Weekly Roundup | Tailoring cost, margin and value; New tie textures and weaves

Bespoke tailoring: cost, margin and value (Permanent Style)
“So the total is £1420 to £1710, average £1565. If an average Savile Row suit costs £4800, then the production cost is 33% of the retail price you pay.

Compare that to the average production cost in retail, which is 13% to 20%, and you can see the basic value of bespoke tailoring. (Numbers based on three different retail sources). A lot more of your money – twice as much in fact – goes into making the goods than with most things you buy elsewhere.”

On The Spread Of Custom Part I: High (A Suitable Wardrobe)
“I suggest that, fundamentally, custom be understood with its lay definition, something made to the customer’s order. The same should be true for the word bespoke as well, noting that culturally we’ve come to understand custom (clothing) to mean a whole lot more – because the concept had become so abstract (good custom clothing being generally hard to find and expensive). Until the last several decades, however, the terms custom, made to order, bespoke, tailored and made to measure were often used interchangeably to describe clothing made specifically to fit an individual customer. In recent decades, the spread of various alternative or shortcut forms of customization has meant that true custom or bespoke tailors, shirtmakers and shoemakers have, in defending their unique crafts, asserted that custom/bespoke involves various other steps, in particular the creation of an individual pattern (or last, in the case of a shoe) for a customer. That is the appropriate definition of custom/bespoke in current #menswear usage, although there’s no binding standard definition or legal definition, so that a recent arrival on Savile Row that sold suits made from altered stock patterns successfully defended its use of the term “bespoke” from challenges from real Savile Row tailors. (For completeness, I note that “made to measure” today is often used to mean customized clothing made by altering a stock pattern to a customer’s measurements, while “made to order” typically denotes clothing made to a particular stock size at the customer’s order, although many still use the terms “custom” or “bespoke” interchangeably with them, whether in bad faith or not.)”

New tie textures and weaves (How to Spend It)
“Much has been written in the past decade about the demise of the neck-tie. Dress-down Fridays, internet start-ups and a general relaxation of dress codes have certainly eroded the role of the tie as essential kit for the successful man. Personally, I’ve never stopped wearing ties and now I detect a small but discernible revival of interest from a young, cool demographic with a very specific taste in tie style. Gone are the lustrous silken numbers, the witty motifs and neat knots. In their place is an innovative approach to materials, weaves and textures and a certain nonchalance in the way ties are worn.”

New Standards (Die! Workwear)
“Chester Mox’s new line is almost completely different from their old. They still make things from Horween leathers, but they also have some new materials from French and Italian tanneries – including those used by luxury houses such as Hermes and Louis Vuitton. Perhaps most importantly, the entire line is now saddle stitched by hand (including any internal components), and Bellanie’s technique is very, very good.”

Order An Off-the-Menu Cocktail

Kingston Negroni Cocktail

A Kingston Negroni at EDSA Beverage Design Studio

Pete Wells wrote about restaurants that aim too high with their cocktails for the New York Times. This is his advice on ordering cocktails at fancy restaurants:

Don’t order from a list that looks seriously out of season; a bar that’s paying close attention won’t serve rhubarb bellinis in January. And don’t order from the list at all if what you really want is a Sazerac, a French 75 or another standard. Restaurants rarely list them, but ordering an off-the-menu classic is not like asking for a bowl of chili at Le Bernardin. You won’t get any dirty looks, but you will probably get a good drink.

Don’t Be A Dandy On Your Wedding Day


Running a blog on men’s style means I get my fair share of questions on having a suit made for weddings. The questions usually fall into two categories: tailoring and styling. The questions pertaining to the former are straight forward such as which tailors I recommend or where to buy cloth. On the other hand, the questions in the latter category reveal men’s struggle to dress appropriately for a wedding. Here’s one story. Continue Reading

Uber – My Private Driver

Those who know me personally will notice that I don’t drive a car. I don’t believe in owning and driving my own car for two reasons: 1) driving in Metro Manila can quickly become a nightmare, and 2) the total cost of ownership for a vehicle is not cost-effective. I am all too familiar with the heavy traffic and flooding that make driving in Manila a pain and paying for a taxi including tips is still far lower compared to owning and maintaining a vehicle. If I add a driver into the mix it only makes the case for owning a car even worse than it already is.

