MEMORIAL DAY 2018 MENSWEAR SALES LIST

Please note that coupon codes may change throughout the weekend and that we’ll do our best to keep updating them and adding new ones. If you’d like to share a sale that’s not on the list, you may do so in the comment section or on the Official Sales Thread on the forum.

Thank you and happy shopping!


Acrimony: Save 40% off discounted items. Use code: FAREWELL.

Allen Edmonds: up to 40% off on shoes, plus 30% off Woodlore.

Alternative Apparel – 40% off plus 20% off “brands we love” with code URFAMILY

American Trench: 20% off everything with code cookout.

Antonioli: Sales now on up to 50% off. More brands added: Calvin Klein, Off-White & more.

ASOS: 30% off occasionwear.

Baby & Co.: sale on now up to 40% off.

Backcountry: 30% off full price Arc’teryx.

Barneys: up to 40% off designer sale.

Barney’s Warehouse: Up to 85% Off Savings with an extra 50% off designer styles.

Beckett Simonon: any two pairs of shoes for $299 with code MEMORIAL.

Ben Sherman: 30% off with code HONOR.

Bergdorf Goodman: up to 40% off designer sale.

Bloomingdale’s: 20-40% off on regular price items and 40-50% off discounted items labeled “big brown sale”. Loyallists earn $50 every $200 spent.

Bluefly: up to 85% off, plus an additional 20% off on selected items.

Blue & Cream: Flash sale 20% EXTRA OFF sale with code EXTRA20.

Blue In Green: 25% off throughout the weekend.

Braun Hamburg: cashmere sale – 50% off.

Bodega: Use code EXTRA20 at checkout to save an additional 20% on sale items.

Bodileys: 30%off Mayfair and London collection with code BOD30.

Braun-Hamburg: CASHMERE SALE starts now! Summer cashmere reduced up to 50%.

Brooks BrothersMen’s Non-Iron Shirts Mix & Match 4 for $199 (or up to $120 each); Ties 50% off 2 or more.

Burberry: mid-season sale happening now.

Cali Roots: 25% OFF SITEWIDE CALIROOTS 14th ANNIVERSARY DEAL use code BDAY.

Canoe Club: 25% off with MEMORIALDAY25.

Carmina: 20% off a selection with code 20OFFCARMINA and 10% everything with code MEMORIALDAY2018

Club Monaco:25% off any purchase with code WARMWELCOME.

Cobbler Union: drivers and loafers 15% off with code REMEMBER.

Cruvoir: $35 off for $250+ purchase with code CVMAY35; $100 off for $500+ purchase with code CVMAY100; $250 off for $1000+ purchase with code CVMAY250; $550 off for $2000+ purchase with code CVMAY550.

Cultizm: 20% off + free shipping with code 20now.

Dapper Classics: 20% off your entire order with code MW18.

Domestic Domestic: 30% off everything with the code MOON.

Dope Factory: up to 50% off spring collection.

East Dane: Up to 40% off just-added items.

eBay: 15% off orders of $50 or more via coupon code PMEMDAY

Epaulet: Save 30% to 60% for Memorial Day.

Ernest Alexander: 30% off sale items with code MEMORIALDAY.

Farfetch: sale of up to 50% off.

Flannels: Up To 70% Off | The Outlet.

Forward: up to 50% off.

Frances May: Memorial Day sale now on 30% off a selection.

Gant: 20% off everything (automatic) or 30% off full-price at GANT w/code GNT30.

Gilt: 25% menswear and men’s accessories with code 25MAY.

Gitman: 20% off with code SUMMER18.

Golden Fox Footwear: Up to 70% off selected boots, no code required. Ends 05/29.

Great Divide: 20% off with code BANKHOLIDAY.

Franklin & Poe: 20% of everything with the code PARADE18.

Haven shop: Free shipping with code FLSHSHIP.

The Hill Side: 25% Off Everything with code MEMDAY.

Hotoveli: up to 50% off.

Huckberry: sale up to 70% off.

Hudson Sutler:  20% off on The Heritage Commuter Duffel with code DAD20.

Hunting Ensemble:

30% OFF Norse Projects, APC, Astorflex,Our Legacy, New Balance, Nanamica, The North Face and more (excl. sale) with code: VIPPRESALE.

Idol Brooklyn: Use code PRESALE30 at checkout for 30% off SS18 collections.

Independence: 50% off FW ’17 + Free shipping over $100.

Indocino: up to 60% off.

Jachs New York: MEMORIAL DAY SALE 50% OFF WITH CODE MDAY50.

J. Crew:  40% off your purchase including new collection with code GETAWAY.

John Elliott: S/S 18 Sale | Now Live.

Jonathon + Olivia: up to 50% off

Julian Fashion: Sale Season is started: Up to 40% Off.

Kith: sales on shoes and clothing.

Lanvin: Enjoy 50% off the Summer 2018 Collection and free shipping.

Last Call: up to 75% off everything.

LC King: 30% off with code Memorial18.

Levis: Memorial Day sale ongoing – use code MAY30 for 30% off.

L’Inde Le Palais: 50% off on SS18 collections.

LNN-CC: sale up to 40% off.

