We’ve noticed a new breed of suit popping up lately, cut from tightly woven, often three-ply wool that’s built to take a few hours of being bunched up in an overhead or seated on a train yet arrive without a wrinkle, ready to be worn to your destination.
In our grand tradition of keeping you up to date on the international men’s shop scene, we’ve scoured the globe for the newest openings in your regular haunts—you know, Shanghai, Berlin, the usual. Because you never know when you’re going to need some British tailoring while in Hamburg.
You don’t have to be a surfer to appreciate the effortless cool of surf culture—anyone who’s spent a weekend at the beach has gotten a good taste.
Here to give you another taste: this fully custom surfboard built by the surf gurus at Swami’s in collaboration with the eccentrically British designer Paul Smith. (Another exclusive from our friends at UrbanDaddy Perks.) It crosses the cultural gambit by marrying form and function—the board’s got the chops to keep up with any die-hard surfer, yet it’s handsome enough to be displayed as art. (Just say you hang it there between trips to Borneo.) And even if it never rides a wave, it will certainly lend you more cred than a Point Break poster.
As we mentioned on Tuesday, floral prints are having a bit of a moment these days. They’re best used as an accent—more likely to show up in a pocket square or a jacket lining—but since flowers have been showing up more and more lately, we thought we’d pull together some of the best specimens the Web has to offer. It’s been a good year for the roses…
St. Patrick’s Day is just two days away, so we thought we’d dedicate this week’s icon to one of the most stylish Irishmen currently on the scene. We’re thinking of Daniel Day-Lewis, he of the piercing blue eyes and the method intensity. And as a man of refinement, he also happens to know his way around a tailor’s office.
The haircuts of Paris Fashion Week are always a bit outlandish, but we noticed a heartening trend this time around: the return of the mop-top.
Granted, it never really went away, but this year saw a proliferation of mops unlike anything in recent memory. Scanning models, we spotted the McCartney cut on gentlemen at Lanvin, Paul Smith and every last model at Kenzo. (Balmain is close, but that’s really more of a Bieber.)
The lesson? The era of the awkwardly named Hitler Youth cut is coming to a close—and the mods are filling the void. We couldn’t be happier.
Farfetch isn’t as well known in the States, but it’s a great resource for anyone who gets a thrill from browsing through boutiques. (We’ll go ahead and assume that’s you.) They’re an e-commerce hub for a whole cohort of European and British shops, which means you end up sorting through thousands of designers at once. And when they go on sale, they really go on sale.
Now is one of those times.
More specifically, how you’re going to protect them without losing the ability to turn doorknobs.
Fortunately, the rise of the lumberjack-as-style-icon means you’ve got a uniquely broad swath of cozy gloves to choose from, and most of them can take as much snowball-related punishment as you can dish out. In short, it’s going to be quite a winter.
This one’s for the bold. Swim trunks are dealing with a lot less real estate than more formal attire, so you’re free to try out wilder patterns like this one. And since you’re dealing with the same trim cut as the rest of our offerings, you’ll stay reasonably clear of Hawaiian territories.
Here’s a new idea for saving print: Frisbees. Hypebeast just turned us on to Berlin’s own Freestyle Magazine, who just released their second issue. It’s distinguished by two remarkable feats. First, they continue their commitment to shipping every issue with a Frisbee—in this case, a Paul Smith-designed disc with the slogan “Take Pleasure Seriously.” Second, they managed to convince Sir Smith himself to indulge in silver face paint, presumably by appealing to his inner Bowie. Read it while listening to Kraftwerk.
Consider this one a late addition to our catalog of favorite swim trunks.
These Paul Smith trunks are pretty slim, but they stop just shy of the knee—perfect for anyone trying to halt the rising hemline of men’s shorts. More importantly, they swap out the usual drawstring for the wonderfully stodgy side-tab—something we haven’t seen in quite a while. It’s easy to forget that behind all that Technicolor, Sir Smith’s still a damn good tailor.
It’s an ironclad law: You can never have too many robots.
This creaky fellow comes from the workshop of one Gordon Bennett, inspired by a large heap of recycled metal work and an unhealthy preoccupation with 50s sci-fi. He might look familiar from a Paul Smith window display or two (apparently they’ve got a hidden sartorial flair), but now that they’re out of residency, you can actually walk away with one of them.
No word yet on whether they’ll do your bidding, but we have to assume the answer is yes.
It’s been a while, but we’re ready to call trend on a new item: the flecked sweater.
The look’s been building steam for a while, most notably in the marled sweater resurgence that popped up last fall, but between this autumn-hued jumper in APC’s latest shipment, and this Utility Coop crew neck, along with earlier entries from Our Legacy and Paul Smith, pushes it over the threshold into trendhood. Four’s a trend, right?
Naturally, we’re in favor. Sweaters can always use a bit of texture, and giving a contrast color just means more to look at. The APC jumper is the most extreme of the lot but we’d more conservative versions to keep their sheen long after they’ve stopped being hip. And in the meantime, a static-dappled crew neck should be the right kind of eye-catching.
He’s put his name on everything from cameras to great coats, but there may be no item better suited to Sir Paul Smith’s sensibilities than the sock. At the very least, they’re a pretty good place for stripes.
This pair just landed at Bureau Belfast, and it’s a fine example of a dandy-ish sock, done well. Conventional wisdom suggests matching them to your pants or, failing that, your shoes, but if you’re going to take the road less traveled, this (or this) is a pretty good place to start.
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.
Paul Smith’s fashion empire just got a little more diverse, with a new line of Moleskine competitors bearing a few proprietary doodles from Sir Smith. The lucky brand is a French marque called Rhodia, which has been making notebooks for just over 75 years. The cover’s a little less satisfying to touch…but we’re hoping it makes up for it in artistic cred.
There are a lot of odd nooks in British sartorial history, but if you hang around Paul Smith stores long enough, you’ll see just about all of them.
This shirt takes its cues from the famous Liberty of London floral prints, which have been popping up often enough lately to qualify as a mini-trend of their own. Mr. Smith takes a bit more impressionist approach—we’d guess Renoir deserves a little credit too—but the basic approach is more or less the same, and both styles are probably best viewed under a more subdued jacket.
And we’d keep the matching tie a safe distance away.
It’s amazing what a bit of whimsy can do…
It’s not all leporine whimsy, though; there’s some real function here too. As designed, the rabbit ears will light up every time someone tosses something in, which is as effective a litter deterrent as we can think of.
But anyone passing through the park at night without a full knowledge of the latest design developments will be in for quite a shock.
Wallpaper’s recent tour of Paul Smith’s favorite objects taught us a lot about the designer, but most importantly, we learn that Sir Paul is not a man who suffers boredom quietly. Describing his new train-set briefcase, he drops the following knowledge:
I used to take the train set to Japan on my many early trips. I’d produce it when I was bored stating that “I’m bored, I’m going to play with my train set.” As you can imagine this caused great shock and surprise but also a lot of fun and helped establish my personality with my colleagues in Japan.
Of course, we’ve felt the urge to break out a train set during an interminable meeting more than once…but something tells us it’s a bit different when you’ve got your own multi-national brand. It’s still whimsical, but there’s a touch of the terrifying boss in there too.
We don’t mind Smith trying out a pair of Nantucket reds—we knew he’d get around to them eventually—but these latest items seem more directed at early 60s-era beachgoers than his usual urban dandy demographic. They’re impeccably cut, of course, but it’s still a pretty big departure for our Mr. Smith. Did he get tired of the pastel Technicolor vibe so quickly?
Maybe he’s been catching up on his Mad Men?
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