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Hits of the Summer

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Summer is on its way out. It will be sad when we have to say goodbye to seersucker and shorts, but exciting to say hello to corduroy and tweed. In anticipation of the upcoming season I thought that I would take a moment to reflect on my favorite items from this summer.

Sperry Camp Mocs

1. Sperry Mocs (see original post)- Far and away these were the best purchase of the summer. I wore them 99% of the time. The fit was perfect. They are extremely comfortable. The only downsides are that the shape could be improved and the branding on the mid-sole could be removed. All in all an awesome moc.
White Sweatshirt in Summer

2. White Sweatshirt – My first white sweatshirt was far too heavy for the coolest summer evenings. My second attempt was a cobble-cloth-ish sweatshirt from Brooks Brothers Red Fleece line. It was the perfect weight and the cobble-cloth like finish differentiated from the typical sweatshirt. While my Sperry Mocs were my favorite item of the summer this sweatshirt was the people’s favorite. I cannot recall a time that I wore it and did not receive a compliment.
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3. Lightweight Green Chinos – Last, but most certainly not least are a pair of lightweight chinos in oxford cloth. These green trousers have already received some attention in my “On the Green” post, but they deserved another round of applause. It is not that often that my trad clothes are on-trend, but these pants helped to get me there and for that I am grateful.

Well there you have it. These three items were my most worn and most liked of the summer. What was your best purchase of the summer, this summer or any summer?

 

Blazer Chores

Workwear Blazer

If my Modern Trad post (see here) inspired any of you to go out and start looking for a chore blazer I have some good news for you. J.Crew’s Wallace & Barnes line recently released a nice looking chore blazer with 3-button closure and triple patch pockets. The kicker is that they are offered in suit sizing all for $150 (see here).
Chore Blazer IvyI don’t know too much more about the blazers other than what I stated above. I also know nothing about J.Crew’s suit sizing. For instance, these jackets look like they are cut short. I wonder how much shorter they are than a standard jacket? Outside of the typical fit questions this blazer seems like a good way to test out if chore blazers and unstructured blazers such as a Vetra or Keydge are a good fit for you on the cheap.

I will close out this post with an excerpt from my previous post on chore blazers,

“If you are a young guy that wants to start a sport coat, but aren’t quite ready to go full on blue blazer and repp tie this could be a great place to start. At the same time if you are an old school die hard trad you may want to think about adding one of these to your closet and break it out on casual Friday, the weekend, or even on vacation. If you don’t fall into either of those categories like myself you may just want one and that’s okay too.”

J.Crew’s new Old -School OCBD

New J.Crew OCBD

While J.Crew continues to drop off of everyone’s radar they decided to drop a new throwback OCBD. Leading with an unlined collar, smaller buttons, and box pleat J.Crew is playing up the 60’s Collegiate look (even though they mistakenly say late 60’s). This should be a good thing as it speaks directly to our interests, but the question on all of our minds is, will the shirt be anything special? Lucky for us the good crew over at PTO has reviewed the shirt for us.
J.Crew Unlined CollarToday, guys have more options for a decent oxford button-down shirt than they did a decade ago, but few seem to meet to the standard of casual American cool we associate with the design. And those that do are often expensive (Brooks Brothers now sells the basic oxford for $140) and/or otherwise not super accessible (Mercer is a favorite but it can take some communication to get what you want). So we were excited to see J. Crew touting a new OCBD, modeled on “hand-me-downs from long-shuttered men’s shops,” for a relatively reasonable $64.50. We like J. Crew overall, and J. Crew shirts have a rep for being decent but having wee collars.  So have they made a new contender for wallet-friendly oxford?

Overall, I’d put the new J. Crew oxford in the same category as, say, Ralph Lauren oxfords. It doesn’t have the pedigree or details of the old school makers, but it’s also <$100, which they no longer are. The marketing copy may have been a little overstated, but the shirt is fine. J. Crew has the advantage of being broadly available, so trying one on in store to see if it’s right for you will be easy for most Americans, versus something like Kamakura, which I would say is overall a better buy, from a value and styling perspective.

Read the fully story here: Put This On

On the Green

Olive Chinos and Tartan Shirt

It is no secret that I am a fan of green. In fact, I have 3 blog posts all about my love of green (Green Ties, Green Sweaters, and Green Cord Jacket). My affinity for green used to be mainly limited to ties, but that has all changed. Earlier this year I picked up a pair of green chinos from J.Crew and they have been in heavy rotation ever since.

The pants that I picked up were made for summer. First of all they are constructed out of a lightweight oxford cloth which is great in the heat. Second and what should have probably been first is the color. The green is sorta of an olive, but can appear brighter depending on the lighting. I have had success pairing them with a blue OCBD, blue sweatshirt, tartan shirt, patchwork madras, a white polo, and even my guilty pleasure grey t-shirts. Basically, they are very versatile.
Olive Chinos and Patchwork Madras
Olive Chinos & White SweatshirtNot only did I pick up these chinos to be worn in the summer, but I also selected them for casual wear. What this means to me is that I do not intend to wear them with my business casual rigs, ties, or even a tucked in shirt…most of the time. I mention this, because it played a large role in my fit selection. I generally wear J.Crew 1040 which is what their classic fit is now called, but because I knew that these were for play I went with the slimmer 770 fit. I like my casual clothes to be a little less full than work gear. I also sized up from a 29″ to a 30″ waist. In hindsight I may have been able to stick with my normal size, but I am happy with the fit.
Olive Chinos and Tartan Shirt
IMG_7882 99.99% of the time I am wearing a pair of Khaki chinos so it is good to be able to mix it up. Plus, I can’t tell you how many compliments I have received while wearing them. If you are considering a pair of green chinos I recommend sticking with olive or a close variation to convey the tradliness that you want. I love these chinos so much that I am already searching for another pair of olive chinos that I can wear when the weather turns cool!

New to Me: Arnold Steiner

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A few years back it seemed like every other week there was a new company peddling preppy and trad wears. That trend seems to have slowed to a trickle which is probably an indicator that the winds of fashion are changing. Nonetheless I have been noticing up and coming company that continues to drop some solid looking products. This company is Arnold Steiner.
Image of MULTIP STRIPE REPP - REDMy interest in Arnold Steiner all started with the tie pictured above. I saw this regimental tie on their IG account (Arnold Steiner Instagram) and my first thought was, “That is my kinda tie.” It had everything that I look for in a tie which is a color palette consisting of colors like, red, yellow, and green, but most importantly is a color contrast that pops. This tie has it all. The only downside for me is that it is a bit on the skinny side being all of 3″, but it will get worn with my slimmer lapels and I will also do my sweater & tie combo with it.
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Image of CAMPUS #5

Image of SKULLSArnold Steiner offers a few other cool looking products besides the tie. There are the JFK style socks that seem to be gaining in popularity at the moment. There are also a variety of striped socks. My favorite pair are the (of course) the sold out Campus #5. I have a pair with the same pattern from Rugby and they get worn on the regular. There are also some cool caps like the mallard or skull & bones for those of you like me who sport the occasional baseball cap.

When it comes to new companies most of the time I don’t know if I am ahead of the curve or struggling to keep up. Regardless, I like to keep my eyes peeled for new sources of clothes and when I find them share them with you all. I just ordered the tie in this post so lookout for the upcoming review!