Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Grandfather's Style

How young men are looking to the past for wardrobe ideas. From The Wall Street Journal:
These men reflect what's been going on in American menswear for several seasons: the revival of a traditionalist aesthetic, which dovetails at times with the heritage movement. You can see it everywhere from J. Crew to up-and-coming New York label Bespoken.

"They're not rediscovering old-timey men's shops or department stores their grandfathers frequented," said Tyler Thoreson, vice president of men's editorial and creative at Gilt Groupe. "They're going to the new breed of store that references the past, but in a modern way."

The grandpa-admiration society has a growing number of excellent outfitters for its pocket squares, patterned bow ties and custom shirts—from Sid Mashburn in Atlanta and Haberdash in Chicago to Brooklyn Tailors in New York and Aidan Gill for Men in New Orleans.

Some of the society's card-carrying members have been inspired enough to start labels of their own. British-born Robert Godley founded classic-with-a-twist neckwear company Psycho Bunny with his American partner Robert Goldman in 2006. They use English silks made in a 270-year-old mill that are then sewn by hand in Mr. Goldman's family-owned third-generation tie workshop in Belleville, N.J. The collection has grown to include polo shirts, swim trunks and socks.

Mr. Godley, 41, who now lives in New York, talked about his grandfather Antony Opie, who wore plus-fours when golfing. "He was always well presented," said Mr. Godley. "He smoked a pipe and if it was not in his hand you would often see smoke pouring out of the pocket on his sport coat." Mr. Godley's uniform consists of bench-made English shoes, a spread-collar shirt under a sport coat and, of course, a tie. His modern twist: It's all worn with jeans.

Mark "Mac" McMillan, 38, owner of Pierrepont Hicks, the Minneapolis specialty clothing shop, started his company in 2009 with a collection of trim and classic ties, partly as a reaction to his own father's "cheesy and '70s-style wide" neckwear, which was handed down to him. He has since expanded to outerwear and shoes.
Mr. McMillan said that at least half of his customers are in their 20s, and reported that one of his best-selling items is a square-ended bow tie inspired by those worn by designer Charles Eames in the '50s and '60s. What Mr. McMillan thinks is partially propelling a new interest in dressing well among the younger set is the removal of a men's style taboo. "It's OK now for guys to discuss clothing the way they discuss gadgets," he said.

That's one major difference between these men and their granddads: the element of choice. For the earlier generation, said Mr. McMillan, dressing well was "just what they did."

"What I love is that the current generation is discovering the pleasures of putting some effort into how they look," said Gilt's Mr. Thoreson. "But now it's out of choice, not obligation."

Men of bygone eras, of course, dressed accordingly out of sheer respect for themselves and others. In the hazy light of nostalgia, the first half of the last century has a firefly-catching innocence. It was a simpler time when men donned hats out of civility, not as affectation. That feeling in itself can be very attractive in today's fully wired world. (Read entire article.)
Via A Conservative Blog for Peace. Share

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