06 April 2010

In Between, part II

When is a sweater not a sweater? When it's a useful jacket.

Warm temps today and a trip to the playground called for a tennis shirt and khakis, while cool temps in the evening called for a bit of cover-up. Big fat wool cardigans come in real handy at night this time of year.

Two days ago, I packed up the tweed and flannel and dug out the cotton slacks (note the new header photo). As I was putting away all the cozy and warm gear, I hesitated on my two favorite cardigans, the one above and the vintage pseudo-varsity number. I'm glad I did because right about now they make for the perfect casual jacket. Allow me to explain...

As you may know, I spend my days tending to the children. This is not the sort of activity that lends itself easily to ties and sport coats, but as you also know, it'll be a cold day in Hell before I leave the house looking like a slob in the name of 'comfort'. A cardigan splits the difference nicely, I think.

I could have worn a blazer with this get-up, but that would have been admittedly affected and even stuffy. The cardigan gives me the sharpness of the blazer, but without the pretension. It's the jacket that's not a jacket, and warm on a chilly night to boot. Plus, creative buttoning gives it a rakish edge, I think. Lately, I've been a big fan of the 'three open at the bottom' look.

Underneath, a navy blue tennis shirt, with a white rugby style collar and rubber rugby style buttons. Here we have opposite versions of the same idea. The white collar lends a bit of dress to the casual shirt, while the cardigan lends a bit of casual to a finished look. The color scheme of navy, white, khaki and cream may look straight ahead to Summer, but the sweater keeps the whole thing firmly in early April.

I chose a brown leather belt. I'm all for nice weather but I'm not about to dive headlong into ribbon belt season just yet.

Socks, however, are fast falling out of favor. I find that the camp moc without socks is a nice transition in these in between times to the boat shoe.

Like I said before: celebrate the new warm weather to the hilt, but don't make like it's Summer, 'cause it ain't. Slow down...there will be plenty of time for that soon enough.


Thornproof said...

I completely agree. Cardigans are wonderful mild weather options. I have a couple of light cashmere cardi's that get a lot of use in the current DC weather - perfect for cool mornings but thin enough to deal with the heat of the mid-day Potomac weather.

Anonymous said...

Nice outfit, especially the cardigan. I like to practice "creative buttoning" on my cardigans as well. Makes them look less stuffy.

Sean said...

Re: going sockless:

Do your feet not blister?

More concerning to me, is the memory of a no-socks with boat shoes guy in my Tae Kwon Do classes in high school whose feet were as deeply yellowed as a smoker's wallpaper.

Is discoloring just from cheap leather?

Giuseppe said...

That, and not washing your feet well enough. Honestly, I don't have that problem...or blisters. It will be months before I put a sock even into my penny loafers, probably.

Young Fogey said...

I noticed the new header, and saw the Lime Green Dictator jacket, too ;-)

I also like cardigans, but have had little luck finding any (I bought all of mine new, except for one that was my grandfather's). I never see them in my local thrifts. Maybe I just have to start looking for sweaters and they'll start to appear.

And as great (and fatherly) as a cardigan is, it lacks the pockets of a sports coat and therefore is harder to wear outside the house. What's your solution? (It obviously isn't--and never would be--a fanny pack.)

spoozyliciouzz said...

Cardigans are my second most cherished menswear item, right after sport coats.
I totally agree with what you said, Guiseppe.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Agreed. I'm a big fan of cardigan. That cardigan in your first photo looks delicious, like frosting on an angel food cake.

Patty said...

The cardigan is perfect, this outfit looks great!

Unknown said...

Why wouldn't you wear a ribbon belt? They're not just for summer. The origin of the ribbon belt is the stable belt British officers used to wear in their regimental colors. And they're for all season wearing.