The best Christmas gifts for your significant other and for you

That time of year has come again: you need a gift guide to buy a present for the woman in your life. Last January, you resolved to make notes about the things that she seemed really interested in but did not buy. And then at the end of November, you would just pick the best few things, an interesting mix that showed not just that you care and are attentive, but that you also have range and diversity and are full of good taste. But, just like last year (and the year before that, but there is no need to rub it in, I know) you are scrambling now, with under 10 shopping days, for a lifeline.

It’s all good. Styleforum is here to take the stress out of this situation for you. Remember Winston Wolf in Pulp Fiction? Mr. “I fix problems?” So do we, and you won’t even need to get all bloody in the process. But hurry. While, at the time of writing, rush shipping can get all of these to you in time to put them under the tree, wait too long, and you might end up having to write an IOU, which, ime, is usually not well received.

Also, you’ve done some good work this year. You deserve something too. In this gift guide, for each gift we recommend for your sig O, we are recommending something for you. Either drop a hint (a browser opened up prominently to the item in mind is a good bet) or just bypass chance and get it for yourself.


1. Earrings That Make Her Look Like a Golden Age Icon in Her Prime

HERS: Mikimoto Pearl Earrings ($300 and up at Nordstrom)

It’s hard to go wrong with simple, classic, 18 carat gold earrings set with precious stones. The usual names come to mind – Chopard, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, lets face it, you are not going to wrong. All you need is a fleeting familiarity with Romantic Comedies (jewelry stores are often strategically seen in them, for the obvious reasons), a credit card, and the ability and willingness to use it. If you want to show a little more imagination, maybe go for a set of pearl earrings from Mikimoto. Pearls have a Golden Age of Hollywood appeal, and yes, while you can get a diamond framed pair for tens of thousands of dollars, you can also get a classic white gold set studs for a relatively affordable price

YOURS: GIIN miniature rose boutonniere ($95 from giin.style)

While I am a few eggnogs in right now and tempted to suggest his and hers matching pearl earrings, I’ll instead suggest a GIIN tie pin made of a miniature rose taken apart carefully by a single artisan in Japan, preserved, and then put back together. At $95 for a pin, you should be able to afford it even if you had gone all in with the $11k diamond accented pearl earrings (https://www.mikimotoamerica.com/categories/earrings/twist-white-south-sea-earrings)


2. (It’s not just any) Scented Candle

HERS: Cire Trudon Josephine Candle

I was a guy who, until he got married, owned only one set of tableware and one plate, all of which I had rescued from the Harvard Law School Cafeteria (hey HLS, if you are thinking of suing me, I’d like to remind you that this article is for entertainment purposes only, and that all resemblances to events and persons are purely incidental). But even I knew that candles would romantic up a place. Cire Trudon is one of the oldest extant candle makers in France, established in 1643. Patronized by both the French Court and then Napoleon Bonaparte, the company has had a few years to figure out how to make scented candles. For her, I recommend the Josephine, named after Napoleon’s first wife and empress (https://www.matchesfashion.com/us/products/Cire-Trudon-Jos%C3%A9phine-scented-candle-1087235). It is a complex scent that opens with lime and bergamot, turns to rose and jasmine, and then has base notes of sandalwood and iris. What you have to understand is that it smells good and looks nice in a glass holder with a gold seal. ($75 at Matches Fashion)

YOURS: Cire Trudon Abd El Kader Candle ($83 at Matches Fashion)

If you are going to do a his and hers matching gift, you may as well do it with fancy candles. It’s a big step above matching sweaters. For you, I might recommend the Abd El Kader candle, the scents of which takes inspiration from Algeria’s coast. That alone might stave off the cold.


3. A Luxurious Silk Robe

HERS: Carine Gilson silk Kimono robe (on sale now at net-a-porter) https://www.net-a-porter.com/us/en/product/962602/carine_gilson/chantilly-lace-appliqued-silk-satin-robe

It won’t always be cold. Summer will come again. Or, you can simply fly somewhere warm. Maybe Brazil. In that case, a silk robe will be the perfect coverup in the morning and at night. Carine Gilson is probably the foremost lingerie maker in the world today, working with elegant silks and delicate laces. This is about as good as it gets.

