Put This On Episode 5: Tradition

Jesse talks with Jay Walter, head of Made-to-Measure at J. Press in New York City about their classic American style. Then a talk with designer Thom Browne, who’s merged traditional aesthetics with fashion ideas, and become perhaps the most influential menswear designer of the last ten years.

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It’s On eBay
Circa 1960s Madras Blazer
Starts at $29.99, Ends Monday

It’s On eBay

Circa 1960s Madras Blazer

Starts at $29.99, Ends Monday

A Coat Renewed
I’d estimate that this herringbone Brooks Brothers tweed is from the mid sixties, but it could just as well be from the 80s or the 50s.  A coat like this is pretty much the same in any year.  I bought it a couple years ago at the Salvation Army for ten dollars.  The tweed was in great shape, and with a toothbrush and some Oxyclean I managed to address the bit of ring-around-the-collar that kept it from looking perfect.  Outwardly perfect, anyway.
The only problem with the jacket was the lining - in the time I owned it it went from threadbare to hanging in shreds.  I wear the coat so much that I decided it was worth replacing.
I had a scarf lying around the house that my mom had bought from an estate sale.  It was a yard square, and with a bit of measuring, I realized I could line the whole thing with the silk from that scarf.  I brought the jacket and the scarf to my tailor, and a hundred dollars later, it was completely relined. 
I think the new lining looks like a million dollars, and I’m always happy to give old clothes new life.  And - bonus - at my request he added an extra pocket for my phone. 

A Coat Renewed

I’d estimate that this herringbone Brooks Brothers tweed is from the mid sixties, but it could just as well be from the 80s or the 50s.  A coat like this is pretty much the same in any year.  I bought it a couple years ago at the Salvation Army for ten dollars.  The tweed was in great shape, and with a toothbrush and some Oxyclean I managed to address the bit of ring-around-the-collar that kept it from looking perfect.  Outwardly perfect, anyway.

The only problem with the jacket was the lining - in the time I owned it it went from threadbare to hanging in shreds.  I wear the coat so much that I decided it was worth replacing.

I had a scarf lying around the house that my mom had bought from an estate sale.  It was a yard square, and with a bit of measuring, I realized I could line the whole thing with the silk from that scarf.  I brought the jacket and the scarf to my tailor, and a hundred dollars later, it was completely relined. 

I think the new lining looks like a million dollars, and I’m always happy to give old clothes new life.  And - bonus - at my request he added an extra pocket for my phone. 

The Black Ivy, from our pals at Street Etiquette and Unabashedly Prep.

The Black Ivy, from our pals at Street Etiquette and Unabashedly Prep.

Q and Answer: The Three-Roll-Two
Benjamin writes to ask: I inherited a handful of my grandfather’s tasteful suits a few years ago  and am slowly having them tailored and integrated into my wardrobe.  Among my favorites are a very classic Brooks Brothers navy blazer and a  cotton khaki suit. Both include three-button jackets, however the lapels  were folded as two-buttons leaving the third button hole exposed on the  lower part of the lapel. Being under 6’, I tend to prefer a two-button  jacket, so I would like to keep them folded the way they are now. But I  would also like to know a little more about the style, what’s the deal  here? Was it a style years ago? Is it considered tacky?
What you’ve got is probably the most classic suit buttoning style, the 3-roll-2:  three buttons, with a roll in the lapel that rolls under the top button, making the coat functionally a two-button.
Three-button suits were the style of the “Friends” era, and two buttons the style of the “Cheers” era.  The 3-roll-2 is a compromise.  It’s found on many Savile Row single-breasteds, and is the classic buttoning for the undarted Ivy League-style “sack” suit.  It’s the opposite of tacky - the epitome of class.
The great challenge will be preserving the lapel roll as such.  On cheap and mishandled suits, the lapel doesn’t roll at all - it folds.  Often dry cleaners will press the lapel down into the chest of the suit, flattening out the suit’s three-dimensional shape.  They’ll also often press a 3-roll-2 into an awkward three-button, so be vigilant.  A good tailor can steam the lapel roll for you to preserve its shape.

Q and Answer: The Three-Roll-Two

Benjamin writes to ask: I inherited a handful of my grandfather’s tasteful suits a few years ago and am slowly having them tailored and integrated into my wardrobe. Among my favorites are a very classic Brooks Brothers navy blazer and a cotton khaki suit. Both include three-button jackets, however the lapels were folded as two-buttons leaving the third button hole exposed on the lower part of the lapel. Being under 6’, I tend to prefer a two-button jacket, so I would like to keep them folded the way they are now. But I would also like to know a little more about the style, what’s the deal here? Was it a style years ago? Is it considered tacky?

What you’ve got is probably the most classic suit buttoning style, the 3-roll-2:  three buttons, with a roll in the lapel that rolls under the top button, making the coat functionally a two-button.

Three-button suits were the style of the “Friends” era, and two buttons the style of the “Cheers” era.  The 3-roll-2 is a compromise.  It’s found on many Savile Row single-breasteds, and is the classic buttoning for the undarted Ivy League-style “sack” suit.  It’s the opposite of tacky - the epitome of class.

The great challenge will be preserving the lapel roll as such.  On cheap and mishandled suits, the lapel doesn’t roll at all - it folds.  Often dry cleaners will press the lapel down into the chest of the suit, flattening out the suit’s three-dimensional shape.  They’ll also often press a 3-roll-2 into an awkward three-button, so be vigilant.  A good tailor can steam the lapel roll for you to preserve its shape.

All I Want For Christmas: Christian Chensvold

All this month, we’re asking men we think are cool to tell us about something they’d like to get for Christmas.  Christian Chensvold is the founder of Ivy Style, a blog which chronicles the Ivy League look, from Weejuns to sack suits.  So what does the Ivy Leaguer want for Christmas?

I’m hoping someone close to me, or even a stranger full of Christmas spirit, reads this and sees that all I want for Christmas are Mark McNairy’s black tassel loafers for Bass. These shoes are like one of those girls in your neighborhood that you never really noticed, and then one day suddenly you go, “Wow, she’s hot.” I’d pair these with soft shoulders and hard bop.


Tassel moccasins, Mark McNairy for Bass, available at Barney’s. Call for details.