It’s On Sale: J Press Special Collections

25% off all J. Press special collection items, excluding Barbour. That includes Yale, DS Dundee, Eastland, Will, and Cremieux. Offer ends March 31st. 

J Press shaggy dog sweaters: $108, down from $180

People who are curious about sizing can use this as a guide. 

My Pajama Project

I’m visiting Beijing for a week and while I’m there, I’m hoping to get two or three pairs of pajamas made for me to take back home. I’m a really lean guy, and although pajamas are meant to fit a bit full, I’ve never been able to find a pair that didn’t make me look ridiculous. Which is why I’m hoping to find a tailor who will make them for me while I’m in China. 

In my mind, the perfect pair of pajamas has a shirt with curved collar points, satin piped edges, and three patch pockets - two at the hips and one at the breast. The pants have a button fly and flat draw-cord waistband. The draw-cord should be in the same color as the satin piping. Silk wears a bit warm, so I think cotton is better. The colors should be like a man’s shirt, either light blue or white, and in a solid color or with simple Bengal stripes. 

You see these kinds of pajamas worn by Cary Grant, Paul Newman, and Rock Hudson in many of the old, Hollywood classics. Jimmy Stewart, in fact, played a whole film wearing almost nothing but pajamas. And they all looked great. Sure maybe they’re not things you wear out to the world, but you’ll appreciate them while you’re at home, lounging around and reading a book, and that’s what counts.

To get something like this made in the US can be extremely expensive (around $500, depending on the fabric and tailor). If you’re lucky enough to not be shaped like a twig, you can get really nice pajamas from Brooks Brothers, J PressO’Connell’s, and Derek Rose for a fraction of that cost. Custom made ones in the US are way too expensive for me, and off-the-rack versions don’t fit, so hopefully my pajama project in Beijing will pan out. 

My five favorite Cyber Monday deals:

I’ve been rounding up online sales in the last few days for the Inside Track, and I’ve covered about sixty at this point. Above are my five personal favorites. 

Sales Round Up

A quick sales round up:

  • Shipton & Heneage will take $30 off any order of $160 or more (use checkout code em1111b30) and $80 off any order of $500 or more (use checkout code em1111b80). Offer ends this Monday.
  • J Press’ Private Sale starts today and will last for two weeks. Receive up to 25% off with the promo code PSNOV11. 
  • Uniqlo’s sweaters are on sale. $79.90 for any of their cashmeres and $29.90 for any of their merinos. If you’re buying for a woman, cashmeres are $69.99 and merinos are $19.90. How it’s possible for women’s clothing to be cheaper than men’s, instead of the usual other way around, I don’t know. Shop either in-store or through Suddenlee. If you use Suddenlee, however, note that some items or colors are only listed on the UK site, but are available in US stores.

Also, if you haven’t already, sign up for our Inside Track. I send out sales round ups like this every week through our newsletter.

Your Fall/ Winter Scarf

As the temperatures begin to dip, it will be important for you to have a few scarves on hand. If it’s cold enough, you’ll obviously wear yours with an overcoat or some kind of heavy winter outerwear. If it’s not, however, a scarf can be even more important, as it may be your only source of warmth. 

When buying one, it’s important to pay attention to a few key things:

  • Material: Generally speaking, cashmere will be softer and warmer than wool or lambswool, but it really depends on the quality. A lambswool/ angora blend by Alex Begg, for example, will be nicer than any cheap cashmere. You can also get scarves in either silk or cotton, but those tend to not be as warm. Whichever you choose, I recommend staying away from acrylic. There are too many affordable, good scarves, made from natural materials, to justify buying an acrylic scarf. 
  • Nap and size: Pay attention to the size and nap. I personally prefer scarves to be around 70” long, and never go below 63”. As Will from A Suitable Wardrobe shows, if your scarf is too short, you won’t be able to tie it. You’ll also want to pay attention to the width. If your scarf is too thin, it will hang like a silly noodle around your neck. Lastly, note that rougher materials, such as some lambswools, will be more difficult to tie into knots.
  • Color and patterns: As I’ve written before, I think scarves are worn best when they complement, but not match, the rest of your ensemble. That means picking one with complementary colors or a secondary color that matches your jacket or coat. I personally find solid colored scarves, or those with plaids, windowpanes, and stripes, to be the easiest to wear, but you can also get scarves in Fair Isle, dip dye, or houndstooth designs. 

