It’s On Sale: Drake’s Accessories
While you’re trying to get through to Unionmade, here’s another popular retailer with a crashed sale page. Drake’s just started their fall/ winter sale, with discounts on select ties, scarves, and pocket squares. There may be more on discount as well … assuming you can get through. 
Also, note that if you’re outside of Western Europe, you’ll get another 20% deduction at checkout for not having to pay European taxes (which is included in the listed price).

It’s On Sale: Drake’s Accessories

While you’re trying to get through to Unionmade, here’s another popular retailer with a crashed sale page. Drake’s just started their fall/ winter sale, with discounts on select ties, scarves, and pocket squares. There may be more on discount as well … assuming you can get through. 

Also, note that if you’re outside of Western Europe, you’ll get another 20% deduction at checkout for not having to pay European taxes (which is included in the listed price).

Donegal Tweed Ties
As conventional wisdom goes, grenadines are some of the most useful ties you can own. The reason is they’re (typically) solid in color, but also textured in weave. The textured weave allows you to wear it easily with solid colored shirts and jackets, while the solid color allow you to pair it with patterns. There are few jacket, shirt, and tie combinations where a grenadine would not work.
The same principle can be applied with other ties, although they’re slightly more seasonal in use. A tussah or raw silk can be worn in the summer with cotton or linen jacketings, while a boucle can paired with tweed or flannel in the fall. A Suitable Wardrobe just launched their end-of-season sale, and all three types are available at pretty attractive prices. Slightly similar are lightly patterned ties, such as the speckled Donegal tweed my e-friend Voxsartoria is seen wearing above. From a distance, it appears solid in color, but upon closer look, it has little flecks to keep it interesting. Again, something you can wear with solid colored shirts and jackets, or ones with patterns.
Or so I think, anyway. I wanted to get a Donegal tie this past season, but wasn’t able to. Berg and Berg launched their winter sale yesterday, and they had this very lovely speckled navy tie that someone bought before me. Brooks Brothers also had this knit tie that sold out before I even had a chance to consider it.
There are other options still available though. Vanda Fine Clothing has them in Air Force chevron and pebbled grey patterns. Those come in their signature, lightly lined construction, which allows their ties to feel a bit more “true” to their shell fabrics. There’s also Drake’s and E.G. Cappelli – two of my favorite tie makers. Drake’s is a high-quality, no-nonsense construction, while E.G. Cappelli is typically lightly lined and has a bit more visible handstitching. Additionally, there’s Howard Yount and Sid Mashburn. I have no experience with their neckwear, but both companies have solid reputations. And if someone doesn’t mind the skinny widths, there are these options by Gant Rugger and Alexander Olch.
Hopefully I can get one before winter ends. 
(Picture via voxsart)

Donegal Tweed Ties

As conventional wisdom goes, grenadines are some of the most useful ties you can own. The reason is they’re (typically) solid in color, but also textured in weave. The textured weave allows you to wear it easily with solid colored shirts and jackets, while the solid color allow you to pair it with patterns. There are few jacket, shirt, and tie combinations where a grenadine would not work.

The same principle can be applied with other ties, although they’re slightly more seasonal in use. A tussah or raw silk can be worn in the summer with cotton or linen jacketings, while a boucle can paired with tweed or flannel in the fall. A Suitable Wardrobe just launched their end-of-season sale, and all three types are available at pretty attractive prices. Slightly similar are lightly patterned ties, such as the speckled Donegal tweed my e-friend Voxsartoria is seen wearing above. From a distance, it appears solid in color, but upon closer look, it has little flecks to keep it interesting. Again, something you can wear with solid colored shirts and jackets, or ones with patterns.

Or so I think, anyway. I wanted to get a Donegal tie this past season, but wasn’t able to. Berg and Berg launched their winter sale yesterday, and they had this very lovely speckled navy tie that someone bought before me. Brooks Brothers also had this knit tie that sold out before I even had a chance to consider it.

