Monday, 28 February 2011

Happy Feet

A lot of men are often extremely reluctant to show their socks. Some are so concerned, that they will have their trousers cut longer, so as to minimize the show of socks when they are sitting down. Yes - they'll rather have a bunch of fabric drooped around their ankles than to flash some cotton foot-glove. It's almost become like a taboo.

Where's the love, man? Are socks really that detestable and repulsive?

Menswear is shackled down by many rules and things that you can't do, so we're actually quite limited in terms of platforms for exhibiting individual creativity and personality. To me, socks are one of the easiest and most efficient ways to jazz up any outfit. Perhaps it's about time to give the unvaried and characterless black socks in your drawer their well-deserved break. In fact, let's give them a permanent break - let's chuck them into a zip-lock bag and retire them into a dark corner inside your wardrobe. Hooray.

Here Comes the Sun: cheerful, bright and playful. We all can do with a 'lil more fun in our lives. What better place to start than from the feet up?

Life is not simply black and white, so burst out some colours. You don't always have to consciously colour-match your socks, shoes and trousers. It's more about experimentation, and the clash of colours, patterns and textures can sometimes produce amazing results.

If you're skeptical of the day-glo colours at first, go for a darker tone. Deep purple, red wine/ burgundy, dark maroon, teal and moss green are excellent choices for that subdued, yet quirky feel. It just seems so much more... considered, compared to the sea of monotonous blacks and greys that every other mother's son in the office is sporting.

Open your mind and have a go at it. You might just be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Getting Dressed For Life

One more great reply from GQ's Style Guy Mr. Glenn O'Brien, who responded to a fella's comment about getting teased by his sloppily-dressed colleagues for wearing a suit to the office:

"Tell the uncool guys around the watercooler that you're not dressing for them; you're dressing for life. If they persist, you might add that you're going places, and in those other places, people don't just wear and do the absolute minimum. Life isn't about being up to code - it's about far exceeding it."

Like it or not, we live in an image-driven world. The sooner you come to terms with that, the sooner we can move on. Creating the correct image for yourself can open doors to various opportunities. How you present yourself is also a reflection of how serious you are about the project/job prospect/event.

Non-verbal self-introduction: Hi. My name is Slop and I don't take pride in what I do.

The enviornment one is in can have a huge influence on one's dressing. Yes, peer pressure is not just an issue for teenagers reaching puberty.

The next time that dude in your office with the fraying-collar shirt and droopy-crotch trousers with holes in his back pockets teases you about being dressed up for work, stand back, smile at him politely and softly walk away.

Dude's struggling in life. Be sensitive.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

In The Press

The Business Times (19 Feb 2011)
Men Go Bespoke
Credit: Melissa Lwee

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Like a Virgin

Perhaps a reason why some men are apprehensive about visiting a tailor is because of a lack of knowledge on the subject.

No, this is not gonna happen. At Dylan & Son. Sartorial, we promise not to laugh at our customers.

At the other end of the spectrum, there is a group of very well-informed and knowledgeable gentlemen who live and breathe tailoring. They can tell the difference between a Super 130's and a Super 150's, how a 9-oz cloth feels in comparison to an 11-oz, they will specifically request for a 22-SPI instead of a 15-SPI for their shirts and frown upon the notion of a fused-chest jacket.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, it's good to be sure of what you want and knowing what you're getting. After all, tailoring is not exactly cheap, especially when premium materials are involved. However, all that information, or lack thereof, can be quite intimidating for the average Joe contemplating his maiden visit to the tailor's.

Information overload: Why do I feel like I'm mugging for my college examinations all over again?

C'mon now - what the hell is a SPI? The Singapore Paranormal Investigators? And when he finally summoned up the courage to just oh f*ck it and enter the store, he's suddenly consumed by questions hitting him in all directions.

What should I tell him? I've got this question burning inside me for a long time, but is that a stupid question to ask? What is the appropriate look for me? I like this picture of a model in a Dior Homme, but will I be able to pull that off?

