FREE Introductory Audio Lesson: "A Course in Classic Style"

  • Why Your Personal Presence Matters
  • The Science Behind Dressing Well
  • How Lack of Style Costs You Money and Opportunity
  • Learn from renowned New York bespoke tailor Jon Green
 
 

Customizing Your Jacket Pockets | Parisian Gentleman

8-26-13 Tailored and Styled Blog Post--Barchetta Pocket

See on Scoop.itTailored and Styled

“Gentlemen, Here is a small article coutresy of our friend Paul Grassart (website – in french : Paul Grassart Tailleur), about the all-too-often forgotten jacket pockets”

See on parisiangentleman.co.uk

Joe’s Insights:

This is an instructive piece from Parisian Gentleman on the ways you can customize your jacket pockets.  It is a nice follow-on to our interview with bespoke altelier Jon Green.  A wide variety of customizations are available when you go custom-made and your pockets should not be overlooked.

As indicated in the article, there are three main parameters that can be adjusted:

– The vertical position of the pocket

– The width and length of the flap

– Slanted versus non-slanted pockets

The article has excellent illustrations of each.

To this I would add pocket shape and pocket decoration.

For instance, here is an unusual example of a “barchetta” (little boat) patch pocket:

8-26-13 Tailored and Styled Blog Post--Barchetta Pocket

With regard to decoration, here is an example of pockets with pleats from Paul Stuart’s Phineas Cole line:

8-26-13 Tailored and Styled Blog Post--Paul Stuart Pocket Pleats

By Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 26/08/2013

The Untold History of the First Men’s Style Revolution

Tailored and Styled Blog Post 10 Mar 13--King Louis XIV

In a previous post, I explained how King Charles II first mandated the use of a three piece suit for court wear.

The period after his edict has since become known as the “Great Renunciation.”  Because within less than a half a century, men discarded the brightly colored fabrics, satins and velvets, and lace and embroidery that characterized the conspicuous consumption of the aristocracy.  This included high, red heeled shoes!  See those worn by super snazzy King Charles XIV.

Tailored and Styled Blog Post 10 Mar 13--King Louis XIV

Loubourtin anyone?

Tailored and Styled Blog Post 10 Mar 13--Louboutin Shoe

(See this BBC link for a fascinating story of men and high heeled shoes)

The Great Renunciation occurred during a period of great political upheaval in Europe including the American and French democratic revolutions, the Irish Rebellion, the Regency Crisis, the War of 1812, the Napoleonic Wars, and Great Britain’s subsequent imperial expansion.  Huge economic change occurred with the rise of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution.

In England, this political and economic cauldron boiled over into a struggle for power between royalty and the merchant class.  Both group’s identities were directly tied to their legitimacy to wield power.

The aristocracy progressively rejected the ideology of luxurious display in favor of one of “inconspicuous consumption.”  This sartorial approach was characterized by sober colors and simplicity.  It reinforced through external dress an ethic of rationality, self-restraint, and moral virtue.

Here’s a painting of Adolphus Hanover, 1st Duke of Cambridge.  The Duke is dressed in conservative dark blue frock that matches the background.  He has no wig and his expression is steady and controlled.  The only ornamentation is a medallion depicting his royal status.  Quite a difference from even 20 years before when aristocratic dress was much brighter and more ostentatious.

Tailored and Styled Blog Post 10 Mar 13--Adolphus Hanover, 1st Duke of Cambridge

(Painting by William Beechey, 1800)

For middle class businessman, modesty in dress was nothing new:  it was previously legislated in the form of sumptuary laws (laws that regulate consumption) that prevented them from wearing luxurious clothing.  This modesty was coupled to an ideology of freedom and liberty hard won and justified through revolution.  It also symbolized virtuous hard work and frugal living—the opposite of aristocratic entitlement and landed leisure.  In the painting of a monied lawyer below, note the sober, earthy colors of both the background and the clothing as well as the serious, even challenging expression.

