More Hats

Hats don’t seem to have been particularly popular with original Mods. Stingy brim bluebeat and pork pie hats can be seen sparingly in old photos but maybe they were seen as a badge of the old and stuffy scene that Mods were rejecting in their subtle way. They also may not have sat well on those with more elaborate hair styles – and then came JFK!

I’ve written about hats before and in the right circumstances I like them, especially when they perform a function and can thus fly in the face of accusations of ‘trying too hard’.  Panama hats can provide a cool addition to the right hot weather outfit, and will both shade the eyes and protect the skin from burning. Here in Florida the dog days of summer are coming to an end but it stays sunny year round, so I’ll be looking forward to testing out these latest acquisitions from the sale at J.J.’s Hat Center in New York.


I really like like this twist on the traditional Panama hat. Made in Ecuador, but along with the traditional natural beige they are available in a variety of colours to compliment the more adventurous summer wardrobe.




Rod’s Togs – Green Linen Jacket

Another acquisition from Suitsupply with the usual adjustments. It looks like I’ve got over my previous rejection of ‘earth tones’.

Sunglasses – Garrett Leight Harding
Jacket – Suitsupply
Shirt – Tyrwhitt
Tie – E.G. Capelli via Exquisite Trimmings
Pocket Square – Macy’s
Strides – Banana Republic
Socks – Uniqlo
Shoes – Polo Ralph Lauren

The sage green Panama hat I posted pics of with my tobacco brown suit was also bought with this outfit in mind …


Rod’s Togs – Seersucker Blazer

I put this outfit together for early evening drinks on a patio outside a restaurant.

I bought the jacket recently, it cost the princely sum of $20. Unlined, unstructured, paper thin. The hat was acquired during a trip to New York City to see The Who at Madison Square Garden in Summer 2002 – one of the best weekends of my life! I recently returned to the same shop for the sage green Panama displayed recently. I also got the navy silk hat band for this hat as I think it looks slightly less severe than with the traditional black grosgrain ribbon.

Hat – JJ’s Hat Centre, New York
Sunglasses – Warby Parker
Jacket – Uniqlo
Polo – Sunspel
Pocket Square – Macy’s
Strides – J Crew
Driving Mocs – Clark’s

Rod’s Togs – The Knitted Shirt

I visited the Kamakura shop on Madison Avenue recently and snapped up this shirt.

They call it a ‘knitted’ shirt and it’s an attractive combination of a casual button down made from the kind of pique cotton usually associated with polo shirts. This one is in my favourite colour royal blue with a darker blue thread giving an interesting depth to the texture.

I wore this to travel in and a nice bonus is that the fabric doesn’t wrinkle so I arrived after an hour of driving and a three hour flight with the shirt looking like I had just put it on.

I was was so impressed with this I ordered a second shirt online. Sizes and colours available were limited due to Kamakura’s business model. They do short runs of fabrics and when they’re gone, they’re gone. I do like their practice of never having sales or end-of-line discounts so you won’t be sideswiped by seeing a shirt you bought for sale at a deeply reduced price soon after your purchase. Due to limited sizes for the second shirt I had to settle for a ‘New York Small’ – roughly equivalent to the blue one which is a  ‘Tokyo Large’ but the purple one required the sides to be slimmed.


Sunglasses – Ray Ban Aviators
Shirt – Kamakura
Strides – Levis 501
Driving mocs – Polo Ralph Lauren

Sunglasses – Ray Ban
Shirt – Kamakura
Strides – J Crew
Driving Mocs – Fins

Rod’s Togs – All Linen For Travel

I’m sure I’m not alone in my disdain for how I see some people dressed for travel. It seems de rigeur for many to look like they are on the way to the gym … via Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport!


I’ve always admired this photo of Ian Fleming disembarking from an aeroplane in what appears to be a lightweight suit, light raincoat, bow tie and with briefcase, perhaps stuffed with the latest Bond book manuscript?

Of course this was taken decades ago, when flying was a civilized experience and passengers were treated like special guests, unlike today when we are crammed into plastic seats like humanoid battery hens. Still, there has to be a happy medium in travelling attire between Mr. Fleming’s outfit and what is commonly on view in commuter airports today, and I hope to hit that mark.  I’ve heard so many people say that if they wear a jacket or even jeans for a flight it’s uncomfortable, and I reply that if their clothes are not comfortable to sit upright in for a few hours they must be doing something seriously wrong.

