I have not experienced these Rugby crotch blow outs. I also don't ride a bike, sit regularly with my legs as wide as possible, or do anything that could be considered sport in them. I would venture to say that there is some pattern of activity that leads to the pre-mature crotch blow out. I still fucks with them.
If you’ve been on the fence about getting some of Rugby’s fall clothing, then now might not be such a bad time to consider purchasing because they’re offering 20% off all regular-priced merchandise with code FALLRUGBY11.
(Please don’t ask me about how their stuff fits, as I haven’t had hands-on with any of their items. I just thought I’d pass along the coupon code.)
Fit is spot on with sweaters. I bought the Shawl Collar shetland last winter in XS and it fits like an XS should - form fitting but not second skin. Consider that most things with patches are dry clean only though.
I loved my University chinos while they lasted…the crotch blew out after about 6 months or so. Seems like others have had that problem as well on dappered.com - see comments on the Rugby sale post.
Uh, so, buyer beware then! Maybe they’ve improved the quality since then? Thanks for the info.
ADDING: Wow, seems like these chinos aren’t such a great deal after all, as m0ym0y chimes in:
Rugby stuff fits slim / trim and yes the chinos are definitely on point in terms of a non skinny leg and a slight taper..but they do come broken in if that’s your thing, the crotch will blow out if that’s your only pair
Here’s a combo that I’m surprised I’ve never done yet. While I’m forever a fan of the navy, grey, light blue combination I tend to stick with, swapping in some tan and beige is something I’m finding looks quite all right. My only issue with beige and white is that they so often get dirty (or at least stains appear more visible), so I’m hesitant to invest high-dollar amounts in clothing in those colors.
Yes, summer’s almost over, but now’s a fairly decent time to look for scores on eBay for some summer gear. Sellers are getting leftover inventory. The selection isn’t robust, but I did find some really decent options for those of you looking for a lightweight, warm-weather navy blazer. Your mileage may vary.
I love Harris Tweed. It’s a great fall-winter fabric for warmth and looks great with its blend of colors and patterns. Still, it’s typically limited to sport coats and other cold-weather accessories. So, that’s why it’s kind of interesting to see Harris Tweed used in no less than three separate footwear collaborations this season.
It’s obviously up for debate if these look good or not. I’m personally not a big fan of the brogues or desert boots, but think the captoe boots do look OK. Still, I’d wonder how practical a tweed fabric shoe would be against rain, puddles and slush.
Summer’s ending, so I’m trying to wear my white bucks as much as possible. While I don’t believe in the rule of “no white after Labor Day”, I do believe that you should avoid wearing summer fabrics and items in the fall (generally). White bucks falls under that distinction.
So, you’ll be seeing me in some summer clothing for the next few days — although I certainly don’t want it to end.
IMO re: McNasty - while I've always enjoyed the look of his shoe styling, I tried some on via Bonobos last week (brown suede loafers & brown leather chukkas). I was rather disappointed. While lightweight & aesthetically pleasing, for the pricepoint I thought they were a waste of money. One notable item - I can't agree with paying $300+ for a pair of shoes that can't be resoled (leather versus his "foam" soles). The construction I thought was also flimsy & not impressive by any means.
It’s my understanding that McNairy’s Goodyear-welted shoes can be resoled. I think everything from his New Amsterdam line is Goodyear-welted, but not sure about his collaborations with G.H.Bass. Just because it’s got a EVA, crepe, Vibram or Dainite sole and not leather, that doesn’t preclude a shoe from being resolable. (Of course, if I’m wrong, then let me know.)
Now, whether or not you want to pay $300+ for rebranded Sanders is another question. If you didn’t feel the construction was up to par, then obviously the price isn’t justifiable to you.
A friend has a pair of old (like vintage old) Bostonians with rubber (danite? or vibram? I’m not entirely sure) soles. He had them resoled no problem. I’ve also seen Clarks DB’s resoled with Vibram floating around Tumblr.
Dressing up for work at the office: What about your coworkers?
Last week, vigilantesteez left me a note asking how my personal style compared to that of my coworkers:
Hey man, another fellow Chicagoan here. Great tumblr! I’m sure you’ve addressed it before, but how does your style compare to your contemporaries at the office?
This is a bit of a complicated question. I work out of two offices (state capitol building and downtown Chicago) and there’s kinda-sorta three dress codes.
