Dressing Like An Englishman | Film Noir Buff

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Joseph Scherrer‘s insight:

We American men are a pretty diverse bunch when it comes to dressing. And I guess you could say we’ve evolved our own classic style that’s “comfortably classic.”

That said, just as we owe our legal heritage to the British, so it is with our sartorial inheritance.

What this article from Film Noir Buff describes are the particular aspects of the British manner of dressing. Such as:

- Clothing items and accessories are simple in color and combinations

- Patterns can be bold with a lot of contrast

- Items of the same scale of pattern and color can be combined

- It’s preferable that jackets, pants, and ties all have similar thickness

- Suits are dark, shirts are light, and ties are dark (but not as dark as the suit)

- The shirt is the most important clothing item, even bold shirts

- Color and brightness is introduced through the shirt rather than the tie

- The spread collar on shirts is universally favored

- The tie is worn in support of the shirt and not the other way around

- Geometrics are the preferred patterns for ties

- Ties have dark, pure colors, rather than lighter colors

- Woven rather than printed ties are the norm

- Solid ties should have some sort of pattern

The article is somewhat dense to read, but it is extremely informative. At the very least it provides you a reference point from which to inform your own personal style.

By Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled
See on www.filmnoirbuff.com

Article publié pour la première fois le 25/02/2014

Men’s Style from the 1950′s | Gentleman’s Gazette

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Learn more about the details in cut & proportion of 50s clothing with a focus on suits & overcoats…”

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Joseph Scherrer‘s insight:

Here’s another winner from Raphael Schieder of Gentleman’s Gazette  A few weeks ago he wrote about men’s style from the 1930′s.  Well now he’s posted lavishly illustrated piece on men’s style from the 1950′s.

No, you won’t find zoot suits or photos of James Dean and Marlon Brando in leather jackets, t-shirts, and jeans.

What you will see are several excellent illustrations published in French magazines that depict 7 variations of overcoats and what the suit silhouette looked like during this period.

Despite the unusual looking cuts, you’ll still be able to pick up some great ideas of how to spice up your style in a way that is rarely seen today, yet is still in good taste.

By Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled


Article publié pour la première fois le 20/10/2013

The Five Pre-Style Fundamentals

2-6-13 Tailored and Styled--Adam and Eve

Over the coming days, I will be laying the foundation for a particular approach to personal style: a “philosophy of personal style” if you will.

As such, I’ll be covering a lot of subject matter ranging from the psychological and sociological to the economic and cultural.  The objective is to provide you with a solid understanding of the factors that underpin the art dressing well.  With this foundation in place, we’ll be able to advance to a practical process for achieving your personal style.

But first, we need to start with the no-kidding basics, and I do mean basics: the motives for dressing.  Johnson (et al) in their book Fashion Foundations: Early Writings on Fashion and Dress state that, “As we dress the body…we manipulate, modify, and supplement it…[as] a means to present ourselves to others through personal, social, and cultural identities.”

The implication here is that establishing a personal style is a much more complex activity than we might imagine.  Motives for dressing, then, revolve around self and also our relation to others to include such basic functions as protection and warmth as well as decoration, modesty, and symbolism.

Let’s take a brief look at each of these.

Motive #1: Protection.  Protection is perhaps the most basic of all motives.  It extends to environmental hazards and protection from one another.  Charlton Heston in “Planet of the Apes” or Raquel Welch in “One Million Years B.C.” illustrate this well.

Protective Dress Heston Welch







Motive #2: Warmth.  As the “naked ape”, we do not possess built-in organic insulation from the elements as does the rest of the animal kingdom.  The Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius perhaps expresses it the best:

 “And therefore almost all are covered with hides, or else with shells, or with the horny callus, or with bark.”

Motive #3: Decoration.  Whereas the first two motives are imposed upon us by the physical environment, the motive to decorate oneself is the first that moves into the psychological and social realms.  The motive for decoration is one that is very familiar to us all: to make ourselves attractive, especially to others.  It also serves to bolster our own sense of dignity.  As archeological evidence seems to suggest, this urge to decorate ourselves is an ancient one.

