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White Socks with Penny Loafers

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Yes you can wear white socks with your loafers. However, if you want to look cool doing it like the guys in all those vintage pictures you want a certain type of white athletic sock. Its not your typical modern white athletic sock.
White socks and penny loafers
The white sock to wear with your penny loafers is the Wigwam 625 (see here). Also they aren’t really white. They are off-white and after a few washes the color gets closer to cream. They aren’t cotton either like the white athletic sock that we know. They are a wool blend (63% Wool/37% Nylon). They are thick too. Almost like a wool sock that you would wear with hiking boots. One other notable feature is that they don’t have any elastic. It’s hard to believe that these were what kids wore to play sports in the 1950s-1960s.

IMG_6599I wear these socks a lot and thought I could offer a pretty accurate overview for those who have not. To me Wigwams and Weejuns are like peanut butter & jelly, but let me just say to those who have never worn this style of sock before that it may be an acquired taste type of thing. Wigwam 625s are scratchy and itchy at first, but this goes away after a few washes or did for me. They don’t have any elastic so surprise surprise they don’t stay up well… at all. So you will find yourself bending over to pull them up throughout the day. They are also thicker than the modern white sock, but I think that is one of their best attributes. I weathered through  all of this and somehow they grew on me. Now I find them both comfortable and comforting.
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Keds 1960If you want to wear a white sock with your loafers the Wigwam 625 is that white sock. As I said it is really more of a cream color and they are wool blend which gives them some nice texture. Alternatively you could substitute any cream colored wool sock with a little thickness if the classics don’t work out for you. These socks are not only the right sock for the penny loafer look, but they also look cool with canvas sneakers, mocs, boots, and almost any other casual shoe. While I can’t imagine playing a game of basketball in them like they did back in the day you can count me as a fan.

Brooks Still Sells 3/2 Roll Sack Sport Coats

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I almost didn’t include Brooks Brothers on the best trad clothing stores post last week. The reason being that they don’t offer any sack cuts with a 3/2 roll minus that one blazer. It turns out that I was wrong.

Before I excluded Brooks from last week’s post I thought that I might as well at least visit the site to confirm. There I found two 3/2 roll sack tweed sport coats. I was impressed which is a little sad to say, but it’s still encouraging. Something is almost always better than nothing.

Grey 3/2 Roll Tweed Jacket

Black & White 3/2 roll BrooksTweed Sport Coat – $498

The first thing that actually caught my eye about these jackets was the name. I noticed that Brooks is using the BrooksTweed label. BrooksTweed is described as, “a unique blend of Scotland’s soft Shetland and rugged cheviot wools.” I didn’t think that they used this term lately but on the site there are other BrooksTweeds on sale so presumably they are from the previous season. Regardless I like the term just like I like the BrooksFlannel labels (I have a few cool vintage ones to share soon). Note not all BrooksTweeds are 3/2 roll sacks.
Brown Brooks Brothers Tweed Sport Coat

Brown Herringbone BrooksTweed 3/2 roll Sack Sports Coat – $498

I thought the tweeds above were great. The colors are versatile and classic. The black and white may be as close to timeless as one can get. I prefer it to the brown as the brown reads a little warm for my taste, but I may change my mind if I saw it paired with khaki chinos. The price ($498) is not bad. I wish they had patch pockets, but like I said these are encouraging to see. There is no hook vent but it is in the center and there are swelled edges. Finally, they are made up in their Regent fit which is somewhere between the classic fit of the Madison and the very slim Milano fit.

In the end it turns out that Brooks Brothers still sells 3/2 roll sack sport coats. They even look nice and are fairly priced. Overall this is a positive sign from Brooks to know that they have not completely written off the sack style. Maybe just maybe I will check their site more frequently and maybe they will have stuff like this more frequently.

Trad Clothing Brands?

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One of the most frequent questions that I get is, “What are the best trad clothing brands?.” This is a difficult question to answer, but here is the answer that I usually provide.

