Rod’s Togs – The Fred Perry Polo Shirt

I’ve acquired a large stack of Lacoste polo shirts over the years. I’ve often said that their open weave and flat-lying collar hit the quality X (sale) price sweet spot for me, but I have a few Fred Perry polo shirts too.

Fred Perry followed Rene Lacoste from the tennis court to the rag trade and like Lacoste, lent his name to a brand of polo shirts which became iconic among sixties Mods and have faded in and out of fashion ever since but never been far away from Street style.

This is a long sleeved version from the made in England ‘Laurel Wreath’ line.

Sunglasses – Garrett Leight Harding
Polo Shirt – Fred Perry Laurel Wreath
Strides – Levi’s 511 Commuter
Socks – Uniqlo
Shoes – adidas Cote

 

 

Madras and Seersucker

Sometimes I enjoy the challenge of coming up with an outfit for a particular event or occasion, something different than the usual work outfit. Inevitably, classic Mod styles can provide at the vey least an idea, an inspiration or a framework for putting something together.
Last weekend we were invited to a barbecue at our neighbour’s house. Even in the heat of a Florida summer it’s very rare for me to wear shorts unless a beach or a pool is involved, but I made an exception in this case.

Being Kentucky Derby day when Seersucker is often in evidence in the crowd, I reached for my Seersucker shorts and paired them up with a recently acquired Madras check shirt. The roots of both items may be associated more with Ivy Style than classic British Mod style, but I included the pics here to support my belief that even in the most casual of events under the extremes of temperature it’s possible to dress appropriately yet still elevate your look above the inevitable ‘wife-beater-gym-shorts-and-flip-flops’ rigs on display.

Seersucker came to prominence during the colonial period in India. The name has Farsi origins from the words sheer and shakar, literally meaning ‘milk and sugar’ to describe the narrow stripes, woven in such a way that alternating stripes pucker up and lift the fabric away from the skin to allow for a cooling effect that was undoubtedly most welcome in the days before air conditioning. This explains its popularity in southern US states.

Madras also originated in India. The original cotton cloth was a rough spun muslin ‘cheesecloth’ texture of uneven weave but the term has been appropriated to describe plain lightweight cotton shirting with bold check patterns. This shirt has typically faded and blurred with only one wash but I still doubt it is authentic Madras weave. Still it’s very lightweight and perfect for hot weather so I don’t mind the slightly looser fit.

Sunglasses – Ray Ban Wayfarer
Shirt – Land’s End
Shorts – Izod
Socks – Gold Toe
Shoes – adidas Stan Smiths

Rod’s Togs – Leather Trucker Jacket

We never called them ‘trucker jackets’ when I was a kid but that seems to be the popular term these days. I got a blue denim Levi’s one from Leeds Market in spring 1988 which I still have, and a white denim one several years later but nether get worn much these days.

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I have a beautiful tan suede one (featured earlier on this blog) and I thought that would be enough, but I’m putting together outfits with a trip to England later this year in mind, and I don’t want to risk a suede jacket among the potential rain, beer and fag burns back home, so here’s my latest acquisition in dark brown:

Sunglasses – Garrett Leight Harding
Jacket – Levi’s
Cycling Shirt – Art Gallery Clothing
Strides – Levi’s 511
Chelsea Boots – Carver by Epaulet

Happy Easter

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Continuing the theme of outfits appropriate for Florida but which I would never wear at home, along with evidence for the case of whether it’s possible to look at least halfway decent in shorts. (Readers can judge for themselves if they think this is evidence for the prosecution or the defence!)
After the Easter egg hunt we went out to eat so I swapped my shorts for long strides.

Sunglasses – Ray Ban Wayfarers
Polo Shirt – Lacoste
Shorts and Strides – Levi’s 501
Socks – Gold Toe
Shoes – adidas Stan Smiths

A Tale of Two Kiddies

We don’t belong to any church but my wife’s Ashanti tradition demanded some sort of naming celebration for our baby, so recently we asked the Rev who conducted our beach wedding in 2012 to come and say a few appropriate words, then we had a party at the house. File this outfit under ‘Things I Would Never Wear Back Home’, but who among us would deny themselves the chance to channel their inner Sonny Crocket?

