All posts in Men’s Clothing Reviews

Penny Loafers in Print

Penny For the Chap Image

Two weeks ago I received an email from a reader letting me know that a UK magazine called The Chap had used one of my images. I had never heard of the magazine, but the readers described it as a, “tongue in cheek “journal for the modern gentleman.” ” You can never be too sure, so I quickly looked it up to see if it was about menswear or some other fetish. It is the former.  Penny Loafers in Print This post really isn’t about The Chap magazine image, but what the incident led me to think about. I thought about my blog in general. I was humbled that a reader recognized a relatively old image of mine in a magazine and then took the time to tell me about it  (Thanks again, Stephen!). At times it is hard to know if people are enjoying the blog, but interactions with readers like this are a much appreciated reminder that many do.

Last, but not least I thought about the fact that they chose an image of the Bass Logan Weejun for their article. I haven’t actually read it, but it looks like a short-history-plus-how-and-where-to-buy article. In my opinion, this is just another piece of evidence to confirm that the Logan Weejun has the classic penny loafer shape.

On that note, Bass doesn’t currently offer the Logan in brown on their site (only black & burgundy), but you can pick a pair up at Zappos, but with contrast stitching (see here).

MTM 3/2 Roll Sack Options

I am slowly, but surely making my way into the market for a made-to-measure sport coat.This brings up the question of who offers the best MTM 3/2 roll sack?

When I think of getting an MTM sack I automatically think Southwick. They make the best 3/2 roll sacks for Brooks Brothers, J.Press and basically everyone else in the trad universe, but they are definitely not the only players in the game especially when it comes to MTM.

Southwick Douglas 3/2 roll sack
I already spoke to Southwick’s credentials above. They currently offer two 3/2 roll sack models for MTM: the Douglas (See the example above from O’Connells) and the Cambridge. The Douglas is more traditional by today’s standards with a longer body and wider lapels while the Cambridge model has all of the features that an Ivyist could ever want. The best part of MTM is that you can tweak the dimensions of these jackets to work for you. Southwick is at the top of my list for now. They also have an easy to use dealer finder (Southwick Store Finder).
Samuelsohn 3/2 roll sack Sport Coat
The picture of the Samuelsohn Greenwich II model from O’Connell’s (See Here) above always makes me stare. I don’t know much about Samuelsohn except for the shape of the sack above looks pretty perfect to me. That alone is enough to me interested. If anyone has any experience with this model I would love to hear about it.
H.Freeman MTM Sack
H.Freeman is another option for an MTM 3/2 roll sport coat. I remember that Christian at Ivy Style purchased one of their jackets(Measure For Measure: H. Freeman MTM Sportcoat). I believe that their 3/2 roll sack model is called the Naturalaire. I checked the website to verify this and to find out where H.Freeman was available, but the website was the definition of useless. I am sure that an email will clear everything up.

Southwick, Samuelson, and H.Freeman are the three companies that I am currently considering for an MTM sport coat. I think that I would be happy with any one of them, but because of the MTM aspect I will leave you a few of the other considerations that are playing a role in my decision. Which of these companies has a “distributor” near me? How good is the tailor at that location? Do they understand the natural shoulder look?

Shawl Collar Sweater with a Tie

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I have been wearing a tie and jacket to work twice a week for over two years. When I began I was asked all the usual questions about meetings, job interviews, yada yada yada (Inspired by my trad-ish friend George Costanza). Those days are now in the distant past and my tie wearing ways now go unnoticed. During the course of the last two years I have tried quite a few different combinations and I have found that wearing a tie with a shawl collar sweater may be the easiest way to wear a tie in a business casual office.

