Spring’s Blues

Charcoal grays, deep navys, and dark browns work well in the fall and winter months, but spring and summer provide an excellent opportunity to wear lighter colors. My favorites include the various shades of mid-blues you see above. These include French blue (which used to be common in men’s dress shirts), slate blue (a powdery color), and Air Force blue (a pure blue that’s similar to the color of the sky on a clear day). With a tailored jacket in one of these colors, you can have a great sport coat to wear with cream or tan trousers. With a suit, you have something smart for social occasions. 

The only trick here is to wear the right shirt. With certain shades, you can wear a light blue shirt, but once the jacket’s color is light enough, you’ll want to use a white or ecru shirt in order to ensure there’s enough contrast. 

Unfortunately, sport coats and suits in these colors aren’t easy to find. The most affordable ones might be at J. Crew and Suit Supply. The styling on Suit Supply’s website is really fashion forward, but the garments themselves are often much more classic looking than their site suggests. There’s also this really nice Camoshita suit at No Man Walks Alone. The price is expensive, but the store is having a sale this week on all their Japanese brands (which includes Camoshita). You can take 20% off with the code BLOSSOM and see how Camoshita’s jackets fit here, as they’re modeled on Kyle (a No Man Walks Alone employee).

Of course, the color works just as well in non-tailored clothing. If you’d like something more casual, try knitwear. Inis Meain has a fantastic (albeit expensive) one made from linen. Their linen yarns are unique in that they have a subtle “bounce back” quality to them. Like wool, this helps their sweaters retain their original shapes, and makes the fabrics feel like they have a bit more “life” to them (as they’re not just hanging limply on your body). More affordably, Brooks Brothers has a Saxxon wool sweater in deep teal, while Howard Yount has some lambswool sweaters in brighter blues.  

(Photos via Milstil, The Sartorialist, and Tommy Ton)

No Man Walks Alone Trunk Show

No Man Walks Alone, a relatively new online menswear store started by my friend Greg, is holding a trunk show this Saturday and Sunday in New York City. I think their shop is unique in that it carries a nice balance of classic men’s clothing and casualwear. That is, they have things for people who like tailored clothing, but also want clothes they can easily wear on the weekends. 

At the trunk show, people will be able to shop from clearance racks and sample inventory. They’ll also be taking custom orders for things such as Inis Meain sweaters, Heschung footwear, La Portegna accessories, Rota trousers, and Vass shoes. I’m a big fan of Inis Meain’s linen sweaters and think there’s nothing really comparable to them on the market. Well made and densely knitted, their yarns have a bit of a “spring back” quality to them that I’ve never seen elsewhere. I also bought these black “Panax” boots last year, and think they’d look good in the rich, dark brown you see above. Also lovely is that canvas and leather briefcase (a made-to-order version of their leather Fat Carter), which I think looks better with a sport coat than my Filson brief

The event will be taking place between 11am and 6pm at 315 West 39th Street, Suite 1104 in NYC. You can get all the details here. For those unable to attend, I’m told there will be some stuff made available online. 

The Advantage of Unusual Designs in Pocket Squares

Like with ties, I find it’s easy to acquire more pocket square than you need. This is true for almost any accessory, really. As I mentioned before, accessories tend to be easier to size right, are relatively more affordable, and can satisfy that urge to buy something new. Before you know it, you have dozens of ties and pocket squares, and not nearly enough sport coats or suits to justify your collection.

In my time wearing pocket squares, I’ve come to realize that I mostly rely on just three types. The first is clean white linen, which I like to wear with everything except tweeds. Then there are madder silks, which I find to be useful in the fall and winter months. For some reason, those are a bit hard to find (especially in soft, muted colors), but Ralph Lauren sometimes stocks them.

Then there’s the third category, which I think is the most useful – squares with large, intricate designs of the kind that you’d never see in ties. The advantage of these is that you never run the risk of looking like you bought your tie and pocket square as part of a matching set (which you should never do, by the way). With a big, bold pattern – as opposed to something like pin dots – you can always be sure that your square will stand on its own, but still harmonize with whatever else you’re wearing through some complementary color. Plus, if you find something with the right square, you can get a bit more versatility by simply turning the square a bit here or there to show off the colors you want. That’s much hard to do if every inch of your square is essentially the same repeating pattern.

