Linen Sport Coats for Summer
Everyone has their own pick for what they’d consider a summer essential. For me, it’d be a breathable sport coat. Something made from an open weave material — and has little canvassing, lining, or padding inside — will wear much cooler than your standard year-round wools. In fact, as hot as the weather gets in July and August, I don’t even touch my “year round” sport coats until October. 
Most open weave materials can be classified as one of two types: tropical wool and linen. More of than not, breathable sport coats will be made from linen, partly because tropical wools tend to be very smooth, so they’re reserved for suits. The upside to linen is that it not only breathes well, but it’s also a good way to take the inherent dressiness out of a tailored jacket. Nothing says carefree and casual like having a few rumples and wrinkles in your sport coat. 
You can wear linen jackets with almost anything, but I find they tend to look best with linen trousers. Something in a contrasting color, but similar weave, will make it so that your jacket and trousers are distinctive, but also in harmony. That is, pair smooth, tightly woven linens with other smooth, tightly woven linens; and slubby, spongy linens with other slubby spongy linens. A linen jacket will also pair well with cotton chinos, as both will have the same casual, summery sensibility. Between these two fabrics, you have a world of trouser options once you play around with color. 
Don’t get too hung up on rules though. Luciano Barbera once advocated wearing a linen jacket with wool flannels, and while I personally wouldn’t do it — who am I to argue with one of the world’s best dressed men? Patrick Johnson of P. Johnson Tailors is also pictured above wearing a linen jacket with denim. If you want to try that kind of combination, consider getting a jacket that’s slightly shorter in length and forgoing the tie. As usual, the danger with denim plus sport coat combinations is that they can look a bit discombobulated — very dressy up top, too casual down low. Play down the jacket by getting something that has a slightly less traditional cut, and forgo any neckwear. That way, you’ll bring the tailored jacket down a notch in its formality.
(Photo via Patrick Johnson Tailors)

Luciano Barbera's Style Tips


Luciano Barbera on style:

It’s not enough to have beautiful clothes. Lots of people have beautiful clothes. In fact, some people have too many. What is important is what you do with them. On the following pages I share some comments on how I dress and what I have taught my sons. Of course,…


Jeremy-san in his H. Lesser Prince of Wales by Orazio Luciano.
Jeremy is a particular difficult fit.  He has wide, square shoulders, a hollow lower back, and an upright posture making it difficult to create a silhouette that’s balanced and uninterrupted.
In this model, we’ve shortened the collar significantly and kept the shoulders closer to his natural shoulders which leads to a cleaner chest and a more balanced top-half  We also opened the skirt a bit to counteract his posture.
Jeremy is proof that you don’t have to let your body dictate the type of clothing that you wear.  I think it worked out well for him.
What a c00l d00d.

Vintage Leather Belts
I’m not as experienced as Jesse it when it comes to thrifting, but I do enjoy going to thrift stores. When I go, I often like to browse around for vintage leather belts - the thick kind that you wear with jeans. One of the nice things about buying second-hand is that you can get things with a bit more character. With good leather, you’ll often get something that has aged beautifully. 
Take the above belt, for example. It’s from a webpage Mister Freedom made for their “Ranchero shirts,” which are lovely, but the star of the photograph - at least for me - is the belt sitting in the middle. The variation in the coloring, the scuffing, and the scored design give the belt a certain appeal that modern workwear brands only imitate.
You can find such belts if you hunt around enough. Just visit good thrift stores or flea markets (in the Bay Area, I’d highly recommend Antiques by the Bay, which happens on the first Sunday of every month. Not only do they have a few vendors that sell vintage belts, but there are a ton of other great booths for vintage wares as well). There’s also eBay, of course, but that gets slightly dicier. Vintage leather goods can be of varying quality - either because of the quality of the leather itself, or because of how the item was taken care of throughout the years. Without being able to handle the belt, and without a brand name to go off of, it can be difficult to know what you’re looking at. Still, some of these are quite affordable, so if you get stuck with something less than ideal, it’s at least not a big loss.
The alternative is to buy something new, but from a brand that takes it inspiration from old, vintage designs. RRL and Levi’s Vintage Clothing often have tooled or painted belts that are made to look like they’re from the mid-century. You can find them at workwear-focused stores such as Hickoree’s and Unionmade. They won’t have the kind of patina that an authentic vintage belt will carry, but they’re often still quite handsome. With enough wear, you might get it to look as nice as the one Christophe Loiron (owner of Mister Freedom) photographed above (though, probably not, because that belt looks really awesome). 
(Photo via Christophe Loiron)
"Will someone please wake me when the cavalcade of Pitti photos is over?"

