Thursday, December 29, 2011

Late Fall - Early Winter, 2011

If there's one good thing about colder weather, it's being able to use the fullest extent of your wardrobe. Summer is for the minimal; shorts, polo, and boat shoes will get you by. But its the winter season that offers the best opportunity to show off your elegant sartorial knowledge.

My family and I took a trip to the Appalachians in the height of the Autumn leaf change to escape from things and decompress. A family friend lent us his mountain home in Black Mountain, NC. It's a scenic quaint town and I recommend a visit if you're in the area. This is what I wore to tour the beautiful Biltmore mansion in nearby Asheville. Shoes and belt don't match. Meh.

Brooks Brothers Regent rain overcoat with inner lining removable vest
Ralph Lauren multi-colored windowpane dress shirt
J. Crew belt
Brooks Brothers denim
Clarks Desert Boots
Seiko 5 watch

Mild day in the mountains. I enjoy the occasional outdoor hike and biking (my poser excuse to wear Fratagonia) and took advantage of the mountain trails. I recommend the very comfortable Merrell Moab XCR trainers for the off road diversion. Pictured below is my newest pair and they hold up very well (my first pair lasted for years and were still going strong but I ended up giving them away). The Moab is an awesome outdoor shoe, and this waterproof version is a good technical alternative to the Bean boots. The high socks are for shits and giggles.
Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover
Gap fatigue t shirt
Patagonia Stand Up shorts, 7" inseam...very TFM
Bass hiking socks (made in USA)
Bolle sunglasses with Croakies
Merrell Moab Gore-Tex XCR trainers

Dressing up for class. I am wearing a light weight long sleeve polo in violet and a v-neck sweater in an earthy sand brown. I like this color combination and the whole outfit reminds me of 1960s west coast modernism. Tangible luxury. The belt is made of an alligator embossed leather that adds that extra richness.

Ralph Lauren polo
Lands End v-neck sweater
Gap cotton dress pants
Trafalgar alligator embossed belt with J. Crew engine-turned plaque
J Crew fair-isle socks (made in USA)
Cole Haan penny loafers

Night in the town.
Brooks Brothers twill sport coat
Brooks Brothers lambswool v-neck sweater
Ralph Lauren tartan OCBD
Levis 501 STF
J. Crew belt
Clarks Desert Boots
Gap scarf (made in Italy)

Casual dinner.
Lands End Canvas shawl sweater
Ralph Lauren ringer t shirt
Brooks Brothers denim
LL Bean blucher mocs
Hamilton Khaki watch with NATO strap

Dinner at a local rustic farm turned upscale restaurant. I wanted to go for a country gentleman feel for the occasion. I'm wearing a shirt and belt from Orvis which is known for its outdoor line.

J. Crew University Coat with Thinsulate*
Orvis Tattersall
Orvis Shotgun Belt (made in USA)
Brooks Brothers Clark corduroy pants
Brooks Brothers argyle socks
Cole Haan saddle bucks, vintage, (made in USA)

*That coat is a great example of budget shopping. It's originally priced at $255, but a few weeks ago it dropped down to $150 on the website. In-store the coat was more expensive at $200, but they honored the website price when I brought it up. Plus they were having an additional 30% off to make the coat price total around $100. Good deal. But then I used a J. Crew gift card purchased from a Craigslist listing for $75 at a face value of $100. So I basically only paid ~$75 for this jacket. Better deal.

Last minute Christmas shopping. Usually not a fan of wearing duck boots when it's dry, but this classic Bean boots + Bean Norwegian sweater pairing seemed right to me.

Sterlingwear of Boston Pea Coat, Authentic model (made in USA)
LL Bean Norwegian Bird's Eye sweater (made in Norway)
Brooks Brothers tattersall
Lands End tailored fit chinos
LL Bean rubber mocs (made in USA)
J. Crew hiking wool socks (made in USA)

Christmas Eve and Midnight Mass. Decided to go trad semi-formal and added in the Pippy Longstocking red socks for the holiday spirit. The tie is thrifted and was made for the Roos Atkins chain, a defunct upscale men's store based in San Francisco.

Brooks Brothers Regent rain overcoat, vest removed
Brooks Brothers twill sport coat
Club Room slim fit spread collar dress shirt (surprisingly nice and cheap quick fix)
Grenadier for Roos Atkins wool tie, vintage
Brooks Brothers Regent gabardine dress pants
Trafalgar alligator embossed belt with J. Crew engine-turned plaque (not in view)*
J. Crew socks
Bostonian Cap Toe dress shoes*+
Bucherer dress watch with alligator embossed watch strap*

*Minor but notable details: Accessories and shoes are formal black. Belt and watch strap are both alligator leather patterned.

+ Confession: I don't own the trad required Allen Edmonds Park Avenus just yet. These shoes were purchased from a birthday Macys gift card as a quick fix for a funeral a few years ago and have been used for infrequent occasions since then. The PAs are on my to-buy list, but these Bostonians have served well and will eventually be my dress shoe shit kickers.

Post Christmas shopping / Crowd Surfing on a cold, rainy winter day.
LL Bean Signature G9 jacket
Brooks Brothers 1/4 zip sweater
Orvis tattersall
Orvis shotgun belt
Levis 505
LL Bean rubber mocs