16 November 2009

Go With Your Gut

This is the first, possibly only, "rule" in dressing with style, as far as I'm concerned. Know what suits you, know the conventions of whichever general "look" you decide upon, but more importantly, develop your taste and follow your instincts. To wit:
I found this shirt recently. A 100% wool pop-over half zip in red buffalo plaid, made in the USA by Chippewa, probably in the 70's:
Now, I know that every hipster in Manhattan will go nuts for this shirt, not to mention the Japanese. The very fact that blue collar, hard wearing clothing is such a "thing" with fashion set of late actually makes me not want to like this piece. As my old friend Pasquale recently said "I can wear my Bean boots and hunting jacket and not go hunting with any New York hipster."

I'm a city guy, and I will likely never find myself cutting firewood on a cold day.

I'm (more than) a bit of a fop. For me, it's more about being overdressed....jackets, pocket squares, ties when they aren't required, a million pairs of impractical shoes and so forth.


This shirt is the absolute jams. I saw it, it called my name, and now it's mine. Will I wear it with the full kit of L.L.Bean accesories? Probably not. Will I wait until some weird outfit presents itself to me that absolutely requires this shirt? You bet!

It doesn't "go" withe the rest of my wardrobe. It doesn't "go" with my lifestyle. It also doesn't matter. Because I like it, and I plan to wear it with all the confidence and aplomb I can muster.

So I go with my gut, I buy the damn lumberjack shirt, and I'll figure out how to wear it when the time is right. That's how I like to think about style. Sometimes, you gotta throw a curve ball...keep 'em guessing.


L.A.S said...

When it comes to curating your closet sometimes the strategy of all is to say "fuck it".

Dallas said...

The fact that it's a half zip pullover with those amazing buttons definitely makes it not your run of the mill buffalo plaid, makes it more you. Love it


No G= it sucks big time unless you is in Monty Python

Lollipop Striped Shirt said...

That's exactly what i need for this winter!!knitwear and the entire "folk" look is so in just now! I like some the stuff thats out there..

ms. mindless said...

Great shirt. I've actually been on the hunt for something similar for my husband. i hate that hipsters have commandeered that plaid. Never fear, I was in Williams burg, Brooklyn (the epicenter of the hipster world) a few weeks ago and it seems that the hipsters are starting to move towards the dirty-bathrobe-as-coat look. I saw far fewer buffalo plaid shirts this time than I did last December,

DAM said...

I dig it. Maybe you won't be cutting wood, but i'm sure you'll be getting a Christmas tree or needing to stay warm this winter and in which case it will serve it's purpose.

If not, get suspenders, gloves and a black knit cap and go as a lumberjack next Halloween.

Armilyn and David said...

It almost matches your "About Me" picture.


Teddy said...


Sean said...

Here is a thrifting question I have. A few months ago I picked up a nice tweed jacket for about $10. Two weeks ago I had some repairs done for about $10. Then last night I noticed the elbow on the right sleeve is wearing through.

Does anyone have thoughts on how much to invest in a thrift store item? It is a nice enough jacket, but not a collector's item.

Giuseppe said...


If you really like it, and the tweed is really good, I think it's worth considering suede elbow patches. Think of it this way: $10/jacket+$10/alterations+$20/suede patches= $40. Do you like it enought that you would have paid $40 for it if you found it in that condition?

Anonymous said...

Good post.
I think sometimes we can overthink things like this.

I have a similar shirt, and wear it in winter for my (admittedly blue-collar) job. When I started seeing more trendy people in similar stuff (online mostly) I retired it.
But then I realized that not wearing something I like because other are is probably just as silly as only wearing something because others are.

Looking forward to seeing how you use it!

I might just also add, un-accusatoryly, that I really don't understand why so many of the style blogs I read are so intent on bashing 'hipsters' and other followers of fashion (or counterculture fashion?).

Maybe it's because where I live there aren't many, and I do get how upsetting it is when something that's "yours" is co-opted and made trendy.
But I just hate broad condemnations of arbitrary
social cliques.

I know lots of us do the same (I take inspiration from here, ask andy and other blogs), and I've met some very trend-following 'hipsters' who were really nice, great people.


Sean said...


Good points- will get some patches!

As it happens, the tear in the elbow was my own fault for crashing on the bicycle.

Giuseppe said...

If you're gonna rip a hole in a tweed jacket, crashing the bike is as a good a way as any.

Mason said...

I agree wholeheartedly with almost everything posted by Joe Anonymous.

Nice pickups over the last few posts.

Giuseppe said...

Mason and Joe,

You are right abotu broad generalisations. Though I may indulge in them occasionally, I by no means condone their frequent use. Like the old asying goes "some of my best friends are hipsters".

I think what winds up annoying people about hipsters is that, being young, they tend to carry on like they invented something that's actually been around forever, or that sometimes they can cop something of a "holier than though" attitude with the un-initiated...but then again, so do the higher ups among any group.

That being said...dressing like you work in a coal mine when you actually work in a mid-town office building...paying caviar prices for work clothes...not washing your $400 jeans...forgive me, I just don't get it.

Then again, I am over 30....

Anonymous said...

I agree with that, and can see where the annoyance comes from.
Especially as someone in the skilled trades who actually wears much of this 'workwear' stuff to work.
I remember being bit annoyed at ACL (a blog I love), when they did a bit about shop aprons. While it was cool that they highlighted well-made, American apron companies, as daily apron-wearer it struck me as a bit fake and affected.

I think that people like us who care about this stuff are always irked when something that we thought we were unique in wearing/liking becomes popular, or gets co-opted.
Also, it's easier to be mean and judgemental over the internet than in person, and easier to misinterpret opiions as being mean when they're innocent.