So with that, what are some of your best options? 

Of course, there are hundreds of good scarves to be had, so the above list isn’t meant to be exhaustive. If you’re on the market to buy one, however, the above can be a good place to start. 

Plackets and Pockets: Know the Details
For classic men’s style, expressions are often in the tiniest of tiny details. Closed eyelets on shoes express formality, cuffs on trousers express casualness, and structured shoulders give a sense of rigidity and authority.
The details of a button up shirt are just as expressive. The length of your collar points, shape of your collar, and cut of your cuffs all hold certain meanings. I’ll cover those some other time, but today I’ll discuss something you may not have considered - plackets and pockets.
A placket is that extra piece of material at the front of the shirt  where the buttonholes are placed. It’s usually created by folding the shirt’s  material onto the front, or by sewing a separate piece of  material onto this area. This design not only helps give support and strength to the  opening of the shirt, where most stress is placed, but it also  creates a visual center when the shirt is buttoned. Most  shirts you’ve seen (and almost certainly the one you’re wearing right  now) have plackets.
The alternative is the French front (also known as the “plain  center”). Here the material is folded to the underside of the shirt so  that it’s not visible. It is then secured by the stitching on the  buttonholes.
There’s no right or wrong way to choose between these details, but you should know what effect each will have. Getting a shirt without a placket or pocket, like the shirt above, will look cleaner, and since simplicity tends towards formality, it will also be dressier. A shirt with a placket and pocket, then, will conversely be a bit more causal.
I also find that shirts without plackets and pockets look more Continental European, while shirts with these details look more American. As such, you should choose shirts that most accords with your personal sense of style. I happen to favor shirts without them, as I like dressier, tailored Italian clothes, but someone who likes a more casual American style should get shirts with these details.
However you choose, note that some shirts should be made in certain ways. An oxford cloth button down, for example, is inherently casual and very American, so I think it looks best with a placket and pocket. If you want it to be even more American, you get the pocket with a flap, like this. This design detail was invented by J. Press and has since been strongly associated with the trad/ Ivy League crowd. Again, it’s all about knowing what these details mean and choosing accordingly.

Plackets and Pockets: Know the Details

For classic men’s style, expressions are often in the tiniest of tiny details. Closed eyelets on shoes express formality, cuffs on trousers express casualness, and structured shoulders give a sense of rigidity and authority.

The details of a button up shirt are just as expressive. The length of your collar points, shape of your collar, and cut of your cuffs all hold certain meanings. I’ll cover those some other time, but today I’ll discuss something you may not have considered - plackets and pockets.

A placket is that extra piece of material at the front of the shirt where the buttonholes are placed. It’s usually created by folding the shirt’s material onto the front, or by sewing a separate piece of material onto this area. This design not only helps give support and strength to the opening of the shirt, where most stress is placed, but it also creates a visual center when the shirt is buttoned. Most shirts you’ve seen (and almost certainly the one you’re wearing right now) have plackets.

The alternative is the French front (also known as the “plain center”). Here the material is folded to the underside of the shirt so that it’s not visible. It is then secured by the stitching on the buttonholes.

There’s no right or wrong way to choose between these details, but you should know what effect each will have. Getting a shirt without a placket or pocket, like the shirt above, will look cleaner, and since simplicity tends towards formality, it will also be dressier. A shirt with a placket and pocket, then, will conversely be a bit more causal.

I also find that shirts without plackets and pockets look more Continental European, while shirts with these details look more American. As such, you should choose shirts that most accords with your personal sense of style. I happen to favor shirts without them, as I like dressier, tailored Italian clothes, but someone who likes a more casual American style should get shirts with these details.

