Friday, July 26, 2013

Navy Blah

My closet is full of fuzzy. You know—my sartorial contrivances that for the most part successfully made the breach from idea to existence in good form. 
I love pattern and texture and consistent with my Pee Dee roots, I’ll always like a little smidge of trashy thrown in too. Exhibit A for this “look at me, look at me” spore that still inhabits my essence is this redneck-ass pair of honky-tonk trailer trash drunk meets the Regatta britches I bought in Charleston the other week. It was half price time at M.Dumas, the only thing left on King Street in Charleston worth visiting (unless you wanna gander for a moment in that museum known as Ben Silver) but oh no…I had to pop for something full-price. That something being these Vineyard Vines please make fun of me thangs. Shut up. Shut the ___ up.
And this is how bad it’s gotten betwixt me and Ms. LFG. I waited till she was back in the room at the Mills House before I slipped down to Dumas and made the purchase. To this day she knows not that they exist since I sneaked ‘em in my travel bag and spirited them back home sub damn rosa. Kinda like the Underground Railroad for shit one ought not to be buying in the first place. Remember...she forbid me to wear my F. Todd Howell Hog Farmer Coffman Specials depicted above. Shut up I already said. 
I’m her father. She respects me and loves me and even though she only grunts at me now, the grunts are mine. All y’all  told me that the grunts are pretty much the only thing I’m gonna get for the next five years and if LFG saw these britches; I do believe amidst her somewhat sequestered feelings for me, she would thereafter cut me off from even the all too infrequent huffs and eye-rolls. It ain’t worth it.
But amidst all my color and pattern craziness, some kinda default anti-GTH override seems to be more consistent than the flurry of fuzziness that busts out from time to time. What is this default override of which I speak? Blue jackets and tan trousers. Case in point you axk for? My zillion pairs of tan or close to tan linen and cotton/silk trousers that I wear the hell out of all summer long. Did I need another pair? 
I thought so and the flat front, beltless, frog mouth cowboy pocketed pair seen here would be my latest contrivance. I still ain’t gonna tell you the source. It’s my dirty little secret but just suffice it to say that my spendthrift self ain’t gonna let Uncle Flusser or Miracle Mark Rykken make me no bespokeydoke britches at seven hundred a go. 
These are remarkably less...price-wise and as far as the need for quality and durability, these are rigorous enough. And tasty, tasty, tasty… ‘specially after we throwed a two-inch cuff on their south ends. Then again anything swathing my still in-shape temple of sexiness is gonna be tasty, tasty, tasty. Speak up.
And jackets? I wear a solid blue one seventy-five percent of the time. Certainly I love other things color and pattern wise and Miracle Mark Rykken at Paul Stuart has a lovely summer jacket in the works for me right now. It’s a great gaggle of pattern and color—with hacking flaps on it to make it just fuzzier enough.
But Miracle Mark also has for me in tandem with that jacket, another, you guessed it, blue one. But oh, it's different. Three-Two Roll--Peaked Lapels--Double Vented of course but the game changer on this one?...Hacking Pockets including ticket. Now that's different, no?
Blue jackets prevail…yet I’ve got those windowpane and tweedy things in my closet that I’m so crazy about and I’ve got a remarkable Russell Plaid jacket for winter that’s sitting right now on Savile Row awaiting my first fitting. It's a different shade than the one above and I’m gonna remain cagey and coy regarding who’s making it for me till I write a story about the jacket and the cutter this Fall. But for now I will say that he is the most imaginative cutter on the Row today…imaginative without being all tarted up like the current stewards of Huntsman's legacy. Damn. When I think that something’s too fuzzy or tarty then it probably is.
My interest in the Russell plaid was very precise. I didn’t want the common version infrequently offered in trousers and jackets off the peg. The standard version is rather brown with a light cream background that makes the already geometrically crisp Russell appear even more structured and harsh. There’s another version...above...that’s slightly greener and creamier and I’m just gonna tell you right now that it will be the bomb. Or as Zbigniew Brzezinski used to pronounce it…“bom-buh.” Now I’ve yet to see my Russell jacket and have deliberately not asked to see photos of it because I want my first sighting to be in situ. I missed my first fitting in New York when my mama blew up but one of my best buddies saw it. Here’s what he said…

