Archive for February, 2019

Mercer Says

Everyone in the trad/ivy world is readily familiar with Mercer & Sons shirts. They are renowned for their distinctive soft collars…and roll. Not only do they do collar roll right, but they also nail it when it comes to web copy.

I don’t own a Mercer shirt yet. I do However visit their site on occasion to gaze at fabric and to read their descriptions of the fabric. I love their descriptions as they are informative, knowledgeable, fun, and funny. A rarity in today’s world of fast fashion and loose facts. I have shared a few m of my favorites below, but do yourself a favor and visit Mercer & Son’s site to read more. Maybe even treat yourself to a new shirt.!

Twice to Work

How many times can you wear your chinos between washes? My personal opinion is that you can wear them to work twice between washes. I will share my chino care routine below along with a little tip with how to use your chinos that have been work to work twice.

My chinos get worn to work twice before washing them. Let me walk you through my routine. I wash my chinos on cold and hang dry. At first I kind of hated how stiff this made the cotton, but now I see it as a benefit in addition to the fact that washing on cold and hang drying extends their life. The stiffness also works as a starch especially because I hang them to try with the crease in place. This way I am not trying to iron out any creases. It’s always easier to work with mother nature than against her.


I iron my clothes every morning before work. I don’t actually use starch on my pants. I use a sizing spray (only on my chinos) which makes them crisp, but not as hard as starch. After their first trip to the office I hang them up in the closet in my work section. Then I iron them the next time that I wear them. During the second wear the crease is a little sharper and they are a little softer. I think that my rule only wearing them to work twice has a lot to do with ironing and not that the pants are actually dirty. Ironing my chinos a third time would be too much. You risk a stressing the fabric, creating a sheen, and ironing in dirt/stains.

My little trick is that I said you can wear them twice to work without washing. I didn’t say anything about casual wear. I hang my work chinos that I have worn twice in the casual section of my closet. I then wear them in the evening or on the weekend. I don’t iron them again, but they still look pretty good from all of the the previous ironing. They can be dressed up or down at this point. Both images in this post are chinos on round 3.


That sums up my chino wear and care routine. I think that my casual tip is a good one. It saves time and energy which is what you want during your downtime. Other than that, wash on cold and hang dry is all that you need to know when it comes to washing work clothes.

CPO Season

I will be honest with you. I really didn’t know what a CPO shirt was. I kinda knew what they looked like, but that was about it. I couldn’t for instance tell you the difference between a CPO and a shirt jacket. Not only did I not know that much about the origin of  CPO shirts. I wasn’t a big fan either.

Now I do know a little about the CPO shirt. The CPO shirt was developed by the Navy in the 1930s as a layering piece for cold-weather work. While CPO stands for Chief Petty Officer these shirt-jackets were not widely worn throughout the Navy. While most of my CPO shirts are chamois the originals were wool-flannel. The original also had a single scalloped flap pocket on the breast, but there have been multiple iterations of the CPO shirt with the double front pocket being the most common.

Like most things trad and ivy these shirts became popular post WWII. I am not saying that they were not a popular during the heyday,but I always associate them with late 70’s/early 80’s rugged prep look similar to 60/40 parkas. This could be because I can remember that era and was not around for the heyday.

You can count me as a fan of the CPO shirt these days. I have learned the value of the CPO shirt this past year. I now have 4 different CPO shirts. I have a red chamois version from J.Crew, a vintage navy wool-cotton one from Brooks Brothers (with a button-down collar), a navy chamois from Woolrich, and natural colored chamois from J.Crew.

My current favorite is the vintage Brooks shirt and it even got its own blog post. It is a lot thinner than my others but being a wool blend it offers a great warmth to weight ratio. However I love them all and each has there time and place.

I wear CPO shirts pretty frequently now. How do I wear them? I like to wear them over a tucked in OCBD  on casual Friday. On a Saturday or Sunday I might just throw it over a tee or a henley. Sometimes I wear them buttoned but most of the time I don’t. They have been great for me during the winter adding a layer of warmth while offering up a little texture and color. Its also nice to have mid-layer option other than sweaters and sweatshirts. And as to what is the difference between most shirt jackets and CPO shirts? The answer is nothing.

Woolrich Chamois CPO ShirtIMG_8219IMG_0812

Back looking like Me

Fresh off of a blogger’s vacay I thought that pics were more important than words. I have gone through some life transitions in 2018 and one of the current results is that I am not wearing ties or sport coats at work. On the flipside I have moved to a larger city where I am learning that I can wear almost anything and not stick out. Anything here includes sport coats (cue me at the museum of art ). So while I may not wear ties and such to work at the moment. I see opportunity. To be continued. IMG_5998IMG_6808IMG_7636IMG_4750IMG_6775IMG_7222IMG_4335IMG_5872