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Golf Clothes for the Autumn of Life

There was a time in my life when I found golf to be the most engaging and therapeutic thing in the entire world, when 18 holes, four times a week, mostly healed what ailed my soul. I won’t go into the details what went wrong in my life–you can imagine well enough on your own–I’ll just say that golf got me through.

I bring this up, because I haven’t played a real round of golf in nearly a decade, after having gone through an eighteen-month stretch where I played multiple times a week , where I was so obsessed with golf that when I wasn’t on the course or the range, I was reading about golf, watching it on television, or talking about it with equally golf-mad friends.

This is an odd regret, but one thing I wish is that during this period of obsession I had acquired more golf clothes. Perhaps I’m betraying my bourgeois pretensions, but I think looking like you’ve just come off the course is cool, especially because so much of the current crop of golf wear is stylish and athletic.

For example this Puma golf sweater…

Puma  V-Neck Golf Sweater

is a perfect example of masculine casual golf wear, suitable for an October round, or an easy evening out with friends. (It’s from Function Eighteen, a specialty golf retailer that has a great range of Puma golf clothing)

Of course, not all golf clothing is so smart, and there’s plenty of trash out there, but the best of it projects a desirable image of cool prosperity, something every man should want. When I look at the wider selection of golf clothes from F18 I see plenty of stuff I would like to wear.

In fact (and this is very strange) I find myself frequently thinking about getting some plaid golf pants.

Galvin Green Plaid Golf Pants

It’s probably a sign that I’m getting old, and like the honey badger I just don’t care any more, but I say any man who wears plaid golf pants is man who has come into his own.

Don’t Forget the Knitwear

The word ‘knitwear’ tends to conjure up images of lumpy jumpers, embarrassing cardigans and unwanted Christmas presents – but there’s a lot more to it than that, and modern fashion houses have been busy making it sleek and stylish again. Not only is knitwear snuggly and warm, it gives you a great new texture to play with when putting together an outfit: whether you’re layering a thick woollen jumper over a dress shirt or just giving a pop of colour to your workwear with a bright scarf.

Of course, you can just let knitwear speak for itself: this polo shirt-inspired Merino wool jumper from Original Penguin is a great example of how knitted pieces can work well on their own. Not only does it show that woolly doesn’t have to mean chunky, but the subtle cable knit design lends it a casual, yet refined look. Check out their site for more examples of their knitwear range.
Mabley Cabley Merino Wool Jumper
No discussion of knitwear is complete without a mention of the cardigan: it’s an amazingly versatile and often-overlooked piece of clothing that can do wonders for bridging the smart-casual gap. It can make a playful stand-in for a blazer with a shirt and tie, but looks just as good buttoned up underneath an overcoat, doing what it does best: keeping you warm.

In terms of colour, this is really up to you – but bear in mind bright, garish woollens can look a bit, well, bright and garish. Muted blues, greens and greys, rich burgundies and dark mustards are all good colours for knitwear, whether you go solid or stripey.

Spring Essentials

It may not seem like it at the moment, but spring is definitely on the way, which means you’ll need to take a look in your closet and see if need to update any part of your wardrobe. Macy’s men’s department has a few options that will stand you in good stead in during the coming change of seasons.

Ralph Lauren Mock Pullover

One thing that will make spring proceed more smoothly is this mockneck cotton sweater from Ralph Lauren. For my money, the best colors are derby blue (shown above), buff, and if you’re under 25 and willing to stand out, chrome yellow.

joes-jeans-wilkes-brixton

As for what you should put on your legs, traditionally I’ve been opposed to anything that not a button fly Levi’s 501, however, I’ve been warming up lately to Joes Jeans, especially to these straight-leg, Wilkes Brixton coated jeans in black. They’re both in style and sufficiently understated so as to appeal to my desire for tradition.

BOSS gaberdine blazer
Finally, with a change of pant, jeans or slacks, this tan gaberdine blazer BOSS Black could do double duty at work, or for a more casual occasion.

How to Wear Your Knitwear

The guys at Northern Threads took some time to share their thoughts on knitwear and how the modern gentleman should be wearing his:

So it’s that time of year, you’re making, (or at least should be) the transition from those nice bright tees and short chinos, right? Maybe not but I’m sure you get my point – it’s time to put the summer wear to one side and move the knitwear/ sweatshirts to the front of your wardrobe. But as seasons and trends change it can be difficult to make such a transition, read on for some pointers on what’s hot, what to wear and how to wear your knitwear and supporting garments this season.

