Sunday, August 29, 2010

Color that "Kicks the Door In!"

Way over a year ago or so, Tintin commented on one of my photos over at Sorrentolens as "it has color that kick's the door in".  I've never forgotten the compliment - and when I find something as colorful as some of these shirts presented by Eton Shirts - the phrase comes back to me like a streaming bullet.  I wish they had an outlet here in Florida.

Eton Shirts from Sweden knows color.  MR Magazine's Harry Sheff:

"Hot Brands: Eton Shirts
Nearly every retailer we spoke to agreed that Eton was hot. The Swedish dress shirt company, founded in 1928, still makes all of its shirts in its own Swedish factories. The price is right—around $220 to $275—and they’ve got a great in-stock program with 60,000 shirts in Sweden and more than 1,000 in the U.S. Add to that their patented wrinkle-free process and their depth of fabric patterns and colors, and retailers are very excited. It’s traditional with a twist—just what independents are looking for."

I wish I knew who they partnered with for those ties!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

An Experiment in Pocket Squares

(Dedicated to my friend – Geary Johnson – who used to say – “bring one for show and one for blow”)

There is a great pocket square influence out in the world that has me intrigued!  I confess I’m new to this “square” scene – but I like what I see.  I like the dash – the pop of color.  From Mad Men to Maximinimus to The Elegantologist  – pocket squares are a colorful mini explosion on the upper left quadrant of the well-dress guy.

I took a walk through Dillards and Macys here in Florida.  All I found were solid color silk and poly squares.  They were nice, I bought one pale blue one, but there was nothing fancy or eye-catching, so I just put the idea of pocket squares away.

Then, a few weeks ago I came across a blog posting by Giuseppe over at An Affordable Wardrobe and he had this fantastic idea of cutting a pocket square from an old shirt that he liked.  

The idea stuck like glue - so I decided to try something – thinking “Why can’t I just get some remnant pieces of fabric from a fabric store and cut these squares out myself?”

My wife came along and gave me guidance on types of fabric.  I was pretty much thinking I’d stick with cotton and see where that would lead, although silk was always in the back of my mind.  I picked out a handful of “1/4 squares” 

Basically, all I did was cut out the squares a quarter inch larger than the pocket square that I was using as a template.  Since these were cotton fabric, I ironed them flat before cutting.

Here’s the set I came up with.  I think the colors pop – and that’s what I was looking for.

As a test-bed, I tucked these colorful gems into this large window pane Flusser linen-cotton jacket I picked up at Stein Mart for next to nothing.

Colorful pocket squares on the cheap - what do you think?

See ya!

The Art of Manliness did a bog-post on how to fold a pocket square… check it out here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer Loot

I posted this photo on my other blog a few months ago.  This was some of the goods I picked up on my trip north (3,427 miles r/t).  I just like the colors, so I'm posting it again.
J. Crew cotton bd shirt
J. Press silk rep tie - my favorite colors (blue/green  or   green/blue depending on how you look at it).
J. Press silk knit tie - it absolutely fabulous!  (ditto on the blue-green thing)
J. Press/Smart Turnout watch band
Madras belt - Bass Outlet
J. Crew grosgrain belt
J. Crew madras flip flops
Bass Outlet Green swordfish shorts
Nantucket Reds from Murray's
L L. Bean red chinos

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bourbon Cocktails and Silk Knit Ties

Food and Wine Magazine came out with a tasty decimal of bourbon drinks today - some interesting, some I'd pass on, but it's nice to know there are people thinking about how to make a nice cocktail

Over the summer I've acquired several knit ties - some nice, silky knits, and a few polyesters, but they look pretty good.  J. Press had some great knit ties this summer - I got one at 40% off.  I'm looking for an opportunity in my schedule where I can dress such that I can pick one of these new knits.  A balance of casual and dress - with a blazer or odd jacket and khakis.  Below are some good lookin' knits.

Unabashedly Prep will love this one

Friday, August 13, 2010

No wonder they call themselves Smart Turnout

This blazer is on my wish list! My wants and desire list!  And my gotta have it list!

The shirt, the tie, the whole kit it is perfect!

This English style Navy jacket comes with an eye-catching silk lining in the colours inspired by Charterhouse. 

The material used is pure fine worsted new wool and comes with our signature made gilt buttons featuring the Smart Turnout London lion crest. 

