We couldn’t be more appreciative of our sponsors. As an independent menswear site, they’re the reason why we’re able to keep the lights on. So, twice a month, we like to give them a special shoutout to recognize them for their support. Doing so also allows us to update our readers on our sponsors’ latest happenings.
Today, the lightweight polo is heavy with social meaning. Tucked into chinos, and you’re a golfing uncle. Collar popped, and you’re the preppy antagonist in a bad 1980s film. Worn plainly on its own, and you’re the sentient version of that sliced cantaloupe platter at every business conference. Yet, as a material, pique cotton has its virtues. The stretchy knit fabric is more forgiving than a woven button-up. It requires little to no ironing, making it the perfect travel shirt or ideal for lazy Sunday mornings. And in an increasingly casual world, the soft, unstarched collar frames the face better than a crewneck t-shirt, but is free the button-up’s stiff ceremony.
This week, Proper Cloth launched its Sullivan Easy-Care knits, which is a range of pure cotton knits made with a special finish that reduces shrinkage, pilling, and color loss. You can use them for Proper Cloth’s full-button-front or polo shirt designs, each custom made to your design specifications and measurements. Proper Cloth also has two new trucker jackets in brown corduroy and navy brushed cotton. They’re casual enough to be worn with jeans but also dressy enough for tailored trousers. Lastly, don’t forget to check out Proper Cloth’s new Satoyama Flannels, a collection of lightweight, Japanese-woven flannels in soft autumnal tones. Custom tailoring doesn’t have to be just for the office. Proper Cloth has a wide range of casual fabrics, too.
Long-time readers know Chipp supplies the most affordable grenadine neckties. They source their silks from the same Italian mills as top-end brands, but their ties start at a much more affordable $45 (grenadines are $60 and, like everything, Chipp sells, made in New York City). Paul Winston, the shop’s owner, tells me he can’t imagine charging much more because he remembers what neckties used to cost fifty years ago, back when his family’s business dressed men such as President John F. Kennedy, Andy Warhol, and Joe DiMaggio.
If you’re looking for your first grenadine, consider three colors: black, some sort of dark blue, and silver. Black can look severe in certain contexts, which is why it’s often not recommended for suits or socks, but the color manages to be neutral for grenadines and knit ties. You can wear a black grenadine with navy suits, tobacco linen suits, and brown tweeds. Dark blue, either in a shade matching your navy suits or one shade lighter, is equally versatile (a dark blue tie can also be an excellent way to visually anchor a light-colored sport coat, which could otherwise float away from you). Lastly, silver grenadines are for guys who only wear ties on special occasions — weddings, fancy parties, and other formal gatherings. Silver ties look less like office-clothes than their dark blue counterparts, and the textured grenadine weave here keeps these from looking cheap and shiny.
A couple of years ago, a scare ran through the menswear community with news that Brooklyn’s Hertling factory was ready to close. Hertling has been around since 1925, making private-label trousers for some of the industry’s biggest names, such as Ben Silver, Paul Stuart, and Sid Mashburn. They also supply trousers to our sponsor Dapper Classics, who offers Hertling-made pants at a much lower price than many of their competitors. Style aficionados have long turned to Dapper Classics for these trousers — which come in classic and slim fits — when they want something better than mall-brand options, but don’t want to spend boutique money. At $200 or so, many people consider Dapper Classics’ trousers to be one of the best values on the market.
We still don’t know what happened to all those Hertling rumors, but it looks like the factory has been chugging along at a steady pace. Their trousers are still made in New York City according to the same standards — a rear-split waistband, fully curtained construction, and soft interlining. The trousers are made with ample seam allowances to allow for more adjustments (cheaper trousers often skimp on the material here to save cost). Dapper Classics has a bunch of options right now in open-weave tropical wools, flecked lambswool Donegals, and faint glen plaids. They also just received a new shipment of Super 120s wool flannels, which can be worn from fall through early spring.
Before prep was codified online as a set of rules, it was about having fun. During the heydays of Ivy Style, our sponsor Winston Tailors — now known as Chipp Neckwear — was famous for making patchwork madras and tweed jackets with vivid linings. Sadly, Chipp/ Winston is no longer doing custom tailoring (they only sell accessories). But cheeky items such as the trousers you see above are still very much about the prep look.
This season, Rowing Blazers has brought back patchwork tweed pants. They’re available in two colorways — one slightly wilder than the other — and are hand-tailored in Portugual using true patchwork wool. They’re slim, but not too slim, allowing them to look coherent with the fabric while also sporting a silhouette that works with most of today’s outfits. If you’re daring, Rowing Blazers also has matching patchwork tweed sport coats you can use as part of a suit.
How do you wear patchwork pants? With a solid white or light-blue oxford cloth button-down shirt, some brown penny loafers, and possibly a Shetland sweater if it’s cold. Will you look ridiculous? Hopefully. Those in New York City can try them out at Rowing Blazers’ flagship store (now re-opened and facial masks are required). Otherwise, they’re available online at Rowing Blazers’ website.
Every Thursday, our sponsor LuxeSwap throws hundreds of new high-quality menswear auctions up on eBay. Since nearly all auctions start at just $9.99, you’re almost guaranteed to get a great deal. This past week, they have a slew of Ring Jacket suits and sport coats, Drake’s accessories, and high-quality shoes. This cabled Inis Meain turtleneck can be paired with Epaule trousers and some suede chukkas for a solid autumnal look.
If you’ve been thinking about cleaning out your wardrobe this fall, consider sending your higher-quality clothes to LuxeSwap. Not only will they do all the hard work of listing your auctions and shipping your items, they’ll also reimburse you for inbound shipping (at least if you’re located in the United States). All you have to do is email them the list of clothes you’re thinking of sending, so you can get pre-approved, and then throw everything in a box. If you’re willing to take payment in the form of store credit at No Man Walks Alone, you can also earn more money.