We’re incredibly thankful to have sponsors supporting our work, so twice a month, we like to give them a special shoutout. With spring officially starting next week, we thought we’d run through some our sponsors’ latest deliveries and happenings.
Proper Cloth started years ago as an online made-to-measure shirtmaker. When I talked to their founder Seph Skeritt last year about how they’re able to achieve a better fit than most, he said it was a combination of starting with the right paper patterns and allowing for free adjustments on customers’ first delivery. To get the right fit, you just have to submit measurements of either your body or best fitting button-up, and they’ll deliver your custom-made shirt a few weeks later. Those who want a simpler process can also just stick with Proper Cloth’s standard ready-to-wear measurements, and then choose their stylistic details.
For a while, Proper Cloth also offered made-to-order suits, sport coats, and tailored trousers. The difference between MTO and MTM is that you can customize almost anything in MTO except the cut, which makes the process a bit more streamlined and predictable for the maker (MTM, on the other hand, allows you to customize both measurements and style details). When the company first introduced the program, Skeritt told me he wanted to be careful about doing online MTM tailoring for more complicated garments, since he knows his company has built a loyal base of customers and a solid online reputation.
This month, however, they’ve finally unveiled an online MTM program for tailored jackets and trousers. Customers can modify a base size along various dimensions, including the width given for the chest, shoulders, midsection, and hips; center back length; sleeve length, bicep width, and opening. Prices for a half-canvassed, made-to-measure sport coat starts at $545. “There are some nice menswear staple options are buried in there,” says Skeritt.
Long-time readers know Chipp supplies the most affordable grenadine neckties. They source their silks from the same Italian mills as top-end brands, but their ties start at a much more affordable $45 (grenadines are $60 and, like everything, Chipp sells, made in New York City). Paul Winston, the shop’s owner, tells me he can’t imagine charging much more because he remembers what neckties used to cost fifty years ago, back when his family’s business dressed men such ass President John F. Kennedy, Andy Warhol, and Joe DiMaggio.
If you’re looking for your first grenadine, consider three colors: black, some sort of dark blue, and silver. Black can look severe in certain contexts, which is why it’s often not recommended for suits or socks, but the color manages to be neutral for grenadines and knit ties. You can wear a black grenadine with navy suits, tobacco linen suits, and brown tweeds. Dark blue, either in a shade matching your navy suits or one shade lighter, is equally versatile (a dark blue tie can also be a good way to visually anchor a light-colored sport coat, which could otherwise float away from you). Lastly, silver grenadines are for guys who only wear ties on special occasions — weddings, fancy parties, and other formal gatherings. Silver ties look less like office-clothes than their dark blue counterparts, and the textured grenadine weave here keeps these from looking cheap and shiny.
For other versatile ties, you can try silk stripes. Dapper Classics just got a whole new shipment of them for spring. The ties are made in New York City using 100% Italian silks. Pastel colors could be good options with a white shirt and linen suit (think of the summer weddings you’ll invariably have to attend), but dark blue will be your most versatile option. Dapper Classics also just restocked some of their spring/ summer trousers. Their tailored pants have become a favorite of customers who want slim-classic trousers that are well-made, but also reasonably affordable. The pants are made in New York City at the Hertling factory, which has supplied tailored trousesrs to some of menswear’s greatest retail namess. Dustin at Dapper Classics tells us they’re planning to release some new trouser styles later this month.
Rowing Blazers, purveyors of a more irreverent prep look, just received their first shipment for spring. Included are all the sorts of things you might expect from the company — playful takes on prep classics with nods to academic life. Their sweats this season are all heavyweight reverse weaves that have been made in the USA. The crewnecks feature crossed racquet patches and hand-embroidered goldwork Naval Crown patches; the hoodies feature a hand-embroidered goldwork “Derry Bones” motif. The dad caps are emblazoned with things such as “The Archeology Club” and “Byzantine Art Club” (actual membership in these fictitious clubs is not required). Perhaps most striking is the Gordan Modern tartan suit, pictured above. Rowing Blazers founder Jack Carlson tells us: “Gordon Modern is one of my favorite tartans, and this is an incredibly beautiful cotton rendition of the pattern woven in Japan. We’ve used it for jackets, trousers, and shorts.”
Since their founding two years ago, some of Rowing Blazers’ more popular items include their rugby shirts, which can be worn with the sort of colorful prep look they promote or more discretely with blue jeans and suede Wallabees (a good outfit for listening to vinyl records). This season, the brand is adding a new collection of soccer shirts based on traditional British schoolboy styles. They’re similar to rugbys, except whereas rugby shirts are traditionally solid or horizontally striped, traditional soccer shirts are vertically striped.
“The word ‘soccer’ began as an Oxford nickname (part of what’s known as the ‘Oxford -er’ fad in the late 19th century) for ‘association football’ or ‘assoc” for short, as opposed to rugby football, or ‘rugger'” Carlson says. “Unlike traditional rugby shirts, which are super heavyweight (the nearest thing to pads ever to grace a rugby pitch) and either solid or horizontal hoop-striped, old-school soccer shirts are traditionally much lighter in weight, with a tab collar and vertical stripes. Adapting soccer shirts for fashion is nothing new, but we wanted to do what we do best, which is go back to the beginning. The result is very different from a lot of the streetwear takes on the soccer jersey, but we think it’s pretty cool and perfect for that time between rugby shirt weather and polo shirt weather.”
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