Packing for a One-Week Trip to the UK
I’m headed to the UK later today to do a few comedy shows. Folks are always emailing for examples on how to pack a decent wardrobe, so I thought I’d share what I’m bringing. All of this fits comfortably a carry-on bag (or on my back), along with socks, underwear, a dopp kit and a couple of soft white t-shirts to sleep in.
I’ll be casually dressed in the UK, and while the weather’s pleasantly warm in London at the moment, it’s still a bit cool and damp at night; in my other destination, Edinburgh, it’s actually a bit cold. I won’t be doing laundry on this trip.
All the pieces above go together and can be switched out for each other or layered, and the shoes are comfortable for walking. Those, along with “fits in luggage” are my main criteria when packing for a trip.
Coats
I’m bringing a leather A-1 jacket and a workwear-ish cotton blazer. The leather’s fine in actual cold, especially layered, and the blazer I can wear whenever it’s not actually hot hot.
Shirts
I brought two t-shirts and five oxfords. I love oxfords for travel because they look great right out of my suitcase - slightly rumpled is their natural state. The t-shirts will be great if there are particularly warm days.
Trousers
I brought two pairs of jeans, though I often bring only one, simply because I had the room. I also brought a pair of khakis for warmer days or days when I want to look a bit more put-together.
Shoes
I ended up bringing two pairs of sneakers on the trip. It’s always a good idea to have backup shoes in case of soaking or blisters or what-have-you, and canvas sneakers aren’t too heavy. If it weren’t summer, I’d likely bring a pair of boots and a pair of sneakers.
Etc.
I grabbed an Ebbets Field Flannels 8-panel cap, which is soft and packs easily, along with a favorite gray sweatshirt (for layering) and a white silk scarf that will keep me warm on the way to my 11PM gig in Edinburgh. Hopefully.

Packing for a One-Week Trip to the UK

I’m headed to the UK later today to do a few comedy shows. Folks are always emailing for examples on how to pack a decent wardrobe, so I thought I’d share what I’m bringing. All of this fits comfortably a carry-on bag (or on my back), along with socks, underwear, a dopp kit and a couple of soft white t-shirts to sleep in.

I’ll be casually dressed in the UK, and while the weather’s pleasantly warm in London at the moment, it’s still a bit cool and damp at night; in my other destination, Edinburgh, it’s actually a bit cold. I won’t be doing laundry on this trip.

All the pieces above go together and can be switched out for each other or layered, and the shoes are comfortable for walking. Those, along with “fits in luggage” are my main criteria when packing for a trip.

Coats

I’m bringing a leather A-1 jacket and a workwear-ish cotton blazer. The leather’s fine in actual cold, especially layered, and the blazer I can wear whenever it’s not actually hot hot.

Shirts

I brought two t-shirts and five oxfords. I love oxfords for travel because they look great right out of my suitcase - slightly rumpled is their natural state. The t-shirts will be great if there are particularly warm days.

Trousers

I brought two pairs of jeans, though I often bring only one, simply because I had the room. I also brought a pair of khakis for warmer days or days when I want to look a bit more put-together.

Shoes

I ended up bringing two pairs of sneakers on the trip. It’s always a good idea to have backup shoes in case of soaking or blisters or what-have-you, and canvas sneakers aren’t too heavy. If it weren’t summer, I’d likely bring a pair of boots and a pair of sneakers.

Etc.

I grabbed an Ebbets Field Flannels 8-panel cap, which is soft and packs easily, along with a favorite gray sweatshirt (for layering) and a white silk scarf that will keep me warm on the way to my 11PM gig in Edinburgh. Hopefully.

