Friday, April 30, 2010

Sucker Punch

The non-traditional double breasted blazer I talked about briefly in the Bastian "retrospective" is easily my most sought after item right now.  They're pretty tough to find, but when I do spy one I go a little apeshit.  I just locked up a chino number, thankfully, and have been faithfully searching for its counterpart ever since.  Polo is selling a beautiful seersucker joint called the Fithian Sport Coat and it is pretty goddamn awesome.  Buying something like a seersucker double breasted sport coat at full price takes a little convincing - and by a little I mean a whole lot.  If this was an eBay snipe or even partially on sale it would be a no brainer.  I mean, the jacket is handsome, but I'm not sure how practical it really is, especially at its current $300 clip.  So right, the non blue double breasted blazer in a warm weather fabric is great - I think that was the point I was trying to make.  If anyone does come across something of the sort give me a shout. Hopefully it won't cost an arm and a leg - just a leg.  I need that arm to button my jacket.


Get Carter

After all that prep and Ivy I thought it might make sense to take things somewhere a little grittier. A black trench coat, a three piece suit and a blonde are pretty much all a guy ever really needs to get shit done - on a revenge killing spree or not.


Black Fleece Tennis Shorts

You would think that after browsing the Black Fleece store on Bleeker St. last weekend that I would be smitten with the shoes or suiting, but actually these tennis shorts were my favorite thing from the S/S 2010 collection.  The pure cotton pique feels pretty amazing in person and all the sweet Thom Browne details are accounted for.  The full grosgrain side seam is actually really classy in person as is the locker loop and coin pocket.  Without getting into a huge dialogue about inseam, since that was already done, I'd just like to say that 8" is pretty much exactly what I look for.  At 250 bones these are without a doubt more expensive than any shorts I have ever owned, but everyone needs that one pair of shorts you bring to the dry cleaners, right?  If you want some Brooks tennis shorts for a whole lot cheaper check these joints out.  That's one hell of a sexy single pleat (quite the risque inseam) and is the first step on the long road of becoming one of these stud muffins.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Looking Back With MB

Michael Bastian is easily one of my favorite designers.  When I was revisiting some of his older S/S collections I started seeing lots of great stuff I had forgotten about and figured it might be interesting to use as a bit of inspiration.  Obviously this isn't a call to go and blow all your money on various MB pieces, but instead a kind of retrospective and style guide - looking back to look forward if you will.  I personally believe that all of Michael's older stuff translates extremely well due to his ability to craft genuinely classic, masculine style.  Much like you can find 20 year old Polo gear at the thrift store and wear it out that night, these clothes have no true lifespan - though I won't be foolish enough to ever refer to garmenture as immortal.  Anyhow, these are some highlights I found (not including the most recent S/S collection) that I really think work well right now.  Some of this you may already know and some of it you may disagree with, but hopefully there is at least something to take away.

S/S 2009- Not everyone is ready, or ever ready, to embrace the gaudy aesthetic that is "go to hell".  Even if this is the case there is no reason to be afraid of some color and I'm talking bright color.  This look is 99% muted tones, many of which seem more F/W than anything else, but the tie is the center of it all.  It's not crazy. It's not a middle finger. It's a centered look with a stylish focal point that even the most nondescript dressers can embrace.

S/S 2009- Ah, the double breasted blazer.  A hallmark for many gentlemen, both modern and traditional.  Like most people when I think of the double breasted blazer my mind automatically goes to the classic, the original, the nautical - blue with gold buttons.  When comparing that image, while still fantastic, to the above khaki version I am actually inclined to side with the look featured here.  It's an iconic silhouette, but geared up for the season.
S/S 2009- A familiar image with a familiar message.  Like a few readers have commented before, it's not an argument for or against pleats, but an endorsement that well fitting pants are well fitting pants.  Don't shun a pair of pants because they are pleated. Shun a pair of pants because they don't fit.

S/S 2009- For those of us who do embrace the aforementioned "got to hell" style it is important to know when to say when (another familiar Sart Inc message).  Wearing rolled salmon pants is totally fine, but it's when you put on a yellow seersucker shirt and madras blazer on top of it that things start to approach the comical.  In this specific instance the colored pants are the anchor of the outfit, while everything else stays muted - it's another great example of balancing louder S/S pieces with what are normally thought of as F/W colors.

S/S 2008- There has been a ton of white jean, and just pants for that matter, chatter recently as they are a cornerstone to your breezy warm weather look.  Here MB dresses up his white pants, which could easily be your white 501's.  Pairing them with a crisp shirt, tie and blazer is a great way to dress up your summer nights.  Check out the double breasted blazer look above - same thing.  Unbeatable, unwavering, sound style.

S/S 2008- The debate over the best kind of warm weather outerwear is an endless one, but I think this look makes a great case for the cotton pea coat.  Its style recalls colder months, but the fabric lends itself perfectly for spring showers or chillier night time temperatures.  Wax it, leave it as is, whatever - Lands End Canvas is selling their own version that is as cheap as it is cool.

