Permanent Style has an interview with Jean Grimbert, one of the head honchos at the Parisian menswear outlet Arnys. Arnys are known for their artistic, eccentric takes on classic men’s style… their most famous piece, the Forrestiere, was designed for Le Corbusier, as a coat that allowed him to comfortably write on the chalkboard during a professorship. Arnys sold out to the luxury conglomerate LVMH last year in a mostly-for-the-real-estate deal, but it sounds like some version of the brand will continue to exist. We’ll see.
“Only specific types of glasses fit specific people or occasions: tortoiseshell is for intellectuals, silver for salesmen or politicians; gold is for evening, black is for lawyers”— Style according to Giancarlo Maresca (via Permanent Style)
Quarter for your Thoughts
One of the most important areas to pay attention to when examining the fit of a suit or sport coat is what online menswear enthusiasts like to call the “quarters.” This is the section of the jacket that sits right below the buttoning point. Professional tailors refer to the area as the “front” or “front of the skirt,” but this is just a difference in terminology.
A jacket can be made with open or closed quarters (or, correspondingly, straight or cutaway fronts). On a jacket with open quarters, the fronts will cutaway a bit below the buttoning point. Likewise, on a jacket with closed quarters, they will fall straight down.
They’re never completely straight, of course. The lounge suit evolved from the riding coat, which was heavily shaped by King George IV. The King was one of the first royals in the 19th century to be an arbiter of fashion and taste, and he had the fronts of his riding coat cut away to make way for the saddle and horse’s flanks. It was quite unflattering on him, actually, because of his large stomach, but was indubitably la mode. Thus the fashion stuck and we now have the design on the modern lounge suit.
What you choose for yourself is a matter of personal taste. Very closed quarters might give you a “Y-shaped” silhouette, while open quarters will make your jacket form a bit of an “X.” I personally prefer open quarters, though nothing too extreme. I like the swooping line they create from the top of the lapel down to the hem. It’s a slightly more dynamic look that I think works well on young, slim men.
Of course, people differ. A friend of mine, Cooper Frederickson, once joked that strongly open quarters looked like something Diamond Dallas Page would wear. We agreed in the end that Page is probably a strictly Men’s Warehouse kind of man, but the point is well taken.
Pictured above: Simon Crompton on the left and Takahiro Osaki on the right. Crompton is wearing a bespoke British suit (I’ve forgotten the maker) with closed fronts while Taka is wearing something more open from Liverano & Liverano.
I’m going to be frank - most menswear blogs make for terrible reading. Bloggers mostly rely on meaningless superlatives, platitudes, and hackneyed phrases. I’ll often read through entire posts and walk away with nothing. It’s like people are just rehashing press releases.
I’m not saying I’m any different. Just last month, Jesse (rightly) gave me a friendly knock for using the phrase “pop of color” in a draft I was working on. I admit that I often hurry through my writing. I try to publish something at least once a day and still have enough time to work on my dissertation. As a result, my writing can be a bit sloppy sometimes.
There are exceptions of course. For example, I draw a lot of inspiration from Christian Chensvold over at Ivy-Style. I’m also a big fan of Simon Crompton at Permanent Style. Both are excellent writers.
My favorite, however, is John Lugg, the writer behind A Guide to Bad Taste. He doesn’t dispense with advice as much as other blogs do. Instead, his blog is more like a collection of short stories based on our menswear subculture. His posts are always really enjoyable to read and often funny. Take some time today to read a few of his posts. I think you’ll like them.
“A man has come a long way when he shifts to proper socks – calf length and in navy, grey and charcoal to match the day’s suit. Too many remain stuck in the teenage mindset that short, black socks go with everything. They don’t; they go with nothing.”— Simon Crompton, Permanent Style
I want to marry Permanent Style’s new half-lined, unstructured cashmere jacket.