Summer Wheat: The Denim Post

Rarely do you read about jeans on Trad & Ivy forums or blogs. It is a taboo topic. Just to provide a little context around the complex relationship between Trad and jeans, Christian from Ivy Style’s denim post was called “The End is Here: An Ivy Style Jeans Post.” Wheat jeans on the other hand have managed to escape the stigma of their blue brothers and have gained acceptance into the the world of Trad & Ivy.
California Cool1966 World Surfing Team Wheat jeans get their credibility primarily from being a part of the 1960’s west coast prep look. From what I can put together wheat jeans gained popularity sometime in the early 60’s as part of the west coast prep/Beach Boy/surfer look. Wheat jeans were worn right along with Pendletons, Purcells, and all of the other west coast classics that have worked their way into Ivy League closets

There are currently two great threads about wheat denim that touch on their history and where you can find a pair now. AAAT member Gamma68, started the  “The Trad Wheat Jeans Thread.” One of the gems of this thread is member Reuben’s suggestion of getting a pair of wheat jeans from Wrangler. He recommends the Wrangler Cowboy Cut in tan (See here) and others seem to agree. Another great read is Talk Ivy’s, “Surf Ivy/The West Coast Look,” started by Member Tommy. There are a ton of great west cost prep pictures to check out (Like the ones I used above) in this thread.

Wheat jeans are no longer just for surfers on the west coast. Though they still have their California cool vibe they are also worn by the crowd that just doesn’t really like jeans. For this crowd wheat jeans allows them to add a casual denim fabric into the mix without having to give up the tan color in which they are so comfortable. I don’t have a pair of wheat jeans myself, but I am contemplating getting a pair.

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. .

Madras Dump

Madras season is rapidly approaching. Opening day is officially Memorial Day with Easter getting an exemption. While I used to observe this arcane rule (and many others like it) I have since replaced it with a much simpler rule which is if it is hot, wear it. In celebration of the fact that warmer weather is on the horizon and to help me assess my current madras shirt situation here is a dump.

JPress Madras Popover

J.Press Madras Popover

John Simons Madras

John Simons Button Front Madras

Proper Cloth Madras

Ralph Lauren Rugby Madras

Polo Madras