Mighty Bloggers in Classic Menswear

Will ended his blog A Suitable Wardrobe last year. I believe it was the largest on classic menswear out there. Now it is not completely clear, who has the lead. This is mainly due to a rising number of rapid Tumblr blogs and Instagram accounts, which compete for attention with traditional menswear blogs like Will’s (and my own). True, Tumblrs and Instagramers communicate through images mainly. To a lesser extent they use the written word, save a few Tumblr blogs for instance the eminent Die, Workwear! Nonetheless these new channels conquer attention in the field of classic menswear, and it is great if we speak about a Tumblr like Voxsartoria, which is an outstanding image source. That said I cannot really see how slow menswear blogs combining text and images will disappear or even shrink. They are able to transmit knowledge, which the agile image machines cannot do.

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Hugo Jacomet of Parisian Gentleman is one of the leading bloggers from my own Blogspot and WordPress generation, who believes in writing as well. He was in Pitti Uomo in June wearing French haute couture tailoring, probably Cifonelli.

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Simon Crompton of Permanent Style is another top WordPress blogger on fine classic menswear. Possibly he is closest to Will’s throne, if it makes sense to talk about that position today. In Pitti Uomo I saw him wearing a tobacco brown linen suit from Spanish tailor Langa.

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Fabio Attanasio of The Bespoke Dudes is a fairly new, yet apparently mighty blogger in classic menswear. He is based in Italy. Like other people in the trade he is aware that it can be a good idea to sport clothing yourself in front of cameras like mine to get the message through. He seems to have created an ingenious mixture of WordPress, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook communications. I got a picture of Fabio in Pitti Uomo, when he was wearing an offwhite linen suit, a straw hat, tassel loafers, and his beloved phone.

Photos: The Journal of Style

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A Guide to Classic Summer Shoes

Duke-of-windsor-loafers-The-Journal-of-Style

Summer shoes have often been a headache for the man, who cares about style. They somehow tend to become either too formal or too informal. Here’s a guide, which hopefully can make choosing the right summer shoes easier.

Meermin-penny-loafers-The-Journal-of-Style

Brown penny loafers are the default summer shoes. You can pair them with suits, chinos or shorts. The stronger ones are goodyear welted, however you should consider blake-stitched versions, since they appear less heavy, which is a nice quality in warm weather. Maker: Meermin

 

Tassel-Loafers-The-Journal-of-Style

Tassel loafers, another summer classic, although many men will wear them during winter time as well. The black ones are very conservative, and they are best for navy blue and dark grey suits. Makers: Crockett & Jones and Alden

 

Tod's-driving-mocs-The-Journal-of-Style

The sole of the popular driving mocs are covered with rubber studs. That is their main feature compared to other slip-on shoes. Car Shoes and Tod’s make some of the most famous driving mocs, however many shoe manufactures produce them today. Maker: Tod’s

Gucci-horse-bit-loafers-The-Journal-of-Style

Gucci introduced the black horse bit loafers in 1953. What to think about them? Conservative, yet glamorous. The latter feature means that many sartorialists shy away from them. Pair the horse bit loafers with a navy blue summer business suit, or with a blue blazer and mid grey trousers.  Maker: Gucci

 

Belgian-loafers-The-Journal-of-Style

Belgian loafers have been fashionable for a couple of seasons now. It is said that Henri Bendel invented them in the 1950s. He had them made up in Belgium, and afterwards he shipped them to the States, where they became a hit. Often Belgian loafers will be unlined, and usually they will have a small bow on the instep. Maker: Belgian Shoes

Moccasins-The-Journal-of-Style

Moccasin shoes have side and soles, which are made out of one piece of leather. The most traditional mocs have no outer sole. If you want to sport mocs as street footwear an outer sole is advisable though. Mocs have laces, which run at the edge around the heel. The laces end up in a bow or tassels on the instep. Maker: Fairmount

Dirty-bucks-white-bucks-shoes-The-Journal-of-Style

Suede shoes and nubuck shoes are traditional summer shoes. Perhaps “white bucks”, which are associated with the WASP lifestyle of the Mid-20th Century, have become a little dated. The derby versions with red rubber soles can be paired with linen suits, chinos or even bermudas. Maker: Fairmount

