Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Changing of the Guard

About the time I was in high school I would occasionally go into my parents hall closet to look for a coat on particulary cold nights (as few as they are here), one item I would "borrow" from my father would be his old parka from when my parents lived in the northeast part of the US. My mom and dad had matching parkas purchased from Sears in the early seventies; one in sage green and the other in blue. These were essential copies of the military N-3B parka and were fairly popular at the time (and still are). Fast forward about 20 years and I still have my father parka and it became part of my winter rotation of cold weather jackets. However, those twenty years weren't exactly kind to the faithful parka and it bears the signs of a much used life. I recently decided to replace my fathers parka and get my own of the same ilk. I decided to go with the Alpha Industries slim fit N-3B parka in the very same blue as my dads. It arrived just the other day and I am glad to see that the legacy will be carried on without fear. The quality is fantastic and the fit is superb. The only difference, style-wise, is an inside pocket that seems to have been added as an after thought, but it's by no means a strike against the coat. I had tried the cheaper versions and found the pockets to be lined with the same nylon as the outside, but the Alpha Industries model came with a warmer and more forgiving cloth lining for the pockets. As of yet, I have found no con's to counter the long list of pro's that I have for this parka and am pleased to have a proper replacement for my fathers parka. As soon as the coat get;s a little more wear, I intend to take some pictures of it in action.

P.S. On a more sentimental note, after purchasing mine and speaking to my parents about theirs, I realized that that my father was the same age as I am now when he first bought his years ago. I don't know why that makes this seem all the more "right" to me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sneak Preview

The weather here took a slight snap with the arrival of a cold front which has allowed for sweaters and the occasional jacket to work. In good timing with this, I am expecting an arrival of a new item that I hope to review here soon. Look for something around this weekend.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Search for Sleepwear

I have recently been trying to source a sleepwear items and have been hitting bricks walls at every turn. Since I choose not to wear flannel pajama pants emblazoned with Yosemite Sam, a t-shirt, and red plaid slippers with a faux fur lining, I am now being made to work for what I want. The search continues and with little in the way of results. I have jotted down a cursory list of items I feel that I "need" to round off my evening time wardrobe and I feel that they are modest in nature and not deserving of this seemingly never ending quest.

  • 3-4 Pairs of plain, non-flannel, pajama sets (fall/winter)
  • 1 pair of leather scuff slippers
  • 1 plain shawl collared robe (fall/winter)
  • 2 pair of pajama or lounge pants (spring/summer)
For summer, I can get away with less and don't feel I need to explain that any further. I have found a few companies that fit my requirements, however they tend to be a bit on the pricey side. I am also avoiding Chinese made products for reasons I don't care to go into at this moment. Apparently a limited bank balance and a stipulation country of origin are really making this a tough search. I will, of course, write more if I am able to turn anything up.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Going Grey

I don't know how I have managed this, but I seem to have gone a large portion of my life without a proper pair of grey flannel trousers. If you already have a pair, then you know what a workhorse they can be. I have to admit that I have been having trouble in locating a pair that I like, sartorially speaking. That's why I have given myself the deal that if I lose a certain amount of weight, then I can treat myself to a bespoke pair. More on this as the weight comes off (hopefully) and the trousers come on.

Slow and Steady

Another year has passed and my age has increased (yet again). Rachel blessed me with a safety razor shave setup. Merkur 34c, badger bristle brush, and shave mug. I am trying to relearn to slow down and take time to do things with care and precision, and hopefully learn that the best things in life aren't all just flash in the pan. Giving myself a certain amount of time each morning to get cleaned and dressed helps me set a calming regiment to start each day. Even such mundane things as shaving can be done in such a way to help mentally prepare yourself for the day.

Monday, October 22, 2012


With the Texas winter slightly cooling and my selection of pants running thin, I wanted to replace my brown corduroys that I got from Levi's. A trip to the Levi's outlet didn't produce much except a sever distrust for their design department. I hopped around form shop to shop on the off chance that I could find something and it paid off. 1 corduroys in a dark almost loden green. The bonus was they were on the clearance section and 50% off as well. For some reason they didn't want to photograph well, so I might talk Rachel into taking a few of me with them being worn. Pics soon to come, I am sure of it.

Keeping tabs..

