Tuesday, May 22, 2012

When Consumerism Gets The Better Of You

An old friend from high school shared this 2010 piece with me.  It's about dandies in the Congo.

There are two threads here, and they are both extremely important and two sides of the same coin.
1) These folks are dressing up as a way to transcend their environment.
2) Some of them would rather spend money on clothing than real estate.

Lest we get about the messy business of shaming people who do what we do but do it to a more extreme extent, best to remember that everyone makes a judgment call about where clothing fits in their priorities.  (On one end, you have tracksuits and cross-trainers.)  Before you decide that spending so great a percentage of your income on clothes is "crazy" or something, put yourself in the shoes of someone born to Congolese poverty.  Ah, but you can't, really, can you, since you weren't born to Congolese poverty?

Just another helpful reminder from the DDSJC.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cuff Volume

Your average off-the-rack suit coat has to accommodate many different potential body shapes. Some people have wrists with a diameter greater than two inches. I wish these people nothing but the best. However, they lead to the problem pictured above. Call it Sleeve Gap.

It is a fairly straightforward alteration to have done and should be done on all suits. The question is by exactly how much to reduce the volume. I say give yourself about half an inch, tops, from the tip of your French cuff to the inside of the sleeve. That should leave enough room for sliding while solving the problem of flopping.

This suit has been fixed since I took this photo, and the result is delightful.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Have You Considered A Panama Hat?

I think you could pull it off once summer hits in full force.  Christopher Kim's at 20th and M had a great selection when I was there last summer.  Be sure to ask for help before trying them on--straw hats are very finicky about where you can and cannot touch them.

I know you're thinking that Panama hats are for golfing and old men, but you are selling yourself short.  I've seen you rock different pieces which less sturdy souls would never combine.  You are no mere clotheshorse--you are a clotheslion.

Free it from its stereotypical context and see what happens.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

eBay Vintage Watches

About a year into my foray into buying classic Omegas on eBay, none of the watches are functional anymore.  I declare the experiment a failure.

eBay is good for good shoes: good shoes last a long time and can always be resoled or polished with commonly available tools.  eBay is perhaps not good for items, such as wristwatches, which contain a variety of complex, tiny moving parts and which require specialized expertise in order to repair.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Some Thoughts On Alden

I went to the Alden store at 921 F Street NW near Gallery Place a few weeks ago looking to convince myself to buy a pair of their legendary black cordovan oxfords. It was a Saturday, and the little storefront was full of fellow shoe-lovers. An excellent salesperson named Che helped me figure out my actual shoe size and brought out a 9.5E pair.  They fit perfectly and were very comfortable.

They were also nearly $600, which is part of the reason I didn't buy them. But beyond that, I just failed to fall in love with the silhouette. It seemed too loose somehow, too disconnected from the shape of the foot within, especially since my feet are kind of small for my height. I didn't pull the trigger.

The leather and craftspersonship are fantastic, and the silhouette may be perfect for you, so check 'em out.  At that level of quality (and price, for that matter), you can be picky about your tastes.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Moar Oxfords

Another pair of Church's oxfords had on eBay for a very reasonable price. They are in excellent shape. The wingtip embellishments make them slightly less formal than an oxford without, but they are still more than formal enough for a court appearance.

In other news, my office is apparently out of coffee.