Style & Substance – Burberry – Crocheted Lace

Burberry Crochet Lace CoatSo, regarding what best could be described as uniquely experimental, Burberry unveiled a look unlike anything I have ever laid eyes upon – at least in regards to menswear. Employing the decorative art of crocheted lace, Burberry has transformed menswear articles such as neckties, dress shirts, and outerwear into sartorial pieces of ornate artistry. I would be dishonest if I denied the beauty of the visual intricacy displayed here – it is most certainly stunning. However, its usage is what I am calling into question. To be blunt: Burberry is doing far too much. Has menswear become so boring that gimmicks have to be utilized to coax interest within the gentlemanly community?

Burberry is trying to reinvent the proverbial wheel, and I reckon this venture will fall flat and disappear within months of its availability. And woe to the gentleman that will be stranded with a $4095.00 crocheted lace coat in his closet. Yes – it is quite an expensive risk to undertake. Perhaps this material would be better served as a pocket square; perhaps even a scarf. In the real world – and by real, we’re talking non-celebrity realms – I highly doubt this usage of crocheted lace would be sartorially functional. Nevertheless, I could be incorrect. What say you? Is Burberry onto something, ushering in a new era of style, or is this just gear aimed at the likes of Dwyane Wade or Pharrell Williams, hoping that the regular gentleman follows suit?

Style & Substance – The Field Jacket

Field Jacket- Jack SpadeThe military inspired gentleman’s field jacket has witnessed a noticeable reduction in popularity this season, which is quite surprising given its ubiquitous presence last autumn. Nowadays, options are particularly scarce with the venerable pea coat standing tall once again. And that is an unfortunate turn of events, as the field jacket is probably the most underrated piece of outerwear that many gentlemen don’t have in their possession. Primarily based on function, sexy aesthetics are not of tremendous importance here. Nevertheless, let’s be frank, when the temperatures gradually drop to long john appropriate levels, sexy is the furthest concept from a gentleman’s mind. Sometimes what is required is a burly, no-nonsense type of coat to handle the dwindling digits in the forecast. Please don’t misunderstand, pea coats are up for the task as well, but they are a little more refined and dashing. Here, with the field jacket, what is needed is a coat that is constructed for active duty – welcome punishment that inclement weather may bring. So, if you can still locate one on the market, I highly endorse its procurement. I purchased two field jackets last year, and I love both of them. Stay stylish gentlemen.

Style & Substance – The Compelling Case for the Briefcase

Polo Briefcase

Ralph Lauren

Now, for purposes of clarity, the following passage is not an exercise in chastisement, rather, it is a passionate appeal to your sartorial senses. If you rightly categorize yourself as a professional gentleman, one that routinely operates within a professional environment, I strongly urge you to resist the temptation of haphazardly slinging a bulky book bag across your suit jacket laden shoulders. Trust me on this gentlemen. As the title suggests, book bags are meant to house, well, books and other random supplies that may have originated from Staples. So, if you have already settled into your permanent place of employment, and the atmosphere is unmistakably business, it is probably safe to retire the last remnant of your cash-strapped college years when you lugged around 4 inch thick Calculus books.

The reasoning is reasonable: 1) You’re not a student anymore. 2) Over time, the weight of that book bag (large straps and all) will ruin the shape of your suit jacket. 3) If your belongings does require something substantial to handle the load, a leather or canvas duffel bag would be a better option. 4) You’re not a student anymore. Apologies, but there is just something off when I see a sharp suit paired with a grungy book bag. And if you’re not a suit wearer – see reasons number 1 & 4. So, in lieu of your trusty book bag, introduce yourself to an old gentleman’s companion – the briefcase. And let’s be honest, 75% of the contents in that book bag can most likely be discarded, much like the contents of your wallet, but that is another blog post for another day. Your business accoutrements could probably benefit from a thoughtful trimming down. Most briefcases are large enough to accommodate your work life anyway. Besides, how much room does a tablet, cell phone, some folders, and a tube of ChapStick occupy? Ditch the beat-up book bag; select a carrying companion that complements your career. You’ll be glad you did.

Gent Hints – The Necktie Dimple

Phineas Cole

I completely understand that all gentlemen may not favor a sharply creased dimple residing in the middle of their necktie. Every gentleman has his own unique signature style. And of course a beautiful necktie will remain a beautiful necktie-regardless of whether or not a gentleman decides to embrace the finishing touch of a dimple. Nevertheless, I remain a staunch proponent of utilizing this perfectly placed cleft because I believe in the nuanced details that make a man well-dressed. Now, I know I have probably tackled this subject before, but at the behest of my father-in-law, I have decided to cover the topic once again. So, just how does a gent execute a distinctive dimple cascading down from a taut knot? Well, there are a few key factors that a gentleman should take into careful consideration.

First, your necktie’s fabric must be resilient and robust-nothing lightweight or flimsy. I am not suggesting that your necktie be excessively heavy. What I am suggesting is the material be sturdy enough to hold a crease. If your necktie cannot hold a secure knot; chances are it won’t hold a deep dimple. Second, you simply cannot expedite the knotting process. You just cannot hurry style. Allow yourself enough time to properly knot your necktie. Third, your technique has to be excellent. After you have formed your knot and you are beginning to pull the long end through the loop…stop there! Most men just pull the tie through haphazardly and tighten the knot. This is what you should be doing: As you pull down on the necktie to tighten; do so with your pointer fingers and thumbs. As you are pulling, you want to secure the sides of your necktie (with both pointers & thumbs) and fold the fabric slightly forward, thus making a small crevice in the material.

Wait, you are not done. Your necktie should be relatively loose around your collar. The key is to form your knot and dimple before you fully tighten your necktie around your neck. Carefully begin to shape your knot and dimple. The best way to achieve this is through the process of tightening & loosening your necktie until it is formed to your satisfaction. Give your knot a slight pinch to accentuate the dimple and you are good to go. The whole process sounds a bit meticulous, but it really does not take long once you have done it a few times. And once you have done it, it is like learning to ride a bicycle-you will never forget. Maybe in the future, I can take it to another level and actually shoot a demonstration video. Until then, I am available for house calls if you require further instructions. Just kidding.

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