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The Suede Jacket Crisis

Suede jacket

I think that there comes a time in every man’s life when he wants a suede jacket and I am at that point. I have found myself staring longingly at suede jackets online for about 3 months now. I have yet to make a purchase and I think the biggest reason is that I question if I will wear it which relies heavily on the, can-I-make-it-look-cool question.
Suede Field Jacket BrownI have identified two types of suede jacket that may work for me. One is a safari style jacket and the other a baracuta jacket. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, primarily around length. I think that length is important here, because of how I intend to use my suede jacket which is casual. Yes I will wear it to work, but I am more excited to wear it out casually on the weekend.

If you are wondering I am leaning towards the baracuta style. I have one now (not suede) and I get a lot of wear out of it so I know that it will work well both casually and at work. Where as I think the safari jacket will work well at the office, but I think it may come off a little to 70’s funky casually (especially if I paired it with my Wallabees). This segues to another question about footwear. Again, not an issue at the office. Luckily for us penny loafer work with everything, but what do I pair it with when I am not at the office?
O'Connell's Goatskin Suede Baracuta - BuckThe big question I keep coming back to, is are suede jackets cool? I am not asking in the, “Are they trad?,” sense of the question, but rather can they be pulled off well. I harp on this because I struggle to recall a single time that I have seen man in a suede jacket and thought, “Wow, that looks great!” Most of the time I tend to focus on the jacket. So it is more like, “Wow, what a great suede jacket!

This another post where I could use reader feedback. Have you ever bought a suede or even leather jacket?  Do you wear it a lot? What do you pair it with? Was it worth the investment? Any buyers remorse?

My Two Scents

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Not that long ago I was shopping around for a new cologne. I was using Brooks Brothers classic, but at the time I wanted something else. The gist of it is that I wanted something that wore longer and better. It turns out it was not the cologne that was the problem.

The truth of the matter is a little embarrassing. What I learned in my search for a new scent was that I was wearing cologne all wrong. My routine consisted of spraying it on after I was fully dressed. I can hear a few of you laughing now, but I promise that I did not know any better.

It turns out that you are supposed to apply cologne directly to your skin. Most people suggest a single spray to the chest. This was a game changer for me. After I started to wear my Brooks Brothers cologne correctly I noticed how much longer it lasted and the scent was much more interesting. I was a happy man.

I did not change colognes, but I did make one other change. I added Brooks Brothers aftershave to my routine. Again, this change helped me carry the scent longer and more noticeably, but not in an overwhelming in your face way. I hope that someone out there can learn from my ignorance or at least have a little chuckle at my expense.

When to Say When

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This week I put my old Weejuns out to pasture. This is not easy for me as I don’t always know when to say when. I mean almost never. I am pretty sure that a lot of you out there can relate. There is a fine line between well-worn and over-due, but I seem to miss it quite often.
Old Weejuns I have been wearing my current pair of Weejuns for right around 3 years (see above). To some of you this may sound like no time at all and others an eternity. For the most part I am desk jockey so they don’t see much action outside of the walk from the parking lot to the office and back. I will be honest. While I don’t walk in them a ton I am very hard on my shoes. Monday through Thursday I rotate between two pair of Weejuns, but I end up wearing my brown pair 75% of the time. I also do not use shoe trees. I told you that I was going to be honest.
New WeejunsAfter reading the paragraph above I am sure it is clear to you that I needed new loafers (and better shoe-care habits!). It was clear to me that I probably needed new shoes, but if I had not found a new pair of Weejuns in my closet I doubt I would have made the leap.

This is actually where I could use some advice. What measurement if any do you use to know when a clothing item needs to be moved out of the starting line-up? This does not have to be limited to shoes. It could be for shirts, sweaters, trousers, sport coats, suits, etc. Please help a trad out!

Tweed Sport Coats as Outerwear

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In this post I hope to help you get that great looking tweed sport coat out of your closet and into your life. Whether it’s sitting there because its a touch too big or because your office is a no-sport coat zone this will help. I previously mentioned wearing Shetland sweaters as outerwear. I do the same with sport coats, and often with the help of a sweater.
Tweed Sport Coat with Shetland SweaterI don’t remember when I acquired it, but I have a great 3/2 sack herringbone tweed sport coat from Brooks Brothers that just sits in my closet. It is the most perfect color of brown and has all of the right details. It is an ideal jacket for me, but…it doesn’t fit. Its just too big That’s not the jackets fault by the way. I got the, “I can make those measurements work” mentality when I pulled the trigger. Hindsight, right!
FullSizeRLast week we had a few days that started between 35-40 degrees. As I was getting dressed on one of these mornings I thought, “What if I try to wear that brown tweed over this Shetland?” I threw it on and even though it did not look perfect I thought it looked good. I also knew that I would only we wearing from my parking lot to the office and back so perfect was not nearly as necessary as something that I would be wearing all day. Good enough would suffice.
IMG_3356At the end of the day (literally) I was happy with my decision. This sport coat will definitely be paired with a Shetland and used as outerwear again. Odds are if you are reading this blog you have taken similar sizing risks with vintage jackets and have one that fits this description just hanging in your closet. This is a good way for them to see the light of day. Also, if your office is not tweed friendly pairing it with a sweater can help it become a piece of outerwear.

Fall Fun

Featured Fall Fun

Warm weather is know for all of its “fun” clothing, but fall has fun too. To be honest the summer needs it, because wearing a jacket and tie can be a challenge plus there is little to no opportunity for layering. Fall brings tweed and shetlands back into the mix which is plenty exciting for most, but this post is for those that like a little more oomph.

1. O’Connell’s Long Sleeve Sport Shirt – Cotton & Wool – Panel Tartan – $99.95 (Each one is unique)
Oconnell's Patchwork

2. Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Tartan Cotton Flannel Fun Shirt – $ 69.50
BB Red Fleece Fun Shirt3. Polo Ralph Lauren The Iconic Oxford Fun Shirt – $89.50
Fun Shirt PRL
4. Polo Ralph Lauren Patchwork Vest – $245
PRL Patchwork Madras Vest

There you have it. Proof that even as the temperatures drop that you can still tell them all to GTH. While fun shirts may not be my thing I like that others like them. Each of the above items has its pros and cons (like the ticket on that vest!), but I wanted to highlight a little something for everyone. Last thing, the patchwork on the vest is perfection in my book.

P.S. Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten about our critter friends!