Today's clothing ensemble minus the Allen Edmonds chocolate brown captoe oxfords, creamy yellow oxford cloth button-down shirt, and gray crewneck Shetland Sweater. The Pride of Wales tie was also thrifted (I thought very briefly about sending it to my Welsh step-father), and the pocket square was an early Ebay purchase.
Once the weather gets chilly, an average guy looking to kick up his everyday style a few notches can't have too much tweed! Not only is it warm, but it's exceedingly stylish in that natty Bertie Wooster-down-at-Totleigh Towers-for-a-long-weekend way. Plus, a tweed jacket when paired with an oxford cloth button-down shirt and wool necktie is much more visually pleasing than one of those ubiquitous man-made fleeces or ugly hooded sweatshirts with Dorito crumbs down the front. Know what I mean, Alfie?
I submit for your review and approval three such tweed jackets that are part of my own Fall-Winter-Early Spring wardrobe. I've also combined others items with each on a semi-permanent basis to simplify (speed up) dressing in the early mornings. If you're like me, you sometimes can't be too bothered to think about too much at too early an hour of the day. So, any minor innovation that might ease the process of dressing before, say, Noon, is a welcome addition.
A Donegal tweed jacket, also thrifted, with a pair of heavy wool herringbone Polo University Shop pants, which were also thrifted. An no. Those are not coffee stains on the front of the jacket but rather the way the light and shadow are hitting and forming on the mottled fabric. I became paranoid and re-checked it just now to be sure.
The first two jackets shown were picked up from my tailor Mrs. V. late yesterday afternoon. While they fit well in the shoulders, both were quite a bit too big in the body. Must've belonged to gentlemen of rather more generous proportions than yours truly. However, each garment was so beautiful and so inexpensive -- both less than US$8 -- when I spotted them at two of the three thrift outlets in my neck of the woods last fall that I snatched 'em up, had them dry-cleaned, and put them away in cloth garment bags until I had a chance to take them in for alterations two weeks ago.
Mrs. V. wove her magic, and I was very pleased with the results when I tried the jackets on in her mirror yesterday before paying and returning home. Still slightly roomy, the two jackets nevertheless fit much, much better now and are perfect over a thin wool sweater on cold days like we enjoyed today. Besides, it seems somehow wrong to have tweed sports jackets fit like snug double-breasted Italian-made suit coats with hugely suppressed waists.
The inside label on the right side of the same jacket.
Finally, the Alan Flusser jacket below, which, although I really like it, is so heavy that it's suitable only on the chillest days of the fall and winter semesters. It is also bold, so anything worn with it must be very plain in comparison to ensure that I don't resemble a walking circus wagon or anything. We wouldn't want idle passers-by, in their over-sized sneakers or unlaced work boots, bright orange hunting hats, and camouflaged jackets (it is downstate, small town Illinois we're talking about after all) to get the wrong idea or anything, would we? This particular jacket is, more or less, permanently mated with a comfy pair of grass green Land's End corduroy dress pants and a wool vest ('waistcoat' for our British and Commonwealth friends) that I picked up somewhere along the way. It might be an old L.L. Bean piece, but I can't swear to it.
An Alan Flusser tweed jacket, purchased for the ridiculously low price of US$20 on Ebay a couple of years ago just as the winter of 2012 was coming to an end.
The switch over from warmer to colder weather gear is now complete. Let's hope Mother Nature has her mind made up, and we sail through November and into December without any of those bizarrely warm, Indian Summer days that sometimes occur here in the American Midwest late in the autumn when, suddenly and once again, khaki shorts and Madras shirts are more comfortable and appropriate than tweed and corduroy. It's no fun feeling slightly sweaty by 10am because you've put all of the lighter stuff away for the year and can't easily access it.