LOIT:  Sale Starts Now – 30% Off with code LOITMD18

LSG Denim: Sale – selvedge denim for 96.99 usd/125 cad with free shipping to US/Canada till June 9th.

Luisa Via Roma: up to 30% off SS18.

Luxeswap: 40% off shirts (min. 3) with code HOLYSHIRT; 75% off pants (min. 3) with code PANTPARTY; 35% off Ring Jackets with code RINGAROUNDTHEROSY; 50% off waistcoats with code WAISTNOTWANTNOT; 35% off Drake’s ties(min. 2) with code TIEONEON.

MAAS & Stacks: Enjoy a 25% discount on selected items after entering code: MEMORIAL18

Maison Margiela: up to 40% off* the SS18 Collection on the Maison Margiela online store.

Malford of London: 60% off everything plus extra 25% off with code SALE60.

Matches: sale on now for up to 50% off.

Miloh Shop: 20% Off All Denim with promo code “DENIM20“.

Mohawk: BEST OF SALE | 15% off for Memorial Day with code MEMORIAL15OFF.

Need Supply:  Sale! New markdowns up to 40% off.

Neiman Marcus: Up to 40% off designer sale.

Ne.Sense: SS18 Sale 20% Off.

Nitty Gritty: 25% Off on Selected Footwear | A.P.C. Resort Fall Collection.

No Man Walks Alone: 80% off Private Archive Sale.

Nordstrom:  Save up to 40% during Half-Yearly Sale

Nordstrom Rack: extra 25% off clearance items.

Notre-Shop: Additional Markdowns Up to 70% Off.

Nowell’s: 25% off with code MEM25.

Oak Street Bootmakers: $50 off all footwear.

Opening Ceremony: Take an Extra 20% Off All Sale Styles with code OCEXTRA20.

Other Shop: Use code ROYAL25 to take 25% off your order.

Pact Underwear: 20% off $100, 30% off $200, 40% off $300 use code MYSAVINGS.

Popov Leather: 30% off a selection + free shipping with code FATHERSDAY.

Rag & Bone: New Markdowns: Up to 60% Off.

Ralph Lauren30% off select styles with code MEMDAY.

The Real Real: 20% off with code REAL + up to 70% off.

Todd Snyder: 30% off new styles + up to 70% off sale.

Renarts: 40% off all regularly priced apparel, 30% off all regularly priced footwear, up to 80% off clearance, additional 10% sale section with code MDW10.

Roden Gray: Take up to 40% off selected apparel accessories and footwear.

Rooney Shop: Memorial Day sale now ongoing up to 30% off.

Saks 5th Ave.: up to 40% off DESIGNER SALE.

Sartoriale: Memorial Day Storewide SALE – Up to 90% OFF MSRP – Spend More, Save More

Shoes.com: Memorial Day sale 30-75% off + take 25% off with code SPRING 25.

ShopStyle: up to 70% off.

SSense: sale up to 50% off.

StyleBop: extra 20% off all styles applied at checkout.

Tessabit: Up to 50% off sale.

Todd Snyder: 30% off new styles + up to 70% off sale.

Totokaelo: 40% off Maison Margiela, Rick Owens, Comme des Garçons, and more.

Tres Bien: up to 70% off.

Uncle Otis: 20% OFF NEW ARRIVALS with code FLASH20.

Unis: sale on Common Projects.

Union: 30% and 40% off a selection.

Unionmade: take 20% off everything with the code MEMORIAL20.

Uniqlo: Free shipping no minimum order + items added to sale.

Urban Outfitters: sale up to 50% off.

Vince: extra 25% off of sale with code MDAY25.

X of Pentacles: all pocket squares on sale + Styleforum users get 10% off with code SF10.

Yoox:  up to an extra 60% off.

Wrong Weather: SS18 sale up to 30% off

ZFACTORIE: 30-50% off some styles for Memorial Day.

The Best Shoes for Rainy and Snowy Weather

“Watch out for that first step, it’s a doozie.” Winter weather comes and goes, repeating itself every year. While many of us love layering, wearing coats, heavy flannels, tweeds, and the like, sometimes it feels like it is a Groundhog day every day, every winter. With the snow, the rain, the sleet and ice, we have to be more cautious with our footwear, in order to protect it and ensure it sees its maximum lifespan. As such some shoes are better than others for tempo di merda, so here are some examples of what I consider the best shoes for rainy and snowy weather.

With the recent inclement weather throughout Europe and the US, you are bound to see some wear on your soles, especially if you accidentally wear leather soles out and don’t realize it’s going to seemingly spontaneously hail and rain in the “ever sunny” Los Angeles. Even if you escape the season’s unpredictable rain, you might just step right into one of those puddles that appear shallower than they actually are as you are crossing the street. Let’s start by acknowledging that there is no such thing as waterproof shoes (unless we consider rubber Wellingtons an acceptable footwear option). However, the good news is you can invest in shoes made for inclement weather, like the infamous, and forum favorite, L.L. Bean Boots. Originally designed in 1912, the boots have long protected feet from wet environments for over a hundred years. They are probably one of your best bets for winter storms in the American Midwest or Northeast, seeing as they won’t look completely out of place.

