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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?

The Last Days of Tweed and More: Wear it While You Can

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Even though we are still experiencing temperatures in the single digits I know that warmer is weather is inevitable. Don’t get me wrong. I am more than ready to hang up my duffle coat, but I also know that the changing weather comes at a price. Part of that price is that our tweed wearing days are numbered. Tweed Sport Coat and Shetland SweaterCords for the cold In the top picture I am wearing a sport coat over a Shetland sweater sans tie which I reserve for very cold days. In the picture below I opted for tan cords over chinos, because there is never a shortage of opportunities to wear chinos, but wide-wale cords are a different story.

Tweed is not the only thing that goes when warm weather strikes. We will lose our wool socks, wool ties, and wool overcoats. While I have been strategically working each of my tweed sport coats into the mix, I have also been relying heavily upon corduroys, and even my tie selections have been influenced by the limited cold weather days before spring. Today's Ties OptionsTweed and Foulard TieIn the third picture you can see the two tie options that I set out before I dressed.  Pictured below is the tie that I ended up wearing. I knew that I would not have many more chances to wear this cold winter combination.

Again, I have nothing against spring. I invite the warm weather. I am hoping that it will cure my cabin fever.  I can’t wait to be able to leave the house in a Shetland with no coat, to break out the boat shoes and camp mocs, and to trade in my Saturday Tartan shirts for my Saturday Madras shirts. As the temperatures begin to rise over the next few weeks remember to wear it while you can.

More Ivy & Trad Illustrations

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I have a penchant for Japanese illustrations of the trad and Ivy League variety. I recently added two new books to my collection and I thought that I would share a few illustrations from each.

As you can see below the styles differ dramatically between the two books. The first set of 5 illustrations are from the Illustrated Book of Ivy. Most trad and ivy fans are well aware of these illustrations as they are no stranger to the menswear blog and style circuit. These illustrations are pure fun. I have probably selected the most conservative illustrations that the book has to offer. It also features cool illustrations of patterns, shoes, ties, and of course a handful of outfits that will send traditionalists into a frenzy.

The second set of illustrations are from the Official American Trad Handbook. This book was a bit of a miss pick. Primarily because the text to illustration ration is 99 to 1 (and I am only fluent in Japanese Illustrations, not text). It also features a few illustration from the first book. Despite these two drawbacks I was pleasantly surprised with the art. I can easily imagine these illustrations being part of a comic strip.

I am very happy with my purchases. These books are great to use as coffee table books, but not so great for  scholarly research. I don’t look to these illustrations for “the rules” or to better understand trad as a whole. I simply enjoy them for what they are which is exactly what I hope that you do, too.

Ivy Illustration 1Ivy Illustration 2Ivy Illustration 3Ivy Illustration 5Ivy Illustration 4
Trad  Illustration 1Trad Illustration 2
Trad Illustration 3Trad Image 4Trad Illustration 5

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!