Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Tradmas! '12

Keeping with tradition, my relatives make the pilgrimage to my nearby aunt's house, who is always welcoming of us every year, and whose house happens to be large enough to fit everyone. We spend Christmas Eve attending the afternoon service, eating a hefty warm meal, opening presents, sipping on hot cocoa (or something more spirited for the grown ups), and enjoying each other's company well into the early Christmas morning.

Bulldog outfit. Shaggy, Flap, Slacks, Scarf. Throw in some papa bear Golden Fleece too, and those Waldens while you're at it. It was a chilly rainy evening and went with a trench instead of my planned JPress blazer as my over coat. Although the sweater was plenty warm, I felt naked without a sportcoat or blazer in church for Christmas, as it tends to be one of the better-dressed days out of the calender. At least it was nice to see a good amount of fellow young men in suits or coat and tie. Even a few bowties, with me leading the helm.

My youngest nephew, Jake, and his newest toy. We love to spoil the guy.

After a light slumber, the kids awaken again to unwrap more presents, this time left by Santa. Sadly, I don't get as excited as the little ones do on Christmas morning. Entrance to adulthood has forever robbed me! But its fun to see the lil' hellions run around with their new prizes. Jake particularly enjoyed his set of Avengers.

And we eat another hefty, delicious breakfast meal before heading back home and counting down another 364 days. Brooks University Red Stripe, seasonal D-ring, and Bill's.

Happy Holidays and I wish you a Healthy, Prosperous New Year's!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Autumn - Early Winter, 2012

Holidays, hot chocolate, and warm blankets. The best time of the year!

To reference a common theme of this blog- that clothes do not have to be expensive (See: Rule #10)- I've added notes to specific prized hunts that I've scored over the past year.

School day. I finally got me a pair (actually two) of the famous Bill's Khakis, which gives fellow fashionistas a hard-on for their made in USA quality and rugged 8.5oz twill. For the ultimate trad elite, add a cuff and hem with no break. These are the M3 flat front chinos which fit very well for a youthful athletic body, or I'd recommend the M2 "standard fit", as the M1 tends to be too baggy.

J. Press OCBD with Flap Pocket, Trim fit, made in USA, $55 with 30% plus add. 20% sale online (originally $130)
Bills Khakis Original Twill, M3, color Khaki, made in USA, purchased from eBay NWT for $60 (originally $130)
Trafalgar Engine Turned Plaque and dark brown calf belt strap
J. Crew navy socks
Allen Edmonds Walden penny loafers, made in USA, purchased from eBay slightly used for $50 (originally $250)
Seiko 5 watch

Another school day. The above and below outfits feature another pornographic trad item, the J. Press OCBD with Flap Pocket.

 J. Press OCBD with Flap Pocket, Trim fit, made in USA, $55 with 30% plus add. 20% sale online (originally $100)
 Bills Khakis Original Twill, M3, color British Khaki, made in USA, purchased on eBay NWT for $50 (originally $130)
Leatherman Ltd. motif belt, made in USA
Brooks Brothers argyle socks
Allen Edmonds Westchester loafers, made in USA
Hamilton Khaki field watch

Dinner downtown at a quaint country barbeque restaurant. Went for my "country gentleman" look for the evening, with the Barbour quilt jacket, Shetland cardigan, tattersall, and cords. Notice the autumn earth tones, and matching brown shades from the sport shirt to the leather buttons all the way down to the argyle pattern and loafers. Some call me obsessive. I beg to differ.

Barbour Liddesdale, color Olive, made in England, purchased from UK Ebay for $50 used (originally $180)
Ralph Lauren Rugby Shetland Shawl Cardigan, color Navy, $55 with 50% plus add. 20% sale online, (originally $130), current 2012 collection
Orvis Tattersall Sport OCBD, color Red, Navy, Gold stripes, purchased on eBay NWT for $25 (originally $90), current 2011/12 collection
Ralph Lauren Corduroy pants, color Cinnamon, gift
Trafalgar Engine Turned Plaque and dark brown calf belt strap
Brooks Brothers argyle socks, made in Italy
Allen Edmonds Westchester loafers, made in USA

Pumpkin' Pickin' with the Lady. The shaggy dog orange matches the occasion. This is from the 2009 F/W collection, but J.Press brought it back for the current 2012 season.