Real People: Spring Scarves and Patterns
Where I live, in the Washington, D.C. area, we’ve already had 4 days of 90 degree heat, so I’m envious of people like C. in the Netherlands who can wear light scarves late into spring and even summer. I’m also envious of C.’s scarf itself in these photos, in a simple brown and cream patterned linen that complements the tone of his trousers and the blue of his shirt. When tied, it occupies the space that otherwise might be covered by a tie, and a scarf like C.’s can be a good casual tie alternative without going full ascot.
C. also submitted this as one of the more subtle entries in the recent Styleforum four-pattern challenge. Really, only the scarf is boldly patterned; otherwise, it’s a variation on a look most men return to over and over: navy sportcoat, blue shirt, and light colored cotton pants. Adding subtle patterns and the texture of looser weave linen refines the combination.
Finally, beyond patterns, C. has truly mastered the “walking toward the camera selfie.” Many bloggers (me included) have used up their camera phone’s storage space with poorly timed attempts at this level of on-camera nonchalance.
-Pete

Real People: Spring Scarves and Patterns

Where I live, in the Washington, D.C. area, we’ve already had 4 days of 90 degree heat, so I’m envious of people like C. in the Netherlands who can wear light scarves late into spring and even summer. I’m also envious of C.’s scarf itself in these photos, in a simple brown and cream patterned linen that complements the tone of his trousers and the blue of his shirt. When tied, it occupies the space that otherwise might be covered by a tie, and a scarf like C.’s can be a good casual tie alternative without going full ascot.

C. also submitted this as one of the more subtle entries in the recent Styleforum four-pattern challenge. Really, only the scarf is boldly patterned; otherwise, it’s a variation on a look most men return to over and over: navy sportcoat, blue shirt, and light colored cotton pants. Adding subtle patterns and the texture of looser weave linen refines the combination.

Finally, beyond patterns, C. has truly mastered the “walking toward the camera selfie.” Many bloggers (me included) have used up their camera phone’s storage space with poorly timed attempts at this level of on-camera nonchalance.

-Pete

John Hanly Cashmere Scarves
Late last summer I began searching for cashmere scarves for fall and winter. I’m not quite sure how I stumbled upon them, but John Hanly & Co. Ltd. caught my attention.
While there are several places you can buy cashmere scarves — in the past we’ve recommended signing up for Sierra Trading Post’s “deal flyer” email list, which often led to their cashmere scarves being discounted to around $40 — I had several particular requirements for what I was looking for from mine:
Solid in color — no patterns
At least 70” in length
At least 12” in width
Mildly affordable (relative to everyone, but I was looking at or below $100)
Of course, I also hoped to find one of decent quality that wasn’t “cheap” cashmere — I had a few of those already and didn’t want to waste money going down that path again. 
It’s hard to judge quality online — probably impossible — but I decided to take the risk and order two scarves from John Hanly. You can read more about the company here, which has been around since 1893 in Ireland, and they’ve been making scarves for brands and retailers like Polo Ralph Lauren, Barney’s and Liberty of London. This convinced me to give them a try. 
The ordering process can be a bit tricky for U.S. customers. First, you should contact them and ask about discounting for VAT. If you want the VAT discount, then you have to give them your credit card information over e-mail to place your order (their online store doesn’t allow for this). And you wait about two weeks for your shipment to arrive — it’s worth noting that if you spend over €75, then they’ll ship to the United States for free. 
I ordered two scarves, received free shipping and the VAT discount, which placed my order at around $70 a scarf, each which measures about 13.75” x 71”. The scarves are extremely soft and after a handful of wears, they’ve stopped leaving cashmere fibers on my jackets. Admittedly, this did concern me a bit at the beginning, but after several months of wearing them this winter, it wasn’t a continuing problem. Other cheaper cashmere scarves are still leaving bits of fibers around the back of my shirt collars after a lot more wear. 
I know spending $70 a scarf isn’t exactly in everyone’s budget (for a wider range of options, please read Derek’s post on fall-winter scarves), but I’ve been really pleased with the value and quality of these cashmere scarves from John Hanly. 
-Kiyoshi

John Hanly Cashmere Scarves

Late last summer I began searching for cashmere scarves for fall and winter. I’m not quite sure how I stumbled upon them, but John Hanly & Co. Ltd. caught my attention.

While there are several places you can buy cashmere scarves — in the past we’ve recommended signing up for Sierra Trading Post’s “deal flyer” email list, which often led to their cashmere scarves being discounted to around $40 — I had several particular requirements for what I was looking for from mine:

  • Solid in color — no patterns
  • At least 70” in length
  • At least 12” in width
  • Mildly affordable (relative to everyone, but I was looking at or below $100)

Of course, I also hoped to find one of decent quality that wasn’t “cheap” cashmere — I had a few of those already and didn’t want to waste money going down that path again. 

