All posts in Style

Spring Sacks for Cheap

One thing about 3/2 roll sack sport coats is that they are not cheap. Places like O’Connell’s, J.Press, and (sometimes) Brooks Brothers that stock 3/2 roll sacks have a high barrier to entry with prices average starting around $750. This presents a challenge to the younger generation interested in the style. That’s why I always like to share when I find something that is trad, ivy, & very affordable.
Uniqlo seersucker sackUniqlo 2-button sack

Uniqlo is currently offering a few sack sport coats in their Uniqlo U collection. This includes a khaki (looks brown)  seersucker with a 3/2 roll, swelled edges, and no darts. There is also the even more rare 2-button sack with patch, but not flap pockets (I like the green). Both jackets retail for $79.99 and are currently on sale for $59.99.

Before you get too excited lets talk about the pros and cons. The first con is fit. These jackets are alpha sized so fit is really hit or miss. At least they provide detailed measurements on site. Another pro is that they are cheap enough to beat up, but on the other hand the quality may not hold up to too many beatings. If you are on a budget, but like the trad look or are just a trad looking for a beater jacket these may be worth checking out.

Trad Concessions

I often get asked if I make any concessions in my clothing. For example, Would I wear spread collar shirt? Would I wear chinos with no cuff? Do I always where a button-down collar? You get the idea. To the disappointment of Trad purists world wide I do make concessions.
Trad ConcessionsTo get the ball the rolling I thought that I would name a few concessions that I have recently made. I wore a pair of chinos yesterday (it was Saturday) that were not cuffed and I turned up the hem, I recently purchased a pair of gym shorts with a logo, and I occasionally wear only a t-shirt to the grocery. Now none of these are all that shocking (minus the t-shirt), but as you can see I am not perfectly trad.

It was a twill sport coat above from PRL that inspired this post. I saw this great looking summer jacket with soft shoulders, three-button (with potential roll), and the icing on the cake for me, patch pockets. Then I saw the darts. This would generally be a deal breaker, but this time it was not. I did not purchase the jacket, but it is not because it was not trad enough.

Concessions are tricky. The trick is to know what concessions you will be able to live with and which you will not. This will only come with time and mistakes. Just try to learn from the mistakes. On the other end, this is a reminder that if you like something don’t get caught up in the, “is this Trad?” state of mind. It is okay to like other things.

The Spring Squeeze

HHJNHM0452_954_0018_SS17_SW__64992__02318.1487718503.1280.1280

Rarely do I react to promotional emails, but this week I did. It was 70 plus degrees on Friday when I saw an email from J.Press about their Spring 2017 collection. The unseasonably warm weather must have had an effect, because I clicked on through.

It was not just the temps that got to me, but also the memory of a shirt. Two years ago I purchased a short-sleeve patchwork madras button-down shirt from their York St. collection that was an instant classic. I have worn this shirt religiously the last two summers and this summer I would like to pick up another casual short sleeved shirt. Here is the shirt that I am raving about: Patchwork madras shirt

Lucky for me it looks like they are offering quite a few that will fit the bill. There is a muddy patchwork madras and interesting brown garment died shirt (is it an ocbd?) nicely filling the need for summer earth tones. For those who are looking for a little more color in their warm weather clothes there is a green gingham and a pink gingham seersucker shirt. Prices are $125 a pop and the will be available at the end of April.
Before anyone gets up in arms about shopping for the upcoming season let me explain. Yes, you will pay more than if you wait for the end of season sale or simply shop off season. Now that I have gotten that out of the way we are all clear that this is not the most frugal decision. The upside is that the color that you want and your size will be in stock. We all know what it is like to hold out for an item until the price is as low as possible only to wait too long. Head on over the J.Press to look through all of their new offerings and start working on your game plan (J.Press).

Red Stripes

FullSizeRender(14)

For me it has always been about blue. The blue OCBD worn with a pair khaki chinos is simple perfection. It can be worn anywhere and anytime. If I want to look a little more sophisticated I may sub a blue university striped OCBD for my plain blue OCBD under a blazer. However, when purchasing a new shirt from Michael Spencer I decided to throw a little caution to the wind and opted for a red university stripe or as they call it “Candy Striped.”

I have never owned a red university striped shirt before. I have owned a pink uni stripe which actually inspired this choice. The difference being that the pink shirt was alpha sized and because of that was never paired with a tie. I did however see its potential.

The color and stripes of this shirt can add a little pop to otherwise standard rigs. I have paired my red uni stripe with a winter white Shetland, grey Shetland, and brown Shetland which all worked well. By far the most fun that I have had with this shirt is wearing it with ties. As I have written about before uni stripe shirts are great for wearing regimental ties with (Striped Shirt & Striped Tie). The red color presents both a challenge and an opportunity.

If like me you are a true blue OCBD type of guy I encourage you to give a red university stripe a shot. It will work with everything from grey Shetlands to blue blazers to brown tweeds and more. I will continue to experiment with my red striped shirt as I still need to wear it a few more times before I give the shirt a full review.
IMG_2481

FullSizeRender(9)
FullSizeRender(13)IMG_3296
IMG_3096
FullSizeRender(14)

The Natural Sweatshirt

FullSizeRender(11)

Recently I have been fixated on off-white sweatshirts. When I say natural or off-white I am using it as an umbrella term for white, off-white, tan, etc. You know the type of sweatshirt that makes you think of gym class in the 1950’s. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you have relive an awkward gym scene from Wonder Years.
Vintage Converse AdI like natural colored sweatshirts because they are versatile. They work with well with my grey sweatpants allowing me to incorporate a little of my personal style at the gym, an environment dominated by futuristic fabrics. They also work well with a well-aged pair of chinos to tackle yard work, conquer the couch, or even to hang with some friends.

I have often heard people say that a Shetland is the trad’s sweatshirt. While this certainly rings true there are times when you just need a sweatshirt. We know that there were a different set of standards in the heyday, but we also know that they weren’t exercising in 3/2 sacks and penny loafers.

There are lots of places to find this style of sweatshirt. You can pay top dollar for a LVC (There are few on sale at Unionmade right now: here) or Champion collaboration like the ones that I listed below as well as find cheaper options from retailers like J.Crew (The one I am wearing in the top image is the J.Crew sweatshirt listed below). This is also the type of item that you can find at the Gap, Old Navy, or for cheap at your local outlet mall.

1. Levi’s Vintage Clothing (LVC) Bay Meadows Sweatshirt $148

LVC White Sweatshirt

2. Todd Snyder x Champion Reverse Weave Sweatshirt in Natural $148

Reverse Weave Sweatshirt in Natural

3. Wallace & Barnes fleece crewneck sweatshirt $78

Tan Sweatshirt