Thursday, 30 December 2010

Counting Sheep

A lot of people have the misconception that wool is a very warm fabric. That is true to a certain extent, but not entirely. Finely woven pure wool is actually a wonderfully light and soft fabric. Because it is 100% natural, it is also very breathable.

A typical weight for Super 120's pure wool is around 280g/m. In comparison, denim is usually over 320g/m. Very technical stuff here, but what I'm trying to say is that if you can wear jeans in our weather, you can wear pure wool.

Pure wool is expensive stuff, but you pay for what you get.

Fabrics that are too soft can sometimes feel a little feminine. One of the great things about wool is that while it is soft and light, it retains a certain structure in it, providing excellent hang in the legs. When given a good ironing, ideally with just a dose of spray starch, you will achieve that paper-thin and well-defined crease down the centre.

You'll notice I didn't say a thing about polyester pants. Because there's nothing sexy about plastic.

Wearing these are not gonna score you any points with the ladies.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Brace Yourselves

Yes, attention to details do take a bit of effort.

If you're the kind who always like to have just a bit of shirt cuff showing, preferably 1/2", when wearing a jacket, you would most probably have come across this problem before. Unless all your shirts and jackets are individually tailored to the exact same specifications, it's inevitable that the sleeve lengths are all slightly different - some longer, some shorter. It seems pretty impossible to nail that perfect 1/2" cuff peeking out from the jacket sleeves.

Help is here.

Or rather, it has always been here.

If you're a fan of those 1950's mafia movies, you'd probably have seen these before on the arms of them tommy-gun-brandishing antagonists.

Metallic elastic armbands like these were more commonly seen during our grandparents' time. That's an era where people actually bothered to dress up. Such a shame really, seeing all that deteriorate into the sloppy slippers/T-shirt get-up so prevalent these days. Somewhere, Cary Grant is rolling his eyes.


So yeah, this clever little invention does wonders. It acts as a brace, keeping your shirt sleeves at your preferred length.

Now you can finally look sharp like the gangsters of yester-years.

Got a super-fitted blazer in Tokyo 2 years ago, but the sleeves were a lil' too short. Wearing a long-sleeve shirt underneath shows way too much cuff. Slipped on the armbands and it appears much tidier. And yes, I like my sleeves shorter than average.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Better Late Than Never

Goodbye 2010, hello 2011! End this year in style with 20% off ALL shirting commissions from now until 31st December '10. It's just a couple of days left before the year is out, so get your @ss movin' now!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Pancakes, Anyone?

Notice how all their collars remain stiff and standing? Being as good-looking as them helps, but small attention to details can truly make a world of difference.

There are many little things that you can do to instantly amp-up the style factor of your outfit. One of the most overlooked element is how the collar frames a man's neck and face.

For folks who don't wear ties, their collar will always tend to collapse and flap out after a while. If you wear a jacket, it will get flattened by the lapel and disappear under it. This is sometimes known as the 'pancake collar', and it's never cool to have your clothes associated with your breakfast.

A good collar-stay (those pieces of plastic, or metallic ones if you're the dandy type, that you insert into your collar points) and a handy bottle of spray starch should help immensely. Personally, I prefer to have button-down collars. This will guarantee that the collar stays up. Period. Button-downs look especially great with solid-coloured Oxford cloth shirts.

Button-downs are deeply rooted in American culture. You will find this particular collar-style with almost every American label - from traditional heavyweights like Brooks Brothers, Gitman Bros and Ralph Lauren to trail-blazing contemporaries like Michael Bastian, Thom Browne and Billy Reid.

If button-downs are not your thing, consider having a button-loop under your collar. It stays out of sight, but still keeps the collar standing nonetheless.

Don't like the look of buttoned-down collars? Button-loops under the collar will do the trick as well.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Let it Shine

The natural iridescent properties of pearl can elevate the look of a simple shirt to a whole new level.

Let your Christmas spirit shine through this festive season! From now until the end of December 2010, get a free upgrade to mother-of-pearl buttons for all shirt commissions.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

In the Press

Men's Folio (Nov/Dec 2010)
Text: Kien Koh
Styling: Wei Lun
Photographer: Mickey Wong

On model: Steel blue 2-ply cotton chambray shirt with mini pocket, midnight blue Guabello Biella 1815 Super 130's pure virgin wool pants with brass side-tabs.

On Dylan: Optical white 100% cotton Oxford shirt with tartan elbow-patch, pure cotton tapered-fit khakis.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Words of Wisdom - What is Style?

"Style speaks simply and softly... It is about details and small, personal touches. It is not loud, it is not brash; it is not obvious.

The wearer of a bespoke suit should look good without the man (or woman) on the street knowing exactly why. He does because of miniscule details and attention to fit that the layman cannot readily identify.

What you wear should certainly not be determined by what other people think. But at the same time, style is revealed against the background of one’s environment and peers. It does not exist in isolation." - Simon Crompton of Permanent Style.

