Menswear | A Continuous Lean. - Page 3

Engineered Garments | A Club Formed From Cloth

Jan 18th, 2015 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Long Reads, Made in the USA, Menswear, New York City | by Jake Gallagher

Engineered Garments F/W '13

Engineered Garments F/W ’13

I tend to believe that you can’t fully know a person until you meet their friends. The company we choose to keep says a lot, often more than we ever can individually, about who we are as people. On a still, late July evening I found myself considering this as I glanced around Nepenthes, Engineered Garments pseudo-flagship store in Manhattan’s Garment District. The store, despite it’s out of the way location, was teeming with people. A cheery swirl of English and Japanese chatter overpowered the shop’s post-punk soundtrack as pockets of friends conversed beside the racks.

Standing on the second story loft looking down at the gleeful guests below, I realized that this was what has made Engineered Garments such a crucial brand, not only for menswear in America at large, but for me as an individual. The event was organized to celebrate the debut of Engineered Garments Spring/Summer ’15 collection, and fifteen years after the brand’s founding, people of all backgrounds, of all styles, of all occupations, were still gleefully gravitating toward the brand.

EG F/W '14

EG F/W ’14





The Turtleneck Comes Back Out of Its Shell.

Jan 15th, 2015 | Categories: Hollywood, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Style | by Jake Gallagher

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If imitation is the highest form of flattery, than we’re a pretty flattering bunch. Even in 2014, decades after their respective primes (and in many cases, decades after their deaths) it’s still the icons – the McQueens, the Redford’s, the Newman’s, the Caine’s, et al. that we look to for our sartorial cues. It’s these erstwhile icons that we return to time and time again when we’re citing everything from sneakers to suits to smirking glances. The cause and effect(s) of our rear-view vision are a topic for another time (don’t want to exhaust our bandwidth for this month too soon) but what’s most curious about this backwards perspective is the way in which certain venerable trends rise while others sink like a remake of Alfie.

What is it about bucket hats, shawl collar sweaters, and three-roll-two jackets that made them so popular, while ascots, cowboy hats, and spectator shoes never really caught on again? Sure, there’s the simple fact that most successfully resurrected styles are easy to wear, while those that remain in the past would be considered a bit too ostentatious for contemporary wear. But, what about the turtleneck then?

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A Well Travelled Collection.

Jan 13th, 2015 | Categories: Accessories, Italy, Jake Gallagher, Made in Italy, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

Stoffa

In the year or so since Agyesh Madan left his position as Product Development Manager at Isaia he’s been busy collecting. Not clothing, the predictable pursuit for a man with Agyesh’s pedigree (to his credit Agyesh describes his personal wardrobe as miniscule) but passport stamps. Born into a military family, Agyesh moved constantly as a child, and he’s carried that transient spirit into his adulthood with recent trips to places like China, India, and Italy. It’s the Italian stamp which I imagine takes up the greatest chunk of Agyesh’s passport. While at Isaia, Agyesh’s frequent trips to Italy to meet with factories and fabric suppliers fostered within him a deep appreciation for the tactile side of clothing design. Since leaving the Napoli based brand last year, Agyesh’s infatuation with all forms of manufacturing has manifest itself in Stoffa, the all Italian-made accessories label which he launched late last month.

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Agyesh was friendly with some of the factories that he partnered with for Stoffa from his time at Isaia, but he says that he found many of them by simply driving through the Italian countryside on weekends. These factories are like playgrounds to Agyesh, who despite his formal training (he holds a degree from Parsons) derives the most joy from simply holding a piece of fabric in his hands. He tells me that at Isaia, the actual “design” of a collection took just about a week. The rest of his time was spent in factories, sifting through yarns and studying different production techniques.





Inflation Be Damned

Jan 9th, 2015 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Made in Scotland, Menswear, Scotland | by Jake Gallagher

William F. Buckley, Jr.

Inflation hurts. If you’ve bought a car, or a house, or hell even a regular ol’ cup of coffee lately, you know all too well that a dollar just doesn’t go as far as it used to. And never is this more true than with sweaters. Yes that’s right, sweaters. Or really, just one sweater: the J. Press Shaggy Dog. There was a time, a time that now seems mythical, when you could buy a Shaggy Dog for under a hundred bucks, and I don’t even want to think about how little JFK, or John Updike, or even George H.W. Bush paid for their Shaggy Dogs back in the day. Now, I’m not a complete economic nincompoop and I completely understand that prices rise naturally with time, but Shaggy Dogs now clock at $230 full retail (to be fair they are currently on sale for $172.50), and quite frankly that price hurts.





The Raccoon Coat | Have Some Fun Dammit!

Jan 6th, 2015 | Categories: History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Outerwear, Preppy | by Jake Gallagher

Raccoon

With all the rules and lists and “wear this, don’t wear that” articles that get lobbed our way, it’s easy to forget that clothing should never be taken too seriously. If what you’re wearing doesn’t make you smile, then you’re probably doing something wrong. Sometimes though, we all need to be reminded of this, and so in the spirit of fun, let’s give it up to the ol’ raccoon coat. As a staple of East Coast style that popped up during the roaring twenties, the raccoon coat is ostentatious, gaudy, and downright fun. Undergrads wore them on game day and blue bloods tossed them over their tuxes. The raccoon coat said, “I’m dressed better than and I know it.” Just look at these guys, they’re dressed ridiculous, and they’re loving it. As styles have changed, today that message reads more like, “I’m trying way too hard to be Jay Gatsby,” but at least we have these photos to remind us that if you’re having fun, you can pull off just about anything.

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They Certainly Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore.

Dec 26th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Magazines, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

Mimi_Fukuyoshi_desk_22

Scan through Gentry Magazine and you’ll recognize many of the same characteristics that define contemporary men’s magazines. There’s street style shots, spreads on seasonal trends, a nice dose of sports and culture to round things out, and advertisements from all your standard household names. What’s unique about Gentry Magazine (no affiliation to the store in Williamsburg with the same name) is that it’s not contemporary, in fact it’s older than most people reading this site right now.

Gentry’s inaugural issue was published way back in 1951, and while these similarities certainly do shed some light on its role as a groundbreaking men’s magazine, what’s most extraordinary is just how different Gentry is from the magazines that fill our shelves today. It is hard to imagine a publication today running a philosophical (not sensational) article titled “What Does It Mean To Be a Man?” or giving detailed instructions on “How to Build Your Own Finnish Bath” complete with blueprints, or dedicating sixteen pages to an excerpt from Siddhartha. And yet, it’s all right there in Gentry, and I’m just talking about the first issue. Even the sports covered in this issue are striking – bare-knuckled boxing, tuna fishing, and equestrian tips. But oh not for you, for your child.

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The Original Ugly Holiday Sweater.

Dec 23rd, 2014 | Categories: History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

FairIsle

“Who let that guy in?”

If we look at winter as one giant holiday party, then fair isle is the perennial gatecrasher. Tweed? Corduroy? Flannel? Sure, they’re on the list. But fair isle? Who let that guy in? Yes, fair isle has its heritage, and the tiny Scottish island from which it derives should certainly be proud of how their signature style has gone, but I for one am I surprised by the endurance of fair isle. It’s both goofy and garish in equal measure. Certain fair isles appear as outdated as your grandmother’s curtains, while others can be as blindingly bright as overdone Christmas lights. So really what is it about fair isle that brings us back to this absurd pattern year after year? It’s the green-bean casserole of the knitwear world – a reliable seasonal stalwart that will always have a place at the table. It’s not the best, most attractive winter pattern, but it just wouldn’t be winter without it.