Saturday, October 9, 2010

Windowpane-Sleeve Cuffs-Knit Ties…Merkin-Windsor-Frazier Homage

Ok folks, here’s how you might consider dressing if you want to be taken a bit more seriously than Black Fleecing but still have some fun. Richard Merkin reminds me of sleeve cuffs, George Frazier evokes pinned collars and knit ties but then of course there’s the Duke of Pane…thus homage versus Black Fleece fromage.
The Cuffed Merkin
The Pinned Frazier
The Paned Duke
And let me also remind you of the hallucinatory rationalization(s) I use to justify obsessions sartorial. I no longer play golf…a second round of graduate school and the birth of LFG caused me to discontinue “golf-time” years ago. And back then it was at least a half grand a month habit. And there were girls in our golf gaggle who beat me regularly, occasionally on the golf course. But then again they could also pee standing up. Bass boats and expensive bird guns are now beyond me. Or am I beyond them? So my huntin’-fishin’-golfin’ buddies spend scads of dosh on those things. Oh, and one of my business partners is a very accomplished photographer and he buys state of the art digital photography gear for breathtaking sums.
Why work so hard if you can’t enjoy some fruits of your labor. The fact that I’ve got a seventeen thousand acre damned sartorial organic farm is none of your business. Shut up. My buddy JTS has fifty thousand dollars worth of shotguns that are aesthetic, artisanal and engineering gems. I have gut end braces and one of George Washington’s hernia trusses. Oh, and my stuff has staying power (references provided) …this suit was contrived for me in 1997. Peak lapels rolling a three-two. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Our weather remains delightful…warm days and cooler evenings so lighter weight suitings remain a logical choice. I was talking with someone the other day about flannel suits. I no longer own one. I have gray flannel trousers but otherwise, I find flannel too hot amidst even the coldest wintry days…mainliest reason is that I’m not outside in the cold for very long and when I’m in meetings I fire things up. No need for me to sweat while I deliberately induce such phenomena amidst my client/victims. But I do miss my old Polo Ralph gray flannel chalk stripe suit from twenty-five years ago.
I love knit ties and if I wore ties more often and knit ties specifically, I’d get better at tying them. I’m fuzzy and sloppy about many things. But I’m retentive about the quality and morphology of tie-knots…why opt for such adornment without assuring some level of accomplishment in how you’ve tied it right? But knit ties are tricky. Get the knot right and the length is wrong. Give it another go and you’ve landed on vice-damn-versa. After about seventeen goes, I landed this knot within an acceptable target range for public display.
Pin it. Don’t clip it. And please, don’t argue with me or we’ll end up with some kind of Brethren Black Fleece (d) Anon 1:28 tirade. Anon 1:28 … sounds almost like a Bible verse. But Old Testament only for Anon 1:28.
Sleeve cuffs are a folly for the most advanced Fuzzy Dice-ists. It works for this jacket because the lightweight fabric accommodates the gauntlet without creating “thickness” at the sleeve-end which might be ok for your weekend country tweed coats but won’t feel right or look appropriate on dressier concoctions. Trust me on this…I’ve had sleeve cuffs removed because the end result didn’t match my initial vision for what the endgame should be. And you wonder why I’m not remarried.
 Everyone should have at least one pair of trousers with the proverbial split-back-fishtail folly. It’s a derivative affectation whose genesis is grounded in 19th century British military trews. It’s also a derivative affectation that if you gain or lose weight, you can kiss said trouser quirk goodbye. Taking in or letting out trousers of this construct is a nightmare.
Some of the fishtail swoops on officers mess dress trews climb half way up the wearer’s back. High drama overkill. Fuzzy in Full so please…sign me up. For the trews…not the 24th Foot.
 If Fred Burnaby was standing in this ever so generous painting by Tissot, you’d see the fishtail on his trews climbing like ivy, trew tendrils fighting their way up Burnaby Ridge. Royal Horse Guards...more precisely for Burnaby…The Blues—before they amalgamated all of the Queen’s Household Cavalry.
“Ok ADG, this assemblage looks almost normal for a change. So where’s the Krazy-Kat Merkin brick throwing component?” Fear not folks—I’d never let you down…lookie here…at the shoes.
 I loathe black dress shoes. Don’t lecture me on why I need at least one pair of cap toed black lace-ups. Folks, I had them and wore them for years because it was expected of me. Now I don’t have to and you can’t make me. I’m begging for the day when I’m in an environment where my cohorts and constituents are knowledgeable enough about clothes to call me on the mismatch…to shout me down for shodding ersatz. Like I’ve said before, the only people who care about any of this stuff are the nuts who read trad sartorial blogs. Nobody cares anymore. Butcept Anon 1:28.
Le Refuge is a little French place literally five hundred feet from my office. So after a day swathed in windowpane and pinned collar knitishness, I had a date. With my favorite companion…me. Weary of going home to leftovers and Stoli I left the office and ambled over to the Frog Diner that’s been on Washington Street for over twenty five years. I dine alone so often when I’m on the road that it doesn’t bother me in the least to do so in my own neighborhood.
Dover Sole and Stoli. The ice cold vodka scorchers were so good that I never considered asking for a glass of wine.
Peach Melba… a bit of caffeine and some high-sugar aperitif distillate and I’m good. No, I’m beyond good by now. I’m crooning…my inner Frank Sinatra manifests just in time to beat down my inner Anthony Bourdain who’d just bitch-slapped my inner Maitre d’ who now wanted to chat with the other diners in this compact little pod of Cassoulet consumption…this piccolo diner.
The couple sitting beside me…unmarried but dating long enough to discuss Thanksgiving plans with their families manifested the quintessential inside the Beltway wonk-sycophant duo. They were poised beyond comfort and the Blackberry contest between them pre-peri and post dinner was laughable. Nobody is that important and no one is amidst projects-K Street payoffs-events-crises so important that you can’t leave that sh_t alone for enough time to enjoy dinner. If you ARE that important or the issue IS that significant, then why the hell aren’t you still in the situation-room back at Gucci Gulch with your other sycophants…pretending to be as important or influential as you conceive yourself to be?

