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Manolo for the Men: Fashion, Grooming, and Lifestyle Advice for Gentlemen - Part 31

Shot Through the Heart

Comme des Garcons bleeding heart shirt

Perfect for a miserable Valentine’s Day, this shirt from Comme des Garcon is decorated with sequins imitating a bleeding heart. Izzy wonders if the sequins also come in green—you know, for the fashionable Vulcan.

Hey, Hey, LBJ, How Many Pants Did You Buy Today?

LBJ on the phone

It may pale in political importance next to the tapes of President Nixon’s phone calls, but this surreal 1964 recording of LBJ ordering custom trousers from Joe Haggar still deserves a place in the history books. Be warned: the salty Texan’s choice of words—and colors—is of questionable taste.

Hack Work

bespoke closeup

A few days ago when Izzy pointed out the questionable taste in a journalist’s first experiment with bespoke tailoring, little did he know just how bad things were.  Above is a detail from the suit the writer had custom made.  Instead of respecting tradition, he asked to have five buttons on his cuffs, which is going to make the suit look out of fashion within a year. (Only super-trendy Gucci puts five buttons on the cuffs nowadays.)  And remember, this is the only bespoke suit he is likely to have for many years.   On top of that, even ignoring the issue of color, his gingham shirt clashes with his suit’s Prince of Wales check (a glen plaid with a different-colored overcheck, named in honor of the Duke of Windsor, who favored it), since the patterns are too similar in size.  Was this really the best scribe New York magazine could send for the story?

Siamese Umbrellas

umbrella for two

In theory, an umbrella for two sounds like a good idea.  In practice, it looks like a freak science experiment gone awry, like some mutant cells stuck permanently in mitosis.  Izzy is reaching for his scalpel…

Put on the Map

To Boot Damien shoes

Izzy just acquired these Italian-made suede To Boot “brogues,” which will come in useful when he must pretend to be cooler than he is.

To Boot Damien map soles

With a map of Manhattan on their soles, they are the perfect accompaniment to this jacket.

Going for Bespoke

Michael Idov

New York magazine journalist has written about his first foray into bespoke tailoring, even though he was apparently ignorant of the subject.  Not only does at first think it’s OK to button all of jacket’s buttons, from the wrinkles on his trousers, it looks like he chose his fabric poorly.

The Journalist and the Pitchman

Malcolm Gladwell for Harry Rosen

Things really are different in Canada, at least when it comes to choosing spokesmen for high-end haberdashers like Harry Rosen. The journalist in the advertisement is Malcolm Gladwell, of The New Yorker and Tipping Point fame. (He donated his fee to charity.) While it’s easy to make fun of Gladwell’s unruly hair, having a visual trademark can be a useful thing for a would-be writer-celebrity.

Giddy Up

Ralph Lauren nickel spur belt

With a stirrup-and-spur buckle, this Ralph Lauren belt is ideal for the horsey set, or at least those who aspire to it.

Walking on Egghead Shells

Adlai Stevenson with a hole in his shoe

While recently discussing the footwear of politicians, little did Izzy know of this once-famous photo of Adlai Stevenson showing a hole in his shoe.  Taken during the 1952 Presidential campaign, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo was embraced by the eggheaded* politician (the model for the feckless President Merkin Muffley in Dr. Strangelove), who saw this image of thriftyness as a way to escape his reputation as an aristocratic intellectual. “Better a hole in the shoe than a hole in the head,” he would say.  His campaign even sold silver lapel pins to memorialize the symbol of everyman frugality.

Adlai Stevenson silver shoe lapel pin

*Showing a wit all-too-lacking in American politics today, Stevenson would later retort at a 1954 Harvard lecture, “Via ovicipitum dura est, or, for the benefit of the engineers among you: The way of the egghead is hard.” 

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Hair Maintenance

Ewan McGregor with motorcycle hair

Why would Ewan Mcgregor ride a motorcycle from Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa?  Some say for charity, others say for the thrill of it.  Izzy thinks it was to get that hair.

What the Slush Fund Is For

Dark Brown Wing Tip Boot

Ever a sucker for off-season deals, Izzy just found these wing-tip boots on sale at Brooks Brothers. They’re ideal for those looking for dress boots that can be worn in foul, wet weather.

The Waistcoats Are Coming

J Crew herringbone vest

If one’s not careful, the wrong vest can make one look like a fuddy-duddy or seventies throwback.  Thus, Izzy was pleased to see the youthful but scholarly vests J. Crew is offering for the new schoolyear, including this herringbone number in a soft wool.

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