Corespondent-shoes-The-Journal-of-Style

Two-tone co-respondent shoes signify the 1920s. They were around before and after that decade though. Their best match is an off-white linen suit but they have more options. The key to co-respondents is using them, when you are in a show off mood. You must be a happy spirit in co-respondents. Photo: Leffot

 

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Braided shoes are classic summer shoes but few are to be found. Could be they don’t look chic enough in the eyes of the present generations. Be aware of the quality. It varies. Maker: Shoepassion

Sperry-boat-shoes-The-Journal-of-Style

Boat shoes have a hard white ribbed rubber sole made for the slippery deck. The upper should be brown. Sperry Top-Siders brought them to the market in the 1930s. Boat shoes are best with casual chinos or shorts. Maker: Sperry

 

Prince-Albert-loafers-The-Journal-of-Style

Prince Albert loafers are hybrid shoes blending slippers and loafers. The model above has been goodyear-welted. If you want to use Prince Albert loafers with bermudas or informal chinos a blake-stitched and less robust model would perhaps be a better choice. Maker: J. FitzPatrick

Plimsolls-Duke-of-Windsor-The-Journal-of-Style

Plimsolls are the original sneakers. They became tennis shoes and later modern sneakers. The upper is made of canvas and the sole is made of rubber. They are perfect with bermudas or with, yes, a blue blazer and white ducks. Choose plimsolls in white or navy blue. Photos: Sportsdirect and Ebay

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The Spaniards in the Pyrenees invented espadrilles long ago. The sole, which consists of jute rope, gives them character. The upper is made up from strong cotton canvas. The style can appear effeminate and delicate, and  espadrilles can be be warm compared to sandals. They are very stylish nonetheless from a historical point of view. Maker: Zabattigli

 

Jesus-sandals-The-Journal-of-Style

Jesus sandals should be made to measure in a leather shop. They are not difficult to make, and many leather shops will provide the service. Wear them with off-white linen. Amen. Makers: Sandalmageren and Broe & Co

Birkenstocks-heelstrap-The-Journal-of-Style

Perhaps I should have skipped them but cork Birkenstocks are summer classics, which really cannot be ignored by the sartorialist. The most relevant models in my view are the Milano and the Zadar. which have heel straps. Maker: Birkenstock

Illustrations: The Journal of Style

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Pitti Uomo Street Style Summer 2015 – part 1

Pitti-Uomo-Street-Style-2015-The-Journal-of-Style-1

Pitti Uomo street style of summer 2015 is not much different from Pitti Uomo street style of summer 2014. You continue to have narrow cuts and skimpy trousers, bare ankles, cigarettes and cigars. Perhaps I saw fewer silly sunglasses and exaggerated classic costumes this year on more traditionally minded dressers. The young fellows above represent what is going on. Tight jacket cuts (though wide lapels), drainpipe trousers with turn-ups, classic shades. I think the style works really well on them. They have the slender frames, which are mandatory to sport the Neo-Edwardian fashion.

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Relax! is one of the best advices, you’ll find, if you want to create style and elegance. I see many men in the right clothing, both online and offline, who cannot let go of control, and therefore end up looking like dummies.  These two gentlemen in a bespoke double breasted navy suit and a bespoke linen suit are not among them. They know how to relax. Note the blue tie and striped blue shirt with the off-white linen suit. A good idea, when you want to urbanize the colonial connotation of linen.

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The Castillo brothers of Spanish Man 1924. They have their own laidback, subdued and happy take on classic style.

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Lino Leluzzi of Al Bazar in Milano showing a young guy how to tie the necktie properly. In Lino’s world tie knotting begins with a cutaway collar and a wool tie.