When I’m at the capitol for legislative session, the dress code is typically a suit. It’s actually in the state Senate rules that all gentlemen in the chamber must wear a jacket and tie (the state House chamber has no such dress code, and there’s no dress code for women in either chamber). Suits aren’t required, however, I tend to wear them — much like every other staffer, legislator, lobbyist or statehouse worker on session days — because it’s a fairly conservative environment. Have I bucked the trend and gone with odd jackets or no-socks? Sure, but you won’t find others often doing that. So, that environment is fairly formal.
When I’m up in the downtown Chicago office, there’s sort of two dress codes: when legislators are in the offices and when legislators aren’t in the offices. Some coworkers will wear a collared shirt, jacket and have a tie around if we know legislators are in the offices for meetings that day, however, most days it’s a very casual environment. Polos, khaki chinos, jeans, tennis shoes, etc., are kind of the norm here.
So, why do I wear a jacket and tie every day?
Well, our offices share the same floor as several other offices, including the governor’s office. From what I can tell, the governor’s office staff always wears suits. Often, visitors come up to the floor and once in a while I happen to know some of them waiting in the lobby, say “hello”, and they’ll be with someone who I don’t know and will introduce me. This happened once, a long while back, and the person with whom I wasn’t familiar asked if I was an intern.
For a while I thought it was my age, but I realized that question wouldn’t have been asked if I hadn’t been dressed like an intern (baggy chinos, untucked dress shirt, sporty “dress” shoes), but rather someone who looked mildly professional. After realizing this, I decided that it was time to dress better and stop being mistaken for an intern.
While my older colleagues have the choice to dress however they wish and not be mistaken for an intern, I don’t think I have the same choice because of my age. Just because there’s an option to “dress down” doesn’t necessarily mean that you should or must do it. I got a little bit of guff from coworkers when I started “dressing up for an interview” every day, but after doing this for well over a year I can pretty much wear whatever I want and look natural doing it.
My style in comparison to others in the office is definitely less conservative in a lot of ways — despite the fact it might be considered sobering around #menswear types. I don’t mind wearing fabrics and colors that are a bit loud, maybe even saying “GTH”. I’m one of only two people on staff who wears a pocket square. I definitely have my clothing altered for a slimmer, younger, modern cut — especially with trousers going no break. I don’t want to look like I’m dressed like a typical midwesterner from the suburbs.
So, I do try to differentiate myself, even if we’re all under the same dress code and putting on a suit. I might test the boundaries a bit, but at least I don’t look like an intern.
OK, I've got to dash and so won't put a whole lot of thought into this, but here goes: I understand where you and some readers are coming from in terms of desiring form and function, but, what's wrong with liking a garment or garment feature purely for aesthetic reasons? Why do we feel a need to justify it by noting practicality? What's the practical purpose of a necktie? Why have non-functional buttons on sleeves? They serve no practical purpose. How many of us actually use throat latches?
I guess in the case of cargo pants, people would argue that the pockets take away from a good aesthetic look. I’m somewhere in the middle in that regard, which is why I’d say that if I could find a practical use for them, it’d tip the scale for me.
Still, I’m all for adding “useless” flourishes to garments, if it can be done tastefully.
I will say though that neckties have a purpose: they help keep your collar upright (yeah, a good shirt with a good collar shouldn’t slouch, but most OTR shirts ain’t that good).
McNairy is a really talented guy who is not afraid to innovate. That’s a fantastic quality. But when you experiment, you need people to critique your work and give you feedback. If everyone heaps praise on you or stays silent when what you have sucks, you get going in the wrong direction.
I like some of the stuff McNairy does (mainly the shoes), but I’ve never really tried to compare him to other “traditional” menswear brands. I think he’s mixing streetwear with traditional “go-to-Hell” menswear. I’m not personally one to get into the whole streetwear thing, but I can see someone who really likes that being excited about McNairy’s pieces. And while my style is somewhat conservative, I think some of his “fun” pieces would be of interest to me to incorporate.
Do I give McNairy a “pass”? Not really, as there’s definitely items I think look “bad” and I wouldn’t wear — but I don’t make it a point to NTB things I don’t like just because I find them unappealing. There are plenty of other people who want to be negative and “call people out” at every turn. I’d rather just scroll or click away and move on to find things I like and highlight those.
