ties

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

Advertisements

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

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 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

The Trench Coat

trench1Location: 1920s Berlin Project

While most fashionable men’s coats in the 1920s were unbelted, double-breasted varieties and generally wool — occasionally fur, if the gentleman were a little on the vulgar side, if rolling in plenty of cabbage — the trench was decidedly a thing. The origins are a little obscure, but it was a standard military style of overcoat by the Boer War, and ubiquitous by the Great War. Pre-Great War tenches were longer, well past the knees, but the hem line moved north on some models during the War, possibly for very practical reasons (less of one’s kit to drag through the mud, don’t you know). We’ve never seen an old photograph or illustration of one quite this short, but this was a free hunt item, and for free, who’s going to complain? It’s close enough for a galloping horse, as they say in theater circles.

About the trousers — we have a bit of a problem here; the fit on these trousers is too narrow and there is no discernible crease. Men’s trousers in that era were fairly wide and the sharp, crisp crease was an important feature of the overall silhouette. It’s too bad, but just as it’s difficult to come by a really good period collar in SL, it’s difficult to get a good crease on one’s trousers. These look like they fell into the hands of Alistair Bingham-Reeves’ valet, an excrescence famous for pressing his employer’s trousers sideways.

Mr. Wooster has a decidedly Trevor Howard-in-The Third Man air about him here, and old Trevor would have only been a boy of about 10 or 11 years old in the mid-1920s. He didn’t come into his recognizable adult own with this look until some years later. The Third Man, as a matter of fact, came out in 1949.

third_callowayTrevor Howard still from The Third Man, 1949, moonboog.com

While a bit of an anachronism in some of the details, this is still a nice look and won’t get you tossed out on your ear from any interwar sim. Mr. Wooster, wandering the snowy streets of Berlin tonight, fits in just fine.

trenchscene1

trenchscene2

 

Suggested

Trenchcoat ~ Jana’s For Men, acquired at a past Menstuff Hunt for free

Trousers ~ Munereia, Carbeseu, former group gift

Shirt ~ Kauna XIV in white

Tie ~ Kauna Tuxedo XIV accessories: Hogwarts collection, Hufflepuff, free at the store

Hat ~ Elysium Frankie boy hat, acquired at a past Menstuff Hunt for free

Shoes ~ Coco, Oxford two-tone, past group gift

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$369

Resources Consulted

Gentleman’s Gazette — Trench Coat Guide

Jeeves and the Hard-Boiled Egg

Love to Know — Men’s Fashion in the 1920s

 

Rolling up the old sleeves

newsboy1Location: L’Arc-en-Ciel

Mr. Wooster is not a working man, ‘though his Aunt Agatha, the old battle ax, once tried to set him up as the private secretary to some formidable cabinet minister Johnnie. Bertram would not stick that any price, and his valet managed to extricate him from the soup.

But what might have happened if he did take some sort of a position, a “job,” as they call it? He might, in the seclusion of a back office, peel down to his vest and shirtsleeves for some dusty filing work, and could look rather like this. The shoes are rather too modern, more suitable to a look some decades later. Loafers or slippers did exist in the 1920s, generally worn as a casual country or house shoe, but these classic men’s driving shoes are really an invention of the early 1960s. Mr. Wooster is truly in the vanguard here. A more appropriate style would be a pair of wingtip brogues or oxfords.

Suggested

Vest, Shirt & Tie ~ Just Because, MG Newsboy Shirt in cream/white

Trousers ~ Munereia, caldo pants, former group gift

Shoes ~ Gabriel, Driving Shoes in brown, group gift

Socks ~ SL system folder, recolored in red

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

Glasses ~ Atlash vintage Victorian spectacles, from SL marketplace

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$902 

Resources Consulted

Life with Jeeves

Modern Gentleman — Driving Shoes

Vintage Dancer — Men’s 1920s Shoes History and Buying Guide

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