A wise man once asked: “What the hell just happened?” And for good reason. There is value in looking back. It gives us all a good gauge as to what is good, and more importantly, what is not good, going forward. Sure, the “clip show” is mostly a cheap (affordable?) device to create new content out of already published stuff. But it’s also a good way to catch up in case you missed something. So cue the flashback music. Here’s the very best from the month that was…
Best Sale: Banana Republic’s semi-annual Friends and Family 40% off
Now expired, but holy moly BR actually ran a sale. And 40% off too. They hadn’t run anything substantial/site-wide-ish since (checks notes)… March. For long time customers a six month gap between BR promotions feels absurd. But that’s the new Banana Republic. Meanwhile, a gut feeling says they may not run anything substantial again until Black Friday/Cyber Monday. If then. Sign of the times. And the times have, in fact, changed. (And yes those two references span half a century of pop-music.)
Best Steal Alert: Anything priced in British Pounds / Made in the UK
Money. Bloody hell. Currency for some of us is one of the great unknowable’s, yet we’re glad it’s around all the same. Makes it substantially easier than bartering. Can’t keep all those chickens for trading. We’ve got a rooster in the neighborhood. Little dude is gonna lose his head if he doesn’t pipe down (most city codes ban roosters for that very reason). Know that it seems like brands and retailers are starting to compensate for the falling pound. The Loake Plimlico chukkas used as an example in the post are already up to $320. They bottomed out at $305, down from $340 over the summer. Forget dollars, what’s the chukka index?!?
Best Annual Tradition: Fall Temptations!
Fall is arguably the best style season of the year. Cool enough to wear layers and perhaps mix in some patterns, but not so bitter that the goal is to ward off hypothermia instead of looking your best. Every year we try to gather up what we think is the best of the best when it comes to new arrivals. Clothes, shoes & accessories, and outerwear. Know that since it’s all the newest of the new, it can take a bit for sales and promos to kick in.
Best SPLURGE Steal Alert: Hamilton Khaki Scuba 300m – $746.25 ($995) exp
Omega and Rolex looks, for 10% – 15% of the price. Swiss made. 300m of water resistance. 80-hour power reserve. Part of the just-ended Macy’s VIP sale, which weirdly enough saw that code apply to a bunch of Hamilton watches. Usually those are excluded. Tough to get a discount on Hamilton’s via an authorized retailer. Those are the shops that provide the manufacture’s warranty. Gray market sellers won’t do that, and often you can be up crap-creek without a paddle of something goes wrong.
Suiting “Style” of the month: Separates
- J. Crew Italian Wool Suit Jackets + Matching Trousers = $650 (was 30% off)
- B.R. Signature Italian Nailhead Wool Suit Jacket + Matching Trouser = $600 (was 40% off)
Whether it was the BR signature separates finally getting a discount during their Friends and Family event, or the J. Crew Ludlow suit separates also finally getting a discount during their semi-annual suit sale… it was a good month for those who prefer to buy their pants and jackets separately.
So what ARE suit separates? Separates mean you pick a jacket size and a trouser size individually, and the manufacturer has made the effort to make sure the fabric run is precisely the same for that inventory (there can be slight variations over large swaths of cloth). Separates break from the norm, since usually suit jackets + trousers come as “nested” pairs. Meaning you find your jacket size, and then the pants on the hanger on the ones you’re stuck with whether you like it or not. Most brands offer a 6″ drop with their nested suits. That means a 40R jacket comes with a 34 waist trouser, and then it’s up to a tailor to dial in the fit.
Separates are the choice for many harder-to-fit fellas. Big legs, broad chests, etc. Everybody’s body is different. Separates are a way to accommodate more fit profiles.
Most Dappered-y Style Scenario: Feels Like Fall – Smart Casual
Blazer, boots, jeans. Playing the hits.
Most uncomfortable Instagram post: Fall Temptation Outerwear
I think it was 78 degrees when I took that. Jacket is great though. It’s Spier’s down puffer blazer hybrid.
Best Flex (bourbon edition): Pappy in a belt review post
Adam’s out here making the bourbon fans drool. Belt’s great too.
Best summer–>fall transitional outfit template: Chinos Chukkas Polo
Still. Rolling. Looks great in Spring. Looks great in summer. Looks great in fall.
Most unnecessary “fix”: J. Crew’s New Dock Peacoat
It wasn’t broke, but the “fix” sure might be. Looks like J. Crew changed their Dock Peacoats for this year. They appear to have chopped it shorter, changed it from an 8 button front to a 6, and ditched the pair of lower pockets. You may like the new version better. A lot of us prefer (greatly prefer) the old one. Review of the old can be found here. Oh, and the new ones cost $50 more.
Best Post that wasn’t actually in September but totally feels like it could have been: The Style-Centric Grown up “Back to School” (Work) Shopping List for Men
It ran in August, but September still feels like Back-to-School season, right?
Easiest suit style “hack”: Try a gray shirt with your navy suit
Or, a slate blue-gray shirt with a charcoal suit. That’d work too, and we’ll do that in an upcoming style scenario. The white and light blue shirts will always be there for you.
Easiest smart casual style “hack”: put on a washed cotton sportcoat
- Spier Unstructured Garment Dyed Cotton Sportcoat – $182.40 w/ SUMMER ($248)
- Wills Garment Dyed Blazer – $198
- Tie Bar “Miracle” Jacket – $165
Whether you’re wearing it with an OCBD, a polo, or even a t-shirt, a washed cotton sportcoat is an incredibly easy way to dress up without looking like you’re actually dressing up. (Note: Extra 20% off on the Spier blazer code SUMMER ends today, 10/4/22.)
Latest Brand Drowning in Inventory: Nike
First Target. Then Walmart. Now, Nike. Covid-19’s long tail continues to screw up retail (among many other, and actually important things). Sales and price slashing from the Swoosh might be on the horizon.
Best Tease: Timex Q Chronograph – $?????
This morning (10/4) Timex released The Waterbury Chronograph. And it looks a LOT like the above teaser image. But they’re not the same. The subdials are different. The tachymeter numerals and dots are different. The indices are different. So is there really a Q Chrono on the way? And will it be in addition to the new Waterbury chrono? The heck is going on?
Most Welcome Return: Spier’s Chunky Merino Shawl Collar Cardigans – $218
Yes they’re anything but cheap. But they’re also anything but… cheap. If that makes any sense. “Updated for FW22, we packed in more yarn and increased the density for even more loftiness, comfort and longevity.” Well that’s something, being that the original is already so impressive. Four colors available now, with some sizes scattered on the navy. It does appear that more colors are on the way and you can sign up to be notified via email as stock rolls in.
Best Elevation: Ryan in the BR Signature Suit
Feeling Nostalgic? Here’s the archive containing previous editions of Best of the Month that Was.