Browsing All Posts filed under »Miscellanea«

Closeout Sale at Toronto’s Walter Beauchamp Tailors

September 22, 2014

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The closing of Walter Beauchamp Tailors is a real loss for Toronto sartorialists.  The company began in 1908 by making military dress uniforms and came to count many of Toronto’s social elite as its customers.  I had a bespoke suit made there by their master tailor a few years back and it’s a work of art. Sadly, […]

East Meets West: Japanese Formal Wear

August 7, 2014

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I’m currently editing a new page on Japanese formal wear for the next edition of The Black Tie Guide.  Their sartorial customs are a fascinating blend of old Eastern traditions and newer Western ones.  In fact, Japan is second only to Britain in preserving the custom of morning dress.  One prestigious formalwear maker from that country prescribes […]

From the Vaults: Soviet Evening Wear

July 18, 2014

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Part of a series featuring highlights of my recent research at the Library of Congress. In my youth I was always fascinated by the bizarrely Orwellian nature of life in the Soviet Union.  An article on Communist sartorial propaganda in the May 1959 issue of GQ reminded me just how perversely fascinating the USSR was. The article’s introduction sets […]

It Never Hurts to Dress Up

June 3, 2014

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This drawing is by a young artist with a longing for the lost days of style and formality.  I love how it captures not just the elegance of yesteryear but also a certain youthful innocence.

The Suspender / Cummerbund Conundrum

May 20, 2014

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Black Tie Guide visitors occasionally ask me if it’s okay to wear suspenders with cummerbunds. My first thought is “why don’t these people bother reading the Guide before writing?”  My second thought is “why do so many people assume these two articles are mutually exclusive?” I suspect that a general unfamiliarity with the cummerbund leads many to equate it with a belt because of […]

Review: Bespoke: The Men’s Style of Savile Row

May 13, 2014

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  For those of us who can only dream of patronizing Savile Row’s world-renowned tailoring houses, this book might be the next best thing.   Author James Sherwood (who has assisted me with my research on the earliest dinner jackets) charts the contribution to fashion and culture made by these masters of bespoke menswear, beginning with […]

The Outstation

March 17, 2014

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The Outstation is a 1924 short story by Somerset Maugham about a self-exiled British gentleman named Warburton in charge of a remote outpost in Borneo.  The story opens as his new assistant, a young Barbadian named Alan Cooper, arrives by boat. Despite his misgivings about losing his status as the sole white man, Warbuton greets […]

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