Single Open, Double Closed

image

My friend Reginald-Jerome de Mans recently wrote a review on Adolf Loos’ short volume of collected essays, titled Why a Man Should be Well-Dressed. Loos was an influential European architect at the turn of the 20th century, whose main work foreshadowed modernism in architecture and design. In his spare time, he opined on men’s fashion in cantankerous ways. Frankly, I found his book to be one of the worst I’ve read, although RJ feels otherwise (his review is infinitely better than the book itself). That said, I agree with the opening of RJ’s essay: “I love a book whose author dares to assert a viewpoint. In clothing, this means more than simply asserting ‘style is eternal’ or ‘nice clothes are nice,’ as most books on the subject seem to do.” 

So, in that spirit, I’ll dare to assert a viewpoint: I find some coats look better worn open, and others better closed. And to the degree that anything can be generalized, the ones that look better open tend to be single-breasted. Double-breasted coats can be worn either way, but the fullness of the front lends itself to being fastened. This is true of everything from dress outerwear to more causal parkas and leather jackets. 

I mentioned this offhandedly last year on StyleForum and received a ton of pushback. Frankly, I hadn’t even realized that the view could be controversial – that coats don’t always look equally good both ways. That there’s a difference in how things can look when styled, and this is worth considering when choosing what to wear for the day. I find single-breasted coats to be best for cooler autumnal days; double-breasted to be better if you need something very thick and warm for winter. If the weather is so cold that you think you’ll need to keep covered most of the time, a double-breasted overcoat is going to look better than a single-breasted one. 

image
image

Compare these examples above, for instance, against everything else below. It’s not that single-breasted coats looks bad when fastened – it’s that they often look better worn open. When buttoned up, the front doesn’t give enough visual interest. A man can look like he’s wrapped in a bolt of cloth, especially if the coat closes high on the body (as opposed to one with longer lapels, which would open up that v on the chest, giving you space to at least accessorize with a scarf). A double-breasted coat, on the other hand, has that bit of asymmetry and added detailing, helping visually break up the vast expanse of fabric. The longer the coat, the more important this dynamic. 

When a coat is worn open, there’s space to show off a bit of layering – the shirt, sweater, and scarf peek through. Color combinations and crisscrossing lines can be seen. Setting aside issues of formality, this is why suits and sport coats often look better when they’re accessorized with a tie or pocket square, instead of left plain against a stark white shirt. Or why tailored jackets often seem more dynamic when the quarters – a colloquial term for jacket’s opening below its buttoning point – look better when they’re slightly open, with lines sweeping back towards the hips. 

I also find coats look more casual and carefree when worn open. It’s stylish in that dégagé way, suggesting you may have just thrown it on when running out the house. To be sure, there are exceptions. Closing a suit jacket or sport coat, for example, can help define the waist, lending more shape to your silhouette (I find this to be especially true of less structured jackets). And, obviously, if it’s frigid out, you should fasten whatever you’re wearing. There’s practical dimension here that’s just plain common sense. 

That said, when I decide what to wear for the day, I try to keep in mind that some coats look better when styled in certain ways. It’s not a hard rule, as there are no hard rules to this stuff, but a general one. If it’s freezing out, that means a heavy, double-breasted overcoat worn closed, then single-breasted outerwear worn open almost all other times. If a single-breasted coat is fastened, there should be some pretty great detailing at the front to make it look interesting. 

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Source: http://dieworkwear.com/

Single Open, Double Closed

image

My friend Reginald-Jerome de Mans recently wrote a review on Adolf Loos’ short volume of collected essays, titled Why a Man Should be Well-Dressed. Loos was an influential European architect at the turn of the 20th century, whose main work foreshadowed modernism in architecture and design. In his spare time, he opined on men’s fashion in cantankerous ways. Frankly, I found his book to be one of the worst I’ve read, although RJ feels otherwise (his review is infinitely better than the book itself). That said, I agree with the opening of RJ’s essay: “I love a book whose author dares to assert a viewpoint. In clothing, this means more than simply asserting ‘style is eternal’ or ‘nice clothes are nice,’ as most books on the subject seem to do.” 

