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In 1896, Brooks Brothers‘ John E. Brooks saw polo players in England wearing shirts with two buttons at the front to secure their collar tips. He was so enamored with the invention, he sent a sample back to his main store in New York City with instructions to have the collar copied exactly, down to every last measurement. In 1900, the company put the new collar style on their ready-made sport shirts. These were called “polo shirts” for their polo-inspired collars. Not too long after, the polo collar was put on white cotton cheviots (also known in the trade as “oxford”) and the American OCBD was born.
Historically, oxford shirts are cut a little big and roomy. These days, however, men appreciate a more tailored fit. Proper Cloth allows you to get a custom-fit oxford made to your design specs at a price that’s not much more than your average Brooks Brothers button-up. They have oxford shirtings in every color and stripe — including heavy oxfords, soft Supima cotton oxfords, and luxurious Thomas Mason oxfords. Best of all, their Soft Ivy collar is unlined and comes with slightly longer collar points, so you can get that expressive collar roll. Whether you get a chest pocket is up to you.
Paul Winston, the proprietor of Winston Tailors and Chipp Neckwear, likes to say that his family’s company serves a more traditional-minded customer. But since the company’s founding in 1945, they’ve also made some pretty wild clothing. Paul’s father Sidney was known for producing things such as patchwork tweeds, madras trousers, and sport coats with vivid linings. And shortly after Paul joined the family’s company in 1961, he designed a small line of clever, pictogram neckties. The difference between sophisticated humor and bad taste, Paul tells us, is always “who and where.” “A chairman once gifted my ties to his board members, and that was considered good humor, but when the same ties are found at Nordstrom, they’re considered bad taste.”
Some of these ties are pretty innocent. There’s a raccoon tie, presumably for people like me, who love trash. Then festive holiday ties for occasions such as Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas parties. Paul has ties for people who think money grows on trees, as well as baseball fans. Other ties, however, are a bit more … well, for people with adult humor. When you look closely at the scribbly message on this tie, it says “fuck you.” There are chemistry coded ties for people who are known for having a bit of piss and vinegar. When an IBM board member saw this “pussy on the mind tie,” he found it so funny that he ordered a box of 24 for friends.
Looking for new socks? Dapper Classics just put up some new designs for this coming fall season. Included are some fresh merino and cashmere varieties, both solid-colored and patterned, which you can pair with your flannel trousers and double-soled brogues. Like with everything Dapper Classics sells, these are made in the USA to top-end specifications. The company uses a family-owned, North Carolina knitting factory and top-end European yarns. They also hand link the toes, so you don’t get that bumpy seam at the end of lower-end socks.
If you’re choosing something to wear with tailored clothing, go with a color that matches your trousers — tan with tan, grey with grey. Solid colored, navy socks will go with anything, while patterned socks just add a bit of cheeky fun to an outfit.
Rowing Blazers’ FW19 collection is inspired by the desire to cling to youth and the inevitability of “growing up,” whatever that means: early adulthood’s mix of melancholy and excitement in all its nostalgic forms — Yuppie culture, identity crises, and a longing to go “back to school.” Films such as St. Elmo’s Fire — which takes place at RB founder Jack Carlson’s alma mater, Georgetown — and TV series shows such as Friends (shoutout to “The One With All The Rugby”) capture this spirit, as well as the zeitgeist of a seemingly simpler time, when the stakes were low and the world was young.
With a healthy dose of irony, the Rowing Blazers FW19 lookbook reimagines Take Ivy for a post-Ivy, post-streetwear, post-rules era, with pieces that work as well in the city as they do on campus. Highlights include wide-leg cotton twill trouser and chore coat separates in a wide range of bright colors; English-made cricket sweaters; graphic tees inspired by Carlson’s academic background; color-blocked and intricately embroidered rugby shirts emblazoned with heraldic and Aztec motifs; and British and Italian tartan and tweed suit separates. The lookbook also teases Rowing Blazers’ forthcoming collaboration with English outwear brand Barbour and its second footwear capsule with Sperry Top-Sider.
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