Life After Eidos: Fully Canvassed Suits That Won’t Break the Bank

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.

 

Berg & Berg

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.

Check out: Berg & Berg Dan II Single Breasted Fresco Suit


SuitSupply Jort collection

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


Proper Cloth

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


Anglo-Italian 

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.

Check out: Anglo-Italian Sport Jacket Brown Broken Twill Wool


Sid Mashburn

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.

Check out: Sid Mashburn Kincaid No. 3 Ticket Pocket Suit


Ring Jacket

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

Check out: Ring Jacket New Balloon Wool 256 Double Breasted Sport Coat 

Jasper’s Best Cyber Monday Buys

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.


 

1. Visvim 7-hole 73′ boots from Idol Brooklyn, $655

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.

2. P. Johnson DB Tropical Wool Suit from Mr. Porter – Jacket, $875; Trousers, $265

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.

 

3. James Grose Double Rider jacket from No Man Walks Alone – $829

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.

 

4. Viberg Plain Toe Service Boot from Blue Button Shop – $455

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.

Jasper’s Favorite Chunky Boots for Autumn

I’m a boot guy. The only laced shoes I wear outside of weddings are sneakers (and even then, I wore loafers to the only two weddings I attended this summer), and if I’m not in sneakers I’m in boots. Granted, it’s less pleasant for me to stick to my guns during the Colorado summers, which regularly crest 90 degrees for months on end, and getting to slip back into my favorites is one of many reasons I love dressing in autumn and winter. These days, my tastes are running to chunkier silhouettes, and I’ve largely phased out my collection of sleek side-zip models, and with that in mind I hope here’s a selection of some of the chunky boots I’ve both enjoyed wearing and looking at online, ready for adoption into your autumn wardrobe.


Combat boots

Most combat boots that high street brands release still tend towards the dainty, and while a sleek silhouette can be nice, I think it often comes at the expense of character. I’ve been very happy with the pair of Visvim 7-Hole ’73 combat boots I bought a couple of months ago. Despite the hefty shape, they’re very lightweight, and the addition of a side-zip appeases my lazy side (it also makes them just fine to wear in an airport). Visvim has done several iterations of this boot, and past releases have sported commando soles instead. It also comes in three colors: the black, shown below, brown and khaki, and black and olive. The price of a pair of these boots is fairly high (though you can, as I did, find ways to score a deal), and in combination with the somewhat distinctive styling they’re certainly not for everyone.

To me, that’s part of the charm. It’s easy to end up with a giant shoe wardrobe with no variation in it – for example, owning 5+ pairs of near-identical side-zip boots (guilty) allows you to swap out your pairs depending on your mood, but it’s not particularly interesting. These days, I much prefer to reach into my closet for something that’s more distinctive, as it lets me change up silhouettes more than the alternative. Take, for example, these admittedly absurd Feit combat boots – they’re something of a hybrid shoe that, despite their bulk, nonetheless seems possible to work into an outfit built around a tweed or flannel trouser. Nonnative’s recurring ‘Wanderer‘ boot offers similar styling to the Visvim model, but it’s a bit too 1:1 for my tastes. Of course, if you’re after something sleek that’s a surer bet for classic and classic-casual wardrobes, I’ve always thought that Carmina’s ‘Jumper‘ boots seemed attractive.

best chunky autumn boots styleforum

Visvim boots shown with Monitaly x SF mountain parka and Niche patchwork jeans.

 


Chelsea boots

I’m not really a chelsea boot person, and that’s mostly because I’ve never loved the rocker/mod aesthetic, especially as it’s been presented in recent years. I’ve also never been certain of how I feel about an elastic gore which, despite my love of easy to put on shoes, I’ve always found a touch off-putting. Recently, this has changed somewhat, largely because I’ve taken the time to look at different silhouettes. Takes such as those offered by Common Projects and YSL have never held much appeal for me, but once again, expanding my world a bit has revealed some attractive options.

On the more affordable end of the spectrum, you’ll find boots such as the Clark’s Clarkdale Gobi. I purchased these on a whim about a month ago, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I’ve worn them. They’re a good middle-ground in terms of silhouette, and crepe soles remain comfortable. The problem, of course, is that they don’t do great when the temperature plummets, and really aren’t wearable in the snow. Even so, the lower price makes them an easy pair to test out.

