Among the more interesting, to me at least, things the Italians have done to men's clothing recently has been their reinterpretation of the odd jacket. You know the names: Luciano Barbera, Belvest and Brunello Cucinelli to call out just a few. Their new forms fall somewhere between traditional coats and less structured shirt jackets, varying in look from modified Norfolks to unclassifiable zippered constructions that have little other than their tweed in common with anything Savile Row might recognize.
The result of all this is that men on the street are wearing a profusion of styling details unlike anything we have ever seen before. There are hand warmer pockets, bellows breast pockets, elbow patches, metal buttons and collars with the undersides finished because they are meant to be worn turned up. The few styles without four button fronts that can be completely closed in the cold apparently accomplish the same result with another zipper.
Now despite my distaste for zippers for purposes other than closing a man's fly, and sometimes not even then, I have to admit that there is a certain logic to this stuff. Young men need pockets as much as the rest of us and some of the new models may be likelier to find favor with a potential partner than another copy of the same Harris tweed that their father wears. The only question is how many of them can afford it, for the cost is about the same as traditional bespoke tailoring if not a bit more.
Cost aside, the new odd jackets are refreshingly modern look paired with a checked overshirt and a scarf. The combination may be best suited for a campus or the country rather than urban areas, but then so is Dad's Harris tweed.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
With timing undoubtedly influenced by what was to have been the release of the film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps before its delay to later in the year, May 11 will bring us the release of an updated version of Alan Flusser's 1996 book Style and the Man.
Flusser is a permanent member of the International Best-Dressed List and one of a handful of the most knowledgeable men in the world on all aspects of men's dress. As the book jacket points out, he attracted national attention in 1987 for Michael Douglas's wardrobe in the original Wall Street, a film that did much to recreate public awareness of classic dress after the depredations of the decade that preceeded it.
The original Style and the Man combined how to information about dress with a guide to the finest men's clothing stores in the world. That latter information is gone from the new edition - Flusser pointed out that many of those stores are gone now and have not been replaced. What remains is a slim guide to buying and wearing men's clothes that has been updated to take into account the changes in fit and silhouette that have occurred in the years since its original release.
Like the original, Style and the Man contains chapters on the elements of dress from tailored clothing to neckwear, with information on quality, fit and how to put together successful combinations. It complements Dressing the Man, Flusser's much more comprehensive guide to the same topic, with all the basics at a third of the cost of the larger work. That makes it a perfect graduation gift for young men who will be entering the professions this year as well as a not-quite-small-enough-for-a-pocket guide for their fathers.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
The story goes that the late Murray Pearlstein, founder of the legendary retailer Louis Boston, flew to Italy to meet with Luciano Barbera after seeing a photo of the young and very well dressed Mr. Barbera wearing one of his Caraceni (a Milanese tailor of some well-deserved renown) tweed suits.
"I want to buy your clothes for my store," said Mr. Pearlstein. "But I don't make clothes," replied a confused Mr. Barbera. And so a few minutes later began the Luciano Barbera clothing line.
Of course, that story is only peripherally related to the photo of the same Luciano Barbera wearing what every baseball brimmed male should aspire to, or at least the ones that know how to spell the word tweed. And that is the head covering known as an ivy, driving or golf cap.
Whether made from linen, tweed or more exotic materials, the ivy-driving-golf cap, called simply "the cap" for the blessedly short remainder of this essay, is the best head covering choice when a man is not wearing a formal clothing or a city suit. Oh, there is much that is good and little that is wrong with the fedora or more exotic forms of hats but the cap sits atop the wearability pyramid. And that is because it does all the shade-and-warmth-providing work of other hats without looking odd to eyes unaccustomed to elegant forms of headwear. And there are many of those. Eyes, that is.
To my mind, a reasonable cap wardrobe should consist of at least two linen and three or four tweed versions. They complement shorts and a polo on the golf course as well as they enhance the look of a tweed or linen suit in a tasting room. And, if one can believe the photo, they also make a positive impact on attractive motor scooter riding women.
Wear a cap.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Unlike the late Aristotle Onassis, my necktie is knotted in a four in hand. But today I am also walking down Fifth Avenue in a navy double breasted, and, after six months when I have been unable to travel, it is good to be back.
I think I will pull my breast pocket handkerchief up to make it showier now.
