Sunday, September 14, 2014

This is how you wear pants

The fellow wearing these pants is clearly a sartorial master as his pants are the perfect length. 

Regretfully, this is a rarity.


Friday, September 12, 2014

The thoughtful Swede


The Swedish gentleman pictured above is a good representation of what one will see on the streets in Stockholm, Gothenburg and elsewhere in this Nordic country known for its people having blond hair and blue eyes.

Slim denim jeans have almost universally replaced chinos or odd trousers as the go-to pant for wearing with a blazer or sport jacket. Neckties are also eschewed by many Swedes. The only thing missing here is a pocket square.

Also notable are this fellow's shoes, as many other gentlemen were seen with suede tasseled loafers.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Meet the Swedish prep behind the camera


It's been a while since we've heard from Carl Engelbrekt Ericsson, the man behind the photo essay series "The Conservative Life."

So, we caught up with him while passing through Uppsala, Sweden, this week.

He's pictured inside Uppsala Cathedral, which dates to the 13th century and is the seat of the archbishop of Uppsala who is the (Church of Sweden/Lutheran) primate of Sweden.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What to wear: The suede driving loafers for under $60

Driving loafers, particularly suede ones, have become this correspondent’s footwear of choice.
Whether worn with shorts, chinos or denim jeans, driving loafers almost always look smart.
PHOTO courtesy of Lands' End.

In years past, Lands’ End carried driving loafers in brown suede, light brown leather and black leather that were often on sale for under $70. With proper care, as in not wearing every day, the driving loafers would last about a year. With heavy use — say every day of the week, as was the case for this correspondent during a semester at graduate school — it was about six months before the soles gave out.

Sure, the driving loafers from Lands’ End weren’t the best, but there wasn’t much difference between them and nearly identical ones from more expensive brands that were priced at well over $150. In fact, the same factory in Brazil or China probably makes most of the driving loafers on the market with only slight differences in quality or style for each brand.

Unfortunately, Lands’ End stopped selling its driving loafers last year. That left this correspondent, as well as countless others, scrambling to find a suitable replacement earlier this summer.

Cole Haan’s Grant loafer was the closest comparable shoe, but the price ($168 then, now $102.19; available here) was considerably higher than Lands’ End.

However, Cole Haan is a decent department store shoe, or so this correspondent thought.

It’s not that they weren’t uncomfortable. Far from it, actually. Cole Haan makes very, very comfortable shoes. Rather, the quality was really poor. So much so that the driving loafers fell apart within three months of wearing them for three, perhaps four, days a week.

That’s simply unacceptable, by any quality control measure.

This correspondent was hesitant to spend a couple hundred bucks after the Cole Haan experience. After all, this is the second decade of the 21st century. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of stores selling shoes on the internet. There had to be something out there, right?

That something ended up being the brown suede driving loafers (pictured below) made in China and sold by Happy Shop, a small, previously unknown Chinese merchant on Amazon.

PHOTO courtesy of Happy Shop.

The reviews of not only the driving loafers, but also the seller were positive. Some customers even said the driving loafers were identical to very famous brands, which is quite possible considering there can’t be many factories in China making driving loafers.
The best part was the price. Under $60 ($59.98 to be precise; available here) with free shipping and coverage under Amazon’s customer satisfaction protection policies. Talk about a bargain, even if they only last six months.

Happy Shop promptly shipped the order via the postal service with a delivery window of 12-22 business days, though this correspondent’s new driving loafers arrived in less than two weeks.

While it’s too early to pass judgment on Happy Shop’s quality, first impressions are very favorable.

Several additional styles and colors are offered, which means this correspondent will likely become a repeat customer of Happy Shop.

In the meantime, stay tuned for ongoing reports about how the driving loafers are holding up.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What brand is that?


While wearing the custom shirt from Cottonwork (pictured above) without a jacket the other day, a fellow approached and asked me what brand made the shirt, as he had "never seen that logo before."

Of course, the green embroidered "DGL" is no logo. It's a monogram with the three letters being the initials of this correspondent's names.

It took a little bit of explaining, but the fellow seemed to finally get it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

All things considered: Tommy Hilfiger's made in Italy blazer

A couple of days ago many #menswear voices were fawning over a new blazer from Tommy Hilfiger that is made in Italy.

The best part, many of these voices claimed, was its price: Under $400 — $395 to be precise (available here).

PHOTO courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger.

It is understandable why many are excited over this offering. The attention to details — three-roll-two lapel, patch pockets, soft shoulders, surgeon's cuffs, hook vent — is impressive, the cloth comes an Italian mill with a lot of provenance, the blazer isn't made in some oriental sweatshop and the price is better than J. Crew.

Quality is unknown, which is a really big deal. Just because it's made in Italy (or made in America for that matter) doesn't make it the best.

Three hundred and ninety-five dollars may be affordable, but that is still a lot of money, especially when one could commission a made-to-measure or made-to-order blazer that will fit way better for not much more money.

Speaking of fit, this blazer is only available in limited sizes. This means it won't fit most discerning gentlemen, unless a lot of money is spent on alterations at a competent tailor.