Could you describe how to match v-neck sweaters, ties, and shirts with navy and gray blazers. Also, which sweater colors are most versatile?
I think if you read the picking a necktie series I just wrapped up, then you’ll have a good idea. Adding a sweater vest is just another layer. I would seek to contrast hues and colors when adding the V-neck.
I don’t think you can go wrong with a burgundy or red V-neck sweater though for both navy and grey blazers. Neutrals in charcoal, grey and navy will also work, although I would avoid pairing those colors with similar colored jackets.
Menswear should be a balance of form and function; and faux-functional elements such as cargo pockets on tailored trousers is the antithesis of that synergy. Those pockets aren't meant for storage, they are never used in any of the product shots, they are supposed to remain flat - not bulgy and saggy. Besides, there is no reason to add anymore functionality to trousers, most already have 4-5 pockets. Extra pockets are just an excuse for people to carry around more useless stuff.
I think there’s a functional reason for the side pockets on cargo pants, because it can be uncomfortable to carry items in the back pockets when you sit down and in the front pocket it can be mildly uncomfortable on slimmer-cut pants (plus bulging). That’s why I use my jacket pockets and I consider my EDC fairly sparse.
I think the reason some would choose to wear slim, stylish cargo pants is a sliding scale between practicality and aesthetics. I truly think there is an argument for functionality in cargo pants. The strength of it is going to be primarily dependent on a person's EDC and lifestyle. (I think a student would make great use of them.) In regard to aesthetics, I tend to agree with Thisfits. Stylized, wool cargos hold a rugged, outdoorsy, pragmatic appearance that would really play with heavy tweeds.
If “dressed by the internet” is an officially coined phrase, then it’s time for the “dressed by the internet” look to die. There’s a lot of talk about “finding your personal style”. Let’s all actually try that instead of wasting money competing in the Online Steez Olympics and posing for attention. How great would that be?
It started in highschool, on eBay. Thrift, upsell. Buy a poorly listed item, take better pictures, upsell. Buy a suit without a description, give measurements, upsell. I got better and better at it the more transactions I made and the more I learned about product.
I have a sartorial confession to make. This is the very first year I’ve gone sockless. I know I know, how did I ever manage? Well, to be perfectly honest there was a time (let’s say freshman/sophomore year of college) when I’d talk your ear off about how socks were the only thing that kept society from complete collapse.
You see, I acquired that watch years ago through less-than-legal means, a part of my past I am deeply ashamed of. It’s the only relic I have from that period of my life, and I have held on to it as a symbol of where I’ve been and how far I’ve come.
I’ve come so far, in fact, that I have lately wanted to get rid of that watch. I don’t need a reminder—I’ve moved past that to a whole ‘nother life entirely.
Picking a necktie, part 4: My personal philosophies
Note: This is the fourth and final part in a series to help you with picking a necktie. Be sure to read the other parts if you have the time or curiosity.
Color, pattern, texture — those are all more-or-less rules and suggestions for how to pick your necktie. Good guidelines meant to be tested to limits until they become natural in the process.
But as you play with the endless possibilities and gradually build up your neckwear wardrobe, you’ll probably, eventually, devise a set of your own philosophies toward what goes under your collar.
These are mine. I hesitate to call them personal rules or maxims, because they’re so personal to me, my wardrobe and what I’ve found works. So, don’t take them as something everyone — including you — should do.
If I wear a tie, I wear a jacket. Or a cardigan sweater, waistcoat, sweater vest or light coat. I feel like you need a layer on over your shirt if you wear a tie, otherwise it doesn’t look right. The tie isn’t framed by a “V” around your upper middle chest and neck. Something’s just off about that for me.
Neckties do actually serve a purpose: to keep your collar upright under your jacket. Most off-the-rack and cheaper shirting will slouch beneath your jacket without a tie (or button-down collar). A tie keeps you from looking sloppy while wearing a shirt and jacket.
There’s such a thing as “too skinny”, but it’s not the same for everyone. I draw the line at 2.75” for knit ties and 3” for regular ties. I find the skinnier my tie gets, the tougher it is to achieve a great knot and dimple.
Don’t be afraid to go “fat” on tie widths. I think that if your lapels are a bit average sized (or wider), then why not try ties that are 3.5” in width or larger? They look imposing and knot gorgeously with even a simple four-in-hand.
