Breaking News: Waxed Cotton Jackets are Waxy
I recently ruined a brand new leather jacket, which taught me a thing or two about storage and cleaning. First, waxed cotton jackets are apparently waxy – waxy enough that you don’t want to store them uncovered and pressed up against other garments. If you do, the waxes and oils can stain other clothes. Like the sleeves above, which are connected to a lambskin leather jacket I just bought last winter, and then stupidly stored next to my Barbour Bedale. After finding the damage, I sent the jacket to RAVE FabriCARE – the best dry cleaner I know of – and asked what could be done. I learned a few things.
First, leather jackets are hard to clean. Much harder than wool sport coats. So when you’re choosing a leather jacket, think about the overall design. Something with a rugged sensibility, such as jackets from RRL or Schott, might still look fine (if not better) with a stain or two. Something from Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, or any of the high-end Italian brands, on the other hand, will not.
Similarly, think about the color and material. Suede is harder to clean than regular leather, and light colored materials will be harder to upkeep than anything dark. Black, of course, is the easiest to maintain.
Second, leather can react to dry cleaning in unpredictable ways. Sometimes the color can fade or bleed; sometimes the leather can lose its suppleness; sometimes the garment can shrink. Always bring your jacket to a specialist who knows what they’re doing (not someone who will just dump your jacket off at a local plant), and before dry cleaning, see if the company you’re working with can apply a topical treatment first to remove the stain. Maybe you can avoid the dry cleaning process altogether. 
Lastly, garment bags aren’t just for suits or sport coats. Waxed cotton jackets should also be bagged, particularly if you’re storing them next to other clothes. Breathable ones made from natural materials will be best – not just because waxed cotton can get a bit musty, but also because cheap synthetic materials can degrade and let off a gas that can damage clothes. RAVE FabriCARE sells some for a reasonable price of $9/ piece.
As for my jacket, RAVE applied a topical cleaner, which reduced the visibility of the staining by about 50%. We decided to save the dry cleaning for later. Meanwhile, all my waxed cotton and oilcloth jackets from now on will be bagged.   

Breaking News: Waxed Cotton Jackets are Waxy

I recently ruined a brand new leather jacket, which taught me a thing or two about storage and cleaning. First, waxed cotton jackets are apparently waxy – waxy enough that you don’t want to store them uncovered and pressed up against other garments. If you do, the waxes and oils can stain other clothes. Like the sleeves above, which are connected to a lambskin leather jacket I just bought last winter, and then stupidly stored next to my Barbour Bedale. After finding the damage, I sent the jacket to RAVE FabriCARE – the best dry cleaner I know of – and asked what could be done. I learned a few things.

First, leather jackets are hard to clean. Much harder than wool sport coats. So when you’re choosing a leather jacket, think about the overall design. Something with a rugged sensibility, such as jackets from RRL or Schott, might still look fine (if not better) with a stain or two. Something from Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, or any of the high-end Italian brands, on the other hand, will not.

Similarly, think about the color and material. Suede is harder to clean than regular leather, and light colored materials will be harder to upkeep than anything dark. Black, of course, is the easiest to maintain.

Second, leather can react to dry cleaning in unpredictable ways. Sometimes the color can fade or bleed; sometimes the leather can lose its suppleness; sometimes the garment can shrink. Always bring your jacket to a specialist who knows what they’re doing (not someone who will just dump your jacket off at a local plant), and before dry cleaning, see if the company you’re working with can apply a topical treatment first to remove the stain. Maybe you can avoid the dry cleaning process altogether. 

Lastly, garment bags aren’t just for suits or sport coats. Waxed cotton jackets should also be bagged, particularly if you’re storing them next to other clothes. Breathable ones made from natural materials will be best – not just because waxed cotton can get a bit musty, but also because cheap synthetic materials can degrade and let off a gas that can damage clothes. RAVE FabriCARE sells some for a reasonable price of $9/ piece.

