"I live in Maine, which is a fairly rural state, and I work in an IT environment where the dress code is barely above burlap sacks. Nonetheless, I grew up in a Southern tradition where one's mode of dress and the attention with which one presented oneself was highly valued. I would like to dress and present myself better, without upsetting the applecart of my office too badly.
"That said, I have a limited budget with which to work, and I can hardly afford bespoke clothes or shoes at this time. Are there any wardrobe pieces that are beyond the 'starting out' phase that would be particularly useful for someone like me, in a more casual environment in a rural, woodsy location?
"One other question, can one wear a seersucker suit coat with unmatching trousers, since it comes so close to looking like an odd jacket anyway?"
Jcusey, my fellow moderator on Ask Andy About Clothes, also works in IT and though he loves clothes it would be inappropriate for him to wear a suit every day. Instead, he's developed his interest in shoes, and has some from many of the world's great makers. When I've seen him he's been off duty, dressed in an odd jacket, flannels and a handsome pair of shoes from his collection. So that's something to consider. You could start by getting fitted for some cordovan Aldens and then look for them on sale. Or, the next time you get to Boston, get fitted for some Edward Greens and then wait for the semi-annual sale to buy a pair from the London store.
Taking another page from jcusey's book, you could think about acquiring a tweed jacket and a pair of flannel trousers. Then consider a high quality linen jacket and some summer trousers. When you are off work, they'll give you a way to express your interest in clothing without straying far from what's worn in your part of the country.
Finally, I probably wear the jacket to my seersucker suit with cream flannel or linen trousers more often than I wear it with the suit trousers it came with. So, yes, use it as an odd jacket.
Sunday, June 17, 2007