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Q: Knit Sportcoats… where do they fall on the spectrum?
Really appreciate the article on the blazer/sport coat formality spectrum. I was wondering where you would place this Uniqlo knit blazer in navy. It’s not really rumpled and there’s not much texture like a linen or tweed. The one I own seems pretty smooth too, and doesn’t have any vents in the back. But it’s also really soft because of the jersey material. Where do you think a jacket like this fits, formality wise?
Knit sportcoats are usually somewhere between a sweater and a sportcoat. Or in this case, with the UNIQLO option, somewhere between a sweatshirt and a sportcoat. So while the idea that more texture usually means less formal… in this case? Despite the smoothness of the sweatshirt like fabric? It’s still really casual. I’d personally put one of these one step below rumpled sportcoats. Still good with jeans. Still can look sharp… but… the fabric still has that undeniable sweatshirt look to it. And even if you cut it into a 3-piece suit, it’ll still look like sweats. Don’t get me wrong. I love me some unconstructed sportcoats. But if it has zero construction, and its made of a fabric that’s usually seen on Rocky doin’ early AM roadwork, then it’s still gonna be super casual. (Which is great if you’re the type who is trying to get used to wearing sportcoats or blazers, but they all just seem too stuffy…)
Q: Affordable Alternative to The Carpenter M1 Watch?
I love the looks of the Carpenter M1 Brooklyn Field watch that won the most recent Eliminator. But at $595, and with my attending of SEVEN weddings in one year, it’s just too steep for my now stretched style budget. Have you seen anything in the sub $200 price range similar to this?
Oof. That is, in fact, a tough ask. Six hundred for a Japanese Automatic does seem a bit steep (especially when you consider the likes of Orient and Seiko making Japanese autos for much cheaper…) but it’s the looks that are the sticking point here. Retro inspired dial, circular date window, and wire-style lugs that harken back to a time when pocket watches were converted to wrist watches (by way of welding metal arms to the case to hold the strap.)
That’s a tough ask. And while there’s plenty of obvious differences, I’d give the often mentioned Armogan Spirit of St. Louis a real shot. No, it doesn’t have the wire lugs. Yes, it’s a chrono instead of a standard field watch. The aesthetics are in the exact same ballpark. Inspired by the past without looking silly. Far from it. It’s a hell of a watch. For something without a chrono function, there’s this waterbury from Timex. But that’s not really all that close. Short answer is: You’re attracted to it for good reason. It’s pretty damn unique. Simple, yet unique. You’d think there’d be more out there like it.
Q: How often does each retailer have sales?
I was wondering if you would consider a post with a rough idea of sales to expect per retailer? For instance, now that I’m familiar with your site I know 30% off at J.Crew isn’t hard to come by. But other retailers almost never give 30% off. I think your readers would find it very helpful in deciding when to wait and when to pull the trigger.
As the fellas on Car Talk used to say when confronted by a couple of hard-as-heck questions to answer… “DOESN’T ANYONE SCREEN THESE CALLS??!?!” (RIP Tommy. You are missed.) It’s a terrific question, and incredibly difficult to answer. Predicting discounts is a bit of a dark art, and it’s a moving target. From one season to the next, from one retailer to the next, from one type of item to the next, it can all change. For example, let’s look at J. Crew. They used to not perpetually run promotions. Now? There’s always something going on. But in 2015 they used to often allow codes to be applied to their sportcoats. Now? Their fantastic summerweight sportcoats are always excluded from a codes. So J. Crew used to not always have sales, but now always do, yet they used to not always exclude their most popular items like sportcoats, but now they seem to. And that could change with the new fall releases. TL;DR: It’s a great question. And an idea I wish we could tackle. But if we did offer such a list, it’d be out of date within a month or two.
Q: What to wear with Taupe Shoes?
Instead of listing off individual examples, lemme stick with colors: Blue, and white or light grey. If you’re wearing pants that are blue, white, or light grey, you should be good. That means everything from dark denim to bright white chinos. Taupe suede shoes work great in summer too. They’re a really nice alternative to boat shoes. So say you’re wearing pale grey or blue chambray pants? Taupe shoes work. They’re a neutral, and don’t worry about matching your other leathers (belt/watch strap) to them.
Q. Dress Pants. Best Bang for the Buck?
Do you have any tips for wool pants on sale that aren’t going to be traditional, full-cut style? I looked at the Nordstrom anniversary sale, but it seemed like it was only their more classic fits that were getting the discount. I’m looking for something under $130.
Lands’ End Year’rounders. In their tailored fit. It’s the tailored fit which is a bit closer, but not too tight. And merino wool that’s a tighter thread/weave, but still nice and durable. Plus, you can get em’ hemmed for free, by them, pre shipping. I’d order a pair unhemmed first, then measure for future hemmings just to get it right. And they’ll end up WELL under $130 if you wait on codes and sales. Full retail is $89, but if you play your cards right, you can get 40% (if not 50%) off a single pair (when at full price) with certain codes. That said, even at 20% off (a common discount for LE), they’re a plenty fair price.
Q. Oxfords vs. Derbys?
You recently reviewed the Banana Republic “Dean” Oxford. But that’s not an Oxford. It’d a Derby. You’re a style blog, you should know the difference. – Rob.
You’re charming. Fully aware of the difference. But when the brands themselves, y’know, the people actually doing the producing of goods, call their derby/blucher shoes “oxfords” over and over and over again, then those of us on this side might make a mistake from time to time. It just happens. It’s kind of like how I’m well aware of the difference between “you’re” (you are) and “your” (possessive), yet sometimes one is erroneously used in place of the other. It happens. As the old saying goes, you can have it good, cheap, and fast, but you can only pick two out of the three. We aim for all three here, but sometimes there’s collateral damage. And sometimes, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. So if you’re trying to help out with a typo/goof? Awesome. It’s super appreciated. But to be a pejorative pustule about it seems to say more about you than the silly style blog you’re trying to wag a finger at. Go outside and play Rob.
Q: How do I wear a light, almost white sportcoat?
I just picked up a light khaki, sandy colored sportcoat on mega-sale. But I usually stick to blues and greys. What do I wear this thing with?
Those almost-but-not-quite-white sportcoats are great for two times of year: When it’s brutally hot… and when it’s just getting done being brutally hot. Wear it now with linen or chambray pants and suede lace-ups or maybe some sleek loafers. And once fall FINALLY starts to feel like it’s rolling around, but it’s not quite here yet? You can wear it with jeans. Sorta a “it’s still warm out” look up top, but a “we’re all looking forward to fall” thing going on the bottom half.
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