The Fine Young Gentleman http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com Of matters concerning men's dress, fashion & style Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:53:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Wierd Al Yankovic Takes On Fashion http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/random-tangents/wierd-al-takes-fashion/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wierd-al-takes-fashion http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/random-tangents/wierd-al-takes-fashion/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:33:41 +0000 http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/?p=10215 Weird Al Yankovic has yet again returned with his unrivaled blend of musical parody and satire.  Much to the delight of this blog he decides to take on a few fashion trends and men’s style issues head on.  Which is rather interesting considering historically speaking his personal style has gravitated towards the more horrifying side of things.  But anyway, that is neither here nor there.  What is important is that he puts down Crocs, Uggs and Ed Hardy.  Most importantly, he makes it clear that wearing suspenders with a belt is also ‘tacky’.  He then throws in a few other … Continue reading

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Weird Al Yankovic has yet again returned with his unrivaled blend of musical parody and satire.  Much to the delight of this blog he decides to take on a few fashion trends and men’s style issues head on.  Which is rather interesting considering historically speaking his personal style has gravitated towards the more horrifying side of things.  But anyway, that is neither here nor there.  What is important is that he puts down Crocs, Uggs and Ed Hardy.  Most importantly, he makes it clear that wearing suspenders with a belt is also ‘tacky’.  He then throws in a few other fashion and menswear references for good measure.  Needless to say, the man has won my heart.  But he didn’t stop there.

Much of the remainder of the song comments on behaviors and manners (or lack thereof) that are often exhibited these days.  Such as name dropping, tweeting about personal events and excessive bumper stickering.

The question begs to be asked: what is Wierd Al really saying about these aspects of popular and present culture?  Have we completely lost sight of decency and good taste?  I would argue that in some respects yes.  Are these passing fads and trends or are they here to stay?  And is he even serious about his critique, or is he just being a funny man?  Regardless, don’t wear suspenders and a belt at the same time.

-JLJ

 

PS – For those of you who like to criticize my grammar you may appreciate another one of Weird Al’s songs

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On Paper Vs. In Person http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/style-advice/paper-vs-person/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=paper-vs-person http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/style-advice/paper-vs-person/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:40:20 +0000 http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/?p=10201 “I have a great friend to set you up with.  I went to college with her and she has a great job at Bloomingdale’s as a buyer.  Shes from the Main Line and is really pretty, at least an 8.”  One of your girlfriends tells you.  So you scope her out on Facebook, she’s at least an 8.  In fact you think you saw her on Tinder, definitely swiped right on that one.  Anyway, you’re sold, you take the date. On paper this girl sounds great; smart, well educated, employed and attractive.  You meet her in person, have some drinks, … Continue reading

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“I have a great friend to set you up with.  I went to college with her and she has a great job at Bloomingdale’s as a buyer.  Shes from the Main Line and is really pretty, at least an 8.”  One of your girlfriends tells you.  So you scope her out on Facebook, she’s at least an 8.  In fact you think you saw her on Tinder, definitely swiped right on that one.  Anyway, you’re sold, you take the date.

On paper this girl sounds great; smart, well educated, employed and attractive.  You meet her in person, have some drinks, some conversation and maybe even have at it a bit.  You get to know her a little better, you get to see the things that you couldn’t see from your friends description (ie on paper).  But then you realize, wait, she’s boring.  She doesn’t have any hobbies.  She thinks watching ‘Real Housewives’ constitutes a hobby, but we all know that that is in fact a soul sucking activity, an anti-hobby if you will.  The possibility that she may actually be interesting is quickly diminishing, in fact, she may even be basic.  Of course the friend who set you two up left out those detracting details.  What you have on your hands is a classic case of what looks good on paper may not necessarily look good in person.

Sadly, the same thing happens in menswear.  Often times I will see an item online or in a store and think to myself, ‘wow, this is a great piece.’  The price is good, the quality is good.   But then I think to myself, ‘how will this fit in to my wardrobe?  When will I wear this?’  The sirens start flashing and the brake lights go on; ‘DO NOT PURCHASE THIS’ I tell myself.  Sadly, I would have no use for it, I think to myself.  I find this happens particularly often when thrift shopping.

Take for example, the above Gucci bit loafer.  I saw it on sale for around $250 the other day.  The shoe is so obnoxious that I love it (it’s that good kind of pain type of thing) and felt compelled to purchase it.  But fortunately and rather quickly those aforementioned brake lights started flashing and the purchase was aborted.  The shoe looks good on paper, but in reality, I would have no use for it.  It is not practical nor would it mesh with the rest of my wardrobe.  Could I pull it off, most likely, but that does not mean I should exert the effort to do so.

suitsupply madison brown suit

As another example, take this brown linen suit from Suitsupply, which I love.  On paper and picture the suit looks great.  But then you check it out in person and it already has sleeve button holes sewn in.  You will need to sleeves shortened, which you cant do with the holes already there.  You think how can you make it work?  You can’t shorten the sleeves from the armhole because that would throw off the check pattern.  At a loss for ideas you have to pass on the suit.  So close, yet so far.

