Monday, November 30, 2009

Influential Imagery - Know when to Think and when to Act

Michelangelo's Lorenzo de'Medici, Duke of Urbino
image borrowed from here

Michelangelo's Giuliano de'Medici, Duke of Nemours
image borrowed from here

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ravioli - A Ciongoli Thanksgiving Tradition

To most Americans, the fourth Thursday of November means turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes. In my house it is a little bit different. Of course we have all these things but all anybody really cares about is ravioli. Its a celebration pasta, only eaten on holidays. My father looked forward to Thanksgiving for two reasons alone: the time with his family and the time with his grandmother's ravioli. The clip above is from another one of his appearences on Mary Ann Esposito's Ciao Italia cooking show. This time he shares the recipe for our family ravioli. Try it today to add a hint of Italian culture to one of America's best traditions. Happy Thanksgiving everybody. The recipe and video can also be found here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fleeing the Flea

I stopped into the Pop Up Flea twice this past weekend. Was it to ogle the overpriced workwear both real and J.Crew? Nope. It was to try and score a business card from this guy. Sadly, I missed him but our overall conclusions about the event were the same. His response was so insightful that I won't sully it with a summary. You can read New England's best thrifter's detailed analysis here. Keep fighting the good fight Giuseppe.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Finding your "Style Sweet Spot"

13th & Wolf contrast cutaway collar oxford - $125

From the first day I launched 13&W I’ve been endorsing a style that is a balance between classic American and Italian. There’s a great pragmatism and utility in traditional American menswear that can’t be ignored. Similarly, Italian tailoring conveys a precision and sense of elegance that is unrivaled by anything made on this side of the pond. The mixing of the two is, to me, the perfect juxtaposition – my “style sweet spot.” The images above are two examples of this idea: taking the best ideas from both style lexicons and uniting them to create a truly enlightened garment. The first, one of our new 13th & Wolf contrast cutaway oxford cloth shirts ($125), is constructed in a sturdy, well-wearing blue oxford cloth with a barrel cuff but that is where it's similarities end with the boxy, Brooks Brothers icon. This one has a white poplin cutaway collar, French placket, no breast pocket and rear darts. The overall effect is something more crisp & polished (and honestly cooler) than its forebearer. The second, is a black pinstripe suit jacket by Boglioli. It is single breasted with a notch lapel, 3/2 roll and two button cuffs. While many of the details here would be familiar to a J. Press customer, the jacket’s cut, color & shoulder give it a decidedly Italian feel. First, the distinctly southern Italian cut is significantly more form fitting with front darts, a highly suppressed waist and rear vents. Second, the color is an urban, modern update to the navy pin. Finally, the shoulder is what I call a natural rope with no padding except for a small amount at the sleeve cap to create the subtle roping look. This type of shoulder is, in my opinion, the key to this look. The lack of padding on top of the shoulder denotes the sign of expert tailoring and the understated roping adds a great deal of strength and solidity to the overall impression. The point is to pick and choose the details you like from both style languages to create one of your own. It takes some practice to speak fluently, but when you do, it will show.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fall Staples - A Vested Development

It’s close to 60 with the sun shining and a slight breeze in the air. You can’t beat a fall day like today in NYC, not with a stick. Weather like this is by far my favorite because it allows for so much creativity in layering options. I have found that a basic, tailored vest in tweed or flannel is one of the most versatile pieces a gentleman can own for such weather because of how easily it can be mixed with outerwear, tailoring, knits and so forth. The opportunities are endless. Above are a few ideas I like to run with. I hope they inspire you to find some of your own.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Today's Kit - Spring Style/Fall Fabrics

Swap the nantucket red chinos for wide wale cords, the navy twill blazer for a wool melton binded club jacket and a silk glen plain tie for a cashmere one
The last remnants of tanned ankles will be hidden by my grey heather wigwam socks soon, but not yet

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fall Inspiration - Sartoria Partenopea

In Italy, its all about the jacket. Napoli's Sartoria Partenopea masterfully demonstrated that idea this fall by utilizing light grey flannel and khaki trousers as the perfect blank canvases for their beautifully cut and patterned blazers. I kick around the idea of elegance in my head a lot and the more I think about it, the more I move in this direction.