* Thanks to a new follower who has taken the time to go through my archives & found some GEMS, I’m going to re-post some of my older posts as they are still very relevant & in turn answer the numerous messages & emails I still get on a weekly basis even though I have retired from suits & ties

Black shoe (not shoes) + BIG cuff + minimal break.. WHAT?

Nothing beats the simplicity & sharpness of a not so “shiny” but gently polished black cap-toe oxfords + well balanced cuff to break ratio.

Still confused? I am constantly asked about the size of my cuff & the break. I wish they would ask me about the Rugby or the MotoGP ;o)

Anyway, in this day an age we all get tied up with definitive measurements & forget the most important rule balance & proportion.

Well when you are of my stature we start to see things from a different perspective.

So in simple terms, what you see is not what you think. The size of cuff & opening I wear is not so easily translated to others. The other factor we need to take into account:

  1. type of cloth - as some have more drape & others are stiff
  2. pattern & colour of cloth
  3. type of shoe - narrow, wide, double or single sole & so on
  4. dimension of shoe

The above also need to be taken into account with the break of the pant - when the bottom touches the shoe & how much of a crease is formed.

IMO men that are shorter in stature should avoid full-breaks at all times as this cause a disturbance in the flow from shoe to trou to jacket & so on.

They say that men of my stature (< or = 5’7”) should avoid cuffs let alone 2” cuffs (as the standard is 1.5” - 1.75”), but we come back to my previous statement regarding balance & proportion not definitive measurements. Sure once you have worked out what works for you then use that as a base - but we still need to refer to the naked eye to see if the balance & proportion is there.

This is where it helps if you have a tailor or a 2nd or 3rd person that you trust to be the impartial eye as the 1st person tends to see the inflection not reflection from the right perspective.

I hope this has not been too tedious, but it is easier than responding to emails etc.

FYI - Not all my cuffs are 2”. They actually vary from 1.75” to 2” & the opening varies from 15” to 16”. See, nothing is definitive.

Enjoy & walk TALL & the other day I saw a man with 4” maybe 5” cuffs - I should have asked him about them.

& before you ask, this was posted over 2 years ago, the shoes a MTO Vass on U last (size 40.5), the pants are bespoke & I am 5’7”

An old-post that is doing its rounds at the moment that is very applicable to myself & in so answering why I’m not wearing suits anymore.

Simply put, my professional role specifies no suits, ties or pants which means understand the context.

mostexerent:

Dress your age or your role in life - understand the CONTEXT

Currently there is a very strong movement for dressing classically or grown up - EXERENT!

Unless you are only in your teens or 20s. 

Many young men asking advice on what to wear or how to look Grown Man.

May I suggest you enjoy making mistakes & dress like a Young Man.

Today is a fine example. The knit tie I wore was a gift from my Sistah over 20 years ago. Back then she would have bought it for aesthetic reasons & back then I was not ready to wear it. I so wanted to, I just did not have the confidence or role model to learn from (there was no internet - they were the dark ages).

I’m so glad that I saved it till the last 10 years.

But if I did not try it - I would not have learnt from my mistake.

  • Personal style does not happen over night.
  • Personal style is developed over years of mistakes.
  • Personal style is not having to “over think” your choices.
  • Personal style is knowing “your” punchline to a joke.

Details | Shades - RayBan “Round Metal” | Suit - P Johnson in Loro Piana “4 Season” flannel for GW | Shirt - P Johnson in Thomas Mason for GW | Tie - Jasper Conran wool knit (when he was designing clothes not interiors or furniture) | Collar Pin (used as tie pin) - Bottega Veneta | PS - Tom Fucking Ford | DubMunks - John Lobb 2010 St Crepin for Leather Soul

& Oldie but a goodie.. 

I find it quite amusing when old posts are found & reblogged by others..

* I miss this umbrella.

mostexerent:

Cows don’t need umbrellas..

So don’t worry about wearing leather shoes in the rain - just worry after.

  • Air dry in a well ventilated area
  • Shoe trees, lasted (made & shaped for said shoe) shoe trees are better
  • Suede - always brush after each wearing, in one direction only
  • Calf - brush down then apply shoe cream whilst the leather is warm. Better absorption
  • Shell Cordovan - brush down
  • Never wear same pair of shoes 2 days in a row
  • Once a month apply a wax for protection
  • 3M Scotch Guard or any silicone spray - only lasts 2 wears before one needs to reapply. Also can change the colour of suede or worse, seal the pores.. DON’T DO IT..