There are other options still available though. Vanda Fine Clothing has them in Air Force chevron and pebbled grey patterns. Those come in their signature, lightly lined construction, which allows their ties to feel a bit more “true” to their shell fabrics. There’s also Drake’s and E.G. Cappelli – two of my favorite tie makers. Drake’s is a high-quality, no-nonsense construction, while E.G. Cappelli is typically lightly lined and has a bit more visible handstitching. Additionally, there’s Howard Yount and Sid Mashburn. I have no experience with their neckwear, but both companies have solid reputations. And if someone doesn’t mind the skinny widths, there are these options by Gant Rugger and Alexander Olch.

Hopefully I can get one before winter ends. 

(Picture via voxsart)

It’s (always?) On Sale: Yoox
My favorite place to order Italian, Yoox, has cut prices further on a lot of items, putting a lot of really nice pieces at half retail or less (even considering Yoox’s occasionally inflated “retail” prices). Check out bargains on tailoring and outerwear from L.B.M. 1911, bicycle culture casual from Pedaled, soft Italian tailoring from Boglioli, unusual, texture-heavy fabrics from Barena, Drake’s scarves, Cote et Ciel accessories (I recommended their backpack awhile back), hard-to-find Filson Italy gear, Incotex group shirts from the regrettably named Glanshirt, good value shirts from Guy Rover, oddball Japanese old timiness from Haversack, very good prices on slim Incotex trousers, a single but very nice Nigel Cabourn jacket, more soft Italian tailoring from Piombo, Sartoria Partenopea's traditional Italian tailoring, a small selection of Tricker’s British shoes (I’d avoid their sneaker-styled models), Valstarino blousons, unusual Yuketen moccs and boots, and understated Zanone knitwear.
Pictured: Yoox’s giant Italian warehouse.
-Pete

It’s (always?) On Sale: Yoox

My favorite place to order Italian, Yoox, has cut prices further on a lot of items, putting a lot of really nice pieces at half retail or less (even considering Yoox’s occasionally inflated “retail” prices). Check out bargains on tailoring and outerwear from L.B.M. 1911, bicycle culture casual from Pedaled, soft Italian tailoring from Boglioli, unusual, texture-heavy fabrics from Barena, Drake’s scarves, Cote et Ciel accessories (I recommended their backpack awhile back), hard-to-find Filson Italy gear, Incotex group shirts from the regrettably named Glanshirt, good value shirts from Guy Rover, oddball Japanese old timiness from Haversack, very good prices on slim Incotex trousers, a single but very nice Nigel Cabourn jacket, more soft Italian tailoring from Piombo, Sartoria Partenopea's traditional Italian tailoring, a small selection of Tricker’s British shoes (I’d avoid their sneaker-styled models), Valstarino blousons, unusual Yuketen moccs and boots, and understated Zanone knitwear.

Pictured: Yoox’s giant Italian warehouse.

-Pete

New York City and London Sales
There are four big sales this month that might be of interest to our readers in New York City and London. 
In New York City, Ovadia & Sons and Isaia will be holding sample sales. Ovadia’s will be held at 155 Wooster Street #4 on Thursday, December 5th from 8:30am until 6pm, and Friday, December 6th, from 8:30am until 2pm. Isaia’s sample sale will be held at 225 5th Avenue, between 26th and 27th Street, December 10th until the 12th (10am until 7pm) and December 13th (10am until 1pm).
In London, Drake’s will be holding a holiday sale at their newly opened factory store from December 5th until the 7th. You can check it out at No. 3 Haberdasher Street (what a great address). Present will also be holding a big sale for all their previous seasons’ unsold inventory. That will be at 20th Century Theatre (291 Westbourne Grove on the corner of Portobello Road) on December 7th to December 9th. 
All four sales should have pretty hefty discounts, and might be worth checking out if you’re in the area. 
(Picture via Drake’s)

New York City and London Sales

There are four big sales this month that might be of interest to our readers in New York City and London. 

