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Gone Surfing

Gone Surfing

No I am not really gone surfing, but I am taking a little break from the Oxford Cloth Button Down blog for the month of February. Don’t worry I am not closing my doors. Heck, I may even end up doing post, but I didn’t want to leave everyone hanging when they noticed that I had missed my weekly deadline. I’ll catch you on the flip side!
1950-60s surfing

Spring Semester 1964

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There is nothing better than wearing Shetlands, tweed, and the ability to layer. Well there may be at least one thing that is better which is warm weather. While the winter has been great for breaking out cold weather gear I have had my fill and I am over it. However, with the coldest month approaching I can do nothing but dream of warmer days.

Last night I was flipping through an old Wittenberg University yearbook from 1964 (no, this is not the year that I graduated) to get some spring inspiration. There were some cool ivy pics that got me excited for wearing shorts, madras, and white sneakers. It also reminded me that flip-flops & t-shirts have been on the scene for quite a while and that students have always loved kicking off their loafers! Before you start browsing the images below lets let out one collective sigh as we dream of warm weather and that student life.

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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!