Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Corduroy Catch Up

Ahh…the weather is cooperating…cooperating with what? I’d suppose that Mother Nature chortles at our categorization of weather being anything but, well, weather. But the humidity and heat has abated enough for me to be reminded that September through early November here is perfecto convertible car weather. So the SaabMinimus will see hopefully, more days with the top down than not. And by the way, someone asked about the status of my new car acquisition efforts. Actually, since I don’t buy new cars I suppose the update is better characterized as my “three year old car just off of lease” acquisition efforts. There are a couple of mechanical things going on with my Saab that when one does a cost/value/benefit analysis; the repair costs exceed the value of the car. My original intent was to sell or trade my Saab while it had albeit scant, some dollar value remaining to use towards another car. I’ve changed course and have decided to drive my Saab till it literally coughs up its last gasp of Swedish whatever.
So in the midst of Saab-Top Down weather, an annual sartorial dilemma manifests. It ain’t cold and it ain’t hot. Swathing from the waist up is a no brainer but the trouser decision matrix is scant with inputs at best. Linen is out. Moleskin cotton and corduroy must wait for a bit of a nip in the air. So this tweener-time has me going to two pairs of trousers for work. Ok, maybe a pair of flat front khakis will suffice in some client meetings but I done told ya more than once…I’m only gonna dumb down my sartorial standards to a certain point…I don’t care how much my clients are slumming sartorially. I’ll get off of that tirade because I’ve tantrum-ed in front of you before about this issue. The pair of lightweight cavalry twill trousers above represents my bulletproof-go to togs for this transitional weather. I’ve had ‘em for years and they truly are the hardest finish-sturdiest stalwart trews in my lineup. My other go to transitional trouser is a ten year old pair of Polo Purple label butter soft gabardine babies that I’m wearing the hell out of. I’ve got a zillion and a half pairs of trousers but I’m needing something…one more pair of transitional togs to hold me over till it’s corduroy-moleskin time.
I love corduroy and moleskin…both very casual materials intended for the country or the weekend. However, it’s a regular part of my business casual lineup given that my clients and their corporate campus dress codes have allowed a hygiene holiday…and that’s being generous. But it’s still too early to consider buying or wearing either. The Brooks Brethren outlet in Flemington New Jersey offered a few corduroy choices about two weeks ago when I checked in on them. It was ninety-eight degrees at six o’clock that day and I popped a sweat just looking at anything intimating autumn.
But remember the horizontal corduroy trousers from J. McLaughlin last year? The really tripped my fuzzy diced trigger but the price point for said folly was a bit too steep for me. 
Until…until…they gave them away after Christmas last. Fuzzy is good. Fuzzy at a billion percent off is even better. I’m a free market kind of a guy. 
Business need to make money. But when cash flow needs for a retailer necessitate this kind of markdown, I’m only too happy to oblige. And oblige I did. This one, obligingly, is for the ladies. 
I was in Georgetown recently and popped in to J. McLaughlin to see what might be cooking for the season. And the horizontal cords were on the front burner. So was this stunning specimen of womankind who gladly held these cords so that I could take a snap or two. After accommodating about thirty minutes of poses and varied camera angles, she finally balked at my suggestion that she model a few of the women’s half price bathing suits. Just so you know…a pair of tightly rolled-up corduroy trousers, wielded as a nightstick-baton and fuelled by the rage of an athletic and  insulted woman, hurts when it pops the side of your noggin’. I waited till I got outside to cry.
And certainly, GTH cords are worthy of consideration. But the need for multiple pairs is nonexistent unless you are the early retired, hooch marinated guy who spends every afternoon in the bar at the Club. Afternoon defined for these archetypes as beginning around 2:39 pm. That would not be me. 
However, our Buffalo based Trad stalwart O’Connells is offering a limited trove of new-old stock GTH cords in clever and stunning contrivances. And unlike the bleeding madras mother lode that sent many of us trad-nuts over the edge, they actually have a few pairs of these babies larger than a 32.

Ok, on to some miscellaneous catch up…
My LFG weekend was just the tonic I needed and we enjoyed every minute of it. The Snow Leopards won their first game and that’s of course, a great way to get the season going. LFG’s mom showed up for the game and I noted with whateverishness that LFG is on the cusp of being as tall as her mom. I’ve said it before, LFG may not play basketball but she’s gonna make a hell of a jockey.
And for some reason, the soccer fields on Saturday teemed with large SUVs and stern looking people with earpieces and dark sunglasses.
So after soccer we had an errand or two that included buying a few more school supplies. We tried our newest junque boutique…an intriguing little operation called Five Below. Of course they had spiral notebooks and the other things we needed. But with everything in the joint priced at less than five bucks, coupled with my southern white trash DNA, we had a hell of a time procuring tchotchke. LFG got these fuzzy little footies for a dollar. I approved the pounce for several reasons-unit price being a key variable. The other trigger for affirming the purchase was knowing that her mother would be rolling her eyes for the entire week. Just realized what a gnarly juxtaposition my ugly leg hair is in concert with such a dainty little fuzzy-horizontal foot. Shut up.
Oh, and I'm learning to pick my battles. This was not one of them.
The coup for me included two books. One, originally priced at thirty bucks was essentially an illustrated history of Aardmann Studios and their plasticine-hand sculpted magnificence. LFG and I are huge fans of Aardman and have in our permanent collection everything ever done with Wallace and Gromit as well as Creature Comforts and a vignette DVD of all the television commercials Aardman has produced. I love their low tech, excruciatingly slow and primitive method of producing their clever tales. One could write a Master’s thesis for film school on the communicative power of Gromit’s eyebrow movements.

