Sunday, January 29, 2006

Anyone a size 39S?

If so, Anne (lovely-ritas on ebay) has a snappy 3 button 50s number with the dated tailor tag! It was "Born on" May 2, 1955. So, if that's your birthday, or you are the lucky guy to be that size...then run, don't walk!

The inseam has a very small seam allowance that can be let down if your inseam is just a tiny smidge longer than the 28" inseam the pants measure. Most likely a 29" to 29.5" inseam guy would do just fine here, too.

It ends February 2nd, which is Thursday, and has a Buy It Now option. If you are mulling it over, don't hesitate before another guy snatches it up.

Price is $69.99 if you are fast enough to use the "Buy It Now" feature. Otherwise, bid and take your chances.

Click to Have a Look!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Coats for Cubs

Many folks have men's fur hats, and fur coats that they have been passed down from mom or grandma that they will never wear. Fur hats have not been on the fashion radar for men in quite some years. And the style that might have flattered grandma might not fit or flatter granddaughter. Many folks will also not wear animal fur period. While many vintage items go on to new and exiting lives, these types of items are usually passed down, only to stay hidden in a dark closet.

What to do with them?

One very great cause is to offer them for wildlife rehabilitation programs. There are a variety of species, from the endangered who folks are trying to help thrive, to injured adults, to more common wildlife such as squirrel, raccoon, and fox who are orphaned by mom getting hit by a car, their tree being chopped down and falling from their nest. It allows rehabilitators to have a "hands off" approach with young animals so they do not imprint to humans, but to their own species, if they have a chance of being released back into their environment.

If you would like to find out more, please visit the Humane Society of the United States.

If you live in
California, Nevada, Texas, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, New York, and Philadelphia, between now and April 22, 2006, the Buffalo Exchange chain of stores is taking donations of furs. Please read below:

This post is dedicated to the young raccoon that although we tried, we could not save last monday night. He was hit by a reckless driver in the car in front of us. Being animal lovers, we jammed on the brakes as we saw him pull himself to the side of the road with his front paws. We could not turn our backs on him - he surely would have been hit again, been ripped apart or froze to death. We took him home and kept him warm and quiet, thanks to the advice of a kind rehabilitator who picked up the phone so late at night and talked us through. Please support these folks, they do beautiful work. Unfortunatety, my family nor the vet could reverse the extensive paralysis. We were so heartbroken, but are willing to help the next animal that should need us, even if it is not the kind of animal we would expect.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Double Breasted Suit

Fall 2005 featured the reintroduction of the "corporate" look. Over the past few years the double breasted blazer has been in the shadows in favor of the 3 button look.

The new double breasted blazers are leaving out the boxey cuts and taking their cues from the italian cut, 3 button suits that have been the rage, and are always in favor with folks who prefer the mod look.
In otherwords, they are more slimming and tappered, and therefore a little less forgiving.

For Spring, the double breasted suits carries forward. Always a classic, it has become trendy again. The gold buttons bring to mind a more country club or nautical look which is perfect for the spring with patent leather or spectator shoes. Definitely a good opportunity to recreate it, vintage style. Or if you prefer to buy a recent suit, there are great opportunities for shoes, and not so boring vintage ties, shirts, and the shine of cufflinks, tiebars, and more.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Here Comes Pants

I had a bad flashback today. I read an article that mentioned Z. Cavariccis. For those that want to forget, Z. Cavaricci created a men's style in pants that in the late 80s to early 90s. Many a young man who I knew wore them. I am asking whoever made themselves in charge of looking at influences from the 80s to overlook this one when designing next season's clothing.

They were high waisted like tux pants, but the belt loops were a bit lower, at the natural waist. The legs were pleated, and what made them veer way off the track of a classic trouser, was that they featured a deep "v" front yoke. It caused the legs of the pants, because they were pleated but flat acrossed the stomach and groin area, to pleat out even farther. On the tall, gangly, and knobby kneed gent, it was actually flattering because the pleats laid right and it made his legs look more proportional. You noticed the guy's overall ensemble.

But on everyone was "Here comes pants."

