Friday, February 26, 2010

Reader Questions: Women's Attire

What do you think of women wearing jackets with pocket squares?

I don't see anything wrong with a woman wearing a pocket square, assuming that her tailored jacket has a breast pocket in which to display it.  Imagine a winter outfit consisting of a slim-fitting tweed tailored jacket, light blue blouse, charcoal skirt, brown heels and a silk paisley pocket square.  I think that would look pretty sharp.  An alternative to the pocket square is a silk scarf around the neck.  However, I would go with one or the other; a scarf and a pocket square together might be a bit much.

Have you ever considered writing another blog called A Southern Lady?

I certainly pay attention when I see an attractive woman in beautiful clothes.  And I have female friends who love to drag me out clothes shopping because I'm not afraid to tell them when an outfit looks atrocious.  But I don't pretend to be much of an authority on women's attire.  Instead of starting another blog, I might recruit some of the sharply-dressed Southern ladies around me to author guest posts on topics of interest to my female readers.  If anyone has an idea for a topic they would like to see covered in a guest post, send me a message at the blog email address listed in the sidebar, or post a comment below.

Tom James Customer Service

Well I'm impressed.  Within 18 hours of my last post, I received an email from the Vice-President of Retail Operations for the Tom James Company who wished to ensure that I am satisfied and that my fit issues are addressed.  Since then I have received a call and a follow-up email from my local Tom James representative who assures me that the problem can and will be fixed.  I am encouraged.  More to follow on this ongoing trouser saga.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Details of Tom James Pants

My altered Tom James pants arrived at the office a couple of weeks ago.  I'm now getting around to providing a few detail shots.  As you may see, the trousers are partially lined.  The label sewn under the hem at the bottom of the leg is an interesting detail.

On the whole I am pleased with the fabric and construction.  I would be completely satisfied if the pants fit properly.  And arguably fit is the biggest reason for going bespoke.  I have a nice pair of off-the-rack Hiltl pants that still fit better than these Tom James pants that were supposed to be made to my exact measurements.  The alterations did not completely solve the fit issue across the front of my thighs so the pockets are still pulling slightly open.

I do not intend to contact Tom James about the fit issues.  It's been a couple of weeks since the altered pants arrived via post at my office and there have been no follow-up calls from my Tom James representative to inquire whether the alterations were successful.  I won't call becuse I'm curious to test their level of customer service;  to see if or when I am contacted about the fit and what if any remedy may be offered.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Handwritten Note

I read somewhere that history may look upon us as The Lost Generation because there will be little permament written record of our existence.  Our photographs are digital and our correspondence is by text and email.  Much of what we know about early civilizations was carved into stone or written on papyrus scrolls.  But with the digital revolution I fear our generation has lost the art of the handwritten missive.  I am complicit in this cultural shift; this very blog is merely bits of data floating in the ether.

So I have resolved to make a concerted effort to write more notes.  I am under no illusion that writing a few notes will change the course of history, but I do believe that in this digital age a handwritten note can be gracious, mannerly and distinctive.  A handwritten note is appropriate for expressing many sentiments including thanks, condolence and congratulations.

To follow through with this resolution I have ordered some personalized correspondence cards from a local office supply store.  I purchased a new Pelikan fountain pen from Richard Binder and some Diamine ink (manufactured in the UK since 1864) from Swisher Pens.  (As an aside, for an outstanding review on a vast array of fountain pen inks check out Glenn's Pens.)

For my daily correspondence I will continue to use email and text.  But when it really counts, I resolve to put ink to paper.