Out of Fashion

I am always amazed when I wear something so “out of fashion” as this full-cut, three-piece suit. It is incredibly comfortable and, I think, very flattering.

OutOfFashion

Click through for the larger photo.

(Sorry for the overexposure. I took the shot just as the only ray of sunshine that we’re liable to see today burst out of the cloud-locked sky.)

The suit features a double-pleated trouser worn at the natural waist (i.e. with a high-rise by today’s standards), a six button vest and a drape cut coat. The flannel is very lofty and feels like a blanket made for napping. But, the younger audience, and the majority of women, would find this to be very, very frumpy. It is simply not fashionable.

But it remains stylish. And isn’t that something to strive for?

What are your thoughts? Is there room for two different cuts in your wardrobe? Or should we subscribe to the current style only, as long as it looks good on us?

Try, Try Again

CarperSlippers

I’m taking the site down for the weekend whilst I try and retrieve my 8 years of posts from another server. Wish me luck and I hope to be back online on Monday.

Happy weekend. Kick up your feet for awhile.

Pitti Me

PittiMe

One of the Pitti Uomo trends to which I fully subscribe — cashmere or merino wool turtlenecks/rollnecks with a sportcoat.

Worn with lighter grey flannel trousers and snuff suede oxford brogues from Church’s. Great for clear, but cold, days.

 

If I get a chance, I may be offline this weekend for some maintenance work…..

 

Colors, Patterns, and Textures of Winter.

Color, pattern, texture. This is all stuff with a cold weather feel. Everything I’m wearing except my tie, shirt and shoes is made of wool. And the tie is a raw silk that has been woven to feel like wool.

Softer clothing like this used to be reserved for weekend wear, but in today’s more casual world, it has made inroads with those who have some sort of dress code to which they must adhere. Unlike typical business suit combinations, sport coats allow the wearer to really play with color, pattern, and texture. I wasn’t that thrilled with what I had on until I added the navy sweater vest.

Do you like to play with color, pattern, and texture? Or is it too much work? Would you carry the practice over to suits? Or, is your work place far too conservative?

 

Boots Made for Walking.

The Rake

A wintery day here in Central Virginia. Icy roads and sidewalks, below freezing temperatures, and no sunshine have all conspired to keep Brodie and me inside. No delightful walks among country ruins for us. Were we brave enough to venture onto treacherous sidewalks, it would certainly be with the aid of Alpine inspired boots like those worn by our man in the photo. The photo is featured in the latest issue of The Rake, which means they are made by Santoni, and are completely out of my price range.

Wolverines

My Alpine boots were purchased during a flash sale on The Clymb and are made by Wolverine. Like Agnelli, I plan on wearing them with a flannel suit one day. I’ll have to have the suit made first. Until then, I’ll muddle through matching them with my Donegal tweed trousers and corduroys. It’s a look that isn’t too far removed from the Virginia preppy staple of the LL Bean duck boots worn by both genders with everything once the snow begins to fall. (N.B. the Hunter boot is making a strong showing with the distaff who favor leggings and skinny jeans.)

Am I Blue!

BlueManGrp

I find myself wearing a lot of blue these days. It used to be grey, but I’ve somehow gravitated to the inkier hue. Perhaps I’m subconsciously playing up the darker shades in my hair rather than the rapidly multiplying greys.

All blue can sound dull. But when you play with texture, it is possible to keep things interesting. When you learn to wear just one color, you can feel very confident mixing and matching others into your wardrobe choices.

(Unknown provenance, Let me know and I'll take it down.)

(Unknown provenance, Let me know and I’ll take it down.)

Let’s start with the now-ubiquitous blue jeans. Being winter here, I would mix in a chunky navy sweater, sky blue shirt, navy and white dots scarf, and stop short of blue suede shoes, opting instead for brown polished calf brogues or dark brown driving moccasins.

(I don't know this blog, but click on the photo and it will take you there.)