I've starting keeping a small daily notebook, mostly for "to-do" lists I think of during the day and the occasional grocery list and it's been quite handy. But as of late, I have begun jotting down (on the usually blank left page) notes to myself of what I wish I had worn that day. Nothing extravagant, but on a day I rush to work in some khakis and a Fred, I might write down that I would I would have preferred to have worn a pair of dark brown wool trousers, maybe a tattersaw shirt, and even a greenish tweed sports coat in case the weather took a turn that evening (which it did) and I wanted to go out after work (which I did). I think the idea is to brown beat myself into looking for more suitable clothes for work, and making a point of wearing them. You can spend ten minutes each evening laying it all out, and the rest of the next day enjoying the fact that you did.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

More socks

I don't seem to be able to get enough.....regardless, I have been fairly pleased with the quality and especially the price of Neiman Marcus' house brand of socks....great colors and patterns and well made. Picked these up at a sale with the help of a coupon I was emailed. Dropped by Nordroms rack for the Pantherellas and Lorenzo Uomo's. Something about a fresh pair of socks that really puts a spring in your step, if you don't mind the horrid pun.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Next search..

100% cotton pajama sets and a proper robe/dressing gown. The cooler months are ahead (even for Texas) and who says you can't look the part even if you are the only one looking? Let's not also forget the leisurely weekend breakfasts as well as those morning of standing in front lawn while your dog makes his mark on the world. I figure I need at least one robe and about four sets of pajamas. And I promised I'd write more on my reasoning later, but I would prefer not to be made in China....

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Everyone's flipped

I don't know if I have made it clear in previous posts, but I am not a fan of flip flops, especially as daily wear. It promotes laziness and never looks as good as you think it does. To cut to the chase, Rachel and I went to the local Old navy to look for a shirt or two for her, and I had seen a linen shirt online that I wanted to check out in person. Little did we know it was $1 flip flop day, (limit 5) and this brought out the best of my community. The check out lines were all at least five people deep as others scrounged through cardboard bins looking for that "right pair" of dollar sandals. The only thing I can liken it to would be free paternity testing day at the dirt mall. Thankfully they had a checkout reserved for card holders (since Old Navy and Banana Republic are apart of the same company, we got to sweep in on that). The checker that helped us out then informed us that four fights have already broke out that day alone and the police were called. I am not sure if I'll be going back there anytime soon. After saying that, if you are in need of a good basic crew neck t-shirt, they had them! I managed three previously and was opting to pick up another when I was there. Got a white, heather blue, and a heather grey...every wardrobe shold have one or two...just avoid flip flop day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Made in USA

This is really just a little rant about Americana products that are losing (lost) their roots. I recieved a new catalog in the mail today from a well know clothing/outfitters. I was suprised to find almost nothing made in the USA listed for sale. Levi's, Brooks Bros., LL Bean, etc....all companies that are American icons, and yet they outsource almost everything, and if they do make a made in the US product, they jack the prices to an obscene level and the quality does not ofset the cost. I'm really not impressed. Is there any iconic American clothing that's worth its salt actually made here any more?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mini Dopp project

We should all be somewhat familiar with what a Dopp kit is (and if not, a quick web search might be in order). However, I have found that a smaller, pared down version of this might be a good idea to keep tucked away in a work place drawer or stowed away in your car perhaps. I am putting together a list of contents and possible containers for said items. As always, I will update as this fleshes itself out.

*UPDATE - After giving it some thought, the idea has come out as a mini Dopp to keep in your desk drawer, briefcase or laptop bag, or even in your car; for those early mornings when you need to tune up a little, or when you are going out for drinks after work, or for any other countless reasons that would warrant such a kit.  To house this, I am thinking something cheap, small, but still possibly stylish. I am giving some thought to an old airlines toiletry bag or perhaps a container that can be repurposed (perhaps small camera bag). As for contents; travel toothbrush, mints, small sewing kit, mouthwash, aspirin, couch drops, chap stick, and maybe a few wet naps. I'm sure the list will ebb and flow, especially once a bag has been located. More to come as the weekend nears.

Short trip to the local Target during a lunch break and the dollar store next door yeilded some great finds....still lacking a storage bag however, but that shold soon be sorted out.

