Don’t overbuy. When you contemplate an article, judge whether or not it harmonizes with items you already own. Again, avoid exaggeration of current fashions. It’s best to be inconspicuous. But inconspicuous does not mean dull. Extreme dullness can be conspicuous in itself. Just do the best you can.
Sometimes I get sick of the current Cary Grant obsession among certain stylish types. Then I am reminded why it exists, because this is great, gracious, and thoughtfully written.
That sure is a hat.
Ikire Jones Pocket Squares
Our friend Wale Oyejide recently started a new clothing line called Ikire Jones. I’ve actually been in touch with Wale about his project for the last year and a half or so, as we used to trade emails about clothing production, design, and distribution. For a time, I was thinking about starting a small accessories company, but work got too busy for me. Wale, on the other hand, has been working hard to make his company happen, and his first collection of jackets and pocket squares were released a month or so ago.
Wale sent me a few of his pocket squares to check out and I’m rather impressed with what he put together. The squares are made from a 70/ 30 wool-silk blend and the edges have nice plump rolls. Each square is also generously sized at 45cm x 45cm. It’s harder and harder to find pocket squares this size nowadays, as many manufacturers need to cut down on their costs, so they skimp on material, but a bigger square means getting something that won’t slip down in your breast pocket throughout the day.
What I like most is the artwork, which are inspired by Wale’s Nigerian heritage and hand printed in Macclesfield, England (where much of the world’s best printing is done). As a matter of practicality, it’s easier to wear pocket squares like these since you never want your squares to match too closely with your ties. Thus, when you have a big, bold pattern – as opposed to a small repeating one such as pin dots – you can always be assured that they’ll stand on their own, but still harmonize through a complementary color. And, with a little turning here and there, you can show off which colors you want most. I’ve taken my favorite of Wale’s five designs, the darker red “Iya Ni Wun” square, which celebrates the relationship between a mother and her child, and put it in one of my pockets to demonstrate. With a little turning, the square can be a dark mottled green, a light celery green, or a pumpkin orange.
Wale’s squares sell for $65, which is a great price for what these are. You can check out everything at his webstore and follow him on his blog Less Gentlemen. We wish him the best of luck with his new venture.
Oh man, these are basically the best and I need them all.
This kid is the coolest.
Listening to classic Lee Fields, finally, instead of just him and The Expressions. It is great.
Having seen the man live, I can say that those amazing heels he’s wearing on this cover are real utilitarian. He’s very short.
You didn’t think I forgot Billy Dee Williams’s 76th birthday today did you? No, of course you didn’t! Mr. Williams is still acting, still writing, still painting and still fine today and, if you can’t name the film this photo is from, I am going to shed real tears… of laughter. :) Photo: Bettman/Corbis.
Today was my first day back at work after two weeks and I think Ali and I were equally excited to see each other. We’ve seen this suit before, however the way he is working that coat (and a new pose!) is just wonderful!
Finally, a menswear street style blog I can get behind. Ali is the best.
Gerald R. Ford and Pelé
I did not expect the sitting (?) president to have the more ridiculous suit than the professional athlete, but there are you are. That’s the ’70s for you.
KRS looking…. man, I don’t know what this look is, but it’s incredible.
Toshiro MIfune’s Relaxed Style
My favorite genre of film is older Japanese samurai movies. And you can’t really be a fan without watching the catalogue of director Akira Kurosawa. An appreciation of Kurosawa’s directing will eventually lead you to one of his most-cast actors, Toshiro Mifune.
It might be cliche to use the term “explosive” when it comes to acting, but it fits Mifune quite well. On screen he can go from calm to violently angry and make it appear quite natural. His stare has a rare intensity. Kurosawa once said of Mifune, “I found that I could not control Mifune. When I saw this, I let him do as he wanted.”
While his on-screen manner is better known, I recently stumbled across a few candid photos of Mifune, taken at a time when he’s not working on a movie set. Instead of the brooding man in a samurai robe, he actually looks more relaxed and calm.
And his clothing reflects this demeanor as well. While there are a few publicity events where he wears a suit and tie, I found his casual attire more interesting.
Mifune often wore a white polo shirt — short or long-sleeved — with cuffed trousers that aren’t too baggy or too skinny. Sometimes, he will layer a dark (presumably navy, charcoal or black) v-neck sweater over his polo.
It’s a simple look that he wears while walking to the set of a film, playing cards or riding in a gondola in Venice. I really enjoyed the relaxed nature and it changed the way I saw him in comparison to the intense characters he plays on film. Looking at these photos, I’m convinced it’s a casual uniform done quite well.
ca. 1870’s, [tintype portrait of a gentleman with a furrowed brow and straw hat with a floral design]
Side-Creased Trousers and King George V
I’ve been reading bits and pieces of the book “Savile Row: An Illustrated History” for the past few days and it’s full of wonderful little stories about tailors and their clients.
One particular story I found amusing to learn was the topic of creases on one’s trousers. Currently, almost every dress trouser available comes creased down the center of the leg and just about the only pants that aren’t creased in this manner are for casual wear, like denim or work chinos.
But I was a bit surprised to find this wasn’t always the case. As it turns out, King George V actually made a bit of a fashion statement at least as far back as 1922 as the Chicago Tribune reported:
SIDE CREASES IN TROUSERS
LONDON, June 9 — Trousers creased down the sides instead of the front are a sartorial innovation to be introduced by King George at the Ascot races. The late King Edward occasionally wore side-creased trousers, and Admiral Beatty is seen with them.
On Ascot Day the King will wear a gray worsted morning jacket with broad, single-breasted lapels, three-buttoned front and an outside pocket. HIs Majesty’s tie will be white or a combination of his racing colors slipped through an old-fashioned gold ring. He will wear white gloves with black stitching.
You can see King George V’s side-creased trousers above (he’s on the right) as he stands next to his first cousin, Tsar Nicholas II.
But the love of side-creased trousers didn’t exactly stay in the family. His son, the rebellious Prince of Wales, Edward VIII, wasn’t fond of the look. According to “Savile Row”:
Davies made the royal pants with old-fashioned side creases, so the Prince ordered extra trousers with each suit; then he could switch to front creases when beyond his father’s reach.
I do wonder if side-creased trousers will ever return and can’t think of a modern advocate for them. Perhaps an adventurous bespoke customer will have an extra pair made with their next suit. It’d be interesting, to say the least.
This is interesting, it really is, but I just never stop being CREEPED THE FUCK OUT by pictures of those two next two each other.
My wife once said that she never understood why WWI happened until she saw such a picture.