As for my jacket, RAVE applied a topical cleaner, which reduced the visibility of the staining by about 50%. We decided to save the dry cleaning for later. Meanwhile, all my waxed cotton and oilcloth jackets from now on will be bagged.   

Put This On’s Inside Track for the week of July 27th - August 2nd

Here are our hand-selected favorites from eBay for this week, plus heads-up on recommended sales. If you’re a member of the Inside Track, click through, and log in with your Member.ly username and password. If you’re not a member, you can join now for just $5 a month - you’ll get access to one of these members-only lists every week, and your membership supports Put This On. 

See the rest →

More Vintage Finds

Pictured above: Some more vintage finds on eBay. If you like looking at vintage clothes and ever want to kill an hour, just dig around eBay’s “completed listings” section. I filter for “sold listings” and sort everything according to the highest prices ended. That way, I can see what serious collectors recently fought over. Useful terms (at least for the kind of stuff you see above) include: Buco, motorcycle club, car club, motorcycle jacket, bomber jacket, flight jacket, WWII jacket, USN jacket, vintage varsity jacket, etc. 

You can read more about these kinds of searches here

A New Way of Making Shoes

Here’s something awesome. Eugenia Morpurgo and Juan Montero have come up with a new manufacturing system for shoes. Through laser cutters and 3D printers, they’re able to produce design patterns, and then have those patterns transformed into separate components, which they assemble by hand without the need for stitches or glue. Their idea is to take the process of shoe production and bring it directly to the consumer. So, instead of having your shoes made in England or China, the “factory” would be brought into your local store, where you can choose what you want and have your shoes made within an hour. 

The system at the moment is still more of a novelty than anything practical, but if it develops, it could have a lot of interesting consequences. For example, it could reduce waste and the need for overproduction, as well as the size of storage facilities necessary for producing and selling footwear. This, of course, could greatly lower our environmental impact. It could also blow open the doors for collaboration and customization, as the manufacturing process becomes more digitalized. And, perhaps if these systems become cheap enough, maybe one day you can have one in your own home, so that you can design shoes based off of templates you’ve downloaded from the web. 

You can learn more about the project at Don’t Run (the project’s name) and Domus

eBay Roundup
Many thanks to Pete and the RJcat for contributing to today’s roundup. I’m particularly fond of the Ettinger briefcase pictured above. Anyone still looking for swim trunks this season might also want to check out these from Orlebar Brown.
As usual, if you don’t see anything you like here, you can also use our customized search links to find more menswear related auctions. We’ve made them for high-end suits, good suits, high-quality shirts and fine footwear. 
Suits, sport coats, and blazers

Brooks Brothers blazer, 37
Suede and tweed suit, 40
Yellow windowpane sport coat, 40 and 42
Polo cream linen/silk sport coat, 42
Brooks Brothers blazer, 43
Ivory sport coat, 44
Chipp tan cotton sport coat, 44
Brooks Brothers chambray sport coat, 44
Tuxedo, 44
Outerwear


Black vest, XXS
Crescent Down Works 60/ 40 jacket, S
Aero leather jacket, 36
Barbour fishing Bedale, S
Belstaff leather motorcycle jacket, S
Belted Engineered Garments jacket, M
Our Legacy jean jacket, 40
Navy varsity jacket, M
Invertere single breasted raglan coat, 42
Nom de Guerre blackwatch International-style jacket, L
Invertere corduroy hunting coat, 42
Wings + Horns parka, XL
Wings + Horns varsity jacket, XL
Grey shirt jacket, XL
Black wool Raf Simons jacket, 44

Sweaters and knits

Grey v-neck, 38
Charcoal sweatshirt, M
Grey sweatshirt (XL, XXL)

