Articles

  • Discontinuing Shoe Savante (9/7/2020) - Dear Readers, Given that it’s been a tough few months personally, unfortunately Shoe Savante will no longer be running and publishing articles. I have appreciated the committed readership and wish everyone well. 🙂 Warmly,Priscilla
  • On Break for Rest of August (8/14/2020) - Hello Everyone, I will be on break for the next few weeks and won’t be posting on the site. Sorry for the interruption. Wishing you all well! Priscilla
  • What to Wear (Working From Home) (8/9/2020) - Given the extent of Covid-19 in the US, many people are now working from home. Some people are holding meetings over video, venturing into online interviews, etc. It’s been a bit of a learning curve for me in terms of clothes. Dressing up at home is a strange concept to me, since prior to covid-19, … Continue reading What to Wear (Working From Home)
  • Chest Body Tape (8/6/2020) - I generally dislike wearing undershirts, but have had the issue of my chest poking out if I don’t wear one. A friend casually mentioned pasties one day. A few years ago I had wished this concept/product existed; so now I jumped online to see what’s being sold. I bought Kim Kardashian’s Body Tape which comes … Continue reading Chest Body Tape
  • How to Command Presence (Even if You’re Short/Young) (8/2/2020) - I’m around 5’3, slim, and have a rather youthful face. I’ve embraced my attributes, but they’ve occasionally presented professional and social challenges. People can dismiss your feedback, nit-pick your performance, or even plainly jeer. I’ve experienced all three. Dressing won’t absolutely fix this, but I think it will benefit the way you’re treated and respected. … Continue reading How to Command Presence (Even if You’re Short/Young)
  • Bespoke Dress Shirts Are Underrated (7/31/2020) - Like bespoke shoes, I can see how people can overlook bespoke dress shirts. Jackets often take center-stage in an outfit. Underneath the jacket, dress shirts are doubly concealed by ties and other accessories. Dress shirts can fall lowest in the totem pole. If we barely see them, why should we care about fit and buying … Continue reading Bespoke Dress Shirts Are Underrated
  • Eyewear Anatomy (7/26/2020) - This post will wrap up my recent eyewear posts. Browsing glasses online you’ll often see specs like this: Lens/Eye: 46 mm Bridge: 22 mm Temple: 143 mm These three measurements affect how your glasses look and stabilize on your face. What do these measurements indicate? The “Eye/lens” measurement indicates the length of one lens from … Continue reading Eyewear Anatomy
  • How to Care for Your Glasses (7/24/2020) - I know I could definitely follow these tips more often! Thanks Khoa, for the advice. Do: Store your glasses in their case When they’re not on your face, they’re in the case. That will protect your eyewear against dust, scratching, and further damage. Do: Spray with generic lens cleanser and wipe your glasses with a … Continue reading How to Care for Your Glasses
  • Store: Garrett Leight California Optical (7/19/2020) - Garrett Leight California Optical (GLCO) is a ready-to-wear eyewear company with its first Los Angeles flagship store launched in 2012. They have stores in other cities too. The owner Garrett has an optical background, having worked for his father (who founded Oliver Peoples). Looking into the store, you’ll see dozens of models neatly organized. Garrett … Continue reading Store: Garrett Leight California Optical
  • Why Chukkas? (7/17/2020) - Chukkas are a great first shoe. They sit between casual and formal, and can be worn during fall, winter, and spring. I wear chukkas most with jeans, corduroys, chinos, and odd trousers. They’re my go-to shoes. Wearing chukkas with worsted wool tailoring can look odd. Why? The casual suede clashes with the rather formal worsted … Continue reading Why Chukkas?
  • Should I Invest In Bespoke Shoes? (7/13/2020) - I still think about this question quite often. And rightly so. Because bespoke shoes are costly (at least $3,000) — some upwards of $6,000. If you can afford it (or save up for it), my answer is still an unequivocal yes. A bespoke shoe will display a greater attention to detail. The stitches, waist, and … Continue reading Should I Invest In Bespoke Shoes?
  • Glasses or Contacts? (7/10/2020) - Being visually challenged, I have worn contacts for 13 years and glasses for the last 17. I wore night contacts for many years which were costly and inconvenient. Now I primarily wear daily disposable contacts and glasses at night. Since i’m increasingly wearing day-time glasses during Covid-19, I made a pros/cons list of glasses and … Continue reading Glasses or Contacts?
