You can take or leave most of the style advice we dole out. As cool as they are, you don’t need a checked blazer. You don’t need an advice-giving pen. But if you’re living anywhere that sees snow on a regular basis, you’re going to need a winter coat—and you’re going to be living with whichever one you choose for quite a while.
So choose wisely.
And to help you survey the territory, we’ve broken the world’s winter coats into three easy categories and singled out the best items in each one—starting with the most classic item in the bunch, the overcoat...
Street style blogs have been thick on the ground in the past few years, so it was only a matter of time before retailers got in on the game. Case in point: Uniqlo just launched their own mini-Sartorialist, called Uniqlooks. The subjects are a bit scrappier, but the sun-dappled lensing and Parisian and Manhattan street settings are unmistakably Schuman-esque.
The outfits aren’t quite as high-fashion as the Sartorialist, but the best ones have a certain international bohemianism to them. (Also, pretty French girls.)
There’s only one problem: Uniqlo’s bread-and-butter is cheap staples—your oxford shirt, your gray v-neck, your other pair of jeans, etc.—so they tend to be responsible for the less eye-catching items in the pics. But if that means reminding people how good their pants look under a budget-busting McNairy shirt, it might not be such a bad thing.
Valet just did a roundup of scarf knots, ranging from the LA hipster look to the presidential style. Unfortunately, they stayed a little too neutral for our tastes, so we thought we'd toss in our two cents: If you're breaking out the scarf, you can’t go wrong with the slipknot.
The style has been gaining on the usual wraparounds for quite a while now and, for one reason or another, most of the product shots we saw this year found the scarves pulled through in just this way. The slight asymmetry makes just about any outfit more interesting and, more importantly, the front knot protects the throat better than the single loop or formal half-loop. Valet gives the Sartorialist credit, which is certainly due—where do you think we got the picture?—but this one has been building steam in the preppy crowd for quite some time.
The Sartorialist has spent the past few days recounting a few of his favorite photographers, and it’s surprisingly far from the usual glossy editorial crowd.
Today, Mr. Schumann singled out the Weimar-era lensman August Sander, and while you won’t find his books in any fashion shops just yet, he makes a lot of sense as a proto-Sartorialist. For one, the poses are just about dead on.
Of course, instead of Italian businessmen and West Village doyennes, Sander’s lens seeks out carnival folk and country brass bands. But as luck would have it, they’ve got a pretty decent style of their own.
One of the brilliant things about personal style is it can float along independent of trends.
Most designers would never let a jacket this baggy onto a runway. But while the rest of the fashion world is busy trimming the sag off their cardigans, this Parisian gentleman is off refining his own rumpled look, thanks to a baggy blazer, a few loose scarves, and a perfectly grizzled beard.
And, for the moment at least, he has a style all to himself.
After a while, the Sartorialist-style shots start to blend together, so it was about time someone brought a more personal touch to people watching.
Our candidate is What I Saw Today, which throws a few colored pencils and a playfully sketchy style into the mix. Street style blogs have always aspired to be a kind of notebook for designers, so making one that actually looks like a notebook brings a certain authenticity to the project.
And if it helps a few more people appreciate the subtle texture of a Chesterfield coat…all the better.
The Sartorialist tipped us off to the latest troubling fad among monk-shoed Italians: they’re leaving the straps dangling loose. Of course, we have nothing but love for monk shoes, but to our eyes, that loose strap is just waiting to end up in the mouth of a teething basset hound with a taste for fine leatherwork.
But of course, that doesn’t mean it’s going anywhere. Trends like this rarely follow the usual rules, and assuming the shoe fits well enough to stay on without the strap, there’s nothing to stop the Mediterranean youth from leaving their straps dangling for the better part of the decade.
Think of it as a backwards ballcap for the bespoke set.
The Times has a pair of pieces reprinted in the International Herald Tribune today on Bill Cunningham, arguably the progenitor of street photography—at least as far as newspapers are concerned. Cunningham started snapping during World War Two, aided by a well-oiled bicycle and an eye for clothing. Editors had space to fill and Cunningham had content that wasn’t just another society ball.
His files are still mostly unpublished, spanning 60 years of spontaneous style and just waiting for a glossy retrospective from some lucky publisher. But for now we’ll have to rely on Cunningham’s more recent descendents to keep us up to date.