New York: American Sember Closing Sale
A tip from our friend Carl Goldberg at CEGO Custom Shirtmaker in New York: the New York shirting wholesaler American Sember will be closing. That’s lousy news for shirt fans on the Eastern Seaboard, as the company was one of the best suppliers of fine shirt fabrics. In the short-term, though, it’s good news for New York clothing fans, as they’re clearing out their stock at discount prices, and they’re selling directly to customers, not just shirtmakers.
Here are the details from Carl:
This is strictly cash and carry.
There will be fabric available from the following mills
Albrecht & Morgan (Swiss)
Grandi & Rubinelli (Italy)
S.I.C Tess (Italy)
Thomas Mason Silver Line $25-33 per yard and Goldline $40 per yard
D. J Anderson and Soyella $45
The rest of the fabric 36” is $10 per yard and 60” is $20 per yard. (Check with your shirt maker to see how much you will need.)
There are also MOP buttons from Gritti (italy) no white 18L lots of colors
Lining for inside collars and cuffs.
Give them a call before you stop by. Here’s their info:
29 West 30th St #702 btw 5th and Broadway.
And if you don’t already have a shirtmaker, Carl has offered to make up any 60” fabrics from the sale for $125. He’ll do you right. His info is on his site.
A Visit to B. Black & Sons: The Last Tailor Supplier in Los Angeles
I needed a few buttons for a coat my tailor’s making. He didn’t have any natural ones on hand, so I eagerly volunteered to visit one of my favorite shops in Los Angeles to pick some up: B. Black & Sons.
B. Black is an old-school establishment if ever such a thing there was. In a sea of shops selling cut-rate electronics and baby turtles in plastic terrariums, it’s an island of Los Angeles, circa 1922. Which is when it was founded, by the way.
There are tons of fabric shops in Los Angeles’ garment district, but they’re largely of the sort that features a proprietor claiming a bolt of Chinese polyester is real silk, despite an $8 a yard price tag. B. Black is a tailor’s store. They don’t sell cotton chintz for children’s curtains. They sell men’s fabric. Suiting, stuff for overcoats, a little bit of linen. Plus shoulder pads, shears, zippers and other tailoring essentials.
I walked out with a few fabric remnants that will likely end up as pocket squares in our shop, a set of buttons, and the pictures you see above.
Elegance: Put This On Season Two, Episode Five
Put This On, a web series about dressing like a grownup, visits Milan, a world fashion capital.
In this episode, our director Benjamin Ahr Harrison visits Biella, north of the city, to talk with Luciano Barbera. Barbera isn’t just one of the world’s most elegant men, he’s also the leader of Carlo Barbera, one of the finest fabric mills in existence.
For our PTO Place segment, we talk with the owner of G. Lorenzi. It started as a cutlery shop, and has become a spectacular tribute to the finest small accessories imaginable. It’s home to a visually stunning spectrum of knives, scissors, shaving goods, toothbrushes, combs, shoehorns and other tiny necessities.
In PTO Man, we visit Salvatore Battello, the elegant owner of W-D Man. Before he started his line, he ran one of the last companies in the world that worked with shagreen - the beautiful skin of sharks and rays. Battello tells us about his passion for vintage fabric, and his definition of elegance.
Plus Jesse answers the question “what color shoes go with the suit?” and Dave Hill offers a rudiment on the topic of socks.
Watch it elsewhere:
This episode was supported by our viewers.
Executive Producers: Jesse Thorn & Adam Lisagor
Director: Benjamin Ahr Harrison
Host / Writer / Producer: Jesse Thorn
Rudiments: Dave Hill
Producer: Gianluca Migliarotti
Director of Photography: Daniele Vascelli
Sound: Daniele Belli
Editor: Todd Thoenig and Benjamin Ahr Harrison
Subtitle Translation: Giovanni D’Amico
A fashion and media mogul’s work is never done, so I spent my Sunday morning at the Pickwick Gardens Vintage Fashion & Textile Show. It’s a quarterly operation that’s held in an odd part of Burbank where the streets are populated mostly by people on horseback. (And that’s true. Southern California is weird.)
I was out looking for fabric for the Put This On Gentlemen’s Association - I’m working on getting together enough rayon from the 30s-50s to do a run of that stuff, and I picked up a pile of vintage cotton madras as well. The show’s mostly clothes, though.
