All posts in Men’s Clothing Reviews

2018 Tweed Sport Coats

While I am not in the market for a new tweed sport coat I pretended that I am for this post which is easy to do for your average trad. I went into this search knowing that I would be unable to get all trad trimmings that I want without going MTM which is expensive and time intensive or going to O’Connells or J.Press. My problem with OCs and J.Press is that most if not all of their jackets lack patch pockets. That is currently a deal breaker for me. In the making of this list the two highest items on my list are natural shoulders and patch pockets.

 

 

Sid Mashburn – Sid Mashburn Virgil NO. 2 Patch Pocket Jacket ($995)

As much as I love a 3/2 roll I think that I could settle for this 2-button dart-less sack tweed from Sid. They actually offer a 3/2 sack, but this color and pattern spoke to me so much more. I would prefer that my patch pockets be flapped but this seems to be a growing trend. I am not opposed to it as it pushes the casual vibe that I am going for with patch pockets in the first place. This is a great looking jacket.

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John Simons ($480)

John Simons is offering the sport coat above in 3 colors. I am a big fan of olive in general and I am loving this jacket. It looks kind of Keydge like which is not a bad thing. I like the casual look of an unlined jacket when it is done right. My recent positive experience with this brand (John Simons Shirts) has left me wanting to try this tweed jacket out.

 

 


Drakes – Ochre and Green Houndstooth Tweed Jacket$1,395.00

Drake’s has been consistently doing good things with their there brand if you ask me. While they aren’t exclusively an ivy/trad brand they appear on the Venn diagram occasionally. This unlined but darted  and side-vented 3/2 sport coat in an autumn-ish pattern is very nice looking. At $1,395 we are in MTM range, but one of the upsides to OTR (off the rack) is that you can simply return it if it does not work out. It looks well made and like they used quality materials, but for my intended use it could benefit from some swelled edges. This looks like it would work better with grey flannels than khaki chinos.

 

 

 

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Ralph Lauren

Brown Jacket ($995)

Tick Weave Jacket ($995)

I like both of these jackets a lot despite those enormous pockets and the darts. Despite those defects they have a nice overall look. The brown one is labeled as a suit jacket will work just fine as a sport coat because the of those patch pockets. The other is a tick weave I which I know that I really like as one my sport coats has this. It is a great texture. Still not sold on the pockets.

I should have called this post the fall sport coat post and not tweed. I see that now. If I were considering a new sport coat I would be leaning towards that John Simons jacket up there. It looks great and it is nice to get everything that you want for $500. Sid would be second on my list, but fit is ultimately what would cement my decision.

The Black Watch Harrington Jacket

I think that I picked up this Black Watch Harrington or Baracuta style jacket about a year ago from Lands’ End. I didn’t like it much then and may have worn it once that season. Fast forward to now and I have been worn it at least 5 times in the last three weeks.

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What I didn’t like about this jacket is that the construction and finish (I especially dislike the way the zipper is finished) is lacking but mostly I didn’t like the muted patten. It looked muddy. It all blended together. However, the jacket was cheap. I don’t think that I paid more than $40 for it and I probably paid less. The point is that even though I didn’t love the jacket it wasn’t worth returning. Maybe I will like it in the future?

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The future is now  and past me made a good call. I needed a light rain jacket the other day and I didn’t want to wear my Kelly green Baracuta so I grabbed this one. The pattern seemed less muted than I remembered. The pattern seemed to strike a nice balance between muted and overwhelming. It was easy to wear and comfortable.

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There is no real point to this post. Perhaps it could be to consider a Black Watch jacket for yourself or sometimes miss picks work out in the end? Pick whichever is the most useful for you. I am just glad that it worked out between past and future me.

Where Have All the Chinos Gone?

