shirts

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

Mr. Wooster’s wish list

To all the haberdashers and tailors of Second Life, here are a few things that we gents wandering about in the first half of the 20th century would really like to see. We might consider this a running series, as more things come to us.

A tall, spearpoint collar, ideally detachable (in white) to pair with different shirtings, and perhaps even interchangeable with a round point collar, which was the fashion in the first 20 years, and still worn through the 1920s

collar1Darcy Clothing

Ties in fun deco patterns and mid-century graphics, somewhat short and wide-ish — too many skinny ties in world, if you ask us. These may be a bit on the too bold side, but it provides an idea of the general theme. One might consult the tie pictured above with the collar.

decotiesFrom the Dallas Vintage Shop

A high-waisted trouser, particularly one with a crisp crease, and not with a contemporary ‘hipster’ skinny fit. Men wore their trousers high and loose, although a close fit around the ankle — a pegged look — was apparent through much of the 1920s and into the ‘30s in formal wear.

RaftHighwaistedTrousersGeorge Raft, still from Night After Night, 1932

Jackets and sporting coats with a high, pinched-in waist and long cut.

Raft_Full SuitGeorge Raft, again, still from Night After Night, 1932

A Norfolk jacket.

Gelly Tweed Full Norfolk Jacket_jpgBookster Tailoring

Plus-fours. How can we be expected to show our faces on the links without them? Nice and billowy, please.

bobbyjonesBobby Jones

An Optimo-style Panama Hat — note the rolled crease down the center of the crown. What would make this really jolly in SL is to have a changeable colour on hat (white, cream, maybe even to cocoa) and ribbon to maximize styling options.

optimopanamaFrom the Panama Hat Company

A mesh boater with colour-change ribbon, maybe one of those HUD thingummies that allow a number of options, inclusive of stripes.

FredAstaireBoaterMr. Astair in his famous boater

We also wish we had the technical savvy and and artistic chops to create these ourselves, but our attempts would likely be rudimentary, at best, and not even close to our own standards.

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

Suiting challenges

greysuit1Location: Black Hole, Britannia, London Ambiguity

Gents suitings, ah gents suitings. If one looks at the old fashion illustrations and in films from the late silent and early talkies era, one will notice that men’s sport coats and suit jackets were cut long, in some cases almost approaching mid-thigh. This Kauna suit that Mr. Wooster is modeling is among the better suits in all of SL; one cannot go wrong with a Kauna suit, generally speaking. That said, the lapel is not adequately peaked, being only just notched, and more than anything, the jacket is too short and too close-fitting. At the very least, the jacket’s too short for the ’20s; at the start of the decade, men’s jackets were fairly tight, but started to loosen up by mid-decade, laying the groundwork for the later extreme of the zoot suit. But early, mid or late in the decade, tighter or looser fit, the jackets were cut long. Mr. Arsenio Hall’s trademark suits of the 1980s were closer to a 1920s cut than that pictured here.

The contrasting plaid vest and a tie in a vivid shade of pink are spot on, however. Mr. Wooster, when living for a time in New York, acquired just such a pink tie, and struggled mightily with his valet over the subject.

The shirt was generally white, or perhaps striped, sometimes in some other color. Wooster, while on his own one day, gathered a collection of shirtings in a jolly mauve, so he would have worn such a thing if allowed to get away with it. His man absconded with the lot, however. He generally does not approve of Mr. Wooster’s taste for the colorful. Still, when in SL, our Bertram is able to sneak away from Jeeve’s sartorial oppression, and will take advantage of that from time to time.

As noted before, detachable collars on dress shirts were the norm and tend to be rather higher and longer than we see here — and almost invariably white, which gives us the patterned, striped or colored shirt with attached solid white collar we see today (and that was highly popular among the Wall Street set of the 1980s, another instance of men’s ’80s fashions giving nod to the 1920s). In fact, that trademark high, stiff collar would go a long way to making this suit look more like one of the interwar period.

Criticism aside, this look is generally suitable for early 20th century role play. We’ve seen gentlemen in Berlin wearing precisely this suit or one from Kauna in a different fabric. They look fine, don’t you know, and haven’t been given the boot for the way they dress.

Suggested

Suiting ~ Kauna XIV. Tweed Twill Grey (jacket & trousers worn)

Shirt ~ Kauna XIV in white

Tie ~ Kauna XIV accessories collection in coral

Waistcoat ~ Kauna XIV in Plaid Thistle

Hat ~ Elysium Frankie boy hat, acquired through the latest (now over) MenStuff Hunt

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

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$2200 (excluding skin, counting hair, although one could get away with a free hair base under the hat) 

Resources Consulted

The Black Tie Guide — Vintage shirts

Jeeves in the Springtime

Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest

Victoriana Magazine — Men in the 1920s