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Moth Man Cometh

Mothman

I have been having an eventful few months. A few of my sweaters were attacked by moths, someone hit my parked car, I have been extra busy on the work front, and then my sweaters were again attacked by moths. As you can tell none of the events have been what I would call positive. The worst part is that the sweater problem is still haunting me.

I store my sweaters in two areas. One of these areas is a dresser drawer and the other a cedar chest.  Even though both are stocked with cedar and lavender this is only going to discourage moths not stop them. After doing some research it appears that cedar chest are effective because they are not easy for moths to get into not because they are made of cedar.
Moth HoleThe first attack occurred in my dresser. I discovered a brand new sweater at the very bottom of the pile with a hole. I mention that it was new for two reasons. The first is that moths are attracted to clothing with stains or some dirt from wear. Second, is that only because it was new could I confirm that the moth bites happened in this drawer because all of my sweates travel between the two areas.

So, What did I do? First, I took all of my sweaters to the dry cleaner. This was annoying, but it made me feel confidant that I had taken care of the issue. I also cleaned out the dresser drawer really well. Finally I put all of the sweaters into the cedar chest. Fast forward a week and I discover another moth hole. This time I put all my sweaters in the freezer to kill off the moths, clean out the cedar chest, and Finally I put them in the plastic storage bags.

I share this because I am sure that many of you can relate to this struggle. Moths are terrifying to anyone that has a fair amount of sweaters. They are hard to see which means it is hard to know that they are there until it is too late. What I am trying to do now is move forward and stop worrying about future attacks (which is much easier said than done). I just keep telling myself that I have taken the necessary precautions and the worst case scenario is that I will have to buy some new sweaters 😉

Spring Sacks for Cheap

One thing about 3/2 roll sack sport coats is that they are not cheap. Places like O’Connell’s, J.Press, and (sometimes) Brooks Brothers that stock 3/2 roll sacks have a high barrier to entry with prices average starting around $750. This presents a challenge to the younger generation interested in the style. That’s why I always like to share when I find something that is trad, ivy, & very affordable.
Uniqlo seersucker sackUniqlo 2-button sack

Uniqlo is currently offering a few sack sport coats in their Uniqlo U collection. This includes a khaki (looks brown)  seersucker with a 3/2 roll, swelled edges, and no darts. There is also the even more rare 2-button sack with patch, but not flap pockets (I like the green). Both jackets retail for $79.99 and are currently on sale for $59.99.

Before you get too excited lets talk about the pros and cons. The first con is fit. These jackets are alpha sized so fit is really hit or miss. At least they provide detailed measurements on site. Another pro is that they are cheap enough to beat up, but on the other hand the quality may not hold up to too many beatings. If you are on a budget, but like the trad look or are just a trad looking for a beater jacket these may be worth checking out.

Gap: Archive re-issue big oxford shirt

Feature Gap

I was alerted that Gap was re-issuing an oxford via an OCBD blog reader (Thank you!). I pondered what ocbd they were re-issuing and what features they would highlight as I waited for the link to render. I was expecting something Take Ivy like, playing up an unlined collar and back-button, but it wasn’t that at all.

Gap’s re-issue is the big oxford shirt (See here). At first I thought that big referred to the collar size until I made it further down the page. They go on to state that,

“We’re throwing it back to the ’90’s with a limited-edition collection of iconic pieces pulled straight from our archives, exactly as you remember them.”

product photo
It seems like the shirt might be more Seinfeld than Take Ivy, but it does have a few things going for it. It is must-iron, has a locker loop, and the the collar size does not look bad. It’s also only $55 at a place that is plagued with sales.  All in all it is good to see a company releasing ocbd’s instead of discontinuing them.

The Life of a Beard

I shaved my beard off on January 1st. I thought that it would be a good way to start the new year. There was a brief moment after I shaved where I wondered if I had done the right thing. That concern faded as I adjusted to my hairless face. I don’t regret the beard nor do I long for it. It was a good experience. For those of you are considering a beard I have included a set of pictures documenting the life of my beard.

Before I go I wanted to ask for some recommendations. While shaving my beard I started to think about my after shave and cologne. I currently use Brooks Brothers Classic. I like it, but there may be something else that I like more. I just don’t know what that is. Thanks in advance for all of the suggestions!

