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Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Fifty150, Dec 21, 2021.
I can imagine those are very warm; don't quite fancy the aesthetics, though! For Winter, I've always gotten by with one of my shearlings and good layering below (including thermal long johns). This last couple of years not so much - with the pandemic, we've been spending very little time out of the house, and especially this year weather over the Christmas break was very mild indeed. Only last Sunday I pulled out my duffel coat for the first time. Fully suited, my preference is a heavy, wool overcoat that reaches my lower calf, and a good scarf. When it gets too cold and windy for a brimmed hat or a wool cap, I'll reach for either the B2 USAAF cap or, in extremes, a Ushanka. The Ushanka was originally bought as a novelty, but I thought "stuff it" and wore it to work one particularly cold day, and have come to love it. Maybe it's just about having the confidence to wear a hat that is unusual round here, though it was more complimented than most hats I've worn of recent times. Nothing to touch it for cold with the earflaps down and tied under the chin.
"Cosplay" is not new!
The original Michelin Men in 1907:
Something like that looks pretty viable.... Funnily enough, I've toyed on and off this last couple of years with a repro tank suit for convenient, round the house in Summer wear; recently discovered the Carhartt types ones with flannel lining that I could see being useful in Winter. Always halfway tempted by the idea of something like this for when travelling through an airport, for convenience. Used to go for braces instead of a belt, but when they make you take those off at security it's even more of a pain to put them back on without removing yer trews....
I had a primary school teacher who did year on exchange in Hawaii. When she came back to Northern Ireland, she showed us photos of herself in the classroom there in December, in her Summer blouse and the window open because it was so hot she couldn't think - and all the kids sitting in their Winter coats inside....
I'm looking forward to getting to a point where I can wear a leather jacket up to 20C; I seem to top that out around 15 now, which is a pest with the stupid-hot weather we typically get here in the South East of England. I definitely feel those cold a touch faster in Winter now in my late forties, but the bigger impact has been the Summer: used to be I could manage a lot better in the heat; now I can rarely wear even a light Blazer for much of June through to the end of August, which I hate. I always feel naked without a jacket.
Are those the ones they sell under the "Prison Blues" brand? Had a couple of pairs of those back around 2008, was very impressed with them. Non-selvedge, but wore better than most any selvedge I've ever had (of course exploding the myth that selvedge is objectively, qualitatively superior, imo).
Back in the early '80s whilst serving Uncle in northern Franconia, I discovered the benefits of silk as an initial layer. Warm. No bulk. And unlike synthetics like fleece, no build-up of stink that can't be washed out. Since part of my field duties involved operating a theodolite and required removing the issue mittens for fine control, I found that silk gloves worn inside fingerless rag wool gloves worn inside the mittens were the answer that kept my fingers from freezing to the controls.
Since then, a silk turtleneck worn under a button-up shirt, (broadcloth, Viyella, flannel, Pendleton per decreasing temperature), has become my standard winter wear. It means the house can be kept cooler and I don't get that chill that increasingly creeps between the shoulder blades.
Mind, for having to be active outdoors in sub-freezing temperatures for extended periods, a heavy wool mackinaw cruiser and a pair of Woolrich woolen bib overalls are my go-tos. I resorted to them last month for driving up to Washington state and back when a series of storms came through. I didn't relish having to put chains on wearing anything less. Fortunately, I hit Siskiyou Summit just right in both direction with only a four-hour window of no chain controls.
I have a down filled cap.
Yes. They are the best built jeans I own. And it supports inmates. If those pants were made with union labor, they would cost 3 times as much.
I used to buy them. Back then, as I recall, it was a hand wash only item. And I didn't like to wash by hand. And silk is so fragile. Mine never lasted that long because I was always ripping them. I wear union suits now. Maybe not as warm. But almost as comfortable. And a little more durable. I still see the silk underwear being sold. Lands End has it. But who knows, with the Sears bankruptcy, what will happen to Lands End. Maybe I can wear them if my lifestyle isn't as active, and I don't rip them up. Or when I can afford to pay someone else to hand wash my underwear.
Understandable on the hand washing. What I do is soak one in the sink after frothing up some shampoo, (Silk is an animal fiber. So is human hair), and letting the silk turtleneck soak for half a day. Rinse and squeeze out the water and hang it on a suit hanger over the tub. It'll dry in a day and then wad it up back in the drawer. Doing this, I've got some Lands' End, (pre-Sears) and some Wintersilk turtlenecks over twenty years old still in rotation.
Silk is fascinating stuff. Some years back I bought a cheap, silk scarf in a military surplus place, I think for a costume or some such. I had assumed, tbh, it was only good for the look, but what came as a big surprise was that it was every bit as good as a wool scarf for keeping the heat in. That I certainly did not expect.
Visiting various museums in Beijing, as well as the Ming Tombs on the outskirts of the city, I was struck by Ancient Chinese armour which utilised silk in its construction because it apparently made it much harder for an arrow to penetrate than any other textile known at the time. Silk as a forerunner to Kevlar?
Nice, I can imagine that's effective. Next Winter I plan to pickup another B2 cap -this time in black (I found someone on Etsy who makes them). I'm actually quite keen on a full shearling flying helmet, something like a USAAF B5 (though as I only want it for civilian wear, I'll most likely buy something cheaper that doesn't have to be pattern-accurate to a milspec item). Just got to be selective what it gets worn with; nobody on the street these days recognises what a B2 is, but wearing a flying helmet with what is obviously a flying jacket could get a bit.... fancy dress. course, if it's cold enough, I likely wont' care!
They definitely are unbeatable on price for anything US-made. I remember reading a lot about the project when they first sold them into the UK, and it's something I would be very happy to support - the idea of giving those guys a chance to learn a skill they can take into the outside world on release, allowing them to make an honest living is a great one.
The idea of wearing silk as an initial layer for combat was still in practice into the 18th C. Naval surgeons found that silk had a tendency to wrap itself around whatever penetrated the body thus making it easier to remove the object. Also because of its long fibers, the silk was easier to remove when cleaning the wound. Wool or linen fragments left behind in a wound tended to fester leading to a killing fever.
Male and female inmates take part in the prison manufacturing plant. Hands on labor, autocad design, the call center, administration, planning, purchasing, every job is a training platform. And they are paid. Some send the money home to help support families.
A Sinn U2S of course…
Mechanical watch that works down to -45C.
Sold mine a few years ago. Bought it when it just came out in early 2000s, believe to remember a price of 1.4k€ at that time…