We wouldn’t be able to do Put This On without our sponsors, so twice a month, we like to give them a special shoutout. Doing so allows us to recognize them for their support, as well as update our readers on our sponsors’ happenings.
Over the last few years, Proper Cloth has become known for combining custom-fit tailoring with casual shirts fabrics such as washed denim. Most tailors can’t make you a washed denim shirt because it requires running the button-up through a special enzyme wash – a factory process that’s too expensive for one-offs. In order to make the cost affordable, you have to run a bunch of these at a time, which is why you typically only see this effect in ready-to-wear. Any time you see a denim shirt from a custom tailor, it tends to look a little dressy. Without that slightly uneven, washed color and those puckered seams, denim shirts just don’t have the same character.
Proper Cloth gets around this by organzing group-runs online, which allows them to collect a bunch of orders to make the enzyme washing process economical. As a result, you get shirts that fit well enough to wear with tailored clothing (something you can’t do with that Wrangler), but also looks casual enough for almost anything else. Their washed denim shirts can be worn with casual cotton suits and tweed sport coats, but also field jackets, Barbours, and bombers.
This week, Proper Cloth opened a new window for another custom run. Along with their washed denim — now available in different hues of blue, grey, and black — they have indigo oxfords, tonal seersuckers, and a variety of prints. Again, by putting these shirts through a special wash, you get that slightly more casual look and broken-in feel, but with all the upsides of a perfectly fitting custom-made garment. Just note that the window for ordering these shirts closes on Monday, July 22nd.
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, are 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 as 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.
Over-the-calf dress socks are a genuine wardrobe staple, particularly if you wear tailored clothing. They cover your leg when you sit, and in solid navy, they can be worn with any type of trouser or shoe. But in the summer, if you want to feel more comfortable, try swapping out wool dress socks for cotton. Dapper Classics’ are made in North Carolina at a third-generation, family-owned mill. And like all their socks, these are hand-linked at the toes for a seamless fit.
The best thing about Dapper Classics’ cotton dress socks, however, is how they wear. The company uses mercerized cotton yarns, which makes their socks finer and smoother. Mercerization is a chemical process that improves cotton’s strength, luster, and dye uptake. Dapper Classics uses these yarns on a 188-needle knitting machine, so they can achieve a more comfortable fit and finish. These socks are so breathable that, when you wiggle your toes, you can feel every air whiffing through. These are airier than cotton dress socks from leading brands such as Marcoliani, Bresciani, and Pantherella, but they hold up just as well. On a hot and humid day, you’ll appreciate the difference.
A few months ago, I asked Jack Carlson of Rowing Blazers what’s his best selling item. Surprisingly, he told me his company’s line of “dad caps.” The hats are floppy and shapeless, made from soft cotton twills and ribbed corduroy, and feature cheeky references to university life. “It’s actually hard to make them look good on a shelf,” Carlson told me. “We could stuff paper inside, so they keep a certain shape, but that also feels kind of fake. So we just let the caps sit on our shelves as they are.”
Still, despite looking like five-paneled puddles when not worn, Rowing Blazers’ caps have become their most popular item. They’re an easy entry point into the line, go well with almost any kind of light-hearted wardrobe, and are reasonably affordable at just under $50. There are a couple dedicated to made-up university clubs, such as the ones for archology and Byzantine Art, and a few made in collaboration with the London-based design phenom Luke Edward Hall. A few weeks ago, the company also released some new sailing-inspired designs. Ball caps remain the easiest hat style to wear and Rowing Blazers’ versions feel fun and preppy. Plus, purely as a practical matter, they shield your skin and eyes from the sun.