Monday, July 16, 2012

Trad-Ivy Tuesday: Madras Miscellany and ADG Randomanalia…

I think this once per week Trad-Ivy Tuesday yoke is gonna become too heavy too fast.  The idea that I would settle into one decent post per week and have it waft up from the ADG cauldron of randomanalia in an aromatically focused, cogent and vaguely erudite fashion now seems onerous. That’s verbose code for “I’ve got an endless list of Trad-Ivy Tuesday stories but am too lazy and unfocused to write them.”
Bottom line is that it’s just easier for me to do those verbal stream of semi-conscious run on thangs than it is to write more responsibly. I could for example, be working on a more focused and responsible Trad-Ivy Tuesday story right now. But I don’t want to. What I want to do is just drop off some junk. The random stream of ADD whateverishness writing is easy as 1-2-3.Which brings me to Madras Miscellany. A tumblr reader asked…

“Heya D. I imagine this question is probably going to be met with "I haven't decreed that it's patch madras season or decided if there's a general moratorium in effect against the wearing thereof, so you deserve it," but I'm gonna ask anyway. Cookout: Torrential downpour, as in completely soaked (in more ways than one) wearing a pair of bleeding patch madras pants from Banks that are dry clean only. What do I do? Stick them in a tub of water until the dye no longer comes off? Say screwit?”
I’m giving up on trying to govern Madras. Now I know how Mountbatten felt when he turned the Colonial light switch off in India. Or how Charles de Gaulle felt when he said… “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?”
And my answer is I don’t care anymore. I’m finished with the burden of trying to extricate madras from the Trailer Trash Honkey Tonk zip code that it seems to go back to, even after we find examples of classic and appropriate madras modulation. It ain’t worth it. You wear your madras the way you want and I’ll wear mine—sparingly—the way I choose. For every appropriately revisionist resurrectionated madras example I see at the Brethren or J. Press or courtesy of O’Connell’s new-old stock, I see three instances of bad tattoos and madras mottled together.
So I am officially relinquishing all of my self-anointed and arrogantly appointed Madras Authority. LFG and I have now spent one week at the beach in Delaware and a week in Puerto Rico (which by the way, is Ocean City Maryland, Myrtle Beach South Carolina and Daytona all rolled up into an island with prettier water and better drinks. Oh, and a four hundred year old fort that’s pretty cool) and I’ve seen enough visual affirmation that this is the right time for me and my Madras Governance hallucinations to let it go. Let it go. Let it go. But not before I popped for the O’Connell’s Madras Swim Baby above. I’m digging the hell out of my Birdwell reacquaintance but I had to pounce on these classics. I’ll leave them in the sun to let some of the new bake out of them and then BAM, much to LFG’s consternation; I’ll be sporting these during our last vacation week in August.
Ok, so what else y’all wanna talk about? Will at a Suitable Wardrobe has some things on sale and no, he didn’t ask me to shill on his behalf. I enjoy going to Will’s from time to time and getting a pocket square or socks or just something to look forward to in the mail. I bought the green paisley linen number above way back before summer and I’ve worn the hell out of it. Get it if he still has one left.
And my latest on sale arrival rolled in tandemoneously with an “on sale at Paul Stuart” package. Tumblr readers were quick to ask about the contents of both packages and I’m sure that the revelation is gonna be underwhelming.
My GTH summer trousers aren’t legendary and don’t deserve such status but their identity, through this blog is known. My 2012 GTH addition above, from J. Mc. is a stellar complement to an already strong GTH line up.  However, when I work in the summer (and yes, I work…and not in GTH trousers) I tend to wear solid color tan linen trousers. Creature of habit? You bet. Toned down trousers to accommodate colorful bespoke shirtings and horizontal chemise stripings? Could be. At any rate, a few of my decade-plus years old tan linen babies have seen much better days.  And trust me, if they could talk, I’d let them write this freakin’ blog.
What was in the box? Flat front linen and cotton blend British tan trousers from Paul Stuart and an in your face oedematously polka dotted pocket square from Will. I cracked down on the inordinate use by bloggers of British spellings while admitting that I like to use the word colour from time to time because the spelling looks elegant. 
And now I must break my new rule again. I mean come on, oedematous vs. edematous? The British spelling is the bomb. Hell, the spelling itself oedematous. That word freakin’ waddles with tumescenticated rotundity. So yes, the dots on my Will square are oedematous. Shut the….
More on the square in a moment but back to the trousers for a bit. As soon as saw them I deemed the fabric a poor man’s dupioni. Years ago Flusser offered a bulletproof dupioni silk in three colors for summer suiting. I was too timid, thinking it would make-up in a shiny sharkskin way. It didn't. The dupioni clothing that I saw come out of the fabric run was bulletproof. It won’t convey in the photos here but there’s a similar hand to these trousers and I like it.  I like the pic stitching that’s noteworthy too. I’ll pick these up from Suh …replete with their two-inch cuffs and we’ll be sporting them in Jacksonville on Stay tuned.
Polka dots a bit too fuzzy for you? Pink a little too garish? Scared of the square? Don’t be. Well perhaps you should be if you remain one of those p_ssies who takes more than thirty seconds to stuff a square in your breast pocket. Treat the thing capriciously…wad the varmint up and thow it in. Then pull a couple of the tips out from the wreckage and so that they peek out—prairie doggie style. Any questions? Don’t ask.
Other updates? I feel like I’m trying to carry the conversation at a toy soldier swap meet…the nerdiest aggregation of poor conversationalists in the world. And speaking of toy soldiers and my collecting theme of Colonial Oppression, I picked up a few real old, beat to hell Turcos and Tirailleurs. I like quirky...and these foppish skirmishers bang high numbers on the killin’ quirk scale.
But this is my latest Holy Grail find. I’ve been looking for this Britains Naval Landing Party set for a decade.  
And yes it’s worn and yes the box is beat to hell. What are you gonna look like at ninety? It was a kid’s toy so it’s a miracle that any of it survived.
It’s rare to find a set intact and complete with original, albeit shoddy box. My ten year quest is testimony. Sorry, I should start an antique lead soldier blog, right? Wrong.
And finally, an update on my Casa Minimus decampment and move to Bethesda. It’s all good and it’s the right thing to do...LFG wise. It’s just that I’ve been busy and I’ve not found a suitable place out of the finalists I’ve seen in the Chevy Chase Bethesda corridor. My goal is to be fifteen minutes from LFG and I’ve gotta like the place immensely because I’ll still be there more often without LFG than not.
The next step in my place is the removal of all artwork from the walls and the commissioning of rental property neutral painting.
After that, it’s wall to wall rental grade carpeting and relegating Casa Minimus back over to the folks who’ve managed my rental properties before. It’s all good. Pass me the hash pipe.
Ok, it’s time for me to roll off of this drivel pile. I will say in closing that LFG is still hideously infatuated with her superstar father. Photo evidence above suggests that she was nothing short of smitten during every moment of our recent vacation.

