I do enjoy Winter, and don't mind a cold day for wearing tweed and flannel, but I'll be damned if even I can't wait for the cold to let up a little and have me a balmy walk in the sunshine. Looks like this week the sun will at least smiling on us, and while the temperatures creep up a little, we can't dive head first into khaki and tennis shirts. And though the streets may be full of people in short sleeves with no coats on, in reality we still need to keep at least comfortably warm. If you're looking to ditch the overcoat (finally), remember that tweed, the stalwart fabric of the coldest times of year, can also be perfect for Spring.
A tweed sports jacket can offer a welcome replacement to your overcoat or Barbour jacket when worn as a alternative to outerwear. It helps to keep color and weight in mind here. Many of the best tweeds are seen in earthy shades of brown ad olive, maybe punctuated with burnt orange. While I do love these fabrics, these colors are too "Fall". This time of year, I stick with lighter tans or cool grey, as seen here. Because of the roughness of the cloth, it's a good choice worn casually with jeans, and it gives me the pockets I need for keys, phone, and all the other crap we can't seem to live without these days.
I like a jacket like this tailored very soft with enough extra room for a sweater underneath. It being (almost) warm (?...not really) today, I've swapped the Shetland sweater that has been an almost daily piece since November with a lighter cotton crew neck. I may still be wearing heavy oxford shirts, but a pink stripe livens things up a bit, as dose a pink pocket square. Baby steps folks. Don't be the guy in shorts shivering at the bus stop.
A recent thrift shop acquisition, this jacket features my (current) favorite combinations of English/American hybrid details: natural shoulders, a 3/2 front, with darts, and real braided leather button. File also under the "What's in a Name" department:
Homework leads me to discover that Sibley's was a small department store chain in New York State, with it's flagship in Rochester. Absorbed by Kauffman's in 1990, and later Macy's, the store no longer exists. Stanley Blacker is a name I remember men of my Dad's generation wearing when I was a kid. It wasn't super expensive, but of generally good quality and traditional styling, in a time when traditional American style was popular enough to support lower tier brands of reasonable quality. Maybe not the most special thing I ever found in a thrift shop, but it fits well, feels good, and for $7.49, it will do just fine until a better replacement comes along.
As a side note, I've also recently discovered that leather and suede saddle shoes are the absolute JAM with jeans. This pair is vintage L.L.Bean, made in USA by Walkover, with a comfortable brick red rubber sole. Acquired through direct purchase from a consignor in my own shop for $25, and worth every penny.
We may all want the cold weather to be over, but it's not something we can control. With a few touches of color and some small changes, you can breath new life into your tweed and manage to keep warm and be seasonally appropriate. You can wear tweed in the Spring.
p.s. speaking of tweed, I have a knockout English shooting jacket available on eBay now. If you're a 46 long check it out. If not, look at it anyway as a reminder that there is s real reason why we call these things "sports" jackets.
p.p.s. the Spring Clearance Sale continues in the AAW Shop, with many items on deep discount. Enjoy an additional 10% off everything using discount code SPRING2014 at checkout through midnight Saturday.