Urban Day Wear

Are the Irish Particularly Flamboyant?

FlanboyantGreenLocation: Frisland [1]

That Wilde-ish cape thingummy yesterday put us right in the way of this rather too much suit at Bravura, but while the ensemble may be a bit don’t-you-know — and likely to give Jeeves the vapors — at 299 leaves of cabbage with multiple combination options, it seemed unwise to resist its flamboyant charms. As period costume, it is, of course, imperfect, but we are appreciating the decently wide and peaked lapel, if not the button placements.

Would our Bertie don this raiment while in Ireland? Given his relative anonymity in Éire, perhaps so. Especially if he sneaks over without his man, don’t you know.

FlamboyantBlue[2]

As we noted, this suiting comes with several options for colors not just in the suit, itself, but for the waistcoat, shirt, tie and even awkward buttons.

FlamboyantBrown[3]

 

Suggested

Suit ~ Bravura, formal jacket and pants w/HUD (L$299)

Shoes [1] ~ Sebastian in mustard

Boots [2, 3]~  Hoorenbeek, Ray Ray

Hat [1, 2] ~ JfL, asymmetrical fedora in olive

Hat [3] ~ Couture Chapeau “Sleuth” fedora, brown

Dressed for L$724, L$1048 & L$1097, respectively

 

Our Yellowest Shoes

SebastianFullLocation: L’Arc-en-Ciel, Winterfall

“Jeeves,” I said.

“Sir?” said Jeeves. He had been clearing away the breakfast things, but at the sound of the young master’s voice cheesed it courteously.

“You were absolutely right about the weather. It is a juicy morning.”

“Decidedly, sir.”

“Spring and all that.”

“Yes, sir.”

“In the spring, Jeeves, a livelier iris gleams upon the burnished dove.”

“So I have been informed, sir.”

“Right ho! Then bring me my whangee, my yellowest shoes, and the old green Homburg. I’m going into the Park to do pastoral dances.”

It’s a bit early for pastoral dances in the park, unless one has been where we have been lately. Thoughts of spring intrude in situ, while much of the northern hemisphere is still shoveling snow. But, there we are. 

We’ve often wondered about this “yellow shoe” business that Mr. Wooster refers to in this passage. Was it really a true and unapologetic yellow, or was it what might be termed ‘tan’? A lighter shade of tan that approximates a pale brown that can be read as ‘yellow’, but still not blatantly yellow, if you know what we mean. We’re having a difficult time finding period illustrations or samples of truly yellow shoes, so have to assume that by “yellow,” our Bertie might mean something more like the following:

florsheim20s

1356043283_IMPERIAL_-_Cola_Tan_Polished_Calf_Leather_Mens_Brogue_Shoe

yellowtanshoe

shoesSlider_20

We also imagine these shoes in a perforated spectator style, a fashion that can be found in particularly dandy samples of spring/summer shoes for men in the 1920s and ‘30s. Unlike perforated broguing, these shoes would have had ventilation holes punched clear through a single layer of leather.

Sebastian1[1] The Sebastian shoe in “mustard” with perforated broguing. 

But in the interest of considering the other “yellow” possibilities, here are some additional options:

L&BFull[2] Our favorite brogued Oxford standby from Lapoint & Bastchild in the “cream” color option, which can read as yellow if one squints in the right light…

L&B1…but mostly reads as cream.

HaysurizaFull[3] The best option we’ve found for approximating what we’ve found in the period illustrations, from Haysuriza.

Haysuriza1

Whangee, by the way, is a bamboo grass with woody stems used to make things like canes, umbrella handles, handbag handles, cigarette holders. etc. We do not absolutely know what the “whangee” referred to above might be, but given that canes from whangee are commonly referred to as “whangees,” we’ll make a reasonable guess that Bertie is stepping out with a cane, rather than an umbrella on such a fine spring day. Alas, while there are canes in world, as have not discovered a whangee, specifically. 

chaplintrampMr. Chaplin with his crook-handled whangee, My Love of Old Hollywood

As for a green Homburg, we’d love one, although it might not be the best option for this particular suit. Our brown Homburg would be suitable, but we opted for the jauntier, perhaps a tad flashy, slouched fedora.

