A WWII-era illustration that I believe was by Laurence Fellows although I could be mistaken. Still, I dig the juxtaposition of the 6x2 double-breasted suit with the officer's dress at right. You'll recall, of course, that the former had its basis in the military uniform.
Unseasonably cold here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold this morning, 36 degrees Fahrenheit and spitting snow (in mid-May) just before 9am according to my wife the Grand Duchess. Hmmm. Don't know if that is what I needed to hear since the lawn needs mowing desperately.
I have managed to pick up a couple of new suits for a song on Ebay during the last couple of weeks. The first is a 6x2 double-breasted charcoal pinstripe in worsted wool by Samuelsohn of Canada that even features true surgeon cuffs. Luckily, the sleeves are already the right length and allow about 1/4" of linen to show with my arms at my sides. After dry-cleaning, I tried on the 40R suit (with a dress shirt), and it does not appear to need much in the way of other alterations either. That happens sometimes if you are lucky. The coat fits amazingly well, and the pants have somewhere between my preferred medium to full break when tried on with dress shoes.
The second suit arrived yesterday afternoon, and it too is a charcoal 6x2 double-breasted number, this time by Belvest, but with a very subtle maroon windowpane pattern woven into the worsted wool cloth. Once again, the coat fits well in the shoulders and body, although the sleeves need to be shortened by about an inch. I have not tried on the pants yet, but I suspect these might need to be shortened just a bit too although you never know until you try on garments.
Both suits feature brace buttons sewn into the inside of the waistbands, so they can be work with suspenders/braces instead of belts, and I might just have the tailor remove the belt loops since I routinely opt for braces when I wear this type of suit. The material in these two suits is light enough to be comfortable in all but the hottest weather, and will be fun to trot out once September and cooler days are here pointing to the arrival of Fall once again. I suppose, on reflection, that I have become a clothes nerd.
Fine, but what's with the (currently trendy) double-breasted suits anyway? Well, these are items I have always liked thanks to a steady diet of old films on TV from the time I was a small boy. There are already two wool flannel double-breasted suits in my regular winter rotation, one in a subtle Glen Plaid (6x2) and another in a muted green-brown (4x1), but I can never make up my mind which the latter is. But I like the lines of well-fitted suits like these very much, and they are not something you see much of in my walk of life.
I am also fortunate enough to be in a profession where I can wear these once or twice a week without getting a memo from a disgruntled superior with the message that I am somehow not being a team player. You know, because I have chosen to eschew the rumpled khakis and knitted polo shirt with the company patch and name tag, or I've decided not to wear jeans on official dress down days. I still don't understand how this kind of thing is seen as a perk by people not actually involved in heavy manufacturing and production (the jobs that have, largely, disappeared here in the U.S.) themselves.
If we must put a label on it, I suppose that I am something of an eccentric when it comes to clothes and personal appearance. That's probably a nice way of saying it, but it is nevertheless sad in the extreme when dressing and conducting oneself presentably is seen as unusual and even a liability in the eyes of many. What? What??!! Ah, well. In any case, when you know your own measurements and realize that there may be a few necessary alterations before you can wear them, Ebay can be an extremely economical way to pick up a high quality suit or two for those of us who are not necessarily swimming in the mean, mean green.
Finally, after much thought and reflection, I will be shortening the title of this blog to simply Classic Style as soon as I can relearn how to do this in my blog settings. The reasons are many, but mainly are due to the fact that I have never been sure that the intended audience -- average joes who perhaps need some guidance where clothing and behavior are concerned -- was actually reading this blog. Probably very few if any if we are honest. I suspect that most readers of this blog are already part of "the choir," so to speak, and do not need convincing when it comes to the importance of a pulled together personal appearance and polite conduct.
Instead, the Classic Style blog has become part of my clothing hobby, a way for yours truly to share my enthusiasm for reasonably nice professional attire. . . along with the desperate need in 2016 for a return to civility both in public and private life. I can live with that, and hope at least some of you might continue to drop by from time to time, if for no other reason to be reassured that there are still a few others in 2016 who think in a similar way when it comes to how we present ourselves to the the rest of the world. . . even when it is in our own living room, or around the dining room table.