Sometimes, you need or want something a bit more elegant: for this reason, rubber-soled shoes are a popular option since they work reasonably well in winter weather. Although many people might prefer a Dainite sole for a dressier look (when compared to a commando-style sole made by Vibram), Dainite soles are not optimal for wet weather since they provide little in way of increased traction–they are marginally better than leather soles at best. However, the Dainite sole helps to prevent wear to the sole of the shoe, increasing the lifespan tremendously. Because they are rubber, even though they are not high grip on wet surfaces, they work well in light snow or preventing water from getting into the cork bed or upper. I have a pair of Loake 1880 Chukka boots with Dainite soles which is my go-to travel shoe when I’m uncertain what the weather might be, seemingly because they are casual enough to be worn with denim, but elegant enough to go with odd trousers.

DAINITE SOLE
Loake 1881 “Kempton” Chukka Boots
Allen Edmonds Strand Cap-toe Oxford

 

If your style leans toward streetwear, you could look for something with more traction: I would consider a Vibram branded sole or a commando-style sole. The commando-style sole has all the lugs to provide extra grip, which add more visual weight to the sole, providing heavier-chunky appearance that belongs with streetwear more than tailoring. However, that isn’t to say you probably can’t find a place in your wardrobe for a pair of Alden with a commando sole to go with some moleskin or corduroy pants. These are excellent for heavier snow and provide the protection and grip that you need when the weather is at its worst. In addition, the higher sole helps provide more distance between your leather upper and the salted ground.

STREETWEAR APPROVED
Alden “Indy” Boots
Cobbler Union “Miquel” wholecut

If boots are your thing, but you prefer classic style, you’ll want something that is a bit more pragmatic than leather-soled boots when the streets are wet and slippery. That said, those of us who want something a bit more sophisticated and elegant -but still need grip or water protection- might consider a pair of boots such as these from Cobbler Union that feature studded combination leather and high-density rubber sole. The soles have some minor lugs set into it, which help to break up the flat surface and provide traction; simultaneously, the upper part of the sole and the welt are leather, contributing to the elegant look of the boot.

DRESSIER BOOTS FOR INCLEMENT WEATHER
Cobbler Union “Guillaume”
Tricker’s “Stowe” with double leather

Not all stitched soles are created equal. The stitching methods favored by the Italians, Blake method stitches the outer directly to the upper and insole, leaving out a welt, and thereby permit more water into a shoe. In Blake-rapid stitching, there is slightly more waterproofing on account that there are two stitches like in a Goodyear welted shoe (separating the stitching channels for the shoes): the Blake stitch that goes between the midsole, outer and insole, with the rapid stitch that stitches the midsole to an outsole. By adding in a midsole, the stitching for the inner part of the shoe is not exposed to the elements from the bottom sole as much as in Blake constructed shoes. Goodyear welted shoes, on the other hand, see the sole attached to a piece (oftentimes made of leather) called a welt, which acts as a medium for stitching between the upper and the sole. Besides allowing for easily repaired soles in the United States and UK, the welting process helps keep water out of the footbed.
You might further consider waterproofing your welted shoes by seeking out stormwelts on Goodyear welted shoes. In this case, the manufacturer puts a storm welt on the shoe when performing a welt-stitch (either handmade or Goodyear welted). The storm welt is a wider piece that bends to create a seal between the upper and the midsole. These are seen oftentimes on shoes from makers like Tricker’s.
A final stitching method that provides the most waterproofing is the Norwegian stitch. You now see Norvegese construction more often on the work of higher end Italian shoemakers (in terms of quality, not “designer” priced). The Norwegian construction features two stitching lines, one which connects the welt, upper and insole, and the other connecting the welt upper and sole. When joined together, they create an even more closed channel, helping to further keep water out of the shoe.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE STITCHING
Heschung “Richmond” with Norwegian welt
Grenson “Fred” with triple welt construction

Finally, you might be stubborn and wear leather soled shoes everywhere. If that’s you, I encourage you to invest in galoshes. In environments with snow and salted roads, the galoshes serve to protect your leather from salt stains. Swims makes a good pair of galoshes that can go around the leather soled shoes and provide protection from the elements, helping to extend the lifespan of your shoe. You can keep a pair in the office or in your car so that you’re not caught unprepared in case of unexpected showers. However, I will warn you that they do not have the best traction on slightly slick surfaces. I’ve slipped and fallen walking in them when I was walking over metal grates. A commando sole will be better for traction.

IF EVERYTHING ELSE FAILS, CONSIDER SHOE CONDOMS
Swims Classic Galoshes
Tingley Overshoe

In the end, the lesson here–just like when I’ve stepped into that bottomless puddle–might just be to pay a bit more attention to where you step.

 


 

Please note that a correction was made to clarify Blake vs Blake-rapid construction.

How to Declutter Your Winter Wardrobe

It’s half past 8, it’s 25°F outside, and you’re rushing to get out the door—running late for work again. You throw open your closet to choose a coat to layer up over your suit.

“Hmmmm, which one will I wear today?

“I could go full Russian and wear the Norwegian Rain Moscow with fur collar. But that’s my favorite coat and I wore that yesterday.

“I could go full Italian with the Eidos topcoat. Ehhh, that’s too insouciant for the workplace.

“I suppose I could go full #menswear and wear the robe coat. Nah, I’ll get a hundred snide comments.

