When I was in school, the costume design instructor in the theater department had a sign on her office in response to many directors who waited until the last minute for costume requests. It read:
Fast Cheap Or Good.
When considering the idea of Made to measure suits, choosing two can be a conundrum. Of course you want it to be good, but its the fast or cheap element that is a toss up in tolerance.
I have been singing the praises of ordering a custom suit for quite some time, but I neglected to think about one important detail. I always assumed that if you found someone to make a quality product, and the price was reasonable, that you would have to wait months for it to be completed. The exception was the mens’ suits that were coming out of Hong Kong in the 60s and early 70s. Plane fares came down and it was more likely that the average person could take a trip. They were good, fast, and cheap, but you had to go halfway around the world at great personal expense to sit in the tailor’s shop!
Rather than buying a ticket to walk through a time machine, the modern answer is MySuit New York. They offer a two week turn around time (!) on their quality custom duds. The prices are very reasonable compared to off the rack suits.
So, what are you waiting for?
fashion tips, modern fashion | Comment (1)
If you are have a teenage girl or trendy petite gal in your life, Heavenly Couture is having a denim sale. They specialize in teen clothes and seem to really know what is trendy at the moment. There are some Cheap Jeans prices of only $13.80 site wide. It is hard to find discount clothes that are not made in China, and they only offer items from North America.
Buying jeans for a gal is a sensitive topic. It is a difficult thing to do unless someone directs you to the cut and color they want. There are so many magazine articles that discuss what cut is right for a figure shape, but even that makes it a guessing game. As far as the cuts that are in style, everything from flared to straight leg are available. Stove pipe, boot cut, slit front, and more. Luckily, Get Heavenly has a return policy so if it isn’t right, you can exchange it if it has not been worn (aside from a quick try on) and has the original tags attached.
It seems that the denim finish with the streaks and the brown undertones has now fallen by the wayside but it is still available. Some called this the “fallen off a horse and dragged in the mud look.” The official term is “dirty wash.” There are still lots of other shaded finishes, and different washes, but there are more solid colors like “dark denim” (dark indigo), white, and turquiose.
I have recently learned a new marketing term: Captive Brand.
A captive brand is similar to the concept of a store brand. While it is exclusively available at the particular store and perhaps its subsidiaries, it does not carry the imprint of the store, and it is produced by a third party. Many times, the company will have its own website and marketing as well, at least to appear at arm’s length. There are times when a captive brand appears amid not just national brands but a store imprint as well.
For example, Towncraft by JCPenney is a store brand. George is a captive brand sold at Wal*Mart and at ASDA, its British counterpart. You can go to the George website and it talks about the company, but on its store locator, there are only the above mentioned. The history section mentions:
George has taken the steps to becoming a global brand with ranges now being sold in six different countries – UK, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Japan and the US.
(Coincidentally, Wal*Mart has opened in all of those markets.)
Searching for Towncraft will yield you Towncraft at JCPenney. As we know, Towncraft has been synonymous with the casual men’s department at Penneys for decades. Conceivably, if a chain folded or left the area, the captive brand could be shopped around, but I have not really seen it happen.
I know there are many examples of a captive brand not only appearing in a store amid national brands. For example, Towncraft would appear in the same department as Levi’s Dockers. However, at the moment, I cannot think of too many captive brands that appear with a national and a store imprint. The best example of seeing all three together is with beauty products. For example, Garnier is a national brand, bioInfusion is a captive brand at Walgreen’s, and there is also a more generic Walgreen’s label brand shampoo that may be the same thing.
Why are they called “captive brands?” Like a store brand, the captive brand requires the shopper to return to the store to purchase it. The brand cannot be purchased at a competitor’s store. Then, why not just leave it at the store brand? The captive brand may seem “value added” to the consumer. Some people have the impression that a store brand is “generic” or “second rate” to a more “prestigious” national brand. That notion may sound a bit vapid, but just ask your average parent during “back to school shopping” days trying to get through the mall in one piece without their head exploding from hearing “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that.”modern fashion, the business of vintage, useless information | Comment (0)
A few of our friends were contemplating the idea of moving their hobby into a full time business. In the past, it worked out very well to use Paypal. One could easily liquidate a few vintage hats to buy the one you REALLY want. What happens when you take your vintage fashion obsession to the next level? When selling occasionally online just won’t do? Appearances at antique fairs and textile shows sometimes is the next step. When you make the leap, you can deal in just cash, but sometimes the ability to accept credit cards can really increase your sales. Afterall, you can’t guarantee a customer is going to write a good check.