 

 

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The Past & The Future of the L.L. Bean Anorak

The anorak made its way into the Trad cannon via Ivy Style as documented in the famed book Take Ivy. It was one of the lucky items to transcend the Ivy era and found itself perhaps even more popular among the 70’s prep crowd (The Late 70s Prep Look) . The anorak continues to weave in and out of mainstream popularity, but it has found a home for itself in the world of traditional American clothing. That about sums what I know about the anorak, but luckily for us we have a guest poster Kel Rhoads who knows his stuff and is going to give us a history lesson on the L.L. Bean Anorak (and a sneak peak at their 2017 anorak).

anorak-ivy-style-3LL Bean, established purveyor of traditional clothing, has offered an anorak for over 70 years—although not continuously. For the past several years, if you wanted a traditional Bean anorak, you had to scour the used market. Fortunately, that’s about to change. A new Bean anorak will be released in early 2017. Given our interest in the garment, an LL Bean employee sent us an exclusive photograph of the upcoming model. We’ll show it to you in a bit, but first, let’s put the new anorak in its historical context.

The original “annoraaq” was designed by the Inuit as a heavy, fur-lined, hooded pullover jacket. No openings to the front, with drawstrings at hood, cuffs, and waist, helped the jacket ward off wind, water, and freezing temperatures encountered by polar hunters. The garment was strictly and efficiently functional. As is often the case, the garment’s spartan practicality provided the foundation for its evolution into versatile, and sometimes even fashionable, outerwear—for even the non-polar inclined.
To our knowledge, there have been four previous generations of the Bean anorak, with the 2017 model ushering in the fifth. The first generation served soldiers in WWII and was available into the 1960s as “Bean’s Labrador Parka,” either cotton or 60/40, with a distinctively alien, two-pocketed, low-hem cut. Today these are valued by collectors.
LL Bean Labrador AnorakLL Bean Labrador ParkaThe second generation ushered in “Bean’s Anorak,” which had the familiar modern windbreaker look we recognize today. We suspect the second generation was offered throughout the 1970s and 1980s. They were made of slick, lightweight (2.5 oz./yard) nylon and had parallel seams on the chest. The elastic wrist bands on most of these vintage ‘raks have relaxed and need replacement, but otherwise they are still durable, functional garments—and still the lightest and most packable of any Bean anorak.
beans-anorak
Bean’s third generation was produced in the 1990s and was broadly popular, even earning its own advertising spreads in outdoor magazines. These anoraks were redesigned in softer Supplex nylon with a cotton-y feel, and the seams on the chest evolved into a slenderizing keystone shape. That, along with an elastic waist drawstring, meant wearers could advertise a trim, athletic figure beneath. These were known as the “Mountain Classic Anorak” in solid colors, and the “Alpine Classic” or “Aztec” in flamboyant color-block variants. We aren’t certain if the third generation made it into the 21st century, but there was a many-years-long hiatus where Bean anoraks were no longer offered.
mountain-classic-anorakPopular demand caught up with Bean in 2012, when they reintroduced a fourth variant for just two years. They again called it the “Mountain Classic Anorak,” made of an even softer Supplex than previously. In many ways, however, the 2012 reissued Mountain Classic was more like the second-generation Bean’s Anorak with straight chest seams and vintage leather cord keepers at the hood. Bean also cut the fourth generation model considerably larger in the trunk, yielding a less athletic but comfortably drapey (some say tent-like) shape.
mountain-classic-anorak-2012-2
That brings us to the just-introduced fifth generation Bean anorak, called the “Mountain Classic Color Block Anorak” — although we’ve been assured one color scheme will be a sober black-on-black. Studying the photograph, it appears the anorak has gone back to a slimmer cut, possibly longer, and with a longer chest zipper. Its color-block style harkens back to the “Alpine” and “Aztec” designs of the 1990s, but less rambunctiously so. Bean has also revived their “Sunrise over Katahdin” label (which appeared in 1987) and placed it prominently on the chest. We have no idea how long Bean will offer the new 5th-gen, but we’re told they’ll debut in the Spring of 2017.
ll-bean-anorak-2017Modern windbreaker-style anoraks are favorites of travelers. There’s a cost of having to wriggle into a pullover that gives half the ventilation of a zip-up jacket. But the benefits are many: a streamlined front that doesn’t snag on pack straps, superior weather resistance, a long and lightweight barrier that wards off the grime of public transportation. And then there’s that magnificent kangaroo pocket. For the urban traveler, its great advantage is rapid deployment and concealment of valuables. While others are fumbling with wallets, packs and purses, the anorak’d traveler faces the vending machine, unzips, pays, and stashes change and receipt back into the pocket in seconds. By the time he or she turns away, everything’s zipped and secure, to be sorted out later. Pick-pockets hate anoraks!