I need some denim advice. I would love to get a new pair of jeans that dress up well, but of course, could be worn casually. Is raw the way to go?
In a word, “yes”. Raw, selvedge denim is probably the way to go. If you want some advice on what brands to buy, what’s got the best fit, etc., I’m no expert. Personally, I have a pair of Levi’s 501s and these Edwins I got for the ridiculously low price of $60 on sale.
Others have recommended 3sixteen, Baldwin, Rogue Territory, Roy, Naked & Famous, Nudies, etc. (I’m sure others will chime in with the “reply” feature with their jeans of choice). You could also check out Denim Debate or StyleForum’s Streetwear & Denim section and see what people are saying there.
Does it ever get creepy when random Internet folk compliment your physique? Or, being a hunky man, do you feel it just goes with the territory?
I wouldn’t say I’m “creeped out”, but I just think that of all things to ask, it’s kind of obscure. It’s certainly not something I’d comment on to someone — unless the topic of conversation had shifted toward personal fitness, which really isn’t an interest of mine.
Trust me though: the clothing creates an illusion. Getting your stuff altered for a better fit will make people think you’ve lost weight.
Hey,you are lookin a bit more fit! What did you change?
Ha! Were you at the meetup last night? Because somehow this came up.
I don’t work out at all. I hate the idea of spending time at a gym. I eat semi-healthy when I feel like it. I drink (mostly) on weekends. And I’ve gained weight, actually, around the midsection since summer (gotta stop eating so much Italian food).
Frankly, I’ve changed nothing. I just have a lot of self-control when it comes to portions I eat and I’m not big on stuff like soda, sweets, etc. I’ve mostly cut out dairy from my diet. And I drink a lot of water during the day at work.
At last night’s meetup, several folks wore some variation of this outfit: grey tweed jacket and dark denim (including myself). It’s a woefully easy combination to pull off and is a simple base that you can make alterations to change it up every so slightly.
This particular jacket is a herringbone pattern, but you could easily do this with donegal tweed, too. For a shirt, the white OCBD works well with a club-stripe tie, but you could also do the “Italian background” of a blue shirt and navy tie (cashmere or wool if you have one).
Because it’s fall, I decided to put these with a pair of chocolate suede brogues, whose color is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Still, just about any wingtip would look good with this. Some would maybe point out that since the jacket has black fibers and black buttons, I should be pairing it with black shoes. Fair enough point, but I think the deep brown works, too.
I have a problem. I hate umbrellas. Not for other people, as long as they're reasonably sized (golf umbrellas are the Hummer of the sidewalk). I don't like carrying them, losing them, dealing with them wet, dealing with wind and so on. What I would really like is a raincoat with a hood that would go well with a suit. Does such a thing exist? Or perhaps some form of longline rainproof overcoat, like David Bowie's on the cover of Low. Thoughts? Advice? Cheers.
Maybe get a Barbour Border jacket, which is long enough to cover your suit jacket and buy the hood with it.
I'm looking for some outwear (it is the time of year) and I'm not sure which way to go. I have been looking at a cream and a navy parka, but don't know which I like. Also, I don't even know if a parka is what is best for me. Any thoughts?
Hard for me to give you an answer when I don’t know your wardrobe and exact needs.
For me, a parka isn’t terribly useful unless I’m shoveling snow and wearing something very “workwear” and casual. Instead, my needs are more based around needing outerwear that fits over a blazer or suit, which leads me to overcoats.
If you’re wearing a lot of sweaters, a parka is probably a good way to go. If you’re wearing a lot of blazers, then an overcoat is what you’ll need.
As for cream versus navy, I’m a fan of navy, but that’s just my subjective tastes.
That really depends on your budget. I have a vintage London Fog one with a zip-out liner that I wear most days to work during the winter and another cashmere overcoat I found on Etsy that I had altered (spent more getting it altered than I did buying it).
You could try hitting up vintage stores and thrift shops. If you’re looking for something cheap at retail, I’d give this wool top coat a look at Lands’ End. If you’re looking for something shorter, maybe go with a duffle coat (L.L.Bean, Rugby) or this university coat from J.Crew. If you have some cash to toss around, then Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren will always have an option for you.
Basically, take a look at your budget and then visit a retailers website that matches to see what’s in their outerwear section.
I'm a student (on a budget around $300) looking to play dress up for a job fair. Is Jos. A. Bank any good?
I can’t recommend Jos. A. Bank to you. For that kind of cash, you should just order a suit from Lands’ End (jacket, trousers) in your size and then take the suit to a tailor to make it fit perfectly.
Plus, you can use coupon code SAVEBIG with PIN 1234 to get 30% off the highest priced item in your cart. That’ll put the price of the entire suit at $198.15 and leave you with $100 extra to do some alterations.
