Ask a Trad Question & Get Answer: Quick Q&A

Vecchio Vespa

(aka TKI67)
Hi all, I find my gold/brass buttons on my navy blazer to be pretentious. Does anyone have any recommendations for an interesting alternative button, such as Mother of Pearl or another option to replace the standard buttons? Any websites have buttons for sale that I could then go to tailor and replace the gold ones? Thanks!
I find it odd that the most common buttons on blazers OTR are brass and you find them pretentious, but if you are not comfortable with them, replacing them is important. I would suggest a bone button.
 

ztrad5

Starting Member
Thank you, I'm in an environment where I am being judged and don't want people to get a 'flashy' or pretentious vibe from me...I obviously don't feel that way about other people wearing brass/gold buttons but don't think the general populace shares this view.
 

Charles Dana

Honors Member
Any websites have buttons for sale that I could then go to tailor and replace the gold ones? Thanks!

You’ll find button purveyors by doing a Google search.

Another option is to go to Goodwill or any thrift store. Inspect the buttons on the suits and sport coats. If you see any that hit the sweet spot, buy the garment to which they are attached. Then harvest the buttons at home.
 

Rosarito

New Member
I'm going through my ties tonight, figuring out which ones I really love and which ones might need to go. I realized that I have a couple of "high quality" ties from a made-to-order maker who is highly recommended on forums such as this one but I can't for the life of me get a nice looking knot with them. It's almost like these ties are too thick and sturdy and they don't want to budge. However, some of my lesser quality ties almost seem to tie themselves - the knots are beautiful almost every time. What gives? Is there some specific quality or attribute I should be looking for to have better luck with this?
 

Vecchio Vespa

(aka TKI67)
I'm going through my ties tonight, figuring out which ones I really love and which ones might need to go. I realized that I have a couple of "high quality" ties from a made-to-order maker who is highly recommended on forums such as this one but I can't for the life of me get a nice looking knot with them. It's almost like these ties are too thick and sturdy and they don't want to budge. However, some of my lesser quality ties almost seem to tie themselves - the knots are beautiful almost every time. What gives? Is there some specific quality or attribute I should be looking for to have better luck with this?
Have you noticed any correlation between the fabrics and the way they knot? For example I find that knits and Irish poplin (fifty/fifty silk and wool) are usually on the thick side, and this often leads to fat knots and short ends. The thinness of silk foulards, however, usually works like a charm. Challis and Macclesfield often tend towards the thick end, and silk repp is often in the sweet spot. Easiest to tie are the very thin silks like Hermes and even Vineyard Vines, but they tie such a small knot they seem to impose a sprezzatura look whether you want it or not.

Of course, regardless of the fabric, the way the tie is made, the number of folds, and presence or absence of lining will affect things. I have several repps (a Chipp emblematic, a BB red and gold, Breuer navy and orange, and a High Cotton red and white bow). Chipp definitely ties better than BB and about like Breuer. I really like the way Chipp challis tie, too. They are not expensive but are my faves. The High Cotton, being a bow, is not an apples to apples comparison, but it was inexpensive and ties nicely.

The bottom line, however, is that ties have their own personalities, and you can't assume that because a tie is expensive it will tie well or because it was inexpensive it will tie poorly. Also, brands may change over time. I find modern BB ties very, very different from the older ones with the charcoal labels and reverse slant block letters.
 

Rosarito

New Member
Have you noticed any correlation between the fabrics and the way they knot?

The frustrating part is that two of my problem ties are a grossa grenadine and a silk pindot but I have other grenadine and silk pindot ties from more mainstream mall brands that look about the same but are lighter in feel and tie very well. I have a vintage 1960s silk repp tie that can do no wrong - it always looks great. I guess I just need to try different brands and stick to the ones that work for me.
 
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LukeRoz

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Just recieved these two Ledbury shirts. One is 15 and the other is 15.5. I think they both look like a good fit. Am i crazy or is it possible both sizes work for me? Thanks!

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IMG_4193.jpg
 

Charles Dana

Honors Member
The body of a size 15 shirt is going to be the same size—or just about the same size—as the body of a size 15.5 shirt. Lay both shirts flat on your bed, grab a measuring tape, and see for yourself. It’s in the collar where the size differential will be noticed—not necessarily to an observer, but to you when you’re wearing a necktie after the shirts have been laundered a few times and thus have had a chance to shrink.

The body of a size 16 or 16.5 shirt will be significantly larger than either of your shirts. The body of a size 14 or 14.5 shirt will be significantly smaller.

Both shirts look good if you like a full fit. The cuffs look large, so you might want to move the cuff buttons over to decrease the cuffs’ circumference.
 

Mike Petrik

Honors Member
Just recieved these two Ledbury shirts. One is 15 and the other is 15.5. I think they both look like a good fit. Am i crazy or is it possible both sizes work for me? Thanks!