What else can I say? This gentleman read my mind, word for word. I'm speechless.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Long and Short of It

Way too short or just about perfect?

It seems like a lot of people these days are asking: what is the right length for a pair of pants?

There really isn't a 'correct' length so to speak. It all depends on 3 factors -

(1) your personal preference
(2) the environment of your lifestyle
(3) your body type

There's not much explaining to do for this point. It's like how people would say 'red wine goes with red meat, and white wine with white meat'. I say screw that - I'm paying for my meal, and you'll promptly give me my pinot noir with my grilled sea-bass if I tell you to.

However, as a general guide, taller wearers should try wearing pants with a decent amount of break (the fold created where your pants rest on the shoes is called the 'break'). This will prevent them from looking like secondary school boys who've just experienced a sudden growth spurt, and had grown too tall for their pants. Inversely, shorter guys should go easy on the break and wear it a little shorter. Having a whole yard of excess fabric bunched up at the ankles looks extremely slouchy.

The group of traditional tailors I work with always look in amusement at the shorter length of my pants - they very rarely touch my shoes at all. They simply cannot fathom why anyone would cut their pants like mine.

They'll lament: "You're projecting the wrong image for your customers!"

Well, that's the way I like to rock 'em. So yeah.

Your line of work, and where you wear that pair of pants to, for what occasion; is another important factor. You'll be wise not to sport that pair of pants you wore to the fashion event in Harajuku to a share-holders' board meeting next week.

For example, a guy from the banking industry (eg. a wealth analyst), will most likely wear his pants with a decent amount of break. For him to be taken seriously by his clients, and also to avoid getting into his conservative bosses' bad books, he'll have to conform to the general public's level of acceptance regarding dress codes. A longer pair of pants is more traditional and readily accepted, while a cropped-length one is definately more forward and trendy (Google Thom Browne. Warning: not for the faint-hearted).

In contrast, a dude in the creative industry (eg. a graphics designer) will probably be able to get away with cropped-length trousers. In fact, it might even put him in better position than those who dress safe. His line of work encourages creativity, and showing your personal individuality and flair is a good sign.

The problem with shorter pants is that it will tend to flap around the ankles when walking. Therefore, the hem of the pants is always cut slimer and smaller (probably 14" max). In relation, this will give the pants a slim and tapered fit. If you're on the heavy side, this might not be the most flattering look :(


As previously stated here, the reason why a lot of European men wear their pants shorter is because they want to show the world their beautifully made shoes. Longer pants will just cover up half of the shoe. Therefore, if you're gonna attempt the shorter look, make sure your shoes are beautiful and polished. Those square-toed, shiny synthetic leather ones with the upward-curving toe-caps you find from stores with the permanent 'SALE' signs all-year-round should forever be confined to a dark corner inside your shoe cupboard. Amen.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Clone Me

Click on picture to enlarge

Saturday, 23 October 2010

What's That Called Again?

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Thy Name is Versatility

From now until the end of November 2010, get 2 tailored pure cotton oxford shirts for $188. Available in enough colours and shades to make a rainbow blush in embarrassment.

The ultimate work + weekend shirt, period.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Altogether Now

You don't need a monster-sized wardrobe: just a good lineup of versatile pieces, a bunch of basics you already have and one or two investment pieces.

When the clothes all fit properly, chances are that it's gonna work no matter how you jumble up the pieces.

(A) Pure 2-ply Egyptian cotton in powder blue with spread-collar
(B) Pure superfine cotton in granite-grey
(C) Pure superfine cotton chambray in midnight blue
(D) 100% cotton Oxford button-down in pastel blue
(E) 100% cotton Oxford button-down in pastel pink
(F) 100% cotton Oxford in virgin white with punk elbow-patch
(G) Guabello Super 130's premium wool in cool grey
(H) Rayon/cotton tapered-fit khakis
(J) Wool blend super slim-fit white pants
(K) Wool blend heavy weave short-berms in deep cobalt
(L) Rayon/cotton fitted shorts in ice-white
(M) Rayon/cotton khaki 2-button slim-fit blazer
(N) Vitale Barberis Super 120's premium wool 2 button slim-fit jacket in jet-black
(P) Guabello Super 130's premium wool 6-button double-breasted slim-fit blazer in navy blue

Please visit our Facebook page for the complete look!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Close, But No Cigar

Taking a lesson from GQ's Style Guy Glenn O'Brien, who responded to a question posted by a reader with regards to trying to match a pair of pants with his jacket:

"Very close isn't close enough. If your color combo makes people wonder if their eyes are playing tricks, it's not working. You can't improvise a suit."

A lot of suit-wearing guys have tried wearing their suit jacket with a pair of similar pants not made from the same fabric. Another instance is that they bought a jacket on sale which doesn't come with the trousers, thinking that they can probably find a pair that will match the jacket fabric from a tailor.

Big mistake - it just doesn't work that way.

