Monday, October 20, 2014

The Look: In the pews


Yesterday's shirt and necktie for the pews at church.

  • Shirt: Lands' End slim-fit shirt.
  • Necktie: Lands' End made in Italy wool knit necktie.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A closer look at Brooks Brothers' Red Fleece tweed sport jacket

While it is beyond convenient to shop over the internet these days, it is always nice to set foot in a store in major cities where there is likely to be merchandise not typically seen elsewhere.

That was certainly the case for this correspondent the other day at the Brooks Brothers shop in Georgetown, the super-preppy and filthy rich Washington neighborhood.

True, Michigan has both a Brooks Brothers inside the equally upscale Somerset Collection shopping mall in suburban Detroit and a branch of Flatiron near the campus of the University of Michigan. However, the selection is still rather limited when compared with either of the two Washington locations — to say nothing of the Brooks Brothers flagship in New York.

PHOTOS courtesy of Brooks Brothers.

One of the offerings unlikely to hit the shelves in Michigan is a tweed jacket from Red Fleece, a spinoff line from Brooks Brothers marketed toward a J. Crew demographic.

Red Fleece varies greatly from season to season, especially in quality. In past seasons, there seems to have been more made in China labels on Red Fleece merchandise than mainline Brooks Brothers.

That may still be the case this autumn, however, there does seem to be more focus on quality this season with the aforementioned sport jacket having been made in Portugal out of Yorkshire tweed.


The sport jackets — featuring soft, as in no padding whatsoever, shoulders, side vents and a classic three-roll-two lapel (a detail hardly offered by Brooks Brothers these days) — come in black or brown herringbone and brown with orange windowpane.

The tweed also has plenty of provenance with it coming from Abraham Moon & Sons, a mill with a history dating all the way back to 1837.

In almost all respects, these Red Fleece sports jackets are comparable with J. Crew’s much-touted Ludlow offerings. Being made in Portugal does, however, give Brooks Brothers an edge in perceived quality, if only because the European Union isn't home to oriental sweatshops and communist state-owned companies.

Just be warned the slightly shorter length of the sport jackets is a bit more trendy and, by extension, casual. Also, the faux surgeon’s cuff stitching surrounding the buttons may be a problem come alteration time if the sleeves are not a precise fit.

The only real negative is a seam that runs from the bottom of the pocket to the hem of the jacket.

Had it not been for the unusual location of the seam this correspondent would have purchased the sport jacket in both brown herringbone and windowpane, as the shoulders were perfect. The price ($498) was also very reasonable, especially with a 15 percent corporate discount card.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Look: Decision


What to wear? What a decision to make.
  • Necktie (left): Crown motif navy necktie from Swedish royal palace gift shop; made in Italy.
  • Necktie (right) Brooks Brothers silk knit necktie; made in Italy.
  • Shirt: Thresher & Glenny.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What to wear: Corduroy pants from Lands' End

Sometimes it pays to wait. At least if you don't mind rolling the dice.

That is certainly the case with the Lands' End corduroy pants pictured below ($26.97; available here).


First released last year, the pants are available in what Lands' End calls “garnet” — a perfect color for go-to-hell corduroy pants.

And that’s probably why they didn't sell out. The color may be just a bit too bold for some gents.

However, when outfitted right, the pants are beyond perfect and have endless potential.

For something casual, pair the pants with a classic button-down collar shirt, merino or cashmere sweater, tweed jacket and suede chukka boots. For something a little more dressy, think a navy blazer or tweed jacket, gingham check shirt, wool or cashmere knit necktie and suede loafers.

Styling tip: Spend a little money on a good tailor, who can easily remove the belt loops and use the leftover material from hemming to create side-tab adjusters. Just be sure to order unfinished.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Look to Club Monaco for your American-made tweed sport jacket

Chances are you put off buying that new tweed sport jacket until now.

That’s very understandable.

After all, the clothing industry’s seasonal calendar is beyond absurd, especially when autumn weather is only now upon us.

Don’t worry, though. You can still find something right now without waiting weeks, as is the case for made-to-measure or bespoke.

PHOTOS courtesy of Club Monaco.

 Pictured above is the new made in America tweed sport jacket from Club Monaco ($750; available here). It’s pretty much perfect in just about every respect.

As with past jackets, it’s classically styled. Think hook vent, patch pockets and three-roll-two lapel. The only real disappointment is the tweed’s lack of provenance. At this price, the tweed should be from a famous British mill (preferably something Harris Tweed).

A Club Monaco source tells major stores — Toronto, New York — will still have sizes stocked on shelves that are being shown as unavailable in the online store.

Don’t forget: Club Monaco also has a very generous discount program for university students.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Authentic Fair Isle, part 2

Well, pictured below is another sweater picked up from a visit to the Shetland Islands.


Stay tuned for more.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Look: Attention to details

It was the cufflinks (pictured below) that made yesterday's ensemble for church.


  • Cufflinks: Skultuna.
  • Shirt: Cottonwork.
  • Necktie: Johnstons of Elgin.