Tailored and Styled Blog Post 10 Mar 13--Charles Christie Esquire

(Painting of Charles Christie, Esq by Henry Raeburn, 1800)

So here we have a dynamic where the main components of an ideological basis for a style of dressing were claimed by two distinct political classes vying for power.

For both, the three piece suit embodied virtue, modesty, frugality, and industry.  But most importantly for both, wearing a three piece suit communicated legitimacy of claims to political and social power.

Virtue.  Modesty.  Frugality.  Industry.  Legitimacy.  Power.

Could these be some of the principles that still underlie the idea of classic men’s style?

Tell me what you think!

By Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled Writer

Article publié pour la première fois le 11/03/2013

29 Parts of a Shoe in Detail | Put This On

See on Scoop.itTailored and Styled

Shoe Terminology
Yesterday’s post on shoe construction seemed to be popular, so I thought I’d do something similar by going through some more terminology.”

 

Joseph Scherrer‘s insight:

This post at Put This On is about the best I’ve seen on the parts of a shoe.

Once you read this, you’ll know more about shoes than 99% of the population.  The annotated photos are very helpful as well.

Here’s a list of what you’ll learn about:

Aglet

Apron

Blind Eyelet

Brogueing

Burnishing

Eyelets

Eyelet tabs

Heel cup

Heel lifts

Insole

Instep

Lining

Medallion

Outsole

Pinking

Quarter

Quarter rubber

Scalloping

Sock

Sole

Throat

Toe cap

Tongue

Topline

Top piece

Upper

Vamp

Waist

Welt

Well worth archiving for future reference.

By Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled Writer

See on putthison.com

Article publié pour la première fois le 24/06/2013

You Don’t Know Beau…And Why You Should

3-17-13 Tailored and Styed Blog Post--Beau Brummel Statue

If there was one man who embodied men’s style leadership in the tumultuous times following the American and French revolutions and Napoleonic wars, it was Englishman Beau Brummell.

Much ink has been spilled about Brummell to the point where he has become an archetypical, even mythical figure of men’s style.  Perhaps this elevated historical status is well-deserved given his enduring sartorial legacy.

Brummell lived during the critical bridge period in the early 1800’s where sumptuousness in dress was rapidly replaced by darker, less ostentatious dressing.

As stated in a previous post, this period was characterized by a political and economic struggle for power between the aristocracy and the rising commercial class.  Both sides had by then had access to and had adopted similar manners of dress, which placed the struggle for superiority clearly in the realm of the moral.

It’s into this milieu that Brummell strode in to make his lasting mark on men’s style.  Fundamentally, Brummell was the epicenter of early British dandyism.  Brummell’s famous quote suffices to sum up his approach, “If John Bull turns to look at you on the street, you are not well dressed.”

Whereas today, the word dandy conjures up images of colorful, eccentric, even flamboyant clothing.  For Brummell being a dandy meant an understated way of dressing that exemplified refined, indifferent elegance.  In contrast, today’s dandy has much more in common with the Macaroni, the Fop, and the Peacock.  So in a modern sense, Brummell was the anti-dandy, as once he established his refined style he stuck with it.

And for British society of the time, what a style it was.  Brummell was the first to focus on the nuances of fit, cut, and proportion.  His strategy was to elevate country attire to a refined minimalism.  To do this he used a surprisingly limited palette of colors: dark coats in black and blue, light-colored waistcoats and pantaloons usually in tan, and plain white shirts and starched linen cravats.

His look drew from military and equestrian traditions and was calculated to emphasize physique and authority.  He adopted the frock coat and elevated it for daily wear in town by skillful tailoring that suggested broad shoulders and a trim waist.  His buff colored pantaloons were closely fitted and held in place by a strap under the foot.  Footwear comprised knee-high black leather riding boots styled after those of the Prussian military.

The end result of these innovations was an ensemble that was at once stunningly unique, but also very familiar to the gentry of the time. In some ways it’s familiar to us in our time as well.