If you were stocky, or were fit but were more muscular of leg, the pleated legs brought a strange adaptation of puffed out harem pants to mind. Of course, this was overcontrasted by the virtually flat triangular yoke covering the stomach to the top of the groin area, appearing like a virtual "directional arrow" towards something that I am sure the designer could not have not realized this. The finishing touch was to buy them long and cuff them.
The rear of the pants had little style, most of the budget had been put into the front.

I have no photo to show you. I could not find one anywhere. So you may just have to take my word for it!


Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Holy Grail Of Menswear Books..

One of our pals and alert readers, Lizzie at Fuzzylizzie Vintage, has the Holy Grail of menswear books on sale. Because the Vintage Gentette is without the proper resources at the moment, we thought we would alert our readers.

It is...Esquire's Encyclopedia of 20th Century Men's Fashions. It contains just about everything. (up through its publish year of 1973). We highly recommend it if you are interested if you have interest in the topic.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

One of our Favorites from Sears

We sold this suit awhile ago, but it is in our "short list" of favorites. It was (is) a metallic suit from the late 60s. Although it is from the tail end of the decade, it has major mod sensibilities with its Italian cut and slim collar placement that we would place just a couple years earlier.

Tailor tags can be very important in dating menswear, especially because the classic suit doesn't change as rapidly as ladieswear and is sometimes harder to pinpoint in less than a 5 year period even if one is very knowledgeable. Of course, there are "of the season" cutting edge looks available for the fashion forward, but for the average man, a suit is an investment piece. They want to be stylish, but they don't want to look dated the next year, especially if their employment or social outings do not require a suit for daily wear.

This particular suit came from Sears. The tag is not specifically a tailors tag of a custom suit, but the date the suit was altered for the original buyer. Unlike high fashion magazines that show what the designers introduced each year, the Sears catalog was a very good record of what the average person was actually wearing that year, just like the paint colors represented what was actually in the average homes of America. It may not be nearly as exciting as haute couture, but is invaluable for historians, reenactors, vintage lovers, and costumers alike.

In the fall of 1968, the year of this suit, though the Brits had moved onto more fluid lines, American Mod was still showing an influence on American fashion and was interpreted in a little more of a relaxed fashion.

At the tail end of the 60s, because of the new synthetics, shades that could never be achieved before were everywhere. I have seen quite a few menswear in the jewel tone blues, greens, and teals during this time period in many eye tricking fabrics and hues that begged the question "Is that blue or is that green? Greenish Blue?". I have often needed a second or third opinion myself!

Having a specific date always makes me wonder if the date had been around a special occasion. I always imangined with the suit being tailored in proximity to Halloween, that perhaps someone bought it who went to an alternate event. They might have gone to a performance at a concert hall instead of a costume party that night. Or maybe it was just a coincidence, just another day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Spring Fashions Part II: The Ruffled Shirt

We have seen folks wearing complete powder blue tuxedos complete with ruffled shirts, just for the laugh. We have also known for quite awhile that fans of the 40s and 50s looks favoring to wear Guaybara shirts in cool white with a variety of fine details like embroidery and piping, etc. This spring, the forecast is that guys will embrace a ruffled shirt that is sort of in between - not quite as subtle as the earlier shirts but not nearly as flamboyant as something Tony Orlando might choose.

The more relaxed formal look by Louis Vuitton:

Like in yesterday's news, where we mentioned mixing formal details into more casual attire, a ruffled shirt goes out to one's favorite watering hole.
From Roberto Cavalli:

Perhaps a lot of vintage clothing merchants will be very lucky, by selling out of ruffled tuxedo shirts, but also I really think that a lot of men who it just is not their style to wear ruffles, they may just be on the look out for guayabaras and other shirts that combine the tailored details they are comfortable with, paired with find details. So, what is your opinion, is this the kind of indivduality that vintage wearers yearn for in modern fashion trends, or do you think this is a case of another short lived trend. Do you think those that will be in style will have been the ones who have worn it all along or do you think that this will creep its way around the wardrobe for a few years?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Spring Fashions I

Here are a few looks for spring from the runways. I definitely see the vintage inspiration here!

To take your vintage and make it very high fashion, just read on.

Look #1 from Dior Homme (at left)

Last year the body conscious 3 button suit was a nod to the mod years. Now the single button and two button suit can have just as much fun Take your early 60s and 50s blazers and suit jackets with narrower lapels, and mix and max with pants from a contrasting color suit. You can also take a take from your closet or buy pair of matching and monochromatic pants and shirt. A vintage skinny tie is in good company here.

