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Singing the Thrift Store Blues

Bostonian Crown Windsor Tassels

I recently came across a shoe that on the second-hand market that I have been pining over for a long time. This shoe is none other than the cordovan tassel loafer. The only problem was one that all of my thrifters, Ebay scourers, and other experts of the second-hand/vintage clothing markets can relate. Will they fit?
Tassel LoafersCrown WindsorsThis specific pair of tassels are Crown Windsors made by Bostonian. These tassels are not from the current iteration of Bostonian, but rather from an era when their quality was on par with Allen Edmonds and Alden. This specific pair was being advertised as having not been worn outside, but after taking a close look at the sellers pics I believed them to be new old stock (NOS). The quality, condition, and price (when compared with a new a pair) made them very very attractive to me.

My first move was to do some due diligence. I contacted a man of many tassels that I know and sought his counsel. He could not provide me with any fit information in regard to vintage Bostonian tassels, but he did have other pairs of vintage Bostonians and sent me what info he had. I did some more research on the web and in the end I felt the odds were in my favor. I pulled the trigger.
Genuine Shell CordovanBostonian Crown WindsorWhen the shoes arrived they were in spectacular condition. I now fully believe that they have never been worn before at all, inside or outside. I was enamored, but the moment of truth was here. Try on time. They fit a tad big, but I was still hopeful that after a full day of breaking them in that they would work for me. I was wrong. They slipped all day and were even painful. I was and still am crushed.

This sad story is one that I know many of you have experienced. It is also why I am weary of the second-hand/vintage market. While I can certainly get my money back out of them it involves me reselling them which in my opinion is a form of torture. Moving forward I will be purchasing less and less from this market as I can afford it, but for now I will just sing you my thrift store blues.

The Lowering of the Madras Flag

Featured

As Labor Day has passes many men are partaking in the ritual of putting away their white bucks and seersucker. One man has his own end of summer ceremony. On Memorial Day he (,and now his son) hoist the Madras flag and on Labor Day the flag is lowered. Yesterday the flag lowered.
Madras Flag
Madras Flag Down

Ending Summer

Featured Image

It’s Labor Day weekend, the kids are back in school, and inevitably focus is shifting from madras to Shetland as summer is beginning to fade. There is no need to worry. There is still plenty of time to get out there and enjoy summer before it becomes a blip in the past. Take a cue from the pictures below of young Manhattanites enjoying the Hamptons in the 1960s courtesy of the NY Daily News. Also, enjoy all shots of the madras, loafers, surcingle belts, and popovers!
Hampton VacaIona College SweatshirtMadras
Girls in CarsDancingKissing in CarsMore DancingOn the porch

The “Soft Shoulder Shuffle” by The Hook Vents

Everybody's Dancing

While I may appear stuffy, curmudgeony, and all kinds of fuddy duddy I do like to have fun! So when I heard the “Soft Shoulder Shuffle” by the Hook Vents I knew that I had to share it. You can check out their song here: The Hook Vents  This band is composed of a few Ivy League fanatics that definitely get it. I hope that it makes your day like it made mine!

Lyrics to the “Soft Shoulder Shuffle”

Verse 1
This here’s the soft shoulder shuffle, I do it all the timeSoft Shoulder Shuffle
The rags I wear may be old, but they’re looking mighty fine

Button down collar with a button in back, when the ladies pass by
they know I’ve really got the knack

Strides pressed and clean and barely touchin’ my shoes
With that ivy league look you know you just can’t lose

Verse 2
Herringbone tweed with a 3/2 roll,
Come along baby now let’s take a little stroll

If it’s cool outside don’t you worry one bit
Just take my mohair sweater and cuddle up in it

All the cats on the street know there ain’t no other way
Gather round boys, here’s what I have to say

Chorus
Do the soft shoulder shuffle
(3-2 roll)
Do the soft shoulder shuffle
(It’s good for the soul)
Do the soft shoulder shuffle
Oh yeah
You do the soft shoulder shuffle
(Come on now!)
You learn the soft shoulder shuffle and you always be feeling fine

Verse 3
Now all you sloppy dressing silly lookin’ men,
Take a lesson from me cause I’ll say it once again

You need a flannel suit and a slim knit tie
A hopsack blazer and now you’re really gettin’ by

It’s a stubborn look, just won’t go out of style,
If you follow my advice, it’s sure to make you smile

Chorus
Do the soft shoulder shuffle
(Soft shoulder shuffle!)
Do the soft shoulder shuffle
Oh yeah
Do the soft shoulder shuffle
(Herringbone Tweed!)
Do the soft shoulder shuffle
(All that you need!)
You do the soft shoulder shuffle and you always be feeling fine

 

United States of Trad: John R. Bolton

Bolton Featured Image

It is time to put our political differences aside and celebrate the fact that “the look” is still alive (, but not well) in US politics. This edition of the United States of Trad pays tribute to one man that is keeping the trad flame burning. His name is John R. Bolton.

The son of a fireman, born in Baltimore, Maryland Bolton went on to attend Yale University. He has since spent his career in public service as well as working for prestigious law firms, think tanks, but is probably most well known for being the 25th United States Ambassador to the United Nations (or perhaps for being a Fox News Channel Commentator).
John Bolton Repp TieIt is not Mr. Bolton’s accomplishments in the world of politics that has earned him a spot here, but rather his dress. I have never seen Bolton without an OCBD on (Yes, even when wearing a suit.), his selection of ties stays well within traditional guidelines (He primarily sports striped ties with the occasional neat or paisley mixed in.), and he often wears a 3/2 sack suit.
John Bolton Sack SuitJohn Bolton Sack Suit 2John Bolton tan SuitI do agree with that he would benefit from a few small wardrobe tweaks. The roll of his collar could be improved and his ties would look a lot better with a dimple, and we would all love to see him move to wearing exclusively 3/2 sack suits, but I think that this is just nitpicking.
John Bolton Crew Neck

There are very few politicians that continue to dress in this traditional  American manner. Mr. Bolton, however not only carries on this tradition on the national level, but on an international level working with leaders of the world wearing an OCBD with a suit and a repp tie and for that we salute him.