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Australian Members

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by earthdragon, Nov 18, 2008.

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  1. The False Prophet

    The False Prophet Well-Known Member

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    I'm 5'9" at 70kg, so not really!

    Make no mistake, I don't like bulky ties, they are all quite light silk so seven folds just gives them a nice heft. But I always, always wear a coat, generally buttoned, and so the wider tie gives me plenty of body in the 'V' of my coat. They also tie a nice, long double four-in-hand.

    It's not a Prince Michael kind of effect, by any means. See my (crappy) fit pics for examples...
     
  2. Journeyman

    Journeyman Well-Known Member

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    Bear in mind that Manton dresses very, very conservatively. Also, let's face it, things that are "Styleforum approved" (sorry for making you cringe, TBM!) are sometimes pretty much unknown outside SF, and I suspect that (in Australia, at least) that grenadine ties are an example of that. Most Australian men would not have a a plain twill, knit or grenadine tie. Of course, that's not to say that such ties are bad - on the contrary, they are great, I have five grenadine ties and about ten knit ties and I love to wear them. However, please don't forget other, equally worthy options such as some neat print ties (ie silk ties with small-scale prints) such as those by Marinella, EG Capelli, Drake's, Holliday & Brown and so on, as they are absolutely classic, often look great, and go with a wide variety of outfits.
    I'd say that the black are fine if you change out the laces. Brown are a bit more casual, both due to the laces but also due to the heavy Norvegese (or faux-Norvegese) stitching where the sole meets the upper of the shoe. I've got a friend who has a pair by an Italian brand, de Tommasso, that look identical to those brown shoes and they are great shoes, but I wouldn't get them as my second pair of shoes - I'd look for a darker brown pair that look more similar to the black pair (and get a pair of plain, brown laces to put into them).
     
  3. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    Anyone watching Hannibal?
     
  4. Robert Meredith

    Robert Meredith Well-Known Member

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    Yup, and I'm enjoying the hell out of it so far.

    They do seem to be making a point out of impeccably dressing Mads Mikkelsen in every episode as well, which is nice. Fits well with the character.
     
  5. spectre

    spectre Well-Known Member

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    I'm returning to this forum after a long absence, but only to the Australian thread where the good guys reside.

    I thought a summary of my four decade long sartorial journey, with all its expensive pitfalls and mistakes might be of some interest and help those hoping to improve their dress sense.
    It is by no means a guide as we all have our personal preferences and criticism is welcome.

    Firstly, some preamble. This is not intended to be boastful. My wife and I have been on good but not spectacular salaries, we have no children and I don't drink, smoke or gamble (fun guy already eh?)

    I've been interested in clothes for as long as I can remember, an influence from my grandparents. As a reporter in my twenties I shopped mainly at a long-gone store in Toorak called Oliver Plunkett. I bought Brioni-made suits from the also long-gone Italian designer Carlo Palazzi and Valentino when he made top quality menswear.

    From then on with no internet shopping available, no decent tailors in Melbourne and so on I wore whatever I could find from the meagre pickings in stores like Henry Buck's, Georges etc.

    Then I stumbled across Ludlows when they were in King St and first met Richard. At that time, approaching 2000, they offered MTM Corneliani and I launched in, ordering clothes from conservative suits to beige silk/cashmere mix sportcoats. Far too many and not enough patience and thought meant a lot stayed mainly unworn. Shirts were made by Hemden and were overpriced and not very good, but at least they gave me some scope.

    With the popularisation of internet shoppng I was free to make more costly errors, ordering Attolini, Borrelli suits and jackets from places like shopthefinest.
    Many or course did not fit properly and so begun a lengthy period of more money down the drain in alterations.

    I bought impulsively, or was influenced by trends, such as the brief Italian fad for contrasting beige elbow patches on navy blazers. Needless to say all of this left me unsatisfied and constantly broke.

    Finally, along came Patrick Johnson and The Armoury and the intervention of my wife, who told me that with my now grey hair, brown simply did not suit me and the best colours were navy and grey. She was right and thus begun the first step towards compiling a wardrobe I am finally satisfied with and one which I think complements my age and appearance.

    Here is a rundown on what I now have. All the suits, jackets, pants and shirts have been made by Patrick Johnson with great input from Tom Riley, who has kept me on the path which will suit me, rather than what suits him or others.

    The coats are all SB 3 roll 2, pants are flat front with two inch cuffs slim fit, but not Skyfall-silly and most of the suit pants have side adjusters.

    I like to dress seasonally so for winter:

    - Three flannel Loro Piana wool/cashmere suits in solid navy, mid grey chalk stripe and a light grey glen check which is my holy grail.

    - Two grey sport coats, a moderate sized houndstooth check and a grey glencheck, more pronounced than the suit and with a blue overcheck, and a dark blue, but no where near navy houndstooth jacket. There is also a pure cashmere navy sportcoat with a full dark green lining.