In recent years, the number of places where you can buy such squares has exploded. There are the standards, of course, in the form of Drake’s and Rubinacci, both of which produce beautiful pieces. You can purchase those directly through each brand’s shops, or through various online retailers such as No Man Walks Alone, A Suitable Wardrobe, Exquisite Trimmings, Malford of London, Mr. Porter, and our advertiser The Hanger Project. There are also a number of other operations worth considering:

Put This On: The first is of course our pocket square shop. Jesse finds vintage and deadstock fabrics from online sellers and thrift shops, and then has them handmade into pocket squares through a tailor in Los Angeles. That means having the edges handrolled with a nice plump edge, rather than something machined and flat.
Vanda Fine Clothing: Run by the newlywed couple Diana and Gerald, these two produce excellent high-end ties and pocket squares – all hand sewn by them in their workshop in Singapore. Recently, they came out with a series of Chinese zodiac squares, which add a bit of personalization for the wearer.
Ikire Jones: Ikire Jones is a relatively new company run by a finalist in one of Esquire’s “Best Dressed Real Man” competitions. The designer, Wale Oyejide, is a bold dresser with a strong sense of color. Whether you’re a conservative dresser such as myself, or more daring, I think his pocket squares are quite useful. I reviewed them here.
Christian Kimber: Christian has some refreshingly modern designs with abstracted shapes made to look like famous landmarks. At the moment, there are squares representing London, Melbourne, and Florence, but more cities will be released sometime this year.
P. Johnson Tailors: Like Christian Kimber, P. Johnson also produces designs with a slightly more modern sensibility. Their squares tend to have large swaths of color, so you might want to think about how you normally fold your square, lest you look like you’re wearing something that’s one solid color.
Kent Wang: Always a good source for more affordable options, Kent has printed more unique looking pocket squares in the last year. The only thing to watch out for is the size. I find that squares smaller than 15” x 15” feel a bit too insubstantial, although your taste may differ.

(Photos above by The SartorialistChristian KimberRubinacciMalford of LondonVanda Fine Clothing, and us)

It’s On Sale: Stuff at No Man Walks Alone

No Man Walks Alone - a new menswear e-tailer co-founded by my friend Greg Lellouche - just started their end-of-season sale. Included are a bunch of handsome things from brands such as Drake’s, Alfred Sargent, Inis Meain, and Maglia Francesco.

I picked up these Panax boots a few months ago and enjoy wearing them on occasion with black leather jackets and either fatigues or black jeans. I also really like these Valstar blousons and wish these Scott & Charters shawl collar cardigans were available in my size. 

Note, there’s no sale section, so you have the peruse the site to see what’s available. All sales are final too, so pay attention to measurements. 

StyleForum Trunk Show Sales
There was a StyleForum trunk show today for some of StyleForum’s affiliate vendors, and it’ll be happening again tomorrow from 12 noon until 7pm. From photos posted of today’s event, it looks like there was a great showcase of men’s clothing, footwear, and accessories, as well as some seriously delicious looking food and drinks. Readers located in New York City can catch tomorrow’s event at the second floor of the Third Streaming Gallery, located at 10 Greene Street. 
For people who can’t attend, there are two sales right now associated with the trunk show, which can be taken advantage of online. 
The first one is from The Hanger Project, who is offering a 15% discount plus free shipping on any order over $75. Just use the code TRUNKSHOW at checkout. 
The second is from No Man Walks Alone, who is offering a 25% discount on all Alfred Sargent footwear, Cantarelli sport coats, Esemplare outerwear, and Scott & Charters cashmere and lambswool sweaters. Use the discount code TRUNKSHOW1113 at checkout. 
Both codes expire tomorrow at 7pm EST (when the trunk show ends). 

StyleForum Trunk Show Sales

There was a StyleForum trunk show today for some of StyleForum’s affiliate vendors, and it’ll be happening again tomorrow from 12 noon until 7pm. From photos posted of today’s event, it looks like there was a great showcase of men’s clothing, footwear, and accessories, as well as some seriously delicious looking food and drinks. Readers located in New York City can catch tomorrow’s event at the second floor of the Third Streaming Gallery, located at 10 Greene Street. 

For people who can’t attend, there are two sales right now associated with the trunk show, which can be taken advantage of online. 

  • The first one is from The Hanger Project, who is offering a 15% discount plus free shipping on any order over $75. Just use the code TRUNKSHOW at checkout. 
  • The second is from No Man Walks Alone, who is offering a 25% discount on all Alfred Sargent footwear, Cantarelli sport coats, Esemplare outerwear, and Scott & Charters cashmere and lambswool sweaters. Use the discount code TRUNKSHOW1113 at checkout. 

Both codes expire tomorrow at 7pm EST (when the trunk show ends).