Blogs of note: 2016 reboot

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by sprout2, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. sprout2

    sprout2 Senior member

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    It seems the noise to signal ratio is higher than ever. Let's aggregate the blogs/Internet sources of note.
    There has also been a migration from Tumblr to IG. It's been awhile since we took stock of the blogosphere.

    This is not intended as a dump of any and all sites. Let's be judicious try to pick useful sites. Some of you rely more on Instagram while others use other platforms (RSS). I will edit them to the OP as suggestions roll in.

    Member blogs are welcome if they are useful.


    RSS
    Permanent Style
    www.permanentstyle.com

    Love him or hate him, Simon Crompton has continuously covered a huge number of tailors and stores from his perch in London. As his fortunes have grown, the content has taken an increasingly upscale tone and the focus is decidedly on "big B" bespoke. Penny-pinchers need not apply, unless reading vicariously -- which seems to be the essence of the readership. A cynical eye would describe this as the ultimate Ponzi scheme, whereby Crompton is outfitted for the world's finest garments on the pageviews of men wearing Jos. A Bank. Whatever the case, this is all immaterial to the fact that Permanent Style is the closest thing to Consumer Reports for bespoke (Savile Row, especially) tailoring, a veritable catalog for the would-be shopper on the Row or elsewhere. If you can get past the one-off projects, wistful musings on vintage steamer trunks, and the seemingly endless symposia that revolve around the man himself, the articles give a glimpse into many tailoring houses. Unfortunately, the sample size is one man, so the suits cannot be scrutinized too closely, but there is ample fodder to stimulate the prospective bespeaker.

    A Suitable Wardrobe
    www.asuitablewardrobe.com/blog

    The original ASW was the musings of a bon vivant, the "menswear blog" avant la lettre, with posts on Will Bolke's adventures at Cleverley and with traveling English tailors. Although the prose is almost deliberately rococo at times, an inflection of Anglophilia out of San Francisco, the ruminations on fabrics and other subjects (e.g.: custom pajamas, an area sadly snubbed my most) are worth your time. The writing is Boyeresque: not going to win a Pulitzer now or ever, but it gets the job done. Many of my favorite accessories were bought through the ASW store, which seems to be in suspended animation since being amalgamated into the Hanger Project retail empire. Nowadays, Will has gone on record as having hung up his neckties in exchange for a sweater and soft shoes, and appears to be in semi-retirement. Interestingly, there are now some short, witty essays by a few other Anglophiles. Whether fact or fiction, these little yarns about the "gentleman abroad" are amusing and reminiscent of Harper's Bazaar articles of 60 years ago.

    Olden Vault
    www.oldenvault.com

    This blog's stated mission is to champion heavyweight fabric and tweed, but it seems to be totally wide-ranging across subjects from the author's daily life. Perhaps that scope was too much, and the editor has retired the blog on New Year's Eve, 2014. He is now writing for ASW (see above). Good, long-form articles; a high quality "archival" blog.

    Keikari
    www.keikari.com/english

    Edited by the mysterious @VRaivio , this blog combines the romance of the antiquarian with the dispassionate, patient style of the scholar. Where else will you find a full post-mortem on Brooks Brothers' traditional fly-back boxer shorts? Like other Northern European blogs, there is an analytical, phlegmatic tone, but it is tinged with good humor. A first-rate blog that I hope will continue. Unfortunately, the English-language content represents a fraction of that available on the main site (in Finnish).

    The Journal of Style
    www.the-journal-of-style.com

    The sister site of a Danish blog, this site, like the above, has the signature analytical style of the region (or is something lost in translation?). Here are pensive studies on combining colors, rus in urbe, and comments on bespoke commissions that far eclipse the cursory nature of Permanent Style. This is fitting: editor Torsten Grunwald is a veteran bespeaker, a generation between Crompton and Bolke. Unlike inferior pseudo-blogs, which collate pictures found online, Grunwald takes his own "street snaps" and tears them down for analysis. An excellent blog for the traditionalist that is only undermined by the infrequent updates.

    The author also operates the eponymous Grunwald, a store carrying old-world accessories and a (questionable) selection of vintage fabrics from the 70s and beyond. Some pieces included the coveted discontinued Scabal shetland tweed. The webshop seems to have entered a fallow period as of this writing.

    Sleevehead
    http://sleevehead.blogspot.com

    Very much a sui generis blog, this one combines an academic approach to clothing with visits to stores and shopfronts, with a nice collection of images unseen anywhere else. With articles like, "The Science of Performance Socks" and, "Trimmings for Dinner Jackets," this is strictly for the connoisseur. A major focus is on the commissions ordered at various Sicilian tailors, a project that culminated in Sleevehead's Guide to Sicilian Tailors, again mapping totally unique territory. Like the gourmand who, having attained total mastery of his subject through eating, has no choice but to begin studying the minutiae of cooking itself and enroll in culinary courses, Sleevehead's editor took the blog in a new and short-lived direction before its de facto retirement: courses at FIT and analysis of fabric weight under a loupe. An academic to the last, the author's intentions are well-meaning, but the content in this era is about as droll as reading the phonebook.

    While technically an archival blog from the "golden era" (pre-Tumblr), the author seems to have come out of retirement with a post just a few days ago, so the future is bright.

    TUMBLR
    Kerloaz
    http://kerloaz.tumblr.com

    A nice Francophone site with an emphasis on French style and tailoring.

    Treviorum
    http://treviorum.tumblr.com

    If you took all of the image-hungry #menswear blogs on Tumblr, took out all of the weird, ankle-showing suits and jewelry, and stripped all text away, you would have this -- a riot of colorful images that is fun to browse through and gets the old inspiration trickling. While you will come across the inevitable pictures of famous bloggers, shop owners, and menswear "celebrities," there is also a focus on suits, fabrics, mannequins, and color combinations. Almost everything is from the world of bespoke clothing or high-end luxury brands, so there are excellent ideas for coordinating ensembles. It is also blessedly almost free of generic filler images of Italian vistas and espresso cups. Really, this is a distillation of custom menswear of the moment, for better and for worse. The reader is well-advised to load it up on an app of choice and flick through the rich, colorful content. Seems defunct as of November 2015 -- is reblogging all that content sustainable?

    Italian Industrialists and Intellectuals Style
    http://italianindustrialist.tumblr.com

    The editor, a Dutchman and author of the sister blog Milstil, is possessed of the typically quixotic Dutch sense of humor, but the idea (now somewhat stale) was excellent and an antidote to the peacockry of Tumblr: a single-topic blog with an unstinting focus on the dry, urbane style of men in power. "Nomen ist omen," the blog states, and so it is: quiet suits, quiet combinations, and anti-fashion; an object lesson in how not to look like a clown. A potent tincture for lovers of orthodox dressing. Unfortunately, after using up almost all of the available content of this genre, the blog started mining increasingly minor and peculiar Italian movers-and-shakers, the result being that the original mission statement was lost, the content almost resembling the tabloid pages of a European society magazine -- wealthy weirdos and the ways they wear their woolens.

    Vox Sartoria
    www.voxsartoria.com

    An ingenious use of public domain images and epigrammatic verses to remind us that times were better and people were cooler. We are all but imitators.

    B&Tailor
    http://bntailor.tumblr.com

    Enjoying a meteoric rise of late, the family Park pumps out a steady clip of colorful and creative images of suit and jacket pairings. Watch out for the occasional oddball "only in South Korea" moment like bespoke jeans with suspenders. The suits are sumptuously photographed in high resolution and living color and bear the hallmark of quality. A young, fresh face on custom clothing out of a region (Asia) that will lead the world in this area.

    INSTAGRAM
    Aleks Cvetkovic, editor of the Rake Online
    https://www.instagram.com/aleks_cvetkovic/

    The Rake is doing interesting things (it is the Robb Report to Permanent Style's Consumer Reports), and its online editor's Instagram account is devoid of "headless horsemen" images of WIWT or endless birds-eye views of meals he ate. Instead is a rich look on an aesthete's adventures in the original mothership of tailoring, London, England. The young author expresses a love of "generous proportions" -- huzzah!
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016


  2. EFV

    EFV Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  3. sprout2

    sprout2 Senior member

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    I'm glad to see some non-Anglo content. I haven't heard of any of those.
    There is something vaguely similar in presentation and editorial trajectory of all of these Swedish blogs. I can't put my finger on it.
     


  4. EFV

    EFV Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    There is a certain hive mind in Sweden when it comes to certain things, for good or bad.
     


  5. otterhound

    otterhound Senior member

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    Permanent Style - I wonder how much of a PR discount he gets, because he must have a few hundred thousand worth of bespokewear if valued at full retail. Those prone to envy may wish to avoid.

    Gentleman's Gazette - good for historical details and in-depth discussion of the basics.

    Made by Hand - great in-depth tailoring blog with garment tear downs and analysis. Alas, few posts as of late; @jefferyd must be too busy at his day job.
     


  6. sebastian mcfox

    sebastian mcfox Senior member

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    Permanent Style is shill central, every article has a promotional angle. Avoid.
     


  7. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    ^ disagree. He is totally upfront about the fact that he's getting the clothes for free and plenty of his reviews are negative nonetheless. He's got a breadth of experience that makes his reviews useful.
     


  8. sprout2

    sprout2 Senior member

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    I don't know about PS per se, but most blogs are operated as thinly-veiled advertisements. "My friend introduced these ties to me..."
    I'd be interested in seeing some recommendations about long-form, expository blogs. I think that @PhiloVance and @VRaivio both operate interesting blogs in the traditional, personal style.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016


  9. Darkside

    Darkside Senior member

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  10. bry2000

    bry2000 Senior member

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    These days I only read dieworkwear's blog. I used to read A Suitable Wardrobe, which was the best of them all in my opinion. There is too much crap and noise out there to bother with most others.
     


  11. lordsuperb

    lordsuperb Senior member

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  12. lordsuperb

    lordsuperb Senior member

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  13. lordsuperb

    lordsuperb Senior member

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  14. otterhound

    otterhound Senior member

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    Appears to be dead as of Dec. 31, 2014.
     


  15. gs77

    gs77 Senior member

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    Parisian Gentleman, because it often takes a bit of sociological / even political angle, which I really like. Even though I don't agree with everything.
     


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