22 June 2012

Summer Clothes

I don't shop for clothing at the high end of the market, simply because I don't have the means to do so. But the fact is that the quality of what you can buy at the lower end of the market is much better than it was even ten years ago. As with the automotive marketplace, features and quality from the luxury brands eventually find their way to the more mainstream offerings.

When summer arrives, we naturally want to wear our easiest, most comfortable clothes. For many of us this means shorts, T-shirts, polos, and whatever else is light and keeps us cool. But sometimes you have to look more put-together when it's warm out. Sometimes wearing pants instead of shorts or a shirt that buttons is just more dignified and more adult, regardless of the weather and what the rest of society is doing.

As with yesterday's comments about JCPenney, I don't buy a lot of clothing at Target, but the men's section is usually worth at least a quick look. On a visit earlier this week I found two items I ended up purchasing, and after bringing them home and trying them on I decided to keep both. Target has had an exclusive Converse line called One Star for a few years now. The line is geared toward younger men, but both of these items are simple and stylish enough to be worn by just about any man, and with little or no external branding, you don't have to feel self-conscious about what you're wearing.
The color of this shirt is what caught my eye. This is the sort of blue I don't generally venture near, except perhaps in a polo shirt. (This photo is lousy, but it shows the true color better than the others I took.) But it stands out in a way that makes it a natural choice for summer wear. This is as close to "blogger blue" as I plan to get.

A glance at the tag told me the shirt is a linen/cotton blend, another natural choice for the warmer months. This style is also shown online in a light red (less attractive in person), and for those of you feeling less adventurous about color, light gray and charcoal (which looked more like black in the store); my local store had all those colors, plus white and navy.
These roll-up sleeves aren't generally my thing either, but the sleeves are cut loosely enough so that they don't constrict my arms when rolled up, and if you're going to wear a long-sleeve shirt on even a somewhat warm day, you're probably going to want to roll up your sleeves anyway. If you're really not into the roll-up thing, you could just remove the buttons on the sleeves, and if you're feeling more adventurous you might try getting a seam ripper and removing the tab altogether. Oh, and this shirt is $25. I was glad it didn't have epaulets; that would have been a bit too military-looking.

I finally found a good pair of off-white jeans a couple of years back, but sometimes they're a little too heavy to wear when it's warm out. Near the shirt I saw these jeans in "natural," one shade further away from white. They're a nice, summer-weight fabric. I couldn't tell you the ounces per square yard, but they are lighter than any jeans I own. The fabric has some texture so I thought it might also be a linen blend, but they are 100% cotton. These are $30, and they look pretty good with the blue shirt.
The cut is called "vintage straight," which on my frame in size 36 translates to a slightly lower rise (11") and a normal leg opening (8.5"). Your mileage may vary depending on how you are built and how you prefer to wear your pants.
This picture shows the back pocket detailing. Both pockets have that straight-line stitch about a third of the way down, which is a slightly unusual choice of placement; usually you see something like this halfway between the top and bottom of the pocket, but from a few feet back it's pretty unobtrusive. The red bar tack appears only on the right side of the right pocket, which is probably just enough, otherwise it would be too gimmicky. There is also a hanging loop stitched into the waistband with red thread, but if you wear a belt (and you should, because your shirt is going to be tucked in, RIGHT?) it won't be visible. There's a typical brown fake-leather patch on the waist stamped with "Converse," but you know I already removed that.

No comments: