16 posts tagged me
Long week’s over.
What the heck, are these chinos really this baggy?
My wife and I just got back from a relaxing 24-hour getaway to the Sonoma Valley, for what we described as a “Birthday-Birthday-Babymoon-Anniversary” Trip. It was my way to make up for not really getting a chance to celebrate her birthday (in November), celebrating my birthday (today!), getting a break in before the birth of our second child, and celebrating our 5th anniversary a few months early since it falls within days of said second child’s due date (late July). Phew.
We packed light—a single duffel for both of us—and I used the opportunity to road test two pairs of pants I received courtesy of Khaki’s of Carmel. Part of an in-house line developed by owner Jim Ockert, they’re both tailored in New York City with a not-too-full, not-too-slim classic fit.
For the hour-and-a-half drive down to Sonoma, I wore a blue gingham buttondown collar shirt and these amazing dress chinos from Khaki’s, made from a British dress twill in a beautifully rich golden brown. The fabric is sturdy and dense, holding a crease well if you want to dress them up, but after a few washes I’ve taken to wearing them unpressed and a little rumpled.
For dinner, I threw on an unstructured blazer and changed into Khaki’s grey wool-cashmere dress trousers. I was a bit worried about folding them into the duffel, honestly, as I didn’t know if I’d have time to iron them. Amazingly, they came out of the duffel unwrinkled, a testament to the quality of the fabric. They look a bit messy below the knee, but that’s because they’re catching on my over-the-calf socks, a weird problem I have due to my biggish calves. To be frank, I should’ve known better than to pack OTC socks. Sockless, the trousers drape beautifully.
The next day, or itinerary was simple: explore downtown Sonoma, grab a nice lunch, and then head home. I was back in the Khaki’s dress chinos, but this time with a polo.
What I Wore
Dress chinos and wool-cashmere trousers: Courtesy of Khaki’s of Carmel
Pocket Square: Hermès (eBay)
Shirt: Courtesy of Hucklebury
Polo: Kent Wang
WIWT: Americana … Sort of.
Great American brands, but not all made in America.
Flannel Blazer: Gant (USA)
Pinpoint Buttondown Collar Shirt: Brooks Brothers (Malaysia)
Cashmere-Silk Tie: Robert Talbott “Best of Class” (Italy)
Flannel Trousers: Howard Yount (Italy)
Shoes: Allen Edmonds (USA)
Details from earlier in the week.
Locked myself out of the house.
Hence, the odd expression as I waited for my wife to come home and let me in. (Yes, the garage door was locked. Yes, we have a Star Trek poster in our garage. What?)
Looking at this picture, I wish I’d gone up a size for the Club Monaco jacket. It doesn’t fit too tightly, but I would’ve liked more room to layer underneath, and slightly more length.
The trousers are courtesy of J. Lawrence Khaki’s of Carmel. From their house label, the construction and details are superb—at least comparable to the Howard Yount and Epaulet trousers I’ve handled (some would say the Khaki’s are superior).
The fabric is a sturdy British dress twill in a rich golden khaki (as you’d expect, iPhone photography doesn’t do it justice). I’m wearing their classic fit, which is a bit fuller than current #menswear tastes, but I rather like it—it accommodates my larger thighs and, erm, derriere, without bagginess or the dreaded “diaper butt.” You can see it runs a bit long here, but I haven’t put these through the wash yet — I figure they’ll shrink down to the right inseam length after this week’s load of laundry.
Commute kit, Part 2.
I picked up this Brooks Brothers cashmere cable-knit sweater on eBay just over a year ago. Made in Scotland of Italian cashmere, similar sweaters regularly retail for around $400 at Brooks Brothers. I don’t recall exactly what I paid, but it was well south of $100.
On first receiving the sweater, I was surprised to find how short the sleeves and torso measure. My guess is that a previous owner accidentally ran the sweater through the wash, causing it to shrink. As you can see, that actually worked out nicely for my shorter-than-standard arms and torso, though I’d like it to be a smidge longer in the body to keep it from hiking up. Washing the sweater doesn’t seem to have otherwise affected it, as it remains warm, tightly-knit, and fairly pill-resistant.
