All posts in Men’s Clothing Reviews

The Modern Trad

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One of the biggest struggles for those of us that adhere to the trad look is well… looking contemporary. The classic look that we all know and love definitely skews dressy in today’s casual workplace. Due to this I like to highlight items that help to push trad forward while at the same adhere to the trad aesthetic. I just spotted a few such items from the French workwear Vetra.
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/cc/15/f4/cc15f40979bd54ea818304f99910be5e.jpgIf you are not familiar with the name Vetra I am sure that you are familiar with bold blue chore jackets that are synonymous with the brand. NYT’s Bill Cunningham might be the other biggest association with the brand. Bill wore them well. To cut to the chase not only are chore jackets uber popular now, but they also bleed over into the current indigo rage.

While the chore jacket is cool, Vetra has some even cooler choices for us trads. These cooler jackets are very similar to Keydge Slack jackets which are also cool and ivy, but are hard to source here in the US. The Vetra jackets that I spotted and liked are 3-button with flap pockets and are extremely slouchy. The icing on the cake is that the pricing is not outrageous ranging from $165-300. I have included my 3 favorite’s below.

Vetra - Heavy Jersey Workwear Blazer in NavyVetra – Heavy Jersey Workwear Blazer in Navy $170.00

Vetra - Light Cotton Canvas Workwear Blazer in Overdyed KhakiVetra – Light Cotton Canvas Workwear Blazer in Overdyed Khaki $165.00

Vetra - Japanese Denim Canvas Suit Jacket in Washed IndigoVetra – Japanese Denim Canvas Suit Jacket in Washed Indigo $275.00

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 coudl 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.

‘Tis the Season for Polos

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With long days ahead filled with warm weather, lawn care, cookouts, visits to the pool and vacations it is officially polo shirt season. So, I have strung a few thoughts together on what you need to know when grabbing a new polo shirt such as color, length, and yes, even logo.
Polo ShirtsWhen it comes to color I like to keep it simple. This means, white, navy, and hunter green. White polo shirts work best 99% of the time. White polos might also be the only thing that pairs well with patchwork Madras shorts other than a blue OCBD. When white does not work navy or hunter will. If I were to extend this list to other colors I would add light yellow, kelly green, and tangerine. Last, but not least avoid wearing a red polo to Target. You will thank me.
Polo Post Man and WomanWhere can you get them? The great thing about polos is that you can find them just about anywhere and at just about any price point. I recommend buying cheap polos that are logo-less and wearing them hard, but there are plenty of high-end polos on the market for someone who wants a more refined look. Just consider wear you plan on wearing this polo prior to making your purchase and you should be fine.

There are a few other considerations to make outside of color and cost. One is tail length. Are you going to wear this polo tucked or untucked? Another consideration is logo. I am a no-logo type of guy, but that’s just me. There are plenty of trad approved logos like the Polo horse, Lacoste gator, Brook’s Brother’s golden fleece, and a handful of others.
Polo Post MainI have often use the analogy that polo shirts are t-shirts for adults. While this is a bit facetious it helps drive home the point. The point being is that as grow up our play clothes change and there is almost nothing that you can do in a t-shirt that you can’t do in a polo shirt. Plus, you will look a lot better doing it!

Popovers are still Popular

I wore my Chambray popover this week and I learned something interesting. What I learned is that people love popovers and by people I mean even those that are not into the “look.”
Target Chambray PopverOn casual Friday I broke out my Merona Chambray popover from Target. It was a warm day and I wanted something that looked summery. Before I made to my office I already knew that I had succeeded as I had accumulated a handful of compliments on my way. I found this interesting as I had assumed that the general public would find popovers a little weird. I was wrong. Later I posted on Instagram and got a similar response.
Chambray PopoverThe moral of the story is that popovers are still popping. The ivy/trad crowd loves them and it turns out that the general public likes them too. To top it off Target is offering their popover again this summer for all of $20 (Target Merona Popover). You are welcome. Enjoy!

J.Crew Does Chore Ivy?

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I received J.Crew’s June catalog this week and it contained a bit of Ivy or workwear… or both. If you are confused by that statement don’t be concerned as you are not alone. From the catalog,

Our new unstructured blazer comes with a bit of workwear cool, combining the refinement of suiting with a design inspired by vintage chore jackets.
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The item in question is an unstructured 3-button triple-patch pocket sack cut sport coat with dual vents and no lining (see it here). As soon as I saw this jacket I was trying to figure it out. “Are there darts? I don’t see any, but it there could be one closer to lapel like a chore coat. Is that a 3/2? No, it looks like a true 3-button stance. What’s the vent like? Dual. Interesting. Any lining? Not sure, but I can’t tell.”

Now let me go on to say that I like this jacket. It’s hard to find affordable ($168) natural shouldered sport coats with 3-patch pockets especially ones that are not alpha sized. It is also unstructured which I think is a great direction as it makes sport coats less formal and a little more casual cool. Maybe that will help keep the young guys interested in the look.

There are a few downsides to the jacket. Unstructured jackets are definitely cool (like a Keydge), but they way that they can pull around the front of the shoulder is not. Also, it does not appear to have lining which may keep you cool, but it makes putting on and taking off a jacket a lot more work. Last is the 3-button stance. It will work for some, but not others. It would probably look better on a taller person than a shorter one. It may ending up rolling. It may not.

So there you have it. If you can get over the 3-button stance, narrow lapels, and dual vents there is pretty sack sport coat J.Crew for under $200. It may not work for everyone, but if it works for you it is a pretty good deal. To me it feels like one of those items that everyone kicks themselves for picking up at the time ala PRL Rugby.

Fit is important, but…

When it comes to clothing fit is important, but fit alone will not make an outfit look good. Even if it is a good outfit. There are two other factors that I always take into consideration which are proportions and silhouette. I believe that these three elements fit, proportions, and silhouette are what separates good outfits from great outfits.
FullSizeRender(20)I was writing to a reader about this very subject earlier this week. Now don’t get me wrong fit is critical. If your clothes don’t fit well the other two are off the table. Fit can even take into account proportions and silhouette. For example, a shirt should fit well around the neck, the shoulders, but also in sleeve length. All of these items correlate to silhouette. An example of how you would consider proportions for you shirt could be deciding between slim, classic, or a baggier fit. Your weight and build need to be taken into consideration, but also your legs and pants. You don’t want a slim shirt and baggy trousers or vice versa. You need to take into consideration the whole picture thinking about how these proportions effect the overall silhouette.

It is also important to note that there are several silhouettes within the trad cannon. I think that office, formal, casual, suits, sportcoats, etc., etc. all have slightly different silhouettes. There is also some personal preference such as wanting a narrower pant leg or slimmer shirt while others like myself prefer little to no break in our trousers while others want a little more break. When thinking of the classic trad silhouette I think of how items like soft shouldered jackets and flat front chinos help to shape this silhouette.

I shared the pic above because it is one of my better efforts of illustrating fit, proportions, and silhouette. I like that my pants are not baggy or slim and the length is neither too short or too long. The tie appears a touch wide, but it’s not bad. The jacket length is pretty good and the amount of cuff showing under the blazer is within the acceptable range. Overall the fit and proportions make for a halfway decent silhouette.