Saturday, February 27, 2010

Date Night-Polo and Barbour

The etiology of my challenging week is not complex. My pathos has always been fairly simple to sort out and the most significant root cause was mitigated yesterday afternoon.  I’ve missed my child over these past couple of weeks and picking her up lifted my spirits incredibly. I’ve been in denial about LFG growing up while at the same time bracing myself for the next few phases of pre-adolescence.

I figured that by age twelve LFG would have all kinds of issues with her parents’ presence-you cool or not cool our interaction with LFG and her friends might be. I had no idea it would begin at nine and a half years old. As one correspondent shared… "ADG you won’t be replaced, just rearranged”. Ok-I get it. I just wasn't aware that it would manifest this soon. Bottom line is that I now have more competition for my daughter’s time than ever before. She’s growing up.
She still remains a sweetie though…readily agreeing to a date last night at Cactus Cantina. Crazy Eights…Shirley Temples…Cheese Quesadillas…Grilled Quail…all is right in the world again.
Milkshakes at home before bed. We’re living a dream.
LFG has grown out of her first pair of Chucks…the high top pink ones. Dig the replacements. Dig the socks. Yes, she is her father’s daughter.
And speaking of young'ns and sentiment-you must go over to my buddy James' blog and read this story. It's the best thing he's ever written. 
Saturday morning...called for Jay Kos cords-the Hoof Pick belt that has trumped all others in my lineup-airport security be damned. LFG, the thespian had play practice all day and a birthday party early evening. Told you I had competition…I’m in chauffeur overdrive this weekend.
Gigantic cuffs and Suede Chauffeur shoes....courtesy of eBay. I'm gonna do a separate post on eBay later. Shut up.
After dropping LFG off I stopped at Polo Chevy Chase to do a couple of things…determine the dollar value of the Polo gift certificate LFG gave me for Christmas and to subsequently spend it. Trust me; I held no fantasies regarding the amount.
The Spring 2010 goods are rolling in and I’d say that Ralph and minions have done a stellar job. Fall 2009 was strong and I just hope that the economy will behave commensurate with the sartorial acumen displayed at Polo. Digging the shoes-Orange and all.
I'd wear the green or the blue babies in a heartbeat but most of you knew that already. Shut up.
Polo Made To Measure…courtesy of Corneliani was way out of the orbit of my forty dollar gift certificate but nonetheless I culled my pick of swatches just for fun and blog posting. Windowpane is well represented.
And for those who remember the days when Polo would build these babies in the fuzziest of fuzzy dice models-there back. Here's the Ashton-and there ain't a damn thing here remotely associated with the twee little man child Ashton.
And the Kipling. Rudyard's cantankerous colonial ass would be proud. Max Beerbohm (Maxminimus) considered it sport to continuously harangue Rudyard Kipling.  The dice on this Kipling are so fuzzy that I can hardly stand it. Hold me-touch me-touch me in ways that make me feel a bit uncomfortable-just on the verge of violation. Anyone got a cigarette?
Linen and cashmere here. Plenty of fodder to rip holes in at home. The upper right hand swatch is 100% Cashmere-it almost begs to be made into something. Damn.
If I had to pick-to edit-to trade-off-to decide on three...Then here you have it.
Since my lovely gesture from LFG wouldn't cover any of the above-in spite of the fact that I am so in need of summer linen trousers-I opted for an orange pocket square.
And finally-I finished my Barbour reconditioning project. This is the anti A.D.D. endeavour and I’ll be really pleased to not involve myself in this task for another year or so. This effort requires patience and keen attention to detail-not exactly my strong points. There have been superb how to posts on blog sites and I’m grateful for the insights provided therein. I wouldn’t on my best day do a unique post on my Barbour wax-undertaking but I will offer one suggestion. Get a damn heat gun! I’ve had one for years and this baby made application easier and to hell with keeping the can in hot water. Hit it with the heat gun every few minutes and it remains liquid.
Seven hours in the bathroom amidst a running hot shower and we are good to go. This shot is about three hours into the seven hour steam. Now the wax is fully accommodated and evenly-kindasorta-assigned.

Time to don the chauffeur guise and pick up LFG.

Onward. Waxed. ADG.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Angora Flat Front-Shoulda Stayed in Bed

While my blessings far outrank my challenges this has been one of those proverbial “weeks”. You know-one of those where you think that remaining in bed might have been a good choice for you and the world.

