When Your Hat and Coat Match Perfectly


The Author in Boston’s North End

Tweed is a complex material. It has deep hues and patterns reminiscent of the areas where it was made. It can have colors in it that you would never find side-by-side anywhere else in Western sartorial culture; purples, pinks, oranges, reds, and more.

There are rules that you should never mix more than two patterns. I think that, like most rules, is complete and utter nonsense. In the photo above I am wearing three patterns: a traditional Barbour Tattersall shirt, a classic Barbour-lining pattern tie, and a Barbour Tweed field coat with a matching cap. The cap and coat are both Barbour Sporting Tweed, which makes mixing other different patterns easier.

But had the cap had a slightly different pattern, would that have had that much of a different impact? That would have been 4 patterns, and so enough about rules.

The Tweed field coat is generously sized, made of Barbour Sporting Tweed (that used to be a ubiquitous pattern for them before they aspired to an upmarket demographic), it was voluminous pocketed with snaps and a bit of fabric to keep them open, it has hand-warmer pockets, and a soft velvet collar lining with leather outside. The hat was from the same line. I had pants and a jacket as well, but I was much thinner when I purchased them.

Sartorial tip: get a traditional Barbour tie; it will match all Barbours and especially the waxed cotton jackets. Look for the scarf as well.

So what do you think? Am I out on a limb here? Let me know and let me know how you like this blog. Please follow and share.

Same Shirt / Same Sweater / Different Tie


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.

Decorating From Things Found in the Yard.

I love the idea of finding things in the yard, bringing them inside, and using them to decorate the home. This ties the inside and outside together in a very direct way and when you see these things, it reminds you of all the natural beauty around you.


Feather of a Hawk or Great Horned Owl found in the Yard.


Abandoned Bird’s Nest Found on the Ground After A Storm.

I always marvel at the beauty of natural items. It’s amazing the artistry of a bird’ nest and the fact that a creature with a beak is able to fashion one of these out of sticks.

What items have you brought inside? What creative decorating ideas have you thought of?








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???


Red socks from Uniqlo with Bostonian Brogues.


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.


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.


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?


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!


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!