Milk and sugar:It’s that time of year to break out the Seersucker suit.To avoid looking like a transplanted plantation owner I rarely,if ever, wear the jacket and trousers together, opting to pair the jacket with chinos and the trousers with a polo shirt.
I saw a tweet by Dappered the other day linking to a story they did about “the perfect navy blazer” by Spiers & Mackey. It was a nice jacket by all accounts, a deep navy, contrasting buttons (but not gold, like mine…), and a modest price. The only issue I took with the blazer was the pictorial, which featured a bearded hipster bro in inky dark blue jeans, the blazer, and double monk strap loafers. Despite wearing jeans and a blazer, he looked like he improvised a suit as there was zero contrast in his jacket and pants. And of course I’m qualified to criticize.
Today I wore an old Brooks Brothers “346” sack blazer I grabbed on eBay a few years back. It’s labeled a “38” but it might be a short instead of a regular. However, the slightly shorter cut with a traditionally loose jacket does have a nice lengthening effect on the legs. I wore a faded pair of Levi’s 501s here to demonstrate how to wear jeans “right” with a navy blazer, but I failed to capture a pic of them. Because taking pictures in the bathroom mirror can be weird. The point is contrast: Jeans and jacket shouldn’t be the same shade of blue.
I did get a picture of these tan bucks by Bass, however. I always forget how comfortable they are, but I generally don’t wear them. Because they have laces. @theunbuttonedlife would understand.
I took a heartier breath and strutted towards Connor. When college exams and the texts made me feel frazzled, my wardrobe flooded me with confidence. Black skirt, sheer tights, booties with five-inch heels, a blazer over a loose white blouse, topped with a sleek pony and a Chanel handbag—I was ready for battle.
As I neared, Connor stepped from the table, his wardrobe equally put-together: navy slacks, leather belt, expensive loafers, an Oxford collar button-down and tie beneath a gray sweater. He had always dressed better than most men, but I wouldn’t dare compliment him. I spoke hurriedly and hushed. “Did you slip and fall and forget that your allegiances are to Penn, not Princeton?” He almost laughed like I couldn’t see what was right in front of me. “Richard—” “My allegiance is to you, Rose.”
What the hell is going on? my iron walls seemed to shriek. This was unlike me. Letting him stay. Letting him help. Letting him near. I didn’t want to push him away. I wanted Connor right here next to me. I found my pen. I placed it on the table, and his arm extended over the back of my chair. He started talking about the equation, but I couldn’t think straight. “Rose?” I glanced at him, just slightly. He studied me with noticeable affection behind his blue eyes. “Continue,” I told him, my voice stilted. “No.” My eyes flamed. “No?” His hand encased my cheek and jaw, large and assured. My pulse beat my veins alive. His other hand rested on the outside of my thigh, climbing towards my ass. I held onto his shoulder. Our lifetimes of combatting one another seemed to flip over like a spinning coin that fell to one side. His lips an inch from mine, he whispered something, not a quote. Not in French. Connor Cobalt murmured, “What’s inside this feeling that screams at me?” His eyes spoke of battles and wins and years positioned right across from me. “Devotion.” He neared. “Fealty.” His lips touched mine. Our very first kiss. My rigid body stayed erect, but I heated like a thousand burning stars. He deepened the kiss, in control so I wouldn’t have to think. I was thinking. I thought about how my mind sparked and blistered. I thought about how his hands commanded the moment as much as his lips. I thought about how he held me like I’d always been in his possession, as he’d always been in mine.
First known sighting: The original J. Press shop in New Haven, Connecticut, 1902.
Recent sighting: Hipster coffee shop near you.
Hall of Famers: Miles Davis, George Plimpton, John Updike.
Signature accessory: Knit tie.
Bragging rights: Wearing the same pair of khakis for fifteen years.
Cause for stress: Hole in the crotch of said khakis.
Pickup line: “I like your cardigan.”
Favourite book: The Stories of John Cheever.
On his iPod: Talking Heads.
In his driveway: 1983 Mercedes Benz S-Series.
In his closet: Three-button wool herringbone blazer ($265) by J. Crew; cotton shirt ($30) by L.L. Bean; cotton tie ($95) by Gant; cotton trousers ($98) by Dockers; leather belt ($45) by J. Press; glasses ($405) by Tom Ford.
My next inspiration comes from Erik Mannby who is one of the most stylish and nicest guys I know. He has an uncanny ability to dress well whether he’s dressed in a suit or in casualwear. Anyone who’s seen photos from Pitti Uomo would no doubt recognise Erik.
He always gets the fit right (which should be the starting point for any of us) but takes it further by his use of some unusual colours. For example, at Pitti one year, I reckon he had one of the best outfits there with a green flannel suit, orange cardigan (as above), purple tie and dark brown boots. To see what I’m talking about, google “Erik Mannby green suit” without the quotes and it should be the first image.
I picked this outfit as the inspiration because I think it shows the wonderful way in which Erik combines tailored and casual pieces. He wears an army jacket with an oxford collar button down shirt, thin merino wool cardigan, tailored wool trousers and olive sneakers. The amazing part is that it looks well put together - the bright orange and rich blue against the olive of the field jacket and sneakers all anchored with a light blue OCBD shirt. The combination works splendidly
I’ve tried to replicate this with a darker olive field jacket and different casual olive shoes but similar elements throughout.