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As we transition into layering weather, Proper Cloth is pulling some things out of hibernation. Their made-to-measure Teton flannels come in modern- and traditionally-colored plaids, such as pine green and shadow grey, or berry red and navy. Like with all of Proper Cloth’s shirts, you can order these using the company’s stock fit or have them made-to-measure according to your body’s measurements or the measurements of your best fitting shirt. For something such as their flannels, we recommend sticking with a more casual configuration: a rounded chest pocket, soft front placket, and Proper Cloth’s Soft Ivy Button Down collar model. Remember that you can always order a swatch of nearly any of their fabrics. Swatches cost just $1, but the amount goes towards store credit, so if you end up ordering a shirt, the swatch is effectively free.
If you’re looking for an alternative to jeans, Proper Cloth also has some new moleskin pants in their five-pocket models. These super-soft five-pocket pants have a suede-like finish. You can wear them casually with one of the aforementioned Teton flannels, the new cashmere beanies, and a field jacket, or use them to help dress down a tailored tweed.
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.
These days, you can find socks for pretty cheap — a pack of six pairs from Gold Toes will run you about $15. But those socks are often made from thicker cotton yarns and aren’t very comfortable to wear. Dapper Classics’ socks compare well to the highest-end of European brand names, but since they’re made in the United States, you don’t have to shoulder the cost of international shipping and import fees. Dapper Classics’ socks are made at a third-generation, family-owned North Carolina mill using 188-needle machines, which allows them to produce finely knitted, durable socks that hold up well over many years. The toes are also hand-linked to remove that bumpy finish found on most lower-end brands.
Solid navy, over-the-calf socks can be worn in any tailored outfit. They look better than solid black socks and can be paired with trousers in blue, grey, brown, tan, or olive. Once you get a few pairs — say, six or so — you may want to branch out. Subtle, conservative designs such as Dapper Classics’ pin dots, herringbones, grenadines, and birdseye can be a tasteful way of adding visual interest to an outfit. Again, navy goes with everything. But for variety, consider getting socks in a color that matches your trousers — brown socks with brown trousers, tan socks with tan trousers, grey socks with grey trousers, and so forth. Matching your socks to your trousers helps extend the vertical line in your outfit.
Coming off a successful collaboration with Rowing Blazers, the British knitwear brand Warm & Wonderful recently introduced a new collection for men, women, and kids. The label was founded in 1979 when two young women in their twenties, Joanna Osborne and Sally Muir, started selling sweaters at a market stall in Covent Garden. They were most known for their “sheep sweaters” — wool knits decorated with rows of little white sheep, a line broken by just one proverbial “black sheep.” When Princess Diana — then Lady Diana Spencer — was spotted wearing one of their sweaters to her fiancé Prince Charles’ polo matches, the company shot to fame. Soon, David Bowie, Andy Warhol, and a string of other icons of the era became early Warm & Wonderful customers, and the line was reintroduced in recent years through a Rowing Blazers collab.
This season’s collection includes the iconic sheep sweater in new colors, such as green, light blue, and pink (the original red is also available). There are also totes, aprons, sweater vests, beanies, and scarves decorated with the “black sheep” pattern. At the moment, the collection is available on Rowing Blazers’ website. Later this month, Warm & Wonderful will also launch its first e-commerce site and hold a pop-up shop at London’s fashionable Seven Dials district, at 55 Monmouth Street. The shop marks the brand’s first retail location since the ’90s. It will open on Thursday, October 21st, and run through the holidays.
Every Thursday, LuxeSwap posts hundreds of new menswear auctions on eBay. Since LuxeSwap founder Matthew Ruiz is a seasoned thrifter and menswear veteran, he’s able to spot top-of-the-line items. However, unlike other “curated” vintage shops, everything is sold through auction — almost always at a starting price of $9.99. That means you get the curated selection of top-end vintage stores but the value proposition of Goodwill.
In recent years, LuxeSwap has become popular with No Man Walks Alone and Epaulet’s customers, partly because they have a special trade-in program where consignors can get store credit in exchange for selling their least-worn clothes. For LuxeSwap’s customers, this means you can get clothes from some of the internet’s more discerning shoppers. Keen-eyed readers will spot some beloved brands in this week’s LuxeSwap offerings. There are Iron Heart trucker jackets, Alden shoes, G. Inglese shirts, Armoury chinos, Camoshita and Doppiaa terrycloth polos, Sage de Cret field jackets, and some Carmina footwear. Remember that you can always find the best of their inventory by doing a search for “#1 Menswear.”