Motive #4: Modesty.  The Biblical story of Adam and Eve provides the best explanation of modesty in that clothing ourselves reduces our shame of nakedness and therefore works to restore our human dignity.  Ironically, the motive of modesty is practically opposite to that of decoration.  J.C. Flugel calls this opposition “the most fundamental psychological fact in the whole psychology of clothing.”  (Yes, there are people who study the psychology of clothing!)  With this view, clothes become the medium through which these two competing motives—decoration and modesty—are reconciled.

 2-6-13 Tailored and Styled--Adam and Eve

Motive #5: Symbolism.  Here we arrive at an important motive for our purposes and that is the symbolism of one’s dress.  In short, what we wear communicates to others something of who we are and what we do.  For instance, wearing a suit or uniform communicates that we have an occupation.  Wealth is communicated by the use of jewelry, new clothes, exotic or expensive fabrics, designer labels, and excellent fit.  Conformity is communicated by subdued colors and mass-produced clothing.  The motive of symbolism gives new meaning to the phrases “look the part” or “dress for success.”

Going forward, I’ll be using the motive of symbolism along with the decoration-modesty dichotomy to inform my approach to personal style.  In the meantime, I’ll ask you to think about why you dress the way you do and what it might be communicating to others.

Is it the message you want to send?

By Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled Writer

Article publié pour la première fois le 07/02/2013

7 Secrets of Custom Tailoring

I give a ton of credit to anyone who seeks to improve their quality of dressing.  Even just a little effort to wear betting fitting clothes and follow some basic rules of color coordination can result in significant gains in one’s style quotient.  However, these same people could realize even greater gains if they made the move to custom tailoring. 

Some would bemoan the increased cost of such a move, but with a careful selection of tailors, this does not necessarily have to be the case.  In the end, it all boils down to value.  Although well-selected department store clothing can be made to work, does it necessarily result in the best value?  Particularly if we define value in terms of a personal style that generates positive outcomes in your professional and personal life, custom tailoring offers much more value. 

In an effort to describe that value, here are seven secrets of custom tailoring that can make all the difference between just ordinary style and radiant, energy-generating, confidence-creating style. 

1.  You work with an expert to get everything just right.  Working with an experienced tailor is like working with a medical doctor who specializes in a particular field.  The doctor has extensive in-depth education on all the problems and challenges involved in that area of specialization, has gone through a rigorous training process, and most importantly knows how to heal or otherwise fix what’s wrong.  In the same way, an experienced tailor has the trained eye and the skills to know what must be done to make clothing for you to look your best.  You get the benefit of that tailor’s mental archive of the hundreds or even thousands of people seen in the past applied specifically to your unique needs.  This is something you won’t get by buying off the rack or even at an upscale department store.  Big value here.

2.  Custom tailoring means increased personalization.  From fabrics, to cut, to number of vents, to pants cuffs, a custom tailor can work with you to get the look of your suit the way you want it.  No detail is too small.  Want sleeve buttons that “kiss”?  Check.  Surgeon’s cuffs?  Check.  Ticket Pocket?  Check.  Roped shoulders?  Check.  A lime green paisley lining?  Check.  Side adjusters on your pants?  Check.   The list goes on and on.  As a result of this selection and specification process, you end up with clothing that is a direct expression of your personality.  Again, something you won’t get from your local department store.

3.  Custom tailoring enhances your physical silhouette.  Over 70% of men have physiques that are asymmetrical such as one shoulder that is lower than the other or maybe one leg is longer than the other.  The keen eye of an experienced tailor can adjust for these and other physical discrepancies.  The goal is to make the clothes fit in such a way as to present a powerful and symmetric silhouette.  Suffice to say you won’t get this from an off-the-rack suit. 

4.  Custom clothing is more comfortable.  The comfort results directly from the precise measurements and fittings that occur in the process of making custom clothing.  Now, if you want your clothes to fit tighter or looser, any change in comfort will be on you—not the tailor.  A good tailor knows what to do to achieve the best combination of fit and comfort. 

5.  Custom clothing generally lasts longer.  As compared to off-the-rack, with custom clothing you get better fabrics, better construction, better materials, and better finishing.  Plus, most tailors will be well qualified in those little adjustments and repairs that will be needed over time.  So, even though custom might cost more, if you take the long view, you will avoid the increased expense of replacement purchases for lesser quality, mass-produced, machine-made off-the-rack stuff.  And of course custom will look and fit better.