Silk knit ties are great for travel. Some people don’t like to wear them with suits, but I often pack them for when I’m traveling for work. You don’t have to worry about creasing them in your luggage and I’ve gotten by with packing just one navy silk knit for an entire week.
More than half of my current tie collection consists of two types: silk knits and navy ties. The silk knits are often where I turn toward for when I need something colorful, with texture and yet a bit more casual. The navy ties are often what I wear to work. I buy solid navy ties in a variety of fabrics, widths and sometimes with conservative patterns on them. I have over a dozen ties where the dominant color is navy and find they work wonderfully into my daily uniform.
Find a few cheap but good solid ties to keep as an emergency necktie. Maybe keep one in your car, your briefcase or your office. Don’t buy anything fancy or expensive — keep it plain and cheap. Same with a plain white dress shirt. You’ll never worry about spilling something on yourself again.
There are two types of ties that get attention. You have those that are loud with their pattern and radiate brightly across the room. Often it seems as if the wearer is using the tie to signal to everyone that he exists — and often upon closer inspection the tie looks kind of cheap. I feel this way about “designer” or especially “novelty” ties, as if one’s sense of humor can be displayed on silk (or polyester). To me, this is the wrong way to draw someone’s attention. The preferred way is to wear a quality tie with subtle details that are only apparent up close to a trained eye, moving uniquely with the wearer’s outfit, integrated perfectly. You wouldn’t know it across the room, but you’d definitely notice it if you were close enough for a conversation. If you want to make an impression with your neckwear, then do it from only several feet away.
When buying new, there’s often a pricepoint where quality does jump significantly, but there’s often a plateau of diminishing returns where you’re probably just paying for a brand name sewed on the back. I have a hard time telling people what they should spend on a tie, but I know that I personally haven’t regretted any of my “expensive” tie purchases. Although, I’ve gotten equal satisfaction with finding steals of equal quality on eBay and thrift stores.
Think about how a tie fits in your wardrobe when buying a new one. I’ve seen a lot of really cool neckties that I would love to own, however, they don’t fit with my wardrobe at all and I’d rarely wear them. There’s often a reason why something is the “least-worn” item in your wardrobe.
Bowties aren’t for me. I have one that I wear with my tuxedo, that’s it. Nothing against people who like wearing bowties and I can think of instances where I might wear one, but I just would rather wear a tie. I like having that length of silk laying down the length of my chest.
For knots: four-in-hands for silk knits and button-down collars. And once in a while I’ll use a half-Windsor, because that’s the one my father taught me.
I don’t think of wearing a tie as “dressing up”, despite what others might think. You can wear a tie casually or formally. You can have fun wearing a tie, or wear one with seriousness. There’s enough variety out there to fit almost every occasion and environment.
Did you see today's Chicago groupon for Duru's Custom Shirts and Suiting? Two piece suit, two shirts, two ties for $650. Not too much about this company - wanted your opinion.
A friend on Twitter pointed out to me the Duru’s Customer Shirts and Suiting Groupon today. I’m tempted to say it’s not a bad deal, but I haven’t done any prior business with Duru’s before. Both SF and AAAC searches don’t turn up much useful information. And I don’t really trust Yelp reviews at all.
While it’s a good deal, and even if I had the money, I don’t think I’d buy it. Nothing against Duru’s (because I’ve never dealt with them), but I know nothing about them and have no prior relationship with them to know how they work.
If you’re going to drop serious cash, why would you spend it in a flash sale where you have zero prior knowledge going into the transaction about the quality and service you’d be receiving? I would only spend that kind of money after I’ve taken the time to educate myself about it and established a relationship with the tailor.
I get that the idea is to bring in new customers to Duru’s at a lower pricepoint to hopefully establish future relationships and business, but I hate to put myself into a forced transaction like that as a customer. It seems so sudden and abrupt.
Here’s the thing: I’d rather put zero money down and go have a conversation with a tailor I’d never met to just talk and see what they’re like, etc., and have no commitment than put several hundred dollars down up front and be forced to go through the experience because I’m already blindly invested.
I think the question of whether or not cargo pants are for you is really a matter of aesthetics, instead of one of practicality. Unless you're just putting, say, a tiny moleskine or a card case in there, those pockets are going to bulge and look awful. I can't imagine how ridiculous ranger pants would look with stuff in them. The modern, sleek cargo pants are, in my opinion, designed with the pockets to be a superfluous detail.