WIWT: 9-29-11. Did you get those LE flannels cuffed from the factory or did you have them cuffed yourself? I just ordered the same ones (on back order until 10/14) and got them cuffed. I just want to know what to expect. Thanks!
They’re not the flannel trousers, they’re the regular year-rounder wool ones. I got them unfinished and took them to my tailor, who tapered them to a 7.5” leg opening, took in the seat and did the hem and cuff.
I don’t typically get my trousers pre-hemmed or cuffed if I can help it. While it’s a nice service LE offers, I know I have to take them in anyway to a tailor, so I might as well get them all done in one shot.
Definitely a fan though of their trousers (and suiting). Probably the best budget-buy trousers out there you can get, provided you’re willing to fork over some extra money for alterations.
Hi. You never got around to reviewing the Charles Tyrwhitt boots. Would it be possible to give your opinion about it regarding fit, build quality and leather quality? Thank you and keep writing this great tumblr.
Full review on Monday. Tuesday at the latest. I needed to wear them several times to get a better feel for them. Long story short: Buy them on sale, if you can afford to wait. Sub-$250 seems reasonable to me.
One of the priorities I set for myself recently over the summer was to get my rainwear squared away. Slowly, I picked up each piece and finally consider that part of my wardrobe complete.
The obvious first step was a coat. I don’t think it particularly matters if you have a trench or “mack” overcoat, but keeping your chest and the upper half of your legs dry is pretty necessary on days when rain decides to be horizontal. I have two raincoats — a the blue trench you see above and another tan “mack”-styled one — that I actually bought dirt cheap at thrift stores. Both are vintage London Fog and from what I’ve read they’re from the era when production was still in the United States and the quality still quite good. You see a ton of these in thrift stores, so they’re not terribly hard to find if you search long enough.
Finally, came the last piece: the umbrella. Again, dieworkwear’s article on umbrellas guided my decision on finding a quality one. I’d considered getting a plaid umbrella from Brooks Brothers, but after handing them in person, I thought it might be a better option to consider saving up for one with a solid-stick handle and shaft. For a while, I was planning on going with one of Howard Yount’s umbrellas, which had some great canopy selections, but then I got a really, really lucky break. I’d loved the Francesco Maglia umbrellas dieworkwear mentioned, but thought they were well beyond my budget. Then I found out that they were not only on sale at a local haberdashery (Shrine), but through a Rue La La “local deal” I could knock off another sizable chunk of the price — putting them on par with the umbrellas at HY. I’ll do a full review in the future, but let me just say that at a discounted price it’s well-worth it and the quality is immediately noticeable.
So, that’s my rainwear solution and I expect it to last quite some time.
How good is Brooks Brothers' exchange policy? (UPDATED)
Scenario: I ordered an ecru OCBD from them in my usual size (15.5/35) and the sleeves were 37” before washing. Previous OCBDs I’d ordered from Brooks Brothers had longer sleeves than the stated length, but experienced shrinkage after going through a warm water and normal drying cycle.
So, I first tried a cold-water wash and then low tumble dry. Barely shrank at all. Then I tried a hot water wash and then normal drying cycle. Sleeves are now at 36.5”. I’m thinking that they’re probably not going to get much shorter.
I would prefer to exchange the shirt for a 15.5/34, which should give me the desired sleeve length, but I’m not entirely sure they take the shirt back after two washing (no wearing other than to try it on for fit). Anyone else ever done this?
Upside is that I still have my receipt, although I can’t find the UPS return postage sticker.
I have returned items to them without problems, but never after washing. Wish I could be of more help. Give them a call, maybe?
Yeah, I’m going to call in the morning. I might also stop in-store if need be. Doubt they’ll have the shirt in stock, but they might be able to process the exchange right there. At least, that’s my working theory.
I think you’re good to go for the return. When I tried to return a shirt i’d worn twice, they actually asked me to wash it and bring it back.
Good to know. And if it doesn’t work out, then I’ll probably put it up for sale here or SF/BS.
UPDATE: So, after posing the question on Twitter, Brooks Brothers’ customer service (@BBConcierge346) reached out and offered to take care of the problem. A few emails later from a very nice person by the name of Ashley, they’re sending me a new shirt and passing along the sleeve (non)shrinkage issue to whomever could use that information. So, thanks to them for being pretty great about the whole thing.
Along those lines, it’s worth mentioning a few things I’ve discovered about Brooks Brothers’ oxford dress shirts and their sleeve sizing.
Blue and pink oxfords have sleeves that are true-to-size.
White oxfords tend to shrink a lot more. I would size up by 1”.
University oxfords (red & blue) and ecru oxfords run large. I would size down by 1”.