The Classic Fair Isle Crew

It’s essential to have a quality Fair Isle Crew in your wardrobe and this season is no different, the reason they’re essential is because they’re timeless, classy and the options are endless with a crew neck. This season it’s all about the print so grab a Fair Isle crew neck a sharp shirt – possibly a classic check pattern. Go for darker colours and your set for the winter.
I’d definitely say Barbour’s new collection is one of the best places to start when it comes to searching for a classic Fair Isle crew neck with a print.

A Good Cardigan

If you’re reading this section, great – those who seen the title “cardigan” and moved on to the next section will certainly be missing out this season. So cardigans have had a rough time in the past but it’s different now, they’re cool. Throw on a chunky cardigan (open or fastened, depending on your mood) with a checked shirt and there you have it – the new redefined cardigan look is yours to show off.
Mix It Up

Go wild and go for printed, chunky knitwear, Fair Isles or even knitted shirts, whatever you’re using to warm up this season – go wild. Printed fair isles are common this time of year but this season in particular patterns are in and they’re great, no matter what your age.

A Knitted Jacket

The weather’s unpredictable in the UK so the combination of a warm knit that doubles up as a jacket seems like the perfect solution, so why not give it a go? There are some great knitted jackets around at the moment so you’ll certainly be spoilt for choice but be sure to grab a well crafted one. To style it up you can throw on a checked shirt and a stylish pair of jeans and the look is complete.

When it comes to looking for trendy knitwear in general I’d say here is a good place to visit – just remember a classic Fair Isle crew, a good cardigan, a knitted jacket and DON’T FOGET TO MIX IT UP! Stick to these tips and you’ll look the part this season.

Nano puff hoody

Into Manhattan’s pre-dawn darkness – heavy weather accelerating across the Hudson –Mr. Henry remains steadfast in purpose. Each morning unflinchingly he leads his noble hound Pepper into Riverside park for her hour-long, off-leash walk. Storms do not deter him. Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor gloom of night will stay him from the swift completion of his appointed rounds.

On a westward descent to the water’s edge, cold wind piercing his vitals, what does Mr. Henry wear to protect himself against a savage onslaught from wildest New Jersey?

In past years he layered up with wool or fleece under a windbreaker. With today’s choices of fabrics, layering still remains the best strategy, but wool and fleece can be bulky and bunchy. Mr. Henry wants maximum protection without dressing like the Michelin Man.

Patagonia’s eminently practical “nano puff” is genuinely innovative. It is both warmer and lighter than last year’s puff. The “hoody” model, ideal for any technical expedition, keeps head and neck warm without the necessity of a scarf.

The Life Antarctic with Ran Fiennes

Ranulph Fiennes with snowRanulph Fiennes book cover

One of the great joys of facial hair is observing snow sticking to it, thus proving the beard’s insulating powers.  Best of all is when giant carbuncles of ice form, as on Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the British globetrotter thought by many to be the world’s greatest living explorer.  Whether or not that is hyperbole, he certainly competes with Ewan Mcgregor for world’s greatest hair, adventurer category.  (While there appears to have been some photoshoppery involved in the bookcover photo (his jacket appears to have been taken from the photo on the left), Izzy includes it since it show Fiennes’ weather-beaten mane at its most spectacular.)

Even when relaxing in the comfort of his home study, as seen below, the adventurer maintains his devil-may-care approach, with ancient (torn?) desert boots and khakis with frayed hems.  Alas, his plentiful testosterone has exposed his scalp to the elements.

Ranulph Fiennes at home

In the interview accompanying the photo, Fiennes explains:

Everything in my wardrobe is old. I haven’t bought a suit in 10 years, that’s for sure. My dinner jacket must be at least 20 years old. My shoes, which I had in the Army, must be over 30 years old. I don’t like buying clothing.

Asked about his grooming routine, he continues:

For 25 years I have worn Clarins day and night creams. When I was in Antarctica I got seborrhoeic dermatitis, which affected the areas between my eyebrows and next to my nose. I ran out of cortisone cream and discovered that Clarins day and night creams for women do the same job without the side-effects. I’ve continued to use them ever since.

