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.

5 comments:

Kip said...

I think I have seen this jacket in person, and it looked fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the popped collar a little tiresome?

Anonymous said...

Why black? It seems funerial and, rather, un-italian.

Anonymous said...

Would you willing to post who makes each of the overcoats, sweaters, and vest you pictured. They look great!

Enzo AGC said...

Anon 9:29 - I would tend to agree with you If I was wearing the whole suit but I wasn't. I think that with jeans and no top coat on a chilly, fall NY day the upturned collar is perfectly acceptable.

Anon 9:56 - Good question. You won't see me going all black like a mortician anytime soon and as someone who has personally spent most of their life avoiding black for navy I see where you're coming from. I'm not sure why, but this fall I have been really into little hits of black as a stand in for classic blue. Note the tie, scarf, shirt and handkerchief. To me, the jacket reflects the sharp, seriousness that you can find on Milanese business men. The rest is strictly southern. Colorful, fun and full of life. The point is the mix itself.