A while back, I wrote an article about some pants I wanted. A silly premise? Maybe. But it was a fun way for me to explore my intentions as I expanded my wardrobe. Now, as I continue to spend a lot of time thrifting, I'm not always buying the exact thing I want—sometimes my wardrobe is built through serendipity, finding things I didn't know I wanted—but having that article as a guide for myself, I was able to get most of the types of pants I want.
So here are some clothes, shoes, and accessories I want to find in the next year. I'll think, in writing, through the reasons I actually want these things. Maybe some of my reasoning resonates with you. I hope
I'm not going to get everything on this list. I really shouldn't, it's a long list. But I do think this will be a good exercise in navigating my next move.
I'll warn you now, I'm going to identify a couple of major gaps in my wardrobe. Try not to judge me. I'm going to start with a big one
A Good, Bespoke, Single-Breasted Navy Suit
So... Yeah, a major gap.
My first custom suit was a charcoal SB. It's fine as a business suit, but the cut isn't actually... good, at all, it's a generic slim MTM cut from Black Lapel. It's fine for most guys... But I wanted to be picky and get something good made in navy—good, by a higher standard. Some kind of ideal.
Since then, I've had my CustomMen suit made. I've thrifted a navy DB from Canali that's... fine, and will maybe tide me over for the ~year it takes to have an SB made, but it's a bellied 6x1 with a weird cut, it really doesn't satisfy my desire for a more classic suit. I have six suits total, not counting my South2West8 suit.
So... I want the perfect navy suit. I've seen dozens of tailors who can cut a fantastic jacket, but only a handful who can cut a pair of pants that aren't way too slim for my taste. I've been thinking about The Anthology, I Sarti Italiani, Taillour, K-Zao...
I'm heavily leaning towards The Anthology. I've come to terms with how ridiculous I'll feel spending a few grand on a garment I wear a few times a year. Ultimately, this is my hobby, I do have the money, I want a navy suit I can really love, and I want the experience of buying and having a bespoke suit from a brand I deeply appreciate.
Yet another glaring omission. I have a wonderful ivory dinner jacket, but if I had to go to a proper black tie event tonight, I'd... have to buy something last minute and would end up looking like shit.
I need to have a tuxedo made, and the main issue with that is that I'm not going to audition a tailor by asking them to make me a tuxedo. That'd be stupid. I need a tailor—even a reputable one—to make something else for me first.
I also have a more narrow vision for a tuxedo. I either want a vaguely Sexton-esque or Husbands-esque SB with a flared leg (I have one specific non-dinner jacket I'm going to reference to the tailor I go with)... Or a DB shawl with one button, but... let's just say I'm still working on my shawl lapel inspo album.
So realistically, I won't be ushering in New Years' Eve 2025 or 2026 with either of those dream tuxes; I'll get the navy suit by 2025 and the tux some time in 2026 if I go straight back to back.
In the meantime, I am also trying to thrift a tux to fill in that gap, but I haven't found one I like yet in anywhere near my size. My ivory jacket would at least help me out in black tie optional affairs, but that's not enough... But I'm picky, and I don't want to settle for something I just don't like because I need one.
A Couple of Beater Sport Jackets
This is a paradoxical category. I need a couple of sport jackets that are good enough to wear but not so good that I'll want to baby them. I want some linen thing and some soft tweed thing or some soft corduroy thing that I just want to beat up, wear every other day. Something with patch pockets that I use, really use. Something I keep in my outerwear closet and throw on haphazardly. Shoot, maybe I keep it on a coat rack or in some other ill-advised place.
This is no easier for me to find than a good sport jacket, though. I'm picky. I need a relaxed fit with a good slouchy fabric. And it's weirdly hard to thrift jackets with patch pockets (without flaps, thank you, I'm going to be using these pockets), especially when I need a short length.
I might get this from a mall brand on sale. Todd Snyder or J. Crew. Maybe a Suitsupply Roma, but all of their pockets right now seem to be jetted. I guess they read my blog.
More Blue Shirts
I have blue dress shirts that are fine, I have a herringbone button down I like, I have multiple navy linen shirts, and I have a fantastic denim western.
But, again, I'm missing a coupe of basics: a solid blue OCBD, a blue university stripe OCBD, and a chambray shirt. I don't need all of these immediately, but... I feel like I do need one of them. I have a couple of makers I might go to for a chambray shirt, or I might thrift an OCBD, I might go to Jake's... we'll see what happens.