 

best chunky autumn boots styleforum

Gobi boots shown with Kapital Century denim and a vintage chore jacket

If you’re looking for a longer-lasting, leather-soled model, you’ve probably already been sent in the direction of RM Williams boots. I’ve been keeping an eye on these for the better part of this last year, and there are two different models that have retained my interest: the very classic Comfort Craftsman and the Yearling, both of which are wholecuts, but which have very different silhouettes thanks in large part to the height of their respective heel. While the ‘Gardener’ model is a bit too blobby for my tastes, I appreciate the relative heftiness of the silhouettes on offer. If you, like me, are a fan of Western and Western-inspired footwear, there are a few models – such as the  – that, especially for an American, offer a wearable twist on Western wear. Sporting a pair of cowboy boots really takes some commitment (more on that later), and it’s a world I haven’t quite dived into yet, but RMW’s designs are perhaps a bit more forgiving than a full-on croc boot.

Another option that has caught my eye recently is Viberg’s chelsea boot. They’re not brand new this fall, but they offer – as does RMW – a heavier take on the chelsea. As is the case with most Viberg models, you can find it with a variety of leather and sole options, and if you want a workboot that you do’t have to lace yourself into, this is an attractive – and long-wearing – possibility.

 

 

 

 


Work Boots

By now, I’d be surprised if any forum member hasn’t heard of Viberg, and they’re still a go-to for heavy workboot styles. Every season, you can find a huge range of models at Viberg’s many retailers, but right now the makeup I have my eye on is this Scout Boot that Viberg is selling through its own webstore. Perhaps that’s because it’s fairly similar to the other boot I’ve had my eye on, which is Visvim’s now-venerable Virgil. Unfortunately, my feet don’t seem to play nicely with the Virgil’s last shape, and Viberg models lack the lightweight, sneakerboot feel of Visvim’s footwear, which is part of what makes the latter so appealing to me. New webstore Miloh Shop is also offering what I think is a pretty handsome ‘Triple Black‘ makeup that would work well with olive chinos, among other things.

If that’s not your style, you might prefer Alden’s classic moc- and plain-toe models, but I feel I hardly need to mention them here. One budget option is Timberland, a brand my cousin (a field researcher) swears by, so if you want something that might actually keep your feet dry and warm this winter they’re not a bad bet. This fall, both Nonnative and Sophnet have done a Gore-Tex and an all-black zipper-finished model, respectively, and I have to say – both look really good. Unfortunately, if you have large feet, you’re probably SOL.


 

Western boots

As mentioned earlier, I haven’t quite had the courage to dip my toes into a true Western (read: cowboy) boot – there’s a lot of cultural baggage for me there, and I am endlessly undecided as to whether I think I’d actually wear a pair. Even so, there are some boots out there I think are undeniably cool, and there are others that are likely a bit more accessible in terms of shape. If you’re interested in a true-blue cowboy boot, I think that Heritage Boot Co. is making some designs worth your while. They’re far more interesting than most designs you’ll find from big makers like Lucchese, and from what I’ve read they’re made to a much higher standard as well. My only experience with Lucchese resulted in two returns do to two separate QC issues, and plenty of boot people on the internet reckon that Heritage Boot is making some of the nicest boots on the market, especially considering what they’re asking for them. A few stand out to me in particular; their basic black ‘Apache,’ the French-toed ‘Ranch hand,’ and the exotic ‘Stingray.’ The first two options seem the like relatively low-risk and low-effort ways to give a boot like this a shot, while the stingray boot requires a step up in commitment. Some of the inlaid models are worth a look as well, although I imagine most people would find them a little harder to work into a regular rotation.

On the shallower end of the pool you can also find models such as the Lucchese Shane and Cannon, both of which are available via Huckberry. Both are roper-style boots with an un-embellished shaft and a rounded toe; obviously at home with denim, but potential options for textured trousers as well. At under 400$, the ‘Shane’ strikes me as a sensible entry-level attempt, especially given Huckberry’s easy return policy – I’ve seen the same model available through Amazon before as well, though you’ll have to check the shipping and return terms on your own. The Lucchese Jonah was also briefly popular on the streetwear side of the forum, and is a much, much easier boot to work into a variety of wardrobes. It’s a pricier zip roper, with a hefty sole and a slightly wider shaft that accommodates a straighter-leg jean or trouser. Unfortunately, I’m one of several people who, as mentioned, had some issues with QC, so if you’re interested in these boots make sure that you have the option to exchange or return.

