Saturday, March 31, 2012

In Time for Adidas

 I'm not a watch guy. I own a couple Seiko, a few Timex, and I don't see myself spending more than $75 on a watch in the future. However, despite my personal taste for classic leather or grosgrain band watches, I love designs such as the Adidas above.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bored in Berwicks

Polo Ralph Lauren tartan oxford, Picone tie, Polo Ralph Lauren cricket vest
Vintage grey wool trousers, Banana Republic argyle socks, Allen Edmonds Berwick loafers

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Few Updates

First of all...
Congratulations to Mistermidwester for winning the Beetlejuice Caption Contest! You can expect a set of ties to be headed your way next week.

Second, a reader question...
I like all the stuff you post, but why don't expand beyond fashion? What else do you like - books, sports, tv? Do you read any non-fashion blogs?

Not many of my friends share my interest in style, so I voice my opinions via blog. When it comes to books, sports, television, etc., I prefer to discuss these things amongst friends and family because I gain more from actual conversation than I ever could through written word. However, I'm always glad to talk about interests when asked such a question.

Some favorite writings: the Count of Monte Cristo, Othello, any work of Doyle or Kipling
... Sports: basketball, rugby, tennis, golf, lacrosse, hockey, cricket
... Shows: Dan Patrick Show, How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls, Whitney, Castle, Mythbusters
... Films: Alfie, the Godfather, Rent, Gangs of New York, Newsies, Scott Pilgrim, Nick and Norah

I read several blogs on advertising, architecture/interior design, and Orthodox Christian history.

Third, about the Belk post...
When a very kind Belk P.R. rep. contacted me last week about sharing a press release, I agreed because I value the quality and affordability of Belk's offerings. I promise never to sell-out like certain bloggers who post advertorials and call them genuine editorials.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Better at Belk

Belk Keeps Him in Style with
Men’s Most-Wanted Fashion Picks for Spring 2012

Charleston, SC—March 22, 2012—What’s on the fashion horizon for guys this spring? Destination sunshine: A place where a relaxed, optimistic, warm weather spirit prevails. A locale with a bright new quality that embodies colorful American classics- past and present- while celebrating an uncomplicated modern aesthetic. It’s easy, carefree and elegant. Join us as we peruse the season’s most wanted items for men.

1. Colored Bottoms -Look on the bright side and go beyond the blue. Say, “Yes!” to a wide range of bold palettes for spring. Add the wow with denim and other textiles in the most happening hues. Nantucket red is a favorite.
2. Striped Knit -Ready to give your look a fresh fix in no time flat? Bar none, these very “on-trend” patterns will do the trick. Multis, bi-color, almost any combo will do. The time is just ripe for stripes.
3. Bright Plaids & Checks - Don’t skimp on style. Indulge in an amazing array of prints and patterns to recharge your look. Color counts and grid lock is not an issue.
4. Prepster Sportcoat -Want to raise your cool quotient? Wear this seasonal jacket desk to dinner—workplace to weekend. The fit and fabric will feel so right.
5. Flat Front Short -Own it. Chic and simple, this warm weather staple will give you a smart start in pulling your off duty wardrobe together. Getting comfortable never looked so good.
6. Oxford Shirt -This all-time classic is back with a vengeance in a range of captivating tones. Softly crinkled or pressed to please, this shirt works as hard as you do.
7. Cool Tee -Our best in class tee shirts stand out as essential spring weekend gear. Check out vintage graphics, washed down hues and easy-fit silhouettes. Laid back looks better than ever.

8. Novelty Neckwear -Check out ties in seersucker, linen, spring plaids and a bounty of beautiful shades. Stand out from the crowd in ties that take you from okay to, “Oh, wow!” in a fashion minute.
9. Straw Fedoras -For the perfect balance between elegance and ease, try a hat that harnesses your modern manpower. You will look sharp and stylish.
10. Preppy Footwear -Step it up. Prepare to prep in shoes with an emphasis on the Ivy League. The message represents authentic American style. Madras plaids, tri-color boat shoes and, yes, saddle oxfords say it all.