Of course, nothing’s perfect. Your experiences may vary and Brooks Brothers may change their manufacturing process down the line (or have changed it since I bought these shirts, which was within the last year). I suspect the reason for such variance may be from the dyes used in the cotton and the types of fabric they’re using for each color. Combine this with the fact that being a natural fiber, cotton probably isn’t 100% predictable in is behavior when exposed to heat and water for sustained periods of time.
Long live the pink OCBD! I really like this shirt a lot, especially when combined with this tie. Truth be told, I bought this pink OCBD long before I ever purchased a white one or a blue one. Why? Well, I give you two examples
First, there was this comment from Michael Bastian while talking about OCBDs:
The pink one, which I call the hangover shirt and is my own trick for days when you’re not feeling so hot; everybody looks better rested and more handsome in a pink shirt - try it sometime.
That made me laugh. Also, I liked this comment from Paul Winston, who was the son of the founder of Chipp:
When I went to school, one of my signatures was pink buttondowns, and back then that was considered very edgy. In 1958, if you wore a pink oxford you almost needed to be ready to defend yourself.
Hi, silly question time. Where do you measure the width of a tie? At it's widest point? And do you think a 4" tie at it's widest point is too wide to wear with 3" lapels? Thanks.
I’ve always measured a tie at its widest point. A 4” tie is really, really wide in my opinion. I have a few and don’t wear them unless I’ve got some massive lapels on my jacket. I think 3.75” is kind of the upper limit, but even that’s kind of pushing it.
As for wearing a wider tie with a slimmer lapel, I think you can do it — but it’s a matter of degrees of difference. A 1” difference is going to look perhaps a bit out of place, but probably not as bad as a 3” tie on a 4” lapel.
I'm in the market for some rain/snow boots. I live in North central Indiana, where the weather is very similar to Chicago. I'm leaning towards 8" Bean boots. Any suggestions? If I do get Bean boots, would you advise me to get the ones with a lining or not? If so which one (thinsulate, shearling, wool)?
I’m a fan of L.L.Bean Boots, too. I have a pair and they worked wonders last winter. Whether or not you go waxed canvas or leather uppers is to you. I personally went with leather.
For linings, I decided against it. Linings are great for insulation, but so are really thick wool socks (which L.L.Bean also sells). If you go with insulation, just get your regular size. If you decide against it, then size down according to their instructions.
I personally only wore mine for commuting and the occasional shoving of snow, so I was able to get away without lining. If you’ve got a lot of hiking, hunting, walking, etc. planned in them, then maybe the lining wouldn’t be such a terrible idea.
I hope you could give us some insight. What's the deal with those slippers I've seen Kanye wear and also on CB's picture. What's all the hype about? Is it one of those pretentious things about "fashion"? What's up with the price? I think you get my point.
I believe you’re referring to the Albert slipper. I think that link should answer most of your questions.
Personally, I don’t think I’d spend that kind of money on slippers/shoes like that. I suspect they’re the kind of shoes you buy when you have a closet full of John Lobbs or something.
Predictability! Blazer, flannel trousers, OCBD, repp tie. I swear, I do have other items in the wardrobe beyond navy blazers, but they’re being altered at the moment. Until then, not much is going to change beyond the neckwear and shirts.
Fit details after the jump (plus a blurry photo of my outerwear to fight the rain — better image tomorrow).
Hi. I need your help with regards to wool sweater sleeves. Should they be long enough to show a little shirt cuff or can they go beyond the wrist? Thank you for your help and keep up the great Tumblr.
I suppose it depends on your arms and the make of the sweater, but I prefer for mine to show some cuff. Still, I wouldn’t sweat it if it went over or was slightly longer. You want to avoid the sweater sleeves going halfway down your hand though. That’s just not going to look right, ever.
Really appreciate what you're doing with your blog. I'm probably close to you in age, on a fixed budget, trying to up my solid style game -- sticking with basics, building the wardrobe slowly, etc. I've haven't made any great progress with shoes, though. For the summer I've got boat shoes, but now that fall is here I still have some old half-sneaker, half-something else brown leather Sketchers shoes. Suggestions for casual options? Chukkas? Thanks for your help!
Truthfully, I’m terrible at dressing “casually”, and I also don’t recommend going too “cheap” on shoes. So, that’s a bit of a tough one.
On the low end for chukkas, you could definitely look at Clarks desert boots in the beeswax leather. My roommate has a pair and I think they’d probably do fairly well throughout the fall weather. I’m not going to tell you they’re waterproof or anything, but they’ll be decent in a light rain. For what it’s worth, I wore my sand suede desert boots in an outright downpour this summer and they’re just fine. I stuffed them with newspapers when I got home and let them dry out. Texture’s a bit different, but I’d say they’re a slight bit more comfortable now.
If you’re looking for a pair of higher-quality chukkas, then I’d consider giving Allen Edmonds a look right now. Their “Rediscover America” sale is going on and the Malvern is on sale for $276.25. Depending on your size, you might be able to score them cheaper on eBay.
