For the Working Man

An Early 1920s Possibility

aphorism1[1] Location ~ Britannia Village: London Ambiguity

Fighting the madding crowd at The Mens Department, we almost didn’t give this suit a second glance. Upon consideration, however, we have determined that it is not a bad option for effecting an early 1920s aesthetic. The jacket could be looser and longer, but, well, there you are.

We do find the tremendous cuffs, though adding an interesting contemporary style element, not quite the thing for our early 20th century sensibilities…

aphorcuffs

…but we will overlook that one issue.

We also find that this suit works fairly well for a Peaky Blinders sort of look, if one wishes to go for that.

peakyaphor[2]

Suggested

Suit ~ Aphorism, Vintage Crew @ TMD

Tie [1] ~ Adjunct, Classic Bowtie, candy stripes

Hat [1] ~ Hyacinthe Luynes, Homburg grey 

Cap [2] ~ Argrace Hunting with “Very short” hair in light brown, color-change cap

Shoes [1] ~ Lapoint & Bastchild wingtip with single and two-tone options (includes HUD)

Boots [2] ~ Brii, casual military boots, black

Dressed for [1] L$1294 & [2] L$718

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Not of Bertie’s Beautiful World, But Keeping It Real

OleEtzelLocation: 1920s Berlin Project. Avatar & Photographer: Ole Etzel

We are most appreciative of not feeling pressured to pull together a ‘look’ today. Many thanks to Ole Etzel, filmmaker (machinima, that would be) and Berlin institution, for sharing with us his own ‘look’.

There is much discussion in world about everyone wanting to be oofy, that is, posh. Well, yes, we should hardly find it surprising that when indulging in a fantasy, one might wish for accoutrements to which one might not otherwise have access. Bespoke suits, beaded gowns, and all that, what? But if engaging in a little virtual historical reenactment, one must acknowledge that not everyone was a Bright Young Thing or otherwise well into the cabbage. Most people were struggling at least a bit in the interwar period, and some were downright destitute. Some were, dare we say it, older than 30. We say huzzah for those souls who take up the mantle of depicting that reality.

We find it interesting that this ensemble pulled together by Herrn Etzel is more perfect in its period detailing than many of those found for a wealthy Mayfair butterfly of the era. We had earlier commented that pulling together a working (or poor or modest middle class) man’s look may be a bit challenging, but perhaps not as much as we thought.

Suggested

Suit – Loki Mesh @ Escapades, Smart 3 Piece

Cane ~ Talevin’s Designs

Boots ~ Deco, mesh camp boots

Hat ~ Sculpties Up In Here, handknit flaphat

Scarf ~ Loki Mesh @ Escapades, Simple Scarf

Hair ~ Deco, Shifty in ash

Skin ~ KTG, Old Man

Dressed for L$1210, inclusive of skin 

Peaky Blinders

pinky1Location: Neva Sky Villi

In the interest of appealing to a more economically modest set of characters, Mr. Wooster is today modeling a Peaky Blinders sort of aesthetic. We have not actually seen this television show, but understand that it does for the English underground economy set what Boardwalk Empire did for the American. This program, in contrast, is set in the English Midlands — the Small Heath section of Birmingham, to be exact — in the late teens and early 1920s, and is appropriately grey and gritty and coal-smokey in a way that Boardwalk generally was not. That is what we surmise from stills of the production, in any case. 

peaky-blinders-castPeaky Blinders cast, penny collars, cropped trousers, sturdy boots and all

An article in the Telegraph described in some detail the post-first World War style that marked the era, class and, consequently, the costuming on the program. There are few perfect solutions in world to affecting this look, naturally. The Deadwool penny collar shirt is hindered in its flexibility by not coming in a version that can be easily worn under jackets. The shirting poking out through the jacket fabric on the arms isn’t visible in the above photograph, only because of the way the shot is set up. How difficult would it be for the Deadwool maker to add some chest-only versions of this shirt to be worn under jackets, as Kauna and Hoorenbeek do with theirs? Surely not so very, what?

pinky2Note that the Deadwool shirt has suspenders as part of the graphic, and it is designed to go with a ‘gunslinger’ type trouser with a gun tie on the thigh. Wearing it with this trouser, our favorite at capturing an interwar aesthetic, necessitates a waistcoat. Otherwise, one is captured committing the redundancy of both suspenders and a belt. 

pinky3

Suggested

Jacket ~from the Kauna XIV suit. Tweed Twill Grey

Shirt ~ Deadwool, round collar shirt

Waistcoat ~ Kauna XIV in black

Trousers ~ Bastard, casual baggy in steel

Cap + Hair ~ Argrace Hunting “Very short” in light brown, color-change cap

Tie ~ W Bow Tie, striped fabrics @ SL Marketplace

Boots ~ Brii, casual military boots, black

Dressed for L$1924

Resources Consulted

The Telegraph — Your Winter Wardrobe, Peaky Blinders Style

The Polo Neck

turtleneck3[1] Location: Woodsy — O, for a lounge jacket that reaches our fingertips….