Suggested

Shoes [1] ~ Sebastian in mustard

Shoes [2] ~ Lapoint & Bastchild wingtip with single and two-tone options (includes HUD)

Shoes [3] ~ Haysuriza, Lace & Cap Consul in tan

Suit ~ FATEwear, Norton in “claypit”

Shirt & Tie ~ Hoorenbeek, Real Shirt, with print tie HUD added

Hat ~ Elysium Frankie boy hat, acquired through a past MenStuff Hunt, 

Dressed for [1] L$1915, [2] L$2139, [3] L$1900

Resources Consulted

“Jeeves in the Springtime”

Vintage Shoe Addict

Victorian? Edwardian? A little of Both? Something of Neither?

deadwoolGreenLocation ~ Britannia Village: London Ambiguity

Can we begin by just stating that we like this suit of clothes? Before we tear it to pieces? Yes, we do like this new offering from Deadwool (special price at The Mens Department, other colors available at the Deadwool tailor’s cabin), rather much, but like almost everything we find in world, it does have some issues that need to be addressed.

First, there are the usual crimes against period fashion, the most serious of which here is the tie hanging below the waistcoat. Without that, the pant waist might be able to pass for being high enough to be covered by said waistcoat.

Second, the era to which this garment is supposed to belong is a little ambiguous. The low, U-front, lapeled waistcoat was seen in men’s formal wear in the 20th century, but not in daywear lounges of the first half of the century. That and the tightness suggest, albeit imperfectly, the late Victorian period. However, for it to be properly late 19th century, the lapels of the jacket should be shorter, perhaps a bit wider, and the jacket should button up much higher — to mid-sternum, really.

Well, those are our criticisms. It’s not really suitable for the 1920s-1930s era fashions upon which we like to focus, but as we stated, we like the bally thing, regardless, and Bertie has been spotted in world wearing it. In fact, numerous men have been spotted in world wearing it. The place is fairly lousy with chappies decked out in this suit.

Below we’ve paired it with Motiame’s “chesterfield,” which is close enough to a proper Chesterfield to not quibble with the naming too much, although one might consider it a covert.

deadwool&chesterfield

Suggested

Suit ~ Deadwool @ TMD, the Dandy in green, jacket and pants sold separately

Boots ~ Hoorenbeek, Ray Ray

Hat ~ Hyacinthe Luynes, Homburg brown 

Coat ~ Motiame @ TMD, Chesterfield

Dressed for L$1215, L$1465 with coat

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

J.C. Leyendecker & Kuppenheimer’s Double-Breasted Suit

KuppenheimerDoubeBreastedNotations
J.C. Leyendecker, Kuppenheimer 40, circa 1925

In order to spark some late winter inspiration, we have been perusing the fashion illustrations of J.C. Leyendecker (1874-1951), a prolific, German-born, American illustrator active in the first half of the 20th century, and well known for his Saturday Evening Post covers, illustrations for the House of Kuppenheimer and decanting the Arrow Collar Man into the public consciousness. A (probably) gay man, he was instrumental in presenting an image of the ‘Perfect American Male’ — lean, strong, decidedly beautiful and with something of a ‘homo-erotic’ air about him — that set the bar for the illustration of men’s fashions from before WW I up through the 1940s. The 1920s marked the decided apex of his career. 

A word to in-world clothing content creators — if you want guidelines for creating period-realistic clothing for men, especially from about 1910 through the 1920s,  you would do well to study the illustrations of Joe Leyendecker. For our part, we are attempting to replicate some of the Kuppenheimer styles he captured in advertisements, with what we can find available. Without the solid foundation of accurately detailed content, however, it is a struggle. 

kuppenheimerdouble1[1] The Hoorenbeek double breasted suit. The lapels are too narrow, the top buttons too off-set, unless one is going for a 1930s style, but the narrow and long lapels kill that, and the drop is not exaggerated enough (‘drop’ referring to the waist to shoulder ratio; a pronounced drop means a significantly larger shoulder/chest breadth than the waist).

kuppenheimerdouble2[2] The same Hoorenbeek suit in a different light worn with accompanying tie, suggesting a broad Windsor or half-Windsor knot, too thick for anything before about 1936. 

