Editorial: Snapshots at Friendsgiving 2021

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This November, I’m thankful for one thing: the ability to wear cool fits around friends while I scarf down copious amounts of Brie cheese and crackers.

Oh and for Jay, since he hosts the only event I can do that at.

There’s something admirable about building a community. I know that I’ve done that, both directly and indirectly, in order to make menswear more accessible to people like me (which could mean a lot of things). It’s not surprising that my friends also have that drive. MJ showed it a few weekends ago when he brought two different friend groups together to play airsoft. And if you’ve been a longtime reader of this blog, you’ll know that my pal Jay is a huge proponent of bringing people together with his annual friendsgiving events.

Jay works in finance, but he has always had a passion for event planning. Not only has he hosted Friendsgiving, which again has been a recurring feature on my blog, but he’s done countless Friendsmas/White Elephant Parties and pool shindigs for as long as I’ve known him. At one point he even had a “bring a new friend” party where we were all encouraged to meet new people. Jay really loves bringing people together.

Friendsgiving is an event I look forward to because it’s pretty much a style event for us. Even though not everyone in attendance is a fan of fashion, the boys and I use the opportunity to wear a cool outfit, which usually references our current mood and inspiration. It also helps that Friendsgiving is more of a chill affair, being a dinner party rather than something a bit more active like his pool or Friendsmas events (which has a lot of standing around for your turn at White Elephant). Last year’s party was held over Zoom (with a small meet up in the park), so we were all antsy to get fitted for an in person dinner. It’s not going out, but it’s still an occasion!

In addition to being one of my first meals inside friends house in a while, it was also the first event Jay held in his apartment (rather than the event center of his apartment complex). Surprisingly, about 15 of us were able to eat together on make-shift long table (made up of several smaller tables). Eating with a big group in such an enclosed space is still new and awkward, but it was fun! This was also MJ and my girlfriend’s first time attending Jay’s Friendsgiving, so I was especially excited to bring them to this recurring wholesome event.

What follows is a brief outfit recap and selection of snapshots from Jay’s event. I hope you enjoy- this type of content is always my favorite to write about.

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Spencer has really honed in on his uniform lately. I wouldn’t even call it a POV for Going Out anymore- it’s just Spencer.

The Going Out essay specifically calls out a few favorite pieces that are classic menswear “staples” that are still conducive for well, going out : a slouchy DB, straight leg jeans, unbuttoned shirts, and slick boots. Spencer wore all of them. He normally wears his 1940’s navy DB jacket or his sack blazer, but this time he pulled out his 1940’s grey herringbone tweed DB jacket, a piece I hadn’t seen in a few years.

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The grey pairs well with the khaki workshirt, resulting in a very muted combination. The khaki workshirt can scream milsurp in most contexts, but when it’s worn with a jacket and jeans, it feels more 70s to me, echoing inspo from Harrison Ford, Robert Redford, and Jack Nicholson. Unlike the the ubiquitous chambray or denim workshirt, the khaki feels slouchy and easy while maintaining a specific POV. I feel like the khaki workshirt is going to be a new menswear darling, similar to the love a yellow OCBD can get.

70s vibes continue with his worn (more like distressed) 501 jeans, which further emphasize just how easy this is supposed to be. The straight leg fit compliments the oxblood cowboy boots well, with the stray threads of the raw hem resting on the vamp detailing.

Jeans and a sportcoat for event attire can sound boring and contrived on paper, but it’s clear here that details are what make the outfit interesting.

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Belgians would’ve made this quite Bullshot Book Club, I think.

When you are in doubt about a party’s dress code, you can always ask the host. Thankfully Jay is a menswear enthusiast and always shows up well dressed- even when his guests wear tee shirts and jeans. The official dress code was “smart casual” and I think Jay did a great example of that.

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I had to ask him if he’s been watching Seinfeld, because the “business up top with lightwash Levis” seems like one of Jerry’s classic stand up outfits. To Jay’s credit, he as eschewed the padded, low button stance jackets, bold shirts, and crazy ties in favor of a tasteful charcoal jacket, white ocbd, and slim black tie. It feels a bit like a Going Out Look, but one that is restrained and doesn’t lean too far into being edgy (or sexy). It’s responsible, which is good for a host. It’s also just funny to see this subdued look, as Jay typically has gone wilder for previous Friendsgivings.

I’m not sure of Berekely Breathes reads this, but I’m sure he’d enjoy knowing that seeing Jay’s fit makes me consider a grey suit even more. Hasn’t happened yet, but it’ll be there (once I finish commissioning brown suits).

