All posts in Style

My Michael Spencer OCBDs

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I have now had my Michael Spencer OCBDs for two months. This has given me the chance to wear them each shirt several times. I wanted to do this because too often I am still in the honeymoon phase of a purchase. However, I will not you hold you in suspense any longer. I love them.

I had heard a lot about Michael Spencer before I ever tried one of their shirts. Opening up shop around the time that all of the sub-$100 OCBDs with any type of legitimate collar roll began to disappear these shirts were a natural-fit for the trad market. Forgive the pun, but with the unlined 3.5″ collar the buzz in the trad world was strong.
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Lined collar at top and Unlined collar underneath

Michael Spencer offers multiple fits and multiple collar types. The fits are Vintage, Classic, Modern Slim, and Extra Slim. There are also multiple collar types available, but for this post the only one that matter is the Legacy Button Down Collar which can be made lined or unlined. The Legacy collar has 3.5″ collar points, a 3.25″ spread, and 0.5″ tie space.

Of course I went with the Legacy collar, but I selected one lined collar and the other unlined in the Classic fit. I have never owned an unlined collar before. My knowledge of them was all second hand and it is primarily from the waxing poetics of Ivy Style purists that I learned of their fetished uncontrollable rolls and unmatched comfort. After wearing the unlined collar a few times I soon understood the appeal. The comfort was unmatched. The collar was not uncontrollable, but I could not always get the collar roll that I wanted to stick like I could with the lined shirt. This may be one area where I am not a purist. I actually preferred the lined collar, because it provided a more structured roll.

IMG_3296FullSizeRender (1)The pros far outweighed the cons for me. The only two cons that I could come up with are price and the wait. The shirts are $135, but at this time this is market price. I may not love it, but the fact that it is consistent among Brooks Brothers, Mercer, and J.Press makes me okay with it. As far as the wait goes I learned that I have been conditioned with OTR (off the rack) clothing to expect instant gratification. Ordering a shirt takes a little longer, but the wait was worth it and since the need for a shirt is seldom an emergency this is not a big deal.

If you have been holding out on trying a Michael Spencer I say give it a go. They have a great product, they are great to deal with, and you can count on a great roll. On top of that you can deck it out with all of the bells (locker loops) and whistles (flap pockets) that you want. It is great to have add another trustworthy source for OCBDs to the list.

Spring Sniffles

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Spring is in full effect here in Ohio. Plants are poisoning the air with their pollen, there are 40 degree swings in temperatures, and I am suffering from cold. All joking aside, I do enjoy spring, but my cold has made things such as writing this week’s blog post a challenge. Lucky for me my Patagonia Snap-T has stepped up to the challenge of making me feel comfortable in a time of discomfort.
008You may have heard people say something to the effect of, “A Shetland sweater is a trad’s sweatshirt.” I am not going to dispute this as it holds true for the most part, but sometimes even trads need something even more comfortable than a Shetland (like when you are laying on your couch sick). This is where my Patagonia Snap-T fleece comes into play. It is warm and soft, but offers an advantage over something like a cream colored sweatshirt (see here), because it can provide more shelter from the wind and rain than a typical sweatshirt. It also has a cool late 70s prep vibe to it.

I am wearing my Snap-T as I write this blog, but I don’t only wear when not feeling well. Snap-T’s come in handy for any outdoor activity or even for just signalling that you are truly dressed down. For example, I have worn mine over an OCBD on a casual Friday where it was well received. These are just a few reasons that this versatile piece of active wear has found a home in the trad cannon.

Homework

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I have lived in my current apartment for about 5 years. However you cannot tell. For lack of a better description it does not feel like a home. There are pictures that need hung, rooms that need furnished, and so much more. I think that you get the idea.
FullSizeRender(21)IMG_4407I decided to tackle my interior design project one room at a time. I started with the living room. I had painted the living room when I first moved in so it already had that advantage going for it. It is also the room that I spend the most time when not sleeping. I made a list of what the room needed and started doing research on these items as well as gathering inspiration.

I have been shopping all over the place. To date I have used a combination of WayFair, antique shops, Pier 1, Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, and even Walmart. A few of the items that I have added so far are a new couch, throw pillows, two lamps, a few end tables, a couple pictures, and other knickknacks.
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My end goal is to have a place to live that reflects my style and interests. A place where I feel comfortable. I house that I want to go home to. For far too long I have had the mind set of making due with what I had, but now I am focused on making it my own. I will keep you all updated on my progress. I am off to find some new chairs!

Moc Talk: Sperry Camp Mocs

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Like many of you I have been scanning my closet to find any holes (and not moth holes this week!) in my warm weather wardrobe. Overall my closet is in good shape, but my shoe line up could use some help. My Sperry Topsiders are falling apart and my L.L. Bean Signature mocs don’t fit me sans socks the way that I had hoped.
Sperry Camp MocsDuring this exercise I found a pair of Sperry’s Gold Cup Authentic Original 1-Eye Boat Shoe online. While they call it a boat shoe us Trad’s would call it a camp moc. What I liked about this shoe is that I knew that Sperry shoes fit me well sock-less, it featured premium leather, and I snagged a pair for under $100. They retail for $159.95.

There are things that I don’t love about the shoe. The shape of Sperry’s camp moc is a little off. The tongue is a little wider and the toe box looks a little elongated. Basically they look like a boat shoe/camp moc hybrid, but lean more towards the moc side. They also feature more branding than I care for which is none, but from afar it is not noticeable. I can live with both of these things since the fits is so good.

I will have more to report as I wear them in over the spring and summer, but as of know I think that they were a good buy. The fit is good, they are lightweight which is perfect for going sock-less, and the quality is at least one full step above standard Sperry products. If Bean camp mocs don’t fit you well and Rancourt’s are too rich for your blood these may be worth a look.

Moth Man Cometh

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I have been having an eventful few months. A few of my sweaters were attacked by moths, someone hit my parked car, I have been extra busy on the work front, and then my sweaters were again attacked by moths. As you can tell none of the events have been what I would call positive. The worst part is that the sweater problem is still haunting me.

I store my sweaters in two areas. One of these areas is a dresser drawer and the other a cedar chest.  Even though both are stocked with cedar and lavender this is only going to discourage moths not stop them. After doing some research it appears that cedar chest are effective because they are not easy for moths to get into not because they are made of cedar.
Moth HoleThe first attack occurred in my dresser. I discovered a brand new sweater at the very bottom of the pile with a hole. I mention that it was new for two reasons. The first is that moths are attracted to clothing with stains or some dirt from wear. Second, is that only because it was new could I confirm that the moth bites happened in this drawer because all of my sweates travel between the two areas.

So, What did I do? First, I took all of my sweaters to the dry cleaner. This was annoying, but it made me feel confidant that I had taken care of the issue. I also cleaned out the dresser drawer really well. Finally I put all of the sweaters into the cedar chest. Fast forward a week and I discover another moth hole. This time I put all my sweaters in the freezer to kill off the moths, clean out the cedar chest, and Finally I put them in the plastic storage bags.

I share this because I am sure that many of you can relate to this struggle. Moths are terrifying to anyone that has a fair amount of sweaters. They are hard to see which means it is hard to know that they are there until it is too late. What I am trying to do now is move forward and stop worrying about future attacks (which is much easier said than done). I just keep telling myself that I have taken the necessary precautions and the worst case scenario is that I will have to buy some new sweaters 😉