11 August 2010

Green Grass, Blue Skies and...Duck Fat

My trip to the North country was nothing short of wonderful, a weekend filled with glorious weather, fine food, plenty of drink and gentlemanly haberdashery. And of course, a beautiful wedding between two wonderful people. Perfect.Seriously, if that setting isn't idyllic, I don't know what is. Abundant sunshine, 72 degrees. Can you think of better weather for wearing a suit outdoors?
The old Summer house belonging to the bride's parents. A great place to enjoy cold Cava and oysters on the porch before retiring to the party tent down the hill for dinner and dancing, or in my case, playing the music that the rest of the guests danced to. You see, the groom is a former band mate of mine, and he asked the boys and I to learn a few numbers suitable for the occasion. An honor indeed.

I'm fortunate to roll with a group of close compatriots who can more than hold their own in a sartorial throw-down. In case you don't believe me, just look at how well-turned-out these boys are:

Grey and white seersucker suit, the old kind with the really wide stripes, vintage 3/2 sack. Paired with a blue mini-check button down and a black silk knit tie.

Cotton khaki suit, French blue shirt and a cotton tie in red and white gingham check. Homeboy also sported navy and white striped braces and a Timex watch on a grosgrain ribbon band.

The prize goes to this chap. Brooks Brothers blue cotton chambray suit, 2 button sack, patch pockets, probably 1970s vintage. I actually found this one in a vintage shop, but it's a 36 short. I immediately informed my buddy, who wears said size, and he pounced. Extra points for pairing it with a pale lavender shirt and an even paler yellow tie, and a yellow flower, sans pocket square. I told you, I run with the big boys.

My own togs in action, finished by the appropriation of this orange flower from the centerpiece on our table. Don't forget, I was wearing bright orange socks too.

Of course, a guys just gotta dress well when the band equipment is all old and pretty, right? Check the circa late 1950s Gretsch "Chet Atkins" amp. Honestly.

If only I had the guts to ask strangers for photos, because you can't believe some of the duds dudes were sporting at this shindig. In case the photo of the house and "grounds" didn't give it away, the brides family has a little money, and that money is old, like coastal New England old. I mean like I met a guy named Wyn, and another guy named Buzz. You get the idea.

One old dude was wearing an orange and white seersucker jacket, which he bought for his Princeton reunion, much to his wife's chagrin, judging by the way her eyes rolled not at his being asked about it, but at his pleasure in talking about it. "Who wants to be just another navy blazer?" he said...or something like that.

At one point, I noticed that the brides father and three or four other dudes his age were all wearing the same striped tie, green and white, wide bars, looked to be vintage. Later, I asked her "Your Dad's tie, must be from a club, right?" Without a blink she replied "Porcellian Club, Harvard, class of 1958." Read the link, the Porcellian Club is the oldest private college social club in the country, like the Skull and Bones at Yale, only more exclusive and prestigious. So prestigious and exclusive that you might not ever have heard of it. Now, I do like a striped tie, but it's really unwise to wear one when you infiltrate the hardcore WASP sub-strata. These guys know their stripes, and can smell whether you "deserve" them or not.

But enough about threads...

On the way back, I took a brief detour in Portland to visit Duckfat, a little bistro known for it's fries, cooked in, you guessed it, duck fat. Decadent doesn't describe it. These fries were delicious and crispy with a richness like no others. In contrast, the delicate sweetness of Maine local Belgian style brew Allagash White provides the perfect counterpoint.

The braised pork belly panini, with pickled carrot and radish and a zesty mustard sauce weren't bad neither. Thin and crispy, like a panini should be, with a bit of an Asian vibe. If you're in the Portland neighborhood, give Duckfat a try.

The drive home also brought me through Kittery, home of the outlet mall. Irresistible. I checked out plenty of stores, but I was good. It wasn't until I visited the Barbour outlet that I was separated from my money.

Eggplant colored cords, $12.50! Remember, the word corduroy is said to bederived from the French "Cord du Roi" meaning the cloth of kings, and purple is a historically regal color, therefore purple corduroy pants are a slam-dunk, right?

