Mister Crew found a strange comic this morning as he was trying to find online photos of Steed jackets (Steed being a bespoke tailor in the UK - a tailor that I use, but is worn much more famously by Voxsartoria). 

In case you can’t read the conversation:

Cybernaut: “I need complete freedom of motion, especially in the arms.”

Tailor: “It’s what we’re known for, sir. Our signature cut of a small armhole and a big sleeve is very, very comfortable.”

Cybernaut: “I haven’t got nerves. Comfort is not my concern. It’s movement. I can’t need a new suit every time I break down a door.”

Tailor: “The cut worked out for Fred Astaire, sir. I’m confident it will present no problems.”

(Next page) Cybernaut: “You mind?” *whacks table* “Hm, you’re right. I felt no resistance whatsoever. And the jacket is still in fine shape.”

Tailor: “Of course, sir.”

Cybernaut: “You know, when we’re finished here I’d like to go ahead and select fabric for a couple more just like it.”

Tailor: “My pleasure.”

Strangely, the cybernaut seems to not be the only one who poses like a robot when wearing Steed. 

The Old Penny Trick

Ray Ban makes some of my favorite sunglasses, but I hate that little logo they put on every one of their frames. It’s small, to be sure, but being a white print against a dark lens, and positioned so that it’s right at your temple when worn, it feels like the most conspicuous logo in the world. And conspicuous logos are the worst logos in my book.

Luckily, when I bought a pair of Clubmasters two weeks ago, I remembered a little trick I learned from Mister Crew (who in turn learned it from The Trad, who in turn learned it from a few guys at Ask Andy). Apparently, back in the day, you could take off this logo with a bit of rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip. That doesn’t work anymore (as The Trad noted), but you can scratch it off with the edge of a penny. It’s a bit harder as you near the edge of the lens, but with a little persistence, you can get the whole thing off. Thirty seconds later, your Ray Bans look a ton better and you no longer have to wear a logo on your face. 

Budget Fatigues

Following on Pete’s post yesterday, Mister Crew mentioned that Earl’s Apparel fatigue pants are a good option for someone on a budget (they’re apparently only $40). I’ve never tried them, but Mister Crew really knows his stuff, so I trust his recommendations. 

Earl’s Apparel fatigues can be had through Independence and Hickoree’s. There are also some at All Seasons Uniform for $27.50, though I don’t know what the difference between those and the others may be. 

Viberg Sample Sale

Viberg’s first ever sample sale will be held at StyleForum this month. First batch of products goes up tomorrow, and the sale will include collab pieces, sample leathers/ soles, handcut patterns, cordovan, etc. Prices will start at $300 and more details can be found here.

(Pictured above: Andrew Chen and Mister Crew’s Viberg boots)

"When George Bernard Shaw saw a portrait of the 1921 Everest Expedition - the men dressed in Norfolk jackets, knickerbockers, and puttees, the geologist Heron in a camel hair greatcoat, Howard-Bury in Donegal tweed, with matching dark tie and waistcoat, Mallory wrapped in a woolen scarf - he famously quipped that the entire scene resembled a ‘Connemara picnic surprised by a snowstorm.’"
- From Into the Silence, in reference to the picture above.
(via mistercrew, who has a regular blog that you be following)

"When George Bernard Shaw saw a portrait of the 1921 Everest Expedition - the men dressed in Norfolk jackets, knickerbockers, and puttees, the geologist Heron in a camel hair greatcoat, Howard-Bury in Donegal tweed, with matching dark tie and waistcoat, Mallory wrapped in a woolen scarf - he famously quipped that the entire scene resembled a ‘Connemara picnic surprised by a snowstorm.’"

- From Into the Silence, in reference to the picture above.

(via mistercrew, who has a regular blog that you be following)

"There’s More to Style Than Clothing"

PowerHouse Books recently emailed me an electronic copy of their latest project, Gary Cooper: Enduring Style, a monograph on the legendary actor’s timeless fashion and alluring sense of style. I scrolled through the file yesterday and couldn’t help but be impressed by how natural and elegant Cooper always looked in his clothes. He was obviously known for playing many roles well - everything from the cowboy to gentleman - but even in candid shots, Cooper never failed to look natural no matter what he wore. In some images, he’s photographed wearing corduroys, a cowboy hat, and a field jacket with bellow patch pockets. In others, he’s wearing a peak lapelled, pinstriped, double breasted suit, highly polished black wingtips, and a starched, white, dress shirt with a collar pin. Cooper was able to carry both American sportswear and European tailored wear with grace and ease; nothing ever looked overly studied or out-of-place.

In his essay at the end of the book, Bruce Boyer wrote that Cooper was born in the frontier prairie town of Helena, Montana. He grew up around ranch hands and grasshoppers, and learned how to shoot a rifle, use a knife, and ride a horse at a very young age. When he was eight, he and his brother were sent to be educated at the Dunstable School - a “proper” English school in Bedforshire, England, just 30 miles outside of London. Here he attended school in little tweed suits and starched Eton collars, and he studied Latin, French, and English poetry. As Boyer put it, “[t]he result was that by the time he reached adolescence he’d had the advantage of both an American-West, frontier upbringing and a highly civilized British Edwardian education. His sense of style was a unique blend of both.” Later in life, Cooper continued to hunt, fish, and travel extensively, all of which I think played no small part in why he always looked natural in his tweed field jackets and Savile Row suits.

I’ve lamented to friends that people care too much about the authenticity of their clothes, but don’t demand the same authenticity in people. There are people who dress like international men of leisure, but they’ve never travelled outside of the country; people who dress like they come from elite universities, but aren’t terribly well read; people who dress like early 20th-century factory workers, but … live in 2011. The men I draw the most style inspiration from - both dead and living - have a sense of style that’s in accord with their lifestyle and character. Their clothes always express them as an entire person.

In his review of the book, one of my favorite bloggers, Mister Crew, wrote “the one thing to take away from this book [is that] there is much more to style than just clothing.” I couldn’t agree more. Of the men who are interested in dressing well, there are some who convincingly carry off what they wear and those who always look like they’re in costume. The difference, I think, is that the latter thinks clothes make the man when in reality they only help frame him. If a man wants to look like sophisticated and elegant, he of course can, but it takes more than wearing the right kind of clothing.

Noel Coward, 1936, via Mister Crew

Noel Coward, 1936, via Mister Crew

Abercrombie & Fitch catalog, circa 1907.
Via Mister Crew.