February 22, 2014

All Good Things Must Come To An End

As I do most days, I woke up this morning at zero-dog-thirty, slipped on the Bean mocs that stay parked by the door this time of year, and took the old boy for a walk in the neighborhood. The sun was just coming up and the rest of the street was still asleep. I like that feeling that I've beaten the rest of the world to something, even if it's just coffee, a cup of which I subsequently tucked into as I checked in with a few of my favorite blogs. That's when I was hit with the crushing news that my favorite of my favorite blogs, Heavy Tweed Jacket, is closing up shop. I blinked. I stared. I swallowed hard. I shut my laptop and then opened it again.

Then I laughed a little at myself. You see, a couple of weeks ago at the office, one of the IT guys showed me a personal blog post he was working on. It was a tribute to a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game in which he had participated for the last four years or so under a screen name that included the word "Hammer" or "Sword" or something along those lines. As he described the final battle from the previous night in which many users from the history of the game returned for one last go, he said he was reminded of an excerpt from a letter that Ken Burns used in his Civil War series. He got a little misty. I bit my tongue. "Pathetic," I thought. "That's not a real community. Those people don't even know each other."

Needless to say, this morning amidst my disappointment that HTJ was shutting down, I couldn't help but consider how ridiculous I would sound were I to explain all this to the IT guy on Monday. "Yeah, it was great. We all went there to look at his shirts. And sometimes his jackets. And shoes! Oh the shoes! No, I don't know his name. None of us use our names. Except Muffy, and that's a nickname. What did he look like? No idea. Never saw his face. I think he was in Japan. You should have seen the sweaters though! Have I mentioned the catalog scans? Yes, old catalogs. And the collar roll discussions? But now it's over. Too bad. Where will we go to look at old shirts?"

By now you know that conversation will never take place. Because just like the MMO games that allow people get to be wizards, dwarves, elves, and monsters by night, looking at another man's shirts on Saturday mornings is awfully private business.

But it was about more than shirts, wasn't it? It was about brand history. It was about design and construction and textile science. It was about tradition and code. And somehow, without the slightest hint of preachiness or snobbishness, HTJ imparted a sense of propriety. And I'm pretty sure I'm better for it.

All this being said, I also realized today that I think I still have something to contribute to the collective narrative and now that I have finally recovered my Blogger credentials, I am planning to post regularly again this year. I will continue to update my Tumblr page as well.

So my wishes to HTJ are for health, happiness, and a perfect collar roll. I hope he drops in now and again to leave a comment or even contribute a post somewhere.





July 17, 2012

Old Long Island

I've been checking in with the Old Long Island blog for a while now. If you are at all interested in the architecture, the once incredible fortunes of the Old Money set, or historical real estate, go enjoy what Zach has to offer you in his chronicle of the grand and quickly disappearing estates of Long Island.

July 16, 2012

Burton Silverman Sails Into Forever

Nautical and/or stamp enthusiasts may be interested to know about the new Sailboat stamped "Forever" rate postcards that set sail from Oyster Bay, NY last month. The printed stamp on the card is from a Burton Silverman painting depicting a sailboat moored off Long Island Sound. The Manhattan artist says his original oil painting was based on a photograph he took over a Memorial Day weekend in 1967. Only around 20 works out of 40,000 suggestions are chosen for Forever stamps each year.

July 6, 2012

"Badges? We don't need no stinking badges..."

Continuing in the spirit of Wimbledon, I thought it would be appropriate to display my very modest collection of tennis patches, crests, and badges. (Call them whatever you prefer.) I think these are mostly from the Philadelphia area (I picked them up second-hand for some fun research.) I've never liked the idea of buying a designer blazer with a brand-related patch already on it (you know the ones) but I would certainly wear a crest for a golf, tennis, or sailing club to which I actually belonged or had some connection. Worn in the right company, something like this adds an appropriate distinction to the ubiquitous (but no less tasteful) navy blue blazer.

July 5, 2012


Sullivan's Island, SC

The Wimbledon Look

While watching coverage of the most finely outfitted of all Grand Slams (I was heartbroken over Brian Baker) I caught this fantastic blazer (with crest) + repp stripe + tattersall combo. I don't wear purple and green like this but once a year it works for these guys like Fred Stolle.

October 29, 2011

When in Charleston: A Stop At Ben Silver

If Charleston is the Holy City, then the Ben Silver shop is the Holy of Holies. My family and I just returned from our annual pilgrimage to my favorite southern city and although I've stopped at the legendary King Street establishment before, seeing the store set for Fall/Winter was a completely new experience for me. Somehow, I didn't get shots of the stacks of authentic Shetland sweaters and wool town coats but suffice it to say, this place is so much more impressive than you can imagine from their website. When a gentleman finds himself in Charleston, he should consider this stop a must.
 Panel caps were everywhere as were collegiate and regimental scarves.
 Mostly Alden with some Crockett & Jones for good measure.
 More regimental and emblematic ties than I could keep up with. This London Wasps is a favorite.

 Their blazers are the best-fitting I've ever tried.

Blazer badges (and some barely visible buttons.)