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Trad Summed up in a Single Photograph

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If I had to sum up the trad look of the 2000’s in one photo this would be the picture that I choose. I think that it embodies the sentiment of trad style very well. It is far more casual than its forefather ivy league style while at the same time a little more reserved than the preppies that came after, but obviously a product of both.
This is Trad Quinessential Trad Everything about this photo screams trad. The Barbour is quintessential trad when combined with a sport coat or navy blazer. At the same time here we have the Brooks Brothers 1818 sack which is important because it is (I almost write was, because I have heard rumors) one of the last mass-produced 3/2 sack blazers on the market. The shirt is a simple blue university stripe paired with a Brooks Brothers No. 1 Rep (See BB Tie Nomenclature here), but most important here the is collar roll. The chinos are plain front with cuffs and little to no break (Cuff, no break). Finally it is capped off with a pair of penny loafers. Mine are cheapo Weejuns, but if I had unlined Alden LHS from Brooks Brothers I would have featured them.

I know My Rites

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After my recent post on going sans tie I was pressed about my desire to wear a tie. This led led me to do some reflecting. Why do I want to wear suits, sports coats, and ties?¬† I know that I have always liked and been interested in style but I don’t think that this is the driving factor.

What I do think is driving or at least was driving this aspiration is rite of passage. I had imagined that at some point in my life that I would be a successful adult man. I pictured myself working in a downtown office, wearing suits, and carrying a briefcase, but it seems like I missed that boat. When I entered the workforce it was a sea of business casual and casual Friday at best. I pushed forward wearing a tie albeit occasionally. As I wrote a few weeks ago this is not always best for your career. It hasn’t harmed mine yet, but I have learned when and where I can away with it.

Dressing like a business man was something that I had looked forward to happening. Similar to getting a drivers license, voting, or having your first drink is how I viewed getting to wear a tie. It was also a mark of success in my mind. It was part of my rite of passage into adulthood and I feel like I got the short end of the stick, but that’s probably a lot better than no stick at all.

I will leave you with a few thoughts (and lots of ties pictures!). Maybe the real transition was never about the clothes at all, but rather conformity? Perhaps how I feel about not getting to wear a tie is how others felt in the past when they were forced to wear a tie in the office? They hated it, but they did it because they were grown-ups.

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New Spring Shetland

O'Connell's Green Moss Shetland

My new spring Shetland from O’Connell’s Clothing¬† has just arrived and I couldn’t be more excited, but I can already hear the questions. Questions like, “A Shetland in the spring? Why?” and “Isn’t it getting too warm for Shetlands?.” These are of course all great questions.

Light Green ShetlandIf you go back to my Shetlands as Outerwear post (see here) you will get a better understanding. I use Shetlands as outerwear quite often either on their own or paired with a down vest (one of my favorite looks). This is great for me when the day starts around 40-45 degrees. Even at 45-55 degrees I will use the Shetland as a jacket in the morning. Also, I live in Ohio and run cold so ymmv.
Shetland sweater with vestWhat I also mean by spring Shetland is color. Spring colors can range from pastels to bright pink, but to me the key is colors that are related to nature. The light blue Shetland that I used to favor in the spring has just got a hole in the elbow and I wanted something spring like to replace it until I got it repaired (elbow patches coming soon!). There are a few different places to get Shetlands, but I went to O’Connell’s as they have a solid selection and I wanted to throw my friends up in Buffalo some business.
O'Connell's Scottish Shetland Wool Sweater - LemonadeO'Connell's Scottish Shetland Wool Sweater - Kelly GreenO'Connell's Scottish Shetland Wool Sweater - Green MossIn the end I went with a Green Moss Shetland. In addition to the sweater I chose, Lemonade and Kelly Green were in the running. The reason that I did not go with the yellow sweater is that they did not have one in my size. As for the Kelly Green I knew it would not look as good as the softer green would even though I really really liked it. Last thing, I do recommend sizing up as O’Connell’s suggests or just giving them a call for measurements. Here is to warm weather!

Mixing it up

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I thought that I would get back into the swing of things with some full blown Ivy Style. Now I am one that generally likes to keep it simple which I am sure that this is apparent from my uniform of khaki chinos, blue OCBD, and penny loafers, but sometimes even I mix it up. This is a good example of that.
IMG_7134When I say full-blown Ivy I mean a few things. One, is that the tweed sport coat that I am wearing is from the Hey day and has all the bells & whistles including 3/2 roll, sack cut (aka no darts), swelled edges, and even a hooked vent. Two, is that my tie is on the narrower side measuring at about 2.75″ which is slim for my tastes, but boy do I love this tie. Third, is the tie pattern. Paisley ties are very Ivy.
IMG_7005On to why this is not simple for me. Here you have a brown tweed, a red striped OCBD, and a predominantly green tie that incorporates yellow and red. Why does this work? I don’t have a great answer for that outside of that I liked the way it looked and there is a nice amount of contrast. I am sure that someone skilled in color theory could break it down for you, but I just eyeballed it.

I don’t know what the take away here is except that sometimes it is good to mix it up (Look, no striped tie!) and that I find contrast much more important than matching. Oh, and I am glad to be back posting after my month off. Thanks for the support, it is very much appreciated!

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