Today’s must-read links from around the Internet.
Of all the great reasons to wear a watch, the most important one: telling the time.
Which is why we’ve always liked the straightforward timepieces from the Brits at Uniform Wares—who have carved themselves a nice minimalist niche in the watchosphere—and their latest series strips things down even more.
The 152 Series is everything you want in a dress watch and nothing you don’t: polished steel, black leather, weighs in at a barely there 6mm thick with a conservative 35mm diameter (the days of oversized cases are numbered). Plus, you can get a little flashier with the rose-gold version.
Oh, and it tells time.
The dawning of the age of the boxer-brief basically put an end to the centuries-old underwear debate…
But we might have to reconsider after seeing this new collection of trim, lightweight cotton boxer shorts from newcomers Burtonwode—made in the UK and recently landed in British webshop Glass Boutique.
The five-panel construction is designed to stop any unwanted bunching, and the slim cut mimics the fit of the ubiquitous boxer-brief but gives you a little more breathing room (a precious commodity during this steamy time of year). There aren’t any smiley face prints, but you can opt for an all-over print of purple Einstein busts. Not to mention, they come in some handsome packaging.
Pulp is having a moment. They played a packed house at Radio City last night and they’re headed to Coachella this weekend, with more than a few talk show gigs along the way. It’s a reminder of something many fans never forgot: Jarvis Cocker is a very well-dressed man.
In case you’re not convinced, we’ve got photographic evidence…
If you’re still buzzed about British DPM camo after our roundup last month, here’s an option that might not have occurred ot you: the umbrella.
It comes from the English brollophiles at London Undercover, with an oversized DPM pattern on the top and a warm red on the underside—presumably to make you feel warmer than you are. But mostly it’s an inconspicuous way to work a challenging pattern into your routine.
And in the case of a wet snowfall, it’ll be a lot more useful than cargo pants.
While the British remain vigilant in their refusal to hop on the mid-20th-century orthodontia bandwagon, they appear to be way, way out in front when it comes to volumizing men’s eyelashes. Earlier this month, Eylure, a UK-based makeup company, launched a series of false lashes for men, claiming they help to “recreate that Hollywood gaze.” You won’t get any argument from us there.
It’s too early to tell whether guylashes will catch on. Though it seems they have the best chance to do so in England, where 3 million men admitted to wearing makeup regularly, according to the Daily Mail.
God save the queen.
One of the perks of the blogging life is that we occasionally get to sit down with brilliant designers. Now is one of those times.
The gentleman in question is Tim Little, the Creative Director at Grenson, a mastermind of broguing who happens to have a few exclusive vibram-soled items available exclusively from our friends at UrbanDaddy Perks. We sat down with Mr. Little to talk boots, heritage, and the intersection of British and American workwear.
What’s your philosophy for designing these boots?
We try to take the essence of what the company is—the heritage, the history, everything we’re good at—and make that relevant for today. Everything comes from a very long line of what we¹ve done over the years. We use all the same styling from the past 100 years of Grenson, but we updated it, changed the materials slightly, to bring it up to date.
So far, we’ve resisted the urge to write about tomorrow’s Royal Wedding, but since he’s going to be in a very big spotlight, we couldn’t let the occasion pass without a few words concerning William’s status as the standard bearer for British style.
In short, the prince dresses like a banker. And it’s bad news.
A shocking number of the world’s umbrellas seem to be of the ramshackle $5 variety—especially shocking since just a little bit more flair will get you one of the more handsome items in your closet. One of our favorite examples: this plaid union jack brolly from London Undercover. Their Slim Walker line is full of cheeky takes on the classic English accoutrement, including another lined with a photo close-up of a plate of fish and chips—in case you forget to think of England.
The double-breasted blazer is enjoying a bit of a renaissance, so we’ve drawn up a little map for your venture into double-wide territory. Of course, the first rule is the same as always: wear it with bombast. Here are the others.
We’ve got a soft spot for trad writers, but when one of them manages to carry the look through to the colonies, we start taking notes. So in honor of his latest adaptation, we’re bringing you a quick appraisal of the glorious mound of v-neck sweaters and linen suits known as Graham Greene.
Apparently letting a flock of sheep loose outside Selfridges was supposed to say something about the enduring appeal of British wool (which is responsible for Harris Tweed, among other things)…but we’re guessing that got lost around the time someone dyed them yellow.
Along with all things mulled, fall brings a bit of an outerwear conundrum: to bundle or not to bundle? Our favored solution is the vintage tweed jacket, recognized worldwide as a staple of bookish gents. And as luck would have it, we’ve found a new source for them.
It’s called Tweedman’s Vintage, an online shop gathering together Harris Tweed blazers, velvet smoking jackets and skinny silk ties—in short, the best British vintage has to offer.
Based out of Cambridgeshire (naturally), the duo behind this online emporium has done a superb job of combing through charity shops and the closets of British grandfathers alike to maintain a variety of impeccably preserved woven relics. They’re the perfect transitional piece for fall—polished and, when paired with your knit of choice, just shy of winter weight.