Dover Sole. Reminds me of the redneck derivative that I used to order at Mandinas in Mid-City New Orleans. Same thing every time I went. Because I loved it so much. Turtle soup to start. Trout Almondine with french fries next. Yes, french fries. Shut up. I’ve not set foot back in New Orleans since the moving truck pulled away from Old Metairie to bring me out of the seductive smarm of the Big Easy and back to the a wanna be City inside the Beltway. Sometimes I wish that it was seventeen years ago and I was at Mandinas and Trish was still alive and she’d laugh at my boyish delight when they placed the Trout Almondine in front of me. And with my puckish little assemblage of a smile I’d demand/ask “What?...What?” and the more I asked “What?” the more she’d laugh. So we would laugh and eat. Cash only at Mandinas back then. Not sure if it’s even any good anymore or if they take credit cards.
Onward. From Cotillion last night to Soccer today to Jazz Dance tomorrow.  LFG has vetoed the stubble so the compensatory facial adornment will be gone. Compensatory? Yes. Due to the intervention of several of you, I got a Pentagon high and tight haircut. Shortest it’s been in years.

ADG…Driving Miss LFG and loving every moment of it.


Anonymous said...

Mandina's post-Katrina is great. Had trout amandine there for lunch a couple of weeks ago, asked for veggies rather than french fries.

The damn fish they brought me was enormous. Sucker must have been on steroids, the Jesse Ventura of speckled trout. Whooo boy, but good.

Still don't take cards. Bring cash.

I think of Mandina's as a poor man's Galatoire's.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Classic. I can't find a thing wrong with anything here, and you know I tried. Hard.

The suede brogue-ghillie things...Paul Stuart?

If I were in your situation I would certainly attempt to dress like this, but alas, I work in an office where black dress shoes and white dress shirts are de rigueur. Even my pink shirts, I have been informed, are too outlandish, though I wear them anyway. Wait 'til they get an eyeful of my new Berlutis.

Love the proper haircut.

Bottoms up. Occasionally on the golf course.

Silk Regimental said...

That window pane and knit tie combo is fantastic! Absolutely perfect.

Richard M said...

Frazier was also partial to the chevron-pattern navy and white tie. Good choice, ADG!

CeceliaMc said...

I promise that this isn't a lame attempt at a bad pun (not that I'm above that), but I think the Duke's kit just screams for a half-windsor.

There's a jauntiness to windowpane which makes the full one seem like a dead carp hanging from his neck.

(BTW-- nice ass)

LPC said...

I actually LIKE the knit tie and with whatever that shirt is. I am generally blind to men's attire and read this blog only for your prose stylings and general impertinence, so I don't say I LIKE an outfit lightly. I do, however, LFG is a young woman of taste and discernment because fuzzy dice are not fuzzy chins. BTW, from the forehead up you now sort of resemble Bill Murry. Caddyshack. Wait. Many things are now clear to me.

Suburban Princess said...

You just said what I have been saying for years - what soccer mom in a mini van is so important that she needs to text and talk on the phone while driving her kids around...all the while putting my son and his parents in a life threatening situation. If said minivan driving soccer mom was so important she would have a driver!