Layla's naming party, Trinity, Florida, October, 2016.

Then last week we were asked to be present at a more formal baptism service for my wife’s cousin’s baby, which gave me the chance to wear my electric blue mohair suit. This is one of my favourite coloured suits. It’s too flashy for business and too bright for an evening function, but seemed just right for a formal daytime event.

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Top:

Sunglasses – Ray Ban Gatsby Metal Squares
White Linen Suit – I.N.C.
Shirt – Uniqlo
Pocket Square – Macy’s
Belt – Allen-Edmonds
Driving Mocs – Allen-Edmonds Ventura Highway

Bottom:

Sunglasses – Oliver Peoples
Wool-Mohair Suit – Suitsupply
Shirt – Bespoke
Tie – Tyrwhitt
Pocket Square – Nordstrom
Socks – Uniqlo
Shoes – Allen Edmonds burgundy punch caps

Rod’s Togs – One Jacket Worn Two Ways

This wool and cashmere rust / brick red jacket is one of my favourite items for cooler weather. I’ve shown it on the blog before but here it is with what I’ve decided is the best combination of complimentary accessories for business, and again in a different guise for a less formal setting. As the mercury is fast climbing here in Florida I probably won’t wear it again for some time.

Business:
Sunglasses – Garrett Leight X Marc McNairy
Jacket – Suitsupply
Shirt – Tyrwhitt
Tie – Chipps Paul Winston
Pocket Square – The Tie Bar
Strides – Suitsupply heavy wool flannels
Socks – Uniqlo
Shoes – Allen-Edmonds

Casual:
Sunglasses – Garret Leight Harding
Jacket – Suitsupply
Shirt (Popover) – Proper Cloth MTM
Pocket Square – Saks
Strides – Polo Ralph Lauren winter white wool flannels
Socks – Uniqlo
Shoes – Polo Ralph Lauren

Rod’s Togs – Purple Tweed Jacket

Living in the sartorial wasteland of Florida it’s a rare treat for me to be able to meet up with some like-minded clothing enthusiasts. A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to be in New York City at the time a group of such fellas – mostly connected through Styleforum – were having an informal gathering, so I took myself along and had a very enjoyable evening.

Among the group was Manhattan-based Bruce, who – regularly posting as upr_crust on Styleforum IMG_1498and Ask Andy About Clothes – seems to have an infinite selection of clothes from which to choose.  Bruce usually posts pics in business formal suits (Brooks Brothers, Paul Stewart, Phineas Cole) often with accessories that add a visual pop which sets the outfit apart from conventional conservative businesswear such as vintage cufflinks, patterned braces or a paisley silk scarf – or all three!

Among Bruce’s reliably admirable pictures, I was particularly taken with a purple sports jacket on display by Paul Stewart/Phineas Cole. Not an easy item to come by for me, but some time later I came across a similar-coloured cloth, so I ordered a length to be made up.

I had the fabric sent off to Jason at Thick As Thieves as he now has my dimensions dialed in, and after the usual five-week turnaround I recently received the jacket and it has exceeded my expectation. Jason’s website cautions the customer to reserve some money in the budget in case tweaks are needed but this jacket fits me perfectly without that need. Unlike Bruce’s summer weight jacket this cloth was in a heavy tweed so mine will be perfect for me to buck the trend of wearing demure colours during dull weather, and will hopefully brighten up a cold day when I’m sent to the northern states for work during winter.

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Jason suggested a few Ivy Style details such as swelled lapel edges and patch-and-flap hip pockets which worked out perfectly, and I chose to pair it up with some recently-acquired light gray flannels in winter weight, and keeping in line with the rural provenance of tweed, some heavy brogues.

 

A jacket as bright as this doesn’t need much bolstering so I kept the supporting accessories low key. This jacket has immediately become one of my favourite cold weather options so I’m hoping to get a few more wearings before the temperatures rise country-wide. Big thanks to Bruce for the inspiration and Jason at Thick As Thieves for the execution.

Sunglasses – Ray Ban Aviators
Jacket – Thich As Thieves
Shirt – Tyrwhitt
Tie – Brooks Brothers
Pocket Square – Saks Fifth Avenue
Strides – Suitsupply
Socks – Uniqlo
Shoes – Allen-Edmonds McNeil