Early Christmas

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I thought that I could, but it turns out that I can’t go a week without posting something. I had every intention of not posting a blog this week. I am still playing catch up after having the norovirus for a week (it started on Thanksgiving day). Then, I celebrated Christmas over the weekend with out of town family. All of that to say that I am out of my routine, but I wanted to assure everyone that I am doing well. Last thing, if you have not started prepping for Christmas consider this your friendly reminder to do so. It is closing in quickly! Merry Christmas!
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A Trad Experiment: The Beard

Some of you may have noticed stuff growing on my face if you clicked on my Instagram link last week. That stuff is now almost what I would call a full-fledged beard. While I won’t be attempting to answer the existential question that is, “”Are beards trad?” I will be exploring how a beard impacts a trad.
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img_1025My first observation is that you may want to use time off, holiday time, or simply Movember to develop your beard. Depending on the speed of your facial hair it could take around 4 weeks until you have escaped the five o’clock shadow and scruff look. These are in my opinion the harder facial hair options for a trad to pull off. In an effort to curb my pre-beard time in public I started it the week prior to Thanksgiving using the holiday week to grow my beard in private.

My second observation is that if you are anything like me most people will love your beard. Being like me in this instance only means that you are clean cut the majority of the time. I shave everyday for work and my hair is well maintained. This can lead to a “Richie Cunningham” sort of vibe so when the beard starts to come in it seems to turn everything on its head. All I know is that if you are the kind of guy that gets chided for your buttoned-down ways is that people will probably react positively to your beard.

My last observation is on how a beard will effect your appearance. On the weekend I often wear chinos with an untucked OCBD or flannel shirt. Since I have grown out my beard I have learned that this is a no-no. Pre-beard I went with the untucked look to signal that I am off work and that I have casual side. Now that I have a beard I have found it almost necessary to tuck my shirt in when casually dressed to signal that yes I do have a beard, but I am still the same well put together guy. In short, the beard requires that you stay on top of your grooming.

I hope that my foray into the bearded life has been helpful to you all. It has been an interesting experience for me. It is only the second time that I have had a beard in my adult life. For those of you wondering I do not plan on keeping the beard long term. For those of you that read this blog and have had a beard what tips can you share with us?

 

Harry Potter Trad

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Last week I posted an image of my one of winter hats on Instagram (My Instagram). A (very cool) follower responded saying that they were unable to wear their rugby or scarf in the same color without someone referencing Harry Potter. I legitimately laughed out loud, because I have the same experience.
img_0544The hat in question is gold and burgundy…and very goofy looking, I know. It turns out that this is also the same color as Harry Potter’s Hogwarts House of Gryffindor or something like that. I will admit that I have seen the movie, but I did not retain much. It is also the colors of the 11th Hussars, the Washington Redskins, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. In a pre-Potter world I would used to get the Redskins association the most often.

Regardless of these associations I am still an advocate for wearing these colors. The Harry Potter link can even be to our benefit. I can vividly recall my co-worker telling me that he liked my Harry Potter socks. He knew that I did not know that they were Harry Potter socks, but he genuinely meant that he liked them. The same goes for the Redskins fan. In the end if it takes fantasy movies and/or sports to get people to enjoy regimental stripes I am all for it!

Thankful for 5 Years

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The Oxford Cloth Button Down blog is now over 5 years old. The first post was published back in September of 2011 and it was about sweaters. It is November 2016 and I am still posting about sweaters. I would like to think that even though I am still writing about Shetland sweaters and 3/2 roll sack jackets that the blog has evolved and will continue to grow, but no matter what happens I am thankful for what has been. I want to sincerely thank all the readers of this blog for their interest, expertise, support, and above all patience. This blog would not be around today if it were not for you all. Thank you.


J.Crew Navy ChinosJanuary 2012

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The Patch & Flap

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If you thought that this post was going to be about the iconic J.Press patch and flap pocket know that it was a good guess. I actually won’t be talking shirts at all. What I will be talking about is why I am a big proponent for patch and flap pockets on sport coats and blazers.

Patch and flap pockets are a big part of the trad look. In terms of importance they are up there right along with the 3/2 roll and being dart-less, but are probably more akin to center vents versus hooked vents in that they are one of the more negotiable elements in the trad cannon.

Before I dive into why I am a such big fan I will get everyone up to speed on patch and flap pockets. When it comes to suits and sport coats there are basically two types of pockets. There is the jetted and the patch. If a jacket has jetted pockets the only visible part of the pocket will be the horizontal line of the pocket opening. This is the more formal of the two pocket types.

Patch pockets are the less formal and are almost exclusively found on sport coats/blazers. The patch pocket is exactly what it sounds like which is a patch of fabric that has been attached to the jacket. This technique leaves a visible outline of the pocket. Being that it is the least formal it should come of no surprise that it is also the most trad pocket.

Not only am I fan of the patch pocket I am also a fan of the flap pocket. The flap is attached above the pocket allowing for the pocket to be closed. It should be noted that not all patch pockets have flaps. In all honesty I am not a fan of flap-less patch pockets. They look unfinished or incomplete to my eye like a pair of chinos without a cuff.

Fall 1981 Grey Herringbone Sport Coat
An Example of Jetted Pockets with Flaps

Grey Herringbone Sack Sport JacketAn Example of Patch and Flap Pockets

In short, I am an advocate for these pockets because look more casual than jetted pockets. They look sporty and dare I even say a little rugged. As we all know we live an increasingly causal world. This can be a challenge for those of us that prefer a little more formality in our attire. This is where patch and flap pockets become your friend.