The Panama hat, one of the most classic head wear piece a gentleman can wear. It can be worn in various of ways, casually with a pair of khaki trousers and a polo shirt on top, to a navy suit with the tie and leather shoes. I couldn’t decide which one I should choose, so I made a inspiration with a combination between both of them.
Next up in the five favorites series is about the more unusual but venerable Belgian loafer. It’s a simple yet elegant shoe that’s been with us since the 1940s and have seen a resurgence the last couple of years within the menswear industry. Let’s take a closer look on what can be found this spring for this particular loafer.
The popularity for loafers has been increasing a lot lately thanks to both social media and more affordable options on the shoes market. The popularity have been seen for both the penny loafers, tassel loafers, string loafers and it seems that the Belgian loafer is next in line.
Yes the Belgian loafer was first invented in Belgium, a land that’s mostly famous for it’s chocolate, waffles and now shoes. The shoes originate from the 1940s when Henri Bendel designed a elegant loafer with a bow on the front. In an attempt to finalize the design Henri took his idea to a 300 year old Belgian cobblers that produced the shoe with the so called “turn method”. This means more or less that the shoes are firstly sewn inside-out, and once completed, they are flipped to ensure a flawless stitching. The same production techniques is still used today and Bendel’s company is still in business under the name of Belgian Shoes, still located in the heart of New York on the address 110 East 55th Street..
The Belgian loafer is still one of the youngest shoe designs compared to other loafers such as the penny loafer but it’s something artistic about it. It’s more unique than the penny loafer, with its elegant bow in the front and manufacturing method, and without any doubt a good way to add a touch European elegance to your outfit.
We haven’t looked at a lookbook for a long time here on the blog so I think it’s high time that we do this. Today we will take a closer at look on what the Swedish store Gabucci have to offer for us this spring and upcoming summer.
Gabucci have recently expanded their store to take orders online, a highly requested feature from their customers that finally arrived. For this spring and summer campaign, the stylist Lalle Johnson is once again in front of the camera instead of behind it where we are used to see him.
The lookbook contains a lot of different brands such as their own private label, Gabucci Sartoria Napoletana, the Italian outwear specialist Aspesi, lighweight knitwear from Sunspel to sneakers from the new brand Saucony. The inspiration behind the campaign comes from the colors and textures of autumn. We can see different shades of navy, brown, grey and olive in materials such linen, cotton and wool. The combination of this gives a casual summer look even if the colors isn’t what you normally would call colors of spring and summer.
The navy suit is without any doubt the most versatile piece of clothing that you can wear in the office, but sometimes there’s just moments when you want to dress down. We still have the shirt and tie but instead we’re replacing the oxfords with a pair of loafers and a more bold pocket square. This may not be accepted at the more formal meetings, but I think it’s a perfect example how you can dress down for the office without drawing too much attention.
So after a short period off it’s time to get back to business. As of this Monday I would like us to take a closer at what I would call the ‘Italian Preppy’. At first sight a pinstripe fabric makes the suit formal that’s used for business meetings, but when combined right it can be worn in a completely different way. This is how I would wear the grey pinstripe suit, combining Italian flair with a taste of American preppiness. How would you wear it?
It’s time to get back to basics and we do this with iconic navy suit. This suit is the base for every man’s wardrobe and there’s not a single color which can’t be combined with it. Today I’ve choosen a lightweight suit in fresco wool to celebrate the warmer weather that’s finally here to stay.
I’m not the person who normally wears hats but a hat that has catched my attention lately is the newsboy cap. This is thanks to people like Antonio Ciongoli and Fabio Attanasio that always wears them to perfection. Today’s Monday inspiration will focus on this particular cap how to combine it in a way that’s not to dressed or to casual (header, Antonio Ciongoli and Quinton Clemm over at Eidos Napoli).