6.  Custom clothing increases confidence.  Any custom tailor will tell you how a custom piece of clothing increases the confidence of their clients whether new or old when they try on their custom made suit—it radiates from them.  In fact, this is Neil’s greatest joy as a tailor.  There is no substitute for a customer who leaves happy knowing that what they’re wearing fits well, looks good, and is made expressly for them.  This leads to the most important secret of custom tailoring.

7.  Wearing custom tailored clothes creates positive energy.  Think about it.  Externally, good looking clothing makes you more attractive, which causes people to react more positively to you.  Internally, you are more confident about yourself because you know you look your best.  These two dynamics can’t help but release positive energy which—employed properly—can become a “dynamic force for good” in your work and in your life in general. 

All this from custom tailoring? Who’da thunk?  Leave me a comment below and tell me what you think!

Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled writer

P.S.  For those of you interested in making the move to custom tailoring, give Neil a shout and he’ll be happy to reveal his tailoring secrets to you.


Article publié pour la première fois le 17/01/2013

The Glory of…SOCKS!

SOCKS Apparel Arts 2

The socks we American men usually wear could stand to be more inspiring.  Basic black or navy blue with an occasional dark grey thown in normally constitutes the extent of it.  More often than not, the socks are mid-calf nylon numbers with worn-out elastic, which, when worn, become ankle socks thus allowing a generous amount of hairy leg to show when sitting down.  Stylish? No.  Glorious?  Not even close.


With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the art of wearing socks in a way that almost effortlessly adds style, elegance, and individuality to one’s dress.

Reestablishing the Basics.  The first principle of wearing socks is to show no leg, unless wearing clothing that allows for such behavior (e.g. casual summer Trad chinos with beef roll loafers).  If wearing a suit, it’s over-the-calf socks.  Always. Period. Dot.

The second principle is this: the more formal the setting, the plainer the socks.  For example, with a black tuxedo, socks should be black, untextured, and undecorated.  For a high power business deal, if you are wearing a navy suit, pair it with solid, untextured navy socks…charcoal pinstripe suit, solid, untextured charcoal socks.  You get the idea.  And you’ll never go wrong if you match your socks to your pants.

But all that said, we can do better and achieve a higher degree of personal style in the process.

Advanced Sockery.  The golden age of socks was arguably the 1930’s as exemplified by the trade magazine Apparel Arts.  The following illustrations convey the richness of sock colors and patterns.  The finesse with which socks were coordinated with entire ensembles was exquisite.

SOCKS Apparel Arts 3SOCKS Apparel Arts 2

For example, one’s choice of socks can emphasize a color in the shirt, tie, or pocket square or perhaps echo a pattern in one’s suit.  Regrettably, such sartorial mastery has been largely lost today.  However, there are signs of life in the sock universe.

The Glory of Socks!  Excellence in socks is exemplified by companies such as Italian makers Bresciani and Marcoliani as well as relative newcomers like Hook and Albert.

Bresciani produces fine socks at their factory in Matova, Italy.  They use top quality cotton, wool, and cashmere as well as advanced sewing methods so that the socks retain stretch over time.  The socks are also sized to achieve a better fit.  Bresciani’s seasonal selection of socks in splendid shades and patterns of purple (the new “power color” by the way) show the potential you have in making the lower end of your ensemble pop in a stylish way without going over the top.

SOCKS Bresciani

Marcoliani is a newer Italian brand launched in 2000, but its roots go back to 1947 and the production of silk in the Lake Como area of northern Italy.  The socks are highly praised for their fit, feel, and quality.

SOCKS Marcoliani 1SOCKS Marcoliani 4SOCKS Marcoliani 3SOCKS Marcoliani 2

Hook and Albert is an American start-up begun by two friends who after attending a wedding in Sweden, lamented the state of men’s socks of all things.  Good for us though as their collaboration has added new punch and vibrancy to the field (not to mention well-fitting and feeling socks!)

SOCKS Hook and Albert 3SOCKS Hook and Albert 5SOCKS Hook and Albert 4

So yes, it’s perfectly right and proper–highly encouraged really–to push up your personal style quotient with a well-chosen pair of socks.  At HKT, we have an amazing collection of socks from Bresciani, Marcoliani, and Hook and Albert.  Stop by the shop or give us a call and we’d be happy to assist you in choosing your perfect pair(s) of glorious socks!

Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled writer

Article publié pour la première fois le 11/12/2012