Shirts and pants

Our Legacy popover, 36
Linen madras shirt, 38
Chimala chambray shirt, S
Yellow OCBD, S and XL
Grey plaid button down shirt, 15.5
Blue plaid shirt, M
Blue dotted shirt, M
Blue t-shirts, M (1, 2)
Grey corduroy shirt, 16.5
Bengal striped Kiton shirt, 17
Green madras shirt, XL
Our Legacy star shirt, XL
Vintage Polo Sportsman shirt, XXL (tagged L, but prob runs very big)
Benjamin Bixby chinos, 32
Vintage L.L. Bean “Nantucket Red” shorts, 32
LVC brown cord trousers, 32
LVC tan twill trousers, 32
Cucinelli grey cotton trousers, 33
Charcoal trousers, 36
Grey chinos, 39

Shoes

Carmina tassel loafers, 7
Crockett & Jones cap toe oxfords, 8
Alfred Sargent suede cap toe oxfords, 8
Tuczek button boots, ~8.5
Allen Edmonds tan cap toe oxfords, 8.5
Carmina quarter brogues, 9
Common Projects Achilles Highs, 9
Crockett & Jones semi-brogues, 9
JM Weston crocodile penny loafers, 9
Oliver Spencer cap toe bluchers, 9
John Lobb chukkas, 9-10?
Alden cap toe boots, 9.5
Crockett & Jones pebble grain bluchers, 9.5
Ralph Lauren tassel loafers, 9.5
Russell Moccasin chukkas, 9.5
Tuczek formal pumps, 9.5-10?
Common Projects high top sneakers, 10
Crockett & Jones spectator derbys, 10
Loake suede tassel loafers, 10
Crockett & Jones penny loafers, 11.5
Russell Moccasin boots, 11.5
Carmina wingtip boots, 12

Ties

Navy geometric motif tie
Navy striped tie
Burgundy puppystooth tie
Solid navy tie
Dotted blue tie
Green square motif tie
Red faux-grenadine
Burgundy striped tie

Bags, briefcases, and wallets

Nanamica briefcase
Ettinger briefcase (pictured above)
Valextra card wallet
Leather carryall
Whitehouse Cox purse
Whitehouse Cox wallet

Misc.

Green vest (L, XL)
J. Press tweed cap, L
Sunglasses
Brown fedora, 7 1/2
Bunch of Jay Kos stuff
Green fedora, 7 1/8
Arnys cap, 7 1/8
Navajo blanket
Orlebar Brown swim trunks, various sizes

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 Pete and the RJcat for contributing to today’s roundup. I’m particularly fond of the Ettinger briefcase pictured above. Anyone still looking for swim trunks this season might also want to check out these from Orlebar Brown.

As usual, if you don’t see anything you like here, you can also use our customized search links to find more menswear related auctions. We’ve made them for high-end suitsgood suitshigh-quality shirts and fine footwear

Suits, sport coats, and blazers
Sweaters and knits
Shirts and pants
Shoes
Ties
Bags, briefcases, and wallets
Misc.
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.

If you’re not yet tired of seeing photos related to the Duke of Windsor pop up on menswear blogs and forums, here’s a collection of images of his home in Paris

More images by the photographer, Fritz von der Schulenburg, can be found here.

Boxers, Briefs, or Coil Spacers and a Restraint Layer?
Alyssa Shaw visits the Smithsonian’s Suited for Space exhibition, currently in Philadelphia, and considers the evolution of astronaut undies: 

On display in the quirky exhibition are a few different models of spacesuit underwear, including a beige cotton one-piece with coil spacers affixed strategically to allow airflow…. A sketch from 1965 shows the Gemini EV spacesuit with its many layers, the first of which labeled “underwear,” others including “comfort layer,” “pressure bladder,” and “restraint layer.” In the late 1960s, Atlas Underwear Corporations designed the Apollo 11 “biobelt,” a soft layer worn against astronaut’s skin designed to monitor things like blood pressure, but not necessarily designed with the wearer’s comfort in mind. Commander Chris Conrad of the Apollo 12 mission wasn’t a fan of the biobelt. He mused, “It looks like I’ve got poison ivy under these things.”
Space underwear have come a long way since their first use fifty years ago. They still resemble those one-piece men’s pajamas your great-grandfather probably wore, but today’s technology replaces elements like coil spacers. Some of the most recent underlayers are composed of stretchy material that provides the flexibility astronauts need when navigating and working in space. They are typically fitted with cooling tubes and sweat-wicking fabric to keep their body temperatures at a nice medium between the coldness of space and the heat pent up in their tight suits.

