Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Long Weekend Jaunt: NYC

[Pictured: Uniqlo's Soho NYC store.]

I am headed back up to the chilly north for a wonderful long weekend with friends and family (happily throwing on my jean jacket already).  While I have a pretty full schedule, I did set aside some time to do a little bit of retail therapy on Friday.  I'm on the prowl for a birthday gift for my brother and have a few specific spots in mind.  It's pretty awesome that my travel arrangements coincide with the release of Jil Sander's +J line, which is not only her return to the design world, but a collaboration between her and Uniqlo.  Uniqlo is always getting shout outs from the major players, i.e. GQ,, etc., so I'm pretty pumped to finally check out the Japanese brand's Soho store.  For those in the dark, Uniqlo is a Japanese mega-brand that has recently picked up steam in the US.  They offer modern cut classics typically falling under $100 so it's at least browse worthy.  I'll be sure to bring my shitty camera along to take pics of the new line and anything else sartorially inclined.  Stay in touch and stay tuned...


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Michael Jordan: Style Icon?

While the title of this post may be a little bit of a stretch, SI has some great college-era photos of His Airness that showcase a classic and laid back style.  These pictures, dating back to 1983, take a look at Jordan's life off the court and are a great retrospective on not only the greatest basketball player of all-time, but an era in which traditional American clothing ruled campuses across the country...even those of future 5x MVP winners.

[It's doubtful Jordan actually ever took notes while at Chapel Hill, but you can definitely take notes on his gear.  The almost pink, button-down collar, short sleeve oxford matched with the gray trousers screams trad.]

[Jordan strolls across campus with Sam Perkins.  The brown leather motor cycle jacket expertly dresses down this fall outfit and it appears as if #23 has ditched his Nike's in favor of loafers.]

[Jordan, again, pictured with Perkins.  You don't need to win 6 NBA championships to know that a great fitting pair of flat front pants have no need for a belt.]

[Always the performer, on and off the court...a slim-fitting rugby shirt paired with straight-fit, dark wash denim and classic white sneaks wouldn't be so out of place on campus today.]

All pictures courtesy of


The Khaki Shirt

Flannel, chambray and denim workshirts are everywhere this fall and that's not such a bad thing.  Most stylish guys are going to have these shirts/fabrics in heavy rotaion, but there are other options out there.  Recently I've been seeing the khaki, or chino, shirt featured as a cool alternative to the previously mentioned, slightly over-exposed get-ups.  Taking its que more so from militray references, than classic workwear, the khaki shirt is a super clean option as far as fall shirts are concerned.  Lots of brands are ditching epaulets (those often non-functional, button-down shoulder straps) to create a simpler, stream-lined shirt that doesn't overtly announce its history, yet retains it's heritage.  I've compiled options from all the mainstream players so that the price points stay on the low side, but keep in mind that this could mean we have a trend on our hands...

I present to you Sartorially Inclined's Khaki Shirt Primer:

The Gap...$44.50

Head designer Patrick Robinson keeps things casual, classic and most of all, wonderful yet again.  This guy really knows what he is doing and this khaki shirt from the American institution known as The Gap is another affordable classic piece (they keep churning 'em out these days).  Definitely the most casual of the bunch, this shirt would look great thrown on wrinkled, much like your pinpoint oxford.  Leave the tie at home, untuck and maybe even unbutton (undershirts required).

Banana Republic...$79.50

The more expensive older brother of The Gap is getting in on the action as well with a crisper, more dressy option.  The shirt appears to have a higher level of detailing (red thread on the top button), as well, which is always nice when attempting to justify price.  I like this shirt as a dressier option, i.e. tucked in with a rep or knit tie.  I can see this shirt being much more of an iron before you go out as oppose to a tumble dry.  Just keep in mind that when it comes to Banana, price doesn't really reflect quality...

J. Crew...$69.50

The champions of mainstream heritage return with their take on the classic.  Seemingly bucking the khaki color, they instead offer their chino shirt in both a fall friendly gray and bisque (their fancy way of saying "whtie").  If you already own a grey chambray or denim shirt, I would skip this option since unless you plan on being fondled (and you just may) not many people will be able to tell the difference.  On the other hand, if the khaki color is not your speed, this might serve as a great compromise.

