Browsing through vintage stores looking for that special item is something that’s been a part of my life ever since my brother lived in London, a few years back. While sometimes nothing special hits your eye, other times that unique garment is enough to compensate for lost time: this was just the case with this Harris Tweed’s 3 button blazer. A timeless classic in charcoal with green and brown checks, flap pockets and wooden buttons makes it the perfect cold weather alternative for a put together look. The sturdy fabric provides the right amount of texture and warmth perfectly adapting to more formal or relaxed looks. Taking the latter into account, there’s no need to get slouchy on the weekend…
Details: vintage 3 button checked Harris Tweed blazer, club collar shirt (altered for collar pin) by Rugby Ralph Lauren, Levi’s 511 slim fit jeans (tailored), suede penny loafers by Buttero, vintage collar pin, wool/silk tie by Purificacion Garcia, polka dot pocket square by The Tie Rack, vintage braided leather belt, vintage chronograph by Citizen and striped socks by H&M.
Model and Styling: Miguel Amaral Vieira
If asked to, I believe I wouldn’t be able to pick just one favourite shirt among those I own, but this custom contrast club collar would definitely make it on to the top 5. There’s a certain unique elegance (and versatility) surrounding that rounded collar: although some might argue it begs to be paired with fancy neckwear, be it a tie or a bow, it can easily overlook them for a differentiated buttoned up sans tie look. Moreover, if you’ve been wanting to sport that brand new collar pin, there are few shirts out there as suited for it as this one. One aspect to keep in mind though, is that this model is supposed to be worn buttoned…much like double breasted jackets.
I’ve been sporting it often recently and similar models in different colors and patterns have already made their way into my wishlist. As with every shirt, fabric plays a very important role regarding the suitability and formality attributed to it: a finer fabric will reward you with an exotic dress shirt, whereas oxford cloth makes them the perfect match for that special pair of worn out jeans. This look combines several striking items, such as the checked navy peacoat, houndstooth elbow patched cardigan and the shirt itself, but they all blend in together as none is overwhelming. The emphasis is on the small details: hues darken as you approach the outer layers (light blue, grey, navy), tones are complementing among pieces (tie and patches) and the silver tie bar just adds that extra flare…
Checked navy wool peacoat by Paul Smith, grey wool/cashmere cardigan with houndstooth elbow patches by Annapurna 5+1, custom made light blue contrast club collar shirt by Gentleman, Levi’s 511 slim fitting jeans (tailored), Portuguese boots, vintage brown knit tie, vintage brown braided leather belt, silver tie bar by Tie Rack.
The pocket square
Once the trademark of a gentleman, used mainly as a reusable handkerchief, and occasionally as an elaborated gift to sweep ladies off their feet as a sign of courtesy and politeness, the pocket square has once again found its way into the wardrobe of men.
Although for different purposes, men of all ages have been sporting them proudly in the chest pockets of their blazers, suit jackets and even shirts. A rakish accessory without a doubt, it’s a perfect complement to an outfit by adding a pinch of color and pattern, while evoking the lost aura of gentlemanliness: that perfectly folded, pointy or puffing out piece of fabric lets people know you mean business.
It’s that extra bit of attention to detail that elevates your ensemble to a new level, retaining other people’s looks on yourself and leaving an impression. I often stress the importance of accessorizing as a way to take it up a notch, and the pocket square is a prime example, allowing you to diversify your look based on the type of fabric, color and pattern. By mixing these three elements, you’ll be able to attribute a more classic, dandyish, playful or dapperly connotation to your outfit. The traditional silk pocket square may sometimes appear too formal for your everyday wear due to its sheen, besides not being the most affordable option. Similarly to what happens with the bow tie, you might want to look for alternative fabrics, namely cotton or chambray, which will enable you to pull off the look with a more casual and relaxed feel.
On this note, a great option is to take handkerchiefs or bandanas and use them as pocket squares. Usually made of cotton and coming in an array of colors and patterns, they’ll keep you looking your best without depleting your bank account (check out Tie Rack’s packs of 3, great value).
This is my collection at the moment…need to invest in a few more options in red and pink tones.
Left to right: 1 - purple silk pocket square by Gentleman 2 - vintage white pocket square 3 - light blue cotton pocket square by Gentleman 4 - silk pocket square by Épice 5-10 - cotton pocket squares by Tie Rack.