Figuring out your style is as much knowing what does work for you as much as knowing what doesn’t.  As part of that you have to be able to discern what looks good both on the rack and on your body.  In other words, no basic bitches allowed.

-JLJ

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Awl & Sundry Custom Shoe Review http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/shoes/awl-sundry-custom-shoe-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=awl-sundry-custom-shoe-review http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/shoes/awl-sundry-custom-shoe-review/#comments Sat, 12 Jul 2014 02:48:38 +0000 http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/?p=10168 It was only a matter of time until someone did the whole online made to order shoe thing right.  So, after a few years of waiting it has happened.  Or at least, it is as good as it gets for now, and I mean that as a compliment.  The ‘it’ I refer to is Awl & Sundry.  Although admittedly, Awl & Sundry is far from the first company to do made to order shoes, they are the first that I know of to work on multiple lasts with multiple styles of shoes and do it solely online. A few months … Continue reading

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It was only a matter of time until someone did the whole online made to order shoe thing right.  So, after a few years of waiting it has happened.  Or at least, it is as good as it gets for now, and I mean that as a compliment.  The ‘it’ I refer to is Awl & Sundry.  Although admittedly, Awl & Sundry is far from the first company to do made to order shoes, they are the first that I know of to work on multiple lasts with multiple styles of shoes and do it solely online.

A few months back I shared about the ordering process at Awl & Sundry, which if you have not read, I advise you do so to get up to date.  Now that I have had the shoes for a little and had the opportunity to wear them I would like to finish the review as well as talk a bit more about Nikunj (pictured below wearing some Awl & Sundry wingtips) who is the man with the masterplan.

awl and sundry shoes close up

When Nikunj first approached me about Awl & Sundry we talked on the phone for about half and hour.  It was clear that the passion for both his business and its products was in tact.  Fortunately, we were able to meet a few months later in NYC, where Awl & Sundry is now based (a logical place given the convergence of tech and fashion that only NYC can provide).  Much like myself (and many of the other founders of the brands I have covered on these pages) Nikunj spent a few years working a corporate gig.  However, he found himself longing for more.  He also realized there was both the opportunity and ability to create a web based made to order shoe brand.

Nik 2

At the end of the first part of this review, I noted that my expectations were pretty high.  I should say that upfront that one some fronts my expectations were met and others were not.  But overall, I am extremely impressed with what Nikunj and his team has developed.  In order to deliver what they do they have had to develop thousands of patterns.  Which sounds crazy, but when you think about how shoes are made it makes sense.  Stay with me for a minute while I explain.

Awl & Sundry has 4 different style of shoes on it (oxford, derby, monk and loafer).   Within each style there are 5 different lasts to chose from.  For each size within each last they have to develop a separate pattern for each heel counter, toe cap, loafer strap, eyestay etc.  Take a simple toe cap.  A different pattern needs to be made to each last and each size.  Let’s assume 5 lasts and 10 sizes for each last.  That gives us 50 different patterns just for a toe cap.  Expand that over the entire population of options and we are quickly in the thousands of patterns.  Anyway, enough of my babbling, onto the shoes.

awl and sundry custom shoes

The shape of the last is one of, if not the first thing I look at.  The last, more than anything else, dictates both the comfort and look of the shoe.  I quite like this last, The Harvey.  Fortunately, it happens to be comfortable as well.

awl and sundry loafer side view

Three things draw my attention here.  The black sole and welting, the thickness of the sole and the lack of curvature on the strap across the vamp.  To elaborate; I do not care for a black sole on brown shoes.  Awl & Sundry should have an option for brown soles (I’ve spoken with Nikunj on this and they are working on that).  But if you like contrast or are getting black shoes you’ll be set.  The sole would do better being a little thinner, a thinner sole would give the shoe a better balance.  Admittedly, this is largely a personal preference though.  I would also prefer if the suede strap had a little more curvature, that it was a little more swept back.

awl and sundry strap loafer

The stitching along the strap is even and clean, as is the broguing.  From this photo you can also get a decent idea of how the leather looks.  The leather is of good quality for the price (around $350).  It has a smooth touch and takes a shine pretty well.

awl and sundry good year welted shoe

The shoes are Good Year welted.  The stitching of which is clean and even.  The edge of the sole could be cut closer to the stitching to make the shoe a little more sleek; but like some of my other points, this is a personal preference.