I take taxis a lot because there’s a lot of them available and they are relatively cheap in the Philippines. However, they do have their own set of drawbacks such as dirty vehicles and problematic drivers. These problems are as temporary as the journey but I’m pretty sure the situation could be better for people like me who don’t want to own and drive a car. With the introduction of Uber in Manila last February things are looking up.

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Whiskey Deconstructed

tumblr_ncu0adDY701sjurmwo1_1280 Distiller is an app for whiskey enthusiasts. It helps you discover, rate and connect with whiskey lovers around the world. The people behind it love whiskey so much they made visuals illustrating how whiskey comes to life. Step one is about the mash which looks at the grains that go into whiskeys. Step two is the process of fermentation and distillation. Step three is all about barrelling and aging. Click on the thumbnails below to see the visuals.

whiskey_deconstructed_part_1_the_mash_infographic          whiskey_deconstructed_part_2_distillation_infographic          whiskey_deconstructed_part_3_barrel_aging

Source: Whiskey Deconstructed Step One Step Two Step Three

Weekly Roundup | Common Types of Denim Damage, Aramis’ Secret to Success

Common Types of Denim Damage and How To Avoid Them (Put This On)
“I thought I’d do a post on the most common types of denim damage and how they can be repaired, as well as avoided altogether.”

In The Hands of Marc Lauwers (A Suitable Wardrobe)
“The finishing work on a Lanvin bespoke shirt is also incredible. Even if it’s only in keeping with the precisely cut fit of Marc’s pattern, finishing work is certainly easier to remark and describe: hand-stitched buttonholes that are so precisely stitched as to baffle the eye (as opposed to the ostentatiously clumsy work of many Neapolitan names), as well as hand-stitched armholes, when Marc deems it necessary for a better fit. Hand stitching, no matter what an ill-informed writer may tell you, is principally a cosmetic touch on most clothing, but on Lanvin bespoke it’s carried out at its most finest and precise, and that’s something Charvet will not try to do, instead offering very cleanly machine-stitched finishing.”

Look After Your Suit (Mr. Porter)
“Your suit is one of your biggest sartorial investments, and should provide you with many years of enjoyment – assuming that A) you remain able to fit into it, and B) you take good care of it.”

How to improve your knowledge of whisky (The Telegraph)
“Adding water to whisky also helps to reveal its flavours. The best analogy I can think of is that when there’s been a long spell of hot weather and then it rains, there’s a release of aromas from the leaves, plants and trees. That’s what happens when you add water to whisky – the flavours that were trapped during the distillation process are then released.”

Aramis: The smell that just won’t go away (The Telegraph)
“So what is the secret of its success? To me, at the heart of its appeal is the simple fact that it smells so straightforwardly masculine. As someone who writes about fragrance for a living I often get lambasted for using such crude descriptors (it’s far cooler to say fragrances should be genderless), but the truth is it just does. Or at least, it smells how you might expect a classic masculine fragrance to smell. It’s not fizzy, fruity or overloaded with so much vanilla that it smells like a cake shop; it’s leathery, woody and earthy. It’s solid, punchy, muscular and reliable, but gentlemanly and refined too.”

A Gentleman’s Guide to Dress Shirts (Forbes)
“Cary Grant knew a thing about presentation. Mr. Grant calculated his clothing choices to create an unbroken line, an arrow, which pointed straight to his face. Mr. Grant knew about the magic of proportion in dressing well. And nowhere is it more important to practice that magic than in your choice of collars and the width of the shoulders on your jacket.”

