Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vroom Vroom

Onomatopoeia aside, the Formula 1 season can't come fast enough. Vroom.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Elementary My Dear Watson's

Today at the thrift. $40.00? No. $19.99? No. $2.99? Yes.
I'd been wanting a cable knit cardigan for a very long time. Now I have one which was, amazingly enough, made in the U.S.A.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It's Simple Sometimes

Isn’t it strange
How we change
For the better sometimes
Maybe that’s why I’d try
To keep thinking of
A better life of love
And joy and all the things
That make the world go round again
Make my heart spin faster can’t outlast
The ride
You’re on life’s rollercoaster this time

Don’t live the past
Each day is passed
Morning noon and night
Maybe time means nothing at all
Just enjoy the greater fall
From moment to moment
You cry then smile you make it better
Sometimes racing sometimes pacing
Life’s got you moving again

Saturday, February 25, 2012

All Star All Sport Weekend

Though often considered one of the most overrated weekends in sports, this is one of my favorite weekends.
My television's tuned to golf in the day and basketball in the evening. Daytona 500? Absolutely not. NBA All Star? Accenture Match Play? Absolutely.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Don't Sweater the Cheap Stuff

Earlier this month I wrote An InVestment, a post about a vest that made its way from a Macy's warehouse to my house to Macy's and back to my house yet again. Here's another tale of buyer's remorse turning out for the best.

These two sweaters arrived at my local Macy's in October, priced $195 and $225, respectively. Like many of Ralphie's products I knew I could only hope to purchase these later from the clearance racks. On Black Friday, I pulled the trigger at $80 and $90. When I pulled that trigger, I felt like I'd just shot myself through the wallet, but these were the only sweaters left in my size so I didn't feel that bad, yet.

Unlike my vest which was quickly returned, these sweaters sat on a shelf for two months and collected dust. As a thrift shop guy, a bargain shopper, paying so much for anything outside a well-cut suit just doesn't feel right. Even my favorite suits cost no more than $100 on eBay. I knew that in returning the sweaters, they would almost certainly be bought up right away.

Finally, a few weeks ago I decided to take my chances and head back to Macy's. Though the winter sweater collection was basically wiped out, a handful of odd pieces remained. I checked the prices on a few sweaters, only to find out they were marked down from $195-$245 to about $45. If the remnants of this collection were this cheap, my sweaters had to be as well.

I swallowed my pride and approached the register. I said, "I want to return these sweaters and buy them again, please." I received a look of puzzlement from the associate who said nothing more than ooooooookay?. (Yes, it was that drawn out.) I explained my remorseful dilemma, only to then be greeted by a response of hey man, gotta do whatchya gotta do. (Oh, the nonchalance of a high school kid.)

So, after two months of internal debate, it seems keeping these sweaters so long was just the thing to do. Coupons, discounts and all, I saved more than 75% on each sweater. Landing more than $80 back on my original payment, I felt like I'd scored the buy-one-get-one deal of the century, considering I paid $80 for one sweater from the start.

Oh, by the way, I couldn't be more pleased with the quality and comfort of these sweaters. The first, a beautiful intarsia knit of linen and cotton, features an interesting placket with wood toggles below a stand-up collar. The second, a vivid fair isle of linen, cotton and a touch of cashmere, has just the right weight and thickness to be worn nearly year-round (unlike most any other fair isle knit).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Gentlemen

After reading YWP's latest post, the Elusive Gentleman, I found pseudo-poetic inspiration.


A gentleman is
Kind, humble, caring.
Trustworthy, thoughtful, wise.
Courteous, passionate, attentive.

A gentleman is charitable 
but not concerned for his own riches.
A gentleman treasures the value of women 
and the finer things in life 
but never boasts of such things.
A gentleman finds joy in making others happy 
but seeks no recognition for doing so.

A gentleman is never perfect at all these things
but makes no excuses for his shortcomings.

A gentleman is my father.


P.S. A gentleman always holds the door.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Problem with Prep

... and by prep, I mean Unabashedly Prep. Sure I stop over on occasion for a good laugh and because, honestly, Castleberry is actually a great photographer. But in reading over comments on a recent post, I became disgusted with Castleberry's disregard for his audience. Here you go...

F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 2/16/2012 at 7:05 PM:
@Joey Dee—Unabashedly Prep was never designed nor conceptualized to serve as a forum for critiquing individuals’ personal style. This isn’t “Hot or Not” or better yet “Prep or Not.” That’s not what this is.
What Unabashedly Prep is, and has always been, is a platform to share my stylistic point of view, display my professional work (a reflection of my stylistic point of view), and display an appreciation for other’s style I’m drawn to.
Unabashedly Prep’s success or failure does not hinge on a thriving commentary in the comments section. Its success or failure hinges on the relevance and quality of the content.
@AEV—You want me to create a full week’s worth of me dressing in a truly trad/preppy manner? Firstly, there are several blogs in my links section that do just that (A Daily Prep, An Affordable Wardrobe, The Trad). Secondly, why do you want me to create an entire week of me dressing in a truly trad/preppy manner when you claim to know it all? Are you hoping to learn something? Hoping to be inspired? I think you are afraid I’m giving this “prep” you know and love a bad name. All I can give you is what I appreciate about the “prep” I know and love. 