  • Going Tie-less (7/6/2020) - Ties are becoming obsolete, at least in California. People wearing ties may even be perceived as snobby or stuffy if worn in the wrong setting — unless you’re a lawyer, bank manager, or university chancellor. Why? Adding a tie pushes you into the next step of formality. If you add a tie to a jacket, … Continue reading Going Tie-less
  • Planning My Capsule Wardrobe (7/3/2020) - I developed a capsule wardrobe list to organize my clothes. Readers can make one too and find this helpful. I’ve created wish lists before, but they always included novelty items that distracted me from buying classic clothing. This list is manageable and disciplined. I can intentionally schedule purchases without being tempted by other things. It’s … Continue reading Planning My Capsule Wardrobe
  • A Female’s Take On Men’s Shoes (6/29/2020) - Nice men’s shoes are immediately noticeable. They have real leather uppers. Little details like waxed laces and stacked soles also make a big difference.  Nice shoes invite compliments, I think, because we rarely see men wearing them. People who notice quality shoes glance down. I find that women especially give compliments and ask questions, occasionally … Continue reading A Female’s Take On Men’s Shoes
  • Review: Love Cashmere (6/25/2020) - I wear sweaters very frequently. But I am not a decent garment caretaker, especially for garments that require hand-washing. I don’t trust any local stores either. So I wanted to try Love Cashmere’s Knitwear Re-Dress & Repair Service. The repair was good value at ÂŁ65.00 for both sweaters (ÂŁ32.50 each). Prices may have changed. Including … Continue reading Review: Love Cashmere
  • Choosing the Right Fabric (6/22/2020) - Because I aim to build a minimalist wardrobe, I’m extremely selective about fabrics. Choosing the wrong cloth is costly. If you want a winter cloth but make light-weight flannels — game over. Buying twice feels crummy. To start, I pore over tailors’ swatch books and request many swatches. When the swatches arrive, I carry them … Continue reading Choosing the Right Fabric
  • (Finished) Lavabre Cadet Gloves (6/19/2020) - Lavabre Cadet gloves were on my capsule wardrobe list. See my former post on the French company. I wanted a lasting pair of versatile, luxurious gloves. My previous gloves were a pair of online-ordered size 6 Madova black lambskin gloves, with cashmere lining. I wore these Madova gloves for four years — I liked them, … Continue reading (Finished) Lavabre Cadet Gloves
  • What Hat Style Flatters Your Face? (6/15/2020) - What hat style suits you? Hats never seemed to look good on me. Nothing was wrong with my face shape — I just didn’t understand proportions. Learning about hats initially seemed daunting, but the basics are simple. Cody at Wellema Hats explained how certain hats frame people’s faces. First some terminology: From my understanding, you … Continue reading What Hat Style Flatters Your Face?
  • (Finished) Maglia Navy Umbrella (6/12/2020) - My Maglia umbrella arrived by mail! In total, the umbrella cost €520. With my and Francesca’s prompt emailing, the remote order proceeded quite smoothly. My umbrella took about four weeks to finish and arrived in protected packaging. Listed were my requests for the umbrella. You can tell I had many, but Maglia met each specification. … Continue reading (Finished) Maglia Navy Umbrella
  • What Is “Collaboration?” (6/8/2020) - When a tailor or brand “collaborates” with an influencer what does that mean? Almost anything. It could mean that the tailor and influencer design a product together to sell. It could also mean the tailor gives a product (or money) to the influencer to promote their brand on Instagram — i.e. paid for content. The … Continue reading What Is “Collaboration?”
  • Summer Shorts (6/5/2020) - Shorts. Another one of my favorite garment besides sweaters. When it’s not winter, I get to wear shorts year-round in sunny California. All three I own are Bermuda-type shorts with an approximate inseam of 5-8”: My Brooks Brothers white Cotton Dobby Shorts are my favorite. Ironed, they look very neat. The white twill also contrasts … Continue reading Summer Shorts
  • Why I Don’t Wear Jewelry (6/1/2020) - “Nothing’s more interesting than that person, unadorned.” I once heard this in a lecture about writing. It is strongly applicable to fashion. No jewelry, watches, tattoos, or accessories is its own aesthetic. A refreshing one, I think, where you’re not burdened by anything. It’s disciplined styling. There are innumerable ways to wear jewelry badly. Too … Continue reading Why I Don’t Wear Jewelry
  • 4 Small Things I’ve Bought and Used (5/29/2020) - Here are four small things I’ve purchased and have regularly used over the years. 1. $20 — In fine nib, the Parker Stainless Steel CT Fountain Pen is a sleek, minimalistic pen. It’s the only fountain pen I’ve owned and used since 2017. Refills are very low maintenance, with cartridges bought separately.     2. … Continue reading 4 Small Things I’ve Bought and Used
  • The Problem With Instagram (5/25/2020) - This is one angle of an opinion piece. Instagram can bring a lot of positive things. Artisans can share and learn from each other. Followers can DM artisans. I felt excited when I first joined Instagram. In this awakening I discovered quality and scores of new, remarkable craftsmen. You’ll be familiar with the sartorial world … Continue reading The Problem With Instagram
  • Review: Airnum Urban Air Mask 2.0 (5/22/2020) - Note: All Airinum masks are currently sold out but there’s an online waiting list for July/August. I recommend following up with a customer service email because sometimes customers cancel their orders. Below, Medium developed a handy illustration based on the values in a 2007 peer-reviewed study on hand-made face masks (though with fewer participants than … Continue reading Review: Airnum Urban Air Mask 2.0
  • Fashion’s Planned Obsolescence (5/18/2020) - Style, especially fast-fashion is designed to become obsolete. Looks change every season. What’s “in’ is completely different from seasons prior. Companies increase consumer spending through planned obsolescence. Marketed goods become purposely broken or outdated in buyers’ minds. Imagine many shades of blue. Why sell a classic navy shirt when dissatisfied customers can buy 2, 3, … Continue reading Fashion’s Planned Obsolescence
  • What Will Happen to Clothes Post Covid-19? (5/15/2020) - I recently learned that Forever 21 — one of the largest retail stores near my old home — permanently closed during covid-19. It wasn’t a surprise. That Forever 21 had crushing rent. In the millions from what I recall. Many large brands face the same insolvency now crippling J. Crew and Neiman Marcus. Covid-19 completely … Continue reading What Will Happen to Clothes Post Covid-19?