YOURS: Derek Rose Brindisi silk pajamas ($483 at Matches Fashion)

Hey, you’ll probably have to wear something too.


4. A Luxury Watch.

HERS: Chopard Sport Mini Happy Watch ($7040 at the official Chopard store)
No one needs a watch these days, with exceedingly few exceptions. That makes a quality watch that much more indulgent and luxurious. If you are fortunate enough to be able to do so, I would recommend that you get her a Chopard Happy Watch this Christmas. As you may know, Chopard is a Swiss watchmaker and jeweler known for its whimsy. The Happy watch’s iconic moving diamonds on the face of the watch are an example of this approach. I like the smaller faced “sport mini”. The 30 mm face suits smaller wrists, is elegant and sporty at the same time. With a simple face, and adorned only by the moving diamonds, the watch is both beautiful and unfussy.

YOURS: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique Medium ($8640 at the official Jaeger-leCoultre site)

I’ve always liked Jaeger-leCoultre’s Reverso watch, born of impractical solutions to practical problems. Cricket players were finding their watch faces smashed after a vigorous match, so instead of simply taking off their watches like sane people, they instead asked for a watch that could be flipped around so that the face was protected for the duration of the match. Today, there are a variety of JLC Reverso’s. including a duoface, for travelers who can’t be bothered to change the time on their watch. I still like the classique best.


5. Cashmere Loungewear is always a winner

HERS: Arlotta cashmere robe ($450 at Saks Fifth Avenue.)

I have yet to find a woman who does not like the feel of cashmere. Cold winter evenings and mornings alike call for a robe on top of any sleep clothes, and she will appreciate this robe – or at least, my wife does (if and when she wears hers out, I simply get a new one). This is about as failsafe as possible.  Bonus points if you get her cashmere slippers as well.

YOURS: Pendleton “Raven and His Box of Knowledge” Blanket ($295 at Pendleton)

I don’t know about you, but I spend inordinate amounts of time in front of a computer screen. And it gets cold. I also fall in front of the television at night. And when I wake up, my sedentary body feels cold. You get the picture. When you don’t move around, you get cold. In addition to this blanket looking really cool and keeping you warm, you’ll also be helping to support tribal colleges American Indian College Fund (AICF).


6. Iconic Jewelry

HERS: Tiffany Elsa Peretti “bottle” sterling silver necklace ($450 exclusively at Tiffany and Co.)

A lot of people will say that Tiffany’s is so played out. So cliché. After all, who hasn’t seen the blue box? 1) Who cares? It’s Christmas, and you are not that cool. 2) Elsa Peretti was an Italian model who turned to jewelry making. Her designs are full of sensual curves and quite unique. This bottle design is typical and iconic.

 

YOURS: Bottega Veneta Double intrecciato-woven leather bracelet ($350 at Matches Fashion)

Just as iconic Elsa Peretti’s designs is the woven leather of Bottega Veneta.  Too much of it can be ostentatious looking, but a discreet bracelet is just about right.


Bonus tip: Clothing that has numbered sizing is high risk and low reward. Sizing is not only not consistent between brands, but women, like men, hold illusions about their sizing. So just don’t do it unless you embrace the pain.

Weekend Reading from Around the Web: August 27, 2017

If you didn’t get a chance to read these pieces, you’re missing out. This weekend, broaden your mind with some diverse writing on men’s fashion.


jun takahashi new york times styleforum weekend reading

Photo: The New York Times

Jun Takahashi: The Sorcerer of Fashion // The New York Times

Gaby Wood explores the world of Japanese artist Jun Takahashi, and places the designer’s personal history alongside that of his brand, Undercover.

