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Shot on location in Lonon, home of men’s tailoring, Proper Cloth’s latest lookbook shows how you can marshal texture and muted colors to create a more stylish outfit. The winter lookbook covers everything from elegant eveningwear to daytime casualwear. In the photo above, a model demonstrates how a simple Aran sweater with a high neck can be a much more stylish choice than your usual plain merino knits. Just look at the simplicity of the outfit: white jeans (rather than blue) and a more interesting sweater (rather than business casual crewneck), and suddenly, the outfit comes into its own, even without the use of a tailored jacket.
This use of color and texture shows up elsewhere in the lookbook, where the custom shirtmaker shows how you can wear their dusty fawn turtlenecks with tonal grey sport coats. That specific sport coat is made from boucle fabric — a uniquely textured material made with looped yarns — which gives the ensemble a modern feel. Many of these themes will be familiar to long-time admirers of the brand. Proper Cloth often relies on these contemporary-classic pairings that incorporate dusty colors and textures, so their outfits are interesting without being loud. You can head over to their website to see more.
Paul Winston, the proprietor of Winston Tailors and Chipp Neckwear, likes to say that his family’s company serves a more traditional-minded customer. But since the company’s founding in 1945, they’ve also made some pretty wild clothing. Paul’s father Sidney was known for producing things such as patchwork tweeds, madras trousers, and sport coats with vivid linings. And shortly after Paul joined the family’s company in 1961, he designed a small line of clever, pictogram neckties. The difference between sophisticated humor and bad taste, Paul tells us, is always “who and where.” “A chairman once gifted my ties to his board members, and that was considered good humor, but when the same ties are found at Nordstrom, they’re considered bad taste.”
A cheerful, novelty tie can be worn with upbeat Fresco sport coats and colorful chinos if you’re daring. Alternatively, you can also wear them with more conservative navy jackets and grey trousers to add some lighthearted humor. They’re too whimsical for the office, but good for garden parties, brunches, and other cheerful gatherings (such as, you know, holiday parties). Prep, especially, has always been about having fun with your clothes.
High-end dress socks typically cost about $30/ pair — magnitudes more than what you’ll spend on a pair of Gold Toes. But they’re infinitely more comfortable and should last for years if they’ve been made well. Dapper Classics are a bit more affordable than those imported from Europe. Rather than charging $30/ pair, their over-the-calf socks start at $25. They’re able to do this because their socks are made in North Carolina by a third-generation, family-owned mill, so the company doesn’t pay for international shipping and import coats — savings that’s ultimately passed on to you.
Until the end of today, you can knock 30% off that price, making each pair starting as low as $17.50. Their solid navy, over-the-calf socks — available in wool or cotton — can be worn with anything, including suits or odd trousers in tan, grey, brown, olive, and of course, navy. Since they’re over-the-calf, they’ll stay up on your leg (no one wants to see your bare calf when you sit down). Once you get a few pairs in solid navy, consider mixing it up by getting socks in colors that match your trousers — tan socks with tan trousers, grey socks with grey trousers, and so forth. Dapper Classics also has tasteful patterns such as microdot, nailhead, and grenadine for when you want to add some visual interest.
Most men’s clothing derives in some way from war or sport, but few things in our wardrobe have a more direct connection to modern sportswear than rugbies. The collared pullover style has been a staple for a certain kind of Northeastern prep look for decades, but rugbies also come in many other flavors. There’s David Hockney’s “art dude” rugby look, Yvon Chouinard’s “1970s rock climbing” rugby style, and Italian Paninaro youth culture.
Our friends at Rowing Blazers have been making the kind of authentic, heavyweight rugbies that men used to wear out to the field 50 to 100 years ago. Some of their most popular models are called “dad rugbies. “We’re drawing on a very specific reference for these designs: the rugby shirts of 1980s catalog culture; the rugby shirts worn by outdoorsmen, weekend warriors, dads of all shapes and sizes in the late 20th century,” says Rowing Blazer founder Jack Carlson. “These are slightly lighter weight and baggier than our ‘authentic’ rugby shirts, and have a twill collar instead of a knitted collar. They will retail for less than our ‘authentic’ rugbies and won’t have embroidery.” You can wear them with jeans or chinos, under duffle coats, or even the right sport coat.
Additionally, from now until December 25th, Rowing Blazers will donate a portion of its navy NBA sweater sales to the Social Change Fund. Founded by Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony, The Social Change Fund aims to end mass incarceration and police brutality, combat voter suppression, address economic disparities, build educational resources for underserved communities, and empower Black entrepreneurs.
LuxeSwap has always been one of the best resources for guys who want to build a high-quality wardrobe on a budget. The company’s founder Matthew Ruiz is an inveterate thrifter and long-time member of the StyleForum community. For years, he dug through heaps of second-hand clothes and warehoused inventory to find things he could sell on eBay. In the last few years, Matt has opened his business up to commissioners — people send him clothes (so he doesn’t have to hunt). In return, he lists these items for people on eBay, and the two parties share the profits (so you don’t have to bother with creating eBay listings and shipping out individual items).
Once a year, Matthew lists what he describes as “the best of the best” on eBay. These are items that he’s saved up over the year for one massive post-Thanksgiving blowout. This year, you can find a formidable stock of Formosa tailoring, G. Inglese shirts, and Inis Meain knitwear. There are loads of Thom Sweeney products, ranging from down parkas to tailored topcoats. There’s even a pair of Stoffa x 11.11 patchwork trousers (pictured above). Auctions end this Sunday.