I have been having an eventful few months. A few of my sweaters were attacked by moths, someone hit my parked car, I have been extra busy on the work front, and then my sweaters were again attacked by moths. As you can tell none of the events have been what I would call positive. The worst part is that the sweater problem is still haunting me.
I store my sweaters in two areas. One of these areas is a dresser drawer and the other a cedar chest. Even though both are stocked with cedar and lavender this is only going to discourage moths not stop them. After doing some research it appears that cedar chest are effective because they are not easy for moths to get into not because they are made of cedar.
The first attack occurred in my dresser. I discovered a brand new sweater at the very bottom of the pile with a hole. I mention that it was new for two reasons. The first is that moths are attracted to clothing with stains or some dirt from wear. Second, is that only because it was new could I confirm that the moth bites happened in this drawer because all of my sweates travel between the two areas.
So, What did I do? First, I took all of my sweaters to the dry cleaner. This was annoying, but it made me feel confidant that I had taken care of the issue. I also cleaned out the dresser drawer really well. Finally I put all of the sweaters into the cedar chest. Fast forward a week and I discover another moth hole. This time I put all my sweaters in the freezer to kill off the moths, clean out the cedar chest, and Finally I put them in the plastic storage bags.
I share this because I am sure that many of you can relate to this struggle. Moths are terrifying to anyone that has a fair amount of sweaters. They are hard to see which means it is hard to know that they are there until it is too late. What I am trying to do now is move forward and stop worrying about future attacks (which is much easier said than done). I just keep telling myself that I have taken the necessary precautions and the worst case scenario is that I will have to buy some new sweaters 😉
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 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.
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.
To 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.
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.