Barbour Liddy, made in England
J. Press Shaggy Dog shetland sweater, color Persimmon, made in Scotland, $90 used from clothing trading forum (originally $200) 
Orvis Tattersall Sport OCBD, color Orange, Blue, Brown, Green stripes
J. Crew chinos
LL Bean mocs, made in USA

Date night downtown in late Summer, hence the pink and black cosmopolitan vibe of the outfit. I'm particularly fond of these jeans, by Raleigh Denim, as they are made in my home state in Raleigh, NC from cotton grown and spun from locally operated Cone Mill. North Carolina used to be one of the great denim suppliers of the country, but now only Raleigh Denim carries the flame. Everyone exclaims aghast "$300 for a pair of jeans!" but the quality and local craftsmanship is worth the price for premier denim, as opposed to Hecho in Mexico rags. And yes...ahh the fact that I only paid $60....slightly above the price of those Hecho in Mexico jeans that the outcriers wear...is what gives the satisfying feel of awesome. That plus I will probably own these jeans for the few decades, and you realize that $100+ denim, combined with the sensible no-how of actually never paying a $100+ for quality domestic goods, serves as my shining ode to Rule #10 and my blog itself! I intend on only owning 3-4 pairs of jeans at any given period of my life, because really, you never need more than that. A good pair of jeans is meant to be worn over and over as it ages into its own graceful character. And might as well have a USA made label for Dat Nostalgia if you're planning on passing it down to your grandson.

Brooks Brothers Chino Unstructured Sportcoat, color Navy
Brooks Brothers OCBD, color Pink, made in USA, $15 via Garland Factory Store (originally $90)
Raleigh Denim, Alexander Fit, made in USA, $60 used from clothing trading forum (originally $285)
Trafalgar Engine Turned Plaque with black alligator embossed strap
Brooks Brothers pocket square (note: pink and blue checked pattern matches the pink shirt and blue denim of the outfit)
TheTieBar.com 2" black knit tie
Allen Edmonds Walden loafers, made in USA
Bucherer dress watch with black alligator embossed strap
Persol sunglasses

Another ensemble from a country gentleman, for church and brunch. Matching bow tie and fun socks.

Barbour Liddy, made in England
LL Bean Shetland, $20 from LL Bean store with sale and promotional gift card (originally $40)
Brooks Brothers Windowpane OCBD, made in USA
Ralph Lauren corduroy pants, color dark brown, gift
Orvis shotgun belt, made in USA
Cole Haan Saddle Bucks, vintage, made in USA, $40 on eBay
Brooks Brothers #1 repp bow tie, reversible, made in USA
Brooks Brothers #1 repp socks (via Flatiron collection)
Hamilton Khaki field watch

Hiking on a mild Autumn day. Yes, I have purchased another Synchilla. This is my third. The Patagonia "Yanaba" patterns was featured on now-vintage Snap Ts with tribal and nature-themed motifs, and can be had on eBay for the price of a brand new Synchilla. Patagonia recently brought back these themes, and due to their popularity, they tend to sell out quickly, which is why I chose to buy it at full-price and at least enjoy them for the whole F/W season. Still, I was able to rummage a few dollars of savings, as Patagonia decided to raise the MSRP to $120. But no one seemed to have told Shoebuy.com which still has them at $100. Yup, someone got fired. And as predicted, the Yanaba patterns are sold out as of this article's posting.

Patagonia Synchilla Snap T pullover sweater, color "Yanaba Forge", $100 from Shoebuy.com (originally $200), current 2012 season
Patagonia Stand Up shorts, 7" inseam
Hamilton Khaki field watch
Not Seen: The Game College Bar hat, Persol sunglasses with croakies, Merrell Moab Gore-Tex XCR trainers

Medical trad. Rotating with a physician at a community healthcare center. Seen is the iconic Park Avenue captoe dress shoes, the gold standard among the men's fashion groupthink. Typically, the best value is at Nordstrom, where their annual summer sale has them marked down to $200. And if you can find them lower, then Nordstrom will price match. Protip: buy a Nordstrom gift card in advanced off Craigslist for even deeper savings.

J. Press OCBD with Flap Pocket, Trim fit, made in USA
J. Press wool pants, color Medium Grey, made in USA, $140 online (originally $250)
Trafalgar Engine Turned Plaque with black alligator embossed strap
Allen Edmonds Park Avenues, made in USA, $180 from Nordstrom via Craigslist gift card (originally $200 from $335)
Bucherer dress watch with black alligator embossed strap
Brooks Brothers pine bowtie, made in USA

Christmas shopping at an outdoor mall. The weather was wet and chilly. These chukka boots are my second pair after my Clarks Desert Boots. Leave it to the British, whom are accustomed to dreary weather, to make a proper boot for rainy conditions, as my DBs are too slippery with the crepe sole and its suede outer layer isn't conducive to rain. These Herring chukka boots are in pebble grain leather to allow for skids and have a Dainite rubber sole for slippery surfaces. They will serve as a formal-but-still-a-shitkicker in my shoe arsenal.

Brooks Brothers Regent rain overcoat with inner lining removable vest
Brooks Brothers sport OCBD, color Peach
Brooks Brothers Clark Fit Advantage chino, color British Khaki, $20 via Garland Factory store (originally $90)
Brooks Brothers argyle socks, made in Italy (note: Autumn foliage colors of green, navy, and orange match the scarf, jacket, and shirt)
LLBean chino belt, made in USA
Herring Strathclyde boots, made in Portugal, $115 via Herring.co.uk (originally $190)
J Press Drsgdn Tartan scarf, made in Scotland, $33 online (originally $60)