In between season can be tough.The extremes of either end are currently off limits. It's still too war for tweed and corduroy, but it's much too late for madras and Nantucket Reds. But people are funny, and they tend to like extremes. Some folks have already donned the down vest, others are still wearing shorts. My own old fashioned sensibilities leave me looking to dress both weather appropriate and seasonally appropriate. As such, I wind up adopting something of a uniform this time of year.But that's alright, it gives us an excuse to introduce a discussion of some important basics in the wardrobe of any well appointed gentleman:
Let's start with the lynch pin of the whole operation, the classic navy blazer with brass buttons. Admittedly, being something of a peacock I have a number of brass buttoned blazers, but I couldn't function without this one in hopsack. My green one is off beat, my flannel one is warm, and my tartan one is quite dandy, but this one is essential. No man's wardrobe is complete without something similar, and yet any man's wardrobe is at least practically complete with one. Paired with other basics, there are few sartorial situations in which a navy blazer isn't at least acceptable, and at best stylish and reserved. For dress occasions, pair it with charcoal dress slacks, a white shirt, and nearly any tie. For all other occasions...
Khakis. Few things are more classic. Currently, I have nine pair in the line up. From top to bottom, we have four pair of my "good" khakis, clean, crisp, in various tones. Below that, one pair in British moleskin, for colder days, followed by two old pair, a little ratty, for house chores and running errands. We may bemoan our overly casual times, but one advantage that the traditionally minded cheapskate has is that khakis are in abundance at the thrift stores.It's one of the few items you can actually go out and look for on purpose in these places. As my "good" ones get worn, and my worn ones get wrecked, I rotate them down, replacing the top of the stack with fresh "good" pairs. Ah, the cycle of life...
Dress shirts are a good place for a man to have some fun with pattern and color. But upon inspection I find nearly two thirds of my shirts to be in the blue family. Why? Because a blue shirt is always right. Oxford, pinpoint, gingham or stripes...the variations are endless but the truth is sound.
Navy blazer, blue shirt, clean khakis, good shoes, and any tie in regimental stripe, foulard, or emblematic on a navy or burgundy ground. All the rest is fluff, really. And forgive me, I really do enjoy that hat.
Khakis derive from the army. Blazers derive from the navy. I guess a uniforms a uniform to the bone. At least this one is optional.
I must say, while reading through this post I couldn't help smiling and chuckling to myself. Your narration is on-point and leaves a lot to the imagination in terms of the final sartorial outcome. I enjoyed this one.
And, you are sure looking good in the final shot. Combination well done.
This gives me the impetus to ask something that I have been pondering for some time ...
You have a marvellous and extensive wardobe - how (and where) on earth do you store it all?
we'll just not speak of those wire hangers, shall we?
Hm, I must say, I never thought of that color for socks paired with Khakis. Looks great! In the summer I went for some light beige socks but a few days ago I bought a few Burlingtons to go with Timberlands 30003s.
On your side note: I don't know why some people found Take Ivy disappointing. It's not like we didn't know what was in it. The Trad scanned almost the entire book, so all that was missing was the translation. I was suprised at how much was written in the back on the book.
Some of this is certainly regional. I'm still waiting for the "in between" season in Atlanta. If the weather is any judge, summer is still going strong. It's over 90 degrees here today and I broke out the reds.
How do you feel about the practice of swapping brass buttons on a blue blazer for horn or mother of pearl?
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