brogues

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

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

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

Subtle Variations on the Casual Theme

countryhouse_edited-1[1] Location: Goatswood

We have nothing earth-shattering to offer today, but as we were messing about with this and that, here and there, we thought we might go ahead and capture a few photographs exploring just a little more country/casual attire.

We are dressed today in a muted plaid lounge jacket paired with our favorite casual, almost heather-mixture tweed trouser.  Two variations of waistcoat, shirt, tie and shoe are considered.

Let us discuss for a moment shoes. Again. A stout Oxford or derby shoe with brogued toe cap — pointed or not, two-toned or not — would have been a standard, but Mr. Wooster grows a little tired of them when worn all the time. As an alternative, he is experimenting with a rather festive saddle shoe in the second illustration. Saddle shoes started life as sporting shoes — particularly for golf — but by the 1930s were beginning to be coopted by women. Some today consider this a feminine shoe, but we’re satisfied with its inherent masculinity.

treesbase_edited-2[2] Location: Neva River

Mr. Wooster’s valet finds these shoes far too loud, alarming even, with the vivid combination of merlot and black, but Bertie is in full rebellion at the moment and will bally well wear them when and if he wants. 

Suggested

Jacket ~ Kauna XIV, Plaid Earth

Shirt [1] ~ Kauna XIV in white

Tie [1] ~ Adjunct, Classic Bow Tie, plaids collection

Shirt [2] ~ Hoorenbeek, Real Shirt with colour change HUD

Tie [2] ~ Hoorenbeek, mesh printed HUD

Waistcoat [1] ~ Kauna XIV in plain rust knit

Waistcoat [2] ~ Kauna XIV in black

Trousers ~ Bastard, herringbone tweed casual baggy

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

Shoes [2] ~ Lindy, Parker in black/merlot

Hat [1] ~ Quedra HD Design, free brown mesh fedora, tinted as desired

Glasses [1] ~ Body Factory, Antique Glasses, group gift

Mustache [1] ~ Fe Style, 6ED in brown

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

Dressed for L$1756 & L$2054, respectively

Resources Consulted

Vintage Dancer — Saddle Shoes Through the Decades

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 Double Breasted Blazer

blazer1Location: New Port Yacht Club

Mr. Wooster has been known to oil down to the South of France this time of year, to get away from the more demanding of his aunts as much as the weather. But he also starts to yearn for the lighter, more cheerful raiment that summer brings. To wit, his navy serge, double-breasted blazer with the jolly brass buttons, paired here with white flannel trousers and a Panama hat shaped in the Homburg style. We would prefer a Optimo style of Panama (see our latest wish-list post), but we’ll take what we can get.

We’ve also seen this classic blazer paired with cream-coloured short pants and a jaunty captain’s cap in a fashion illustration from the 1930s. Bow ties and ascots are appropriate neckwear, as well as the tie, but this particular model only comes with a tie. We have found, however, that one can get away with wearing a shirt from another maker rather than the shirt meant for the jacket, in which case one may be able to experiment with other neckwear options, as we’ve done here.

blazer2

Suggested

Blazer ~ Hoorenbeek, Double Breasted in blue

Trousers ~  Just Because, men’s mesh suit slacks, Modern Gatsby Collection in white

Shirt (second photo) ~ Kauna XIV in white

Tie (second photo) ~ W Bow Tie, striped fabrics @ SL Marketplace

Hat ~ Hyacinthe Luynes, Straw Homburg Hat @ SL Marketplace

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

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$1459 & L$1808

A country ramble

breeks1Location: Roche

In the last post, we presented this Kauna suit as a suitable option for urban day wear. The purchased package includes a pair of knickerbockers (what they call breeks) that serve well for sporting in the country. Plus fours  — so named because they are four inches longer than standard knee breeches and rather more voluminous — would be even better, being especially authentic to the era, but until some SL designer whiz drafts up a pair of those, these will do.

A word on that little spot of white shirting visible above the beltline — that is a decidedly late 2oth/early 21st century detail. In the first half of the 20th century, men wore their trousers at the natural waist. Few people born past 1970 or so have any idea where the natural waist is. They think it’s in the general region of the belly button or top of hips. No, dear reader; the natural waist is rather north of where people wear their trousers today. So-called “high-waisted” pants today are actually a natural waist fit, with the waistband at the point where the torso notches inward when looking straight on at the human physique. And when your trousers sit at the natural waist, all you would see in any notch at the bottom of your waistcoat is the fabric of the trouser, never the fabric of the shirt. This detail bothers us so much, we were tempted to Photoshop the issue away, but in the interest of truth in advertising, refrained from doing so.