“Dang it, now it’s 20 to 9 and I still haven’t picked a coat. Forget it, I’ll wear the Moscow again.”

The signs are obvious—it’s a Tide ad.

Just kidding, you’ve got a #menswear problem.

Maybe it’s time to declutter your winter wardrobe, including—but not limited to—your sweet outerwear collection. Here are five tips to help you do so.

declutter your winter wardrobe

I wrote a little bit about this in one of my previous article. The gist is to have a system for your clothes—whether it’s shirts, trousers, jackets, coats—where it’s obvious what you have worn recently and what you have not. Doing so allows you to identify what winter wardrobe items you just don’t wear.

I don’t recommend going full Marie Kondo, assessing the specific level of joy each thing brings, then donating the rest of it—but, if there are jackets, sweaters, flannel shirts, or anything else that you haven’t worn all winter because there’s other stuff you enjoy wearing more, it’s probably safe to get rid of those things.

declutter your winter wardrobe

Allow me to state that besides the “joy” factor, there is a time that you have to acknowledge that your style has changed and maybe it’s time to get rid of old things you never wear for that reason. There was a good season or two I was still gaming the J.Crew sales to try to score good deals on V-neck merino sweaters before realizing, “wait a minute, I don’t actually wear these things.”

There’s also a time to acknowledge your #dadbod, to put it charitably. Looking at my own dad, I can see that at my age, he had roughly the same body shape as I do. But something clearly happened in the ensuing 10-15 years (at 62, he’s back to my size again, and I have a mind to kop an Eidos jacket or two for him at some point). I fully intend to maintain my current fitness level forever, but we all know best intentions don’t always go fulfilled. If you find yourself in a position of unfulfilled intent, consider it an opportunity to sell off old clothes that don’t fit and upgrade with something that does.

Besides, those old 32 waist APCs have too low a rise for your more sophisticated appreciation of higher rise denim.

declutter your winter wardrobe menswear

There’s a point where you can declutter too much. I know because I’ve been there. My friend Jonathan had gotten engaged, and for his bachelor party, we went paintballing—in March (in Ohio). Sounds like a great (if freezing) time, except I had purged my closet of nearly everything I might’ve been okay getting covered in paint. I wore pebble-grain chukka boots from Banana Republic that up until then were still in somewhat regular rotation (this was early in my menswear transformation, cut me some slack). So while I enjoyed the final gauntlet we put Jonathan through (he had welts all over his body for his honeymoon), I was definitely not appropriately dressed for that day.

These days, I make sure to have stuff in my closet or in storage bins downstairs so that I’m not caught without the right gear. Like a few weeks ago when I dug a trench outside my house for drainage in 30° weather after a week of heavy rain. I was glad to have a fleece, old jeans and some old boots to work in the mud in.

declutter your winter wardrobe men

Back in my merino V-neck wearing days, I recall having a perfect navy sweater. It was from Banana Republic and I wore it to great effect all the time (in particular over a blue gingham button-up shirt—you know the one). But even then I recognized that Banana quality left something to be desired, and there came a point within 2-3 years that it was clearly showing its age. I knew I needed to replace it and reduce how often I wore it.

I’m not the kind of guy to, say, buy seven identical pairs of shoes so as to spread out the wear and tear amongst them and prolong their natural life. But I do think it’s good to recognize those things you’ve identified as your best-of, favorite items (see point 1), and when there’s an awesome deal on the same or very similar thing, you can buy it to keep the magic alive. Depending on what it is, you can take advantage of seasonal sales, especially if you’re under no time pressure to immediately replace it.

declutter your winter wardrobe outerwear

The coat matrix skews admittedly toward a tailored-favoring audience, so I apologize to the streetwear guys. But it can be useful for classifying the coats in your wardrobe, which will, in turn, help you spot gaps (or surpluses in certain categories). The gist is to break your outerwear into categories based on the level of formality level, and how warm they are.

It’s fair to say that the colder months are more ripe for dressing well because of all the layering opportunities and wealth of great clothing categories (sweaters, outerwear, scarves, etc.). The flip side of that is that the risk of over-stocking your closet to the detriment of warm-weather attire. You need to save some room in your wardrobe so you can look great all year round—not just when it’s freezing outside.

Use these five tips to help free up some space and clear out the cruft of your wardrobe. Of course what you do with that newly vacant space is up to you. Something tells me it’ll quickly be filled again.

When Should You Spend and When Should You Skimp?

A few weeks ago I got a turtleneck for cheap from Banana Republic. It proudly states “Made with Italian Yarn,” which is hilarious, because it’s 20% nylon (do Italians make the best nylon?). However, that didn’t bother me because it was inexpensive, it fit well, and it was exactly what I was looking for.

We’ve all got a certain budget we’re working within when buying clothes. Some folks have a larger budget than others, of course, but everybody has to make decisions about what they will drop a ton of money on versus what they’re okay buying for less. For me, I’m always thinking about opportunity cost. While I’d have preferred, say, an Eidos turtleneck for its superior construction and material, the cost (nearly 10x) simply wasn’t worth it to me. Now I’m planning ahead to know what spring purchases I will use that extra money for.

While I don’t have a flowchart or anything, here are some questions to ask yourself in order to maximize the use of your dollars when building your wardrobe.

