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Broadly speaking, there are two types of hopsacks. Hopsack refers to a kind of plain weave, where the yarns crisscross each other like a tic-tac-toe board (or what you’d imagine to be used on a burlap sack). It differs from twill, which has diagonal lines, like what you see on jeans. The first kind of hopsack is used for suits. Made with a fine weave, it’s a little more breathable than its twill counterparts but still refined enough for business meetings. The second type of hopsack is what you see above. Chunky hopsacks have a slightly more pronounced texture and help distinguish sport coats from orphaned suit jackets. It’s a great material for blazers or sport coats worn during shoulder seasons such as spring and fall.
Proper Cloth has a bunch of hopsack jackets right now in various shades of blue. Made with a soft shoulder and half-canvas construction, they can be paired with the company’s made-to-measure oxford cloth button-down shirts (get them made with Proper Cloth’s 1960s-inspired Soft Ivy collar) and jeans, chinos, or grey flannel trousers. When the cool weather starts to set in, you can also swap that Oxford cloth button-down for a Merino wool shirt. Merino wool shirts are naturally wrinkle- and odor-resistant, which makes them great for travel.
High-end dress socks typically cost about $30/ pair — magnitudes more than what you’ll spend on a pair of Gold Toes. But they’re infinitely more comfortable and should last for years if they’ve been made well. Dapper Classics are a bit more affordable than those imported from Europe. Rather than charging $30/ pair, their over-the-calf socks start at $25. They’re able to do this because their socks are made in North Carolina by a third-generation, family-owned mill, so the company doesn’t pay for international shipping and import coats — savings that’s ultimately passed on to you.
Until the end of today, you can knock 30% off that price, making each pair starting as low as $17.50. Their solid navy, over-the-calf socks — available in wool or cotton — can be worn with anything, including suits or odd trousers in tan, grey, brown, olive, and of course, navy. Since they’re over-the-calf, they’ll stay up on your leg (no one wants to see your bare calf when you sit down). Once you get a few pairs in solid navy, consider mixing it up by getting socks in colors that match your trousers — tan socks with tan trousers, grey socks with grey trousers, and so forth. Dapper Classics also has tasteful patterns such as microdot, nailhead, and grenadine for when you want to add some visual interest.
Ten years ago, if you wanted a wardrobe full of things such as suits and sport coats, and couldn’t afford to spend thousands of dollars, your options were mostly limited to a range of not-so-great options such as J. Crew and Land’s End, each of which came with various trade-offs. Today, the market has gotten much better, especially with the entrance of Spier & Mackay. They’re a Canadian company that has distilled menswear forum advice into a line of affordable tailored clothing. The shoulders are soft and natural; the jackets are (refreshingly) long enough to cover your seat. Things are trim but not skinny. Trousers don’t sit below your hip bones. Yet, you can find half-canvassed suits and sport coats here starting around $300.
If you’re just starting to build a tailored wardrobe, consider getting a solid navy, single-breasted sport coat. You can wear this with grey wool trousers, tan chinos, and even blue jeans. It works for taking mom out for Mother’s Day, going to Sunday brunches with friends, or even most offices. It’s the one jacket you should bring with you when you travel, as it’s so versatile and works in almost any situation. Spier & Mackay has a few options in wool-silk (which will have a little sheen), linen, cotton, and knitted wools. The most versatile option is the simplest: a plain wool hopsack rendered in a rich shade of navy. The slight texture on this jacket will distinguish it from orphaned suit jackets.
Chipp is an old Ivy-era clothier who’s dressed the likes of JFK and Andy Warhol, and since they’ve been around the New York garment trade forever, they also have access to some of the city’s best tailors. If you’re in NYC, they can make you a custom garment, but for shoppers online, they also have both ready-made and custom-order accessories. Their standard ties, for example, measure 3.25″ x 58″, but they can also shorten, lengthen, widen, or narrow ties for just $10. To place an order, go to their site and order one of the 60″ or 62″ ties. Then in the comment section, specify exactly what you want (say, a 3″ x 60″ tie). Turnaround time for custom orders is two weeks. And like everything Chipp sells, these are fully made in NYC.
We all have clothes in the back of our closets that haven’t seen the light of day in years — and things this season we want to buy. To solve this problem, LuxeSwap has partnered with No Man Walks Alone and Epaulet to develop a “trade-up” program, which allows you to sell your old clothes through LuxeSwap’s consignment service and turn those profits into No Man Walks Alone or Epaulet store credit.
The program is straightforward. If you send your clothes to LuxeSwap, they’ll do all the hard work of selling them for you through their eBay webshop. And if you’re willing to take your profits in the form of store credit at NMWA or Epaulet, they’ll reduce their commission from 40% to 30% — and those stores will top off your profits with an additional 10%. Effectively, that means 30% more value than you’d get otherwise. Store credit gets posted not long after the auction closes, and it never expires.
LuxeSwap also offers free inbound shipping for anyone in the United States, as well as a 50% reimbursement for folks abroad. That means that you can ship them your items, and they’ll take care of the cost when it comes time to pay you for your auctions. With such a hassle-free process, cleaning out your wardrobe has never been more rewarding.