Oh and PS...1-2-3 was another favorite of mine on the KA jukebox at three in the morning. And I could sing it as good as Len Barry. At three in the morning.


The Leopard said...

Where do I begin? first of all Len Barry, Boffo! and how great was the chick dancing to the right on Hullabaloo no less, definitely time machine material thanks, Secondly patch madras, a thousand times no even in the retro bathing suit and yet you aren't allowed to wear Vilebrequin, Thirdly the GTH trousers, they look a lot like Ernie's pajamas on My Three Sons, Fourth, Will's pocket square will fly, reminds me of an old Lilly Pulitzer pattern and the big polka dot pocket square, definitely fuzzy, definitely you and I'll end with the latest addition to your home defense forces, Fantastic! and with the box too, Congratulations.

maven said...


You asked what we wanted to talk about, so I will burden you with my current delimma... I am the proud mother or a 14 yo lad that is about to start Freshman year at a private school where the boys are required to wear a suit or sport coat and dress pants and dress shoes every day. (The idea is for them to learn to dress themselves for the real world.) Unfortunaly, up to now, I have been a bit lax with his everyday attire, and other boys (such as his scout troop) have influenced the child toward cargo shorts, etc... How can I teach my son and buy my boy the proper wardrobe from here on out? Do you know of any books or blogs that are aimed at his age group. He is a willing student but I have failed a bit. My husband wears traditional clothing, but he doesn't really care about clothes. Hubby missed out on fraternity life, and I think that experience would have changed his perspective. I, on the other hand, know these things matter - and I could use some help. Any advice?

P.S. Good luck on the hunt for new digs. Also, that Landing Party is "the bomb dot com" as my daughter would say!

Silk Regimental said...