*UPDATE #2* - To be honest my search for a bag has been a little half hearted recently. On a recent trip to a local store for somethign else entirely, I looked around just for the hell of it. Found a plastic pencil box that not only fits everything perfectly, but a flip of the box revealed a sticker that said "made in the USA"...SOLD! It's not what I wanted exactly, but it will more than do the trick until i find something a little more aethetically pleasing. I forgot one of the best parts, $1. Can't go wrong with that.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

New Addition

Recently took possession of this, a 1958 Motorola HiFi record player. My good friend Paul was moving out of town and didn't care to bring this with him and so offered it to me. Needless to say I jumped at the's got great sound and is a giant improvement over my previous set up. The sound is warm and has enough volume to let the whole neighborhood hear. In addition to all this, it's got he ability to play MP3's! Thanks Paul, you'll surely be missed, but I'll think of you everytime I play an album...(especially the Clash)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Backup plan

It seems a bit prep and usually associated with uninspired work wear, but you should never overlook the classic blue blazer. I picked this on up a while back and haven't regret it since. This three button affair with patch pockets that can be paired with some grey flannel trousers, white or blue oxford shirt, and a set of brogues for a classic look. I specifically wanted an older style with a higher buttoning front, brass buttons, and a nice narrow lapel. The brand is Grenadier and unfortunately there is no year of manufacture on the jacket itself, but I was able to find this gem of advertising for the jacket ala 1967.  Add one or two details and you can easily give this ensemble some Suede street cred, or so I think.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Making it your own...

As I had previously mentioned, I had a couple of pairs of new trousers made and finally took possession of them. Two I had made from the tailors in-house material and another made from wool fabric I had sourced from another seller. As I have more clothes made, the more I make little changes here and there to truly make them my own. The trousers pictured here represent my tastes as I have made adjustments to almost every detail; the slant of the pockets, the width of the belt loops, the cut of legs. Can we bring this interest to men's clothing back? The days of ready-to-wear clothing bought off the rack has really dulled our sense of individuality and adventure, I believe. When did custom tailoring become pretentious or effeminate? Film Noir tough guys, energized musicians, Vegas-era mobsters, are all no strangers to custom tailored clothes. Not a bad pack to run with if you ask me.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Off Season Buying

Spring is sprung and it's a good time to pick up on those cold weather buys. My most recent is this merino wool Fred Perry sweater at a heavily discounted price.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Traditions

In my attempts to become a more well rounded person, I have decided to make a conscience effort to expand my drink library. I'm not leaving beer and whisky behind in the lurch, but rather inviting a few new friends to the party. Whens drinks are involved, don't get stuck in a rut.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Need a little help

Still working on the new design and website, but it's taking time. However, I am curious to know if anyone has any suggestions on improvements or additions they would like to see. Let me know.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Of course, this is to be pronounced in my snootiest of French accents. I have a few newly acquired items to post that fall under various categories. I am still in the design phase of the new site and want to incorporate other subjects such as food, music, and all the trappings of my various past times. I will start to expand my posts to include these as time passes, but it they will be seperate subjects once the new site launches. As mentioned, music is one subject I would like to include more into this site, as it's not just a smashing wardrobe that makes a man a true dandy (of the lion pride ilk, that is). I have occasion to take music with me for DJ nights and I had been after the iconic, if slightly cliched, 45 record box. I happened upon both of these at separate times and purchased both for what I considered a good deal, especially since at both time the boxes were filled with records that were included in the price. The fact that they were twin boxes was purely chance, but obviously very welcomed.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am my fathers son and conseqently have some of the same habits, such as pipe smoking. I had already purchased a leather tobacco pouch, rather than tote my supply around in a plastic bag, and I had gone through various lighters over the years.  Although the cheapy bics, standard zippos, and other garage sale finds worked for me, I always wanted somethign that more reflected my personality. The IM Corona Pipe Magie had always been  my top choice and was on my list to get. This Valentines day i was given one as a surprise gift from Rachel and I couldn't be happier. Silver side roller with 90 degree flame, well worth the wait.

And last, but certainly not least was actually a gift from last year that I had only recently been able to fully enjoy as the weather has refused to move on from summer. The sometimes chiller and drizzly weather has allowed me to bring my Tootal scarf into rotation. I have worn it with a dressier topcoat as well as a less formal harrington and it's a workhorse that doesn't fail. It can keep the draft out as well as add a bit of color in a pinch.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Olive Juice

It's a little chilly, a little wet, already been out this morning with fruitless efforts, now just waiting for lunch and then class. Feeling a bit lazy, so can't do more than a few chores around the house, work very little on projects, and find several reasons to head into the living room to be distracted by television.

