23 February 2013

Opposites Attract

A pair of Albert Thurston braces, new in the box with a price tag from the Andover Shop is a rare enough thrift store find. When they're bright orange with white leather fittings, it's awe inspiring. I wish I could claim credit for digging these up, but that honor belongs to Zach. After a bit of cajoling, I managed to talk him into trading for a pair of black watch trousers and a vintage shantung tie from J. Press.  (Zach and I trade thrift store finds with some frequency. Look for an upcoming series of posts about our swaps)

Lately, my taste in trousers has turned almost exclusively to forward pleats, and as a result, I've been collecting and wearing braces quite a bit. I have a good number of pair in vibrant stripes and colors, but find myself reaching most often for a somber set in navy with a hunter green rear blade and brown leather fittings. These orange ones, for as great as they are, can be tough to wear. I find that their best counterpart is their exact opposite, navy blue.

Fist time out, with a Brooks Brothers shirt ($5.49) and a Liberty of London tie ($2.99), both in navy and white. This combination was kept in check with charcoal flannels and a Polo navy double breasted blazer.

Second run, a week later, and the same tie makes another appearance, this time with a vintage white oxford shirt with unlined, long pointed collar, not unlike the one Bruce Boyer recently commissioned from Mercer. It's perfect for a collar pin.


This time, with a Southwick glen check suit with faint blue overcheck in cashmere blend (the result of another trade with Zach). A little more bold than the blazer and flannels combo, but still relatively classic.

Bright colors are a great thing to bring into your wardrobe once  you become a confident dresser. They can be daunting, but they don't have to be. Remember, temper them with quieter, classic pieces and let them do the talking.

p.s. given that the rear blade and leather are white, these are pretty much a guarantee with black tie.

p.p.s. new stuff in the Shop, including a rare 1940s Continental style suit. Check it out.

6 comments:

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Love both ensembles! And terribly envious of those orange braces. You wear 'em well.

Best Regards,

Heinz-Ulrich von B.

Roger v.d. Velde said...

I'm wondering... had you purchased the braces new whether you would ever have chosen orange and white? Not meant negatively, since acquiring them by means of a thrifted swap you're thrown into wearing them more than if you could just go and lay money out for a air you can choose.

Maybe the nature of thrifted finds makes us all dress a bit more daringly sometimes?

Gordo said...

Having never been big on "Cal Trans Orange", I stayed miles away. This birthday, little sis, bought me a band predominately orange with a navy stripe. It's fun to wear with everything. No matter the season. Congratulations on your find.

Rolling with the whilte just is another snotty twist. And, isn't that at least half the fun of dress?

C.L. Young said...

Always, as usual, very dashing! You have more luck than lucky 7! I recently came across braided leather braces ($3.50) made in Argentina by Lands End...and I am guessing they were made in the 1990's or possibly late 1980's because it seems nowadays these products either come from China or the like. Those orange braces kill me! I would be tempted to wear them with a camo bow tie;)

Out of curiosity...what ever happened to those tweed patchwork trousers you posted a few months ago? I have been waiting for an update on those! If only I could find some like those in my neck of the woods!

Anonymous said...

Not a Tennessee game you couldn't wear them to.

Anonymous said...

I used to like just blue and grey but with growing older I am a lot more daring these days. I asked my wife to knit me a jumper in orange and the guy at the shop asked her if it's for our daughter :-)