 

 

 

What James Bond Would Buy on Mr. Porter

Mr. Porter has, apparently, worked with the costume designer and wardrobe supervisor of the ‘Kingsman’ movie franchise to put together one of those capsule collections we all love so much. Mr. P’s always been, in my mind, the go-to e-store for dudes who want to look like James Bond, so I guess I’m not surprised. Still, I say bollocks, because I frankly couldn’t believe the one trailer I saw for the upcoming Kingsman film wasn’t a joke. I guess there’s only room in my heart for one secret agent (hint: it’s Kim Possible).

Even so, you (and I, I guess) are in luck, because if you want to dress like Bond MP’s still got your back. There’s probably no better time to do so, especially since there’s supposedly going to be another film in 2019, even if we don’t know who’ll be in it. Hell, maybe I have a shot. If I had to guess, here’s what Bond would buy on Mr. Porter:


1. Nothing says Bond like a Dinner suit, and apparently Jeffrey Deaver (who writes books) dressed Jim in Canali in a recent novel. No complaints from me – that’s a nice tux. Black tie season is coming, and a real secret agent would be prepared in advance.

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Canali Tux, $1,975

 

2. Okay, so maybe the other garment that really screams BOND is a dressing gown, because it totally makes sense that a secret agent dude has time to wear one of those when hunting down baddies. Anyway, this one’s got a nice pattern on it, which is probably good for distracting people who barge in on you, guns drawn, while your tongue is halfway down a supermodel’s throat. It’s like dazzle camo, but for a gentleman.

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Derek Rose cotton-jacquard robe, $525

 

3. I’m pretty sure it’s written somewhere in the top secret James Bond contract that you must wear a turtleneck at some point. And, frankly, this one’s pretty badass. Heavy wool, a trim fit, and a solid rollneck make this a sweater for a rough ‘n ready Bond. Wear it the next time you get thrown into the ocean.

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Inis Meain merino/cashmere rollneck, $595

 

4. Similarly, the white cotton shirt is a Bond staple. Given film Bond’s predilection for Turnbull and Asser, it seems only fitting to suggest one of the London house’s staple staples: white cotton, and nothing else. Bring extras, because bloodstains.

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Turnbull & Asser white cotton shirt, $365

 

5. Every Bond worth his liquor needs a good ski vacation. That means you need a wardrobe worthy of après-ski celebrations (and libations), and that means you need ridiculous leather hiking boots like these ones.

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Ralph Lauren Purple Label Hiking Boots, $1,500

 

6. All joking aside, a black captoe oxford really is a wardrobe staple. You can even wear them with your tux if you’ve got nothing else. Smart shoes such as these showcase the best of Bond: quality, no-nonsense, generally ready to kick some ass, get drunk, or do both in the same afternoon.

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Church’s oxford shoes, $595

 

7. After you’ve been to the Alps, you may as well head to the beach for a well-deserved rest, along with a taste of local delights with a side of murder. Connery’s Bond has always been a good source of swimspiration (hashtag #swimspiration) [note: I just googled ‘swimspiration’ and apparently it’s a thing], and this Orlebar Brown terrycloth polo is the perfect option to showcase your chest hair.

what james bond would buy on mr. porter james bond mr. porter styleforum

Orlebar Brown terrycloth polo, $165

 

8. On that note, short, light-blue swim trunks are definitely in order. Just make sure they’re tight, and that you haven’t been skipping leg day.

what james bond would buy on mr. porter james bond mr. porter styleforum

Frescobol Carioca swim shorts, $250

 

9. Oh, and don’t even think about trying to vacation Bond-style without a camp-collar shirt. Sean Connery loved these, and lucky for you, they’re having a moment. Pick one with long sleeves so you can wear it as the days start to grow shorter. This one also gestures, idly, to Connery’s predilection for safari shirts.

what james bond would buy on mr. porter james bond mr. porter styleforum

Camoshita striped camp-collar shirt, $430

 

10. Sometimes Bond (or, more accurately, Daniel Craig) does in fact wear jeans, and when he does, he usually wears chukkas. Not a bad choice – they’re comfy, and go with most things you’ll find in a tailored wardrobe. In fact, if you read Styleforum you probably have some, Bond fan or otherwise. Perhaps you’re James Bond already.

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Brunello Cucinelli chukka boots, $1,075

 

11. Bond. Grey flannel. The two go together like sex and guns, and we at Styleforum (read: Peter Zottolo) are huge fans of suits such as this. Even if you don’t want to be like Bond, you do want to be like Peter. Trust me on this one.

