Vintage findings: navy silk pocket square with purple/green polka dots
If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know I’m not the biggest enthusiast when it comes to online shopping. While I do believe there are some concerns to keep in mind, there are times when online is the way to go, be it due to an amazing deal or simply because there’s no other way to get hold of a specific item.
A while back I got a glimpse of the Allen Edmonds Arlington shoe, an intricate loafer featuring all the detailing you could wish for: tassels, kiltie and perforated brogue detailing. It was just a matter of time until I found myself browsing through endless auction pages on Ebay, trying to score a near mint pair.
When I came across this one for the bargain price of $19.99, I just knew I had to have them. A couple of bids, custom issues and a few days later, they arrived in perfect condition. Unfortunately, they ended up being a bit too narrow for me…but no harm done as my father gladly took them in.
A pinch of ethnicity #3
For the final entry of the series I’ll focus on the vintage handcrafted patchwork “berbere” belt. The first thing that caught my eye was the variety of colors and detailing: if you thought the tunic was a bold piece, this one definitely takes the crown. The thing is, being an accessory, it has a much smaller impact on the overall ensemble, making it easier to pull off. As belts are usually perceived as a finishing touch or embellishment, they pose the perfect opportunity to add a splash of color and boldness to an outfit; even if you’re wearing a suit, don’t be afraid to tone it down a bit.
Due to its length and marked creases at distinct parts, it’s likely that the original owner wore it tied up at the front or side, letting the long ends drape over the leg. Although this is a great look, here I went for a more usual approach, doubling it through the belt loops and incorporating it into a casual, weekend appropriate look: trim navy bomber jacket, crisp white shirt, slim dark blue jeans, boat shoes and messenger bag. As the belt is a such a bold statement piece by itself, the best way to make it work is to balance the rest of the look, avoiding strong shades or patterns, so as not to go overboard.
Slim navy bomber jacket by Lacoste, white dress shirt by ACNE, dark blue jeans by Levi’s (511 slim - tailored), vintage patchwork moroccan belt, light brown crepe sole boat shoes by Buttero and brown canvas messenger by Zara.
Store Info: Trash Vintage
One of the latest additions to the Bombarda area, is a much needed vintage shop. Populating this ever growing, trendy block, Trash Vintage is yet another step forward in the slow introduction of vintage to Porto’s shopping scene. Continuing the flow of pro pre-owned clothing initiatives, such as Spot’s Fleamarket and other small boutiques, the store presents a carefully curated selection of both menswear and womenswear alternatives.
The family run business takes its pick mostly from the Portuguese market, but Paris and London also make the cut as far as providing interesting pieces. The premise behind it all is delivering unique, unpretentious garments to those who truly appreciate this universe: they believe that for an item to be special, it doesn’t need to carry a specific label…not to say that vintage Chanel or Dior wouldn’t be welcomed, but they don’t obsess about it. Also, it’s worth mentioning that their prices are vintage appropriate, in the 5-20€ range, unlike other overpriced establishments.
One of the best things about these stores is the element of surprise: you never know what you might come across and it’s exactly what makes them so appealing. Just don’t go in hoping to build a wardrobe; instead, think of those items as complements to your everyday attire, allowing you to raise the bar and make it one of a kind.
Next time you’re in the area, be sure to stop by!
PS: I couldn’t leave empty handed, so I copped a great multicolored striped tie for my collection.
Bombarda Shopping Center, store 25, Miguel Bombarda Street, Porto.
The latest addition to my collection.
A pinch of ethnicity #2
On this entry I’ll leave you with a few pics of the embroidered tunic I mentioned earlier. When I asked my brother to keep an eye out for them, I must say I had envisioned something different: a basic tunic in solid colors whose hemline would sit at the thighs, allowing for interesting plays with length. The thing about creating expectations and visual images in our minds, is that the element of surprise may backfire when the time comes.
Thankfully this wasn’t the case: besides knowing me well, my brother also has great taste. He got me an olive green cotton tunic with orange embroidered detailing on the front: definitely a bold piece. However, it poses the perfect opportunity to add visual interest to a look, by mixing vibrant colors and unusual design.
The minute I laid my eyes on it, I immediately pictured it paired with a shirt, blazer or even a tie. What I love about these pieces is that they’re usually a great way to make you think outside the box, challenging you to develop your creative side and come up with ways to make them work. Here, I used it as an overshirt, trying to oppose its relaxed nature with a more put together look: it’s amazing how a classic combo of khaki pants, white shirt and loafers is given a whole new life.
