Ivy Notes S1-E6

Uniqlo has a navy blazer out that was brought to my attention from Jakob in an email.  You can check it out here.  Jakob wrote:

To my admittedly novice eye for Ivy, it looks like this checks most of the boxes for the ideal Navy Blazer: sack-cut, undarted, swell stitching, patch pockets, and even brass buttons, distressed to a tastefully bronze patina.
Granted, it seems they’ve chickened out on details like the 3/2 button stance, and it all seems a waste on something 100% polyester anyway, but I think that the fact such a mainstream fashion brand would even consider all the minutiae they’ve chosen to add to such a recently-added garment either speaks volumes of the Japanese devotion for American style, the timelessness of trad clothing, or both.
Just to drive home the point of how strangely incongruous all this is, I’d like to point out that the said garment is offered in common alphabetical sizing (S,M,L,etc). Maybe UQ is trying to hook some untailored laymen out there on ivy style? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
These kids and their blazers.
And I would love to hear yours.   The blazer is entry level.  So for my $69.90, that it is polyester doesn’t bother me.  The 3/2 button stance, I am also ok with taking a pass on.  Glass half full.  The blazer is also featured on a woman, which is fantastic.   IT IS UNDARTED.  I have this whole theory about the trend towards Ivy dovetailing onto the trend of comfort (and yes, I have taken off the Covid weight, thanks), and it is being featured with an OCBD and a knit squared off tie.  I beseech whatever Powers I can without offending anyone in the comments, please make our biggest problem next year, “This really is the sloppiest generation.  Their blazers are polyester and they wear knit ties.”  Again, it is entry level.  If someone experiences the infusion of dignity that the aesthetic has in its DNA, perhaps the next step is a real blazer.
So I once dated a young woman in the 80’s who loved to do this, borrow my blazer or suit jacket and push the sleeves up. It was a great look, but she did get makeup all over them. I didn’t say anything. #takingonefortheteam
I also received a few notes with this article from Esquire included.  The article features some inexpensive (relatively) watches.  Again, entry level pricing, and there are some good ones in there.  The one I picked out that I was unaware of was the Marlin Manual from Timex.   It’s attractive, and around $199.  Hand winding is coming back, (WAIT TIL I SHOW YOU THE WATCH I AM REVIEWING ON FRIDAY).  I will say this though.  And this is just personal preference.  And I already told you, when I got sick we lost everything almost and went without for quite some time so puh-lease about my snobbery and how lucky I am – I know how lucky I am.   But personal preference, I would sacrifice something else and spend money on a watch.  I have never not felt good about myself with a little bit better watch on.  Same with WOCBD’s.  That said, I am a working middle-aged dad, so I can potentially throw a few more bucks at a watch.  That said, when the chips were down and all I had was that Coach Tank I showed you, it still felt good to put it on every time.
The Marlin Manual
I got a note from a reader who was thinning out his library and offered to loan us some of his fashion books for a year.  They arrived Monday, including:
The Book.

I am going to do a book synopsis on each.   I will credit him if he allows.   I talked the other day about how P.J. O’Rourke was my fashion spirit animal, and how we even went back and forth a bit about it (he may have, ahem, been a reader here) BUT my vote for best dressed man of the last 50 years has to be G. Bruce Boyer.  And he isn’t consistently Ivy, either.  Which should tell us something about how to think about the Uniqlo blazer, if you are still struggling with my take on that.

On the Facebook Group, some people have started posting Orient Watches.  I have no familiarity with them.  Do you?  They look good, and are very affordable, but that’s a double edged sword.  Let me know if they are any good?

Here’s an Orient watch that looks pretty good. But you must be careful with steel bracelets on affordable watches. I am not posting a link because I don’t know anything about the company and wouldn’t want you buying on my recommendation.

Seriously, the watch I am gonna show you later this week…

Finally, I got a boatload of emails asking to see a picture of the new dog.  We put our old dog, an English American Coonhound named Cisco (after the beach) down after eight years with us.  If I didn’t tell you the story:  I used to volunteer at a shelter.  When they were closing they called and asked me to go on local TV their last day and pitch adopting a dog.  I agreed, and took The Package (my daughter – DO NOT write me about how she has an identity and that “the package” is a double entendre’ – because seriously, someone did) down to see the shelter with me.  I thought it would be good for her to see good people doing good things.  We went, and while I was live on camera she walked on with Cisco and asked in her 6 year old girl voice if we could, “take him home?”.   He was so sorely missed that we went back to a new shelter and adopted Nugget.  Here they are:





17 Comments on "Ivy Notes S1-E6"

  1. Orient make excellent-value entry-level mechanical watches (they also have a few quartz models that offer decent specs for the price). They are a subsidiary of the larger Seiko-Epson conglomerate, but operate somewhat independently from Seiko.