We can neither confirm nor deny the residual scent of pipe tobacco.
You may recall hearing about Breton-stripe crewnecks a few months back, but at the time all we could come up with were freshly released boutique versions of a style that’s been kicking around for decades.
Fortunately, Selectism pointed us to a better source today. It’s called Flamborough Marine, and if you can get past the janky web design, you’ll find a classic Yorkshire shop that sews up the very same crewnecks for a good hundred dollars less, with some extra Brittania cred for good measure. Consider it a very good find.
The red carpet isn’t all tuxedos and pomaded hair.
Take, for example, claymation guru Nick Park’s appearance at this weekend’s BAFTA awards. We wouldn’t describe it as dashing, per se, but for a gentleman best known for meticulous stop-motion confections (Wallace and Gromit, if you were wondering), it’s a pretty consistent image. The bowtie’s a good example of the old school of neckwear, but we’re more interested in the light-sopping jacket.
Nobody’s going to confuse him with George Clooney, but he seems to have the “nerdy craftsman” look sewn up.
It’s the same trick tradition-minded Brits usually play with ties and scarves—check out J. Press for the stateside equivalent—but it usually doesn’t reach to socks for the simple reason that nobody’s supposed to be able to see them, or at least not well enough to get a read on the color. But now that high cuffs have made them more visible, this idea might be ready for its moment.
If you were waiting for a cockney-inflected counterpoint to Pitchfork’s recent decade-spanning mega-list, wait no more. NME just unveiled their 100 favorite discs (or possibly downloads) from the last ten years—each equipped with a few perfunctory links and a video—kicking off drunken arguments in pubs, schoolyards and hospitals throughout fair Albion.
The Strokes’ Is This It lands in the top spot, which we must admit is a pretty solid call. But to get you started in your own ranting, here’s a few outstanding grievances:
Did they really put Speakerboxx/The Love Below higher than Stankonia? And Bloc Party higher than either one? How many Damon Albarn side projects do they really expect us to listen to? And if they think we’ve forgotten how much they slagged Kid A when it first came out, they’re wrong.
The British Design Council has been responsible for a surprising amount of the Really Cool Stuff in the world so far, so we’re glad to finally get a peek at some of it. As of today, they’re opening up their slide archive to give design-minded net-dwellers everywhere a chance to see what they’ve got in there. It includes a wealth of early 60s gems—somebody should really make a show set back then…—but also a few accomplishments we never would have guessed at. Who would have guessed that the same folks that were polishing up tea kettles in the 50s ended up designing power lathes and furnaces?
For some reason, we never get tired of the mod look.
This particular snap comes from Horst A. Friedrichs’ new book, I’m One: 21st Century Mods, which means that while this gentleman may not be on the cutting edge of the cropped look, he’s got plenty of company—both in the book and on the streets of London.
The liberty prints are piling up, but this is the first one we’ve seen that doesn’t bother with cloth. The shade designers at Super plastered three of the more iconic liberty patterns across the top bar of their best clear-bottomed frame, and the result is pure trend candy. We wouldn’t count on wanting to wear these when next summer rolls around, but for the next few months they’ll be just about golden.
A British marque called John Smedley came across our sale radar today with 30% off at their online shop, and we were a bit surprised to peruse the selection. Unlike Anglo designers like Paul Smith, who occasionally seem like they’re making Britishness up as they go along, this is what well-dressed, comfortably middle class Brits actually wear—which can make it quite the statement for an anglophilic man of style.
Smedley’s popular enough to make it to their third century—eat your heart out, Brooks Brothers—and they didn’t do it by being fashion-forward or taking any more risks than they had to. That means some of the gear is a little questionable, but there’s good stuff if you’re willing to dig. Our pick is this Gideon polo, which manages to make Mr. Smedley seem like Fred Perry’s older, less chavvy cousin.
Formalwear has a lot of unspoken rules, and as you get into the thorny, European end, they can get downright confusing. For instance, blue suits and brown shoes are now entirely acceptable—provided you’re outside of Germany. Just so you know…
For a guide, we suggest a tome called Gentleman, which recently received a new cover and a revised edition. It’s got a few hefty predecessors, but it’s definitely worth a look. A few other insights contained within: if your tie lifts your collar tips off your shirt, it’s time to change ties, and if you’re wearing a club tie around London high society, you’d better belong to the club.
As anyone on the East Coast can currently attest, a good raincoat is a very useful thing. Fortunately, London’s been facing rainy Junes for upwards of a thousand years, and they’ve picked up a trick or two.
This gentleman’s shawl-like overcoat comes via Aquascutum, a more modern alternative to marques like Mackintosh and Baracuta (and creator of this ad). The shoulder flaps make it seem both more impermeable and more sartorially adventurous than the competition—a remarkably good case for leaving your umbrella at home.
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