wingtips

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

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

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

Little brown suit

brownsuitLocation: Bryn Oh

In theory, dressing men in SL in early 20th century period appropriate clothing shouldn’t be that difficult. With a couple of suits and a handful of separates, most chappies would be well content. Alas, SL suits tend to be cut along rather close lines, as if just a little too tight. Dress shirt collars, the bane of an SL boulevardier’s existence, are too loose and too low, even by real life standards.

By way of illustration, note here Exhibit A. Mr. Wooster will wear this, because it isn’t shabby looking, but the cut of the vest is too tight, the jacket too short and close to the bone and sinew, the shirt collar looking for all the world like a lady’s jewel neckline. This suit is better suited to the 1960s, come to think of it, but it will do in a pinch for earlier eras.

But what he wouldn’t give for a Homburg to bung up on top of all this…

Suggestions

Suit ~ E.P.I.A. formal business suit, brown with tie and shirt color options

Shoes ~ Lapoint & Bastchild wingtip with single and two-tone options (includes HUD)

Hat ~ Couture Chapeau “Sleuth” fedora, brown

Hair ~ Dura-Boys 31 in Irish Coffee

Skin ~ Hermony, Leon

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

Dressed for L$1568

 

The chalk or pinstriped suit

Pinstripe1

Location: The North Pole

The ‘classic’ double breasted pinstriped suit with elevated waistline and short lapels that most readers may be thinking of didn’t really come into being until the 1930s. Mr. Wooster would have been decidedly ahead of the curve if wearing it in the ’20s, and his man servant did not encourage such avant garde sartorial choices. That said, for the purposes of larking about in the virtual first half of the 20th century, one can get away with the look in just about any sort of representation of post-World War I styling. Hard core virtual reenactors are not as particular as one might presume; they understand the limited choices available. A more pronounced peaked lapel on this jacket would have been welcomed, but there we are.

The gentlemen’s suitings pictured here include a single breasted jacket and waistcoat in a fabric that suggests more of a chalk stripe than a pinstripe. The difference? A pinstripe is a relatively faint line of thread with a pin-prick dot effect. A chalk stripe tends to be thicker and has more of a twisted rope effect. Chalk stripes are always more pronounced than pinstripes.

A word on collars — it’s a challenge to find a good, high fit suitable to the era in Second Life clothing, and that’s something one simply needs to come to terms with for one’s general peace of mind.

A word on shoes — the wingtip brogue is appropriate for this sort of urban day wear, even if the two-tone version may be a titch garish. Under no circumstances should you wear this shoe with your evening wear.

A word on hats — they are problematic in Second Life, unless of the sort with hat and hair built together. The best option is to wear hair that can be copied and modify. Keep one version for the unhatted head, and alter the copy with the hat on, eliminating all the bits and lumps of hair that stick out through the hat. Appropriate hat styles can be a problem, too. Approximations of fedoras, such as this one by Couture Chapeau, are easy enough to find, if sometimes a bit exaggerated, but gent’s hats in the first half of the 20th century came in a lot more varieties than that. Mr. Wooster is searching far and wide for a decent Homburg. Still, a fedora is a suitable option for this look. But by all means, you must have hats. Men wore hats all the time well up until the mid-1960s, really.

Suggested

Suit ~ Just Because navy pinstripe jacket, vest and trousers (top and trousers sold separately)

Shoes ~ Lapoint & Bastchild wingtip with single and two-tone options (includes HUD)

Hat ~ Couture Chapeau “Sleuth” fedora

Hair ~ Dura-Boys 31 in Irish Coffee

Skin ~ Hermony, Leon

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

Dressed for L$1473

Sources Consulted

The Gentleman’s Gazette