A Tuxedo Shirt
If I get a tuxedo, I need a shirt to wear with it, this isn't rocket science. There are still a few questions open in my mind—pleated front? Wing collar? Covered placket or studs? I don't really know yet.
As a quick recap of my some pants I want article, I wanted off-white jeans, Bode pants, big linen, something else funky, and a pair of good flares. Besides Bode pants, I covered all of those categories, but two of those cases have left me wanting more.
Some Off-White Pants
Simply: I thought I wanted slimmish off-white jeans. I got some. I wasn't into them.
My plan is clear. I'm probably going to buy a pair of straight or relaxed-straight ecru jeans from 3Sixteen. They don't make the latter yet... We'll see. I'll try the regular straight ones on. I'll work something out.
More Big Linen
I also bought Polo Ralph Lauren Andrews in linen. These are fantastic and so easy to find on ebay. (Andrew = double forward pleat, Hammond = double reverse pleat, nothing else matters).
But since I currently only have one pair, I'm afraid to wash them, and since I want to wear them constantly, dry cleaning is not a practical solution. So, by the time summer comes, I'm going to drown myself in so many pairs of big linen pants that I can listen to the poeple constantly telling me they wash fine.
More big chinos.
I like my big khaki RRL officer chinos. And I like my flared Gucci chinos. And I've tried on J. Crew Giant Fit chinos and Todd Snyder Relaxed Fit chinos, and I like them too. And I'm also interested in some more interesting options, like something from Studio Nicholson I could do with a pair of big navy chinos. Or I might get a pair in off-white, instead of the off-white jeans I wanted for... whatever reason. Or black, or dark brown, or... well, I'd like something I can wear with my sneakers, but I'll talk about sneakers below.
Idk. Maybe brown cords. Maybe cream cords. I already have purple jeans. I don't need more purple in my wardrobe. But... There's something about purple cords... Corduroy just takes color so well. I might get some PRL Andrew cords.
A Mohair Cardigan
I might buy one of these in the current sales from Mr. Porter or Nepenthes... maybe. I have my eye on one that is beautiful, but not especially wearable... I might keep my eye open until I find the perfect option that's at least a little bit unique and at least a little bit wearable.
More Textured Knitwear in general
I've been talking about textured knitwear on instagram, in case you missed it. And I've gotten a boucle knit since then, and I want mohair, and... I have a lot of options. But I want more.
Specifically, I think I could use a pink shetland, but most of the common options don't fit me well. And I want a really nice off-white aran sweater. And I wouldn't be upset with another shawl collar cardigan, or four.
Another Knit Tee
I really love my Anthology Knit Tee. It's great for summer days when I don't feel like wearing a button up, but still want to do something. It layers nicely and looks even better, I realized,when tucked in to the right trousers.
But I can't say buying another one is a priority right now. They're still expensive. I might buy one, I might not. I'm not sure what color I'll want next—maybe espresso? Maybe I'll get one from another brand just to mix things up. Scott Fraser Collection's Chet knits are cool and unique, although they're even more expensive. Maybe Spier and Mackay's cotton crew neck—not sure how good these actually are.
Maybe an Aran, maybe something I can layer. I've had fun with my burgundy turtleneck, but I can't pair it with all of the things I want to pair it with.
A summer-friendly rain coat
Sometimes it rains in the summer. I need a practical option that covers my body and my head and won't make me overheat. I might get a barbour jacket and one of the detachable hoods they do, or I might just accept that any decent lightweight rain jacket will not look great or actually breathe all that well.
A winter parka
Maybe from Frizmworks. They have a super wide variety of good outerwear. But I have specific needs beyond decent aesthetics: handwarmer pockets positioned and angled in a way I can actually use, sleeves short enough that they don't swallow my arms, water- and snow-proofing, enough warmth to get me through an NYC winter without worry, and, of course, a hood. How the heck am I going to survive in the snow or the freezing rain without a hood? Why are people making weather-proof types of jackets without hoods? Who does that serve?
... So yeah, maybe I'll just get an N3-B parka. Or a Kara Koram-type parka, if the pockets work out right. Or this one from Todd Snyder, which checks all the boxes, but looks kind of plain given the price... but then again, isn't that what I want for such a utilitarian piece? Plain, versatile, easy to wear whenever it's snowy or rainy or too cold for an overcoat.
