The present welcomes John Simons to E-commerce 2013. That’s right, everybody’s favourite classic American clothiers has finally embraced cyberspace with the advent of a new online store. Whatever next, trains not powered by steam?
Webshop is quite sparse at this time but it gives you an idea of what’s on offer and if it does anything it should make you want to visit in person.
Oh and they have Keydge slack’s on the cheap at the moment too
Squares should be extremely versatile and give you that finishing touch without being obtrusive or over-populating your outfit. Don’t go overboard on the folds or try and be too outlandish.
NEVER WEAR A SQUARE WITHOUT A TIE – This is going on everywhere and it really shouldn’t. There is no rebelling to standards in this case. You always see orange people at weddings with this look or lads going smart (on a mission! on one! etc.) in Basildon. Yes Ant or Dec do it, yes Dermot O’whatshisface does it (probably part of the contractual agreement for working on ITV). This means you don’t do it.
The only 3 to wear
Fold #1 - Classic, Sleek, & Elegant
This fold, also called “Presidential Fold”, is one of the easiest ways to fold a pocket square. This fold is best for elegant attire ranging from formal business dress to black tie. Typically a classic white pocket square made from silk or linen is used for this fold.
1. Lay the pocket square on a flat and clean surface.
2. Fold the pocket square in half.
3. Fold one side up. How much of the pocket square you fold in is depending on how deep your jacket’s pocket is.
4. Tug the folded pocket square into your breast pocket so that about 1/4 of an inch is visible.
Fold #2 - One Tip Up
Another popular way to fold the pocket square is the triangular “one tip up” fold. It suits any type of pocket square and dress code. Personally, I like this fold with a solid colored, non-white, pocket square.
1. Start out by laying the pocket square on a flat surface.
2. Fold one corner in so that you get two overlapping triangles.
3. Fold one side of the triangle in.
4. Do the same on the opposite side.
5. Finally place the pocket square in your jacket’s pocket.
Fold #3 - The Casual Fold
This type of fold, sometimes also called “Puff fold”, is ideal for a more casual-sleek outfit. It looks best when used for patterned pocket squares. I particularly choose this fold for pocket squares that have unique paisley patterns, tartan checks, and polka dots. This fold is less suited for formal attire.
1. Place the pocket square down flat.
2. Now pick up the pocket square by pinching it near the center.
3. Slide the hanky trough your other hand as shown in picture #3.
4. Now flip the pocket square upside down.
5. Finally tug the pocket square in your breast pocket. Don’t over-think this fold, the fold should look casual and a bit uneven.
Top to bottom ; Drakes,Liberty London & Turnbull & Asser
It’s a good thing to know that there seems to be a resurgence of small British labels entering the fold of late. Producing high quality garments to a selective and informed audience, these manufacturers are taking a stand against our troubled financial climate and proving that an idea of passion can still be put into motion…
Fitzgerald’s Clothiers has been teetering on the surface, Das Boot style, for some time now and is soon to be launched.
The Closet has opened its creaky doors to JFM again who has been lucky enough to road test a FC shirt so here’s a sneak peek for you.
THE MAN IN THE GREEN SHIRT
The world of Ivy League menswear is a world of icons: The Man In The Grey Flannel Suit, The Man In The Brooks Brothers Shirt… And Miles Davis will forever be The Man In The Green Shirt.
But a good green shirt is hard to find. I’d spent 35 years looking until, out of the blue, my friend Henry Fitzgerald from Brighton sent me one. He couldn’t find the shirt he wanted either so he made his own and launched his own label, Fitzgerald’s Clothiers, thrown into the bargain.
Green has to be one of the hardest colours to get right and Fitzgerald’s Clothiers absolutely have. Mint green is wrong, leaf green is wrong. The right Ivy League shade of green has a pale softness about it which makes it so wearable. Perversely, for a green shirt, it works by not being too green. It’s green, but it doesn’t scream green. The Ivy League style never screams, it just nods and maybe raises an eyebrow at most.
Beyond the perfect colour of the shirt, the rest of the garment keeps the theme of perfection going with just the right weight and ‘hand’ of Oxford cloth being used with all the perfect Ivy details: The soft and unlined collar, cuffs and placket… The perfect button placement so that the top button beneath the collar button is placed to best reveal just the right sized ‘V’ of pristine white T. shirt beneath, if you wish to go down that route… The list of details goes on..
What makes or breaks a shirt? What’s the one thing that really counts? The collar. Fitzgerald’s went back to the original vintage classic American Ivy League shirts to create theirs, and that’s the only way. To be a classicist you have to study the classics, and Fitzgerald’s have produced a classic Ivy League button down collar which properly ‘rolls’ like so very few currently on the market do. Also with Fitzgerald’s the back button comes as standard - It’s taken for granted that if you want a classic Ivy League shirt then you want that. It takes a real Ivy League enthusiast to cater to real Ivy League enthusiasts.
The future is bright, the future is Ivy !
Jimmy Frost Mellor - Ivy League Menswear Consultant and Archivist.
I have just recently finished reading ‘Hollywood Hellraisers’ by Robert Sellers, an amusing little read that delves into the idiosyncratic, ill-mannered and glam-o-narchic world of Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper & Warren Beatty. It is the latter that reminded me of a shirt I acquired last year and subsequently the story behind it. It turns out one of warren Beatty’s early roles was appearing in the all American sitcom ‘The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.’ A fact that he is apparently most embarrassed by.
The story began sometime in August I think. Thanks to the keen eyes of the Talk Ivy forum I came across a very interesting plaid popover shirt from the US. It had been put on the eBay alert thread, in which members post BIN (buy it now) items that may be of use to someone else. The shirt was deadstock with tags and part of an apparent clothing line from the American TV show ‘The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.’ Dobie who? Exactly, but we will address him later.
