Tag Archives: custom suits

Surviving the Elements: How to stay Warm and Dry

Tech jacketIt’s still c-c-c-cold throughout much of the country right now, but most of us just set our clocks forward and it’s time to get ready for Spring. This “time of transition” can make getting dressed for the day tricky because the temperatures can swing thirty or forty degrees as the day progresses, from “dang it’s cold out here” to at least kind of nice and warm, and then back down again before you get home. Add to that the high likelihood of some rainy days in the near future (Californians can only hope) and the question becomes “how do I survive the elements, staying warm and dry, but without getting too warm?”

The trick to staying comfortable when you’re out in the elements in the Spring is a great extra outerwear layer that is light weight, water repellent and wind resistant. But don’t just take my word for it. Who better to ask than a sailor about how to stay warm and dry.

When Bert Pulitzer started his company in 1975 and the original Survivalon® jacket was designed, there was nothing available for sailors and sport fishermen who wanted an authentic and rugged jacket that would perform well in most marine environments. Sailing jackets were mostly found in Army/Navy surplus stores and were made of nylon with zippers that would rust and snaps that would corrode.

In response to that need, SurvivalonSurvivalon® introduced a water repellent, tightly woven high yarn count cotton poplin fabric (say that ten times as fast as you can) that was more comfortable and performed even better than nylon, with zippers and snaps that got better, not worse, over time.  The cotton fabric is not only more comfortable than any synthetic fiber, but it also gets better over time, taking on that special patina that you only get with a natural fiber.  What I’m saying is that you will really like the jacket when it’s new, but you will love it even more as you wear it and make it your own.

There have been several updates to the original jacket. The original draw cords were braided cotton with round wooden stoppers. Today’s versions have military grade nylon elastic cords and nylon stoppers with stainless steel springs, keeping a good cinch when used for wind protection. Like Sperry Topsiders, RayBan Aviators, and a great fitting pair of jeans made from dark, raw denim, a Survivalon® jacket is a “forever” product, a timeless and durable classic. With it’s unlined construction, and modern fit, the Survivalon® jacket is a great mild weather shell and a layering masterpiece, great for travel.  The light weight 2 way pockets carry your car keys, phone, papers, credit card holders, etc.  The Survivalon® jacket  is super functional, versatile, and has that authentic good look. We chose to offer it in navy, a color that goes with anything.

ZR vestAnother layering piece that we really like is a reversible (blue and gray), quilted vest by Zero Restriction (ZR).  ZR and Fairway and Greene represent the benchmark of quality for golf clothing.  Found mostly in the pro shops of the best country clubs and golf resorts around the world, Tom James is proud to offer a few of their best items. Not only for golf, vests such as this one have become standard issue in workplaces that don’t require more formal attire and can easily be worn with a variety of other casual clothing on the weekend. Because it is water repellent and wind resistant, and quilted, it will keep your core nice and warm while allowing for complete freedom of movement when you are playing golf or otherwise active.  The ZR vest will be your favorite go-to layer this Spring, I promise.

For more information and details on how to survive the elements this Spring, check out our 12 Essentials for the month of March.

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.

5 ways to use COLOR to put a Spring in your Step

Orange shirtWhen not watching the games of March Madness,  I was out in the garden a lot on the weekends in March.  Where I live it was time to plant more herbs and to get my vegetable garden going.   Mostly though the mission was to wake up the garden from it’s winter hibernation and to add some fresh color.

I especially like the vibrant pink tones of the fuschias, and geraniums.  The yellow and orange tones provided by the marigolds and ranunculus are already making the back yard a happier place.   The colors of spring and summer have a way of doing that.

Color is a favorite topic for most any publication about design, be it fashion, interior design or creating the best landing page for your website.  A uniquely potent medium, color is full of emotion and energy – a powerful resource for your image and personal style/branding.   The colors that you wear and how they are combined can dramatically impact how you are perceived by others.  Doing it well immediately increases your level of influence.
















No matter the season, there are occasions and venues that require dark, neutral clothing, but lighter shades of blue and gray, as well as earth tones (tan, olive, brown) are the perfect backdrop or frame for the colorful shirts, ties, and pocket squares (and socks)  that the warmer, brighter months invite.  For Spring, think LIGHT and BRIGHT!   Lighter tones inspire comfort and ease – a certain cool, while brighter tones energize and command attention.


orange and blue   multi color

Here are five ways to use color to get some Spring into your appearance:

  1. Depending on where you live and what business you are in, you might work more color into your suits, blazers, jackets, and pants.  Why not consider a blazer that is bluer than navy or a light weight jacket in a favorite color made from linen or cotton, or tropical weight wool?
  2. Depending on your natural coloring, as well as your profession, lighter clothing may not be your best choice. Introducing stronger, brighter colors with classic charcoals or navies can create a more dramatic, more powerful, and more flattering look. Pump up the volume with bolder colors in your shirt and/or tie, and turn a subdued, staid outfit into a true star of your wardrobe.
  3. Wear shirts with color other than your basic blue.  With light to medium shades of blue or gray clothing, introduce shirts in tones of orange, green, pink and lavender.
  4. Point #2 applies to your casual wardrobe especially!  In that case you have even more latitude with color and pattern.  Have fun!  If not now, then when?
  5. With respect to neck wear and pocket squares, who’s to stop you from throwing caution to the wind?  I still prefer and recommend the more classic patterns, solids included, but as far as color, wear what you like that coordinates with your shirt and jacket.  By all means, go bright and go light.  That being said, a sharp navy tie with a seersucker, summer tan, or light blue suit is elegance personified.