So, in that spirit, I’ll dare to assert a viewpoint: I find some coats look better worn open, and others better closed. And to the degree that anything can be generalized, the ones that look better open tend to be single-breasted. Double-breasted coats can be worn either way, but the fullness of the front lends itself to being fastened. This is true of everything from dress outerwear to more causal parkas and leather jackets. 

I mentioned this offhandedly last year on StyleForum and received a ton of pushback. Frankly, I hadn’t even realized that the view could be controversial – that coats don’t always look equally good both ways. That there’s a difference in how things can look when styled, and this is worth considering when choosing what to wear for the day. I find single-breasted coats to be best for cooler autumnal days; double-breasted to be better if you need something very thick and warm for winter. If the weather is so cold that you think you’ll need to keep covered most of the time, a double-breasted overcoat is going to look better than a single-breasted one. 

image
image

Compare these examples above, for instance, against everything else below. It’s not that single-breasted coats looks bad when fastened – it’s that they often look better worn open. When buttoned up, the front doesn’t give enough visual interest. A man can look like he’s wrapped in a bolt of cloth, especially if the coat closes high on the body (as opposed to one with longer lapels, which would open up that v on the chest, giving you space to at least accessorize with a scarf). A double-breasted coat, on the other hand, has that bit of asymmetry and added detailing, helping visually break up the vast expanse of fabric. The longer the coat, the more important this dynamic. 

When a coat is worn open, there’s space to show off a bit of layering – the shirt, sweater, and scarf peek through. Color combinations and crisscrossing lines can be seen. Setting aside issues of formality, this is why suits and sport coats often look better when they’re accessorized with a tie or pocket square, instead of left plain against a stark white shirt. Or why tailored jackets often seem more dynamic when the quarters – a colloquial term for jacket’s opening below its buttoning point – look better when they’re slightly open, with lines sweeping back towards the hips. 

I also find coats look more casual and carefree when worn open. It’s stylish in that dégagé way, suggesting you may have just thrown it on when running out the house. To be sure, there are exceptions. Closing a suit jacket or sport coat, for example, can help define the waist, lending more shape to your silhouette (I find this to be especially true of less structured jackets). And, obviously, if it’s frigid out, you should fasten whatever you’re wearing. There’s practical dimension here that’s just plain common sense. 

That said, when I decide what to wear for the day, I try to keep in mind that some coats look better when styled in certain ways. It’s not a hard rule, as there are no hard rules to this stuff, but a general one. If it’s freezing out, that means a heavy, double-breasted overcoat worn closed, then single-breasted outerwear worn open almost all other times. If a single-breasted coat is fastened, there should be some pretty great detailing at the front to make it look interesting. 

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Source: http://dieworkwear.com/

Single Open, Double Closed

image

My friend Reginald-Jerome de Mans recently wrote a review on Adolf Loos’ short volume of collected essays, titled Why a Man Should be Well-Dressed. Loos was an influential European architect at the turn of the 20th century, whose main work foreshadowed modernism in architecture and design. In his spare time, he opined on men’s fashion in cantankerous ways. Frankly, I found his book to be one of the worst I’ve read, although RJ feels otherwise (his review is infinitely better than the book itself). That said, I agree with the opening of RJ’s essay: “I love a book whose author dares to assert a viewpoint. In clothing, this means more than simply asserting ‘style is eternal’ or ‘nice clothes are nice,’ as most books on the subject seem to do.” 

So, in that spirit, I’ll dare to assert a viewpoint: I find some coats look better worn open, and others better closed. And to the degree that anything can be generalized, the ones that look better open tend to be single-breasted. Double-breasted coats can be worn either way, but the fullness of the front lends itself to being fastened. This is true of everything from dress outerwear to more causal parkas and leather jackets. 

I mentioned this offhandedly last year on StyleForum and received a ton of pushback. Frankly, I hadn’t even realized that the view could be controversial – that coats don’t always look equally good both ways. That there’s a difference in how things can look when styled, and this is worth considering when choosing what to wear for the day. I find single-breasted coats to be best for cooler autumnal days; double-breasted to be better if you need something very thick and warm for winter. If the weather is so cold that you think you’ll need to keep covered most of the time, a double-breasted overcoat is going to look better than a single-breasted one. 

image
image

Compare these examples above, for instance, against everything else below. It’s not that single-breasted coats looks bad when fastened – it’s that they often look better worn open. When buttoned up, the front doesn’t give enough visual interest. A man can look like he’s wrapped in a bolt of cloth, especially if the coat closes high on the body (as opposed to one with longer lapels, which would open up that v on the chest, giving you space to at least accessorize with a scarf). A double-breasted coat, on the other hand, has that bit of asymmetry and added detailing, helping visually break up the vast expanse of fabric. The longer the coat, the more important this dynamic. 