That Drake’s Knot.
I don’t know enough about tie construction to explain why ties from Drake’s London consistently and easily make such beautiful knots.
I just know they do.
At the Doctor.
Loake / Lands’ End Canvas / Howard Yount
Pattern mixing: win or fail?
What I Wore Yesterday
Shirt - Luciano Barbera
Tie - Drake’s of London
I know the Internets are all about spreads and cutaways, but there’s nothing quite like a great straight collar.
The shirt was $27 on eBay, and took another $12 or so in tailoring — a total outlay of $40 for a shirt that retailed anywhere from $140 to $400. The tie was nearly half off retail, picked up on StyleForum Buy & Sell (thanks Jake!).
The whole outfit is a testament to the fact that high-quality clothing can be acquired affordably through patience and persistence. Sometimes I need to remind myself about that.
It’s supposed to hit 93 degrees today, and the forecast for Sunday and Monday is 100. Triple digit heat in October—yowsers.
The only time I can indulge in Fall clothes—and it does feel like an indulgence—is early mornings, right before dawn.
Save Khaki / Lands’ End Canvas / Lands’ End / Shipton & Heneage
What I Wore Yesterday
I know #menswear often laments the decline of the formal office dress code, but I’m thankful for a job that allows me to bike to work wearing this outfit.
For anyone who’s followed me from the beginning, you may have noticed that my style’s evolved over the past year. I try to dress elegantly but without pretention—less showy, with a focus on simple basics that fit well and take into account the season, location and context (no need to be the only guy in the office who wears a tie).
This summer, I focused on garments that take into account my life as an occasional bike commuter during Northern California’s scorching hot summers. Variations of this outfit have been my default: linen or cotton-linen shirt, cotton-linen chinos, no jacket.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when something performs as expected, but I’m still a little blown away at how well linen works on hot days. I made the ten-minute ride home in 91° heat one day last week and thoroughly enjoyed it, barely breaking a sweat by the time I arrived at my front door.
It was on one such ride a few weeks ago that it occurred to me that this is the perfect context for wearing a neckerchief—it absorbs perspiration as I’m riding, can be used to wipe sweat off of my forehead when I arrive at my destination, and serves the double purpose of adding color around the neck. I don’t vehemently oppose men wearing accessories for purely decorative reasons, but the nice thing about function is that it tends to avoid the excesses of “Sprezzatourette’s.”
While almost everything pictured is from Lands’ End, my linen shirt rotation includes Uniqlo, Guy Rover and Brooks Brothers. I’m particularly happy with these cotton-linen chinos, which I picked up in two colors. When sized down and washed, they fit slim without being too tight.
Of course, all my efforts at elegance are negated by my dorky, over-designed bike helmet. While I’d rather be unstylish than dead, surely someone’s figured out how to make a helmet for people who don’t wear cycling kits while riding.
Bandana - Lands’ End Canvas (sold out)
Linen-cotton Shirt - Lands’ End Canvas
Sterling Silver Belt Buckle - Tiffany’s (via eBay)
Cotton-linen Chinos - Lands’ End
Loafers (unpictured) - Allen Edmonds (via eBay)
I’m terrible at taking these.
Lands’ End Tailored Fit Linen Blend Chinos
These look great sized down one and creased. Not sure if the natural “flax” color goes with charcoal glen plaid, but it seemed to work.
Alfred Sargent Suede Cap Toe Oxfords (eBay)
What I Wore Yesterday
I think there’s a rule or something about not wearing all linen errthang.
Well when it’s 100 degrees out, I could not care less about those rules.
Rooster linen tie (eBay)
At the StyleForum vendor showcase. Loake Pimlicos, Incotex trousers, my son’s way cool navy penny loafers.
Coffee stains due to an unfortunate incident involving my son and this morning’s coffee.