Sunday, May 24, 2009


Summer is one time of the year you can really experiment with different looks. One overlooked genre is what I call the "adventure look". While it is definitely not for everyone (it helps to be skinny) and in most people's eyes would look like Indiana Jones, the adventure look can be very masculine while being well fitted and elegant.

The adventure look utilizes safari/bush jackets and shirts and combines them with other more common pieces like casual trousers, a wide brimmed Panama hat, white bucks, saddle shoes or spectators and even an ascot for kicks and giggles. It combines the rugged and untamed (safari jacket) with the sophisticated and clean-lined (casual trousers, Panama hat, etc). This look is fine for non-formal parties and and outdoor events where the heat keeps you from breaking out the tie.

Here's a very well made modern Willis & Geiger safari jacket I recently found at Goodwill. This specific jacket is very British in cut and style, similar to British tropical jackets seen in North Africa, Italy and the Pacific during World War Two.

click photos to enlarge

And the back showing the neat bi-swing pleats above the belt that turn into pleated vents below the belt. Fine quality.
Here's an Esquire illustration demonstrating how to properly wear the adventure look in a somewhat non-adventurous setting.
A great look for Memorial Day weekend if you are brave enough to sport it. You will no doubt get positive comments if you are adventuristic.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Back to the Basics: the Soul of the Suit

WIth the beginning of this new series let's look at what should be considered the soul of the suit: fabric.

Over the last year or so I posted several of these old Botany ads:

click to enlarge
Vintage tailors and suit companies knew that the fabric, though not the most important element, is vital when it comes to suit appearance. Why?

Heavier fabrics not only last longer than light-weight materials and help keep the wearer warm but they also add body to the suit and drape much better than light fabrics. What is drape? Drape is the name for how a material hangs and folds off of the body. Denser fabrics like those found in the days of old crease less easily and hang more elegantly than more modern light-weight fabrics that tend to fold and wrinkle.

Dense fabrics are hard to find today and modern fabrics equal in weight and quality to vintage fabrics are rare. Avoid "Super" fabrics (Super 100s, Super 120s, etc) as they are very thin with little body and tend to shine with wear and dry cleaning. The higher the "Super" number the lighter weight the fabric. Such 'miracle' materials are the trend nowadays but do not drape well, wear out quicker and are, quite frankly, cheaper quality than vintage fabrics.

Monday, May 18, 2009

WIW Sunday

I was able to pull off another summer look even though it was cool and eventually started to rain.

Brown is a great summer color since it can go with lighter colors pretty easily, depending upon the shade of course. Gray, tan and white can look very nice with brown. Try brown sometime instead of the ubiquitous blue blazer.

Was a little daring by pairing rather casual shoes with a 1940s DB suit. I think it works.

click to enlarge

Love how the tie and chalkstripes play with the carnation.
The shoes are 'Johnston and Murphy' (made in Italy) and were found a Goodwill. Here they are after a good shine. The white sections are suede leather.
Proof that you don't need to spend large sums of money be stylish.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

WIW: Happy Mother's Day!

A bit cool but warm enough for a summer look.

A common look is to have a dark sports coat paired with lighter trousers. But switching around the colors so that the sports coat is light and the trousers darker can really get the creative juices going. I recommend you try it sometime and see if you are happy with the results.

*modern Stetson Panama "Open Road"
*modern sports coat
*modern linen George trousers
*modern shirt
*vintage tie
*modern cufflinks
*modern Bostonian specators
*vintage sunglasses
*vintage pocket square, very beautiful pattern to it

click to enlarge

Nylon and acetate tie. A very strange feeling material but ties well.
These "Roman warrior" cufflinks are some of my favorites.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Back to Basics

In the coming weeks (or months if my schedule remains this busy) we'll explore the factors that make or break a suit: fit and silhouette, fabric, drape, construction and other seemingly minute items that add up to define the quality of a garment.

Every man who wears a suit should have a basic understanding of such factors. Stay tuned.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Somehow out of hundreds of candidates I've made it into Esquire's top 25 finalists for it's "Best Dressed Real Man" contest.

Anyways, Check out my profile and vote often! Also check out the other candidates, there are several fellow vintage enthusiasts who have made it to the top 25.


Related Posts with Thumbnails