Before the dawn of the Internet, all men bought their shoes in brick-and-mortar stores, where they’d try on different sizes until they found what was most comfortable. Today, many men learn about new brands online, and then scour the Internet looking for a support group of like-footed people who are 10D in Allen Edmonds and 10.5 in Converse to tell them what size they need in their new favorite brand.
The Styleforum scarf-off has officially announced that colder weather has arrived. Which means not only scarves, but coats. It's easy to think of the coat as something completely separate from the rest of what you're wearing. After all, you're only wearing it for the few minutes that you're outside, so why should it really matter? But in truth, nothing screams “graduating senior at his first career fair” like a suit with a ski jacket worn over it.
The price of suits and sport coats varies widely, running anywhere from $200 to $20,000. The asking price for high-end pieces is often justified by the quality of construction; but the surprising bit of news is that most consumers aren’t able to tell what they’re paying for. What’s believed to be hand-stitching can be machine-made to look like handwork, and the quality of materials can often only be judged after years of use.
Like a fine wines, cheeses, and John Waters movies, quality leather is something best appreciated years after its release . A well-made piece will break in, while a poorly made one will break down. The difference is largely the cut and treatment of the material. Lower-quality brands use mid-slices of a hide, then “correct” the surface with glossy chemical solutions to give it the impression of a healthy animal skin.
Most people think of suits as being British, Italian, or American - the first being “structured,” the second “softly tailored,” and the third a "sack cut." But what a suit looks like can be much more complicated than that. There can be curves and lines throughout the jacket that give the wearer a certain look. Here are some of the main details that make up a suit's silhouette.
“Suede” is one of those words used to describe a group of different things that most people think of as all the same. Like “Africa,” or “blogger.” Suede generally refers to any leather that has a “nap” to it – that is, loose fibers that give the material a soft, velvety feel, and a deep color. There are three different ways such a finish is achieved.
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.