Where is Bing Crosby’s Denim Tux?
There’s a great tale in the San Francisco Chronicle today about Bing Crosby’s denim tuxedo. The story is as follows: in the early 1950s, Bing Crosby and a friend went fishing. At the end of the day, they tried to book rooms in a local hotel, but were turned away by the clerk, because Crosby was wearing a beat-up denim jacket. A hotel manager recognized Crosby and corrected the error, but the story went the equivalent of viral.
Back in San Francisco, the folks at Levi’s heard the story, and so they made Crosby a custom denim tuxedo, with a boutonniere of Levi’s labels. Crosby liked it so much, he wore it while promoting his new movie, and it became something of a legend.
Crosby’s niece has been searching for the tux for years. Complicating matters are the many replicas Levi’s made for shop windows at the time. In fact, Levi’s Vintage Clothing recently made a new set of reproductions in a very limited quantity.
She says she knows the difference, and Levi’s has given her a letter that attests to her knowledge, but she won’t tell anyone, because one of the imposters might be altered.
Will she find her “holy grail”? Only time will tell.

Where is Bing Crosby’s Denim Tux?

There’s a great tale in the San Francisco Chronicle today about Bing Crosby’s denim tuxedo. The story is as follows: in the early 1950s, Bing Crosby and a friend went fishing. At the end of the day, they tried to book rooms in a local hotel, but were turned away by the clerk, because Crosby was wearing a beat-up denim jacket. A hotel manager recognized Crosby and corrected the error, but the story went the equivalent of viral.

Back in San Francisco, the folks at Levi’s heard the story, and so they made Crosby a custom denim tuxedo, with a boutonniere of Levi’s labels. Crosby liked it so much, he wore it while promoting his new movie, and it became something of a legend.

Crosby’s niece has been searching for the tux for years. Complicating matters are the many replicas Levi’s made for shop windows at the time. In fact, Levi’s Vintage Clothing recently made a new set of reproductions in a very limited quantity.

She says she knows the difference, and Levi’s has given her a letter that attests to her knowledge, but she won’t tell anyone, because one of the imposters might be altered.

Will she find her “holy grail”? Only time will tell.

It’s On Sale: Everything at San Francisco’s Club Monaco
This one is very city specific, but good Lord — we’ve posted so much about crazy sample sales in NYC that I often feel left out as Bay Area resident. This one is to help even the score a bit. 
For folks living in or near San Francisco, the Club Monaco store at the Westfield Mall is closing down for a remodel. To clear everything out, they’re holding a storewide sale, with discounts of up to 75%, even on sale items. One StyleForum member went today and bought a Reigning Champ sweatshirt for $22, a pair of Clarks Wallabees for $27, a Barbour Bedale for $94 (!), and a Barbour Wessex jacket for $137. If there are some non-cotton sweaters there left, I’d recommend those too. They’ve been a go-to for me for years, and the price-to-quality ratio is hard to beat when they’re on deep discount. 

It’s On Sale: Everything at San Francisco’s Club Monaco

This one is very city specific, but good Lord — we’ve posted so much about crazy sample sales in NYC that I often feel left out as Bay Area resident. This one is to help even the score a bit. 

For folks living in or near San Francisco, the Club Monaco store at the Westfield Mall is closing down for a remodel. To clear everything out, they’re holding a storewide sale, with discounts of up to 75%, even on sale items. One StyleForum member went today and bought a Reigning Champ sweatshirt for $22, a pair of Clarks Wallabees for $27, a Barbour Bedale for $94 (!), and a Barbour Wessex jacket for $137. If there are some non-cotton sweaters there left, I’d recommend those too. They’ve been a go-to for me for years, and the price-to-quality ratio is hard to beat when they’re on deep discount. 

This is easily my favorite look from the San Francisco Chronicle’s roundup of the best street style at SF Pride this past weekend. If I could pull off a sailor hat, you bet your ass I’d wear one. Maybe not the heels, though - they’re bad for your feet.

This is easily my favorite look from the San Francisco Chronicle’s roundup of the best street style at SF Pride this past weekend. If I could pull off a sailor hat, you bet your ass I’d wear one. Maybe not the heels, though - they’re bad for your feet.

