Hi, you seem to def know what you're talking about, so i thought i should come to you... My names Jordan, i'm a girl, however i have my school formal coming up and i've really been searching and searching for some type of female suit (i read what you posted a couple of days ago on it) and i actually really really like the pink one (sorry i don't know the womans name in it) with the blonde hair and the ray bans on. I have a very similar haircut and skin complexion and so thought this could
possibly work (sorry about that). I was wondering if you could point me in any direction (also im from Australia... so sometimes that's a bit difficult to work with buying male clothing that actually fits a woman, as our fashion hasn't really gotten to that stage) :P
Sorry for taking a while to get back to you…While I must say that womenswear is not my comfort area, I’m somewhat aware of what goes on. When it comes to pulling off man inspired looks, I would say it’s best to stay away from actual men’s clothes as the fit will most likely be off, as they’re made for an entirely different body type. However, the “boyish” trend is on every magazine out there, and most brands are currently offering items within that spectrum: blazers, suits, oxford shirts, etc.. I’m guessing if you go out shopping to mass retailers such as Zara or H&M you’ll be able to find a few alternatives. Also, for me, a crucial aspect to make the whole outfit work is accessorizing (in the right way): ties, hats or scarves should be taken into account.
It’s usually accepted that a gentleman should stick to a particular color palette, comprised of classic shades and refraining from overly bold items and accessories. Although this perception of the overall ensemble is slowly falling into oblivion, one item in particular has been breaking boundaries and rapidly assuming the spotlight when it comes to introducing color and pattern into an outfit: the sock.
As with so many other elements in menswear, it’s assumed that socks should only be purchased in a variety of solid hues of black, blue, grey and brown. In strictly formal, corporate environments, any kind of subtle alteration is often looked upon sideways, making it all the more easier and somewhat safer, to stick to those basics and avoid unnecessary risks and attention. Make no mistake, even within this range there’s a fiery debate on how socks should match other elements, namely the shoe or the trouser.
However, as the definition of formal is changing by the day, allowing us to present slight glimpses of personality through our attires, be it in the form of a colorful tie, pocket square, cufflink or even socks, now is the time to do so. Sporting a slightly flashier solid or patterned version, should not be faced as provocative, but rather as a strong dash of character. If done right, it’s a perfect way to add visual interest and the right amount of edge to any look. Just don’t go overboard and stay away from childish prints or motifs, but don’t be afraid to show some color; especially with more casual outfits…roll those cuffs and show them socks! Contrasting ankles are a great way to step it up a notch.
Great news! My post on headgear was featured in this week’s Links à La Mode from the IFB website!
Edited by Taylor Davies
This weeks selections for Links a la Mode take us all around the globe and back again. From vintage shopping in Paris and Istanbul to picking the best from fashion weeks abroad, our community is buzzing with news and thoughts from overseas.
Of course we couldn’t leave out some more local stories entirely, so we’ve sprinkled in a selection of fall inspirations from som American bloggers; from menswear to DIY projects to some ethical debates in advertising and journalism.
THE IFB WEEKLY ROUNDUP: LINKS À LA MODE: OCTOBER 6TH
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
No matter how much our society has evolved fashion wise, there will always be a few well cemented premises regarding one’s desired/accepted image. There’s a general idea of how men and women should dress and the notion of classic and distinct usually hits a common ground for most people. When it comes to menswear in particular, the array of acceptable options is much more limited than that of our opposite sex…
The intrinsic idealism of a man’s “standard” outfit gave place to several outdated assumptions, which are desperately in need of an update to meet society’s current needs, beliefs and demands. Add to that the misinterpreted conception that comfort equals baggy, loose clothes and we end up with a series of style conundrums. In this series, I’ll try to shed some light on these “urban menswear myths”.
On the first entry and still inspired by the remaining sunny days (it’s still 30ºC here in Portugal), I’ll get into the controversial topic of dressing up in hot weather. This is something I find myself getting in arguments over with constantly. Most men are adverse to the idea of buttoning up in warm days, stating that its utterly uncomfortable to wear a shirt, let alone a tie. There’s no doubt that shorts and a tee are the perfect match for those days, but lets face it, if you’re required to dress up for professional reasons you won’t be able to sport them anyway, so you might as well do it properly.
Looking put together in hot weather is perfectly doable if you take into account these two factors: fabric and fit. Linen, seersucker or lightweight cotton are all adequate alternatives fabric wise, which leaves us the not so easy task of finding fitting items. While all your items should be fitted, usually the most important one to assure comfort is the shirt: a perfect fit is crucial, especially on the neck. Obviously, made to measure is the way to go, but if you’re lucky enough you might be able to score off-the-rack versions that suit your neck size. Once you do, you’ll notice that buttoning up and sporting a tie is a breeze. If you take these two paramount variables into account, there’s no reason not to look your best.
A few examples of how hot weather does not deter them…
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.