No matter how close the fabrics seem to match, the difference can be seen once worn together (especially with black fabrics). Even cloth from exactly the same design, weave and colour can sometimes differ in tones from batch (A) and batch (B). This is the reason why some people choose to purchase an extra pair of pants with their suit. If your pants get worn out/damaged and you managed to buy another pair, it might still look different since the jacket had already been worn and cleaned before.

Trying to find a matching fabric for your suit jacket is almost mission impossible - certainly not worth your time and effort.

It'll probably be wise to get that additional pair if you're going to wear that suit very often. The best option would be to have 3-4 suits, so that you can rotate and let it 'breathe' in between wearings.

Still thinking about that suit jacket on sale without the pants? Forget it my friend - you'll just be wasting your time and money.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

When To Draw the Line

Happiness is a nicely pressed pair of pants with a paper-like crease down the legs.

Dress pants without a centre-crease is like nasi lemak without chilli - it's just missing... something.

For those of you who send your clothes to the dry-cleaners for laundry and pressing, the pants will always come back with a nice, well-defined crease down each leg (and if it doesn't, it's time to change cleaners). Sometimes, it's hard to get that kind of strong crease with our domestic irons. That's when a bottle of spray-on starch comes in handy.

You can find a variety of spray-on starch in the market. I happen to use this particular brand called Faultless - works really well for me.

Dress pants just look a lot more presentable and smart when it's got well-defined creases running down to the hem. It also creates an illusion of length to your legs - and admit it, all of us would kill to add an inch or two to our silhouette.

Just like how pin-stripes can have a slimming-effect, a good crease adds length to the body.

A really important point to observe is to make sure that the inseam and outseam lines of each leg are aligned when ironing. Failure to do so will result in an improper fall and make the leg skew to one side.

Ensure the seam-lines are aligned, from the hem to the crotch, for proper fall of the pants.

When the seam-lines are aligned, the pants will hang straight and flat with a smooth, continuous line.

Remember that nasty shine you get when ironing your pants (especially the black ones)? That's the result of direct contact of the hot iron-plate with your apparel. To avoid that, always layer a thin cloth over the ironing area. And watch the heat! Don't just go full-blast on the heat - delicate fabrics like 100% pure wool require a little more care when ironing. Treat your apparel with care, and they will reward you everytime you put it on.

Protect your apparel by layering a thin cloth over it when ironing. Yes, it's a little troublesome... but you'll get used to it :)

Friday, 8 October 2010


A quick look at some of our past commissions. Please visit our Facebook page for more photos!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Identification Please

Had enough of jealous colleagues stealing your shirts? We guessed so. Receive complimentary initials monogramming on your shirt commissions from now through October!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Words of Wisdom - Embracing Change

"It’s fine to look at the past and tradition but you have to realise that you need to exist in the future. Otherwise you’re nothing." - Kim Jones for Dunhill.

Wise words again from, in my opinion, one of the best innovators in the industry today. Working for a label with such a rich and long history is never an easy task, let alone trying to inject your ideas into its extensive archives. I think Kim Jones, together with guys like Milan Vukmirovic (Trussardi), Riccardo Tisci (Givenchy), Nicolas Ghesquière (Balenciaga) and Christophe Decarin (Balmain), are doing a fantastic job at reviving these well-established, albeit a little stagnant, fashion houses. Which is why I felt it was such a letdown that Bruno Pieters left the artistic director post at Hugo by Hugo Boss. Just when things were starting to get interesting! :(

Drawing inspiration from the past is great, but being able to translate that into something that's relevant today is the key.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

My Old Man Wears Dior Homme & YSL

I was sorting out some old family pictures when I came across some really interesting ones of my dad in his heyday. Fashion styles are cyclical - it's almost like clockwork. You'll never know when that old pair of pants buried deep in your closet is going to pop up once again on the runways of Milan. So, don't throw out your old clothes!

My dad (left), circa 1960

Hedi Slimane for Dior Homme

My dad again (right), circa 1970

Yves Saint Laurent Fall/Winter 2008

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Words of Wisdom - Mystery of the Shrunken Pants

Photo extracted from Men's Style GQ

"I don't necessarily want people to see my socks, but I want to make sure they can see my shoes." - a discerning Italian, on why European men wear pants with a shorter-than-average length. And in the case above, a great way to stay stylish and show off some ink-art at the same time.

So, nope - it's got nothing to do with the recent flash floods.

The correct choice of footwear can elevate an ordinary outfit to a whole new level, and a questionable one can completely ruin an otherwise perfect get-up. If you can afford it, splurge a little more on shoes -and if that means holding back on purchasing that latest iWhatever, so be it. Hey, at least that pair of Church's is not going to become obsolete in 12-months' time!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Words of Wisdom - Keepin' It Simple

"If the fabric is beautiful, you can see that it’s beautiful. And that’s enough of a statement. You don’t need to go crazy - I prefer an inherent quietness." - Kim Jones for Dunhill.