There are lots of great options out there so don't feel like you need to wear flannel, chambray or otherwise.  As long as you stay informed there is never a need or reason to be trendy or fashionable...find a shirt that looks great, fits great and, most of all, feels great...I imagine you're likely to find a khaki shirt that is all three...


Monday, September 28, 2009

"What's In My Closet" - Vintage Levis Trucker Jacket

[Pictured: Sartorially Inclined's newest denim jacket, vintage Levis]

Charlotte doesn't have too many cool vintage shops, so when I heard all the good things being said about Hong Kong Vintage and Recycled I made it a point to stop in at some point over the weekend.  Unlike a Salvation Army, Goodwill or Value Village (pretty much all we got down by me) the wonderful ladies that run Hong Kong actually go on buying trips and don't let just anyone walk in and sell some old stuff.  They have specific decades they look for and when I popped in this weekend they had a great selection of sweatshirts and cowboy boots.  I had been meaning to pick up a denim jacket for a while, and since I already own two I wanted to make sure my latest purchase wasn't completely unnecessary.

My two previous jean jackets are both Levis as well (would you really buy from anyone else).  One is a fleece lined winter number (amazingly warm) that is unfaded and is the most "workwear" of the bunch, while the other is a standard trucker that I purchased off of eBay for around $13.  While both are great, I was looking for a new one for fall that was a tad more fitted than the one I got off of eBay (sz. 40).  Luckily for me the one at Hong Kong was not only extremely fitted (somewhere between a sz. 36-38) but also had some great details due to its vintage status.  The jacket fits snugly over a button down, has tight sleeves and the bottom of the jacket hits right at my waist. As you can see the collar is really torn up which creates a great accent/detail when the collar of the jacket is flipped or messed up (usually how i wear the collar).  Along with general fraying due to the jacket's age, the wash is great...there is unique fading on the elbows and on the body of the jacket.  I typically hate buying pre-destroyed clothing, but with vintage you know that the damage was not from a machine or done on purpose, but instead from a love of the clothes that called for everyday wear.

I've talked about denim jackets before and, as of right now, the denim jacket is my go to outerwear for fall.  I plan on wearing it over a preppy getup...i.e. oxfords, knit ties, flat front chinos and throwing in my Palladium Boots to create a great refined, yet rugged look I have already talked a great deal about.

For more general info about denim jackets, there is a great guide by Dan over at the Men's Style Blog and you know his stuff is good (though, I'm not sure about the whole pocket sqaure thing) because Esquire's Best Dressed Real Man of '09 can't be wrong...right?


Friday, September 25, 2009

Swingin' in the weekend with Arnie

Here at Sartorially Inclined we have the upmost respect for Mr. Arnold Palmer, and we are sad to say that we missed his birthday back on September 10th.  Piggbacking off of Ivy Style's post about the coolest athlete ever, I thought this would be a good time to talk about Arnie.  I am extremely proud to call Arnold Palmer one of my personal style icons and an alumnus of the same college I graduated from (Wake Forest University, stand up).  Arnold's style was all classic cool.  Cigarettes on the golf course, perfectly fitting polos and, oh yeah, domination of a major sport.  GQ named Palmer one of its "50 Most Stylish Men of the Past 50 Years" and, in my mind, he's right up there with the holy trinity of McQueen, Redford and Newman.  GQ writes...

"In the early 1960s, Arnold Palmer was more than a golfer: He was a superstar—the Elvis Presley of sports. With his horde of fans (Arnie’s Army) and his pomaded pompadour, Palmer brought golf to the masses. He could dress, too, favoring flat-front gabardine pants with a heavy crease and wool cardigans. And those fitted golf shirts: “There was some talk that maybe my muscles were too big for the shirts,” Palmer admits today. But sportswriter Frank Deford has testified that Palmer’s cool came from those L&M’s: “All America had this image of Palmer taking a cigarette out of his mouth, throwing it on the green to putt, and then sticking it back in his mouth. It was golf’s equivalent of Bogart and Bacall. It’s odd to think of a cigarette as an athletic totem, but back then it was sexy. Palmer with a cigarette was like those old convertible ads with a beautiful woman sitting in the front seat and her scarf blowing in the wind.”

I was lucky enough to find some of those awesome Arnold Palmer x Robert Bruce polo's Arnold used to wear back in the 60's, the ones with the umbrella logo, and hopefully I can secure them and post about them at a later date.  On a much thirstier note, I will surely be crushing a few Arnold Palmer and vodkas (aka 'John Dalys') this weekend in honor of the man, a fellow Demon Deacon and style legend.  I encourage you all to do the same.  Happy belated Birthday Arnie, I got you a polo.