Excerpt:

“Undercover’s early shows were run guerrilla-style, in warehouses and parking lots, with friends turning up to model, many of them drunk and argumentative. The press was relegated to the back row, while Takahashi’s cohort of fans sat in front, on the floor.”


riki brockman styleforum weekend reading

Photo: GQ

Meet Riki Brockman, the Future of Savile Row // GQ

In June, Riki Brockman, a relative newcomer to Savile Row, won the 25th Golden Shears. His is a name you’ll no doubt see more in the coming years, so take this chance to familiarize yourself with his background if you haven’t already. 

Excerpt:

“Outside of work I wear ripped jeans, a cap and a bomber jacket, and I suppose I don’t look like a traditional cutter from Savile Row. I love making suits and the tradition, but it doesn’t dictate who I am or how I dress. There are rules to tailoring, but as long it’s made from tailored cloth, it’s tailored.”


Stefano Ricci styleforum weekend reading

Photo: Stefano Ricci

Heritage And Fine Craftsmanship With Stefano Ricci And The $100,000 Bag // Forbes

In the world of menswear, heritage and tradition have become as sought after as brand names, if not more so, and luxury brands have begun to struggle with how best to preserve their history. In this piece, read about Stefano Ricci’s take on balancing the modern and innovative with the traditional.

Excerpt:

“In 2009, Stefano Ricci purchased the silk factory which fittingly dates back to the 14th century. Just as the process of the cocoon of the worm fed with mulberry leads to the silk fabric itself, innovation continues with the considerable work of experienced hands and the unique formation of the very often made-to-measure cloths to fulfill the desires  of the most refined clientele. Indeed, how a company manages it’s skilled artisans can tell you a lot about the state of its stability and progression.”


Photo: Jack Nichol

‘Extreme ironing’ adds challenging wrinkle to a simple hike // KOMO news

Have you ever considered dragging an ironing board out into the middle of the wilderness? No? Well, consider it.

Excerpt:

“We were immediately faced with the problem of getting the ironing board out of the hotel through the lobby, which Paul solved by wrapping a coat around the board, and his arm around the coat, as if he were walking his ‘date’ to dinner.”

Great Styleforum Classifieds Listings

If you haven’t checked our B&S section recently, you’re missing out. Here are some great Styleforum classifieds listings that offer great style and great value.


Suits

Pal Zilieri Sartoriale summer suit, sz. 36 – 575 GBP

Brunello Cucinelli 100% Fine Wool Tweed 2-Piece Suit Size 50/40 US – $650

Orazio Luciano wool mohair suits, sz. 48 – $850

Eidos Navy Solaro suit, sz 36 – $630

 

SEE MORE SUITS


Shoes

Carlos Santos field boots, sz. UK 7.5 – $335

Alden unlined tan LHS, size 7.5D – 200

J. Fitzpatrick Madison penny loafer, size 8.5 – $180

Zespa ZSP4, size 42 – $100

Epaulet MTO museum calf trainers, size 10.5 – $225

Gaziano & Girling ‘Sinatra’ wholecut, sz. 11UK – $829

Eidos x Christian Kimber suede chukka boots, sz. 11.5 – $175

 

SEE MORE SHOES


Sport Coats

Corneliani wool/silk/linen SC, size 42L – $359

Isaia jackets x2, s. 46 and 48 – $95

Sartoria Partenopea white sport coat, peak lapesl. Sz. 36r – $350

Ring Jacket grey sport coat, sz 44-46 – $250

Eidos windowpane sport coat w/suede elbow patches, sz. 38 – $290

 

SEE MORE SPORT COATS


Outerwear

Brunello Cucinelli wool/cashmere/silk DB quilted jacket, sz. XL – $540

Engineered Garments long mac/rain coat, sz. M – $190 

Luigi Bianchi Mantova basketweave overcoat, sz. 56 – $445

Incarnation black leather jacket, sz. M – $1,350

 

SEE MORE OUTERWEAR


Accessories and Cloth

Ties: EG Capelli, Drake’s, Panta, Tie Your Tie, Yellow Hook, Marinella – $85

 

CARLO BARBERA, LOVAT MILLS, ZEGNA, PORTER AND HARDING, WILLIAM HALSTEAD CLOTH – $70

Ermenegildo shepherd’s check cloth, 2.5m – $250

 

SEE MORE ACCESSORIES

Styleforum’s Most Popular Brands: Summer, 2017

While Styleforum’s diverse cast of members can be counted on to both discover and argue over the merits of countless brands, both casual and tailored, there are a few names which, year after year, occupy the top slot in the interest of our internet tribe. This summer, we’re featuring another selection of Styleforum’s most popular brands.