I have been poking around the internet researching a few different services. There is one service called Online Check that offers a 1.59% transaction rate, and requires $25.00 minimum in transactions per month. It is the only one I have found so far that doesn’t have a hefty monthly fee. If you are considering making the same leap, I suggest you fully research all of your options. I am certainly doing so with mine!the business of vintage | Comment (0)
The design was first seen on the tartans worn by members of the Campbell clan from Argyll, Scotland. The clan found popularity when it was mentioned by the Scottish novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott. By the late 18th century, the knitted pattern of the argyle was beginning to be adapted by manufacturers as the argyle plaid and socks knitted with the patterns became known as “argyle socks.” Although the original pattern of the Campbell clan was a traditional green and white, today argyle socks can be a combination of any two or more bright colors.
Save that for a cocktail party. You are sure to dazzle someone with your knowledge!history, trivia | Comment (0)
A few of my readers are motorcycle enthusiasts and often ask me about gear. They can find chaps and jackets on their own just fine, but they wonder what suggestions I may have for those occasions where you want to take the bike to and from, but the occasion is not exactly a “come as you are” situation.
I have found that if you go to a police supply website and grab some 5.11 tactical pants, they are very versatile. The leg looks more like a slack, but the material is durable. There are utlitarian pockets which allow you to carry what you need
What sells the look is to iron them, of course, but more so have them properly tailored rather than have to compromise with ill fitting pants. You can get them on 511tacticaloutdoors.com in specific measurements in lengths as short as a 30″ inseam, and as small as a 28″ waist, all the way up to a prehemmed 44″ waist. 44 to 54″ waists are also available unhemmed that you can take to your tailor.
A few gentlemen I know swear by pants like these because they can carry all their gear without needing to wear a specific jacket just to have the right amount of pockets.modern fashion | Comment (0)
Breaking news! Life Magazine is making a comeback. This time, it will be online as a joint effort between Time, Inc., and Getty Images. Users will have access to millions of photos from Life Magazine, many never seen by the public. This news comes out of the MIXX Conference and Expo, the gathering of the Advertising Week 2008, running this week.
PaidContent’s David Kaplan reported, “Users will also be able to create a Life-branded coffee table book of their own photos. And, of course, an iPhone app is in the works.”
Right now, the Life.com website has a “Coming Soon” message:
Welcome to the future home of LIFE, the most amazing collection of professional photography on the Web: 10 million photos from the legendary archives of LIFE magazine and thousands more added every day. Whatever you want to look at, whether it happened an hour ago, a century ago, or any time in between, you’ll be able to find it here quickly, easily, and for free.
I don’t know about you, but I eagerly await the launch! Stay tuned for more news.books: Chick Lit and Dude Lit | Comments (3)
The first time I saw one a Movado watch in a display case, I was drawn to their simple style, but I also thought they were geared towards consumers who only had to be somewhere “around” a certain time. Alternately, maybe they were made for men who had “people” who took care of those details. If you recall, most of the Movado collection has a blank face with a single diamond placed at twelve o’clock. There are other styles that are made with a complete set of numbers, but they are most known for this particular style.
I am not like the rest of the world when it comes to time telling schools. The school I was at in kindergarten taught that in first grade. I went to a new school in first grade, and that school had already taught it in kindergarten and assumed you knew! My parents weren’t deficient. I was just a little bit dyslexic. Though I was the kid who had to look at a digital clock to tell time, I was reading at an eleventh grade level by second grade so they must have done something right.
Since discovering the watches, I have learned that the mind tends to fill in the blanks, just like the mindteasers. If the first and last letters of a word are correct, your brain can fill it in. Such is the “no numbers watch.” After awhile, your brain just fills in the details, unless you are wearing it upside down, of course.
If you have been looking for Movado watches like this, here’s a tip: The Watchery has them at 38-50% retail right now. I have a feeling that in the future, costume designers will choose this type of watch when creating a costume of an upscale character for dramas that take place in the 1990s ad early new millenia.discounts, modern fashion | Comment (0)
Jamie Nudie was the original Rhinestone Cowboy. He became a tailor in the 1930s, and was the first person to put rhinestones on menswear. After traveling around the country, he and wife set up shop and approached Roy Rogers and Dale Evans to be their exclusive tailors. The desirability of Nudie Rodeo Tailors rose even higher after designing Elvis’ gold lame’ suit.
Today, items crop up for sale at auctions and online. Because they sold a complete line, you will see more basic items. What made them famous and what goes for the big bucks are when you can find a Nudie that was documented to have been custom made for a name of note.