[The Patriot.]

[The professional.]

[The cardigans.]

[The chicks.]

[The cigs.]

[The shoes.]

[The swagger.]

[The Man.]

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Polo Ralph Lauren Ranger Boots

[Pictured: Tan Ranger Boots available at and]

Sometime last year Polo decided to re-release its 90's classic, The Ranger Boot, and due to the insanely high demand the boots were brought back for Fall '09.  Dubbed "cookie" boots, due to the circular Polo logo, the Rangers are legendary among Ralph Lauren aficionados.  They first came to the attention of Sartorially Inclined late last spring when they were featured in's "Obsessives" video series.  Rapper 88-Keys has an absurd Polo collection and in the clip he shows off his dead stock Rangers.   The reason I am posting the Ranger Boot is due to their ridiculously resonable price of $149.  This may very well be the best leather boot for fall under $200.

One of the great things about this boot is how unique its look is.  I am a huge fan of the rugged sole, lace/strap combo and the moccasin toe/construction.  As far as color is concerned, I prefer the brandy (below) to avoid any unwanted Timberland or motorcycle boot associations.  The Ranger Boot doesn't really look like many of the other boots on the market and this individuality is rare, especially on an item that is such a focus of fall fashion (alliteration much, geeez).  For the price, you can't really get much brand: check, good looks: double check, durability: triple check.  Sartorially Inclined is most surely looking into getting a pair to use in tandem with canvas Palladiums.  Everyone needs one great pair of leather boots for fall and for under two bills the Ranger Boot stomps out the competition.


[Pictured: Brandy and black colorways]

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"What's In My Closet?" - Pebbled Leather

[Pictured: Sartorially Inclined's black pebbled leather wingtips]

I recently purchased these wonderful NOS (new, old stock) black pebbled leather wingtips from a now defunct company called Georgetown Footwear for Gentleman (fantastic name).   While I am not going to preach the virtures of wingtips for the 100th time, I am instead interested in dicussing the wonderfully textured material known as pebbled leather.  For those unaware, pebbled leather is leather with a granulated surface as oppose to its more common, smooth appearance/feel.  Pebbled leather is in no way a new trend or anything of the like, but it can be easily overlooked when shopping around for a new pair of dress shoes so I figured I would discuss it here.

When doing some research in preperation for my next wingtip purchase I stumbled upon the beautiful shoes that Thom Browne makes and wears (see below).  His shoes are WAY out of my price range, but they pointed me in the right direction and got me thinking about texture.  The black pebble leather wingtip is a great shoe in that, much like any great piece, its beauty lies in the details.  A common glance may very well overlook the texture of the shoe, but that's kind of the point.  It is a minute detail (especially in a black shoe) that the wearer knows exists and feels good about.

[Pictured: Thom Browne wingtips. Notice the subtle texture.]

You can use these details and the confidence that comes with them to build a great outfit from the ground up, literally and figuratively.  Much like suede wingtips, the pebbled leather version takes a classic and tweaks it just enough so that the essence of the shoe is not lost, but, instead, updated and personalized.  Not to mention, if Thom Browne (damn that guy can dress!) wears 'em, I'm buying 'em...


[Top view feat. Johnson and Murphy shoe trees.]

[Pebbled leather, close up view.]

In Search of the Perfect Chinos...Pt. II

As you may recall, Sartorially Inclined was on the hunt for the perfect pair of chinos.  Well after some shipping mishaps and world class customer service (no sarcasm) my Hickey chinos finally arrived today.  Ladies and gentleman, I think we have our winner.   I'll do a quick run down of what I was looking for, how the chinos actually stacked up and post some pictures.

[Pictured: New Hickey Chinos feat. argyle socks]

1. Fit - The chinos are just slim enough to not make them not look too fashionable, but at the same time have a much more modern fit then say, a pair of Dockers.  I own a ton of pairs of so called "modern-fit" or "slim-fit" or "tailored" chinos, but Hickey really nailed it.  Somewhere in between formal (a summer chino suit pant) and casual (classic officer's chino) exists this version from Hickey.  The waist and length are just what I expected so no surprises from a pair of pants I did not try on before I purchased them.