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Alexander McQueen POW suit, $2,855

 

12. At home with jeans, slacks, or full nudity, nothing says “I’m rugged, refined, and ready for anything as long as it doesn’t rain” like a suede blouson. Even if you’re tragically uncool and un-dashing, you can drape this over the back of a fancy chair and just look at it for a while if you want.

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Valstar Valstarino suede jacket, $995

 

The Best Ties For Summer

Even though most of us dread the unbearable humidity and heat that comes with summer, we still need to dress professionally. While we can likely endure wearing year-round or three-season suiting in air conditioned offices, the clothes that tend to bring us the most joy in summer – as in winter – are those made from fabrics specific to the season. Our garments for summer can be as particular, as interesting and as beautiful as those for winter, in that they have different characteristics in make, color, weave, and the like. However, in order to complete the outfit, you still need the right accessories; only then will you ensure that the ensemble is complete.

Fabrics for summer ties are similar to those for our garments. While there are ties that can work all year long, or for most seasons – grenadine, silk rep, printed silk all come to mind – you might want to add a little seasonal variation by adding an interesting element into an outfit. Just as is the case with an odd sport coat, crunchy or slubby textures, open weaves, or unstructured designs all help make a tie more summer-friendly. Playing with color, as you would with said odd jacket, also helps a tie to be more appropriate for warm weather – pastels or subdued neutrals work well for summer. Personally, I enjoy a six or seven-fold tie for less structure, especially when paired with a more open weave, such as grenadine in a light but muted blue or green. It gives it a sort of nonchalant look that works for most occasions, excepting the most formal or serious business meetings.

Shantung, or tussah silk, offers a slubby texture that helps bring an informal element to the tie. This is a wild silk that is obtained from silkworms that feed on leaves in an uncontrolled environment; because there is less control over the process, the silk worm hatches to break the filament length, creating shorter and more coarse fibers, which provides a more ‘matte’ look.

Ties made of linen or linen blends have the benefit of inherent slubbiness, but they wrinkle easily. They do retain that crisp nature that all linens share, which allows these fabrics to drape well especially when lined. Just keep in mind that they work best for less formal outfits, and work especially well when paired with linen or cotton suits.

Cotton and cotton-blend ties are similar to linen, serving as a more relaxed option. They tend to wrinkle – like linen – but do not have that crisp characteristic; this means that they exhibit less of an elegant drape. I recommend cotton ties for the most relaxed environments, and they would be at home more with an odd jacket or a cotton suit.

Here is a list of some examples for summer appropriate ties that we think are worth considering, and a few tips on how to pair them.


This tan shantung silk tie from Calabrese 1924 via No Man Walks Alone provides a classic stripe, but the subdued, neutral tan and the slubby fabric help to make it more of a summer affair. This self-tipped tie provides a structured neckpiece that could work in most occasions.


liverano summer tie

This Liverano&Liverano seven-fold silk tie is the epitome of a tie for the more conservative striped style. The colors scream Ivy League (if you ignore that the direction of the stripes are European instead of American), and it begs to be worn under the staple hopsack blazer in everyone’s closet. The orange almost evokes that quintessential go-to-hell attitude that you might not dare pull off with colored trousers.


drake's tie linen summer

This tie from Drakes features tussah silk in a natural color. Paired with an odd linen sport coat, the tie would wear well, seeing as it has hand rolled blades and less structure than a normal tie.


seersucker tie vanda fine clothing summer

How many times in your life have you seen a seersucker tie? This gorgeous muted green tie from Vanda Fine Clothing is extremely neutral, and would pair lovingly under blue, tan and brown jackets. The handrolled edges and light lining complete the nonchalant air.


vanda oatmeal tie summer

This tie made by hand from Vanda Fine Clothing out of Solbiati linen is a great warm weather accessory. The texture and wrinkles with the classic Glenplaid pattern and subdued neutral colors makes this an exceptional tie under a wool-fresco or linen jacket.

Airport Style for Vacation Comfort

It’s vacation time, which means it’s time to consider what you’ll be wearing to survive airports, airplanes, layovers, and transportation – all while not looking like a slob. Modern air travel is largely a miserable experience, and it’s hard to resist the urge to do what you can to make yourself as comfortable as possible. Most of the people you see on airplanes and in airports will probably be wearing sweat pants or workout pants of some variety, and frankly, considering the tiny seats, flight delays, violent flight attendants, and lost baggage, I can’t fault them for that.


