Welcome back to The Buy Line, where we analyze how the new market forces of menswear—driven by the Internet and the rise of a more savvy consumer—have redefined where the intersection of well-made and well-priced lands.
Happy Friday. To celebrate, the universe is bequeathing you with two new online-buying options to explore, and thus whittle down whatever working hours you have left by looking at pebbled-leather monk straps and customizing $988.13 Scottish sweaters instead.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.