2. Material - This may be the ultimate victory as far as Hickey's craft is concerned.  They found the perfect cotton weight that will actually work year round.  Substantial enough to feel like a pair of true chinos, but not too thick that they would be cumbersome on the deck of a sailboat come word: versatile.

3. Details (See pictures below) - There are some great lining features as well as a unique coin pocket, and internal buttoned pocket, a notch in the back of the waist, red accented zipper and a great hem.

Sartorially Inclined recommends these to anyone looking for that new great pair of chinos.  I truly believe I am going to be wearing these to work and also out to the bar on Saturday night.  The fact that they are on sale is all the more reason to drop some coin on a pair of pants that hits all the right notes.  The perfect pair is out there, it just takes a little hard work to find...but, then again, that's where I come in...

[Notice the unique coin pocket and red accented zipper.]

[Cool internal button pocket and lining detail.]

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stumbled Across: Weekend In The Woods

Some cool stuff I have stumbled across recently and my corresponding thoughts...

Field and Stream SLB Shirt...$52.00

[Photography courtesy of]

Work/outdoor shirts are getting so much love this fall and it's easy to see why...these shirts are pure, unadulterated Americana (aka badass).  I particularly like this Field and Stream SLB shirt due to its authenticity, utility and detailing.  Click on the link to see all the awesome stitching and little exciting things this shirt has to offer.  I love the coal black colorway, which gives the shirt just a hint of "fashion-y" sensibility.  Instead of shelling out $100+ for some designers take on a shirt that was never ment to see the elements, spend half on the real deal.  By the way, SLB means "strong like bull"...did I mention how badass this shirt is?

[Photograph courtesy of]

Here at Sartorially Inclined we have sung the praises of the awesome collaboration between the guys at Billy Kirk and Urban Outfitters.  Here is the latest luggage accessory from the pair and boy is it a winner.  I am currently waiting for my Brothers Bray tote to get delivered, but I am kinda wishing I had waited and gotten this instead.  The Weekender is another beautifully simple canvas and leather offering with great details (red vinyl lining).  You can expect this to go on backorder quicker then you can roast a marshmellow so act fast if it's something you covet.  To read more about the callaboration check out this interview (via  with Chris Bray of Billy Kirk.

I love this shoe because it is a hybrid that actually takes the BEST parts of a bunch of shoes and creates something equally, if not, better (the sum IS the whole of its parts).  You'll notice the obvious nods to blucher mocs, classic sneakers, and traditional hiking boots.  These hiking boots (this description should be taken with a grain of salt...much more conducive for a stroll in the city than a hike up the side of a mountain) are the essence of versatility and will work with all your fall looks.  It's great that Asos is offering an inexpensive shoe that will go equally as great with your raw denim as your wool trousers.  This is a must buy as far as Sartorially Inclined is concerned.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Trim The Fat

I used to hate tucking in my shirt, but with maturation comes class and now I feel sloppy unless I'm properly tucked (yes, even with jeans).  The only problem with this is the billowing or blousing effect that occurs as my shirt becomes un-tucked with everyday movements.  For the past year or so I have been trying to buy slim-fit shirts to help with this problem.  By eliminating extra, unwanted fabric and raising the arm holes my shirts look much cleaner when tucked in and stay that way.  Slim-fit shirts also make any guy look about 10 pounds lighter then they do with a regular shirt.  So many guys are scared of more form-fitting clothes when all it does is make them look better.  Another overlooked bonus of the slimmer cut shirt is that it is much easier to layer over.  Ditching excess fabric only enables sweaters, vests and jackets to sit much more flush with your torso creating smoother lines and silhouettes.  A lot more companies are moving towards a much slimmer cut shirt that can be found outside the confines of designer (and expenssive) labels.  Here are some options to work with...

Land's End Tailored Varsity Buttondown Oxford Shirt...$19.50

[Pictured: My two oxfords that fit just as well as advertised.]

I just bought two of these (one in white, one in blue) thanks to the reasonable price point and the fact you can never have too many oxford shirts.  This updated classic has a more modern fit and collar (works better with slimmer ties).  You know what you're getting with Land's End...a quality product with a timeless American appeal.  When mine arrive in the mail, I will be sure to update on the specifics. For more information check out the shout-out from

Asos Tailored Slim Fit Shirt...$18.24 (on sale)

Asos makes a great fitting shirt, and you can't beat this price.  I have three of these tailored slim fit shirts and they fit great.  For those of you out there who are skinny this is probably your best bet.  The shirt is flattering without being too tight that you feel awkward wearing it to the office.  Let the buyer beware: price is reflective of quality material in this case.  This will be by no means the most comfortable shirt you own.