Posted by Will at 8:36 AM
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Aside from the stripes of seersucker and perhaps madras checks, I've never found patterned summer jackets that do not look to me like pallid imitations of cool weather coats. I think that the best warm weather odd jackets are solids in either cotton or linen, with as little lining and structure as possible.
And of the available colors, cream, white and tan best represent the season. All light colors look good in sunshine and these are the lightest of them all. Their neutrality lends itself to combination with the full spectrum of other summer colors as well.
Second to cream tones are blue jacketings, ranging from navy to light, and ideally worn with cream or white trousers. Oh, light gray works in urban areas and tan trousers are fine but it is cream that best suits the time of year. There is a cost of course since cream generally is a dirt magnet and shows every bit of it. But linen summer trousers in particular need pressing more frequently and a few extra pair give one something to wear beneath one's jackets while the rest of the wardrobe is in the laundry.
Now there are those whose summer wardrobes include lime green, lilac and other jacketing tones. Give me instead two blue and as many shades of white, cream and tan as my closet will accommodate.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
It's been neckties, neckties and more neckties at the ASW store recently but they are joined by a few new silk pocket squares that are worthy of a look. These are not the ordinary stuff, nor should they be at the price. Where the run of the mill silk needs frequent attention to stay visible, the ASW versions are woven to be about a third heavier. That weight helps keep them in place, and men who may in the past have spent much of their day adjusting their squares know that is a considerable virtue.
Now a few English purists do not sport pocket squares with their city clothes on the grounds that the frock coats that preceeded the lounge suit did not have breast pockets and so no opportunity for breast pocket decoration. Most of the rest of us are happy for the opportunity to wear patterned silk with textured jackets like tweed and linen, and linen squares with worsteds, either plain or with a colored border. The boldest among us, including HRH the Prince of Wales, wear silk on all occasions. That is a good precedent for a bit of silk in the breast pocket adds considerably to the look of an odd jacket worn tieless.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Some readers may recall that RAVE Fabricare, the Arizona cleaning firm, has been planning a bespoke men's clothing service for some time. I had used RAVE for shirts in the past; last week I sent them a jacket for pressing.
Now I had not sent a jacket out for nearly two years. San Francisco's best cleaners ruined the lapels on one for me that time and, paralyzed by fear, I have made do with spot removal and steam since. But steam alone was no longer an option for the coat in the top photo, taken before the service was performed. It is obvious that the breast pocket needs an iron's loving touch and that there is rumpling everywhere. Out of sight, there are small rips in the sleeve lining.
RAVE's standard practice is to photograph items received for its bespoke service, and to send the customer an email confirming the lapel press. Given the small differences between a three roll two and a three roll 2.5, that latter touch is a nice one.
The after photo was taken at my request for this post, and it is obvious at least to me that the jacket has been pressed competently. In addition, the lining rips have been repaired (this was done without asking me and I do wonder about having someone other than the original tailor sewing on a coat, but the work is satisfactory).
Turnaround for the service has been a couple of working days in addition to the time in transit each way. That is about the same as my local cleaner's weekly pickup and delivery service. The difference is that I paid for UPS to take the jacket to the cleaner, and return it, which adds to the cost. But then the alternatives (do nothing and stop wearing the jacket or have it ruined locally - the original tailor does not offer a pressing service) were considerably worse.
Such a small thing, one would think, and yet so difficult to find. A second jacket will be on the way to Arizona next week.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Unlike several of their neighbors around Savile Row, the George Glasgows, senior and junior, of shoemakers G.J. Cleverley & Co. made it out of Heathrow before the Icelandic ash closed down air travel. They are in the United States for their semi-annual month-long travelling trunk show, and brought with them a couple of old ideas.
The firm is principally a bespoke shoemaker of course, and it also offers a line of well-priced machine-made shoes that sell like mad in Japan. Its newest venture is the 2009 introduction of the Anthony Cleverley line of hand-made shoes on standard lasts, and that has been a wild success as these things go. Cleverley is already sold out for the next eighteen months.
There being no good news without some form of price to be paid, an eighteen month backlog leaves the Anthony Cleverley version of George Sr.'s favorite shoe, the faux laced elastic sided slipon popularized by Winston Churchill, to the extent that the word popular applies to something that has never been made except one at a time, up in the air.
The Anthony Cleverley line has taken off so quickly because it is probably the best constructed not-quite-bespoke shoe in the Western world, sewn entirely by hand in Cleverley's own workrooms. And at 950 GBP or approximately $1,500 ex VAT inclusive of lasted shoe trees, an Anthony Cleverley model costs roughly half the price of the same shoe made on a bespoke last. That is outstanding value if the standard shoe fits.
