hats

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

 

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 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

The Cardigan, Part I

cardigan1Location: Basilique

The cardigan, we’ve been told, really came into its own via the influence of the Prince of Wales. Albert Edward, etc., that would be. Future Edward VII. From his earliest days in his sailor suit, he was quite the trend setter, and many of the styles we take for granted as the norm in the 1920s and beyond were set in motion as standards by that other Bertie.

Bertie, future Ed. Seventh, took to wearing a cardigan on the golf course, we understand. A pair of golfing plus fours would be grand with this, if such a thing existed in world, but perhaps not here in the Lago region of northern Italy where our Bertie, escutcheon of the Woosters, is sojourning for a spot of restorative mid-winter mild climate.

Suggested

Cardigan ~ Fatal, Duover Cardigan in brown

Trousers ~ Asteria MensWear, Broderick pants, brown

Shirt ~ Kauna XIV in white striped

Tie ~ Adjunct, Classic Bow Tie, plaids collection

Cap ~ Argrace Hunting with “Very short” hair in light brown, color-change cap

Boots ~ Hoorenbeek, Ray Ray

Dressed for L$1519

Resources Consulted

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

Peaky Blinders

pinky1Location: Neva Sky Villi

In the interest of appealing to a more economically modest set of characters, Mr. Wooster is today modeling a Peaky Blinders sort of aesthetic. We have not actually seen this television show, but understand that it does for the English underground economy set what Boardwalk Empire did for the American. This program, in contrast, is set in the English Midlands — the Small Heath section of Birmingham, to be exact — in the late teens and early 1920s, and is appropriately grey and gritty and coal-smokey in a way that Boardwalk generally was not. That is what we surmise from stills of the production, in any case. 

peaky-blinders-castPeaky Blinders cast, penny collars, cropped trousers, sturdy boots and all

An article in the Telegraph described in some detail the post-first World War style that marked the era, class and, consequently, the costuming on the program. There are few perfect solutions in world to affecting this look, naturally. The Deadwool penny collar shirt is hindered in its flexibility by not coming in a version that can be easily worn under jackets. The shirting poking out through the jacket fabric on the arms isn’t visible in the above photograph, only because of the way the shot is set up. How difficult would it be for the Deadwool maker to add some chest-only versions of this shirt to be worn under jackets, as Kauna and Hoorenbeek do with theirs? Surely not so very, what?

pinky2Note that the Deadwool shirt has suspenders as part of the graphic, and it is designed to go with a ‘gunslinger’ type trouser with a gun tie on the thigh. Wearing it with this trouser, our favorite at capturing an interwar aesthetic, necessitates a waistcoat. Otherwise, one is captured committing the redundancy of both suspenders and a belt. 

pinky3

Suggested

Jacket ~from the Kauna XIV suit. Tweed Twill Grey

Shirt ~ Deadwool, round collar shirt

Waistcoat ~ Kauna XIV in black

Trousers ~ Bastard, casual baggy in steel

Cap + Hair ~ Argrace Hunting “Very short” in light brown, color-change cap

Tie ~ W Bow Tie, striped fabrics @ SL Marketplace

Boots ~ Brii, casual military boots, black

Dressed for L$1924

Resources Consulted

The Telegraph — Your Winter Wardrobe, Peaky Blinders Style

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

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

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 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