Today’s must-reads from around the Internet.
Nowadays you can get just about anything bespoke—it’s not just suiting anymore—due to the recent flurry of online upstarts and the latest renaissance of Savile Row.
With so many options out there, knowing where to begin can seem a bit overwhelming, but we’ve found a good place to start: the custom shirt.
And our friends over at UrbanDaddy Perks just so happen to be setting you up with three custom shirts from the NYC tailoring house A.M Bespoke for about the price you’d get into one at most full-service tailors. The catch: you’ll need to be in NYC to meet their tailor—but if you can’t make it to their showroom, they’ll send him to your hotel, office or favorite watering hole to size you up and go over your finish options (there are 30 collar options alone). And you might as well jot down your measurements to keep handy once you’re back online.
Not to mention, this could be your answer for that fastidiously dressed father of yours who’s usually impossible to shop for…
You may have heard the news of the recent split between Umit Benan and Trussardi ringing across #menswear land over the past few days (it only became official yesterday). And while it all sounded like just another power move in the tumultuous business of fashion, anyone with a vested interest in their tailoring—whether or not you’re keeping an eye on the runways—ought to know what it all could mean to them.
NYFW barrels into another day. Once again, we traipse across the city to see it, in an indefatigable quest to keep you informed (and show you how stylish future-you could be). Hence, a series of quick-and-dirty posts on as many of the shows as we can get to.
Up next: Bespoken Clothiers.
The Background: Bespoken Clothiers is designed by a couple of buddies who met playing rock and roll—and then went and earned their Savile Row tailoring cred. You can see bits of it in this year’s show, which took place in the dark and dusty library room in the impossibly hip, downest of the downtown venues, the NoMad Hotel (in a room that seemed like a better place to meet your archnemesis than to look at clothes).
Degree of Difficulty: High if you live in a town with less than 100,000 people; low if you go to a lot of independent film premieres.
The Showstoppers: Updated black tie, some beautiful cap-toe boots.
But, #Menswear?: The recent shirting predicament of Tumblr founder David Karp and a few words of advice from Esquire.
I Know Neapolitan Tailors on a First-Name Basis: Digging deeper into the secrets behind Wall Street’s affection for high-end tailoring.
Not Dior, Homey: An incomplete history of fashion name-dropping in rap.
Let’s talk about Fashion Week. While we try to steer clear of the capital-F-ness of it all, there’s plenty of worthwhile menswear happening. So, to recap it all, we’ve scoured the usual boots-on-the-ground suspects to bring you a compendium of everything you need to know about what happened (and what you’ll be wearing in six months). Just the facts.
Everyone’s favorite Southern gentleman-haberdasher, Sid Mashburn, has just put a sweeping range of blazers, canvas shorts and belts on sale. There’s really nowhere to go wrong, but if you’re in the market for a navy hopsack suit or a gun-check blazer, you’re in luck—Mashburn’s off-the-rack tailoring is highly sought after. Which means the clock is ticking…
Slick, new Manhattan tailor Bellucci Napoli is hosting an entirely bespoke Neapolitan affair that includes a custom shirt fitting, an Italian wine tasting and pizza fired up by a master pizzaiolo. It’s bespoke on a whole new level—you’re not just getting a shirt custom made, the entire experience is. (And to think, last time you went to a Neapolitan tailor, all you got was a lousy shirt.) You’ll need an appointment for one of the two exclusive events (courtesy of our discerning colleagues at UrbanDaddy Perks), the first of which is happening this Thursday. Of course, you’ll also need to get yourself to Manhattan.
Which should be a considerably shorter trip than Southern Italy.
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.
Steven Alan has quietly launched an online sample sale with up to 70% off a good chunk of the tailored bohemianism you’ve come to expect. His signature single-needle shirts are always a strong bet, though we’d also like to point out a few non-Alan offerings going for a steal, like this Engineered Garments blazer and this Batten Sportswear anorak. Happy hunting.
The term “custom shirting” leaves a lot of room for interpretation—especially online. But the latest shirt makers on the scene, Ratio, are handcrafting shirts in as custom an operation as it gets—short of spending a couple hours with a tailor (h/t). In addition to the standard options you’ll often find online (fabric type, collar-to-sleeve ratio), Ratio lets you choose your hem length, collar style and even whether you want a box pleat, center pleat or no pleat on your back. In all, you’ve got over a dozen variables to tweak.
Meaning you’ve just found your new favorite shirt designer: you.
The big industry news of the weekend comes from Simon Spurr, who abruptly departed from his namesake label last week—just a week after he got a nod from the CFDA as one of the best menswear designers in America.
It’s left more than a few people stunned, but we’re mostly upset at the prospect that Spurr’s style of transatlantic tailoring might vanish from the scene entirely. He’s never been as trendy as the Thom Brownes of the world, but he’s been responsible for some of the better red-carpet moments of 2012 (starting with this one), and without him heading up a label, there’s no one to carry on the kind of angular suiting he worked so hard to establish.
Which is to say, we hope the man lands on his feet, if only for our wardrobe’s sake.
As we head into cotton suit season, Aussie tailor P. Johnson has put together a near-impeccable guide to the camicia spalla or Neapolitan shoulder. It’s the puckered version on the left, compared with the regular, unstructured shoulder on the right. By our lights, the non-Neapolitan version is a little more classic, a little less trendy, but it’s still useful for anyone looking to spice up an otherwise standard jacket. It’s even better as a way to test your tailor’s chops. Any suit maker who can pull this off is worth whatever he’s charging.
Tweed raises strange passions in a man.
So in honor of their latest batch of Donegal tweed suits, the Nolita tailors Seize sur Vingt put together this four-minute short film about passion, betrayal and an unusually versatile suit. (Spoiler: burglary is involved.) Check it out after the jump.
When it comes to store openings, John Varvatos has basically never let us down. So now that his SoHo outpost has emerged from renovation, we figured we’d take a look. The result is a new emphasis on tailoring space, along with the same vintage rock stills and leather boots we all know and love.
We’ve always been on the side of precise tailoring, but it takes all kinds, and there are always a few new fits to try out.
Acne has been pushing clean, unbroken drapes as much as anyone outside of Japan, and we’re starting to come around. The typical dig is that they make you look like a clothes hanger—skin and bones, as our mother would say—but if the colors are right, you could do a lot worse. In this case, the colors are deep maroons and somber grays, which is about right.
And if you’ve ever passed through Stockholm, you’ll know why.
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