First, have a working list of what the ideal wardrobe for you would look like. It should mostly be the “must-have” items that you’d wear regularly, but it’s also okay to have stuff that delights you. This list can help you keep track of progress made toward attaining a good working wardrobe, and also keep you from making costly mistakes. I wrote more extensively on this concept in my article How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe  and Making Smart Menswear Purchases.

With that in mind, then, here are questions to ask yourself:

  • What is your lifestyle? The utility of any given item is defined by your lifestyle, meaning what you have to wear day to day will play a huge role in what makes sense to invest in. This can go both ways, actually—for instance, if you need to wear a white dress shirt every single day to work, it can make sense to buy a bunch at low cost when you’re first starting out, knowing that the regular wear and tear will take its toll on them. But as you increase your rotation, adding in nicer, better designed, better made shirts as your budget allows makes sense because of your needs.
  • How do you like to dress? What is your style? Most of us have clothes we reach for time and again when we are dressing to impress. It makes much more sense to spend extra on stuff you know you’ll wear a lot (and in particular that which will be seen a lot), than it does for things you’ll primarily be wearing to bed.
  • What kind of design are you looking for? Designers typically continuously tweak, evolve and update their line to stay fresh. That can be good if you’re someone who’s already got a good working wardrobe and are now just buying clothes because you like them—you can be open to being surprised by something interesting. But sometimes that’s not good because you just want a stylish basic to fill a need in your wardrobe. I was excited to find that Banana Republic turtleneck because it met several specific criteria I had that I couldn’t find anywhere else within my general price range—thin enough to layer but with visual surface texture and a ribbed neck.
  • How long do you honestly think you’ll wear it? Is it a “forever” piece or something you know is a just a phase you’re going through?
  • Is it outside your comfort zone a little bit? Maybe you’ve been inspired by someone’s sweet fit on Insta, but aren’t quite sure if it’ll work for you—finding it for cheap somewhere is a good way to dip your toe in to see if it’s “you.”
  • Is there a dramatic quality increase from the budget options to the expensive options?

With the buying and selling forum, eBay, etc., it’s possible to get high-quality stuff for much lower prices—if you’ve got the patience and time. But especially when you’re starting out and you need to build a wardrobe fairly quickly, asking yourself these questions can help you decide what to save up for and what’s okay to buy for less.

Below are some products (including that turtleneck) that I personally own or would buy that run the gamut from expensive to not so much.


Banana Republic turtleneck.

Barbour Ashby: I’ve been inspired by cool dudes like Jake Grantham rocking the Barbour over tailoring, and there is really no substitute for the original. This, to me, was worth spending more on for the authentic original.

Navy/Gold repp stripe tie, PoloRL: Navy/gold bar-stripe repp ties aren’t hard to find, but I liked the specific color of gold Polo used.

Brooks Brothers light blue OCBD: OCBDs are a staple for some guys, and while Kamakura, Proper Cloth, O’Connell’s, Ratio, Mercer & Sons and millions of others make good ones, the shape and complete lack of lining of the collar from Brooks Brothers—in addition to the consistency of availability and generous return policy—make this a good choice. I prefer this lighter blue color, but they offer tons of other options. Just make sure to stack discounts (you can browse the Official Sales Thread to find the newer ones).

Eidos Navy donegal blazer.

Eidos large glen plaid suit: There is no substitute for Eidos as designed by Antonio Ciongoli for me—the swooping arc lapels, the Neapolitan details, the killer fabrics, not to mention a near-perfect fit on me. When you find a winner, you stick with it as long as you can.

Why Black Tie Matters

“What are you wearing tonight?” My wife and I have this conversation, more or less, every year, about this time. She calls out to me from her closet. We’re off to see The Nutcracker, which starts in less than two hours.
“Black tie.” 
Again?
There’s more than a slight tone of incredulity, but then, I can’t blame her. The egalitarian tuxedo (or dinner suit) has remained, in principle, unchanged for over a century, and although every sort of fashion has been tried on the red carpet, most likely it appeared ridiculous.  Classic black tie, however, looks good on everyone, not because it defies the folly and fickleness of fashion, but rather transcends it.  Which is fortunate, I think as I reach for the hanger, as it makes getting dressed for black tie events easy.