Brooks Brothers Extra-Slim Fit...$79.50

You know that when a brand as conservative as Brooks Brothers is slimming down that we have more then a mere trend on our hands.  The pricey-est of the bunch, this shirt is def. for those looking to drop a little extra cash for quality.  Since Brooks Brothers shirts were gigantic to begin with, this trimmer cut is a great way to ease yourself into a new cut of shirt.  Look for a little blurb on the new slimmer Brooks Brothers in this month's GQ (pg. 70). 

Fall Looks: Setting the Bar

[Pictured: "On the Street....Perfect RL, NYC". Courtsey of Scott Schuman aka The Sartorialist.]

The best look I have seen this fall comes from a street shot done by the great Scott Schuman aka The Sartorialist (who partly inspired this very blog's name). This gentleman is doing exactly what I am recommending this fall (see: two posts ago)...blending both the traditionally refined and the classically rugged. Here we've got wingtips, a spread collar button down, a tweed vest, chinos, and a tie complete with tie bar topped off with a great military fatigue jacket.  What a great example of a wonderful, yet average fall outfit taken to the next level with the inclusion of an unexpected element. This outfit says so many things, but all I can say is "wow". This, ladies and gentlemen, is a perfect outfit, and THE perfect fall look as far as Sartorially Inclined is concerned. Finding the right balance somewhere in-between is no easy task, but when done right the juxtaposition of refined and rugged brings it all together. Talk about setting the bar high...


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gilt-free Shopping

Don't you hate it when you find that awesome piece of clothing that is way out of your price range? I love flipping through a new issue of GQ or reading a new post on the blog and finding great clothes but more often than not these designer items are out of my league (fiscally speaking, of course). Enter Gilt Groupe the wallet friendly online home for sample sale deals. The men's section has offerings from great designers and new deals are added daily (a Gant sale happens tonight, and Billy Reid hits tomorrow at noon). The sales are first come first serve and the deals are topnotch (i.e. 70% off a Thom Borwne Suit). Gilt is by no means a scam and is actually featured on page 72 of this month's GQ in a section titled "High-Style Sites for Hard Times". Membership is required to shop, but it's free to sign yourself up for the waiting-list. Most requests are processed in a few weeks, but if you want in asap, email me/comment with your name and email and I will send an invite your way (thank you in advance for the $25 referral fee!). In these tough times great deals on great items are tough to come by and my purchasing M.O. is skewing heavily towards sample-sales and eBay. Happy hunting, but be warned... TOO many great deals will put your checking account to sleep quicker than a big plate of ribs...


Friday, September 18, 2009

Fall Looks: Lawyers vs. Lumberjacks

[Pictured: Two looks from Michael Bastian's Fall 2009 show. Note the combination of refined and rugged. Courtesy of]

With all the wonderful clothes being hawked this fall the big challenge is developing a variety of looks to last you until the weather becomes particularly bitter. Even amongst the fashionable it is disheartening to see lots of guys find a particular look they like and pigeon-holing themselves. This fall I am seeing lots of looks in one of two categories: classy or rugged. You have the one guy at the bar wearing a v-neck sweater, an oxford shirt, a knit tie, creased chinos and wing tips standing next to the guy in the flannel work shirt, down vest, heavy fabric pants and boots. While Sartorially Inclined is fine with both of these looks (the classic prep and the classic workman) why limit yourself to being "that guy" and "that guy" only? Every single one of the above mentioned pieces is fantastic and should not be categorically excluded from one another.

This fall you will see me mixing and matching all these classic pieces. The reason American heritage gear is making such a massive comeback and is so popular right now is due to its timeless appeal and versatility. Why not take the same rugged boots from your lumberjack getup and throw it in with you prep. Creased chinos resting atop your Palladiums or Redwings looks fantastic. The same goes with wearing wingtips with your heavy flannel shirt and down vest. From these two styles you can easily create 20+ distinct looks that combine all the cool elements that made you rock the very same limited looks in the first place. The juxtaposition of refined and rough adds a new dimension to your otherwise stagnant outfit.

