Good to know about those. I have a Pendleton wool scarf that’s exactly what you described: coarse! I feel like it blocks the wind better though than cashmere, but that could just be my imagination because it feels rougher.
If you’re not a person who wears ties with oxfords, then it’s a nice shirt to have (also a fan of the locker loop, too). But I almost universally wear a tie except during the hottest of summer days, but at that point I’m not wearing a jacket either. My personal preference is to always wear a tie/jacket, but I get that’s not for everyone and lots of folks do casual style much better than I do.
I largely agree with you that “staple pieces” are rather generic and not individually universal to everyone. For me, a white dress shirt is pretty essential for work, same with a navy suit. For others, it’s probably something they should own, but won’t wear much for their job and everyday use.
OCBDs fall into that category for me, although I admit it’s got a lot of utility. Regardless, yes, I do need to purchase one, but I keep finding other stuff I’d rather get more.
If you’re in the market for some new shoes, then check out bobbywilliams, who’s put these up for sale. Also, you should give him a follow.
If you’re in the market for some gently used shoes, I’ve got you covered. Click on any picture for more details.
Shoe Details: 1) Brand & Style: Vintage Walkover Tassel Loafer in Tan; 2) Size: 13 D/B
Shoe Details: 1) Brand & Style: Allen Edmonds Lexington Captoe in Merlot; 2) Size 10(A)
Shoe Details: 1) Brand & Style: Allen Edmonds Nashua Slip-on; 2) Size: 10
Cold weather? Layer up. Oxford shirt, acrylic cardigan sweater, donegal tweed jacket. The jacket is actually part of a suit, but it’s extremely versatile to wear the jacket and pants separately.
Usually, I make it a point to not wear oxfords to work, as I find them a bit casual, but it’s Friday, it’s cold and I like the heavy fabric. Plus, I was wearing jeans, too.
Stay warm and have a great weekend. Go Bears!
Good to know, anon. Thanks for the info!
Thanks so much for your response. Old guys have the best opinions.
It’s Windsor Wednesday.
Any favorite brands? I’d love to have your feedback as I’ve never shined my own shoes before and looking to do it this weekend. Thanks for your input!
Recently, I got two new watches that had narrower watch-strap widths at 16mm. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find very many of the much-loved NATO straps in that width. Don’t fret, as I found quite a few colorful alternatives.
Brooks Brothers: $14.50 — I actually went with quite a few of these, snagging them on sale. The metal holes are a nice touch and seem like they’ll last a bit longer. The buckle doesn’t feel crappy, either. Also, if you have a really skinny wrist like I do, these fit quite well and have a few holes left even.
J.Press: $12 — Lots of options here and they’re a bit cheaper, too.
Central Watch: 5 for $29.95 — Even more options and quite a deal for the price, although I’ve heard the quality isn’t quite as high as those high-end (expensive) NATO straps.
Canvas strap: $10.99 (shipped from Hong Kong) — I don’t know much about this dealer on eBay, but I did buy two straps from him and they seem rather durable. They’re not as lightweight and flexible as the nylon straps, but the material seems tougher and definitely is a different look. FYI: you can ask him to combine shipping if you buy more than one band.
The work uniform. Not entirely sure why I went with royal purple on the square, but it’s mainly just because I really dig that color.
Building a wardrobe isn’t something you do overnight. It’s not a checklist that you can read on a blog or forum and follow. Sure, there are many general guidelines you can follow and “wardrobe must-haves” that should be in your closet, but the process isn’t as simple and sterile and straightforward.
Just like an off-the-rack suit won’t fit every guy the same (or even correctly) despite all the guys being the same size, neither does there exist a wardrobe that is universal to everyone. If that was the case, we’d all look like the crew of the Enterprise in Star Trek.
If you’re a student, then your wardrobe is obviously different than if you’re an office drone. The investment banker doesn’t have the same wardrobe needs as the startup employee who works in a place where business casual is getting “really dressed up” and involves a shirt with more than three buttons. We all have different lives, different jobs and different tastes — so, really, we’d better have different wardrobes.
This is something that didn’t really hit me until a few months ago, despite reading a bunch of style blogs and even some books. Over and over, you are exposed to a great deal of amazing clothing and there exists an extreme desire to get all of these wonderful things in brilliant patterns and colors and materials.
But what you don’t realize — and maybe you only realize it after you’ve bought a few things you didn’t exactly need, but wanted — is that you should be thinking about the situations in your life in which you actually are wearing these articles of clothing. Unless you’re a model, then your life isn’t a lookbook.
The past week or so, photos have been coming in from Pitti Uomo, which is an inspirational mecca for new style ideas. And I really like a lot of the stuff I see (although some of it is really way too out there for me). But what I realize now is that as cool as so much of that stuff is, that just doesn’t fit into my lifestyle.
My style is determined by my everyday life. When I’m working in a formal environment at the state’s capitol, I wear a suit with a solid-colored dress shirt, a conservative tie, a basic square. When I’m at work during non-legislative days, a sport coat or blazer, a less-formal dress shirt and a less formal tie with dress slacks. When I’m home or out and about on weekends, jeans, an oxford shirt, a tie, a sweater or odd jacket, some casual footwear.
And so that’s now how I decide on whether or not to add an item to my wardrobe (or to get rid of something). I ask myself if it fits within the uniforms I’ve created for myself in each situation. It’s easy to see a single item and get caught up in thinking, “Oh shit, that’s awesome! I want it!” but it’s harder to think about if it makes sense for you.
This is the way I’ve come to think about building a wardrobe. It’s not a checklist, because lists can get endlessly long and added onto. Rather, it’s a deliberative process of having your clothes make sense for what you do.
(Thanks to givemeindiana for sparking the idea behind this post.)
Wow! Thanks for the kind words. I checked back through your archives a bit and you’ve got some great stuff, too (and no, I’m not just sayin’ to say it, either). You’re definitely dressing way better than I ever was in grad school (or college, for that matter).
Truthfully, a decent portion of my wardrobe is from thrift stores and buying used off of eBay. It generally breaks down like this:
- Ties: 50% new, 50% thrifted
- Shirts: 100% new (because I’m so picky on fit)
- Pants: 80% new, 20% thrifted (harder to find decent pants used)
- Shoes: 80% new, 20% thrifted (see above)
- Suits/jackets: 33% new, 33% thrifted, 33% eBay/Etsy
I typically buy the basics new and try to find offbeat stuff used. I try to avoid paying full retail for anything new, just because the fact that places have sales shows the value assigned is overpriced.
Your comment prompted me to think about something else, which I’ll address in the next post. Thanks again!