03 February 2009

I can't wear what?

There's a whole lot going on over at Michael William's blog, "A Continuous Lean." Michael's a good kid. He's a smart kid. And if you read the comment page about his recent quote in Newsweek Magazine you'll discover he's a, "take no crap" kid. Check it out. I'll wait.

So you see... Michael has this thing for work clothes that I don't really understand. I busted my ass for 20 years so I wouldn't have to wear the clothes he loves so much. If I was allowed to "do what I want" years ago, I'd be a deputy sheriff somewhere in Florida with a wood porch attached to my double wide trailer filled with kids and a pissed off wife working part time at Denny's. I can just see my youngest shooting at the propane tank with a BB gun. Don't laugh. My mother will tell you it almost happened.

Instead, after the Army I went to college and after college, I worked at Brooks Brothers, devoured Flusser's books, cruised Tripler, Chipp and J Press in NYC. In London I sucked up Jermyn Street like it was a pint of Bitter. I peered into the windows of Savile Row tailors - - too scared to venture inside --but I was comfortable in Hackett, New and Lingwood, Harvie and Hudson and felt at home with John Carnera at George Cleverley. I saved for alligator straps with Tiffany sterling buckles and became friends with sales people at Polo on Michigan Avenue, Dunhill on Oak Street and Paul Stuart in the Hancock.

I could care less about Filson tin cloth work pants and Alden Indy boots but I'll defend the biggest Nancy Boy to wear that stuff if that's what they wanna wear. I think it looks ridiculous but who is anyone to tell anyone what to wear?

The above photos are what I'm wearing today. English and American. I think it works. Flusser may disagree. You can tell me I shouldn't wear it - - but no one will tell me I can't.


Ben said...

I'm not at all familiar with that belt, but I like it. What is it?


Anonymous said...

Good stuff! Tintin, that is an interesting belt -- is it made by Col. Littleton?

By the way, what is a "nancy boy"? :)


Anonymous said...

Hey, Tin. For several years B. Wallace in Myrtle Beach had a No. 5 Cinch Belt in Alligator nestled in a glass display case. Not a stock item anywhere, even on the Colonel's web site or cat. B. Wallace announced they were going out of business last fall. There were other Littleton non-stock gator accessories in the display case. There is only a miniscule chance that the belt is still available and B. Wallace may have already closed. Just a heads up in case you're interested. I think the full retail was about $500. I do not have the phone number. Apologies if a wild goose chase. No need to post this. jg

heavy tweed jacket said...

Uncle Dynamite! Cracking use of color, Tintin. I should be wearing that melange of tattersall and tweed today, instead of a sober slate blue glen check suit, burgundy paisley tie and burgundy tassel longwings. I think ACL does the work wear style well and insists on the genuine article. I've always viewed it as an urban evolution or sorts on the 1970s, 80s Prep/Outdoors symbiosis. But who am I to talk, I don't even have a pair of hiking boots anymore. On Chicago landmarks, I always enjoyed frequenting the humidor in the Dunhill in Water Tower Place. There is a Dunhill in Tokyo on the Ginza that is well worth the time. Lots of vintage Dunhill Namiki lighters, cigarette cases and pens. Long live the English & American friendship - you represent it well.

Giuseppe said...

I've never understood the concept of young, artsy go-kids in Manhattatn aping the look of dustbowl era railroad men.

But then again, there are people who don't understand Italian Catholic shool kids who ape the look of a mythical Kennedy era Ivy League.

You're right, who are any of us to judge?

On another note, bravo for Bean boots with this outfit! Maine hunting shoe+corduroy+bow tie has been a favorite winter combo for me lately.

Chris said...

Possibly your best post. Thanks Tin Tin.

Anonymous said...

You tell them TinTin!

This Nancy boy thinks it's totally a case of the "Emperor Wears No (Work) Clothes" if label queens and/or metrosexuals are getting all revved up over overpriced work clothes for sale at... Barneys?!?

I mean really Mary, pick up the L.L. Bean catalog. Authentic and half the price.

Tucker said...