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Photos: The Journal of Style

 

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A Guide to Men’s Classic Sunglasses

Cary-Grant-North-by-Northwest-Sunglasses-The-Journal-of-Style

The use of glasses, which protected the eyes against the sun started out in the early 20th Century. These sunglasses were in demand among automobile racing drivers and aviators in particular. 30-40 years later by the 1950s Hollywood stars, top politicians, royalties, and men about town had established easy-to-wear sunglasses as a necessary summer accessory for every fashionable man or woman.

There are a couple features to care about when selecting a pair of sunglasses. First of all they should protect against UV rays. If you wear sunglasses without UV protection you risk opening the eyes too much, when a natural reaction would have been to squint to protect the sight against the sun including UV rays. Most sunglasses have UV protection nowadays. However, if you buy a pair of cheap sunglasses you should check.

A second feature, polarized glasses, is more debatable. Polariod will filter white reflection from sun rays, which is comfortable and safeguarding, especially when driving a car. The cons regard the relationship to cellphones and LCD screens. It is poor. Easily you end up turning your head and phone to find the angle that makes it possible to read the screen. Looking at LCD screens through polaroized glasses has become better with the latest smartphones but it is not perfect yet.

When choosing a pair of sunglasses you should also be aware of fit, evidently. The width of the glasses should match the width of your eyes. The bridge should fit your nasal bridge. And the length of the temples should be adjusted to your ears.

In regards to aesthetics the rule of thumb states that you ought to go for glasses that balance the shape of your face. That is, a person with a round face will benefit from square glasses and vice versa. That rule of thumb should not be applied mechanically though. As in most style matters personal taste must prevail.

The frame material is a part of the style as well. In the 1950’s and 1960’s frames of real tortoise shell were still around. With UN Endangered Species Act of 1973 tortoise shell became rare and very expensive, since you had to rely on a diminishing stock of shells from before the UN act. Acetate is a good substitute though. You can produce it with deep colour shades unlike “shell” or “horn” plastic frames, which will always end up looking a little dull. Metal frames are another possibility for the glasses, of course.

When talking about materials, we must remember the lenses. Mineral glass is the classic material for lenses, however plastic lenses are lighter, will not brake as easily if you loose them, and the sight can be almost as good as through mineral glasses. In other words, you can consider plastic lenses without losing your classic style credibility.

A final thing about brands and classics: What makes a pair of sunglasses a classic? Marketing, mostly. If you go back in history, you will see that virtually all the famous models have depended on product placement in the movies, cooperation with actors and symbolic institutions like the army, and so on. This phenomenon is illustrated by the awkward fact that most classic sunglasses today are inaccurate copies of the original ones. Materials, production techniques and fashion have changed “the original” of today.

With that slightly cynical perspective in mind let’s take a look at some men’s classic sunglasses.

Ray-Ban-Wayfarer-Sunglasses-The-Journal-of-Style

Wayfarer sunglasses are modernist and minimalist shades from the 1950s, which interestingly enough became very popular in the sumptuous 1980s.  Jack Nicholson is a heavy user of Wayfarer glasses.

Aviator-Sunglasses-The-Journal-of-StyleAviators, perhaps the most famous sunglasses of them all. Bausch & Lomb, the firm behind Ray-Ban, developed the aviator model for the US Army Air Service in 1930s, and shortly after in 1937 they used the collaboration to promote the sunglasses to the public. The most classic variant will have a golden frame and green lenses.

Marcello-Mastroianni-Sunglasses-Persol-649-The-Journal-of-Style
Many men who favour classic style have a soft spot for Persol sunglasses. The refined tortoise shell frame and the dark lenses go well with suit and tie. Persol’s model 649 has the largest lenses. Persol developed the model for the tram drivers in Turin in the 1957.

“The novelty of its design made it a very successful pair of glasses, copied over the years by many competitors, and in 1961 they entered into legend when Marcello Mastroianni wore them in the film “Divorce Italian Style”,” as Persol celebrates the model at their website.

Steve-McQueen-Persol-Sunglasses-714-The-Journal-of-Style

Persol can thank another movie star, Steve McQueen, for the success of their other famous model, the 714. Steve McQueen wore the 714 design in the highly stylish movie The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), and he was often photographed off screen wearing Persol sunglasses. The 714 has somewhat smaller lenses than the 649, and it has a hinge at the bridge, so you can fold it.

