Same Shirt / Same Sweater / Different Tie

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IMG_2771A Tattersall shirt offers so many opportunities for matching. Here, the first photo pics up the orange color and carries it into the tie. The second photo shows how you pick up the blue color with a knitted tie that compliments the texture of the sweater. In the first photo, the sweater also has a blue line for the sweater to pick up.

Be bold in your choices and how you match your clothes. You will stand out that much more.

All clothes shown  by Cordings of Piccadilly.

Matching Your Socks to Your Shoes…

A man is walking across the plaza in a dark suit. With each step you see a flash of bright red, a bright signal of individuality, a flashing code that there is something else to this person, something slightly unorthodox and interesting.

Many people wear wild socks, bright socks, brightly patterned socks. Justin Trudeau, the PM of Canada, is famous for it. We’ve seen his “sock diplomacy” to whatever effect all over the globe.

I wear bright socks too, but when I do, I do so with specific intent: my socks match my shoes. Further, that color is also in my tie as the dominant color.

I like the harmony between the similar colors of socks and shoes. One color enhances the other, makes tans a bit orange, oxblood a bit red. Light plays between them differently, alluringly, and allows me to express a hidden eccentricity in a subtle way.

Do you want the look? Uniqlo has socks in nearly every color of the radio and for about $3 each, sensible, since they do not last long. However, I do not know where they are made and I generally like to buy from countries that I support. More on that in the weeks to come.

What do you think about matching your socks to your shoes???

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Red socks from Uniqlo with Bostonian Brogues.

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Orange socks (are these orange?) from Uniqlo with Allen Edmunds Brogues.

The Romance of a Barbour Jacket

People love their Barbour jackets and it’s easy to see why. Barbour jackets are like old reliable friends. If you’re out in the rain, it will shield you. Need protection from the cold and damp and it is there for you. Get your truck stuck in the mud and need more traction? Put your Barbour jacket under the wheel and get out of the hole; take it home and hose it off and it is none the worse for wear. True story.

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The author in Portsmouth, NH

Barbours have the smell of the wax and oils used to infuse them with breathability and waterproof qualities. This coating makes them tough, impregnable. If you get a stain, just wipe it off with a damp cloth. The coating makes them nearly impossible to snag or rip, so they are great for walking the dog or hiking. Over time, it will wear off, after years; but this will give it a unique quality, worn in to the way you move, wrinkling in the perfect spots, fading by the elbows, from where you keep your keys. After time, no two Barbours are alike.

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The author in Port Gaverne, Cornwall

Of course, you can always send your Barbour back to them to get re-waxed, but where is the fun in that?

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How to Tie a Bow Tie.

A very wise man once said to me that the mark of a gentleman is the ability to tie a bow tie. He then taught me how and that began a lifelong love affair with this natty piece of knotted silk!

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Here are some instructions on how to tie one.

  1. Loop the bow tie under and around your collar. I find it easier to tie with your collar folded down. The left side should be a few inches longer than the right. Basically, the same way that you would with a necktie.
  1. Loop the long end around the short end like the first step in tying a shoe and pull it tight.
  1. Bring the short end up, lay it across your collar, and fold it into the shape of a bow.
  1. Wrap the long end around the center of the short end and allow the long tail to dangle down.
  1. Now, bring up the long end, fold it in half at the widest point and stuff this fold through the loop in the center of the bow and toward the single side of the bottom bow.
  1. Pull the bottom of both loops in opposing directions away from the center to tighten, straighten the bow, and you’re done!

Alternate ending step:

Steps 1),  2), 3) & 4) remain the same.

  1. Take the tail of the long end and stuff it through the loop in the center and toward

the folded end of the bottom bow.

  1. Pull the bottom of both loops in opposing directions away from the center to

tighten, straighten the bow, and you’re done!

Necessary Things: The Trench Coat

What is it about the trench coat that conveys such a perfect balance of strength and elegance? Is it the flaring lapels, the long drape, the military-inspired belt around the waist?

Maybe it’s the coat’s military heritage. It was designed for war and the trenches of WWI by Thomas Burberry to keep British officers warm, dry, and to keep their gear sorted. And yes, it was that Thomas Burberry. They were originally made from Gabardine, also invented by Mr. Burberry, for its toughness and its ability to shed water, but are more likely now to be made of poly/cotton; not necessarily an improvement.

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The author at Earl’s Court in a trench by Burberry.

The trench coat was designed for maximum protection from the elements with details that were needed in the field:

  1. A shoulder yoke; a flap of fabric that drapes across the back and between the shoulders like a short cape. Still there.
  2. Gun flaps on the front, covering the chest in the same manner. These work like a tarp, diverting rain away from the coat to keep the insulating layers dry.
  3. A collar that raises to keep wind and rain from hitting the back of your neck.
  4. Straps that cinch around the wrists to keep water out.
  5. Epaulets on the shoulders secured a rifle strap, but are great for gloves or bags.
  6. The belt has D-Rings to hang hand grenades, and they are still there on most trenches.
  7. Extra large front pockets  are big enough for anything you need to carry.
  8. The coat was double-breasted for extra coverage and the hem was lengthened, ending below the knee, to protect the legs. .

Wear a trench coat and you look instantly dashing, capable, and maybe a little dangerous. The epaulets add volume to the shoulders. The lapels are wide and sweeping. The collar, when raised, frames the face and accentuates your jawline. The belt around the waist cinches, or ties, narrowing the midsection; bringing it all in. The bottom of the coat provides a dramatic flair.

A trench coat makes it seem as if you are coming from somewhere important and on your way to someplace else far more interesting. Trench coats are not the latest style, and they never go out of fashion. They are classic, and whether at the  office or on a country drive, they are always appropriate.

 

The author in his Burberry Trench.

The best thing about the trench coat is that you find one for yourself with very little trouble or expense. Sure, luxury brand trenches are well over $1,000 retail, but they can be had for a few hundred on eBay.

My advice is to buy one used, take it to a tailor, and have it cut down to your perfect size. All in, it should cost you no more than $300. 

If you must buy one new, I would recommend this one from Cordings of PiccadillyCordings Fawn Hampton Mackintosh Raincoat  It is nearly indestructible and perfectly tailored.

Everyone needs a little mystery in their wardrobe and the trench gives you this and some quiet elegance. The trench coat is the obvious choice for the discerning gentleman.

 

You Cannot be a Proper English Gentleman if you are an American..?

I suppose that you cannot be a proper English Gentleman if you are American and live in America; specifically West of Boston, beyond Concord, in a modest country house at the edge of the woods.

However, you can be the American equivalent. But what exactly are the attitudes, habits, values, aspirations, possessions that go into this? What makes a man classic? Without limiting ourselves, let’s explore this together in this blog.

What can you expect in the days, weeks, and years to come? Discussions on clothes, histories, food, travel, Tweed, England, Style Icons, Prep, vintage items, English television shows, and so much more.

What do you think marks a Proper American Gentleman?

“I shall meet you outside the railway station, you shall know me by the cut of my clothes and the smell of my cologne.” -Sting

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