When a coat is worn open, there’s space to show off a bit of layering – the shirt, sweater, and scarf peek through. Color combinations and crisscrossing lines can be seen. Setting aside issues of formality, this is why suits and sport coats often look better when they’re accessorized with a tie or pocket square, instead of left plain against a stark white shirt. Or why tailored jackets often seem more dynamic when the quarters – a colloquial term for jacket’s opening below its buttoning point – look better when they’re slightly open, with lines sweeping back towards the hips. 

I also find coats look more casual and carefree when worn open. It’s stylish in that dégagé way, suggesting you may have just thrown it on when running out the house. To be sure, there are exceptions. Closing a suit jacket or sport coat, for example, can help define the waist, lending more shape to your silhouette (I find this to be especially true of less structured jackets). And, obviously, if it’s frigid out, you should fasten whatever you’re wearing. There’s practical dimension here that’s just plain common sense. 

That said, when I decide what to wear for the day, I try to keep in mind that some coats look better when styled in certain ways. It’s not a hard rule, as there are no hard rules to this stuff, but a general one. If it’s freezing out, that means a heavy, double-breasted overcoat worn closed, then single-breasted outerwear worn open almost all other times. If a single-breasted coat is fastened, there should be some pretty great detailing at the front to make it look interesting. 

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Source: http://dieworkwear.com/

Single Open, Double Closed

image

My friend Reginald-Jerome de Mans recently wrote a review on Adolf Loos’ short volume of collected essays, titled Why a Man Should be Well-Dressed. Loos was an influential European architect at the turn of the 20th century, whose main work foreshadowed modernism in architecture and design. In his spare time, he opined on men’s fashion in cantankerous ways. Frankly, I found his book to be one of the worst I’ve read, although RJ feels otherwise (his review is infinitely better than the book itself). That said, I agree with the opening of RJ’s essay: “I love a book whose author dares to assert a viewpoint. In clothing, this means more than simply asserting ‘style is eternal’ or ‘nice clothes are nice,’ as most books on the subject seem to do.” 

So, in that spirit, I’ll dare to assert a viewpoint: I find some coats look better worn open, and others better closed. And to the degree that anything can be generalized, the ones that look better open tend to be single-breasted. Double-breasted coats can be worn either way, but the fullness of the front lends itself to being fastened. This is true of everything from dress outerwear to more causal parkas and leather jackets. 

I mentioned this offhandedly last year on StyleForum and received a ton of pushback. Frankly, I hadn’t even realized that the view could be controversial – that coats don’t always look equally good both ways. That there’s a difference in how things can look when styled, and this is worth considering when choosing what to wear for the day. I find single-breasted coats to be best for cooler autumnal days; double-breasted to be better if you need something very thick and warm for winter. If the weather is so cold that you think you’ll need to keep covered most of the time, a double-breasted overcoat is going to look better than a single-breasted one. 

image
image

Compare these examples above, for instance, against everything else below. It’s not that single-breasted coats looks bad when fastened – it’s that they often look better worn open. When buttoned up, the front doesn’t give enough visual interest. A man can look like he’s wrapped in a bolt of cloth, especially if the coat closes high on the body (as opposed to one with longer lapels, which would open up that v on the chest, giving you space to at least accessorize with a scarf). A double-breasted coat, on the other hand, has that bit of asymmetry and added detailing, helping visually break up the vast expanse of fabric. The longer the coat, the more important this dynamic. 

When a coat is worn open, there’s space to show off a bit of layering – the shirt, sweater, and scarf peek through. Color combinations and crisscrossing lines can be seen. Setting aside issues of formality, this is why suits and sport coats often look better when they’re accessorized with a tie or pocket square, instead of left plain against a stark white shirt. Or why tailored jackets often seem more dynamic when the quarters – a colloquial term for jacket’s opening below its buttoning point – look better when they’re slightly open, with lines sweeping back towards the hips. 