To shine or not?

Some like the high polish (such as Ethan), whilst other prefer a natural lustre (such as I). I won’t get into what is involved for a military shine as this is covered quite extensively.

Details | Knit - Loro Piana “Baby Cashmere” | Jacket (part of suit) - P Johnson in Loro Piana “Zelander” for GW | Shirt - Ascot Chang for GW | Pantaloons - P Johnson in Loro Piana cotton fine cord for GW | PS - Tom Fuking Ford | Hoofs - Edward Green “Westminster” in Mole suede on 888 last with Dainite sole for Leather Soul | Umbrella - Fox

Three Thoughts on Trousers

1. You need more than jeans. In an interview published earlier this month, Luciano Barbera said he objected to men wearing jeans for any occasion. That’s a stronger position than I would take, but I do think men (Americans especially) rely far too much on jeans. Don’t be afraid to wear other kinds of trousers.  

For someone just starting to build a nice wardrobe, I recommend starting with a pair of khaki chinos and grey mid-weight wool flannels. After that, get some seasonal trousers. Brown corduroys and charcoal moleskins work well for fall/ winter. Grey tropical wool and tan linens work well for spring/ summer. You can wear any of these with your basic blue or white button up shirts, or their respective seasonal counterparts such as flannel plaids and madras. 

2. Your pants should flatter you. Most men wear pants that are too big and too long. Your trousers shouldn’t be so large that extra cloth is folding around your pelvis when the waist is cinched. You should also take them to a tailor and ask for them to be hemmed with a slight break or no break at all, depending on your taste and how large your trousers’ leg openings are. 

Other men wear their pants too tight. This is often a more fashionable look, but I think it lacks elegance. These trousers often have low rises and overly tapered, skinny legs. I prefer mine slightly higher waisted, a bit fuller in the leg, and go down with just a bit of taper, but not too much. I think this gives more appealing, classical proportions, as demonstrated here by Luciano Barbera. 

3. Know what you can tailor. Make sure your trousers come up to where you like them to and fit your seat well. Most everything else can be altered. The waist can be let out if there is the fabric allowance, or taken in. The legs can also be tapered. You want to do this only to a degree, however. Reducing the waist more than two inches, for example, will cause the side seams to come too far back. These days, I personally just make sure pants fit in the seat, rise, and thighs well, and adjust everything no more than a half an inch (except the hemming, of course). If you need to alter a bit more, it’s probably not a problem. 

Note that if you let out trousers on a fabric such as cotton, you may be able to see the holes from the previous seam. It’s a bit safer to do this with wool. 

Three Thoughts on Trousers

1. You need more than jeans. In an interview published earlier this month, Luciano Barbera said he objected to men wearing jeans for any occasion. That’s a stronger position than I would take, but I do think men (Americans especially) rely far too much on jeans. Don’t be afraid to wear other kinds of trousers.  

For someone just starting to build a nice wardrobe, I recommend starting with a pair of khaki chinos and grey mid-weight wool flannels. After that, get some seasonal trousers. Brown corduroys and charcoal moleskins work well for fall/ winter. Grey tropical wool and tan linens work well for spring/ summer. You can wear any of these with your basic blue or white button up shirts, or their respective seasonal counterparts such as flannel plaids and madras. 

2. Your pants should flatter you. Most men wear pants that are too big and too long. Your trousers shouldn’t be so large that extra cloth is folding around your pelvis when the waist is cinched. You should also take them to a tailor and ask for them to be hemmed with a slight break or no break at all, depending on your taste and how large your trousers’ leg openings are. 

Other men wear their pants too tight. This is often a more fashionable look, but I think it lacks elegance. These trousers often have low rises and overly tapered, skinny legs. I prefer mine slightly higher waisted, a bit fuller in the leg, and go down with just a bit of taper, but not too much. I think this gives more appealing, classical proportions, as demonstrated here by Luciano Barbera. 

3. Know what you can tailor. Make sure your trousers come up to where you like them to and fit your seat well. Most everything else can be altered. The waist can be let out if there is the fabric allowance, or taken in. The legs can also be tapered. You want to do this only to a degree, however. Reducing the waist more than two inches, for example, will cause the side seams to come too far back. These days, I personally just make sure pants fit in the seat, rise, and thighs well, and adjust everything no more than a half an inch (except the hemming, of course). If you need to alter a bit more, it’s probably not a problem. 