Anyway so far so good in regard to the introduction of the shirt, but then the problem of people and their greed crept in. The auction started at $150 with the BIN price around $200 if my memory serves me right and of course, this is without the international postage put on. So you can imagine what the estimate price would be like…astronomical! So into my watch list it went to mature, and unlike something else of contemporary antiquity, I hoped its value would decrease. The auction ended, no bids, no sale, no decrease of price.
A week later it popped up again but this time $50 cheaper. Again, it ended: no bids, no sale, and no decrease of price. This went on for about a month and a half until finally it appeared as a normal cheap start auction and to my surprise no bidders.
So I let the auction finish and then contacted the seller to see if she was going to re-list it, and to cut one of my usually long stories into less country rambling, the darling that she turned out to be, accepted an offer of $40.
So why did no-one bid on it? Surely it’s not that bad? No of course not! The shirt is fantastic, the label is fantastic – in fact the description notes that it has a ‘poncho bottom’ which as you can imagine caused quite the giggles and a gateway to a whole host of hilarity. My goodness how we bloomin’ laughed. The shirt has superb colours that combine a very autumnal feel with elements of a setting summer sun.
A rather interesting plaid in rather interesting colours.
So to finish lets go back to Mr. D.Gillis. It was only right as an Englander that he and his little televised world would be an enigma, that we’re not supposed to know about. I mean can you imagine anyone in Colorado knowing who Bouncer from Neighbours is in 60 years time? The show was entitled “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.” Its premise according to Wikipedia went something like this:
“The series revolved around teenager Dobie Gillis (Dwayne Hickman), who aspired to have popularity, money, and the attention of beautiful and unattainable girls. He didn’t have any of these qualities in abundance, and the tiny crises surrounding Dobie’s lack of success made the story in each weekly episode. His partner-in-crime was American television’s first beatnik, Maynard G. Krebs”
Sounds like must watch, knock out viewing doesn’t it?
One thing that Dobie did have going for him was his wardrobe; his shirting and style was impeccable as you will see from the photos below. No wonder he had many loves… look at that haircut *swoon.* Apart from this shirt I have yet to find anything else in the range nor any information about it. A shame really as I would like to continue my exploration into this clothing phantasm. It leaves me with the thought that perhaps the seller knew what a rare item it was and priced it accordingly.
Today being the 25th of January I thought it only right & just to offer up something in celebration of Burns Night. So what better way to do this than a menagerie of tartan….
It’s nice to know that the eccentricities of great British design still manage to operate on a small (but perfectly formed) level. Clothing that manages to combine classical elements and fixtures with the pursuit of modernisation but still within reasonable confines certainly deserve the old thumbs up!
Harry Stedman is a label in its infancy and appears to have the survival skills and good breeding to grow into something much larger. Founded in 2011, Harry Stedman is named after its founder’s father, who is the beating heart that runs within the style and design veins of the range.
Look-wise the line takes a lot of its identity from an Englishman’s view of mid 50’s to early 60’s American street style. The obvious nods to Ivy and American Graffiti etc are there to be seen but the range achieves a stylistically modern dynamism that is far more concerned with looking forward rather than back.
Get on the good foot over to http://www.harrystedman.com/ for full range.
I am particularly keen on the plain 50’s cut Tees (see Photo)
Last November Ralph Lauren announced that it will be voluntarily euthanising its confused love child, Rugby. It turns out that the public don’t really want to buy into this highly tweaked, ultra stylised version of collegiate Anglo-Americana any more. Over 14 stores are to be axed, including the very pubescent Covent Garden outlet. The offshoot began trading as its own entity in 2004, specifically to catch the lucrative and affluent 16-25 year old market with its blueprint being a very hackneyed and stereotypical version of the English public school system. Don’t get me wrong though, I used to be an early trumpet for certain looks of the brand, in fact one of the first posts on this very page was a brief introduction to Rugby.
This early excitement was short lived for it didn’t take long before RL took this rose tinted idealisation and began to get carried away with it. On Sunday my girlfriend and I ventured into the Covent Garden store just to see if their 50% off sale produced any wanting surprises but all it did was cement those feelings of inertia. Two good examples of the failings of the visit: the first is when I picked up a Shetland jumper that on the face of it looked quite nice, short lived of course as two elbow patches had been applied to give it a twist that wasn’t needed. Secondly, quite astutely my girlfriend pointed at a stags head on the wall which had a pair of revolting, cheap looking aviators balanced on its snout. “That’s why they’re closing down” she said. “Because they do things like this!” A rather fitting visual metaphor of applying something naff to something pure and classic.
The real story here though is the final nail in the coffin for nouveau prep in all its juxtaposed youthfulness and should really be looked upon with some glee. The original preppy look of the 70’s/80’s is something that between you and I is a look that I quite like. Obviously its Ivy roots are apparent but some of the quirks in colour and style are a good summer staple. For example, the brighter Madras checks of pinks, blues and reds and even critter shorts strike a chord with me.
The boom of nouveau prep came to its commercial climax in 2011. I was working at a brand showroom around the same time the influx of buyers from various stores were draped in cheap skinny chinos, deck shoes and pink oxford shirts with contrasting bow tie. To the fashion press, preppy was the (old) new look, quite timely this was also when the reprint of Take Ivy finally became available to buy and to the media became the prep bible(somehow forgetting that The Official Preppy Handbook of 1980 existed and did a wonderfully adequate job of its Gospel). The influx of blogs on the subject also became more saturated than a teabag in a swimming pool, prep this and prep that.
So is this truly the end? Prep will obviously remain to its devotees and to those who have always been prep but to those who caught that New-England wave should by now be washed up and wondering what’s next.