Acronym

acronym styleforum styleforum's most popular brands styleforum

The Dream: Tokyo at night. You crouch in a shadowed alleyway, hiding from The Corporation, while your corneal implant tracks the agents sent to follow you. They want you – not because of the state-toppling secret you carry on the drive hidden on your person, but because you’re special, destined to overthrow the shadow-government, score a sweet babe, and ride a motorcycle in the movie adaptation.

The Reality: You spent way too much money on pants you found third-hand on the internet. People call you “Naruto,” and it’s not a compliment.


Buttero

buttero styleforum styleforum's most popular brands styleforum buttero shoes buttero sneakers

The Dream: You’re a cowboy. An Italian cowboy. You look, always, as though you may have just gotten off a motorcycle after a trip to a vineyard. And when you wear sneakers, you make sure they’re more than just sneakers. Like your motorcycle boots, they’re made in a family-owned factory in Italy, out of fantastic materials and in fantastic make-ups. They’re sneakers for real men, sneakers you can wear without feeling self-conscious, sneakers worthy of a rad Italian cowboy who rides a motorycle.

The Reality: You wear your sneakers on casual Friday, and you are neither Italian nor a cowboy.


Buzz Rickson’s

buzz rickson's buzz ricksons buzz rickson styleforum styleforum's most popular brands styleforum

The Dream: You call your wardrobe your “Collection.” Everyone you know thinks you’re fantastically well-dressed, but  can’t figure out why, and when they ask how you got interested in fashion you say: “I don’t care about fashion. I appreciate fine objects.” Your home, like your closet, is stocked only with the finest examples of the last 150 years of design.

The Reality: You can’t bring yourself to wear your reproduction military gear outside the house because you’re afraid of looking like a poser.


Epaulet

Epaulet styleforum styleforum's most popular brands styleforum epaulet NY epaulet new york

The Dream: You support the best of the new menswear movement: your clothing is small-batch, artisanal, and 100% free range. You’re a new breed of consumer, one who cares as much about provenance as style, and if there’s one thing that excites you, it’s quality.

The Reality: You own over 50 nearly-identical button-down shirts.


Gaziano and Girling

gaziano and girling gaziano girling styleforum styleforum's most popular brands styleforum

The Dream: Your liquor cabinet is full of aged scotch and fine cigars, and when you arrive at home you change into a dressing gown worth more as much as a small car. People tell you that you look half your age, and that they wish more men remembered how to dress well.

The Reality: Your friends really wish you’d stop putting your feet on their furniture.


Luxire

luxire styleforum styleforum's most popular brands styleforum

The Dream: “It’s custom,” you say to the numerous people who ask you where you got your clothes. Your entire wardrobe is built to your exact specifications; you know, to the tenth of an inch, how much space is between the cuff buttons on every one of your painstakingly-designed jackets. When you see an interesting garment on one of your global travels, you take note of it, and plan to have it turned into yet another hit piece.

The Reality: You’ve never ordered from Luxire, because you can’t figure out how and you’re too embarrassed to ask.

 


RRL

RRL double RL styleforum styleforum's most popular brands styleforum

The Dream: You’re a historian of life’s finest pleasures, and that extends to your wardrobe. Every item is a beautiful re-imagining of a fine vintage garment, executed to the finest standard. Sometimes, you look inside your closet, and you let out a deep sigh of self-satisfaction, because the stories behind the clothes you own are as varied and moving as the story of your life.

The Reality: 50% of people assume you really like steam engines, 100% assume you really like the sound of your own voice.


