All posts in Style

Japanese Ivy at Your Doorstep

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Not only am I going to share a few of my recent Amazon Japan purchases with you today, but I will also give you the down low on how to make these types of purchases yourself. Anyone that follows the blog knows that I enjoy menswear illustrations. I especially like those of the trad, ivy, and preppy variety and am partial to those from Japan. This is why I turn to Amazon Japan.

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How do I do it? It’s really very easy. So easy that I made these purchases from my phone. I go to Amazon.co.jp using a browser such as Chrome or any browser that offer to auto translate the page. I translate the page and I am off and running. I am always looking for books or magazines so I generally use the words ivy or trad to get started in the right direction. Like the US version of Amazon it has excellent “those who bought” and “if you like” type options.

The last thing to know about Amazon Japan is the checkout. Don’t try to your Amazon US password. It won’t work. At least mine did not. No big deal. You just set up a new account which is very easy. The shipping will be expensive, but still within reason. Let’s say my purchase was $60. I paid $40 in shipping. You have to bundle to make it worthwhile.

For those of you that I left hanging on my purchase details I did not forget about you. I purchased two books and two magazines. The clear winner is a collection of Hiroshi Watatani’s work called Style (Here is a link). You will quickly recognize some of his more famous trad/ivy illustrations from the blogosphere, but there are lots of others you have not seen. While it’s not strictly trad/ivy any one that enjoys menswear illustrations will enjoy it. It is fantastic.

The others all have their moments. I personally enjoy the hiking images in the heavy duty book (See here) a lot but I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. However that Ivy collage in 2nd magazine with MJ in it is perfection. The best thing in Pen Magazine was the cover, but David Marx did get a shot out so it can’t be all bad. I have included images from each below with the cover first and its illustrations directly underneath. Enjoy!

Style by Hiroshi Watatani

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Heavy Duty Book

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2nd Magazine

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Pen Magazine

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When it Gets Cold. We Get Wooly.

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I think you all know that I like to spend time outdoors. The thing about the outdoors currently is that it is cold out there. So for once I am talking wool, but I am not talking Shetland sweaters. Lately I have been getting into wool or wool blend shirts.
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What got me interested in wool shirts is a vintage Brooksflannel shirt (see above worn post-hike). This shirt came to me via my friend Dallas (getticketsforthedance.tumblr.com & Instagram getticketsforthedance) who has been featured on here for his trad cycling fits. It is a cool and interesting shirt. It is 55% wool and 45% cotton. It has a button down collar. It also has a flap pocket on the chest. It is an amazing shirt. Get jealous.

I have worn this shirt a lot recently. It’s very clear to me that I need another. I am leaning toward’s a shirt that is more wool than cotton, but something like the Viyella at O’Connell’s are still on my list at 80% cotton and 20% wool. I am also not set on it being a button down collar. In terms of colors I am thinking solid navy or cream, but a classic Tartan is always good.

One last thing about these types of shirts is that it may require a long sleeve undershirt. I myself cannot wear wool against my skin comfortably, but most of the time I wouldn’t want to as this is all about warmth. I use long sleeve tees, thermals, and henleys of all sorts as base layers.  I haven’t went the turtleneck route yet, but it’s not far away. I have added a few of the shirts that I am considering below although I would need a 50% off sale to even start considering that RL piece.

Sire Pendleton Shirt
Woolrich Wool Shirt

Wool Tartan Shirt
Viyella Shirt

OCBD Camp Style

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Before you go any further I want to issue an warning. If you are an Ivy Style or Trad purist the images below will not be to your liking. For those of you that have a cross over interest in rugged ivy, late 70s prep, and a touch of modernity continue.

Trad Camp Style

On a 9-5 basis I am pure by the book trad. Blue OCBD, khaki chinos with cuff, an penny loafers like it is a religion. Outside of that I am about 85% pure trad. However I do like to occasionally incorporate some outdoorsiness and sportiness into my looks. This look takes inspiration primarily  from late 70s prep vibe, rugged Japanese styled Ivy, and of course fundamental grad. This is what I call my camp style or hiking trad

Rugged Japanese Ivy Style

 

General when I do this I am actually doing some sporty or outdoors. This could be a bike ride, going hiking, or something as simple as going for a long walk. However I might also wear this look to a coffe shop on a Saturday morning. My goal is to stay protected from the elements and look semi-stylish while doing so. Have some fun, wear some clothes, and get outside.

 

More OCBD Camp Looks

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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.