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Proper Cloth is bringing some things out of hibernation as we transition into layering weather.
Their made-to-measure Teton flannels are available in both modern and traditional plaids, such as pine green and shadow grey or berry red and navy. Like all Proper Cloth shirts, you can order these in a stock fit or have them made-to-measure based on your body measurements or the measurements of your best-fitting shirt. We recommend a more casual configuration for their flannels, such as a rounded chest pocket, soft front placket, and Proper Cloth’s Soft Ivy Button Down collar model. You can always order a swatch of almost any of their fabrics. Swatches are only $1, but the money goes toward store credit, so if you order a shirt, the swatch is effectively free.
Proper Cloth’s Cortina vest is a lightweight layering piece for shoulder seasons (those in-between seasons when we transition from warm to cold weather). The style has been a company staple for several years, as it goes well with any type of shirt or lightweight sweater. These, which come in a variety of colors and textures, can be used to add visual interest to any basic autumn outfit while also protecting you from the elements.
Ledbury has recently reintroduced two of their most popular shirts. The first is their Khal Check, which features a light blue base with teal and autumnal orange checks. Because of the light blue base, it can be paired with anything—navy sport coats, brown tweeds, or lightweight sweaters in any color. Light blue shirts help to dress down tailored looks, and this particular design has a texture and autumnal coloring that shines especially well in the fall. Furthermore, Ledbury has a pumpkin-colored check called the Farwell (pictured above). This is a modern interpretation of a classic that falls somewhere between the uber-preppy blue-and-white gingham check (popular in the spring) and the rougher, workwear-styled buffalo check flannel (popular in the fall). Use this to bring out the earthy tones of tweed or to pair with olive chinos.
One of the interesting things about Ledbury’s shirts is the placement of their second button. They place it a little lower so that the v-shape formed between the top of the collar and your fastened top button does not sit too high when you unbutton the collar. This is one of the characteristics that allows Ledbury’s shirts to be both dressy and casual. As said in the first Seinfeld episode, the placement of the second button literally makes or breaks a shirt.
This month, Wolf vs. Goat will receive a massive shipment of autumn goods, including a slew of bamboo-Sonora items ranging from lightweight tees to mediumweight fleeces. This unique blend has been heavily used as part of the company’s effort to produce more environmentally friendly products. Bamboo has a lower environmental impact than cotton because it does not require chemicals or irrigation systems—just a little sunlight and rain will keep it thriving from the ground, even after the stalks have been cut. Wolf vs. Goat also uses bamboo harvested in a closed loop process, which means harmful toxins like carbon disulfide are recovered and recycled rather than emitted.
Sonora, on the other hand, is a synthetic. Invented by DuPont, Sonora is made from non-edible plant glucose starch extracts (currently, mostly from the sugar taken from corn feed). It’s a cross between polyester and nylon—soft, stretchy, fade and stain resistant, and dyes easily, so it’s rich and vibrant in color. When combined with bamboo, you get a technical fabric that is both soft and breathable. Bamboo-Sonora regulates your body temperature, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer. Wolf vs. Goat will have a wide range of items in this magical fabric this month, along with pure cashmere and cashmere-blend sweaters.
Socks are relatively inexpensive these days, with a pack of six pairs from Gold Toes costing around $15. However, those socks are frequently made of thicker cotton yarns and are not very comfortable to wear. Dapper Classics socks, on the other hand, are comparable to high-end European brand names, but because they are made in the United States, you avoid the cost of international shipping and import fees. These socks are made in a third-generation, family-owned North Carolina mill using 188-needle machines, allowing them to produce finely knitted, long-lasting socks. The toes are also hand-linked to eliminate the bumpy finish common in lower-end brands.
Solid navy, over-the-calf socks can be worn in any tailored outfit. They look better than solid black socks and can be paired with trousers in blue, grey, brown, tan, or olive. Once you get a few pairs — say, six or so — you may want to branch out. Subtle, conservative designs such as Dapper Classics’ pin dots, herringbones, grenadines, and birdseye can be a tasteful way of adding visual interest to an outfit. Again, navy goes with everything. But for variety, consider getting socks in a color that matches your trousers — brown socks with brown trousers, tan socks with tan trousers, grey socks with grey trousers, and so forth. Matching your socks to your trousers helps extend the vertical line in your outfit.
Until the end of this month, if you purchase three or more socks, you can also get a fourth pair free of your choosing.
If you’re just starting to build a neckwear wardrobe, you could do worse than starting with a basic grenadine. The textured Italian silk adds visual interest to solid-colored sport coats but is also subdued enough to pair with patterned jackets. Your next few ties should continue to be basic — rep stripes, foulards, and perhaps a knit for casual occasions.
Once you have the basics, consider getting things in more seasonal fabrics. Raw silk and linen are ideal for summer. However, in the fall and winter months, you’ll want things such as tweed, cashmere, wool challis, and most of all, ancient madder. Paul at Chipp Neckwear once told me that the chalky hand of ancient madder reminds him of a horse’s wet nose. I’ve always thought that description is charming. Madder ties are useful in the winter because they sit in the middle in terms of formality. They’re just as good with tweed and corduroy sport coats as they are with worsted suits. Chipp’s ties are made in NYC using the same English silks as what you’ll find from top-tier producers, except theirs cost less than $70.
LuxeSwap doesn’t really do sales. They work with consignors around the world to sell high-end men’s clothing on eBay. However, once a year, they run a blowout promotion in which they sell their best stock on Black Friday. To be sure, these are still ten-day eBay auctions—you log in on Black Friday, browse their selection of high-end menswear, and then place bids on auctions that end ten days later. However, because the stock’s quality that week is higher than usual, it attracts many more bidders. This, of course, means more money for consignors.
If you want to get in on the action, send your unwanted goods to LuxeSwap soon. They only have 500 slots available, and 100 of them have already been filled. Remember that because this is a big promotion, the items must be truly high-end. On the plus side, if you’re willing to accept payment in the form of store credit at No Man Walks Alone or Epaulet, LuxeSwap will lower their fees and either of those stores will add something extra to your credit.