Jacket

Pockets, pockets, pockets. Gum, chapstick, wallet, passport, boarding pass – all of these will have to go somewhere, and I absolutely hate carrying things in my hands through airports, because I’m certain I’ll drop something without noticing, or set something down and forget to pick it back up. Internal pockets are key, as is a cut comfortable enough to allow you to wear it all flight long or place luggage in the overhead bins.

 


Shirt

There’s something about airports that makes everyone look like a slob. Things spill. Things wrinkle. If you’re the kind of guy who usually wears a crisp white tee and feels good, you’ll probably end up looking like you just rolled out of bed after a cheeto binge. A collar, or at least a button placket, keeps this effect at bay. Oh, and white is not a great shirt color choice – nothing stays clean on an airplane.


Pants

Yes, pants. If you opt for shorts, you run the risk of finding yourself freezing when the aircraft air-con kicks into hyperdrive. Additionally, I haven’t worn denim on a plane in years, and can safely say that even slim jeans are terrible airline pants. Instead, opt for a breathable, woven trouser of some kind (or at least a loose-cut twill) that will keep you comfortable when you’re sitting on the tarmac and the AC’s not on, as well as when you’re in the air and it’s blasting. As long as the cut is comfortable, the fabric shouldn’t matter that much – as long as it allows at least some airflow.


Shoes

Slip-on, slip-off. You know this, don’t you? Loafers, slip-on sneakers, or slippers are all good choices – shoes that you can remove and put on while the seatbelt sign is on are worth their weight in gold. Anyone who’s ever experienced the horrible feeling of trying to stuff swollen feet back into laced shoes or boots after a long flight knows how truly hellish an experience that is, so keep in mind that after hours in the air, even the walk to baggage claim is going to make your feet feel as tired and uncomfortable as if you’d been walking all day.

 

Summer Deals from the Styleforum Classifieds!

Browsed the Buy & Sell forums lately? If not, you’re missing out. Here are some deals from the Styleforum classifieds that will keep you looking great this summer, whether at work or at play. The Styleforum classifieds section is the best place to find deals on top-quality designer clothing, shoes, and accessories. Not a Styleforum member? Sign up today, and start shopping!


For the Office

1. SuitSupply linen “Lazio” striped suit, size 38S: $285.00

2. Luigi Borrelli tan cotton jacket, size 50 & 54: 550GBP

3. Orazio Luciano beige summer-weight jacket, size 52R: $475.00

Find more more suits and sport coat deals on the Styleforum Classifieds


For the Weekend

1. Eidos “Trapunta” field jacket, size 48R: $340

2. Epaulet sport trainers in alabaster calfskin, size 10.5D: $135

3. Robert Geller cropped cargo pants, size EU46/US30: $80

Shop more streetwear deals on the Styleforum classifieds


For Vacation

1. Etro blue linen knit polo shirt, size XL: $107

2. Borrelli Napoli floral swim trunks, size XL: $85.00

3. Sutor Mantellassi red suede drivers, size US 12: $100

Shop more shirt deals on the Styleforum classifieds


For Everyday

1. Oliver Peoples “Kelton”: $300

2. Christian Kimber green tweed and leather tote: $225

3. Luis Vuitton monogram wallet: $425

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5 Best Jeans for Men with Big Thighs

One of the most common questions that is asked on the forum – alongside “Where can I buy Common Projects on sale?” – is “How do I clothe my athletic thighs with denim?”  It seems that, while malls across America are well-equipped to outfit the girthier amongst us and fashion brands like Saint Laurent Paris can clothe kale-eating hordes of models, there is a dearth of denim choices for the mesomorphs in our midst: those who begin and end each day with a strong dose of creatine, and whose Instagrams and Snapchats are riddled with words such as “swole” and “gainz.”  Styleforum, alway inclusive, is happy to present the 5 best jeans for men with big thighs: powerlifters, strongman competitors, or those who aspire to be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (or just want a pair of jeans with some room in the thigh).