awl and sundry

You will see the small sliver of leather at the corner, although not really noticeable when the shoes are worn, I feel that it should have been removed in the quality control stage.  But other than that the quality control was very well done on this pair of shoes.

awl and sundry custom shoe

The only quality control issue that it worth noting is the sole paint on the base of the heel.  On another note, I quite like the shape of the heel counter.

awl and sundry shoe sole

Not to be forgotten is the sole of the shoe.  I think both the coloration and the marking on the sole is very nicely done.  The channel for the stitching is deep enough that the sole can wear down a bit before reaching the stitching.

awl and sundry loafer

With any 3D graphic rendering the biggest concern is that the real product looks like the graphic rendering.  In this case, I think a good job was done.  The proportions stayed true and I think the colors are a pretty close approximation as well.

awl and sundry custom mens shoes

Shoes: Awl & Sundry.  Shirt: Cottonwork.  Trousers: Phineas Cole (Paul Stuart).

Shoes: Awl & Sundry. Shirt: Cottonwork. Trousers: Phineas Cole (Paul Stuart).

As with any product and any brand, I have my share of critiques.  Some of which are more about my personal taste, like wishing for more curvature on the strap across the vamp.  Others are more objective like calling for a brown sole, not a black one.  But at the end of the day, Awl & Sundry provides a product that is unique and of good value.  The shoes are comfortable and are well made.  But to me the primary value is the ability to create something that is unique and speaks to your individual style.  It is an experience that is unmatched online as far as I know.  I would go so far as to say that the whole thing is rather exclusive and luxurious.  To me, choice and variety are some of the greatest luxuries there are.  I think that particularly for a man who has unique tastes or likes to chart his own course Awl & Sundry will be an exceptionally comfortable fit.  At a minimum I urge all of you to spend some time playing with the design site, there are literally thousands of combinations and I would have trouble believe you if you told me you couldn’t create one that you liked; if not one worth buying.  If you have any questions, comments or experience of your own with Awl & Sundry I urge you to hit the comments.

-JLJ

 

Note:  FYGblog did receive the pair of shoes referred to for the purpose of review.  As always, the utmost care has been taken to maintain an unbiased perspective on the product and brand at hand.

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Lax Pinnie Friday http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/casual/lax-pinnie-friday/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lax-pinnie-friday http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/casual/lax-pinnie-friday/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 17:53:17 +0000 http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/?p=10144 My life is riddled with guilty pleasures.  I have found that my life functions a bit more smoothly with them, rather than without them.  A while back I shared about my secret love for the Supreme 5 panel hat.  Today I would like to opine on the supremacy of the lax pinnie.  Of course, there are numerous other guilty pleasures, they can either be discussed later on or have no place on this blog. So what is it about lax pinnies that make them both acceptable for wear in public as well as superior to any other form of dress.  … Continue reading

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My life is riddled with guilty pleasures.  I have found that my life functions a bit more smoothly with them, rather than without them.  A while back I shared about my secret love for the Supreme 5 panel hat.  Today I would like to opine on the supremacy of the lax pinnie.  Of course, there are numerous other guilty pleasures, they can either be discussed later on or have no place on this blog.
So what is it about lax pinnies that make them both acceptable for wear in public as well as superior to any other form of dress.  First, I should say that they are not appropriate for wear in public minus for BBQs, beaches, pools and the gym.  But in each of those settings they find themselves comfortably at home as long as a more formal code of dress is not requested.  In fact, I often still observe Lax Pinnie Friday at the gym.  A weekly event that requires one to don a lax pinnie on you guessed it, Friday.  I started the tradition some years ago and don’t see it going away anytime soon.  Anyway, regarding the lax pinnies supremacy, there are two primary factors.
lax pennie friday
The first is that lacrosse is one of, if not the finest sport played in America.  Far superior to all 4 of the major commercial sports no doubt.  Second, lacrosse is perhaps the most uniquely American sport there is (to keep the whole American exceptionalism theme from last post going) given its origins in Native American tribes from what is now the eastern parts of the US and Canada.  And on a more personal note I have reason to believe my Cherokee ancestors played it.
On a more practical note there are few things that are cooler wearing than a lax pinnie.  One could argue that a basketball jersey does the same, but basketball jerseys and pinnies are both less attractive and from a lesser sport (although I will say that some of the people who play it are amazing athletes).  Said pinnie will also bring the wearer back to the days of glory on the field.
A good pennie will come from one of three sources.  A school team, club team or camp.  I still rock my vintage Finncrosse camp pinnie from summer ’00.  My high school pinnies have the most meaning.  But my favorite is from a summer league team I played for a few years back.  I said that I would only play on the team if we got pink and green pinnies.  Apparently someone else said they would only play if the team name was Victorious Secret.
lax pennie friday
PS – I realize the past few posts have centered around very casual wear.  We’ll be back to more formal things shortly.