How in the world are you going to move all those books and framed art??? Gads, that alone would keep in one place 'til the grim reaper came a callin'.

Madras of any kind is cool.

T said...

Huh. Well, okay then.

Main Line Sportsman said...

That set of soldiers is a score indeed...
And I love Len Barry....worked at a Pizza joint with his kid when I was in college.

Anonymous said...


If I might, GO SLOW. He will need something to wear the first week, so buy two jackets- one navy blazer and one something else that he likes. Buy him three Oxford Cloth button down shirts- one white, one blue, one blue and white striped. Buy two pairs of khaki pants. Let him wear any pair of those two pants he wants the first day, with either jacket and one of the three shirts. If he has no ties at all, buy him two. If he has one or two or can borrow from his father, do not buy any ties. TAKE HIM TO SCHOOL FOR THE FIRST SEVERAL DAYS. Notice what the other young men are wearing and do your best to buy what they wear. But try to wait a couple of weeks, just to get a clear sense of what is really going on. Eventually, he should probably have six shirts. It might be nice for them to be non-iron cotton or God Forbid, cotton blends. He is a freshman. He can grow into such phenomena as all cotton shirts. There may be a school tie, which is a safe bet. He might manage with nothing but khakis- you didn't say where you live- but you will probably want at least one pair of grey flannels and maybe one pair of corduroys- not jeans, but "khaki style" corduroys. Try not to make him wear all new clothes on the first day. Try to get a sense of what kind of shoes are acceptable and what kind are not. You may be surprised. I expect the average 14 or 15 year old, even the average 14 or 15 year old private school guy, doesn't need a suit. Three sportcoats, sure, if you can afford them, but no suit. He will promptly ruin the trousers and then his suit will become an awkward sportcoat. Save the steps. He is also likely to hit a growth spurt, so consider making sure he has a few nice things, but not too many, until post growth. Juan Junoz

heavy tweed jacket said...

Nice meandering post that hangs together like colorful patch madras. Probably a good idea to just let go of trying to marshall and lead that independent force that is madras. Are there really toy soldier swap meets? I can only imagine what the after hours gatherings are like...

ilovelimegreen said...

I just love the madras swim trunks...but you knew I would. I do not like the first pocket square at all - never have, never will - but oh, that polka dot pocket square!!!

I am always willing to help you unpack once you relocate; how can you turn down someone with experience such as mine?

Anonymous said...

Juan Junoz, you aced it. Not only that, you finessed it soooo fine. Maven, I'd just add that everydarnthing is on major sale right now Banks, Brooks, Macys, hometown department store dot com, you name it. Good time to take Juan's list in hand and shop hard.

I do not know what's keeping Max this long from responding to your query, Maven, but when people like me step up to offer sartorial assistance, he is getting what he deserves.

-Florence, from South Carolina

ADG said...

I got no Internet connection tonight and one finger typing is tedious. Juan did a stellar job. So much so that I'm gonna post his reply as a separate blog entry. Goodnight evvybody.

BethAnn said...

"I like quirky...." Best line ever - just sums up the entire post in one line. Could even be the title to your blog.

If I could EVER find a suitable job up there, thus moving in to your Old Town rental, would you please leave the walls those lovely colors and not paint them some boring neutral shade? I would like the prints to stay too but I'm guessing that's a non-starter even with generous visitation rights. No trash talking' here, nuh-uh, no way.

And speaking of budget killers, I am now for some reason obsessed with signet rings. Any thoughts on those since you've given up the madras tutelage?

Anonymous said...

Two thangs:

One, I could (can?) sing it, too, but I couldn't have picked Len Barry out of a lineup or a multiple choice test. Thanks for the fill-in info, Hoss.

Two, at the Islamabad Brit Club, I knew a nice English Lady who told be about her job as a teen-age go-go dancer at a club in London. That vid brought her to mind. Thanks.


Young Fogey said...

If I might add my 2¢ worth to Mr. Junoz's answer, I would add that you will want more shirts and pants sooner rather than later. Doing laundry every day, or even every other day, grows old quickly.

Start with one pair of penny loafers, in burgundy or black, and get him another pair of "acceptable" shoes soon thereafter. The idea of seeing what's in and what the other boys are wearing is excellent, but only one pair of shoes will grow old—and smelly—soon.

Socks should be navy, never black. Start with three pairs, but be prepared to buy more, and perhaps in different colors, such as the same tone as the chinos, and gray to match the flannels.