About Belk, Inc. Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. ( is the nation's largest privately owned mainline department store company with 303 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states. The company was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., and is in the third generation of Belk family leadership. offers a wide assortment of fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top-name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home. To connect with Belk via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blog, mobile phone, text messages or by email, go to Belk Get Connected.

Modern. Southern. Style. Belk seeks to satisfy the modern Southern lifestyle like no one else, so that our customers get the fashion they desire and the value they deserve. Our vision is for the modern Southern woman to count on Belk first - for her, for her family, for life.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tommy's Terrible Trousers

Do these pants look familiar? It seems Tommy Hilfiger's latest suit was inspired by...
Michael Keaton? Tim Burton?


Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice. Forget Lydia Deetz and go haunt Mr. Hilfiger for awhile.

I think this is the perfect opportunity for a contest. 
Come up with a funny caption for the photos above. Post that caption and your email address in the Comments section, and the author of the funniest one will receive two ties from my personal collection. You have until Wednesday at 11:00PM (Eastern).

PS: Raunchiness is encouraged. Your line should be befitting of the Ghost with the Most.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fair Isle Finale

Cold weather's coming to a close, which means I'm counting down the days I can still pull off this particular fair isle. A rather recent eBay acquisition, this cashmere piece was a steal at $40.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Three Piece Polo

Polo Ralph Lauren oxford ($20), pima cotton v-neck ($10), and tie ($1)
Accompanied by Levi's 559 Tumbled Rigid jeans ($30), Allen Edmonds Grayson loafers ($1)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Make of the Madras

There are plenty of criteria by which we judge the quality of silk ties - weight, weave, texture, etc. However, there's little need to be picky when choosing your cotton plaid/madras ties. While many of my silk and wool ties come from Polo or Robert Talbott, I'm all for brand diversity when it comes to cotton. I purchased the three ties shown here based on pattern and certainly not on brand recognition. Deauville? Bucks County Trading Company? As long as cotton ties are without stains or loose threads, be happy. And please don't spend $60 for a madras tie at Rugby or wherever when you'll find the same quality and better selection at the Tie Bar.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Belk Bonus Shorts

As prep continues to reach the mass market, classic summer staples are becoming more readily available.

 At Belk, you'll find a line of Izod oxford shorts on par with Polo's model, yet one-third the price.


From Belk's in-store brand, Saddlebred, you can pick up a set of quintessential seersucker shorts.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Questions From the Audience - Thrifting 101

Halston Balthorp of Southern Limit asked,

How do you find such great deals?

Persistence. Unbelievable amounts of persistence. Just as it takes time to build a wardrobe by conventional methods, it takes even more time to build up your collection when much of it comes from thrift shops.

Visit every thrift shop in your area at least once a week. You shop more, you'll get more stuff.
Don't be discouraged when nothing turns up. You'll be lucky to find one truly great piece per store.
Learn to recognize quality when you see and feel it. You won't be familiar with every defunct brand.
When you find something like a designer jacket or shirt, there's likely to be more than one. 
Therefore, always look at every piece of clothing on every rack. Don't just skim through.
Also, peruse the women's section on occasion for misplaced ties, scarves, pocket squares, etc. 
When you find something worthwhile, buy it. Don't walk away and expect it to be there in a week.
However, examine every potential purchase under optimal lighting for stains and holes.
Even if something needs slight repair or cleaning, buy it anyway. Worst case, you're out a few bucks.

In addition, most thrifts are non-profits, so donate extra items and money when you can.
If you do, a salesperson's more likely to let you in on upcoming deals - new merchandise, tag sales, etc.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bathing Beauty

Sometimes inspiration can be drawn even from within the bathroom... or the bathroom itself.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Polo Pima Cotton

Quite frequently overlooked during warmer months is the lightweight cotton sweater. During breezy days or chilly nights of spring and summer, I turn to the Polo pima v-neck. These retail for $98 but can be found on eBay and the occasional Macy's or Dillard's clearance sale under $30. The three shown above just came in from eBay for a total of $60. Though Brooks Brothers makes a similar sweater, I prefer the Polo model for its lighter weight, collar, shape retention and overall fit.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Plaids in Pairs

Two more to the collection.

