So I just started this blog, and I know I should probably be plastering it with photos of three-patch-pocket jackets with spalla camicia shoulders, cashmere knit ties, etc, but I wanted to talk about something important. Probably the main thing that got me into clothes. And that thing is Bruce Springsteen. Specifically, his jeans.
When I was 16, long before I thought I’d ever be caught dead in a sport coat, I wanted to be Bruce Springsteen, and while this may have motivated other guys to learn to play guitar, it set me on a quest to find the most Boss pair of jeans I could find. I had the hair (then), I was working on the beard, but I needed the jeans.
I noticed in a color photo in the Live 1975-1985 boxset that his Levis had an orange tag, and the hunt for those orange tag, slightly bootcut, perfectly faded Levis 517 led me to vintage denim, which led to vintage tailoring, which led me to tailoring in general.
My tastes have changed, but I still love a good pair of no-frills, beat up Levis.
Even today, when everyone has a “heritage” line and everyone has an “archive” to look to for so-called inspiration, it’s still refreshing to see real historical continuity in clothing, and inspiration that riffs but does not copy. Consider this 1960s Paul Stuart jacket I found (and sold) recently:
Yes, it’s pure Ivy League, but it also isn’t hard to see in this jacket the origins of Phineas Cole, namely in the orange/rust color and the green pane.
Especially in vintage hunting, it is always nice to find something that pushes the boundaries of conservatism without overstepping them. It also points to the steadfast nature of the Paul Stuart look. They are still putting out clothes that appeal to conservative dressers who seek something with a little more color than what can be found at Brooks Brothers.
This Irish-made heavy tweed country suit is my latest find, and I’ll admit that when I first saw it my initial thoughts were “when the hell would I wear that?”, but when I realized how much action the jacket alone would see, taking it home with me became an easy choice.
The cloth is a very large-scale district check which is a lot to handle when faced with three whole pieces.
Made in Ireland, of Irish Tweed, for J.Press, my favorite part about this suit (cloth aside, obviously) is the unique combination of English and American detailing. The jacket is darted with a suppressed waist, which is unusual for J.Press but not unheard of. The lapels have a very high gorge, almost Italian in shape, and while the shoulders are soft in the J.Press fashion, they also have a subtle bit of roping at the sleevehead which, with the ticket pockets, adds to the overall Englishness of the suit.
Needless to say, this suit has me praying for cold weather, and I certainly won’t be wearing it cycling.
I say yes. The whole white-after-Labor-Day thing does not apply to cream, at least not in my book. I scored a pair of Purple Label cream flannels with side adjusters recently, and had fully intended to wear them in the Spring, but the cloth was too heavy.
Cream/white pants are not for beginners, and for some reason some men associate them with women’s trousers. For me the issue was getting over the Brideshead/Chariots of Fire connotations. But just look at the guy in the last photo. Classic, sporty American style with a nod to Italy in the trouser style/cut and shoe choice. Sold.