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If lookbooks are a bit about escapism and fantasy, then Proper Cloth’s new fall lookbook embodies the dream of 2020. Shot on location at Old Forge, New York, the lookbook features a man who has gotten away to the countryside. Free from crowds and enjoying a bit of fresh air, he’s seemingly renting a cabin by the lake. Why is he wearing luxurious plaid topcoats, soft-shouldered Italian sport coats, and business-ready grey flannel suits near a cabin? We don’t know. But it’s a mood.
The photos are supremely calming. In one image, pictured above, the model is wearing a stretch chamois shirt over a lightweight cashmere turtleneck sweater. While in the cabin, he teams a nubby, speckled shirt with a grey t-shirt and white chinos. There are some lovely images of him dressing down wool herringbone trousers with a chambray sport shirt while standing at the lake’s dock. And here he is showing my favorite dress rule: when in doubt, a darker blue shirt is always an excellent way to visually anchor a tailored outfit when you’re not wearing a tie.
You may not be able to get away on vacation like this model, but the images should provide good inspiration on how to pair colors for fall. Most of the outfits feature only two or three colors in the similar temperatures — sandy tan on taupe, slate blue on slate grey, etc. You can view Proper Cloth’s new lookbook on their website.
If you’re just starting to build a neckwear wardrobe, you could do worse than starting with a basic grenadine. The textured Italian silk adds visual interest to solid-colored sport coats but is also subdued enough to pair with patterned jackets. Your next few ties should continue to be basic — rep stripes, foulards, and perhaps a knit for casual occasions.
Once you have the basics, consider getting things in more seasonal fabrics. Raw silk and linen are ideal for summer. However, in the fall and winter months, you’ll want things such as tweed, cashmere, wool challis, and most of all, ancient madder. Paul at Chipp Neckwear once told me that the chalky hand of ancient madder reminds him of a horse’s wet nose. I’ve always thought that description is charming. Madder ties are useful in the winter because they sit in the middle in terms of formality. They’re just as good with tweed and corduroy sport coats as they are with worsted suits. Chipp’s ties are made in NYC using the same English silks as what you’ll find from top-tier producers, except theirs cost less than $70 apiece.
There are three things you should look for in a dress belt. The first is whether the edges have been stitched down. Some belts, such as those cut from bridle leather, are often left plain or scored. Then there are finer calfskins that are stitched down using at least two pieces of leather. Neither is better or worse, but it’s a subtle detail that will make an impact on how you look.
The second is how the belt has been lined, assuming it’s lined at all. Cheaper belts are made from reconstituted leather or even paper. Higher-end belts are lined with quality leather. Finally, and perhaps most obviously, you should find belts primarily made from full-grain leather (meaning, for the parts that face the world).
This week, Dapper Classics is releasing their version of a high-quality belt. Made in Pheonix, Arizona, these belts are constructed from full-grain Italian calfskin leather, a soft nubuck liner, and a metal roller buckle with a nickel finish. The belts measure 1.5″ wide and come in three colors — brown, cognac, and black — to match nearly any shoe. Compared to the rest of the market, they are also reasonably priced at just $95.
Rowing Blazers and New Era have teamed up to launch a pre-fall headwear capsule. The collection, consisting of six caps, puts a more traditional spin on New Era’s hundred years of sporting heritage. The legendary headwear brand is best known for its 59Fifty high-crown fitted and as the official on-field cap of Major League Baseball. But this collaboration uses another of New Era’s iconic silhouettes: the original “dad hat,” the New Era 9Twenty. And it swaps out team logos for nostalgic, quietly cryptic motifs from Rowing Blazers’ archive: a skull-and-crossbones, a watering can, and a colorful hot air balloon.
Two of the hats are produced in special fabrics: Rowing Blazers’ proprietary “croquet stripe” blazer fabric, milled in England, and the brand’s trademark Gordon Modern tartan cotton canvas, milled in Japan. These two styles are emblazoned with Rowing Blazers’ gothic logo across the front, marking the first time the brand has embroidered its logo on the front of a hat.
The Rowing Blazers x New Era collection is available now and is exclusively sold at rowingblazers.com. Prices range from $48- $65.
It’s never been easier, or more profitable, to get rid of unwanted clothes. Our sponsor LuxSwap is an eBay consignor who will take your clothes and list them for you on eBay. The process is simple: you email them a list of the things you’re thinking about selling. If the items are high-end, they’ll pay for all domestic in-bound shipping within the United States. They also do the hard work of taking photos, creating the eBay listing, and shipping things out for you. In return, they take a 40% cut of the profits once all fees are paid.
If you’re willing to take payment in the form of store credit at No Man Walks Alone, they’ll also lower their fee from 40% to 30% — and No Man Walks Alone will top off your profits with an additional 10%. Effectively, that means 30% more value than you’d get otherwise. Store credit gets posted not long after the auction closes, and it never expires. Given that you’re at home a lot more nowadays, now is a good time to do a bit of cleaning. And on the upside, since fall inventory is just starting to hit No Man Walks Alone, you can use that store credit to pick up something you’ll wear a lot more.