Original WAYWT post here
What this looks like: Professor Layton and the Case of the Sentient Harpsichord
You’re in the train station, nose buried in the paper. Ah, the life of a commuter. A sea of empty grey faces, ringing cell-phones, and the oppressive hubbub of la vie quotidienne. You tug at your necktie, already daydreaming of popping the button of your regiment-issue spread-collar shirt. And then a man walks by. You glance up, do a double take, and he catches you staring at him open-mouthed. He doffs his hat to you – yes, he doffs it – and ambles down the platform, vintage luggage trailing in his wake. You sit on your bench, paper forgotten, so deep in thought that you almost miss your train. That night you tell your wife that you quit your job, and the next day the two of you get on a plane to Costa Rica and never look back.
Vintage 1940’s three-piece suit
Where did your fascination with vintage clothing come from?
The 4th of February, 2011 - Me and my wife went into one of the best second hand stores in Stockholm: Herr Judit. I was dressed as was usual for the last 15 years; black Levis 501 jeans, black T-shirt, black jacket (Hollington style with a Mao-collar). A little artistic rock n’ roll style, I thought. Not so sexy when you are over 60, I finally realized. After 30 minutes I went out of the store in a brown ulster coat and a green Borsalino hat - and at a very reasonable price. Soon I realized that there are many beautiful and praiseworthy garments to find in vintage and second-hand stores. There was only one problem: most of them were too small for me. I decided to change that. I decided to fit the clothes I have seen. I call it the Vintage method - lose 15 kg in a year (Eat less. Walk in stairs. Never take the elevator.).
What sort of responses do you get to your taste in menswear?
I make people happy. Every week unknown persons - both men and women - approach me and give me compliments. Yesterday it was a middle age woman in a shop who said; "It´s very seldom you see such a handsome man. Where have they all gone?" Old friends laugh gently when they see me. What they are saying behind my back I do not know. I suppose they think I am a little obsessed. But I know I have inspired a lot of them to buy old clothes too.
Original WAYWT post here
What this looks like: A really good time.
Sometimes, you just have to kick some ass and chew some gum. By now, Crat’s probably long been out of gum, but the ass-kicking is an on-going hobby. So many of us spend so long fussing around with charcoals and navies that we go a little bit colorblind. When you get dressed in the morning, you’re saying something to the world, and sometimes that something just happens to be the middle finger. Yeah, you could stay stuck in that rut in the middle of the road - not all of us can wear magical sunglasses. But, just to be clear, the middle of the road is the absolute worst place to drive.
Shirt: Mastaii Ferretti
Boots: Edward Green Galway
Tie: Thrifted Edsor silk knit.
Now that is a suit. What went through your head when you saw that in the window? Or, you know, on the screen.
Shop window 9 years ago, I was still in secondary school at the time; love at first sight. My wardrobe was only inhabited by two other suits at the time (navy and light gray) so this was quite a bad choice as far as wearable diversity is concerned. It also immediately was my favorite.
Perhaps more importantly, how do you feel when you put something like that on?
No outfit involving that suit could ever pass for subtle so there's no need to try to make it look subtle. I was in a cheerful to-hell-with-everything mood that cold, sunny spring morning and remembered I hadn't worn it yet this winter, so what the hell...For me, clothes are tools that can be used to blend in or stand out in certain social settings and not so much tools to create a personal image. This works in the semi-casual urban setting I'm trapped in but as far as I'm concerned I'd rather be rummaging through the forest in muddy boots and old jeans; that's where clothes really become tools. No mirrors required.
Original WAYWT post here
What this looks like: Moisture beading on a tumbler of mintiest julep
You lie underneath a venerable oak in a haze of otherworldly humidity, idly chewing a stem of sweetgrass. A hot air balloon descends from on high, and the crooning of a barbershop quartet follows it down as it settles gently onto the field in front of you. The smell of cotton candy fills the hot, muggy air; the buzzing of insects recedes into the background, and the light begins to blush as afternoon curls slowly into the gloaming. The basket of the balloon swings open, and a man emerges. He strolls over to you, and leans against the trunk of the tree. You ask him where he came from like that, and he tells you that perhaps “where?” is the wrong question – but that if he needs to go somewhere, he always travels by balloon.
Seersucker suit: Haspel
OCBD: Land's End
Tie: Taylor Stitch
Square: Brooks Brothers
Shoes: Alfred Sargent for Brooks Brothers
For those of us who don’t know, is this something you’d normally wear? Or is a beaut’ like that reserved only for a day at the races?
Are you implying something's not "normal" about this outfit? Just kidding. This isn't workaday wear for me, but I have been known to wear the seersucker suit beyond the track. I consider any informal summer event fair game - garden parties, graduation ceremonies, outdoor weddings, even church services. The white buck wingtips, while awesome, can easily take this ensemble into costume territory, so I'll often skip them in favor of some more plain tan leather shoes.
“Southern Style” is a term that gets bandied around quite a bit. How would you describe your own interpretation of Southern clothing culture?
Well, I'm only half Southerner, but I'd say the Southern sphere has a lot of overlap with the trad and preppy traditions. It features an odd mix of formal and informal. Take the seersucker suit - it is a suit, which is a dressed-up garment, but it's rendered in an extremely casual fabric. It's a concession to heat and humidity, yes, but it's more than that. It's the legacy of a culture that valued both polite correctness and the laid-back comfort of a slower pace of life than was typical of the North. I like the Southern clothing tradition because it provides an interesting alternative between boardroom clothing and beachwear.
Original WAYWT post here
What this looks like: “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to…stop by this evening for a drink and a discussion of sartorial traditions. Whisky?”
Tom Miler was raised by a pair of wolves in Puszcza Augustowska that had lost their own pups to angry farmers. One day, while out foraging, he came upon a set of clothes abandoned in the forest, and with teary eyes he bade his lupine parents farewell. He emerged from the dark underbelly of the forest clad only in a too-small three-piece suit, earning him disdainful laughter from the ignorant populace. Fortuitously, the first person he met on the street after wandering into Augustów was a master tailor; a kind old man who did his very best to clothe the young Tom. His body, made strong and muscular from the rigors of hunting bears and other big game by hand, had to be draped from scratch with only the finest cloth –his noble skin could not stand the insult of rougher fibers. After the old man died, Tom left to seek his fortune, and made his name as le chevalier au loup through rightness and honorable deeds.
Three piece suit: Krupa & Rzeszutko tailoring, Poznań, Poland
You do a very good job of dressing your body. Are there any tips that you could share?
I could say a whole lot about colors and good fit but there are two things that I find even more important. First of all you need plenty of distance ... to yourself. Just see yourself the way you really are. That puts you in a position to make reasonable decisions on how to play your style cards right.
I also think that one needs to be fearless when it comes to experimenting. I sometimes make decisions that make my suits look horrible but they all result in positive or negative feedback stimulating development. You know the story – nothing ventured, nothing gained!
In this post, you jokingly referred to “Fred Astaire” style. Where does your inspiration come from?
I don’t just wear clothes; I use them to facilitate communication. So in my world, every outfit is a different message. This of course makes me look for inspirations from different people. It could easily be one of the icons of elegance like Gianni Agnelli, Prince Charles or even Fred Astaire but I can as easily enjoy an outfit of a guy wearing a suit and sneakers I saw the other day at the airport. I see no limits – it is as simple as that.