It’s hard to judge quality online — probably impossible — but I decided to take the risk and order two scarves from John Hanly. You can read more about the company here, which has been around since 1893 in Ireland, and they’ve been making scarves for brands and retailers like Polo Ralph Lauren, Barney’s and Liberty of London. This convinced me to give them a try. 

The ordering process can be a bit tricky for U.S. customers. First, you should contact them and ask about discounting for VAT. If you want the VAT discount, then you have to give them your credit card information over e-mail to place your order (their online store doesn’t allow for this). And you wait about two weeks for your shipment to arrive — it’s worth noting that if you spend over €75, then they’ll ship to the United States for free. 

I ordered two scarves, received free shipping and the VAT discount, which placed my order at around $70 a scarf, each which measures about 13.75” x 71”. The scarves are extremely soft and after a handful of wears, they’ve stopped leaving cashmere fibers on my jackets. Admittedly, this did concern me a bit at the beginning, but after several months of wearing them this winter, it wasn’t a continuing problem. Other cheaper cashmere scarves are still leaving bits of fibers around the back of my shirt collars after a lot more wear. 

I know spending $70 a scarf isn’t exactly in everyone’s budget (for a wider range of options, please read Derek’s post on fall-winter scarves), but I’ve been really pleased with the value and quality of these cashmere scarves from John Hanly. 

-Kiyoshi

Consider the Silk Scarf
If you’re wearing a wool coat this winter, consider pairing it with a silk scarf. Silk scarves aren’t as versatile as ones made from cashmere or lambswool, but they look amazing when worn with heavy dress coats. By that I mean things such as polo coats, Ulster coats, and Chesterfields – the kinds of things that you sometimes see labeled as “dress outerwear” in places such as Brooks Brothers. It’s just another way of saying outerwear that’s dressier than things such as parkas and leather bomber jackets.
A silk scarf can really soften up the look of a heavy wool coat. See Noel Coward above or Gordon Gekko in this scene from the movie Wall Street. In both cases, their scarves in lend a nice sheen to an otherwise matte ensemble. It’s not unlike how we use silk ties and polished shoes to counterbalance the flatness of a wool sport coat or woolen trousers. As I wrote earlier this year, I believe a lot of what it means to dress well is learning how to strike a balance between different elements of what you’re wearing (patterns, texture, hardness/ softness, sheen/ flatness, etc). Light silk scarves do that well with heavy wool coats, so long as the coat is as dressy as the scarf.
There are a few places to buy a silk scarf. My favorite is Drake’s, who sells them in a few different designs. I have two of their reversible dotted tubular scarves – one in navy and one in brown – which kind of look like this, but without the fringed ends. A navy dotted silk scarf is arguably the most versatile version you can buy, though I like my brown one for when I wear navy coats. The difference in color helps distinguish it from the rest of what I’m wearing.
You can also pick some up from traditional men’s haberdashers, such as Ben Silver, Brooks Brothers, J. Press, Paul Stuart, and A Suitable Wardrobe. Additionally, San Francisco’s Wingtip stocks Edward Armah silk scarves, as well as a few under their own house label. You can also buy Edward Armah’s scarves directly from Edward Armah themselves.
Admittedly, all those are quite expensive. You could wait for them to go on sale, but they’ll still be on the pricey side. Alternatively, KJ Beckett sells silk scarves by Michelsons of London (also available through the manufacturer themselves), but I have no first hand experience with their products, so I can’t speak about their quality. You can also try eBay. This seller, for example, regularly stocks them, but his/ her scarves are often short and narrow. That’ll limit how you can wear the scarf. You may be able to get away with wearing it like a muffler underneath your buttoned up coat, but it may look silly if you try anything else. Better if you can get something 64” or longer, but those will typically cost you considerably more. 