Sartoria Formosa

sartoria formosa styleforum styleforum's most popular brands styleforum

The Dream: Your evenings are a combination of cocktail hours and black tie affairs, your weekends spent at Instagram-worthy vacation locales. People ask you for wine recommendations, and laugh delightedly at your stories. You are a cultural icon and global influencer; a single one of your posts on social media is worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The Reality: Greg Lellouche, proprietor of No Man Walks Alone and champion of Sartoria Formosa, is swimming in a pool of your money like a French Scrooge McDuck while his minions toss confetti made of fabric swatches into the air.

 


Stephan Schneider

stephan schneider styleforum styleforum's most popular brands styleforum

The Dream: Your life is modern but accessible. You don’t care about fashion – not at all! – you just like to live well. Your house is never messy, your car is always clean, and you’re always happy to go see your friend’s new art show downtown. Your closet is a zen garden, perfectly organized and immaculately laid out by color and tone.

The Reality: You only wear your Stephan Schneider trousers with a company polo, because you’re terrified of standing out.


Vanda Fine Clothing

vanda styleforum styleforum's most popular brands styleforum vanda fine clothing

The Dream: Every month, you’re featured on the cover of a new men’s interest magazine. You know all the best people, and they all know you. This year you’ve planned several trips to sample bespoke tailoring offerings from around the globe, and your trusty photographer is even more excited than you are.

The Reality: You can’t stop. You’ve tried, but your collection of pocket squares now requires its own room. Every time you think you’ve got it under control, a new fabric or a new pattern is released, and before twenty-four hours are up you’ve crawled, shaking, back to the computer. Just one more, you think, as the world narrows to the image on your screen; you don’t own this exact shade of cream, and once you do, your wardrobe will be complete, and you will finally be free.


 

 

Member Focus: Cleav

Cleav is perhaps Styleforum’s best-known Englishman, known for sharing pictures that showcase a well-selected wardrobe, idyllic surroundings, and a particularly nice collection of shoes. Here, he waxes lyric about his youth, and how he’s grown.


Simple, the life of an interpreter.

The day job is about explaining what one person is saying to another, being able to convey that message accurately with the correct tone and tenor. Then interpreting the response in an equally culturally sensitive manner, facilitating the dialogue so all parties understand the intentions of others. Simple.

Thing is, speaking on behalf of another allows you to take on a role; become them, essentially, for the purpose and duration of the assignment. Amongst many parts played I have been a Doctor, Comedian, Patient, Politician, Woman, Prisoner, Barrister, Accountant, Bricklayer, Lawyer, Footballer, Rock Star, Policeman, Actor, etc. etc. It’s a relatively straightforward task, armed with specific vocabulary, to accurately reflect the thoughts and intentions of someone.

With all that in mind, imagine my consternation then when asked to write this piece: speak for myself? All of a sudden, my interpreting facade is taken away leaving myself bare. Writing about me makes this doubly difficult…I’ll try to keep this brief.

A proud Englishman, forever inspired by my Father and Grandfather. Dad was a highly skilled Tradesman who didn’t mind getting his hands dirty building intricate wooden spiral staircases, cabinets and furniture; equally he scrubbed up well as keen to uphold the standards as set by his Father, my Grandfather. Fred was a senior engineer working for Rolls-Royce, building aero engines for British fighter planes in the 1940’s. My Grandfather would go to work in a jacket and tie, go to the Club for a ‘snifter’ in a jacket and tie, yet would relax reading the Sunday newspapers at home without a jacket though still wearing a tie! They both set the bar high in terms of their integrity, passion and commitment and would impress upon me many things that I in turn have passed on to The Flower Garden, our wonderful daughters courtesy of the love of my life, The Duchess.

I can remember my parents being keen to ensure I and my brother were sufficiently well turned out to visit our Grandparents. Short back and sides with a bowl cut fringe, matching shirts and ties, grey tailored shorts, knee length grey socks and polished black shoes, all at an early age. Well, at least the hair got better! We would be greeted with a matter of fact attitude by my Grandparents, who expected nothing less.

