Last week, I decided to search for a new double-breasted blue blazer. The one I had owned in the states years ago did not make cut when it came time to relocate: it had seen years of use (abuse?) and we were traveling light. My single-breasted version would suffice.
And, at any rate, I could always find one at Brooks Bros. and be back in the saddle whenever I wanted.
Or so I thought. My recent search of the Brooks Bros website found a disappointing selection of blazers–most styled too short in the tail and too tight in the chest–and no double-breasted model. I sank in my chair. Another brick falls from the wall.
Thankfully, Turnbull and Asser of London still offers a stylish, traditional model. As travel returns to normal, I decided I would venture to London and investigate, but I found myself in no hurry. And I began to wonder why. (In earlier days, this would have become a ‘mission’.)
While time changes little in the Old Money universe, it has changed a few things for me since arriving relocating in 2017. In the states, I was seldom without my blue blazer. I was either wearing it or it was lying in wait, as it were, in the back seat of the aging BMW. With the oxford cloth button down and khakis, it was Standard Equipment, part and parcel of The Uniform.
It was practical. It had pockets for my wallet, keys, and pen. It never wrinkled (100% gabardine wool). It elevated my look quickly and easily if I needed to drop into a finer establishment. It provided warmth when I had to endure dreaded air conditioning.
Here, I find myself wearing the blazer less and opting for the V-neck merino wool pullover sweater more. For some reason, 50 shades of grey and the ubiquitous Parisian black have become the default color options. Underneath, a white dress shirt has begun to nudge out the oxford cloth button down. In cooler weather, a tweed jacket, quilted jacket, or wool overcoat is added on top for warmth. Little else in my wardrobe has changed.
The merino wool pullover is now my go-to garment, almost year-round as ‘summer’ is limited here to about ten weeks of not-coolish weather per year. The blue blazer hangs at the ready, but less used in this new life of mine. A small, perhaps trivial consideration, but there it is. (File it under ‘First World Problems’, if you like.)
My questions for you are as follows: what is your ‘go to’ article of clothing? Has it changed in the past few years? Did it change as a result of the pandemic? Feel free to nominate shoes, shirts, jackets, or accessories. Articulate what you like about your go-to item. Feel free to plug a brand that’s working for you, or call out a brand that’s been found wanting. Be fair. Be specific.
If nothing has changed, feel free to mention that. Not much does, but when it does, it’s great to hear about it.
Happy Monday from the 1st arrondissement…