Charles Tyrwhitt, Matching Metals, & More – The Mailbag

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Some questions are better answered publicly since others might be asking the same thing, or, one of you has the perfect answer. If you’ve got a style tip, question, or anything else you’d like to pass along, you can send those in here. If you’d rather your question not be featured in a future mailbag, just go ahead and say so in your email. Feel free to hit the comments with other options for answers to this most recent batch of questions. Top Photo Credit:  Tracy O.

 

Q: A Cordovan Shoe Conundrum

Buddys Cordovan Conundrum on Dappered.com

I’m saving up for a pair of shell Cordovans from Alden. I’m trying to decide between the cap-toe boots via jcrew, or these penny loafers at Barneys. Which would you choose? – Buddy

WHOA. You sure you meant to send this into Dappered? Maybe you were looking for our luxury site, Splurgered? (Note: 1. We do not have a luxury site. 2. If we did, that domain name sounds a little too… explicit?) All kidding aside, Shell Cordovan is desired by some for it’s incredible durability, so Buddy’s looking to make a long term investment here. But what about skipping the Cordovan and getting both a dress boot + loafer in regular ol’ cow? The Fifth Street from Allen Edmonds is starting to dry up online (it was a closeout style in the winter) but you can still get em’ through Nordstrom. You’d then still have plenty of cash left for the super sleek “Abe” from Jack Erwin. Those are gonna look pretty slick with, say, a grey linen suit come spring. And compared to the Cordovans, those two pairs would leave you with almost $100 left post-purchase. No? You still want… Okay. Get the boots.

 

Q: Thoughts on Charles Tyrwhitt shirts?

Charles Tyrwhitt Shirting / Dappered.com

What do you think about Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts? I recently ordered a few and I’ve got to say that I was impressed with the quality. Shipping took a little while, but when they did arrive, I was really pleased. Thoughts?  - Mark

Mark nailed it in terms of the shipping times. Seems like CT can take a while to get from them to you. That and you’ve got to play the sale game, or, be willing to buy in bulk (4 shirts for $199, etc…) They’ve got a bit of a Jos. A. Bank marketing style going on (ridiculous MSRP, constant sales), and a lot of us automatically tune that out. But the quality is quite nice if you can land them for $30 – $50. Probably on par with Nordstrom’s house or upgraded John W. Nordstrom line. Thing is… Nordstrom ships fast and free (CT = $9.95), and returns are free as well. So while I personally own one CT shirt and like it, I seem to stick to Nordstrom, Banana Republic, Target, and Ratio or Ledbury for splurges. UPDATE: Check out the comments for many a Charles Tyrwhitt fan. Plenty of happy customers out there.

 

Q: Matching Metals when it comes to Accessories

Gold Aviators / Dappered.com

What are your thoughts on matching accessory metal colors? Specifically, I only own/wear all silver (watch, belt buckle, tie clip, etc.), but I’m looking at getting a pair of gold AO aviators. I just think that style of glasses look better in gold. Is that a no-no to mix gold and silver or should I get silver glasses?.  - Colin

This is a little like matching leathers. The more likely you are to have more of something, the more effort you should put into making it match. For example, shoes, watch strap, & belt leathers should be close in color. But you don’t have to match your briefcase to your shoes. If you did, that means you’d have to have a bunch of different briefcases. And then all of a sudden, you’ve got as many briefcases as a woman has purses. Sunglasses are kinda like briefcases. Most of us have a pair or two that we really like, and not any more. Wear your gold aviators with whatever. If someone gives you a hard time, grab em’ by the flight suit and tell them you will fire when you’re goddamn good and ready. YOU GOT THAT??

 

Q: What do you mean by “Fulfilled” by Amazon?

Hammy example

Seems like when Dappered points to something on Amazon, usually a watch, the word “fulfilled” gets mentioned. What do you mean by that? - Greg

That’s a really good question. It all comes down to risk analysis. If a purchase is “fulfilled” by Amazon, that means another company (a 3rd party) is selling the item. Not Amazon. Yet, and this is important, Amazon is taking care of the shipping and returns. Say company XYZ sells watches, but they don’t want to mess with storing them in a warehouse, slapping labels on them, then shipping them out. They hire Amazon to do that for them. The nice part about this is that Amazon has skin in the game. Amazon’s return process is pretty painless, and the last thing they want to do is to be moving fakes or pre-owened/dinged up timepieces.  But know that just because it’s ON Amazon, doesn’t mean Amazon sells, or even fulfills it. You gotta look for the “sold by” or “fulfilled by” Amazon notation.

In the above example, the same model of Hamilton Watch is being sold & fulfilled by Amazon, then sold for less but not fulfilled by Amazon. I’d personally spend the extra $15 to make sure Amazon was fulfilling this thing. The 3rd party seller might be an Angel, but unless you know for sure, be careful. It’s also good to know that many brands won’t recognize a manufacture’s warranty unless you’ve purchased the item through an authorized seller. And that often doesn’t include Amazon. You’ve got to weigh protection vs. cost.

 

Q:  Monkstraps are played out. Go ahead and defend them.

Double Monks / Dappered.com

I know there’s a few people who give you a hard time in the comments for featuring Monk Straps so much. Beth even wrote a column about it. So why do you keep featuring them? - Jeff

Oh, you mean pilgrim shoes? I kid. Look, just because a trend became over-saturated and has since pulled back, doesn’t mean it can’t stick for some and still look really, really good. Monk straps combine the overall shape of a traditional dress shoe, yet they lose the laces. Some loafers can look downright frumpy. Yet monks are dressed up. That hybrid is perfect for the sharp-casual / dressed down business wear world many of us exist in. They look great with jeans/chinos & a blazer. If you’re wearing a suit tieless, monk straps can prevent the “he just took his tie off” look. They are the middle of the Venn Diagram. Not too casual, not too dressed up.

 

Q: Peak or Notch Lapel for the first suit(s)?

Peak Lapels / Dappered.com

I’m looking to upgrade from an old, ill fitting suit, to a couple of new, more tailored looking suits. My quesiton is, should I go with a notch lapel? Peak Lapel? One of each?  - Wes

If this is going to be the one suit in your collection, or the two suits to build a foundation on, stick with notch. They’re just easier to work with. Peak lapels are a little flashier, and draw more attention. Also, lapel width is sort of like hemline length on women’s skirts. They expand and contract with the times. Notch lapels seem to hide those shifts in popularity better than the slightly more showy peak lapels. That said, if you ever decide to buy your own tux, favor a peak lapel.

Got a question or a style tip? Send them in here. Additional answers to the above questions can go in the comments. 

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