Fragrances, Part One: What The Heck Do Those French Words Mean?
Fragrances sometimes carry a bad reputation, especially here in the US. Just the idea of them brings to mind all those times we’ve been trapped in an elevator or subway car with someone who applied too much, and those few scarring experiences can be enough to scare us from ever wearing something ourselves.
However, like with anything, what’s done poorly can also be done well, and if you choose wear fragrances, there’s a way to do it tastefully. While I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject, I buy and wear fragrances on occasion and have found that a little knowledge goes a long way. So, for people who are just starting out, I thought I’d write a basic introduction on how to get started.
First, you should to know some terms. Fragrances are categorized according to the concentration of their aromatic oils. Roughly speaking, the higher the concentration, the more potent and long-lasting the scent. So you have:
Eau de Cologne (2-5%): The word cologne doesn’t mean “male scent,” as is commonly believed. Instead, eau de cologne is a class of fragrances, and the one with the lowest concentration of oils. Frankly, I find a lot of stuff in this category somewhat disappointing, as the scents will be almost gone by the time you walk out the door.
Eau de Toilette (5-10%): The next step up in terms of potency and longevity. Most male scents fall into this category.
Eau de Perfum (10-20%): A higher concentration still. You don’t want to apply too much of this stuff, given its oil content, which is why it’s OK to buy smaller amounts. And while these are typically more expensive per ounce, they’re arguably cheaper per sniff, as they last much longer. The scent of an eau de cologne, for example, can dissipate within two hours, while an eau de perfum can last for up to five.
Perfume extracts (20% or more): Anything with an aromatic oil concentration of 20% or more will often be labeled simply as perfume or perfume extract.
Granted, a lot of this is an oversimplification. The percentage concentrations can vary depending on the manufacturer’s definitions, and sometimes you can find overlap between categories. The potency and quality of the raw materials can also vary wildly, so sometimes you’ll find that an eau de toilette that’s stronger than an eau de perfum. The above is just a general guideline.
Of course, how long something lasts comes secondary to how it smells. Tomorrow we’ll talk about how to choose something for yourself. 
(Pictured above: One of my favorites, L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Timbuktu)

Fragrances, Part One: What The Heck Do Those French Words Mean?

Fragrances sometimes carry a bad reputation, especially here in the US. Just the idea of them brings to mind all those times we’ve been trapped in an elevator or subway car with someone who applied too much, and those few scarring experiences can be enough to scare us from ever wearing something ourselves.

However, like with anything, what’s done poorly can also be done well, and if you choose wear fragrances, there’s a way to do it tastefully. While I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject, I buy and wear fragrances on occasion and have found that a little knowledge goes a long way. So, for people who are just starting out, I thought I’d write a basic introduction on how to get started.

First, you should to know some terms. Fragrances are categorized according to the concentration of their aromatic oils. Roughly speaking, the higher the concentration, the more potent and long-lasting the scent. So you have:

  • Eau de Cologne (2-5%): The word cologne doesn’t mean “male scent,” as is commonly believed. Instead, eau de cologne is a class of fragrances, and the one with the lowest concentration of oils. Frankly, I find a lot of stuff in this category somewhat disappointing, as the scents will be almost gone by the time you walk out the door.
  • Eau de Toilette (5-10%): The next step up in terms of potency and longevity. Most male scents fall into this category.
  • Eau de Perfum (10-20%): A higher concentration still. You don’t want to apply too much of this stuff, given its oil content, which is why it’s OK to buy smaller amounts. And while these are typically more expensive per ounce, they’re arguably cheaper per sniff, as they last much longer. The scent of an eau de cologne, for example, can dissipate within two hours, while an eau de perfum can last for up to five.
  • Perfume extracts (20% or more): Anything with an aromatic oil concentration of 20% or more will often be labeled simply as perfume or perfume extract.

Granted, a lot of this is an oversimplification. The percentage concentrations can vary depending on the manufacturer’s definitions, and sometimes you can find overlap between categories. The potency and quality of the raw materials can also vary wildly, so sometimes you’ll find that an eau de toilette that’s stronger than an eau de perfum. The above is just a general guideline.

Of course, how long something lasts comes secondary to how it smells. Tomorrow we’ll talk about how to choose something for yourself. 

(Pictured above: One of my favorites, L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Timbuktu)

It’s On Sale: Shoes at Leffot

New markdowns on sale prices at Leffot. Some things that caught my eye:

Note, sale items are not returnable. 

