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Cousteau/Zissou inspiration for Autumn
Also available at No.3 Clifford St
BWS on Haberdasher St
Drake’s Fall/ Winter 2013
Drake’s released their fall/ winter 2013 collection yesterday. It hasn’t received that much fanfare on blogs yet (even in the ever-quick Tumblr-sphere), which is surprising given how many fantastic things there are.
Like last season, this collection seems to have a nice focus on textured neckwear. There are the traditional things, such as raw silks and tussahs in both solid and patterned designs, as well as plays on standards, such as variations on the traditional grenadine. In addition, there are some nice designs with a 1950s/ 1960s sensibility, such a fuzzy mohair blend and a range of boucles. The word boucle comes from the French word boucler, which means “to curl,” and it refers to how the yarns are formed. The fabric is made with a series of looped threads, typically with one being a bit looser than the others. This looser thread forms a small curled loop in the fabric, while the others form the anchors. The effect is a fabric that looks very textured and interesting, and feels slightly rough to the touch. I think of it as a fall/ winter version of raw silk and like to wear mine with tweeds.
The Sale continues! 30% off all FSC merchandise (third party collaborations excluded) in stores and online!
Product Review: J. Lawrence Private Label Wool Trousers
Khaki’s of Carmel is one of the most diverse and colorful menswear stores that I’ve ever seen. Inside, you’ll find high quality menswear goods from popular brands such as Boglioli, Etro, and Canali - all in a variety of colors and styles. But in addition to these brands, Khaki’s of Carmel also houses its own line of clothing, the J. Lawrence Private Label, which Jim meticulously designs himself. During my last visit to Khaki’s, Jim graciously gave me a pair of wool trousers to review.
The trousers that I received were flat front, oxford grey, and made with 100% worsted wool. I found the fabric to be lightweight and breathable, which makes them the perfect year-round pair of trousers for a temperate climate such as San Francisco. In addition to being light, the wool also has a smooth finish, which makes these trousers very comfortable to wear.
While the trousers seem simple in design, there’s a surprising amount of detail that went into them. The trousers are constructed with a fly front that has an inside fastening tab and an exterior tab waist closure. These features give the trousers a trimmer appearance when closed and allow the waist to sit straight. Moreover, the trousers feature a split back waistband, which allows your tailor to take in or let out the waist if need be.
Inside, the trousers feature an inner two-piece pleated waist curtain, which helps the trousers sit more comfortably across your waistline and conform to the flaring of your hips to reduce stress on the seams. Moreover, the interior piping and pockets are made from Italian oxford cloth and poplin. All these details are the hallmarks of high quality trousers as many cheaper brands usually forgo them to cut costs.
Above all, the most important to look for in a pair of trousers is the fit. Compared to many modern trousers, the J. Lawrence Private Label has a more contemporary fit. On my size 32” trousers, the leg opening is at 8” and the rise is around 11”. In addition, I found that the legs do not taper as much, which give the trousers a more fuller, elegant look. Overall, I feel that the J. Lawerence line of trousers has found the perfect balance between slim and contemporary fits.
At the end of the day, I think the J. Lawrence Private Label wool trousers I received are fantastic. They are made in America at a long-established tailor in Brooklyn and are well constructed with incredible fabric and excellent details. At $250, many will see these trousers as an investment. However, given their timeless design, these trousers are well worth it.
You can find these wool trousers as well as many other fantastic items such as sports shirts and Edward Green shoes at Khaki’s of Carmel’s online store. If you’re ever in Carmel, be sure to also stop into Khaki’s of Carmel. Not only is the store wonderful and carries many fantastic items, Jim is incredibly friendly and approachable and I know he would love to spend time talking to you about menswear.
Real People: Texture over Pattern
Bold graphic pattern is an easy way to make men’s clothing interesting, since, as a whole, the cut of what we wear is circumscribed within a pretty tight space by traditions and what’s socially acceptable (otherwise we’d all be draped in sumptuous velvet). However, complementary tones and texturally complex fabrics can be quietly interesting without the brashness of wild patterns.
Nam in Jersey City consistently wears simple, clean-lined shapes in cool tones of blue, gray, and stone, and differentiates them with chambray, linen, flecked wool, and open-weave cotton knits. (The cardigan he’s wearing in the upper right photo is especially awesome; beware the air tie, though—an advanced maneuver for sure.) I like the way he wears a consistent pant length either by hemming or rolling to ankle length. It’s flattering and has the added benefit of showing off some suede shoes and matte white sneakers.
In Praise of Asymmetry
Symmetry is overrated; few things in the natural world are truly symmetrical. We don’t want our clothing to outwardly reflect any artifice, even if inwardly we may call on them to do so. We often speak of the height of ‘style’ being the man or woman who looks ‘natural’ in his or her clothing.
This is, perhaps, at least partly why I have always found symmetrical tie knots to look a little overdetermined, a little un-natural. To be sure, the bulk of a full Windsor knot can sometimes swallow a person’s face. But beyond the dimensions of proportionality, there’s something more abstract to me about why they don’t look right. Even a half Windsor, though slightly less bulky, looks awkward in its silky triangularity.
I like a tie to move a little throughout the day; to end an evening a tad askew, at an angle that more appropriately matches the asymmetry of the average human face. A Windsor—and its fractional variants—likes to stay put, anchored between the collar points of your shirt like a stony weight, lifeless in its turgid knotting.
My preference is for asymmetrical knots. With a thick wool tie it might be the standard four-in-hand. Most often, I tie what some call a Knize knot. For particularly light ties, a double four-in-hand is my knot of choice. I never opt for a knotting that will produce a symmetrical triangle. Life is, in reality, too messy and uneven to bother with any pretense towards symmetry.