All posts in Men’s Clothing Reviews

The Best Polo Shirt in 2023

I’d like to tell you that this post is a deep dive into all the potential polo shirts that can be had in 2023, but it’s not. I should probably change the title to, my go to polo shirt in 2023. A even more accurate title might be, my go to polo shirt. Don’t be too disheartened they are great shirts. Now let me tell you a little about them.

What I look for in a polo shirt is pretty straight forward. It needs to be all cotton. It should have more than 1 button, but less than 3. That means 2 buttons is the right number (and don’t button them both). It should also be available in the standard colors, available in general, and not cost an arm and a leg. It sounds simple, but that’s a tall order in 2023.

The Lands’ End mesh polo shirt meets all the criteria above (see here). First and foremost, it’s all cotton which alone is amazing in this day and age. The mesh cotton weave may not be as breathable as tech fabric, but I find it far more comfortable and far better looking. It has the perfect number of buttons which we have established is 2. It comes in all the right colors including the triad of trad (Shout-out to RWK!) which is navy, forest green, & burgundy. Perhaps best of all is that it is available season after season at a reasonable price of $26.95 plus LE always sales.

I’ve been wearing these polos for at least the past 7 years. You can dress them up or treat them like t-shirts. I do both. They work either way. My favorite color is the forest green, followed by white, and then the not as trad purple. The purple feels very Ralph Lauren-ish, in a good way. I find the navy to be too close to black for my taste. I like the burgundy but only in long sleeve format. With that being said, don’t sleep on the long sleeve version of these polos either as they are perfect for cooler weather (see here). It’s nice to see that there are still some affordable options for the basics that don’t require a lot of compromise. My suggestion is to get them while the getting’s good.

The Virtues of the Burgundy Shetland Sweater

Harley of Scotland Burgundy Shetland Sweater

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is what color shetland should I buy. I always suggest starting with grey or navy. The what-after-that question gets followed up with charcoal, forest green, and burgundy in no particular order (It’s a free for all after those are covered!). This particular focuses on the virtues of the burgundy shetland sweater.

I’ve had a burgundy shetland for quite a while. I first purchased one back in 2012 from the now discontinued Ralph Lauren Rugby line. It was brushed and featured suede elbow patches. I loved it. It looked, I am searching for the right word…dressy, refined, sophisticated? I can’t quite put my finger on it, but paired with a blue university striped OCBD and khakis it simply looks great. If I had a meeting where I wanted to look businessy but couldn’t wear a tie this was my go to look.

Over time my Rugby shetland started to look a little worn. It had also started to feel a little snug. Add in that it has shoulder seams when I prefer saddle shoulders and it was a time for a new one. So this year I picked up a Harley of Scotland shetland from in Bordeaux Mix Burgundy (see here). I opted for the standard finish as opposed to brushed. I do love a brushed shetland, but I’ve noticed that they show wear faster than their non-brushed counterpart. My standard finish will probably end up looking brushed in about 10 years anyhow.

The short of it is that I am back in business. I have already got a lot of use out of it. I have zero regrets about my color selection. I have wondered if my affinity for burgundy shetlands has to do with my complexion, but since I am no color wheel expert I will plead ignorance. If you frequently wear khakis I think this color is a great option. It’s a classic collegiate color which is always trad/ivy. It also reminds me of when burgundy/maroon SUVs were popular in the early/mid 90s. It’s a simple and classic look with the a slight touch of nostalgia.

Burgundy Shetland Sweater
My new Harley of Scotland Shetland

Ralph Lauren Rugby Shetland
My old Rugby Ralph Lauren Shetland

Harley of Scotland Burgundy Shetland Sweater

Back Talking Clothes: The 3/2 Roll Roundup

Well, I decided to do a new post. Maybe a 2-year hiatus did me some good. I feel like there is a little bit to talk about in the trad and ivy world, but not many places to talk about it. Let’s kick it off by taking a look at a few current 3/2 roll sport coats and a blazer. I am still WFH btw, but that doesn’t mean that I still don’t dream about wearing jackets and ties, off we go!

First up, Spier & Mackay has recently offered a 3/2 roll sack cut blazer. I have no experience with the brand even though their sport coats and OCBDs get a fair amount of fanfare around the internet (they are almost always out of my shirt size fyi). Their sack blazer looks like a solid debut and looks to have sold pretty well too based on what’s left in stock. Priced at $298 I can see why. This is a good thing. Maybe we will see more sack cut jackets from them in the future.

J.Press has had some nice offerings of lately. I like that they are currently offering quite a few jackets with lower patch and flap pockets. For a while it was all flap and no patch pockets. Which is perfectly fine for the dressier set, but I more of a sport coat and khakis type guy. It might just be me, but there is just something jaunty about lower patch pockets. I hope they continue to offer them.

