Trousers, of the Plaid Variety

Plaid pants.  I little known way to look cooler than anyone in the room.  What used to be restricted to Glen Plaid  on bad bankers has expanded to every color combination under the sun.  But – these are not for the faint of heart.  It is extremely easy to screw these up.  First – don’t wear any plaid pants from a skateboard store.  That should go without saying.  Second, there are certain rules for plaid pants:

– Flat front.  Otherwise the pleats make them look like parachute pants.
– Cuffed.  1.75″ minimum.  Add some serious business to the ends.
– Good Fit.  Nothing too baggy.  They shouldn’t be slim, but they should fit well.  Too slim and you’ll look like a punk rocker.
– The Right Shoes.  Dressy.  Leather bottoms.  Either cap toes or loafers.  A good pair of 986s or tassel loafers are an excellent choice.
– Solids everywhere else.  White or blue oxford.  Solid sweater.  Solid sport coat.  Let the pants stand out.

Otherwise, get something somewhat subtle.  Don’t go for the Arnold Palmer a-la 70’s dirty plaid.  Stick with the subtle patterns.  Like these:

From left to right:

Ralph Lauren Glen Plaid Trousers – Dark and subtle.  A good choice.
Michael Bastian Glen Plaid Trousers – The burgundy accents in the glen plaid update these a bit, but with a crisp white oxford and a navy blazer…knock it out of the park.
Zanella Devon Plaid Trousers – Zanella has some of the nicest fabric out there.
BR Monogram Wool Plaid Trousers - A little more fashion forward, but the fit on these is spot on.
Paul Stuart Wool Herringbone Trousers – These are major league – a plaid on top of herringbone.  

From left to right:

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece Plaid Trousers – Absolutley awesome.  Black Fleece doesn’t miss.
Orvis Glen Plaid Lambswool Pants – Orvis is the spot to find the traditional look.  These never go out of style.
Zanella Todd Plaid Trousers – A subtle tan plaid.  Try these with an oxford blue shirt and a burgundy sweater.
Brooks Brothers Black Fleece Navy Plaid Trousers – Again.  Awesome.
Epaulet New York Blackwatch Trousers -Blackwatch is a great cold weather pattern.  And Epaulet pants are tops.

Now, these aren’t to be confused with the Christmas tartan pants…we’ll talk about those later.

Holiday Giveaway from Smathers & Branson

So here we go again…

The good folks over at Smathers & Branson want to do their part to keep a lucky Red Clay Soul reader as warm as possible this holiday season.  Since they don’t make sweaters, they are going to give once lucky reader one of their needlepoint Christmas Sweater Flasks.  While the sweater print looks like it’ll keep you warm, the contents of the flask are sure to take the nip out of the air.

Here are the details:  Leave a comment to this post with an email address to enter.

For additional entries:

  • +1 (2 Total) ‘Like’ Smathers & Branson on Facebook
  • +1 (3 Total) ‘Like’ Red Clay Soul on Facebook
  • +1 (4 Total) ‘Follow’ Smathers & Branson on Twitter
  • +1 (5 Total) ’Follow’ Red Clay Soul on Twitter
  • +1 (6 Total) ‘Follow’ Smathers & Branson on Instagram
  • +1 (7 Total) ‘Follow’ Red Clay Soul on Instagram
  • +1 (6 Total) Tweet the following about the giveaway ‘Happy Holidays from @redclaysoul and @SandBBelts – how about a Christmas Sweater Flask giveaway? Go here to enter: http://www.redclaysoul.com/?p=5304’

Entries must be in by midnight on Sunday, November 17th.  I’ll announce the winner on Monday, November 18th around lunchtime.

Special thanks to Smathers & Branson for providing the goods for the giveaway…

Online Shopping: Unionmade Goods

One of my favorite spots on the Internet is Unionmade Goods.  They have an excellently curated collection of menswear.  All highly desirable.  It’s the type of place where you don’t ask for a specific item, you ask for a gift certificate so you can pour over the website and tie yourself in a knot trying to figure out what to get…if not all of it.

After some pouring of my own, this is what I like:

J. Press York Street Vintage Reverse Sweatshirt

Gitman Vintage Archive Tartan in Red

Save Khaki Bedford Khaki Trousers in Caramel

J. Press York Street Holmes Quilted Sport Coat

Unionmade Lambswool Birdseye Slim Fit Crew Sweater

RRL Slim Fit Corduroy Pants in Burgundy

Todd Snyder Terry Shawl Collar Pullover

Quoddy True Penny Loafer in Cavalier Olive

I love how all the stuff at Unionmade seems to go together.  Almost all of their pieces can be interchanged for one another – maybe not in terms of color, but in terms of style.  Unionmade is one of those ‘can’t miss’ places.  Money well spent.

Holiday Giveaway With Southern Proper

‘Tis the season to be Merry. This holiday season we have teamed up with quite a few brands for giveaways that you can use as gifts for a loved one, or a gift for yourself.  It’s all good…

So let’s kick off the Holiday Season with a great giveaway from the ladies over at Southern Proper.  We have teamed up to give one lucky Red Clay Soul reader one of their new All Prep Fleece Pullover in Navy Blue.  You never know…they may throw in a few koozies as well…

Here are the details:  Leave a comment to this post with an email address to enter.

