brown suit

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

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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

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 

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