View attachment 57229

View attachment 57230
lt is hard to assess the collars from the photos. Normally I would recommend the smallest collar that does not feel at all snug when buttoned. You might try buttoning with a necktie properly seated at the top. If it causes the collar to pull, overlap, or wrinkle the collar size might be too large
 

Vecchio Vespa

(aka TKI67)
I need to replace my OCBDs due to significant size changes. I'll keep the old ones for open collar wear but am pondering the four most useful ones to get. Clearly blue and blue university stripe, but for the other two I am thinking of branching out. One that I am toying with is not an OCBD but a pink striped broadcloth, referred to by some as a tape stripe. The other is either a butter yellow or an ecru. These would be paired with navy blazers, grey herringbone jacket, or a grey glen plaid tweed jacket. I have a white shirt in my new size on order for wear with seersucker suit, madras jacket, or dark grey suit when blue doesn't work. Any other ideas? If not, at least I accomplished my purpose, a new post on this thread!
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
I need to replace my OCBDs due to significant size changes. I'll keep the old ones for open collar wear but am pondering the four most useful ones to get. Clearly blue and blue university stripe, but for the other two I am thinking of branching out. One that I am toying with is not an OCBD but a pink striped broadcloth, referred to by some as a tape stripe. The other is either a butter yellow or an ecru. These would be paired with navy blazers, grey herringbone jacket, or a grey glen plaid tweed jacket. I have a white shirt in my new size on order for wear with seersucker suit, madras jacket, or dark grey suit when blue doesn't work. Any other ideas? If not, at least I accomplished my purpose, a new post on this thread!

Good on you for the second reason. I do that sometimes, too, like you, just trying to keep a thread alive.

Your list seems good to me. I also like to always have a solid pink and a light-gray university stripe OCBD in the closet as, along with white, blue and blue university stripe, those are the ones I wear the most.
 

Eligius

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I need to replace my OCBDs due to significant size changes. I'll keep the old ones for open collar wear but am pondering the four most useful ones to get. Clearly blue and blue university stripe, but for the other two I am thinking of branching out. One that I am toying with is not an OCBD but a pink striped broadcloth, referred to by some as a tape stripe. The other is either a butter yellow or an ecru. These would be paired with navy blazers, grey herringbone jacket, or a grey glen plaid tweed jacket. I have a white shirt in my new size on order for wear with seersucker suit, madras jacket, or dark grey suit when blue doesn't work. Any other ideas? If not, at least I accomplished my purpose, a new post on this thread!

I would say ecru for sure with those pairings. I love the yellow OCBD too, but ecru is so versatile. For the 4th, I would probably go pink, but if you wanted to have another non-solid, perhaps a navy check or a tattersall check would go well with the non-patterned jackets. I recently got a pink university stripe OCBD and enjoy it, but I don’t think it would make my top 4.
 

Vecchio Vespa

(aka TKI67)
I would say ecru for sure with those pairings. I love the yellow OCBD too, but ecru is so versatile. For the 4th, I would probably go pink, but if you wanted to have another non-solid, perhaps a navy check or a tattersall check would go well with the non-patterned jackets. I recently got a pink university stripe OCBD and enjoy it, but I don’t think it would make my top 4.
I am a pinkaholic. You sold me.
 

Howard

Connoisseur
I know this is a silly question, do you think cart attendants like me should start wearing shirts and ties if the work clothing is allowed? When I used to work for Pathmark 14 years ago, once in a while I would wear a shirt and clip-on tie and they didn't mind and after I went to Stop N Shop, they didn't mind at all either, they thought I looked very professional.
 

Vecchio Vespa

(aka TKI67)
I know this is a silly question, do you think cart attendants like me should start wearing shirts and ties if the work clothing is allowed? When I used to work for Pathmark 14 years ago, once in a while I would wear a shirt and clip-on tie and they didn't mind and after I went to Stop N Shop, they didn't mind at all either, they thought I looked very professional.
I think bowties are perfect for that sort of work. They don't get caught in things or spilled on, and they are super easy to tie, just like shoes!
 

Charles Dana

Honors Member
I have clip-on ties, Would that be good or would stuff get spilled on them?
(a) Stuff will get spilled on your clip-on ties unless they are bow ties.

(b) Regarding ties that are NOT bow ties:

A clip-on tie is going to be where a regular tie will be—just below your chin and down the front of your shirt. Therefore, the clip-on and the regular ties are in equal danger of intercepting spilled matter.

(c) Avoid clip-on ties. You’ve outgrown them.

(d) Wear a tie—either a bow tie or a long tie—if you want to AND if your boss doesn’t mind. You’ll feel better, and some of your customers will get a little lift when they see that you care about your appearance. (Some shoppers will wonder why you’re bothering with a tie, but don’t worry about them. Unless they ask you. Then answer, “It’s another way of showing that I take my job seriously. And I just like wearing a tie. Thank you.”

(e) Make sure that your shirt and tie never clash. To make shirt/tie coordination easy, stick with shirts that are of a solid pale color: light blue, light pink, or white.
 

Howard

Connoisseur
(a) Stuff will get spilled on your clip-on ties unless they are bow ties.

(b) Regarding ties that are NOT bow ties:

A clip-on tie is going to be where a regular tie will be—just below your chin and down the front of your shirt. Therefore, the clip-on and the regular ties are in equal danger of intercepting spilled matter.

(c) Avoid clip-on ties. You’ve outgrown them.

(d) Wear a tie—either a bow tie or a long tie—if you want to AND if your boss doesn’t mind. You’ll feel better, and some of your customers will get a little lift when they see that you care about your appearance. (Some shoppers will wonder why you’re bothering with a tie, but don’t worry about them. Unless they ask you. Then answer, “It’s another way of showing that I take my job seriously. And I just like wearing a tie. Thank you.”

(e) Make sure that your shirt and tie never clash. To make shirt/tie coordination easy, stick with shirts that are of a solid pale color: light blue, light pink, or white.
Thanks for the suggestion,Charley. :)
 

Howard

Connoisseur
I'm sure they wouldn't mind once in a while, When I was there when it was Pathmark someone told me that I looked very professional. :)
 
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