I realize Unabashedly Prep has a massive readership, but that readership's continued interest and input are what have given the blog its commercial success. Without a thriving commentary, readers wouldn't keep flocking to the site and the sponsors wouldn't be there. The most unnerving thing about this is the censorship of comments. Several times I have left constructive criticism of Castleberry's outfits, only to find certain words or entire sentenced edited out. If this guy hopes to give us what he appreciates about the prep he knows and loves by protecting his sponsors, he's not displaying the unconventional originality and freedom that prep embodies.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Moderately Monochromatic

A lack of bold color doesn't mean boring. 
Sometimes you can make as much of a statement when you keep things simple.

This entire outfit is based around one muted color, but I think it works. I paired up the top pieces with (camel, sand, khaki, whatever) Polo chinos and tan Sebago Campsides. Visual interest is drawn from the texture of the sweater, along with the navy in the shirt and tie.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happiness Is

Sure, every Beatles knows Happiness is a Warm Gun, but did you know...

 That's what you get for listening to the White Album while Photoshopping.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Required Reading

I visited to the antique mall and all I got were these lousy books.
And by lousy, I mean fascinating.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tied to Springtime

As I warm up to warmer weather, I look forward to breaking out my latest tie acquisitions.

Lands' End - A relatively new tie from Lands' End, all cotton but with a nice linen-like texture.
Robert Talbott - I'm guessing this is a 1980's piece, but the sailboat motif will never lose its style.
Robert Talbott - Absolutely the oldest Talbott tie I've found. Incredible construction, interesting tags, and best of all, true Indian bleeding madras. (The lovely label told me so.)

Chaps - This mid-2000's tie might have been made in China but the print is quite beautiful, and the quality exceeds that of current Lauren Ralph Lauren or Chaps pieces.
Polo - A newer number, I'm glad to finally have a houndstooth tie not made of wool. All silk, here.
Chaps - This and the other Chaps tie are certainly from the same collection, and I'm also certain I'll be getting plenty of wear from both. I've rarely seen a tie with such an intriguing color combination.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Black Fleece Poncho

Need a poncho for the approaching spring rains? Yeah, well...

Buy this Brooks Brothers Black Fleece poncho, yet another genuine-classic-signature-authentic-trad-ivy-prep-WASP creation of Thom Browne. Yep.

Nothing says money well spent like an Italian made poncho. You know that poncho you bought at Walmart for one dollar? Not good enough, you fool. Why spend one dollar on the one poncho you'll need for a year before spending another dollar the next year to replace the last one that dry-rotted, and so on, when you can have the poncho of a lifetime for $550? Because, the poncho of a lifetime will still probably dry rot, or rip, or get lost within a year, as tends to happen with ponchos. Why? Because ponchos should cost a dollar, maybe two. Not ever, ever, ever $550.

But if you insist on being that guy, who actually likes this faux-military nylon nuisance, don't forget to pick up the coordinating military dress jacket. A bargain at only $850.

Not enough style sarcasm for you? Check out the latest from Boxing the Compass and Maxminimus.

Argyle and Oxford

Amidst weeks of snow, wind, and bitter wetness, a few days of sun have burst through. So the other day, I just had to break out some spring gear when temperatures hit the sixties. 

Polo Ralph Lauren striped oxford - $20
Polo Ralph Lauren linen tie - $1
Brooks Brothers argyle vest - $15

Not pictured:
Polo Ralph Lauren khaki chinos - $30
Merona light blue socks - $2
Sperry Top-Siders  - $35

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Where London Meets Scotland

Liberty of London. 

Wool of Scotland.

Tie of U.S.A.

$1 of wallet.

"There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter." ~ Billy Connolly

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Stuff

More times than I care to remember, I've been asked, "Where do you keep all your stuff?"

Well, here's some of it. 

When you can't afford custom shelving and space is rather limited, nothing beats modular storage cubes.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pink and Plaid

I found this vintage Chaps wool/silk blazer on eBay for only $13. As far as functionality, this has to be one of my top finds of all time. This thing is perfect for year-round wear. The shirt came from a Polo clearance sale awhile back for around $45 - a bit of an indulgence for me, but well worth it. The Polo tie, only $1 from the thrift, features a wool/silk blend which offers a unique texture. A $5 clearance rack Izod vest finishes off the top. Aside from the Polo socks, everything else is from second-hand land. Braided leather belt, worsted wool pants, Allen Edmonds cap toes of a most beautiful chestnut tone which play off the color of the jacket.

Don't worry. I'm not going for the Thom Browne look. I merely have my pants hiked up to show off the socks.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Three Dollars at the Thrift

A rather successful day of thrifting.

 American Eagle intarsia sweater. Chaps Ralph Lauren sweater vest. Cutter & Buck birdseye sweater vest.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Advertising Right on Target

I don't know a great deal about women's clothing, but I know advertising. 
Jason Wu, about whom I know nothing at all, just released a collection exclusive to Target 
and I know I love this whimsical, creative campaign.