All posts in Style

The Rugby Rush

Barbarian Rugby

Rarely do the words trad and on trend get mentioned in the same sentence, but lately I have been feeling ahead of the style curve. There has recently been an uptick in rugby releases from everyone from Ralph Lauren to the up-and-coming Rowing Blazers. As you may know I love a good rugby and I am happy to see them return.

I won’t harp on the virtues of rubgy shirts for too long. They seem to be an item that people like or hate. There are always a lot of questions about them being for kids, or too casual, or too something. I find them super easy to wear casually from throwing it on for a walk, wearing it to the gym like a sweatshirt, or even layering it over an OCBD. Simple, easy, and kinda cool.

Below are some of the rubgy shirts that are currently available. I love the rugby from Rowing Blazers, but the price is a little steep. Despite having them listed last I recommend Barbarian and Columbia Knit. I am a big fan of Barbarian and have several of their shirts. I also think that Columbia knit has a great selection of hoop stripes (20 in all), a great price, and a solid product.

If you do end up copping a rugby be prepared for both Blue’s Clues and Gilligan’s Island references. It will be annoying and it will happen, but don’t let that stop you!


Polo Ralph Lauren $125

men's unisex 1984 rugby shirt in colorblock - men's short sleeve tees

J.Crew $59.50

Rowing Blazers $185

Barbarian $80

Columbia knit RugbyColumbia Knit $68.75

New Tretorns Plus…

Tretorn Nylite Plus

I just scored a new pair of Tretorn Nylites. I went with the Nylite Plus’s as they have more padding…and were all I could really find. I also thought that I remembered reading that these were truer to the original than the previous model which you know that a trad loves to hear.
Tretorn NyliteYou might be wondering what happened to my old Nylites. Well let me tell you that not all things survive being washed on hot (aka they shrank), but I do still have them. Below you can see them (old-bottom) compared to the new pair (new-top). The new pair has a lot more padding (meaning some) around the ankle and even more support in the footbed than the old model. For someone like me who needs support in a sneaker this is great. The sole of this shoe does look a little larger (width) and it is by about 1/16 of an inch which I don’t love, but will probably quickly forget. I do think that the larger and more elongated logo on the old navy pair looks better. The old pair is also floppier, but we will see how the new model breaks in.

Tretorn preppySo truer to the original and more comfortable??? I am sold! Truth be told I have only worn them once, but they were comfortable straight out of the box. I have actually never had a pair of truly comfortable minimalist canvas sneakers so lets just say that I am thrilled. I imagine that they will get a lot of use this summer. Before I go I did find where I read about the Nylite Plus’s being truer to the originals. It was over at Sid Mashburn. I have included that below,

It’s the old-school Nylite we know and love — the ultimate icon of Swedish athletica — but better. And by “better,” we really mean “truer to the original.” Tretorn brought back the padding on the sides and footbed for a more comfortable tennis shoe… think more sneaker, less slipper. And the inside is designed specifically with a more sweat-resistant, light-pile, eco-friendly French terry, which is great to wear (you know it) sockless.

Summer Ties


I have a few ties that I really enjoy wearing in the summer. It is not that they are made from seasonal material such as Madras, Seersucker, or Shantung, but their color calls for warm weather. They also all work well with a navy blazer and especially well with my not quite navy blue wash-n-wear jacket turned blazer.

Summer Stripe tiesAbove are the ties that I love to wear when the sun is out and the weather is warm. They are nice and colorful with stripes that pop. There is also a lot of green which is no surprise as I have a thing for green (Going Green: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). From left to right we have a vintage Robert Talbott, a current Arnold Steiner (see here), a vintage Gant, and a few year old Lands’ End tie to round it out. I was happy to see that at least 1 item I posted about is actually still available.
IMG_1719Here are a few take aways from this post. One, trying sporting a brighter repp tie this summer. I find that it keeps my look aligned with the season adding an element of fun to the often somber or at least predictable navy blazer combos without resorting to whimsical club ties (nothing wrong with them). The last take away is that this post reminded how much use I like having a blue jacket that is not navy. May be worth considering.

Below are more pics of my summer ties because what is a post without pics!
Summer Tie 1 Summer Tie 2Summer Tie 3Summer Tie 4

The Miyuki-zoku in Life & Illustration


I like to keep a nice selection of coffee table books around. One of my newer books is called “Cool: Style, Sound, and Subversion” (see here). Overall it is a pretty cool book. It covers a lot of subcultures and is fairly accurate. It gives a 1-2 page write-up with each subculture including Ivy League Style, Preppy, unfortunately no Trad, and what I am focusing on today is the Miyuki-zoku…kind of.

What struck me about the the Miyuki-zoku page was the illustrations. I knew that I had seen this image before. It turns out it wasn’t one image, but a few images drawn together. It only took a handful of Google searches to put it all together. I found our friend on the far right in the madras looking Harrington jacket and Chucks in a blog post on Ivy Style. I then spotted the guy in madras shirt over at Put this On.
Japanese Ivy Style

The Miyuki-Zoku, 1964David Marx posted this great photo on Twitter today. Shown above are some members of the Miyuki-zoku, a 1960s Japanese youth movement that revolved around Ivy Style clothes. Somewhat notable: the men are seen wearing short...What was interesting to me about this is that we have photographs being documented in illustrations. I am sure this is fairly common, but seeing it this way just got me thinking about the how cultures and art feed each other. I don’t know where I am going with that other than it is interesting to think about. Before I get too deep let me provide you with links to the articles referenced above so you can read more about The Miyuki-zoku.

Learn more about the Japanese youth movement the Miyuki-zoku:

Ivy Style – The Miyuki-zoku: Japan’s First Ivy Rebels

Put this On – The Miyuki-zoku, 1964


The Perfect Madras Popover


I just recently acquired the perfect madras popover. It is perfect to me for a reason that you might not suspect. Before you get too excited know it’s no longer available for purchase.
Madras PopoverLet me get right to the reason that I am so excited about this popover. It is the placket length. The placket (aka the fabric around the front buttons) of most popovers is about half the length of a regular button front shirt (and have 4 buttons). This is not bad a thing, but I had a madras popover about 20 years from Polo Ralph Lauren that had a shorter placket similar to a polo shirt (w/3 buttons like this one!). I loved this shirt and have been looking for another the last 2-3years. Fun fact. 20 years ago I didn’t know the shirt was called a popover I just assumed it was an interesting take on a polo shirt.
IMG_0803While the placket length makes it perfect the details definitely don’t hurt. The madras is genuine, the scale of the pattern is small and the colors are muted. The small scale and the muted colors are what’s important to me here as I know that’s what works well for me. The fact that the madras is genuine angle is simply icing on the cake.
You guys all know that I stay away from second hand clothing. It is time consuming to search for and returning it is either not possible or a hassle that I would prefer not take on, but when you win you can win big. This shirt may not push me to scour the internet for old PRL Rugby, but it may serve as a blueprint for more perfect popovers.