Gilt buttons are featured throughout with four featured on the cuff vents. There is a double vent on the back of the back and internally it is silk lined with a single patch pocket. 

From Smart Turnout

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On Cary Grant

I’ve always wanted to dress like Cary Grant!  I can’t image CG bumming around his house in ragged jeans and flip-flops – although I’m sure he was just a regular guy and did as he pleased and dressed as he pleased when not in front of a camera or in the public eye.

His movies define classis film, weekend marathons of “Hello Darling….” lines in comedic and dramatic scenes.  Turner Classic Movies does a great service to star-gazers of the mid century while in our downtime Saturdays and Sundays.  Nothing like a winter afternoon of TCM with pop corn, beer and your faithful dog laying at your feet.

I wish I could find more color photos of this well-dressed icon of Hollywood – there must be some in a cans and big envelopes – yet to be discovered in old buildings and offices, perhaps even private collections.

For me, Cary Grant defines the well-dressed man.  Again, I wish there were more full framed shots – but these are all I could find.

I did a bit of processing on these photos with some of the latest photographic enhancing software.  Subtleties in the photos intended, hopefully I didn’t wreck any of them.

I hope you enjoy them.

From AskMen.Com

Selecting Cary Grant as a style icon is hardly groundbreaking. He’s considered by many to be the most influential dresser of all time. However, this dashing leading man wasn’t born on
Hollywood’s red carpet. It all started when an uneducated Archibald Leach from working-class Bristol became a troupe-touring teenage stilt-walker in the U.S. and decided to permanently leave England behind to pursue a stateside stage career. Naturally, good looks didn’t hurt his case for being written into history’s fashion annals. However, it takes real bravado to completely reinvent yourself. Grant realized that in order to transform from a peon into a prince, he needed not only to change his name, but also to dress the part.

Grant’s initial fashion inspiration was fello
style icon Fred Astaire whose look was defined by bold, bright colors as well as an expert integration of the casual with the formal. In the end, you would be hard-pressed to find two men ar
more opposite on the style spectrum. Grant eventually developed a subdued, monochromatic aesthetic where the focus was on fit and proportion rather than quirky color. The lines of his suits, shirts and shoes all blended together in ha
mony to draw your eye to the real moneymaker: his movie-star face. But like everyone else, Grant had some serious flaws, like a broad neck and oversize head. He often wore shirt collars turned up to disguise his neck, and his suits and topcoats were tailored with padded shoulders that were wide-set and squared-off to match the proportion of his massive mug. Turning flaws into fashion: that’s what sets Grant apart from everyone else.

You don’t need celebrity looks to learn a thing or two from Cary Grant. His sense of style is so revered that an entire book Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style is devoted to discussing it. You have to ask yourself: What could a man who became famous over half a century ago teach the modern guy about how to dress today? In short; everything. Cary Grant is a style icon because he is timeless and perhaps more relevant than ever in an age where slovenliness and bad behavior can lead to fame. Grant was definitely a suit-and-tie guy, and even his casual looks often included an ascot. However, every man -- yes, even the bad boys -- should own at least one good suit like the Topman Special Edition Grey Suit. Forget about color and pattern and look for a suit that simply fits your frame. A slimmer-cut jacket with equally trim trousers makes just about every guy look like a star regardless of the size and shape nature gave you. Grant typically opted for a single, inverted pant pleat, but a flat-front trouser is optimal for looking fit even if you’re lugging around a few extra pounds. Grant also wore his jacket sleeves high to expose about ¾ of an inch of bright white cuff. It’s a subtle detail, but striking enough that it almost reads as an accessory. It’s the mark of someone who truly understands fit and fine tailoring, and Grant did it all before celebrity stylists even existed.

