30 October 2009

The Trade

A few weeks ago, following a post about excessive use of Scottish Tartan, a conversation sprang up between me and frequent commenter the Young Fogey. You see, Fogey had recently purchased an entire suit in Black Watch plaid, but had mentioned having the pants destroyed and turned into a vest. I implored him not to wreck this piece of sartorial history, offering instead a trade. I, like most thrift obsessed people, have more than a few things that don't fit or I don't wear. So I sent the Fogey, who is smaller than me, two pairs of flannel slacks that don't have enough cloth to let out, and, ironically enough, a Black Watch vest, that sit a full inch above the waistline of most of my pants. The return package arrived today...if you thought my use of thick Tartan wool was excessive before, just wait until this number makes it out onto the streets:

Clearly a product of the 1970's, but it doesn't matter. Everything wasn't a polyester piece of junk back then. This suit may have taken the prize of Giuseppe's Craziest Item. I am giddy with excitement to wear it. It fits like a glove, thought the sleeves and pants are a little long, the simplest and most common alteration. The jacket is a darted two button, and though I'm generally a three button sack kind of guy, some times you gotta bend the rules a bit.

Complete with black braided leather buttons...and check out the pattern matching on the pocket flap! Impeccable.

Made in the U.S.A. by Pendleton. I've owned my share of Pendleton flannel shirts, and my Black Watch driving cap, and even the vest I traded for this gem, are from them, but I never even knew they made suits at one time. I've certainly never seen one until this afternoon. I am duly impressed with the level of quality and craftsmanship, but not surprised. Those shirts of theirs wear like iron, as long as you can keep the moths away from them.

Again, check out the pattern matching. Look at the alignment of the plaid at the pocket and on the waist band, it's perfect. The front pockets on the pants are top pockets, like on a western suit, an odd little detail that, along with the wide belt loops and lapels, puts this sucker in the 70's. But who's gonna argue weird little details when, after all, we are talking about a head-to-toe Black Watch suit.

In the jacket pocket, there was this little card explaining the heritage of the Tartan. Apparently this suit was part of a series. Can you imagine what the other suits in the line must have looked like?

All kidding aside, I think this suit is beautiful. I'm already planning to wear it on a chilly day with a heavy cream-colored cable knit sweater and a tweed driving cap, and I'm certain that I'll be forced to buy a charcoal grey wool turtle neck to go with it. Imagine it under a Chesterfield coat! Versatility might be the last thing you think of with a garment like this, but if ever a suit could function as two separate pieces, this is it. The jacket will look great with jeans or grey flannels, and those pants with a sweater and a navy blazer or Barbour jacket is also a damn good combo.

So, three cheers for the Young Fogey, for going along with my crazy proposal. Thank you so much, my imaginary blog world friend, and know that this piece of cloth has truly found a loving home.

Now what to do with my other Black Watch blazer, now so completely unnecessary?


ScottyAlexander said...

Can't believe you pulled off such an awesome trade for such an amazing suit! I'm sure you'll wear it well. Any thought of pairing this with a tweed vest?

Ass said...

I am very jealous. That's a wonderful suit, Giuseppe.

The Tyrant said...

You should cop a navy Filson vest.

ADG said...

TOP POCKETS on the trousers....great!

Anonymous said...

I'm flabbergasted. I can't wait for the pictures after alterations and you finally get to wear it!!! Wait. I just had a thought. What if there was a Royal Stewart some where out there waiting to be found? IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES!!!!

Paul said...

Amazing suit - and Pendleton to boot!

My daughter brought me a Pendleton sweater from Scotland (not sure if it was only avail in Scotland) but its wool is VERY warm. Maybe a bit too warm for FLA.

Unknown said...

Well done you two!

Young Fogey said...

My pleasure. I'm far happier with the vest alone (thank you again!) than I would ever have been with the suit. In fact, I passed on it the first time I saw it; it was only after I realized the potential in the fabric that I bought it (though now I regret not having the material to make neckties out of, too ;-)

It's a darted two button suit and not a 3/2 sack because the latter style was never really popular on the West Coast, and both Pendletons--the company and the town--are in Oregon.

You should definitely wear it with the red vest at Christmastime, maybe with an Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders tie.

And just to clarify, the blog world may be imaginary, but the friendship isn't.

Mason said...

Excellent trade. Now... what size is the blazer?

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Nice find.

I recently recycled my father's 70's vintage Pendelton sportcoat. It suffered moth damage to the collar. Took it to my tailor. We're adding a dark green Holland & Sherry velvet to the collar to cover the damage. Should be ready for the holidays.