Thursday 5 September 2019

Still Here, Still Busy - Part 2 | 10:11pm, Thursday, 5th September, 2019 - My Kingdom for a Shirt Pocket!

The Oris Diver SixtyFive (40mm, blue & black dial) got a lot of wear in recent months. Here it is, back in May,  in a restaurant while I awaited some calamari. It was a lacklustre meal, to be honest. Lightly (actually, too, too lightly) grilled, it was an entire tube of squid with cuts half-way through it. If you think that doesn't make any sense, then neither did the taste. 
And it wasn't very hot. Barely warm, in fact. Just as well it was on the company dime.  I was having a quick dinner before a work function where there wouldn't be any food. It was gonna be a long night. And it was.

The Rolex Submariner also got its fair share on the wrist. I took this pic for my Instagram and then felt like adding some text to accompany it;

Ritts glanced at his left wrist. The mixture of perspiration and grime between the bracelet links had produced an oily residue that left a stain on his skin. 
He glanced at his watch on the table. He’d been at the safe-house since 4:00am and Al-Waleed never showed. Nothing more to do for now. He’d try again tomorrow. Ritts took a deep breath before letting a sigh hiss through his teeth. He then picked up the pressed rose that the inn-keeper’s daughter had given him when he first walked in. The inn-keeper himself, upon seeing Ritts in this disheveled state, reached under the bar and produced the bottle of single-malt. Ritts could have kissed him. After the second glass, he caught a brief whiff of his own body odor as he reached forward to put the rose back on the table. He needed a shower. A dead rose couldn’t disguise that fact. But he needed a drink first. ‘These people are beautiful’, he thought to himself as he dropped fifty Dirham on the table before he reached for his wristwatch.


In my previous post, I mentioned a jacket that my wife had found for me in a thrift store (in Australia, we call them Op Shops, which is short for 'Opportunity Shop') and I put an asterisk at the end of the sentence;

                   My wife is always on the lookout for clothes for me whenever she visits an Op Shop. I never tend to have the same kind of luck whenever I visit them.

Like I said, I put an asterisk at the end of that sentence, with the intention of elaborating a little on the subject. 
And then I forgot to elaborate on the subject. 
Anyway, here I go... 

You see, I have this theory about men and women, and the kind of stuff that they donate to thrift stores, and the methods and thinking behind their respective donation strategies (if any). 

Let's talk about something such as a tailored jacket. You know, corporate-style cut and design, in a sober colour, made from a nice wool. Women may buy said jacket and wear it for an entire season. They'll look after it, get it dry-cleaned when required and then they might take it to a thrift store as soon as they've had it for a couple of years or it's style or cut has gone out of season or fashion. 

Men will buy a cheaper type of tailored jacket and wear it to death. Guys will sweat in the jacket, drape it over the back of a chair, leave it on when they get behind the wheel, rub a wet paper napkin across the sleeve to remove some spilled sauce, toss it on the end of the bed when they get home from work, etc. 
Basically, a guy won't look after his jacket. He'll keep it too long, won't look after it properly and he won't get it dry-cleaned. The back of it will be creased and misshapen from being crushed and stretched between his back and the driver's seat, it'll have that sheen across the shoulder from where the seat-belt has rubbed against it over time and the armpits will smell. 
AND THEN he'll donate it to a thrift store, rebuking his other half's protestations with something like; "What? It's still in good nick (condition). Somebody's gonna get themselves a bargain."

My wife has here own take on this. I'll let her explain it 'cos she's better at it;

Okay so....a few extra things to add. Tee is right. Men - not having been bombarded with the cultural expectation of being 'fashionable' or the peer/vanity expectation of 'looking good', are less concerned with the shallower aspects of clothing -  care, original style, and price. 

For them, if they wore a garment only a little bit, they confer a value to it that means when they are finished with it, logically someone else might want it and get a few wears out if it. It's sweet, really.