Prada-sunglasses-model-SPR07F-The-Journal-of-Style

If any the Prada model SPR07F must be the shades of the Fellini buff. Again Marcello Mastroianni is the glamourous bearer, in this round in the famous Federico Fellini movie 8 1/2 from 1963. Truth to be told there is no real proof that Mastroianni wore Prada sunglasses in the movie but some sources claim that, and the model SPR07F looks to be very similar indeed.

PorscheCarreras-sunglasses-5622-The-Journal-of-Style

Tony Montana (Al Pacino) in the movie Scarface (1983) wore shades from Porsche/Carrera and Linda Farrow. Both models, no. 5622 and no. 6031, are interpretations of the aviator design. The Porsche/Carrera model became famous in particular. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche who designed the first Porsche 911 in 1963 came up with the model in 1979 in collaboration with Carrera.

James-Dean-Sunglasses-The-Journal-of-Style

James Dean wore glasses with a tortoise shell frame, probably from Tart Arnel. When he needed protection against the sun he attached the newly invented clip-on shades. That also means that clip-ons are for men who actually wear glasses. They would be silly to wear if your sight is fine.

Brownline-Sunglasses-The-Journal-of-Style

Browline glasses connect to the early 1960s, scholars, and political awareness. Malcolm X wore them a lot. When Ray-Ban introduced their Clubmaster sunglasses in the 1980s the image of browliners became less elitist. The Ronsir glasses from 1947 from Shuron are regarded as the first browliners on the market.

Ray-Ban-Shooter-Sunglasses-Hunter-S-The-Journal-of-Style

Wild journalist Hunter S. Thompson liked sunglasses with ambermatic lenses. At numerous occasions he was seen sporting the Ray-Ban Shooter, which is an expanded version with ambermatic lenses of the Aviator. You will not find the Shooter in the present catalog from Ray-Ban. Maybe they don’t fit the brand strategy. You can, however, find copies and vintage models online.

Moscot-Lemtosh-Cary-Grant-The-Journal-of-Style

No, we don’t know, who made Cary Grant’s glasses in North by Northwest. They look similar to discontinued models like Persol Ratti 850 and Ray-Ban Dallas but they are neither. Moscot’s old Lemtosh design shown above is another relative, though the lenses look smaller than the ones which Cary’s shades have. Mysterious Cary stays a class above.

Where to buy
Sunglasses, including classic models, are all over the internet. Before buying read the product description though. In many cases the same model comes with a acetate frame or a plastic frame, polarized or not polarized, mineral glass or plastic glass. Moreover, you risk that your fine new sunglasses fit poorly when you buy them online. So, there is a case to be made for buying your glasses at your local optician. Many opticians will have a great selection of classic sunglasses, and they can adjust the frame and temples to make the glasses fit perfectly.

Photos: Persol, Ray-Ban, Coolframes, Shuron, Tart Opticals, Lunettes og Moscot

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Pitti Uomo Street Style – Summer Highlights

Blue-suits-Pitti-Uomo-The-Journal-of-Style

Pitti Uomo summer 2015 arrives shortly. It should be great as always. A few hopefully memorable street style photos from previous years. Definitely, the photo of grand ol’ style guru Alan Flusser in bermudas (see below) created the biggest stir. The photo above has been publicized in English GQ.

En klassisk marineblå habit med casual strikket slips og stor lommeklud i brystlommen.

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Pitti-Uomo-Bermuda-Shorts-Alan-Flusser-by-The-Journal-of-Style

Pitti-Uomo-Summer-2012-Lino-by-The-Journal-of-Style

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Marineblå blazer, hvide bukser med høje opslag og brune hyttesko i ruskind

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Pitti-Uomo-Summer-Beige-Suit-2012-by-The-Journal-of-Style

Skal der være fest, så lad der være fest. Rødternet jakkesæt med gul sløjfe og gule hyttesko med kvaster.

Pitti-Uomo-Summer-2012-Signora-by-The-Journal-of-Style

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