Outerwear

A Wilde Sort of Moment

wildeLocation: Dandelion

We are planning an excursion to Ireland for later in the year, and began to feel just a titch Wilde. Our gentleman’s personal gentleman does not fully approve, Mr. Wilde having been noted for a flamboyant manner of dress that he tries to steer our Bertie away from. Well, never mind that. Mr. Wooster would have this cape, valets be damned.

Suggested

Cape ~ Bravura, houndstooth cloak in gold/black

Hat ~ JfL, asymmetrical fedora in olive

Suiting ~ Deadwool, the Dandy in green, jacket and pants sold separately

Boots ~ Hoorenbeek, Ray Ray

Dressed for L$1420

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The Cardigan, Part III — Argyle

cardigan3Location: Caelestium Isle

The argyle pattern, with its diamond lozenges intersected by diagonal lines, is identifiable at least back to some point in the 17th century, and is traditionally associated with the Clan Campbell of Argyll in Scotland. However, it was a Scottish knitwear company, Pringle, that popularized it after the first world war. They came up with their “signature” intarsia argyle pattern, which the eventual Duke of Windsor just loved to pieces, in the 1920s. Mostly associated with something one might wear out on the links (what we would give for a nice, billowy pair of mesh plus fours, we will state once again, because it cannot be overstated), an argyle cardigan is none-the-less an appropriate element for country and casual wear, generally speaking.

Suggested

Cardigan ~ Sey, mesh cardigan in beige argyle

Trousers ~ Bastard, casual baggy in herringbone tweed

Shirt + Tie ~ Hoorenbeek, Real Shirt, print shirt HUD and print tie HUD added

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

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

Dressed for L$2686

Resources Consulted

Pringle of Scotland — History

The Cardigan, Part II — Cable Knit

cardigan2Location: Basilique Members Club

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

Why would we be pulling out our school boy recitation of The Charge of the Light Brigade in a post about cardigans? Because, dear reader, the cardigan is so named after the general who was known for wearing a knitted woolen coat or jacket. Prince (later King) Bertie may have made the cardigan a recognizable go-to staple of the gentleman’s wardrobe, but he didn’t give it the name. The responsible party there is actually Lieutenant General James Thomas Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, KCB, with the help of Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The 7th Earl is also and not coincidentally famous for leading his Light Cavalry Brigade into a very sticky situation on October 25, 1854 in the battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War. That is what really put his name on people’s radar screens, or the mid-19th century equivalent of same. He happened to like to wear a knitted jacket that was common among military types of the day. Tennyson’s poem celebrating the Light Brigade helped make Lord Cardigan a household name, which consequently led to the garment becoming entangled with him. And there you have that.

We might wonder at a popular knitted jacket being named for such a character. After all, contemporary assessments of the general are not favorable. He is, in fact, seen as something of a military numbskull, and the Light Brigade charge — a band of men on horseback waving swords — into cannon fire recognized as being, well, rather dumb. But we forget that at the time, he was much ballyhooed, seen as a great hero of the Crimean War.

Cardigans were made into a fashion staple for women by Coco Chanel in the 1920s, but it took about another decade for them to be truly central to a gentleman’s casual wardrobe. We certainly see them on men in the 1920s and earlier, mostly on the links, but it’s really in the 1930s that we start seeing them all over the gentlemen’s fashion spreads.

Cable knits can be seen in fashion illustrations of the first half of the 20th century, worn on the ski slopes, the tennis court and the cricket pitch. A cable knit adds bulk and warmth, and is consequently particularly suitable for colder weather and presenting a casual, country ramble sort of look.

Suggested

Cardigan ~ Sakida, Irish cardigan in khaki

Trousers ~ Bastard, casual baggy in steel

Shirt ~ Kauna XIV in white

Tie ~  Kauna XIV fish grey (part of Tweed Twill Grey suit combination)

Cap ~ richie Kimono, tweed wheat flat cap

Shoes ~ Fir & MNA, Ashford Brogue, grey and charcoal

Dressed for L$1826, inclusive of Kauna suit elements not worn. With a separately purchased Kauna tie, this outfit would be L$1118.