And I suppose it demonstrates that men are all about the utilitarian aspect of clothing, that it's fit for purpose whereas women are generally more concerned with the superficial aspect; is it in style or, horrors, out of style?
After all, it is said that women dress for other women.

But I also believe that when it comes to Op Shops there are two types of men's clothing; the first, as identified by Teeritz - the thrashed and trashed beloved item, donated only because it no longer fits, but with a genuine desire to pass on to the next lucky wearer an excellent piece of clothing that will stand him in good stead.

The second type is the one I bring home for Tee. New or near new, often with tags still on, and the crispness of fabric that has never been against a warm body. Why? It was the present (gift) bought for a male by a female partner/friend/relative, that was just NOT to the recipient's taste. 
Too floral, too patterned, too tight, too 'extra'. Luckily, Tee does not mind a pattern and is on the thinner side. But the racks are full of such clothing - all showing the thwarted attempts and hopeful expectations of womenfolk to get their men to be fashionable. 
Hence my 'luck' at Op Shops. I should also add that I am never restricted by size as it's sooo often misjudged by Op Shop staff. So I look through all sizes and at all kinds of items. There are always size and style mix-ups. 
A cool head, a keen eye and patience are all you need.

Yep. Thanks, hon!

Staying on the subject of clothing, I've lately been having a pretty hard time finding decent shirts with a breast pocket on them.
All I want is a cotton business shirt, with  button cuffs, a sharp collar, and a pocket, and it should ideally be a slim-cut shirt, as these are better suited to my thin build.
I'm trying to avoid a repeat of what I wrote about five years ago (my God, was it that long ago?);

"Oh My God, I'm Wearing a Dad Shirt!" | A Lesson in Dressing for My Body Type

In recent weeks, I've visited numerous menswear stores with rows and rows of shirts and not a damn one of them has a pocket. Unless I go for an 'Easy Iron' (read poly-cotton blend), which I refuse to do, since I find that poly-cotton doesn't 'breathe' like cotton does.

Okay, so I prefer a shirt with a pocket. I always carry a pen, while I'm sure that 99% of men these days don't, because they have their precious mobile phones for jotting down notes with their thumbs and stuff like that. And, from what I've seen when somebody sends in a watch with a hand-written note, legible handwriting is becoming a rare thing these days.
It's a particular shame when the note has been written by somebody who explains that they bought the watch for their 40th Birthday TEN years ago. Did they dictate this note to their five year-old kid?
'Cos that's how the writing looks.
But I digress.
Aside from wanting a shirt pocket for carrying a pen, I also wear glasses and the pocket comes in handy for those times when they're not on my face. Am I the only man in the world who wears glasses? Has everybody gotten laser eye surgery?

At one store, I asked the salesman (who was probably my age or older); Why don't shirts have pockets these days?
His reply? "Because they don't look good. They break up the lines of the front of the shirt."
Okay, I get that, but shirt pockets have been around for as long as I can remember.
"And also, nobody smokes anymore, so they don't need pockets", he added. 
Man, he wasn't presenting me with a very convincing argument. I left him to his duties and got the hell out of there.
Aside from pockets, I have a few other stipulations;

1) - a sharp collar. Don't ask me to name the exact style. I read about them all the time, but I couldn't tell the difference between a Spread and an English Spread, etc.
If pressed, I'd say a Forward Point, as this is the most classic collar style in my view.
Basically, something like what you see in this pic.
And I'd prefer them to have those thin sheathes underneath where I can put in my own collar stays. You know, those little plastic surfboard-shaped thingies that keep the collars from curling.
I had a small jar filled with them, but I bought three pairs of stainless steel ones some time ago and my plan is to get three or four more of them and then get rid of all the plastic ones. The plastic ones get misshapen in the wash if you forget to remove them prior to throwing the shirt in the wash. The collars need to look sharp. They're the first part of a shirt that somebody will notice when you walk in the room.
2) - Narrow sleeves. I saw a lot of shirts labelled as 'Classic Cut' or 'Contemporary Fit' and they had very billowy sleeves.
The sleeve you see here could definitely do with being about 25% narrower. In my desperation to find a shirt with a pocket, I found three full-cotton shirts at a nearby store and they had interesting patterns, POCKETS, and were a decent fit. They were a Medium size and, in hindsight, I should have probably gone for a Small, but I think these were all that they had left at the time. They're a little roomy around the neck. I read on a website that your collar sizing should allow you to get two fingers between the shirt and your neck when the top button is fastened. I think these have a little more space in them than that. No matter. I'll get some decent wear out of them.
Or maybe some lucky fella will snag them at an Op Shop sometime soon!

