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Denim truckers are practical, hardwearing, and exude a particular brand of American toughness, not unlike leather jackets (only infinitely more affordable). However, the blue versions are sometimes too common, too rugged, and too challenging to pair with blue jeans. This week, Proper Cloth is offering an updated take in a breathable blend of white cotton, linen, and wool. It’s a lightweight jacket — thanks in part to the linen — with a unique knit-like texture. Built for cool summer nights, you can pair it with blue jeans, brown five-pocket cords, or taupe chinos (such as you see above). The jacket is a perfect accompaniment to t-shirts or summer button-ups, such as Proper Cloth’s plaid linen blends and Indian Madras shirts.
As the world gets smaller, so do our possessions. What may have been that stack of books and papers you’d schlep around twenty years ago is now just a few PDF files. The daily newspaper is now online. And your iPod, a technological wonder that compressed your entire music library into the palm of your hand, has disappeared into your phone. Many men nowadays don’t carry much more than a laptop or an iPad — and all that fits neatly into a portfolio.
MCKNGBRD’s folios are designed in Denmark and made in Los Angeles. They look deceivingly simple from the outside, but a lot of thought has been put into the details. These cases are made from fine Italian leathers and feature a quiet magnetic button for a seamless opening and closure. The dimensions of each case, combined with the magnet’s strong pull force, ensure a secure fit for your electronics.
This week, MCKNGBRD is offering a limited run of 16″ Macbook cases. These are cut-and-sewn from a supple, Italian Nappa leather, and then lined with a suit fabric that the company sourced from Los Angeles’ B. Black & Sons. Since starting his brand, Navid Mokhberi has tried to do as much business as he can locally. “This company has opened up new channels for me to help my community,” Mokhberi told us in an email. “I’m a strong advocate of doing as much as I can locally. That means working with local talent and building our product in Los Angeles.”
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 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 an excellent 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.
It’s a Presidential election year here in the United States, and 4th of July celebrations are around the corner. If you’re looking for a thematic accessory, it would be hard to find something as fitting as Dapper Classics’ flag socks. Available in mid-calf and over-the-calf lengths, they’re decorated with patriotic designs: political party symbols for either the Republican or Democratic parties, or a non-partisan and simple American flag motif.
You can, of course, find flag socks for cheaper, but they won’t be as nice. Dapper Classics’ socks are made at a family-owned, third-generation mill in North Carolina. If supporting American jobs and manufacturing means anything, it should be for something that’s intended to convey patriotism. Dapper Classics’ socks are also made from high-quality, mercerized yarns. Mercerization is a textile process that strengthens yarns, improves their dye uptake, and imparts a silk-like luster. These also have a pattern that’s been finely knitted into the weave, rather than just printed onto the surface, which means they’ll hold up better to multiple washings. Wear them with anything — suits, sport coats, tailored trousers with sweaters, and dressier forms of casualwear — to show a bit of patriotic pride.
As a style, prep has always revolved around sport. So when Rowing Blazers founder Jack Carlson landed his collaboration with one of the greatest sportswear brands, FILA, he was over the moon. “FILA has always been one of my favorite brands, so this is a dream collab for me,” says Carlson. “While rowing was always my primary sport, tennis was a close second — and more often than not, I’d play decked in head-to-toe FILA. I loved living in Oxford because almost all the courts there are grass. Being out there on a grass court, wearing FILA, surrounded by spires, hitting that green felt ball — there’s nothing better.”
The new capsule collection consists of classic styles inspired by 1970s FILA tennis legends, such as warm-up suits available in red and navy. Here, the suits have been augmented with Rowing Blazers’ signature zig-zag pattern and trim, as well as a double logo lock-up. They’ve also came up with a twist on the classic FILA tennis shirt. Made with the original white body, navy collar, and red placket, Rowing Blazers has replaced the original pinstripe with a more playful zig-zag design. You can pair it with the new white tennis shorts made with a zig-zag trim. Perhaps most excitingly, there’s a special edition of the iconic FILA Tennis 88 sneaker in pebble grain with a crazy zig-zag hit.
The Rowing Blazers x FILA collection is available now and is sold exclusively at RowingBlazers.com. Prices range from $95-$175.
If you’re looking for an affordable suit, it would be hard to beat LuxeSwap’s deals right now on eBay. They just put up a massive shipment of Ring Jacket suits and trousers from Japan. Available in staple colors such as navy and grey, the suits come in Ring Jacket’s famous 184 cut, which is something like the company’s house style. The jackets are softly tailored, with a full canvas built-in, but little to no padding. The shoulders are somewhat trim; the body short and slim-fitting; the gorge high. It’s a good cut for men who like a more contemporary take on Italian style.
LuxeSwap also has a bunch of shirts from G. Inglese. These are entirely cut and sewn by hand in Southern Italy using the best Swiss fabrics. If you zoom-in on LuxeSwap’s photos, you can see the high-level of handwork. The shirring on the sleevehead is indicative of a handset and handsewn sleeve, as it requires a tailor to gently set a fuller sleeve into a smaller armhole. The collar has also been attached by hand, the buttons are hand-shanked, and the gussets are hands-sewn. At prices that will likely wind up somewhere in the neighborhood of Brooks Brothers, you won’t be able to find a better-made shirt.