It’s On Sale: Carson Street Clothiers

NY shop Carson Street Clothiers carries a broad selection of interesting tailoring (mostly Italian) and cool-guy casual stuff. They just marked down their sale section so that everything is 50%-70% off, leading to some low prices on typically expensive items, like this Valstar leather blouson, MAN1924 linen/cotton safari jacket, SNS Herning sweater, Ami cotton/linen shirt, Buttero sneakers, Mismo briefcase, and Carson Street’s trim house label trousers in hopsack wool. Two things to note: not all sizes and items shown are in stock—you have to add them to your bag to get an out of stock notice; and returns are limited (items discounted 60% or more are not returnable; other sale items can be returned within 14 days).

-Pete

The Style at the Time

The best and maybe most important show on TV in the 1990s (yes, better than Seinfeld), the Simpsons arguably should’ve retired a few years ago rather than trudge along with HD episodes that hang OK jokes on plots that have long since exhausted the narrative possibilities of the family unit. For years the show’s classic seasons, lines from which make up about 35 percent of Generation Xers’ speech, have aired in syndication but have been frustratingly hard to find online. FXX recently announced it bought the rights to the entire series and will be putting every episode online (in addition to airing all 522 in a row in August), a relief to nerds everywhere. In celebration, a few of my favorite style-related moments from the show:

Grandpa Simpson: I tied an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time.

Homer: Look everyone, now that I’m a teacher I’ve sewed patches on my elbows.
Marge: Homer, that’s supposed to be leather patches on a tweed blazer, not the other way around.  You’ve ruined a perfectly good jacket.
Homer: Ah, incorrect Marge, two perfectly good jackets.

Homer: I don’t want to look like a weirdo! I’ll just go with the muumuu.

Hank Scorpio: They laughed at me the first time I wore jeans with a sport coat. I was the first wealthy man in America to ever do that, now they all do it!

Homer: There’s only two kinds of guys who wear Hawaiian shirts: gay guys and big fat party animals.

Homer: Hugh, there’s something I want you to have.  My Dad gave me his cufflinks on the day I married Marge and they brought us good luck. I couldn’t imagine a happier marriage.  We don’t have many traditions in our family, but it would mean a lot to me if you kept this one alive.

Marge: Homer, I don’t think you should wear a short-sleeve shirt with a tie.
Homer: [groans] Ohhh, but Sipowicz does it.

Homer: So I want the monogram to read “M-A-X P-O-W … “
Employee: Sir, traditionally, a monogram is just initials.
Homer: Max Power doesn’t abbreviate. Each letter is as important as the one that preceded it. Maybe more important! No, as important.
Employee: [sighing] Very well.
Homer: And if you’ve got enough room, add some exclamation points and a pirate flag.

Disco Stu: Disco Stu doesn’t advertise.

Mr. Burns: Some men hunt for sport, others hunt for food, the only thing I’m hunting for is an outfit that looks gooooood.
[to the tune of “Be Our Guest”]
See my vest, see my vest, made from real gorilla chest,
Feel this sweater, there’s no better than authentic Irish Setter.
See this hat? 'Twas my cat. My evening wear? Vampire bat.
These white slippers are albino African endangered rhino.
Grizzly bear underwear; turtles’ necks, I’ve got my share.
Beret of poodle on my noodle it shall rest;
Try my red robin suit, it comes one breast or two,
See my vest, see my vest, see my vest!
Like my loafers?  Former gophers!  It was that or skin my chauffers.
But a greyhound fur tuxedo would be best.
So let’s prepare these dogs —
Woman: Kill two for matching clogs!
Burns: See my vest, see my vest, oh please, won’t you see my vest?

-Pete

eBay Roundup
Many thanks to our friend the RJcat for contributing to our eBay roundup today. As usual, if you’d like to dig up more finds, you can use our customized search links for high-end suits, good suits, high-quality shirts and fine footwear.
Suits, sport coats, and blazers

Boglioli sport coats, various sizes
Houndstooth sport coat, 40
Navy linen suit, 42
Tan sport coat, 43
Blazer, 44
Brown glen plaid sport coat, 44L
Brown herringbone sport coat, 46
Vicuna double breasted jacket, 46

