Homburg

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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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

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 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

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

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