  • Ciardi Sports Jacket (5/11/2020) - In London, I met a grinning Enzo Ciardi to commission a first bespoke sports jacket. Prior to that I spent one to two years considering different house cuts and shoulder styles. Researching took a lot of time. Especially since I’m still fairly new to bespoke tailoring. You find your preferences shifting as you read and … Continue reading Ciardi Sports Jacket
  • Maglia Navy Umbrella: The Stick (5/8/2020) - I’m excited about my navy umbrella stick with Francesco Maglia. See post. The company reopened on May 4 and the wood supplier delivered my 32″ varnished dark maple stick to Maglia’s workshop. Here it is: Length: 32″ Handle diameter: 20 mm Shaft diameter: 14 mm I have small hands (6 1/2″ inches), and 20 mm … Continue reading Maglia Navy Umbrella: The Stick
  • 3 Types of Sweaters (5/4/2020) - It’s getting warmer, but hey — sweaters are probably my one favorite garments to yap on about. Most sweaters can be broken down into three types according to formality. The Slubby Sweater (most casual) The comfortable home sweater. Most guys begin their sweater wardrobes with these. These wool sweaters include shetland, donegal, Fair Isle, and … Continue reading 3 Types of Sweaters
  • The Messenger Bag (5/1/2020) - Five years ago as an undergraduate I found this compact messenger bag at Fossil. It cost approximately $130 at the outlet. In the last five years I’ve used the bag consistently as a graduate student, a student teacher, teacher, and freelancer. The color itself has been extremely versatile in dark brown. The messenger bag’s best … Continue reading The Messenger Bag
  • Review: Zero Halliburton 3.0 International Carry-On (4/27/2020) - I bought a Zero Halliburton Geo Aluminum 3.0 International Carry-On a few months back for a trip. Sadly, Zero Halliburton recently stopped selling this model on their website; but readers considering similar luggage may still find this write-up helpful. I initially debated between purchasing the Zero Halliburton and a Rimowa Original Cabin. You’ll often see … Continue reading Review: Zero Halliburton 3.0 International Carry-On
  • My Take on Building a Wardrobe (4/24/2020) - With spring cleaning, people are realizing they have inordinate amounts of clothes. Most people (men and women) build too large and inferior wardrobes. We quickly lose interest in expendable clothes. A $6.99 beanie (or even a $70 quality one you don’t wear) holds no meaningful ethics. Menswear enthusiasts are especially prone to excessive spending. Imagine … Continue reading My Take on Building a Wardrobe
  • Short Quiz! (4/20/2020) - I’ve always enjoyed the short-fire questionnaire concluding Gentleman’s Gazette interviews. Apart from the first question, I came up with a new set of questions. By all means comment with your own preferences! Oxfords or derbies? Oxfords Casual, smart casual, or formal? Smart casual Wool or cashmere? Cashmere Which Instagram dresser impresses you most? Zing Chen … Continue reading Short Quiz!