Indian madras.
Made in the U.S.A.

Gotta love it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Natty to the Nines

Warm weather isn't all about seersucker and madras. A bright green blazer like this says enough on its own.
The trick is to keep other colors and patterns subtle. You want to look cool, not clownish.

I'm already stocked with mint green, coral and lavender. Whatchya got?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Questions From the Audience - Personal Style

I received the following question last week from a new reader, a college student looking to redefine his style. 

Do people ever make fun of the way you dress? Part of me wants to start going to that style, however, I'm getting a lot of negative feed back from close friends..... Should I just say f*** it and do what I want? What do you think?
There's never a better time to reinvent yourself than college. Being only a year removed, I'm just now able to reflect on how much not only my style has grown, but my personality as well. Style tends to reflect your personality, and as such, you shouldn't force yourself to wear anything which makes you feel very uncomfortable. If most of your friends have a different style, so what? Cliche as it may sound, your true friends will love you for who you are, not what you wear.

As I progressed through high school, I began to find my personal style. This happened for several reasons. I wanted girls to notice me, and I wanted to fit in with the "popular" guys. The pseudo-prep vibe at my high school included a North Face jacket, Ralph Lauren polo, khaki chinos, and either boat shoes, loafers or boots (depending on season). I started dressing that way and was never made fun of for it.

Entering college, my style devolved slightly as I wore American Eagle and Abercrombie (though never the logo-plastered stuff). While doing advertising (my major) research on companies like AE and A&F, I read up on the teen demographics they try to reach. I concluded that I shouldn't keep buying stuff made for an 18 year old because I'll look like a joke when I reach my mid-twenties. My studies in advertising and public relations, and a growing interest in my personal style, led me to research the history of men's style. Eventually, I began to understand and respect how my father dressed - rather traditionally. I started thrifting and things really turned around. I'd always liked Polo and Brooks Brothers but could rarely afford them. Thrifting gave me the opportunity to wear much nicer stuff for only a few bucks.

Cut to four years later and my style keeps evolving, keeps being refined. Thanks to thrift shops, eBay, and lots of Macy's clearance sales, I've built a wardrobe of which I'm quite proud. This wardrobe has grown and matured as I have. Whether friends or bloggers call it preppy, trad, ivy, WASP, or anything else doesn't matter to me. I dress the way I do not because my friends and family tell me to, certainly not because a Polo ad tells me to, but because I feel well when I'm dressed well (especially in comparison to the tools wearing Ed Hardy and Affliction tees).

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Required Reading - Showboats

 Interested in westward expansion? 
Gambling? Prostitution? 
All things illegitimate?

The American institution that is the showboat has long since faded from its heyday, but there's never a bad time to learn about part of the country's often forgotten past. 

I picked up my copy at an antique shop. You can find yours here on eBay.

Well, I'm off to watch the final scenes of Maverick.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Good, the Bad, the Brooks Brothers

On the left:
Everything that's good and fun in Brooks Brothers tradition with an east coast summer spin. Aside from the chinos being cuffed rather high, I have no complaints. The jacket and pants are trim but not tight, and the simple bow tie and pocket square finish things off nicely.

On the right: Brooks gone L.A., Brooks gone bad, Brooks gone far too far. I don't blame a company for expanding its brand image because, let's face it, it's all about the money. But the tradition of exclusivity tied into Brooks history disappears when you dress a model like a pretentious tool. Capri-looking chinos? No. Double-popped collars? Never. Seersucker slip-ons with black soles and a scarf? What the...?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Allen Edmonds Double Down

Allen Edmonds Danbury (left) and Nassau (right).

I just landed both pair on eBay for only $40. 
The Danbury is one of my favorite Allen Edmonds designs, for its simplicity and elegance. 
The Nassau is sharkskin, unlike anything I've owned or even seen at a thrift shop.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Shoe Trees

You can never have enough shoe trees. 
And when you have more shoe trees than shoes,
it's time go thrifting and find more shoes!