My two Christmas gifts from our half price friends at Polo Ralph in Chevy Chase were my stellar Camel Polo overcoat and my angora/lambs wool flannel blend-flat front-two button suit. Both of these discounted babies are as my baby LFG says….”cuddly”. The angora/lambs wool blend suit has an incredibly soft hand and today I decided to lift my inner and outer spirit by swathing myself in said suit.

I’d been kinda hankering for a flat front trouser suit for some time. I don’t wear suits very often and such a folly would be the last thing I’d have my wingmen at Flusser create for me. 
My suit trousers have always been “drape-y”. Not Oxford Bags “drape-y” but classically so. Worn high on the natural waist with full pleats and side tabs. That’s how I ordered my suit trousers when bespeaking them. And sometimes I’d really throw the trouser drama into high gear with the English Split Back-Fishtail treatment with center buckle in the small of the trouser back. Fuzzy Dice-ish? Probably-shut up.
Now I’m all for flat front trousers. But they are usually found in the guise of khaki-some linen-moleskin and corduroy. That’s where my mind’s eye had them slotted. But the flat front suit option intrigued me so when this one spiraled down to half-price I decided to deploy some of my Christmas bonus that direction. 
Tintin did a post a good while back on the classic old Polo bold patterned suits from the 1980’s and this one spoke a little bit of that decade to me. Actually it first whispered and then realizing that I can’t hear sh_t out of my left ear finally shouted at my country ass.
“Buy me…get me out of here before some sartorially unsophisticated sycophant siphons me off the mark down rack”. How could I not pounce on the bad boy after that?
So here we are. Cuddly as hell and obviously I’m still sporting the requisite flat stomach necessary to pull this look off and no-I don’t have that body girdle from the Sky Mall catalogue on under it. I’m not above it though. 
Actually I’ve gotta have the trousers taken in a bit as I’ve successfully lost that ever so scant bit of waistline that my mama throwed on me through love and calories at Christmas. That’s what mamas are supposed to do.
Old, old old Polo tie with an even older Paul Stuart dress shirt. Rubinacci pocket square from London tightens this rig up nicely. I mean tight. Tighter than a fat girl’s socks.
And yes I’m sitting outside. I’m so tired of this weather that I could spit. But I won’t. And yes I leave the old rugs outside year around and yes the snow covered them for a month and no I don’t care. 
By the time the rugs are relegated to the outer sanctum they are of no monetary value and …and…shut up.
Don’t argue this next point with me. I don’t care what kind of trouser you are considering-nor do I care how tall-short-skinny-tubby you are. If you are going to cuff the trouser-you put a two inch cuff in it or none at all.
Flusser socks and my standard beat to dookie brown suede monk-ey strap shoes finish off this boondoggle.
 So I sit down on the old steamer trunk in my bedroom to snap a picture of the sock/shoe component of this contrivance-nothing new about this-I do it routinely.
But when I stand up I feel something pull. Now I’ve got a lovely hole in my brand new trousers. By the time they return from a reweave it will be too late to wear them this season. 
Oy. Wonder what else could happen in my little Minimus pad? God forbid a late 19th century French advertising poster should fall off the wall.
Like I said, some weeks it just pays to stay in bed.

Onward. Anyone else feel a breeze in here?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Redux:Trad Travels and Observations

I know that y'all are getting tired of my reruns but it's gonna be this or nothing for a few more days. Blessed to be swamped. Here's one from back when the weather was still warm. How I wish that it was warm today and I was in Newport. The GREAT news is that we are getting more snow this week. Is this Buffalo or D.C.? Just shoot me now.

