Mitchy Matchy

The past few summers I’ve gone into Nature Man mode. I think there’s a post called “hippie Ivy,” and I’ll probably do a surfer hippie Ivy post in September at the end of my first summer in Newport.

But previously I was able to balance the barefoot, shirtless wanderings through Central Park with a jacket and tie for concerts and weekly strolls through the Met Museum. So with everything shut down from the virus, even church, I find myself missing that “joy of being perfectly well dressed” of which Emerson spoke.

Which is why I’m a tad envious of Mitch McConnell, a politician of some sort (I try not to follow this stuff), who briefly trended on Twitter this morning (really, I try not to follow this stuff) for wearing a tan suit during a meeting in the Oval Office. You’ll recall President Obama was chided for the same gesture, as if dark wool suits are the only acceptable form of dress for politicians year round. Our American democracy has certainly settled on a very limited range of acceptable behaviors.

McConnell was flying the Trad flag in our nation’s capitol with rep tie and penny loafers along with his poplin suit. The black socks are an amusing fogey gesture. I’m sure most of us would agree that a tan and navy argyle would have the preference.

Hope you’re able to enjoy the beauty of nature in its summer splendor, as well as wear your best from time to time. — CC

26 Comments on "Mitchy Matchy"

  1. Mitchell (not McConnell) | July 20, 2020 at 2:59 pm |

    It’s so sad to me that the only men who suit up today are lawyers and politicians.

    Men’s tailored clothing companies keep getting beat down like a red-headed step child.

    Let’s all hope and pray that Brooks Brothers finds a white knight to save itself from bankruptcy and keep its three American factories running.

  2. Hardbopper | July 20, 2020 at 4:00 pm |

    ‘Tis the season for poplin. 96F. heat index 103F as we speak. He switched ties between the photos. Navy and tan argyles would indeed be perfect, but would never have occurred to me. Doesn’t he have a guy who could brush off those penny loafers?

  3. Hardbopper | July 20, 2020 at 4:03 pm |

    Perfect weather and perfect attire for sippin’ some Old Grandad 100 with the boss.

  4. franklin lanier | July 20, 2020 at 4:10 pm |

    Different ties in the 2 pics!

  5. If one looks closely, the shirt and tie are both different in each photo. In the first photo, it appears to be a sky blue broadcloth with a semi-spread collar; in the second, it appears to be a broadcloth or pinpoint Oxford with button down collar in the more traditional blue we tend to think of when we think of a blue button down Oxford shirt. The difference between the ties in the two photos is obvious. I doubt he changed his shirt and tie mid-meeting. I think it’s more likely these pictures were taken on two different occasions.

  6. C, Yep, it’s the time of the year for poplin. Weather in DC hazy, hot, and humid at present. A lot of government and private sector offices remain shuttered. And, I doubt that many of those brave enough to be there – other than politicians of some sort – have suits on. Keep cool and enjoy the surfing and cold North Atlantic water. Cheers, BC

  7. I don’t think I’ve ever seen platform loafers before.

  8. elder prep | July 20, 2020 at 6:18 pm |

    Suitably dressed for the occasion and the season.

  9. Yes I noticed the platform/orthopedic loafers too. The bottom photo is from today. The top one came up in a search as apparently he’s done this before.

    Good for him.

  10. This first pic almost looks like he’s camouflaging himself against that wall.

  11. john carlos | July 20, 2020 at 9:47 pm |

    In Texas, a poplin suit in the summer is a way of life. I’ve had several over the years. I think tan is my favorite.

  12. I prefer the “oyster” color.

  13. Bluchermoc | July 20, 2020 at 11:36 pm |


  14. I find it odd that over the past 20 years or so, politicians across the world have rejected any kind of diversity in their clothing choices. Only plain navy or charcoal, single-breasted, two-button suits, only blue or red ties (often shiny and lacking any pattern). It looks boring and uninspiring.

  15. Vern Trotter | July 21, 2020 at 2:50 am |

    Mitch is holding it all together in DC these days. We are lucky to have him.

    I have never been able to abide loafers with a suit but that is why they make Fords and Chevys. Hot time of year in DC, St. Louis and NYC. Still several weeks. Hope we have football.

  16. Very nice outfit, looks very appropriate for the hot and humid weather in DC at this time of the year. Also like the repp ties with light blue shirts combo. Classic and simple. Btw..can we please keep the political commentary from this forum as I get enough of it on EVERY single TV channel and newspaper? Let’s keep in neutral and civil before insults start being throw around. Let’s just keep the pretense we are all gentleman/ladies here.