I also find coats look more casual and carefree when worn open. It’s stylish in that dégagé way, suggesting you may have just thrown it on when running out the house. To be sure, there are exceptions. Closing a suit jacket or sport coat, for example, can help define the waist, lending more shape to your silhouette (I find this to be especially true of less structured jackets). And, obviously, if it’s frigid out, you should fasten whatever you’re wearing. There’s practical dimension here that’s just plain common sense. 

That said, when I decide what to wear for the day, I try to keep in mind that some coats look better when styled in certain ways. It’s not a hard rule, as there are no hard rules to this stuff, but a general one. If it’s freezing out, that means a heavy, double-breasted overcoat worn closed, then single-breasted outerwear worn open almost all other times. If a single-breasted coat is fastened, there should be some pretty great detailing at the front to make it look interesting. 

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Source: http://dieworkwear.com/

Single Open, Double Closed

image

My friend Reginald-Jerome de Mans recently wrote a review on Adolf Loos’ short volume of collected essays, titled Why a Man Should be Well-Dressed. Loos was an influential European architect at the turn of the 20th century, whose main work foreshadowed modernism in architecture and design. In his spare time, he opined on men’s fashion in cantankerous ways. Frankly, I found his book to be one of the worst I’ve read, although RJ feels otherwise. That said, I agree with the opening of RJ’s essay: “I love a book whose author dares to assert a viewpoint. In clothing, this means more than simply asserting ‘style is eternal’ or ‘nice clothes are nice,’ as most books on the subject seem to do.” 

So, in that spirit, I’ll dare to assert a viewpoint: I find some coats look better worn open, and others better closed. And to the degree that anything can be generalized, the ones that look better open tend to be single-breasted. Double-breasted coats can be worn either way, but the fullness of the front lends itself to looking better when fastened. This is true of everything from dress outerwear to more causal parkas and leather jackets. 

I mentioned this offhandedly last year on StyleForum and received a ton of pushback. Frankly, I hadn’t even realized that the view could be controversial – that coats don’t always look equally good both ways. That there’s a difference in how things can look when styled, and this is worth considering when choosing what to wear for the day. I find single-breasted coats to be best for cooler autumnal days; double-breasted to be better if you need something very thick and warm for winter. If the weather is so cold that you think you’ll need to keep covered most of the time, a double-breasted overcoat is going to look better than a single-breasted one. 

image
image

Compare these examples above, for instance, against everything else below. It’s not that single-breasted coats looks bad when fastened – it’s that they often look better worn open. When buttoned up, the front doesn’t give enough visual interest. A man can look like he’s wrapped in a bolt of cloth, especially if the coat closes high on the body (as opposed to one with longer lapels, which would open up that v on the chest, giving you space to at least accessorize with a scarf). A double-breasted coat, on the other hand, has that bit of asymmetry and added detailing, helping visually break up the vast expanse of fabric. The longer the coat, the more important this dynamic. 

When a coat is worn open, there’s space to show off a bit of layering – the shirt, sweater, and scarf peek through. Color combinations and crisscrossing lines can be seen. Setting aside issues of formality, this is why suits and sport coats often look better when they’re accessorized with a tie or pocket square, instead of left plain against a stark white shirt. Or why tailored jackets often seem more dynamic when the quarters – a colloquial term for jacket’s opening below its buttoning point – look better when they’re slightly open, with lines sweeping back towards the hips. 

I also find coats look more casual and carefree when worn open. It’s stylish in that dégagé way, suggesting you may have just thrown it on when running out the house. To be sure, there are exceptions. Closing a suit jacket or sport coat, for example, can help define the waist, lending more shape to your silhouette (I find this to be especially true of less structured jackets). And, obviously, if it’s frigid out, you should fasten whatever you’re wearing. There’s practical dimension here that’s just plain common sense. 

That said, when I decide what to wear for the day, I try to keep in mind that some coats look better when styled in certain ways. It’s not a hard rule, as there are no hard rules to this stuff, but a general one. If it’s freezing out, that means a heavy, double-breasted overcoat worn closed, then single-breasted outerwear worn open almost all other times. If a single-breasted coat is fastened, there should be some pretty great detailing at the front to make it look interesting. 

