We’re thankful as an independent menswear blog to have sponsors, so twice a month, we like to thank them for their support. It gives us a chance to recognize them, as well as update our readers on their latest happenings.
Morocco’s fabled “pink city,” Marrakesh, has long been a magnet for travelers. Yves Saint Laurent used to visit in the 1970s to draw inspiration from the city’s buzzing bazaars and narrow passages (he had a private compound here, where he sketched some of his best designs and hosted some of his wildest parties). Proper Cloth also recently visited Marrakesh to shoot their latest spring/ summer lookbook. They make custom dress shirts, as many readers know, but every season they produce a lookbook to show how customers can wear one of their many shirt fabrics. This season is full of crimped seersuckers, floral prints, and dusty-blue plaids. Shirts can be made with any of Proper Cloth’s traditional collars, including their Ivy Style button-down, but they also have warm weather options such as band- and camp-collar styles.
Proper Cloth also recently rolled out their new made-to-measure suit and sport coat program, which has been years in the making (Seph Skerritt, the company’s founder, tells us he wanted to make sure their MTM suiting program is up to the same standards as their dress shirts, which have become really popular online). 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 Skerritt.
Paul Winston’s family has been in the custom tailoring business for two generations now. His father Sidney was a salesman at J. Press during the early 20th century, but left his job to start Winston Tailors in 1947. Over the years, his family tailored suits and sport coats for men such as JFK, Andy Warhol, and Joe DiMaggio. Most of those commissions were for your basic, natural-shouldered American tweeds and blazers, but the Winston family also quickly became known for their wildly colored patchwork madras and tweeds, including the one you see above.
Paul himself is an amazing storyteller. He remembers dressing Bobby Kennedy while news of the Civil Rights movement was playing on TV. Warhol apparently used to come into the shop and buy these huge, oversized 46L sport coats, despite having a slender build. Paul says, looking back, he wished he asked for a small napkin sketch at some point (which today would probably be worth a handsome sum of money). My favorite story has to be the one of John Groth, a war correspondent who loved smoking tobacco. One day, when Groth was giving a talk at some university, he absentmindedly put his pipe into his tweed’s outbreast pocket – which is fine, except the pipe wasn’t properly extinguished. Midway through his lecture, his pocket caught on fire. Every sport coat Paul made for John after that had a special fire-proof pipe pocket.
If you’re in New York City, you can still visit Winston Tailors to get something custom made, but for people outside of the area, Paul offers a selection of classic neckties and suspenders online through his side project Chipp. Since he works with custom tailors, everything can be adjusted as needed — ties made shorter or longer, wider or skinnier, and suspenders outfitted with different metal fittings and leather kips. Paul also tells us he has a few limited edition cashmere and wool challis ties that aren’t on his site. Readers who are interested can contact Paul through his site for images.
Last year around this time, a scare ran through the menswear community with news that Brooklyn’s Hertling factory was ready to close. Hertling has been around since 1925, making private label trousers for some of the industry’s biggest names, such as Ben Silver, Paul Stuart, and Sid Mashburn. They also supply trousers to our sponsor Dapper Classics, who offers Hertling-made pants at a much lower price than many of their competitors. Style aficionados have long turned to Dapper Classics for these trousers — which come in classic and slim fits — when they want something better than mall-brand options, but don’t want to spend boutique money. At $200 or so, many people consider Dapper Classics’ trousers to be one of the best values on the market.
We still don’t know what happened to all those Hertling rumors, but it looks like the factory has been chugging along at a steady pace. Their trousers are still made in New York City according to the same standards — a rear-split waistband, fully curtained construction, and soft interlining. The trousers are made with ample seam allowances to allow for more adjustments (cheaper trousers often skimp on material here to save cost). Dapper Classics has a bunch of options right now in open-weave tropical wools, flecked lambswool Donegals, and springtime linens. They also just received a new shipment of stretch-cotton chinos, which are made with a 3% touch of elastane. That added bit of stretch allows the trousers to be a lot more comfortable than your standard cotton weaves, which you’ll appreciate when you sit down.
For Rowing Blazer’s latest collection, they’ve designed and developed their own unique style of seersucker. Custom-woven for just them in India, Rowing Blazer’s seersucker features slightly wider stripes — but by no means Bengal width — and a more subtle cream color instead of striking white. They’re offering it in a jacket and two different styles of trouser: a wide leg option for the very old school and avant-garde dressers, as well as a narrower, straight fit for everyone in between.
“Seersucker doesn’t have to be worn as a full suit with a bowtie,” says company rep Matt Schonfeld. “It’s a practical summer cloth for being active. It can be worn with whatever you please. Whether you’re riding a sweltering subway car; sitting in the back of your air-conditioned car; or, hell, jogging to your destination, you’ll show up looking remarkably … cool.” You can wear the two pieces together as a suit, of course, but the jacket can also be broken up and worn as a sport coat with trousers in linen or cotton.
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