One of the most underated and often obliviated pieces which comprised men’s wardrobes of old is definitely the hat. What was originally a mandatory complement to a gentleman’s attire, has currently become a taboo item for most men.
Seen strictly as a Summer piece for its functional aspect, due to the scorching heat we’ve been progressively experiencing, the hat’s glamorous and confident nature is at risk of being lost for good. Easily traded by its casual counterpart, the cap, the sight of a luxurious hat perfectly complementing a sharp attire is becoming increasingly hard to behold. Even more so, since it’s usually associated with older gentlemen and not something young men should try. Thankfully there are a few exceptions to the rule, be it older men to whom the hat has become a defining trait or younger men who have come to embrace it.
I, for one, have always been fascinated with them and ironically, my lack in the hair department posed the perfect excuse to purchase a few. Now, as with most accessories, a hat is one definitely worth investing in…ditch the 5$ beachside sale straw version and go for a quality one. Choosing between the variety of models out there is not to be taken lightly (porkpie, fedoras, bowler, trilby…) and the choice should reflect your facial anatomy. This is one of those times when listening to the salesman might be invaluable, provided he/she is a professional and knows about the subject, which is usually the case in specialized hat stores.
Fine hats might cost you up to to 500€ (if you go for handmade panamas) but there are more affordable alternatives out there in the 100-200€ range. Borsalino is definitely one brand to look for, but several others are already dishing viable alternatives: Paul Smith, Lock & Co., Barbisio, to name a few…Also, do consider a wool/cashmere version for the upcoming season, it just adds elegance and a gentlemanly feel to your attire.
Borsalino’s offerings in the season’s shades: camel and burgundy
Just snatched a pair of “vintage” boat shoes by Buttero from my friend Telmo. They were part of the 2007 collection and are absolutely gorgeous. Quoting my friends over at Spot, “one man’s garbage is another man’s gold”…indeed. Pics coming soon…
The ability of the human being to easily adapt to situations is well documented throughout history, yet it never ceases to amaze me.
As some of you might know by now, my scholar background is in Civil Engineering. When I started the blog a year ago, my only aim was to share personal thoughts on menswear along with a variety of subjects, and hope someone would find them interesting. If this was the only perk Beyond Fabric provided me with I would gladly accept it, but the truth is it did so much more…Taking on this endeavour allowed me to become more and more aware of my own limits, both mental and physical.
This might sound strange but let me get into it: prior to the blog I had an 8 to 5 job and constantly felt tired upon arriving home. I had most of the afternoon for myself and ended up not enjoying it. Nowadays, I work full time with a high end menswear store, keep my engineering gigs in part-time and run the blog. So, basically I’ve got 3 jobs and I’m feeling more alive and energetic than ever. Sure, it does take its toll at times, but I still manage to find the time to do the things or be with the people I love.
Stepping away from your comfort zone is not easy, it’s in our nature to consider every pro and con when facing new ordeals, but don’t turn them down out of fear: you’ll be amazed by how much your own limits can be stretched. And please, never ever underestimate the empowering, fulfilling feeling of doing what you love…
The guys over at Tailor4Less recently contacted me about reviewing some of their products. After going through their website and given that I’ve been on the lookout for a navy gingham shirt, I decided to give it a try and have one custom made for me. Expect a proper review when I get it in a week or so.
As we’re currently entering a new season, it seems the perfect time to address the taboo subject of the wardrobe purge. An exhilarating experience for some and one much dreaded by others, it still remains one of the most crucial and effective means of running a successful wardrobe. Think of it as getting your garments serviced just as you would your car, bike, whatever…
Undoubtedly, many factors come into play when reevaluating your clothing stock, one of the most important being your shopping habits and profile. Most of the times careful, pondered shoppers who buy less, more timeless pieces are less prone to require major purges. But even they don’t get it right all the time…Lets face it, sooner or later we’re all left facing a variety of outdated/unwanted garments in our closets.