Source story:

Mini biography 

Once told by an interviewer "Everybody would like to be Cary Grant". Grant is said to have replied: "So would I." His early years in Bristol, England, would have been an ordinary lower middle class childhood except for one extraordinary event. At age 9, he came home from school one day and was told his mother had gone off to a seaside resort. She was in a mental institution for years and he never was told. From the age of 9 until his late 20s, he didn't see his mother at all. He left school at 14, lying about his age and forging his father's signature on a letter to join Bob Pender's troupe of knockabout comedians. He learned pantomime as well as acrobatics as he toured with the Pender troupe in the English provinces, picked up a cockney accent in the music halls in London, and then in July 1920 he was one of the eight Pender boys selected to go to America. Their show on Broadway, "Good Times", ran for 456 performances, giving Grant time to acclimatize. He would stay in America. The opening Hollywood chapter is titled "She Done Him Right". Mae West wanted Grant for She Done Him Wrong (1933), because Grant combined virility with the aura and bearing of a gentleman. Grant was young enough to begin the new career of fatherhood when he stopped making movies at age 62. One biographer said Grant was alienated by the new realism in the film industry. In the 1950s and early 1960s, he had invented a man of the world persona and a style -- "high comedy with polished words". In To Catch a Thief (1955) he and Grace Kelly were allowed to improvise some of the dialogue. They knew what the director, Alfred Hitchcock, wanted to do with a scene, they rehearsed it, put in some clever double entendres that got past the censors, and then the scene was filmed. His biggest box office success was another Hitchcock 1950s film, North by Northwest (1959) made with Eva Marie Saint since Kelly was by that time Princess of Monaco. 
IMDb mini-biography by
Dale O'Connor

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back to those Nantucket Reds

The other day (over at my other blog) I did a post for a cocktail that I came up with to match my Nantucket Reds from Murray's of, where else, but Nantucket, MA.

A quick recap... here are the mixing instruction for the

NANTUCKET RED by Yours Truly

In a shaker half filled with ice
2 oz of your favorite vodka
2 oz of cranberry-pomegranate juice
1 oz of orange juice (not from concentrate)
Squeeze of a wedge of lime
Shake and pour into a nice crystal beverage glass or martini glass and garnish with as slice/wedge of lime.
Note:  This beverage is nice but a tad tart – some folks probably like it that way.  You might consider adding ½ oz. of simple syrup to take the bite off.
Simple Syrup
2 cups of water
2 cups of sugar
Heat to a boil and all sugar granules are dissolved and then let it cool.  I was making mojitos a couple of weeks ago and that recipe said to put a bunch of mint in the syrup just as it came off the stove.  Simple Syrup keeps in the refrigerator forever.
Here's the result

Now to take this a bit further --- I stole this photo from The Elegantologist last year when he posted a bit on his blog about adding pop to your daily attire.  Here's his photo (which I have protect with life and limb)
"The E" does this quite well with an odd blue three-button sports jacket, blue (patterned, I think) shirt, blue knit tie, and a great pink pocket square.
I liked this composition very much which is why I held onto it hoping to put together the same kit.  The Elegantologist and Maxminimus are the two gentlemen I go to for what I call "putting it all together".  They seem to have a knack for it and it registers with me as good taste and like I said - it's good composition.
So, here's what I came up with:
Mine is a blue Stanley Blacker blazer, blue check RL Blaine bd shirt, navy knit Club Room tie, Daniel Cremieux grossgrain belt, Cole Haan tassle slip ons.  I have a light cashmere jacket, but it's so freakin' hot here it would have been miserable just taking a few snaps.
With out the jacket:

Check out Mountain and Sackett - ties made in New York since 1957.  These are the only ties in the world that are never touched by a machine, only the hands of skilled artisans transform these distinctive fabrics into a tie that truly reflects the spirit of their history.
World's Only 100% Handmade Regimental Tie 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Silk Regimental - A New Start

Starting out today with a new blog in traditional men's wear.  I've decided to call it SILK REGIMENTAL because I think this particular design in ties goes with so much - blazers, slacks, buttoned-down shirts, as well as suits and sweaters.  And -- I just love them!  My plan is to blog on men's clothing in general, but when I find something in the line of a great looking Silk Regimental tie coordinated with the rest of the kit - I'll post it.

Many of you may know me from my photography blog over at Wordpess.  I am (and still will be)  SorrentoLens.  Yes, I've decided to stick my neck out a bit.  While I'm still going to post to that blog, I'm starting this one - basically to keep the two genres separate but will be able to blog about things I think about the most and well,  -- other thoughts and possible outbursts (if provoked).


With this post I offer the J. Press 100% Wool Blazer, Butcher Stripe BD Shirt, with accenting Silk Regimental Tie.  

The seersucker kit also rocks - 100% cotton, Madras Tie and Pinpoint Oxford BD shirt.