Suggested

Suit ~ Hoorenbeek in beige

Shirt + Tie [1] ~ Hoorenbeek, Real Shirt, with print tie HUD added

Hat [2] ~ Hyacinthe Luynes, Homburg brown 

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

Location ~ St. John

Dressed for [1] L$1979 and [2] L$1234

Resources Consulted

Collectors Weekly — Before Rockwell, a Gay Artist Defined the Perfect American Male

JVJ Illustrators — Leyendecker

National Museum of American Illustration — J.C. Leyendecker: American Imagist

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

Defining Terms — The Reefer vs. The Lounge

reefer[1] Location: New Toulouse

The word “reefer” has a completely different meaning in contemporary parlance, but at one time it was the term employed to refer to the double breasted gentleman’s jacket. Our last post featured a reefer jacket with gilt buttons, referred to as a “blazer” because of the strong references to the nautical and sporting origins of the reefer jacket, in general. 

In Vincent’s Systems of Cutting, tailor W.D.F Vincent described the reefer thus: 

The double-breasted Reefer is a standard style of garment always worn by certain classes, and occasionally becomes fashionable for all. It is one of the regulation garments worn by the officers of his Majesty’s Navy, and is generally popular with yachtsmen and others leading a seafaring life…

Indeed, in nautical terms, a reefer is the person on a sailing ship who reefs the sails, that is to say, someone on a boat who does this or that, pulling and yanking, to adapt the size of the sail to the force of the wind. Makes the thing go, and what not. The pea coat, so strongly associated with rugged men of the seafaring sort, is a reefer cut. 

Mr. Wooster occasionally joins his Aunt Dahlia on her yacht, and books passage now and again to New York or France, but is otherwise not a seafaring man. That doesn’t stop him from wearing a very nautical looking reefer-cut blazer, however, and he’s partial to a reefer suit (sans shiny buttons), but has had some trouble finding one in world that is suitable in all its details. Frequently the lapel is not adequately peaked, the buttons are too prominent and/or one is forced into wearing a bow tie as neckwear when one really wants to wear a tie.  

stroller[2] The reefer jacket from Hoorenbeek’s double breasted suit, paired with houndstooth trousers, makes for a more polished stroller ensemble than the somewhat slapdash Stresemann approximation presented earlier.

It should be noted here that Mr. Wooster is wearing the shirt/tie combination from the Hoorenbeek lounge suit pictured below with the reefer suit, because the tie that comes with the latter has far too fat a knot for our taste. Gentlemen’s ties in the 1920s were not skinny, but they tended to be knotted tight and thin in the four-in-hand fashion. That said, there were many innovations in tie knotting the the ‘20s, because of new construction methods, but the wider Windsor knot didn’t come into vogue until later in the 1930s.

Lounge[3] We are not please with the low-slung waist on these trousers, and the concomitant appearance of both the waistband (and belt, if worn) and shirting. It has to be said. 

The lounge is a single breasted jacket, usually associated with matching trousers (and vest) in a suit of clothing. The lounge’s relatively ‘simple’ cut (we must interject here — gentlemen’s tailoring is never simple) and relaxed fit has its origins in sportswear, particularly the riding habit, and is actually a 19th century, middle class adaptation of such. So says fashion historian, Caroline Cox, although other sources indicate that its origins were somewhat more varied, coming together in a great confluence resulting in the lounge suit. 

The lounge is more commonly referred to today as the “business suit.” The Economist referred to it as the “battledress of the world’s businessmen,” as it happens, but Mr. Wooster is not a man of business. He is, however, a man who frequently lounges. 

Suggested

Reefer Suit [1] ~ Hoorenbeek in black

Trousers [2] ~ Bastard, Houndstooth “Casual Baggys”

Lounge Suit [3] ~ Hoorenbeek in grey

Shoes [1 & 2] ~ Haysuriza, Lace & Cap Consul

Shoes [3] ~ Lapoint & Bastchild wingtip with single and two-tone options (includes HUD)

Hat ~ Hyacinthe Luynes, Grey Homburg Hat @ SL Marketplace 

Gloves [2] ~ Female Cosplay system gloves, colour changed

Mustache ~ Fe Style, 6ED in brown

Dressed for L$1115,  L$1365  &  L$1366, respectively

Resources Consulted

BBC News Magazine — Morning suit v lounge suit

The Cutter and Tailor — Les Incroyables — The Origin of the Reefer Jacket

The Economist — Men’s /clothing — Suitably Dressed

Tie-a-Tie — The Evolution of the Necktie

The Homburg

Homburg1Location: MB Antiques — The Village

Mr Wooster has been rather pipped because of an apparent absence of a decent Homburg from the SL inventory. But today he’s absolutely full of beans. He found the elusive Homburg, and it’s not too bad, at that.