Well-Made Winter Boots
I've needed a pair of boots for a while. But after some pickiness, I came to a moment where I realized I needed sneakers more. I need comfortable shoes that I can actually wear and stand around in all day, even with my weird posture issues. I could barely wear my Meermin loafers anymore, standing around in them too long would leave me in pain the next day.
And that issue paralyzed my decision-making even longer. What was I going to do, spend $400 or more on a pair of boots and risk that, even after the break-in, I'm still afraid to wear them? I decided to throw a curve ball. Instead of going for some fancy, expensive thing that /r/goodyearwelt told me was really, really good bacause of the fudge wheeling, I'd get something that never pretended to be that kind of shoe in the first place.
So I said fuck it and got myself some ALD x New Balance Rainiers. They are kind of Timberland-inspired, but in a funky colorway like you might expect from Teddy Santis. I like them.
But now I find myself wearing my dress shoes a little more. My Duanes (from the Armoury) and my Aldens are much more comfortable. Maybe the Meermins are just not that great, or maybe the issue was the way I stood around in them all day long, or maybe the issue has been resolved by my exercise routine. In any event, I have renewed confidence in my body, and in "well-made" shoes.
Maybe I'll go to a Viberg sample sale. Maybe I'll buy something from the Stitchdown folks at some future Alfargo's. Maybe I'll just go with Grant Stone or something. Maybe I'll fall ass-backwards into a pair of Galways. Who knows?
Color 8 Shell Alden Tassel Loafers
I mean, does this one need an explanation? I actually bought a pair this year, but they're too narrow, so if you're a 7.5A, DM me.
The Missing Sneakers
I really like my go-to sneakers right now, my olive New Balance 990s—also a Teddy Santis colorway. But I'm left wanting. Particuarly, I want something that feels right with the pants that don't work with any of my existing sneakers. I don't like these 990s with my khakis or tan cords, or against off-white pants, or... Well, there have been some other corner cases. I've filled those spots with loafers, but like I said, I do need comfortable shoes. I want something I can wear all day long.
I think these might be just right—chunky, comfortable, a little bit of tan, a little bit of pink, not too bright, not too boring, versatile in the ways I need and then some... The main problem is that I don't want to become a guy who pays above sticker price for a pair of sneakers.
So I'm waiting for the next thing to pop onto my radar. I've seen some others that look okay.
Not More Ties
I do not need more ties. I have so many good ties... I have like three great yellow ties, and I don't want to get rid of any of them, but I should, I really should, why do I have so many yellow ties?
I do need a grenadine and a seven fold tie to round out my collection. And I definitely need a La Bowtique bowtie when I get my tux...
But... I can't actually justify any more long tie purchases,
Another Funky Scarf
I love scarves. You know that. But again, I've found some gaps in the colors, patterns, and textures in my wardrobe. Aside from solids, I have intersting winter scarves in orange and pink, and summer scarves in navy and green... But that really doesn't leave me with everything I want. I still can't go full Stephon and just wear a fantastic scarf with every outfit. I could stand to mix it up a bit.
Some New Kind of Hat
I have a lot of caps I like, I have a few toques I like, I have a bucket hat that I sometimes don't hate. Maybe I need a better bucket hat, with just the right type of floppitude. I've never been a beret guy, but Bode's are kinda cool, maybe should go to Bode and try on some of those on. I just want to mix up my headwear.
Some more meaningful jewelry
I love my dad's Chai necklace. My grandma bought two of them—one for my dad, one for my uncle. Now my cousin and I own them. They're kind of dumb-looking, but that's not the point.
I don't know how I'll ever find more men's jewelry with a story worth telling, but I could use more. It'd be nice to have something I don't have to call "dumb-looking."
But, Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
I'm not going to stick to any plan too closely. Nothing above—not even the navy suit—is guaranteed. But through this rambling, I've given myself a direction. I might follow through on a lot of these notes. I might find another path forward. I will still go to Alfargo's, and I will still buy things there I didn't know I wanted.
But this was a useful exercise, in any event. I hope you got something out of it, and have some idea, now, of what you want to buy next. If you want to put your intent in writing, feel free to leave a comment, and refer back in a year or so to see how that plan worked out. It just might.
I forgot a lot of things I want a lot from this list. I want a belted overcoat. I want a belted cardigan, maybe a RRL handknit. I want Alden tassels in black calf. I want a Wythe pearl snap tencel shirt. I want that belted Dries van Noten suit. I want some belgian loafers. And I need a better black belt.
The point being... this list could have been a lot longer, and I will buy things that weren't on it.