Twice a month, we like to give our sponsors a special shoutout. Without their support, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do, so here’s a heartfelt thank you to those companies who help make Put This On possible.
Custom shirtmaking used to be the exclusive province of bespoke tailors and made-to-measure brands, which required in-person appointments. Sometime in the early-aughts, online MTM shirtmaking emerged, but the process was filled with kinks. Commonly, customers would punch in their numbers and get something back that looked like it was tailored by Denise Huxtable. In the last ten years, however, Proper Cloth has found a way to make near-bespoke level shirts without ever seeing a customer in person. When I talked to founder Seph Skerritt about his company a few years ago, he said it was about finding the right supply chains, refining his block patterns, and building an online interface that makes sense for customers.
Although Proper Cloth specializes in custom tailoring, they also produce lookbooks to give customers a sense of how their shirt fabrics look when made into garments. This week, they dropped their latest spring/ summer lookbook, titled Edge Harbor, which shows how you can wear washed cotton suits, printed shirts, and tonal seersucker camp collars. Cotton suits tend to be stiff since the fibers don’t have the spring-back crimp you find in animal hair, but Proper Cloth’s washed cotton suits are made with a small amount of elastane to give them a comfortable stretch. Plus, you can wear the jacket alone as a sport coat with things such as grey wool trousers and white jeans.
Long-time readers know Chipp supplies the most affordable grenadine neckties. They source their silks from the same Italian mills as top-end brands, but their ties start at a much more affordable $45 (grenadines are $60 and, like everything Chipp sells, made in New York City). Paul Winston, the shop’s owner, tells me he can’t imagine charging much more because he remembers what neckties used to cost fifty years ago, back when his family’s business dressed men such as President John F. Kennedy, Andy Warhol, and Joe DiMaggio.
If you’re looking for your first grenadine, consider three colors: black, some sort of dark blue, and silver. Black can look severe in certain contexts, which is why it’s often not recommended for suits or socks, but the color manages to be neutral for grenadines and knit ties. You can wear a black grenadine with navy suits, tobacco linen suits, and brown tweeds. Dark blue, either in a shade matching your navy suits or one shade lighter, is equally versatile (a dark blue tie can also be a good way to visually anchor a light-colored sport coat, which could otherwise float away from you). Lastly, silver grenadines are for guys who only wear ties on special occasions – weddings, fancy parties, and other formal gatherings. Silver ties look less like office-clothes than their dark blue counterparts, and the textured grenadine weave here keeps these from looking cheap and shiny.
For a variety of reasons, it can be hard to find quality trousers for less than $200. Some of this is because the few remaining factories dedicated to making quality trousers are mostly located abroad, which means their products come into the US with high import costs. Others require high minimums. Their brand partners end up having to sell their trousers through various retail and distribution channels, which in the end comes with higher mark-ups. One of the few exceptions is Hertling, a Brooklyn-based factory that specializes in just trousers. Since they’re located in the US, their products can be sold to US brands at a much lower price. And since they require very low minimums, our sponsor Dapper Classics can sell them directly to consumers online, helping to keep costs down further still.
This past week, Dapper Classics introduced two new colors for their trouser range – a light gray hopsack, and then a summery blue hopsack. Hopsack is a plain weave wool, sort of like a tic-tac-toe weave, that breathes well and has a faint hint of texture. The light gray ones will go with nearly anything short of grey sport coats (and, even then, they can work with grey jackets so long as the colors have enough contrast). Wear them with sport coats in navy, brown, tan, olive, and burgundy. The blue pair, on the other hand, can be worn with sport coats in cream, tan, olive, and gray. By being a slightly less traditional color, blue trousers can make a tailored outfit look more modern. They also do well with more casual ensembles, such as white linen or brightly colored madras shirts worn on their own.
Rowing Blazers is all about preppy classics, but more in terms of the style’s attitude and manufacturing processes, rather than keeping to a literal look. Jack Carlson, the brand’s founder, says it’s important to him to make things the “right way,” by which he means using the “right materials” and producing things at the “right factories.” In the past, they’ve collaborated with prep institutions such as J. Press on a new line of Shaggy Dog sweaters, Murray’s Toggery for Nantucket Red sweatshirts and dad hats, and Warden Brooks, the mother-daughter-owned company that has made the authentic Wall Street duffles since 1978, for some American-Pscyho-inspired banker bags.
At the same time, the company also likes collaborating with companies outside the prep world – the German knitwear manufacturer Merz b. Schwanen, streetwear label Noah, and New York’s legendary dim sum spot Nom Wah among them. This past week, they released a capsule collection with Japanese clothing brand Beams Plus. Inspired by vintage yacht racing, the collection includes a yachting watch on three different NATO straps, dad caps, polos and t-shirts, split-color anoraks, elastic-waist sailing shorts, and blazers with nautical detailing. The three-roll-two blazers feature brass buttons, triple patch pockets, and most distinctively, port and starboard grosgrain trims. Being made from a heavy cotton jersey, these will feel more like a sweatshirt than a traditional sport coat.