12 March 2013

Back to Basics

Recently, I unearthed what was once an old favorite sweater. It had been languishing in the closet since getting stained last Winter. Nothing a trip to the dry cleaners, and overcoming laziness about it, couldn't fix. It's the simplest piece of clothing, but having it back these last few weeks reminds of the importance of getting back to basics.
You see, it's nothing exciting, just a tan v-neck sweater. But it goes well with any shirt I own, and makes me feel more "dressed" than I would wearing only a shirt and pants. It's a handy piece for this time of year, as we transition out of Winter.
Lucky for me, it happens to be a particularly nice one, a thrift store find had for only $5.99 from the House of Tweed, made in Scotland of New Lambswool. Looking back through old posts to find this photo, it seems I wore this sweater quite a lot in the last few years.
Worn with simple grey flannel slacks, practically any shirt, and tassel loafers, it is the perfect thing when casual but not sloppy is the order of the day. This saw me through a surprise few hours at work on my day off today. Last Sunday, with a navy striped shirt and penny loafers, I hosted my daughters fourth birthday party in it. With jeans, it makes me feel just a little more "grown up".
Red socks punch things up a bit. Argyles would have been jam as well.

I suppose I took this item for granted before, and I didn't think I missed it when it was gone. However, having it back only two weeks, I've worn it a half dozen times. Fortunately, such a thing can be had by almost any guy anywhere. You can get a good one at a good store, you can get a good one at a thrift store, you can get a reasonable one at a place like J. Crew, or even the Gap, or you can get a placeholder at Walmart. In any case, any man wishing to dress in a classic way with neat, basic pieces should have something like this. Few things work as well as getting back to basics.

p.s. new stuff in the Shop.


Dutch said...

Still waiting for the steam iron review :-(

maven said...

I always hand wash sweaters like that - then block (sort of) and dry flat on white towels. I like to do this because I think the sweater smells fresher and I don't have to worry about all of those dry cleaner chemicals.

Did your sweater have a stain that had to be professionally removed, or do you dry clean all your sweaters? I'm not judging you, if so. ;) Dry cleaners are still magical to me - I take in a big wad of my husband's clothes and get back crispy shirts, pressed skacks, and fresh neckties.

Giuseppe said...

I tried washing it twice. It definitely needed professional help. As for the magic that is dry cleaning, I find I'm most impressed when I have a coat cleaned.

Giuseppe said...

Haven't forgotten. Apologies for the delay.

Roger v.d. Velde said...

Top notch. Beige/biscuit coloured pullovers like these are the 'grey flannels' of the pullover world. So I ask myself why, every few years when I re-stock on jumpers, I always seem to fail to get another one?

A good reminder. I'm keeping my eyes peeled.

chris said...

Club Monaco has some nice ones and they're practically on sale year round.

Cold Canadian said...

Nice duds and overall outfit - practically a tuxedo compared to the 30ish dad I saw at Walmart with track pants, skate shoes, hoodie, and piercings.

I've been looking for grey flannels at the thrift shops since October - nothing nice. Think I'll have to cave and go new - any advice out there?

Anonymous said...

It is the pilling that always gets to me. Buy wool wisely.

C.L. Young said...

Some days I don't feel ironing, but need to look "professional" and not like I slept in my clothes. The v-neck (or crew neck) sweater is great for this purpose. It is my lazy "way out" when I just don't want to stand over an ironing board pressing a shirt. Sometimes I will throw on a tie underneath to make it interesting, but not too often.

I agree with you about dry cleaning coats. My favorite cleaners can make a nice, but wrinkly,$2.51 thrift store blazer look like I spent well over $200!

As for sweaters, if it smells, I use woolite (or some dollar store derivative) to remedy the issue. But if stained, I let the pros handle it because whatever they use seems to work better than what I have available.

I like the tassels but hit 'em up with that polish rag, G!

This reminds me that I need to do some serious shoe therapy on my longwings and loafers this weekend.

Unknown said...

I use to adore red socks (and other colorful socks). However, now I stay away from attention grabbing socks as the purpose of menswear is to draw attention to the man (i.e. the face and eyes of a man). They make people look at your feet, which is why MJ always wore white socks. Nonetheless, you have a good sense of style. Definitely would love to have seen it with the argyle socks.

~ http://theprometheanman.blogspot.com

Michael said...

If you ever come to Scotland, be sure to visit the town of Hawick. Apart from being pleasant place to visit, the amount you'll save on lambswool and cashmere, in factory shops and second hand stores, could probably pay you're fare back to the US.