LVC 1947s, Four Years In
For the last four years, these old LVCs have been my go-to jeans, worn a few times a week. Once upon a time, they looked like this - raw and unwashed. For the first few years they were washed very rarely. For the last year or two, they go in the wash when they’re smelly, but still on cold with dark-clothes-specific detergent.
You can see in this photo that the crotch as worn thin and been patched, as has the right knee. At one point one of the buttonholes started to give way and had to be sewn back up. A month or so ago, the right thigh gave out, and I decided to throw some old Japanese cotton on top that I’d been saving for pocket squares. I did the same for the pocket, which was on its last legs.
As you can see from the stretching in the waistband, I may or may not have gained ten pounds since I bought them. The natural result of fatherhood, I suppose. Still, reinforced as they’ve been, I think they’ll last another few years.
This is beautiful. The above from the below, in four years. Those are some gorgeous jeans.
Linen Sport Coats for Summer
Everyone has their own pick for what they’d consider a summer essential. For me, it’d be a breathable sport coat. Something made from an open weave material — and has little canvassing, lining, or padding inside — will wear much cooler than your standard year-round wools. In fact, as hot as the weather gets in July and August, I don’t even touch my “year round” sport coats until October.
Most open weave materials can be classified as one of two types: tropical wool and linen. More of than not, breathable sport coats will be made from linen, partly because tropical wools tend to be very smooth, so they’re reserved for suits. The upside to linen is that it not only breathes well, but it’s also a good way to take the inherent dressiness out of a tailored jacket. Nothing says carefree and casual like having a few rumples and wrinkles in your sport coat.
You can wear linen jackets with almost anything, but I find they tend to look best with linen trousers. Something in a contrasting color, but similar weave, will make it so that your jacket and trousers are distinctive, but also in harmony. That is, pair smooth, tightly woven linens with other smooth, tightly woven linens; and slubby, spongy linens with other slubby spongy linens. A linen jacket will also pair well with cotton chinos, as both will have the same casual, summery sensibility. Between these two fabrics, you have a world of trouser options once you play around with color.
Don’t get too hung up on rules though. Luciano Barbera once advocated wearing a linen jacket with wool flannels, and while I personally wouldn’t do it — who am I to argue with one of the world’s best dressed men? Patrick Johnson of P. Johnson Tailors is also pictured above wearing a linen jacket with denim. If you want to try that kind of combination, consider getting a jacket that’s slightly shorter in length and forgoing the tie. As usual, the danger with denim plus sport coat combinations is that they can look a bit discombobulated — very dressy up top, too casual down low. Play down the jacket by getting something that has a slightly less traditional cut, and forgo any neckwear. That way, you’ll bring the tailored jacket down a notch in its formality.
(Photo via Patrick Johnson Tailors)
3 roll to 2.
Alternatives to Common Projects
The price of minimalist sneakers has really gone through the roof in the last few years. Common Project’s low top Achilles, for example, used to cost somewhere between $250 and $300, but you’d be lucky nowadays to find them at that price on sale. On the upside, with their growing popularity, more and more companies are coming out with their own designs, which means there’s a lot of options at a wide range of price points.
If you’re considering some minimalist kicks, here are some of the non-CP options, from most to least expensive:
Or, for $18, you could just get these UO plimsolls from Urban Outfitters. (I think I got mine on sale for $12.)
Some things are worth spending $300 on, but white canvas shoes that won’t last past a summer of heavy use are not. These are lightweight, about as simple as you can get, and aren’t the best construction, but certainly good enough to last you until they get too stained to wear.
This is a really good, interesting look at dressing like a man for transmen. The author and I disagree on some of the finer points of fashion (he likes black suits, and not navy, and I think that every single pair of pants pictured is too long) but it’s overall a great look at how to emphasize your masculine features. There was even some good advice in here for me, a pretty shrimpy cis-guy, on maximizing my masculinity. Use your own sense of style to balance out his advice, and those of us who pass as male most of the time without even trying can ignore much of the stuff about minimizing hips and obscuring chests, but I’d recommend anyone interested in looking manly read this article.