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Wearing America: The 4th of July Shopping List http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/america-fuk-yeah/4th-july-shopping-list/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=4th-july-shopping-list http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/america-fuk-yeah/4th-july-shopping-list/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 14:01:58 +0000 http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/?p=10108 Nothing says exceptional like America. And through years of historical precedent nothing saying you love your country by decking yourself out in all assortments of red, white and blue.  There is, of course, the option of wearing the colors on different items of clothing (think navy blazer, white shirt and red tie).  And then there is the option of wearing threads that were specifically created to remind the rest of the world just how exceptional America is.  Which in the unfortunate case you forgot about that small scientific fact, I ask that you take a few minutes to listen to … Continue reading

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Nothing says exceptional like America.

And through years of historical precedent nothing saying you love your country by decking yourself out in all assortments of red, white and blue.  There is, of course, the option of wearing the colors on different items of clothing (think navy blazer, white shirt and red tie).  And then there is the option of wearing threads that were specifically created to remind the rest of the world just how exceptional America is.  Which in the unfortunate case you forgot about that small scientific fact, I ask that you take a few minutes to listen to one of the finest speeches in the history of mankind.

Whichever method you favor one thing is for certain, showing your love for America has never, and will never, go out of fashion.  So to get you started on your quest to display your beloved country’s colors here are a few of the better items out there…

 

Although we had a tough loss against Germany, I expect us to topple Belgium.  Oh, and Graham Zusi looks like me, or should I say I look like him?

Image credit: http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/sports-2014usworldcuproster/14/

Image credit: http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/sports-2014usworldcuproster/14/

Nike – USA World Cup jersey ($89.99)

 

Speaking of Germany…

rowdy gentleman back to back champs

Rowdy Gentleman – Back To Back World War Champs t-shirt ($28)

 

Because at some point you may have to don a tie during your celebrations of America and this is the most American of American ties.

high cotton american flag bow tie

High Cotton – Starts & Stripes bow tie ($50)

 

The pinnacle of croakie-esque exceptionalism.

tucker blair american flag croakies

Tucker Blair – American flag sunglasses strap ($45)

 

Because you need a belt to match your sunglasses strap, obviously.

 

AmericanFlagDarkBlueNeedlepointBelt__01886.1390967931.1280.1280

Tucker Blair – American flag needlepoint belt ($115)

 

Because at some point you will be in or near one or more bodies of water.  Preferably while on that heavenly little island…

ack surf american flag board shorts

ACK Surf – ACK Americans board shorts ($45)

 

Because when your boots hit the ground there should be no confusion what team you’re playing for.

STS10434_1_1200x735

Sperry Top Sider – American Flag Day boat shoe ($95)

 

Because there is nothing your Jack will taste better out of.

smathers and branson american flag needlepoint flask

Smathers & Branson – American flag needlepoint flask ($65)

 

Because you need to remind the rest of the world what big stick diplomacy is all about.

Chubbies mericas

Chubbies – ‘Mericas ($59.50)

 

Because you need to make everyone jealous of how exceptionally American your sunglasses are.

oakley old glory america frogskin

Image Credit: Fine Young Gentleman

Oakley – Old Glory Frogskins (I have an extra pair – email for inquiries)

 

Because you’ll put something on her wrist, not her finger.

kiel james patrick american legacy bracelet

Kiel James Patrick – The American Legacy ($38.00)

 

Because you want the city streets to know that the man wearing the suit loves America.

indochino usa suit lining

Indochino – Stars & Stripes suit lining ($429-749)

 

Because you need something American to carry all of your other America gear in.

hudson sutler yorktown duffel

Hudson Sutler – Yorktown Weekender Duffel ($120)

-JLJ

 

Note: All images from company websites/product pages linked to unless otherwise noted.  FYGblog received no compensation from any brand featured in exchange for placement on list.

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The Ed Et Al Shoe Review http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/shoes/ed-et-al-shoe-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ed-et-al-shoe-review http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/shoes/ed-et-al-shoe-review/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:53:49 +0000 http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/?p=10089 There are some brands that I follow the progress of for months and sometimes even years.  From time to time fortune smiles upon me and one of these brands will decide they would like me to review their products.  Such is the story with Ed Et Al, the young shoe brand from Singapore. Singapore?  You may ask.  Yes, Singapore.  Not only is the brand based there but the shoes are also made there in Ed Et Al’s own workshop.  At first thought it sounds like a pretty random place for a dress shoe brand to be based.  But in actuality … Continue reading

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There are some brands that I follow the progress of for months and sometimes even years.  From time to time fortune smiles upon me and one of these brands will decide they would like me to review their products.  Such is the story with Ed Et Al, the young shoe brand from Singapore.