Listen, I know that I am a hopelessly commercially minded country ass fop. But I don’t even know what Pitti is. The Urban Ironic Angsters might say that “if you don’t know what Pitti is, then you don’t need to know” Ok, fair enough.

If Pitti is a trade show where vendors actually take orders and designers have mini-fashion shows etc then I think I get it. But all that we outsiders see are a bunch of skinny jeaned androgynous fops primping. And sun damaged (more than my bad case of it) older guys with zoot suit watch chains and Thom Brown short hemmed britches and pocket hankies spouting out like Southern azaleas in bloom.

The other sense I get is that everyone who is walking from one event to the next…or who gather in little five to six person gaggles to shoot the shit and compare whatevers…IS TRYING TO HARD. It’s like they are hoping Scott Schuman (sp) from The Sartorialist is gonna pop up any minute to photograph them and they’ve GOT to be…READY.

And finally, do you have to smoke cigarettes to gain admission to the thang? 

(via to-the-manner-born)

It is a damn pity alright.

(via preppybythegraceofgod)

Will someone please wake me when the cavalcade of Pitti photos begins? 

Apologies for the glibness, but I thought that this was an interesting post and deserved perhaps, a contrasting response. Mine is fairly simple, but I think it warrants merit. I’d also lead with the sense that these opposing camps may not get together any time soon, but let us bring forth the debate regardless.

I will start by saying that I look forward to Pitti when it rolls around twice a year, and have since I started following menswear. As a slight caveat, I have always veered towards the casual Italian tailoring spectrum, which may explain my interest in the show, but as a former New Englander, this I believe was rooted in my dalliances with the prep world and its bright colors and casual fits. I grew up with heritage/trad, appreciate it, understand the appeal, and even incorporate it into my own wardrobe (ask about the wide wales). I don’t think that it’s actually that far away from many of the looks I appreciate at Pitti. Yes, the fits have been altered, updated, what have you, and I agree in principle, that the men outside Pitti can be a bit dandyish, a bit foppish, and perhaps yes, a bit preening.

However, when, for the most part, the lives of these men revolve around clothing, at least in some way, you’d like to think that one, they believe they dress well in their own personal ways, two, they wouldn’t mind showing other people this fact, and three, if given the chance for free worldwide exposure, they’re going to damn well take it. I don’t actually see many skinny jeans in attendance, plenty of tapers though. I do see men wearing finely tailored bright-colored suits, as they have been, I’m guessing, since birth (again, in the style they are accustomed to). Lino is a man who runs a shop. His shop sells everything from beautiful black captoes to exquisite navy blazers. Is his shop known around the world because of those items? Most likely not, as it has come to prominence because of his personal style and the fact that he sells what he wears to those daring or willing enough to try it. Lino seems like a very passionate guy and Pitti seems like his stomping ground. While he may not have a booth, it must give him a great opportunity to network, see old and new friends, and show off his wares to the ever present free press. 

Even pushing beyond the Linos and the Plutinos of the world, I think Pitti has much to offer, again perhaps more so if you have interest in the style that is heavily highlighted at this particular show, but nonetheless I believe most folks can find some sort of inspiration from the it, via the coverage online. On many blogs I follow, you can find booth shots and product views from any different angle. I’ve seen fantastic detail shots of everything from Cucinelli to Isaia, Tagliatore to Camoshita. Anyone should be able to appreciate what these brands have to offer in terms of quality and innovation, regardless of your personal style. I for one, love running through Tommy Ton’s Pitti albums, and the many varying combinations I see there never seem to get old. It’s also a good way to gauge the market and get an understanding of what’s being highlighted by both attendees and vendors. You can never have too much context I’d say. 

I like to think that personal style is dynamic, even if it moves at an iceberg pace. If I find one more color or texture combination that I hadn’t thought about, then I’m happy to sift through a few pages of guys dressed in a “disagreeable” fashion. After all, it’s only twice a year. I’m planning on trying to attend this summer for work, so perhaps I’ll follow up then with further rationalization. 

(via downeastandout)

(via downeastandout)