Resources Consulted

Alfred, Lord Tennyson — Charge of the Light Brigade

Gentleman’s Gazette — The Cardigan Guide

VictorianWeb.org

Vintage Dancer — History of 1920s Men’s Sweaters, Pullovers, Cardigans

Holly Martins

HollyMartins2Effecting Holly Martins, The Third Man

We have not felt any particular compulsion to get involved with blog challenge thingummies, but this one was a little hard to resist. Slebrity blogger, Strawberry Singh issued a “Monday Meme” challenge, apparently an ongoing thing at her site, to come up with a post dressing one’s avatar as a favorite film character. Mine would hands down be Holly Martins as played by Joseph Cotten in the 1949 British film noir classic, The Third Man. This film is considered one of the best films ever made, and tops the United Kingdom’s all-time best films list. We have determined that someone should build a Third Man Vienna sim. In fact, wouldn’t it be jolly if the top 100 films of all time had their own in world location builds? I mean to say, what a spiffing idea, what?

holly martinsJoseph Cotten as Holly Martins and Trevor Howard as Major Calloway meet at the grave of Harry Lyme — but it’s actually the grave of hospital orderly, Josef Haben

Martins is this bumbling American, much out of his element, a writer of Western-themed pulp fiction with a tenacious desire for justice. As far a fictional characters go, he’s almost as irresistible as Mr. Wooster, himself.

HollyMartins1

HollyMartins3

Location: Babbage Cemetery

Suggested

Coat ~ Sharp, “duster” in grey

Hat ~ Couture Chapeau “Sleuth” fedora, black, edited to tilt back and to the side as worn by Mr. Cotten in many scenes of the film.

Shirt ~ Kauna XIV in white

Tie ~ Kauna XIV, Gryffindor stripe (free in store)

Waistcoat ~ Kauna XIV “Tanktop” in plain rust

Trousers ~ Bastard, casual baggys in steel

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

Dressed for L$1504

More On Overcoats

Deadwool1Deadwool, “duster” coat, brown, L$399

We continue with our sampling of overcoat options. Again, the use of the term “duster” is epidemic. For example, Exhibit A above; this “duster” has the patch pockets of an Ulster, but is otherwise cut more along the lines of a covert coat, if a little too long. The fabric appears to be an approximation of a diagonal twill weave, a not uncommon fabric for overcoats of the era. The collar is reminiscent of a Balmacaan, although with lapels, but the set-in sleeves are more covert or Chesterfield…

One begins to get a sense of how deceptively simple men’s clothing appears to be. Men’s clothing, especially ‘classic’ clothing, is the perfect subject for the detail-oriented obsessive. There exists so much particularity to what’s otherwise a pretty limited formula. Looked at in this light, one can almost comprehend why so many virtual makers just slap the “duster” label on all unbelted coats that fall below the knee, “trench” on all belted coats, and “pea” on all above-knee double breasted coats. It may simplify things, but as we were discussing with someone in an exchange just the other day, one would think that someone who devotes substantial time to making virtual clothing would, in real life, be something of a style aficionado who not only can tell the difference between a duster and an Ulster, an Ulster and a Chesterfield, a Chesterfield and a Balmacaan, etc., but who would be somewhat passionate about getting every last detail correct. In other words, it would seem to us that the making of virtual clothing would be the ideal outlet for the detail-oriented obsessive.

All that aside, we should note that this coat is textured to appear rather worn, and would be a good option for a character who is perhaps less pecuniarily sound or who is less particular about his appearance than our Mr. Wooster tends to be.

BunezaBunenza, Old Days in Chicago, brown, L$5

For the price — practically free — Exhibit B above is not a bad option for a “trench” style coat — and here they do get it pretty much right, what with the double breast, the epaulettes at the shoulder, the belt, sleeve straps and general feel. It must be noted, however, that a true trench is cotton gabardine, not the heavy wool suggested here, and more commonly has a raglan sleeve, rather than set-in sleeve, but that is a matter of personal preference. We do wonder, too, at the common virtual feature of the belt tied out of the way at the back.

sharpSharp, mesh “duster” in grey, L$298

Exhibit C appears to be made from a common mesh template as described in our last post. Whatever its amalgam of characteristics, it is not a duster. We are just saying.