However you choose, note that some shirts should be made in certain ways. An oxford cloth button down, for example, is inherently casual and very American, so I think it looks best with a placket and pocket. If you want it to be even more American, you get the pocket with a flap, like this. This design detail was invented by J. Press and has since been strongly associated with the trad/ Ivy League crowd. Again, it’s all about knowing what these details mean and choosing accordingly.

Ties for Fall

The first photo above has haunted me ever since I first saw it at 13th and Wolf. It’s what I would consider the perfect fall tie. The colors are warm, the pattern is simple but interesting, and the wool fabric gives the tie a nice, soft appearance. Together, these characteristics make it the perfect expression of fall. 

While we may never own a tie so ideal, there are some great ties to take advantage of this season. Here are seven types that you should consider:

  • Most of your seasonal ties for fall should be made (at least in part) out wool. These can come in many forms - wool challis, wool flannel, tweed, etc. Challis is a plain weave that feels supple and lightweight; flannel will have a soft, brushed nap; and tweed will be a bit rougher. Like with silk ties, a solid color can work well if the fabric has a bit of texture to it (eg brushed flannel). For something slightly more interesting, you can also get a plain colored tie, but one with a slightly mottled weave or herringbone pattern. My favorites, however, are wool ties with small geometric patterns, stripes, or checks such as windowpanes. A number of tweed ties also come speckled, which can be interesting. 
  • Like wool ties, cashmere ties also make for excellent fall staples. Since the material is more luxurious, they will typically cost a bit more than wool, however. Since they’re softer, they also don’t typically wear as well.
  • Another traditional fall tie is the ancient madder. Ancient madder ties are distinguished by their muted hues, traditional patterns (often with paisleys) and their soft, matte finish. You’ll find beautifully deep, soft, matte colorings, such as mustard yellow, jade green, and indigo blue. They’re produced on a special “gum” silk, and when handled, they have a hefty, chalky hand similar to fine suede. They can come in paisley or any number of small, geometric designs.
  • I had a phase once where I went a little tartan crazy. Now I find that with the exception of black watch, it’s hard to wear tartan ties. However, one thing they go excellently with is a tweed jacket. It makes sense given how popular the two are in Scotland. If you own a tweed jacket, I don’t recommend you go out and buy ten tartan ties like I did, but maybe buy one. 
  • Your regular run of woven silk ties can still feel seasonal. Just keep your colors autumnal - burgundy, chocolate, hunter green, and pale gold are all good colors to stand by. 

So where to buy some of these ties? My favorite shops are Drake’s (pictured above), Sam Hober, Paul Stuart, Ralph Lauren, and J Press. Additionally, some excellent options are available at Howard Yount, Mountain and Sackett, and Ovadia and Sons. For those looking for something more affordable, Land’s End also has a couple of handsome wools for between $50 and $60.

Finally, note that seasonal ties aren’t a necessity. You can still obviously wear your regular rotation of silk ties - grenadines and knits are still great ties to wear regardless of the season. It’s just that having a seasonal touch here and there can be fun, and the above are good options to consider.  

eBay Round Up
Here’s the first eBay Round Up for this week. Also note that Brooks Brothers, J Press, and Paul Stuart are having some sales right now. You may want to check those out as well. 
Reiss jacket, L
Surface to Air bomber, L
APC Breton shirt, L
Whitehouse Cox wallet
Ralph Lauren Purple Label aviators, 53
Ralph Lauren briefcase
Gieves and Hawkes buckshot brogues, UK 12
Optimo Panama hat, 6 1/4
Quilted Beretta jacket, 48
Gieves overcoat, 44
Richard James shirts with seahorses
Harrods silk dressing gown, XL

J Press Sale

J Press is having a sale right now, with discounts of up to 40% off. 

I think there are some good deals to be had. If you’re on the market for ties, I think their garza fina grenadines and knits, as well regimentals, would make for good buys. I also like their navy attache, wine surcingle belt, and collection of pocket squares. Additionally, if you think you might get the itch to buy a university scarf this fall, you might want to do it now while they’re on sale. 

For things that haven’t been marked down, punch in the code PSJUN11 at checkout to score some savings. 

Sale ends on the 16th.