  • How to Choose An Artisan (4/17/2020) - From a customer’s point of view. Many bespoke craftsmen can execute your commission. But who should you choose? Ask yourself: 1. Is the artisan accessible (through trunk shows or can you travel frequently)? Consider that garment aftercare may be needed — globetrotting to replace a lining is quite inconvenient. 2. Is their style your favorite? … Continue reading How to Choose An Artisan
  • Clothes That Click (4/13/2020) - In one memorable Seinfeld episode Jerry buys a brown suede jacket.* It looks perfect on him, style and fit. The jacket cost over a thousand dollars — but Jerry relishes it, even wearing the jacket over his pajamas. He tells his friend George Costanza: Jerry: This jacket has completely changed my life. When I leave … Continue reading Clothes That Click
  • “Clothing is Expression” (4/10/2020) - We hear this bark by fashion houses, Instagram, even the average dresser. Heck, academics like Judith Butler (who argued that gender is performative) have built their careers on this point. It’s a popular ideology that can be traced back to Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s lesser-known nephew. Bernays was a 20th-century public relations figurehead hired by … Continue reading “Clothing is Expression”
  • Shipping During Covid-19 (4/6/2020) - Brands, mills, artisans, and customers amidst Covid-19 have additional hurdles to cross. Trunk shows have been cancelled and stores/mills closed. Some ateliers have ceased production altogether. Luckily, some artisans can work from home, with plenty of orders to tackle. Some countries are on partial or full lockdown. For sartorialists, this temporarily includes China, the UK, … Continue reading Shipping During Covid-19
  • Opinion: How Transparency Behooves the Crafts (4/3/2020) - Or at least, supports it and makes it a more welcome friend to the public. I sometimes come across craftsmen reluctant to share techniques or accept students. Or salespeople wary of answering sartorial inquiries. Conversely, this can hurt businesses and their craft. Crafts survive on patronage. Without public appreciation and commissions, artisans cease to be. … Continue reading Opinion: How Transparency Behooves the Crafts
  • Giving Shoes Structure (3/30/2020) - Structure is essential. Without it the foot is not reinforced. Plus, pressure from the foot will eventually bend and crease the leather. The following information is based on my bespoke shoe training. Other shoemakers or brands can vary these steps and materials. But the foundation is there. Shoemakers provide structure in a few ways. Most … Continue reading Giving Shoes Structure
  • I Like Loafers, but… (3/27/2020) - Loafers, boat shoes, slip-ons, driving shoes, and moccasins, etc. are pleasurable to wear. They’re like Chelsea boots – easy and low maintenance. However, they are structurally less sound and this post explains why. For convenience I am lumping all of these shoes as “loafers.” 1. They don’t have a lacing system This is a source … Continue reading I Like Loafers, but…
  • Caring for Your Clothes (At Home) (3/23/2020) - “Now that everyone is staying at home and feeling shut in, there’s more time for browsing and more appetite for beautiful and thoughtful things to counter the dreariness.” Wrote my former professor now friend who, alike some readers, is staying at home amidst the COVID-19 epidemic. I’m quite optimistic about finding meaningful activities. Reaching out … Continue reading Caring for Your Clothes (At Home)
  • Francesco Maglia Umbrellas (3/20/2020) - From a glance, Francesco Maglia displays impressive quality and values as a family-run umbrella business. Francesco Maglia is the sixth generation owner and artisan. Preceding him was his father Giorgio, who taught Francesco everything about umbrellas and passed down the company. I never visited their workshop in Milan. Unfortunately I won’t any time soon, with … Continue reading Francesco Maglia Umbrellas
  • Meeting the Cutter: Sian from Whitcomb & Shaftesbury (3/16/2020) - If you can, meet your bespoke cutter. You’d really relish the connection bespoke offers. Plus, the cutter can really assess your body, instead of picturing you through photos or descriptions. In my last Whitcomb & Shaftesbury post, I discussed meeting Mahesh and Bob. Mahesh measured me, while Bob (the coat maker) gave his professional input … Continue reading Meeting the Cutter: Sian from Whitcomb & Shaftesbury
  • Tips for Selling Your Shoes (3/13/2020) - I’m selling my Carmina derbies and decided to put together a guide for those planning to sell their shoes online. 1. Clean/ polish your shoes before photographing. Your shoes will look so much nicer on camera. 2. Take excellent 5-6 photos with a quality camera. People are visual. Appealing photographs will draw interest to your … Continue reading Tips for Selling Your Shoes
  • Extreme Makeover: Last Edition (3/9/2020) - I experienced a shoe crisis when I brought only one pair of shoes for an eight-day Europe trip. Yes, I brought the pair I made as an apprentice — the most comfortable pair of shoes I owned. The lasts made by Springline still fit better than any shoe brand. Update: I’d like to clarify these … Continue reading Extreme Makeover: Last Edition
  • Umbrellas for Dummies (3/7/2020) - Parasolerie Heurtault, Pep’s, and James Smith & Sons were three umbrella shops I visited in Paris and London. I’m glad I did. I know nothing about umbrellas. A total umbrella dummy. That’s why I entreated each store assistant to guide me towards buying and maintaining a quality umbrella. First, ascertain your umbrella length. Many makers … Continue reading Umbrellas for Dummies
  • Aubercy (3/2/2020) - Another Parisian gem is Aubercy, founded by AndrĂ© and RenĂ©e Aubercy in 1935, focusing on high-quality shoes. I’ll leave the company’s history to their website. Aubercy is one of my favorite shoe brands. Aubercy’s house style is distinctly French, as their shoes have an elongated vamp and tapered toe-box, but they are more classic and … Continue reading Aubercy
  • Lavabre Cadet Gloves (2/28/2020) - Impeccable craftsmanship can be seen in Lavabre Cadet’s Paris showroom. The Lavabre Cadet glove company has existed since 1946, purchased by Camille Fournet twelve years ago.  Millau, a small commune south of France, is the heart of Lavabre Cadet’s glove operation. The area holds a long tradition of glove-making.  Who are the behind-the-scenes craftsmen? The … Continue reading Lavabre Cadet Gloves
  • Lafayette Saltiel Drapiers (2/25/2020) - Lafayette Saltiel Drapiers mainly sells sewing supplies and fabric for high fashion and tailors; but they’ve become rather popular for their vintage fabrics. “Vintage” isn’t exactly a protected term. Lafayette Saltiel Drapiers has chosen to qualify a cloth as vintage when it reaches at least twenty-years old. Lafayette Saltiel’s gargantuan archival books are living artifacts. … Continue reading Lafayette Saltiel Drapiers
  • Stay Tuned for a Paris & London Sartorial Trip (next post 2/24) (2/13/2020) -
  • The Flat-footed Problem (2/3/2020) - I saw a quack podiatrist as a child. My feet were nothing special (just flat), but my mother saw my feet as a self-induced affliction, capable of correcting with proper stretching and sneaker inserts. By the end, I discarded my personalized $300 inserts, which were uncomfortable and totally useless. Flat feet is a generic term, … Continue reading The Flat-footed Problem
  • Teachers Leave Those Kids Alone! (1/31/2020) - Woe is the state of dress codes in education. For teachers and students. To be fair, I have had my lazy days of track jackets and sneakers as a teacher. It was a poor look and I resembled like a P.E. coach. That or a kid going for a run. For their own credibility, young teachers should … Continue reading Teachers Leave Those Kids Alone!
