Today’s must-reads from around the Internet.
Ah, August after dark: perfect for romance, bonfires and waxing nostalgic about your pre-desk-job days as a lifeguard.
Why would you ever waste the time indoors?
But the thing is, once the sun sets, it has a way of getting pretty darned chilly out. And since nothing can ruin a beautiful beach day’s epilogue like a set of chattering teeth, we’d like to advise you to take the necessary precautions and invest in a bit of lightweight knit protection. That way, you’ll be able to focus more on achieving the perfect s’more-char and less on maintaining your body temperature.
Or your date’s, for that matter.
Consider this a last-minute addition to yesterday’s spring must-haves: fine-gauge cashmere.
And right on time, our comrades in style over at UrbanDaddy Perks are knocking 25% off a fine selection of spring-ready cashmere sweaters, cardigans and one exceptionally cozy-looking speckled henley from Christopher Fischer—an expert on balancing the yarn’s buttery-soft gauziness with just enough warmth retention perfect for the typical “summer in the light and winter in the shade” March day.
Clearly Dickens was pining for some cashmere while writing that line.
As menswear’s love affair with Italian tailoring runs its course, there’s been a rising trend in rumpled luxury—some have gone so far as to name it “cozy boy.” (In other words, this refined-sweatpants craze is not going away anytime soon.)
Whatever you want to call it, the gold standard of this new menswear subculture has to be Elder Statesman, this year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund recipient. It features a collection of impossibly soft, well-made and exorbitantly priced cashmere. If draping yourself in the finest of hand-knit opulence is your thing, or you’d just like to admire a $3,200 cardigan (er, robe?), here’s what else you need to know.
The Story: The charmed life of knitwear designer Greg Chait has involved interning for Whitney Houston, dating an Olsen and stumbling into a high-level position with jean maker Ksubi. He founded Elder Statesman in 2007, making cashmere blankets for the wealthy—stocking private theaters and jets, that sort of thing—and the rest is history.
Who to Channel: Those Snuggie commercials—but while cozying up on your private jet instead of your lonely couch.
When to Wear It: This isn’t a sweater, this is a lifestyle.
Degree of Difficulty: Low/irrelevant: if you’re spending three grand on a stay-at-home sweater, you’re probably not going to listen to us anyway.
Let’s not mince words here: it’s cold out. And it’s coldest on the ground—which means you should be paying careful attention to keeping your feet as warm as bipedally possible.
So we went ahead and rounded up the warmest socks on the market—many of which won’t look out of place on your regular rotation of pastels and patterns.
On the occasion of this weekend’s premiere of the Steve Jobs biopic, jOBS, at Sundance, we are ever reminded of his iconic allegiance to the turtleneck. (Ashton Kutcher seems to have done a fine job of pulling it off himself.)
In fact, ever since we told the menswear-osphere to stop fearing the turtleneck, we’ve been noticing dapperly swaddled necks popping up everywhere—we won’t take full credit for the garment’s renaissance—on runways, in magazines, at tradeshows and even in our favorite menswear shops.
Cashmere makes for a great sweater, scarf or even watch cap—but once you get into the realm of outerwear, cashmere has always seemed to be a little too delicate. Until now…
Seize sur Vingt—the downtown New York menswear hub run by a husband-and-wife team—found a way to toughen up an ordinarily delicate wool (via science) to create this water-resistant cashmere peacoat. It’s the most rugged cashmere out there, by far. Here’s what else you need to know.
The Story: Seize sur Vingt took some cashmere to the lab, treated it with a water-resistant compound and gave it some elasticity, to make it durable enough for winter. Twelve coats were made from this revolutionary fabric, available at their flagship in NYC.
Who to Channel: A super-luxe naval admiral; Serge Gainsbourg walking along the Seine; someone not afraid to beat up their cashmere.
When to Wear It: You’ll be reaching for this whenever you’re in need of an overcoat. Here’s your new go-to for everything from the morning commute to attending your multitude of winter gala invites.
Think of This Jacket As: Your favorite cashmere sweater turned into a fortress of coziness.
The Michael Bastian buzz has already moved on to spring 2013 (he presented the line yesterday at Fashion Week, to the typically upbeat reviews), but here’s something you won’t have to wait six months to get your mitts on…
This cashmere sweater with a nostalgic nod to Charlie Brown (hat tip). What’s not nostalgic: there’s none of the thick itchiness we can assume Chuck was constantly dealing with in his department store wool version. This, on the other hand, is luxurious stuff made in Italy and should add a nice tongue-in-cheek between your corduroy blazer and oxford button-down.
It’s a better look than going for “the Pigpen.”
Suitsupply has found itself in a perfect storm of an Italian menswear revival, a new era of high-tech tailoring and a current generation of young, hungry and pennywise enthusiasts. And the Dutch company is handling it all quite handsomely. (You’d be hard-pressed to do any better at the numbers they’re asking.)
So even if the boiling hot temps aren’t subsiding anytime soon, it would be remiss of us not to alert you that their new fall wares—chock-full of wool and cashmere blends—are available for preorder now. Because if you’re not in one of the three American cities where they’ve set up shop (NYC, DC and Chicago), you’re going to have to work quickly to get a leg up on the rest of America.
You’ll thank yourself later.
Another month has gone by, and with it, another thousand pages of glossy, gently perfumed menswear journalism has arrived on our doorstep.
Naturally, we’ve got a few opinions.
We love a good scarf. It’s the grace note of a well-dressed man—a sliver of color in a gray season. And since we’ll be wearing one every day once winter ramps up, it’s easy to get emotional about things.
But for all the wisdom and hype in our corner of the blogosphere, there’s really only one thing that matters in finding a good scarf. And it’s definitely not how you tie it…
Not all scarves are created equal. And while there are plenty of bulky wool mufflers to go around, it might be time to check out the longer, softer, more colorful variety—something we’re calling the Overcoat Scarf.
It’s perfect for the more formal move of looping your scarf on top of your coat collar, usually practiced by mayors and old Italian men. You’ll want the tassels to hang down near your waist, so it’ll have to be a good deal longer than your garden variety flannel—and since it’s laying on top of a more understated coat, you’re free to get colorful.
Our favorite place to find them is Meg Cohen, a small design shop favored by a few of our blogger friends. The scarves are all cashmere, and in understated colors that should blend with any colors that pop up in your overcoat. We’re guessing either black or gray…
We’ve got two bits of good sale news. First, Drakes has some achingly handsome cashmere ties on sale here. And once you’re done there, you may want to investigate the more involved summer sale going on at Brooklyn mainstay C’H’C’M’. In fact, there’s so much, we’ve put together a little guide of what to buy, what to sell and what to hold.
Behold, the French side of trad.
Last season, the French accessories brand Flouzen collaborated with Kitsuné to bring us the Foxtail Tie—a crisp, color-blocked tribute to the fictional fox in “Fables de la Fontaine.” This season’s soon-to-arrive collaboration embraces the Ivy League epidemic with five styles inspired by Ivy League color palettes as a French iteration of the J. Press modus operandi. (Apparently Dartmouth, Cornell and Brown didn’t make the cut.)
However, their brazen admiration of preppy roots isn’t the only thing that caught our attention—the ties are made of delicate, handknit cashmere. While the cashmere tie venture is certainly a rare occurrence, we think it’s worthy of significant consideration. It’s the ideal fall accessory—the happy neckwear medium between the cashmere scarf and nothingness. Hopefully this fall will continue to bring more versatility to luxe knits.
We’d like to take every opportunity to indulge our collars.
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