06 February 2010

Small Changes: The Black Blazer Re-Fitted

It really is amazing what the smallest change can do.

About a week ago, I debuted this vintage black flannel blazer. I like this jacket. It fits well, the cloth is beautiful. But those damned silver buttons were just too tacky, even for me. Something had to be done. A trip to the sewing store an a couple of bucks was all it took:


Silver buttons are a drag. Really, I can't think of any instance where they would look right on menswear. Brass, sure, but silver? Blech! They really limited the use of this jacket too, prohibiting a lot of otherwise sound color combos, like these tan cords.

The silver buttons gave this coat an air of pretension, like it was trying to be fancy, but never heard of understatement. The brown horn (okay, plastic, but still...) but give it just the right slouchy casual air, which is only appropriate for a flannel jacket with patch pockets.


Before, it only went with black shoes, which only added to the pretension in a way. Now, brown suede brogues are more than appropriate...which is good, since I'm mostly a brown shoe kind of guy. I picked up the tan cords a while ago. They're made of the softest mid-wale brushed corduroy you ever saw. I got these, and another pair in olive, for $4.99 each. From the Ecut Clothing Company, apparently an Iranian manufacturer. Guess that makes me an enemy of the state or something. No matter. They were about a mile too long when I got them, but today I hemmed them to my perfect 29 1/2 inch inseam, no sweat.

Little changes go a long way, no?

An Announcement and An Invitation:

As you all probably know, I spend a lot of time culling the dregs of the thrift stores for these treasures I present to you here. For a while now, I've been collecting things not only for myself. Why? Because this May, if all goes well, I plan to host a bi-annual (does that mean twice a year?) cleaned up flea market. It will be a gathering of quality re-sale merchants in the greater Boston area, as well as many independent dealers, including yours truly. While you won't find things for the shamefully low prices I often pay, you will find clothes (both men's and women's), housewares, books and even furniture that has been thoughtful chosen, mended if need be, cleaned and presented, by people who really know their stuff.

So far a number of really cool Boston area stores have agreed to participate, including Frida Bee, Boutique Fabulous, Poor Little Rich Girl, Abodeon, Artifaktori, Sunshine Lucy's, Lorem Ipsum Books, Raspberry Beret, and the crown jewel of them all, Bobby from Boston. This promises to be a lot of fun.

If you live in the greater Boston area, are an obsessive hoarder of anything cool, and would be interested in having a table at this event,or know someone who might, contact me at anaffordablewardrobe@yahoo.com. Sure, this may all seem a little shameless, so expect to hear about this very once in a while. A separate website for the event should (hopefully) be coming soon.

By the way, did I mention there will likely be a bar at this thing?

p.s.

this is not in any way meant to be a jab at the Pop Up Flea hosted by Michael Williams of ACL. We got into something of a sh*tstorm following my post on that event, and I don't intend to let that happen again. As such, for the first time in Affordable Wardrobe history, I will not be posting all comments. Derogatory comments from complete anonymous strangers referring to this event or Mr. Williams' will not be considered for publication. Let's keep things upbeat, kids.

22 comments:

L.A.S said...

Nice ink G.

The Enthusiast said...

hoorrrrrAAAAAAYYYYYY!

unitedstyle said...

Nice improvement to the jacket. I was actually thinking of this jacket today, as I came across a black cashmere flannel jacket today in Bloomingdale's. I didn't bother to look at the price, but I'm sure it was at least double the cost of yours (wink wink).

The horn buttons totally make the coat. So much less douchier than those silver ones.

By the way, I like the new picture in the header.

Good luck with the flea. I'm in the opposite corner of the country, but I'll be there in spirit.

Rebecca said...

Just the thing! Those buttons AND the flea market. Sure wish I lived closer to Boston. Maybe you could take your show on the road to NW Indiana?

Kevin said...

the silver button comments are interesting to me. i would be much more likely to buy something with silver buttons than gold or brass. i see silver as understated elegance. i use pens with silver trim, a silver watch, etc.

not that you are wrong and i am right, mind you. it's opinion, that's all. i have never thought of silver as anything but simple.

other than that, i really enjoy your blog. and i am very envious of your finds. i wish i had such opportunities here in middle america. we don't, so i just enjoy your successes instead!

Anonymous said...

Great idea, G! I'll definitely come to Boston for such an event. It sounds like real fun.

Best,
Sir Cingle

ADG said...

BINGO...that jacket is transformed.

David M. said...

i'll be there.

Sophie said...

The button switch makes a big difference, and you can't beat a decent pair of brown suede wingtips. Good work G! Hope the flea is a success... the bar is a nice touch.

Young Fogey said...

I, too, like the new top picture. Any chance that the black & gray houndstooth with blue check is too small for you? ;-)

Silver as an accent meta, can be, as Kevin noted, very elegant. My navy blazer has antiqued silver buttons, so they're not too flashy. But again, a matter of preference.

As noted previously, I think the old buttons were of an awful design, and that's what made them not work. Losing them was a good idea. But now you have a black odd jacket!

I think this outfit would be great with a navy blazer. But black and brown? Not the best combo. If one goes by the "season" approach to colors*--there are four "seasons" of people, and each group has a mutually-exclusive set of colors that are maximally flattering to them--you'll see that black is a Winter color, and that brown, including tan, is found only in the other seasons. So for the black jacket, I'd stick with blue or gray pants, and for shoes, burgundy (a.k.a. "cordovan") is an acceptable shoe color for Winters, so how about pairing the black blazer--uh, odd jacket--with burgundy shoes?

*See, for example, Carole Jackson's Color for Men. Disclosure: no connection, just a satisfied reader.

foolio_iglesias said...

Niceage.And I like the updated blog picture,too...

Conor said...

Nice jacket G. Love the new header.

I actually think I have a jacket in the same cloth as that one 4 or 5 from the right (glenplaid with brown, green, red/orange).

Aaron said...

will definitely be there, nothing worth selling tho

Sam said...

Good one. The blazer is cool. In fact, I am going to remove the brass buttons from mine and replace them with horn buttons.

TRVS said...

Definitely interested, any idea for dates? Once the boat is in my weekends are lost at sea . . .

Some Assembly Required said...

This is great news, definitely looking forward to it. I'd been hoping someone with ingenuity might put together this type of event.

The Viceroy said...

Agree with Young Fogey: Silver coloured buttons can look very elegant and uch more restrained than gold ones. I personally would prefer silver coloured buttons to horn, or worse, plastic hornoid buttons on this blazer, or black odd jacket, as you wish. If metal is not an option, light coloured mother of pear buttons in a conservative cut would be a great alternative.

schismarch said...

Thought this might be up your alley.

Paul Walters said...

While the silver buttons that were originally on your jacket were indeed hideous, I must echo the other commentators on the aesthetics of silver over brass, providing that it's done correctly... as it obviously was not the first time on this jacket. The pseudo-horn looks better now, but a tasteful silver crested button would not have looked bad at all.

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

Gaaargh said...

semi-annually maybe?

Anonymous said...

It was a mistake to change the buttons. What you've done is confused the jacket by making it look like a suit jacket separated from it's pants. The reason blazers have metal buttons(aside from tradition) is so they DON'T look like they came from a suit. If you didn't like the brass (which I can sympathize with) you should have at least stayed with gilt buttons, maybe in dark black silver to tone them down, but still kept your jacket recognizable as a blazer. Now it's neither sport coat nor blazer and it just looks kinda weird.