If you have to buy ties, start with navy & red stripes. Hit your local thrift stores; he will ruin his father's ties buy spilling lunch on them. 100% silk only, please!

And good luck!

Anonymous said...

"I got no Internet connection"




Tanned White Girl said...

Patch madras - get over its declassification/other people's sodding subjectivity already and love it for what it is. See Bill Murray's rig as Walt Bishop in Moonrise Kingdom and then tell me it's over...

weaving spider said...

Juan Junoz? I love you, I truly do.

Reggie Darling said...

Love the post, love the pants, love 1-2-3 and the chick dancing in the cage and the fact Barry's wearing a suit and lovin' it. Reminds me of late night dance parties at the frats in college when we all wore jackets and ties and the papagallo-wearing girls knew how to shag (the dance, that is). Sigh. Now I need to go to bed, so I can dream about the good old days. Reggie

maven said...

ADG, I look forward to seeing the post that you will put together with Juan Junoz's entry.

Juan Junoz --- now I get it! (Hint: say the name aloud) Thank you so much!

Young Fogey, I'm out the door today to buy penny loafers! Thanks for all of the great hints!

Florence - I'm shopping hard! :)

Nelle Somerville said...

I need to start reading you daily again Ole Max. Sorry for the crickets but loved this post and Juan's tutorial for sure!!!

ADG said...

LeopardMonMon…thanks. The chick dancing to the right is probably using a walker/Zimmer frame by now! And no, I can’t wear the Velbequikweetaters. They cost too much. That’s a pair of shoes. I’d forgotten about Ernie’s pjs but you make a great point. And thanks too for acknowledging my collecting addiction. I truly, had been looking for that set forever.

maven...I’m gonna post your question and answer as a blog story for next week!

Silk Regimental... “How in the world are you going to move all those books and framed art???” …I think they are called…Movers!

T said... “Huh. Well, okay then.” … T. Don’t be some damn surly and air-you-dite.

Main Liner…that’s COOL that you knew Barry’s son.

heavy tweed jacket...Oh Lordy are there toy soldier swap meets. After hours? The average age is about seventy. There are no after hours. On the other hand, they are all at the door to the firehouse, gymnasium, Knights of Columbus hall champing at the bit two hours before the thing starts, usually at 8am.

ilovelimegreen..I forgive you for not liking the first pocket square. None the damn less, it’s a great one. I still haven’t found the place to locate TO. But when I do…

Anonymous...”I do not know what's keeping Max this long from responding to your query, Maven, but when people like me step up to offer sartorial assistance, he is getting what he deserves.” … I have been WORN OUT since Puerto Rico and this…this Saturday morning…is my first moment. I even had to cancel a conjugal visit last night so you know that I’m woe out. And a bit gassy.

BethAnnQuirky…I read in some online men’s forum, after a reader pointed me there…the line from some member and it was… “or you can be like Maxminimus and embrace the quirk.” Embrace the Quirk would be my runner up to the LPC by-line that will and should be there forever.

Next…it’s killin’ me to turn this joint back into rental neutral. But I’ve been down this road before. It’s gotta be done.

Signet rings? Heraldica Imports NYC. Google them.

AnonymousTwoThangs…yep. There are a couple of other performers who have fooled you and me, effnicity wise over the years. “Islamabad Brit Club” …you should write a story about it!

Young Fogey...Good advice. Indeed.

-Flo…when my flight got cancelled I ended up in a W property called the aLoft over near the Jax airpoat. It was fun.

Tanned White Girl...You have no tan lines. I know. bam…lowercase. But bam none the less.

weaving spider said... “Juan Junoz? I love you, I truly do.” You wouldn’t. You truly wouldn’t. He’s a South Carolina Republican. Of the Storm Thurmonster type.

Reggie Darlingtossity…alas…those days are gone. I read your line and immediately conjured my version of those same types of fun gals…papagallos…skirts or sometimes Levis Red Tags and a cool belt…pearls or add a bead necklaces and those fabric purses…monogrammed but beer stained and I think, reversible. I always, respectfully, asked them to keep the pearls on. It didn’t become a full blown fetish but it was perilously close. Bam. Upper Case.

Nelle Somerville...I’ve GOT to get up to Baltimore. MegTown’s house warming gift is over a year old. Let’s all frolic before summer’s over.