The upshot of this popularity is that customers will not be seeing new Anthony Cleverley models based on designs dating from the first half of the twentieth century, like the kielty slip-on in the photo, this year as originally planned.
But what was old will eventually become new again.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The dark gray solid is a staple of the suit wardrobe, and every man needs at least one for cool weather. That truth brought me to a San Francisco hotel suite this week for one of the world's quicker fittings. I was late, and thinking about how soon I might be able to get lunch. Thomas Mahon of English Cut was wondering whether he could have me out of there before his next appointment arrived. Three minutes after I arrived he was marking up the too-long trousers.
Now if a man has only one suit, it should probably be charcoal. Navy is a bit nicer for the evening but when a man is contemplating his first suit he is probably going to wear it most often in the daytime. On overcast fall and winter days, dark gray is more useful than navy, and a single breasted plain weave is the most useful of all.
Later in his career when that same man has six or more suits for a season, a second one of them should also be in a second shade of gray. Some would have one in a stripe of some kind but that particular pattern limits a suit to day wear. A single breasted solid and a double breasted complement each other better in my opinion.
This particular suit is in a 14 ounce hopsack from Smith Woolens. The jacket will be double breasted and one with some surface interest from the weave. That is, of course, once it is completed. Both coat and trousers need quite a bit of help, and were full of chalked hieroglyphics a few minutes after Thomas went to work. He was done in no time and I was on my way to assuage my hunger. The suit will hopefully be delivered in September.
Every man needs at least one dark gray suit.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The late designer Hardy Amies wrote that he used to save room in his suitcases by packing a navy suit to do double duty as a dinner jacket on more formal evenings, and in the photograph the New York artist Alex Katz shows that a white dress shirt and a black bowtie do indeed turn a blue double breasted into a reasonable facsimile of dinner clothes.
Perhaps part of his secret is the diamond ended bow tie, so rarely seen that it distracts the eye and leaves the self lapels un-noticed. Another is the suit itself, made from a cloth with a little sheen of its own.
In my opinion if a man has reason to compromise, better a lounge suit with black tie accessories than Hollywood's four in hand neckties worn with dinner clothes. Particularly dinner clothes with trousers worn so long that they puddle on the floor...
Monday, April 19, 2010
Wear a conservative necktie to tone down a less conservative suit.
In the photo, a navy blue grenadine necktie reduces the impact of mid-blue linen. Worn with a blue on white striped shirt and a linen and cotton pocket square with a violet border.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
The advent of warmer, sunnier, weather is when lighter color shoes come into their own. And when the tan comes out of storage, the first thing that should happen to it is a shine, with cream polish rather than wax.
Cream polish does not give quite the shine of wax, but it restores moisture to leather that may have sat in a closet for half a year. And remember that the polish should be lighter in color than the shoes to keep them from darkening over time.
It is time for tan shoes.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Summer's tartan neckties evoking Madras checks, like the cotton original worn by the man on the right in the Esquire illustration, are the featured products this week at A Suitable Wardrobe's Online Haberdashery. Madras, once known as bleeding madras for its tendency for the colors to run during laundering, is an airy patterned cotton from India that has seen a bit of a resurgence recently, in an unfortunately colorfast form, after disappering from American markets for a couple of decades.
But then, my silk neckties are not intended to bleed either. And though they look like they might be a bit loud, when paired with shirts that have a white or cream ground the pattern blends into the ensemble. Wear them with a simple white linen pocket square for a contrast in texture - it's an especially great combination with cotton or linen jackets.
Friday, April 16, 2010
I do like blue neckties with gray suits, to the point where I probably wear the combination too much.
Try satin for a change of pace. Light reflecting midnight blue satin provides more contrast then you might expect, without speaking too loudly.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The messenger bag project begun in February moved to the next stage this week, when Glaser Designs showed me their prototype (ignore the color - prototypes are made from scrap leather and this week's scrap happened to be purple). They asked me to bring the things I would normally carry in the bag so we could be certain there would be a place for each of them.
The principal purpose of this messenger will be to carry the contents of my jacket pockets when I am not wearing a jacket, but I asked for something large enough to hold an iPod and an iPad or Kindle at the same time. Designer Kari Glaser came through. My only change was to ask for a handle so I can carry the bag when I am wearing a jacket and do not want to use the shoulder strap. I was also careful to confirm that the production version would be in the requested brown leather.
