Weekly Roundup | Quality, Monogram, Foster & Sons Bespoke Shoemaker, Adriano Dirnelli

Quality (A Suitable Wardrobe)
“Quality is meant to refer to the integrity of the make and materials that produce the finished items. Like many words that describe a broad category of more specific characteristics, its meaning is vague and therefore poorly adapted to making fine distinctions. Consider the word “size”. Size has many components, such as height, weight, width, and so on. Sometimes the concept of size can be useful for casual comparisons. It’s clear that a whale is bigger than a chicken, and it’s just easier to say “bigger” than “taller, wider, and heavier.””

On The Monogram (A Suitable Wardrobe)
“My guess is that this position springs from the anti-logo, anti-advertisement current, almost a sort of snobbery, of recent years, as well as from the ease with which so many things can now be monogrammed, which undermines the implication that something with your initials in it was specially designed or made for you. I subscribed to this viewpoint for years, until I recently noticed a colleague’s shirt monogram in a tone-on-tone (white-on-white, to be precise) in a pleasant fancy italic font and found myself thinking it actually looked rather nice. Growing old, perhaps, I realize life is too short to use the presence of a monogram as a way to judge someone, even if the monogram was on his shirt cuff. Shoot, I’m doing it again.”

Interview: Andrew Murphy, retailer manager of Foster & Sons bespoke shoemaker (The Penny Yard)
“The bespoke team works upstairs at 83 Jermyn Street, in the workshop. There are 4 people: Jon, who is the last maker, Emiko, who is also a last maker, pattern cutter and shoemaker (she is quite unique, because most people just specialize in one area), Emma who is a pattern cutter and almost also a shoemaker, Lucy, who is the youngest, she is been in team for 2 years and she is a closer. We also have some people who work from home. All of them started as apprentices and they were all trained by Terry Moore who is the master shoemaker at Foster & Son. He started with Foster & Son in 1964 and is now officially retired, he is 79, he has bad health and he can’t do physical work. So he comes in twice in a month as a consultant to see the guys in the workshop and customers for a chat. The whole team were trained by Terry, Jon has worked here for 4 years, Emiko for 14 years, Emma for 7 years and Lucy for 2 years.”

Interview with Adriano Dirnelli, menswear blogger and connoisseur (For The Discerning Few)
“I have always despised guys who proudly wore a hideous big watch simply because it was the most expensive around. Expensive does not necessarily equal to beautiful. Lesser known brands can offer a beautiful product, with a very good value for money, you need taste and education to get it. My motto is “best for less”. Any guy can dress well if he has the money (sort of)… However dressing well on a budget requires dedication and creativity. Finding the three hundred dollar watch which seems to be worth three thousands, that’s the challenge. It takes time and requires taste. It is an uphill battle but it is loads of fun.

Fullcount 1108 Jeans

Fullcount 1108-018

The year 2014 saw the return of washed denim and it got me excited about jeans all over again. After my experience with my now retired Pherrow’s 466 I know exactly what I want in my next pair of jeans. It should be lightweight, straight fit with a slightly narrow leg. I tried on a few pairs of Japanese denim jeans by Fullcount and Momotaro both of which are carried by Lost+Found (Dislosure: I am part of Lost+Found). Out of all the styles I chose the Fullcount 1108.

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Weekly Roundup | Tips on Bespoke Shoes, Spanish Tailors, Michael Caine

Five Tips on Bespoke Shoes (Permanent Style)
“I know it’s the same as the first suits tip, but if anything it’s even more true with shoes. You are likely to have more suits than shoes; shoes have to be more versatile. The beauty of bespoke shoe is in the lines, of waist and heel, rather than funky colours. And the availability of made-to-order services makes it easier to vary a shoe you like than a suit.”

Spanish Tailors (Permanent Style)
“Spanish tailors can be characterised as flexible and value for money, particularly given the amount of handwork involved. Their only potential weaknesses are flipsides of both those points: lacking an identifiable house style as a result of that flexibility, and concentrating on handwork rather than precision.”

