Sunday, 5 August 2012

August 2012

Jack Spade Bonded Raincoat
For us, this is the gold standard when it comes to buying that raincoat that you're going to wear over a business suit, on the weekends, on every trip imaginable. The color is perfect because it references a traditional tan raincoat, but the people at Jack Spade have warmed up the hue to make it more skin-tone friendly. It's cut trim and a bit shorter than normal, which gives it a more contemporary edge, and the orange interior ensures you're not wearing your dad's old vintage raincoat. Form follows function in the details, like a fly-front closure and bonded seams that keep out the water and gussets under the armholes that help the rubberized cotton breathe. There's no lining, so it's easy to throw on over your heaviest flannel wool suit, or fisherman sweater, or even a hoodie. This is a raincoat fit for running errands or a meeting with the CEO.
Polo Ralph Lauren Fair Isle Sweater
When I think of Fair Isle sweaters I think of Polo by Ralph Lauren, because Ralph is the master of taking something that is so traditional and making it contemporary and cool for the modern guy. Not only is this sweater cut a little bit slimmer, but the pattern has been recolored slightly from the super-fusty, folkloric versions. It looks great with a shirt and tie; just remember to keep your underpinnings clean. We paired it with a pink shirt in the magazine for a preppy look, but it also can look incredibly modern when paired with gray flannel pants, a white oxford shirt, and a pair of black loafers. I think we're at a time in fashion where pieces that are a little bit geezer look great again. So while this obviously pays homage to a classic Scottish Fair Isle, it still feels new.
Polo Ralph Lauren Country Corduroy Pants  
Another one of the things Ralph Lauren does so well is to keep some of the old-world trappings of a garment, but still make it wearable. These corduroy pants have a utilitarian workwear look to them, but the fabric is extremely soft and the garment washing has faded them into a beautiful blue color. Corduroy is a heavier fabric, so you should always go for a slimmer cut, like these, to avoid adding extra pounds to your physique. It's a great weekend pant for those autumn days when the mercury starts to dip a little low.
Burberry Prorsum Horizontal Stripe Knit Silk Tie
The most traditional knit ties are made of silk, followed by wool and then cotton, and what makes this Burberry one incredibly modern, but just as sophisticated, is the fact that it's slimmer and has this wonderful stripe pattern. Because the colors in it are muted it doesn't come across as being too preppy or too nautical. It really marries beautifully with a pinstripe suit or a fall tweed sports jacket. Put it with a chambray shirt, put it with a white oxford, put it with anything.
David Hart Diagonal Check Tie
David Hart kills it this fall by taking classic menswear patterns, in this case a houndstooth and a windowpane, and putting them together in one tie. It pairs well with tweeds, a khaki dress shirt, even just a work shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Pattern mixing with an accessory like this can be tricky, so opt for solid colors that let the bold tie stand out.

 Gitman Polka-Dot Tie
It's the season of the polka-dot die, and this Gitman one is exciting because it's made of wool and the dots are embroidered, not printed. Polka-dot ties are usually silk, so when crafted in this soft wool, the tie becomes a unique piece that stands out from the pack. It comes in this beautiful pale blue, almost chambray, which gives a little dash of color to your fall wardrobe.
Salvatore Ferragamo Double Monkstrap Shoe
Ferragamo is really a footwear dynasty, and incredibly masterful when it comes to building a shoe. I always tell people to spend a little more than you would normally want to on a pair of shoes, because it will be worth it in the long run. The last is built to last a lifetime on these double monks, as long as you take care of them, and the rubber sole helps to keep the them light and comfortable from the get-go. Wear these with jeans, or a suit and unbuckle the top for a little extra savoir faire. This is the quintessential monkstrap in a rich brown that goes with everything—especially those heavyweight fabrics you're going to be wearing for fall.

Cole Haan Air Madison Slip-On
This is a great example of a well-crafted shoe for a good value, and while it's a personal preference, some guys may want their first monk to be a single monk. This Cole Haan pair is a caramel brown, which tends to be a bit more European-looking, that plays beautifully off gray flannel trousers or even white jeans. It's very liberating for guys to feel like they can buy a pair of monkstraps and not just save them for special occasions. Break them out of the box and wear them all the time, from work to weekend.

Hook + ALBERT Contrast Trim Socks
For the guy who wants a little bit of action on his ankle but isn't into wild colors or stripes. What I love about the orange toe and the top is that it's a way to wear color but keep it hidden and keep your inner peacock alive. The polka dot or pin dot is big in ties but it looks just as good as a pattern below a pant hem. This is one of those socks you can wear with a pair of white sneakers, a suede desert boot, or a monkstrap shoe. It's a dressy sock but adds lots of sophistication to more casual looks.
Pantherella Cashmere Blend Socks
In so far as we love really bright colored socks for summer, for fall we're loving the pale sock in a gray or tan or this incredible baby blue. It's just one of those colors that is so attractive with any combination. You put it with gray trousers, you put it with black shoes, corduroy, anything—it's a great neutral for fall. This pair by Pantherella is cashmere and while guys don't think they want to spend money on cashmere socks, the truth is they'll last a long time if they're cared for, and keep you warm.
Penfield Jacket
I like what Penfield has done with this field jacket because it's not too heavy, and it's not belted, but it still has an authentic look to it. The silhouette is a little bit shorter and the styling is a little bit younger and cooler. It's waxed cotton canvas, which will not only make it rainproof and windproof, but also thorn-proof, which makes it great for riding a motorcycle or walking down the street in the inclement elements. The snap buttons are burnished a bit so they aren't too bright and it's got that nice standup collar. The jacket has some real masculine styling to it, both as a weekend staple and as a sport coat replacement, with a shirt and tie under it. And the price is right.
Thom Browne Plaid Oxford Shirt
At this point it's no secret that GQ loves Thom Browne shirts, especially this fall's exploded plaid pattern ones that we've shown in every color. This white version, for example, makes a quieter statement because of it's neutral, tonal color combination but the rounded collar still gives it plenty of personality. We love that Thom takes the woodsy, casual heritage of a plaid shirt but does it as a dress shirt in his famous oxford cloth. It's a little heavier and so it marries up well with all those heavyweight fabrics for fall.
A.P.C. New Standard Jeans
We're going on a decade or more now with our love affair of A.P.C., since founder Jean Touitou introduced the New Standard jean. It's the jean you buy and make your own. They are stiff as cardboard at first, but after a couple of wears, they break in like a great pair of shoes. The fit is perfect in that the waist sits on your hips but isn't too low-rise and the slim, straight leg isn't too skinny or too wide. We recommend holding off on washing them as long as possible to keep the dark raw denim intact, and when you finally do, to wash them inside-out in the bathtub with some cold water and Woolite Dark, letting them drip-dry. It's the perfect jean if you're going to pair with dressier items like a suit jacket and a pair of brogues—these are jeans that will elevate your look. They're crisp and stiff and simple in the best way possible.
Michael Bastian Three-Button Jacket
Michael Bastian keeps surprising us with these pieces that have an old-man cool element to them. The windowpane is one of those patterns we thought was dead forever, and then Michael brings it back and recolors it in this rust and olive, out of a scratchy wool. It works as a piece of outerwear in the early fall, and then when it's freezing outside you can pair with a shirt and tie and wear it in the office or a turtleneck and jeans on the weekend—it's incredibly versatile. Because of the way Michael has cut it and fashioned it, it's something incredibly non-traditional, but still has that traditional appeal.

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