  • Dressing for Academia (1/20/2020) - Think about your time at university. How did students and faculty dress? If you walk around campus now, you will see staff wearing faded polyester suits with open collars; or some faculty in more casual garments, such as a checked shirt, tucked into skinny pants. We can go down the rabbit hole of professors lecturing … Continue reading Dressing for Academia
  • Toe Shapes (1/3/2020) - Toe shape is a very defining feature of shoes. People definitely notice this part of your feet, so it is important to consider which shape works best. I will highlight a few styles and compare them. Almond Toes Almond-toe shoes are very classic of English style and one many Japanese shoemakers have emulated. How round … Continue reading Toe Shapes
  • It’s Raining, It’s Soling (12/30/2019) - Inclement weather can best be handled with proper shoe soles. It’s best to choose your type according to functionality and aesthetic, with the former being more important. Most high-end soles are made of leather, as shown below. They are slightly water repellant because they have been burnished (i.e. sealed through rubbing), but are not immune … Continue reading It’s Raining, It’s Soling
  • Socks…What Colors? (12/27/2019) - Socks aren’t very exciting compared to shoes or jackets. But I do like wearing knee-high socks and seeing the colors harmonizing with my trousers. The first question perhaps is how many socks to own. In this exceptional case, more is better — as long as you don’t wear out your socks with constant use. At … Continue reading Socks…What Colors?
  • Differences Between MTM and Bespoke Shoes (12/23/2019) - For those ready to consider footwear beyond made-to-order (MTO) and ready-to-wear shoes (RTW) , made-to-measure (MTM) and bespoke shoes are the next step. The major difference between made-to-measure and bespoke shoes is that MTM shoes are created from a base last. That last is not made from scratch. It was not created to suit your … Continue reading Differences Between MTM and Bespoke Shoes
  • Trouser Waists (12/9/2019) - Customizing your trouser waists is one way to vary your look. Before considering your design, first consider how functional it is. Decide if you’re willing to work with that extra belt loop or buckle. Trouser waists are more noticeable if you remove your jacket. In that case, a design that falls in the middle is … Continue reading Trouser Waists
  • Machines in Shoemaking (12/6/2019) - Shoemakers and cobblers use machines if they choose to. Most factory-made shoe companies use machines because it’s efficient and less time consuming. I wouldn’t necessarily say machines compromise quality unless they malfunction or feed incorrectly. Personally, i’m fine with machines as long as the shoemaker hand-sews the welt. Some shoe purists prefer “hand-made shoes”. While … Continue reading Machines in Shoemaking
  • Han. Shoemaker – Beautiful Almond-toe Shoes (12/3/2019) - My obsession for the last two years has been searching for the perfect almond-toe Japanese shoe. A lot of shoemakers use sharp angles or too-round proportions. That’s just their style. Han. Shoemaker at Atelier Rikka doesn’t make shoes in crazy styles or colors, at least on his Instagram. The designs are simple. I wanted something … Continue reading Han. Shoemaker – Beautiful Almond-toe Shoes
  • Lotuff Bridle Duffle Travel Bag: Review (11/29/2019) - I bought this bag about a year and half ago, and have used it quite frequently for weekend travel. The designs between Lotuff and Frank Clegg are similar but I thought the Bridle Duffle Travel Bag looked much more structured and handsome than the Harness Belting Leather bag by Clegg. Lotuff was also an inch … Continue reading Lotuff Bridle Duffle Travel Bag: Review
  • Levi’s Lot 1 Bespoke Jeans: Review (11/25/2019) - A few months have passed since I covered Levi’s Lot 1. This is a follow-up review of their bespoke service. Levi’s bespoke jeans start at $750 or $950 (excluding tax) depending on your customization. During the summer in northern California, I had the opportunity to commission Levi’s Lot 1 in San Francisco. I had read … Continue reading Levi’s Lot 1 Bespoke Jeans: Review
  • Quick Tip: Toe Taps (11/22/2019) - Pictured above is the sole of my derby shoe that has reached its demise. And only just after one year of wear. What’s wrong with them? The toes have worn out. Almost completely. Shoe heads can also tell that the sole’s blind-stitch is exposed. It’s the little flap sticking out. I expected that sooner or … Continue reading Quick Tip: Toe Taps
  • How Many Eyelets? (11/18/2019) - Eyelets are pretty straightforward and uncomplicated, but they do impact the look of your shoe. The number of eyelets you choose should depend on the aesthetic you’re aiming for. A Frenchy-type shoe may experiment with one eyelet, maybe two for example. I like to have at least two to three eyelets because one can look … Continue reading How Many Eyelets?