Deadwool2Deadwool, Corto in black, L$490

We are frankly unsure what to call this style of coat. It has characteristics of a British warm and is textured to appear to be in a diagonal twill weave. It is a somewhat unconventional coat, so not for absolute sticklers, period-wise. The same can be said for the following:

fatewearblueFATEwear, Parker in lagoon, L$350

We appreciate this coat, with its fitted, single breasted Chesterfield feel, but the asymmetry of the closure and collar make this decidedly unconventional.

Suggested

Shirt ~ Hoorenbeek, Real Shirt with colour change HUD

Tie ~ Hoorenbeek, mesh printed HUD

Waistcoat ~ Kauna XIV in Plaid Thistle

Trousers ~ Bastard, casual baggys in herringbone tweed and steel

Hat ~ Quedra HD Design, free brown mesh fedora, tinted as desired

Hat ~ Couture Chapeau “Sleuth” fedora, black

Hat ~ Hyacinthe Luynes, Grey Homburg Hat @ SL Marketplace

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

Boots ~ Hoorenbeek, Ray Ray

Resources consulted

Die, Workwear — The Nearly Forgotten Balmacaan

Gentleman’s Gazette — The Covert Coat

Gentleman’s Gazette — Diagonal Twill Weave in Suits and Overcoats

Gentleman’s Gazette — Winter Fashions of the Quarter: Apparel Arts 1932

Overcoats — No, They Are Not Dusters

phunkApproximating a paletot, unbuttoned — One might possibly call this a ‘twine’ or ‘English wrap’, but it has characteristics of a British warm or greatcoat. Phunk, 10th Doctor Coat, L$125

What we really felt like discussing today is yellow shoes and pastoral dances in the park. The weather has been exceptionally clement where we are, beguiling us into believing that a discussion of springtime raiment would be perfectly appropriate. It is, however, only ten days past the ides of January. Our yellowest shoes would hardly be prudent. 

We have, instead, distracted ourselves with a sampling of overcoats. The good, old Chesterfield, the Ulster, the Guards coat and the paletot — variations on the overcoat — rule the day, and many of the coats that virtual clothiers call “dusters” are essentially one or the other of the aforementioned, even if some of the detailing is off. We are not sure what the obsession with “dusters” is among virtual tailors. Or rather, we wonder at the obsession with the name. 

A true duster, made of a linen or canvas, sometimes waxed for weatherization and suitable for sitting astride a horse while encouraging bovine companions to push it on along, is all well and good, but not every coat that falls to the knee and beyond can accurately be called a “duster.”  Certainly, a true duster is not for the carefree boulevardier as he makes his rounds from Mayfair flat, to club, to the Savoy grill for a spot of lunch, back to the club for an afternoon restorative, back to the Mayfair flat to leisurely dress for dinner and so forth and do on. A motoring duster might be called for when taking the roadster down to some aunt’s country seat for a house party, but even that is a bit old fashioned. 

coats-dz-dxduster-lgDrizabone duster from Australia

Well, never mind. All those so-called “dusters” we’ve found in world are perfectly fine overcoats approximating the variety of coats a gentleman of the first half of the 20th century might wear. We should not let a common misnomer stop us in our tracks. 

We do wonder, though, at the research virtual clothes makers put into their craft. I mean to say, it doesn’t take much poking around to learn the names of basic overcoat styles. Is it assumed that consumers are wooly-headed? I mean to say, what?

lestherandfleeceThe short “trench,” but without certain trench characteristics. The black leather on a trench-style coat is generally frowned upon, because of its associations with a certain German political movement, but this was a free hunt item, so we’ll let it pass. In this particular style with the fleece collar, the associations aren’t so strong. Overhigh, past promotional hunt item.

GabrielCoatApproximation of a British warm or “greatcoat,” unbuttoned, but vented like a paletot-sac. Gabriel @ The Men’s Dept, L$300

fatewear1The back venting of a duster, yes, but the fitted silhouette of a paletot.  FATEwear, Dante leather coat, L$300

fatewear2As above, but in fabric rather than leather. FATEwear, Fergy, L$300

A word on pricing — the Phunk coat at the top of the page is created from a rigged mesh, full permissions template, meaning the designer has only individualized this with textures. This is what we surmise from a search, in any case, and explains why we essentially see this coat over and over. That is fine, of course, because reputable resellers will provide a perfectly decent coat at a very affordable price, having saved on the labor involved in cutting the pattern themselves, as it were.