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Source: http://dieworkwear.com/

Eyewear as a Style Signature

image

Freelance writer Kathleen Hale had a great interview with Fran Lebowitz a few years ago, which was published online at Elle Magazine. The two met at the illustrious diner-style restaurant Burger Heaven in New York City, where Lebowitz laid down some pretty grumpy pronouncements about today’s fashion while drinking a large soda. Supposedly, yoga pants are ruining women, platform shoes embody everything that’s wrong with the youth, and all men look atrocious in shorts. It’s the kind of bah-humbugging that usually turns me off, but somehow comes off charming here. Perhaps it’s because Lebowitz herself is known for her distinctive sense of style, which doesn’t at all conform to traditional rules. She pairs softly structured Anderson & Sheppard sport coats, cut like they were built for an NYC financier or editor in the 1980s, with straight legged jeans, white French cuff shirts, almond-toe cowboy boots, and two gold rings. Regarding her signature tortoiseshell glasses, she said:

I feel very strongly that almost the entire city has copied my glasses. I went to a fashion show during fashion week, and everyone there had on my eyeglasses. Warby Parker has also copied my eyeglasses. Here’s what started happening: A few years ago, kids – and by which I mean, my friends’ kids – started coming up to me and saying, ‘Fran, where’d you get those vintage glasses?’ And I said, ‘They’re not vintage. I’ve just owned them for a long time. They are vintage in the way I am.’ 

Like everything she wears, Lebowitz’s glasses are custom made, but take after something she picked up eons ago when she first developed her style. Her white dress shirts, for example, are made by the British shirtmaker Hilditch & Key, but designed after something she previously bought at Brooks Brothers – at least before the company discontinued the model. (She groused: “If you’re going to discontinue an item that thousands and thousands of people buy, announce it. Say, ‘We will no longer be making our excellent Brooks Brothers cotton shirts that we made for 5,000 years. We’re going to change them in some awful way. We’re alerting you so you can buy a lifetime supply.’”). Similarly, she says her oversized frames are an attempt to "recover what she once had,” and of everything in her wardrobe, these were the most expensive. She refused to reveal how much she paid for them, but when pressed, admitted they ran her about as much money as one would pay for a car. 

Of all the things in Lebowitz’s look, it’s her eyewear that pulls everything together. And that’s seemingly true for many stylish figures, as well (even if, hopefully, they didn’t pay as much for their frames). Robert Crumb, the originator of counterculture cartooning, was often shabbily dressed in ill-fitting sport coats and baggy trousers. However, his magnifying eyewear underscored his nebbish features in a catwalk-hip way that has since been endlessly copied. Likewise, Bruce Boyer’s mid-century P3-style glasses dot the i’s and cross the t’s on his classic American sense of dress; Malcolm X’s austere suits would have looked rather anonymous if it weren’t for his browline eyewear; and film critic Rex Reed’s cartoony glasses bring a smile to my face (even if I would never actually put his style of glasses on my face). My eyewear style icon is probably Michael Caine, a man who’s often praised for his sophisticated suits, but it was his glasses that made him stand out. See some of the photos below for how he wore thick eyewear in the 1960s, then switched to oversized, angular shapes and thinner, wiry frames in his later years. 

One of the things I love about all these examples is that the choices are deeply rooted in the wearer’s personality – they’re more about feeling than rules. Nowadays, you can find hundreds of guides directing you to what shapes you should wear based on the contours of your face. And while they can be somewhat helpful, they also don’t tell the whole story. Last year, when I interviewed David Barton, founder of David Kind, he compared these pseudo-scientific rules to knowing your jacket size. “There are certain rules about fit – how the nose bridge fits, where your eyes sit relative to the lenses, and how wide the frames are on your face,” he said. “But that’s like knowing you wear a size medium. It’s just the starting point for discussion, there are a million directions you can go from there. The rest is about style and personality." 

image

If you live in a big city today, almost everyone wears the same frames – slightly rounded, slightly hip, plastic spectacles that defined the geek chic era of the early aughts. The frames are popular for a reason. They’re genuinely classic and flatter almost anyone. Allen Ginsberg personified how well these can look even when you dress scruffily. Luciano Barbera wears them in a way that looks more elegant. Lately, however, I’ve been increasingly interested in more distinctive styles. Ultra-thin, wiry metal frames; mixed materials that combine metal and cellulose acetate. Mark Cho of The Armoury has a pair of square frames I really like, presumably custom produced for him by Nackymade. Elliot Richardson used to wear something similar in the ‘60s and ‘70s; Dominic Chianese sported the same shape, but oversized, when he played Junior on The Sopranos. 

