All posts in Men’s Clothing Reviews

Camp Moc Overview

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Since posting about my Sperry Camp mocs I have received quite a few questions surrounding camp mocs from, “Can I pull them off?” to ,”Where do you find them?”. The answer to these questions is, yes and everywhere.
IMG_4061Let’s start with the pulling them off question. If you can pull off boat shoes you can easily pull off camp mocs. I see camp mocs as the less preppy cousin to the boat shoe. It’s a little more rugged than its cousin and doesn’t carry the country club connotation that some connect with boat shoes, but it offers all of the advantages of the boat shoe. It also looks fine with socks which makes camp mocs wearable year round.

Everywhere may have been a bit of a stretch, but you can easily find them. The L.L. Bean’s handsewn Camp moc is the quintessential camp moc. It has a great shape, price, and is always available. I opted for their Signature version which for only $10 more dollars features much nicer leather. If you are looking for something a little nicer you can choose from Quoddy (Canoe Moc) or Rancourt (Gilman Camp Moc). These options are both priced right around $250. Last, but not least are the Sperry’s gold cup mocs. They don’t have the best shape, but their comfort level and fit made up for that.

Basically, camp mocs are awesome. These low-key mocs allow you to go sock-less in the summer and look great with chunky wool socks in the winter. They also won’t break the bank (unless you go top of the line) and with their tradder than prep appearance they may be just what you are looking for this summer.

My Michael Spencer OCBDs

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I have now had my Michael Spencer OCBDs for two months. This has given me the chance to wear them each shirt several times. I wanted to do this because too often I am still in the honeymoon phase of a purchase. However, I will not you hold you in suspense any longer. I love them.

I had heard a lot about Michael Spencer before I ever tried one of their shirts. Opening up shop around the time that all of the sub-$100 OCBDs with any type of legitimate collar roll began to disappear these shirts were a natural-fit for the trad market. Forgive the pun, but with the unlined 3.5″ collar the buzz in the trad world was strong.
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Lined collar at top and Unlined collar underneath

Michael Spencer offers multiple fits and multiple collar types. The fits are Vintage, Classic, Modern Slim, and Extra Slim. There are also multiple collar types available, but for this post the only one that matter is the Legacy Button Down Collar which can be made lined or unlined. The Legacy collar has 3.5″ collar points, a 3.25″ spread, and 0.5″ tie space.

Of course I went with the Legacy collar, but I selected one lined collar and the other unlined in the Classic fit. I have never owned an unlined collar before. My knowledge of them was all second hand and it is primarily from the waxing poetics of Ivy Style purists that I learned of their fetished uncontrollable rolls and unmatched comfort. After wearing the unlined collar a few times I soon understood the appeal. The comfort was unmatched. The collar was not uncontrollable, but I could not always get the collar roll that I wanted to stick like I could with the lined shirt. This may be one area where I am not a purist. I actually preferred the lined collar, because it provided a more structured roll.

IMG_3296FullSizeRender (1)The pros far outweighed the cons for me. The only two cons that I could come up with are price and the wait. The shirts are $135, but at this time this is market price. I may not love it, but the fact that it is consistent among Brooks Brothers, Mercer, and J.Press makes me okay with it. As far as the wait goes I learned that I have been conditioned with OTR (off the rack) clothing to expect instant gratification. Ordering a shirt takes a little longer, but the wait was worth it and since the need for a shirt is seldom an emergency this is not a big deal.

If you have been holding out on trying a Michael Spencer I say give it a go. They have a great product, they are great to deal with, and you can count on a great roll. On top of that you can deck it out with all of the bells (locker loops) and whistles (flap pockets) that you want. It is great to have add another trustworthy source for OCBDs to the list.

Spring Sniffles

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Spring is in full effect here in Ohio. Plants are poisoning the air with their pollen, there are 40 degree swings in temperatures, and I am suffering from cold. All joking aside, I do enjoy spring, but my cold has made things such as writing this week’s blog post a challenge. Lucky for me my Patagonia Snap-T has stepped up to the challenge of making me feel comfortable in a time of discomfort.
008You may have heard people say something to the effect of, “A Shetland sweater is a trad’s sweatshirt.” I am not going to dispute this as it holds true for the most part, but sometimes even trads need something even more comfortable than a Shetland (like when you are laying on your couch sick). This is where my Patagonia Snap-T fleece comes into play. It is warm and soft, but offers an advantage over something like a cream colored sweatshirt (see here), because it can provide more shelter from the wind and rain than a typical sweatshirt. It also has a cool late 70s prep vibe to it.

I am wearing my Snap-T as I write this blog, but I don’t only wear when not feeling well. Snap-T’s come in handy for any outdoor activity or even for just signalling that you are truly dressed down. For example, I have worn mine over an OCBD on a casual Friday where it was well received. These are just a few reasons that this versatile piece of active wear has found a home in the trad cannon.

Moc Talk: Sperry Camp Mocs

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Like many of you I have been scanning my closet to find any holes (and not moth holes this week!) in my warm weather wardrobe. Overall my closet is in good shape, but my shoe line up could use some help. My Sperry Topsiders are falling apart and my L.L. Bean Signature mocs don’t fit me sans socks the way that I had hoped.
Sperry Camp MocsDuring this exercise I found a pair of Sperry’s Gold Cup Authentic Original 1-Eye Boat Shoe online. While they call it a boat shoe us Trad’s would call it a camp moc. What I liked about this shoe is that I knew that Sperry shoes fit me well sock-less, it featured premium leather, and I snagged a pair for under $100. They retail for $159.95.

There are things that I don’t love about the shoe. The shape of Sperry’s camp moc is a little off. The tongue is a little wider and the toe box looks a little elongated. Basically they look like a boat shoe/camp moc hybrid, but lean more towards the moc side. They also feature more branding than I care for which is none, but from afar it is not noticeable. I can live with both of these things since the fits is so good.

I will have more to report as I wear them in over the spring and summer, but as of know I think that they were a good buy. The fit is good, they are lightweight which is perfect for going sock-less, and the quality is at least one full step above standard Sperry products. If Bean camp mocs don’t fit you well and Rancourt’s are too rich for your blood these may be worth a look.

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.