Olive green Moroccan tunic, white slim fit dress shirt by Paul Smith (S), khaki cotton trousers by Osklen (tailored - 40), brown distressed penny loafers by Lottusse (8.5), vintage braided belt, watch by Gucci.
Beyond Fabric suggests…on the cheap edition
A while back my good friend Miguel was going on and on about how fashion was for the wealthy and the myth of an affordable version of it. Designer clothes are indeed expensive: be it due to the materials used, craftsmanship involved, branding or simply the exclusive status they provide to those who wear them.
However, with all the available offerings out there, be them low cost garments, local brands/artisans or the vintage universe, all you need to pull off an original and appealing look “on the cheap”, is creativity.
Miguel challenged me to put up a complete look for under 200€, since he had been struggling with it. It might not be the easiest task if you try to stay away from a head to toe “low cost retailer” ensemble…
This whole look revolves around the vintage Lacoste Harrington Jacket. It was an amazing find at one of my favourite London’s vintage shops: Rokit. I’ve really been into pale colors lately, and this yellow shade is just perfect for Spring; the tartan lining is a great plus. Although I’m a strong supporter that guys should push the boundaries and try new things, sometimes it just feels right to stick to the classics: a basic crewneck tee, chino-like cotton trousers and timeless canvas sneakers.
Pale Yellow Vintage Harrington Jacket by Lacoste - (approx.) 50€ @ Rokit
Heather Plum Crewneck T-Shirt - (approx.) 18€ @ American Apparel
Grey Cotton Structured Trousers - 29,95€ @ Zara
Off White Vans Authentic Canvas Sneakers - (approx.) 45€ @ End Clothing
Hickoree’s Hard Goods Canvas Utility Bag - (approx.) 26€ @ Hickoree’s Hard Goods
Extra details on the vintage jacket
The western shirt
Western shirts are definitely having a moment…their rough and laid back feel is perfect for pairing with jeans or chinos, contributing to an original ensemble. Despite being essentially a denim shirt, this variety sets itself apart through its own characteristic detailing: pearl buttons, pointed yokes and double flap chest pockets. As with all denim shirts, the trick here is keeping it slim and avoiding the so called “denim tuxedo”, meaning, if you pair it with jeans go for a different wash or color (a head to toe monochromatic denim attire just looks weird).
A while back I came across this vintage Levi’s western denim shirt on Spot’s Flea Market. At the bargain price of 10€ and after getting it tailored for another 5€, I ended up with a great affordable addition to my wardrobe. Here, I paired it with black slim fitting jeans (the contrast works great) and my 2 button herringbone blazer. This blazer has become one of my favourite “Winter” pieces as its warm enough to use as outerwear, while portraying a put together look and adding texture and pattern. Black jeans are a great way to add variety to your looks, as they’re easily paired with other items and are a refreshing change from your usual blue denim. In fact, colored jeans are a great alternative to invest in, just start with the 3 basics tones: white, black and grey. Also, don’t be afraid to oppose the shirt’s relaxed nature by tucking it in and putting on a tie, or buttoning it all the way up sans tie.
Herringbone blazer by Gentleman Tailors, vintage Levi’s western shirt, black slim fit jeans by H&M, Ibsen leather sneakers by Paul Smith, braided leather belt by ACNE, sunglasses by Ray-Ban, pocket square by Tie Rack and military inspired watch by Swiss Army.
New Year’s attire
Here are a few pics of both me and my brother on New Year’s Eve. Taking into account that we spent the night outside, cruising the streets of our hometown in what consisted of a more casual programme, our outfits were adjusted accordingly: blazer, shirt and tie combination and slim fitting jeans. I was struggling with whether I should risk a bowtie but in the end I went with this regimental tie. How about you? What was your outfit for the night?
Me: Charcoal blazer by Rice, white button down oxford by Ralph Lauren, v-neck pullover by Massimo Dutti, jeans by Levi’s (511 slim), brown brogues by Henry James, argyle socks by H&M and regimental tie by Gentleman.
My brother: Vintage navy velvet blazer, pink dress shirt by Hugo Boss (slim fit), pink v-neck pullover by Massimo Dutti, jeans by Levi’s (511 slim), Portuguese boots, vintage tie, gold pocket square by Labrador and scarf by Épice.