If you’re looking to get a pair of new glasses this year, I say don’t be afraid of getting something distinctive. This can mean anything from color – tortoiseshell frames look vaguely academic, while crystal-clear eyewear hints at a creative personality – to unusual shapes. Find something that helps define your style. Some of my favorite companies at the moment include David Kind, Oliver Peoples, Yellows Plus, Garrett Leight, and Lesca. I especially like David Kind’s Roman and Garrett Leight’s Wilson – the first feels classic, while the second leans modern. I find both look subtly distinctive without feeling like they’re shouting. 

There’s also Cutler & GrossBarton Perreira, Moscot, Illesteva, Ben SilverSalt Optics, Eyevan 7285, C.W. Dixey & Son, E.B. Meyrowitz, Maison Bonnett, and Nackymade (the last three being bespoke makers). Warby ParkerCubitts, and Classic Specs are good if you want something more affordable. Krik Originals is bringing back the old 1980s Cazal shapes; Lowercase has reworked the magnificently ugly frames previously issued to American servicemen (so hideous they were dubbed Birth Control Glasses, although Lowercases’ version looks pretty good). If you have one near you, it’s also worth visiting a vintage eyewear retailer, such as Allyn Scura in San Francisco, where you can experiment with a wider range of styles. A lot about this is being open minded and dressing by your eye (however blurry without corrective lenses). In 1990, Bruce Boyer wrote in his book Eminently Suitable: “wearing clothes is still something of an art – it has not descended to one of the sciences.” That’s still true today. 

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Source: http://dieworkwear.com/

Eyewear as a Style Signature

image

Freelance writer Kathleen Hale had a great interview with Fran Lebowitz a few years ago, which was published online at Elle Magazine. The two met at the illustrious diner-style restaurant Burger Heaven in New York City, where Lebowitz laid down some pretty grumpy pronouncements about today’s fashion while drinking a large soda. Supposedly, yoga pants are ruining women, platform shoes embody everything that’s wrong with the youth, and all men look atrocious in shorts. It’s the kind of bah-humbugging that usually turns me off, but somehow comes off charming here. Perhaps it’s because Lebowitz herself is known for her distinctive sense of style, which doesn’t at all conform to traditional rules. She pairs softly structured Anderson & Sheppard sport coats, cut like they were built for an NYC financier or editor in the 1980s, with straight legged jeans, white French cuff shirts, almond-toe cowboy boots, and two gold rings. Regarding her signature tortoiseshell glasses, she said:

I feel very strongly that almost the entire city has copied my glasses. I went to a fashion show during fashion week, and everyone there had on my eyeglasses. Warby Parker has also copied my eyeglasses. Here’s what started happening: A few years ago, kids – and by which I mean, my friends’ kids – started coming up to me and saying, ‘Fran, where’d you get those vintage glasses?’ And I said, ‘They’re not vintage. I’ve just owned them for a long time. They are vintage in the way I am.’ 

Like everything she wears, Lebowitz’s glasses are custom made, but take after something she picked up eons ago when she first developed her style. Her white dress shirts, for example, are made by the British shirtmaker Hilditch & Key, but designed after something she previously bought at Brooks Brothers – at least before the company discontinued the model. (She groused: “If you’re going to discontinue an item that thousands and thousands of people buy, announce it. Say, ‘We will no longer be making our excellent Brooks Brothers cotton shirts that we made for 5,000 years. We’re going to change them in some awful way. We’re alerting you so you can buy a lifetime supply.’”). Similarly, she says her oversized frames are an attempt to "recover what she once had,” and of everything in her wardrobe, these were the most expensive. She refused to reveal how much she paid for them, but when pressed, admitted they ran her about as much money as one would pay for a car. 