One side of the bag has a quick entry side pocket for a wallet. Another zipper provides quick access through the top to a cell phone.
Still a third zipper opens the bag up on three sides as necessary to get to the other contents. There are actually two compartments inside, along with holders for smaller items that might otherwise take time to find.
The Glasers recommend that travellers carry two underpacked carry-ons rather than a single over-stuffed briefcase, and the messenger looks like it will complement a computer bag. I hope to test that theory next month.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Dress shirts have cuffs of various styles, and though few contemporary cuffs are as noticeable as the ones in the illustration, the style of cuff a man wears says some small thing about him. That is because cuffs are usually chosen to match the formality of an occasion, and deliberately or accidentally adding to or subtracting from the generally accepted formality is a statement of its own.
Shirt cuffs come in three varieties, button, link and hybrid, and each fastens differently. Hybrids, called convertible cuffs, may be closed with buttons or with cufflinks. Being neither fish no fowl, they should be avoided in my opinion and we will say no more about them here.
The least formal contemporary cuff is the button or barrel type that closes with, no surprise, a button or buttons. Ordinary shirts tend to have but a single one of them per cuff, which leaves the wearer with an open cuff if he loses a button, and a slightly misaligned one the rest of the time as the cuff will pivot on one button. Better is the double button cuff in the photograph (one shirtmaker's house style is a three button cuff however this seems to me to be overkill as there is already more than enough buttonning to do each time a man changes his clothes).
Some makers also offer a turnback version of the button cuff, called the cocktail or Bond cuff, that attempts to emulate the look of the linked cuff and, in my opinion, fails to do so.
The more formal link cuff, on the other hand, has buttonholes on both sides that are closed with cufflinks rather than buttons as in the photo above. This is an older form of closing and of course there are a couple of types.
Single cuffs, the original linked cuff, are the standard for white tie and can also be worn with black tie. Plain front white linked cuff dress shirts are also worn with suits by a few aficionados, but never with odd jackets.
The somewhat less formal French, or double, cuff is folded back on itself. French cuffs are are normally worn with suits or black tie. They are usually considered inappropriate with odd jackets.
Now the designs of the links that hold these cuffs vary widely but the principal types are made from either silk or gold. Gold is of course the jewelry version and, as the late Harvey Amies wrote, "If you despise (gold) you had better have just buttons on your shirt cuff." The two gold ends should be joined with a bar or a chain. Most men who think about these things eschew links with only a single finished end because the other side is frankly ugly. Ugly or beautiful, gold links cost from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars.
At the opposite end of the cufflink pricing spectrum is the silk knot, favored by American traditional dressers and others who appreciate their nominal cost. Charvet, the Parisian haberdasher, introduced them about a century ago.
And that is how shirt cuffs are closed.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
"Get it perfectly wrong." GQ's Glenn O'Brien said it the other day in his essay about the connection between narcissism and style. And on a day when I am searching for inspiration, it provides the necessary seed. Not to mention the photo of Lapo Elkann taken before he decided to dress like a celebrity. He looked a lot better once upon a time.
Inspiration has been hard to come by these past weeks. A combination of factors has prevented me from travelling, and it was those monthly trips that kept me fresh in the past. For a man who defined himself as in transit as I once did, months in the same spot are a cruel fate. But "getting it perfectly wrong" is a perfectly right way to remind us once again that it is the small well-done idiosyncrasy of dress (by which I do not mean the mis-buttoned jacket) that separates the expert from the beginner. Perfection is too easy to achieve, given adequate money and time.
I would never wear it but Mr. Elkann's teal blue chalk stripe achieves imperfection in an elegant way. His suit is the only idiosyncratic item in his ensemble, which would otherwise raise no eyebrows in the most conservative of crowds. But it is and he would. Which is all right, in that setting.
He got it perfectly wrong.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Too many men wear black socks with their ensembles, in my opinion. And unless a man is wearing evening trousers and black shoes, black socks just create a visual interruption where there should be either a smooth flow or else something to delight the eye.
On dressier occasions socks should be similar to the trouser, not the shoe, and that includes texture as well as color. Wear heavier weight gray socks with heavier gray trousers, and lighter weight navy versions with lighter weight blue. Slightly more advanced dressers may add a contrasting pattern in that similar color and texture. A large herringbone works nicely. A vertical stripe begins to get a bit racy.
