Trad Concessions

I often get asked if I make any concessions in my clothing. For example, Would I wear a spread collar shirt? Would I wear chinos with no cuff? Do I always wear a button-down collar? You get the idea. To the disappointment of trad purists world wide I do make concessions.
Trad ConcessionsTo 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 for some of you), 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. Probably because darts on patterned jackets don’t stand out as much as they do on say a solid navy blazer. In the end 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. It’s okay new things. It’s okay to change.

Common Types of Shirt Stripes Defined

There are a lot of types of shirt stripes out there. Even if you only include the most common types It’s hard to keep them all straight. That’s probably why world renowned shirt maker Alexander Kabbaz put together a post on Ask Andy 12 years ago on the subject that I still find myself revisiting to this day.
Common Types of Shirt StripesThe image above features examples of Awning Stripes, Dress Stripes, Bengal Stripes, Candy Stripes, Hairline Stripes, Pin Stripes, and Wide Pin Stripes along with a measuring tape making it a great reference piece.

These are relative sizes. For example, Candy Stripes approximately 1/8″ equally spaced white & color or color & color; Bengal Stripes +/- 1/4″ equally spaced white & color or color & color, etc. Pin stripes are usually 1 or two yarns thick and the spacing between pin stripes varies all over the map.

Mr. Kabbaz does note that these are common terms not an all-inclusive list of synonyms and that,

If you’d rather call your Candy Stripes Bengals and your Bengals Pinstripes, feel free. One person’s tiger is another’s kitty.

I actually branched out from my standard blue OCBD this week and ordered a shirt with stripes myself. More on this in the near future. Stay tuned. Until then, here is a link to the full Ask Andy Post that contains additional images and information (visit here).

Why I Went Trad

There is a in-depth piece in the works, but I wanted to give a glimpse into how and why I went trad now. I was graduating from college, about to enter corporate America, and I didn’t know how to dress for it (or at least that’s what I thought). While searching for my white-collar uniform I was drawn to the blue OCBD, khaki chino, and penny loafer look.

It seemed like the perfect uniform. It struck me as having the perfect balance. It was utilitarian and intellectual at the same time. It was staid but not austere. It was worn by the left, right, and center. It felt like the perfect disguise for a working class kid that did not feel like he belonged. In this uniform I thought that they would think that I was one of them. They wouldn’t know if I thought like this or like that.

If you are not sure who the above are you can read about them Julian Bond here and William F. Buckley and the Buckleys here.

Vintage Poolside Inspo from Slim Aarons

I thought I’d veer from my trad norm and drop a little vintage inspo for all those headed to the pool like myself this Memorial day weekend from socialite photographer, Slim Aarons. Fire up the grill, break out the madras, and enjoy the long the weekend!

Patagonia Baggies are Trad

I am not sure how Patagonia Baggies made it into the picture. If I had to guess I’d say that they wandered into Tradsville from a far away place called Fratagonia with their friends the stand-up short and the classic snap-t. Regardless of how they got here, they are here now.

I was never in a frat, but as a resident of Tradsville I love my 5″ Patagonia baggies. When summer gets into the swing of things and the heat is pumping these are the shorts that I reach for. They are super light, they come in great colors, and they dry pretty quick. I am a big fan of yellow and purple.

Yellow Patagonia baggies & OCBD

What do I wear them with you ask? Easy, anything and everything. I wear polo shirts, ocbds, broadcloth shirts, madras, and of course my grey-t’s. When it comes to footwork you can obviously wear sandals or sneakers, but camp mocs look great and I could see some beat up loafers working as well. In short, they are versatile.

Now on to the liner. This is what I get asked about the most. Do you leave the liner in or cut it out? My answer is that it depends. If you are going to use them to swim fairly often the answer is leave it in. If you don’t plan on using them to swim then remove the liner. I have some with and some without the liner. Don’t overthink it.

Purple Patagonia Baggies w/ polo shirt

There you have it. The 5″ Patagonia baggie is the warm weather adventure short of trads. Whether you are going to the lake, beach, river, pool, hiking, or just hanging these shorts are perfect. They are my go to vacation short. To learn more about trad items with frat origins checkout Red Clay Soul’s classic Late 90’s-Early 00’s Fraternity Style post.

Bonus Pics

Yellow Patagonia baggies & OCBD

Is the LHS in Danger?

The abbreviation LHS needs no explanation. It is the loafer for trads, but that may be changing. This isn’t because the much beloved shoe has stopped making unlined cordovan LHS for Brooks Brothers or due to the infamous Alden shoe scandal (see here). It is far more nuanced than that.

LHS stock seems to be dwindling if not disappearing. What has been replacing it is being termed the LMS by Alden enthusiasts. For those that don’t know LHS stands for leisure handsewn and that’s exactly what’s in question. The loafer that seems to be supplementing the LHS stock the LMS is not handsewn, but machine sewn. While this seems like a minor change and it is for most part, but us trads view change (at times even progress) as the enemy. The hand stitching that resulted in small bumps now looks flat, dressier, and kind of lifeless.

Snuff suede LHS
The Alden LHS
The Alden LMS

Why are they doing this? This part is easy to identify. It’s a people problem. The people with these skills are aging out of the workforce and finding people that have these skills is getting harder and harder. Alden is not alone here. It’s a systemic issue that stretches far beyond menswear sphere.

Alden isn’t trying to pull the wool over our eyes. These loafers do have their own model number. For example, the snuff suede pair LMS are 6221 vs the snuff suede LHS’s 6243. On the other hand I have noticed some shops like Shoe Mart to call them “Leisure Penny Loafer” which could lead to some confusion.

Now I am not one to spread FUD. This could easily be nothing more than a short term stop gap or even a new loafer model that will stick around and potentially grow on the trad community. Worst case scenario is that the LHS will slowly vanish from shelves never to return. If you are like me and don’t own a pair this could be our time strike armed with just enough FUD to justify a $600 loafer.

Shorts on the Horizon

I’ve been down and out with the flu all week. I managed to make it out of bed yesterday, but I still haven’t got one single fit off all week. What I have done this week is sleep. A lot of sleep. While sleeping I also dreamed a lot. I dreamed about warm weather and wearing shorts. My fever dreams left me thinking that I need to add 2-3 pairs to the lineup this year. I’d like a batik pair and a non-fatigue olive pair, and potentially a pair in linen (yes, I said linen). Below are my current shorts. .