Consider the Silk Scarf

If you’re wearing a wool coat this winter, consider pairing it with a silk scarf. Silk scarves aren’t as versatile as ones made from cashmere or lambswool, but they look amazing when worn with heavy dress coats. By that I mean things such as polo coats, Ulster coats, and Chesterfields – the kinds of things that you sometimes see labeled as “dress outerwear” in places such as Brooks Brothers. It’s just another way of saying outerwear that’s dressier than things such as parkas and leather bomber jackets.

A silk scarf can really soften up the look of a heavy wool coat. See Noel Coward above or Gordon Gekko in this scene from the movie Wall Street. In both cases, their scarves in lend a nice sheen to an otherwise matte ensemble. It’s not unlike how we use silk ties and polished shoes to counterbalance the flatness of a wool sport coat or woolen trousers. As I wrote earlier this year, I believe a lot of what it means to dress well is learning how to strike a balance between different elements of what you’re wearing (patterns, texture, hardness/ softness, sheen/ flatness, etc). Light silk scarves do that well with heavy wool coats, so long as the coat is as dressy as the scarf.

There are a few places to buy a silk scarf. My favorite is Drake’s, who sells them in a few different designs. I have two of their reversible dotted tubular scarves – one in navy and one in brown – which kind of look like this, but without the fringed ends. A navy dotted silk scarf is arguably the most versatile version you can buy, though I like my brown one for when I wear navy coats. The difference in color helps distinguish it from the rest of what I’m wearing.

You can also pick some up from traditional men’s haberdashers, such as Ben Silver, Brooks Brothers, J. Press, Paul Stuart, and A Suitable Wardrobe. Additionally, San Francisco’s Wingtip stocks Edward Armah silk scarves, as well as a few under their own house label. You can also buy Edward Armah’s scarves directly from Edward Armah themselves.

Admittedly, all those are quite expensive. You could wait for them to go on sale, but they’ll still be on the pricey side. Alternatively, KJ Beckett sells silk scarves by Michelsons of London (also available through the manufacturer themselves), but I have no first hand experience with their products, so I can’t speak about their quality. You can also try eBay. This seller, for example, regularly stocks them, but his/ her scarves are often short and narrow. That’ll limit how you can wear the scarf. You may be able to get away with wearing it like a muffler underneath your buttoned up coat, but it may look silly if you try anything else. Better if you can get something 64” or longer, but those will typically cost you considerably more. 

Put This On Season Two, Episode 4: Eccentric Style

Put This On, a web series about dressing like a grownup, visits London, where we visit with a few of the distinctive personalities that help make London a special place.

Guy Hills makes tweeds with the colors of the London streets- including reflective stripes for cyclists.

David Saxby went from being a vintage dealer to recreating traditional styles in his own factories with the workers who’d been laid off as clothing manufacture left England.

We visit Cordings, an unusual outdoor clothing store that Eric Clapton felt so strongly about he bought it.

And we learn a few ways to tie a scarf. Plus our sponsor, Mailchimp, and of course Rudiments with Dave Hill.

This is the fourth episode in our six-episode second season. In this season, we visit the three greatest men’s style cities in the world, as chosen by our readers - New York, Milan and London.

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Watch it elsewhere:

Vimeo / Youtube / iTunes


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Buy Season One on DVD for $16

This episode was supported by our viewers and by Mailchimp.


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Executive Producers: Jesse Thorn & Adam Lisagor

Director: Benjamin Ahr Harrison

Host / Writer / Producer: Jesse Thorn

Rudiments: Dave Hill

Producer: Kristian Brodie

Director of Photography: Charlie Cook

Sound: Kristian Brodie

Come on. That’s a scarf.
If I were a man who bought $265 scarves, or even a man who lived in a place where scarves were a thing you wore, I’d have a hard time resisting this one, from A Suitable Wardrobe.

Come on. That’s a scarf.

If I were a man who bought $265 scarves, or even a man who lived in a place where scarves were a thing you wore, I’d have a hard time resisting this one, from A Suitable Wardrobe.

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. 