Toad said...

For added fuzzy dicedness, turn off the sound and check out Dr.West's suit. I bet you never thought of some of these twists.

Anonymous said...

The shoes were perfect. A black six-eyelet cap-toe balmoral. Fully leather lined. Regular welt. Single oak leather sole. Custom stacked leather heel with rubber toplift welted last-5 would have killed the whole rig.

Officer & Southern Gent said...

Nice haircut, soldier. Now you're good 'til Spring. And are you sure that's not a painting of Sir Harry Paget Flashman in repose?

The wife purchased a couple of silk knit ties from BB for me many years ago. They require at least 5 extra minutes in tie-untie-tie-untie-tie-finally-a-decent-knot! while getting ready.

ilovelimegreen said...

My father had a black knit tie that he called his funeral tie - whenever I'd see someone wearing a dark knit tie, I'd think of it as a funeral tie. Fastforward to my sophomore year in college - I had a big date - my very first "going out to dinner" date - with a cute senior who was in the cool fraternity; he shows up in a dark knit tie and what do I manage to blurt out -"Oh, you are wearing a funeral tie" and it was downhill from there. Since then, I've managed to keep the funeral tie comment to myself - until now.

yoga teacher said...

Now THAT'S a yoga butt! High and tight, and I'm not talking about the hair.

Summer is a Verb said...

Facial hair??? Dessert during the week??? Ah, good thang the business ends of your knife and fork are pointed at 10 o'clock or else I'd have to organize a whole new task force and send them over to Camp Maxminusadate with a baterring ram in the wee hours of the morn...XXOO

Anonymous said...

Sir, if an "intervention" resulted in this tragic pentagon haircut [as handsome as you are], might a counter intervention convince you that a man of your taste and dash could easily pull off a Gianni-Agnelli-Pat-Riley comb back, curlswavesandall. Think it over at least?

NCJack said...

Bubba, them dice is wayyyy too fuzzy to roll anything but winners. Somehow I do pretty good on the knit tying, but now that I've said it and jinxed it...we'll see in the a.m.

Gwen said...

Dear Sir,

I thoroughly enjoy your blog and have been lurking for several months. I have a question I've wanted to ask but have been too shy: do you wear cologne? Every time you post a photo of one of your gorgeous outfits, I immediately imagine a hint of some very subtle scent to complete the picture. And then I swoon. :)


Anonymous said...

I'm going to try Le Refuge.

Speaking of French food, didn't you recommend a bottled French salad dressing, perhaps something you picked up while traveling, a while back? Will you kindly remind us of the name of the dressing and perhaps how it is available.

NCJack said...

By-the-bye, I see the younger, poorer (maybe) equivalent of your Blackberry couple at the coffee shop I hang out at: if they aren't texting away at their little gizmos, they have them out on the table and stare at them every few seconds. They can't talk to people actually at the table with them for more than three minutes without messing with the damn' things

Gerard said...

My friend, I have gained much from you, so I will not attempt to lecture you on black dress shoes. I wish you would reconsider, though, because once you see the beauty of their simplicity you understand.

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG - Terrific post. Love the suit, love the tie, love the shoes, love LBF for the haircut inspiration, most of all love LFG for intervening on the facial hair front.

ADG said...

AnonEngFem...thanks. And yes, LFG is the
balancing force in my Fuzzy Dice Journey.

Gerard...I'm not a black shoe virgin. While I wouldn't be against another pair of black Gucci bit loafers, anything else is lost on me. Two reasons really...I rarely have to dress as fully as the windowpane contrivance dictates and I don't wear a ton a navy blue suitings and don't own a gray suit. Second, you call it simplicity. I call it devoid of soul.

NCJack...we've paid a high ass price for the technology that I DON'T want taken away from us.

Anon...LeRefuge is best during the week or with advance reservations on the weekend. You'll enjoy it if you gear your expectations to it's quaintness and basic fare. The dressing...I'm too lazy to go to the fridge and look at it but it's KILLER stuff. It's in a post I did called "Proper Dressing".

Gwen...thanks very much. I'm not really a cologne guy. The stuff that I've had for 20 years under the cabinet in the bathroom isn't even sold anymore...not even at the drug store.

Flo...thanks but no can do. After an hour, the curls take over and it looks silly. Unless I put two pounds of pomade or a half pound of Crisco on it. And I can't be that fussy about anything.

AllieVonSummahSistah...I'd be up for the battering ram in the middle of the night thing butcept I'd get to pick the hotties from your website postings that I'd want to be "first in the door" for the intervention. Then there are others on your blog that I'd respectfully ask that you have them stay behind and manage the assault from Central Command and not actually be a part of the Raid on EntADG. Just sayin...with love from your brother in the backseat of the station wagon.