Greetings from Newport Rhode Island. I’m here on business-speaking to a group of Biotech executives tomorrow so I won’t even try to equal Tintins great posts on his leisure time here. I don’t have the playtime to offer in depth observations of this great destination. I have fond memories of previous visits-none of which were as hot-humid as today. It is unbearable back in the DC area and I was looking forward to-almost bragging about the two day reprieve that this keynote speech offered. It’s almost as hot here as it was in Charleston and now DC.
This will be a bit of superficial trad observations-all courtesy of the shitty camera on my iPhone. I’m diggin’ the phone but the camera is really a dud. So, stay tuned for some random pictorial observations and comments.Eclectic bohemian trad man....last Friday night. Jazz in the Garden in DC....great outdoor jazz in the Sculpture to your federal tax dollars. I caught a glimpse of this guy...probably in his seventies....duende. As I've said with Belgians and Slippers and other sartorially edgy've gotta have a healthy dose of don't give a shitake. You've gotta revel in people viewing you as an oddity. This goes for summer neck handkerchiefs/scarves as well. I don't have the stones for it. This guy does.
This was my rig on one of my consulting days in NJ last week. The corporate casual-hygiene holiday climate is killing me. This is as casual as I'm gonna go. I've got VP/C level clients that wear Dockers. Drives me nuts. Conor's pocket square is the standard these days.
Black of only two pairs of black shoes I own. Not real keen on black shoes of any kind. The only other pair is an old Gucci bit suede.Herringbone socks...courtesy of Ralph. You know Ralph.
This contorted ass picture is from my room here in Newport. Had to hold the iPhone high in the air to make my visual point. This is how I travel in the summer so that I don't have to accomodate a piece of luggage for coats. I'll wear this navy blazer and linen trou for my riveting talk tomorrow..."Biotech Business Models of the Future"...what with healthcare changing and everything...these future/speculative talks are in demand. Do I know what the business model of the future should be? I've got an opinion or two but nobody knows for sure. Pay me my day rate and I'll come to your house and tell you all about it. After I finish this post, I've gotta pull a PowerPoint presentation on tomorrow's talk...outta my butt...'cause it doesn't exist yet.
I travel in shorts-a blazer and a baseball cap. People avoid me and pull their kids closer when I walk by. Shut up.
I was initially skeered, as Mark Twain would say, to walk into this shop today in Newport. I was skeered that there might be somebody in there that I mighta dated at one point. The coast ended up being crystal clear. 
I told you that the South Carolina state flag brand was overexposed. Here it is on a belt in Newport. Courtesy of my bad camera. 
Ditto the bad camera shot. Great ties in the same shop.The rude people in this shop are real proud of their British goods. I'm not worried about them going out of business though. If they sell one freakin' sweater at retail, they've covered their expenses for a month.
And finally, a shot of the memorial mug that held my coffee this morning before I departed for Newport. The mug commemorates my late twin brother Stinky. It was forty three years ago today that he was eaten by hogs on my grandfather's farm in South Carolina. We miss you Stinky.

Onward...sans Stinky

Monday, February 22, 2010

Redux:Seersucker and Jesus....

Jesus doesn't care one bit that I'm tired of the dirty-gray-ugly snow in Old Town. Actually, I'd be worried if she did care. But I'm ready-more than ready for there to be a time when I can pop these babies out of storage...Onward.
...go hand in hand when Sundays are ninety degrees. Memorial Day right? That’s when the sartorial powers that be declare seersucker and other talisman of summer "ready". Sorry but my enthusiasm was such that I had to bust out for snake handling and poison in my three button gray seersucker coat on Sunday.
I wore it with the cream linen trousers from Friday which were wrinkled “just right” in time for wrestling with the Word. Above pictured is another guy who sports the same combo. (Combo...sounds like something you order at the McDonalds drive through)

My gray seersucker suit is fairly traditional with an almost complete allegiance to the Brothers Brooks sans a hooked center vent and welted seams. I mostly remember that treatment on poplin suits anyway. This coat is fairly true to an old Brooks model. Open patch breast pocket and flap pockets otherwise. I did add a ticket pocket and flap…it’s the Fuzzy DiceThang redux. I also did this coat with side vents…I just can’t settle on a center vent under any circumstances these days.Three button rolled to the second. This baby is a classic. The trousers are pleated and side tabbed... another Brooks departure.Now there’s traditional seersucker …gray or blue. Then there's seersucker with dual exhausts, fuzzy dice and the works.My peach seersucker suit is a folly and a damned fun one at that. Laugh if you want, my friends but I can carry this look with aplomb. A more updated, British silhouette hallmarked in a single breasted-peak lapelled jacket. Side vents, flap pockets including a ticket pocket…three button rolled to the second.

Admittedly, this was not my original idea. I walked into Flusser’s ten years ago and Alan had this suit on with a pair of Belgian shoes that had the same piping as the suit color. I requested one on the spot. And no Toad, I won’t be wearing this one to the investiture as Potentate of my Upstart Country.

Cotton. All cotton.

And finally, my baby, LFG is growing up. Can’t believe that she’s such a big girl. She wore Lilly Pulitzer (with a sweater) to church on Sunday. Worry not; they only handle rubber snakes in Sunday school