Right now, there is a suit on ebay that was made for Rick Danko for his appearances with Bob Dylan, so the auction says. However, there is a photo of Montie Montana wearing the same or similar suit, and the tailor tags of the outfit say Montie Montana as well. Because the history is a little anecdotal, could the suit have really have preciously been Montana’s that Rick had worn? One may never know. But it is authentic Nudie nonetheless. Maybe someone will come forward with photos of Danko for the seller.
Check the auction out HERE.
There is another Nudie of note this week on ebay. This one has a “Buy It Now” option. I have only included a small snippet. You will have to go to the listing to see it for yourself! Click right HERE.
This suit even comes with matching boots. I don’t know it this was something made for someone, or it was a style that was “off the rack” but it sure is a suit that will never be forgotten if you wear it. Many collectors choose to display their suits only to reduce the wear and tear, but the choice is yours.1970s | Comments (3)
Many urban legands are attributed to “FOAFs”. FOAF stands for “friend of a friend.” The way a yarn keeps traveling around is because someone who you think you trust told you about it. Few can specifically name the “friend of a friend” that they heard about, and the beat goes on.
My brother will never buy anything online. He is not a man of advanced age, where you could understand that they weren’t accustomed to it. Rather, he is under thirty and had computers in his classroom since second grade. He is not an internet junkie like I am, but still, it surprises me. The reason why is the very FOAF who told him about someone else who had a bad thing happen to them when they bought something online. He cannot name who this individual actually was, of course, or what transpired, but is adamant that it “must have been bad for it to have been mentioned.” Of course, there was no recollection if the friend of a friend of a friend of a friend had a problem with a PERSON or an actual security problem.
Believe it or not, the hold is so strong on him, that I can’t even entice him with the idea that there may be a hand painted necktie with a picture of Boba Fett on it somewhere in cyberspace that he will never see in a store. His reply typically takes on the tone of someone who has just been asked if he would do something morally dispicable and against every cell in his body.
Comodo has long been exploring the idea of a Trusted Internet, where everyone will be equaly protected by malware and security issues. Online merchants and users alike would be protected and verified by double authentication between sites and visitors What’s more, is that they would work towards providing it free for all. There is freeware everywhere, but their vision is to implement it internet-wide and a make it part of the infrastructure.
While this seems like an answer to a lot of problems, there is one little fact in the company’s press materials that make me scratch my head a little:
Within a Trusted Internet, Comodo empowers users to verify site content, verify site identity, and verify business practices of a site, all while staying safe using a holistic security system that incorporates malware detection, prevention, and removal services
I wonder how businesses practices would be verified. If it is merely a check to insure that the site is not sending out evil robots to visitors, or giving visitors a virus, then I am all for it. If it is really saying the business practices of the business will be verified, I would want more information on that. I would wonder who would set the standard on what businesses practices should be, but more importantly, how are they assessed. Rating a site on the way business is conducted is way too subjective when it is something so cut and dry. I may be reading too much into this, which is entirely possible. Blame my past as a method actor for imagining subtext that isn’t there.
Maybe I will email this post to my brother and it will get him thinking. Alternately, I will ask my 83 year old great-aunt who is on my joke list to set him straight. He doesn’t need to turn into an internet junkie, but at least he should know that if he has to get something online, that he will be okay.
What do you think? Will added internet-wide security entice you to do more business? Or, do you think that the individual businesses that you deal with are trustworthy, and something like this is to protect people who don’t follow their gut instincts?
Recently, a young man from Miami was temporarily jailed with wearing pants that were too low in public. They were super baggy, and road way down and his underwear was showing. No large amount his derriere was showing (allegedly), but the arresting officer decided that his attire was inapropriate. The court ruled that fining, requiring community service of, or imprisoning someone based on their Hammer pants was unconstitutional.
One issue with baggy pants these days is not about freedom of expression, but because the authorities know all too well that some people go into stores with their out of season winter coats and broad legged pants to hide shoplifted items. Either way it was determined that even though it may be a crime of fashion, people can’t be arrested on pants alone.
Baggy, saggy pants are nothing new. About eight years ago a young boy ran past me and tripped. His friends all laughed that his size 52 jeans he wore cinched in to create a baggy look on his 30″ waist frame caused his mishap. Of course we also remember the 80s. The trend just hasn’t died.
The original “Hammer Pants” that MC Hammer popularized were wide legged and baggy to exaggerate dance movements, but they had one important detail seperating them from what kids wear today: The waist band fit you.
