From the Mailbag: Back from Iraq
If you’ve got a question or a style tip you can always send in an email. Or, the Dappered facebook page works great for that too. Ryan B. dropped us a line via the Facebook page and after a few comments back and forth, he said he’d be just fine if his question was put on the website. Check it out:
So I’m coming home (to Virginia) from an 18 month deployment in Iraq at the end of the month. Any suggestions on the top items to mix into my wardrobe? I’ve been here so long, I almost forget what I have at home… I definitely want the essential Land’s End sweater you talked about at the end of July. I’m pretty sure you talked about some new Levi’s as well… Some folks have told me that when they get home, they can’t get warm; but I think I am ready for fall. We haven’t had a day below 106 since May.
First and most importantly, thanks to Ryan and everyone else serving in the armed forces. The sacrifice that goes into an 18 month deployment is something most of us plain ol’ civilians can’t even fathom. So know that the appreciation is genuine. And second… what do you guys think Ryan should consider picking up? Drop any and all ideas in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Here’s some suggestions on a few basics that should help to rejuvenate his wardrobe:
The Coat(s) – Topman Wool Mix Overcoat – $160 | J. Crew Wool University – $235
Virginia isn’t exactly North Dakota, but when your body has acclimated to 106 for the past four months, you’re probably going to need a good wool coat to stay warm. The bad news is, this isn’t the best year for outerwear. Topman and J. Crew have picked up some of the slack, but the affordable options are still slim. $160 is a bargain for the single breasted overcoat since it can be worn with anything. $235 is a little steep for the J. Crew since it’s decidedly casual, but it flat out looks great. Sticking with cotton? This trench from INC is the real deal.
The Blazers – Old Navy – $49.50 | Gap – $99.00 | B.R. Tailored – $250
Herringbone is everywhere and the Gap Family of companies are each offering a herringbone blazer at three different price points. The Old Navy Brown Stripe has a subtle herringbone pattern to it, the Gap Herringbone might be the affordable blazer of the season, and the Banana Republic Tailored Luxury blazer is incredibly nice… and expensive. The cheaper options should be taken to your tailor for a last bit of customization..
The Sweater – Lands’ End Canvas Mock Neck Cardigan – $39.50
Thanks to Ryan for the reminder about these. We all have a stack of v-necks. But when you want something that comes up a bit higher, and will keep you warm on the way to the movies or on your way to the couch to watch a movie… a mock neck button up can’t be beat. And neither can the price on these from Lands’ End Canvas.
The Bag – J. Crew Rugged Twill Messenger – $128.00
It first showed up about a month ago, and it’s still at the top of the twill work-bag pile. Not that expensive when you consider what a leather work brief will set you back. Plus, all the details are spot on. Ryan has been gone for 18 months. Can’t think of a better looking bag that’s come out in the last year and a half…
Boots – Dressed down: L.E.C. 3-Eye Moc – $98 | Dressed up: Bass Amsterdam – $70
Combat and Desert Boots are everywhere. Ryan is probably (and understandably) sick of wearing combat boots, plus he’s spent enough time in the desert. So, a different direction is what we’re heading in. The three-eye mocs from Lands’ End Canvas are woodsy, but not 100% lumberjack like a lot of the other styles retailers are pushing. Wear them like you would a pair of Jack Purcells. For the Bass Chelsea boots, who knew? Just $80 through Amazon. A little more in some other places.
The Watch – Michael Kors Blackout – $195.00 | Golana AQ 100-3 – $139.00
Watches have taken a decidedly more sporty and dark turn over the last year. So much so that blackout options like the Michael Kors version are popping up everywhere. If all that darkness is a little too much, color in small amounts is also pretty big right now. Golana’s Aqua Pro knows how to drop just the right amount in between 12 and 3 o’clock.
Those are just a few suggestions (some new, some you’ve seen before) to get Ryan started. Now guys, I’m handing it over to you. What’s been your favorite pickup in the last year to year and a half? Something that’s still available that Ryan could maybe add once he gets back. And for Ryan: Safe travels, and thanks again…