  • The Cost of Bespoke (11/15/2019) - It’s a common concern and rightly so. I often see menswear threads fraught with debate about the hefty costs of bespoke. Writers and popular models can often afford bespoke, yet a large margin of avid readers (and the general population) cannot. It’s a nice reality check and one I commiserate with. Really, unless you make … Continue reading The Cost of Bespoke
  • The Pros and Cons of Trunk Shows (11/11/2019) - Trunk shows are fantastic. They allow customers access to brands without having to fly all the way to London, Italy, or Tokyo (although the Japanese rarely travel). The United States is a little inconvenient for most craftsman, especially since large cities are located across the country. I do appreciate those who visit (e.g. Edward Sexton, … Continue reading The Pros and Cons of Trunk Shows
  • Three Light-weight Casual Jackets (11/8/2019) - Three is a good number. You’d wear these jackets on a casual outing, stroll around the park, or on the plane as a cover-up layer. The jackets I’ve curated are fairly lightweight, but also versatile and subtle. The olive-green technical jacket – rainproof and indestructible. This is my go-to throw on jacket when I need … Continue reading Three Light-weight Casual Jackets
  • What Shoelaces Do I Need? (11/4/2019) - There are actually more options than you’d think. Quality waxed cotton laces are best for dress shoes. You can choose your length, color, and style (i.e. flat or round laces). Some laces have special metal tips, which I appreciate. For professional dress shoes, try matching your shoelaces to your shoe color. Contrasting laces are better … Continue reading What Shoelaces Do I Need?
  • 5 Tips for Bespoke Shoes (Pt 2) (11/1/2019) - Readers can find part one here “Getting it right” for bespoke shoes is more important because of the cost (not to mention bespoke shoes also live forever). It’s less harm to screw up buying a cheap pair of shoes because it didn’t cost thousands of dollars. If you blunder with a bespoke purchase, you’ll probably … Continue reading 5 Tips for Bespoke Shoes (Pt 2)
  • On Subtlety (10/28/2019) - Being well-dressed extends beyond fit and quality. It includes appropriateness and subtlety. It means your outfit isn’t showy. It doesn’t shout for attention. You may have tiny dashes of color, but nothing very bright across large areas of your outfit. This principle applies to men and women alike. Simplicity is key — that draws attention, … Continue reading On Subtlety
  • Jeans… When to Wear Them? (10/25/2019) - As I mentioned in a previous Levi’s post, I haven’t worn jeans in the last few years. I actually fared quite well for the most part. It was nice not resorting to jeans as a go-to, lazy man pant. Also, lacking jeans forced me to dress smarter in other fabrics. There have been a few … Continue reading Jeans… When to Wear Them?
  • The Shape of Shoes (10/21/2019) - I wish better language existed to describe the exact shape and style of a shoe. It’s simply not enough use the word “style,” because style can also encapsulate the patina, finish, and other characteristics of a shoe besides shape. Shoemakers use words like “almond” and “chiseled” to describe toe shapes, but we need better vocabulary … Continue reading The Shape of Shoes
  • Building a Core Wardrobe (10/18/2019) - For me at least, buying anything requires months deliberation. Enormous thought goes into purchasing three to four pieces of clothing per year, which includes scarves, trousers, etc. This is mostly because I want a core wardrobe. I’m also on a limited budget and spend wisely. In order to develop a core wardrobe you must ignore … Continue reading Building a Core Wardrobe
  • How to Rate Artisans? (10/14/2019) - Clients may have very different experiences with makers. Some rave about their experiences while others face a torrent of issues. I would rate artisans based on these factors: 1) Fit – perhaps the most important. Even if you had perfect service, the end product should suit your comfort and meet your needs. The tailor/shoemaker must … Continue reading How to Rate Artisans?
