The barchetta pocket is often thought to be a tailoring detail exclusively from Italy. The word “barchetta” is Italian for “little boat.” It describes how the pocket floats on the chest, gently angled upwards, like the bow of a sailboat. Most machine-made suits, by contrast, have chest pockets with a more stamped-out, rectangular shape.
Most outerwear is made in solid colors rather than patterns. One reason for this is that most people have only a few outerwear pieces, and you can wear solid colors more frequently without getting tired of them. Solids also go well with a wider variety of items, so while you could wear your navy or camel overcoat with anything, there might be some outfits that wouldn’t go well with, say, a checked overcoat.
Nearly 75 years ago, in 1943, American psychologist Abraham Maslow published his concept of a “Hierarchy of Needs,” a set of categories encompassing the things human beings need to not only survive but thrive. Toward the foot of the pyramid are the most basic needs – the physiological requirements (like food, water, and sleep) and the necessities of safety (like money and a job).
That holidays must be spent with family is a truism universally acknowledged, if not universally celebrated. Sometimes holidays lead us into conversations with people who share our genes and little else. Many were the mid-December articles which instructed readers on how to deal with uncles of the opposing political party.
There are lots of reasons you may want to wear your suit jacket or suit trousers on their own, without their matched partner. Maybe your wardrobe’s size is limited by prudence, closet space, or the patience of your creditors. Maybe you would like to pack lighter for a trip. Maybe you’d like to wear your suit jacket without any pants whatsoever.
There are two types of flannel in the world: woollen and worsted. They are similar enough that the taxonomy is usually of interest only to someone in the rag trade (or to a dedicated iGent). But the subtle distinction between the two makes quite a difference when magnified to the scale of a suit.
Comparisons between bespoke and ready-to-wear jackets are usually complicated by different makers, different fabrics, different wearers, and all manner of other variables that could matter, at least in the addled mind of a potential bespeaker.
I wrote last week about clothes that contrast with what everyone else is wearing – that is, clothes that are non-conformist. This post is instead about contrast within your own outfit – specifically, contrasting lightness of color.