  1. Jeanshop  “Rocker”, $260 at www.jeanshop.com

    I’ve visited the flagship Jean Shop store in lower Manhattan, and like many stores who can trace their genesis to the mid-noughties, it looks like ye olde general store, with a lot of wood and wrought iron. The brand is famous for its thick leather jackets (which I once coveted as a broke postdoctoral scholar), and of course for its jeans, which are topstitched with a distinctive orange thread.  The owner of Jean Shop, Eric Goldstein, is a big guy (in one conversation with him he told me that he was “not a small guy,” and the cut of his earliest models reflect his understanding that big guys like to wear nice jeans too.  The Rocker cut is a straight legged model with ample room through the seat, thighs, and legs. Best Jeans for Men with Big Thighs styleforum lifter's jeans weightlifter's jeans weightlifting jeans jeans for lifters

  2. RRL straight fit denim –  $275 at www.ralphlauren.com

    Possibly the most comfortable jeans that I own are a pair of 15 ounce straight fit selvedge jeans from RRL.  The denim is washed, and so there is very little break-in time required, which means that even though they have the look of dark denim, they don’t have the stiffness that often accompanies “raw,” a.k.a unwashed, jeans.  A lot of guys talk about the thighs on their jeans being restrictive, but if you are doing squats, you are probably going to want some extra room in the seat – which these offer. Ralph Lauren is a billion dollar company, and with that much money, you can afford to hire good pattern makers.  This pair of jeans shows that. Best Jeans for Men with Big Thighs styleforum lifter's jeans weightlifter's jeans weightlifting jeans jeans for lifters

  3. Naked and Famous Easy Guys, in black for $170 at East Dane

    One of the most popular styles of jeans right now is a tapered black jean, and this is a relaxed fit pair that tapers down to a neat hem. Naked and Famous, hailing out of Montreal, is the brainchild of Brandon Svarc and is known for putting out crazy denim blends.  It’s been a while since I’ve run into him, but he always has a demonstration set up at trade shows – a pair of jean that stand up by themselves, or a pair of jeans in tricolor (all blended into the yarn), or whatever else comes to his mind that season.  Behind all of the theater, though, is a family of jean styles designed so that everyone can wear a pair.  The Easy Guy is the high end denim answer to those Wrangler jeans commercials, in which guys are playing football in jeans. Why you would want to do that is beyond me – it’s easy enough to tuck away a pair of technical fiber pants or training pants.  That said, if you are drawn into that madness, the Easy Guy will carry you through. Best Jeans for Men with Big Thighs styleforum lifter's jeans weightlifter's jeans weightlifting jeans jeans for lifters

  4. Japan Blue High tapered $127 at www.denimio.com

    The “carrot” shape is very in fashion right now, but it can be hard for bigger guys to fit into typical carrot jeans.  However, Japan Bue developed  their high tapered cut specifically for lifters – apparently being swole has caught on in Japan as well. The jeans feature a higher rise, generous seat and thighs, and a very deep taper. They come in a variety of denim types and weights, from the standard 14.5 ounce denim (linked) show below to a beefy 18 ounce “monster” denim.  Best Jeans for Men with Big Thighs styleforum lifter's jeans weightlifter's jeans weightlifting jeans jeans for lifters

  5. Levi’s 541, 50$-70$ at Levis.com

    These jeans really don’t require that much explanation.  They are Levi’s standard “athletic cut” and meant for men who need, or just want, jeans that hit at the waist, have a bit more room in the seat and thighs, and have a whisper of a taper.  These are jeans with no time for nonsense.  Best Jeans for Men with Big Thighs styleforum lifter's jeans weightlifter's jeans weightlifting jeans jeans for lifters

The Best Aprons Money Can Buy

The apron is a criminally underrated and under-used garment. While protecting your shirt (or your naked torso, for the more daring among us) from spattering oil is a noble cause, cooking isn’t the only occasion that’s suited for apron-wearing. They’re handy in the garden, in the garage, in the shop, and for any other activity where you’re likely to get yourself at least a little bit filthy. I like to buy ‘souvenir’ aprons when I travel, but these – although fun – are generally made of flimsy cotton that doesn’t stand up well to the repeated washing that most aprons endure, which can leave you with fading, wrinkled aprons. No one wants that. Besides, although a simple apron is a perfectly effective garment, there are a few details – like pockets – that can make life lived in an apron so much more fulfilling. With a bit of longevity in mind, as well as a bit of style, here’s my list of the 5 best aprons money can buy.


1. For the Artisan: Vanda Fine Clothing Irish Linen Apron ($50.49)

Vanda’s beautiful Irish Linen apron sports beautifully large pockets front pockets, as well as a single smaller, meat-thermometer sized pocket. Perhaps the most elegant option on this list, the color is gorgeous, and the whole thing looks so damn nice that I might be a little afraid to get it dirty.

