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.
I 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
2. Todd Snyder x Champion Reverse Weave Sweatshirt in Natural $148
3. Wallace & Barnes fleece crewneck sweatshirt $78
I want to get a leather belt that is thinner than 1.25″. The reason why is that I have grown very accustomed to the thinner front of surcingle belts. I don’t want it to be a dress belt as I plan on wearing it with my 5-pocket cords. This search led me to Sid Mashburn. While looking at their selection of 1″ leather belts I noticed a belt (pictured above) that they referred to as a “polo” belt. I had never heard the term and thought nothing of until I saw a post on polo belts on Red Clay Soul.
I’ve been digging on the polo belts lately. I love the idea, as well as the culture from which the polo belts originate. Born in Argentina, they are typically leather belts with color-specific designs woven in to represent a team or a location. While they’ve been around forever, they were made popular, maybe even mainstream, by royalty:
Head over to Red Clay Soul for more examples of the polo belt, where to find them, and a few ideas on how to wear them. Read the full post here: Polo Belts by Red Clay Soul
I am probably getting a little ahead of myself, but I could not help it. I pulled these OCBDs out of their packaging and I knew that I had to share them. If you remember a few months back I posted about blowing out the collar on one of my OCBDs (The Ragged, Tattered, and Torn OCBD). Fast forward and I have two new OCBDs from Michael Spencer.
If you aren’t aware of Michael Spencer it is a newer source for Trad approved OCBDs (and an appreciated sponsor of the blog!). This means that there is plenty of collar for roll in their OCBDs and you can choose from other features such as the much beloved flap pocket and locker loop. I chose a Red Candy striped OCBD with a lined collar, flap pocket, and locker loop. Michael Spencer graciously offered to match me a Blue OCBD with an unlined collar, flap pocket, and locker loop as they really wanted me to be able to compare the collar types.
I have not had the chance to launder my shirts let alone wear them which is why I said that I was getting ahead of myself. I will hold off on reviewing them until I get a few to wear each shirt a few times. Until then you can revisit reader Steve’s review of Michael Spencer here: http://oxfordclothbuttondown.com/2015/10/michael-spencer-ocbd-review/
Our beloved shaggy friends from J.Press are currently on sale (see here). At $147 this is still in the upper echelon of sweater pricing, but when you consider that full retail is now a staggering $245 the sale price is looks a lot more attractive as this is just south of a $165 Shetland from O’Connell’s. While I don’t find my Shaggy Dog as versatile as my plain Shetland sweaters it is still in a league of its own in when it comes to warmth.
If you do not have a Shaggy Dog let me warn you that they are very very warm. This can be a bad thing. For instance, it is a challenge to wear one in the office without immediately over heating, but this week it was a savior. With a cold spell keeping the temperatures in the single digits my Shaggy Dog helped keep me warm as I trekked from the parking lot to the office which was great. What was even better is that when I lost heat on Friday the Shaggy Dog allowed me to fend off the cold until the furnace was repaired Saturday evening. It is times like this when the Shaggy Dog really shines.
When you head over to J.Press to check out the Shaggies keep in mind that both the J.Press mainline (traditional fit) and J.Press Blue (slim fit) are on sale. Outside of the slim fit difference the Blue line sweaters have raglan sleeves while the Mainline version have set in sleeves. The Blue line sweaters are also lighter and less brushed than the mainline versions which is not necessarily a bad thing. If you have been wanting a Shaggy Dog in your life this may be the time for one to follow you home.