Hell, yeah!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy ACL and the workwear stuff. I also enjoy traditional clothing. The only time I wear my woolrich hunting suit is during hunting season and I leave it at my cabin (I think its from the 1960s, given to me by my father). I would love to wear it more but I would look like a clown walking around with my Bean Boots on. When I head back to civilization, I switch back to sports coats and oxfords. But I do not understand why you cannot enjoy both? There is something very American in both styles and should be equally embraced.

By the way, I was wondering how old your Bean Boots are? The ones that I have do not say "Maine Hunting Shoe" but just "Bean Boots By L.L. Bean." Like the outfit.

Anonymous said...

I'll say it: You CAN"T wear that! Just kidding.

Clothes like many of those mentioned in the Newsweek article link have too many contradictory messages:
Too heavy, yet too many light colors.
No drape.
Soil collecting.
Inauthentic to most regions where worn.
Difficult to layer in Spring.
Almost always makes you look shopworn when you're middle aged.

The best thing I ever did with my sweaty, ill-fitting Filson tin cloth hat was to trade it in for a real fedora. And to trade my short fat Michelin Man-style parkas for a vintage German wool car coat. Big round horn buttons. Definitely not "outdoorsy." But I can sit in a cold car and it covers my thighs. No weeny barn jacket will ever do that, no matter how well insulated. I might look middle aged in my coat and fedora but never shopworn.

Your Bean boots might well be at home with a BB gun, though. Just sayin'.


tintin said...

Ben and Ron_A
The belt will be described in detail this Friday. Instead of You Tube Fridays I'm gonna have Firday Belts. And yes, it will include a cocktail. Ron_A, Nancy Boy is the same as a Big Girl's blouse.

Thanks for that. I posted your comment in case anyone was interested. The No. 5 Cinch is not my cup of tea but others here may like it.

Heavy Tweed- I did a couple of cigar tastings at Dunhill when they were in Water Tower. I worked next door. 40 or so guys standing around among the Dunhill sweaters and suits - - always wondered how they got the smell out of their merch. That's a great compliment and I'll try to live up to it.

Giuseppe- Lately the Bean Boots have been getting lots of action. I'm a blue eyed Norwegian and I wish I was Italian. Baking bread in Lucca and getting tanked on Sangrintino de Montefalco.

Chris- Thank you very much. That's some wonderful stuff you have over at your blog(s). I'll be over soon for a complete tour. I could use some tips for a 1BR in midtown.

Preppy Pauper- I can do better than LE and Bean with the sales in NY. Cav Twill trosuers made in the UK at Turnbull & Asser are $50.

Tucker- Thanks, man. Try not to be so verbose.

Colby- I hear you. There's a time and a place. Those boots are 20 years old.

tintin said...

DB- You had a tin cloth hat? Did you stick straw up your sleeves and pants?

Chris said...

Thanks for the call out Tin Tin.

Funny, I didn't know you were a Squarehead. Me too - Trondheim actually.

I knew I liked you.

Go easy on the blogs - a life in media doesn't allow me to devote too much time, as much as I would like at least.

Anonymous said...

That's it. You've done it. You've compelled me to write. I'm not a trad. Far from it. J Press, nantucket reds and oxford cloth button downs always look like a disguise on me. I have nothing against the style, but it's just not me. I check this blog regularly - sometimes to look for clothing ideas that i'll never adopt - but really it's just the writing. Man, it's good. Keep doing it. Please. It makes my day every time.

Zingiber said...

I think your look is terrific.

But the commentary on the ACL post is exactly what gets me down about the whole trad thing. It's so tiresome. Why can't it just exist?

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Great post. I agree. I don't get the Hobo Chic thing. But then again, I'm growing bored with the whole Trad thing too. Both styles are too aspirational, amongst certain people, for different reasons.

Richard said...

Best post I have seen to date Trad, and I am dying to have a sport coat of similar cloth. It looks like a Ralph Lauren product?? Possibly, yes? I would be very interested in seeing a head to toe photo that truly blends the fabrics together. In addition, I have never paired my Bean boots with a tie and jacket, but I think I will tomorrow. Thanks.

Foster Huntington said...

the funny thing about filson is that the really working man could never afford to wear there stuff. filson tin cloth pants are 160 dollars. its an interesting dichotomy.