Singapore?  You may ask.  Yes, Singapore.  Not only is the brand based there but the shoes are also made there in Ed Et Al’s own workshop.  At first thought it sounds like a pretty random place for a dress shoe brand to be based.  But in actuality it makes quite a bit of sense.  Low labor costs and easy access to Asian markets are two benefits that come to mind upon thinking harder.

ed et al shoe review

On a related note, I am of the opinion that the location of manufacture can have little effect on the quality of the end good.  Italian and English craftsmen can make both high quality and low quality shoes.  The same can be said for places like China, Mexico and Singapore.  The hard part is navigating the market to find the brands that make a good product at a fair price.  To be honest, Ed Et Al is the first Singaporean brand that I have dealt with; in fact, I don’t even know of any others.  But, if Ed Et Al is a good representation of what the Singaporean’s are capable of then we are in luck my fellow shoe lovers.

After some discussion, Ed Et Al sent me a pair of the Temasek II in size 42, which roughly equates to a US10.  The price of the shoes is $240 + $55 shipping (they covered the shoes and I paid shipping); but I was told that shipping may be more or less depending on where you live.  Since the shipping cost is so high (20% of product cost), it is important to factor that into the total cost of the shoes.  So I evaluate these shoes based on a $300 cost, not $240.

ed et al shoe review

As a rather odd aside, this is my first pair of derbies (bluchers).  I figured about about 20 pair of oxfords and dress loafers that it was time to add a pair of derbies.  What I like about these is that they are a more formal and sleek derby than many out there.  The lack of decoration on the toe really helps them keep a streamlined look, as does the 2 eyelet design.

ed et al shoe review

As you can see, the shoe is quite simple.  It has nice proportions to it and the pattern is set well on the last.  On the site, the shoes look like they have a good bit of burnishing on the toe, however, in person it is very slight which is fine with me.  I would rather there be only minor burnishing done well than more burnishing done poorly like was the case with the Beckett Simonon shoes I received.

ed et al shoe review

The shoes are cut pretty low on the foot, which help give them a more slender look.  They still, however, feel secure on the foot and fit well.  The leather used on the shoes is okay.  Certainly nothing to rave about though.  It has a decent feel and look to it but it could be a little more supple.  It also creases tremendously, which it is worth noting is not necessarily a mark of poor quality.

ed et al shoe review

The shoes are Goodyear welted.  Which is surprising for how light the shoes are.  Personally, I like the lightness and the fact that they are Goodyear welted.  The welting is clean and they keep it close to the upper, which I also like.  I am not a fan of shoes which the welting protrudes far out past the upper (like Allen Edmonds) because it looks clunky.

ed et al shoe review

Although the sole is painted to look like a fiddleback waist, it is indeed not.  Which is fine because it is not a detail I would expect to see at this price point.  Either way, the soles are still nice.

ed et al shoe review

Generally speaking, the construction and finishing on the shoes is good. The stitching is even and there are no loose threads or sloppy cuts on the leather. Which for shoes at this price I would not expect to see any of anyway.

For $300 the shoes are an okay buy.  They are not some earth shattering deal, however.  If the shoes were $240 with shipping included I would have to think otherwise though.  That said, are they better than what you will find at your local department store for $300?  Certainly.  But they are a harder sell when compared to other online direct to consumer brands like Meermin and Jack Erwin.  The quality is pretty good, my biggest take away is that the leather could be a little nicer.  But the construction, quality control and finishing are all well done.  I think Ed Et Al has some great styles, like the Temasek II.  They do a little different take on some classic designs, which for the most part are unique and tasteful.  For those of you looking for some good shoes under $300 you would be doing yourself a disservice to not look at what Ed Et Al has to offer.

-JLJ

 

Note: FYGblog did receive the shoes being reviewed for the purpose of review.  However, shipping was paid for.  As always, the utmost effort was taken to maintain an unbiased perspective on the brand and products at hand.

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The Elegance of The V Neck Shirt http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/casual/elegance-v-neck-shirt/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=elegance-v-neck-shirt http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/casual/elegance-v-neck-shirt/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 19:40:32 +0000 http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/?p=10068 The Dude abides.  No further justification is really needed than that. Many of you will likely be surprised to hear that I wear v-neck t-shirts quite often.  Although I talk about tailored wear most of the time here on The Fine Young Gentleman, I wear suits less than half of the time.  But I chose to write about them most of the time.  That said, I still rarely leave the house in anything less than a collared shirt, but when I do chances are pretty good it is my ambulance company’s shirt or a v-neck.  Why the v-neck?  Well, The … Continue reading

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The Dude abides.  No further justification is really needed than that.