A word on those boots — The two-toned, cloth-top work boot may be a bit on the working man’s side of things, but it provides a period appropriate sturdy shoe as might be worn for country walks. It also works exceptionally well if trying to effect a working class look. We are very impressed with this shoe.

bootsHoorenbeek, Ray Ray boot, L$520

Suggested

Shirt ~ Hoorenbeek, Real Shirt with colour change HUD

Tie ~ Hoorenbeek, mesh printed HUD

Waistcoat ~ Kauna XIV in Plaid Thistle

Trousers ~ Bastard, casual baggys in herringbone tweed and steel

Hat ~ Quedra HD Design, free brown mesh fedora, tinted as desired

Hat ~ Couture Chapeau “Sleuth” fedora, black

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

Resources Consulted

The Gentleman’s Gazette — The British WarmOvercoat

The Gentleman’s Gazette — The Chesterfield Overcoat

The Gentleman’s Gazette — The Guards Coat

The Gentleman’s Gazette — Overcoat, Topcoat, Greatcoat: Terminology Explained

The Gentleman’s Gazette — Paletot: The Double Breasted Overcoat

The Gentleman’s Gazette — The Ulster Overcoat

Jazz Age Flamboyance Considered

Flamboyant1Location: Timeless Memories [1]

We are great admirers of the goods purveyed by Deco, although they tend to be designed for a more adventuresome set, whether in terms of action or dress. This “duster” style coat (so called by the designers, but really more of a Guards coat or paletot) and ensemble, for example, is not something Mr. Wooster’s valet would stick for long at any price. Within two shakes of a duck’s tail — dare we say, perhaps even within but a single shake of said bird’s posterior plumage — this ripe item would have been spirited away to an East End consignment shop, where it no doubt would fall into the glad hands of an up and coming man of business in the underground economy. It is rather more “Nucky” Johnson, upon whom Mr. Buscemi’s character, Nucky Thompson in Boardwalk Empire is based, or even the extraordinarily flamboyant Chalky White character in same program, than Bertram Wilberforce Wooster. But if that is your ‘thing’, as they say, by all means, dash it, take it for a stroll ’round the square.

Flamboyance is something that Mr. Wooster attempts from time-to-time, never with any great success. Either he gives the juicy article of clothing a rational second thought once he catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror, or his valet compels him to see reason. If the episode of the white mess dinner jacket acquired at Cannes is anything to go by, we rather doubt this “duster” will even make it through the threshold of Mr. Wooster’s flat. The white mess dinner jacket, after all, was in comparison quite restrained. 

This reminds us — we must find a white mess dinner jacket.

Flamboyant2[2]

Suggested

Coat ~ Deco, His Peacemaker leather duster, modeled in brown [1] and red [2], waistcoat/jacket built in

Shirt ~ Hoorenbeek, Real Shirt with colour change HUD

Tie ~ Hoorenbeek, mesh printed HUD

Trousers [1] ~ Bastard, herringbone tweed casual baggy

Trousers [2] ~ Kauna XIV. Tweed Twill Grey (part of full ensemble sold together)

Hat ~ Hyacinthe Luynes, Homburg brown [1] & grey [2] @ SL Marketplace 

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

Mustache ~ Fe Style, 6ED in brown

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

Dressed for L$2304 & 2951, respectively

Resources Consulted

Right Ho, Jeeves

Thoughts on Casual Wear

TweedyLocation: Frisland

We’ve come to the conclusion today that perhaps the most challenging part of dressing the part is when we wish to dress down. Gentlemen of the early 20th century would wear some variation of the lounge suit on any and all occasions, on any and all days of the week. That said, sportswear came into its own in the interwar period. A man of Mr. Wooster’s class would have his golfing plus fours worn with a jumper and jaunty tam-o-shanter hat; his tennis whites; his cricket whites; his hiking, fishing and shooting kits.