Be Prepared (A Suitable Wardrobe)
Even the best quality shirt cloths can eventually show wear, especially at the collars and cuffs.  That’s why, thinking ahead some years ago, I asked Charvet to set aside lengths of cloth for each of my shirt orders sufficient to remake the collars and cuffs.  The pile shown is the result of their check back through four years of my file, so that once a collar wears out, I’ll be able to send the shirt back with the length of cloth to have a replacement made.  Some say that the extra cloth needs to be washed every time the shirt itself is washed in order to wear with it and match its color and texture over the years.  Bollocks to that.  Shirt collars and cuffs need replacement precisely because they wear so quickly on their own.  The extra cloth’ll have all the time to wear once it’s actually put on the shirt to replace the old collars and cuffs.

Style Icon: Michael Caine (Men’s Flair)
His dress sense taught me two things. Firstly, wherever possible, invest in the classics and put your own subtle twist on them. Secondly, if you want to dress in a truly timeless fashion, it has to be kept simple. In all of his tailored roles, garments are classic and the colour palette minimal and understated; but he never fails to look the sharp English gentleman. He somehow never looks conscious of wearing a suit and tie – pulling off perhaps the greatest trick of all for the wearer of fine suits – exuding relaxed and effortless elegance. One only has to watch the first twenty minutes of ‘The Italian Job’ to get a sense of what I mean. Caine strolls through the film with a jocular swagger, part the character’s and part his own. You can sense he feels comfortable in suiting and this adds in large part to the appeal of his style.

Where to Buy Good Pants (Part One | Part Two) (Put This On)
Readers often ask us if we have any recommendations for where to buy good trousers. Usually grey flannels, as those tend to be the most useful, but other styles as well. So I reached out to a few friends to compile a list. Like with our guide on where to look for a suit, this isn’t meant to be comprehensive, but hopefully people will find it useful as a starting point. Today we’ll cover some expensive options, and tomorrow we’ll tackle the more affordable places.

Brooks Brothers Advantage Chinos

Brooks Brothers Advantage Chinos

This is part of a series that features items bought from the U.S. using Globe’s GCASH American Express Virtual Pay and shipped to the Philippines using the freight forwarding service My Shopping Box. For more information click here.

My favorite pair of chinos is almost at the end of its life so I decided to look for a new pair to replace them. I looked at various American brands as they are the ones that offer chinos with a fuller cut and sit on the natural waist. Out of all the brands Brooks Brothers stood out with their Advantage Chinos. They have the Hudson fit that is a relaxed fit with flat fronts and is worn on the natural waist. Brooks Brothers in the Philippines doesn’t offer the Hudson fit so I figured it would be better to buy from online store in the U.S. and have it shipped here. Continue Reading

Weekly Roundup | Best Shoes for Summer, Good Taste, Best White Sneakers, Fok AMA

The best shoes for summer (Permanent Style)
“When the temperatures rise, one of the most uncomfortable things can be your shoes – particularly when dressing informally. The key to keeping cool is to have light, preferably unlined shoes, and wear them without full socks wherever possible.”

The Best White Sneakers for Men (Wall Street Journal)
“For most of the last century—ever since red-rubber-soled white bucks stepped onto the tennis courts of country clubs—the white shoe has been synonymous with summer. This season, think more Adidas, less Alden, with all-white sneakers—a shoe you can wear with everything from weekday suits to weekend shorts and rolled-up chinos.”

Taste (A Suitable Wardrobe)
“At its most basic level, taste in attire is generally defined by its absence. Tastelessness is no more or less than a lack of respect or appreciation for context. It knows no material manifestation, only awkward occasions: T-shirts at the opera, oxfords at the beach. To have good taste in clothes is fundamentally to have sound, worldly, well-adjusted judgment — happy, if not eager, to please. It signals belonging to something worth belonging to.”

AMA: Fok, Styleforum co-owner, administrator and manager (reddit)
“Hi, I’m Fok, one of the two owners of www.styleforum.net, which, as many of you know, is a large menswear community devoted to all things menswear, from classic menswear to streetwear and denim, and the GM of site. The site has grown a lot since 2002, and kept pace with the changing interests of our members, as well as technology – Styleforum was founded before Facebook, and well before Microsoft bet that Smartphones were just a fad, so I’ve been a firsthand witness to a lot of changes in technology as well as in the menswear industry.”

Event Recap: Menswear Syndicate Presents Cigar and Cognac Night with Remy Martin and Tabacalera Incorporada


Last Thursday Menswear Syndicate held its first Cigar and Cognac Night together with Tabacalera Incorporada and Remy Martin at The Cigar Bar by Casablanca. Remy Martin VSOP cognac was paired with Tabacalera Incorporada’s newest cigar, the 1881 Perique, and one of their bestsellers, the Don Juan Urquijo. It was a fun evening enjoying cognac and cigars with old and new faces. Cheers to good cognac, good cigars and good company!

