Sunday, February 28, 2010
Bow Ties are one of my favourite accessories, especially since they are such a rare occurance where I am from. I taught myself to tie one and was surprised how easy it was to get. Lots of people say it's best to practice on your knee sitting down and I agree.
1. After adjusting the bow tie to an appropriate length (I usually go half a size smaller than my neck size, and leave it quite loose, but experiment and see what works for you), cross the tie at the top button of your shirt.
2. Take the tail that crossed over, and bring it under at the button so you have a tail going up toward you face and another hanging down on your chest.
3. With the bottom tail, create the fish shape so it looks like a bow tie. The smallest part should be at your top button, wit a loop on one side and an end on the other.
4. The top tail will now come down over the narrowest point of your bottom tail. How evenly and cleanly you do this will affect the end result of the centre of the knot. Again, experiment with what works. I leave mine quite loose, and as my bow tie is adjusted short, the centre piece comes out quite thick.
5. Here's the rub, now while you've got all this in your hands, you should find that the combination of the two tails have created a little loop in the back- take the fat part of your lower tail and loop it behind itself, and then push just that fat part through the loop in back. You need to go from loop side through to the end side of the bottom tail, so you end up with a loop and an end on each side.
6. Now it may not look right, but put your fingers inside the loops and fiddle around, and you should see the bow tie start to take shape. Get the loops and ends on both sides even and you should be good to go.. Practise makes perfect, so do it a few times on your knee, and before you know it, it'll be looking James Bond worthy...
This owes much to the wondeful book The Suit by Nicholas Antongiavanni, better known as Manton..
A subject that causes much confusion among many, customers and staff alike, is the subject of super numbers and their correlation to microns, and what the hell this all means for our suit wearing brethren!
Often mistaken with thread count, super numbers, and their neglected cousins below the 100 mark, actually refer to the number of “hanks” that can be spun from a pound of raw wool – a “hank” being a spool of 560 yards. So finer micron wool would weigh less, making a pound of finer wool able to be processed into more spools. So higher number means lower micron, and in turn finer wool and lighter fabric.
How does this apply to microns (and what is a micron!?). A micron, or micrometer, is one millionth of a meter. So an 18.5 micron wool – or a super 100 – would be a fibre that is 18.5 millionths of a metre across. Super numbers tend to rise in increments of ten, dropping half a micron as they go up – so a Super 120’s would be 17.5 microns, and a Super 150’s would be a miraculously fine 16 microns!
An actual table of Super Numbers to Micron weight is listed below;
Super 200’s weighted mean value μ ≥13.26 ≤ 13.75
Super 190’s weighted mean value μ ≥13.76 ≤ 14.25
Super 180’s weighted mean value μ ≥14.26 ≤ 14.75
Super 170’s weighted mean value μ ≥14.76 ≤ 15.25
Super 160’s weighted mean value μ ≥15.26 ≤ 15.75
Super 150’s weighted mean value μ ≥15.76 ≤ 16.25
Super 140’s weighted mean value μ ≥16.26 ≤ 16.75
Super 130’s weighted mean value μ ≥16.76 ≤ 17.25
Super 120’s weighted mean value μ ≥17.26 ≤ 17.75
Super 110’s weighted mean value μ ≥17.76 ≤ 18.25
Super 100’s weighted mean value μ ≥18.26 ≤ 18.75
How does this advantage the suit wearer? For us here in Australia it means that the suit is lighter on the body, a definite advantage in an Australian summer, but lower counts also have their advantages,
which is why many bespoke suits are made in lower count 80’s and 90’s. Higher micron, lower count wools tend to hold a crease well, and are less likely to rumple throughout the day as they are heavier and more draped. Higher count wools also suffer from what makes them desirable – a 130’s or 150’s is undoubtedly a luxury fabric, with a finer, more delicate fibre. Delicate fibres woven closely together are silkier, but still more delicate, making them less able to withstand heavy and repeated wear. A suit in a 110, properly rested is fine for to be worn twice or three times a week, while a 150 would be better served being worn just once a week.
But microns and hank counts are not the final signifier of what makes a good wool – differing breeds of sheep produce differing qualities of wool and the processing of that wool makes for differing qualities of an end product. Just as slow woven, hand picked cotton is better because there is less chance for fibre breakage, and thus longer fibre, smoother hand and better fabric integrity, so can an indelicately woven wool in a higher number be less desirable than a low count from a better mill.
Australian Merino wool is prized as being of the best quality through the world, with many of the world’s innovations in the wool industry coming from Australian farmed Merino. Wool mills are at their best in England and Italy, with the mills of Biella, Italy being renowned for their quality. Names such as Vitale Barberis Canonico, E. Thomas and Lanifico Di Lessona are famous throughout the world for the quality of their wools, all labels that Herringbone is proud to work with.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Wafuku - Means traditional Japanese clothing, as opposed to Yofuku which means western dress. I love that Japanese people still find the occasions, and make the effort to continue the tradtion of their national dress. Makes me feel a little displaced to not have a viable traditional dress to wear, nor occasions I could wear them.
Like the pride servicemen and ex servicemen take in wearing their dress uniform to memorial occasions, Japanese people often wear kimonos or yukata to weddings, funerals, schichigosan for children, seijinshiki for teens turning 20 and even just daily wear. A great thing, sartorially as well as for pride in the country.
Friday, February 26, 2010
image courtesy indigofan
Having suffered through an extended assault of summer heat these last few months, the first few whispers of Autumn are about to restore my love of Sydney. Catching my morning ferry from Neutral Bay past the Opera House and into the Quay, I am constantly waiting for the mornings where it is necessary to be in a 3 piece, gloves and overcoat to be comfortable sitting in the bow.
The colder months mean all things I love, sartorially speaking, and the layers of colour, the deeper, richer tones, the contrasting textures - all act as an extended palette with which to paint my picture. If summer is a baked ochre image, winter is a lolly jar of oil paints.
Few things in life are as satisfying as a pair of pristinely polished, religiously shoe tree-d, well worn Northampton bench made shoes. A great test of true character - any man with a few (thousand) dollars can build a collection of beautiful footwear - but no shoe is as beautiful from the box as it is a few years down the track if it has been worn, cared for, and regularly and zealously bulled. It isn't a process for the easily distracted or time poor - it can take as much as 8 hours to properly polish a pair of cru leather shoes, but the rewards are immediately apparent.
A process that involves first nourishing and detailing a shoe right down the bevelled waist, pressing the preferably flat waxed laces, then adding coat after paper thin coat of beeswax polish, bulling or spit shining is the domain of only the most enamoured shoe lover.
Like a perfectly pressed shirt, clean and polished nails, an elegant tie knot and regimentally manicured facial hair, polished shoes mark a man who cares about the details.
Edward Green "Pelham" provided by Incontro.