When proper sobriety is not required, all bets are off. Socks might pick up the color of something above the waist like the jacket or the pattern in a necktie, or just generally complement without matching like the light gray birdseyes in the photo.
But save the black socks for evening wear.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
For the past couple of decades the two premier men's clothing specialty retailers in the United States have arguably been Louis Boston and San Francisco's Wilkes Bashford. Both of them are going through transitions. Debi Greenberg took over Louis Boston in 2003 from her father Murray Pearlstein, and is placing her own stamp on that institution. And this year, Connecticut's Mitchell family, perhaps the most successful men's retailers in the country, are doing the same to Wilkes Bashford.
This is important stuff as the specialty men's clothier has nearly disappeared in the United States, and if it vanishes most men would have little choice but to shop at their local Saks or Nordstroms. Department stores have their place, but it takes a large company to do business with a large chain. Without the specialty retailer the American man would have even fewer clothing choices than he has today.
Of the two transitions the one at Wilkes is perhaps the more interesting. The Mitchell family (that is CEO Jack Mitchell with his trademark tailor's tape in the photo) operates Mitchells/Richards, highly successful suburban stores built on a foundation of customer satisfaction. Yes, everyone talks about customer satisfaction, but Mitchells/Richards walks the walk. The clothes are there of course, but where the Mitchells excel is at service. The objective of the firm is to build trusting relationships with customers and friends, and in their home markets they have done just that. It has paid off. The Mitchells dominate their local areas as few retailers do in any business.
Now it would go too far to say that service was not good at the old Wilkes, but the place was never considered a warm, welcoming environment. The staff is uniformly bright, articulate, and very intimidating to people they do not know. And while on the one hand people from all over the West fly into San Francisco to shop at Wilkes, on the other I know dozens of men who refuse to patronize the place because of their perceptions of the staff's "attitude."
The Mitchells had the opportunity to acquire Wilkes due in large part to the financial stresses of the bad economy and they are taking the business challenge seriously. Two senior family member executives have relocated to the Bay area and Jack Mitchell himself is spending three weeks out of each month in town (he is very visible on the floor). The objective is to bring that customer friendly Connecticut environment to the Bay area.
Wilkes is going to be a different place, and hopefully changed for the better.
Posted by Will at 9:00 AM
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Most knowledgeable observers consider the well dressed Italian man to be the most clothes conscious in the world. And more than 70% of the neckties sold in Italy are blue.
Coincidence? I don't think so. Blue is the most flexible necktie color. In shades from darkest navy to very pale it complements most dress shirts and gray, brown or blue jackets.
This week I am featuring two lighter blue neckties for the season. One is a navy, royal and white jacquard by Michael Drake. The other is a typically Italian Cappelli six-fold foulard with navy and white figures on a teal blue ground.
Customers outside the United States, Canada and Mexico should note that there is currently a minimum shipping charge of $27 to their destinations. This is the lowest cost option from the U.S. that provides tracking in transit. It is for a medium sized box that can comfortably hold a dozen or more neckties and pocket squares, so ordering more than one item costs no more for shipping.
I hope to see you at the store.
Friday, April 9, 2010
It is after all difficult, if not impossible, for a man to make considered decisions about clothing while accompanied by a loved one who is convinced that she knows better than he what looks good on him, and which places he should patronize. For nothing can come of that but black suits, or worse.
Always shop alone.
Posted by Will at 7:30 AM
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Certain Italian men take the late Giavanni Agnelli's studied carelessness a step too far, in my opinion, and that is in the deliberate mis-buttoning (is that a word?) of their jackets.
I rarely approach perfection in my dress and so have never felt the need to look like I am really just a man who cannot even button his coat correctly. Indeed, on those rare days when I do achieve a sort of simple elegance, the last thing on my mind is how I might make it look less studied.
In the photo, Prescott Bush, United States Senator, father of George H. W. Bush and grandfather of George W. Bush, hosts a golf tournament in his white trousers and with his jacket buttoned at the bottom button, something for which it was not designed. Sprezzatura?
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
With the first signs of spring comes the semi-annual opportunity for a man to inventory his wardrobe and clean his house, or rather his closet. For the intelligent acquisition of a man's wardrobe requires a plan, and the planning has several prerequisites.
First, he should review what he has and ruthlessly discard worn and stained things that are no longer wearable. Sentiment belongs in areas of life other than the wardrobe.
