Nothing brings out a gentleman’s most pragmatic sense of personal style more than facing the hot, hot heat.
And with Coachella kicking off its two-weekend run of concerts in the sweltering California desert tomorrow, there’s no better place to witness this firsthand—especially onstage, where true wills of sartorial resolve are tested.
Which is why there are some valuable lessons to be learned from those who manage to maintain a rakish poise even when performing high-kicks in the unforgiving desert sun. (Hint: sometimes you’ve got to embrace the sweatiness.) So we present to you...
Most of the US is still firmly in wool scarf season, but soon enough you’re going to want to reach for something a little lighter to keep the brisk wind off your neck. Something like silk—that will still keep you relatively warm, but without the scratchiness.
Honestly, we’re not sure how to feel about the thing. On the outset it seems like an unforgivable shortcut, the sartorial equivalent of PEDs (there’s something earned about being able to tie one’s own bow tie, for instance). But maybe it’s the answer to the frustration of sagging squares—is it really that different from our suggestion of pre-stuffing your pocket with tissue or another pocket square?
According to Beams—and we’re confident they’ve done the proper research—this was a bona fide thing in the ’80s (which is probably another strike against the idea). Another troubling factor is the practicality: first, you’d need a pocket deep enough to disguise the leather bottom, then if you were to actually use the card holder, it would require pulling out the pocket square every few minutes—like an old person removing their dentures before a meal—adding the risk of frightening a sartorially savvy networking lead. We’ll give Beams+ credit for the novel idea, but there’s one bit of Swansonian wisdom we think applies here:
The summer is no excuse to go barefoot. (But it is an excuse to get as close to it as possible with your footwear.)
This new line of linen, cotton and silk slippers from SVZ is exactly what you need to keep it light on your toes. They’re handmade to order in Italy and have a soft grippy bottom—we would recommend these for puttering around on a Sunday afternoon, not hitting the town. They’ll especially come in handy tucked into your weekender—ready to sub in for those flimsy hotel slippers or flip-flops if you find yourself outside of a few hundred feet radius of water.
Now that we’re living in a post-cravat-stigma America, bow ties are no longer relegated to a lifetime spent around the collars of fastidious professors and gala regulars.
They’re a welcome bit of sartorial flash, and these days it’s the flashier, the better. Which is why we were pleased to see this eye-catching new crop arrive at Commune de Paris, designed by Monsieur Jean Yves in Paris—also where they’re handmade. There’s a lot to like: candy stripes, raw silk and a particularly festive multicolored marled entry that’s reminiscent of Funfetti cake. They’re pre-tied (to save you the trouble of lining up the stripes every time), but don’t let that fool you into thinking this isn’t still an advanced move.
It’s been said that a tie is worth a thousand words... Okay, maybe we’re a little off on that saying, but nowadays ties aren’t often required as daily wear, so what you choose to dangle from your collar can say a lot. Naturally, you’ve seen the handsome offerings from the Drake’s, the Hill-Sides, the Olchs of the world—all here, of course—but today we’ve stumbled upon a little gem of a capsule collection.
A small batch of embroidered silk repp ties by Kirk Miller of Manhattan’s culty bespokery Miller’s Oath for the unapologetically erudite periodical The Paris Review. They’re snooty ties with French... ties—the Parisians have long been the gold standard in snootiness—and they’re embroidered with the magazine’s original insignia: a bird you’ve probably never heard of, the hadada. Sure, there’s a lot of haughtiness packaged in here, but they’re good-looking, well-made ties nonetheless. (Whether you care to share their backstory is up to you.)
Plus, they’re something to keep in mind if you’re trying to score points with a bookish dad the weekend after next...
Over the weekend, A Suitable Wardrobe offered up this picture with a general endorsement of the casual ascot, suddenly a very real threat to crewnecks everywhere. It’s advanced tradwear, to be sure, even if the knot’s not as complicated as you think—but we’re still going to have to give this one a pass. The reason is simple: most ascots are hideously ugly. It’s quite a job to find one that’s not paisley or polka-dotted. Even then they tend to be made of lounge-lizard satin, which makes them hard to work into an even minorly rugged wardrobe. That’s not to say there isn’t possibility—this kind of trad trickle-down has produced good results in the past—but until someone starts making them in chambray, it’s going to be a tough sell.
The broad, curvy peak lapels give it the playful feel we’re used to from Mr. Ford, but it’s flashy in a whole new way. The silk is the kind of excess he usually chases, but combined with the vertical herringbone, it has a sense of texture we’ve never quite seen before. It’s the kind of item that looks a little different every time you see it.
Vittorio J will still work up a handful of ties to your specs, but you might do just as well sticking with their in-house line. They make the clever move of going narrow without being skinny, but the material might be an even bigger draw. They use English silk and the emphasis everywhere is on intricate patterns and bold colors.
The silk undershirt is a deep-winter staple, but we aren’t too committed to the material itself. And we’re always ready for something new.
Bumboo is reinventing the underlayer with a fabric that’s 70% bamboo, resulting in an equally comfortable shirt that’s a little more heavyweight. We aren’t quite sure how it wears—we’re bloggers, not models, after all—but we’re more excited about adding bamboo to the fabric pallet. Once it goes mainstream, who knows what we’ll be able to do. We might even see it in a suit in not too many years.