pair of J.Crew 5 pocket cords comes into play. Specifically I purchased the Vintage Cord in the 770 fit (see here). This fit is supposed to trimmer than the 1040 chinos that I wear for work, but not by much.
j-crew-5-pocketThere you have it folks. I am slowly getting ready for fall. I have added a new pair of cords for work to the rotation, added a Harrington jacket in a fun Black Watch patter, and invested in a pair of 5 pocket cords from J.Crew. I will be wearing these as the weather and opportunity allows. More to come in the future.

The Ragged, Tattered, and Torn OCBD

Tattered Collar

I truly did not think that I would see this day. I have read of it and I have even seen pictures of it, but I still thought it more myth than certain reality and then last week it happened to me. My trusty OCBD that had a charming amount of fraying now has a hole in its collar.
No blog has probably done a better job of documenting the Ivy & Trad virtues of well-worn clothing than Ivy Style with articles such as “A Frayed So: In Praise of Beater Clothes.”  It was there where I saw my first OCBD collar riddled (pictured above) with what looked to me like symptoms of an insect problem not true wear and tear. This is where I was wrong.

Prior to springing a leak my shirt showed no signs of being on its last leg. It was worn to the office the week before. I put it in the wash frayed and it came out with a hole. It was part of my core rotation of 12 OCBDs. So it sees action about once every other week. I may have worn this one more than others without being aware of it (They do all look the same). However, upon further inspection two others are showing signs of being structurally weak in the same area.

I learned a few things this week. I learned that collars do get holes in them naturally without the shirts being worn well past their prime. I also learned that this batch of OCBDs all of which are from Lands’ End were purchased in 2007 and 2008. That is not a bad value at all when you consider that this shirt still has a very long life ahead of it. It may not make it to the office anymore, but it is just starting to get good and I didn’t even have to use sand paper (Princeton Boys and The Sandpapered Shirt Collar).

Watch Band Wash up


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.

 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.

 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.

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

Me and My 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.