“…and after we'd chatted a bit about this and that and him and her, he showed me a lovely exclusive swatch of brown checked tweed -- of which he had only enough for one or two suits -- and it was right down my street. So I said yes. Then he casually asked me if I wanted to see your jacket. Just as casually I said yes, and he brought it out: I was knocked completely base over apex; the antique Russell plaid made up beautifully. So beautifully in fact that I cancelled my original choice of the brown check and told him to make me up the Russell.”
You’ll learn who this fella is that’s aped my Russell when I write the story. Let me just tell you for now that I’ve never been prouder to have someone of his taste level be inspired by something that I contrived. Maybe he can make some headway with my little grunter, LFG.
Oh, and before we get back to blue jackets, the swatch(es) above has been bothering me for six months. I ran across it when I was seeking out the just-right version of the Russell plaid and I can’t get over it. Kinda like the carpincho hide that I’ve been obsessing over courtesy of those clever Cleverley boys. I thought I had it washed outta my noggin after seeing a garish, hip-hop pimp ass carpincho shoe in green. It was absurd enough to scare even my fuzzy redneck rump to death but somehow the carpincho spore has embedded itself once again. Be quiet. I’m not sure which of the two colorways above will prevail. Do you have an opinion?
My mostly navy…blue jacket penchant has always manifested with gold buttons….blazer style. Puerto Rykken and Alan Flussfluss made my blue linen jacket years ago and just assumed that I’d want horn buttons on it and sent it accordingly. And I accordingly called them and requested a set of gold buttons as soon as it arrived. I think it goes back to my college days when every KA wore a navy blazer with gold buttons. All the damn time.
Here I am years ago dancing with a little stunner on the deck of the Disney Cruise-r. Linen Flusser blazer and a dance partner who at that time still thought I was the Cat Daddy. 
Photo stolen once again--from Ivy Style. Shut up.
But times change and some proclivities adjust accordingly. The anti-fuzziness…the duende…the subtle confidence manifest in this man’s navy jacket caught me many months ago when we were having lunch in Gotham. G. the Bruce Boyer was rocking a navy double breasted jacket in a way that made me feel childish about my peacockery. And I’ve had that jacket on my mind ever since.
Photo stolen from Rose Callahan...Order your copy of I Am Dandy today. If not, I'll cut you.
The understated subtlety reminded me of those classic dressers who had very nice clothes but very standard things regarding color and cut. Bill Blass and Bobby Short come to mind. Both when not in formal attire, were usually seen in gray or blue clothes. Superbly cut and minimally accessorized. Could I ever become a student of such elegant restraint?   
I don’t know but what I do know is that I wanted to try such a jacket yet I had no budget for it. Rykken and Savile Row nicked my entire 2013 bespoke budget. So where might I turn for such an experiment and do so for less money? Seems like one thing that’s consistent in this story is my insistence on not uncloaking my sources. To that end, I’ll keep this one under wraps too—at least for now. The first fitting was quite good and I’ll do a write up on the jacket once I get it back after just a few needed tweaks.
It’s a hopsack but not one of those stiff feeling cheapies. Rather nice hand for the money and my hunch is that it’ll end up being a go-to staple. We’ll see how long I last before I tart it up with gold buttons. Yes by the way--that is a machine made button hole. I'm slumming in MTM land instead of bespoke. Most of you mugwumps don't even know the difference so leave me alone and I mean it. And before one of you Style Forum turds leaves an anonymous of course, message about the cheap plastic buttons...they are the try on buttons. Nicer ones will replace the scrimmage set.
Oh, and I couldn’t not do something to make it just a little bit pimpish. The lining is quintessential South Carolina Horry County Pee Dee White Trash. All to be damned. Inspired by G. the Bruce. Tarted up by D. the G.
Duplicates. After the Rykken one rolls in and the G. the Bruce inspired one makes way I'll be down to only six blue jackets.
Final point regarding owning duplicates of the same thing. If you know you've got backup, you're less likely to worry about the consequences of capricious behavior that might damage your goods. Case in point regarding my deportment is reflected here. Amidst that clothing carnage there's a navy blazer. This was a few summers ago when I got a craving flung on me and peeled down right then and there--outside. Can't recall now who exactly was the motivator but I'm sure we had a big time. And for you newbies who haven't read about my other antics, the above is nothing. I've been known to set my damn self on fire. Read here if you don't believe me. Now back to the pile of clothes in the photo...had I been really worried about my clothes getting soiled or had I been wearing a jacket made of some delicate dupioni or a fragile fresco...I'd a probably thought twice and then...done the same damn thing. 
Onward. Home from a wild week that began in Jacksonville and ended in the northern burbs of Chicago…flying with the summer vacation travel rookies. One copes.  
And what'll help me cope this weekend will be some Honky Tonk Healin'. Listen to my boy David Ball, a fellow South Carolina redneck, as he extols the virtues of the Honky Tonk Healin' process.

And one more thing…my mama—the one that was supposed to die last March—walked the other day. Six steps—with a physical therapist on each arm—but still.

ADG the Second One



21 comments:

Anonymous said...

What did Ben Silver ever do to you?

Anonymous said...

Is that a machine-made buttonhole on the navy DB? Also, you now those are cheap plastic buttons right?

Sincerely,

SF Anon

Spalding said...

Pants! I live in a big city and I found a pant maker, they make pants for the old Italian made to measure tailors. Or as my old friend Tomas would say pants are women's work, as they are often farmed out to women who do home sewing. I bring my own fabric (look for pant lengths)Cut Make Trim is cheaper then fancy retail.
Not bespoke but allot of options. Find a presser and they will guide you.


FLW said...

Fantastic post, 80G2. I'm always a fan of the ones that give us an update on the wardrobe, LFG, and yo' mama all in one. You run the best game in blog-town these days. Thanks.

-FLW the Sycophant

PS- I'm going on record as guessing the Mystery Row Tailor to be none other than Steven Hitchcock. He inherited daddy's taste from A&S and adds his own little twist, seems like it could be your thing.

