If there is no vanity in travel, there can most assuredly be no vanity in posting a picture of yourself on a style blog. Your imperfections aren’t visited solely upon those with whom you share a journey, but upon anyone who happens to stumble onto your url. For my long-in-need-of-a-haircut locks I apologize, and I will rectify the monstrosity as soon as time permits. I hope that the clothing I chose for this posting will distract you from the my unstylish hair. Those of you who have read my posts are aware that I have been forced to re-assess my long-standing hatred of “vintage” clothing and used-clothing shops. The shirt I am wearing is one reason why. We found this Nicole Farhi in a Romanian Charity Shop in Central London. Although it is “vintage” by any definition of the term, the craftsmanship of the shirt has made it a favorite warm-weather shirting option. The cotton weave is fine and very tight, and goes very nicely with a pair of jeans. Although I have some fine quality shirts from what would be American High Street shops that hang in my closet, I can’t imagine a single one of them will look as good, or even be viable, in twenty years time. This shirt, which has been around for at least two decades, still impresses. One worry that I have about vintage clothing is the potential for piracy. It is difficult enough to determine the provenance of contemporary items, so when shopping for vintage I feel even more out of my depth. For a pair of dress shoes, the task is a bit easier. Hand stitched leather soles mean quality footwear to me. Even in massive economies of scale, a fine pair of shoes is hard to produce. When I first tried on this pair of shoes, any doubt I might have had about their origins was dispelled. They fit like a glove. The leather uppers were soft and although heavily worn, still maintained their integrity in spite of being almost forty years-old. The Bally of Switzerland label has always meant quality in leather goods and this pair of oxfords was no different. If I took them to a cobbler to be re-soled, and for some rehab to their uppers, they could probably be made to look as good as the day they were purchased. However, in their current incarnation, they feel as soft as a pair of slippers, and I think the distressed leather oxford complements a pair of jeans more than a pair of trainers.
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