Many of you will likely be surprised to hear that I wear v-neck t-shirts quite often.  Although I talk about tailored wear most of the time here on The Fine Young Gentleman, I wear suits less than half of the time.  But I chose to write about them most of the time.  That said, I still rarely leave the house in anything less than a collared shirt, but when I do chances are pretty good it is my ambulance company’s shirt or a v-neck.  Why the v-neck?  Well, The Dude abides, man.

The Big Lebowski is one of my favorite films and the main character, one of my favorite characters of all time.  In fact, back in the day when I drank what was arguably too much I was The Dude for halloween 5 years in a row.  I would go around with bottles of homemade White Russian and bags of ‘joints’ while wearing a robe and v-neck.  Those were the days…

Anyway, enough of my nostalgic musings…  There is something about his minimalistic, practical and easy going life style that is so enchanting.  His flow is also flawless.  I suppose there is a bit of a romantic aspect to it.

how to wear a v neck shirt

Like any man, a key part to The Dude’s life style is his clothing style.  Which mirrors his approach to life.  His clothing is epically relaxed and laid back, to say the least.  Perhaps the most central part of his wardrobe is the v-neck t-shirt (followed closely by his flawless flow).  A majority of the time The Dude is seen on screen he is wearing a v-neck.  No reason is ever given as to why he chooses a v-neck over a crew neck so the viewer just has to accept it as is.  I personally think a v-neck looks better in a solid color than a crew neck.  I also think it fits better with the ethos of The Dude better than a crew neck as well as being more elegant.

how to wear a v neck shirt

Shirt: Uniqlo. Shorts: Murray’s. Shoes: Jay Butler. Sunglasses: Warby Parker.

On the subject of styling; V-necks can be paired with many things; jeans, pajamas, cardigans, shorts and some even pair them with a suit or blazer (which as you can imagine I am not a fan of).  I most often pair a v-neck with shorts, I think it is a great super casual summer look.  In the photo above I pair it with my beloved drawstring Reds and shoes from Jay Butler (my shoe and leather accessories brand that I’ve been putting together).  What are your thoughts on v-neck t-shirts, do you wear them?  If so, with what?

how to wear a v neck shirt

-JLJ

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The Indochino Suit Review, 3.0 http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/suits/indochino-custom-suit-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=indochino-custom-suit-review http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/suits/indochino-custom-suit-review/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 17:35:44 +0000 http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/?p=10027 As some of you long time readers may know, I have had a bit of a checkered past with Indochino.  I had mixed results with the first two suits I ordered from them.  Although the second better than the first, it was still not up to par, not to mention, many people I had sent to Indochino had less than favorable experiences.  However, through all of that the company and I kept in touch and I gave them what feedback I could in an effort to help them better their practices.  In fact, at one point Indochino’s CEO Kyle Vucko … Continue reading

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As some of you long time readers may know, I have had a bit of a checkered past with Indochino.  I had mixed results with the first two suits I ordered from them.  Although the second better than the first, it was still not up to par, not to mention, many people I had sent to Indochino had less than favorable experiences.  However, through all of that the company and I kept in touch and I gave them what feedback I could in an effort to help them better their practices.  In fact, at one point Indochino’s CEO Kyle Vucko and I had a call to talk about things.  Which I was quite impressed by, it showed me that the company was and still is quite committed to improving itself.

After the call with Kyle we thought it would be wise to do another review and see how things have changed.  On the suit front, Indochino has adjusted its patterns which will hopefully resolve issues with shoulder and sleeve fit.  They have also added the ‘wide peak’ lapel option, which I am a huge fan of.  On the fabric front, Indochino has changed the way it selects and develops fabrics for its collections, which in my opinion has made a difference for the better.  On the visual front, Indochino has changed its process for developing the lookbooks and images for its website.  Which has made a huge difference over the past few seasons.  Truth be told, this is all great on paper, but it means nothing if the suits don’t fit better.  If you are too impatient to read the rest the answer is yes, the suits fit better.  But I urge you to read on.

indochino custom suit review

Suit: Indochino.  Shoes: Ed Et Al.  Shirt: MyTailor.  Tie: EG Cappelli.  Tie bar: Paul Stuart.

For this suit I used my own measurements.  That is, I did not go to a traveling tailor, but used the measurements I use for pretty much every other custom suit.  However, if you do not have your own measurements, Indochino has some great videos you can watch to take the measurements yourself or have someone take them for you.  I also went through the rest of the ordering and customization process as is normal.  The process went smoothly and the layout of the customization process is streamlined and easy to use.

I opted for the3 piece Summer Indigo Birdseye suit with the following options.

Jacket: wide peak lapels, 2 button, slanted flapped pockets, side vents, non functioning sleeve buttons, blue bemberg lining, functional boutonniere, pen pocket.

Vest: 5 button, lining back, normal opening with collar.

