Category Archives: Tom Talks

Generational Style

A Legacy of Professional Consistency

Sometimes the acorn doesn’t fall very far from that old oak tree. Sometimes it falls from the tree, tumbles down a hill, floats down the creek, and rolls through the woods to an entirely other place. On the whole, each generation aspires to re-invent itself, however subtle the variance from parental influence. Putting that into practice, the more traditional the environment, the more “subtle” the difference between generations. In the case of the Smith family from Kentucky, the theme of their wardrobes and who they choose to work with is one of professional consistency.

When asked about their favorite garments of all-time, Brooken, an attorney, says his favorite item is his seersucker suit. His uncle, Raymond, genuinely enjoys French cuff shirts and well-polished shoes. And Russell – let’s just say he shall not soon be separated from his camel hair blazer.



The Smith family has operated a family business and practiced law for three generations. The first brother, Russell, Jr., became a client in the late 70s, followed by Raymond in the early 80s. Just as their business and the law have been family traditions, so has their Tom James clothier come to be.

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Cashmere Wishes and.…Caviar Cashmere Dreams!

Caviar is fine, but cashmere is better.


One of my earliest lessons about cashmere came several years ago from a gentleman who told me that he always travels with a cashmere sweater in his briefcase or carry-on. It can get a little cool in the cabin of a commercial jet, and who wants to scrounge around for one of those airline blankets? Better to pull out your own sweater…your own cashmere sweater. Why cashmere? Because good cashmere is exceedingly both light and warm. Even a very fine sweater of cashmere will be enough to keep you warm and comfortable. In other words, it takes up less space and provides more comfort than any other sweater you could own.

Those who have yet to experience the pure luxury of fine quality cashmere are sometimes reluctant to purchase because of the price tag. A quality cashmere sweater can easily set you back several hundred dollars, or more, and the cost of a fine cashmere blazer can be more like a house payment. Why not just get a bunch of those $99 cashmere sweaters from those “buy one, get two more free” retailers?

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Where are you going All Dressed Up like that?

When Formal Attire is Required

The invitation might have read: “You’re invited to dinner this evening at our home. It will be small group of family and friends, so one of your dinner jackets will be sufficient attire.” Really? Yep! Believe it or not, it wasn’t so long ago, just four generations or less, when a man of some means and class would have been considered too casually dressed to be seen in public after 6pm (or when it got dark) if he were merely wearing what we call a Tuxedo or Dinner Jacket. Shoot, these days you barely need a jacket of any sort at most places. Culture has caved!

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