I grabbed an old rayon scarf - another to add to a collection that Southern California doesn’t allow me to wear. I visited a jewelry dealer who’d sold me something nice for the Mrs. last time. I stopped into the booths with decent menswear selections, and visited Allyn Scura Eyewear to thank him for a pair of shades I bought. A pleasant time was had by all, and I was back in time to grab tacos for the family for lunch.
Wherever you are, there’s likely a regional vintage clothing show. Only a few - like Inspiration in LA - focus on menswear, but there’s usually a fair amount no matter where you go. And of course if you bring a pretty girl, she might go home with something nice. Google around, or just ask a clothing dealer at your local flea market - they’ll know which are the good ones.
PTO Place: W. Bill
Excerpted from S2E3 of Put This On: “(New) Traditions”
Ray Hammett of W. Bill tells us about the world’s most legendary tweed merchant.
One of the most enjoyable parts of my job as editor of Put This On is selecting fabric for the pocket squares we send to the members of our Gentlemen’s Association. Above are a few that are headed to our seamstress this week. Over the next six weeks, she’ll cut them and roll and sew the edges (by hand), and they’ll be transformed into our next round of squares, which go out June 1st.
The floral was printed by perhaps the most famous fabric print house in the world (who also printed the various designs in our last round of squares). I purchased it in London last year in a tiny shop recommended to me by a friend.
The striped one is new - to me at least. It’s tough to say when exactly it might have been made. It’s an exceptionally fine, lightweight silk that reminded me of summer. I was blown away by its hand, and bought all the vendor had.
And below is something I’m sending to make into samples - a gathered silk that puckers a bit like seersucker. According to the folks I bought it from, it’s at least a few decades old. Again, I bought all that was available, but it’s so beautiful, particularly in its texture, that I couldn’t bear to leave it behind.
Members of the Gentlemen’s Association get a pocket square in the mail, made exclusively by hand in Los Angeles from new and vintage fabrics, every two months. They’re made of the finest materials, chosen by me, and feature full, hand-rolled edges. Because there’s no middle man, you pay about half what you might in a fine men’s store, and if you sign up for a one-year subscription now, your first order will include a white linen square, appropriate with any outfit.
Just saw a note over on StyleForum that our friends Kieran & Shaun Molloy at Molloy & Sons have gotten some stock together for retail sale. This is a relief to me, as ever since I posted our video on the Molloys, I’ve been inundated with questions about when consumers will be able to buy yardage from them. The price is a modest 39 Euros per meter, and they have a selection of basic styles in a traditional heavy weight of 18 oz for the plains and 20.5 for the herringbones. You can see the selection on Flickr here, and get in touch with Shaun & Kieran directly here to place an order.
I had the first length I bought while I was visiting the Molloys made up into a suit last month, and you’ll be able to see it in our second season.
After some success making scarves for a few close friends and family members this holiday season, I thought I’d try a genuinely ambitious sewing project. The tricky bit of learning to sew when you’re a man is that there’s no basic building block piece you can make. Women who are bad at sewing can make skirts. Men who are bad at sewing can make… skirts.
So after careful consideration, I’m going to take a stab at making a pair of pajamas. I bought a pattern for $5 on eBay, and headed down to LA’s fashion district to buy some fabric.
The big fabric stores, like Michael Levine, tend to cater towards seamstresses, not tailors. That means lots of cotton floral prints and not a lot that I would want to wear as pajamas. Some careful research turned up B. Black & Sons, who’ve been supplying woolens to tailors since the 20’s. I figured that if they didn’t have shirtings suitable for my PJs, they’d at least know who would.
The gentlemen who work at B. Black were a little perplexed by my presence, but offered a few helpful words of advice and sent me off to wander through the store. It’s a big place, and chock full of suiting wool of every kind, but they had some cotton here and there, and I found something I liked. It’s a pretty simple blue pinpoint oxford. Ten bucks a yard, and I needed six yards… this won’t necessarily be a money-saving project, but I went for it. A few buttons from the notions counter and I was all set.
So, now I’m armed with a pattern, some buttons and no idea what the fuck I’m doing. Wish me luck.
(photo by Nick Solares)
Wow. That’s a fabric.