Agreed on the budging looking bad anywhere, but putting a BlackBerry in one and a slim card holder in the other would probably keep the profile on the sleek side. Again, I’m making the case for functionality and real-world use.
I don't think I'd wear them personally (at least, not until I pick up some other wardrobe essentials), but I like those flannel cargo trousers. They're sporty, and I bet they'd look great with rugged winter pieces associated with hunting and the country side: think tweed jackets and brogue boots.
I can see them being useful if you were hunting, but I’m not sure I’d buy $200+ hunting pants either. Working in the city, I just don’t see a use for them myself.
What the fuck is wrong with, well, not 'you', but 'you', you know? Those cargo pants look ridiculous. They're the definition of "vestigial", thought I guess that -is- one of the points of fashion. (Not this new Grown Man Fashion bullshit, though, I thought.)
I don’t think they look bad in comparison to other cargo pants that have “puffy” pouches. These are at least slimmer in profile and look rather refined. Not as sleek as traditional trousers would be, obviously, but not as bad as some I’ve seen.
Again, I think cargo trousers could be helpful if you have an EDC to carry. I don’t like to carry things in my trouser front pockets, and would rather place them on the side pockets of the cargo pants (wallet, phone, chapstick) if I wasn’t wearing a jacket. Hence why I think tropical wool cargo trousers would be pretty useful for me during the summer months.
During the winter? Like I said, not much use for them personally.
I guess my point is that I’ve never seen anyone -using- “fashion cargo pockets” before. They’re always pressed flat against the leg, to maintain the line or whatever.
I won’t disagree with that. I think having details that are supposed to be functional going unused is kind of absurd, especially if you’re paying a premium for them. But like I said, this summer I definitely would’ve used tropical wool cargo pants if I had a pair. Whether I’d pay (a lot of money) for a pair is another story.
Pretty sure my follower/traffic numbers would be much higher if I reblogged a bunch of photos of beautiful women, but I’d like to think that people visit this site and choose to follow it for the things I write — not because I’m great at finding boobs to stare at online.
A new tie today and I wore it to help illustrate one point I want to make tomorrow: wide ties are awesome. This tie is made by Andrew’s Ties, which as far as I can tell is a brand out of Italy, where they make their neckwear. It’s a beast at 59” long and 3.75” wide.
I know for a lot of people, going with fat ties is kind of a huge no-go, but just look at the knot it makes! And the dimple!
Best of all? I got it off of eBay for $10 (along with two others for the same price, one of which was 100% cashmere).
One of the great things about the rise of Internet-based commerce is that you no longer have to go to a department store to buy mass-produced, overly-branded products and deal with a limited selection. Sure, maybe things are cheaper — and it’s fine to be OK with that — but maybe you have an idea in your head about what you want exactly done for an item and the odds of any store stocking such a rare concept is quite slim.
That’s why I love finding small-business operations for things like leather accessories. You can talk directly to the guy (or gal) making your item and see if they’re open to making unique designs or using a certain type of leather or thread.
David Lane Design is one of those places — a one-man shop who started doing custom leather watch straps completely by hand. I hate to use hyperbole, especially after only seeing photos online, but take a look at these watch straps and tell me they’re not beautiful.
Everything is completely customizable: lug width, strap width, strap length, stitching, stitch color, leather used, etc. As you can guess, this kind of customization does come at a high cost, but if you’re the type who can buy a Rolex, then why not spring for an equally impressive strap, too?
Beyond watch straps, other custom leather items are available — including bracelets, a guitar strap cut from a Swedish Gustav K ammunition pouch and now wallets. The wallets range from $77 to $117, depending on the features you want on it. Here’s what David told me in an email about his new wallet design:
I have spent the last 5 years dismantling ammunition pouches and various pieces of military equipment, to construct watch straps for my customers. I have used the design features of these historical pieces to construct a wallet that features the same degree of craftsmanship and purpose driven design. I wanted to create a wallet that performs to the same level and ruggedness as the ammo pouches, yet still simple, aesthetically clean, and functional. I have put my personal wallet through 6 months of research and design, before landing on a final product.
Attached are all examples of the designs I have been working on. They are all completely customizable from the type of hardware and stitch color, to custom initials and edge dye.
