August 31, 2010

Natalie Purschwitz's year of dressing dangerously

Natalie Purschwitz has done something unheard of in our times: she wore clothes for a year made by her hands only.

Not just clothes. Underwear, socks, shoes, even home-made sunglasses.

Bras exploded. Clogs killed. Some days she just wanted to go shopping. She had become a person on the outside of our culture of instant fashionistas and super consumers. She wanted to quit.

But she never did. And today she finishes off 365 days of wearing her makeshift clothes.


To see her journey of self-made styles, check her blog, Makeshift.

Final Makeshift Day, H&G website update, BC Creative Achievement Award and upcoming show at JCNM
At last - it's the final day of makeshift.

It's been a long year for me. If you ever hear me making any remarks about doing something like this again, please dissuade me or suggest that I consider a shorter time frame. I am so sick of homemade socks.

Though exhausted, I do feel some satisfaction at having fulfilled my goal. It was surprisingly difficult in some (most) ways but also painfully boring in other ways. In the end I've confirmed that we humans really are very adaptable.

I will continue to occasionally post on the blog for a while as I try to wrap my head around things and figure out some new processes. And I've already had a lot of requests to see what I wear on my first day of freedom. Please don't get too excited about it as this is not something that I have been planning for weeks in advance. In fact I still haven't even unpacked my old clothes yet.

I thank you all for leaving comments, talking to me about the project and following the blog. Please stay tuned for future chapters!

Yours truly,
Natalie Purschwitz

My vote for the best tux at the Emmy's

The break down. While notch lapels are not my favourite. Shawls and peaks are. This example of a trim notch with a nice James Dean-like skinny bow tie (the only way to interpret the skinny trend in a bow tie) is youthful and modern.

Perhaps too much shirt is showing but what can be done? A higher button stance would lead to showing more of the white triangle at the bottom. This matters as this isan era when most men choose not to wear a cummerbund.

I often go without, however, one time a photographer insisted I open my dinner jacket. I refused. The best man became piqued and I obliged.

Later that year I bought a cummerbund. (And I wear it! - JJ, 2012)

One solution to the belt -ine triangle problem is to wear high-waist pants.

In any case, for semi-formal wear, where one should never open their jacket in polite company, this would be a great solution.

If only I became a real tailor, I could do these things myself.

August 30, 2010

Why does Dev Patel look so good in this picture (or how to handle the contradiction between spread collars and narrow lapels)

Dev Patel is featured in GQ.

While the spread concerned itself with Fall's new suits, what I liked about the images was how young and fresh his suits looked without making the cardinal mistakes some men are making as they attempt to modernize their suits.

I dislike how some are trying to match heavy English spread collars into suits with narrow lapels. If one likes a wider spread, go for a medium spread with shorter (Edwardian-styled) collar points.

Also, if one adopts thinner ties, the horizontal spread collar won't work. There's too much shirt space to fill. There's one CBC weatherman (Kalin!) in Toronto who does it far too much. Wide spread, narrow lapel, skinny ties. Not good.

Medium spread with short points on a shirt is the way to go.

Doing the Mad Men thing

Is it okay to dress like you're a partner in a 1960s ad agency in the 21st century?

Today when I go On the Coast, I talk with host Stephen Quinn about Mad Men style, the hit AMC show, and its growing influence on menswear.

August 10, 2010

The Case of the Sagging Jeans

Twenty years and going strong or rather still riding low. Sagging jeans have always been controversial. A New York Times article attests to its restriction in the US south.

But policing sagged jeans has reached new lows with a court hearing in New York.

It might be a fashion disaster but is it a crime?

I spoke this week with Stephen Quinn, host of On The Coast, CBC Radio One, about the Mystery of the Sagging Jeans, its cultural origin and why it's still in style.