In New York City, Ovadia & Sons and Isaia will be holding sample sales. Ovadia’s will be held at 155 Wooster Street #4 on Thursday, December 5th from 8:30am until 6pm, and Friday, December 6th, from 8:30am until 2pm. Isaia’s sample sale will be held at 225 5th Avenue, between 26th and 27th Street, December 10th until the 12th (10am until 7pm) and December 13th (10am until 1pm).

In London, Drake’s will be holding a holiday sale at their newly opened factory store from December 5th until the 7th. You can check it out at No. 3 Haberdasher Street (what a great address). Present will also be holding a big sale for all their previous seasons’ unsold inventory. That will be at 20th Century Theatre (291 Westbourne Grove on the corner of Portobello Road) on December 7th to December 9th. 

All four sales should have pretty hefty discounts, and might be worth checking out if you’re in the area. 

(Picture via Drake’s)

Is That a Unicorn in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Poorly Translating the Bible?

Unicorn-print accessories, like Lisa Frank stickers but for men, have enjoyed a good couple of years. Pictured above are Drake’s tonal printed pocket squares (derived from La Dame à la licorne; not currently available) and Kent Wang’s more colorful version, based on the Verteuil Tapestries).  Reginald Jerome de Mans has talked about the history of these accessories with Drake’s and Hilditch and Key going back to the late 1980s, but what about the history of the unicorn itself? And why are we keeping ol’ one horn in our jacket pockets?

Annalee Newitz talks about the evolution of the unicorn myth via Chris Lavers’ 2010 scholarly study of unicorns through history:

As Lavers explains, the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament mentions an animal called a “reem.” When scholars tried to translate this word into Greek, they were flummoxed. They had no idea what this “reem” was. They knew it was big, and it had horns, and that it obviously wasn’t a goat. (Goats are mentioned elsewhere in the Bible.) So they translated it as “monoceros,” meaning “one-horn.” Then, when the Greek Bible was translated into Latin, the word became “unicornus.” And that word, translated into English, is unicorn.

Early in the 20th century, when scholars cracked the code on ancient cuneiform script, they finally learned what that mysterious reem really was. In these ancient texts, written around the time when the Hebrew Bible was being penned, there are many references to an animal called a rimu. Like the biblical reem, the rimu was enormous, strong, and had horns. That animal was an ox. So all of those references to unicorns in the Bible? Those are actually to an ox. Which, if you read the actual sections of the Bible, makes a lot more sense.

But for nearly 1500 years, Christians believed in the unicorn version of things. The unicorn came to symbolize Christ, its horn the cross, and its tribulations during the hunt were like Christ’s tribulations on earth. Interestingly, the idea that unicorns were attracted to virgins comes from a pagan source. A Latin book called the Physiologus, probably written in the second century CE, mentions that a unicorn can only be caught when it lays its head down in a virgin’s lap. Christian analysts seized on this idea, suggesting that this was symbolic of how Christ came into the world – with the help of a virgin. Keeping all of this in mind, it’s easy to understand what those 16th-century unicorn tapestries are all about.

Next time you’re decorating your Trapper Keeper or tweed patch pocket, think of the mystical beauty and profound majesty of the ox.