J Squeeze also have some nice looking sport coats in their newly launched Pennant line. They look like they come with all the right details. Ok, maybe not all the right details as they are alpha sized and I don’t love that they are labeled as pre-order. They are however reasonably priced between $400-450 though. I’m interested to see where this line goes.

The ivy shop across the pond known as John Simons also makes the list. Lately John Simons has been producing more and more of their own clothing. Their made in London Ivy jackets (now on sale) look particularly nice to me. These too have all the details that we want. These jackets are not alpha sized. They are also unstructured and unlined. Unstructured has it’s pro’s and cons. It has a very relaxed look favored by UK ivy enthusiast, but doesn’t always drape so well. Likewise with benefits of unlined jackets. They are very light weight but not always so easy to get on and off. I will say that out of all the sites that I visit John Simons has far and away the best copy. I will leave you with one gem from the site. “Natural Shoulder spoken here!”

Last but not least I saw a nice looking natural shouldered jacket from Uncle Ralph. Like the jackets above it is unstructured making the shoulders maybe a bit too natural. Unstructured jackets tend to show every nook and cranny beneath them. A bit of structure is not the enemy of the TNSIL look by the way. This jacket is also alpha sized. On the other hand it does appear to be a 3/2 roll with no darts which is not so common over at Ralph’s place. The short of it is that to my eye this is a great looking jacket. You can see it being worn in the image at the top of this post to get a better idea of the fits. There are jeans involved so some of you may need to look away.

That’s it for my current sport coat (& blazer) round up. It’s nice to see a 3/2 sack offering from Spier, it’s always good to see JPress still knocking around, John Simons has been making a strong showing of late, and we can all use a reminder to never count out Uncle Ralph. I am curious if anyone has tried out any of the above. If so, thoughts?

I will most likely be back for another post. I might do a life update. I am sure I have a few new pickups I could talk about. All that to say that I have a few ideas. If you don’t follow me on IG and you do the IG thing. You can find me here Oxford Cloth Button Down IG Last thing, where is everyone getting their OCBDs these days?

WFH: Ties at Home

I knew that I would eventually break down and put on a tie while working from home. All of the ingredients were there. I like ties, I can’t wear one at the office, add in the the monotonous boredom of working from home alone in a small apartment with no outdoor space, and you have yourself a pretty solid recipe. The question became, which tie?

I generally shy away from ties with crests or affiliations that I have no affiliation with, but I do have a few of them. I was glad that I did because this blue crested tie worked out really well. Navy was the perfect color as it took the place of a blazer and grounded the look. It didn’t look too out of place without a jacket as some of the others that I tried out and the crests added a little pop of a color so that the tie didn’t get lost in the blue of the shirt.

Now that I had the tie figured out I needed to attend to the shoes. I wanted the look to make sense even though wearing a tie while working from home doesn’t make all that much sense. Penny loafers looked to formal to my eye so I lost the socks and went with some Eastland camp mocs. I liked the moc look and rolled with it.

There you have my balancing act. I wore a tie without a jacket in the most informal setting imaginable which is working from my couch and I think it looked pretty good. This crested navy tie walked a fine line. It was subdued enough to lay low against a flap pocket OCBD while the crests added just enough whimsy to make it fun while the camp mocs balanced out the bottom half. The most important part of all of this effort was that I had fun. Something that is hard to come by these days.

Gone for Now

Brooks Brothers 3/2 Roll Discontinued

The Brooks Brothers 1818 3/2 roll sack blazer was a trad staple. It was a right of passage of sorts in the trad world. It was almost always the first blazer recommended to any new trad convert. While I haven’t heard anything official (I may even be late to the party) it appears that the much beloved Brooks Brothers 1818 3/2 roll sack blazer is no longer being offered.

Over the past year or so I have noticed that classic 3/2 roll Brooks Brothers sack blazer was not being restocked. This was an immediate red flag. At this point in my life I am pretty familiar with the signs of a product being discontinued. For those of you that aren’t as experienced with this any time that you see sizes not being restocked it usually means one of 3 things. The product is being discontinued, the product is being updated, or there is a production issue. In this instance I would guess discontinued, because more than enough time has passed for them to update or fix production issues.

It looks like we have lost another trad classic. This one hit me harder than some of our other losses. It was my first 3/2 roll sack blazer. It was a big deal to me when I bought it. While we look back on this blazer with fondness it’s important to remember that we still have options such as J.Press and O’Connells, but only as long as we support them. After that it’s just second hand and MTM or maybe we will see a restock. Hedge your bets.

BB 3/2 Sack Blazer
Brooks Brothers Blazer Close up
Brooks Brothers 3/2 Sack Blazer