  • Elegance: 7/5 stars; a beautiful accessory suitable for any number of pursuits. Practically a piece of tailored clothing.
  • Bare Skin Factor: A full 8/8, perfect for shirtless cooking when the weather’s nice; equally at home with a shirt and tie.
  • Utility: 12/13; the pockets look ideal but I worry about grease spots.

2. For the Gardener: Carrier Company Cotton Drill Apron (55 GBP)

If you’re often in the garden, either digging in the dirt or hosing things off (or changing your car oil), this very, very sturdy cotton drill apron from Carrier Company is an excellent bet. It will, of course, function perfectly in the kitchen, although its slightly rougher nature begs you to wear it in the great outdoors. If you live somewhere wet, windy, or otherwise wild, this option – with its extra width and extra-long straps – is the natural choice.

  • Elegance: 3/5; a true working apron suitable for working pursuits involving dirt or very hot pans
  • Bare Skin Factor: 3.5 /4; may be lacking in pizzazz, although likely perfect when worn with wellies.
  • Utility: 17/9; excellent pockets and excellent length make this a fantastically functional option.

3. For lovers of tortilla: La Portegna leather and water-resistant canvas apron (70 GBP)

It is no surprise that the Spanish option looks as though it would be perfectly at home in a tiled courtyard or in front of a professional range – or even with a brush and tin of shoe polish. This one hits all the right notes: hard-wearing without being dowdy, elegant without being precious; it’s the paprika your thinly-sliced potatoes so desperately need. Add the supple leather that will age over time and you have yourself an heirloom apron.

  • Elegance: 17 stars; the beautiful colors offered as well as the single front pocket of beautiful, vegetable-tanned leather make this a gorgeous option.
  • Bare Skin Factor: 4/6; solely due to the lovely colors and materials you may want to accessorize your apron with a fine shirt or cashmere sweater.
  • Utility: 3/3; a single pocket is likely all you’ll ever need, and despite the lack of an adjustable neck strap the water-resistant canvas makes this a sure win.

4. For the Denimhead: American Native Goods Selvage Denim and Leather Apron ($185)

Are you still obsessed with six-inch selvage cuffs? Are the seats in your car stained blue from years of crocking denim? Do you lust after things like handmade knives and well-polished stones to put on your mantlepiece? Look no further, because this selvage denim and leather number is perfect for you. With one chest pocket and a leather kangaroo pocket, it has room for all of your German-made drafting tools, and after a few months of rinsing artisanal coffee grounds out of the denim you’ll have fades so nice you’ll want to wear it under your denim trucker and over your heavy jeans.

  • Elegance: 2/5; made for HARD WORK, which is SERIOUS BUSINESS.
  • Bare Skin Factor: 16/37; not recommended for the average shirtless person; if you are bearded and very muscular you’ll have better luck.
  • Utility: 15/10; guaranteed to protect the rest of the denim you’re wearing underneath it.

5. For the Cook: Haküi Bib Apron (10,000JPY, ~100USD)

For the serious chef, or the chef who thinks they’re serious, or for the person who really wants a nice apron, look no further than this beautiful and beautifully-designed masterpiece. Featuring brilliant design details that go beyond just “a pocket,” this apron is perhaps the pinnacle of apron technology. It’s handsome, is functional, and at home in a number of environments. Keep in mind that when you inevitably by one, you’ll have to do so by email. 

  • Elegance: 100%; you’ll cut a fine figure anywhere you go, and depending on the color you choose you’ll be right at home in any situation, whether it involves fancy knives or seed packets. Note that it lacks some of the fun ‘details’ of the other choices in favor of a minimal appearance and raw utility.
  • Bare Skin Factor: 50/43; I want to wear it right now.
  • Utility: Off the charts. With numerous pockets, slits so that you can access trouser pockets, and fully adjustable straps, this is the ur-apron you’ve been dreaming of. While not suitable for welding, I struggle to think of many other household chores that would not be made instantly more satisfying through the wearing of this apron.

Our Picks for Versatile Summer Loafers

It seems as though everyone who’s interested in menswear is currently obsessed with loafers. That makes sense, for a few reasons. First, it’s no secret that for most menswear enthusiasts, their hobby is far from a necessity – we don’t live in a world that demands formal dress, and loafers come in enough shapes and sizes that, despite being a more casual option than a laced shoe it’s fairly easy to find something that suits your needs. Second, and more simply, they’re a good summer shoe. Third, and maybe this is just me, there’s something to be said for never having to worry about your laces.