In average, I revise my garment status twice a year, coincidentally with season changes. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll toss a few items; for me it’s the perfect way to filter future purchases, establish a wishlist and make a roundup of my items. While doing so, I usually start 3 piles:
- Giveaways: starting with what most consider the worst part, here’s a rule of thumb to make things easier - if you haven’t worn it for the last couple of seasons, throw it in here. You can either give these items to charity/friends or even make a profit at your local flea market;
- Potential keepers: Personally, I find this to be the hardest task. Here you should include pieces you are not quite sure about, be it because you find them special, they are designer pieces or simply you feel it in your gut they’ll become trendy once again. Word of advice…don’t let the price tag be your only criterion. To sort this pile out you have to rely on your instincts and trend spotting abilities, which makes it all the more difficult;
- Keepers: Ok, this pile is the easiest…throw in your most loved items and essentials. These will comprise the core of your wardrobe.
Go into it with an open mind and remember that items you no longer treasure, may be the perfect match for someone else’s wardrobe or those in need. Also, consider this a chance to replace dead stock with newer alternatives you’ll love, but don’t use it as an excuse to clutter your closet once again.
Fashion is an ever evolving art whose subjects and creations continuously adapt to a variety of trends, circumstances and personal passions. Whereas there was once a time when men and women both had very distinct, almost etiquette oriented wardrobes, nowadays it’s a thin line that which separates the quintessential defining traits of menswear and womenswear.
Growing trends of androgyny and the introduction of the opposite sex’s staple pieces managed to break boundaries and elevate the expression of individual style to new standards. Murses and mewelry are but a few that support this tendency but the truth is, it works both ways. Menswear inspired womenswear has been gathering the attention of many throughout the web, due to an outstanding roll of sharply dressed women.
Although most men can’t seem to shake the cemented image of ultra feminine silhouettes provided by tailored evening dresses, as the epitome of a women’s sensuality, there’s somewhat of a nonchalant sexiness in a girl sporting an oxford shirt and tie. While the first is downright sensorial and easy in a way, the latter is much more complex and delves deep into our own universe: within seconds and ultimately involuntarily, our brain wanders off on its own quest to understand what it has just perceived. We’ll be wondering why was she wearing that and more importantly, why did she look so damn good. Ok, this might not be the case every single time, but there’s a good chance it will happen…
So girls, do try to venture into the world of menswear and incorporate a few basic pieces in your attire, you’ll definitely look better than most guys out there…
It seems that outer space and the vastness of the universe are becoming an inspiration for designers this year. N.A.S.A. inspired materials and galactic prints have been making an appearance on several runways, mostly as statement pieces with visually strong patterns and fabrics.
The latter are the foundation of this futuristic look: high tech fabrics in silvery and greyish tones, with special treatments and finishing to give them that extra edge and space vibe. Although the global aesthetic is, at the very least, unusual, I’m excited to see the results of incorporating these items into more traditional attires. On this note, Sir Paul Smith has once again outdone himself…here are some of his looks for the year.
With the first batch of bows finally ready for delivery, I decided it was time to put them to the test. Focusing on embracing new projects, it seemed appropriate to shoot a small editorial to properly support my first brand collaboration. Shot by Rita Lino, I’m proud to share with you the first ever Beyond Fabric Lookbook.
I can’t help to be amazed by the sheer amount of inspirational sources we bump into on our daily routines, even if, at times, we pass them by completely unaware. To be able to focus on little details of the surrounding mundane envelope and absorb their essence, definitely requires highly developed senses of observation and sensitivity.
When designers present their creations on the runway, one of the inevitable questions that follows is - “where did you get your inspiration from?” The wide span of answers usually contains a few that catch us by surprise and leave us wondering how on earth did they come up with that… Although I’m nowhere near the genius minds behind some of these collections, I too am inspired by numerous sources, some of which share no direct connection to fashion.
One I’ve been dwelling on about, is the handcrafted façade tiles on century old buildings in downtown Porto. It’s impossible not to stare when faced with the astonishing artwork on these pieces, perfectly combining elements such as color, pattern and texture, all common to the clothing universe. I’ve incorporated several of those references in my own attire but when I came across this picture, I just knew I had to write about it.
The thing is, the pattern on this case is exactly the same that can be found on the house my family’s currently refurbishing, albeit in a different color scheme.