(I don’t know this blog, but click on the photo and it will take you there.)

Moving up the scale of formality to what I call the middle ground — smart casual — begins with the addition of a sportcoat. You may be tempted to reach for a trusty navy blazer, but a sportcoat in  a blue pattern is more interesting, particularly when paired with blue flannel trousers.  Add a blue shirt, blue tie — or not — and brown suede shoes (loafers, monkstraps, oxfords, what-have-you), and you’re ready for just about anything short of a royal audience.

(Source: Imgentleboss.tumblr.com)

(Source: Imgentleboss.tumblr.com)

What about the business suit? Blue shirt, solid grenadine tie, cordovan, brown or black oxfords. Boardroom ready. When you’re comfortable with this, choose the cordovan shoes and switch to a maroon grenadine tie for a very elegant daytime look.

(These are on sale....)

(These are on sale….)

After work is when you can really play. I was reminded of this at a dinner party Mrs. E. and I attended. Good friend, The Architect, walked into the room wearing a midnight blue suit coat, navy cashmere polo neck sweater, navy trousers and black velvet Stubbs and Wootten slippers. The only hint of color was the white linen handkerchief in his breast pocket. Very understated and elegant.

If you’re a bit tired of the Pitti peacockery and rainbow colors, try dialing it back to the basics for a moment. Just to see how it feels.

 

New Year, New You. Your Closet Needs Help.

The best way to look your best everyday is to ruthlessly edit your wardrobe.

Hate wearing it? Doesn’t fit? Worn out? Outdated? Get rid of it.

WOW! Look at all the room in your closet all of a sudden. You should reward yourself and the clothing that made the cut. All shoes have shoe trees, and suits, sport coats, and trousers all have beautifully-crafted and sized hangers.

My rule of thumb? New shoes, buy the trees at the same time. New garment? Order a proper hanger.

They make a difference you know. Not only for your sense of well-being, I mean for your better garments. Bulbous, larger ends on suit and sport coat hangers (Like a suit hanger, but without the trouser bar) ensure that your perfectly crafted spalla camicia or natural shoulder maintain their shapes. Sized hangers keep your tailored collar draping naturally instead of wrinkling up. Trouser hangers and the trouser bar on suit hangers are long enough to accommodate a full leg and are wrapped with felt to keep your trousers crease-free and firmly on the hanger, instead of puddling on the floor. Shirt hangers not only look good, but don’t leave telltale hanger dimples on the shoulders of your shirt the way that wire hangers so often do.

To date I have tried two companies that offer luxury hangers, Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project (which has introduced other luxury items), and this year, Butler Luxury‘s offerings. Both are beautiful offerings. Please don’t ask me which I prefer.  Butler Luxury are selling their wares direct to the public after providing them to retailers and designers, hotels and the like. They were kind enough to send me a few to try out.

Butler LuxuryButlerLuxWomen'sSuitHanger

Made of beech wood imported from Germany. Finished in either matte Dark Walnut Espresso with matte chrome hardware (elegantly modern), or Polished Deep Butterscotch with brass hardware (for the traditionalist), the hangers are guaranteed to look wonderful in your walk-in. The women’s suit hangers feature sturdy clips by which to hang trousers or a skirt. The skirt hangers also work well to hang my flannel trousers by the cuffs for a day to relax the wrinkles before putting them back on their proper hangers. They appear to be very well-made from a single piece of wood instead of two pieces glued together as inferior hangers are, and are nicely sized for both the smaller and larger man. (My photos don’t do them justice, so I used the company’s.) The hooks don’t spin loosely making them easy for me to hang on the top rack with my shepherd’s crook doo-hickey. Finally, garments properly hung on matched and elegant, sized hangers really do the drape and cut of your suits, sportcoats, trousers and shirts justice. Upon entering your closet or opening the doors, you experience your Gatsby moment.

Make this the year that you clean out your worst sartorial offenders and introduce yourself to the closet of your dreams.

I will if you will.