Whatever the reason, spring is a great time to pick up a pair of loafers. You’ll be able to wear them straight through summer the autumn, and going sockless (don’t actually go sockless – wear loafer socks) with the breeze around your ankles feels great. You can wear them casually or with tailored clothing, with loose or slim silhouettes. In essence, you’ve got a lot of options. Loafers come in many shapes and silhouettes, from the soft and slipper-like to the robust and chunky, and most are ready for a loving place in your wardrobe. I could probably lay out a list of twenty pairs, but I’ll try to keep things simple and break them down into categories.  Enjoy, and remember – you can still join the Streetwear Loafer Challenge, which ends this weekend.


Lightweight

Minimally lined or unlined, these are soft and forgiving. They tend to look good with more casual outfits, though certainly there are exceptions – unlined tailoring, especially in light, summer colors, being one such.

1. Christian Kimber Positano

versatile summer loafers styleforum loafer buyer's guide

Unfortunately, these are already almost entirely sold out, but you can still the navy version. They’re sleek and unlined, and easy to slip on and off – perfect for neighborhood use or your travel needs.

2. Res Ipsa Kilim

versatile summer loafers styleforum loafer buyer's guide

Although these might not be the easiest to wear with tailored clothing, I can see them looking very nice both with odd trousers and a polo under a lightweight jacket, or with faded denim. They also come in plain suede, if you’re afraid of color.

3. La Portegna Travel Slippers

versatile summer loafers styleforum loafer buyer's guide

While these might seem too unstructured for daily wear, I have often seen José Urrutia, the brand’s founder, wearing them with white or neutral chinos at Pitti Uomo and they look great – relaxed and supple, with a great depth of color. Plus, they roll up so you can stuff them in your carry-on. Brilliant.


Belgian

These have been popular for a long time, and the late Glenn O’Brien was a well-known fan. Several companies make the style, at varying prices.

1. Belgian Shoes ‘Henri’

versatile summer loafers styleforum loafer buyer's guide

The classic version, favored by well-dressed men worldwide.

2. Baudoin & Lange ‘Sagan’ Tassel

versatile summer loafers styleforum loafer buyer's guide

A relative newcomer, and the ready-to-wear line offered by bespoke shoemaker Allan Baudoin. Again, available in many colors, with or without tassels.

3. Rubinacci ‘Marphy’ (available at Mr. Porter)

versatile summer loafers styleforum loafer buyer's guide

Rubinacci offers these in a wide variety of fabrics, some not offered by the two brands above, so if you’re after a more adventurous color you may want to take a gander despite the higher price tag.


Midweight

Don’t google that – I just made up generic, catch-all term for the ‘category’ in which most loafers will fall. Here, I’ll include Penny loafers, Venetians, and most things with straps and a stacked leather sole. These are the sort that, depending on the style, may be better suited for your tailored wares.

1. J. Fitzpatrick Laurelhurst

versatile summer loafers styleforum loafer buyer's guide

J. Fitzpatrick makes a variety of loafers, all of which are quite handsome, but I particularly like this ‘Laurelhurst’ model. The wholecut silhouette with a toe medallion and a stacked leather sole make it a slipper that can go anywhere.

2. Rancourt Venetian Loafer (available at Brooks Bros.)

versatile summer loafers styleforum loafer buyer's guide

Still a common sight on the East Coast, the Venetian Loafer is a bit stubbier and more casual than some of its ornamented counterparts, making it easy to wear on the weekends.

3. JM Weston 180 Loafer (available at Mr. Porter)

versatile summer loafers styleforum loafer buyer's guide

Ah, the iconically French shoe, still worn all over l’Hexagone. Wear them with anything, of any weight and any color, at any time of the year.


Good for Suits

Just what it says – loafers that play well with tailored clothing, and less so with jeans or other casual outfits.

1. Ralph Lauren “Shanley” Tassel Loafer

versatile summer loafers styleforum loafer buyer's guide

A very classic American tassel, at home with a wide range of tailored outfits.

2. St. Crispin’s 539 Loafer (available at Leffot NYC)

versatile summer loafers styleforum loafer buyer's guide

As sleek and elegant as you could hope for, and fully endorsed by one of our contributors.

3. Alden Full Strap Slip-on (available at The Shoe Mart)

versatile summer loafers styleforum loafer buyer's guide

Alden is one of the most renowned brands on the forum, and this pair of loafers will be right at home with your business suits.