We usually associate polo necks — also known as turtlenecks — with academic types and the fashions of the 1960s and ‘70s — Michel Foucault and Steve McQueen, anyone? — but we’ve learned that Noel Coward was sporting a turtleneck as casual wear as early as the mid-1920s, and one can be spotted from time to time in gentlemen’s sportswear fashion illustrations from the 1930s. We haven’t found many of these illustrations and have yet to uncover a photograph of a young Mr. Coward in one, so we’ll have to take Wikipedia’s word on that point. We will say, though, that we have uncovered a few turtlenecked stars of the silver screen in the 1920s and early 1930s, and a smattering of even earlier photographs of athletic, young university boosters in their college turtle-necked sweaters.

GableTurtleneck1 Errol-Flynn-turtleneck1 novarroTurtle1George Hurrell portrait of Clark Gable, 1932 / Errol Flynn in the early ’30s / Ramon Novarro, Motion Picture magazine cover, 1920s

We cannot recall any mention of this sweater style in the Jeeves and Wooster canon, but given what is known about the former’s strong feelings regarding neckties, we should imagine that the latter would not be able to keep his hands on one for long, unless, perhaps, as part of rugged outdoor attire associated with winter sports and hiking up Alps. Mr. Wooster, being more inclined toward the habits of a Mayfair clubman than an rugged he-man of the outdoors, would have few such occasions for such a garment, the fashion guidance of matinee idols, aside. Still, because the odd m.i. here and there presents it as a possibility of the era, it’s worth a mention as a possibility for interwar virtual period wear for gentlemen. Certainly working men in the trades could pull it off with little comment. 

Speaking of that, we found a trouser that suggests a corduroy fabric, a textile that was quite popular among the working set in the first half of the 20th century. Our Mr. Wooster would be unlikely to sport anything in corduroy, unless involved in rugged outdoor pursuits, and we’ve already hinted at his disinclination for those. That said, in the interest of letting readers know such trousers exist, we present them here. 

We also present the reefer blazer featured earlier with the turtleneck shirting option that comes with it, paired with an appropriately casual grey flannel trouser. 

turtleneck4[2]

Suggested

Sport coat with Turtleneck [1] ~ FATEwear shirt, Ralph (blazer, seater and pocket handkerchief) 

Blazer with Turtleneck [2] ~ Hoorenbeek, Double Breasted in blue

Trousers [1] ~ Asteria MensWear, Broderick pants, brown

Trousers [2] ~ Bastard, steel casual baggy

Hat/hair [1] ~ Argrace Hunting “Very short” in light brown

Hair [2] ~ Action James (includes color change HUD and a plethora of color options)

Shoes [1] ~ Gabriel, wingtip in brown, past group gift

Shoes [2] ~ Fir & MNA, Ashford Brogue, grey and charcoal

Mustache ~ Fe Style, 6ED in brown

Cigarette [1]  ~ Sinister Designs, cigarette sculpty v.3, from SL marketplace

Dressed for L$870 & 1517, respectively

Resources Consulted

Wikipedie — Polo neck

Rolling up the old sleeves

newsboy1Location: L’Arc-en-Ciel

Mr. Wooster is not a working man, ‘though his Aunt Agatha, the old battle ax, once tried to set him up as the private secretary to some formidable cabinet minister Johnnie. Bertram would not stick that any price, and his valet managed to extricate him from the soup.

But what might have happened if he did take some sort of a position, a “job,” as they call it? He might, in the seclusion of a back office, peel down to his vest and shirtsleeves for some dusty filing work, and could look rather like this. The shoes are rather too modern, more suitable to a look some decades later. Loafers or slippers did exist in the 1920s, generally worn as a casual country or house shoe, but these classic men’s driving shoes are really an invention of the early 1960s. Mr. Wooster is truly in the vanguard here. A more appropriate style would be a pair of wingtip brogues or oxfords.

Suggested

Vest, Shirt & Tie ~ Just Because, MG Newsboy Shirt in cream/white

Trousers ~ Munereia, caldo pants, former group gift

Shoes ~ Gabriel, Driving Shoes in brown, group gift

Socks ~ SL system folder, recolored in red

Hair ~ Action James (includes color change HUD and a plethora of color options)

Glasses ~ Atlash vintage Victorian spectacles, from SL marketplace

Cigarette ~ Sinister Designs, cigarette sculpty v.3, from SL marketplace

Skin ~ Hermony, Leon

Eyes ~ Aveline mesh eyes in hazel, L$0@SL Marketplace

Dressed for L$902 

Resources Consulted

Life with Jeeves

Modern Gentleman — Driving Shoes

Vintage Dancer — Men’s 1920s Shoes History and Buying Guide

When you’re not feeling so oofy

country1Location: Goatswood

The reality of the situation is that if you want the really top-notch looking goods, you likely will have to shell out for them at one point or another. That said, it is possible to look both period appropriate and not-too-shabby on a tight budget.