Footwear leans away from the slip on loafer and reverts to the tie shoe with a little fun and comfortability. Specatator shoes are shown for spring, but i certainly could see white bucs, solid color patent leathers beige, and even saddle shoe types. The look of the white socks almost suggest spats.

Look #2: Versace and Look #3 Valentino

Scour your closets for your vintage Hawaiian shirts which are a perennial classic, but also, get out those wild 70s poly op art shirts that have been seen on hipsters the past few years, but no one has quite yet brought it into light, or carried it off in a more polished way like we see here. Leave the dockers and jeans at home, and pair your acid colored op art and hawaiian shirts with tux pants and suit pants. The look is complemented again with shoes that turn heads. Instead of a sandals or a 70s disco shoe like you might think, we see a be-spatted look again. There is a lot of potential for era mixing here! The look at left also is finished with a white, rivetted belt. A white belt can give an ensemble a very "new wave" look, or a panama city look depending on how it is all put together. Not everyone is confident about wearing a white belt...unless it is with white pants. You can carry out the spirit of the style by a belt more blended to the pant color, but with some visual interest to it so it does not disappear. The rough hewn bohemian look in leather goods appears to have mostly disappeared for men, so look for gleaming hardware and excellent finishing details.

In Look #2 from Valentino, we see the same ideas with bold shirtage, but with a few other more relaxed details. A more floral motif is bold but a slightly more traiditonal. The trousers are flat front and in fact the shirt appears to be finished to not require tucking in. This all might eliminate a lot of material and be more flattering to the average guy. The look is more casual with sockless loafers, but again, we see a move to making casual operate with details borrowed from a formal the black, rather dressier than aquashoes loafers.

I will post a few more over the next week as well. The message in the collection seeem to be prints, structure and "casual details in proper dress occassions" and "formal details in casual occasions". It may just cause folks to have a bit more fun in their formal wear and show up to casual, but not unimportant events a little more cleaned up and presentable. And despite the impractical things that we have seen on the runway the past few years, I think that is a concept that guys who live far away from the footlights can embrace.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Where is my Men's Vogue?

Caption: Give me that magazine, Mr. Clooney, and you won't get hurt!!

In the fall, I patiently awaited the debut of Men's Vogue. Since in my vintage career I have become more and more predominantly a menswear dealer as of late, I was excited that I could peruse the latest on the runway free of lengthy expose' about someone's muscles and how they achieved them or the latest starlet in next to nothing. Not to imply that there shouldn't be magazines for people who want to read about that too, but it seems to be that a magazine focusing on male fashion tries to be everything to everybody and never really discussed fashion.

At any rate, the month arrived and I scoured the town for a copy. It must have been in limited release, but I finally found it at Walgreen's in this half a horse town. I admit that it was not as hefty as the women's version, but there were plenty of fashion ads to compare and to muse over the vintage clothing influence, which will be subsequently discussed in future installments of the Menswear Daily.

To my dismay, however, it is now January and I have yet to locate a subsequent issue. Did they decide one was enough? Not enough newstand sales or subscriptions? Or is it quarterly? I found another copy of the same premier issue two months later...but nothing else. Looks like I have missed the boat or will have to move to a large metropolitan area. Vogue must think that not enough fashionable people live in my town to drop them off.

If anyone knows how to answer my question - if i blinked and missed the next issue, am clueless, live in too small a town, or should be awaiting it quarterly, please feel free to let me know!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Brief on Briefs

Excuse us for bringing up a delicate subject for a moment..

Why exactly do men buy vintage underthings? It seems to be a growing trend. Being sticklers for every historical detail? For a certain thrill? Neither....Read on!

Wearing vintage briefs certainly won't matter for reenactors. Afterall, you do not have x-ray vision to find out if the gent at a 20s style Gatsby picnic is wearing historically accurate underthings and in most cases, wearing them or wearing something freshly store bought would not impact the outward look of a garment. Men's underthings do not have quite the history that ladies underthings do, which are meant to support and shape the body depending on figure type but more so the fashionable tastes and social morals of the day. (Of course also, there were times in history of course that while the proper lady wore layers of undergarments, the gents wore none!)