Outerwear

Our Legacy indigo jacket, XS
Waxed Barbour jacket, 36
Tan Engineered Garments parka, S
Wool channel quilted coat, S
B-15 bomber jacket, S/M
Brown chore coat, M
Engineered Garments parka, M
Black Barbour Bedale, 40
Patrik Ervell raincoat, M
Navy leather varsity jacket, M
Engineered Garments Expedition jacket, M
Barbour Beaufort, 40
Grey Folk jacket, L
Waxed Barbour jacket, L
Nigel Cabourn Aircraft jacket, 42
Engineered Garments Bedford jacket, L
Black safari jacket, L/ XL
Barbour motorcycle jacket, XL
Quilted Wings + Horns jacket, XL
Tan Nigel Cabourn jacket, XL

Shirts and pants

Engineered Garments chambray, S
Plaid Engineered Garments shirt, M
Engineered Garments plaid shirt, M
Nigel Cabourn reversible plaid shirt, L
Engineered Garments chambray, L
Charcoal chambray shirt, XL
Jean Shop chambray, XL
White t-shirt, L
Navy pinwale corduroys, 32
Flat Head jeans, 38

Sweaters and knits

Brown crewneck Smedley sweater, S
Drakes Fair Isle vest, S
Hooded sweatshirt, S
Camoshita brown cotton sweater, 40
Barbour x Norton & Sons rugby, L

Shoes

Crockett & Jones suede semi-brogues, 7
Church’s house slippers, 8
Russell Moccasin boots, 8
Santoni suede tassel loafers, 8.5
Maison Martin Margiela side zip boots, 9
Maison Martin Margiela suede GATs, 9
Paul Stuart tassel loafers, 9
Quoddy ring boots, 9
Tricker’s shortwings, 9
Alfred Sargent longwing, 9.5
Edward Green shortwings, 9.5
Ralph Lauren shell cordovan shortwings, 9.5
Alden shell cordovan penny loafers, 10
Alden suede plain toe boots, 10
Brooks Brothers tassel loafers, 10C
Common Projects Achilles Lows, 10 (1, 2)
Shipton & Heneage bit loafers, 10
Iron Heart Viberg boots, 10.5
Maison Martin Margiela GATs, 10.5
Quoddy ring boots, 10.5
Brooks Brothers cap toe boots, 11 (pictured above)
Brooks Brothers shell cordovan penny loafers, 11
Edward Green cap toe oxfords, 11.5
Edward Green suede plain toe bluchers, 11.5
JM Weston cap toe bluchers, 11.5
Common Projects trainers, 12
Quoddy moc toe bluchers, 12
New & Lingwood tassel loafers, 12.5
Heschung split toe boots, 13
Heschung suede chukkas, 13

Ties

Black Drake’s tie
Green raw silk tie
Blue foulard
Navy diamond motif tie
Solid blue tie
Grey and white Shepard’s check tie
Blue/ silver block striped ties (1, 2)
Purple diamond motif tie
Green floral tie

Bags, briefcases, and wallets

Valextra card wallet
Money clip and card wallet

Misc.

Pocket squares
Tan cashmere scarf
Travel clock
Briefcase shoulder strap
John Lobb socks, 9
Polo helmet
Tennis trainer
Supposed shoe drawer from Louis Vuitton trunk

If you want access to an extra roundup every week, exclusive to members, join Put This On’s Inside Track for just five bucks a month.

eBay Roundup

Many thanks to our friend the RJcat for contributing to our eBay roundup today. As usual, if you’d like to dig up more finds, you can use our customized search links for high-end suitsgood suitshigh-quality shirts and fine footwear.

Suits, sport coats, and blazers
Outerwear
Shirts and pants
Sweaters and knits
Shoes
Ties
Bags, briefcases, and wallets
Misc.
Greeting Summer Head-On
I will admit it: I hate summer. I come from San Francisco, where summer is two mild weeks in mid-September. I melt in the heat, even here in Los Angeles, where the high temperatures are ameliorated by dry air. I spent a few summers in Washington DC, so I understand that hot can really be hot.
When I don’t have any appointments and the mercury hits about 84, I put on shorts. Sometimes, though, I have people to meet. In those times, well, a bit of head-on goes a long way. Today was one of those days. Interview (with the great comedian Todd Glass) in the afternoon. Temperatures in the mid-80s. So I threw on this new suit, which features - wait for it - checked seersucker.
Frankly, it’s a little ridiculous. But when it’s this hot, who cares?
(Photo by Noe Montes)

Greeting Summer Head-On

I will admit it: I hate summer. I come from San Francisco, where summer is two mild weeks in mid-September. I melt in the heat, even here in Los Angeles, where the high temperatures are ameliorated by dry air. I spent a few summers in Washington DC, so I understand that hot can really be hot.