  • Starting Your Fall Sweater Collection (10/11/2019) - I really cherish my sweaters. I look forward to wearing them in the fall/ winter and they complement my odd trousers. Sweaters (or jumpers) come in a variety of styles: crew, v-neck, cowl, mock-turtle, turtle, roll-neck, shawl-collar, etc. For your first two sweaters, I’d recommend a crew neck or v-neck in basic colors like navy, … Continue reading Starting Your Fall Sweater Collection
  • You Don’t Need to Be a Zillionare (10/7/2019) - I have a friend. Let’s call him James. James has several nice jackets and pullovers and told me he wanted to purchase a light cardigan sweater. Since he had no troubles with budget, I emailed him a link to O’Connell’s, which carries a nice array of sweaters in the United States. James, like many, was … Continue reading You Don’t Need to Be a Zillionare
  • Why Bespoke Shoes Are Worth It (10/4/2019) - When I tell people how much bespoke shoes cost ($3,000 and upwards) they usually balk in surprise. Many outright vow never to spend that much on a pair of shoes as they fail to see the value. I will sincerely try and outline these values and leave readers to decide for themselves. Healthy feet. Bespoke … Continue reading Why Bespoke Shoes Are Worth It
  • Whitcomb and Shaftesbury: Classic Bespoke Trouser Consultation (9/30/2019) - This is my leap to Classic bespoke, offered by Whitcomb and Shaftesbury. Whitcomb and Shaftesbury cuts its Classic Bespoke garments in London and then delivers them to India to be finished. This option is cheaper than bespoke entirely made in London.  I mainly wanted the expertise and guidance of a tailor who would cut my trousers … Continue reading Whitcomb and Shaftesbury: Classic Bespoke Trouser Consultation
  • 5 Tips on Bespoke Shoes (9/27/2019) - Here are five tips for commissioning bespoke shoes: Buy a staple shoe in a conservative color. Your first shoes should probably be a black cap-toe oxford or brown shoe. Study different types of shoes and know all your order specifications prior to the visit — if you’re going to spend that much money on a … Continue reading 5 Tips on Bespoke Shoes
  • Tried Bespoke Shoes? Leave your Review (Asian shoemakers) (9/23/2019) - This is a public forum designed to be helpful to readers considering specific bespoke shoemakers . List your shoemaker and comment on your experience and takeaways (e.g. on quality, price, service, etc). Please leave honest feedback and refrain from unhelpful commentary. Note: this is for bespoke only (i.e. not MTO or MTM). 1 star * … Continue reading Tried Bespoke Shoes? Leave your Review (Asian shoemakers)
  • Tried Bespoke Shoes? Leave your Review (European/American shoemakers) (9/23/2019) - This is a public forum designed to be helpful to readers considering specific bespoke shoemakers . List your shoemaker and comment on your experience and takeaways (e.g. on quality, price, service, etc). Please leave honest feedback and refrain from unhelpful commentary. Note: this is for bespoke only (i.e. not MTO or MTM). 1 star * … Continue reading Tried Bespoke Shoes? Leave your Review (European/American shoemakers)
  • Where Can I Learn to Make Bespoke Shoes? (9/20/2019) - Who should you study under? And where? How much should you budget for? When I set out to learn shoemaking, I made dozens of calls abroad, sent countless emails, and browsed the web trying to find a quality shoemaker willing to teach me. Realistically, 95% of bespoke shoemakers (especially the good ones) will refuse to … Continue reading Where Can I Learn to Make Bespoke Shoes?
  • Commissioning Bespoke Trousers (9/16/2019) - Consider these options before commissioning bespoke trousers. I’ll break it down from the top of the trousers to down. Fabric (slightly heavier fabrics will usually have better drape) Waist: High-waisted or mid-rise? What waist design do you want? Optional coin pocket? Belt loops or side adjusters? Inside tabs (to secure the waist). Finishing: Tack stitching? … Continue reading Commissioning Bespoke Trousers
  • Japanese Bespoke Shoemakers (9/15/2019) - They take the cake when it comes to shoemaking. Compared to their European counterparts, Japanese shoemakers are galaxies above when it comes to finishing, detail, and aesthetics. Among my favorites are Yasuhiro Shiota, Hiro Yanagimachi, TYE shoemaker, Yuigo Hayano (Bespoke Shoe Works), and Eiji Murata (Main d’Or). Many other makers with attention to detail exist … Continue reading Japanese Bespoke Shoemakers
  • The Five Trousers I Have (or will have) (9/11/2019) - These five trousers make for a versatile casual wardrobe: Cream cotton trousers (like chinos, but smarter) Dark brown corduroy trousers (with a high wale count) Levi’s jeans Dark green cotton moleskins* Grey flannel trousers* I own the first three and am working on commissioning the last two. I’m slowly switching from MTM trousers (MyTailor) to … Continue reading The Five Trousers I Have (or will have)
  • What Should Teachers Wear? (9/6/2019) - It’s so tempting to dress down as a school teacher. Often times, sloppy clothing just blends in with students and other teachers. Vague dress codes don’t help, either. In the most casual instances, most male teachers get away with wearing a T-shirt, cargo shorts, and flip-flops. But there are many more ways to feel comfortable … Continue reading What Should Teachers Wear?