All legit questions, no doubt.

My answer to that is to really just go with what you like, hopefully with the help of some sound recommendations, of course. For example, if you're touching two similar fabric samples and honestly can't feel the difference between them, even though one is a lot more expensive than the other, you might as well go for the less pricy option. Do not be pressured into getting the more expensive option if you're still exploring to find your preferences. In due time, with more experience under your belt, you will gradually learn about the differences in fabric quality (fingers crossed).

The difference between them is subtle. But it's there.

Going bespoke is a continuous discovery process. You'll slowly learn what works for you and what doesn't, you'll get more informed about the intricate details over time and become more sure of your personal preferences. When everything starts to fall in place, you will be able to appreciate the unique bespoke experience a lot more than when you first decided the take the plunge.

PS: SPI stands for stitches-per-inch. It literally means the number of stitches present in an inch on the seams of a shirt. Yes, people actually count the bloody stitches. It's that ridiculous.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Singing the Blues

Take the cue from these guys. Get fitted for a navy blazer today.

There are certain colours and shades that are so versatile, it's pretty impossible to screw them up, no matter how you mix and match. Navy blue is one of them.

Navy + virgin white? Clean.
Navy + charcoal grey? Suave.
Navy + pastel pink? Killer.
Navy + camel tan? Dapper.
Navy + powder blue? Magnificent.
Navy + all the colours currently known to mankind? Oh yeah.

If you don't wear suits, consider investing in a navy blazer made of finely-woven pure wool. It really is the ultimate outerwear you can get. It's dressy and sporty at the same time, and appropriate for both day and evening.

Seriously. Go get one already.

Visit us at our shop today, and discover what blue can do for you.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Loosen Up Dude

" A man should look as if he chose his clothes with intelligence, wear it with care, and had forgotten about it afterwards." - Hardy Amies.

1) Choosing clothes with intelligence - stuff that won't make you look like a fool. Sticking to the classics help. Funky cuffs and collars with outlandishly colourful inlays are a perfect recipe for disaster.

2) Wearing it with care - have a quick final check on yourself in the mirror before you leave the house in the morning. No stains on your cuffs, don't miss a belt loop on your pants or the button in the middle of your shirt front.

3) Forget about it - there's nothing more off-putting then a man who appears too preoccupied or precious about his clothes; too fastidious. Don't over-match your outfits. So what if your shirt sleeves are a little crumpled? You're a moving human being, not a mannequin. Loosen up a lil' and don't take yourself too seriously.

Photo from The Sartorialist.

(1) Great choice of clothes - the vibrant blue striped shirt pops against the dark suit. Nothing crazy or fancy. A deep maroon tie compliments the whole colour palette. Matching shades of brown for the belt and shoes.
(2) A bit of effort is required to achieve a great tie knot like his. Overall, a very well-put together outfit.
(3) Small details (i.e unbuckled monkstraps) reflects a bit of a helter-skelter attitude.

Comfort does not equal slouch. Look at this gentleman and tell me he's feeling uncomfortable in his clothes. He's looking pretty well-dressed, but he also channels a kind of relaxed and chill-out vibe; an air of nonchalance.

- Great tie knot. It's small and asymmetrical with the slimmer blade of the tie on top of the front. A full Windsor looks so stuffy with its huge @ss knot.

- Not too sure if that's a pocket square in the chest pocket. If it is, it appears to be bunched up and simply stuffed in. Forget about those intricate origami folds with multiple peaks.

- Cropped length pants suggests a bit of a rebellious streak; always game for a bit of fun.

- And just look at that handsome pair of shoes. Polished, seasoned leather = awesomeness. Beautiful footwear provides a great finish. What, the top buckle on my monkstraps is undone? Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

- I'll go ahead and assume that's a bourbon Coke. Happy hour!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Words of Wisdom - Fit Is Everything. Well, Almost.

" I feel very strongly that clothes that fit well make a person feel better. It's maybe half the value of the merchandise." - Jil Sander.