12 November 2011

Country is Where You Find It

I love dressing for the Fall, and I for one am glad to have a break in our unseasonably warm weather so I can enjoy the textures, fabrics and colors of the season without sweating. Perhaps my favortie thing about Fall dress is the influence of "country", as in British countryside, not Buck Owens (though I dig that too). And while it's true I live in "town" and usually walk on pavement, I indulge heavily in country treatments. True, the particularly nit-picky and pretentious among you will decry the impropriety of this. But in a time when grown men dress like toddlers, I hardly think it wise to make such minute criticisms.
This tan corduroy vest ($3.99, no brand, likely orpahned from a 3 piece suit) has been waiting in the wings since its acquisition in mid Summer. Bill wore it to TSFMIV. I wore it today. It plays well with a wool challis tie, rough blue oxford, and favorite tweed jacket (with throat latch for good measure).

I'll be on the lookout for more vests. I love to wear them, especially in rich textured fabrics like this. Lately, I find myself more and more attracted to forward pleated pants, and I find this to be especially true wiht a vest. The extra fold just ties it all togethr in my opinion, and adds another light nod (along with the printed wool challis) to the inherent British-ness of what's going on here.

My old favorite Florsheim wing tip brogues ($19.99) have been supplanted lately by current favorite tassel loafers, but they were a snap today. Perforated shoes have their origins in the country, while tassel loafers derive from fishing, so the choice was made for me. Cuffed hems, another country convention, are de riguer.

All of this clothing comes down to us from the tradition  of carrying a rifle in England to shoot at birds. I will almost certainly never shoot a rifle, at birds or anything else, and certainly not in England. I will likely never spend the weekend in any place known as a "manor". I prefer coffee to tea, even in the afternoon, like a savage. It's no matter. Besides being tied to these activities, these sartorial details are also tied to the weather and time of year, which is now. If it's sunny but brisk and the leaves are golden and falling, embrace the details of Fall.

Country is where you find it.


Keohane said...

Hey, I read once that perforated shoes were invented so they could drain if you ended up stepping in a puddle while out grouse-hunting or what have you. Country indeed. That true?

Fatfriend said...


Nobody in England carries a rifle to shoot at birds for sporting purposes. I think a blokey with a rifle used to cull the Canada Geese on Wandsworth Common now and then, but for pheasant, grouse, partridge, woodcock etc. we use a shotgun.

Good hunting, old sportsman.

WSTKS-FM Worldwide said...

Extremely sharp!

Best Regards,

Ulrich von B.

Cody V said...

Looking good G!
This weather is irritating. 50's during the week when I'm stuck in work uniform. Then on the weekends I plan to wear tweed and corduroy, and it gets into the high 70's!

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

Bad news... nearly none of the great country manors have tweed-clad bird hunts these days. Blaze-orange tends to upstage the tweed. Also, thankfully, the country/city dress differentiation is extinct... with the exception of a few online critics. Keep rockin' it!

Kingstonian said...

I think odd 'vests' are more of an American thing than British. You might see an occasional doeskin waistcoat for sale but not a whole range of them as with US Ivy retailers.

Charles Lister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unbelievably Crap said...

I belong to a very informal village shoot in Wiltshire, whose other members include a neurosurgeon, a retired policeman, a couple of local wide boys, a builder, a software salesman and a thatcher. I can reassure you that all the guns and most of the beaters (at least the adult ones) wear tweed, corduroy or moleskin. Several wear britches and stockings instead of trousers (I wouldn't recommend that in urban Boston, though) and most wear a necktie or cravat out of respect for the quarry, odd though this will probably seem to some of your followers. And this is the norm for shoots of all sorts all over England and Scotland. Check in 'The Field' if you can lay hands on a copy.

David V said...

I think Charlie Sheen said it best": "Winning!"

Philip said...

This is also standard uniform for old Oxford dons. I met several of them who consistently wore waistcoats and tweed.

maven said...

Love the tweed and corduroy.

Did anyone else see this piece about corduroy in the Wall Street Journal?


Also, may I recommend "Garden and Gun" magazine if you love this sort of style? (And I do!)


Finally, may I recommend an article in the current G&G magazine? It is about how a boy became a hunter. It may be a bit intense for some of you city boys, but I found a lot of truth in it. It is why I eat meat, but also why I thank God before I do so.


Dan Lish said...

As always, ahead of the curve.

This just popped up on my Tumblr feed:


Sub in your blue OCBD for their plaid and you and that manikin could play the Jimmy Fallon/Mick Jagger mirror game from SNL.

Giuseppe said...

Ha! That's my mannequin from the booth at Top Shelf Flea. He sat in my living room dressed in that get up for three weeks before I donned it myself. I would have worn the shirt too, but it doesn't fit me.