Of all the things in Lebowitz’s look, it’s her eyewear that pulls everything together. And that’s seemingly true for many stylish figures, as well (even if, hopefully, they didn’t pay as much for their frames). Robert Crumb, the originator of counterculture cartooning, was often shabbily dressed in ill-fitting sport coats and baggy trousers. However, his magnifying eyewear underscored his nebbish features in a catwalk-hip way that has since been endlessly copied. Likewise, Bruce Boyer’s mid-century P3-style glasses dot the i’s and cross the t’s on his classic American sense of dress; Malcolm X’s austere suits would have looked rather anonymous if it weren’t for his browline eyewear; and film critic Rex Reed’s cartoony glasses bring a smile to my face (even if I would never actually put his style of glasses on my face). My eyewear style icon is probably Michael Caine, a man who’s often praised for his sophisticated suits, but it was his glasses that made him stand out. See some of the photos below for how he wore thick eyewear in the 1960s, then switched to oversized, angular shapes and thinner, wiry frames in his later years. 

One of the things I love about all these examples is that the choices are deeply rooted in the wearer’s personality – they’re more about feeling than rules. Nowadays, you can find hundreds of guides directing you to what shapes you should wear based on the contours of your face. And while they can be somewhat helpful, they also don’t tell the whole story. Last year, when I interviewed David Barton, founder of David Kind, he compared these pseudo-scientific rules to knowing your jacket size. “There are certain rules about fit – how the nose bridge fits, where your eyes sit relative to the lenses, and how wide the frames are on your face,” he said. “But that’s like knowing you wear a size medium. It’s just the starting point for discussion, there are a million directions you can go from there. The rest is about style and personality." 

image

If you live in a big city today, almost everyone wears the same frames – slightly rounded, slightly hip, plastic spectacles that defined the geek chic era of the early aughts. The frames are popular for a reason. They’re genuinely classic and flatter almost anyone. Allen Ginsberg personified how well these can look even when you dress scruffily. Luciano Barbera wears them in a way that looks more elegant. Lately, however, I’ve been increasingly interested in more distinctive styles. Ultra-thin, wiry metal frames; mixed materials that combine metal and cellulose acetate. Mark Cho of The Armoury has a pair of square frames I really like, presumably custom produced for him by Nackymade. Elliot Richardson used to wear something similar in the ‘60s and ‘70s; Dominic Chianese sported the same shape, but oversized, when he played Junior on The Sopranos. 

If you’re looking to get a pair of new glasses this year, I say don’t be afraid of getting something distinctive. This can mean anything from color – tortoiseshell frames look vaguely academic, while crystal-clear eyewear hints at a creative personality – to unusual shapes. Find something that helps define your style. Some of my favorite companies at the moment include David Kind, Oliver Peoples, Yellows Plus, Garrett Leight, and Lesca. I especially like David Kind’s Roman and Garrett Leight’s Wilson – the first feels classic, while the second leans modern. I find both look subtly distinctive without feeling like they’re shouting. 

There’s also Cutler & GrossBarton Perreira, Moscot, Illesteva, Ben SilverSalt Optics, Eyevan 7285, C.W. Dixey & Son, E.B. Meyrowitz, Maison Bonnett, and Nackymade (the last three being bespoke makers). Warby ParkerCubitts, and Classic Specs are good if you want something more affordable. Krik Originals is bringing back the old 1980s Cazal shapes; Lowercase has reworked the magnificently ugly frames previously issued to American servicemen (so hideous they were dubbed Birth Control Glasses, although Lowercases’ version looks pretty good). If you have one near you, it’s also worth visiting a vintage eyewear retailer, such as Allyn Scura in San Francisco, where you can experiment with a wider range of styles. A lot about this is being open minded and dressing by your eye (however blurry without corrective lenses). In 1990, Bruce Boyer wrote in his book Eminently Suitable: “wearing clothes is still something of an art – it has not descended to one of the sciences.” That’s still true today. 

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Source: http://dieworkwear.com/

Barbour x Engineered Garments Preview

image

Barbour holds a special place in my heart, but from their expansive collection, the only pieces I wear are the Bedale and Beaufort. The first is a waxed cotton jacket with ribbed storm cuffs, which is great for layering over sweaters; the second is similar, but a little longer so you can comfortably wear it over sport coats. This fall, however, they’re introducing a special collaboration with Daiki Suzuki of Engineered Garments and I couldn’t be more excited. The collection was recently unveiled this past Saturday at London Men’s Fashion Week, although the jackets won’t be available for sale until fall. If you couldn’t wait for last year to be over, this collection is a good reason to pine for the end of this one. 