Here’s an inspiring story: these students are part of a large group who wore neckties to Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory High School in San Francisco, as a show of solidarity for a classmate who wasn’t allowed to wear a tux in her yearbook photo. One time when a tie pairs well with a Philadelphia 76ers jersey.

Here’s an inspiring story: these students are part of a large group who wore neckties to Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory High School in San Francisco, as a show of solidarity for a classmate who wasn’t allowed to wear a tux in her yearbook photo. One time when a tie pairs well with a Philadelphia 76ers jersey.

Where to Shop in San Francisco
Earlier this year, StyleForum asked if I could put together a “menswear shopping map” for San Francisco. That is, all the places that sell men’s clothing, from small boutiques to vintage stores to even custom clothiers. The map just got put up, and it includes the eighty-five places that I know of. Yes, eighty-five. Enough to keep you busy for any trip to this great city. You can view the database and map here. 

Where to Shop in San Francisco

Earlier this year, StyleForum asked if I could put together a “menswear shopping map” for San Francisco. That is, all the places that sell men’s clothing, from small boutiques to vintage stores to even custom clothiers. The map just got put up, and it includes the eighty-five places that I know of. Yes, eighty-five. Enough to keep you busy for any trip to this great city. You can view the database and map here

Steed Bespoke Tailors Coming to San Francisco, April 13th

As some readers may know, I’ve been trying to persuade Steed Bespoke Tailors to come out to San Francisco for over six months now. Well a few weeks ago, they finally booked their first ticket, and are scheduled to arrive on Saturday, April 13th, and then depart Tuesday, April 16th

A little background on Steed and why this announcement is so special: Steed was founded in 1995 by tailors Edwin DeBoise and Thomas Mahon, who at the time worked as cutters at Savile Row’s Anderson & Sheppard. Thomas has since moved on to start his own firm in Cumbria, but Edwin continues at Steed. Before working at Anderson & Sheppard, Edwin received his training at the London College of Fashion and worked under the legendary Edward Sexton. His tailoring style is very much informed by these experiences, and in my opinion, he currently makes some of the most beautiful garments in the world of classic men’s tailoring.

Now, bespoke garments are expensive, and certainly not for everyone. However, if you have the money and are looking for something special (perhaps for a wedding or new job), this is a great opportunity. Steed cuts a unique style known as the London drape cut. Oversimplified, it’s designed with a fuller, more sculpted chest that makes the wearer look masculine, muscular, and comfortably relaxed. You can see this in the photos above, but if it’s not obvious, check out a post I wrote here, which highlights this silhouette a bit more clearly. In addition to the signature chest, Steed’s cuts a soft, unpadded shoulder, slightly nipped waist, and high armholes. The effect is something very comfortable, and very stylish.

This being bespoke, you can ask for your commissions to be made in any way you want, but you’ll want to stick to their general house style (meaning, the soft shoulders and shaped chest). When choosing a bespoke tailor, it’s always wise to stay within the style they specialize in, and ask for little tweaks here and there, rather than request something dramatically different. 

It’s my hope to drum up enough interest in the Bay Area to keep Steed coming back. This is partly for my own selfish reasons, since I hope to use them on a regular basis, but I also think this is a rather special opportunity for people who live in this area. They’re less expensive than many of the Savile Row tailors who visit, and I think they cut a very unique and beautiful silhouette. Since Put This On has a rather big audience, I’m happy to help answer any basic questions if you email me, but will refer you to Steed for anything complex (I just don’t want them to receive a hundred emails in the middle of their workday). For booking appointments, however, you should just directly contact Steed.   

(Pictured above: two of Steed’s clients looking fantastic in their commissions)

Jesse in San Francisco at SF Sketchfest
As many of you know, Put This On is my side gig - in my day-to-day life, I’m a public radio host and comedy podcaster. I’ll be bringing that side of my work to San Francisco next weekend for SF Sketchfest, and I hope all you Bay Area PTO readers will stop by, if only to see me dress in a bailiff outfit based on that of Bull from Night Court.
Friday night, I’ll be at the Marines Memorial Theater for Judge John Hodgman. John, who you may know from The Daily Show, Bored To Death, Community or the Mac v. PC ads will be live-judging disputants from around the Bay Area. We’ve got some great cases lined up, and it’s always a lot of fun. We’ll also be joined by our friend John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats. Tickets are available here.
On Saturday afternoon, I’ll be at the Punchline, hosting a live recording of my public radio show Bullseye. I’ll be interviewing Roman Mars, the creator of the brilliant design show 99% Invisible, and Boots Riley of The Coup, who’ll also be performing a few songs. Peter Hartlaub of the Chronicle will provide some San Francisco-themed film recommendations, and Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program) and Erin Foley (Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central, etc) will be doing standup. I will also be speaking on the important subject of The Luniz hit record “I Got Five On It (Bay Ballas Remix)”. Get your tickets for that show here.