    Mid season

    - Two super 130s suits, a plain grey and a navy.

    - a lighter weight navy pure cashmere sportcoat, subtle herringbone pattern in navy, half-lined in copper and the same coat in light grey cashmere, herringbone and half-lined. Both are from the Loro Piana range.

    Summer requires less for me so I have

    - a lightweight 'Goldfinger' suit in light grey and a super 160s solid navy lightweight, this time with two patch pockets instead of the regular jets so I can wear the jacket as a sport coat.

    - two lightweight sportcoats, one air force blue and one bone, in a wool, silk, linen, minty wrapper whatever mix with three patch pockets.

    Pants

    For winter three flannels in various shades of grey and three cords in dark grey, tan and forest green (which look great with a navy cashmere rollneck, navy cashmere jacket and chocolate suede chukkas).

    For summer cotton chinos in bone, tan and navy and lightweight wool pants in light grey and tan. Jeans from Jeans West! Some elastic mix which makes them very comfortable.

    Shirts

    Business shirts in white, pale blue and ble and white stripes, about 10, plus several jersey knits, styled like my business shirts with cutaway collars and slim fit made by Boggi which I bought in Paris and Rome last year. They are great for travelling, dry wrinkle free and can by worn with a tie.

    Shoes

    Carmina quarter brogues on the Simpson last from The Armoury in black and dark brown and the same in captoe in dark brown suede and tobacco suede (MTO).

    Loafers in black, oak, and dark brown suede from Herring Shoes and the C and J Sydney loafer in tobacco suede, which I found impossible to source from Home but found at their Paris store, around the corner from my hotel in Bvd St Germain. I also picked up several pairs of driving mocs in Rome, which I wear sockless on hot days, and suede sneakers in dark brown, tobacco and navy.

    Chukkas from Pediwear, Kempton in black and tobacco suede and the Pimlico in dark brown suede and dark brown calf. These have worn so well in the past I recently ordered a second lot of the four as the last is now slimmer.

    I have been able to match everything, even the navy shoes, with belts from Suit Supply.

    Knitwear

    All cashmere and several repeats, but only in navy and grey...crew and v necks, half-zip and roll neck (turtleneck). Some of these I have had for many years and have come from William Lockie, Denner Cashmere, Pure Collection and Scotweb.

    I have sleeveless cashmere cardigans from Robert Old in light grey, navy and black, which I wear under the winter sportcoats.

    Outerwear

    - a pure cashmere knee-length camel coloured DB Caruso overcoat.
    - a SB fly front bone knee-length Burberry raincoat.
    - navy Barbour rain jacket with four front pockets and hood which can be worn casually or over a suit, Pitti-style
    - a no name but nice dark brown leather bomber jacket.

    Ties

    After much experimentation with checks, spots and so on I now only wear solids in navy, brown, olive, grey and burgundy or ties with extremely subtl stripes and tiny patters.

    Stuff like tee shirts, polos and sweats are from Lands End because they never wear out. Ever.

    Socks are all pure wool over the calf from Marcoliani or Bresciani, some silk lightweight undershirts from Wintersilks in the US.

    This all sounds like a lot but keep in mind my age and circumstances and the money I have wasted along the way.

    Lessons:

    - off the rack always requires compromise.

    - save and have something tailored....if PJ's new China venture had been around when I started out it would have been perfect - MTM for less than Boss or whatever rubbish from a department store.

    - you don't really need high-end shoes, although they are nice.

    - think very carefully about internet purchases. Don't get caught up in bidding wars...something similar or better will come along later.

    - avoid Harrolds.

    - try to wear only what suits you. This is something I failed to learn for a long time.

    I have drawers full of barely worn or unworn cashmere sweaters in browns, tans, bottle greens, mid blues etc and ties from Borrelli and Drakes which are nice but a little too patterned for me.

    - don't buy too much until you know what you are reaching for instinctively each day and what is getting left in the back of the wardrobe.

    Sorry about the length.

    Comments, criticisms etc welcome.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
    8 people like this.
  6. Journeyman

    Journeyman Well-Known Member

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    Spectre, thanks for the very interesting post.

    It's good to see you back on SF, too.
     
  7. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Well-Known Member

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    My HY order of socks has been at the UPS shipping facility in NY for the past week! :foo: Do these people work? Worse than AP
     
  8. TehBunny

    TehBunny Well-Known Member

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    ^Great, Great, Great post!
    Also I missed some comments about bespoke shoes and just caught up on them; I think that the Japanese shoes are exquisitely beautiful and I've also lost my soul to that thread. Though my decision in going Cleverley if I go bespoke is because DubMonk has them coming in and because they seem to me to be the staple bespoke shoe maker so why not?
     