3-17-13 Tailored and Styed Blog Post--Beau Brummel Standard Dress3-17-13 Tailored and Styed Blog Post--Blue Blazer Khaki Pants

3-17-13 Tailored and Styed Blog Post--Beau Brummel Standard Dress 23-17-13 Tailored and Styed Blog Post--White Tie Evening Dress

Brummell’s impact still looms large across the historical horizon of men’s classic style.

3-17-13 Tailored and Styed Blog Post--Beau Brummel Statue

For us, if we take the best of Beau Brummell’s style sense, we arrive at the following: fit, proportion, excellent fabrics, conservative colors resulting in what I will call aesthetic precision as well as refined simplicity in dress, personal presence, and confidence brought about by dressing well.

And indeed we will adopt all of these principles as part of our approach to style.

By Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled Writer

Article publié pour la première fois le 18/03/2013

Friday Style Icon – Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle, Jr.

5-2-13 Tailored and Styled Blog--Biddle Photo IX

Reaching back several decades, the Friday Style Icon is Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle, Jr.  5-2-13 Tailored and Styled Blog--Biddle Photo VI

If there were an aristocracy in America, Biddle certainly would have been a part of it given that he was the son of eccentric millionaire Anthony Joseph Biddle, Sr.  In his immediate family were the founders of two major universities, a canonized saint, several colonels and above, a few ambassadors, and several other members of the highest echelons of government and commerce.

The younger Biddle earned his chops as an American diplomat in the run up to World War II and as a staffer for Dwight D. Eisenhower during the war where he rose to the rank of Major General. 

 5-2-13 Tailored and Styled Blog--Biddle Photo VIII

Biddle was known as a man of precise, disciplined habits that carried over into his impeccable manner of dress.  In his later years, when he served as adjutant for the state of Pennsylvania he was known as the “best dressed man in the world.” 

Now, you would think with a title like this Biddle would to have had an expansive wardrobe.  In fact, it was modest for a man of his stature.  Biddle owned seven suits: two double-breasted and one single-breasted navy-blue serge, one double-breasted and one single-breasted dark-blue pin-stripe flannel, and one double-breasted charcoal-grey flannel.  Here’s the charcoal-grey flannel:

5-2-13 Tailored and Styled Blog--Biddle Photo III

The suits were custom made in New York and London and all sported alpaca linings and three working buttons on the sleeves. 

Biddle also owned three coats: a double-breasted blue chinchilla, a single-breasted covert cloth, and a double-breasted polo coat with white bone buttons.  Here’s the chinchilla (note the pocket square):

5-2-13 Tailored and Styled Blog--Biddle Photo IX

Biddle also had an ensemble of “sports clothes” consisting of three tweed jackets, three pairs of charcoal-grey flannel slacks, and a half-dozen button-down shirts.  

For shoes, he had three pairs of black shoes for daytime wear, one patent leather and one calfskin for evening wear, a pair of black moccasins, a pair of black loafers, and two pairs of white canvas shoes with brown leather toes and rubber soles. 

You can see these white tennis shoes in the photos below along with a pair of those magnificent flannels.  

A. J. Drexel Biddle Jr. Outdoors with Tennis Gear

Note in the photos the judicious and unobtrusive use of accessories: pocket squares, lapel flowers, tie bars, and cuff links that add to his overall dashing look.

What I admire about Biddle’s example are three things:  his disciplined approach to his wardrobe, his aesthetic precision, and his definite grounded individuality.  Biddle’s approach to style shows that you can be selective in your approach and still look great.

As I stated in a recent post, “What a man of classic style tries to achieve is an integration of the best of who he is on the inside with his external appearance and manner.  So classic style done well frames the man and not the clothes.  The aesthetic precision of the clothes reflects and enhances, but does not overpower, the man.”

Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle, Jr. certainly meets that criteria. 

By Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled Writer

Article publié pour la première fois le 03/05/2013