And the muscle car book is a fun but heartbreaking treatise on what was and what will never be again. Each Detroit show of muscle includes a year by year capture of the cars performance specifications. Sadly, there was a year that saw Chevrolet offer a Camaro with a, I kid you not, 90hp engine. Folks, the first Miata debuted with 120hp. I’ll race ya.
Wouldn’t you know it, we forgot that Old Town Alexandria hosted their annual arts fair last weekend so after Five Below, we walked down King Street and enjoyed the artists. LFG is in the midst of redesigning her bedroom and decided that this whimsical little print would be just the thing for her nest. I complied.
Restoration hardware is on King Street and while we don’t buy much stuff there, it’s a really cool place, literally, to gander about and rest your weary dogs for a moment. They are in the midst of totally redefining their strategy and while LFG and I are not trained interior design lackeys, we liked some of the things we saw.
LFG was especially intrigued with this Campaign Furniture inspired work area that literally closes like a travel chest. She vetoed my suggestion that she close me up inside this thing and let me yelp for help, claiming that it attacked me and that I’d not sue if they’d just give me one of these babies.
Then we got a bit artistic with our self portraiture efforts. Shut up.
Alas, all good things must come to an end. National Airport saw me off to Boston on Sunday early evening.
But Boston wouldn’t have me as intended. The Road Warrior-Consultant On-The-Go Gods decided to manifest four hour ground holds that left me ultimately at JFK airport with no connections remaining to Boston. By now it’s eleven thirty pm and I’m speaking in Boston at eight a.m. So might the above captured moment have me somewhat beleaguered and less than ebullient? Certainly. Because it’s three-thirty in the morning and after three hours of sleep, I’m about to jump in a car that’s been arranged for me and head over to LaGuardia and catch the six o’clock shuttle to Boston Logan.
At least the LaGuardia carpet matched my rig. I walked in to the conference room at the Westin in Wellesley at seven-forty five, fuelled by adrenaline and caffeine, a PowerPoint deck of drivel illuminating the screen five minutes later and I over-delivered for my client. Like Dizzy Dean once said… “It ain’t braggin’ if you done it”.
I was front and center till five p.m. Went straight to the bar and had one of these, then room service dinner and REM sleep by eight-thirty.

Onward…amidst tenfold more blessings than challenges. Repacking the bag for a project pitch in New Jersey in the morning. My partners and I will win this project.


The Lost One. said...

O'Connells will be the death of me, I swear. Those are some fine-looking cords.

I like the GTH fuzzy dice socks, too.

JMW said...

Wow, the First Lady showing up at the soccer field - must have been quite a match. Also, love the GTH pants with the flasher - too funny!

ADG said...

LostMon...I hope all is well with you. I agree re O'Connells but geez...if something has to be the death of us, "corduroy poisoning" courtesy of O'Connells ain't the worst way to go.

JMW...Yes, the flasher britches are great. And I'm sure it's tough to try and create any level of a "normal" weekend for the Obama girls.

Nelle Somerville said...

Flasher Prep, now there is a style for sure. Hilarious!

Suburban Princess said...

I too am stuck between capris and wool pants...every year I vow to solve this problem and every year I realise I havn't.

I have noticed quite the lack of women's embroidered pants on the market these days! The menfolk get to have all the fun!

RHW said...

ADG you've got to give plain front britches more props than you do. At least try?

Kudos for your perspective too. I work with some people who never would have gotten around to telling me about the soccer game, art fair, horizontal corduroy pant photo op (nice touch) or SAAB story for all their bitching about the lay-over at Laguardia...

Keep it real, and keep it flat front, brotha.


Patsy said...

The new Bentley Supersports has 622 hp, maybe in 3 years when they come off lease, that could be your new ride!

James said...

I've been eyeballing my cords lately. 50 in the AM brings it out in me, but they are still a few weeks away. GO SNOW LEOPARDS! We will just shout down the Oreo faction.

Young Fogey said...

Lahk mah mawmah alwuz sed, fuzzy is as fuzzy does. Thems is some stunning cords--small animal stunning, that is.

How can someone who likes art--real art, like the Vanity Fair caricatures--also like clothes with dice so fuzzy that not even a circus clown would wear them? ADGFuzzMon, you are a man o' contrasts.