We believe we stumbled upon it before, but initially dismissed it. The photographs in the advertisement did not do it justice, suggesting a fedora rather than a true Homburg. Upon trying it on, however, we’re generally pleased with the effect.

The Homburg comes in a few subtle variations. Edwardian versions were more likely to have a tapered crown than later permutations. Homburgs have grosgrain-bound brims, sometimes in a subtly contrasting colour, while the “Lord’s Hat” does not and sports a crown that is pinched in the front. The hat depicted here does not have a discernible bound brim, yet is not pinched at the crown, so it’s a little neither-here-nor-there, but it will serve. Again, as they say in theater circles, close enough for a galloping horse.

Homburg2

We’ve seen them in a number of colours, but think black or grey are most suitable for urban environments. Greens and browns would serve well as country hats.

Suggested

Suiting ~ Kauna XIV. Tweed Twill Grey (jacket, shirt, bow tie & trousers worn)

Pocket handkerchief ~ Kauna XIV accessories collection in coral

Waistcoat ~ Kauna XIV in Plaid Pink

Gloves ~ Female Cosplay system gloves, colour changed

Hat ~ Hyacinthe Luynes, Grey Homburg Hat @ SL Marketplace

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 

Dressed for L$1719

Consulted Resources

Fabulous Hats — Nobile (sic) Homburg

Gentleman’s Gazette: Homburg Hat — Past, Present and Future

Suiting challenges

greysuit1Location: Black Hole, Britannia, London Ambiguity

Gents suitings, ah gents suitings. If one looks at the old fashion illustrations and in films from the late silent and early talkies era, one will notice that men’s sport coats and suit jackets were cut long, in some cases almost approaching mid-thigh. This Kauna suit that Mr. Wooster is modeling is among the better suits in all of SL; one cannot go wrong with a Kauna suit, generally speaking. That said, the lapel is not adequately peaked, being only just notched, and more than anything, the jacket is too short and too close-fitting. At the very least, the jacket’s too short for the ’20s; at the start of the decade, men’s jackets were fairly tight, but started to loosen up by mid-decade, laying the groundwork for the later extreme of the zoot suit. But early, mid or late in the decade, tighter or looser fit, the jackets were cut long. Mr. Arsenio Hall’s trademark suits of the 1980s were closer to a 1920s cut than that pictured here.

The contrasting plaid vest and a tie in a vivid shade of pink are spot on, however. Mr. Wooster, when living for a time in New York, acquired just such a pink tie, and struggled mightily with his valet over the subject.

The shirt was generally white, or perhaps striped, sometimes in some other color. Wooster, while on his own one day, gathered a collection of shirtings in a jolly mauve, so he would have worn such a thing if allowed to get away with it. His man absconded with the lot, however. He generally does not approve of Mr. Wooster’s taste for the colorful. Still, when in SL, our Bertram is able to sneak away from Jeeve’s sartorial oppression, and will take advantage of that from time to time.

As noted before, detachable collars on dress shirts were the norm and tend to be rather higher and longer than we see here — and almost invariably white, which gives us the patterned, striped or colored shirt with attached solid white collar we see today (and that was highly popular among the Wall Street set of the 1980s, another instance of men’s ’80s fashions giving nod to the 1920s). In fact, that trademark high, stiff collar would go a long way to making this suit look more like one of the interwar period.

Criticism aside, this look is generally suitable for early 20th century role play. We’ve seen gentlemen in Berlin wearing precisely this suit or one from Kauna in a different fabric. They look fine, don’t you know, and haven’t been given the boot for the way they dress.

Suggested

Suiting ~ Kauna XIV. Tweed Twill Grey (jacket & trousers worn)

Shirt ~ Kauna XIV in white

Tie ~ Kauna XIV accessories collection in coral

Waistcoat ~ Kauna XIV in Plaid Thistle

Hat ~ Elysium Frankie boy hat, acquired through the latest (now over) MenStuff Hunt

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)

Skin ~ Hermony, Leon

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

Dressed for L$2200 (excluding skin, counting hair, although one could get away with a free hair base under the hat) 

Resources Consulted

The Black Tie Guide — Vintage shirts

Jeeves in the Springtime

Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest

Victoriana Magazine — Men in the 1920s

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