In a Man’s Closet | 2012 Cool Weather Edition (10 Things)

I must pref­ace, I apol­o­gize for the lengthy post.  It’s well worth it.

1) It’s all in the bag.

a. Alen­jan­dro Ingelmo duf­fle.  Much loved.

b. Hold-all bag.  Much loved.  Brand?  Couldn’t say.

Any trav­el­ing man needs a holdall for those week­end jaunts or three-day busi­ness trips.”  (

The plain toe derby’s, 5 but­ton cuff sin­gle breasted two but­ton (mar­velous but­tons) enclo­sure jacket and jeans that drape more than well divert your atten­tion… I know this.  Pay heed, it’s all in the bag.

c. Jerome Drey­fuss but­tery goat skin tote bag.  Men’s totes are becom­ing more and more preva­lent, pay much needed heed in 2012.

Totes are a mod­ern approach to the clas­sic brief­case.  Resem­bling an artisan’s bag, the tote is the utmost in casual busi­ness attire. Its basic design and usual soft leather exte­rior allots it a clas­sic sta­tus… if pur­chased in a choco­late brown or black, this bag can add a touch of laid-back mas­culin­ity to any casual work wear.” (


d. Blind Chic, Big Bad Wolf 2 mes­sen­ger bag.  “Blind Chic is a Hun­gar­ian bag man­u­fac­turer, they make really cool and afford­able waxed can­vas mes­sen­ger back­packs. The one fea­tured here is the Big Bad Wolf 2, it fea­tures two front pock­ets, one of them (high pocket) spe­cially made for mini bike pump. The mil­i­tary green bag is made of water­proof mil­i­tary waxed cot­ton can­vas and includes padded shoul­der straps and two adjustable straps on each side.”  Cour­tesy of


2) Drop shoul­der seam t-shirt sweater.  The drop shoul­der seams pro­vide the great­est casual fit.  Cour­tesy of Raf Simons’ Autumn/Winter 2011–2012 collection.

3) Vel­vet blazer: Jimi Hen­drix, the epit­ome of Pur­ple Haze puts your mind in a daze.  Catch him here sport­ing this maroon vel­vet blazer.  A time­less piece for your col­lec­tion in cooler cli­mates.  Go cocoa brown, rich black, maroon, dark pur­ple, char­coal or Maserati / mid­night blue…

4) Footwear, shoe game.

Oxfords (British) = Bal­morals (Eng­lish) = Closed Lace
Derby’s (British) = Bluchers (Eng­lish) = Open Lace

For­rest Gump: My momma always said you can tell a lot about a per­son by their shoes, where the go, where they’ve been…

Walk on air, tippy toe around the world with some­thing sporty on thy feet.  Here is some direc­tion, always seek per­fec­tion, I hope this is inspiration…

a. Anto­nio Mau­r­izi wingtip bal­morals (closed lace): The W extend­ing mid way thru the foot sig­ni­fies the wing tip (if the wing extended thru to the back-of-the-foot / heel it’d be con­sid­ered a long­wing); best when worn in a for­mal busi­ness set­ting.  This pair shows nil brogue per­fo­ra­tions aka holes in the medal­lion (area above the toes) and else­where.  Such per­fo­ra­tions serve as design aes­thet­ics in con­tem­po­rary use and served as drain holes in the old age, as brought into exis­tence by the Irish and Scot­tish.  The more per­fo­ra­tions the less for­mal.  If you wear suits daily you should rotate at min­i­mum three pairs of bal­morals.  Mag­nif­i­cent Bas­tard finds this same pair too lengthy as in “the toe shape doesn’t plot high enough.”  I pre­fer pointy & long although with­out try­ing on the pair I can’t say much.  From the looks of it, I see a flat­ter­ing con­struc­tion of a dress shoe.

b. Berluti

i. The Pierc­ing col­lec­tion.  The name says it all–I pre­fer such a pointy toe.  Shown are whole cut bal­morals.  Def­i­nitely accept­able with a din­ner suit.  

