Category Archives: Trousers

A Triple Crown for You and Me

horse racing

The first leg (The Kentucky Derby) of the Thoroughbred Racing Triumvirate was run on May 3rd.   California Chrome was favored and did not disappoint, winning the race handily. Now it’s on to The Preakness Stakes (run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland)  this Saturday, May 17 (California Chrome is again the favorite to win,) followed by The Belmont Stakes (run at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York) on June 7 in the quest for the elusive Triple Crown – a series of three specific races for three year old Thoroughbred horses. You have to win all three in the same year to win the Triple Crown. Three horses (but of course) won the Triple Crown in the 1970’s (Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed.) None have won it since. Twelve horses have since then won the first two races, but none were able to win all three.

Cabrera_triple crown

In 2012 Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers won the batting Triple Crown of Major League Baseball (MLB). Prior to that no one had won it since Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox did it in 1967. The Triple Crown of baseball consists of leading a league (either the American or National) in three specific statistical categories: batting average, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI) over a full regular season. As you can readily see from those two examples – horse racing and playing baseball – achieving a Triple Crown is difficult and rare!

In the world of tailoring and fine cloth, a triple crown is equally rare though lesser known. Triple Crown is a crafty way to describe a new cloth creation by Holland & Sherry that is woven from yarns with a 3-ply twist. This is significant for at least two reasons:

1. Most fine worsted wool cloth is woven from yarns that are 2-ply or even single ply. Adding the third ply (meaning three threads are twisted together instead of just two) makes the yarns and resulting cloth stronger and adds dimensional stability.
2. The 3-ply twists offer a depth of color that would not otherwise be achievable, creating cloths that are visually interesting and supremely well balanced.  Many of the cloths have a look of texture but are completely smooth to the touch.

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Woven from Super 120’s wool, the Triple Crown collection is perfect for the individual who would welcome a fresh twist on a variety of classic looks for suits, blazers, and 245520245501trousers. The range of solid colors is truly unique and particularly well suited for separates or coordinates.

California Chrome is the only horse  that still has a shot at the thoroughbred racing Triple Crown this year.  But you and I can take advantage of a unique opportunity to wear a Triple Crown.  To see the full Triple Crown cloth collection from Holland & Sherry, contact your Tom James Clothier.

Your Summer Style Multipliers

S14-CBGN-02-45I was one of the models for The Tom James Company Spring and Summer 2014 fashion show. I don’t always model in fashion shows. The admiration I receive every day when wearing world-class custom tailored clothing from Tom James is usually sufficient. But in this case I had to say yes because my outfit was a pair of linen drawstring shorts and a linen shirt, and I really like to wear linen.

When I first tried them on in my office a few weeks before the show (sometime last December), everyone in the office instinctively said, “Wow, you look COMFORTABLE!”  No kidding!  That’s pretty much what you get from softened linen – the look and feel of extreme comfort.  Wearing that clothing slowed my pace, and made me feel more relaxed. I think it even lowered my blood pressure! I was immediately longing for warmer weather (It was December, remember), a deck chair, and a Corona with lime!


Clothing has the power to set the tone, change the mood and alter how a person feels. In a matter of moments, the right clothing can elevate confidence, make one feel more powerful or more attractive, younger or more mature, energized or relaxed.  In the case of that linen outfit, it was all about comfort and casual chic.  I would wear that clothing at a tropical resort or to a backyard BBQ and be really comfortable, feeling great about how I look.

Dressing well for summer casual occasions doesn’t require a lot of clothing.  You just need a few of the right pieces that you can mix and match with confidence.  Perhaps as fundamental as any item for a classic casual wardrobe is the ubiquitous “polo” shirt.  The name is a bit of misnomer as it was originally designed by Rene Lacoste for championship tennis in 1926.   By the mid-30’s, the short sleeve shirt of pique cotton with a soft, flat collar was rapidly becoming the universal shirt choice for many sporting and leisure pursuits, including the games of polo, golf and, of course, tennis.  In each case, the shirt we now know as a polo shirt replaced a much stiffer, long sleeve, button front shirt, thus providing much greater comfort and ease of movement.  A basic polo shirt wardrobe should include solid colors of: white and navy, and at least one other color of choice.

A selection of shorts and cotton (or linen) pants are also fundamental to a summer casual wardrobe, keeping in mind that most denim is too heavy for true summer weather.  The basic colors are khaki, stone, and navy, but one shouldn’t hesitate to consider other colors such as shades of red, orange and green.

Note:  In general, except perhaps on the golf course (and especially if your name is Ricky Fowler,) choose a neutral tone for either the top or bottom of your outfit.  (Neutral tones = black, gray, navy, tan, brown, white.)

As mentioned above, while polo shirts are perfect for the active pursuits, the more genteel activities of dining out, wine tasting, and socializing require clothing that is more tailored and elegant.  A collection of just a few well-chosen sport shirts, both long sleeve and short sleeve, will take you most anywhere.  Round it out with and a simple blazer of cotton or linen and you’re all set.  (Except for the proper footwear, which we will cover in an upcoming post.)

Now go enjoy your summer in style!

Give me a Break! Finding the Best Pant Break to Fit Your Style.

A guide to help with deciding how much your pant bottoms should “break” over your shoes.

As it turns out, much has been written in the blogosphere about the pant break options, and with general accord. The basic options for the proper length of one’s trousers are as follows:

  • No break
  • Slight or medium break
  • Full break




In most cases, a slight break is the preferred option. It’s balanced, right down the middle, and never wrong. A medium break is achieved when the bottom of the pant is about ½” to ¾” above where the heel meets the leather (Heel height can vary a little with men’s shoes.) The front of the pant should have one fold or “break.”


A full break is when the pant bottom falls at or somewhere below the top of the heel (but definitely off the ground.) In this case the front of the pant will show at least two, possibly three folds or “breaks.” As is the case with both pants in the photo above, it is difficult to pull off this length and have it not look sloppy, like you’re standing in a puddle. The full break only works with a pant that is cut full, with plenty of drape at the knee and bottom. In that case the extra fabric has more room to flow out over the shoe. If your legs are on the longer side, this may be a style to consider. If you prefer wearing suit and sport coats that “drape,” then wearing pants that also drape will achieve a balance pleasing to the eye. Drapes are expected to nearly reach the floor. If your shoe size happens to be larger than average, then all-the-better. The last thing you want is for your shoe to disappear under your pant bottom. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand million times, it’s all about proportion when it comes to these things.

The concerns associated with the no break option are essentially the opposite of those with the full break. On the extreme you run the risk of inviting the proverbial “are you expecting a flood?” comments. The shorter length of a “no break” pant works best when the pant fits on the trim side. In this case, fashion is on your side right now. Pants that are cut full and with no break run the risk of looking “cut off.” If you have changed from wearing pleated pants to flat front pants in the past few years, but you haven’t adjusted the length of your pants, they may need to come up a half inch or so to be rebalanced. The size of your feet and shoes is another part of the overall geometry to consider. Does your shoe size rival that of an NBA forward? Then trim fitting, no break pants aren’t really for you, unless you are intent on making a fashion statement.

To summarize, what most influences whether your pants length will look balanced and appealing is the relationship between the pant length to the width of your pant and the size of your shoes. For my money, the sweet spot is ½” above where the heel meets the leather. From that point, up or down ½” is what I like to call the “range of acceptability.”

As for me, give me a break already, but just a slight one please!