Trousers: no pleats, no cuffs, no belt loops, suspender buttons, side tabs.

indochino custom 3 piece suit review

Aside from the fact that my photographer didn’t do the best job of keeping things in focus…  The suit looks good.  The only thing I had to have altered on the jacket was to bring in the chest a little bit.  The sleeves are actually of a good length, the shirt sleeves are not pulled down enough here.  Note the wide lapels.

indochino custom 3 piece suit review

I was very happy with the fit of the pants on this suit.  The rise was long enough (as was specified) and the inseam of a good length.  The sleeves are also set at a good pitch.

indochino custom 3 piece suit review

You may notice that the jacket slants a little to the right.  This is because my lower right shoulder, which I feel is getting worse with age.

indochino suit review

With the vest off and jacket buttoned you can get a good idea of the shape of the jacket, which is pretty good and in fact, more pronounced in person than the photo shows.  Unfortunately, Indochino still cannot do specific buttoning points or gorge heights; which I hope they can start doing soon.  I would prefer a slightly higher gorge and slightly lower buttoning point.

indochino custom 3 piece suit review

Not my finest photo.  The fit of the vest is snug, especially with the back slide tightened.  There is more wrinkling on the right side, which is due to my lower right shoulder.

In summary, I was happy with the fit of the suit out of the box.  Indochino did a good job of interpreting my measurements.  After alterations the suit looked even better, to the point that I would say I am very happy with the fit.  There are a few things I would change like the gorge and buttoning heights but for what Indochino does, I think this worked out very well.

indochino custom suit review

We have talked about the fit, let’s not talk about the construction and details.

indochino custom suits

One thing that Indochino has not fixed yet is their functioning boutonniere.  Which should be straight and not a keyhole shape like this.  Nonetheless, the stitching is clean.

indochino custom suits

The buttonholes are clean and I think the dark blue stitching was a wise choice for the fabric.  Speaking of the fabric, I really like the color and feel of it.  It has a soft and smooth hand.

indochino custom suits

The breast pocket (which should always be filled with a pocket square) is nicely shaped and the stitching around it looks nice.

indochino custom suits

The shanking on the jacket buttons is satisfactory.

indochino custom suits

The buttons Indochino is using are nice, I believe they are genuine horn.  You will notice on the 2nd button the stitching is a little frayed, a very minor thing that can easily be remedied.

indochino custom suits

The stitching around the lining is clean and well done, as was the case in the past.  The writing on the inside is also nice.  I was, however, disappointed that I was not able to have the jacket half lined.  Indochino does offer some jackets with a half lining but they are not set up to accommodate that option for all fabrics, which I hope is something that changes soon.

indochino custom suits

Nice work around the sleevehead.

indochino custom suits

I would like to see heel guards at the best of the pant leg.

indochino custom suits

The closure of the pants is on par with many other brands; slide tab with an extended button.  The suspender buttons, as I have noted in the past, as too close together.  It is an easy thing to fix but I do not understand why it hasn’t been fixed thus far.

indochino custom suits

Much like the suspender buttons, I have pointed out in the past the issue with the side tabs.  They function well, however, they are not very durable because there is too much pressure on the seams which results in tearing.

indochino custom suits

I was delighted to see that Indochino added a lapeled vest, which they pull of well.

Although I may sound harsh in some of my critique of the construction of the suit I still think the construction is pretty good.  Certainly fair for the price point and an improvement from the last time I reviewed Indochino.  You may not be able to tell from the photos but the shoulders have a very light pad in them and the chest piece is very soft.

In the past I have been hesitant to recommend Indochino, and at some times I would not recommend them at all.  However, that was then and this is now.  Now, I feel that I can confidently recommend Indochino.  The increase in quality of construction and fabric certainly has something to do with this.  But most importantly, the quality of fit has improved.  Some of this is likely due to my own measurements being better than the traveling tailor’s and the other part due to efforts on Indochino’s part.  I really applaud Indochino (and Kyle) for their efforts.  I am interested to see where Indochino will take things and what they will do next to improve their suits.  They are the largest online custom suit company in the world, at least as far as I know; so in some respects they have the ability to do as they please.  Selfishly, I hope they begin offering more custom options like specific lapel widths, buttoning points and vest formations.  But we shall see.  If you have any questions, comment or thoughts of your own, please feel free to sound off in the comments.

-JLJ

 

Note: FYGblog did receive the suit being reviewed for the purpose of review.  As always, the utmost effort was taken to maintain an unbiased stance on the brand and product at hand.