White tie may be the reigning champ of event dress, and when done correctly it is indeed a sight to behold, but I’m glad black tie casualized things somewhat.  The jacket shed its tails, and the wing collar on the shirt softened into the turndown collar, except on single breasted dinner jackets with peaked lapels, where wing collars are still OK. 
Vests became an option alongside cummerbunds, or both embellishments can be ditched altogether, if your waist is covered by a double breasted jacket, as mine is. It’s a bit more sporty since single breasted one-button jackets increase the elegance of an outfit, but both should have peaked lapels; notch lapels make an outfit look like a regular old suit, and what’s special about that? Peaked lapels, or swankier yet, a shawl lapel, with silk satin or grosgrain facing is appropriate for your black tie event. My outfit for the evening has the latter, which I prefer; the sheen from grosgrain is more subtle and has a bit of texture. 
Trousers, of course, match the facing down the outside of the leg, making the top and bottom a complete outfit.
As I take out a pleated white shirt with covered placket, I wonder if I should get another shirt in piqué and some nice onyx studs.  I prefer the sleek appearance of a “fly front” placket, and owning studs is just another thing to lose.  Still, it adds a small bit of decoration suitable for special outings, and some might argue that it’s historically proper.  Maybe I’ll start shopping for them.
I’ve always felt self-conscious about pumps.  Having large bows on my feet not only seems a touch precious, but slip-ons seem casual to me. Fortunately, a pair of well-shined calfskin wholecuts are just fine. Perhaps later my wallet might surrender to the luster of patent leather oxfords. I like how they echo the gleam of silk from the jacket, down the trousers, and continue unto one’s feet – which are covered in fine black hosiery, of course.
The beauty of black tie is simplicity.  Everything except the cotton shirt and optional silk or linen handkerchief is black.  Equally acceptable is midnight blue, which caught on fervently in the 30’s, fell out of style, and presently is returning with a vengeance (although too blue is too blue, GQ).  
Limiting your options is incredibly liberating and makes dressing for formal engagements a breeze – I’m fully dressed in ten minutes, and there’s not many other outfits that flatter the physique as well.  The only way you’ll look like a penguin is if you’re The Penguin.
“You’re done already?” 
Congratulations, you won the race.  Now help your partner get ready, or you’ll miss the curtain rising and you’ll both lose.



PETER’S SHOPPING LIST FOR BLACK TIE 2017


Still have questions? Ask the Styleforum community! Join the conversation on The State of Black Tie thread, and post your black tie outfit on the What Are You Wearing Today thread.

Beginner’s Guide to Thrifting Menswear

Ethan Wong has already shared his love of thrifting menswear with our community. In this piece, he details how he chooses the pieces worth saving, and lays out a guide for thrifting that any men’s clothing hobbyist can follow.

We created a downloadable PDF guide with a checklist that you can consult whenever you’re out shopping for thrifted goods.


It’s no surprise to anyone that I can’t afford to always buy bespoke or MTM clothing, considering how much I love menswear. Instead of buying cheap knockoffs from fast fashion retailers, I almost exclusively buy thrifted and vintage pieces for my wardrobe. With a good eye and some education, I’ve found that it’s a great way to acquire quality garments for an extremely affordable price. Here’s some a brief guide that I live by when I go thrifting.

  • Check your local thrift stores

    • You never know what you’re going to find!
    • Wealthier places may have better pieces (contemporary, designer/brand), but they may already be popular with other pickers.
    • Not all thrift stores operate on donations; some receive general shipments of clothing.
  • Stay cognizant of promotions and holiday deals

    • Some stores have rotating promotions around certain colored tags or item categories.
    • There’s almost always sales during holidays that can apply to clothing!
  • Put your education to Use

      • The amount of stuff you see at a thrift store can be overwhelming; use the “touch test” and run your fingers through the racks. If something feels familiar (wool, flannel, tweed, cotton), it’s worth inspecting!
    • Your knowledge of brands and manufacturing can come in handy. A Purple Label RL suit will be much different than a Lauren by RL one.
  • Check interior labels and tags

      • Fabric labels will let you know if there is a semblance of synthetics (ie; polyester) within the garment, as well as any other blends. I typically go for 100% wools.
      • If you’re in America, union tags will be present on anything made pre 1980s. Different union tags correspond to different years, so this can be helpful when encountering vintage suits and sportcoats!
    • Font can play a difference. “Artsy” labels are usually earlier while stiff, corporate ones usually denote the 1960s-1970s era.
  • Consider the design and cut of the piece

      • Shoulder padding varied throughout eras and especially from designer to designer. Make sure that the jacket you get has the right amount for you, because that is something you cannot fix later.
      • Vintage and quality made garments usually have half-lining or less; most mass produced stuff post 1970s will be fully lined.
      • Always look at button stance and configuration. If the last button on the suit is below the pocket line, the overall buttoning point will be too low and results in an extremely dated look.
    • Trousers with a long fly (11in or more) will usually mean that they feature a high rise.

  • Focus on Unique Pieces, not Workhorse Stuff

    • Keep an eye out for cool details like patch pockets or belted-back jackets!
    • You can always find a quality navy suit at any store, so try to find pieces with great patterns like herringbone or houndstooth since they’re pretty common in thrift stores.
  • Be Aware of What You Can and Can’t Tailor

    • Make sure the shoulders fit!
    • Inspect the garment carefully for extra fabric allowance.
    • Sleeves and chest can always be taken in, but letting them out/down depends on how much fabric is available.
    • You can shorten a jacket by less than 2”; anything more will ruin the balance and proportion of the garment.
    • Trousers are the easiest to alter, provided that you take in the waist and taper the leg. Like jackets, making them bigger depends on the fabric allowance.
    • Tailoring will always cost more than the purchase price, but it can be worth it to make something wearable!

thrifting menswear thrifted menswear guide to thrifting styleforum

  • If you like it, buy it; if you don’t, pass on it.

    • Buy it when you can, since someone may take it when you put it down!
    • They add new things everyday, so you can always come back if nothing catches your eye.
    • Normal wear and tear is expected with thrifted pieces, but pass on anything with holes or major non-seam rips.