Anyway, the passive search continues, but it looks like I may end up going through one of these websites that does semi tailor-made shirts.

This Oris watch has gotten some regular wear lately. It's a model from circa 1995, based on an Oris watch that was first done in the late 1930s.
The Big Crown series was designed primarily for pilots, so that they could set the time and wind the watch while wearing gloves, hence the oversized winding crown.
The date consists of 31 numbers arranged counter-clockwise around the outer edge of the dial and that little crescent clicks over to each date at around midnight. Oris still makes a Big Crown model today and it's perhaps one of their more well-known pieces.
I tried it on a bracelet recently, but i have to say that it's a watch better suited to a strap. Give it  that vintage vibe.
This model is 36mm in diameter. I had originally bought the smaller 33mm model, but as soon as I tried it on, I knew that it was just too small, even for my school-girly wrist. My daughter saw it and said that she liked the 'aesthetic' of it. So, at the time of writing, it's being serviced and with a little luck, it should be ready in time for her 17th birthday in the third week of September.
So I suppose that's one more piece that will be leaving my collection. Which is good, as I continue to slowly whittle it down to a set of watches that get worn more often.

Another piece that will go soon is this one;

It's an early to mid 1970s (I think) Camy Club-Star. A nice hand-wound watch that was given to me by a watch forum member some years ago because he knew I liked vintage watches. He said I could have it for nothing, on the proviso that I don't sell it to make a profit on it.
That was a lovely gesture on his part and I wore the watch quite a bit over the years. It has a nice silver dial, with gold-plated hands and hour markers. I very nice colour combo.
However, in the interests of moving watches along, in order to replace them with those that I really want, this one is gonna go soon.
I speak to a guy from time to time who works at a jewellery store interstate and he too has an interest in vintage watches. He's sent me a couple of old watches to have serviced. I told him that I had a watch that I don't wear much anymore and I thought he may be interested in it. He said he'd be happy to take it off my hands.
So, in the interests of paying it forward, good karma, and just doing something nice for somebody, I'll be sending it off to him soon. No charge, as per the gentleman's agreement that was made when I first received the watch.
At some point, though, I'd like to get something with a similar silver-and-gold colouring, but that's a daydream for another day. For now, let's just get some watches out the door first and we'll see where we're at when the dust settles. Have to say, though, that this Camy runs quite nicely. Winds nice and smooth and keeps fairly good time, though I'm sure it could do with a service.
Still, it's a nice piece. I hope he likes it.

My Bond hardcovers collection is progressing nicely.

They're all reprints, with the exception of the last two titles, The Man With The Golden Gun and Octopussy. These were Fleming's last two Bond novels and, as such, they were printed in large quantities, which makes them reasonably easier to find.
The ones I'm missing are Live And Let Die, Diamonds Are Forever, Moonraker and Dr No, but those titles, while nice, don't have the classic cover art by Richard Chopping.
So, I don't think I'll lose any sleep over not having them. Pictured in the frame also is the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean, which saw some wear through May. I tend to get more wear out of this watch in Summer.
Here's hoping for a hot one this year.

Okay, I think I'll stop here for now. I added more, to this post, but it threatened to become a long one.

I'll start the next post this weekend and see where it leads me.

Hope you've all been well, and thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Good to hear from you again! Now I finally know why it's called/has a big crown, it was so Obvious but I never gave it a thought...