September 24, 2011

RAIN, WIND OR SHINE: Live Event - Sunday morning JJ Lee reads from his debut book, The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit

Word on the Street Vancouver
11:30 AM, Sunday September 25, 2011 at Library Square and CBC Plaza

"JJ Lee
Event Info: Authors Tent at 11:30
JJ Lee is the menswear columnist for the Vancouver Sun and broadcasts a weekly fashion column for CBC Radio in Vancouver. For years, journalist and amateur tailor JJ Lee tried to ignore the navy suit that hung at the back of his closet—his late father’s last suit. JJ Lee will read from The Measure of a Man and conduct an interactive session."

September 10, 2011

A doggerel to the Elbow-Patched Tweed

This tweed coat is not a blazer, 
it's a sport coat but nomenclature shouldn't faze yer.
A sporty coat is supposed to snap,
This one has a vent that gaps.
Somebody's bottom is looking fat.
A good looking tweed ain't supposed to do that.

For my actual thoughts on elbow patches. I don't like them. Here's why.

September 7, 2011

Elbow patches - for the ersatz legion of faux heavy tweed users - ps I love this video

I receive many queries on the advisability of elbow patches on new Harris tweed jackets.

I am not against patching up old tweed jackets to mend a hole on a sleeve.

I think patching clothes demonstrates love of a particular garment and is a charming sartorial practice. It hints at sage frugality and the muted nature of Old Money, which, by the way, hardly exists anymore because now it is New Money that everyone imitates.

A repaired tweed sports coat has dignity.

However, buying a new tweed coat with patches already affixed strikes me as painfully presumptuous on several levels.

1. Those who would deem to buy a pre-patcher are most often the type of person who would rarely don the jacket in question frequently enough to wear any hole into the elbow

2. If one did indeed wish to fake the impression of heavy use, the ridiculous symmetry of  having TWO elbow patches, one on each arm, reflects a lack of understanding. A well lived-in jacket will always experience asymmetrical distress. If you smoke a pipe, perhaps the right side pocket will have burn marks on it. If you like to ponder like the thinker atop logs, stone fences, and lean against concrete walls whilst texting with your right hand, well then, it's the left that will be worn out. Just not both

3. Have you ever noticed elbow patches make your arms look shorter? The patch is an aesthetic sacrifice applied to a jacket far too loved to be thrown out. The wearer doesn't want elbow patches, he needs them.

Buy the tweed coat. Earn the patches, just like in the Scots, I means, the Scouts.

September 6, 2011

Full to the brim this fall

This season smallish, modest trilbies and fedoras will suffer an inferiority complex as wider hats will be donned by men, especially those who have a flare for the dramatic.

Dsquared²'s menswear collection featured on the runway deep covering brimmed chapeaux with bowlish crowns. reports they are Borsalinos. Which makes them the official supplier of the trend as Junya Watanabe also featured bigger brimmed fare by Borsalino in the form of bowlers (also called derby or coke - and, yes, they can have big brims) and Homburgs (Germanic upturned brims).

In both runway shows, the hats seem peaky. That is they are slightly misshapen as if by rain and snow, lending the hats a recession-era ruggedness. If not, they should be.

Some have called the whole trend towards bolder head cover the "Amish hat trend," but more often than not, they will be in fact be flamenco/Cordobes, gaucho hats, or any number of larger hats.

While shorter men, may need to be careful how generous a brim they dare to wear (it can hide your face from taller men and women), overall most men could do with an increase in size.

The recent love of teeny-brimmed porkpies and trilbies have lead to extremes in minuteness, verging on the male version of fascinators, the hat Catherine of Cambridge has popularized.

The hat that might best cap off the mood for headgear of greater substance would be unblocked or open crown hats with deep, unshaped bowls (the top image is the unblocked Nostalgia hat by Stetson).

Specialized hat sellers, in Vancouver one would do well with Edie Hats, are able to shape crowns to best suit your face, though one should pick the brim size carefully. While they can be snapped down or up by staff, making the brim smaller is not possible.

This blogger plans to leave his unblocked hat as is and let the elements and habit determine the topper's eventual shape.