This is typically how I approach thrifting. It takes some time to get used to, but it’s really fun if you have the education, eye for detail, and a great tailor. It’s how I’ve gotten great stuff like a 1960’s olive green ivy jacket, the infamous 3PC brown chalk-stripe suit, or even a Camoshita suit. Whether you want to build a wardrobe or find some statement pieces to experiment with, it’s always worth it to check out your local thrift store from time to time!


You can keep up with Ethan’s thrifting and vintage adventures on his Instagram (@ethanmwong) or on his blog Street x Sprezza.

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.

The 5 Best Organic Cotton Underwear Brands for Men

In conjunction with Fashion Revolution week, we would like to share our picks for the best organic cotton underwear, and explain briefly why it is important to choose such underwear.

While many of Styleforum users pay close attention to the quality of the items they buy and even to the type of material employed – oftentimes preferring natural materials to synthetics – not all cotton is made the same, when examined in ethical and environmental contexts.

Today, only 15% of the global production of cotton is organically grown without the use of pesticides and chemicals.

People working in industrial cotton fields are exposed to carcinogenic agents that correlate with increased likelihood of developing brain tumors – most of which result in death. Additionally, there have been an increased number of suicides caused by financial ruin brought about by the debts the farmers have to multinational corporations on account of the the pesticides they provide. As farmers use pesticides, they continually need to increase the use of these chemicals in order to see the same effects as the first time they are used on account of increased tolerance.

This does not only happen in India and other developing countries, but in the United States as well. Some of the leaders in the organic cotton market within the United States were impacted personally by the use of industrial chemicals found in large-scale agricultural production.

LaRhea Pepper has worked in a cotton farm for all her life, and she dedicated her life to switching to 100% organic production after losing her husband to cancer: “My husband grew up on a chemically intensive farm in south Texas and his father died of Leukemia at the age of 57.

Terry was diagnosed with a brain tumor–a glioblastoma multiforme–when he was forty-eight and I had to say goodbye to him just 2 years later. We were partners in transforming our farm from a low-input ‘almost organic’ to certified organic in 1991–we worked hard to build the organic cotton market for us and others as well. Promoting organic, as THE way to farm and be responsible stewards of our land was an important priority in our lives. It is no longer important to me–it is imperative! Agriculture MUST change and LIFE must be the focus,” she told viewers in an interview for the movie The True Cost.


Organic cotton is not only a more ethical way to grow the most utilized textile fabric in the world–it is a higher quality product for the final customer: with organic cotton, people are less likely to develop allergies and prevent irritations that may occur from wearing cotton treated with chemicals, especially in areas where the fabric is in direct contact with the skin.

Now that you’re a slightly more familiar with some of the important reasons to support organic cotton producers and brands that source their cotton from these farms, let us explore a few options in case you’re considering upgrading your underwear drawer with organic cotton options. Here is a selection of the 5 best brands that manufacture organic cotton underwear for men:

PACT Underwear ($9)

pact underwear organic cotton men underwear briefs best organic cotton underwear

All PACT apparel is sweatshop free, and ethically produced. You can order online (they usually have specials and discounts on quantities) or you can buy them at Target.


I LOVE BAD ($24)

I love bad hemp underwear mens best organic cotton underwear

I Love Bad’s underwear is made with a blend of organic cotton, hemp, and lycra – all pesticide and chemical free, and organic. The elastic band-free design alleviates stomach congestion and other discomforts. Their products are made in Southern California using low-impact dyes.


BGREEN ($24)

 best organic cotton underwear

Bgreen offers ultra-soft, stretchy underwear made of organic cotton. All their items are organic, fair trade, and made in the USA.


NATURAL CLOTHING COMPANY ($24.99)

natural clothing company organic cotton underwear briefs men ethical fair trade best organic cotton underwear

This is a small business run by a husband and wife from the state of Washington. They make underwear employing organic cotton and they commit to a fair trade, ethical business model.


COTTONIQUE ($27)

cottonique organic cotton underwear best organic cotton underwear

Cottonique specializes in underwear for individuals that have particularly sensitive skin and/or allergies; they pay lots of attention to the materials to make sure that even people with latex and spandex allergies can wear their underwear. They also offer elastic-free options that include a drawstring, made of 100% organic cotton.


If you have already switched to organic cotton, feel free to share your experience and your opinion on the matter. We would love to hear from you and discover more brands that produce ethically made, sustainable clothing.

Why a Solaro suit is the only suit you’ll need this summer

The time has come to legitimize the Solaro suit as a staple garment in any man’s wardrobe.

Oh please, don’t give me that look. We already established a long time ago that brown and earthy colors are no longer reserved for the countryside, and we integrated them as part of our daily – and even business – clothing. A Solaro suit is going to be your best investment this summer.

First, let’s go back to the origins of the fabric. Despite being quite popular among the Italians, we owe the invention of Solaro to the Brits and their assumption that the red color repelled radiation caused from direct sunlight.

The Solaro was born at the dawn of the 20th century, during the colonialism of the Tropics. The London School of Tropical Medicine dedicated studies to the wellbeing of the soldiers in colonial lands: climate conditions in tropical areas were incredibly harsh, and a need for new fabrics and garments to protect the colonizers arose as it did the belief that they were responsible for dreadful tropical diseases.