The wallet above is David’s personal one he’s used for the past six months. If you’re interested in a wallet, then you can pre-order now by emailing David, who plans to start shipping in November. Each wallet will ship in a burlap sack, a custom crate and a written history of his work.
David also told me that in the future he plans to add other wallet designs, iPhone cases and key chains. I’ll be keeping an eye on his site for the future.
Note: This is the third part in a series to help you with picking a necktie. Be sure to read the other parts if you have the time or curiosity.
At this point, you should be easily coordinating or matching while picking a necktie based on color and experimenting with picking a necktie by pattern — perhaps mixing stripes and checks and polka dots. You’re getting into some really cool, dandy-level combinations (or perhaps finding your monochrome look) and wondering how to make this whole thing more complicated and interesting.
So, let’s talk a bit about textures in a necktie. The average necktie is fairly standard, satin or reppe in silk. Nothing too terribly unusual and kind of flat. Not that there’s anything wrong with simplicity in texture, because it enables a lot of interesting prints and patterns to be used on its surface. But sometimes you want your necktie to have a texture to it that provides a visual difference.
Why would you want a textural difference? For one, it helps add some dimension to your necktie to diversify it from the other relatively flat surfaces of your jacket and shirt. If you’re wearing a worsted wool, flannel or chino-cotton jacket, then you’ve got a very plain surface that’s lacking depth. So, the necktie is a great place to add some visual complexity in that respect.
Here’s a fairly common sight: a worsted wool suit with a cotton dress shirt. Now, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with wearing a solid reppe silk necktie with this outfit with a chunky knot and a beautiful dimple. But why not play with the edges a bit and use the necktie as a place to get some of that textural contrast? I’ve paired this with a navy grenadine silk necktie, whose weave creates hills and valleys. It’s a more interesting and luxurious look than if you were to go with a solid satin or reppe tie. You see so many people in boring suits and boring shirts in the world, but if you were to have your suit properly fitted you’d be a step above. And if you were to introduce a simple tweak like this, you’d be a league above most while still wearing something very conservative.
Another reason to take an interest in texture is to have seasonally appropriate neckwear. While there’s nothing wrong with having some all-season neckties that can work in any situation, it certainly never hurts to have seasonal neckties to go with your seasonal clothing.
For the spring and summer, look for ties made from seersucker, madras, linen or raw silks. All of these look great with summer jackets made of similar materials. Depending on your style, you can either get these in fairly sober colors and patterns, or go the route of brighter color palettes and whimsical patterns. Either way, these ties tend to be more casual because of their materials, just like jackets in these materials would be. Can you mix these ties into more “serious” outfits? Maybe, but I certainly wouldn’t try it on something like a job interview or testifying in a hearing.
For the colder months of fall and winter, get out the heftier and warmer fabrics. Ties made of wool flannel, cashmere and tweed will go nicely with jackets made of the same fabrics. Again, much of the seasonal suggestions for the warmer months apply when it comes to pairing these elements. The palette will probably feature more earth tones and patterns will feature classic checks, herringbones and tartan plaids. The one thing I do think goes particularly well with heavy tweed jackets is a knitted silk tie. Yes, this is more of an all-season tie coming to bat here, but I just really like the contrast of the shiny silk against the bland donegal tweed, yet you also have the three-dimensional effect of the knitted silk that works in a way I don’t think other flatter silk ties would. For a similar reason, this is why I recommend using silk pocket squares during the colder months with your heavy cloths — the contrast is very high, but looks great.
When it comes to satin, shiny neckties — solid or patterned — I feel they have a special place during the evening. During the day they’re too bright and flat, and I think the hours of sunlight allows you the opportunity to wear your more casual, texturally deep fabrics around your neck because the light allows these subtleties to be seen easier. The evening, however, and it’s low light is where satin ties look much nicer, taking what little light there is and reflecting it back to your eyes. I think this is why evening wear for men has satin facing on the lapels and benefits from a satin bowtie.
For the example above, I’ve paired a patterned satin silk tie with a black, wool, double-breasted blazer. The wool flannel is fairly flat, but the satin works in high contrast against it. I’ve worn this several times while going out in the evening and it’s become a bit of a go-to during the cooler months. It’d be tempting to wear a solid silk knit in midnight navy or black, but I don’t think it works as well. Satin’s a bit flashy, but I think it’s at home during the hours of dark.
