The upper half of today's get-up.
Well, I don't know if March is going out like a lamb here in Lower Michigan, or not. We have a mix of snow and rain in the forecast for the end of the week and weekend. But, for today, let's pretend it's spring, albeit a chilly one, and pull out a wool flannel double-breasted suit for one of the last times this season before the weather becomes too warm (Really?) for it.
The items pictured above include a 4/1 DB suite worn with a Kenneth Roberts necktie. Both of these items were purchased within the last few years in the better of my two good thrift/charity shops back in Central Illinois, which reliably had quality items hanging on the racks. The shirt is a recent new purchase from Land's End. While I always liked the company's dress shirts in the past, I'm not so sure anymore.
I can live with the "no iron" treatment on the cotton fabric although I prefer the old-fashioned kind of shirts that you absolutely HAD to press before wearing. But my biggest problem with the dress shirts now sold by LE has to do with the plasticy, stiff collar linings that now seem to be a standard feature in even their most expensive Hyde Park oxfords and pinpoint dress shirts. I've purchased three such shirts since the start of the year and will not do so again for the foreseeable future thanks to this new development. Disappointing to say the least, but it is the perfect opportunity to try out some shirts from other manufacturers. The oxford cloth button-downs by Mercer look extremely tempting higher prices notwithstanding.
What of the bright blue pocket square? This item is another recent purchase, this time from the folks at Put This On. Since the sun was out (at least early this morning), I figured that a brighter square might be acceptable for today. Long-time visitors to Classic Style for the Average Guy will recall that I am a fan of adding a pocket square that bears little resemblance to my necktie of the day. The thinking is that having one item that does not go with everything else prevents a man from looking too matchy-matchy, You know, the grown-up version of Garanimals.
Finally, on my feet were the usual pair of Allen Edmonds dress shoes, those trusty recrafted brown semi-brogue wingtips along with some forest green Merino wool to-the-knee dress socks by Dapper Classics. The suit pants were held up by a pair of navy, red, and silvery gray silk braces by the way.
Now, I am well aware that there are style mavens out there who would advise against a double-breasted suit for a college classroom environment. It is an over the top affectation and not, these critics might point out, even a required item of dress on most North American university campuses in the 21st century. These same people might go on to argue that such attire is therefore inappropriate, possibly intimidating to students, and a sure sign of trying too hard, indicative of a deep-seated personal insecurity or some other character flaw. Well, to quote my wife, The Grand Duchess, who has a great deal of wisdom about life, "Oh, blah!"
Unusual? Yes. You don't encounter men in double breasted suits and blazers too often these days, although the university provost at my former institution also wore them. What's more, I like wearing stuff like this from time to time, and there is little point in developing a pleasing, grown-up wardrobe if it never leaves the confines of the closet in which it is kept. Just because too many other members of the male species in 2016 seem like they cannot even manage to brush their hair in the morning before leaving the house does not mean the rest of us necessarily must follow suit (pun intended). As you know by now, I consciously reject the slovenly culture along with its related attitudes and behavior that have taken firm hold of the land lo these last 20+ years.
Nope, if you enjoy certain items of dressier clothing, then wear them in good health and fugeddaboutit! Especially when it comes to suits. There isn't a man alive who will not look better and carry himself more confidently than when he wears a suit (and tie). Badda-bing, badda-boom!