Showing posts with label styleforum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label styleforum. Show all posts

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

I once met a Nigerian gentleman at the Crockett & Jones factory in Northampton and got talking to him since he offered me a ride to A&G Martinstone in London. He worked half his time in London and half in Lagos, and he told me he simply gave up on wearing his nice clothes in Nigeria. He told me how a dry cleaner took one of his Savile Row suits, kept it for several weeks, and eventually he tracked it down... and found the owner had washed it in a bathtub in his apartment

-- Fidel Cashflow, 25/05/2010, StyleForvm

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Cravat Post (and Other Knick Knacks)

   Prompted by a couple of comments on StyleForvm regarding cravat use amongst the young (the most specific being "How can I wear an ascot and not look gay kthxbye?"), I have taken upon myself to investigate this Scoobariffic mystery

   I'll begin by informing you that you're likely screwed if you wear them as ultra traditionally as possible, unless you are genuinely in costume or ridiculously full of elan. I own 3 and only trust myself to wear them to either a wedding, in character at a party or without a standard suit jacket/blazer/odd jacket, unless it's a three piece suit and a cravat that's sized more like a scarf

   Call me a sentimental young fogey, but I rather think the morning suit cravat holds up very well. I wore it as a groomsman last year, yet not only had I no say in the outfit (aside from relatively accurate fit), but when I arrived wearing the lilac cravat in a traditional manner with a pearl tie-pin, the rest of the four-in-hand cravat-sporting wedding party physically attempted to rearrange it whilst I was still wearing it. Good times

Via the New York Times , this J.C. Leyendecker look encapsulates elegance through illustrative prowess

Judy and Fred during the final scenes of Easter Parade, from a Telegraph featurette 

   But you want to know about less occasional and more down to earth usage. So make it casual. You need to refer to Apparel Arts/Esky and the Duke of Windsor on this one, and even if you are young, let Will at A Suitable Wardrobe guide you along the way (he also has the most comprehensive collection of Apparel Arts images in the menswear sphere)

   Instead of a regular cut jacket, try something a touch offbeat (I don't like reusing shots, so the link is necessary) or something more relaxed and informal like a cardigan (Will favours a safari-styled shirt jacket - colonial, yet still uncommon enough to be interesting). Or just get them in a particularly eyecatching size, tune up the nonchalance and colour match with extreme prejudice:

The DoW treats it as just another part of the ensemble by harmonising it with the rest of the outfit. Bold, bright and relaxed

   What I'm also driving at is using scarves instead. You get the combination of flash and practicality without the self consciousness. Some of you may remember this one:

   This would also look rather clean and somewhat exuberant with a waistcoat, either as part of a suit or a more informal ensemble - there's something of the lounge lizard about it. It's also rather enjoyable with a v-neck:

   You should also have noted by now that rather than the standard references of Lord Byron or early 20th century motorists, I'm actually interpreting something of a mariner look, which is far less overexposed and flouncy and much more enjoyable since it doesn't need to be worked at or overstated. Think also to the peacoats-and-flat-caps casual styles of the young Paul Newman but with decorative neckwear

   For those of you who don't want too much material but enjoy the look nonetheless, well, there's always a neckerchief; leaving the ends out is standard, though one can also sport them tucked in like so:

   For the upcoming seasonal change, look to the new collection of a certain Japanese designer whose name, I'm finding, is becoming rather redundant to type. You probably know who I'm referring to by now, and he's tackled this gilded age look with utter aplomb and a clear idea of how to make it natural today.

   As befitting JW's "new feeling for basics," the proportions are executed rather similarly to my own silhouettes, generally mixing slim-but-not-tight upper halves with flowing trousers and structured looks that utilise shorts to avoid severity, alongside some well mannered quirks and enviable pattern mixing

   Observe that the neckwear is even worn with polo and short sleeved shirts and without jackets. A perfect way to bring these Esky looks back into focus:

JW CdG Man S/S10 images from A full review may appear after its release next month

   If you don't believe that you have a flair for the look, the solution is very simple - find someone with a flair for it and take inspiration. After that, the rest seems easy

   As for the neckerchief with suits-look, let me get back to you when I've made it happen for myself. Oooh, excitement

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Fashion Thought of The Day

For now, this says it all

From The Fashion Museum, Bath. Image by Master-Classter at StyleForvm

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The Face of Your Author

   Outfit photo blogs and "What Are You Wearing Today" pages on style message boards are curious beasties. Fundamentally, I believe the exercise is motivated by a sense of validation, even when the apparent intent is to share, educate or inspire. I've been semi-regularly posting 'fits' to StyleForvm for two months in the belief that I can use constructive criticism and yet I'm self aware enough to concede there's as much narcissism involved in that endeavour as there is in admitting that I'm showing my face and style on the internet because real world reactions are no longer enough

   Slightly deeper than that, I don't get all that much out of people telling me I'm stylish, as much as I always deeply appreciate a compliment. I'm only dressing for myself, after all. But being constructively challenged on my outfits is almost invaluable, even if I don't respect the critic (for whatever reason). It prompts thinking and thought is my vice and my virtue. My father, the most stylish person I know, is quite happy to call me out for clownish ensembles, and a former A-Level art student like myself has no issue with going back to the drawing board, as it were

   Committing to dressing (well, badly, whatever) is huge and if you give a damn, you need to show the proper care. Sometimes I don't care, other times I care too much. The photograph above shows me not caring (more or less - I like most pieces I wear after all) since I put it together in about 10 minutes each, avoiding the possibility of ruining the outfit with overthinking (vice)

   StyleForvm will likely see more of my outfits than this column will - there's not much of an educational or inspirational purpose in having them here at the same time - but if my face is already out there on the 'net, then it may as well be here, too