As Sir Paul Smith so eloquently put it: “Inspiration can be found everywhere; if you can’t, you’re not looking properly”. If carefully curated, some of these patterns could result in potentially appealing garments or accessories, bringing to life a rich cultural heritage.
Although I’ve mentioned florals before, I still hadn’t had the chance to fully address this much hyped pattern. Every other day, some new garment or accessory makes its way into the spotlight simply by sporting this nature inspired print. The sheer fact that its popularity is growing, while struggling with social, cultural and gender-based ill-formed preconceptions, is not only proof that men are more conscious about their style but that this pattern is a resilient one. As with all bold prints, the chances of getting it wrong are proportional to the risks you’re willing to take.
Whereas concepts such as scale, fit, proportion and color matching should be ever present on your attire, when going for more ambitious combinations they become a necessity. For me, the most crucial aspect to successfully pull it off is coordinating the scale of the pattern with that of the item itself, bearing in mind that larger items are harder to work with. When in doubt start by incorporating small notes such as scarves, pocket squares or ties and slowly work your way up the chain.
This shirt by Paul Smith was the result of an impulsive purchase a few years back, which remained stored away in my wardrobe for quite a while…now, it’s one of my Summer statement pieces. Besides the outstanding color scheme, I love its versatility which allows for interesting casual looks as well as adding a twist to more classic ones. Here I went for a relaxed, put together look aimed at toning things down by making use of pieces in complementing solid colors.
Organic cotton floral print dress shirt by Paul Smith, purple organic cotton crewneck tee by H&M, slate creased trousers by Boglioli, brown crepe sole boat shoes by Buttero, watch by Gucci, silver string by Goti (hidden).
My take on Camel for the upcoming season made it to this week’s Links à La Mode from the Independent Fashion Bloggers website! Be sure to check it along with the other selected posts.
The seasons are changing and as fashion and or style bloggers, you know what that means? Time to switch stuff up! Whether it be your content or your wardrobe, I always look at the seasons as a time for change— a time to gather inspiration from the streets or from your heart and just run with it. This week’s roundup talks about issues such as “The issue fashion blogs may be facing” to “Finding the perfect fall color palette.” All important topics, right? Needless to say they’re interesting reads and certainly make the mind wander. Enjoy!
If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE. The HTML code for this week will be found in the Links a la Mode group will be published later today. ~Jennine
As AW offerings begin populating stores, both online and off, the time has come to focus on the upcoming season. As one delves into new collections and begins defining his wishlist and essentials, one key aspect to bear in mind other than style and function, is definitely the color palette. This year’s been all about bold, eye popping colors making their way into all sorts of garments… and Winter is no exception. Although in a toned down version of current pieces, one that accurately reflects and adapts to the wintery atmosphere, color is ever present on AW creations.
Apart from the traditional all-rounders shades of navy, grey and black, there seems to be an overall bet on deep, rich colors such as green, burgundy and camel. For me, the latter will be one of the season’s staples. This lighter shade, as counterintuitive as it may seem for rainy, gloomy days, is the perfect way to brighten and liven up not only your outfit, but mood as well. There’s something luxurious about it, almost royal, that immediately carries on to you the moment you put it on.
I favour its use on all sorts of coats (sports, toggle, top) as these are the items that really make it shine, but do consider knits or cardigans as they work wonders as layering pieces. The perfect match for raw denim or charcoal slacks, camel seamlessly adapts to the outfit’s degree of formality. I’m really excited to see it at its peak, paired with burgundy, another of the season’s must haves (as Derek covered earlier)… such a killer combo.
As I mentioned before, there are few websites I love as much as Close Up and Private. Sergey Sviatchenko single-handedly revolutionized menswear imagery by means of his unique take on photography and composition. This time around he embarked on a collaboration with Gant Rugger to showcase their Autumn/Winter collection. The result? Brilliant as usual….
“I call it “cartoon dressing.” Remember when you watched cartoons and you were like “why don’t they ever change clothes?” It’s because they are perfect. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!”—Basty interviewed by Pesko for Park&Bond