I am not one to howl at the moon. Sure I have had my moments in the past, but after dressing trad-ish for the better part of 10 years I now know and accept that things will never be as they were. I am even okay with that. I am currently looking to replace my current set of chinos and I could use your help finding some option, because it has not been easy.
IMG_6679Here is what I am looking for when it comes to chinos. I want them to be flat-front, 100% cotton (that means no stretch), and to not have no-iron treatment. In terms of fit I would like a decent rise of about 11 inches and nothing too slim nor too wide (see above). I know that it doesn’t sounds too difficult on its face, but anyone of you that have been looking recently knows that it is.
IMG_5506If you are wondering what I have been wearing up until now that is a great question. I have been wearing J.Crew Essential chinos in classic since around 2008. Around 2014 they changed the fit name from classic to 1040. At some point in the last 1-2 years they stopped making the Essential version which was their dressier version and now only offer the broken-in version. I will give the broken-in fit a try, but I have my doubts.

My current list of potential chino sources are O’Connell’s Clothing, J.Press, Ralph Lauren, and J.Crew. I have tried O’Connell’s in the past and found them too wide, but both of us could have changed our desired look in that time. If any of you have any insight into specific models, feedback, etc. please do share!

Why Won’t My Collar Roll?

Why won’t my collar roll? I can’t count how many times that I have been asked this question and it does not come without good reason. The perfect collar roll is one of the trad/ivy style features that we all chase. In this post I will go over the two most common issues that I come across when analyzing that roll.

IMG_8509If you are are here and asking this question you already know what collar roll is. For those of you that don’t know check out my “What is Collar Roll?” post that I did way back when. Basically collar roll is that mesmerizing arch created by a tie and a button-down collar.

1. Your shirt is too big.

This is by and far the biggest reason that I see when people ask why their collar does not roll. It is also something that I have a lot of personal experience with. In order for the collar to roll the collar must be snug. Not so tight that you can’t get a two fingers between the shirt and your neck, but almost no more room than that. It is the pressure between, the tie, the shirt, and your neck that forces that roll. If there is too much space or material between the collar of the shirt and your neck it will not create the tension required.

Collar Roll Example

2. Your collar is too short.

I have found that any collar point length under 3.25″ is going to be a challenge to get to roll. The reason is that there is not enough material to get over the tie knot and roll. You could have all the pressure in the world here, but if there is not enough actual material to roll you are out of luck.

These are the top two reasons that I see time after time when asked about collar roll. This is not to say that these are the only issues. Even when you get the perfect fitting shirt you may run into some issues. If this does happen try the solution suggested by Charlie Davidson of the famed Andover Shop (Thanks, Blucher Moc!) which is to move the buttons a little bit (See here). Whatever the type of collar roll you are after I hope this helps you get there!

The University Flap Pocket

The flap pocket OCBD is a hallmark of the trad and ivy looks. Those in the know tend to know that if you are wearing a flap pocket that you know what you are you doing. We know that the shirt probably comes from J.Press or is a custom OCBD with a wink and nod to Press. I myself am a fan of the flap pocket, but not necessarily on the standard blue OCBD.

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While I own several flap pocket OCBDs there is one that I wear more than any other. That one is a red university striped shirt. There is something very unique about the pairing of the university stripe which is sometimes called a candy stripe with a flap pocket. It can’t put my finger on it, but it just works. While I love my red one I think that it would work well in blue, pink, or any other color that you can get your hands on.

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Here is why I don’t love my blue OCBDs with flap pockets. Before I say this please know that is very unique to my specific look and that I have the utmost respect for those in the armed services. I find that these shirts look a little military on me. Again this has to do with the haircut, my build, and potentially something else that I am unaware of and it’s not just me. I have been asked several times while wearing this shirt if I am a military man (often Air Force for some reason?). If you are not as clean cut looking as me this may never ever be an issue for you. In fact if you are not very clean cut the flap pocket will look even cooler on you like I think they do on me when I have my beard.

I picked up my red university stripe OCBD at Michael Spencer. However, I think that you should be able to recreate this shirt at any of the custom spots such as Ratio, Mercer, and probably quite few others that I am leaving out. The funny thing is that while my shirt is definitely a nod to J.Press it is not available there. They only offer their flaps in solid colors.