Texture can bring visual depth to your otherwise flat outfit to elevate its complexity. It can help solidify a seasonal outfit through fabrics and color palette. And it can be used to help differentiate dressing for the day and the evening. Contrasting textures are often as important as complimentary textures.
The third part of my picking a necktie series is written
Almost 1,000 words on texture. Didn’t have as much to say about the topic, but I guess that’s still quite a bit. Goes up in the morning. For my last post on Friday, I’m going to diverge away from the rules and educational tone. Instead, I’ll get into some personal philosophies of picking a necktie to wear, rant a bit, and detail where my necktie collection has gone.
First off, I wanted to say how much your ties series has helped me. I'm greatly looking forward to more. Secondly, I was just wondering how to decide what color pants to wear with your outfits? I'm guessing you can never go wrong with neutral colors right? But then can you also contrast or match right? This may all may sound confusing, so what I'm trying to ask is how do you choose what pants to wear with an outfit?
A lot of the stuff I’m saying about ties can probably be applied across the board — maybe. I have more grey trousers in my closet than any other color, but I have them in a variety of shades, weights and fabrics. This makes it easier.
For colored trousers, like red chinos, I try to make sure that I pair it with something simple up top — like a navy blazer, blue shirt and navy tie. You want to balance the overwhelming element against the more sober ones. Same thing goes with plaid or check pants, I’d say.
I generally try to avoid matching grey trousers to a grey jacket, even if they’re different shades. It just looks odd to me, like you couldn’t find your suit pants. In this case, I’d go with navy trousers or chinos. Or denim. Or khaki or brown pants. Or a lot of other colors, which will work because grey’s neutral.
Same goes for navy trousers/chinos with a navy jacket. I avoid that altogether.
This is why I (mostly) buy only navy/blue jackets and grey/charcoal trousers right now.
I hope to be as fashionably inclined as you one day. Haha
Thanks. It’s not tough, just takes time and effort. Don’t just look at pretty pictures. Read, analyze and experiment. Frankly, I’m still learning and will continue to learn for a very long time. The depth of knowledge on the topic is quite surprising.
First off, great blog. I'm very pattern/color matching challenged so those past few tie posts have been more help than you know. Also, I wanted to give your readers the heads up that the Howard Yount shawl you just posted is near identical to an H&M one I picked up for $40. Obviously it is no where near the quality or craftsmanship but for someone on a budget it's a great pick up.
Thanks, I’m glad you’re finding the blog helpful.
As for H&M’s sweaters, I generally don’t link to or endorse products like theirs or their direct retail competitors for a few reasons. The main reason though is that they tend to be blended fabrics, often with nylon or polyester. This is what makes them cheaper (along with cheap manufacturing costs).
While cheaper is beneficial for a lot of people in terms of immediate cost, I don’t personally believe it’s a financially good decision. I’ve often found that cheaply-made clothing doesn’t last as long, stretches oddly and just plain doesn’t hold up to well-made counterparts.
If your ramen-noodle budget necessitates spending less, then I’d suggest hitting up thrift/vintage stores, eBay, Etsy, etc., instead to find a deal there — or buy off-season and on sale. Or save up for one quality item.
For winter, I like chunky-knitted, shawl-collared cardigan sweaters. Above is one I picked up last year from Lands’ End Canvas on sale. It’s 100% donegal wool and feels great and definitely kept me warm.
I’m a fan of shawl collars because you have the option of leaving the collar down while indoors, or turning it up while outdoors to use it as a substitute for a scarf under another jacket to protect your neck. The cardigan’s buttons let you remove it easier if you want to shed a layer and the pockets are handy to keep stuff in (the best would be a button-closure).
Unfortunately, LEC doesn’t have a chunky 100%-wool shawl-collared cardigan available yet. But not to worry, as there are plenty of other options.
This is one of the cheaper options. The fabric used is boiled lambswool, which makes the fabric less itchy, according to the copywriting. I kind of prefer the itchiness, but maybe that’s what turns some people off. Regardless, I’m a fan of that extra chest pocket.
I posted this sweater a while ago when HY’s F/W preview arrived and consider this my grail sweater. It’s cashmere, got patches and just looks perfect. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to afford one anytime in the near future, but it’s certainly ideal.
I recently moved back to Chicago from California and like yourself, I have a backlog of items that need the attention of a tailor. I was hoping you had a recommendation on a trustworthy tailor in the city.