A personal favorite when it comes to tailored clothing is without any about Isaia Napoli. Their campaigns and lookbooks with the softer Neapolitan silhouette and richer color palette always delivers high quality inspiration. For this spring and summer, Isaia Napoli have set course to one of the world’s most beautiful panoramas, the coast of Amalfi in Italy.
The new collection from Isaia Napoli is inspired and dedicated to the Amalfi coast, a coast that’s famous for it’s rich and varied heritage. The color palette is taken directly from this stunning place and the team behind the campaign shot the lookbook on site to catch the right atmosphere. The colors are inspired by different pieces of the town and the coast, such as the color blue that’s inspired by the clear blue water just outside Amalfi, yellow from the colored houses and the beaches and green with inspiration from the plants and trees that’s growing up-hill. Other interesting colors that’s featured in the collection are shades of pink and turquoise that without any doubt will need its character to been worn.
The design inspiration doesn’t stop here, instead another limited collection was made called the Coral Bandana Collection. This draws upon the regions history of the Amalfian Laws that’s considered to be the oldest maritime laws which was complied in the 12th century. The rules were followed throughout the middle ages and the Amalfi sailors proved its military power, success that developed a place on the Italian Nayv’s tag. The Amalfi sailor also wore a neckerchief known as the solino, which was later on adopted as a part of the uniform for the Italian navy. And that’s how the Coral Bandana collection came to life, a interesting touch to the main collection.
To make it more interesting I’ve included my own photos from Pitti Uomo 86 as a detail shots of the lookbook photos, or a photo that have something in common with the styling (the full official lookbook can be found here).
A color that has got my attention for a while now is the color brown. Brown matches with nearly all colors that you can think of, it’s only your imagination that stops you what to combine it with. I think brown works best with blue, green or beige and that’s what today’s inspiration is about, my favorite colors combined with the brown jacket.
I could not resist to visit one of the most interesting and mentioned men clothing store on the internet when I visited New York in February. I visited The Armoury NYC, an extension of the famous store in Hong Kong, a store that will be provide the New Yorker’s with one of the best tailored clothing assortment for many years ahead.
The Armoury is a relative young store which was established in Hong Kong in 2010 by the duo Alan See, Ethan Newton and Mark Cho. The plan behind the store was simple, to offer products that’s been crafted by passionate people and to work closely with them to improve or change the products. This means that only a selective number of brands will be sold in the stores, brands that the staff at the Armoury can be proud of selling. A more than welcome sight to today’s trend with products that’s masked by expensive advertising and mediocre quality.
In late 2013 a extension of the Hong Kong store was opened in New York at 168 Duane Street. New York, the big apple itself with all its travelling businessmen and the growing interests for men clothing made this a perfect location for the third store. The new store brought some exclusive brands with them such as the Liverano & Liverano, Ring Jacket, Orazio Luciano and St Crispin’s, brands that’s nearly impossible to get a hold of overseas. Another welcome investment is without any doubt the own labeled brand, which consists of garments that’s been put together in collaboration with their favorites workshops and mills. For the last fall season they made a collection of knitwear in conjunction with their favorite mill in Scotland, which is a perfect example how close the store actually works with their manufacturers. This is where the store stands out from the crowd, featuring more exclusive brands than any other shop in city but still bringing something new to a already overstuffed retail market in New York. Aside from the ready to wear assortment, The Armoury also have an impressive line-up for bespoke and made to measure options. From bespoke by the Florentine atelier Liverano & Liverano, to bespoke trousers from Ambrosi Napoli, to made to measure from Neapolitan Orazio Luciano and custom footwear from Austrian Saint Crispin’s.
This is a store that you shouldn’t miss if you’re visiting New York or Hong Kong, it’s a paradise for us who like tailored clothing and offering one of most interesting brands under one roof.
The Armoury NYC, 168 Duane St, New York.
Phone: +1 646 613 7613
Monday – Friday: 11 am – 8 pm (EDT).
Saturday: 11 am – 7 pm (EDT).