Each jacket is made from Barbour’s signature waxed cottons, in neutral colors such as olive, black, and navy. Waxed cotton, as many know, is one of the more traditional forms of water-resistant fabrics, but unlike others, it develops a unique patina over time. Before British sportsmen wore the material to cover themselves from the rain, British sailors covered their capes in grease in order to protect themselves from the sea’s sprays. 

Daiki Suzuki says Barbour reached out to him for the collaboration, and given how much he already draws from hunting clothes, the partnership was natural. “I personally love Barbour and hold in my collection a Bedale, Beaufort, International, Cowen Commando and vintage reissued cape given to me by WP Lavori,” he said. “One of the main elements of Engineered Garments is its classic military styling. It was a challenge to think about how to go about working with such an iconic brand and one that I hold dearly." 

image

Suzuki ended up with playful takes on Barbour’s more iconic models, re-working some of the company’s game pockets and looser silhouettes. The Cowen, for example, is based off Barbour’s Cowen Commander, a jacket that takes after something British soldiers wore in the Falklands War. Years ago, Barbour adapted the design to suit one of their British Army customers, but Suzuki has since given it a more stylish twist. There’s also the four-pocket parka, which features an adjustable, oversized hood and a drawcord waist. Like many of Suzuki’s designs, you can find oddly placed pockets all over the place, such as the two here on the arms. 

Other notables include the Dumbo, which a fusion between an MA-1 bomber and a classic variety jacket. The one-piece raglan sleeves make the jacket easier to fit, while the military-style pockets give it some charm. In the back, you can find a poacher’s pocket, which Barbour has used on their hunting coats. For those more daring, the Cape is Suzuki’s take on Barbour’s policemen capes, which features a "turn right” asymmetric cut and an adjustable security harness. Finally, there’s the Graham, which is basically Suzuki’s spin on the Beaufort – a little more interesting, but still just as classic. 

As for why anyone would need so many pockets? Clearly to carry all of their theatre snacks, loose change, and smug sense of superiority. Hang one of these jackets up and it can double as an over-the-door shoe organizer. No word yet regarding prices, but if you factor in cost-per-pocket-wear, these will be near pennies. I’m already hoping to get my hands on either the Parka or Dumbo. 

Pictured below: some photos from the event, as well as an old Barbour catalog that I love. At the very end of this post is the country segment to the BBC’s special on British style, which is a must-see if you haven’t already. 


image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Source: http://dieworkwear.com/

Price Drops at Mr. Porter

image

Mr. Porter just made their second round of markdowns. It’s still pretty early into the sale, so not all the product pages have been updated yet. However, you’ll see the newly adjusted prices when you take things to checkout. I imagine the prices on the product pages will be updated in the next couple of hours. 

At the moment, select items are discounted by as much as 70% off. And, surprisingly, there’s still a lot of stuff left. The key at this point in the sale is to just browse the sale section and filter by garment type and size. That way you can stumble upon some good finds while not wasting time hopping from brand page to brand page. Note, Mr. Porter’s sale at this point moves very fast, so be aware when considering something. Google Chrome can also be a bit buggy sometimes on the site, so switch to another browser if you experience problems. 

For more specific product suggestions, see this old post

Source: http://dieworkwear.com/

Price Drops at Mr. Porter

image

Mr. Porter just made their second round of markdowns. It’s still pretty early into the sale, so not all the product pages have been updated yet. However, you’ll see the newly adjusted prices when you take things to checkout. I imagine the prices on the product pages will be updated in the next couple of hours. 

At the moment, select items are discounted by as much as 70% off. And, surprisingly, there’s still a lot of stuff left. The key at this point in the sale is to just browse the sale section and filter by garment type and size. That way you can stumble upon some good finds while not wasting time hopping from brand page to brand page. Note, Mr. Porter’s sale at this point moves very fast, so be aware when considering something. Google Chrome can also be a bit buggy sometimes on the site, so switch to another browser if you experience problems. 

For more specific product suggestions, see this old post

Source: http://dieworkwear.com/