It’s July and I’ve already shed all the layers of clothing basic decency and the law allow. Who’s down for some cooling tube underwear? Via Andrew Sullivan.
-Pete

Boxers, Briefs, or Coil Spacers and a Restraint Layer?

Alyssa Shaw visits the Smithsonian’s Suited for Space exhibition, currently in Philadelphia, and considers the evolution of astronaut undies:

On display in the quirky exhibition are a few different models of spacesuit underwear, including a beige cotton one-piece with coil spacers affixed strategically to allow airflow…. A sketch from 1965 shows the Gemini EV spacesuit with its many layers, the first of which labeled “underwear,” others including “comfort layer,” “pressure bladder,” and “restraint layer.” In the late 1960s, Atlas Underwear Corporations designed the Apollo 11 “biobelt,” a soft layer worn against astronaut’s skin designed to monitor things like blood pressure, but not necessarily designed with the wearer’s comfort in mind. Commander Chris Conrad of the Apollo 12 mission wasn’t a fan of the biobelt. He mused, “It looks like I’ve got poison ivy under these things.”

Space underwear have come a long way since their first use fifty years ago. They still resemble those one-piece men’s pajamas your great-grandfather probably wore, but today’s technology replaces elements like coil spacers. Some of the most recent underlayers are composed of stretchy material that provides the flexibility astronauts need when navigating and working in space. They are typically fitted with cooling tubes and sweat-wicking fabric to keep their body temperatures at a nice medium between the coldness of space and the heat pent up in their tight suits.

It’s July and I’ve already shed all the layers of clothing basic decency and the law allow. Who’s down for some cooling tube underwear? Via Andrew Sullivan.

-Pete

Fragrances, Part Two: How to Choose Something for Yourself
In some ways, choosing a fragrance is straightforward: you pick something you’d want to wear. At the same time, there’s more to it than just sniffing the bottle.
The first thing you need to know is that fragrances react to your body and evolve over time. So when you’re out shopping for a scent, only use the blotter strips to see what you’d like to sample, and then spray no more than one scent per wrist. That way, your nose won’t be confused. As you wear those scents throughout the day, pay attention to how they change. Scents are described in a musical metaphor as having three sets of notes, which make up a harmonious scent accord. These notes are released over time:
Top notes: Also known as the head notes, these are what you smell upon immediate application. Top notes are very strong and assertive, and often a bit citrusy. I find them to be too strong when I’m in public, so I apply scents about five minutes before going outside. A scent’s top notes will have evaporated by then. 
Middle notes: Next are the middle notes, which typically last for about thirty minutes. Middle notes form the heart of a fragrance, and are usually much more well-rounded and mellow. 
Basenotes: A fragrance’s middle notes and basenotes form the real “theme” of a fragrance, which is why you need to give it time before you judge it. Basenotes start to come out after the first thirty minutes and will last until the scent disappears. 
In addition to paying attention to how something evolves, think about what you’re smelling and whether those scents are suitable for your needs. Things that smell very citrusy, floral, green, or aquatic, for example, might only be good for daytime use, or for the spring and summer seasons. Conversely, things that smell more like wood, amber, vanilla, or leather might be better for nighttime use, or for the fall and winter seasons. Whether something is right for you is as much about when you plan to wear it as it is about your personality.  
Once you’ve picked something, the rest is easy.
Storing: Fragrances are sensitive to light and heat, so store things in cool and dry places, and away from direct sunlight. On top your dresser is fine; on the dashboard of your car is not.
Application: Generally speaking, you want to spray fragrances about 3-6 inches away from your body, and directly on pulse points (so neck, inner elbow, or wrist). Remember, fragrances need to react to your body, so don’t apply scents to your clothes. I personally spray stuff on my wrist, and then lightly dab my wrists on my neck. (Rubbing is bad for the oils). Whatever you do, don’t spray fragrances into the air and walk through the mist. That does little more than freshen up the room.  
Amount: How much you apply is personal, and will depend on the strength of what you’re spraying. Some things require a bit more application; some things less. Obviously: when in doubt, always err on the side of caution. If you want something to last long, just get a longer lasting scent, rather than go wild with a weak one. 
Finally, if you want to try out a new scent, or just develop your nose, buy samplers before you buy bottles. Doing so can be a nice way to check things out without dropping too much money. The Perfumed Court is a popular online source, and you can do a Google search for “fragrance decants.” You can also find good reviews at Basenotes, where there’s a large online community of enthusiasts.
(Pictured above: One of my favorites, Creed’s Green Irish Tweed)