c. Gaziano & Girling Ltd.  Here are balmoral’s with min­i­mal brogue on the medal­lion.  Given the brogue and scream­ing brown hue, this pair is unac­cept­able when cou­pled with a din­ner suit; nor is the shoe whole cut (made entirely of one piece of leather).  One may sport glossy plain toe oxfords as opposed to whole cuts with a din­ner suit and that’d be con­sid­ered accept­able unless of course, din­ner suits are of daily occa­sion for thee.  If wear­ing calf skin plain toe oxfords with a din­ner suit, you must pol­ish, pol­ish and pol­ish that calf skin to illus­trate a glossy shine.  Patent leather whole cut oxfords or patent leather plain toe oxfords with din­ner suits are the norm.  Sorry, this deems a post in and of itself.  The square toe illus­trated here is out.  Go pointier and rounder.

d. Gaziano & Girling.  Two tone, half suede, half calf skin bal­moral wingtips.  Well done.  These work best with for­mal busi­ness attire and may be dressed down with jeans and a sports coat.

e. Go casual with Neil Barret’s arti­san bond­ing col­lec­tion…

f. Paul Smith Col­lec­tion.  Loomis Chukkas bring the ruckus…

g. Ron­nie Fleg

i. Ron­nie Fleg Delancey Boot.  Got swag­ger, can’t knock the hus­tle.  I don’t enjoy using the term swag­ger but I couldn’t help myself.

ii. Ron­nie Fleg Seneca Boot.  Swag­ger to the max.  These are benev­o­lent.  I don’t enjoy using the term swag­ger but I really, really couldn’t help myself.

h. Zon­key Boots

i. Walk miles in style…

ii. Walk the Saha­ran in these Zonkey’s.  Pull out your tongue like MJ and wig­gle it with Mon­i­tor Lizards, slip-n-slide with Sand Vipers, con­spire with Death­stalker Scor­pi­ons and take a minute in the fast lane to run side­ways on the desert high­way with flight­less Ostrich.  I pre­fer all black desert boots with a min­i­mal­ist heel but these will suf­fice.
 iii. Who needs toe warm­ers when walk­ing won­ders in the Zon­key col­lec­tion.  Plain cap-toe wool col­lec­tion…

i. H by Hud­son Hudson

i.  Mcgeachy shoes.  Hybrid fab­ric, multi-tone, half plaid wool, half calf skin…

ii.  Mcgeachy shoes.  Hybrid fab­ric, multi-tone, half plaid wool, half calf skin.  I call it the urban desert col­lec­tion…

iii. Nickel Derby’s in brown (plain toe).  I’d only sport these with jeans.  Only with jeans.

j. Patta Kan­ga­roos Hik­ing Boots.  Who needs a bike when you hike, every­day is a hike, if you need a LIKE sport these, be a good sport, tell the haters take a hike…

k. Com­mon Projects Calf Vel­vet Shoe, fel­las pay heed…

l. Saucony… retro


m. Alden.  Blue suede tas­sel loafers.  Inspi­ra­tion cour­tesy of Shoe Snob.

n. Pierre Corthay.  Parisian bespoke shoe­maker.  If you’re a novel observer of footwear I advise you click on Pierre Corthay above (I’ve linked it), browse the col­lec­tions and read snip­pets about the col­lec­tions.

o. TOMS.  I save the best for last.  TOMS was founded on the sim­ple premise, “For every pair you pur­chase TOMS will give a new pair to a child in need.  One for one.”  Shown here are black wool fleck fleece Botas (High­lands).  Cour­tesy of


5) Hat game

a. Bor­salino, bowler / derby hat.  “A bowler is a sturdy hat with a rounded crown. The brim of the hat extends out a few inches and is sim­i­larly rounded. The ori­gins of the hat date back to approx­i­mately 1850. The bowler hat got its name from the mak­ers of the hat – Thomas Bowler and William Bowler. His­to­ri­ans believe the bowler hat was cre­ated as a styl­ish way to pro­tect the head when on horse­back.  Char­lie Chap­lin, as well as Lau­rel and Hardy, were know for their bowler hats. In the United States, a bowler hat is known as a “derby,” while in Eng­land it’s called a bowler.”  Cour­tesy of

A phe­nom­e­nal combo when worn with a pale­tot over­coat (pale­tot is depicted below in the post).  Bowlers don’t suit me.  Bar­bi­sio makes a fine bowler.