Alright, I’m done critiquing actors’ fashion choices for now. Have a hilarious article from Put This On.
Put This On’s Seven Spring Essentials!
It’s happening again: winter is turning to spring, the warmer season that happens each year before summer. That’s right: spring is having a moment! You’ll need plenty of essential items for this uber-hip time of year, but we’ve narrowed the list down to the seven most essential. Don’t have these? Kill yourself.
- Boat Shoes. Whether you’re the Captain or just a Tennille, you’ll love these watery hoofers. For best results, put them on your feet - they’ll cover them up in case of thorns.
- Sunglasses. Sunglasses use tinted plastic to protect your eyes from strain. Sound like a great idea? That’s because it is. Grab ‘em.
- Trousers. From Milan to Minsk, men will be wearing trousers this spring. And why not? They cover your legs, insulating against cold and protecting them from low brush.
- Nail Clippers. Without these handy spring-loaded snappers, your fingernails would grow long and grotesque. Not a good look!
- A Home. April showers bring May flowers - but you won’t care if you’re living under the freeway overpass. Get yourself a home, whether it’s a rental or something you own lock stock and barrel. Because when it rains: it pours! Water, that is.
- Ten Puppies. When it comes to puppies - especially labrador puppies - nine’s just not enough. So get ten. (Pictured above.)
- A Shred of Dignity. Without this, where are you? Under the freeway overpass? No girlfriend? No prospects? Even your parents won’t talk to you anymore, since you messed up the rear panel of their Wagoneer trying to parallel park drunk?
Elsa Pataky & Chris Hemsworth - 86th Annual Academy Awards (March 2, 2014)
Mr. Hemsworth also did a nice job. He would look better with a proper tuxedo vest, which is cut much lower on the torso so as to enhance the long “V” of the shirt, but this is definitely passable (though he should undo the bottom button), and it’s the one flaw I see. His use of a flat folded (or “TV fold”) pocket square is effective. I find it too severe, usually, but it matches the elegant minimalism of black tie well, though the “puff fold” can still lend a touch of humanity to an otherwise formal, impersonal uniform. In this case, it also balances out the more casual (but perfectly acceptable) shawl collar on Chris’ dinner jacket. Speaking of which, that should really be buttoned, or the powerful effect of a proper black-tie outfit is lost, but I’m happy to assume it was a momentary lapse.
Now here’s how to do black tie right. Perfectly-tailored tuxedo, peak lapels, hand-tied bow tie. Very traditional in all the ways that matter, but with a nod to contemporary styling: both the jacket and trousers are fairly skinny and short, but not obnoxiously so, and it looks so good. The little red button is a simple piece of personalization, but isn’t flashy or ostentatious, and doesn’t detract from the elegance of the suit. The fabric is another stylish way to add some interest to the uniform: it looks like it’s dark charcoal, not black, and it has some sort of speckled texture to it. This adds some visual interest, and makes it somewhat more casual, but since everything else is on point, he gets away with it. (Of course, my preferred tuxedo color is midnight blue, which looks much better under artificial light, as the tuxedo is inherently eveningwear.) The shot on the right clearly shows the effect of formalwear done right: he looks tall, elegant, and powerful, your gaze drawn up his body to focus on his face. JGL knows what he’s doing, sartorially speaking.
(Note that the pictures are mirrored for some reason. He’s not wearing a woman’s jacket.)
Benedict Cumberbatch photobombed U2 on the red carpet - made my night!
I take back everything I said about Leo. Comparatively speaking, he was on point. These gentlemen… are those ruffles on his lapel? Black-on-black with no tie, silver necktie, aluminum foil lapels… Downright tragic. The women they’re with deserve way better.
(And don’t think Benadryl Cabbagepatch back there gets out without criticism either: long tie with a tux? Poor choices.)