  9. wishiwasricher

    wishiwasricher Well-Known Member

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    Great post.

    i particulalry like the bit about not buying until you know what you insitinctively reach for. Although i dont agree on the high end shoes though! I guess thats a luxury you MIGHT be able to get away without but it sure makes my day putting on my carminas or G and G!
     
  10. spectre

    spectre Well-Known Member

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    I do tend to agree with you about the high end shoes. I have four pair of Carminas and the C and J loafers but there could be the odd Double Monk purchase in the future. I haven't ruled out not buying anything else at all.

    Shoes are the one expensive purchase I believe will never be a waste as long as you're happy to stick with a classic style for a long time, which is a good thing.
     
  11. spectre

    spectre Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Nice to be back. I missed the trunk shown at Ludlows due to worries over painters being here and dogs being let out.

    Hope to catch up with some of you in the near future.

    It's interesting that there is now a market in Australia which seems it will support Patrick Johnson, Double Monk and Henry Carter. Gives me hope.
     
  12. Journeyman

    Journeyman Well-Known Member

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    Bunny, if you are going MTO or bespoke, I'd probably choose a place that is easily accessible and where they speak the same language as you, particularly for something as expensive as high-grade MTO or bespoke shoes. Therefore, were I in your position, the choice would be Cleverly via Double Monk, rather than a Japanese shoemaker.

    This is particularly so given that it takes some time to make shoes and you may well need to try on the partially-finished shoe and then have it sent back for finishing, which would be very difficult to do if you are only in Japan (for example) for a short visit.

    By the way, have you been to Double Monk to try on either the Edward Green 202 or 606 lasts?

    The 202 last is a very roomy, somewhat round-toed last and the 606 last is the soft-square version of the 202 last so it is still quite roomy. I know that you've had issues with getting shoes to fit you before as, if I remember correctly, you have wide but short feet so the 202/606 last might suit.

    The Carmina Rain last is also pretty roomy and accommodating across the foot and it has a contemporary, fairly chiselled toe shape and I assume that you can try it on at American Tailors in Melbourne.

    Please ignore the above and accept my apologies if you've already tried on shoes on those lasts!
     
  13. PapaRubbery

    PapaRubbery Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm interesting. I saw your fit pics. They seem to work.

    Thanks for the info. I'll try not to dismiss wider ties out of hand and give them a try from now on!
     
  14. spectre

    spectre Well-Known Member

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    Don't be surprised if you get knocked back at American Tailors, they are very suspicious now of people trying on shoes then getting them cheaper via the internet.

    At one point Tony, who I find rude and surly, refused to let me look at a swatch book. Made it seem akin to entry to the Melbourne Club. Totally ridiculous.
     
  15. lachyzee

    lachyzee Well-Known Member

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    Lost my Chester Jefferies gloves on the bus the other day... devastating. I loved them. Someone is walking around with a nice and almost new pair... a bit disappointing that they didn't hand them in! Second hand unlined gloves are not something that I personally would want to wear... Oh well, at least they aren't *too* expensive to replace now that I have payed the first time bespoke fee.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  16. PapaRubbery

    PapaRubbery Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I haven't been game enough to go to AT to try and buy elsewhere. I went in there once looking for cufflinks for the GF's father and while they were welcoming, I got the feeling that my presence was suspicious to them and they seemed a tad reserved.

    How did you find that bespoke process? I've got comically small hands (but a giant wang, if anyone is curious), and I struggle to buy OTR mens gloves.

    Sorry for your loss!
     
  17. lachyzee

    lachyzee Well-Known Member

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    Very easy, scan a copy of your hands, don't bother tracing (make sure the scan is 1:1). Really nice gloves, can't recommend them enough.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. tobiasj

    tobiasj Well-Known Member

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    Great post spectre.

    A couple of questions:
    -- What are these Boggi jersey knits you refer to? They sound interesting.
    -- Which Herring loafers do you like?

    Cheers
     
  19. Manuhiri

    Manuhiri Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Morning all

    I'm weighing up a pair of shell cordovan shoes that have some surface scraping on the toe area. Does anyone have experience in how easy this sort of damage is to deal with in shell shoes?

    Cheers.
     
  20. spectre

    spectre Well-Known Member

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    Boggi is an affordable Italian chain of stores which carries some nice items. Their website is not very useful though, with few of their products on show.

    Basically, the shirts are like a long sleeve polo except cut like a business shirt and with a stiffer lined cutaway collar.

    They are cut quite slim. I am a normal 40R with a 32 inch waist and got away with their medium, but only just.

    I suppose you could try emailing or phoning a store. I bought most of mine in the Paris shop. They all speak English there. The shirts came in white, pale blue and a beautiful deep blue, along with grey.

    Language and communication could be a problem. I was lucky enough to be able to try on stuff in store. They are worth the effort because they are so versatile.

    Patrick Johnson makes basically the same shirt with Thomas Mason jersey ... probably a better option, but specify collar details.
     
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