Note that if you let out trousers on a fabric such as cotton, you may be able to see the holes from the previous seam. It’s a bit safer to do this with wool. 

"

Yet when people ask her for style tips she is flummoxed.

Lindsay Lohan once asked Apfel to be her fashion guru – Apfel declined. ‘I can’t tell people how to have style. No amount of money can buy you style. It’s just instinctive. You can’t try to be somebody you’re not; that’s not style. If someone says, ‘Buy this, you’ll be stylish’, you won’t be stylish because you won’t be you. You have to learn who you are first and that’s painful.’

When I ask her if she has learnt who she is, she answers enigmatically.

'I don't try to intellectualise about it because it tightens you up. I think you have to be loose as a goose.'

"

Article on Iris Apfel in www.smh.com.au

* Lindsay Lohan needs help that even an over stylized VanityFair editorial (WTF WAS Mr Carter thinking) or a PlayBoy cover can’t do..

Always look up - something we don&#8217;t do these days whilst walking from A to B..

Always look up - something we don’t do these days whilst walking from A to B..

"Can Can Do".. (as I hear too much in the land of "The Truman Show" - Singapore).. When the truth is "no can can LAH"..

So the challenge as often asked - can anyone wear a double breasted suit without looking like a fluffier” come doppelgänger exiting the set of a bad 90s porn film set.

Yes & No - there really is no definitive or scientific answer other than are you the star, starlet or …

The real question is, do you have the gravitas to wear a DB. Good tailoring can only do so much to hide one’s lack of. This also applies to most general style/sartorial questions I get asked every day. If you have to ask, then just maybe you are not at that place yet but not to say you won’t be tomorrow.

The DB is where FIT, BALANCE & PROPORTION is PARAMOUNT & unless you are gifted with good proportions, Made-to-Measure or bespoke is the best way.

This particular DB was my second MmMBC (Mystery MicroManageMent Bespoke Commission) & it took a long time, hence the “MicroManagement” as I chose to use a tailoring shop in Hong Kong that has good workmanship but required a STRONG guiding hand by a friend who has deep experience with the Northern Italian tailoring houses for aesthetic reasons & my self (the “fluffee” not “fluffier”)..

Interestingly the fit is OK even though I have lost some body mass over the last few years. But as I have always stated, start at the shoulders & then follow through as one’s foundation is the shoulder & this is your skeletal structure

On wearing this morning I immediately noticed some fit issues primarily due to my current smaller waist (weird, but true.. They must have removed the lard from the Shanghai dumplings) & not till I looked at the photos did I agree that all is still good. Like I harp on, GOOD FIT IS NOT TIGHT FIT..

Would I do this again? Maybe as it took quite some time & the process is very good for one’s yoga training. Luckily we did not have to re-order more cloth as have before with other commissions during the earlier days.

I hope this provides some insight to all the emails/messages & why I don’t recommend any tailoring houses in Asia, as there are many limitations on both sides of the counter. You & him/her.

Recently I embarked on another DB commission less the mM, this one will be slightly different in stylistic details so we will have to wait.

http://mostexerent.tumblr.com/post/11694324729/everyone-needs-a-dove-grey-db-in-a-open-weave

In summary, I have discussed the above a few times now, so please click on the below links as there is nothing else to add as I use my posts to answer many emails at once (& recently there have been a lot about DBs & men of shorter stature).

http://mostexerent.tumblr.com/post/8626589367/micro-management-one-of-the-joys-of-living-in-hkg

http://mostexerent.tumblr.com/post/752298114/double-trouble-in-the-land-of-invisible-men-in

BUT THE REAL REASON FOR THIS POST - NiceTryBro HATES DBS & I would like to offer him my CHALLENGE ;)

For those that are not following or aware.. Do visit as he has a solid voice & definite SNARK that I appreciate..

http://nicetrybro.tumblr.com/ 

In closing, bespoke tailoring is no different to a film production, everyone has a role & a star!