There was no clue from casual observation what Mr. Hammer’s favorite brand of underwear was, nor if he was a boxer, briefs, or boxer-briefs man. The world didn’t know and Mr. Hammer felt that was a little too much information, I would presume. He was too classy for that.
In the “middle years” of baggy saggy pants, wearers would buy pants 12 sizes too big and would consciously look for underwear that would look okay being seen. They might put some fancy boxers over their regular underwear, much like a lady would wear a camisole, to prevent plumber butt.
That led to fashion swinging the other way, and women started wearing lowrise, skintight jeans that looked wrong for their figure. That is when the ladies got in on the visible underwear trend that wasn’t very becoming, until things swung back the other way again, bringing us to the holdouts that insist on cinching their clown pants.
These days, MC Hammer has hung up his dancing pants and is a minister who mentors young people. Maybe he would do a mall tour a la Tiffany to reach out to young people on the dangers of knocking your teeth out from tripping over your britches.
I am not in the “too old to be trusted” category, at least not yet. I admit to being sucked into fashion in my teenage years that made one look like they just rolled out of bed (but I actually did shower.) , but I will keep my underpants to myself, thank you very much.1980s, modern fashion | Comment (0)
A few nephews and friends have just gone back to school. The former have gone back to grade school, and the latter are back in grad school. It seems the younger you are, the more stuff you have to buy for school, rather than increasing with age like it used to seem.
Back in the day, kids showed up at school without apparently having any parents or legal guardians coaxing them to do so. They sort of just lived in a year round clubhouse and were self sufficient, somehow also getting food and clothing themselves too. Miss Crabtree (not to be confused with Miss Crabtree from South Park) was one of the few adults I ever remember in the “Our Gang” episodes. She made school seem pretty easy. All you had to do, it seemed, was just show up with an apple and maybe recite a poem. Since there were a minimal amount of episodes that alluded to the fact that school even existed, her school year must have lasted about two weeks. Maybe since the school only seemed to have seven kids in it, it closed.
Nowadays, school isn’t a “come as you are” affair. Kids need more file folders than a small law office. Back in my day, the Trapper Keeper was the main means to keep oneself straightened out.
Because kids were having back problems from their bookbags, my friend’s daughter has a set of books at school and set of books at home. It is not a set up where they have a stack of books and the students each grab one during class. Those are assigned too. I suppose kids are less likely to abuse them if they are responsible for them.
My nephew is always late for school because he can never find anything to wear that won’t revolt my sister-in-law. He is not a rebellious kid, who tries to push the envelope. He is the type of kid who will grab what is there, even if it is off the floor and even if it totally clashes and makes him look like a tornado hit him. The other possibility is he will wear the same shirt for a week. It will be cleaned every time, as he managed to hit the washloads just right but kids are starting talk about that.
I bought him a label maker and taught him a trick from my days of storing costumes for the theater. Label each hanger with what is supposed to go with what. There were some ties from the 60s that I had that actually had a label that told you what color of suit it should go with.
In a matter of half an hour, we had everything hung up. He isn’t allowed to wear concert Tshirts in school, so we labelled them “after school.” We labelled striped shirts “Striped shirt. Goes with Jeans or Tan khakis.” You get the idea. I think I have created a monster because now he is using iron on labels in his gym shirt after I showed him a bunch of tips on the Dymo Labelmaker Site.
I don’t know if it is something that will last until Christmas break, but maybe now that he is not the suspected “smelly kid” in school he’ll get out of the house more.
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If I showed you this picture, at left, would you be able to recognize this man? That was poorly stated. I AM showing you this photo. I just thought it would be a softball question to throw you, as it would be a hypothetical “yes” or “no” answer rather than being really direct and embarrassing you if you were reading this aloud to your coworkers and didn’t know the answer.
The answer is: Drew Carey.
A few years ago, I saw Drew Carey on a show. He came up to the stage, and I did not even recognize him. He lost weight, let his hair grow out beyond the length of his marine haircut, and he wasn’t wearing his signature glasses. It took me a few seconds when he started talking to realize that it was him. He revealed that he had Lasik surgery and didn’t need his glasses any longer, but then did go back to wearing them as that was his signature look, albeit without corrective lenses. If he had been in the Marines today, as he was before he got his big acting break, he might have had the procedure while in service, if his role was mission critical.
Did you know that NASA and the Department of Defense was now giving LASIK information to specialized personnel now? In the past, a scientist or soldier had to have vision that was in correctable range. It was okay to need to wear contact lenses or glasses. However, there are mission critical moments where someone could be at less than top form when their glasses break or their contact lens slips.
