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It Doesn't Need to Be Brand Spanking New. . .

 Today's ensemble, featuring nothing that is anywhere close to brand new. . .  except maybe the socks.
Garments need not be brand spanking new to look good.  In fact, so long as they aren't visibly ripped, torn, faded artificially, or stained with BBQ sauce, clothes that show a bit of wear and "life" are preferable to anything right off the rack, regardless of the label inside or associated cost.  

Of course, routine care and maintenance should go without saying.  Take care of your clothes, shoes, and accessories, and they'll last a long, long time.  Keep 'em clean, pressed, and either folded in your dresser drawers, or hung up on decent hangers in the bedroom closet.  And no wire hangers ever!  Couldn't resist that one, sorry.

In the case of shoes, keep those shined and replace the heels or soles when they become worn.  Store them with cedar shoe trees inside to maintain their shape and keep them smelling pleasant.  Stay on top of things, and it hardly matters if the edges of your shirt cuffs are ever-so-slightly frayed, like they are on the shirt I sport above, or if there are a few nicks or scratches on your shoes.  Such features give your overall look loads more character than brand new stuff with the tags still attached ever will.  After all, you want your clothes to look like you actually wear 'em more than just twice a year!  Right?

So, today's combination features, as usual, a variety of items purchased at different times and for less than the normal retail cost.  The clothes are well-worn, have some character, fit me, and are extremely comfortable.  Even in this late August soup that has settled over the American Midwest for the last several days.  What more could you ask for?  Here's the low down:

* Corbin wool 3/2 roll sports jacket (thrifted)
* No-name silk pocket square made in Italy (thrifted)
* Ralph Lauren Polo shirt with straight collar (purchased on sale)
* Vintage Ralph Lauren silk polo player necktie (a gift)
* Land's End cotton twill dress pants that keep a crease (clearance)
* Allen Edmonds brogued captoe shoes (E-bay)
* Socks from Macy's (on sale) 

Note, that nothing except the socks is even close to new.  The shirt dates from August of 2000 and the pants from September 2006 or '07.  Other than that, I have no idea how old the other things are, but everything is kept clean and in good condition, which means it should remain wearable for many years to come.  Unless, of course, we are suddenly required by law to start wearing those silver jumpsuits like they wore on Lost In Space back during the 1960s.  

Returning to the point at hand, however, that's the cool thing about classic style.  It just goes and goes and goes without falling pray to too many fleeting trends.  Let's just do our very best to try and forget about those abnormally wide neckties and lapels of the early-mid 1970s, shall we? 

-- Heinz-Ulrich

And here's a close-up of the shoes and socks.


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