Casa Noble Night at A’Toda Madre Tequila Bar

Casa Noble Night-015

Casa Noble Night-006

Everyone has a bad story or two when it comes to tequila. People remember the times they got smashed after taking one too many shots of the cheap variety. But times are changing and people are discovering that tequila can be enjoyed like any fine wine or single-malt whisky. And to appreciate tequila better I joined the Casa Noble Night at A’Toda Madre tequila bar.

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A Brownie and Coffee

Bucky's and Coffee

A Bucky’s brownie and Flat White at Toby’s Estate Salcedo

“A psychiatrist wrote me a note and said, “I was having a bad day, Ralph. And I walked in and bought one of your things and it made my day.” That’s interesting for a psychiatrist, you know? Design, shopping, creativity … brownies [ laughs]—they’re part of it. I was just in my store, and Ralph’s is a small little shop, but it’s cute. It’s very fresh and pretty. Too small. But I just had a brownie and coffee. It’s great.”

Ralph Lauren

Why You Should Use Sunscreen

I came across this video last month by Thomas Leveritt wherein he asked random people to pose in front of an ultraviolet camera. The video shows how ultraviolet radiation from the sun affects our skin over time. We are born with spotless skin but as we age we slowly develop invisible freckles that is only visible to this type of camera. And that by using sunscreen we are preventing these invisible freckles from appearing. It is a good reminder that we should use sunscreen daily even with minimal exposure to the sun.

Weekly Roundup | Classic Colognes, Ralph Lauren, Shoe Shine

6 Best Classic Colognes (Gear Patrol)
“The word perfume originates from the Latin word perfumare, meaning “to smoke through”. It alludes to the process by which we swiftly extend ourselves into the spaces we choose to occupy. Your choice scent is a nonverbal statement; it defines presence and personality, telling the woman sitting across the bar the things you no longer need to say. But the market is awash with new scents for men, with many more on the way. Plenty of these fragrances smell somewhat familiar, if not completely identical, and that new perfect scent is now the needle in a haystack. The safe road to finding a new fragrance leads back to those favored of men since passed, time-tested and gramps-approved. All of these vintage scents are still in production, proving that some things truly never go out of style.”

Ralph Lauren Interview (Style.com)
“I think restaurants and food and clothes—I mean, I think it’s all-encompassing. What’s interesting about fashion today is it’s a world, and I think that’s what I’ve done—I’ve made a contribution and I think I’ve built a world. The world is beyond just clothes. Taste and style is beyond clothes. It’s in food; it’s in quality. Working out, healthy bodies, organic food—they’re all part of the same thing. They’re very young in sensibility. We didn’t grow up with that. Young people are growing up with that. I was lucky—my mother cooked. But in reality, the kind of food that’s eaten now and the way people are responding to health, it’s all part of the same thing to me. Looking good, feeling good, you want to be slim, you want to wear that jacket that makes you tighter, makes you feel happier. These simple things are very … interesting. A psychiatrist wrote me a note and said, “I was having a bad day, Ralph. And I walked in and bought one of your things and it made my day.” That’s interesting for a psychiatrist, you know? Design, shopping, creativity … brownies [ laughs]—they’re part of it. I was just in my store, and Ralph’s is a small little shop, but it’s cute. It’s very fresh and pretty. Too small. But I just had a brownie and coffee. It’s great.”

Take a One-Way Trip From Tatty to Natty (Slate)
“When we dress well for travel, we are not only making ourselves look good; we’re also signaling that we are invested in making this shared experience pleasant for everyone around us. Think of it as a kind of sartorial social contract: Honor it and your minor efforts make transit a more pleasing activity; break it, and reveal your misanthropic narcissism to, quite literally, the world. What else to call putting one’s own base comforts above the comfort of all?”

How To Polish Shoes (Mr. Porter)
“Good-quality leather shoes can last a lifetime but only if they’re well looked after. A careful maintenance regime is necessary if you want shoes to retain their appeal in perpetuity – and it also has the added benefit of providing a man with an opportunity for several minutes of Zen-like introspection before he can see his reflection. Ms Berluti walks us through the process, step by step.”