Clay Tompkins’ Trousers

I was recently pretty impressed by a pair of trousers Clay Tompkins sent me on loan. He designed them, but the pattern was made by Tony Rubino, who works with Rocco Ciccarelli at the Primo Factory in Brooklyn (by pattern I don’t mean visual pattern, but rather the paper patterns from which each panel of the trouser is cut). Julian Hertling (aka “Julie”) then sources all the fabrics and makes up the pants. As people who are either in the business or are die-hard clothing enthusiasts may know, these are some of the best guys in the business and have been at their trade for decades (for those unfamiliar, a quick Google search will yield plenty of articles).

The trousers are cut fairly similar to my Italian-made Howard Younts, who I’ve long thought to be a very good go-to source for pants. The rise is just slightly higher, the thigh slightly fuller, and the taper slightly stronger. Slight variations, but all in all, very similar.

There are differences in the details, however. Rather than belt loops, there are side adjuster tabs, which is rare to find on ready-to-wear odd trousers (“odd” here meaning trousers that are not part of a suit). There’s also an open lapped seam going down the side of the legs, and some signature red stitching on the back pocket loop-tabs. If you don’t care for those details, I’m told that your trousers can be made without them (as all of these are essentially made-on-order from Hertling’s factory). Ones made with modifications aren’t returnable, however, so you should be familiar with the fit before asking for them. Stock makes are subject to a 14-day return policy.

The retail price on these is $250, which isn’t cheap, but when Howard Yount’s are $195 and Epaulet’s range from $195 to $235, they’re also not far off from what many style enthusiasts are paying at the moment. The quality of Clay’s seems better to me as well (at least compared to my Howard Yount’s; I don’t have any first hand experience with Epaulet’s). The flannels he sent, for example, are much softer and richer in the hand, and the frescos have a very nice, heavy weight to them. A heavier weight fabric, as many people may know, will hang better on the leg. Outside of pants retailing for $400 or more, I haven’t seen trousers made with such nice materials. (Note, neither of these models are on the website at the moment, but I’m told they’re part of the fall line, which should be up sometime this month). Of the ~$200 retail priced trousers I’ve seen, these are some of the best in quality, and if one is already paying that much for pants, I think Clay’s are worth a look. 

(Photos from Clay Tompkins and The Trad)

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. 

American Style: My Inspiration

Jesse wrote a great post last week about American style. As he noted, much of this style has been shaped by J Press and the traditional Ivy League culture. It’s a tradition that he explored, actually, in his latest video (which I’m sure you’ve seen five times over, like me). 

Like everyone else, I’ve geeked out over at The Trad and Ivy Style, and was very excited when Take Ivy was rereleased. But more than any of those, there is nothing that gives me more inspiration for American style than Art Kane’s famous photograph, "A Great Day in Harlem." Indeed, as much of a Europhile as I can be sometimes, the style of old jazz musicians, pre-1968 or so, will always remind me that American style can compete with the best of them. 

“No socks make sense here rather than the sockless double monk calf shoe which screams, ‘Hipsters with blisters.’ Not that there’s anything wrong with the blistered hip.” — Ten stars for The Trad
New Yorkers have all the fun.
(Via The Trad)

New Yorkers have all the fun.

(Via The Trad)

Thanks to the Trad, I’m now looking at flights to London. I’ve got a baby on the way, man. Lay off the amazing vintage store posts.
At the very least, I gotta get back to Bobby’s.

Thanks to the Trad, I’m now looking at flights to London. I’ve got a baby on the way, man. Lay off the amazing vintage store posts.

At the very least, I gotta get back to Bobby’s.

The Trad visits The Andover Shop
The Trad, photographed by Made To Measure NY.  We should all have this kind of verve.

The Trad, photographed by Made To Measure NY.  We should all have this kind of verve.

"Alligator without being an asshole."  - The Trad

"Alligator without being an asshole."  - The Trad