It’s On Sale
Lands’ End Down Vest
Lands’ End is offering 20% off all sale and overstock, with free shipping.  Besides this vest, there are some knit ties, nice madras shorts, a great madras shirt that I’ve recommended before, a cool flannel belt, a nice field coat, and a bunch of other stuff worth investigating.  Remember that sizes run large - I’m 6’3”, 195, and can wear a size medium in their knits.  Customer service is great if you have questions.
$11.99 (Shipped) from $29.99 with code LEAF18 and PIN 4119
(or $20 in a wider range of colors)

It’s On Sale

Lands’ End Down Vest

Lands’ End is offering 20% off all sale and overstock, with free shipping.  Besides this vest, there are some knit ties, nice madras shorts, a great madras shirt that I’ve recommended before, a cool flannel belt, a nice field coat, and a bunch of other stuff worth investigating.  Remember that sizes run large - I’m 6’3”, 195, and can wear a size medium in their knits.  Customer service is great if you have questions.

$11.99 (Shipped) from $29.99 with code LEAF18 and PIN 4119

(or $20 in a wider range of colors)

Q and Answer: What’s the Difference Between a Suit Jacket and an Odd Jacket or Sportcoat?
Mike from Michigan asks: You shouldn’t wear a suit jacket without its matching pants. I  understand the rule, but why? What’s the actual difference between a  suit jacket and a blazer or odd jacket? What about odd vests? Wouldn’t  they almost always come from a three piece suit?
Suit jackets and odd jackets are very different beasts.
A suit jacket is more formal, and generally designed for business.  That means harder, smoother finishes on the fabric (typically worsted wool), more sober colors, business patterning (like pinstripes or chalk stripes), and buttons that roughly match the color of the jacket.
In contrast, odd jackets are more casual - they’re often called sportcoats because they were originally worn for sport.  Patterns and colors can be much bolder.  Fabrics are usually more textured.  For blazers, the fabric may be solid in color, but there is often significant texture, and almost always contrasting buttons (be they metal, horn or even white mother of pearl).  You won’t see stripes on an odd jacket unless they’re the stripes of your boat club and you’re bound for the regatta (like the fellow pictured above). 
There are some suit jackets that can be worn as odd jackets, but if you want a general rule - just don’t do it.  Sometimes a bold country suit - say in corduroy or tweed - could be separated, for example.  Cotton or linen suits can often be separated as well - think of their natural textures as a “goes both ways” feature.  Of course, you then run into the problem of your pants and jacket soiling and wearing at different rates, which you don’t want.
As for odd vests or waistcoats… they certainly can be purchased individually, particularly in the UK.  Generally speaking, wearing an odd vest is such a bold statement that it should only be undertaken if you live across the pond, or if your personal inclination is towards the dandy.  Tattersall waistcoats have a long equestrian history, but otherwise most odd waistcoats are in solid, contrasting colors.  The StyleForum member ManOfKent is a great example of how they’re worn.

Q and Answer: What’s the Difference Between a Suit Jacket and an Odd Jacket or Sportcoat?

Mike from Michigan asks: You shouldn’t wear a suit jacket without its matching pants. I understand the rule, but why? What’s the actual difference between a suit jacket and a blazer or odd jacket? What about odd vests? Wouldn’t they almost always come from a three piece suit?

Suit jackets and odd jackets are very different beasts.

A suit jacket is more formal, and generally designed for business.  That means harder, smoother finishes on the fabric (typically worsted wool), more sober colors, business patterning (like pinstripes or chalk stripes), and buttons that roughly match the color of the jacket.

In contrast, odd jackets are more casual - they’re often called sportcoats because they were originally worn for sport.  Patterns and colors can be much bolder.  Fabrics are usually more textured.  For blazers, the fabric may be solid in color, but there is often significant texture, and almost always contrasting buttons (be they metal, horn or even white mother of pearl).  You won’t see stripes on an odd jacket unless they’re the stripes of your boat club and you’re bound for the regatta (like the fellow pictured above). 

There are some suit jackets that can be worn as odd jackets, but if you want a general rule - just don’t do it.  Sometimes a bold country suit - say in corduroy or tweed - could be separated, for example.  Cotton or linen suits can often be separated as well - think of their natural textures as a “goes both ways” feature.  Of course, you then run into the problem of your pants and jacket soiling and wearing at different rates, which you don’t want.