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Weekly Roundup | Shirt Monogram, Questions About Pitti Uomo But Were Afraid To Ask

10 Things You Always Wanted To Know About Pitti Uomo But Were Afraid To Ask (Parisian Gentleman)
“Better yet, it’s like diving through the looking glass — as if you went straight through your iPhone screen (full of Tumblr pics by The Sartorialist) to land in a magical world that you thought existed only in your dreams. But it’s no dream, it’s real! Everywhere you look at Pitti, you see real-life awesome dudes that you’ve already ‘liked’ 1000 times before on the Internet. And the eery part is that you instantly feel like you already know these guys personally, as if they were long lost friends.”

Five Tips on Bespoke Suits (Permanent Style)
“But the biggest advantage of bespoke is always fit. And assuming this is a big investment, I’d recommend starting with something conservative. It doesn’t have to be a navy single-breasted two-piece – try experimenting with just one thing, like flannel rather than worsted. But make sure it’s something you are going to wear.”

In Defense of the Shirt Monogram (A Continuous Lean)
“Monogramming was no longer about your family, or where you came from, it was about you. No longer did you have to have money, or come from high society to affix your name onto something. Monogramming wasn’t about where you came from, it was about who you were. When you slipped off your sport-coat to reveal those three letters it was like wearing a jersey for a team of one. The notion of a monogram as a personal statement was soon extended beyond initials, and today men will plaster all forms of cheeky combinations on their cuffs and chests. Particularly in summer, when layers are shed and shirts often standalone, the monogram can take center stage, so go ahead and toss your own letters on there. Our only advice is, try to keep your initials smaller than Presley’s, leave the monstrous monograms to the actual kings.”

Untrueisms VI (A Suitable Wardrobe)
“As I’ve written elsewhere, everyone wants a metric, an easy and clear way to judge whether an item of clothing is well made or otherwise “good.” The Gaulmes, who wrote the interesting Power and Style, predicted that the power dressing of the future will use recognizable details like the four gimmicks above to broadcast status and power. In other words, flashiness, through superficial signifiers of quality, would substitute for actual or inherent quality. Visible details are easy to exploit by mass manufacturers, their marketers, and most people who write about clothing, because they either don’t care or don’t know any better. The consumer – assuming he is seeking clothing of quality rather than simply flashy clothes – suffers.”

The Casual Cool of Elasticated and Braided Belts

Woven and Braided Belts-003

When I’m not in a sport coat you will usually find me in a polo shirt and chinos. The lack of a jacket means there are only a few accessories at my disposal. It is situations like these that I reach for an elasticated or braided belt to round out my ensemble.

Elasticated or braided belts complement almost any casual outfit without drawing too much attention. They can be worn with Oxford and chambray shirts and anything linen in addition to piques and cotton trousers. It’s a great way to smarten up an off-duty look giving one an air of casual cool.

Forest green elasticated belt with brown suede trim, TCNY. Navy braided leather belt, Anderson’s.

Weekly Roundup | Pitti Uomo, John Smedley

The Evolution of Pitti Uomo (Part I  | Part 2) (Business of Fashion)
“The development of modern menswear is inextricably linked to the city of Florence and Pitti Uomo, the largest menswear trade show of its kind. In part one of a two-part series, we examine the evolution of Pitti Uomo. In the second instalment of a two-part series, we examine how Pitti Uomo became a global player.”

Pitti’s Peacocks and the Liberation of Men’s Style (Business of Fashion)
“Street style imagery from Pitti Uomo, capturing the élan and flair of the fair’s attendees, has played a major role in liberating men’s style and democratising dandyism.”

The Modern Man: Suited and Hirsute (The New York Times)
“There, cobblers, hatters, tailors, perfumers, hosiers, jewelers and makers of such obscure articles of haberdashery as badger bristle shaving brushes with handles of macassar ebony have laid out their wares for the thousands of international buyers who descend with the goal of deciding what modern man is going to look like next season.”

In Conversation: Pip Jenkins, Designer at John Smedley (PORT)
“230 years old but still going strong: The British knitwear company’s SS14 collection, inspired by the Henley Royal Regatta, continues their quest for “contemporary, luxurious and innovative garments”.”