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Articles

Filtering by Tag: By Elias

Summer Suit with Angel Bespoke

Kamau Hosten

Though the maxim for combating the draining summer heat is to wear less, the clothing-minded man will take no part in this suggestion. Although this is his down season, he has duly brought out his panama hat, string loafers, popovers and unlined jackets while cashmere rests comfortably in his spare closet.

Seersucker, solaro, linen and fresco are all king fabrics of warm-weather due to their breathability. Another, one I’ve just had made, a wool-mohair blend, has proved to be just as effective.

Needing something simple and versatile for the summer, I visited Angel Bespoke, opearted by Angel Ramos, who I’ve come to call a good friend over the years. Ramos’ house style, has a few immediate characteristics that appealed to me: soft shoulder, broad lapels, and nipped waist.

Wool/Mohair Suit by Angel Bespoke, Linen Shirt by Gitman Vintage, String loafers by Meermin, gold rose lapel pin By Elias, frames from SEE Eyewear

Wool/Mohair Suit by Angel Bespoke, Linen Shirt by Gitman Vintage, String loafers by Meermin, gold rose lapel pin By Elias, frames from SEE Eyewear

I went with a 3-roll-2, which is when the top button is essentially a design feature, rather than a useful fastening point. It makes a suit a little less corporate and softens up the image of the wearer.  We discussed lapel width, and I opted for a 4-inch with a higher notch. When the middle button is fastened it lends a dramatic appeal to the V created. Additionally, the relatively closed quarters (below the middle button) coupled with the slightly suppressed waist create a clean silhouette. 

Smaller, but more noticeable details like the Milanese buttonhole and operational sleeve buttons aren’t necessarily useful, but are touches that add a more artisan feel to this suit. The barchetta pocket, which is essentially a curved breast pocket, has a uniquely dashing appeal, especially when compared to its rectangular sibling.

The higher rise allows the trousers to fall more naturally. The inclusion of buttons for braces will ensure the cuff shivers just so over the shoes versus a lower rise, which will inevitably slide down a bit. What's more, the larger waistband is cleaner, giving the suit a uninterrupted look. Low rise waistbands tend to buckle under the pressure of movement throughout the day. What's more, when the jacket is button, a trousers with a proper rise leaves the suit looking finished. Lower rise trousers run the risk of leaving an unflattering bit a shirt showing when the jacket is fastened. 

To complete this summery look, I opted for a decidedly casual button down linen shirt and green neckerchief. The colors pair together nicely and are balanced by a simple white handkerchief.

 

All photos by Bevin Elias

 

The Gun Club Check

Kamau Hosten

With respect to the navy jacket and its versatile appeal, it does become rather a dull reach-for. For the odd jacket aficionado, a windowpane option, a houndstooth and the gun club check are all suitable alternatives to the always-tasteful navy.

Coat by Isaia, shirt by Kamakura Shirts, Tie by Josiah France, pocket square by Kent Wang lapel pin by By Elias,

Coat by Isaia, shirt by Kamakura Shirts, Tie by Josiah France, pocket square by Kent Wang lapel pin by By Elias,

However, when the large check teeters on ‘too much’ and a micro check doesn’t provide enough, the gun club offers that crucial balance. What’s more, the (typically) brownish tones lend a decidedly casual nature to the coat. The pattern registers as a near-solid from a distance, but on closer view the eyes get a bit of visual interest. The blue overcheck in the coat and that of the jacket are in harmony, and the seasonally appropriate tie is the finishing touch.

The check, according to author and menswear historian Alan Flusser, was a Scottish pattern, The Coigach, adopted by an American gun club in the late 19th century. The name became synonymous with the club. It's popularity as an off jacket continues, with the name firm.

Trousers by Brioni, monk straps by Howard Yount

Trousers by Brioni, monk straps by Howard Yount

Because of the neutrality of the tones, it’s easy to pair with equally neutral colors that pick up the coats base colors; the blue oxford here. The texture plays especially well with trousers in flannel and suede monk straps. Mid-grey and blue-ish grey trousers offer the nicest compliment to the pattern on top. That contrast is pleasing, as brown trousers may come off a bit too stark.

Rollneck Season

Kamau Hosten

While quite short of groundbreaking, the equal parts style and function tandem of the rollneck sweater makes it one of fall's most welcome choices in a man's closet.

Jacket by Hardy Amies, rollneck by Brioni, trousers by Benneton, loafers by Alden

Jacket by Hardy Amies, rollneck by Brioni, trousers by Benneton, loafers by Alden

The rollneck, or turtleneck, sweater has maintained its standing over the decades for most men. That is, it's a wonderful fall and winter asset for the man with a longer, thin neck. It serves as a shield against the wind in place of a scarf on mild days, and one more layer (under a scarf) on cooler days. Additionally, for the man with a longer neck, it can deemphasize this. Whereas a crewneck or v-neck sweater opens up, further elongating the face a neck, helpful for the man with a shorter neck and more, um, solid face and head.

It's best paired with odd jackets and trousers. Certainly a tweed jacket and a rollneck conjure up images of a college professor, which isn't a bad look to have. The style is less formal than its v-neck cousin, due to the lack of available space for a shirt and tie. Which means, it doesn't lend itself well to use with worsted suits but, certainly more fabrics with more substantial texture.

In cashmere, a blend or merino wool, the thinner the sweater, the dressier it is. Just as with a shirt and necktie, keep in mind harmony, since the focus will be on the sweater. Unless you're going for a militant look, the dark on dark is less flattering than Dead Presidents makes it seem. Plus, if you opt for merino wool, robbery will be less necessary to afford one.

This is high season for the rollneck. Participate.

Photos by Bevin Elias