I clearly remember my Grandfather’s words of wisdom, including “Attention to detail, dear boy” and “You can always tell a man by his shoes and his wristwatch.” Some things just stick with you; after all, it is often said we are a product of our environment.

member focus cleav styleforum

With this grounding, I look back with no surprise as to the path I took and subsequent influences. First album bought: The Specials. Best gig: The Jam. First grail item bought: black tasseled loafers, second grail buy: English original Mod jacket. Northern Soul All-nighters. Quadrophenia…I’ll save the rest for another day.

When pressed to describe my style/look etc I was stuck as I found it difficult to summarize decades of experience that has led to a personal style whilst still (hopefully) keeping it interesting. I called on dear friends made here on Styleforum (@cleav) and on Instagram (@ignoreatyourperil) who helped me consider that I go with my instinct, rooted in a ‘classic’ look, whilst able to mix and match pattern and color. Conservative business dress with an elegant continental flair? Regardless, above all else I wear my clothes for me; comfortable, dressed, though never dressed up.

member focus cleav styleforum

Little did I know those shiny black shoes worn as a boy would lead ultimately to my current shoe and boot collection, a quest best described as a journey with no end. Or that being persuaded to wear an elasticated necktie as a youngster would pave the way to my never ending fascination with English and Italian tailoring, bespoke ties, shirts, pocket squares, wristwatches and of course socks – after all, “Attention to detail dear boy, attention to detail!”


You can follow @cleav on Instagram

Styleforum Member Instagram Inspiration

Styleforum’s wide-ranging community isn’t active only on Styleforum.net. You might know that we’re also active on Instagram, and that we often feature Styleforum members who use the hashtag #styleforum. Direct from our feed, here’s some Styleforum member Instagram Inspiration.

This month, we reached into the vault to collect the 18 most-liked outfit photos from the Styleforum Instagram page. All of these great looks were found under the #styleforum tag, and one was the feature of a Styleforum Member Focus. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, make sure you’re tagging us in your own outfit posts (and following us, of course).

Which of the below is your favorite?


Styleforum Member Instagram styleforum member instagram styleforum instagram

Styleforum Member Instagram styleforum member instagram styleforum instagram


 

styleforum instagram

Member Focus: Upr_Crust

One of Styleforum’s best-known and longest-serving members, Upr_Crust can often be found in 3-piece suits, looking about as elegant as a man can look. Here, he talks about the reasons behind his interest in menswear, and what led to the development of his own style.


I cannot remember a time in my life when I was not interested in clothing, perhaps first inspired by my father, who was fearless in what he wore, though perhaps at times he rushed in where proper sartorialists feared to tread (the 1960’s and 1970’s have much to answer for in such matters).

My tastes were refined by my exposure to New York (I moved to New York, poor as a church mouse, when I was 24), and by my first husband, a stock broker by profession, and a sharp dresser, with more means than my schoolteacher father to express himself sartorially.  It was his taste that informed mine, certainly exposing me to better sources for menswear, and changing my perception of what constituted proper attire.

As I established myself in my professional career, my wardrobe benefited from greater means, and from international travel – London was my first overseas destination, and is still one of my favorite foreign haunts.  There is a strong Anglophilic element to my sense of style, the byproduct of over 30 years of visits to the UK.

Like many who develop an interest in menswear, part of the impetus for dressing well was visual defense – I was, at one time, about 35 to 40 pounds heavier than I am now.  I needed all the means at my disposal to best disguise my excess avoirdupois.  Conversely, when I began to lose weight, and particularly after the death of my first husband eight years ago, I had to un-learn a view of myself as an overweight person, which had a beneficial effect on both my appearance, and on my self-regard.

I started posting photos of myself on Styleforum on a regular basis shortly after the death of my first husband, which was both a form of therapy, and a source of some initial shock, as I was informed, at times in no uncertain terms, that I was not quite the well-dressed person I imagined myself to be.  I learned from the criticisms (at least those with which I agreed), and have continued to post here, with perhaps unnerving regularity, to this very day.

The process of photographing oneself on a regular basis does make one more acutely aware of the details of one’s appearance.  The mirror can be a shameless flatterer; a photograph (or a set of them) can be more truthful.  I have enjoyed the dialogue between my inner self and my appearance; the daily act of snapping shots of myself has helped me focus on the details of my attire (and has cost me much in both alteration fees, and in new suits).

