Labor Day has come and gone, and it seems that everyone can’t wait to exchange their beach togs for sweaters and tweed. This summer was warmer than usual in San Francisco, and it’ll probably extend into October, but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited about the upcoming season. Perhaps it’s the fact that the additional layers allow one to express oneself in subtle whispers that rival the boldest aloha shirt, but perhaps I’m romanticizing it just a bit. It helps that the coldest it ever gets in San Francisco is a laughable 40℉ (about 5℃), so I can enjoy the clothes without having to suffer too much discomfort. Yes, that’s an admission of guilt.
There are no doubts that seersucker is this summer’s hottest trend in classic menswear; whether it’s a full suit, a sport coat, or even a pair of shorts, everyone seems to be sporting this Southern classic.
Here’s a selection of some of the best seersucker items available online – and guess what? – most of them are currently on sale!
Additionally, we are celebrating #SeersuckerWeek on Instagram, where you can win $200 to spend on ANY Styleforum affiliate shop (which means you can use it towards many of the items featured here). Hurry, the contest ends Sunday, July 14th at midnight PST!
I’ve really enjoyed seeing Peter’s coverage of Pitti Uomo 96 last week, in particular his Instagram stories (if you haven’t seen them, they’re highlighted on the Instagram page of Styleforum). I’ve also enjoyed the photographs he’s been sending back (with a little help from his friends).
As with Pitti’s past, I’ve sifted through the images and chosen five fits I’ve liked, and found similar (or sometimes the very same!) clothes to emulate the fit.
Starting a tie wardrobe in 2018 can be daunting; with the variety of options that are just one click away, it might be hard to determine whether a tie is going to get some use or will lie in a cedar box untouched for years.
This list was compiled following the directions of some Styleforum members who discussed pretty extensively the merits and versatility of the following ties on this thread.
A starting wardrobe of 12 ties might contain:
- Two navy solid ties (a grenadine and a repp, for instance)
- Two other solid ties (i.e. forest green grenadine, a chocolate brown repp)
- One glen plaid, guncheck, or shepherd’s check tie in black and white or navy and white
- One houndstooth tie
- Two pindot ties
- Two “neat” ties – small, evenly spaced designs
- Two repp stripe ties
See below for some great options that will help you complete your tie collection.
Navy solid ties
Solid ties in other colors
Glen plaid / Guncheck / Shepherd’s check ties
Repp stripe ties
As the desire for quality, authenticity, and longevity in men’s clothing once again became more appreciated, Styleforum has been here for guys to share their knowledge on the questions that inevitably cropped up.
“Who made these shoes?—Look at the nail patterns.” “Who made this private label suit?—Look at the manufacturer tag.” “Is this line of suiting full canvas or half canvas?—Here is the history of that maker’s quality for the past 25 years.”
It is this last point—full canvassing in suits and sport coats—that remains a worthy benchmark for determining a garment’s quality and value. I’d say cut, fit and design are more important in deciding whether a suit or jacket “works” on someone, all other things being equal. But thanks to the resurgence of interest in tailored clothing in the last 10 years (however long it may yet last…), there are a lot of good options for full canvas tailoring.
One of the original value propositions of my favorite menswear brand, Eidos, was that it offered full canvas, made in Italy tailoring, at an almost unbelievable price point (I believe sport coats started at $895, suits at $995). Prices crept up over time, and with Simon Spurr’s first collection, suits will begin at $1395 (no word on sport coats). That is definitely an increase over the years, but it’s well within the norm for what you’ll find from other brands of similar quality (and limited handwork). No Man Walks Alone will continue to carry Eidos in their own signature cut from the brand at least through fall, so it’s business as usual at least through 2018 for customers of Greg’s.
As for the new aesthetic direction Mr. Spurr is taking the brand, I like to keep an open mind about things, and who knows – maybe it’ll be great. However, I’ve cultivated a list of other contenders for my tailoring wants if that doesn’t turn out to be the case. Here are five I’ve got my eye on.
Only two seasons into their tailoring offerings, this Scandinavian company has expanded from men’s accessories into a nearly complete collection. Their tailoring is made in southern Italy (Puglia, the region at the heel of Italy’s boot). The collection is small, with only four suits and four odd jackets this Spring (one being double breasted in each category) but it is exceptionally well priced. For those outside the EU, without VAT, the price for a jacket is as low as $656 and a suit $852. The cut hits all the notes you’d expect this day and age—soft shoulder, lightweight canvas for a soft structure—with some departures from the mainstream, namely a longer jacket length and slightly wider than average lapels.
SuitSupply is pretty much the king of half-canvas, contemporary, European-centric tailoring. Being made in China and having a vertically integrated retail presence, their prices are very competitive. Their Jort line—named after the company’s “sartorial historian” Jort Kelder—is fully canvassed. Each season, they produce a tightly curated Jort collection, using better fabrics that feature a slightly more elevated design compared to the main line. It takes the same cues as the rest of the company’s tailoring—soft-shouldered with a bit of grinze, lightweight canvas, open patch pockets if the fabric and design calls for it—but adds some design flourishes that most Styleforum guys would appreciate: a lower buttoning point as well as a slightly lower breast pocket, both of which lean on the more classic side. Jackets start at around $600, and suits are priced at a solid $1,000.
