As I Near Forty.

I remember thinking about 40 when my dad turned 40. The thought was 40 is old. Now, as I am set to turn 40 in about 5 1/2 weeks my thought is that I don’t look as old as I perceived my dad to look at this age. I’m sure (I know) he thought the same.

Right now I feel great. I run half marathons, I eat fairly well, and I keep my alcohol consumption to a fair minimum. I’ve amassed a fairly decent wardrobe over the last several years as well. It helps that I live in the city of many sample sales in that I am able to purchase my wardrobe items at a fairly reasonable price most of the time. But again, as I approach the big 4-0 there are items I would like to upgrade, and others I’d like to add simply because I want them.

The first item I would like to upgrade is my navy blazer. For the last few years I’ve been sporting a J.Crew Club Blazer as my basic go-to. I changed out the gold buttons for a brown horn button. It’s gotten me through most business and casual situations, but I’ve never really felt “at home” in it. I’ve had my eye on three replacement options.

First, we have the creme de la creme of navy blazers; the Fresco Kincaid No. 3 from Sid Mashburn. It’s a full canvas jacket in a lightweight, breathable, & highly elastic wool. It should look just as good straight off the hanger as it does straight off the airplane. While this would be the ideal piece, it’s also quote pricey at $995. But it would last. Something to think about.

Another great option is the Havana hopsack blazer from Suitsupply. It has similar styling to the Kincaid, but is half-canvas, and it also about half the price. At $399 I wouldn’t call this a “budget” jacket by any means, but I also would not feel as guilty.The gents on the Dappered Thread love Spier & Mackay. In theory I may love this jacket as well. It’s another half canvas option in a lightweight hopsack wool, but would cost about $250 instead of $399 or $995. The problem is twofold – they are only available online, so I have no option to try before I buy. They have also been out of my size since I started looking at the beginning of the summer, and since this was part of their summer collection, I’m not sure it’s coming back in this fabric for Fall.

I can try the Suitsupply jacket on at any number of stores. The closest Sid Mashburn to me is in Washington, DC. Suitsupply (if it fits well and looks good) may win this battle. And it is a battle I intend to wage.

The last thing I need is another pair of shoes, but I’ve had my eye on the Allen Edmonds Dundee boots in burnished brown for quite some time. It appears as if they have discontinued this style, and they are now available at a discounted rate through their outlet. It is tempting to buy these as they are something I have been thinking about, but on the other hand do I really need them?Another option (and something else I’ve had rattling around inside my head for a while) is a pair of dressier, suede sneakers. This pair from Suitsupply cost about $20 less than the AE boots, and could be just as versatile in my day to day. I feel like they would go well with navy, khaki, or brown chinos (which I wear often) and would be great for travel (which I may start doing again at some point.) And they would work as a great weekend shoe for Fall. Did I just convince myself? I think I did.

And while we’re still on Suitsupply, I noticed these light brown chinos on their site for Fall. They are not cheap chinos, but they look like they are a great cut, color, and fabric. They would go well with the navy blazer, suede sneakers, and a white or blue shirt.

I bought a couple Kamakura shirts not too long ago. I needed a new white, French cuffed shirt for a semi-formal event. Well, they were doing a Hibiki tasting at the store that afternoon. One thing led to another, and I walked out with my white FC, and a blue plain cuff. I love these shirts. They fit better than any other shirt I own. I like the look of a white shirt with jeans or chinos and a blazer, but wearing a French cuffed shirt in semi-business casual situations seems, I dunno – off. So, I would like to pick up another white with a plain cuff. And maybe something in a stripe.

The shirt adventure leads me to something else I’d like for myself. It’s my 40th birthday we’re talking about. My friend and I had the idea to go to Scotland for our birthdays and tour the country drinking Scotch. Those plans got nixed for several reasons (none sinister.) Doesn’t take away, however my desire for good whisky. Lately I’ve been appreciating many things Japanese including the whiskies. I’ve tried Hibiki, and have purchased Suntori Toki multiple times. The 12 year old Yamazaki (also by Suntory) would be a nice addition to my collection.

And what goes better with whisky (or whiskey) than steak? A couple friends and I (all of whom are turning 40 this year) decided to revisit the place where we enjoyed a few bachelor parties back in the day for a porterhouse, some good wine, whisky, and entertainment. I’m talking about Robert’s in NYC. If you know Robert’s, then you know the entertainment I refer to.

Earlier in the post I alluded to the prospect of traveling more. And while I don’t have any plans for more travel (yet) it’s something I think about. Right now most of my travel is one nighters, or longer trips with my wife & daughter. When traveling with a 4 year-old I try to pack as efficiently for myself as possible. Thinking about air travel as a business traveler, I like to stick to two bags. A carry-all like this one from Moore and Giles while expensive at $810, it is the perfect size and shape for stowing under the seat in front of me. It could fit my computer, a tablet, headphones, and other plane items. Plus a sweater, a scarf (for cold cabins) and my toiletries (in case I need to check my roller.) This would be one of those items I would purchase if by some crazy chance I come into some extra money and don’t mind spending close to $1000 on a bag I will use sometimes. In the meantime, I have another carry-all that’s the same size, but in a weird wool-like poly blend fabric. It does the trick, but doesn’t look as good. But like I said, this is one of those wish list items. A true “wish” list item. So when I blow out my 40 candles in addition to wishing for a healthy and happy family, and world peace, I will also be wishing for this.

Sam.

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