When I don’t have any appointments and the mercury hits about 84, I put on shorts. Sometimes, though, I have people to meet. In those times, well, a bit of head-on goes a long way. Today was one of those days. Interview (with the great comedian Todd Glass) in the afternoon. Temperatures in the mid-80s. So I threw on this new suit, which features - wait for it - checked seersucker.

Frankly, it’s a little ridiculous. But when it’s this hot, who cares?

(Photo by Noe Montes)

It’s On Sale: Luciano Barbera at Vente Privee
Vente Privee is offering a broad variety of Luciano Barbera clothing, from suits to sportcoats to ties, for about 80% off. I think the outerwear, clocking in at about a grand for an overcoat, is a particularly excellent value for those of you looking for something beautiful that you can wear almost every day in cold weather, all winter long.
As per usual with these flash sale sites, you can use our invitation to sign up for an account.

It’s On Sale: Luciano Barbera at Vente Privee

Vente Privee is offering a broad variety of Luciano Barbera clothing, from suits to sportcoats to ties, for about 80% off. I think the outerwear, clocking in at about a grand for an overcoat, is a particularly excellent value for those of you looking for something beautiful that you can wear almost every day in cold weather, all winter long.

As per usual with these flash sale sites, you can use our invitation to sign up for an account.

Your Sunday Monday Square
This week’s featured Put This On pocket square was cut from a piece of vintage rayon - probably from the 1940s, though it’s tough to say for sure. Like all our squares, it’s shaped and finished by hand in our atelier in Los Angeles. You can purchase this square here, or check out all our offerings.

Your Sunday Monday Square

This week’s featured Put This On pocket square was cut from a piece of vintage rayon - probably from the 1940s, though it’s tough to say for sure. Like all our squares, it’s shaped and finished by hand in our atelier in Los Angeles. You can purchase this square here, or check out all our offerings.

Swimwear That Doesn’t Look Like Swimwear
Traditionally, there have been two kinds of swimwear for men. There are swim shorts, which are mid-length trunks with an elasticized waist. These are arguably the most comfortable, as they have the most flexibility. Then there are boardshorts, which comes out of Californian surf culture. These are a bit longer (usually about knee-length) and instead of an elasticized waist, they have a rigid waistband, Velcro fly, and some kind of lace-up tie. This double fail-safe system ensures that your trunks won’t be ripped from you in a wipeout. 
When I go swimming, I like to wear what some might call “all day trunks,” which are trunks designed without any of those traditional details. So, no elastic bands, visible ties, or sporty designs. Instead, I look for trunks that look a regular pair of shorts, but are constructed from a fast drying fabric. 
As a result, I get something I can wear in the water, but also pair with other things once I towel off. For example, I recently wore my swim trunks to go to the beach with friends, but then paired them with a linen button-up shirt and some woven Rivieras when we decided to hang out till night. It’s an incredibly easy and convenient combination when you want to look presentable afterwards — say, if you want to grab tacos in a beach town or hang out at the hotel bar — but don’t want to have to go and change clothes. 
You can find such trunks at any number of places. I have a pair of Orlebar Brown’s Bulldogs, which are a mid-length short with side tabs. The tabs are not only a nice stylistic touch, but they also give a more adjustable fit. I also have a pair of Onia’s 7.5” Calders, which are just as nicely constructed, but have a slightly longer length that I think looks more flattering when I’m out of the water. Additionally, Robsinson Les Bains is good for more interesting prints, while Faherty does the same thing, but in more casual flavors.
As usual, if retail prices are too high for you, you can wait for end-of-season sales or check eBay. Orlebar Brown can be had at the moment at The Mens Market for $72, while Onia is about the same at Wittmore and Barney’s Warehouse. 
(Pictured above: Onia shorts, Orlebar Brown t-shirt, Oliver Spencer linen shirt, and Riviera slip-on shoes)

Swimwear That Doesn’t Look Like Swimwear

Traditionally, there have been two kinds of swimwear for men. There are swim shorts, which are mid-length trunks with an elasticized waist. These are arguably the most comfortable, as they have the most flexibility. Then there are boardshorts, which comes out of Californian surf culture. These are a bit longer (usually about knee-length) and instead of an elasticized waist, they have a rigid waistband, Velcro fly, and some kind of lace-up tie. This double fail-safe system ensures that your trunks won’t be ripped from you in a wipeout. 

When I go swimming, I like to wear what some might call “all day trunks,” which are trunks designed without any of those traditional details. So, no elastic bands, visible ties, or sporty designs. Instead, I look for trunks that look a regular pair of shorts, but are constructed from a fast drying fabric. 

