Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gant Rugger Pullover

Any self-righteous, half-baked #menswear blogger is probably going to be incredibly dismissive about this post, but that's okay. Style is a personal journey, and frankly I've never cared much about what people think of me anyways. That said, on to the review!

I purchased this Gant Rugger twill check pullover with some money I got from Christmas. I realize $125 (I did not get it on sale unfortunately, but you can benefit from my mistake) is a bit much to spend on a casual shirt, especially for a sartorial novice. But frankly I'm beginning to find that I have enough clothes (read, more than enough). So from now on, I'm either going to spend what would've gone towards clothes on either A. more expensive, quality pieces, or B. experimental pieces that stray a bit from my norm. This shirt is a bit of both, and while readers from more cultural metropolises may not find a pullover to be too experimental, they're none too common in the Midwest.


The color is great, a very saturated red and blue (the pictures don't do it justice). The twill cotton is soft (felt almost like flannel before the first wash), and a bit thick. The fit is slim, and a medium fit my skinnier frame quite nicely. It fact it seems slightly tapered, as it appears to narrow towards the tails, such that there's no extra fabric that would billow were you to tuck it in (although the shirt is too short to be tucked in, and I'm not sure why you'd want to anyway). The construction and stitching seem quality enough, although admittedly I probably can't differentiate decent stitching from a truly great job. More time and wear will be a better judge. 


As my personal style evolved, I moved away from t-shirts and more towards button-up sport shirts. Part of this was because I felt my look needed to mature as I did, but the other part was also because I tend to get hot fairly easily. Blame it on my ancestors who lived on a rainy, 50 degree island, but I found that button-up shirts tended to breathe just as easily, if not more so, as t-shirts. 

In regards to this post, I found the pullover to be hot. Frankly it just didn’t breathe as well as I would have liked. Now to be clear, that’s no knock on this shirt itself. The construction was great, the fit perfect, and I found it to be plenty warm on its own. In fact I doubt any change to the shirt itself would’ve remedied my issue. The lack of full-frontal buttons make pullovers too hot for me (Hell I’m uncomfortable in those cheap long sleeve t-shirts). 

That’s me being picky though. After all, you should only wear things you actually want to wear, and despite it being a bit warm, this shirt is still appealing in its color and uniqueness. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Matching Suits & Shoes, by Janete Chun and from Put This On

This picture is 100% from Put This On (created by Janete Chun) but I think it's so helpful, and visually appealing in its simplicity, that it's worth re-posting across the web.

It's a guide to what color shoes go with what color suit, taken from Season 2 Episode 5 of Put This On. Definitely helpful. (To see a bigger version, right click and open in a new tab or window). Also check out Put This On's video series if you haven't. It's informative, interesting, and host Jesse Thorn is quite funny.



Friday, January 4, 2013

Men's Wearhouse is the Natty Light of Suiting

Just read THIS article, and boy was it piss poor. To sum it up, the author is lauding Men's Wearhouse as a one-stop destination for men's suiting. Though it seems like an almost flipping the bird to Dave Mustaine, who I have never heard of but who seems pretty ignorant, the article jumps too quickly onto the Men's Wearhouse bandwagon. I tried reading the whole thing, but I could barely finish, which hasn't happened to me since college when a guy in my class asked me to edit his term paper, and it was so...fucking awful that I had to stop and hand it back to him. This article isn't quite that bad, but it was disturbing enough that it made me sit down and bang out a quick piece before going out on a Friday night. 

This is a stupid picture from the article.

See, things like this upset me. They upset me because I find it particularly aggravating when people follow the lowest common denominator because it is cheap or easy. I could jump straight into a diatribe on how many Americans are intensely hypocritical when it comes to the economics of manufacturing, and how consumers demand a product at the lowest possible cost without regard to its production location, material or method, thereby reinforcing an economic model that flies directly in the face of what most claim to believe in. I could do that. And I still might. But probably not. I’m going to sit on this, let it stew, and come back.  Right now though, I’ll tear this article apart quickly, because it’s Friday night and I’m trying to go out.

Men’s Wearhouse is NOT the end-all, be-all of mens suiting in the same way Natural Light isn’t the end-all, be-all of beers. Have you ever had Natty Light? It sucks. It sucks hard. BUT, it’s cheap, right? And you know why it’s cheap? I’m not exactly sure of their production process, but I’m willing to guess it involves using the dregs of what would’ve been Bud Light, canning them, and selling them for $15 a case. 

Natty Light is cheap because it costs next to nothing to make. And because so little is invested in its production, it is shitty (which only further reduces its value).

Men’s Wearhouse is like the Natty Light of the suiting world. Again, I’m not 100% on their production or sales structures (and I’ve got half a mind to get off my ass and research in-depth), but again I’m willing to guess that the suits at Men’s Warehouse cost very little to make. Cheap fabrics, with cheap production methods (I’m looking overseas, East to be specific), lead to a cheap cost. That savings is passed on to YOU, the consumer! So hooorraaaaayyy! Walls of ill-fitting suits! Ties upon ties! $20 pocket squares! (Which, by the way, isn’t a bargain, as higher-quality pocket squares can be found elsewhere for cheaper). 

This author is as in love with Men’s Wearhouse as a suburban mom of 4 is in love with Old Navy. Prices are low. Consumer satisfaction is high (because most people can distinguish good beer from bad beer easier than they can good clothes from bad clothes). And, most of all, it makes shopping easy. One-stop, no muss, no fuss from men, who just hate hate HATE shopping (if we’re to learn anything from most sitcoms). If Ms. West does have a friend who is a fashion designer……..I have nothing nice to say about him, because I can’t see a legitimate designer recommending Men’s Warehouse. But that’s presumptuous of me, and a bit ass-holish. Fuck that Dave Mustaine guy, he seems like he sucks. But so does Men’s Wearhouse.



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Planning Ahead

I haven’t posted in awhile, so I thought I’d do a quick recap of what I actually have been doing, and where things are going in 2013.

First, after school let out I essentially went on sabbatical (read: booze-fueled sex romp). Then the holidays came full force, and now I’m doing some work for Justin over at Tucked before he heads abroad for the FW 2013 shows, and before I go on vacation myself (though to a much less exotic locale). That being said, don’t expect a new post for a week or two.

However, I will be back. I plan on doing a write-up of the stuff I got for Christmas, which included some much-touted menswear reading material that was released this year, as well as some interesting pieces and new purchases. I recently decided that I had enough wardrobe “basics,” and so I would be experimenting with my own sense of style; I used some Christmas money and holiday sales to grab some new stuff that’s slightly outside my typical comfort zone (though it may not be for you). Plan on the usual stuff (sizing, pricing, quality/construction, etc.), but also be prepped for some new stuff from Style on the Hill. We have a sponsored event Jan. 17 (more details to come), and we’ve teamed up with the University of Kansas’s spring career fair to offer helpful advice on the spectrum of wearable wardrobes in an office environment. 

*Another thing I will be posting on is a nice guide on how to buy sneakers. The Air Jordan I's are being rereleased this Saturday, so I'll try to do a comprehensive post on the best way to go about snagging a new pair of sneakers at a big release, which I am currently in the midst of trying to figure out how to do myself.

Anyway, just a quick recap so people didn't think I had died or anything. Nearly did on NYE, but I've got too much respect in the hood (What's a #menswear post without the obligatory hip-hop cultural reference?).

More news as it develops,


*Edit - I slept in accidentally on the day of the Jordan release, so I missed the initial sale. They were later offerings, albeit at higher prices than I wanted to pay. I figured if I slept in, I didn't deserve a pair. Waiting until May now for the next new thing.