For an example take what I wore to work today for casual Friday. My outfit was pretty standard for the office, but I threw in an element that was unexpected. I paired my fairly standard uniform of black Bass Dover Weejuns, creased, flat front chinos, and a black belt with a black and white flannel shirt. The combination of colors, patterns and materials (the khaki, flannel, leather) mixed well for an unexpected look that was decidedly FALL. Who said there was no such thing as lumberjack, attorney at law?


Bidding War: L.L. Bean Norwegian Sweater

Background: In a segment dubbed "Bidding War" I am going to be highlighting pieces purchased off of eBay. It will give me a chance to talk about unique and vintage items of clothing that might otherwise get overlooked. My goal is that this segment will help aid in the often arduous process that is eBay browsing.

[Pictured: Vintage L.L. Bean catalouge. Courtesy of]

I'm going all in with sweaters this fall. I've got the v-neck, I've got the McQueen inspired crewneck, I've got the cardigan, I've even got the fair isle...all that I am missing is the coolest sweater of all-time. Well, I was missing it until I found it on eBay. L.L. Bean's Norwegian sweater is an American Prep staple with its very own shout out in The Official Preppy Handbook. This fisherman's favorite is wool and poly blended, actually knit in Norway and owns one of the coolest patterns I have ever seen. While the blue version is the iconic staple most people are familiar with, I decided to go with the much rarer red and gray color-way. The Norwegian can be worn all by its lonesome or thrown over a pinpoint oxford for that much sought after layered look I keep plugging. My hope is that the sweater will make any average prep/trad outfit really stand out and take it to the next level. For the easy price of $54 (including shipping) it probably has the best value of anything i have bought in the past year. For those of you worried that you wont be able to find your own, don't fret because L.L. Bean is apparently digging into their archives for a
re-release. The overwhelming response for the Norwegian Sweater and traditional American style, in general, got the attention of those at corporate and come November you can grab your own at the not so eBay friendly price of $129. I'll be sure to update this post, or create a new one entirely, once I receive my sweater in the mail. Happy prepping, happy trading, happy bidding...


[Pictured: Same model as the one I purchased, paired with a great down vest. This is a look I plan on replicating very frequently. Courtesy of Heavy Tweed Jacket]

[Pictured: The Norwegian layered with a polo and down vest featured in The Preppy Handbook]

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Land's End Fall 2009

Instead of blowing your hard earned dollars on Fall fashion that is insanely overpriced, why not flip through the pages of your Land's End catalog (Who am I kidding? You're just going to go to the website). You're bound to find some really great pieces with some really great price points. If you're partial, like I am, to the Americana, heritage look, brands like Land's End can help you build up a great wardrobe with plenty of cash left over. Land's End, like most clothing companies these days, it acknowledging that people want timeless clothes that end up being a great value. After checking out the new arrivals for Fall, I came across some great items that deserve the Sartorially Inclined cosign.

Men's Regular Long Sleeve Chambray Workshirt ($32.50)

The chambray workshirt is EVERYWHERE as of recent and I've been wearing my Gap warm weather version for over a year. As the weather cools, I am definitely in need of a thicker replacement. The Land's End model seems perfect and comes in this awesome faded black (almost a dark gray) colorway. Any button front shirt is a crucial part of a layered look and this chambray shirt in a great fall material and color will do just the trick. While everyone else is sure to be wearing too much flannel, you will find me in my chambray. For a look straight out of the McQueen handbook, keep the front pockets unbuttoned. Also, check out the "Wait, is this a misprint" price...$32.50 for a great chambray workshirt, hell yeah.

Men's Brown Suede Wingtip Shoes ($99.50)

In the most recent webisode of's fantastic "In The Closet" co-host Tyler Thoreson shouts out brown suede shoes as one of his Fall Essentials. Sartorially Inclined has a bad case of wing tip fever so I am loving these brown suede versions. I can already see them going perfectly with some cuffed denim (selvedge, please) or Donegal tweed pants for Fall. It's tough to find any wing-tips under $100 so these are a great bargain.

