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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.”

It’s Your Thing

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I found Christian Chensvold from Ivy Style’s post on Beatnik Prep refreshing. It’s not so much that I loved the style, but that I liked seeing someone inject their own point of view, interests, and style into the look whether that look be Ivy League Style, Prep, or Trad. One way that I do this is with my sneakers.
Polo Shirt & Sneakers
patagonia and sneakersI love running sneakers. I especially love running sneakers from the late 80’s-90’s. Even though I have weaned myself off of sneakers over the years they are still a part of my life. I primarily wear these sneakers for errands (especially when too cold or rainy for no-socks), neighborhood walks, hiking, canoeing, urban exploring, and the most casual of social events. Like Christian I even have a name for this style which I call 90’s hip-hop cross country team prep. Not a real thing or very catchy I know. I take a pair of khaki chino shorts and a polo shirt or chinos and a blue OCBD add my sneaks and there you have it.
Nike Icarus
OCBD Sneaker CollectionThis style is clearly not for everyone, because it is extremely tailored to me. This is in fact my point. This inclusion of running sneakers speaks to my personal interests and experiences. It makes my style my own and not just rules from a book, but still keeps the Trad vibe or at least I think it does. It also speaks to a great comment that a reader Fred left on the Modern Trad blog post,

I’m glad to see that you are looking at a modern take on trad. Trad was in its hey day around fifty years ago. Trad has evolved and I don’t want to dress like it’s 1966. I want to take the trad ideas and evolve them into today. That’s the intellectual challenge. What is the modern equivalent of trad. What does it mean to be trad in 2017?

While I may disagree with Fred about Trad existing in 1966 I think that his underlying point is spot on or at least the point I took away is. This point is that you cannot stop growing and changing which I truly believe. My other point is that it is okay to incorporate non-trad articles of clothing that you like into you Trad wardrobe. It does not make you less Trad. Just don’t try to convince others that these items are the Traddest and everything will be fine.

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

A White Summer

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We are familiar with old adage,  “No white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.” We are all also probably on the same page when it comes to admitting that these are little more than rules are relics of the past. While we may (almost) all agree on this it does not mean that there is nothing to be learned from this rule. There is, and it is that white is a great choice for summer outfits.

I tend to avoid wearing white in general. I find it a little bright to wear in the office. It also provides a wonderful canvas for my food and beverages to display themselves and even though this rarely happens it does give me pause. Despite all of these apprehensions I have been sporting more white than usual this summer ranging.
White Popover
IMG_8295White Polo in Summer In summary white looks summery and looking seasonal is almost always a good thing. It can also help to keep you a bit cooler than other colors. It was actually the humidity that inspired this post as I have been living in the white popover this week. So whether you are trying to fight the heat or simply look cool white is a great route to get you there.