Olive and cream check Ben Sherman short sleeve
Light olive silk and cashmere sweater
Dark indigo Levi's 501s
Black with olive stripes Pantherella socks
Unfortunately no Martini with olive in my hand

Sunday, February 12, 2012

How I do it....

Always start the day with a solid breakfast, I cannot stress this enough.

Fried egg over hard
Toasted low calorie wheat bread with a honey butter spread
Orangina screwdriver with Monopolowa

Thursday, February 9, 2012

coming soon...

I am in the process of thinning my closet and I am in desperate need of new trousers. Not only do I need a few standards for work (black, grey, etc) but I want to get more checks, plaids, and stripes into the mix. I found a fabric house online and ordered some yardage of this material, 100% wool imported from Italy (or so it says here) in what they are calling a black and gray plaid. it appears to have a little bit of green/brown as well, which I am hoping will look good and pair up with a couple of shirt combinations. If all goes well with this material, I'll be ordering more from them. In the meantime, here's a preview of the material ordered and I'll update as soon as it arrives.

Material has arrived and I am fairly pleased with it. Little bit heavier weight, but the colors would make it more of a fall/winter item so it actually works out. Will send to tailors soon, so more updates as that process takes place.

Should take delivery of new trousers Monday the 30th. Not 100% on how my schedule will play out that day, but expect a post that evening or the next. Three pairs of bespoke trousers are a much needed to my wardrobe at the moment.

Officially In With The In Crowd

I had purchased this shirt about a week ago and it arrived today from the UK. The company is a small, mod orientated, clothing outfit by the name of In With The In Crowd and am so far very pleased with my purchase. I had opted for a light blue button down, and after a few emails with the company (excellent customer service, by the way) I selected a size and ordered. Now, the risk of ordering a shirt online without the chance of actually trying it is something I have to gamble on every now and again, and in this particular incident, I was not let down. The shirt is a long sleeve in 100% cotton with a slight sheen to it, traditional button down collar with a button on the back and a slight downward peak as well (as shown).

 Other features includes double buttons along the front, no breast pocket, back box pleat, and barrel cuffs. The color is a great shade of blue that I am already matching against trousers and sports coats. Word to the wise, however, these shirts are slim fit and probably best to go up a size if you are not sure on sizing.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Recent purchase...

Dropped by Neiman Marcus' today and picked up a few pairs of socks. I have to admit that I actually like the colors and patterns they have been putting out lately, lots of  vivid colors and character. They had a store special, so I got these at 35% off to boot. The black with purple check is a little understated in my opinion, but I think they could work well. The two hooped pair are just great color combinations. All made in Italy as well, which is a bonus for another reason and to be discussed on another post.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Prince of Wales suit

I must have completely overlooked the fact that I received this suit several months ago and failed to post it! The suit is a grey wool suit in a Prince of Wales pattern with a little bit of red to make it interesting. The jacket is a single vent coat with patch pockets, chest pocket flap, and working cuffs. The trousers are low rise and feature frog mouth pockets with a single back pocket. I really love this suit. The material is light weight and suitable for warm weather, but can pull double duty in the colder months. I think another reason why I love it so much is that the pattern allows the trousers of jacket to be worn separately for a different look. The trousers could be worn out on their own with just a long sleeve knitted shirt, or the jacket could be dressed down and paired with some white denims and suede shoes for a cool but casual look. I have played it safe so far with a white dress shirt or black turtleneck, but would love to see if I can get a dark blue or reddish burgundy shirt under it. As for now, here's the suit.

Jean Genie

So, I have become a little more receptive to jeans as a suitable (no pun intended) part of ones wardrobe. However, I should also add that I don't believe I'll be using them as proper evening wear or have more than a few pairs as you run the risk of becoming complacent. I have recently worn a hole in my 501's and thought it was time for a replacement pair. I did, however, want to go with a darker blue and have them double as casual jeans, but also something I could dress up in a pinch during the day. I Had been flirting with the 514's for a bit, but feel they are better off for cords, so i went back to the 501 originals for my denim. The wash I chose was called "clean rigid" and I really like them so far. The nice dark indigo wash, the nice contrast if I have turn ups, and the fact that they are completely void of any "distressing". I got them home and ran them through a couple of shirt and shoe options and found they look great with a Fred Perry and dessies for a casual day look as well as a button down and dressier shoes if I am going anywhere. I would like to mention that the material itself feels a little thin, but so far that hasn't been an issue, but I will of course review these more as they get more rotation into my daily wear.