Second, he should give up his fantasy about losing the weight he gained two years ago and sort for charity any clothing that has not been worn for that long, whether it fits or, more likely, not.
Then he should send those items that still need repair (after all, they should have been fixed before he put the things into storage last season) to whichever places will do the required jobs.
When this less rewarding work is done, he is ready to update his list of whatever things he still needs for the new season, such as clothing for a planned vacation or major events like a wedding that has recently been added to the calendar.
Then, and only then, he can if necessary go shopping for clothes. And, though he may have enlisted assistance from other household members in accomplishing the prerequisites, the actual acquisition of his clothing is a task that should never be delegated. In fact, shopping for clothing is one thing that a man should do alone - but that is a topic for another time.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Somewhat in honor of the first shipments of Apple's iPad, ASW will be available on Amazon's Kindle later this week.
Amazon imposes a modest charge of about a dollar a month on readers who choose this service and it will be interesting to see whether anyone other than my wife elects this form of delivery. I believe that weblogs will continue to be delivered for free on the iPad but we have yet to see whether Mr. Jobs and his associates will attempt to do with publishing what they have already done with music and find some way to charge for content.
We now return you to Will's thoughts on dressing with style.
Posted by Will at 8:00 AM
Monday, April 5, 2010
I understand it is warm in much of North America currently but you would never know that from temperatures in the part of the world that I inhabit. Winter has returned here and out came not just the gray flannel suit but its vest, an item I doubt if I had worn all season.
Vests do double duty with single breasted suits. They provide a different look periodically as well as a significantly warmer one. Since flannel is a little more casual than worsted, mine has lapels, a country detail that in this case is at home in the city.
With the suit is a light blue shirt with white collar and cuffs, a white linen handkerchief, brown quarter brogues and a navy Cappelli necktie with white and brown figures to pull it all together. That is nearly as formal as gray flannel can get - had I wanted to dress it down I would have worn a checked flannelette shirt, full brogues, a cashmere necktie and a silk pocket square.
It will be chilly again tomorrow and I once again I will head down to the storage closet for something to wear. That tempting row of warmer weather clothing that I optimistically brought out last week will continue to hang undisturbed.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
This week, A Suitable Wardrobe's online haberdashery features two quintessentially summer neckties in pink. One is a six-fold foulard with white and navy figures by E&G Cappelli of Naples. The other is a pink and white pencil stripe three-fold by Michael Drake. Either of them will combine nicely with Drake's new madras check linen summer scarf in khaki, pink and sapphire blue.
Also on the site are a dozen other new neckties from the two makers. And international customers will find lower shipping costs using the trackable Priority Mail flat rate options.
I would also like to encourage interested men to sign up for the mailing list (on the lower left of the home page). Mailing list subscribers get one email a week maximum and that provides three days' advance notice of new products and promotions. And since there are frequently just three or four of the specialty items on the site, they can be sold out before non-subscibers learn about them.
Pay us a visit.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
My wife was wearing one of my sweaters the other day, and that reminded me that she used to raid my closet with some frequency. She liked wearing my things, which somewhat made up for the distress of discovering that this or that item was in the laundry when I wanted to wear it. And so I thought it might be useful for us to consider a couple of items that we should have in our closets to make our wardrobes attractive to the fairer sex. Note that it is not necessary that a man wear these things; indeed, they may exist principally to make time spent with him more attractive to the woman in his life. But that is justification in its own right.
First and foremost, every man needs a couple of oversized oxford cloth shirts. In addition to its conventional use with chinos and jeans, the oxford buttondown is a convenient coverup when one is needed, day or night. Wash them repeatedly to soften them before placing them into service, and then wear them enough to give them your scent.
Then there is the cashmere sweater. Now cashmere is not inexpensive, and it may be that price makes it impractical for a man to wear himself. But remember that these clothes are for the ladies in our lives and not for our own pleasure except indirectly. Find a used one if necessary. The sweater should be oversized, extremely soft, and, of course, vee necked.
Much of the current discussion about what a woman should borrow, and there is discussion for we are coming into a new cycle of its popularity, concerns women borrowing tee shirts and jeans from their significant others. That is most likely because those items are all that they find in the closet of the typical male friend these days, which makes it all the more useful to have a supply of desireable borrowing-ready clothing on hand. A little preparation will give a man a significant competitive advantage when his woman comes looking for something to wear.
Posted by Will at 7:00 AM