bowler

The Stresemann or stroller, more or less

stresemann1Location: Mayfair

Here is our attempt to replicate a classic 1920s stroller, otherwise known in this version as the Stresemann. Put together largely from pieces already in Mr. Wooster’s wardrobe, it’s not a bad approximation, even if it does look a little second-hand like something Mr. Chaplin might wear in one of his films (interesting to note that Chaplin’s ‘Little Tramp’ is dressed in what is is essentially a morning suit, although ill-fitting suggesting it might be a caste-off). A cut-away morning jacket was common until German foreign minister, Gustav Stresemann, trickled into a formal treaty signing event in 1925 clad in a single-breasted black lounge — sans tails — with matching waistcoat and striped trousers. And unto the world is born the Stresemann.

A tie is really a better option than a bow tie, in our estimation, but finding ties that work with jackets in SL can be catch as catch can, usually involving pieces that are specifically made to work with each other. But bow ties are not unsuitable. One in a jolly polka dot might be especially recommended.

A soft-collared shirt came into vogue at this point, but didn’t altogether replace the stiff wing collar. The former works better than the latter if trying to effect the more relaxed Stresemann style, however. One can take some liberties with shirt colour. We’ve seen illustrations with a blue stripe or a solid soft colour, such as dove grey or peach, in the tunic shirt. A buff-coloured waistcoat would be nice. The houndstooth or glencheck trousers are appropriate to the look, and may feel a little more relaxed than a striped sponge bag trouser. The cuff on the trouser would not be appropriate for more formal occasions and worn with a morning coat, but is acceptable with a stroller and when generally wanting to effect a less rigidly formal appearance, say, when attending the races. We might prefer a double-breasted jacket (known as a reefer) over the single-breasted lounge, but we’ll leave that for further experimentations.

We’ve seen the chamois yellow gloves in fashion illustrations of the era (black is unsuitable for daywear), and will repeat our profound desire for a Homburg to bung on top of this ensemble. Bowlers are considered suitable, however, and it or a relation of the Homburg called an “Eden,” are traditionally considered suitable to the costume. The latter looks close enough to a modest-brimmed fedora to make the hat choice depicted here not unreasonable, if somewhat imperfect. Imperfect though it may be, Mr. Wooster does not care to don his bowler much; the style evokes for him stuffed-bird old boys on the one hand, and energetic, loud New York roughnecked chappies on the other (to say nothing of ladies of the Bolivian highlands). The bowler is a schizophrenic hat.

stresemann2 copyWith bowler

Mr. Wooster took some decided sartorial liberties recently by completing the ensemble with two-toned Oxfords, but we’ve repaired that grave error in judgement with some cap-toed Oxfords in black. We like the idea of Balmoral or button boots, and spats would not be out of place, but avoid a Derby shoe with its open lacing system.

stresemann3Quarter and vamp construction on a true Oxford

  notoxford

Quarter and vamp construction on a Derby — note that the makers of this shoe (Pixelfashion) otherwise produced something really nice that would serve perfectly as a narrow-silhouetted Oxford of the era, if only they had put a proper closed lacing system on it. 

Overall, Bertie’s look is appropriate to rather more relaxed formal daywear occasions than the cut-away morning costume would be. The tuxedo is an evening garment, just to be clear; one would not wear a tuxedo to formal or semi-formal day events, and certainly not to the races, not even Ascot.

strollerandcutawaycopy1vbLet’s just say Mr. Wooster is trying to pull off the costume on the left.

Suggested

Jacket & Shirt ~ Bravura formal black suit, currently a group Christmas gift

Waistcoat ~ Kauna XIV in black

Tie ~ W Bow Tie, striped fabrics @ SL Marketplace

Pants ~ Bastard, Houndstooth “Casual Baggys”

Shoes ~ Haysuriza, Lace & Cap Consul [Shown but not worn: Pixelfashion “Oxford” shoes in black]

Hat ~ Couture Chapeau “Essex” lenin fedora, charcoal + Classic Derby in black

Gloves ~ Female Cosplay system gloves, colour changed

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$1088

Resources Consulted

Gentleman’s Gazette — The Difference Between Derby & Oxford

Gentleman’s Gazette — The Stresemann

Morning Dress Guide

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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