Details | Suit - MmMBC in 8.5 oz SummerPhasco for GW | Shirt - MBC in mystery linen for GW | Tie - Herringbone | Pocket Square - Drakes | Shades - vintage Moscot “Lemtosh” | Hoofs - Crocket & Jones “Begrave” (my foul weather & travel beaters)

Shape, Drape or Both?
Both is possible &amp; preferable in my opinion - too many are trapped into thinking that tight fitting means shape.. When it is actually the opposite.
See how my jacket still has shape even not button up.
How is this possible?
Start with the shoulders then working down to the cuff:
Make sure they sit on with a slight extension &amp; not before the shoulder point
"Natural" shaped shoulder line gives a softer &amp; more sensual appearance whilst a structured shoulder will add power as well as elegance - nothing wrong with either as long as they suit your body type &amp; not over built.
The chest needs enough fullness &amp; not tightness - see the clean subtle draping. No creases or gaping. Everything looks &#8221;natural&#8221;
The waist has &#8221;natural&#8221; suppression at the &#8221;natural&#8221; waist point to give shape - not tight like a corset
Hips are in line with the shoulder or below to give balance
Pants are sitting at your &#8221;natural&#8221; waist not hips
Open quarters aka the bottom of the jacket where the left &amp; right meet (noticeable when buttoned) will mirror the lapels in a figure eight
Skirt of the jacket has a slight flare
Pantaloons not hanging naturally &amp; with a slight break.
So as it starts to warm up, &#8221;airforce blue&#8221; is always a great option to wearing navy or grey. Especially if there is some mohair in the mix. This suit is totally different in direct light, it&#8217;s like DISCO! So one has to ensure the other components are subtle.
You want to make sure the over all effect does not compete but look &#8221;natural&#8221;.
The oncoming eye should not be competing for any detail..
So DITCH the H belt or novelty cuff links..
Details | Suit - P Johnson in Loro Piana wool/mohair for GW | Shirt - P Johnson in Thomas Mason for GW | Knit tie - Drakes (this one is a mix of black &amp; navy) | PS - vintage Japanese kimono cloth | DubMunks - John Lobb 2010 St Crepin for Leather Soul for GW
* My Sistah just enjoys PHOTO BOMBING!
** FYI - I am standing 3m away from the camera whilst my Sistah is 1.5m

Shape, Drape or Both?

Both is possible & preferable in my opinion - too many are trapped into thinking that tight fitting means shape.. When it is actually the opposite.

See how my jacket still has shape even not button up.

How is this possible?

Start with the shoulders then working down to the cuff:

  • Make sure they sit on with a slight extension & not before the shoulder point
  • "Natural" shaped shoulder line gives a softer & more sensual appearance whilst a structured shoulder will add power as well as elegance - nothing wrong with either as long as they suit your body type & not over built.
  • The chest needs enough fullness & not tightness - see the clean subtle draping. No creases or gaping. Everything looks ”natural”
  • The waist has ”natural” suppression at the ”natural” waist point to give shape - not tight like a corset
  • Hips are in line with the shoulder or below to give balance
  • Pants are sitting at your ”natural” waist not hips
  • Open quarters aka the bottom of the jacket where the left & right meet (noticeable when buttoned) will mirror the lapels in a figure eight
  • Skirt of the jacket has a slight flare
  • Pantaloons not hanging naturally & with a slight break.

So as it starts to warm up, ”airforce blue” is always a great option to wearing navy or grey. Especially if there is some mohair in the mix. This suit is totally different in direct light, it’s like DISCO! So one has to ensure the other components are subtle.

You want to make sure the over all effect does not compete but look ”natural”.

The oncoming eye should not be competing for any detail..

So DITCH the H belt or novelty cuff links..

Details | Suit - P Johnson in Loro Piana wool/mohair for GW | Shirt - P Johnson in Thomas Mason for GW | Knit tie - Drakes (this one is a mix of black & navy) | PS - vintage Japanese kimono cloth | DubMunks - John Lobb 2010 St Crepin for Leather Soul for GW

* My Sistah just enjoys PHOTO BOMBING!

** FYI - I am standing 3m away from the camera whilst my Sistah is 1.5m

The ONLY rule to remember - the only milk cawfee allowed after midday is a &#8220;macchiato&#8221;..
NEVER, EVER order a late, cappuccino or flat white after MIDDAY - wait, that would put Starbucks out of business.. Wait, what a great idea!

The ONLY rule to remember - the only milk cawfee allowed after midday is a “macchiato”..

NEVER, EVER order a late, cappuccino or flat white after MIDDAY - wait, that would put Starbucks out of business.. Wait, what a great idea!

DOUBLE or SINGLE Four in Hand?

That all depends on the tie - today I went for single..

Never get too fixated with rules as they are just guidelines.. Too many message me for definitive rules/guidelines & I avoid answering these as many take them literally without taking into account of context.

