The Importance of a Good Fit
Following Pete’s post on Panta, I thought I’d share this great photo of our friend Ed Morel. There are so many “rules” in classic men’s dress that sometimes it’s useful to be reminded which ones are important and which are not. The ones about how you should match your leathers, and how the width of your tie should match the width of your lapel, for example, can always be “ballparked,” as Ed’s done here.
What’s more important is that Ed has well-fitting, comfortable looking clothes. His sport coat is neither fashionably tight nor overly loose, and his pants are slim, but don’t make him look like one of those double-popsicle sticks. The patterned jacket also is adding a bit of visual interest to an ensemble that’s otherwise mostly relying on solid colors. Shoes are nice and shined, and the collar on his shirt is big enough so that the points stay hidden underneath his jacket. To be sure, there are some men who can pull off the “short collar” look, but I think most do better with something like what Ed has here (especially if they’re planning to wear a tie).
And although I still think charcoal trousers can only be worn with a limited number of jackets – typically certain tans and light grays – it looks like we can add Glenfeshie tweed to that list. Ed looks great here in his. 
(Photo via Well Worn Worn Well)

The Importance of a Good Fit

Following Pete’s post on Panta, I thought I’d share this great photo of our friend Ed Morel. There are so many “rules” in classic men’s dress that sometimes it’s useful to be reminded which ones are important and which are not. The ones about how you should match your leathers, and how the width of your tie should match the width of your lapel, for example, can always be “ballparked,” as Ed’s done here.

What’s more important is that Ed has well-fitting, comfortable looking clothes. His sport coat is neither fashionably tight nor overly loose, and his pants are slim, but don’t make him look like one of those double-popsicle sticks. The patterned jacket also is adding a bit of visual interest to an ensemble that’s otherwise mostly relying on solid colors. Shoes are nice and shined, and the collar on his shirt is big enough so that the points stay hidden underneath his jacket. To be sure, there are some men who can pull off the “short collar” look, but I think most do better with something like what Ed has here (especially if they’re planning to wear a tie).

And although I still think charcoal trousers can only be worn with a limited number of jackets – typically certain tans and light grays – it looks like we can add Glenfeshie tweed to that list. Ed looks great here in his. 

(Photo via Well Worn Worn Well)

Being slightly less boring with Ed Morel and Panta

Ed Morel, proprietor of Panta, poses the central question of classic mens clothing in terms of high school: “I went to prep school and I had to wear a tie every day. I could wear a navy or burgundy blazer, but everyone wore the navy. After school we’d go out, try to talk to girls. How do you stand out a little bit within that realm?”

It’s that quality of standing out in a quiet way that many of us are looking for when choosing what we wear. “It’s classic menswear. You’re not reinventing the wheel. You’re wearing a shirt, you’re wearing a tie, you’re wearing a jacket and pants. Ties are within certain widths. Lapels, too. Maybe I’ll wear an eff-you sportcoat and plain pants, or eff-you pants and a solid jacket, and that’s very boring”— he laughs—”It’s incredibly boring.” (Eff-you, in this case, means louder, plaid-er fabric. Ed is pictured above with Bruce Boyer at Carl Goldberg’s Madison Avenue workroom, wearing a shirt and pants.)

The start of Panta

As we step from booth to booth at MRKet, a men’s clothing tradeshow in New York, Morel shops for clothing and shoes to carry at Panta, and with characteristic rapid-fire cadence and self-deprecation, tells me about founding the company. “It would be great if I could tell you a nice romantic story, like my parents came from some country, but… I always did like clothing. Living in New York, having access to the clothes and deals here, it led me to realize I could buy more, sell it, and pay for more clothes for myself.” Ed would buy low on high-end clothes, notably pants, at closeout sales and discounters, then sell high online. “But that inventory is limited, and I thought, ‘What if I had access to great pants all the time?’”

Ed set out to have pants made to his specs—fabrics from sources like Loro Piana and Dormeiul, in sometimes exotic blends and textures, finished by hand, in a signature cut with only one rear pocket—in New York. “Most makers don’t want to deal with the small guys. When I started, it was during the financial crisis,” and a lot of bigger customers were scaling back orders, leaving room for Panta’s business. The good reviews rolled in. Now Ed has developed relationships that allow him to regularly make trousers, ties, and shirts under his own ready-to-wear label, as well as custom tailoring, shoes from Heinrich Dinkelacker, and more to come. Made in small runs with refined cloth, the trousers have cost over $300, but Ed’s adding less expensive options, with some customization available even on the least dear (about $200—less expensive is relative). Fabrics come from top-end Italian and English mills, rare to see off-the-rack, and the make varies according to price point, with truly custom options made in New York by Rocco Ciccarelli.

Ed’s store, Ed’s taste

We stop while Ed places an order with Ron Rider for a Cortina-made split toe derby and a chukka boot, both in shell cordovan. He asks my opinion, and I admit that I don’t generally like split toe shoes. Ed’s OK with that. Panta’s stock is small and focused on what he likes to wear himself. “I’m not going to sell double monks because I don’t wear double monks. I’m not ordering 40 different ties, 40 different pants. I carry four or six styles. The shoes go great with the types of pants that I sell, that go great with the shirts.” With his custom pant program, “We can do pretty much whatever you want, except anything that I find in bad taste.” E.g., no camo.

Ed’s not the only guy to turn personal taste into a small business, but he’s got his eye on bigger things. “It started off as a hobby, but now I’m looking to build something that’ll be around long after I’m gone. I’m working on building something that, if you see a shirt or a tie, you know it’s one of my things.”

Pictured are some of Panta’s fall 2013 silk ties (the silk has a very “dry” feel), as well as new scarves, and a pair of downright beefy Heinrich Dinkelacker brogues.


—Pete

The Internet machine has been great for men’s clothing and men’s clothing sellers like me. But at the same time, it’s been a very bad thing for men’s clothing.

Beautifully staged and photographed pictures have sometimes trumped common sense (‘How can I get my linen suit to not wrinkle?’) A lot of me too-ism exists (‘Wow, that guy looks cool with the wrist beads/lapel pin/pocket square/glasses hanging out from chest pocket/scarf/pocketwatch chain on the vest/wallet chain on the pants/unbuttoned BD collar/back blade of tie showing, so let me do the same thing.’)

You need to be you. There are guys here that dress very in your face. Some get away with it, some don’t.

Your style has to be organic to you. An academic approach to dressing is fine, where the color wheel and textural discourses are brought out to the forefront, and of course we can all learn from places like this and from seeing and hearing others. But you can’t just do what everyone else does and be stylish.

Try different shit out, don’t worry about if your pocket square drops a bit in your pocket, don’t aim to look like a perfectly staged and photographed menswear blogger all day long. Clothing should come alive when you wear it, it moves with you, it wrinkles, pants get frumpy, jacket elbows wrinkle.

You should be as physically and mentally comfortable in a suit as you are in jeans and a tee.

Ed Morel (via voxsart)

A side note: I received a tie from Ed’s Panta collection as a gift not long ago, and I really love it. They’re very much worth checking out.

(via abitofcolor)

Ed Morel and Bruce Boyer, at the Panta trunk show Jesse talked about. 
Both gentlemen have especially nice shirt collars on. 

Ed Morel and Bruce Boyer, at the Panta trunk show Jesse talked about. 

Both gentlemen have especially nice shirt collars on.