As a result, I get something I can wear in the water, but also pair with other things once I towel off. For example, I recently wore my swim trunks to go to the beach with friends, but then paired them with a linen button-up shirt and some woven Rivieras when we decided to hang out till night. It’s an incredibly easy and convenient combination when you want to look presentable afterwards — say, if you want to grab tacos in a beach town or hang out at the hotel bar — but don’t want to have to go and change clothes. 

You can find such trunks at any number of places. I have a pair of Orlebar Brown’s Bulldogs, which are a mid-length short with side tabs. The tabs are not only a nice stylistic touch, but they also give a more adjustable fit. I also have a pair of Onia’s 7.5” Calders, which are just as nicely constructed, but have a slightly longer length that I think looks more flattering when I’m out of the water. Additionally, Robsinson Les Bains is good for more interesting prints, while Faherty does the same thing, but in more casual flavors.

As usual, if retail prices are too high for you, you can wait for end-of-season sales or check eBay. Orlebar Brown can be had at the moment at The Mens Market for $72, while Onia is about the same at Wittmore and Barney’s Warehouse

(Pictured above: Onia shorts, Orlebar Brown t-shirt, Oliver Spencer linen shirt, and Riviera slip-on shoes)

How Clothes Can Affect the Way People Treat You
NPR has an interesting story about how some African-Americans used turbans to deal with discrimination in the Jim Crow era. An excerpt:

Routté’s experiment began after he traveled to Mobile, Ala., in 1943 for a family engagement. He wasn’t happy with how he was treated.
"I was Jim Crowed here, Jim Crowed there, Jim Crowed all over the place," he later told reporters. "And I didn’t like being Jim Crowed."
So he went back in 1947, with a plan.
Before he boarded the train to Alabama, he put on his spangled turban and velvet robes. When the train reached North Carolina during lunchtime, Routté walked over to the diner car where the only vacant seat was occupied by two white couples.
One of the men said, “Well, what have we got here?” to which Routté replied in his best Swedish accent (he had been the only black student at a Swedish Lutheran college in Illinois), “We have here an apostle of goodwill and love” — leaving them gaping.
And that confusion seemed to work for Routté on the rest of his trip. He dropped in on police officials, the chamber of commerce, merchants — and was treated like royalty.
At a fancy restaurant he asked the staff what would happen if a “Negro gentleman comes in here and sits down to eat.” The reply: “No negro would dare to come in here to eat.”
"I just stroked my chin and ordered my dessert," he said.
[…]
"He didn’t change his color. He just changed his costume, and they treated him like a human," says Luther Routté, who has been a Lutheran pastor for 25 years. It "shows you the kind of myopia that accompanies the whole premise of apartheid or segregation."
Through the “turban trick,” Routté basically transformed himself from a threat to a guest — black to invisible.

You can read the whole story here.

How Clothes Can Affect the Way People Treat You

NPR has an interesting story about how some African-Americans used turbans to deal with discrimination in the Jim Crow era. An excerpt:

Routté’s experiment began after he traveled to Mobile, Ala., in 1943 for a family engagement. He wasn’t happy with how he was treated.

"I was Jim Crowed here, Jim Crowed there, Jim Crowed all over the place," he later told reporters. "And I didn’t like being Jim Crowed."

So he went back in 1947, with a plan.

Before he boarded the train to Alabama, he put on his spangled turban and velvet robes. When the train reached North Carolina during lunchtime, Routté walked over to the diner car where the only vacant seat was occupied by two white couples.

One of the men said, “Well, what have we got here?” to which Routté replied in his best Swedish accent (he had been the only black student at a Swedish Lutheran college in Illinois), “We have here an apostle of goodwill and love” — leaving them gaping.

And that confusion seemed to work for Routté on the rest of his trip. He dropped in on police officials, the chamber of commerce, merchants — and was treated like royalty.

At a fancy restaurant he asked the staff what would happen if a “Negro gentleman comes in here and sits down to eat.” The reply: “No negro would dare to come in here to eat.”

"I just stroked my chin and ordered my dessert," he said.

[…]

"He didn’t change his color. He just changed his costume, and they treated him like a human," says Luther Routté, who has been a Lutheran pastor for 25 years. It "shows you the kind of myopia that accompanies the whole premise of apartheid or segregation."

Through the “turban trick,” Routté basically transformed himself from a threat to a guest — black to invisible.

You can read the whole story here.