For additional entries:

  • +1 (2 Total) ‘Like’ Southern Proper on Facebook
  • +1 (3 Total) ‘Like’ Red Clay Soul on Facebook
  • +1 (4 Total) ‘Follow’ Southern Proper on Twitter
  • +1 (5 Total) ’Follow’ Red Clay Soul on Twitter
  • +1 (6 Total) ‘Follow’ Southern Proper on Instagram
  • +1 (7 Total) ‘Follow’ Red Clay Soul on Instagram
  • +1 (6 Total) Tweet the following about the giveaway ‘Happy Holidays from RCS and @southern_proper – how about a All Prep Fleece Pullover giveaway? Go here to enter: http://www.redclaysoul.com/?p=5275’

Entries must be in by midnight on Sunday, November 10th.  I’ll announce the winner on Monday, November 11th around lunchtime.

Special thanks to Southern Proper for providing the goods for the giveaway…

Georgia vs. Florida

The weekend is here…the World’s Largest Cocktail Party is in full swing down in Jacksonville.  While neither team has been living up to their 2013 expectations, it’s still the game that can make or break a season.  “Yeah, we went 8-4, but we beat Florida”.  Makes everything better…

Beyond the game is the propaganda.  And great propaganda it is.  Jack Davis is a famed artist who produced some of the best UGA art.  To call it iconic would be just about right:

UGA 27 – UF 21.

Duane Allman. 42 Years.

42 years ago yesterday (October 29, 1971) the great Duane Allman passed at the age of 24.  While he left too soon, what he left will live forever.

A top 5 – maybe top 3 – guitarist of all time.  See evidence here – “Statesboro Blues” from the 1970 Atlanta Pop Festival:

One of the first albums I remember playing was ‘The Allman Brothers Band’ on Dad’s record player.  Along with ‘The Gambler’ by Kenny Rogers and all the Sesame Street songs, I knew all the words.  To say that the Allman Brothers’ and Duane’s guitar were influential in my youth is a complete understatement.  Sad day, folks.  Sad day.

Image: Google Image Search

Round Up: Plaid Jackets

Over the last few years, my sense of style has gone through some transitions.  While I have always been very conscious of clothes – where they are from, how they are made, etc, (MUCH more on this later) – I feel like I’m graduating through different phases of what is considered ‘stylish’.  Now, I have to admit, I don’t follow ‘fashion’.  While there are designers that I like, they usually release more that I don’t like, rather than pieces that I’ll wear.  Quite frankly, that’s the way it should be.  If I liked EVERYTHING that said-designer released, then I would be a sellout with no taste.

My uniform has become the following: a nice button down shirt, a good pair of jeans/khakis/trousers, leather shoes, cool belt, and a sport coat/blazer.  Outfits that I can wear to the office and then on a date.  I would say that I would survive more than 80% of social situations in this outfit.  I can easily add a tie for church, or put a sweater under the jacket or a Barbour over it for colder weather.

I have made the pivot to wearing plaid jackets.  I still wear my navy blazer, but not as much as I used to.  I like adding the punch of color to an otherwise boring outfit.  Now, the plaid jacket is not for everyone, as some call it a ‘professor’ look.  Fine.  Whatever.  I like it.  I let it be the statement piece of my outfit, wearing a solid or muted shirt underneath.  Fit is key here, where you may want to leave a little room underneath for a sweater.  By ‘a little room’, I don’t mean wearing a 42 if you are a 40, but ensuring you don’t look like ‘fat kid in a little coat’ if you have a sweater on underneath.  Here are some of my favorites:

1. Boglioli Wool/Camel/Cashmere K Blazer:  Top of the line.  It doesn’t get any better than this.
2. Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald Large Plaid Deco Sport Coat:  Very ‘Brooks Brothers’ look.  Fall and Winter appropriate.
3. Isaia Graph Check Sport Coat:  This is a good example of limited colors in a plaid jacket.  Interesting, but not busy.

4. Ermenegildo Zegna Plaid Wool & Cashmere Sport Coat:  The rust color is totally underrated.  It goes with almost anything and makes blue shirts and white shirts pop underneath.
5. J. Press York Street Branford Signature Sport Coat:  Excellent jacket, but if you wear a hoodie underneath, I’d like to invite you to lose this bookmark.
6. Peter Millar Carlo Barbera Wool Sport Coat:  Going rogue here – the dusty green looks a lot better on than you think.

7. Tombolini Blazer:  The lighter grey is extremely versatile.
8. Maison Martin Margiela Blazer:  As is the darker grey.  Remember to let the jacket do the talking – don’t put a loud shirt underneath.
9. Ermenegildo Zegna Plaid Thick Woven Sport Coat:  Use it like a work coat.  The jacket has a ton of pockets, so put them to use.  Keys, phone, her lipstick, etc.

Get on it, folks.  While these might be a little higher cost, they are totally worth it.  Choose something like the above and it’ll never go out of style.  That’s what we call a ‘value proposition’.