How to Soften Wool
If you happen to have any wool knits that feel too itchy to wear, try this simple solution: Fill a basin with cold water and thoroughly soak the garment in it. Then drain the basin and gently press the water out (woolens should never be wrung). While it’s still damp, apply a liberal amount of hair conditioner and work it through the fibers. Higher quality hair conditioners will work better (I recommend Bumble and Bumble*), and make sure you’re not using one of those 2-in-1 “shampoos and conditioners” mixes.
Once you’ve really worked it through the entire garment, let it sit in the basin for about 30 minutes to an hour. When you come back, rinse the conditioner out, press it dry, and lay it flat on a towel for about 24 hours. Make sure it’s not placed next to anything like heaters, which can dry out the fibers again. When you come back, your garment should be considerably softer. Of course, this only works on very dry wools, and only goes so far. You’re not going to turn everything into cashmere, but you may soften things up a bit. 
* This stuff, by the way, is fantastic. I strongly recommend giving a small bottle of their shampoos or conditioners a try. Windle & Moodie sell them at a 25% discount, but you can also find them at most higher end hair salons.

How to Soften Wool

If you happen to have any wool knits that feel too itchy to wear, try this simple solution: Fill a basin with cold water and thoroughly soak the garment in it. Then drain the basin and gently press the water out (woolens should never be wrung). While it’s still damp, apply a liberal amount of hair conditioner and work it through the fibers. Higher quality hair conditioners will work better (I recommend Bumble and Bumble*), and make sure you’re not using one of those 2-in-1 “shampoos and conditioners” mixes.

Once you’ve really worked it through the entire garment, let it sit in the basin for about 30 minutes to an hour. When you come back, rinse the conditioner out, press it dry, and lay it flat on a towel for about 24 hours. Make sure it’s not placed next to anything like heaters, which can dry out the fibers again. When you come back, your garment should be considerably softer. Of course, this only works on very dry wools, and only goes so far. You’re not going to turn everything into cashmere, but you may soften things up a bit. 

* This stuff, by the way, is fantastic. I strongly recommend giving a small bottle of their shampoos or conditioners a try. Windle & Moodie sell them at a 25% discount, but you can also find them at most higher end hair salons.

Gilt has a wool/ cashmere blend scarf in that burnt orange color I talked about last week. I think it would look great next to navy or flannel grey jackets. If you wanted to incorporate burnt orange into your fall wardrobe, this might be an easy way to do it.
The scarf costs $59, but I don’t know anything about its quality. Fortunately, Gilt has a fairly easy return system, and shipping is only $6. Might be worth a try. You can check it out here.

Gilt has a wool/ cashmere blend scarf in that burnt orange color I talked about last week. I think it would look great next to navy or flannel grey jackets. If you wanted to incorporate burnt orange into your fall wardrobe, this might be an easy way to do it.

The scarf costs $59, but I don’t know anything about its quality. Fortunately, Gilt has a fairly easy return system, and shipping is only $6. Might be worth a try. You can check it out here.

Was just emailing with a family friend, Christine Cariati. She’s been a fine artist for about 20 years, but before that she was a weaver, half of a company called Cariati & Wainwright which made hand-woven clothes and accessories in San Francisco. Recently, she’s returned to weaving part time, making some absolutely gorgeous silk scarves. She sent me a couple of her samples, and they’re just stunning.
Christine will be showing her art, offering some scarves for sale and demonstrating her weaving at an open studio this weekend in San Francisco. If you’re in the Bay Area, you should make a point of visiting. If you ask nicely, she might even tell you embarassing stories about me as a baby.
Hunters PointBuilding 110 • Studio 205Saturday, October 29th 11am-5pmSunday, October 30th. 11am-4pm

Was just emailing with a family friend, Christine Cariati. She’s been a fine artist for about 20 years, but before that she was a weaver, half of a company called Cariati & Wainwright which made hand-woven clothes and accessories in San Francisco. Recently, she’s returned to weaving part time, making some absolutely gorgeous silk scarves. She sent me a couple of her samples, and they’re just stunning.

Christine will be showing her art, offering some scarves for sale and demonstrating her weaving at an open studio this weekend in San Francisco. If you’re in the Bay Area, you should make a point of visiting. If you ask nicely, she might even tell you embarassing stories about me as a baby.

Hunters Point
Building 110 • Studio 205

Saturday, October 29th 11am-5pm
Sunday, October 30th. 11am-4pm