15 August 2009

Mad For Plaid, part 3

With only a few weeks left to wear it, and after the immense trouble I undertook on it's odor removal, the blue bleeding madras finally makes it out in public:

Vintage nameless madras sport coat, $7.99, Brooks Brothers white oxford button down, $4.99, navy cotton knit tie, $0.99, grey "year round" wool slacks from the Harvard Coop, $3.99

Finished with bare feet in penny loafers. Perfectly dressed on a steaming hot evening in August.

Accessorized with two carry cases full of vinyl records, as the evenings activities involved tag-team disc jockeying with Kid Brother at a cozy little local watering hole. They don't pay, but dinner and drinks are on the house . So after salmon cakes with fried potatoes and a bitter green salad, I spent a fair amount of time behind this:

(on the left, Curtis Mayfield, on the right, Wilson Pickett)

interspersed with cold glasses of Campari and soda, and conversation with old friends who I don't see often enough. Many compliments on the plaid. Perfect.

A big bold plaid like this can be tough to pull off, but the old rule of "keep it simple", as usual, applies. Sure, when I was laying out my stuff I tried this jacket with patterned ties (too busy), striped shirts (way too busy), and even bow ties (too 1950's dork costume-y). But in the end I always knew that strong solid colored items, punched up just a touch by the lack of socks and the texture of the knit tie, were the only way to go.

I hope I get at least one more chance to were this jacket before the summers out, but at this point that's doubtful. I'd like to wear it with a tennis shirt, canvas shoes and khakis next time.


Charles said...

You look great. Wish I'd been there. Would have even paid for my own drinks.

Absolutely right about keeping it simple. It's all about the jacket.

Anonymous said...

When you say you hope you have another chance to wear the jacket this year, does that mean you put away madras at Labor Day? I would think the outfit in the photos would be good at least through September. The weather on the East Coast doesn't actually cool down and become fall-like until October, so there need to be options until the weather catches up to the traditional beginning of Autumn. I have a beautiful vintage "Palm Beach Zephyr Weight" sports jacket in dark green and brown madras that I intend to wear until there's a chill in the air. It's just to uncomfortable to break out the tweed until then.

Thanks for the blog, I enjoy reading it a lot.

Toad said...

G, I'm with anon. You have my permission to go an extra couple of weeks, if the weather holds. It will be ok.

Giuseppe said...

Toad and anon.,

It's not so much that I hold fast to any rules about Labor Day, it's just that wearing a sports jacket has become a rare occurance in my jobless-ness.

I also have a Palm Beach Zephyr Weught, in a burgundy/tan/hunter green plaid. That one's a little more likely to stretch past official Summer tha the blue and white.

You flatter me. It was a great time. I can't recall the last time I was seen out of the house in the dark, but man was I beat this morning. Tonight I'll get back to my usual routine of falling asleep on the couch in the eigth inning, then waking up at one a.m. to go to bed.

C said...

+1 to LW. You look fantastic. Love the knit tie and grey slacks: I wouldn't have thought to pair that jacket with wool pants.

Anonymous said...

Very Mad Men. Or should we say, Plaid Men. That's awesome that you got to DJ.

Young Fogey said...

Great look! A retro look, yes--but toned down with the white shirt and gray slacks, it's one that works.

You could definitely wear the jacket sans tie with casual pants, and you might even be able to get away with this jacket paired with white ducks. Have you thought of wearing it to church, or would your congregation frown on such a spiffy jacket?

Young Fogey said...

Anon & Toad,

Despite popular misunderstanding to the contrary, dressing for the season is not the same as dressing for the weather. Men who follow the guidelines for classic dressing wear summer clothes only between Memorial Day and Labor Day (from Easter in the South: a widely-accepted regional variation). This is because dressing appropriately boils down to dressing in a way that takes others into consideration. A man who wears summer clothes in the autumn, regardless of how hot it is, is ultimately doing the same thing as a boy-man who wears T-shirts and jeans regardless of the occasion: he is selfishly dressing for himself and his own comfort. True, it's a matter of degree--but the principle is the same.

(If it's still warm after Labor Day, you make do with summer-weight shirts and tropical wool. Bring a couple of handkerchiefs, mop your brow frequently, and suck it up like a man.)

Anonymous said...

Loving the blog...also a DJ, father,thrifty shopper here! Keep em comming!!