  2. Old Bostonian | February 22, 2022 at 10:52 am |

    I was confused by your referring to the 3/2 button stance twice in the review, because it looks like a 2-button jacket to me. Have I misread what you wrote?

    Let me go back quick. I don’t even know 🙂 – JB

    Ok, so the first 3/2 was the reader who emailed, he was saying that they didn’t do a 3/2. The second 3/2 was mine, referring to the fact that I am ok that they didn’t do it, if as an entry level jacket this gets younger people into Ivy. – JB

  3. Any always appropriate navy blazer is better than no always appropriate navy blazer

  4. Yes, Orient watches are good for their price range. They are owned by the Seiko-Epson consortium. I have a couple and am happy with them.

  5. In smaller sizes, the blue blazer might be a good deal for people who are now opting for private schools. Many schools operate an exchange “closet” for kids growing from grade to grade. Polyester should last awhile. The lining might have to be mended from time to time.

    That’s an artsy pic of The Package and Nugget.

  6. Sorry to hear about Cisco.
    Agreed with Tom Conroy — Even imperfect navy blazers are better than no navy blazers. While polyester is a scourge of the garment industry and of the environment, I suppose it’s being put to a good use here.
    And I do like the looks of those Timex Marlins.

  7. Charlottesville | February 22, 2022 at 12:23 pm |

    I agree with the comments: the glass is at least half full. And, as Hardbopper points out, it could be just the thing for fast growing kids, who should have a a blazer in the closet for occasional wear, even if they don’t need it for a uniform.

    Also, Nugget looks like a fine addition to the family.

  8. I agree with you J.B. 100%. The turned up sleeves on a formal jacket are very Neapolitan sprezzatura.

    Orient Defender, Seiko 5, and Swatch automatic were WSJ picks for best quality budget watches.

    Like you, I used to volunteer at an animal shelter. Karma has been good to me.

  9. GBB certainly is well-dressed, but he is not in the same league as Prince Charles or Mariano Rubinacci.


    Note the upturned sleeve cuffs.

  10. I have two uniqlo blazers and they are the best. Unstructured and barely there (which is ideal in Florida).

  11. Nitpicking, I know, but one problem with general sizing (S, M, L, and Supersize me!) is that items sized thusly fit very few people particularly well. That might work for ski pants with drawstring waists, but not for “tailored” apparel.

    Kind Regards,


  12. What is Mr. Boyer’s first name?



    G. – JB

  13. JB –

    Today it was 2:22:22 on 2/22/22, on a Tuesday, two times.
    Wasn’t Monday the 21st supposed to be the beginning of Woman’s Ivy Day?

    It was. We did. – JB

  14. @Mitchell.
    Bruce Boyer represents, for me, the epitome of combining the best of English country style and traditional American style in an original, but unobtrusive way. Prince Charles and Mariano Rubinacci are not my style idols.

  15. “…my vote for best dressed man of the last 50 years has to be G. Bruce Boyer.”

    Bruce would inform you, gently and with a smile, that this isn’t true. The answer to this question, from any Ivy perspective, is Norman Hilton. Ham Stockton is a close second.

    If we extend the circle: Dean Acheson, Paul Mellon, and Josiah Bunting III.


  16. Among public servants, there’s David Souter. The man–indeed, gentleman– had exquisite, old fashioned Anglo-American taste. Still wearing vested tweed suits, after all these years. Amen and Amen.

    Further, he shed much-needed light on the significance of debate as a form of communal, and thus frequently messy, reasoning-and-discernment. An articulate rebuttal of ‘originalism.’ This one speech dismantled the philosophical foundations, already weak, of The Federalist Society and like-minded compatriots:


    I know what you are gonna say, but this is getting dangerously close to politics. But you are right, a tremendous dresser. Not Boyer, but tremendous. – JB

  17. @Ted Grainger:

    I didn’t say that Prince Charles and Mariano Rubinacci were my style idols. Personally, my style idol is Joseph Abboud.

    One must give credit where credit is due. Prince Charles has won numerous accolades for “best-dressed.” Same with Signor Rubinacci and his son, Luca.

    Finally, Joseph Abboud is the only menswear designer to have won the coveted CFDA award two times in a row.

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