Making a bespoke Neapolitan jacket takes dozens of hours, and a lifetime to learn. If you’re expecting to finish this article with the ability to make your own jacket from start to finish, let me warn you now that you will be disappointed. But if you’re hoping to wear your own jacket with a better idea of how it was created, that hope I will try to fulfill
I am not a particularly creative person. My right-brain functions are sorely underdeveloped (nb.: alas, the same could be said of my left-brain functions, but one thing at a time). I take comfort in structure, routine, pattern, and certainty.
June is the most popular month for weddings, which means you may have to attend one in the not-so-distant future. Thankfully, as a man, dressing to be a wedding guest is fairly straightforward. Suit, tie, and polished oxfords are standard, but those categories are broad and include some bad ideas. Here are some tips on how to get it right.
When I was a grad student, the weekend had little significance. Studying literature, I only needed to be in meetings occasionally, and I dressed accordingly: the choice between jeans and chinos, linen or flannel or Oxford cloth was a whim. I wore a jacket some days, but only for variety.
I once read of an interaction between an antiques collector and the writer Bruce Chatwin, who as a young man worked in the antiques department of Sotheby’s. The collector had seen Chatwin pull out of a pile of worthless rubbish the one article that had any character and value. “I see that you have The Eye,” began the collector. “I too have The Eye.”
Wide-eyed newcomers to the mad, mad world of #menswear often ask for clear rules for deciding the quality of a piece of clothing, usually without much success. One easy first step on that sartorial learning curve is that shirts whose collars have stays sewn inside them are invariably low quality.
Recent events, and recent reactions by my doughty friend @dirnelli (who is to suits what Lon Chaney, Sr. was to faces), caused the brakes to fail on my train of thought. Commenting about a recently anointed world leader with appalling clothing habits despite an expensive wardrobe, @dirnelli rightly notes that “[t]he most expensive threads don’t buy you an ounce of style.”
Fashion is always changing, or so they say. But it’s nice to know there are a few things you can still count on - J Crew sending you a new coupon code, the forums telling you, in minute detail, what’s is wrong with your fit pics and menswear types often reminding you that ‘it’s all about the details’.