  17. Hardbopper | July 21, 2020 at 7:53 am |

    I, too, prefer the lighter color. A few years back, the Garland store had dozens available as separates, but not in my size.
    MMCc could pull off seersucker with a bow tie rather effortlessly.

  18. Hardbopper | July 21, 2020 at 8:12 am |

    That is MMcC. Dern it! Never a perfect comment.

  19. I’ve got poplin from different makers in oyster, olive and a new one in navy: my old navy seems to have faded to an almost purple color which made it unwearable; and the new one looks almost black to me.

    I will say, the oyster color is hard to keep clean; but I think it looks sharp.

  20. Charlottesville | July 21, 2020 at 11:02 am |

    I too am fond of poplin suits, and have had several down through the years ranging from pale oyster through tan to olive, navy and even gray, all from either BB or J. Press. Along with seersucker, they are the backbone of a summer wardrobe down in these parts, where it has been in the 90s for several weeks running, with no cooling trend in sight. No wonder our San Antonio friend John Carlos is a fan.

    I think one of the nicest things about poplin is that it is relatively cheap, so that for around $250 or maybe less in the 1980s, I was able to dress well for my summer clerkships in Washington when I was a law student and hadn’t a great deal of money for clothes. I still have a few in the rotation, my favorite being a very pale olive that I bought from J. Press somewhere around 15 or 20 years ago that I have never seen anywhere else.

    I believe that Mr. McC’s loafers are the rubber-soled version from L.L. Bean, and the muddy splashes make me think he uses them for rainy weather. Their shiny, plastic-like leather (like that on the cheaper Weejuns) sheds water well. I have to confess to having an identical pair that I use when the weather is foul and I envision the need to traverse mud puddles in my future. I recently had occasion to total up the penny loafers in my closet, and these were in the mix, along with shell cordovan, brown and black calf, and even a brown suede version. Not the most stylish, but they serve a purpose when Bean Boots would be a bit too outdoorsy, but water resistance is still required.

  21. I’ve had a couple of poplin suits but they always seem to run a lot warmer than tropical wool so…

    The gent in the pictures wears his very well, I think.

  22. MacMcConnell | July 21, 2020 at 2:01 pm |

    Senator McConnell’s shoes have a stacked soles of different heights, he had Polio as a child.

  23. anonymous | July 21, 2020 at 5:10 pm |

    Old school Washingtonians and old school politicians wore poplin suits regularly in the Summer. Guarantee you can find pictures of Daniel Patrick Moynihan sporting such. DC is built on a swamp.

    As to wearing it to the White House, I guess that depends on whether McConnell knew he would be there that day. The Congress is between recesses, I think? Seems it is always on recess. Maybe Mitch is subtely saying he is important enough that he is going to be comfortable.

    Obama’s and Gore’s tan suits were wool, so more of a fashion statement than a Summer practicality.

    As to the above attacks on the man, it shows how uninformed the posters are about politics. Even my most liberal friends who know politics appreciate McConnell’s encyclopedic knowledge of Senatorial procedure and he is actually known as somebody who will compromise and knows how to get things done when appropriate – similar to Moynihan and O’Neill. Congress could do much worse. And I am a Democrat.

  24. NaturalShoulder | July 22, 2020 at 11:43 am |

    My tan poplin suit may be may favorite and it looks like MM is wearing it with my favorite tie, a navy and white bar stripe tie with a blue button down Glad to see a public figure sporty the tradly look in stark contrast to the bland and ill-fitting looks of most public figures. I can appreciate the style for what it is regardless of my feeling regarding the political affiliation of the wearer and wish we can avoid delving into a political debate here as I read IS as an escape from work and current events.

    I tried to add an olive poplin to my wardrobe earlier this year and ordered from Press. Either fortunately or unfortunately, diet and exercise changes over last three years have shrunk my waist the poplin was just too voluminous to even try to get altered. May try O’Connells, although if memory serves correct, they have issues with the shoulder on poplins.

  25. I pity @Bluchermoc who must have mental health issues that caused him to post such a hateful and unnecessary comment in capital letters. He obviously can’t be a gentleman or well educated to have such a spiteful mindset and the bad manners to post such poisonous bile.

  26. Would look much better with light colored socks.

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