Office Trad

Office Trad

It is no secret that I am an advocate for the traditional American look. I think that it is a way of dressing that will serve one well for the duration of their life. I also think that is a look that will serve one especially well in the workplace. I  have listed just of few of these reasons below.
The UniformMy Uniform – I think that this is a good example of the look that could be applied to most business casual settings.

1. Be seen, but not heard. – The look is conservative. It does not draw attention for being extremely colorful (I suggest keeping GTH gear outside of the office. At least at first), inappropriately tight, or revealing. It is not too casual nor is it cuff link and Windsor knot fancy. These are good things. It also demonstrates a neat professional appearance that is generally appreciated by companies. In summary, your clothes will not speak louder than your work.

2. Always appropriate. – This is not a style that changes much. Sure lapel widths, collar points, and the rise on trousers have changed a few times over the last 65 or so years, but not much else. The upshot here is that you won’t have to buy a new wardrobe and change your style every few years, because your clothes are no longer cool. While the look may not always be fashionable it will always be appropriate. I wanted to say that it is more economical as well, but all my trads know that is probably not true!

3. Ready, set, go! – The look is simple, easy to learn, and looks great on almost everyone. My biggest decision in the morning is deciding what color Shetland or tie to wear and any of them would work. Someone once told me that this style will allow you to clothes your eyes, pick your clothes, and still look good. Maybe not great, but good!

The look can be an asset to you at the office as long as you apply it to fit within the parameters of your workplace. It won’t overshadow your work and your boss will never have to worry about if you will look professional, it will never be outdated (at least in our lifetime), and it is a simple style that is easy to learn. Long live penny loafers, chinos, and the OCBD!

Striped Shirt & Striped Tie

Ties2 Big

I often hear (or read) that you should not wear striped ties with striped shirts. I don’t know the origin of this “rule.” It may not even be a rule at all, but a tip to keep sartorial novices such as myself to stay away from pattern matching. What I do know is that wearing striped ties with striped shirts is one of my favorite things.
TodayPulling off a striped tie with a striped shirt relies on the same principle as any pattern on pattern matching. It is all about scale. It is also not complicated, at least in theory. The two patterns simply have to have enough difference in their scale to work. In general, it tends to work best when the shirt pattern is smaller than the tie’s pattern, but I am sure that there are exceptions to this.

Stripe tie & shirtClose up
Traditionally I wear a blue university striped OCBD with a striped tie. Like I said, it is one of my favorite looks. However, using different kinds of striped shirts opens up endless possibilities. I am slowly working on adding a new stripe type or color to my closet (Common types of shirt stripes). I recently purchased a pinpoint shirt with red stripes from Brooks Brothers primarily to wear with one tie in particular (see the combo here!), but I know that I will find many more to wear with it through experimentation.
Stripes on Stripess
Green Rep tie & Uni StripeI like rules. They provide structure and guidance. Rules can help you to avoid things that should be avoided without you having to fully understand why. On the flip side, once you better understand the reason for the rule you may be able to apply it as necessary instead of blindly following it. For those of you who don’t do stripes on stripes I hope this post encourages you to give it a go.

From Matunga to Manhattan

Madras

The weather has been unseasonably warm here the last few days which led me to jumping the gun on Madras season. While I blame the heat I am not at all upset about this development. It has been gorgeous outside.

A few weeks back a writer from the Daily News and Analysis India approached me about using one of my Madras images (see above) for an upcoming story on the fabric. While they ultimately chose not to use my image I thought that it was an interesting article well worth sharing with all my Madras loving Trads.

There’s apparently nothing in common between Ramasubbu and Brooks Brothers. The former is a street vendor in Matunga Market, Mumbai. The latter, an upmarket men’s clothing brand – the oldest in the US – headquartered in Manhattan. But dig deeper, and you’ll find that they’re inextricably linked by a design so much a part of Indian society that we seldom think twice about it.

Click here for the full read. I am off to enjoy the warm weather.
Golf Madras

Saturday Style

servlet (2)

I am going to continue talking about casual clothes this week including small collars and even untucked shirts (revolutionary stuff, I know). Commenter Young Soul Rebel asked a question last week about the size of the collar on J.Crew’s popover. I replied that I don’t worry too much about collar size or roll on casual shirts. As a matter of fact this is not the only concern that I throw out the window when it comes to casual clobber.
Boat shoes and BaracutaGrey Sweatshirt & OCBDSaturday Style 3First let me define what I mean by casual, because there is a lot of it. Before I get attacked for my untucked shirts and shorts let me make it clear that I am not talking about fine dining or an event. I do not consider anything outside of 9 to 5 to be casual. I am talking about a casual that I call Saturday style. This is after work golf practice in my yard type casual. What I would wear to the grocery at 9am Saturday morning, to grab lunch with friends, or conquer weekend errands.
Barber Shop Shot Casual GolfWhite sneakersMore Saturday StyleI often find pictures more helpful than words which are why I shared so many in this post instead of trying to describe my casual style. I think that overall I am a fairly conservative dresser, but outside of work this is not nearly as true. As you can see some of the collars are small (though I would prefer they weren’t), the shirt is often untucked, there are white sneakers and grey sweatshirts, and I like it. Just keep in mind where you are going, always be somewhat presentable and you should be fine.

*For those of you that are wondering a few of these pictures are from last year which is why I wearing Madras prior the flag being raised (see the madras flag being lowered here). Not that would stop me.

Top of the Pops: The Popover Preview

Gant Popover

It felt like I did a little summer bashing last week so I thought that I would return this week with a pro-summer post. While I don’t find too much to look forward to in terms warm weather clothing mostly, because it doesn’t offer me too many work friendly options it does offer a lot of casual options and what is summer without casual!

One of my favorite warm weather items is the short-sleeve popover shirt. The popover was created by Gant in the 1960s and they continue to make them today. The image above is a current popover by Gant who know seems to call them “pullovers”. The style has seen a resurgence in popularity over the last 5 years. Currently they are offered by everyone from J.Crew to O’Connell’s Clothing. Below are my top 3 popover picks of the season. Gingham Popover1. Brooks Brother Gingham Seersucker ($69.50) – I am a big fan of small scale gingham patterns in blue. Patterns in smaller scales are much easier to wear than large patterns. This short-sleeve popover is also made from seersucker in cotton which is an especially good choice for staying cool in hot weather. I also like the shorter 3-button placket. This shirt is available in Regent and Madison fit. J.Crew Coral Popover2. J.Crew Cotton/Linen Popover in Coral ($75) – I spoke about needing to add a little more color to my wardrobe a few weeks back and this is the type of shirt that could help me do it. The textured cotton-linen fabric looks great in this soft pink color. I could see pairing this with British or stone khakis. The flap pocket is a nice touch. I prefer a dress shirt hem over the square hem on this popover, but it is still a nice shirt nonetheless. Pink Seersucker Popover3. O’Connell’s Clothing Pink Seersucker Popover ($165) – This is by far the priciest popover on the list, but it is still worth featuring. This made in the USA popover features single needle tailoring and the lightweight pink seersucker fabric is the epitome of summer. The placket on this popover is too long for my taste, but it is the traditional length. O’Connell’s once again proves that they can do anything well, but that you will have to pay for that expertise.

Above are just a few of the great popover choices out on the market right now. If you are looking for more options J.Crew seems to be putting out more than anyone at this time, but checking the usual suspects should be fruitful as well. This is one item where I actually prefer an updated look with a shorter placket. If popovers are your style I might consider stocking up on a few at the end of the season. It is hard to tell when items like these will once again become a thing of the past.