Saturday, August 17, 2013

Words To Live By

"Everybody knows you never go full Euro."  -Kirk Lazarus, Tropic Thunder (2008) (paraphrased).

"When in Vienna..." -Saint Ambrose (paraphrased)

We honeymooned in Austria.  European guys are known for being more fashion forward than American guys, and the reality matches the reputation.   It was the hottest summer on record in Austria since the 1500s, so everyone was sweating and equally miserable, but we made do. 

The alley to my left leads to the Bierhof, a fabulous little biergarten where the servers wear stylish lederhosen.  Take the Herrengasse exit from the Herrengasse U-bahn station and just keep walking forward when you come off the staircase.

Sunglasses by, $20

French boater shirt by J. Crew, $40 or so

Blue suede rubber-sole bluchers by Florsheim, $60 from Nordstrom Rack (!)

Timex Weekender, gift ($34 list or so)

Mustard chinos, Gap outlet

Monday, August 12, 2013

Reader Inquiry: Grizzlytendent

Montana Grizzly writes:

I found your blog this morning when looking to see how long a tie should be. I am likely going to be moving into a Superintendency position here in rural Montana. Not exactly the fashion capital of the world. My question is what is the best way to go about buying a new suit. Should I go to a tailor what material is best, most comfortable, what type of suit etc. I am not looking to spend $3,000 dollars but would like a nice one. Thanks in advance.

I'm delighted! 

This is a great time to state my current (and frequently evolving) view on value/material/intangibles.

You absolutely must find a dedicated alterations tailor with menswear experience.  One Weird Old Tip: google ["ask andy" alterations _______ montana"] filling in a place near you.  If that doesn't work, [styleforum alterations _______ montana].  Or Yelp.

I've written on alterations before:
A Brief Guide: A Suit That Fits

When you're just starting out re suits, I remain convinced that Jos. A. Bank is the way to go, with caveats.  Never pay full price for anything--effective 66% discount or better.  Scrounge in the clearance stuff.  Never have them do your alterations. 

Material? 100% wool, no question.  You should have one suit for each day of the week on which you regularly wear a suit.  Obtain in this order: mid gray, navy, charcoal.  Not black.
Social considerations as well.  If you're a superintendent of schools with a lot of public-facing time, you have the same problem that politicians have: they can't look way richer than their clients (the parents, the teachers) do.  Until you get a better feel for your constituency, you may want to stick with the Signature line.  Signature Gold is a huge step up in quality by various measures, but it stands out in a way you might not want. 

Grab an Atlantic magazine with the buy 4 for $80 deal (full-page coupon somewhere in there) on shirts at Paul Fredrick.  They have some good ties as well (only buy on sale), but it's hard to tell from online.  JAB also has some good ties.  Go to the store if possible so you can feel the material.  The more texture it has, generally speaking, the better.  Shoes--Allen Edmonds, from eBay.

Finally: You cannot ever buy anything from Van Heusen ever again.  Sorry.

Let me know if you have other questions.