Jesse in San Francisco at SF Sketchfest

As many of you know, Put This On is my side gig - in my day-to-day life, I’m a public radio host and comedy podcaster. I’ll be bringing that side of my work to San Francisco next weekend for SF Sketchfest, and I hope all you Bay Area PTO readers will stop by, if only to see me dress in a bailiff outfit based on that of Bull from Night Court.

Friday night, I’ll be at the Marines Memorial Theater for Judge John Hodgman. John, who you may know from The Daily Show, Bored To Death, Community or the Mac v. PC ads will be live-judging disputants from around the Bay Area. We’ve got some great cases lined up, and it’s always a lot of fun. We’ll also be joined by our friend John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats. Tickets are available here.

On Saturday afternoon, I’ll be at the Punchline, hosting a live recording of my public radio show Bullseye. I’ll be interviewing Roman Mars, the creator of the brilliant design show 99% Invisible, and Boots Riley of The Coup, who’ll also be performing a few songs. Peter Hartlaub of the Chronicle will provide some San Francisco-themed film recommendations, and Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program) and Erin Foley (Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central, etc) will be doing standup. I will also be speaking on the important subject of The Luniz hit record “I Got Five On It (Bay Ballas Remix)”. Get your tickets for that show here.

While we’re on the subject of my mom and San Francisco… she’s recently added a lot of both men’s and women’s vintage clothing to her booth in the Mission District antique shop Stuff. If you’re in the Bay and haven’t been in to Stuff, it’s very much worth a visit - you’ll find it at 150 Valencia, just off Market next to the central freeway. If you’re looking for my mom’s area, you’ll find it about halfway in on the right-hand side of the first story - look for the green floor.

Our thanks to everyone who stopped by our sale at Wingtip in San Francisco on Boxing Day. My mother and I had a great time meeting dozens of PTO fans, and almost everyone went home with a pocket square (or two, or three, or four).

If you’re in the Bay Area, and you haven’t visited Wingtip, you owe yourself a trip. The building is the former Bank of Italy, right under the TransAmerica Pyramid. There’s one vault full of neckties and one full of mirrors for custom clothing… it’s a really gorgeous space. I even got a great haircut from the in-house barber, Joe Roberts, while I was there.

Besides the sales floor (which is huge), there’s two beautiful floors of private club upstairs where the bank’s executive offices used to be. There’s a cigar room and a Scotch bar and a wine cave and a boardroom… it’s a sight to see. The coolest part is that your club dues can be spent in the store. So it’s sort of half private club, half customer loyalty program.

Lots of folks have been emailing asking if they can get in on the action other than in-person. At the moment, the answer’s no - we can’t run a web business at sample sale prices. If you want to get in on the PTO pocket square action, join the Gentlemen’s Association.

I hope all you Bay Area PTO readers will stop into Wingtip on Wednesday. We’ll have a couple hundred handmade pocket squares for sale at crazy prices, plus Wingtip will be kicking off their annual sale. Should be a lot of fun, and a great place to spend that Christmas check from grandma. And it’s just a couple blocks from Montgomery BART, in the shade of the Transamerica Pyramid. No guarantee that 80s Willie Brown will be there, but we’d love it if he showed.

I hope all you Bay Area PTO readers will stop into Wingtip on Wednesday. We’ll have a couple hundred handmade pocket squares for sale at crazy prices, plus Wingtip will be kicking off their annual sale. Should be a lot of fun, and a great place to spend that Christmas check from grandma. And it’s just a couple blocks from Montgomery BART, in the shade of the Transamerica Pyramid. No guarantee that 80s Willie Brown will be there, but we’d love it if he showed.