It is easier for me to tell you clothing stores where you can find trad clothes rather than identify a few brands that are trad. Some of the stores that I have listed below are brands or have in-house brands, but others stock lots of brands.

The stores below stock almost nothing, but trad clothes. You can almost shop blindfolded and come away with nothing but the good stuff (be careful at Brooks Brothers though). Everyone on my list has an online presence which was one of my requirements. However, outside of O’Connell’s, J.Press, and Brooks Brothers you may have to place a phone call to check on sizing, availability, etc.

What do you think of the list? Is there anyone that I left off? Anyone on this list that you would remove?

The Best American Trad Clothing Stores

1. O’Connell’s Clothing

2. J.Press

3. Ben Silver

4. The Andover Shop

5. Cable Car Clothiers

6. Eljo’s

7. Brooks Brothers

All The Sweaters

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I took stock of my sweaters this week. I also took a pictures because I knew a few people that might be interested in seeing them. There are plain Shetland sweaters, brushed Shetland sweaters, lambswool sweaters, and more sweaters.

If I were to pick my favorite sweater out of the bunch it would be the fisherman sweater that my sister knit for me.  After that it is a toss up between the Salmon Spirit of Shetland sweater or the Brooks Brothers Clipper blue Shetland. I also really like pink brushed sweater from Ralph Lauren. It is a lambswool/Cashmere blend and it does not disappoint.

If I have learned anything from all of these sweaters it is this. Mid-grey sweaters are the most useful. Saddle shoulders are the best. You can never go wrong with a Shetland sweater. Enjoy the pics!

Shetland Sweaters

Brooks Brothers Clipper Blue ShetlandBrooks Brothers Clipper Blue ShetlandSpirit of Shetland Salmon ShetlandSpirit of Shetland Salmon SweaterBrooks Brothers Pumice ShetlandBrooks Brothers Tan ShetlandO’Connell’s Charcoal Shetland
Oconnells Dark Grey Shetland SweaterO’Connell’s Green Moss Shetland
Oconnells Olive Shetland Sweater

Brushed Shetland Sweaters & Brushed Sweaters

J.Press Shaggy Dog Sweater
J.Press Shaggy Dog Sweater Blue/GreenHarley of Scotland Heathland Brushed ShetlandBrown Brushed Shetland SweaterHarley of Scotland Winter White Brushed ShetlandHarley of Scotland White SweaterRalph Lauren Rugby Burgundy Brushed Shetland

Rugby brushed Shetland

Ralph Lauren Rugby Forest Green Brushed Shetland

Rugby Green Shetland SweaterRalph Lauren Pink Lambwool/Cashmere Brushed Sweater
Pink Ralph Lauren SweaterRalph Lauren Grey Lambswool/Cashmere Sweater
Ralph Lauren Grey Brushed Sweater

Shawl Collar Sweaters

J.Crew Navy Shawl Collar Lambswool Sweater
J.Crew Navy Wool Shawl Collar SweaterJ.Crew Tan Lambswool Shawl Collar Sweater
J.Crew Lamsbswool Shawl Collar Sweater

The rest of them

Wool Fisherman Sweater knit by my sister
IMG_1604Brooks Brothers Outlet Brand Wool Navy/Burgundy Birdseye SweaterIMG_1603Bosie Navy/Grey Birdseye Shetland Sweater
IMG_1600J.Crew Mid-Grey Lambswool SweaterIMG_1608Bosie Patterned Shetland Sweater in Charcoal/Light Grey IMG_1597

Fall Looks for all Temps

It’s 42 degrees outside as I type this. On Monday it was 80 degrees and I was wearing shorts. Today I am contemplating donning a toboggan. Fall can be like that.

The images below show how I managed to stay warm or cool as the temps fluctuated. Some things like the red shirtjac and the green vest you will continue to see but the shorts, polos, and madras will soon be put away for the season.  Winter is coming.

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