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For good reasons, the Western shirt has become popular with men’s style enthusiasts in the last few years. Along with the oxford cloth button-down, it’s perhaps the United States’ most recognizable button-up style. Snap-button shirts can be worn with jeans in matching or contrasting colors and be paired with rugged workwear items such as chore coats, leather jackets, and truckers. When teamed with tweed sport coats—as one might wear this coming season—a Western shirt helps remove some of the formality inherent in tailoring.
Proper Cloth’s snap-button Western shirts are unique in combining the best of ready-to-wear and custom-tailoring. As a custom shirtmaker, they can produce a Western shirt according to the measurements of either your body or your best-fitting shirt. They also allow free remakes on the first order, allowing you to home-in on the fit. Additionally, Proper Cloth allows you to put your shirt through one of their special enzyme washes. This finishing process softens the fabric and puckers the seams, giving the shirt a more broken-in feel. You typically only see this finishing on ready-to-wear shirts because garments must be washed in batches, which is too expensive for one-off custom tailors. Proper Cloth does these in bulk, giving their customers the best of all worlds.
Dapper Classics is running a Labor Day weekend promotion right now, where you can get up to 25% off, depending on how much you spend. This promotion applies to all of their signature socks, including the solid navy over-the-calf varieties that should be staples in any tailored wardrobe. Traditionally, you should match your sock color to your trouser color—grey socks with grey pants, tan socks with tan pants, and so forth. This elongates the leg line and keeps your socks from being the center of attention. However, to make things simple, you can also just wear navy over-the-calf, either in solid colors of conservative patterns such as pin dot, herringbone, and grenadine. Navy socks go with anything except black tuxedos (for which you will need black socks). We recommend getting them in wool and cotton. Dapper Classics uses very fine wool, so they’re good for all but the warmest of days. If you live in a very hot and humid climate, however, you will appreciate the cool breathability of their cotton socks.
The promotion also applies to Dapper Classics’ trousers. These tan wool tropical wool trousers can be paired with sport coats in navy, grey, and dark brown, while the navy flannel is suitable for light-colored knitwear (imagine: cream cable knits and dark brown shoes). Dapper Classics’ trousers are a mid-rise with slim, but not constricting legs. They have larger seam allowances than most trousers, which gives you more flexibility if and when you should need to alter these down the road.
Spier & Mackay is just getting in their new fall arrivals. Included are staples such as navy hopsack sport coats (the most versatile sport coat you can own) and brown checked tweeds (the second most useful), along with slightly more niche, but still classic items such as mac raincoats in navy and tan, brown moleskin trousers, and waxed cotton field jackets.
Sharp-eyed readers may notice a pattern here. Spier & Mackay specializes in the sorts of things that often show up on “menswear essentials” lists (which, to be sure, is an overhyped term, but also useful for guys who are in need of some direction). Their prices are lower than storied names such as Barbour and Mackintosh but are made in similar styles. Most importantly, their patterns often fit a wide range of body types. For these reasons, the company has become incredibly popular with guys who are just starting to build better wardrobes.
Over the last thirty years, suspenders have gone much in the way of hats. Once common in men’s wardrobes, they’ve become something of a relic of the past. But why might you want to wear suspenders? For one, they’re more comfortable than organ-squeezing tourniquets. Since your waist expands when you sit, and returns to its smaller circumference when you stand, belts are only comfortable in one of these positions. Suspenders, on the other hand, allow you to have a little extra room at the waistband to accommodate these changes. Plus, they’re better at holding up your pants. Belted trousers tend to slip down throughout the day, which requires you to adjust them continually. You can set the desired length with suspenders, put them on, and never bother with them again.
Chipp Neckwear has the most affordable ones around, at least if you’re looking for something well-made and produced in the USA. The price is $45.50, which is lower than their competitors — much like the price of their grenadine ties. They offer 20 solid colors and three stripes, the choice of black or brown leather kips, as well as gold or silver-colored adjusters.
Our friends over at LuxeSwap have been helping men clean out their wardrobes for over a decade. Their clients tend to be people who shop at high-end stores such as No Man Walks Alone, The Armoury, and Mr. Porter. This is why, if you’re looking for a deal, it’s always a good idea to browse their auctions (new 10-day listings go up every Thursday).
On the auction block now is an Eidos Casentino topcoat, brown Ercoles tweed suit, Unionmade sweater, Southwick Russell plaid tweed, Engineered Garments field jacket, Stephan Schneider overcoat, and self-belted Kaptain Sunshine pants. There are also a bunch of dress shirts from the likes of Anglo Italian, Drake’s, and G. Inglese. These black Alden tassel loafers can be worn with any tailored outfit where you can imagine a black silk knit tie (e.g., grey flannel suit, brown tweed, brown summer suit, etc.). To see the best of LuxeSwap’s auctions, do a search for #1 Menswear.