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From Matunga to Manhattan

Madras

The weather has been unseasonably warm here the last few days which led me to jumping the gun on Madras season. While I blame the heat I am not at all upset about this development. It has been gorgeous outside.

A few weeks back a writer from the Daily News and Analysis India approached me about using one of my Madras images (see above) for an upcoming story on the fabric. While they ultimately chose not to use my image I thought that it was an interesting article well worth sharing with all my Madras loving Trads.

There’s apparently nothing in common between Ramasubbu and Brooks Brothers. The former is a street vendor in Matunga Market, Mumbai. The latter, an upmarket men’s clothing brand – the oldest in the US – headquartered in Manhattan. But dig deeper, and you’ll find that they’re inextricably linked by a design so much a part of Indian society that we seldom think twice about it.

Click here for the full read. I am off to enjoy the warm weather.
Golf Madras

Saturday Style

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I am going to continue talking about casual clothes this week including small collars and even untucked shirts (revolutionary stuff, I know). Commenter Young Soul Rebel asked a question last week about the size of the collar on J.Crew’s popover. I replied that I don’t worry too much about collar size or roll on casual shirts. As a matter of fact this is not the only concern that I throw out the window when it comes to casual clobber.
Boat shoes and BaracutaGrey Sweatshirt & OCBDSaturday Style 3First let me define what I mean by casual, because there is a lot of it. Before I get attacked for my untucked shirts and shorts let me make it clear that I am not talking about fine dining or an event. I do not consider anything outside of 9 to 5 to be casual. I am talking about a casual that I call Saturday style. This is after work golf practice in my yard type casual. What I would wear to the grocery at 9am Saturday morning, to grab lunch with friends, or conquer weekend errands.
Barber Shop Shot Casual GolfWhite sneakersMore Saturday StyleI often find pictures more helpful than words which are why I shared so many in this post instead of trying to describe my casual style. I think that overall I am a fairly conservative dresser, but outside of work this is not nearly as true. As you can see some of the collars are small (though I would prefer they weren’t), the shirt is often untucked, there are white sneakers and grey sweatshirts, and I like it. Just keep in mind where you are going, always be somewhat presentable and you should be fine.

*For those of you that are wondering a few of these pictures are from last year which is why I wearing Madras prior the flag being raised (see the madras flag being lowered here). Not that would stop me.

Top of the Pops: The Popover Preview

Gant Popover

It felt like I did a little summer bashing last week so I thought that I would return this week with a pro-summer post. While I don’t find too much to look forward to in terms warm weather clothing mostly, because it doesn’t offer me too many work friendly options it does offer a lot of casual options and what is summer without casual!

One of my favorite warm weather items is the short-sleeve popover shirt. The popover was created by Gant in the 1960s and they continue to make them today. The image above is a current popover by Gant who know seems to call them “pullovers”. The style has seen a resurgence in popularity over the last 5 years. Currently they are offered by everyone from J.Crew to O’Connell’s Clothing. Below are my top 3 popover picks of the season. Gingham Popover1. Brooks Brother Gingham Seersucker ($69.50) – I am a big fan of small scale gingham patterns in blue. Patterns in smaller scales are much easier to wear than large patterns. This short-sleeve popover is also made from seersucker in cotton which is an especially good choice for staying cool in hot weather. I also like the shorter 3-button placket. This shirt is available in Regent and Madison fit. J.Crew Coral Popover2. J.Crew Cotton/Linen Popover in Coral ($75) – I spoke about needing to add a little more color to my wardrobe a few weeks back and this is the type of shirt that could help me do it. The textured cotton-linen fabric looks great in this soft pink color. I could see pairing this with British or stone khakis. The flap pocket is a nice touch. I prefer a dress shirt hem over the square hem on this popover, but it is still a nice shirt nonetheless. Pink Seersucker Popover3. O’Connell’s Clothing Pink Seersucker Popover ($165) – This is by far the priciest popover on the list, but it is still worth featuring. This made in the USA popover features single needle tailoring and the lightweight pink seersucker fabric is the epitome of summer. The placket on this popover is too long for my taste, but it is the traditional length. O’Connell’s once again proves that they can do anything well, but that you will have to pay for that expertise.

Above are just a few of the great popover choices out on the market right now. If you are looking for more options J.Crew seems to be putting out more than anyone at this time, but checking the usual suspects should be fruitful as well. This is one item where I actually prefer an updated look with a shorter placket. If popovers are your style I might consider stocking up on a few at the end of the season. It is hard to tell when items like these will once again become a thing of the past.

Warm Weather Wear

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I am excited that it is getting warm. I love spending time outdoors. I have already tuned up my bicycle and I am ready to suffer through another season of learning how to golf. What I am not looking forward to nearly as much is warm weather clothes.
Yellow Harrington & Clipper Blue ShetlandUnlike the joy I get from putting on the first Shetland or pair of cords of the season most spring and summer clothes leave me cold. I do like a nice muddy green, blue, and brown madras. I am also happy to wear shorts, because that means that it is warm and I am not at work!
Kelly Green Baracuta and SweaterTo be honest most of the time that I wear color it is for the benefit of others. I would be happy in a blue OCBD every day, but I am self-aware enough to know that the monotony of that can wear on others. A few items that I have recently used to help add a spring color to my rigs are my two Harrington jackets (Kelly Green Baracuta & Pale Yellow PRL) and two spring-ish Shetlands (Salmon & Clipper Blue). While they are all very colorful the fact that they are all layers and can be easily removed is great for me. Even better is that I like all of these colors on me.
Pink ShetlandI may have come a little more curmudgeonly in this post than I intended, but I promise that I am excited for summer. This post is not about me hating pastels, linen, or seersucker along with anyone who wears the stuff. It is about knowing yourself. The better you understand what you like and what works on you the less likely you are to regret purchases or even worse, ending up at a great summer party unable to enjoy yourself because you aren’t comfortable in your own clothes.

One-Man Band

One-Man Band

As I was taking off my watch the other day I noticed that it may be time to give it a wash (pictured below). After further inspection it was clear that my favorite watch strap has seen better days. It is not at death’s door yet, but it is time to start thinking about its successor.
Shetland-Sweater-and-WatchbandWhen it comes to finding nylon watch straps the good thing is that you don’t have to look far to find some great inexpensive options. I always recommend the Central Watch’s 5 for $30 deal on their nylon straps, but there are also great options at O’Connell’s, J.Press, and J.Crew.

If you are looking for an actual NATO style band (They do have a military history, but it does not involve NATO troops.) I suggest checking out Smart Turnout. They have an impressive collection of regimental bands. However, If you have smaller wrists such as myself you may find NATO straps a little bulky due to the excess length which is why I avoid them even thought I love the utilitarian design.

O'Connells Grommeted band

The watch band that I have my eye on over at O’Connell’s. It has great colors, but I am not sold on the grommetts. 

I used to switch my bands out regularly, but over the past 2-3 years I have become a one-band type guy. I am not sure if this because I have begun to wear ties a few days a week and that satisfies my need for color or if I am just growing more boring by the day. Either way it won’t hurt to add another to the collection!