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MJ decided to go all out for his first Friendsgiving outfit. By which I mean, he gets to wear some of the clothes I’ve given to him over the course of this pandemic.

He can’t take credit for the choice of wearing brown, as this is my old MTM suit made by Natty Adams– it’s MJ’s only full suit in his closet (which is fine since he never needed a full suit anyway). You can already tell that the suit fits him better than it ever fit me. MJ’s a few inches smaller than me, so this suit (which was just right) has better drape and slouch on his frame. I’m glad it went to somebody good!

As my podcast producer and best friend, he has to listen to every SaD episode multiple times and read the blog posts. That’s why I’m not surprised that he’s also leaning into solids, namely by the use of a navy knit tie. It’s great against the brown of the suit, which he then plays into with the red striped button down collar shirt. He’s really feeling that J. Mueser look, though this is subverted with the use of a fun Drake’s pocket square, which features a tennis racquet design; I got him this for Christmas a few years ago because he likes playing tennis!

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As you probably expected, I went a little extra on this. As I’ve written about in the Going Out Essay, as well as the summer recap, the pandemic has helped me tap into some oft-seen sides of my style. It’s a little less Esquire Man and ivy-trad and a bit more dandy and edgy (at least to my POV). I’ve been leaning into the sexy 60s/70s lately, so I thought it was time to pick something dandy.

This outfit was inspired by the “black tie among friends” article on Permanent Style, specifically the rig worn by Benjamin Glynn Philips which consisted of a black corduroy DB tuxedo with a droopy bowtie and a chambray shirt. This alternative black tie look has been on my mind for a while, especially as John and I have been intrigued about using evening wear in our Going Out outfits, either by taking formal pieces out of their original context or using what we have to evoke the ideas of black tie.

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My first instinct was to wear my green DB suit, but I felt that it was just a bit overplayed and easy. Instead, I opted to use it as a dinner jacket, paired with my dark navy odd trousers. You may remember that I already had a green DB jacket, but I thought the cotton twill one was better due to it’s more vibrant color and the contrast buttons; it’s just a more interesting piece to use as a dinner jacket alternative. It’s even rolled to the bottom button in order to feel more like a traditional DB tux jacket.

White socks and black penny loafers also work to make the attire more casual and fun. This isn’t a formal dinner after all, though I am looking for an opportunity to do a real black tie event.

I like the use of a formal bowtie against rugged chambray, so that’s just what I did. The bowtie is a vintage satin one, bought because my old 1930’s tuxedo has satin facing on the lapels and trouser stripe. My shirt is the spearpoint workshirt from Momotaro Denim. I think it creates a fun juxtaposition, especially due to the contrast workwear stitching and cat eye buttons. Again, just like with Spencer, the details are important.

You probably already noticed the shades, which are the Apollo in yellow from Akila. I tried on a red tinted one at stockist, but I knew that someday I’d get the yellow ones- I actually bought them that day. The shades really add to the look, making me feel like a French movie producer in the 60s/70s thanks to the chunky shape and quite obviously, the tinted lenses. The outfit is fine but the sunglasses (which actually work well indoors lol) complete the vibe.

You can probably expect a full podcast and essay on glasses (of all types) sometime next year.

Party Snapshots

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God, I love cheese.
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The hosts: Jay and Deb.
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You all should be proud of me: I cooked that broccoli (and ate a lot of it)!
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If I’m in the shot, it means MJ took the photo.
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Deb has beautiful handwriting.
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Move over espresso martinis- the Pumpkin Spice Martini is here!
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We drink alcohol more now, but we can’t ignore Martinelli’s wholesome call.
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Everyone had a chance to drink a Pumpkin Spice Martini!
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Ryan was the bartender for the evening.
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Love the camel sportcoat, worn over a paisley shirt.
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Only douchebags wear sunglasses indoors.
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Jay made us write nice thank you notes to everyone in attendance.
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Your favorite podcast hosts.
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My producer and co-host.
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Matt knew he picked a good spot.
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Grey jackets and blue jeans.
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Love them.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget that you can support me (or the podcast) on Patreon to get some extra content and access to our exclusive Discord. I also stream on Twitch and upload the highlights to Youtube.

Always a pleasure,

Ethan M. Wong

2 comments

  1. shem · November 30

    I love how the khaki shirt looks on spencer. I have always wanted to get a khaki shirt but have held off because in my mind, it needs to be worn under a jacket. Wearing it sans jacket looks a little strange/cosplay?

    Like

  2. Pingback: On Outfit Repeating | a little bit of rest

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