Fragrances, Part Two: How to Choose Something for Yourself

In some ways, choosing a fragrance is straightforward: you pick something you’d want to wear. At the same time, there’s more to it than just sniffing the bottle.

The first thing you need to know is that fragrances react to your body and evolve over time. So when you’re out shopping for a scent, only use the blotter strips to see what you’d like to sample, and then spray no more than one scent per wrist. That way, your nose won’t be confused. As you wear those scents throughout the day, pay attention to how they change. Scents are described in a musical metaphor as having three sets of notes, which make up a harmonious scent accord. These notes are released over time:

  • Top notes: Also known as the head notes, these are what you smell upon immediate application. Top notes are very strong and assertive, and often a bit citrusy. I find them to be too strong when I’m in public, so I apply scents about five minutes before going outside. A scent’s top notes will have evaporated by then. 
  • Middle notes: Next are the middle notes, which typically last for about thirty minutes. Middle notes form the heart of a fragrance, and are usually much more well-rounded and mellow. 
  • Basenotes: A fragrance’s middle notes and basenotes form the real “theme” of a fragrance, which is why you need to give it time before you judge it. Basenotes start to come out after the first thirty minutes and will last until the scent disappears. 

In addition to paying attention to how something evolves, think about what you’re smelling and whether those scents are suitable for your needs. Things that smell very citrusy, floral, green, or aquatic, for example, might only be good for daytime use, or for the spring and summer seasons. Conversely, things that smell more like wood, amber, vanilla, or leather might be better for nighttime use, or for the fall and winter seasons. Whether something is right for you is as much about when you plan to wear it as it is about your personality.  

Once you’ve picked something, the rest is easy.

  • Storing: Fragrances are sensitive to light and heat, so store things in cool and dry places, and away from direct sunlight. On top your dresser is fine; on the dashboard of your car is not.
  • Application: Generally speaking, you want to spray fragrances about 3-6 inches away from your body, and directly on pulse points (so neck, inner elbow, or wrist). Remember, fragrances need to react to your body, so don’t apply scents to your clothes. I personally spray stuff on my wrist, and then lightly dab my wrists on my neck. (Rubbing is bad for the oils). Whatever you do, don’t spray fragrances into the air and walk through the mist. That does little more than freshen up the room.  
  • Amount: How much you apply is personal, and will depend on the strength of what you’re spraying. Some things require a bit more application; some things less. Obviously: when in doubt, always err on the side of caution. If you want something to last long, just get a longer lasting scent, rather than go wild with a weak one. 

Finally, if you want to try out a new scent, or just develop your nose, buy samplers before you buy bottles. Doing so can be a nice way to check things out without dropping too much money. The Perfumed Court is a popular online source, and you can do a Google search for “fragrance decants.” You can also find good reviews at Basenotes, where there’s a large online community of enthusiasts.

(Pictured above: One of my favorites, Creed’s Green Irish Tweed)

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.