Vineyard Vines, purveyor of all things ultra-preppie, is now offering a line of atypical college ties, featuring a silk-screen of the university’s symbol.Â Obviously, this works better for schools with especially pleasant insignia, such as the Columbia University crown and University of Texas longhorn.Â Izzy’s personal favorite is the necktie for the University of Virgnia’s Fighting Sabres, which possesses the visual dynamism of an art deco print.
Since there’s nothing preppier than corduroys embroidered with cutesy whales, ducks, or monkeys, the folks at Hickey seem to be targeting the elusive Groton-alumni-who-are-truckers demographic.Â Presumably the care label reads, “Requires no additional irony.”
They even make a matching cashmere sweater.
Among the ranks of these Viking re-enactors, one make-believe Norseman is not quite like the others.Â Â Too much herring, and not enough pillaging, has left him out of shape, while his askew helmet, with an extra wide nose-guard, adds to his loveable-misfit charm.Â Izzy can’t help but think that this is what Obelix would look like in Viking armor.
Hard economic times appear to have affected even Austin Powers, who must be the British eBay seller hoping to exchange these groovy, Cuban-heeled Chelsea boots for cash. If any of Izzy’s loyal readers are friends with the Riddler, please tell him to bid now.
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While parading during Venezuela’s Independence Day, this army cadet looked down to discover that it his crotch was celebrating its newfound freedom.Â It’s a good thing the soldier wasn’t going commando.
Izzy recently popped into H. Herzfeld, possibly New York’s last true habedasher.Â Inside the cozy store, which has been in business since 1890, it is easy to imagine one is on Jermyn Street in London, not E. 57th Street in Manhattan. It probably the only place in New York city that sells shirts by Hilditch & Key and Harvie & Hudson, among with many other rarities in America, such as sock garters. Browsing toward the back of the shop, Izzy felt a pair of gloves from Dents, the leather of which was so surprisingly soft that it truly sent a shiver up his spine. The salesman said that the British glovemaker was the best in the world, which, Izzy had to agree, was not a hyperbolic claim.
Excluding saddle shoes and a few other exceptions, Izzy is averse to two-toned footwear. And were you to ask him to imagine blue-and-white boots, he would start to gag mentally. And yet there are these highly unusual boots from Grenson, the storied British cordwainer, which, despite consisting of off-white canvas and light-blue leather infill, somehow work wonderfully. They are not exactly meant for everyday wear, but if you find your self running a tropical colony while wearing a pith helmet…
Izzy recently acquired this unusual vintage necktie made by Chipp, the old-school haberdasher, headquartered in New Haven, that sadly closed shop years ago. Izzy was able to determine that half of the chemical formula stands for urea, the other for acetic acid. In other words, the tie is delightfully full of piss and vinegar.
Wearing a patterned suit and a shirt with contrasting collar, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso is attired far differently than most American politicians. It itself, that is not such a bad thing. But Aso’s necktie is knotted lamely, and the acutely angled collar, which appears to be curved, is unflattering, especially when paired with his low and relatively substantial lapels.
Izzy is almost certain that that light-blue shirt, with its two unusual pocket flaps, is the same one Bush wore when engaging in diplomacy with Vladimir Putin. As Izzy pointed out at the time, that quasi-militaristic style has also been favored by fellow Texan Charlie Wilson. Clearly, Bush’s choice of shirt and poseâ€”bent over, sitting on a couch while smilingâ€”was intended to give an air of casualness and familiarity. Unfortunately, given how the shirt’s cuffs ride up due to bent arms, Izzy mainly sees poor tailoring. (The pleats adjacent to the cuffs are a further sign that the shirt was not custom-made.)
Artistically, Izzy thinks that the official portrait pales next to one by the same painter, Robert Alexander Anderson, which was created for the Yale Club of New York City.
Here, Bush actually looks somewhat presidential, though it’s amusing that he crosses his leg in the European style that some American yahoos consider effete. (Also, what’s with Barney’s demon eyes?) It’s a shame that even this portrait contains a sartorial blunder: loafers with a suit. W simply can’t escape informality, which, admittedly, is a very American peccadillo. It even looks like his right French cuff is undone.
And is it Izzy, or does that sofa bring to mind a Rorschach test?