Exhibit A consists of purchased hat, hair and shoes (to say nothing of the skin), but otherwise is made from system clothing; you know, the bally things that come with the whole package when you signed on. In this case, Mr. Wooster, off for a few weeks in the country where he can get away with a casual cardigan and tweedy trousers, is wearing pieces from the “Male City” outfit filed under Library>Clothing>Initial Outfits. We’ve edited the “jeans” to a brown, making them pass for a respectable looking tweed. The tie is too narrow, but for a layout of absolutely nothing, we are not going to put up a particular fuss.

While we’re on the subject of casual and cheap, please note Exhibit B:

country2The 1920s Berlin Project is a strict dress code (speaking relatively) sim, and one must try to approximate an appearance one might have seen in the first half of the 20th century, the 1920s, specifically. The date in world is 1929, but the powers that be are not so hard nosed about the whole thing to restrict residents and visitors only to fashions one might have seen in that one year. As long as you hit the decade, give or take, you’ll be fine.

With that in mind, free period-appropriate outfits are available at the Teleportplatz. Some are not too bad for free goods, and this brown checked wool suit is one of the better items. In its detail, it’s a little too frump for our Bertie, here, a little too working-man’s-woe, but as an outfit for the working classes, it’s quite fine. In a pinch, it might serve as a country walking suit for Mr. Wooster, although his man would endeavor to make the thing disappear.

Suggested

Sweater with shirt and tie ~ Male City Sweater, find in system folders

Trousers ~ Male City Jeans (recolored brown), find in system folders

Hat and Hair ~ Argrace Hunting “Very short” in light brown

Shoes ~ Lapoint & Bastchild wingtip with single and two-tone options (includes HUD)

Skin ~ Hermony, Leon

Eyes ~ Aveline mesh eyes in hazel, L$0@SL Marketplace 

Suit ~ Fredericks Sisters @Berlin Teleportplatz, Vintage Brown Drab Suit 1

Dressed for L$749 (shoes and hat/hair)

In Service

 

umbrella1

Here is that “formal” black suit previously posted, presented as one might dress if working in service as a valet, for example. Mr. Wooster’s man dresses very similar to this, although more generally with a tie rather than a bowtie.

This look also works for a City of London gent —  a clerk at a City firm —  or for a man working in the British civil service. Mr. Wooster, not being a working man of any sort, would be highly unlikely to wear such a combo. In fact, a black suit other than evening formal wear, is not something he would don.

More on the sitch with the gaping neck:

 

neck1

We here at Vestiary are not experts on the construction of virtual garments, but it is our understanding that mesh items are made to fit standard sizes, ranging from smaller to larger, and within those parameters, one really needs to adapt the avatar to fit. Mr. Wooster is modeling a ‘medium’ version of this suit’s top portion, which generally fits every other aspect of his frame. One could write tomes on the construction of the masculine and feminine in Second Life, but we’ll just comment here that the SL mind thinks men are supposed to have thick necks, a la an American football or rugby player. In reality, most men do not have necks the thickness of their heads. Mr. Wooster, certainly, is a slender man, and while he can go in for a spot of tennis or purposed stroll out on the links, he has never been one for the burlier sports in which one might find burly men with thick necks.

 

neck3

In order to get a tolerable fit on his neck, we practically had to give the poor sot a goiter. It’s an aggravating situation, but there we are.

Suggested

Suit ~ Bravura formal black suit, currently a group Christmas gift

Hat ~ Couture Chapeau bowler in black

Shoes ~ Citrus, men’s lace up dress shoes in black, part of this year’s Megastuff/Menstuff hunt prize.

Action James (includes color change HUD and a plethora of color options)

Hermony, Leon

Aveline mesh eyes in hazel, L$0@SL Marketplace 

Dressed for L$576

Formal wear, or just a black suit?

blacksuit1Location: Bryn Oh

A really joyful moment, when everything is oojah-cum-spiff, happens when one is able to procure goods without any layout of the cabbage, when the raiment is just lying there for the taking. This is not a perfect suit — the proprietor calls it a “formal” suit of clothing, but one might more be inclined to think of it as just a decent black suit. It’s perhaps more along the taste lines of Mr. Wooster’s gentleman’s personal gentleman, but if one is biffing about 1920s SL as a working man in service, this can’t be a bad option. And it’s free, kostenlos, requiring none of the do-re-mi. One could do worse, even with the ill-fitting collar.

blacksuitdetail

Suggested

Suit ~ Bravura formal black suit, currently a group Christmas gift

Hat ~ Couture Chapeau “Essex” lenin fedora, charcoal

Shoes ~ Citrus, men’s lace up dress shoes in black, part of this year’s Megastuff/Menstuff hunt prize.

Hair ~ Action James (includes color change HUD and a plethora of color options)

Skin ~ Hermony, Leon

Eyes ~ Aveline mesh eyes in hazel, L$0@SL Marketplace 

Dressed for L$576