b. Bar­bi­sio fedora / trilby / Indi­ana Jones hat / Humphrey Bog­art hat / gang­ster hat.  “A fedora is made of soft felt and is most rec­og­niz­able by its pinched front and the crease that trav­els length­wise on the crown. The brim extends out and is some­times bent down over the eyes. Most fedora hats fea­ture a hat band.  Fedo­ras first appeared in the late 1800s, how­ever this style of hat didn’t become pop­u­lar until the 1930s. Still pop­u­lar today, fedo­ras are often asso­ci­ated in mod­ern times with wealth and class. Men rang­ing from Humphrey Bog­art to the fic­tional Indi­ana Jones are known for their fedora hats.”  Cour­tesy of

c. Bar­bi­sio bucket hat / Gilligan’s hat (Gilligan’s Island) / sailor hat / dixie cup hat
d) I save the best for last.  The south side of Chicago is deemed “The hat cap­i­tal of the world.”  I highly rec­om­mend those in and around the city to visit Optimo Hat Co.  Click here to watch their video.

6) Over­coat / morn­ing coat / top coat.  How does a young spank decide on when to wear what type of coat?

a. “The Pale­tot has a wide spec­trum of use and is the ideal com­pan­ion for a num­ber of occa­sions.  In a plain navy cloth, it is the per­fect city top­coat that can be worn with pin striped suits as well as with  tuxe­dos or even tail­coats. It is also a great choice for a Stroller suit or a morn­ing coat. With the addi­tion of a detach­able fur col­lar or lapels and cuffs of matte silk, it becomes a very spe­cial evening over­coat. It looks par­tic­u­larly dap­per with a con­trast­ing vel­vet col­lar.”

If you are look­ing for one coat that is suit­able for almost all occa­sions, then a Pale­tot made of flan­nel or tweed in char­coal or navy might be the best choice. For exam­ple, a plain dark gray and blue tweed Pale­tot can be worn with a plaid tweed suit as well as with a busi­ness suit or evening wear and I am sure the wearer will always look quite well put together.  Espe­cially for stu­dents or gen­tle­men with a lim­ited bud­get, the Pale­tot is an ideal top­coat that is suited for such a wide range of events and occa­sions. Later in life, you can upgrade and refine your top­coat wardrobe, but there is always room for a good Pale­tot.”  Cour­tesy of

By the way, pop­ping the col­lar on an over­coat is accept­able; one being style and two, to pro­tect thy neck from sheets of ice.  Pop­ping col­lars on gar­ments other than coats is usu­ally unac­cept­able although I am guilty of it from time to time  (only dur­ing casual occa­sions within a close cir­cle of friends) given my neck is quite long.

Any­thing dou­ble breasted makes you look fat­ter than you are.  The 4 x 2 but­ton enclo­sure is quite unique although it adds the flare.  This sub­ject deems a post of its own.

b. Seam­less shoul­ders work best in for­mal busi­ness attire, they drape exquis­itely.  Cour­tesy of Raf Simons’ 2012 col­lec­tion.  The pur­ple here screams too loud for my cam­ou­flage self.  The tai­lored, body con­toured, fit­ted look is not going away.  The extra relaxed look as shown here comes and goes and it’s trend­ing big for 2012.

7) Hoodie weather.  Keep a set of qual­ity hood­ies.  Pay close atten­tion to the qual­ity of the hood itself as I pre­fer a heav­ier hood.

a. ASAP Rocky here of NY is seen in some funny look­ing cam­ou­flage capris and in a hoodie for his boo­gie night ahead.

b. Yela­wolf.  In an inter­view when Sway asked Yela of his first encounter with Eminem, Yela cites Eminem intro­duced him­self as, “What up, I’m Mar­shall.”  Funny isn’t it, as Yela responded, “Yeah I know dog.”  We found that funny.  Watch the inter­view.  Catch Yela in a hoodie here.  The boy has style, you reckon?

8) Scarves.  Dec­o­rat­ing one­self in a scarf is a style in and of itself not to men­tion the plethora of scarf knots that fur­ther sig­nify your niche.  Pay heed to this extra long scarf, cour­tesy of Burberry Pror­sum.  BTW, nice duffle.

