As an independent menswear blog, we couldn’t be more grateful to have companies supporting our work. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to keep the lights on. So twice a month, we like to give them a special shoutout. Doing so allows us to recognize them for their support, and update our readers on our sponsors’ latest happenings.
If you live in a big city nowadays, it’s not hard to find a custom shirtmaker. Many of the revered tailoring houses travel throughout the United States to meet with customers. And while Proper Cloth isn’t a bespoke shirtmaking company, they have a leg up in one regard. As an online made-to-measure shirtmaker with hundreds — if not thousands — of fabric options, they can make everything from office-ready shirts to things you can wear on the weekend.
A perfect example is this week’s washed indigo shirts. Even if a bespoke tailor offers chambray, denim, and indigo plaids, they’re unlikely to be able to enzyme wash those fabrics after they’ve been made into a shirt. Washing is a finishing process that takes place in a big drum with special formulas to help “age” the fabric. After a wash, the seams are a bit puckered and faded, helping the shirt look more lived-in. The result is a shirt that sits somewhere between ready-to-wear and bespoke — you get the finishing effect only seen in RTW shirts, but the custom-fit that comes with MTM. Other custom tailors cannot offer this service because washing has to be done in big batches to lower the cost. Proper Cloth can achieve it by organizing group MTM runs.
This week, Proper Cloth is offering another such run. They have indigo denim, oxford, Tencel, slub twill, and plaid. The washed denim fabrics will look especially good underneath tweed sport coats, particularly for guys who like to dress down their tailored clothing. Indigo oxford will give you yet another option in a very versatile fabric. And the plaids can be worn with anything casual — bomber jackets, chore coats, denim truckers, and the like. Getting these custom-made ensures you get the perfect fit.
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.”
A cheerful, novelty tie can be worn with upbeat Fresco sport coats and colorful chinos if you’re daring. Alternatively, you can also wear them with more conservative navy jackets and grey trousers to add some lighthearted humor. They’re too whimsical for the office, but good for garden parties, brunches, and other cheerful gatherings (plus, a tie like this will give you something to look forward to. Eventually we’ll be able to have such gatherings again). Prep, especially, has always been about having fun with your clothes.
Linen is something like a technical fabric. It keeps you feeling cool and dry in the warmer seasons, as the fiber helps wick sweat away from the skin, transferring the moisture to the other side and allowing it to dissipate. For nearly a millennia, it’s been used to make everything from home products to apparel. In fact, while the fabric can have a slightly scratchy quality at first, it comfortably softens over a very short period of time. This is why household items such as bed sheets are sometimes referred to as linens – because they were customarily made from flax fibers, linen’s source material.
This week, Dapper Classics just put up their new shipment of linen trousers. Available in staple colors such as navy and mid-gray, these have a slim-straight leg, comfortable mid-rise, and all the details you’d expect on high-end trousers (e.g. rear-split waistband, lining to the knee, and an unfinished length so you can get them hemmed however you want). The fabric is from Itay, which means it has a soft, airy feel (British linens, by contrast, tend to be more densely woven). They’re also made in the United States by the Hertling factory. Get the navy ones if you plan to wear these with light-colored sport coats or casualwear, and then mid-gray ones for everything else. Dapper Classics also has summer-ready trousers in Minnis Fresco, a breathable wool fabric that won’t wrinkle like linen.
Rowing Blazers has partnered with another New York institution, John’s of Bleecker Street, home of the city’s oldest working pizza oven and one of the city’s most beloved pizzerias, for a limited-edition collaboration.
The capsule, which includes a rugby shirt, a hoodie, a crewneck, a tee, and a dad hat, uses two throwback versions of John’s of Bleecker Street logo: the “Mario” bricks logo, and the famous “NO SLICES” logo. (To this day, the pizzeria is known for its strict no-slices policy: John’s only sells pizza by the pie, but trust us, it’s worth it). Many John’s employees have been at the pizzeria for decades and can be seen proudly sporting John’s apparel from when they started, emblazoned with these retro versions of the logo.
In his own words, Rowing Blazers founder and former US national team rower Jack Carlson describes: “John’s of Bleecker is my favorite pizza place in New York City. As a regular, I always enjoy sitting in the main dining room and watching the neophytes come in and say, ‘Let me get two slices of –,’ only to be interrupted with John’s motto: ‘No slices.’ It’s on the awning outside, and basically everywhere you look in the restaurant (including a piece of original artwork by another notable John’s fan, Baron von Fancy, hanging in one of the dining rooms). We’ve collaborated with the amazing folks at John’s to recreate some of this vintage apparel with the original logos. They’re old-school and look almost bootleg. But they’re not. This limited-edition capsule is the real deal — just like John’s of Bleecker Street.”
LuxeSwap recently partnered with beloved online menswear brand Epaulet to create yet another “trade up” program. Much like their partnership with No Man Walks Alone, this program allows you to consign unwanted clothes with LuxeSwap in exchange for store credit at Epaulet. The system is simple: you send your clothes to LuxeSwap and they list them on eBay. In exchange for doing all the hard work of creating listings, fielding questions, and shipping things out to individual buyers, they take a portion of the profits. However, if you’re willing to take your share of the cut in the form of Epaulet store credit, LuxeSwap will lower their fees and Epaulet will top your credit off with a little extra. Details can be found in this post.
Lastly, along with their weekly eBay auctions, LuxeSwap is also now listing things on Auction Ninja, another online auction platform. For those who can get to Long Island, LuxeSwap is selling a curated selection of home items from a Brookville estate, which includes a custom chandelier and two leather armchairs. The auction ends in six days.