Updated Layering: Tech Fabrics

Photo on 12-3-14 at 10.53 AM

When I was in high school, we wore Levi’s jean jackets under our tweed sportscoats. Or LL Bean down vests over our blazers. They were too puffy to do otherwise. But with the advent of these wafer-thin, packable, Nanopuff vests, down shirts, and pull-overs, things have gotten much easier. Highly recommended as they pack down to nothing and fit in their own little sacks. Very easy to stow in the car, in a bag, in a drawer in the event that the day is a trifle more chilly than anticipated. Which is what happened to me as I went to hear my daughter speak in Lower School chapel today.

Add one to your holiday shopping list and stop walking around with cold cockles.


Peer Pressure.


I had a client look at himself in the tailor’s mirror and say “If my buddies ever saw me in this stuff, they’d never let me forget it.”

He has an MBA and runs his own successful company. He spends half the year in South Beach, Miami. He has it wired.

But, somehow, the thought of wearing nice clothing (he was being measured for a custom shirt and a sportcoat in a very nice grey plaid), even with jeans and a dress shirt, was a bit off-putting for him. I think he thinks it makes him less approachable than the jeans and t-shirts he was used to wearing in all situations.

I reminded him of our goals: to make his life easier and to improve his potential dating pool. After carefully and ruthlessly editing his wardrobe, anything that he grabs looks good on him. The flip-flops have been replaced with loafers, the hoodies with a couple of sweaters and a blazer. All his dress shirts fit.

He has met his two goals. And yet… .

I thought about him today whilst walking the dog. It’s still chilly and I have yet to dress for the day. Which means I’m in jeans and boots, a flannel shirt and a Barbour quilted jacket. Nothing special. I was worried about running into anyone I know (although, I doubt they’d recognize me… sort of the Clark Kent effect.) As I passed pedestrians and glanced at commuters on their way to work, it occurs to me that very few men like to stand out. Women don’t seem to have that problem if the preponderance of skin tight jeans, tall boots and short jackets can be believed.

I chalk it up to peer pressure. But what I don’t understand is why we’ll press any other advantage we have in competition to win while we ignore one of the easiest to improve — how we make our first impression.

Make it a point to look your best this weekend, even in casual wear.

Like the Polar Vortex: I Have Returned

Thanks for your patience while we get the new site (which shouldn’t be all that different from the old site) up and running.

The temperatures have plunged since yesterday’s high of 76ºF and today feels more like late December here in Central Virginia. Thus begins the season when all clotheshorses rejoice. Choice! Layers! Texture! Where to begin?


One of the more stylish and lasting affectations that I ran across last year is the turtle/polo neck sweater worn over a shirt with the collars upturned. Under a sportcoat it does eliminate the need for a scarf (man, I love scarves….) And here we begin to talk about style.

I’ve had a lot of questions recently about what’s in and out? Let’s all repeat our mantra, shall we?

“We don’t care for trends. Fashion is something so dreadful they have to change it once a season.”

Style, on the other hand, is something to be developed and worn permanently.

One of the questions that springs to mind is whether or not tab collars are still “ok?”.

Are they “in”, no. Are they ok? Yes. Tab collars are a very buttoned up look. If your thing is clean and tight, tab collars will work for you. They’ll even work if you happen to button your collars all the way up without wearing a tie. (Man, I love ties….)

Tabbed, youre it.

Tabbed, you’re it.

So, what are some of your style choices?