We couldn’t be more appreciative of our sponsors. As an independent menswear site, they’re the reason we’re able to keep the lights on. So, twice a month, we like to give them a special shoutout to recognize them for their support. Doing so also allows us to update our readers on our sponsors’ latest happenings.
Springtime means a few things — rain, songbirds, and the general greening of things. It also calls for warm weather shirts, such as airy cottons and linens that you can throw in the morning without feeling like your skin is suffocating. Last week, Proper Cloth just debuted a new warm-weather lookbook, which is full of inspiration on how you can wear their latest shirtings, tailored clothing, and accessories. This time, they flew to Tulum, a beachtown on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.
Along with being beautiful, the lookbook is instructive. Proper Cloth shows how you can wear white pants this summer with vacation-style shirts made from abstracted camo, navy box checks, and distinctive folk prints. They also have unlined trucker jackets this season cut from dressier materials, such as wool-linen hopsack blends. Their soft-shouldered Bedford sport coats this season are also available in a dusty shade of grey-olive — cheery for spring, while also being muted enough to pair with grey tropical wool trousers, tan chinos, and even blue jeans. You can find the full lookbook on Proper Cloth’s website.
Chipp Neckwear is the most affordable source anywhere for custom neckties. They’re an old Ivy-era clothier with their own workshop in New York City. Back in the day, they dressed everyone from President JFK to Andy Warhol to Joe Dimaggio. Since they have their own workroom, they can adjust any of their ties for a small $10 surcharge. Deviation from their standard stock ties can be handled by ordering one of their 60″ or 62″ ties on their site and then leaving a note in the comment section. For example, you can say you want a tie that’s 58″ long and 3.5″ wide, or something a little longer and narrower. Generally speaking, you want the length to be long enough so that the tip of your tie hits your belt when worn (and the back blade no shorter than 2″ away from the front blade’s tip). The width of your tie should then be in the general proximity of the width of your lapels (say, within a quarter of an inch). Production time for custom ties is two to three weeks.
Along with their wide range of grenadines, which are made from the same Italian silks used by their competitors, they also have some slubby Matka ties designed for summer. The rust one, pictured above, can be worn with more casual suits and sport coats in linen, cotton, and tropical wool. Like textured wool ties in the fall, they help add a bit of visual interest to a tailored outfit.
Every month, Dapper Classics offers what they call their “Sock of the Month Club,” where they throw in a pair of free pre-determined socks when you buy three or more pairs. This April, the chosen socks are the dotted ones you see above. Like all Dapper Classics’ socks, these are fully made in the United States at a third-generation, family-owned North Carolina mill. “Fully made” here is an important descriptor, as some companies manufacture their items abroad (often in low-cost countries) and then send the items to Italy for finishing (just to be able to slap on a “made in Italy” label legally). The family behind Dapper Classics, however, is genuinely passionate about manufacturing in America. They’ve even invested in the equipment at their mill.
Producing in the United States isn’t just a matter of patriotism (although, if you care about American jobs, it’s a plus). It’s also about getting better value for your money. Other top-end producers include European names such as Bresciani, Sozzi, and Marcoliani. To be sure, their socks are wonderful — but Dapper Classics are no worse. The main difference between them is that consumers end up bearing the shipping and import costs to bring those European socks to the US, whereas Dapper Classics’ socks are made domestically. That’s why they’re able to sell just as good of a sock for about seven to ten bucks less. Each of their socks is knitted in fine gauge machines, hand-linked at the toes, and made from top-end yarns. If you’re looking for a pair this summer, consider starting with their over-the-calf, solid navy cotton socks, which are breathable on hot days.
Rowing Blazers is possibly the busiest independent brand in menswear. Last week, they debuted yet another collaboration, this time with the leading soccer apparel and equipment brand Umbro. The twelve-piece capsule collection includes some of Umbro’s most classic styles — soccer jerseys, shorts, and field jackets — which have been reimagined in Rowing Blazers’ preppy tartans and croquet stripes.
In the photo above, you can see just a couple of the pieces, including a soccer jersey in Gordon Modern tartan, and a field jacket in Glenfeshie (famously the pattern on the cover of Scottish Estate Tweeds, a book by Johnston of Elgin about Scotland’s rich tweed tradition). Each of the jerseys also features Jack Carlson’s personal coat of arms, granted to him by the College of Arms in London — with references to his time on the national rowing team, career in classical archaeology, and his childhood dog.
The Rowing Blazers x Umbro collection retails for $80.00 – $250.00 and is available at Rowing Blazers’ website and Greenhouse app. It will see a wider release at Foot Locker stores and online on April 2nd. All sizes are unisex and range from S – XXL.
Every Thursday, LuxeSwap throws hundreds of new auctions on eBay for high-end menswear and home items. Since the company’s founder, Matthew, is a longtime StyleForum member and inveterate thrifter, he good at sifting the wheat from the chaff. That means a better curation for covetable and relevant menswear brands, including those found at leading boutiques such as No Man Walks Alone, Mr. Porter, The Armoury, and elsewhere.
At the moment, the company is auctioning off a couple of James Grose leather jackets, a Sartoria Formosa glen check sport coat, a double-breasted Ring Jacket overcoat, a Private White VC field jacket, some Drake’s button-downs and Howlin knitwear, a Camoshita double-breasted corduroy suit, and a bunch of Hertling pants. Remember, to find the best-of-the-best, you can always do a search for #1 MENSWEAR. Matthew labels the best of his stock with that tag.