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

Jay Wen

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.