I thought it fitting to devote my first post for No Man Walks Alone to Romain Gary, a man of the world who was many men, in more ways than one: fighter pilot, diplomat, glittering celebrity, immigrant, intellectual, and the only person to win France’s greatest literature prize twice, under two very different identities. He did so with dash and vigor, conviction and charm earned under fire.
Technical sportswear is a relatively recent idea: purpose-built clothing intended to be worn exclusively for the particular demands of a specific activity. Not long ago people wore to play mostly the same things they wore to work, or even at home, sometimes because that’s all they had to wear in the first place, and sometimes because people had to consider social dress codes that meant comfort and performance took back seats to tradition and proprietary.
It’s confusing, but the terms “benchgrade” and “handgrade” don’t actually describe shoes that were made on a bench or by hand. Instead, they’re ways of denoting different levels of quality, like “Gold” and “Platinum” Amex cards. Most quality shoes – including high-end names such as Edward Green and John Lobb – are Goodyear welted, which is a machine method. Real handmade shoes are rare, and typically cost $1,500 or more.
While a solid navy long tie might be the most versatile piece of neckwear a man could own, wearing nothing but solids may eventually get boring. Even Cary Grant, famous for his solid ties, wore patterned ties sometimes. Our dalliance into designs creates an engineering problem for fabric firms, one that mankind has been trying to solve for thousands of years.
Looking around style blogs and forums, you may find yourself coveting tens of thousands of dollars worth of clothing. The most beautiful pieces do tend to be the most expensive. While you're saving for your next glorious conquests, here are three things that you can do in the next ten minutes that will make you look better at a cost of zero.
Purchasing a good sweater can be more difficult than purchasing a good sport coat or pair of shoes. Unlike those items, sweaters have fewer "telltale signs" for quality. For example, whether your knits will pill after a few wears is largely determined by the length of the fibers used to make the yarns.
Beau Brummell is remembered as the man who popularized the simple yet elegant wool garments from which our modern business dress is descended. His unadorned outfits of black boots, dark wool coats, and white shirts, made it all the more dramatic and exhilarating when out from a pocket he would present one of his many intricately decorated snuff boxes.