YogaTeacher...thanks. I've been blessed with good jeans...body mass/shape least for a middle aged fella so that's half the battle. We just aren't "big" people on either side of my family.

LimeGreen....what about a LimeGreen knit tie.

OfficerSouthernGent...Thanks. I'm probably gonna get the high and tight a bit more frequently. Maybe around Feb again. Not Flashman but I will have to shoot a pic or two of some Flashman-esque pictures that I do have. The picture in question is a self portrait by Conrad Stonor Werner, a Scandanavian artist who was active in the early-mid 20th century. He watched over my shenanigans.

ADG said...

AnonBlackSingleOakLeather...I just can't do it.

Toad...or anyone else...Help me with "Dr. West's suit" I don't know what you mean and am sure to be embarrassed when you explain.

SuburbanPrincess...I'm usually against laws that force us to behave in ways that our common sense should tell us to do so anyway. But in the case of texting and talking sans hands free in the car...the fines should start at a thousand bucks.

LPC...Prunella, darn, you've found me out...Bill Murray Caddy Shack. And if you ever see me in full animation you'll chuckle and say "yep, that's him." I also a get a bit of the puckish Robin Williams feedback from people too. Oh and thanks for the compliment regarding the suit. LFG refuses to cuddle with me re the facial hair so it's a goner this morning.

CeceliaMc...YES. I agree. The otherwise fuzzy jaunty rig would be even more provocative with a half or a four in hand or even just a kerchief. Thanks for the ass comment.

Richard M. Yes...I have that same tie as well. Shall I drop off a half dozen Apparel Arts for you? I figure I do so and then remind me to ask for them back in 3 months...then drop off six more. WE have twenty of them over here.

SilkRegSorrento...thanks Paul. We've just had open in DC a "New Haven" style pizza joint. It was packed last night. What should I be looking for when I make my first visit?

LagunaNonSleeperFogey...thanks. I worked for a Swiss Pharma based in Basel for almost 13 years. The best thing a kid out of undergrad could have stumbled upon. At least for me. I've always said that the shrewd Swiss were very "Prussian" in their business culture and the structure therein was good for me. I might have said this before in a post but the dress code made IBM look like a Greatful Dead fan club. Black cap toes every day...white dress shirts. And wearing ANY kind of sport coat to work would have been a deal breaker. Seriously, I saw guys whose careers were negatively impacted by a sudden change to a funky haircut or some move to a edgy pair of eyeglass frames.

Anonymous Mandinas....glad to know that they remain and that it seems to still be good food. After about six months of living there, I'd exhausted all of the higher end venues and saved them for when I could use my expense account. Mandinas is indeed the poor man's Galatoirs.

Silk Regimental said...

New Haven Style (apizza) - look for a very thin crust with burnt edges --- I hope you like it.

Pigtown*Design said...

if you don't wear cologne, then i've got a soap for you that will hove right close to your clothing style... i will put it with the shoes (that are taking up room in my wee house!).

xo, no really!

Young Fogey said...

The outfit is tasteful with a hint of fuzziness. Are those really pictures of you?

Love the suit, and that's a great tie with it. I'd say that wine-colored shodding would work more better-er than the tobacco suede dingleberry brogued tasseled kiltie inflatable pimp shoes (which I do like; I just think the color is not perfect here).

Are your boyish locks now the color of an English winter sky? I love my gray hairs--they're turning my dark blonde hair light again!

ilovelimegreen said...

"Just had open"????? That place has been open for MONTHS! Where have you been, ADG??????

ADG said...

LimeGreen...obviously elsewhere.

Fogey...of course it's me. "suede dingleberry" ...classic and yes, my hair is getting grayer by the week.

MegTown...I promise I'm coming to see you and my shoes soon.

SilkReggie...I'll let you know how it is. Not holding out for much in the way of good pizza around here though.

Anonymous said...

I feel so guilty after reading MegTown's remarks. I donated about 35 pair of men's barely worn-twice, last three season, 8 Ds to charity before I knew what size you were. (I am in the shoe business---so don't judge me on the quantity)

Ah well......future. Will think of you before I send shoes to the "jobbers".

Keith said...

Great post. Very well done. I love all of the clothing featured in it.

Mal said...


That was a very handsome rig, was wondering if those shoes were going to see the light of day.

Be well-

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Le Refuge! Had one of my first high school dinner dates there. then off to see "Diva", if I remember correctly.

Splendid rig. Those shoes were worth the wait.

Anonymous said...

Love this, hope you don't mind that I plan to mimic it.


ADG said...

I'd be honored.