Since I wasn’t pegged as a “Most Likely to Work at NASA,” for my grades in Chemistry class, nor have I served in the Armed Forces, what I correlate the eyewear malfunction most is to the feeling and desperation of the classic Twilight Zone episode, “Time Enough at Last.” You all remember that one. If not, I will refresh your memory. A man is the sole survivor after a major disaster, and despite the shock, gleefully realizes he finally has enough time to read every single book in the library as he always wanted to. His heart is broken when his glasses fall and break. He is left for an eternity, now legally blind and alone, not able to read a word. Someone orbitting the Earth is nearly as isloated, and can’t exactly go home and get a spare, nor can someone at the front lines just zip on over to the Optometrist and have new lenses while they wait. Can you imagine if someone was out there fixing a tile in the shuttle and their contact lense popped out and started floating around their head? Not a good state of affairs. However, losing your eyewear in low gravity does sound like a plot for a Mr. Magoo cartoon.
LASIK technology has changed since it was first offered. Two lasers are used now, which is much safer than the old form of Lasik. The hand held microkeratome blade has completely been eliminated and one laser actually makes a map of your eye first. 95% of millitary personnel who elected the procedure now have 20/20 OR BETTER vision without the aid of glasses or contacts, and 100% of naval aviators who have had it recommend it. I think I would listen to someone who flies a jet about accurate vision. I am hoping that with the new way of doing things, I am eligible. Years ago, I wasn’t a candidate due to the shape of one of my eyes, but I am going to revisit it now that things have been updated.
Don’t worry, dear readers: The pilots will still continue to rock the aviator glasses, just now they will only be sunglasses, not corrective.
Maybe someday in the future, this will mean that we will no longer see the big plastic Army-issued glasses that are a fashion un-statement. A fashionista can only hope. In the meantime, I salute each and every one of you who are currently wearing Army-issued glasses. Thank you for serving.
modern fashion | Comment (0)
I was flipping through a copy of Details, and their showcase of some of the fall fashions. At left, is one of the looks they showed. Nothing new or revolutionary about it. Seems to me to be basic clothes that men could live with. A long sleeved shirt. Pants that could be weathered blue khakis or jeans.
One detail caught my interest, however.
The footwear the model is wearing is what they are referring to as”Lace Ups.”
I think they are protesting a little too much by pointing out specifically that they are different because they are polished, and they are certainly not broken in and scuffed up. As if they knew exactly what I was thinking.
Lean your head in a bit and take a closer look. ”Lace ups” are just another euphemism for BOOTS
Take a little closer look. Specifically, to me, they look like a slight throwback to a certain Doctor rather than any sort of equestrian look. In fact, on another page, a pair that had the white stitch close to the sole were featured with an outfit. Looks like combat boots redux a la 90s to me.
modern fashion | Comment (1)
There was a time when a tailor’s shop was on every corner, and the staple of a well turned out gent’s wardrobe were several custom, Made to Measure suits. Now, with modern fashion being much more casual, those days are gone. Many men only slightly alter their clothing. Is that day truly gone, or merely on the cusp of a comeback?
I was excited to find MySuitNY.com, as it gives me high hopes. There are actually tailor shops and tailors in the United States that do make custom suits, but in an old fashioned way, they only get their business by word of mouth, and do not advertise for anyone new in town to find them. On the contrary, MySuit rolls out the fanfare and has an interactive website to get you hooked on the idea.
Coming to New York? You can make an appointment right from the website. There is an animation showing you the 30 measurements they take at the store to get you the best possible fit. After playing around on the site, I have high hopes that you will get the itch to hop on a plane. They say that a good suit is like an old friend. Good thing that you can make a friend for life starting at $495.00.
That may seem like a lot for someone who is used to buying suits at $90-200 discounted and off the rack. Think about it, though. It is like a woman buying ten tubes of lipstick at the drug store until they find the right one. They would tell you if they found the perfect one the first time, they would have paid fifty bucks for it, because they already sunk seventy dollars into a drawer full that are too orange, to brown, or that wear off too fast. When you buy a custom suit, you’ll only need a couple, not a closet full. It is a worthy investment.
I am convinced that at least thirty percent of the men who wear vintage suits don’t do so because of the historical value, or to fit in at a Halloween party with something outrageous, but because the fit and finish cannot be compared to what is widely available today. They were just “made better.” If you fall into this category, this is definitely worth looking into for you.
If you go to MySuit, please drop me a line and tell me how it went! Your experience might just get a mention from me.
modern fashion | Comments (3)