02 March 2013

All In The Details

Wearing clothes is fun for me. That could explain my penchant for a lot of things that would be too much for many people. Bright colors and crazy patchwork are the height of fun dressing, but it only works if you know how to ground yourself in understatement from time to time. I am in no way advocating boring dress, because "understated" and "drab" don't necessarily have to be the same thing.
Few outfits could be more classic than a navy blazer, grey trousers and burgundy tie, as seen here. What keep this extremely simple combination from drabness lies all in the details.
The importance of a good navy blazer in a man's wardrobe can't be understated (correction: overstated-ed.). I wear mine with some frequency, and as such have three: two single breasted, one lightweight and one Winter weight, and a double breasted.This one is an upgrade for me, replacing my old flannel one.Hand made in a Madison Avenue tailor shop once upon a time, the construction is beautiful. Internet homework turned up nothing on Virgil Carducci. Anybody know anything about him?

Like the suit that was mentioned in the last post, this jacket has a great combination of mostly European details, but it works great with my existing largely American based wardrobe. Notable is the shoulder, which is roped in a very Italian style, but has a natural slope.

Patch and flap pockets are more American, but a ticket pocket is a nice unexpected touch.

Hand finished button holes and edge stitching. This thing is the real deal. Side vents, of course.

The fabric is incredibly soft to the hand, likely at least partly cashmere. It's thick and warm, but breaths well. Closer inspection reveals a herringbone weave, it's navy shade being achieved through a weave of royal blue and black threads, giving it a richer navy shade when seen under artificial light. I traded a new-with-tags Gloverall duffel coat for this, and I couldn't be happier with the results of the bargain.
A striped shirt by Polo ($5.99) adds a bit of punch. The undone button down collar is, admittedly, a hopeless affectation, but don't forget that I'm a guy who wears jacket and tie by choice only, so who cares? I wouldn't try this in an office job, but then again I don't have one. A burgundy grenadine tie by Brooks Brothers was $1.99 well spent.
The trousers are Andover Shop mid grey flannels, with side tabs and forward pleats, worn without braces.
With all these European details, these classic American penny loafers and yellow socks are suddenly incongruous, but why not?

So much about dressing well for men lies in the details, but it's even truer when keeping things relatively quiet. Finding little ways to set off a relatively conservative ensemble can be a challenge, but it's also a lot of fun. Just remember to do this stuff for yourself, and not to impress others, because you'll probably be the only person who notices or cares.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps a relative of Lorenzo's?


WSTKS-FM Worldwide said...

Another lovely ensemble! And I envy you both eh jacket and pants. I've recently been watching a bunch of old Leave It to Beaver episodes from the late 50s and early 60s on Netflix, and the older son 'Wally' frequently has on button-down shirts but worn with the collar buttons undone. Anyway, a good look you've got happening there.

Best Regards,

Heinz-Ulrich von B.

Benoit Roget said...

For those of us whose native language is notbEnglish, could you please explain what "with some frequency" means? Does it mean frequently? More than sometimes but leas than frequently? Thanks.

C.L. Young said...

I read your blog like I watch the weather forecast! I, too, love clothes and enjoy pairing what I have with both new things and old things.

Out of curiosity, as a lover of clothes, what is the most indispensable article (favorite) you own? What is the greatest thing you have come across (and bought) at a thrift store?

You seem to find so many great things, I thought I'd ask these questions.

Jack said...

Dude, buy some decent shoes.

Young Fogey said...

You look like a million bucks!

Love the yellow socks.

gentleman mac said...

@Benoit Roget; yes, you are correct, or you might think "often".

Anonymous said...

"...can't be OVERstated," I think you meant to say

Womens Clothing said...

Handsome!!! Great blog!

Giuseppe said...


Yes. We call these "figues of speech". I believe most languauges have them.

Anon. 12:12, thanks, correction made.

Are American made penny loafers really so indecent?

Anonymous said...

Please describe what you mean by "winter weight" jacket.

Giuseppe said...

Um...you know, heavy and warm, as opposed to loosely woven and lightweight. You know, for the Winter.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I should've been more clear. I meant in terms of fabric.