Put This On wouldn’t be possible without the support of our sponsors. So, twice a month, we like to give them a special shoutout. Doing so allows us to recognize them for their support, and update readers on our sponsors’ special happenings.
Contrary to popular belief, white dress shirts aren’t the do-all in your closet. They’re far from your most versatile shirt, and instead, have very specific connotations. Historically, these were citified shirts—something that middle-class managers and members of the gentry wore in the city to conduct business. White dress shirts are hard to clean, show dirt easily, and were once the mark of money. As such, they occupy a more formal role in today’s wardrobe. This is what you wear with dark worsted suits to funerals or weddings. For more casual environments and ensembles, including sport coats, you’re often better off with a light-blue button-up.
Yet, a white dress shirt is about as close as you can get to a wardrobe essential. If you own a suit (and you should), you’ll need all of the accouterments: black or brown oxfords, a dark silk tie, and of course, a white shirt. Over at Proper Cloth, they have a guide on how to choose the best one. Their site leads you through a series of questions: where do you plan to wear the shirt? For what occasions? In what weather? Then Proper Cloth will suggest three shirt fabrics across a range of price points (starting as low as $95). You then choose the shirt’s measurements and styling, and voila, you’ll have your perfect made-to-measure dress shirt a few weeks later. For people who don’t wear suits, Proper Cloth also has some casual options (e.g., white seersucker, American oxford, and pique cotton). Those go wonderfully with sport coats and smart casual attire.
Dapper Classics is currently running a 20% off promotion, which applies to their popular made-in-USA dress socks and tailored trousers.
We’ve long recommended that you get at least seven or eight pairs of over-the-calf navy socks. Such socks can be worn with any kind of tailored clothing—suits or sport coats, trousers in any color except black. OTC navy socks in seasonal materials such as merino wool and mercerized cotton are the kind of thing that you can rely on, no matter what you’re wearing.
However, once you build that basic foundation for a sock wardrobe, it can be nice to branch out. Conservative patterns such as houndstooth, grenadine, and argyle add visual interest (chose colors that match your pants). Cheerful colors such as buttercream are wonderful for spring, while cheeky patterns can be nice on weekends. Dapper Classics’ American flag motif socks are ideal for the Fourth of July weekends and election seasons. Wear them with tan chinos, corduroy pants, and other smart-casual outfits. Best of all, these are made in the United States (probably a must if you’re going to wear American flag socks on patriotic holidays).
Over the last thirty years, suspenders have gone much in the way of hats. Once common in men’s wardrobes, they’ve become something of a relic of the past. But why might you want to wear suspenders? For one, they’re more comfortable than organ-squeezing tourniquets. Since your waist expands when you sit, and returns to its smaller circumference when you stand, belts are only comfortable in one of these positions. Suspenders, on the other hand, allow you to have a little extra room at the waistband to accommodate these changes. Plus, they’re better at holding up your pants. Belted trousers tend to slip down throughout the day, which requires you to adjust them continually. You can set the desired length with suspenders, put them on, and never bother with them again.
Chipp Neckwear has the most affordable ones around, at least if you’re looking for something well-made and produced in the USA. The price is $45.50, which is lower than their competitors — much like the price of their grenadine ties. They offer 20 solid colors and three stripes, the choice of black or brown leather kips, as well as gold or silver-colored adjusters.
We’ll probably never know how Matthew at LuxeSwap scores his consignments—I imagine that’s a closely guarded secret, like KFC’s 11 herbs and spices recipes. Over the years, LuxeSwap has auctioned off everything from rare Polo Ralph Lauren finds to the wardrobes of Buzz Bissinger and our pal Bruce Boyer.
At the moment, LuxeSwap is auctioning off things from the wardrobe of Baron Von Klenk Clifford, who was featured in one of Slim Aaron’s photobooks about high society. In the image, the Baron is wearing an apple green-colored sport coat with a pair of fuchsia pants and some black slip-ons. A chiffon neckerchief dangles from his neck.
LuxeSwap’s auctions include a bunch of Savile Row tailoring, including some pieces once owned by the Baron. These garments were made by the “big three” on the Golden Mile—Huntsman, Henry Poole, and Anderson & Sheppard. It should be noted that there’s a lot of debate nowadays about whether current Savile Row tailoring is as good as it was during the Golden Age of classic men’s style. Either way, these garments were likely made during the zenith of British tailoring. Remember that bespoke garments are made with more inlay than ready-to-wear, which will give you more flexibility in terms of alterations.