01 October 2009

Two Halves Make A Whole

...or do they? One of the cardinal sins of menswear is the breaking-up of suits. But what the hell, sometimes it just works. You may remember the troublesome-green-suit-cum-troublesome-green blazer. Today we see it coming closer to making sense, paired with the pants from a Brooks Brothers tan wool suit...two halves making a whole:

The green blazer, though (possibly) classic in its own sense, is a tricky thing to pull off. I do think this converted suit jacket works better as a blazer, but the key seems to be simplicity and understatement, lest one wind up looking like an old man. Here, it is paired with a sage green Brooks Brothers cotton cable knit sweater ($4.99), white oxford, and pink paisley square...just to keep things from getting frumpy:


and , as always, a good pair of shoes holds things down nicely:


I have to admit, all day long I went back and forth over this jacket. I think I like it, but I'll be damned if it isn't a tough nut. I almost tried it with a tie, but I looked like grandpa at a funeral in the Summer, or something. I kept thinking I should get rid of it, then kept thinking I should keep it. I suppose it's not worth it, if it occupies my head so much. But then I started thinking about details, and how I like a blazer to have patch pockets, only this one doesn't, because it's not a blazer, it's the jacket to a suit. But I still have the pants. Maybe I could have the tailor fashion some patch pockets out of the material of the pants. That would make all the difference, right? Or is that way to much trouble, money and effort to spend on a borderline ugly thrift store find?

I guess I just don't know this time. Advice welcome.






21 comments:

ADG said...

I'm gonna give my green blazer another go this year-without the gold buttons. We'll see. And I've been looking for those brown suede split toe Algonquin shoes forever. I just don't want to pay Alden retail for them.

DAM said...

While the all green suit could make you look like your perpetually celebrating St. Patrick's Day, this ensemble is straight hot - pockets and all.

It's something about the weight of the wools being consistent makes it work.

Clinton said...

Patch pockets would be difficult, not because of the fabric (you might have enough in the back panels on the pants), but because the jacket already has welted pockets. Because tailoring welted pockets involves cutting into the outer fabric, they're not going to just disappear. Depending on the height of the current pockets, your tailor may be able to place a "new" patch pocket such that the top edge would cover up the original openings. Then he could sew the original pockets closed if you want them out of the way or just leave them open if you have a druthers for double pockets. I'd probably sew them closed, as older welted pockets tend to sag a bit, which means that your patch pocket placed on top of the old pocket might look unnaturally droopy. Then, it might not too. I'd have to look at it.

Anyway, all that nonsense is contingent upon the placement of the original pockets. If they're already a bit high, then there might not be too much you can do, unless your tailor is a magician (and he might be; I've seen some surprising things) or you like patch pockets placed high.

The Preppy Pauper said...

I vote for keeping it. It works as a sports jacket. I bet you could pair it with chinos or jeans as well.

Clinton said...

Oh and by the way, for what it's worth, I think the jacket works quite well in that particular outfit. The jacket material appears rough enough in the second photo that it doesn't scream "suit jacket!!" at me.

FIXED BAYONET METAL SOLDIERS said...

That kind of Green G is onloy gonna wrk like this

Sky Blue Boston Collar with a tie that has loads of colour plus Hankie. Lose the jumper.really not working.M and S brought out a Tweed Green Yorkshire Tweed jkt. Its about 150 dollars and top quality but its difficult not to looktweedfied.

Giuseppe said...

ADG,

Brown braided leather buttons might do the trick. Wear it with a pair of heavy weight flannels in light grey, brown suede shoes are a given.

Clinton,

I was thinking of having the pockets closed, then having the patches added, while keeping the pocket flaps. I think it could work, just don't know whether it's worth the trouble.

Skippy said...

It doesn't fit.

Clinton said...

That's not a bad idea at all, actually. I hadn't thought of flap and patch pockets as an option (don't like them too much myself, not in terms of appearance, but rather in terms of ease of access). In any event, I think it works fine with the pockets as they are, but do keep us updated if you decide to go through with it!

Giuseppe said...

Skippy,

It fits better than the photo would lead you to believe. Actually it's even a little roomy. The sweater I wore under has some bulk to it.

The Duck said...

G,

The jacket looks good but it looks too small. You might want to consider leaving it unbuttoned or ditching the sweater.

ScottyAlexander said...

I think you pulled everything together quite nicely. The blazer looks fine on it's own, and I actually think the whole outfit doesn't have to be quite so understated. Maybe bring in some subtle purples or orange and yellow to crank up the dandy factor. Maybe go for a simple pocket square while bringing in a bright paisley tie. Great work, G!

Frederic Sebton said...

Out of curiosity: How do you convert a suit jacket into a blazer?

Michael B. said...

Okay 'Sep pay attention here cause I'm serious--as opposed to my usual replies. :). Thrift yourself a sweater vest in exactly that color but a lighter weight so you don't look all I-gotta-lose-a-few-pounds; then (here comes the brilliant part) wear that hideous tie you bought a couple months ago that I said would scare puppies and children if worn full-frontal without a vest. You know the one I mean. ;). This combo will rock that tie and turn you into God-he-makes-it-look-so-effortless. On your other point, I'd keep the jacket as is but that's probably 'cause there's so much out there I still want to spend money on...

Giuseppe said...

Frederic,

Nothing but a change of buttons. I had a brass set from another jacket that I swapped onto this one and voila! instant blazer.

Michael,

My closet is packed with things to scare puppies and children. You mean the patch paisley number? I've been itching to unleash that beast.

Young Fogey said...

Great color combination, but the bulky sweater makes the jacket look too tight.

The hideous Robert Talbot patch paisley is exactly the tie Michael B is talking about. I knew what he meant instantly.

Remember, way long time ago, when I started commenting, and I mentioned "seasons"? This is the idea that there are four color palettes, each named after a season, and just one of them works for you. If you buy clothes exclusively from that palette, then you score a twofer: all your clothes go with each other, and all of them flatter you (pigmentally, anyway). The simple fact is that no one looks good in any color; similarly, a certain shade that makes you look good can make someone else look ill.

My guess is that the reason you have such a problem with this green suit is that color doesn't flatter you. It's OK; I would look sallow or pallid in it myself. Are you willing to spend upwards of 99¢ + shipping for Color For Men and figure out your season? Are you willing to forget about certain colors--like olive--so that you can focus on the ones that make you come alive?

Sorry, I'm not trying to proselytize or anything, but keeping clothing colors within my season has been such a success for me that I just want to share.

Dale P.L. Chadwick said...

Not a fan of the two greens together. Or that paisley with it. It doesn't match. And not in the Ralph Lauren-f*-it-all-non-match. It just doesn't match. At all.

Giuseppe said...

Pink and green don't match?

Don't tell Lily.

Dale P.L. Chadwick said...

Haha - you know I applaud your always impeccable taste. I just don't think that THOSE two shades match. But as they stress in the fashion world - lighten up, it's just fashion. It's not brain surgery. I'll take my own advice.

Anonymous said...

Great job! I remember never being a fan of the green suit you were trying to figure out, I've never been a fan of any green suit. I believe I suggested pink with it, but I wouldn't have even of given that a shot myself. Congrats on this discovery, it really works! First time I've liked a green suit coat, ever!

-Mike (from the coming soon HeavyManners colaboration blog)

Young Fogey said...

Pink & green? Come to think of it, a green tie on a pink shirt, paired with a gray suit, is a fantastic combination. It could also work with a navy or brown suit, for that matter. How about pink & green with tweed? That could be awesome! It all depends on the exact shades involved.

Just for the record, I think you combine colors extremely well.