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MIA http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/uncategorized/mia/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mia http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/uncategorized/mia/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 04:25:36 +0000 http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/?p=10041 Readers, I apologize for being m.i.a. for over a week without notice. It was not completely planned, but necessary. As I have shared in the past, I am starting a men’s shoe and leather goods company. I am currently down in Mexico working on sourcing and development, which has been great. However, time intensive and the internet less than kind to WordPress and blogging. Which leaves me sitting on a bench outside my hotel writing this post on my iphone (I don’t want to know what the data roaming charges will be for this). Things should get back to normal … Continue reading

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Readers,
I apologize for being m.i.a. for over a week without notice. It was not completely planned, but necessary.
As I have shared in the past, I am starting a men’s shoe and leather goods company. I am currently down in Mexico working on sourcing and development, which has been great. However, time intensive and the internet less than kind to WordPress and blogging. Which leaves me sitting on a bench outside my hotel writing this post on my iphone (I don’t want to know what the data roaming charges will be for this). Things should get back to normal in the next few days.
Until then,
-JLJ

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Prepping For Summer http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/seasonal-style/prepping-summer/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=prepping-summer http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/seasonal-style/prepping-summer/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 02:17:57 +0000 http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/?p=10018 Right now is that few week lull in between spring and summer here in Philadelphia.  The temperature ranges between 60 and 80 and the humidity has not reached claustrophobic levels yet.  Perfect weather for golf, napping, runs along the Schuylkill or really anything.  But this prelude to summer is in fact just that, a prelude.  High temps and high levels of humidity are staring us down; then wearing a suit will be like being in a straight jacket and the idea will be to wear as little clothing as possible. On many days I simply wear two items of clothing, … Continue reading

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Right now is that few week lull in between spring and summer here in Philadelphia.  The temperature ranges between 60 and 80 and the humidity has not reached claustrophobic levels yet.  Perfect weather for golf, napping, runs along the Schuylkill or really anything.  But this prelude to summer is in fact just that, a prelude.  High temps and high levels of humidity are staring us down; then wearing a suit will be like being in a straight jacket and the idea will be to wear as little clothing as possible.

On many days I simply wear two items of clothing, my drawstring reds (they are worn sans undergarments) and a button up shirt, preferably one in linen.  Other days will require a bit more, sometimes even a suit or dinner jacket.  Weddings certainly will require some form of jacket; but I will talk more on summer weddings soon.  Anyway, I realize I am a bit behind the ball on talking about this, but nonetheless I feel it may be useful to share a few tips on making a few acquisitions for your wardrobe this summer.

Summer style is typically lighter in both appearance and feel.  The obvious ideas are to reflect the warmer colors of life as well as try to keep the body as cool as possible.  The colors you choose to wear are up to you so I would like to briefly dwell on fabric, which is my mind plays the largest role in dictating how cool or warm wearing any piece of clothing is.  The idea is to allow for the maximum amount of air to pass through a fabric.  Basically, you want the heat coming off your body to pass through the clothes you are wearing.  Generally speaking, lightweight fabrics wear cooler than heavier ones.  However, the type of weave play a crucial importance as well, Fresco is a prime example of this.

what shoes to wear with a tuxedo black oxfords

Photo credit: Jack Erwin.

I believe in the past I have professed my love for Fresco, which is a high twist wool suiting fabric made by Hardy Minnis.  I recently had a suit made in the material by Mohan’s in NYC; a review is to come but the tux is amazing.  Fresco, and other high twist wools are a great summer fabric, because they are typically a more open weave than your standard worsted wool; which means that air will more easily pass through the fabric.  They can be cool wearing while still of a decent weight.  Mohair and blends with it are also a solid option.  The mohair adds a little bit of shine to any fabric but it also tends to be moderately cool wearing.  Personally, I am not the biggest fan of ‘tropical’ wool, which is basically a light weight wool.  I find that it wrinkles quite a bit and does not drape as well while not being that much cooler than slightly heavier wools.

For more casual needs there are a plethora of other options.  Seersucker is one of my favorite fabrics, partly because of its texture and partly because it is relatively cool wearing.  Fortunately brands are starting to play around with it more.  Historically reserved for the more preppy set tonal seersucker is a more practical and wearable option for most guys.  I am currently lusting over these blue seersucker pants from J. Crew (pictured top).  Light weight cotton is also a good bet.  However, linen is cooler wearing and also more casual.  The well documented problem with linen is that is wrinkles an unbelievable amount, which is up to you whether or not you like that.  Cotton/linen blends are perhaps the most ideal fabric for both shirts and pants.  It has much of the cool wearing properties of linen with a little wrinkle resistance offered from the cotton.

Lastly, avoid polyester or other synthetic fabrics like the plague for tailored wear, shirts and slacks.  In jackets and outerwear I think synthetics are slightly more acceptable, but outside of that, stick with what is natural.  There are obviously other fabrics and things you can wear to try

-JLJ

 

Note: FYGblog did not receive compensation of any form from any brand mentioned in this post in exchange for being mentioned.

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