And how could I resist this olive green corduroy cap with embroider pheasants on it, a scant $25?

But there I go, getting all off topic...

Congratulations Sam and B. Here's to many wonderful years together!


CeCe said...

I just love Maine. There is something other-worldly about it, like a movie set.

NCJack said...

Here in the NC heat, I've been planning a Northern run, and that "Duckfat" place pretty much made my mind up. Plus, I need to return something to LLBean, and it's such a pain to box stuff up, stand in line at the PO, etc.

David M. said...

I got my Barbour jacket at that outlet last October. I'd never been to Kittery, but I saw the big Barbour sign and took a hard right into the parking lot. My wife was so confused, she had never heard of Barbour.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Interesting. You might have asked the fat old WASP boys why the hell they surrendered their country to the enemy?! Perhaps they were too busy drinking, playing golf, or whatever. I know the type. Curious, but sad.

Giuseppe said...


Firstly, these guys were not so fat.

Secondly, as one of the enemy, I say so be it. I also say thanks for inviting me to your daughters wedding. Brunch on Sunday weren't bad neither.

Anonymous said...

Jesus,the whole wedding was so WASP that even the amp was a Princeton! (Sorry for the crap joke.)

Zach D. said...

I see Joe,
So when you aren't railing against the WASP establishment by re-appropriating their guarded sartorial signifiers, you're breaking bread with them?

Only kidding. Looks like a great wedding. Wore seersucker to a summer wedding not long ago myself.

The only thing better than potatoes fried in duck fat is duck fried in duck fat.

Matt said...

Oh No! You were right next door to Norm's Bar-B-Q, or whatever its called now. That place is worth a long drive from just about anywhere east of the Mississippi in my humble opinion. Their fries are nothing to sneeze at either. Country style ribs, nuff said.

Looks like a lovely weekend. Congrats to your friends!

Anonymous said...

While the word "corduroy" looks as though it should have a French origin, as if derived from "corde du roi" ("cloth/cord of the king"), in fact there is no such phrase in French, and the word, like the cloth, is of English origin, probably from cord plus the obsolete duroy, a coarse woolen fabric

But I like the idea of purple cords on a royal

Anonymous said...

Is that a necktie or a hockey sock?

Josh said...

Giuseppe -- I know you have to pass up a lot of 36 Shorts (and the like) in your travels. It pains me to hear about them as much as it pains you to have to hang them back on the rack. Ever thought about collecting a few for a short-guy version of your bottom-dollar flea? I'm only half kidding.

Also: Saw the picture before I read the caption and thought: those frites, that beer... I know them.... Love Duck Fat -- and Allagash. Born and raised in Maine. And lived in Portland for about 10 years. Man, I miss it.

Pitboss12 said...

Crap! I didn't even know Barbour had outlets in the US.

You've got good taste in beer. Almost everything Allagash brews is good. It's refreshing to reading a blog that doesn't champion PBR, Coors, or High Life as the final word.

Toad said...

I love your shirt.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

G-Unit ~ You're not the enemy, as much as you like to fantasize otherwise. You're very much authentic American. You're part of the core now. Time to man up and gear up. Tough times are coming.

CowboyPrep said...

I would have bought the hat too!

Mxolisi Ngonelo said...

I must say that this is the first time I have anticipated a post from you. I really wanted to see your update on the weekedn and the wedding and it turns out everything was perfect. Just love the aesthetics and appeal of the north eastern seaboard.

Matt Fox said...

Such stylish friends!

Young Fogey said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time. I hope your friends live happily ever after.

Striped ties. You can always wear your school colors in a striped tie, though there are those who will not be impressed by the school when they find out. Maybe avoiding striped ties at such shindigs is the best route after all.

When I saw the hat, I knew you had to have it. It's so Giuseppe!

Hey, I wear a 36 short, too. How about picking up a few for me? ;-)

Thanks for the great post.