When perusing the internet, and hearing from wearers of vintage underthings and other vintage clothing merchants alike, we found that a certain fetishist aspect was also not the reason for the interest like we half expected. Afterall, the underwear preferred is usually left over stock from a store that closed years ago.

The big, mysterious reason that men buy vintage underwear is...They don't make 'em like they used to. You heard us right!

There are several reasons they aren't "made like they are used to" and one has to do with homogenization of sizing and the other has to do with features. The features that men may find in years past, even as late as the 70s and 80s are as follows:

Fit. Boxer shorts especially are made in Small, medium, and large, and it is leaning that way with regular briefs too. It does save money for manufacturers' bottom line because everyone is forced to pick something. They don't have produce signage for sizes that don't sell through as quickly and they have fewer templates required to cut from, also decreasing the chance of irregulars. One size does not fit all, and just as women have fitting problems when they are expected to fit into one of 3 or 4 sizes, men have similar, even if less obvious issues. I am sure everyone has experienced, male or female, when one size was too small and the next size up was too big!

Snaps front styling. One found a snap front feature in different styles of briefs rather than full elastic. This allowed for easy dressing, especially for those with special considerations such as mobility issues, freedom from irritation that some men experience with elastic waistbands or even perhaps allergies to synthetic fabrices.

Quality of fabric. The content of the cotton used and the grade of fabric, and the fact that items were not blended with synthetic some men find more comfortable, and some find to last longer through multiple washings.

Kangaroo Pouch. There, I have said it. Munsungwear, I believe, actually coined the term. Instead of just a slit in the front, older styles actually had a complete seperate area in the front, to speak politely. It allowed for a better overall fit because the leg holes were not encumbered by the excess of material needed in the front, and allowed further wearing ease with certain types of garments. Our friend, Linda, owner of VintageClothes-Line, currently has a smaller pair of 80s vintage briefs with this feature in her shop as an example. Click to check them out.

Leg Bands. Many times the leg area was fully formed, not just an afterthought, and the leg bands could be elastic on regular briefs.

Gussetting. The seams and crotch area were lined, unlike some modern versions.

We are not intending this to be the "last word" as it is a vast subject and there could be a whole book I am sure devoted, nor are we out to "convert" anyone to wearing vintage underwear. We hope to have explained a little more about what makes vintage men's underthings buyers tick, so you will know what it is all about should you run acrossed an ad for some, and not think it is anything strange, or more so think that folks need to get a life and stroll down to their local store and get what everyone else is wearing with no complaints. Of course, you can still think that way, but at least you know to use the old phrase "there is a method to their madness."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year!

Real vintage for real guys and the ladies they like.

In the coming week, spotlights will be on some great items that you can buy right now on the internet for your collection or wardrobe, whether you are a diehard vintage junkie or are inspired to try it out for the first time based on reading. Some items will be exclusive to our readers in the sense that they will be announced here first so that you have a chance to grab it before another guy does.

We will also highlight a few current trends and how to carry them out vintage style.

Another concern of ours is to explain just why a guy should be interested in vintage stuff to begin with (there are lots of good reasons!).

Marvel over the dashing looks from the past that look just as traffic stopping now as they were then, if not more, and have a good laugh over the looks that stopped traffic in a totally different and unintended manner! Keep us bookmarked and join in!

Of course, we welcome your emails and your comments!

Idle Thoughts of the Day:

When I first saw this Mr. Wrangler ad, I never thought that it would all be back in style. It comes to us from a moment in time when disco had not yet reached the masses, and most guys were a lot less Wavey Gravy and a lot more Mike Brady than a year or so earlier.

Today, the late 60s global but ungroomed bohemian look has melded with the early to mid 70s more groomed look by wearing the more meticulous clothes, but leaving shirts untucked and hair a bit rumpled.

In present day, pastels and brights have replaced wall street gray in men's closets, a trend that has been occuring in the past few years, but is the world really ready for pink polkadotted pants that remind one of some sort of reptile who had a chewing gum accident? Perhaps with Burberry's last spring to bright prepster hues of pink and yellow perhaps it is just waiting around the corner it could happen. I may gest, but I am sure If I acquired a pair of said pants, I would be enthralled with how unique they are and would offer them to the public, as the right guy with the right fun atitude would think they were the best.