When a man has circumnavigated the earth from pole to pole via land, he may casually admit to wearing women’s cosmetics.

Perhaps Fiennes should have started moisturizing at a younger age.  He was once considered to play the part of James Bond in the movies (Roger Moore was selected instead), but the producer rejected him for having “hands too big and a face like a farmer.”  This, presumably, was before Fiennes cut off the tips of his frostbitten fingers with a Black & Decker power tool.

For the Gentleman Cad

hickey-playboy-corduroy-trousers

Since there’s nothing preppier than corduroys embroidered with cutesy whales, ducks, or monkeys, the folks at Hickey seem to be targeting the elusive Groton-alumni-who-are-truckers demographic.  Presumably the care label reads, “Requires no additional irony.”

They even make a matching cashmere sweater.

His House, His Rules

obama-without-jacket

The new president has, it would seem, brought a new sartorial informality to the White House:

The capital flew into a bit of a tizzy when, on his first full day in the White House, President Obama was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit jacket. There was, however, a logical explanation: Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat.

“He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”

Thus did an ironclad rule of the George W. Bush administration — coat and tie in the Oval Office at all times . . . .

In cranking up the heat and ditching his jacket, Obama is showing himself to be anything but Jimmy Carter in a malaise-colored cardigan sweater, which he wore in an intentionally cold but more energy efficient White House.

Obama has explicitly changed the rules from the prior administration:

Over the weekend, Mr. Obama’s first in office, his aides did not quite know how to dress. Some showed up in the West Wing in jeans (another no-no under Mr. Bush), some in coats and ties.

So the president issued an informal edict for “business casual” on weekends — and set his own example. He showed up Saturday for a briefing with his chief economic adviser, Lawrence H. Summers, dressed in slacks and a gray sweater over a white buttoned-down shirt. Workers from the Bush White House are shocked.

“I’ll never forget going to work on a Saturday morning, getting called down to the Oval Office because there was something he was mad about,” said Dan Bartlett, who was counselor to Mr. Bush. “I had on khakis and a buttoned-down shirt, and I had to stand by the door and get chewed out for about 15 minutes. He wouldn’t even let me cross the threshold.”

Izzy finds it amusing that the Bush was such a stickler for decorum, when he otherwise tried to represent himself as an ordinary Joe. Indeed, were his official portrait hung in the Oval Office, it would appear to violate his own office dress code.

Will Steal for Clothes

While political corruption is a dog-bites-man story, according to the New York Times the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama has been “charged in [an] 101-count indictment with taking over $230,000 in cash, clothing, and jewelry.” Could this be an alleged crooked pol Izzy can sympathize with?  Not if the mayor’s ill-gotten gains include that painfully loud Burberry-esque shirt.  He does have great hair, though.

Le Smoking

Del Toro monogrammed slipperDel Toro velvet slipperDel Toro custom design

Del Toro shoes were started by two gentleman from Palm Beach who bemoaned how difficult and expensive it could be to find velvet slippers—with, say, the emblem of their boarding school on them—to wear with their smoking jackets. Their one model, made in Spain, is an updated version of the Prince Albert house slipper, which can be ordered plain, monogrammed, or even with a custom design. Their prices are surprisingly low—the plain version is just $120—but if you have a family crest to embroider on your shoes, money shouldn’t be of much concern.

Give Me Shelter

Missoni hexagon sweaterfallout shelter sign

Where some people see Missoni hexagons, Izzy sees a place of refuge.  If only this survival kit came with

- One forty-five caliber automatic
– Two boxes of ammunition
– Four days’ concentrated emergency rations
– One drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills
– One miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible
– One hundred dollars in rubles
– One hundred dollars in gold
– Nine packs of chewing gum
– One issue of prophylactics
– Three lipsticks
– Three pair of nylon stockings.

Remember, what happens in Vegas…

Pulling Off the Pullover

brown and blue in Manhattan

It’s not easy to wear a sweater on one’s shoulders without looking unbearably preppy, but this gentleman in Manhattan succeeds, perhaps because the dark navy melds into the shirt and jacket.  His entire outfit is a well-balanced study in brown and blue, even in such details as his tortoise-shell glasses, woven belt, and puffed-up pocket square.

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