Check out: Suit Supply Jort Brown Check
Even though they’re known best for their made to measure shirts, Proper Cloth has offered other clothing items for a long time—accessories, sweaters, outerwear and even tailored jackets. Recently, they upgraded their tailored offerings from simply off-the-rack to made-to-order. It isn’t quite to the same level of customization as their shirts, but with sizes ranging from 32 all the way to 64 (at single intervals), with short, regular, and long lengths, as well as three fits (classic, slim and extra slim), there’s a pretty good chance you can hit the mark in fit, or at least get pretty close before alterations. Their Hudson jackets and Mercer suits are fully canvassed, while the Allen suits and Bedford jackets are half-canvas, coming in at about 2/3 the price. The design details on them check all the standard boxes—soft shoulder, open patch hip pockets, unlined, etc.
Check out: Hudson Navy Performance Wool Hopsack Jacket
I quickly took notice of this new shop from Jake Grantham and Alex Pirounis (both formerly from The Armoury). Just like Berg & Berg or SuitSupply, they are a self-branded store, which means they don’t carry products under other labels. As the name clearly communicates, their product is meant to fuse the best of British and Italian menswear traditions: soft tailoring and design from Italy, and English fabrics. I stopped by the shop when I was in London last October, and really liked what I saw and felt. Their biggest focus is on made-to-measure, but they do stock a small collection of tailoring off the rack each season, as well as a full range of other products—ties, trousers, shirts, outerwear, etc.). Everything is made in southern Italy. For those outside the UK, a sportcoat runs about $1,350 (with the current exchange rate of about $1.41 per Pound Sterling). Trousers are about $350.
Much has been written about Sid Mashburn. His personal charm is legendary, and his business has grown immensely since its opening, so he must be doing something right. At this point, there are enough cuts in the American-Italian spectrum to please most customers. His full-canvas sportcoats start at around $700 and suits start around $1,000.
Although it’s made in Japan, Ring Jacket designs along southern Italian lines—a curved barchetta pocket, open patch pockets, soft construction and soft shoulders. Part of this is because the company, which specialized in making suits and jackets for brands in Japan over the years, had a factory manager that studied tailoring in Naples, learning from them. He helped to recreate Ring Jacket so it features smaller armholes and larger sleeveheads. Their products were only available from only a couple retailers in North America for a long time, but despite their slow and deliberate expansion, it’s now a bit easier to find. They have their own e-commerce for some products, and a list of stockists you can find here: https://ringjacket.com/stockists
The Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales are still going. I know, I know, it’s hardly believable, and I applaud you for staying conscious for so long. There are plenty of deals to be found by browsing our full list, and I hope that you haven’t buried yourself in debt. If you haven’t quite shopped yourself into a coma yet, here are some gems you may have missed.
I mentioned recently that I had purchased a pair of these, and $665 is a great price (you’ll have to use the code “CYBERWEEKEND” to get that extra 15% off). They’re chunky to the max, they’re super comfortable, and I really like the mix of leather and nylon used for the shaft of the boot. Plus, let’s be honest: zippers are a must on any boot.
Visvim’s one of those brands that routinely sells out on everything despite the frankly absurd prices, and while Idol has a reasonable selection available, in my opinion these boots are the stand-out. I love my pair – in fact, I’m wearing them as I type this, with a heavy cowichan and some very-worn-in cargo pants (olive green, 9$ at Banana Republic two years ago). Two people in the last week have asked me if I’ve ever watched The Big Lebowski, which reminds me that I haven’t had a White Russian in about 10 years.
If you’re going on a beach vacation this winter or spring, pack a suit like this. You’ll look awesome when you’re sipping sunset cocktails by the beach, which is totally a thing that people who aren’t obsessed with Instagram do in suits. Otherwise, it’s a pretty awesome pick-up for the spring and summer when the weather starts to warm up again. Perfect wedding gear, too.
You’ve heard the news, right? Well, at under a grand, SF affiliate NMWA’s selection of James Grose jackets are, like, doubly rewarding. They’re less leather-daddy than most American (and many English) makers, and they don’t have annoying branded tabs on them. I’m betting everyone will gravitate towards the JG ‘Manila’ models, but take a gander at the ‘Clubman‘ as well. There’s a sweet leather jacket for everydaddy in there, and you’re getting great quality for, frankly, an absurd price.
Once again, Canadian retailer Blue Button has come through huge on Viberg boots, with the code shoes30 netting you 30% off these Styleforum standbys. I like the plain-toe model, but the slippers are pretty cool too. Buy ’em fast – this is a low price to see for these. Damn.