Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

This is not just a day off work.
This is not just a day to go shopping.
This is not just a day for a cookout.

This is a day to honor loved ones you've lost.
This is a day to honor all who have made the greatest sacrifice.
This is a day to honor America.

It's Music Monday at the CKC, and I couldn't think of a better selection.

Have another wonderful week!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cricket Sweaters

I've been brushing up on my cricket skills lately and as such, I've taken a renewed interest in cricket sweaters and sweater vests. Here are several of my favorite pieces from the last few years.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rugby All Around

Rugby, rugby everywhere and not a scrum to play. Sure, I haven't played the game for a couple years but I'll always wear the shirt.

I bought my first set of Polo rugbys about four years back and my collection has grown quite a bit since that time. My latest five acquisitions, pictured here, were all clearance deals found last week at Macy's.

From yard work to hiking, lacrosse to rugby, I find vast use for these things. Yes, I'm proud to say my old club rugby team wore the true stuff, not those collarless scraps of polyester. My less beat-up pieces stay in rotation with button-downs and jeans on cool days, while in summer heat I opt to pair with tees and equally worn-in shorts.

I suggest checking out Polo's basic rugbys - excellent quality and reasonably priced during the occasional sale, or Barbarian rugbys - makers of incredible classic rugbys as well as all sorts of professional gear.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

RLX Jumps the Jellyfish

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the phrase jumping the shark, used to describe a person or thing suddenly passing its prime or becoming bothersome. I'll get to that, but first up are my good, bad, and ugly of the week from Ralph.

The Good. Tartan jacket in cotton poplin. I've been wanting a tartan jacket for a long time (why not) and this might be the one for me. Its styling is similar to the Lords Canvas Windbreaker, with the addition of a chest pocket and hood - both definite bonuses. With a price around two hundred, it's on my wish list until a big sale pops at Macy's or Polo. No Big Pony, no fake logos, no ocean life. You'll see.

The Bad. This new line of logo-riddled Regatta jackets. I appreciate the bold, nautical feel that's attempted here, but unless you're competing in the America's Cup (rather, especially if you're competing in the America's Cup), you shouldn't adorn yourself in logos for and numbers of events that don't exist. This sentiment extends to you too, makers of all things Nautica. And yes, there are matching shorts.
The Ugly. Somebody at RLX's design team stole my childhood shower curtain. Seriously, I can't believe how similar this design is to that of a ten dollar piece of plastic I appreciated in elementary school. This one, however, will cost you nearly three hundred dollars. I doubt even PacSun would produce something this odd for its surfer bum clientele. Yes, I'd say RLX might have jumped the shark, jellyfish, whatever here. Those who thought this was a good idea probably need some sense stung into them by real jellyfish.

Enough rambling for now. Have a wonderful week!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Music Monday

Paul Simon has proven to be one of the most brilliant songwriters around, and his inspiring work continues with So Beautiful or So What. Though Graceland will always be my favorite album of his, this release from last month has been getting constant play at my house. With nearly half a century in the business and an array of memorable melodies and lyrics (not to mention fascinating philanthropic efforts), I doubt Simon will ever lose his touch.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Music Monday

First thing, stop reading my blog for a moment and welcome back Heavy Tweed Jacket with his fantastic first post since January. Second thing, check out Red Clay Soul, a wonderful blog that's been around for awhile but I just had the fortune of discovering. Third thing, sit back and enjoy the magnificent melodies of Astarius Miraculii.

This is what I get for trying to expand my musical interests via YouTube. While this video is a bit amusing and perhaps more than a bit bizarre, we could learn a lesson here on finding inner peace... and playing didgeridoo.

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Two Pennies, a Buckle and a Boat

Two pennies, a buckle and a boat walk out of a shoe store... and into a bar? Anyway...

The time has come to stock up on summer shoes. My previous casual rotation included both Ralph Lauren and L.L. Bean brown leather boat shoes (had to retire my Top-Siders the year before), Ralph Lauren orange leather boat shoes, Cole Haan brown leather tassel loafers and Bass brown leather Weejun loafers. Clearly, aside from the splash of orange, things were a bit bland. I had purchased nearly all my shoes from thrift shops over the last few years so I didn't mind setting aside some cash for new things this year.

I'll start off with an old standard, the penny loafer, in navy.  I realize navy/blue shoes are somewhat trendy right now, but with such a deep shade I'm still playing it safe. These come from Sperry and feature the classic Top-Sider sole and overall construction.
It's hard to find decent green boat shoes. Why have I been wanting green boat shoes? No idea. However, I found what I wanted between these Top-Siders and the loafers that come next. I have plenty of GTH gear, but had been lacking shoes that say the absurd colors alone of these shoes will kick you in the face.

While my Top-Siders get plenty of use around water, they're not the most comfortable to walk around in all day so I highly recommend durable gel insoles that won't be ruined when wet.

Polo grain leather penny driving mocs in a green that matches a Jaguar I hope to drive in the next few years. The Jag will of course be my starter car leading to a Ferrari, at which point I'll obviously need bright red driving mocs.
Aside from my black Allen Edmonds bit loafers, I had not a single pair of casual black shoes. Though I don't frequently wear black, I figured it was time to stop beating up on my nice bit loafers and find something a little more relaxed. That thought brought me to these mocs from Polo. Immensely comfortable like the style above, I've found these work perfectly with dark denim and a bold polo.

After some Google searching and coupon hunting, I managed to nab each pair for under forty dollars. Cheers to being thrifty without hitting up the thrift shops.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Trifecta

Inspired by YWP's latest post on Boxing the Compass, I decided to go through the archives and take a look at combinations of color, pattern (and proportion), and texture.

Tattersall oxford button-down
Plaid seersucker bow tie
Silk cable knit crewneck sweater

When combining these things effectively, you can create a daring look that will certainly turn heads.

Plaid broadcloth button-down
Stripe seersucker tie
Cotton cable knit sweater vest

Those turned heads might not necessarily be positive, as a learning curve exists and on your best days one thing might still be off.

Banker stripe broadcloth spread
Pin-dot tie
Cricket vest

However, sometimes you'll get it right and know it. I'm not saying all these examples are spot-on, but they beat the standard white point-collar and dark tie.

Micro-gingham poplin button-down
Foulard tie
Cotton cable knit sweater vest
The first step is finding a color scheme. At least two colors need pair well before adding a contrast color.

Micro-gingham poplin button-down
Madras tie
Pima sweater vest

The next step is to consider the proportions of opposing patterns. Vary the sizes of those patterns to create visual interest, especially when using more than two patterns.

Linen-wool button-down
Repp stripe silk-wool tie
Argyle wool sweater vest
Never use more than four patterns, including those found in a jacket and socks. You don't want to look like a drunk college prepster who dressed in the dark. (I've seen this look far too many times.)

Stripe oxford button-down
Madras tie
Pima sweater vest
When considering texture, address fabric weight and sheen, then occasion and season. Subtle differences in a fabric's feel and depth draw people to take a third glance at your outfit (after the second coming from your use of color and pattern).

Tattersall spread collar
Jacquard/repp stripe tie
Pima sweater vest

It's taken me some time to feel at ease with these concepts, but I've learned from the best - Alan Flusser, Edward VIII, and my father. Remember, personal style is always a work in progress, and you can check out the CKC's first post to hear my story.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Music Monday

I'm trying to get back into a routine with my posts, so we'll start off with Music Monday. I don't speak often enough of my Lebanese heritage, but I thought this was worth sharing.

Have a wonderful week!