One of the School’s scientists, Louis Westenra Sambon, conducted some studies on the skin of the colonized populations, coming to the conclusion that the darker pigment was able to block off the UV rays coming from the sunlight. It was clear to him that Nature provided the natives with the necessary protection against the harm of the climate, and that the colonizers would have had to find a way to protect their fair skin just as well. Clothes were the obvious choice, as they act as an additional layer to protect the body from the external agents.

It was common knowledge at the time that light fabrics retained less heat than dark fabrics; however, white garments were not quite suitable for soldiers. Khaki green, on the other hand, was both light and suitable for a soldier’s uniform, and that’s why Dr. Sambon chose it as the base of the cloth of his invention: the Solaro. He added to it a red layer that supposedly repelled the UV rays.

“Dr. Sambon, assisted by Mr. John Ellis, has produced a fabric hat has a “perfect khaki effect” on the outside and a red colour screen on the inner surface, and he has stated that Mr. Bailey has examined it at the University College and that it has proved as impervious to the actinic rays as is the skin of natives of tropical countries. This cloth is called Solaro. We have not seen specimens of this cloth, but we note that it is obtainable at Messers Ellis and Johns, Tailors, 21, South Moulton Street, London, W.”¹

“Unlike clothing promoted for use in tropical climates today, Solaro was meant to prevent more than sunburn and carcinomas. It was designed to inhibit the “actinic” rays—what we would now call ultraviolet (UV) radiation—of the sun, which were thought to disrupt proper physiological functioning and produce nervous disorders. The design of the clothing was linked to the observation that skin color was darkest where sunlight was most intense.”²

Another debate concerned the type of fabric that would work best against the heat: cotton or wool? German zoologist Gustav Jaeger pointed out that many animals survive in tropical areas with a wool coat, and that wool breathes better than vegetable fabrics, which are not meant to be used in clothing: Nature has clothed the animals. Man clothes himself. Animal wool, which Nature has created to clothe the animal body, is the ‘survival of the fittest’ clothing material.”³

His assumption is at the base of Dr. Sambon’s choice of wool for the Solaro.

The patented Solaro fabric –“Original Solaro Made in England”- is produced by Smith Woollens (now part of Harrisons). It weighs 310 gr and is in a tan/olive-ish color with a herringbone pattern. It features an underside woven with brick red yarn;

solaro suit fabric history

Solaro fabric. Photo: No Man Walks Alone

this characteristic produces an iridescent sheen that is most evident when the light hits the fabric at a specific angle, but it is nonetheless quite subtle.

Today there are several mills – Loro Piana, Drago, Angelico, to name a few- that produce Solaro in a variety of weights and hues, yet remaining somewhat faithful to the mid-weight, khaki-and-red original version.

The most common fabrics employed to create Solaro are pure wool twill and yarn-dyed gabardine.

As I mentioned, the Italians are particularly fond of Solaro suits, as they embody perfectly the Italian sprezzatura with the relaxed, casual, and slightly impudent look provided by the semi-iridescent cloth. It’s not uncommon to spot distinguished, elderly Italians wearing Solaro suits, whether they are businessmen riding a bicycle in Milan, or classy Neapolitan gentlemen savoring espresso at a café while reading the Corriere della Sera.


Here are a few good reasons why a Solaro suit is the perfect integration to your summer closet:

It’s a conversation starter; we are not given that many chances to make fun of the Brits (if we don’t consider Brexit) so why lose the chance to make a joke of their belief that a red thread in their suits would keep them safe from tropical diseases? Jokes aside, the history of the fabric and its continental charm make a good topic of conversation for anyone who has an interest in menswear or history.

It’s unconventional but not crazy extravagant; the red sheen is barely there, just enough to remind the world that you are confident enough to pull off a suit that goes beyond the conventions. You own it.

It suits everyone. Just take look at the gallery, and you’ll see that a solaro suit looks good on every single person, flattering every complexion from the fairer to the deeper. Additionally, it seems to class-up everyone’s style, making the solaro suit the male equivalent of a pearl choker.

It makes a great option for business casual. I promise not to roll my eyes and scoff when you tell me that America is too conservative to allow such a suit to be part of a business environment. However, to the West Coast fellows that suffer from suit envy because their workplace is too casual to wear even the most innocent two-piece navy suit, I say: this is your chance! A Solaro suit is casual enough to be worn even in an office where the most formal piece of clothing is not-ripped denim, and you won’t be labeled as “the uptight dude in the navy suit”. Plus, you can lose the jacket any time and not look like you forgot a piece of your outfit at home.

If you’d like to read what other forumites have to say on the matter, there is a whole thread dedicated to wearing Solaro for business.

It’s incredibly easy to style. Click here to read our guide to wearing a Solaro suit – including some spezzato options!

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Note: please note that the original Solaro cloth is only available through Harrisons and their agents, and it is a registered trademark. Any other maker that refers to this type of cloth with the name Solaro is in trademark infringement.

@AriannaReggio


1. The Indian Medical Gazette, Volume 42, p. 188

2. Bulletin of the History of Medicine: Bull Hist Med. 2009 Fall : 530-560

3. Jaeger Gustav. In: Dr. Jaeger’s Essays on Health-Culture. Tomalin Lewis RS., translator. London: Waterlow and Sons; 1887. p. 116.