As a side note, even contemporary style mavens suggest that men would look much more polished in their dress if they would like hike those trous up to the waistline.

About that mustache; Mr. Wooster’s man is greatly disturbed by it, and will no doubt endeavor to convince Bertie to remove the bally thing. According to Jeeves, you see, “A man’s character is better displayed through his actions than his attempts at facial hair.” That being said, a tidy mustache a la Ronald Coleman is very appropriate to the era.

colemanoldhollywoodincolor.com

Suggested

Suiting ~ Kauna XIV. Tweed Twill Grey (jacket, tie, breeks and socks worn)

Waistcoat ~ Kauna XIV in Plaid Thistle

Shirt ~ Kauna XIV in white

Hat + Hair ~ Argrace Hunting “Very short” in light brown (hat color can be changed)

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

Mustache ~ Fe Style, 6ED in brown

Skin ~ Hermony, Leon

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

Dressed for L$1775

Resources Consulted

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit

Sartorialist Lesson #1 — Wear Your Pants On Your Natural Waist, NOT Your Hips

Little brown suit

brownsuitLocation: Bryn Oh

In theory, dressing men in SL in early 20th century period appropriate clothing shouldn’t be that difficult. With a couple of suits and a handful of separates, most chappies would be well content. Alas, SL suits tend to be cut along rather close lines, as if just a little too tight. Dress shirt collars, the bane of an SL boulevardier’s existence, are too loose and too low, even by real life standards.

By way of illustration, note here Exhibit A. Mr. Wooster will wear this, because it isn’t shabby looking, but the cut of the vest is too tight, the jacket too short and close to the bone and sinew, the shirt collar looking for all the world like a lady’s jewel neckline. This suit is better suited to the 1960s, come to think of it, but it will do in a pinch for earlier eras.

But what he wouldn’t give for a Homburg to bung up on top of all this…

Suggestions

Suit ~ E.P.I.A. formal business suit, brown with tie and shirt color options

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

Hat ~ Couture Chapeau “Sleuth” fedora, brown

Hair ~ Dura-Boys 31 in Irish Coffee

Skin ~ Hermony, Leon

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

Dressed for L$1568

 

The chalk or pinstriped suit

Pinstripe1

Location: The North Pole

The ‘classic’ double breasted pinstriped suit with elevated waistline and short lapels that most readers may be thinking of didn’t really come into being until the 1930s. Mr. Wooster would have been decidedly ahead of the curve if wearing it in the ’20s, and his man servant did not encourage such avant garde sartorial choices. That said, for the purposes of larking about in the virtual first half of the 20th century, one can get away with the look in just about any sort of representation of post-World War I styling. Hard core virtual reenactors are not as particular as one might presume; they understand the limited choices available. A more pronounced peaked lapel on this jacket would have been welcomed, but there we are.

The gentlemen’s suitings pictured here include a single breasted jacket and waistcoat in a fabric that suggests more of a chalk stripe than a pinstripe. The difference? A pinstripe is a relatively faint line of thread with a pin-prick dot effect. A chalk stripe tends to be thicker and has more of a twisted rope effect. Chalk stripes are always more pronounced than pinstripes.

A word on collars — it’s a challenge to find a good, high fit suitable to the era in Second Life clothing, and that’s something one simply needs to come to terms with for one’s general peace of mind.

A word on shoes — the wingtip brogue is appropriate for this sort of urban day wear, even if the two-tone version may be a titch garish. Under no circumstances should you wear this shoe with your evening wear.

A word on hats — they are problematic in Second Life, unless of the sort with hat and hair built together. The best option is to wear hair that can be copied and modify. Keep one version for the unhatted head, and alter the copy with the hat on, eliminating all the bits and lumps of hair that stick out through the hat. Appropriate hat styles can be a problem, too. Approximations of fedoras, such as this one by Couture Chapeau, are easy enough to find, if sometimes a bit exaggerated, but gent’s hats in the first half of the 20th century came in a lot more varieties than that. Mr. Wooster is searching far and wide for a decent Homburg. Still, a fedora is a suitable option for this look. But by all means, you must have hats. Men wore hats all the time well up until the mid-1960s, really.

Suggested

Suit ~ Just Because navy pinstripe jacket, vest and trousers (top and trousers sold separately)

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

Hat ~ Couture Chapeau “Sleuth” fedora

Hair ~ Dura-Boys 31 in Irish Coffee

Skin ~ Hermony, Leon

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

Dressed for L$1473

Sources Consulted

The Gentleman’s Gazette