Saturday, November 13, 2004

The Steelers Like to Sew

According to this article, the Steelers of the NFL have a sewing machine in their locker room....hmmm

http://www.slate.com/id/2092564

Boards

In case you've found this some other way (I can't imagine how), you should be reading StyleForum and AskAndyAboutClothes:

http://www.styleforum.net
http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/

Giant Karl Lagerfeld gets masses to do his bidding!

The Lagerfeld collection at H&M went on sale, and is now gone. "It looks like rugby without the rules." No thanks!

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/13/business/13designer.html?oref=login&8hpib

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Marrying man

Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that he's tailor? Is that why he can have 130 wives?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1338876,00.html

Sunday, November 07, 2004

ONE FOR THE WARDROBE?

Royal Tenenbaum's suit? Center in the back...

http://movies.yahoo.com/shop?d=hv&id=1807437044&cf=pg&photoid=217477&intl=us

When bad journalism happens...

What an odd article. Yes, let's embroider everything!

http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/living/10091151.htm

CUSTOM - neighborhoodies

A great way to get personalised hoodies and t-shirts. They've been featured in tons of press, but I heard about them through a NY Times article which is on their site:

http://www.neighborhoodies.com/

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Recommended - Andrew's Ties

Andrew's Ties is great for basics: woven solid color ties, rep stripes, dots, etc. And if you're ever in Milan, their store at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele has surprisingly good prices. I have a few ties from Andrew's, including a fantastic woven yellow silk that was only £5 because of a nearly imperceptible imperfection.

http://www.andrewsties.com/ecommerce/default.asp

The "Gentleman's Movement"

Interesting article from The Times on Sean "P. Diddy" Combs' "manservant."

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,275-1342620,00.html

THE OTHER WORLD - couture for kids

Bizarre. $800 for a kids dress? I don't have kids-yet-but I think that money could be better spent. And not just on clothes for me!

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/07/fashion/07KIDS.html

CUSTOM - Nike

Custom work in clothing is surely not limited to the high end, or even limited to business wear. Nike has an interesting personalizing service, which can be found here: http://nikeid.nike.com

Prices for shoes start at $60, total.

Friday, November 05, 2004

The Most Expensive Suits

Forbes on the most expensive suits. A bit of a joke, some of this. Who would buy an off-the-rack suit for $3,000?

http://www.forbes.com/collecting/2004/11/03/cx_ns_1103feat.html

A Guy Named Fawkes

In honor of Guy Fawkes day, yesterday, here's an article about a shoemaker named Fawkes. http://www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=1084&ArticleID=881882

And here's information on the original Guy Fawkes:
http://www.bonefire.org/guy/gunpowder.php

SALE SALE SALE - J. Crew contest

Okay okay, I know this isn't a sale-which that heading will mention in the future-but it's still interesting nevertheless. J. Crew is running a contest to give away a $3,000 wardrobe. That would buy quite a lot of cashmere sweaters.

http://www.jcrew.com/catalog/category.jhtml?id=cat63001&navAction=jump


THE OTHER WORLD - Jessica Simpson

You all know that the world of men's clothing can be a bit hermetic sometimes. Not that there's anything wrong with that; we'll just call it "timeless." Still, it's good to remember how turbulent the outside world can be. Exhibit A: Jessica Simpson, dimwit "Newleywed" will have her own line of clothes. See the link for details.

ADVENTURES IN CLOTH - Raja Fashions

My visit today to Raja Fashions was part of the inspiration for this blog. I heard about Raja through word of mouth, and through the valuable AskAndyAboutClothes and StyleForum. It appeared as if the members' experience with Raja was limited. The press clippings from his site were promising, so I decided to play guinea pig.

I made an appointment just a day in advance and they were happy to accommodate me at their hotel. They were taking orders at the Marriott Hotel in Kensington. I wasn't certain I would like being fitted in a hotel, but the tailors were very friendly and helpful, and put me quickly at ease. They had three tailors (including Raja himself) and a steady stream of customers throughout my visit.

One of the things that impressed me most was the manner in which Amer, the man helping me, guided me to decisions rather than being confrontational or demanding. I knew that I was interested in a few garments, but needed some advice. Rather than letting me pick and be disappointed when the final product came through, or steering me strongly, he dropped morsels of knowledge in my path to lead me to a smart decision.

My wardrobe is not extensive. I work in the print media world and, even in London, it is a decidely low in formality when it comes to attire. Suits are worn, but rarely with ties, and suit jackets are far too frequently paired with jeans. Bad idea. I would consider myself more of a classic style man. If I'm going to be spending money on clothes, I want it to be good, wise money, and I want the garment to last, rather than some of the moment polyester from the mall (or the high street).

Because of all of this, it made sense for me to build my wardrobe through jackets and trousers, a less-formal, but still classic approach to dressing well. Amer showed me some fantastic tweeds, as requested. There was a medium houndstooth with orange windowpane detail (trust me, it was fantastic), endless herringbones, plaids, solid colors (as solid as a tweed can be) and on and on.

I was particularly taken by a houndstooth, but Amer advised that with my pale skin and dark brown hair, it was too busy. I trust the man, and I can see why he is correct. That left me with a light brown, faint herringbone, a multipurpose fabric that will look good with jeans and various trousers. The lining will be a rich burgundy. The styling/cut is "Brooks Brothers" three button-his term, I thought it was called a classic three-where the top button rolls with the lapel. Notched lapels (button hole on the left). Slanted pockets and ticket pocket. Side vents. English silhouette.

As for the trousers, a flannel seemed in order. The greys were a bit too lifeless (and easy to find elsewhere), so I went with a charcoal brown. That left me a third of the way there...

I need another summer weight suit. Not as necessary in London, but I'll be in New York next summer, and, well, it gets hot. Amer quickly pulled a navy blue with lighter blue windowpane, which is classy, but just unusual enough to be noticeable. The lining, in bizarre English style, will be a bright blue. I wanted something different here, as all my suits are growing to be similar, so I went with a semi-peaked lapel, two button, with everything else the same as above.

I have big hips. There, I've said it. They're huge, and stick out in an odd way on my otherwise thin frame (5'11' 145 lbs). They make pleats a necessity. Also, turnups help to balance, so I am having those done on both trousers. Throw in a watch pocket, buttons for braces, and you're all set.

I'm also in need of shirts. There seem to be a lot of options out there, which I hope to get to in future guinea pig projects, but I wanted to try Raja's shirtmaking, and Amer was offering me a good package deal. I won't say how much, but I'm very pleased at the cost. I selected material for six shirts, all 100% cotton: two sea island white, one sea island blue, one sea island beige/brown, one italian blue stripe red edging, and one white pinstripe.

Collars will be medium spread, no pockets, french cuffs, monogram on the bottom left.

Needless to say, I'm helping the wardrobe along, but not the bank balance. Amer said they'll deliver the first suit and shirt in 3-4 weeks, allowing me to make requests for changes on the following garments. News to follow in due course, including pictures.

WELCOME TO THE SUIT

This is the first post on a new blog detailing my trials and tribulations with clothing. It will also host a series of links to news and features from the world of ready-to-wear, made-to-measure, and bespoke men's clothing. So, welcome.