My style is, for this day and age, very formal.  I like the visual vocabulary of wearing a suit and tie, and all of the detailing that can accompany it.  Perhaps I am like the ermine, at my visual best in the winter, when it is cold, rather than the summer, when the ermine is just another long-haired rodent, and I am just another New Yorker, attempting to survive bouts of boiling heat waiting for a subway car, wearing as little as possible.

A very long time ago, when I was a painting major at the Rhode Island School of Design (until I woke up), I learned that you have to have respect for the material with which you make art – to appreciate the qualities of a piece of wood or stone from which one would make art, and to work with those qualities.  I think that I have done the same with my personal style, working with my natural rather professorial mien (both of my parents were schoolteachers – there was no escape from that).

I have taken great pleasure from posting on Styleforum, and have had the pleasure of meeting a number of other regular posters.  I look forward to continuing with this for as long as I something to contribute to these forums. 

Streetstyle from Pitti Uomo 92, Day 3

Today’s photo selection of streetstyle from Pitti Uomo 92 shows us two things: first, even the brutal Tuscan sun can’t keep a Pitti-goer from enjoying their tailoring, and second, that a lot of attendees – even in summertime – manage to look very good. Let it be a lesson to you: don’t let summer get you down!

Don’t forget to check out the previous days’ Pitti streets style shots:

Pitti Uomo 92 Streetstyle Day 1

Pitti Uomo 92 Streetstyle Day 2

 

5 Tips to Make Your Clothes Last Longer

We all know that you can build a long-lasting wardrobe by buying clothes that are good quality and are meant to last more than a few seasons in style. To truly ensure that your clothes last as long as you’d like to wear them, you need to take proper care of them. Here are 5 tips to make your clothes last longer.

make your clothes last longer

 

  1. Spot clean your clothes

I know that many people tend to throw their clothes into the laundry bin quite easily and often –whether because they think everything should be washed after 1-2 uses, or because they don’t want to put the garment back in the closet with other clean clothes. Obviously some items need to be washed immediately after the first use, like underwear and activewear, but most clothes can be worn multiple times with just a little effort.

It’s easier to just throw a shirt in the washing machine rather than take the time to spot clean even a tiny little food stain. However, washing your clothes is stressful for the garment for a number of reasons: the fabric wears down, the stitches suffer, the shape can be compromised, etc.

Make an effort to spot clean whenever you can, in order to spare your clothes from unnecessary washes. This is valid also for stains in the back of the neck, which are oftentimes the reason why we feel the need to wash a shirt: buy a natural sponge (those fluffy, yellow sponges that dry up when they’re dry), soak it in tepid water, add a drop of detergent, and brush it gently over the stained area. Rinse off with cold water and repeat if necessary. Armpit stains – another curse for our precious garments – can be easily avoided by buying a deodorant without aluminum (this is the best on the market according to my experience).


  1. Aerate your clothes
make your clothes last longer

Did you know you can freeze your jeans to remove any smell?

Another way to save your clothes from a trip to the washing machine is to let them aerate immediately after you remove them in order to get rid of any trace of smell. Leaving your clothes hanging will encourage the air to circulate through the fibers, and it will most likely get rid of most smells, including sweat. If you enjoy the smell of fresh laundry every time you wear something, you can put some water in a spray bottle along with 4-5 drops of essential lavender oil or 8-10 drops of orange blossom water, and spray down the clothes while they hang. If your shirts are not completely soaked in sweat, you will probably be able to do this trick at least a couple of times before inevitably sending them to their washing destination.

For jeans and sneakers, as odd as it may sound, putting them in the freezer is an excellent option to avoid throwing them in the washer, as the cold kills the bacteria responsible for the smell. Just make sure to seal everything in a plastic bag if you don’t want your next steak to smell like the gym’s locker room.