-Pete

The Soft Silk Knit
For as long as I’ve been buying silk knit ties, I’ve always preferred the crunchy variety - the kind where if you squeeze the tie in your hand, the silk material feels a bit “crunchy” as it rubs against itself. I like these for their heavier weight, as the tie doesn’t flop around as much, and for their more distinctive visual texture. You can find them on the high-end at Drake’s, but the best bang-for-you-buck might be from Land’s End. Those retail at $60, but it’s not uncommon to see them go for ~$30 during one of their many sales. 
Some months ago, however, I came across this photo of Dr. Keith Churchwell. Here, he’s seen wearing a brown hat, light blue shirt, Russell plaid jacket, and a burgundy soft-knit tie. The softer knit tie seems so much better suited to an autumnal ensemble, much like how a wool tie would be a better here than any of your basic silks. So, I’ve been hunting for a good soft knit to try out. 
Luckily, it’s easier to find soft knits than crunchy ones. Many the more traditional American clothiers will carry them, such as O’Connell’s, Ben Silver, and J. Press. For something more affordable, there’s The Knottery. In addition to silk, there are also ones made from wool, cashmere, and alpaca blends. Our friend Will at A Suitable Wardrobe has some cashmere ones on sale, and Brooks Brothers just came out with these Donegals. I may just try one of these options out this fall. 
Incidentally, the photo above was taken by Rose Callahan, who has two upcoming events for new her book I Am Dandy. The first is on November 7th from 6-8pm at the Fine and Dandy shop in New York City, and the second is on November 18th from 6-8pm at the National Arts Club (also in New York City). The second will double as the opening reception for a weeklong exhibition of prints by our friend Rose. If you’re in town, stop by and tell her we said hi. 

The Soft Silk Knit

For as long as I’ve been buying silk knit ties, I’ve always preferred the crunchy variety - the kind where if you squeeze the tie in your hand, the silk material feels a bit “crunchy” as it rubs against itself. I like these for their heavier weight, as the tie doesn’t flop around as much, and for their more distinctive visual texture. You can find them on the high-end at Drake’s, but the best bang-for-you-buck might be from Land’s End. Those retail at $60, but it’s not uncommon to see them go for ~$30 during one of their many sales. 

Some months ago, however, I came across this photo of Dr. Keith Churchwell. Here, he’s seen wearing a brown hat, light blue shirt, Russell plaid jacket, and a burgundy soft-knit tie. The softer knit tie seems so much better suited to an autumnal ensemble, much like how a wool tie would be a better here than any of your basic silks. So, I’ve been hunting for a good soft knit to try out. 

Luckily, it’s easier to find soft knits than crunchy ones. Many the more traditional American clothiers will carry them, such as O’Connell’s, Ben Silver, and J. Press. For something more affordable, there’s The Knottery. In addition to silk, there are also ones made from wool, cashmere, and alpaca blends. Our friend Will at A Suitable Wardrobe has some cashmere ones on sale, and Brooks Brothers just came out with these Donegals. I may just try one of these options out this fall. 

Incidentally, the photo above was taken by Rose Callahan, who has two upcoming events for new her book I Am Dandy. The first is on November 7th from 6-8pm at the Fine and Dandy shop in New York City, and the second is on November 18th from 6-8pm at the National Arts Club (also in New York City). The second will double as the opening reception for a weeklong exhibition of prints by our friend Rose. If you’re in town, stop by and tell her we said hi. 

Alternatives to J. Press’ Shaggy Dogs
Pete’s post yesterday reminded me of how much I also regret not buying those Shaggy Dog sweaters when they were “just” $160. On sale, that price occasionally dropped to $108, but fat chance you’ll see them go that low now. At this point, you can expect a sale price of around $172.50 with J. Press’ usual 25%-off discount, which is north of what they used to sell for at full retail just a few years ago. 
There are some alternatives though. The now defunct Ralph Lauren Rugby line used to make brushed Shetlands, and every once in a while, you’ll see them still floating around eBay for between $50 and $110. The sweater isn’t as thick and densely knitted as J. Press’, but it fits slimmer and has smaller armholes (the second of which I really appreciate). It also has sueded elbow patches, but I imagine those can be carefully removed with a seam ripper if they’re not to your liking. 
Howlin’ of Morrison also has a model towards the end of this page. I really like their Shetlands (this particular piece looks fantastic), but find their brushed version a bit thin (from memory, slightly thinner than even Rugby’s). On the upside, they also fit slimmer than Press’, which might be good for some builds. 
Other options include these pieces by Edifice x Present, Present, William Fox & Sons, Drake’s, John Tulloch, and Neighbour. Of those, I’ve only handled Neighbour’s, which are, again, thinner but potentially better fitting. Some of the prices here aren’t that much cheaper than what J. Press is asking, but it’s nice to have options when sale season comes. I also think there’s a potential for the York Street version to go on deeper discount than J. Press’ mainline stuff, but only time will tell. 
Lastly, MKI also used to carry some last year, but they’ve since sold out. Might be worth keeping an eye on their webstore to see if they’ll restock. 