Lands' End Men's Tailored Fit 2-button Year 'rounder Blazer ($175.00)

Land's End is going all GQ on us and the result is surprisingly impressive. Utilizing everything but an Italian tailor, they have created a designer blazer for about 1/4th of the price. The super 100's wool fabric makes it a year round blazer in a classic navy blue that will never, I repeat, never go out of style. The blazer's side vents, slim lapels and trim cut make it modernized and if you really can't stand the nautical brass buttons, you can take the jacket to your dry-cleaner/tailor and have them switched out. Overall, the blazer is a timeless piece with a modern fit and a reasonable price point.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"What's In My Closet?" - Beatle Boots

[Be advisded: Not that comfortable to run in, especially when you have thousands of bloodthirsty tweens after you.]

With The Beatles Rock Band Edition and all their remastered albums being released last week I can't think of a better time to talk about the greatest band of all-time. Music aside, The Beatles had a pretty hip fashion sense about them, and their ever evolving looks are synonymous with the decades in which they blessed the world with their recordings. When Beatlemania was hitting its stride, the fab four were often in suits, white shirts, skinny knit ties and of course "Beatle Boots" aka modified Chelsea boots (complete with elastic ankle upper) with a Cuban heel and pointy toe. Apparently Lennon and McCartney saw a pair of Chelsea boots in 1961 when browsing around London and decided to have four pairs commissioned to go along with their new image. Upon returning from Hamburg, Germany the band dropped the rockabilly look, leather jackets and all, for a new suited approach.

As I picked out shoes to wear to work today, I was drawn to my own black, leather Chelsea boots. I hadn't worn them in a while and they were a refreshing alternative to the wing tips, Weejuns and oxfords I wear regularly to the office. I've always been drawn to the Chelsea boot, much in the same way I am drawn to The Beatles. The Beatles, at their core, were a rock 'n roll band, but at the same time always presented themselves in a classy manner. They were always professionals, rocking or not. This ability to balance classiness with an edge is something the Chelsea boot does very well. Pair it with jeans and a v-neck tee and you look like you just got out of band practice...pair it with a three piece suit and you look like the hippest guy on Wall Street.

The Chelsea boot is an interesting investment into multiple parts of a guys personality and its physical extension (his style). Not many shoes can cater to such polar opposite looks like the Chelsea boot can. Not many other boots are this versatile. There are so many varieties out there and most shoe designers/companies produce a boot similar to the ones The Beatles wore. My Chelsea Boots are from Calvin Klein, have a natural toe and are black leather. If you are looking for a model more in line with what The Beatles wore, try these. This model from Kenneth Cole has a squarer toe and is also available in brown. And for those out there with as much money as Sir Paul McCartney, here is a version available from Hugo Boss for sale over at Saks Fifth Avenue.


[Not only is "Twist and Shout" my favorite Beatles' song, but the single's artwork is a prime Beatle boots showcase.]

[Picture: Sartorially Inclined's Calvin Klein Collection Chelsea boots.]

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Rugby Shirt

[Photo courtesy of]

Layering is always a big part of fall and this year I'm pretty high on the rugby shirt as a key element of this look. Anyone call pull off throwing a sweater or sportcoat over a shit and tie or polo so why not branch out a little and go with the rugby. The rugby is a great heritage piece that encompasses a lot. It's association with a gritty, dirty sport lends it a ruggedness, its English roots harken back to a European sophistication and its nature as an iconic prep piece all commingle to create a shirt with personality and depth. I love all the details of the rugby shirt, from the elbow pads to the contrasting collar. It's thick fabric makes it an ideal top layer for fall, and its stiff and "crunchy" collar is perfect for creating that elegant and disheveled look. Pick up a slim fit model that will hug your torso and eliminate the much dreaded blousing effect as you add layers. Polo by Ralph Lauren is always my go to for Rugby shirts (hell, they even have a brand called Rugby) and despite being designer pieces, they are not too expensive, especially considering how the rugby shit can easily replace a jacket.

The look above is by far my favorite. Throwing the rugby over a shirt and tie (especially a knit tie) can dress down a business casual look to make it weekend ready. As the weather gets even more brisk, throw a heavy fabric (wool, tweed) sportcoat or toggle coat over your already expertly layered look. Pick up a version of the slim fit Rugby here from Polo by Ralph Lauren or here from Ralph Lauren Rugby. Now all you have to do it give yourself a black eye and girls may actually think you play...


[Sartorially Inclined's Polo rugby shirt in classic navy. Not as slim as I would like, but still gets the job done like only a rugby shirt can.]