Speaking of Charles Tyrwhitt, give a look at their chelsea boots (black, brown). I’ve worn them with denim in the past.
I also think captoe boots look pretty good with denim — heck, any boot generally does. The Allen Edmonds Bayfield is $262.50 at Lands’ End right now (code SAVEFF with PIN 9132). Charles Tyrwhitt military captoe boots can be had for around $250 on eBay. L.L.Bean Signature captoe boots are under $200 and are Goodyear welted. If you’re willing to spend a bit more and are an eBay ninja, I’d look out for Alden Indy boots.
You don’t have to know anyone. You don’t have to be a Chicagoan (although, it’ll probably be easier for you to get there). You don’t have to be a “style blogger” or care about “fashunz”. The point (I think) is to have a fun time and make some new friends.
I’ve been to a few tumblr meetups in the past and it’s never been a bad time. Everyone is pretty nice, I’ve found.
While I’ve started amassing a collection of navy neckwear, brown neckwear is something I’ve begun to give a lot more thought to — especially in these colder months. I wouldn’t say I’m as enamored with it as much, but it does play well alongside blues. And blue is kind of the key color here.
Also, you might notice the cuffs on the flannel trousers. The reason? Pleats! Yes, I’m wearing pleated trousers, often considered a sin of #menswear. I think it can be done if you just have your trousers altered properly (these thrifted Brooks Brothers pants received a significant overhaul at the tailor) and you wear a jacket.
The wearing of a jacket is crucial. What makes pleats look bad is the “bloating” you might get at the pelvic area. You can’t wear a shorter jacket. Instead, you need a longer one to cover the origin of the pleats while you stand. This allows you to reap the benefits of a good, crisp crease from the pleat and yet hide them away from discerning eyes.
This jacket is a bit longer than others I wear, but I use it for this purpose. Plus, the fabric is a hefty navy wool that says “workhorse”. The tie’s another recent find, a four fold from Italy that I found on eBay pretty cheap. And the OCBD is starting to become the work staple now with its thicker fabric.
Fall is awkward but wonderful. Is it cool or warm? Thank goodness for the ability to layer up and down.
Did a rare thing and went sans tie today, but I felt it would look a bit odd under the tennis sweater and with the OCBD. The jacket isn’t the flannel blazer from yesterday, but the regular navy blazer I’ve been wearing year-round.
I’m a big fan of this tennis sweater. Got it for cheap off of Etsy and despite it being acrylic, I don’t mind it. The cable knit looks great and I’m a fan of the color scheme.
Hey, I was in an Allen Edmonds store yesterday and the woman working there said they're going to be having a sale of 15-30% off on Monday. I didn't get any details on whether it was all stores, online or just that one, but I'd guess it's in all stores. This was the one in Rockefeller Center, for any NY-based people.
It’s their “rediscover America” customer apprec event, hence everything is at least 14.92% off through Oct. 11. Check here: tinyurl.com/4ybn2xz for AE’s CMO’s comments (AE comments a lot over at AAAT, seem like great guys).
This should be pretty good. Might have to check it out myself.
Haven’t done one of these in a while (long story short: Macbook Air died and was what I used to crop/manipulate photos, and my desktop crashed every time I tried to launch a photo editor), but I’m back in business now (new Mac Mini, thanks to those who gave me some info on it). But it’s all well and good. Fall’s definitely here and the wardrobe has begun the changeover.
For those of you who’ve been following for a while, you’ll recognize the uniform again: grey trousers, navy blazer. The only difference this time is the fabric has gone seasonal: both are flannel. We’re in that odd stage right now where you don’t need a coat, but you do need some extra insulation — and that’s a perfect reason to get some flannel.
Fall definitely crept up on me, so I had to rush a few items to my tailor. Fortunately it’s not too cold yet and the heavy tweeds and cashmere aren’t quite desperately needed.
For those of you on the ramen-noodle budget and find the Brooks Brothers sale still out of your price range, Lands’ End Canvas is having a 25%-off sale right now, too. Use coupon code SAVE25 with PIN 1231 through September 27.
Ever been to Morris & Sons in Chicago? They have a sick GiltCity deal right now.
Just saw that deal, too. Looks like a pretty good deal, although I have no idea what their prices are like. Sure, $160 for $400 worth of “full-priced” merchandise seems like a really good deal — unless they’re charging $200 for a single necktie, etc.
Looks like their website is down at the moment, but the Yelp site has some interesting reviews. Overall, they seem to carry some solid Italian brands, including Cucinelli.
I will say that as a Chicagoan, I’m really tempted to buy this. The one catch seems to be that you can’t use the deal on sale/discounted merchandise — only on the full retail prices. So, your mileage may vary.