But even if not a particularly sporty chap, a fellow would certainly don on a lazy Saturday spent at home, especially in the country, a comfortable jumper over his shirt and tie, and a relaxed pair of trousers in flannel or tweed, perhaps a gabardine or in the summer, a linen or linen blend. If of the younger, more adventuresome set, he might even wear a pair of Oxford bags, which came onto the scene among the more rebellious students at said school in 1924. Wooster, an Oxford man himself, might consider them, but at the cost of his valet staging a major rebellion of his own. Still, if we found them in world, we’d give them a spin around the flat.

bagsI mean to say, wow!

SL has some reasonable, if imperfect, suiting options and some really rather good evening wear, but casual ensembles appropriate to the era are largely up to the individual to piece together as well as he can. This has its positive aspects, if one enjoys the challenge and exercise of creative juices, but it can also be frustrating. Things don’t always work together so well in world. Pieces get all wobbly when one tries to pile them on top of other pieces. 

tweedy2

We built this look today around the desire to make some kind of use of a free hunt item coat, because, by gad, when we acquire a likely item for free, we want to make decent use of it. We’ve found, however, that we can easily lay out more green cabbage trying to make a free item work than we would purchasing a ready-to-wear ensemble. As our dear old mater used to say, there is no such thing as a free puppy.

Suggested

Shirt ~ Hoorenbeek, Real Shirt with colour change HUD

Tie ~ Hoorenbeek, mesh printed HUD

Knit vest ~ Kauna XIV in plain rust

Trousers ~ Bastard, herringbone tweed casual baggy

Coat ~ Tamiron Forge, Trench Coat in brown, past Men Only Hunt item

Hat ~ Quedra HD Design, free brown mesh fedora, tinted as desired

Shoes ~ Gabriel, wingtip in brown, past group gift

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

Dress for L$1526, inclusive of hair. It should be noted that one gets a LOT of shirting and tie options for the price with the Hoorenbeek shirts.

Resources Consulted

Fashion Encyclopedia – Modern World 1919-1929

The Trench Coat

trench1Location: 1920s Berlin Project

While most fashionable men’s coats in the 1920s were unbelted, double-breasted varieties and generally wool — occasionally fur, if the gentleman were a little on the vulgar side, if rolling in plenty of cabbage — the trench was decidedly a thing. The origins are a little obscure, but it was a standard military style of overcoat by the Boer War, and ubiquitous by the Great War. Pre-Great War tenches were longer, well past the knees, but the hem line moved north on some models during the War, possibly for very practical reasons (less of one’s kit to drag through the mud, don’t you know). We’ve never seen an old photograph or illustration of one quite this short, but this was a free hunt item, and for free, who’s going to complain? It’s close enough for a galloping horse, as they say in theater circles.

About the trousers — we have a bit of a problem here; the fit on these trousers is too narrow and there is no discernible crease. Men’s trousers in that era were fairly wide and the sharp, crisp crease was an important feature of the overall silhouette. It’s too bad, but just as it’s difficult to come by a really good period collar in SL, it’s difficult to get a good crease on one’s trousers. These look like they fell into the hands of Alistair Bingham-Reeves’ valet, an excrescence famous for pressing his employer’s trousers sideways.

Mr. Wooster has a decidedly Trevor Howard-in-The Third Man air about him here, and old Trevor would have only been a boy of about 10 or 11 years old in the mid-1920s. He didn’t come into his recognizable adult own with this look until some years later. The Third Man, as a matter of fact, came out in 1949.

third_callowayTrevor Howard still from The Third Man, 1949, moonboog.com

While a bit of an anachronism in some of the details, this is still a nice look and won’t get you tossed out on your ear from any interwar sim. Mr. Wooster, wandering the snowy streets of Berlin tonight, fits in just fine.

trenchscene1

trenchscene2

 

Suggested

Trenchcoat ~ Jana’s For Men, acquired at a past Menstuff Hunt for free

Trousers ~ Munereia, Carbeseu, former group gift

Shirt ~ Kauna XIV in white

Tie ~ Kauna Tuxedo XIV accessories: Hogwarts collection, Hufflepuff, free at the store

Hat ~ Elysium Frankie boy hat, acquired at a past Menstuff Hunt for free

Shoes ~ Coco, Oxford two-tone, past group gift

Mustache ~ Fe Style, 6ED in brown

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$369

Resources Consulted

Gentleman’s Gazette — Trench Coat Guide

Jeeves and the Hard-Boiled Egg

Love to Know — Men’s Fashion in the 1920s