When in scarf talk, a sta­ple col­lec­tion is inclu­sive of tar­tans in wool (merino), fine cottons/cashmeres in solid neu­tral hues–in fine her­ring­bone or twill accom­pa­nied by fringe tas­sels, cable-knits, cash­meres in hound­stooth with fringe tas­sels etc. and for those more fash­ion for­ward, silk stoles.  Such neck­wear has become an imper­a­tive acces­sory to the well attired man allow­ing gen­tle­men to add that much needed flair to their ensem­ble.  The vari­a­tions are end­less.  When suited in solid attire go with a plaid or striped scarf.  The scarf doesn’t have to match your tie, rather make it com­pli­ment your com­plex­ion and out­fit.  Fringe adds that touch of upper ech­e­lon class.  If you’re not dodg­ing wind chill and sheets of ice, let the scarf knot hang loose around thy neck.  Get some gloves too.  No one likes a cold hand­shake… be a man!  Gin Ando at ManofTheHouse.Com says, “A cash­mere or merino scarf in a solid, sub­dued color adds a sort of final­ity to the outfit—a sense of clo­sure brought on by con­nect­ing both color and for­mal­ity of an over­coat and trousers. The cost of cash­mere, when it’s that close to your neck, is worth every penny.“

9) Drop crotch denim.  Marithé et François Gir­baud denim.  Wow, very styl­ish; I haven’t had a pair of Girbaud’s since my uni­ver­sity days.

10) Parka.

A parka is a win­ter jacket with an attached hood trimmed with a fur ruff.  The abo­rig­i­nal parka pulls over the head and cov­ers to the mid-thigh.  The hood is very deep, espe­cially in places like bar­row which expe­ri­ence ground bliz­zards.  The body and sleeves are often sewn of cari­bou, ground squir­rel or seal­skin.  Wolver­ine or wolf is used for the fur ruff.  In Eskimo com­mu­ni­ties like Bar­row, Kotze­bue and Nome, the slim legs and for­mi­da­ble claws of the wolver­ine are used as dec­o­ra­tions that depend from the shoul­der onto the front of the parka.  Front legs are used for men’s parkas; back legs, which have longer fur, for women’s parkas.

Con­tem­po­rary fancy or dress parkas lean toward vel­vet, cor­duroy or vel­veteen on the out­side, with a lin­ing and trim of wolf, fox, rab­bit or polar bear fur.  They usu­ally zip down the front.  Every­day parkas may be liked with Thin­su­late TM or quilted fab­ric, wit fur trim only around the hem, cuffs and hood.  Mod­ern hoods may be only half as deep as tra­di­tional North slope hoods; they act more as pho­to­genic frames for the face than as pro­tec­tion from sub­zero wind.

Muskrat and hare are the least priced furs avail­able, and com­monly used for children’s parkas.  For Alaska Native adults, parkas may be sewn of sea otter.  The most expen­sive parkas are sewn entirely of wolf or wolverine.

Mak­ing a fur parka is a labor inten­sive process that, tra­di­tion­ally, begins with the trap­ping of the ani­mals whose fur is required.  Then the pelts must be tanned.  In times past, urine was saved and used for tan­ning.  Repeat­edly kneaded and han­dled over many days, home tanned furs are softer and more resilient than furs com­mer­cially tanned with chem­i­cals.  Trim may include bor­ders of non-Alaskan mate­r­ial, such as light and dark calf­skin chevrons or calf­skin with vil­lage scenes inked onto it.

The above con­tent is quoted from Alaska’s Arts, Crafts and Col­lectibles by Ann Chan­don­net ( and cour­tesy of

For those not in the Arc­tic, a rec­om­men­da­tion is the Alpha Indus­tries parka in cocoa brown.
Alpha Indus­tries has por­trayed the great abil­ity to cross the lines of mil­i­tary to fash­ion for­ward rather eas­ily.  Find their his­toric time­line here.

If you’d like to drop $950 on a vin­tage sheep­skin B-7 Alpha Indus­tries Parka here’s what to expect…

Return to our home­page to learn about cus­tom dress shirts.



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