Anyway, here is my attempt to be comfortable and still appropriately dressed when flying for work, head to foot in linen for the American summer temperatures:

Sunglasses – Oliver Peoples
Blazer – Tallia (Macy’s)
Shirt – Kamakura
Pocket Square – Macy’s
Strides – J Crew
Shoes – Allen Edmonds

Rod’s Togs – The Brown Suit

I’ve had an aversion to brown for decades. It instantly brought to mind for me the nineteen seventies – the decade that style forgot! A garish broad-check sports jacket I had as a youth. Roger Moore’s dismal tenure as James Bond, wearing brown suits with flared strides.

[photos from]

My very first clumsy forays into Mod style, after acquiring an obligatory inch-wide black satin tie, were a tan tweed-ish sports jacket and brown cord strides. Once I’d acquired a bit more nous regarding style I abandoned that outfit and never looked back. I’ve since avoided brown like the plague. If a choice was involved I would always go for black. Black is cool, black works with almost anything, black doesn’t show dirt, black looks dangerous and deadly … but it’s kinda boring too!

There was a time when most of my wardrobe (and ALL my footwear) was black, but over the years I’ve become more adventurous in adding colours. I’m sure this was partly influenced by living in a hot and sunny climate, but I now have very little black in there at all, and I have to finally admit that brown has entered the landscape. It all started with a pair of shoes I bought to wear with my beige cotton suit. I kidded myself that they weren’t brown, they were ‘chili’ (reddish brown!). Then came the matching belt. After that jackets in ‘rust’ linen and ‘brick red’cashmere, shoes and boots in ‘snuff suede’, a ‘ginger’ suede Levis jacket and similar-coloured adidas trainers. Ties in ‘copper’ and ‘burnt orange’, and now this:

The colour of this suit is sometimes called ‘tobacco’ but I have to face up to it, it’s brown!

I’ve heard all about the ‘no brown in town’ rule that steered city workers of the past towards blues and grays, but this rule is gleefully flaunted these days. President Obama took some flack for stepping out of his usual sphere of snooze-inducing charcoal-navy and wearing an ill-advised (and equally ill-fitting) tan suit, but conversely Ronald Reagan seems to be praised for his reintroduction of dark brown suits to the oval office.

The dress code on my job is so vague it’s meaningless, so I should have some opportunity to wear this lightweight linen suit for the remainder of the summer. I’m still working out which are the optimal choices to pair it with but I’m leaning away from earth tones towards bright blues, as the background is drab and matt. The dullness of both colour and texture provide a bit of a blank canvas which may make it surprisingly versatile.

Also, as the jacket has patch hip pockets and thus qualifies the suit as a ‘blazersuit’, (much discussed on Styleforum) this will be an opportunity to break it up – something I would never normally do – and match the jacket with light linen trousers.

I haven’t decided on which accessories will most optimally combine with these outfits but it’s a slightly new avenue for me to play around with.


Hat – JJ’s Hat Centre, New York
Sunglasses – Garrett Leight Harding
Suit – Suitsupply
Shirt – Tyrwhitt
Tie – Tyrwhitt grenadine garza grossa
Pocket Square – Kent Wang
Chelseas – Carmina burgundy calf

Hat – JJ’s Hat Centre, New York
Sunglasses – Garrett Leight Harding
Blazer – Suitsupply
Shirt – Tyrwhitt
Tie – Chipps grenadine garza fina
Pocket Square – The Tie Bar
Strides – Cubavera
Socks – Uniqlo
Shoes – Ralph Lauren snuff suede

Royal Blue Prince of Wales

Some time ago I spotted a Prince of Wales check in royal blue with a sky blue overcheck in a long-forgotten tailor’s swatch book, and I’ve been on a mission to find the cloth ever since with a view to having a suit made.

I had also been scouting ready-to-wear, without much luck either, till I visited Suitsupply in Dallas and was faced with an entire wall covered in this mural:


My quest wasn’t quite over as the suit made in the cloth depicted wasn’t available in the USA at the time (although they did have a very nice looking suit in similar colours but with a much more subtle check and made in a wintry flannel, which wouldn’t match my needs).


Eventually the suit came in stock and I jumped on the deal. It’s a lightweight wool-linen mix which wears nicely in the hot summer but you still have the characteristic linen wrinkling and loss of sharpness in the trouser creases with wear. That’s the beauty of linen!

Sunglasses – Garrett Leight
Suit – Suitsupply
Shirt – Tyrwhitt
Tie – Shibumi-Berlin
Pocket Square – Bachrach
Socks – Uniqlo
Shoes – Meermin