For example - the measurements of my suits/jacket/pants/shirts from P Johnson are essentially the same in total, but the parts of each item will vary depending on the cloth & style.

So my chest or waist of any jacket will be the same in total, but the variances within the panels vary.

Like wise when people want to know the width of my lapels or cuffs or pant opening, my measurements are just guidelines as they are in context with my build.

Recently someone messaged me about why all my shoes have even number of eyelets & was this because it is easier for straight bar lacing.. My mind BLEW as I didn’t even noticed.

If you don’t believe me, ask my Niece.

Details | Jacket (part of suit) - P Johnson in Loro Piana “The Wave” for GW | Knit tie - E. Zegna | PS - Facconable | Shirt - P Johnson in Thomas Mason for GW | Belt - Hermes | Pantaloons - Incotex | Hoofs (not visible) - Saint Crispin’s for Leather Soul for GW

Print out &amp; keep on you at all times - This is a great foundation manifesto..
(via Look Indispensable | Five Ways To | The Journal | MR PORTER)

Print out & keep on you at all times This is a great foundation manifesto..

(via Look Indispensable | Five Ways To | The Journal | MR PORTER)

Day two of “5 Days of Bow-tie”- The pointed bow tie with a twist.. GREY FLANNEL

My Nephew want’s in!

I mentioned yesterday about not tying the bow tie too TIGHT or PERFECT

Add some punch with something unexpected

Details | Bow-tie - M. J. Bale | PS - Tom Fucking Ford | Suit - P Johnson in Loro Piana “Zelander” for GW | Shirt - Ascot Chang in Thomas Mason “silverline” end-on-end for GW | Hoofs - John Lobb “City II” in Pewter suede for Leather Soul

To Bow or not to Bow.. (this will be a week of bow ties dedicated to Ms Zupani of TSO.tumblr)

It has been about about a year since I wore a bow tie - actually forgot the effects it has on the opposite sex.

Whilst some male colleagues joked, the female colleagues voiced their approval as well as strangers on the train.

The secret to wearing a bow-tie?

  • Think no different, it’s just a tie & don’t be self conscious as others will notice
  • Not to tight - don’t strangle yourself or the tie
  • Perfection is not the game - tie it, scrunch it & leave it
  • Not to BIG & not to small - remember scale & proportion
  • SELF TIE or NO TIE

* Though my Sistah hates them..

Details | BT - PRL | PS - Herringbone | Jacket (part of suit) - P Johnson in Loro Piana “The Wave” for GW | Shirt - Ascot Chang in Thomas Mason “Silver Line” for GW | Pantaloons - Incotex | Hoofs - Crocket & Jones “Belgrave”

Dress your age or your role in life - understand the CONTEXT

Currently there is a very strong movement for dressing classically or grown up - EXERENT!

Unless you are only in your teens or 20s. 

Many young men asking advice on what to wear or how to look Grown Man.

May I suggest you enjoy making mistakes & dress like a Young Man.

Today is a fine example. The knit tie I wore was a gift from my Sistah over 20 years ago. Back then she would have bought it for aesthetic reasons & back then I was not ready to wear it. I so wanted to, I just did not have the confidence or role model to learn from (there was no internet - they were the dark ages).

I’m so glad that I saved it till the last 10 years.

Yesterday was a PRIME example when I tried to push the envelope instead of relying on my proven formula. Yes the “infamous” Guido Wooster/Nicholson Wongolini experiment..

But if I did not try it - I would not have learnt from my mistake.

  • Personal style does not happen over night.
  • Personal style is developed over years of mistakes.
  • Personal style is not having to “over think” your choices.
  • Personal style is knowing “your” punchline to a joke.

Please do still ask for advice, but remember it is my opinion on my personal style.

Trust me that in real life you will not see all the folds - just back PHAT

I cringe when I see women wear clumpy/clunky shoes - yet I did it yesterday. Today I look down & laugh at myself.

St Crepin must have been rolling in his grave

Details | Shades - RayBan “Round Metal” | Suit - P Johnson in Loro Piana “4 Season” flannel for GW | Shirt - P Johnson in Thomas Mason for GW | Tie - Jasper Conran wool knit (when he was designing clothes not interiors or furniture) | Collar Pin (used as tie pin) - Bottega Veneta | PS - Tom Fucking Ford | DubMunks - John Lobb 2010 St Crepin for Leather Soul