The Spring Equinox marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. On March 17th, the day and night will have equal length, literally the definition of equinox in Latin*. St. Louis has a few truisms of spring that occur annually despite no one really knowing the origin of which. Baseball fanatics will begin a six month pilgrimage to 81 home games, flowering dogwoods that line almost every suburban street will bloom and the weather will continue its usual unpredictability but with the addition of torrential downpours. Regardless, we work with what we have and tweak our outfits as needed.
Here’s a cool color tip: almost any color shirt/shoes work with grey pants. In this case, I wore a light blue OCBD with my usual Adidas Stan Smiths but I easily could have worn a pink OCBD/brown boots for a different color way of a moderately more formal look or a forest green henley with the white sneakers for an even more casual outfit. But I digress, I chose my outfit’s color because it was a cool color way. Spring means color can slowly take over winter’s neutrals; nonetheless, I am not a big fan of vibrant colors.
The shirt I ordered online from a neat brand called Club Monaco. Generally I go to J. Crew for casual, non-controversial shirts like this but I decided to try something new for a change. Overall it was a wonderful purchase as it is extremely slim fitting off-the-rack, the collar is extremely stiff/retains its shape well and none of the buttons are close to fraying (a pet peeve of mine).
Since we live in West County, I guarantee you the majority of your casual shirts come from PRL with a few from J. Crew if you felt willing to invest in one or two well-made pieces. I highly recommend you at least browse the brand’s offerings before making your monthly pilgrimage to Polo Ralph Lauren’s outlet. While the price is likely higher than anything you’ve paid before, sales come often and the amazing quality (relative to anything in your closet) makes it worth having one of Club Monaco’s OCBDs compared to two or three PRL pastel ponies.
Bonus Round: Did I mention the lack of branding? There is absolutely no logo on the outside which keeps in line with the company’s clean image. You may not get the frat-God-approved head nod without the pony, but the lack of logo is the first requirement for any fashion house worth purchasing.
Lastly, the pants are what pull everything together. The light grey chinos keep the balance of the cool colors on top and bottom which may not be possible with other hues. These chinos I purchased from Gap my sophomore year and somehow they’ve managed to hold up through two intercontinental flights, multiple food/drink spills and at least 300 wears (the fading definitely shows for it). As a general rule, I buy pants one size longer than my true inseam because finding the perfect pin roll is a pastime of mine, but with these I opted for my natural inseam.
Since these are stitched from lightweight cotton, I rarely wear them outside spring/summer which also happens to be the time when showing off high cuffs comes into trend. Most guys are afraid of revealing their ankles, for good reason; we all know someone (re: ourselves) who wore pants too short while growing up which revealed a nasty pair of cracked ankles or those dreaded white Nike tube socks. Nonetheless, when cuffing is done properly (re: intentionally) you can be a part of the latest trend in mens’ fashion. This is where sizing the chinos at my natural inseam comes into play: they naturally rise a slight amount while seated to show some extra skin. Occasionally I cuff them so that I have a break even while standing (bolder is better) but the weather wasn’t quite warm enough to stunt so much.
Keep an eye out for this look this summer, you’re almost certain to notice it and if your feeling bold, rock the cuffs. I guarantee you this will catch onto the mainstream within the next two summers giving you the prime opportunity to jump the gun and be on the forefront of fashion.
1) Thank you to my friend G for filling in as my photographer. Admittedly it’s not too hard when your subject is me (kidding) but nonetheless you did a great job.
2) Break out of your mold and buy a button down other than Polo Ralph Lauren for once (Bonus: Have it be a non-pastel color).
3) Consider cuffing your pants
4) White sneakers are always in.
*As you guessed it really isn’t as simple as that. The length of one 360° rotation of Earth’s axis takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds; a simpleton might suspect the length of day/night to be 11 hours, 58 minutes and 33 seconds but having read last month’s post you, the uncharacteristically stylish skeptic, believes there is more than what meets the eye. Once again, technicalities mean the day is longer than the night even on the equinox. “Day” is defined as sunrise to sundown, simple enough. Yet “sunrise” is defined as the moment the upper edge of the sun crosses the horizon rather than when the middle of the sun crosses the horizon. Therefore, the extra minutes gained for the sun to fully rise/set is subtracted from night meaning we never truly have an equal day/night period despite having a day explicitly known as “equal night.”