All posts in Men’s Clothing Reviews

WFH: Ties at Home

I knew that I would eventually break down and put on a tie while working from home. All of the ingredients were there. I like ties, I can’t wear one at the office, add in the the monotonous boredom of working from home alone in a small apartment with no outdoor space, and you have yourself a pretty solid recipe. The question became, which tie?

I generally shy away from ties with crests or affiliations that I have no affiliation with, but I do have a few of them. I was glad that I did because this blue crested tie worked out really well. Navy was the perfect color as it took the place of a blazer and grounded the look. It didn’t look too out of place without a jacket as some of the others that I tried out and the crests added a little pop of a color so that the tie didn’t get lost in the blue of the shirt.

Now that I had the tie figured out I needed to attend to the shoes. I wanted the look to make sense even though wearing a tie while working from home doesn’t make all that much sense. Penny loafers looked to formal to my eye so I lost the socks and went with some Eastland camp mocs. I liked the moc look and rolled with it.

There you have my balancing act. I wore a tie without a jacket in the most informal setting imaginable which is working from my couch and I think it looked pretty good. This crested navy tie walked a fine line. It was subdued enough to lay low against a flap pocket OCBD while the crests added just enough whimsy to make it fun while the camp mocs balanced out the bottom half. The most important part of all of this effort was that I had fun. Something that is hard to come by these days.

Gone for Now

Brooks Brothers 3/2 Roll Discontinued

The Brooks Brothers 1818 3/2 roll sack blazer was a trad staple. It was a right of passage of sorts in the trad world. It was almost always the first blazer recommended to any new trad convert. While I haven’t heard anything official (I may even be late to the party) it appears that the much beloved Brooks Brothers 1818 3/2 roll sack blazer is no longer being offered.

Over the past year or so I have noticed that classic 3/2 roll Brooks Brothers sack blazer was not being restocked. This was an immediate red flag. At this point in my life I am pretty familiar with the signs of a product being discontinued. For those of you that aren’t as experienced with this any time that you see sizes not being restocked it usually means one of 3 things. The product is being discontinued, the product is being updated, or there is a production issue. In this instance I would guess discontinued, because more than enough time has passed for them to update or fix production issues.

It looks like we have lost another trad classic. This one hit me harder than some of our other losses. It was my first 3/2 roll sack blazer. It was a big deal to me when I bought it. While we look back on this blazer with fondness it’s important to remember that we still have options such as J.Press and O’Connells, but only as long as we support them. After that it’s just second hand and MTM or maybe we will see a restock. Hedge your bets.

BB 3/2 Sack Blazer
Brooks Brothers Blazer Close up
Brooks Brothers 3/2 Sack Blazer

How to sweatshirt

I recently posted about vintage Champion sportswear and while my reverse weave Champion sweatshirt is not vintage I do wear it a lot. You may be surprised or disgusted to hear where I wear it the most. The answer is to the office on casual Fridays. Now I am not asking for anyone to fully embrace athleisure but I thought I’d share how I do it.

Spoiler alert: It’s not hard. Like all trads I tend to wear an OCBD under anything and everything. Here it works well helping to take the sweatshirt up a notch above the yard work look (even thought this is how trads look doing yard work). Layering with a polo shirt will have a similar effect. I do this in the warmer months when you might need another layer in the a.m. Add a pair of chinos to the mix and you are now probably better dressed than most people that you will encounter. I liked the way that my duffle coat contrast with the sweatshirt so that is another option. I think that any type of overcoat would work similarly. The cherry on the top might be a scarf.

There you have it. How to sweatshirt like an adult. Don’t forget that sweatshirts are also great for all of the classics like athletics and lazy afternoons. They’re also not hard to find. I simply made a trip down to my alma mater’s bookstore and the internet could have made that trip even shorter.

Casual Friday Sweatshirt
Sweatshirts for golf
Sweatshirt with vest
Sweatshirt with Khakis
Sweatshirt with Overcoat and scarf

Bass Weejuns 2020

Bass Weejun Loafers 2020

I am a fan of Bass Weejuns. I know that they are cheap, disposable, and overall poorly made shoes. I also know that there are a lot of nicer options (Alden, Rancourt, Allen Edmonds) for penny loafers out there. Knowing all of this I was still a fan and recently needed replace some badly worn Weejuns.

Not only do I like cheap Weejuns, but I generally opt for the even cheaper outlet versions currently called Walters. They are virtually identical except for the price and the cut out shape on the strap. I made a trip to my local outlet mall to grab a pair of the brown and a pair of the burgundy. I picked up a pair of the burgundy (see above) and I am happy with them but I was disappointed to learn that they were no longer offering an outlet Weejun in brown. They did have a tan pair. It was an awful color.

I really needed a pair of brown Weejuns a lot more than a pair of burgundy ones. My brown pair are my go to loafers. So upon returning home I hopped online and ordered a pair of the non-outlet Logan Weejuns in brown. They were $110 which is $40-50 more than I paid for the outlet Weejuns. Despite the cost difference I was happy to have a pair on the way.

Then they arrived. First, the sizing was way off. They are between a half and whole size larger than my other pairs. The second issue is the leather. While the burgundy are known for being plasticky (I call them plastic shell cordovan) the brown have always been closer to real leather. However the current version of brown is now as plasticky as the burgundy. I was not thrilled to say the least. Next comes the shape. It may be due to sizing but the toe box looks awfully narrow and long. This narrowness along with the length makes the toe box seem square. Needless to say I was not thrilled and they will go back.

Like I said, I like Weejuns. They have the best shape, fit me well, they are affordable, and they are always accessible (I hate trying to buy shoes online). However the fact that the brown leather is now on par with burgundy leather (if you can call it leather) and the shape is starting to shift I might have to look for an alternative. Before I stray too far I will probably return to the outlet to checkout the beefroll version in brown.

Brown Bass Weejun 2020
Brown Bass Logan Weejun 2020
2020 Bass Weejuns Comparison

2020 Brown Bass Logan Weejuns vs 2020 Outlet Burgundy Bass Walter Weejuns
Brown Bass Weejun Loafers 2020 Toe Box
That toe box looks a little square to me.

Camp Mocs for Summer

Boat shoes may be the casual footwear of choice for most of the trad world, but I myself like camp mocs. I mentioned last week that I had some camp moc ideas and I do. In fact, I was this close (imagine that you can see my gesture) to pulling the trigger.

I didn’t pull the trigger on the Rancourt Gilman Camp-moc in unlined natural Horween Chromoexcel (see here). The ones with red clay soul. The ones in the image directly above. Now in my eyes that is one good looking camp moc. The problem I am having is spending $250 on a pair of shoes that I am only going to wear casually without socks. I also have hard to fit feet and these are MTO so you can only return for fit or store credit if they don”t workout. Not the easiest sell.

While the Rancourt mocs are not totally out of the picture I have another camp moc project in motion. Some of you may recall that I have a pair of LL Bean Signature camp mocs (on left foot below). They never fit quite right. I had to wear them with thick socks or they slipped. If I wore them without socks they rubbed my ankle raw. They did look good though.

Bean Mocs

I did what I always do in these situations. I tossed them in the washer on hot. I am hoping to shrink them up a bit so that they fit a little more snug and don’t rub my ankle raw. I will try to get a few wears in the coming weeks to gauge the results. If not, Rancourt here I come!