What do I mean by easy? What I mean is that it will not elicit as many unwanted comments about why you are wearing a tie (at least it did not in my experience). Perhaps this is because a sweater is much more informal than a blazer or sport coat, but also because the tie is mostly covered with a sweater so that it does not garner the same amount of attention that it would when worn with a jacket. Instead only a glimpse of the tie is given which is the perfect opportunity to wear an interesting emblematic ties such these: Ivy League Humor.
Shawl Collar Sweater with a tie and corduroysDuck Tie and CordsNot only does it make wearing a tie easy, but it looks good too. In general, I am not a fan of the sweater and tie look. I don’t like it with a crewneck, because there is rarely any tie exposure and the knot usually makes the neck lay funny. A V-neck Shetland can look okay, but the shawl collar’s strength is that it provides a background for the tie that is similar to the lapel of a jacket.
Shawl Collar Sweater and Tie with grey wool pantsBrooksgate neat tieIn preparation for this post I wore this look twice last week.  The first time I wore it with cords and a wool-silk emblematic tie with ducks. I was very comfortable in this look. In my second example I went for look that is more city. This time, I wore grey wool pants and an old silk Brooksgate neat tie. Overall I found the sweater to be versatile.

The shawl collar is a good option for when you want to wear a tie in a business-casual setting such as an office or a nicer restaurant, but not a jacket. So, If you were contemplating wearing a shawl collar sweater and a tie I say go for it. If you want to wear a tie to your office, but are put off by the fuss it will receive try sneaking one in under a shawl collar sweater. If you want some cover for your Chipp FU tie it could be for you as well!

From Inspiration to Reality

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As the summer came to a close last year I saw this picture of Prince Charles shown below. I thought that it was pretty fantastic. It had everything that I like in a cool weather rig including a tweed sport coat, tan corduroys and a boldly-colored striped tie. I was inspired. I used this inspiration to put together a few of my own fall/winter looks which I have shared below.

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Inspired by the above
Inspiration #1Inspiration 2

As you can see from the above, my rigs were not exact copies of the picture at all. For example, in the first picture I wore a navy blazer in place of the tweed, but kept the same color cords and a similar tie. In picture #2, I mimicked the jacket and trouser colors, but swapped out the tie. I opted for the OCBD in both situations to make it my own.

I took what I saw in the picture and subtracted that from what I already had in my closet then divided that by where I was going. While that is not the exact formula that I used it does give you an idea of how I turn inspiration into reality.

Just for Fun

Inspiration 3(Based on last week’s post I thought that I would add this picture of my 3/2 roll jacket buttoned as a true 3 button jacket that I took for fun.)

I read quite a bit about clothes, but the resource that has been the most helpful to me in terms of putting together an outfit is people watching. This is why I try to share my own images as well as the images of other “real people” on the blog.  My last piece of advice is to take note of combinations that you see in everyday life, magazines, and the internet that appeal to you and to replicate them. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel.

The Real Shaggy Dog

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This week I tackle the authenticity of another Trad classic; the Shaggy Dog. Now we may have come to know the Shaggy Dog as a brushed Shetland sweater from J.Press, but these pictures I found online make me question the origin of the Shaggy Dog. Perhaps the name Shaggy Dog has nothing to do with the resemblance of the brushed wool to a shaggy dog’s coat at all, but instead is named after a stylish Trad dog like the dogs that J.Press caters to in Japan? J.Press Real Shaggy Dog J.Press Shaggy Puffy CoatIf you haven’t guessed by now I am only joking. After last week’s post I thought that it would be a good reminder for us all to remember that while there is nothing wrong with wanting to learn and understand the history of clothes it should be something that brings joy and not causes that causes duress. J.Press Shaggy Dog ClothesJ.Press Frisbee Obviously the scenario that I proposed in the opening paragraph was made up, but the images and products in this post are not a joke. It seems that Hannari the company that produces the J.Press line for dogs in Japan  has launched a US site. I will admit that many of these items seem fairly ridiculous to me, but I will also add that I  am not a dog owner either. If I were a dog owner (or a college kid)  I would definitely pick up the frisbee. You can checkout the complete Hannari J.Press Collection for Dogs here: http://hannari.us/collections/j-press