  • Buying Quality on a Budget (9/2/2019) - If buying the quality clothes you want seems like a distant dream, I hope this post offers some consolation: 1. Save until you can spend — I always wait to purchase what I truly want. Don’t run into debt. If you can’t afford it, save until you can (even if it takes a few years). … Continue reading Buying Quality on a Budget
  • 1 Pleat, 2 Pleats, or No Pleats? (8/28/2019) - I’d say it depends on how the formality of the trouser and your desired subtlety. If you have a sleek, worsted trouser in a conservative, solid color, all of these options can work well. The solid look is so streamlined that one or two pleats won’t draw unwanted attention. If you like pleats, go for … Continue reading 1 Pleat, 2 Pleats, or No Pleats?
  • Where Do I Shop for Classic Women’s Shoes? (8/27/2019) - Due to fast fashion, women have limited options in terms of quality shoes. Years ago I had no idea where to look. There were numerous brand options for men, but few carried classic women’s shoes. Here is a solid made-to-order list of brands, in order of quality: Edward Green ($$$$)– Storefront based in London and … Continue reading Where Do I Shop for Classic Women’s Shoes?
  • Shoes Don’t Need “Breaking-In” (8/23/2019) - “Breaking-in” a pair of shoes is completely unnecessary if your shoes fit well. Consumers often use this phrase to describe the initial discomfort of wearing a new pair of shoes. But is it true? Do shoes really “break-in”? When you wear shoes for the first time,  you may experience pinching, abrasions, or other pain. You … Continue reading Shoes Don’t Need “Breaking-In”
  • Try Minimalism (8/20/2019) - Minimalism is more challenging than it looks. Buying and keeping things is just too tempting, especially when you rationalize why certain items must be bought/kept. I stored a nice pair of red shorts for one year believing I’d eventually wear them to the beach. And I kept the fantasy alive, until I lately realized they … Continue reading Try Minimalism
  • Capsule Wardrobe: Fall/Winter Shoes (7/25/2019) - What’s contained in your capsule wardrobe should depend on your profession. If you work in a traditional office, starting off with black shoes — such as a captoe oxford — is recommended. Otherwise, brown shoes should be the mainstay of your wardrobe. I don’t work in a professional office, but do schedule occasional interviews. I … Continue reading Capsule Wardrobe: Fall/Winter Shoes
  • Levi’s Lot 1- Bespoke Jeans (7/23/2019) - I haven’t worn jeans in three years. Unfortunately they were always inadequate in terms of fit (and style), so I donated all three pairs. So I remained largely indifferent to jeans, since they always constricted my legs and made my seat look embarrassingly small. But I read about Simon Crompton’s Lot 1 experience at Levi’s … Continue reading Levi’s Lot 1- Bespoke Jeans
  • Underrated Shoes: The Butterfly Loafer (9/20/2018) - When we think of “loafers”, tassel loafers, string loafers, and penny loafers usually come to mind. It is quite special when someone wears loafers, usually because loafers are harder to fit. Your heel must fit snugly, and the shoe must wrap around the bridge of your foot to ensure proper ergonomics. It is difficult for … Continue reading Underrated Shoes: The Butterfly Loafer
  • Can Women Be Shoemakers? (9/18/2018) - 100% yes. I pose this question because this was something I foolishly asked myself before I even learned custom shoemaking. Generally speaking, the majority of shoemakers are overwhelmingly male. There may be a few female upper-makers here and there, but the numbers leave much to be desired. That being said there are, I’m sure many … Continue reading Can Women Be Shoemakers?
  • What Makes a Shoemaker? (7/7/2018) - For me, a shoemaker is someone who can construct a pair of shoes from scratch. This means that given a wooden last, a shoemaker can properly construct a pattern, sew the uppers, last the shoe, and build the bottom. Some may argue that truly excellent shoemakers make lasts themselves, which requires an additional set of … Continue reading What Makes a Shoemaker?
  • Interview with Emmanuel Farre, Patina Artisan (6/26/2018) - Emmanuel Farre has spent the past ten years hand-dyeing shoes. He began by practicing on tiny war figurines as a kid and later transferred his skills to shoes. Self-taught, the French patina master now has a new venture. He plans to move from his current set-up in Loding to a shop in Yorkville Village, Toronto. … Continue reading Interview with Emmanuel Farre, Patina Artisan
  • My Shoe Journey (Part 3): Europe Trip – London & Paris (6/19/2018) - London was the first trip I’d ventured alone–the trip itself was a shock to my family and relatives, who have implacable fears about solo excusions. Mexico, Canada, and Taiwan were the only other countries I had been to, and I didn’t know what to expect in London. I arrived at Gatwick airport, and after deciding … Continue reading My Shoe Journey (Part 3): Europe Trip – London & Paris