Saturday, October 30, 2010

Maiden Voyage

The importance of the blue blazer as the cornerstone of any well conceived wardrobe cannot be over-stated. I'm hoping that anyone reading this will not need to be convinced that owning at least one, if not two or three, serviceable blue blazers is a good idea. I'm told that George Steinbrenner (though hardly a fashionista) had a closetful of them.

At my old job, working in the cubicle world, my uniform consisted mostly of buttondown shirts, no tie, khakis and well-polished loafers. It was essentially business casual on an everyday basis. The thing is, I kept a blazer in the closet and a couple of neckties I knew would work with most any shirt combination, and I knew I was good to go when any of the big boys came in. In fact, I would almost argue that in this day and age you hardly need anything else in the way of dress clothing. (Of course, that's not the purpose of this blog, although exploring good common sense economy certainly is.)

Another thing about the blazer is its versatility. It's a principle we'll come back to, over and over again. In order to provide really good utility, your clothes have to have a lot of versatility, a go-to quality, an ability to work in more than one situation, and nothing represents this more than the blue blazer. Worn with grey flannels, the blazer can almost be a suit. Worn with khakis, Nantucket reds or light blue seersuckers, you have a playful, yet appropriate look. Worn with jeans and no tie, it takes on a sophisticated, dinner-date kind of look. Paired with khaki shorts and a certain amount of swagger on a Sunday morning on your way to church it can be a force to be reckoned with.

Several thoughts on the photos provided herein. I love Vineyard Vines as a company. I love their ties and I especially love this blazer. What I like about it is its adherence to principle (it does not deviate from the norm), and at the same time its attention to detail. I especially love the lining and invite you to look at the full-sized version of the photograph. Also, I love the brass buttons made especially for them. I fully believe that well-loved clothing needs to have this same recipe: sticking to the formula, and at the same time, incorporating subtle details of a very personal and individualized nature.

Lastly, since the sport of rowing holds a special spot in my heart, I leave you with a few glimpses of bigger and brighter things to come . . . Cheers!

As we set off on this great journey of ours, I wonder how I will be perceived. While I have been taught to realize that "what other people think is none of my business," it is still hard medicine for me to practice. So, I will welcome any feedback, especially the good stuff.

The nice thing about being a man is that good, common sense never goes out of style.

Images #1, 2, and 3, courtesy of Vineyard Vines; Image #4 courtesy of Jeremy Hackett.

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