  1. Avoid machine washing

Again, it is way easier to throw everything in the washing machine and come back an hour later to freshly laundered clothes. However, machine wash can be quite stressful for garments, even if you use cold or lukewarm water. Natural fibers don’t like being tumbled around, especially if other items in the machine have stiff, pointy, and hard parts like buttons, zippers, and chains that can potentially damage them. Additionally, elastane fibers suffer from heat, and after repeated exposure they eventually lose their elasticity and alter the shape of the clothes. Avoid machine-washing at least for your favorite items and for those with natural fibers, and prefer a simple soak in lukewarm water. Trust me, most items do not need energetic washing and tumbling to get back to a neat state, and water and a tiny bit of detergent will do the trick.


  1. Store seasonal items in fabric garment bags
make your clothes last longer

Fabric garment bags protect the items while letting the air circulate

Many people use plastic bags when it comes to storing clothes and making space for seasonal items. While this protects them against insects and moths, you have to consider that humidity is just as harmful for textiles, and plastic bags generate of lot of it – even in the driest environment.

The Hanger Project offers a variety of garment bags made of cotton twill; they’re affordable, breathable, and reusable, and they’ll protect your suits and coats until the time to use them again comes.


  1. Do not dry your clothes in the dryer

I first encountered a dryer 5 years ago, during my first visit to the States. As an Italian who used to hangs her clothes on the balcony to let them dry, I had no idea such thing as a dryer even existed, until my then-boyfriend-now-husband threw my favorite pair of jeans inside his, and returned them to me two sizes smaller. Since then, I refuse to use the dryer for anything that I care about. I am fine with underwear, t-shirts, pajamas, and everything that is not meant to last a lifetime, but I hang all my precious textile belongings in the bathroom (sadly, in the US I don’t have a balcony to hang my clothes en plein air).

I’ve noticed that the few times I washed and dried my pants, they shrunk to a size smaller, only to loosen to a bigger size the first time I wore them, leaving me with no other choice but to throw them back in the dryer to shrink them again. This happens especially to clothes that have a percentage of elastane in the fibers, as elastane doesn’t react well to heat, and eventually it loses its properties.


This is everything! I hope these tips will be useful to some of you, and that they’ll extend the lifespan of your clothes so that you can enjoy them for years to come.

By the way, let me tell you that you guys in America are really missing out not drying your clothes outside, as there is almost no feeling more beautiful than wearing something that has been soaked up in the sunshine.

make your clothes last longer

Arianna Reggio

Pictures from the Styleforum Toronto Meetup

Ken Jim (@suitforcourt) and I (@casadisartoria) were honored to host a special event on Thursday, April 27th at Spier and Mackay in Toronto. The event was the culmination of our efforts to bring together the community we interact with on a daily basis in the ultimate Toronto thread on Styleforum, and I’m happy to have the chance to share some pictures from the Styleforum Toronto meetup. 

Ken was looking for someone to help plan a local meet-up and I heeded the call. Toronto’s menswear scene is vibrant and growing rapidly, but there just aren’t enough communal events in a given year to bring people together. This was our chance to get folks to come out and share their passion for menswear and lifestyle, classic or otherwise – and to showcase their penchant for style!

Spier and Mackay, a Styleforum regular and an Affiliate Vendor, graciously accepted our request to host the event. The turnout was great, albeit during an evening downpour, and everyone got a chance to put some SF handles to faces.

Although a small speck among the sartorial destinations of the world, many talented artisans and craftsmen call Toronto home. The intention of this event was to also introduce local SF members to these talented artists, and perhaps consider commissioning future pieces from them. Many travel long distances or wait for local trunk shows, which may not always be practical. If you’d like to learn more, Pedro Mendes of The Hogtown Rake has really dug deep to uncover local talents and feature them on his blog.

I’m thankful to everyone who attended and made it such a memorable evening. I will be taking the lead (along with Ken I hope) in planning similar events down the road to really bring the community together, and to introduce live demos by local artisans and craftsmen showcasing their skills.

Lastly, thanks to Spier and Mackay for hosting us. Here are some intimate moments captured from the evening.


Words and photos: Hamza Khan

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