Pick Your Battles Wisely

Tweed Jacket with no tie

I wanted to start this blog off with a scary line like, “Ties are dying. It’s almost over.” That would be true, but it would also be misleading because ties have been dying for a long while right alongside of business dress in general. While there is us fighting the good battle for decency we must chose our battles wisely.
Blazer without TieThis post is specifically for all of my office dwelling brethren. Those of you who like myself yearn to wear 3/2 suits, repp ties, and tweed sport coats until our hearts are content. But there are the casual loving others and there are a lot of them. So while in the past I have said that no one is going to give you permission to wear a tie. You also have to know when it makes sense to fall in line and ditch the tie to further your career with the hope that it can return to us one day.
Tweed jacket and No TieI have learned that falling in line is important in two places at my current workplace. These places are large company meetings and client facing meetings with other important people. In my day-to-day I am pretty free to wear a tie as I please, but in the two areas I identified I keep the sport coat and lose the tie. If I am being completely honest I do not hate the look as much I thought that I would. Don’t forget that you can add a Shetland to kick up the trad a notch!

Tweed Sport Coat with Shetland SweaterI hope this does not read that I have given up the fight. I have not. I just want to do my duty to younger readers making there way in the world of work by giving good advice. If it is of any consolation I remember a post that Billax (Billax Posts) one of my style role models wrote about his time at a firm when he had to do the same thing and this was long ago!

The Shirt Jac Look


I started off my return to the blog with some classic Ivy League style so it only makes sense that I stray from that path almost immediately. Not too long ago I grabbed a chamois shirt jac from J.Crew. I was looking for a way to mix up my casual Friday looks and I thought this worked well in a vintage-camping-hiking-kinda trad way.
Trad Shirt Jac I went with the J.Crew versions for a couple reasons. J.Crew fits me well, I liked the red color, and it looked well made. I had a chance to check this one out in store and it had a nice heavy feel. I was pleased that a size small would work well as outerwear without me having to size up. The red color will contrast well with what I wear most often a blue OCBD and khaki chinos.
J.Crew Shirt JacI have now worn this a few times. It works better over a shirt that is tucked in versus untucked. It received several compliments. The verdict is that people like it. I like it too.

Mixing it up


I thought that I would get back into the swing of things with some full blown Ivy Style. Now I am one that generally likes to keep it simple which I am sure that this is apparent from my uniform of khaki chinos, blue OCBD, and penny loafers, but sometimes even I mix it up. This is a good example of that.
IMG_7134When I say full-blown Ivy I mean a few things. One, is that the tweed sport coat that I am wearing is from the Hey day and has all the bells & whistles including 3/2 roll, sack cut (aka no darts), swelled edges, and even a hooked vent. Two, is that my tie is on the narrower side measuring at about 2.75″ which is slim for my tastes, but boy do I love this tie. Third, is the tie pattern. Paisley ties are very Ivy.
IMG_7005On to why this is not simple for me. Here you have a brown tweed, a red striped OCBD, and a predominantly green tie that incorporates yellow and red. Why does this work? I don’t have a great answer for that outside of that I liked the way it looked and there is a nice amount of contrast. I am sure that someone skilled in color theory could break it down for you, but I just eyeballed it.

I don’t know what the take away here is except that sometimes it is good to mix it up (Look, no striped tie!) and that I find contrast much more important than matching. Oh, and I am glad to be back posting after my month off. Thanks for the support, it is very much appreciated!

Gone Surfing

Gone Surfing

No I am not really gone surfing, but I am taking a little break from the Oxford Cloth Button Down blog for the month of February. Don’t worry I am not closing my doors. Heck, I may even end up doing post, but I didn’t want to leave everyone hanging when they noticed that I had missed my weekly deadline. I’ll catch you on the flip side!
1950-60s surfing

Spring Semester 1964


There is nothing better than wearing Shetlands, tweed, and the ability to layer. Well there may be at least one thing that is better which is warm weather. While the winter has been great for breaking out cold weather gear I have had my fill and I am over it. However, with the coldest month approaching I can do nothing but dream of warmer days.

Last night I was flipping through an old Wittenberg University yearbook from 1964 (no, this is not the year that I graduated) to get some spring inspiration. There were some cool ivy pics that got me excited for wearing shorts, madras, and white sneakers. It also reminded me that flip-flops & t-shirts have been on the scene for quite a while and that students have always loved kicking off their loafers! Before you start browsing the images below lets let out one collective sigh as we dream of warm weather and that student life.