Though mayhaps I've gotten a wee fuzzy meself. I did wear spectators this summer... I blame you. ADG, you are a bad man. (Though in all fairness, I must also blame Giuseppe and his nemesis, Will at ASW.)

LFG and my daughter have the same photographic instinct: when a camera is pointed at them, SMILE! The bigger and cheesier the smile, the better. I love it.

LPC said...

This post should be been titled, "I Saw Michelle Obama Despite My Bad Pants." :)

Lisa said...

Regarding the last photo of chilled-to-perfection martini, I’m glad to hear that the “addiction to buttermilk” was simply a rouse. After I wrote my last comment about said buttermilk/staged drinks, it dawned on me why Sir Paul McCartney never made eye contact/talked to you in that hotel lobby. I could imagine that he saw the drink on the table and then looked up to see you holding a tall, cold one and having had a few slugs, also sporting the ubiquitous (butter)milk moustache. See where my imagination can take me? And that’s sober!!!! It was only a very bad dream . . . thank goodness.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Like my Grandfather always said: "The only thing you can be sure of about weather is that there will be some."
In that context your trouser selections are a crap shoot until All Soul's Day

Anonymous English Female said...

Young Fogey - LOL!! You took the words right out of my mouth except I couldn't even begin to do that accent...
ADG - I'm praying for snow so you can put those bug-infested, whale-spouting, whatever-flashing cords at the bottom of a very deep chest in a very distant attic and get out some far more elegant and becoming tweed or herringbone; inverted pleats, 2"cuffs...
PS - You need a haircut.

NCJack said...

Now did you ask that lady to model the 1/2 price bathing suits, or to model one 1/2 off? In language as in dress, the small details can make quite the difference.

Anonymous said...

I like Restoration Hardware's renaissance. Speaking of campaign furniture, didn't you, quite some time ago, mention that as a topic for a future post? I hope I didn't miss it.

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Beautiful. I guess the question is, did you get the number of that 'stunning specimen of womankind', and, does she comment here?

Anonymous said...



yoga teacher said...

re: LFG's fuzzy little footies. My wasband and I used to have a fine time trying to "direct" our daughter's items of questionable taste to each other's homes. Until the day we were all on a short trip together and she asked for the ugliest souvenir imaginable, then dramatically wondered aloud, "Whose house I should keep it in?" She still occasionally taunts us this way, and refuses to tell us how long she was onto our cruel little game!

ilovelimegreen said...

Oh what a brilliant suggestion to procure that fold-up chair with accusations of an attack - but now that LFG won't go along with your plans, I'm not going to say what that means. And don't even think about cutting your hair - sorry to disagree with AEF.

Barima said...

I admit it; I was wondering the same thing as LBT there

I was on a break recently, and missed the opportunity to mention that I enjoyed your post about your father. Thank you for opening up as you did

All best,


Easy and Elegant Life said...

Eat the wounded at your pitch.

I think that gabs are the way to go with this weather. Or maybe pincord. I'm still in linen, but ti's warmer here in the morning.

Glad to see that LFG has inherited her father's sense of whimsy.

ADG said...

Eleganto...we did well yesterday-thanks. We remain whimsical...amidst limited trouser options!


LimeGreen...there was a sixty year old guy in my meeting yesterday with hair more unruly than mine. So I cancelled my haircut today.

YogaTeach...brillian! Oh, and I quoted your "wasband" word yesterday. Funny.

LagunaTradMon...The "stunning woman specimen" does not comment here. She remains speechless. I'll nudge her in a moment.

AnonCampaign...I WILL write the Campaign Furniture story...someday.

NCJack...either way, a floggin' was inevitable.

AnonEngFem...No haircut for me. Till a tornado hits Gotham.


Lisa...sorry about the buttermilk vision. Reading your interpretation of it kinda scared me.

LPC...Prunella, if I'd had on any of the "baddest" of the bad pants, I think the Secret Service would have, at minimum, tazered me.

Young Fogey...I done told you once. My mama smoked when she was pregnant with me.

James....we won't need to shout down the Oreo faction. I pulled up a photo of a snow leopard on my iphone. After seeing the beast, they readily agreed.

Patsy...622hp...I'd hurt myself. Bad.

RHW...thanks. And yes, I've come around to some flat front sensibilities. I'll do a post.

SuburbanPrincess...I love you. In the proper way that a blogger is supposed to love people who read his stories. But I've never been caught between "capri and wool" !

Nell....Flasher Prep...that's me.

Suburban Princess said...

No I don't suppose you would find yourself wonder what to wear when capri season is over...but if you ever find you are we will expect a hairy calf shot in lieu of the usual crotch shot :O)

BMO'C said...

Can you point me towards those embroidered cords? I found the whales ones on the O'C website but can't find the bees or the flashers. Any help is appreciated. As a random aside - Always love contacting O'Connell's given the fact that it's my last name - would be great if I'd get a discount or something :-P