Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

To Be Continued

For months, I've been in the process of moving to a new home. My house burned down last May and since that time my mother, my dog and I have been living with my grandmother. At that time, I lost pretty much everything I own except for some clothing. In the near-year that I've been staying at my grandmother's, I've built back up my wardrobe but much of it is still in limbo. I began living at my new home only Saturday, so I'm yet to set up an internet connection there and am temporarily forced to write from school. My blogging will be limited for awhile, but the situation made me think of ADG's post on what one would carry out of the house in case of fire or if deserted on an island.

One book: The Count of Monte Cristo
One article of clothing: Polo French-rib Blue Grass Heather Hoodie
One pair of shoes: Polo Ranger Boots

What would you take?

Live frugally. Imagine extravagantly.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lands' Endeed

I've read the thoughts of plenty of bloggers on Lands' End and its validity as a traditional company. Sure, Lands' End doesn't produce the same landmark products for which L.L. Bean is known. Sure, it's suddenly trendy among the hipsters and Americana crowds to shop Lands' End Canvas, but the quality, price points and product variety of the original line are unquestionable.

When not browsing the thrift shops, I occasionally check out the Lands' End website and always end up quite happily surprised. The benefit of shopping Lands' End is the incredible value to come out of the site's countless sale items. Also, you can get just about anything monogrammed for around five dollars. I planned to display some of the items, but I can't seem to get a single image up. Instead, I'll give you a rundown of some of the best pieces.

Before buying Barbour, Orvis or Woolrich, look at this.
Authentic Field Coat - $59.99

Luxury meets practicality.
Button-front Shawl Collar Cotton Linen Cardigan - $34.99

I've never seen a mix of gingham and tattersall like on these few.
Original Oxford Shirt - $24.99-$36.00

The same goes for these.
Paintbrush Dress Shirt - $29.99-$39.50

These too.
Traditional Paintsbrush Shirt $16.99

Yes, and these.
Twill Highlander Shirt - $19.99

This is an essential all-seasons tie.
Silk Knit Birdseye Tie - $19.99

I can't go without some tartan.
Tartan Tie - $19.99

Surcingle in wool? I'll take two.
Wool Surcingle Belt - $19.99

Supima/pima is essential for spring/summer.
Supima Cotton V-neck - $24.99-$39.50

Shop for value. Value the shop.

Something Not

Here's another spot of poetry. I had a loose class assignment of a sonnet, and here's my particular take.

"Something Not"

Over wicked wonders wasting wildly,
In crossing meddled guards entwined mildly,
Yet not little in scope nor manner known,
Achieve blessed virtues, indeed alone.

For ever only inspiration seems
Arisen from change and changes one beams.
In instance woken from call for belief
Like springing fire rips from shallow reef.

Perhaps morose in other circumstance,
Truly entwined again through fated dance.
A daily motivation faces might
And focused fellowship in fierce-free flight,

As such alone I seem to wander now
Against and always winning anyhow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Weak Week

The thrift wells seem to have run dry in the past week or so. While I haven't had any luck at the thrifts, I've also had no luck getting a break from schoolwork and hence the recent lack of posts. However, I turned up a few pieces last month that I never got around to posting.

The pima cotton polo on the left is rather standard, but I was pleasantly surprised with the Black Watch pattern of the rugby. Though I'm not a fan of the over-sized labeling, this rugby will be a fine piece to wear for sport.

This cotton crewneck is in excellent condition but too stretched to wear as is. I've washed it once already, but next time I'll be drying on high heat to restore original form and fit.

The pink oxford, second to its white counterpart, is essential to any wardrobe. Fortunately, somebody was ready to pass these two on to the thrift shop for me to find.

I'm always happy to find non-silk (and of course non-polyester) ties. These are all composed cotton and/or linen, and are perfect for the season.

Though the photo doesn't clearly show it, the Briar tie has the look and feel of raw silk.

These silk ties are incredibly well made and the first two from the left are reminiscent of Target's new Liberty of London series.

You're likely familiar with Damon. However, the other two from Robert Talbott were sold at Schwabe May and Kelley's, the two finest men's stores in my city. Schwabe May recently closed its doors after more than one hundred years, and Kelley's still exists as the only local men's shop after more than seventy years existence.

Just start walking. But keep talking.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Everything New

In the midst of spring weather, I decided to pull out some of my favorite new pieces. It's amazing how wearing the right colors can enhance your mood and the moods of those around you. One of my professors told me I brightened her day with this outfit, which made me feel even better for wearing it.

I've noticed lately I feel more comfortable wearing a bow tie to school, yet I'm still more comfortable wearing a standard tie to church. Oh well.

The tie and vest come from Belk's Saddlebred line. The shirt is the usual Ralph cotton broadcloth.

Instead of the usual chinos, the cool breeze inspired me to wear these Polo pinwale cords. I'm always looking to bring texture and depth to my outfits, so these lightweight pinwales work perfectly. Had I gone with more velvety wide wales, the look would draw an awful mismatch.

Learn from those who came before. Teach those who will come after.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Another Springy Sunday

Hopefully you'll recognize several of these pieces from my last few posts. Remember, style is about creativity and utility far more than money and trends. This whole outfit cost under sixty dollars, half of which was spent on the chinos. Here's the rundown.

This pink Saddlebred vest came from Belk's final clearance sale at five dollars.

The micro-gingham was a ten dollar eBay find from Polo. The tie was a one dollar thrift find, also from Polo.

This lightweight sport coat cost under seven dollars and came from the same thrift store.

Though this jacket doesn't feature a brand label, it does have this interesting dragon logo.

These white chinos came from Ralph's website at under thirty dollars through last summer's clearance. The subtle argyle socks cost two dollars from Target's Merona line. Lastly, my spring-time-favorite Johnston and Murphy loafers came from the thrift awhile ago at only three dollars.

Spin into spring. Slide into summer.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Better at Belk

I'd never heard of Belk department store until leaving for college a few years ago. In two years I picked up a decent amount of Polo from the Belk in town. Since coming back home for school, I've made it back to Belk only twice, including my trip a few weekends ago. It seems I came at final clearance time.

I was considering buying Brooks' pima cotton vests at the price of two for $79, but my waiting paid off and I found each of these vests by Saddlebred (Belk's in-house line) for under five dollars each.

I wear baseball caps very rarely, but at about four dollars each, I couldn't resist.

In continuing to build my bow tie collection, I've been looking at the Tie Bar's great selection. However, these pieces by Saddlebred were only fifteen dollars each and unaccompanied by tedious shipping fees.

Easter bunnies. Colored eggs?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fit to Be Tied

At a thrift shop where I seem to never find decent ties, I came upon the following bundle today. It seems many, if not all, of these were donated by the same person, though I've never seen such a diverse selection of ties (other than my own, of course).

The first group are of quality silk from supposed Italian designers.

These are all Robert Talbott, and the paisley on the left is one of the best ties I've found.

Here's a random assortment from traditional tie makers.

I'm always up for interesting wool and cotton ties like these.

Of course, I was quite happy with two Polo ties.

A Brooks tie is always a nice surprise as well.

However, these pieces by Aquascutum really shocked me. The formerly traditional British company produces nothing I particularly like or can afford, but I'm certainly intrigued by such classic elegance.

Fool for the sun. Shed warmth on everyone.