Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Being an Inquirie into the Propper Fittingf of Pantf.

I like a lot of what Will at A Suitable Wardrobe has to say. One thing he does is use his jacket pockets instead of his pants pockets. Several months ago, I experimented with this approach as well.

I am a convert. Nothing is there to interfere with my pants' relatively finicky silhouette, whereas jackets are much more forgiving in this regard. Everything is closer at hand. No more moving my keys to a front pocket when I sit.

Finally, it allows me to leave my rear pockets permanently buttoned, which causes the seat of the pants to fit better--or at least closer to the artist's original intent.

Give it a try.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Customer Service

Brown suede Neumoks, a wingtip balmoral, from Allen Edmonds.  (The names they give their quirky or strangely colored models always sound like Pokemon to me.  Banchory, cast Goodyear Welt!)  This is the second pair I've owned.  A gash opened up in the instep of the first pair.  I sent them to AE, who promptly sent me a new pair.  I'm not convinced that they were convinced that the gash was structural rather than wearer-induced, but my heart would've been broken otherwise.

Worn with no-show socks in the summer, they are just about perfect at everything except for standing up to a daily Virginia monsoon.  I wore them on Saturday only after determining that I would be in a bar during the entire period for which rain was predicted.  I admit I was in the bar both before and after the precipitation but will not admit for how long on either side.

Tan linen pants from Old Navy for $30, green Gap camp shirt for about $5.  I got them quite a while ago and have been trying to wean myself off of Bangladeshi labor in the meantime, with limited success.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Coordinating Textures

I waxed overly poetic and insufficiently practical last time.  "What the hell is he talking about?" you may have mused.  Exhibit 1: Cotton suit with an almost denim weave, next to a red linen tie (Nieman Marcus outlet, $40! and it knots so exquisitely), says, "Yeah, I'm wearing a cotton suit.  But I'm doing it on purpose.  Everything I put on this morning, I put on on purpose.  If you hadn't made an appointment to see me today, I probably would have stayed home and worked in a Snuggie*.  But, here we are, so let me tell you how committed Virginia is to the doctrine of employment at will..."

Also, it was the day before the 4th of July, though I wasn't thinking of that when I put it on.  Just wait until Halloween, when I break out my black suit and orange shirt and tie.  Just kidding!  It's a black shirt with an orange suit.  I have standards, you know.

*Dapper District actually feels very strongly that Snuggies ought to be illegal.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ridiculous Shoe Sale at JAB

Josbank.com has Allen Edmonds Nathans for 90% off. Jump on it.

Bear in mind that this is probably a mistake and your order may be canceled.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Ahh, the swamp.  D.C. is like no other in this regard.  I wish I could tell you that textile science has solved the problem once and for all, but to my knowledge, sorry.  The thing about summer is that the homogenization of men's suits works against us.  Fabrics best suited for summer (cotton, linen, poplin) look more casual and tend to come in more-casual colors like tan or very light grey (or seersucker's narrow stripes).  Would that we all had the wealth to decamp to the country in the summer, where such suits would be at home.

The question becomes how to dress up inherently casual fabrics.  The answer is, as usual, razor-sharp tailoring, or tailoring at least sharp enough to convey the fact that you have employed it.  The next is consistency with your tie.  Wear something in knit silk, as shown, for example, to show that you recognize that you are wearing a somewhat casual suit, rather than that you only had one suit clean, it was this one, and you wore it out of necessity, then tried to dress it up with ancient madder.  Pocket squares are a must, using either white with the TV fold, as shown, or something that coordinates extremely well with the rest of the outfit.  And wear your best shoes.  Suede if you have them and it's not raining.  Calf otherwise.  Bluchers would best fit our idea of consistency, but then, who these days recognizes their pastoral nature compared to the oxford?

I am convinced that dressing respectfully for the occasion is more a matter of communicating that you have amply prepared for it than of wearing the most formal outfit that the occasion will support.  Exceptions made for black tie, of course.