Alternatives to J. Press’ Shaggy Dogs

Pete’s post yesterday reminded me of how much I also regret not buying those Shaggy Dog sweaters when they were “just” $160. On sale, that price occasionally dropped to $108, but fat chance you’ll see them go that low now. At this point, you can expect a sale price of around $172.50 with J. Press’ usual 25%-off discount, which is north of what they used to sell for at full retail just a few years ago. 

There are some alternatives though. The now defunct Ralph Lauren Rugby line used to make brushed Shetlands, and every once in a while, you’ll see them still floating around eBay for between $50 and $110. The sweater isn’t as thick and densely knitted as J. Press’, but it fits slimmer and has smaller armholes (the second of which I really appreciate). It also has sueded elbow patches, but I imagine those can be carefully removed with a seam ripper if they’re not to your liking. 

Howlin’ of Morrison also has a model towards the end of this page. I really like their Shetlands (this particular piece looks fantastic), but find their brushed version a bit thin (from memory, slightly thinner than even Rugby’s). On the upside, they also fit slimmer than Press’, which might be good for some builds. 

Other options include these pieces by Edifice x Present, Present, William Fox & SonsDrake’s, John Tulloch, and Neighbour. Of those, I’ve only handled Neighbour’s, which are, again, thinner but potentially better fitting. Some of the prices here aren’t that much cheaper than what J. Press is asking, but it’s nice to have options when sale season comes. I also think there’s a potential for the York Street version to go on deeper discount than J. Press’ mainline stuff, but only time will tell. 

Lastly, MKI also used to carry some last year, but they’ve since sold out. Might be worth keeping an eye on their webstore to see if they’ll restock. 

It’s On Sale: E. Marinella and Drake’s Ties

A selection of neckties by E. Marinella and Drake’s are on sale at Gilt today, with prices starting at $79. Included in the bunch are some navy foulards, like the ones you see above, which would go very well with any conservative suit. 

It’s On Sale: Shoes and Ties at Gentlemen’s Footwear

Gentlemen’s Footwear is having a sale right now. The selection isn’t big, but the quality is excellent. There are a couple of Drake’s grenadines for $95 and some basic designs by E.G. Cappelli for $89. Jesse published a great post two years ago about the value of a good, solid tie, and I think this one would be a great piece for any occasion. You can take inspiration from this photo of Timo, which we featured in our "Real People" series.

Also, while the main website doesn’t reflect the new price, the store’s blog notes that these two Carmina models are on sale for $375 (with free shipping). You have email them in order to purchase, however. 

Three Good Sales

Three good sales started today.

The first is at Drake’s, who just put a selection of their men’s accessories on discount. Note that folks outside of the EU can expect another ~20% off at checkout for not having to pay European taxes.

Next, The J. Peterman Company is offering a “30% off + free shipping” discount with the checkout code WeLoveYouToo. The code drops this Swaine Adeney Brigg umbrella down to $245. Not as cheap as the time Jesse found it for $187, or even when he found it for $234, but it’s been over a year since I’ve seen it go down this low. 

Finally, H.W. Carter & Sons is giving an extra 20% off with the code 0020. That drops these boots by Oak Street Bootmakers down to about $175. They have some other nice casual shoes as well. I own a few Oak Street Bootmakers shoes and really like them.