waistcoats

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

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

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

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

A country ramble

breeks1Location: Roche

In the last post, we presented this Kauna suit as a suitable option for urban day wear. The purchased package includes a pair of knickerbockers (what they call breeks) that serve well for sporting in the country. Plus fours  — so named because they are four inches longer than standard knee breeches and rather more voluminous — would be even better, being especially authentic to the era, but until some SL designer whiz drafts up a pair of those, these will do.

A word on that little spot of white shirting visible above the beltline — that is a decidedly late 2oth/early 21st century detail. In the first half of the 20th century, men wore their trousers at the natural waist. Few people born past 1970 or so have any idea where the natural waist is. They think it’s in the general region of the belly button or top of hips. No, dear reader; the natural waist is rather north of where people wear their trousers today. So-called “high-waisted” pants today are actually a natural waist fit, with the waistband at the point where the torso notches inward when looking straight on at the human physique. And when your trousers sit at the natural waist, all you would see in any notch at the bottom of your waistcoat is the fabric of the trouser, never the fabric of the shirt. This detail bothers us so much, we were tempted to Photoshop the issue away, but in the interest of truth in advertising, refrained from doing so.

As a side note, even contemporary style mavens suggest that men would look much more polished in their dress if they would like hike those trous up to the waistline.

About that mustache; Mr. Wooster’s man is greatly disturbed by it, and will no doubt endeavor to convince Bertie to remove the bally thing. According to Jeeves, you see, “A man’s character is better displayed through his actions than his attempts at facial hair.” That being said, a tidy mustache a la Ronald Coleman is very appropriate to the era.

colemanoldhollywoodincolor.com

Suggested

Suiting ~ Kauna XIV. Tweed Twill Grey (jacket, tie, breeks and socks worn)

Waistcoat ~ Kauna XIV in Plaid Thistle

Shirt ~ Kauna XIV in white

Hat + Hair ~ Argrace Hunting “Very short” in light brown (hat color can be changed)

Shoes ~ Fir & MNA, Ashford Brogue, grey and charcoal

Mustache ~ Fe Style, 6ED in brown

Skin ~ Hermony, Leon

Eyes ~ Aveline mesh eyes in hazel, L$0@SL Marketplace 

Dressed for L$1775

Resources Consulted

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit

Sartorialist Lesson #1 — Wear Your Pants On Your Natural Waist, NOT Your Hips

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