As for odd vests or waistcoats… they certainly can be purchased individually, particularly in the UK.  Generally speaking, wearing an odd vest is such a bold statement that it should only be undertaken if you live across the pond, or if your personal inclination is towards the dandy.  Tattersall waistcoats have a long equestrian history, but otherwise most odd waistcoats are in solid, contrasting colors.  The StyleForum member ManOfKent is a great example of how they’re worn.

It’s On eBay
L.L. Bean Waxed Cotton Down Vest
$70 or best offer, ends Wednesday

It’s On eBay

L.L. Bean Waxed Cotton Down Vest

$70 or best offer, ends Wednesday

It’s On Ebay
Vintage REI down vest in rust.
Ends today.

It’s On Ebay

Vintage REI down vest in rust.

Ends today.

Q and Answer
Alan writes to ask:I bought a nice vintage suit on eBay a little while ago. The jacket fits nicely (although the sleeves could be taken down a smidgen) but the vest is a little snug. The pants are also quite tight and although this is the fashion for most people in my age group, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to dressing; your clothes should actually fit.  Is it possible for a tailor to loosen the vest and the pants so that they would fit?
Let’s unpack this.
First of all, pants fashion should be (and largely is) about cut, not size.  Some pants are designed to be fuller in the hips or legs, some to be slimmer.  If they don’t fit at the waist, no pant will be attractive, be it slim or large and drapey.  So perhaps your anger is misplaced?
As far as what a tailor can and cannot do: the main thing a tailor cannot do is create cloth where there is none.  Which is why it’s always easier for them to make something smaller than make something bigger.
Typically, pants will have a little bit of cloth inside what tailors call “the buttzone.”  If there’s an inch or two there, your tailor can probably take out the waist by an inch or two.  This is often the case for jacket sleeves as well - you can use your fingers to feel how far back that fabric goes and get a sense of how much you might be able to extend the sleeves.The vest, however, will be trickier.  There may be some cloth reserved for expansions, but it strikes me as unlikely.  Bring it to your tailor and ask.  You can also replace the silk back piece and liner with one slightly larger, but that’s no small job.

Q and Answer

Alan writes to ask:I bought a nice vintage suit on eBay a little while ago. The jacket fits nicely (although the sleeves could be taken down a smidgen) but the vest is a little snug. The pants are also quite tight and although this is the fashion for most people in my age group, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to dressing; your clothes should actually fit.  Is it possible for a tailor to loosen the vest and the pants so that they would fit?


Let’s unpack this.


First of all, pants fashion should be (and largely is) about cut, not size.  Some pants are designed to be fuller in the hips or legs, some to be slimmer.  If they don’t fit at the waist, no pant will be attractive, be it slim or large and drapey.  So perhaps your anger is misplaced?


As far as what a tailor can and cannot do: the main thing a tailor cannot do is create cloth where there is none.  Which is why it’s always easier for them to make something smaller than make something bigger.


Typically, pants will have a little bit of cloth inside what tailors call “the buttzone.”  If there’s an inch or two there, your tailor can probably take out the waist by an inch or two.  This is often the case for jacket sleeves as well - you can use your fingers to feel how far back that fabric goes and get a sense of how much you might be able to extend the sleeves.

The vest, however, will be trickier.  There may be some cloth reserved for expansions, but it strikes me as unlikely.  Bring it to your tailor and ask.  You can also replace the silk back piece and liner with one slightly larger, but that’s no small job.

A tweed down vest.
A simple vest and a heavy shirt or shirt jacket is a wonderful way to keep warm into the winter.  (We cannot in good conscience advocate the vest-over-sportcoat look, but at the same time, we’re not going to fight you on it, because it has its charm.)
This vest and more in a roundup at Inventory

A tweed down vest.

A simple vest and a heavy shirt or shirt jacket is a wonderful way to keep warm into the winter.  (We cannot in good conscience advocate the vest-over-sportcoat look, but at the same time, we’re not going to fight you on it, because it has its charm.)

This vest and more in a roundup at Inventory