ADG said...

Ben's sliver ain't done nothing to me. And I've done nothing to it. What's your point, boss?

Silk Regimental said...

Good story.

I don't think we ever got (one will get) the full story on the "fire".

So glad your Mom is perking up. You're blessed..

ilovelimegreen said...

1. Navy jackets are to you what green necklaces are to me.

2. I had a skirt just like the flipped-over swatch when I was about 19. I thought it would go with everything in my fall-winter wardrobe but it managed to go with nothing

3. I vote for the swatch on the bottom - the tan with green and orange.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry. Our girls come back. Mine went upstairs when she was 12 and I next saw her when she came home from college but last weekend we were up until 2am Sunday on the back porch laughing drinking beer with names I can't pronounce (her occupation) and listening to John Prine
DP

Young Fogey said...

Love the story. Hate the pants—but you knew that, and what's more, you don't care, which makes me like you all the more.

Wonderful news about your mother. I'll continue to pray for her.

Fabric? The tan is much, much better, which is why you'll go with the hunter orange plaid instead.

And you still haven't told us the whole story of how you set yourself on fire.

I now have only six navy jackets, too.

1. Thin worsted, antiqued silver-tone buttons (lining is starting to go)

2. Wool flannel, patch pockets (all three), flaps on the hips, ugly brass buttons that I haven't gotten around to replacing yet

3. Heavy cashmere, made in Ireland, open patch hip pockets, brass buttons that only a machine could re-shank

4. Whisper-thin linen, open patch pockets, 3/2 roll that I can wear as a paddock, black plastic buttons that I like

5. 4/1 DB, open patch pockets, linen-like variegation in the color, thin-ish mystery material (wool/silk/linen/Dacron/rayon/slug mucous blend, I think), black MoP buttons (replacing hideous blue metal buttons it came with)

6. Subtle windowpane, lightweight worsted, flapped/jetted pockets, horn buttons, vintage Brioni

So no, I ain't got no bespoke nor MTM, and I ain't got no SB peak lapels, hacking pockets, or ticket pockets, but I do have a cashmere blazer that I got for 25 bucks and a Brioni jacket that set me back a whopping seven smackers.

heavy tweed jacket said...

One can never have too many blue jackets. Regarding those plaid tweeds, the top brown one with the olive and orangish overchecks - I can imagine that with khakis, coverts, flannels, basically anything. Nice warm colour.

ADG said...

AnonymousCheapButtons…Shut up.

Spalding...Sounds like you are on to something.

FLWsycophant...It’s rare these days that I have the time or mental bandwidth to throw one of these babies together. But I’ll tell you I enjoyed writing it. Oh…and it ain’t Hitchcock.

Silk Reggie...How’s mama? How’s the car?

Ilovelimegreen-er….How’s your mama and daddy?

AnonGirlsComeBack…I can’t wait that long. I’m already having some incontinence issues.

Young Fogey...Bingo! And I’ve got a rather decent care package ‘bout ready to send to you.

heavy tweedy...I’m still at a 50/50 on the two plaid tweeds.

NCJack said...

You let that child go out in public dressed like that!? A UGa sweatshirt??

Suburban Princess said...

If I can manage to curate a wardrobe of navy blue, grey, and black for working for the local undertaker...you can manage a teensie bit of restraint too. But not too much - we don't want people to wonder what's happened to you!

Anonymous said...

The. Pants. No.
Not even as a joke.

ADG said...

N.C. Jackie...I have no say in the school sweatshirts--that one's from the "other side" of the family.

SuburbanPrincessahhh...Restraint--NO fun.

Spalding said...

Back again;
My tailor (not my pant maker) was showing me tweeds, I was looking at the Holland and Sherry which were fairly priced, he also had beautiful hand loomed Shetland Island, much more expensive and done on single looms so 5-5.5 yds a suit.
I thought of you.
I was being drawn to the rust orange with over-check, you are a negative force to mankind.

ADG said...

Spal-Dang...yep. You are talking my language. The single loom stuff always seems to be tastier. And it's obvious why the cost is higher. Also, as if you hadn't already decided to pounce--I believe that the folks left who are skilled in using a single loom are almost gone. Another 5-10 years and you won't see any new fabric from such sources.

Regarding my negative force to mankind--you are SPOT on. My strategy is clear. If I'm going down--I must take others with me. It allows me to spread my pathos amongst a broader canvas--thus feeling less guilty about my own...guiltiness.

Spalding said...

The French have a term for that, a"folie a deux" the madness of two. Search the world for another who will drop a solid sum for the fabric alone to make a fuzzy, itchy, orange, bulletproof tweed suit and it all seems sane.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy about your mama. That is the best news!

I always like your clothes. That goes without saying.

Your baby girl will return. It's a phase. Repeat that several hundred times a day. Or however much you need to do it.

Onward,

Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

I read your comments years ago on TRAD (YAWN) I see he's no longer on your "These I Like" list. Hmmmm.

Glad to see you're writing again.
You entertain me. Please continue.

poloist12 said...

The first photo reminds me of, lets see; "Kris Kross will make jump jump."

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