S/S 2007- I'm not sure how everyone feels about beach pants, but I can imagine it is as divided as the conversation on sweatpants.  As the weather heats up it is important to stay cool and relaxed and beach pants are a great way to accomplish this.  There is no need to over think them at all because of just how casual of a garment it is.  Like the picture above shows, wear them with your favorite sneakers and windbreaker.  Who cares if they're a little baggy or the drawstring is untied? The whole point is that it's easy, comfortable and you could care less because you are on your way to the beach.


New Season, Newbury

When Rugby's Newbury chino jacket hit the airwaves people got pretty excited.  Not only was the jacket affordable (that's a relative term, I know), but it apparently had all the right details and fit. Angelo's review seemed to confirm this and as it stands today I think the Newbury is one of the better "entry level" jackets available for purchase.  While a chino sportcoat is by no means out of season, Rugby has just released two versions that have summer undoubtbly writter all over them.  With the Newbury now available in both seersucker and madras your summer tailored goods, or lack thereof, can begin the process of getting coming together.  While the faint of heart will obviously be more inclined to snipe the chino version, those of us with a little more moxy can grab one of these GTH-ish numbers to pair up with our chinos - both shorts and pants alike.  Keep in mind that this jacket is supposed to fit a little more snuggly and modern than your "classic" options. With a shorter length on the body and sleeves this is definitely a better look for a younger guy.  I can't say how this compares the J. Crew Lundlow suit cut, but I believe it fits in a similar vein. The Kentucky Derby is around the corner and if you hurry you might just be able to get this in time for all the mint juleps and making fun of ladies in stupid hats.  No flip flops need apply.


Attn: Mark McNairy x ACL & Co. Painter Pants

Painter, or carpenter, pants are usually viewed in the same light as cargo pants as most people have a bad taste in their mouth from all the terrible versions they have seen over the years.  It's tough to think about this stuff without conjuring up images of whatever discount warehouse store your mom used to take you back to school shopping.  The best thing to come out of all the recent trending styles some of us have grown to love or hate is the rethinking of classic rugged aesthetics.  A perfect example of this are the painter pants Mark McNairy has done for ACL & Co.  I've been fortunate enough to see these pants in personal and as it stands now are the only version of the classics I could picture myself wearing.  The fit, like most of Mark's pants, is spot on - it's slimmed up, but not even remotely approaching skinny nuthugger syndrome.  I guess you could call it a slim straight if you really want to get into semantics. Regardless, it's a confident fit that would work on most, if not all, guys.  The details and fabric are typical McNairy fare.  The cotton twill is sturdy yet breathable and lends itself to year round wear.  Pockets and loops adorn the pant legs and seat - some extremely functional (carrying cell phones, keys, pocket knife, pogs, what have you), others admittedly for form.  Overall, it was tough not to pull the trigger, but after buying some new Bastian gear I'm not exactly lighting my cubans with burning bearer bonds, although that would be kinda awesome.

The Great Wall

I've been getting a lot of questions recently regarding S/S footwear so when I saw this picture in HTJ's Prep Shop retorspective I thought it would pretty much take care of most inqueries.  Not that this rack of shoes is the be all end all, but if some of your shoes are accounted for here you are golden in my book.  From Clarks to Sperry to beef roll pennies this picture is more or less the modern gentleman's anedote to the faux leather, square toe shoe, athletic sole epidemic.  If the Prep Shop had a better selection of canvas sneaks, and they very easily might have, this lineup would be perfection, but with a lineup this good there is no need to nitpick.  Lot's of people lambast the demise of the proper men's haberdashery and the rise of the mall clusterf*ck and this is their ammunition.  Seriously, when's the last time you walked into a mass consumer outpost and saw a lineup like this?  Hell, I'd even sacrifice ambiance and atmosphere if certain retail locations could at least get their stock straight.  On a positive note, at least we have artifacts like this courtesty of some great guys, like HTJ, to hold us over until that day comes. 


[Editor's Note: Another perfect example from HTJ seen below.]

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Never Say You're Sorry

When Valet talked to Daiki earlier this week he mentioned 3 movies that influenced his perception and appreciation of American style while growing up in Japan. Since I had already recapped two of these films via screenshots I figured I might as well go for the trifecta.  Admittedly, I knew nothing about Love Story (1970) before checking it out besides the famous quote "love is never having to say you're sorry" so I really didn't know what to expect.  The end result is a touching film, albeit depressing as hell, practically bursting at the seams with both trad and Ivy style - I mean, the dude gets married in a button down collar.  Interestingly enough the main character, Oliver, is continually called "preppy", but that seems more to do with his educational background than the actual clothes he is wearing.  Anyhow, if you're looking for some cold weather inspiration (the movie mostly takes place during Boston and NYC's winters) and some waterworks courtesy of your girl (not sure why you would, but to each his own) you might want to check this out.  Also, be on the lookout for a younger, but just as badass version of the one and only Tommy Lee Jones.