Tag Archives: suiting

Manly Men are and Have Been Dandies

… and for the record I own none of these images nor have I had a hand in their creation. They are just here to illustrate a point.

Dandy is not normally meant as a compliment when directed toward a man. It is considered calling the masculinity of the accused into question. I find this curious.DandyCutout

Maybe the man’s clothing show a little too much flair, a bit too fancy, overly decorated, maybe even froofy in the opinion of manliness police. Calling someone a dandy is often the same as, or at least overlapping with, soft, feminine… gay. Interesting.armor

Now in most cases, someone who would call another man a dandy- or metrosexual, or flamboyant, or prissy- in a derogatory way would also think gay to be bad. I have no intention of dealing with anyone’s opinion of homosexuality here, but I would like to address this curious connection with hetero normative masculinity and fancy clothes.custer-portrait

Clothing does not in fact make the man, or even make someone a man. I say this not to deny that humans signal or communicate when clothing themselves (very much the opposite), but rather to challenge what many think the messaging of frilly clothing means relating to hetero-normative masculinity.george-catlin-iowas

There is a stream of popular American culture that for some reason thinks decorated clothes, or colors such as pink, communicate femininity or weakness. This makes me chuckle. It makes me laugh not because anyone has accused me of dressing less manly (I don’t personally like flamboyant clothes or excessively decorated outfits), but rather because it is historically silly.Teddy-Roosevelt-Was-the-Toughest-Person-Ever

This tends to be normal for anyone mocking someone else for not fitting some imagined standard. Most mockers are ignoring their own shortcomings, however they measure that standard.

Warriors throughout the ages and across many cultures, have exerted hetero masculinity, strength, and aggressiveness… as well as an abundance of feathers, ribbons, and makeup.samuraiWe kid ourselves that armor and military regalia is utilitarian. Plumes on helms deflect sword blows. A forged metal face plate is only for protection, or maybe a touch of intimidation. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Guys wear that stuff because they think it looks cool.hawaiian-tattoo-on-left-chest

Which is great because in most, or at least many, cases it does look cool… but also super fancy. Super decorated, just for looks, non utilitarian, fancy. I’m okay with this. I understand that such clothing tells me little, or likely nothing, about anyone’s orientation, strength, virility… but it does tell me quite a bit about their taste.Birdman-rapper

And I don’t need to have the same tastes as you. That is okay.mma-karma-elite-daily-800x400

I don’t have to be like you, or like you, but if I don’t (like you) my complaints should not be tied to your clothes.slide_308704_2702404_free

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The Party is Over

Holidaying is a much better word than partying, or in my opinion funner to say than “on holiday”. Unfortunately, or maybe it is for the best, funner is not really a word and most all of America is back at work starting off a new year with hopes, aspirations, and most likely a healthy dose of ‘meh’.IMG_8538

It starts with Halloween for the kids, then on to Thanksgiving for families and football, then December with its religious high holidays, then sliding down New Year’s. After that we are tasked with enduring February.IMG_8621Where is the fun now? Why did it die and who killed it?IMG_8541

Maybe fun is overrated and plain navy suits with white shirts and solid color ties are best. Maybe paying the bills, getting things done, and societal and personal progression are superior to immediate gratification and enjoyment.IMG_8624

But then again maybe all of those things aren’t mutually exclusive. Maybe you can personally progress and wear glossy purple suits at the same time.IMG_9435

Maybe… So navy suits aren’t always the best option, glossy purple suits are almost never a good option, but it doesn’t have to be one or the other.struttin

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Leaving Nature for my Natural Habitat

The winter break is over and the kids, those of my own and those at the University, are back in class. That means I am as wellIMG_9862

Of course back in class does not mean classy. What it does mean is that if we hope to operate at a university level we could discuss and dissect what exactly “classy” means.

Is it visible? Is it observable? Who decides what constitutes class? What are the ties between what is considered “classy” (behavior, clothing, topics, etc.) and socio-economic class?

Is there value in being classy? Is this value only in how those with high social class perceive the one in question?IMG_9870 (34)

I might suggest that most of us who ask such questions would not likely feel good about the answers.

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A Wish List: tis the season and all that

I am impossible to shop for. Not because I have everything, quite the opposite really, but moreso because I generally know exactly what I want. In the following posts I will be highlighting things I think are worth wanting. Some big, some small.

Some of the things I already have, some I will never have, and others I may eventually obtain but whichever or whatever, the list is to follow.

Examples:

Membership to the Salumi Society with Boccalone.com

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Size 35, 301 Navy boardshorts from Birdwell Beach Britches.

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Cotopaxi tent, black canteen, Tikal shell in gray, Nepal pack, and a Cusco bag in “Alpaca”.

tent

A Navy 2 button suit with side vents from Commonwealth Proper. Hook me up Craig.

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An authentic, should probably be in a museum sort of thing, samurai helmet.

samurai

DIY wood surfboard kit.

surf

The list goes on and on. I wish (for numerous reasons) I didn’t have such a list… but I do.

Stay tuned

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I’m Impossible to Shop For:unbridled materialism

I want a suit from Saville Row. I’m sure there are others elsewhere who could make one just as well, but it is a little bit more than just the suit; it’s the place. If I can only get one, two would be best, it would be navy. Two button, natural shoulder, notched lapels, and double vents. Flat front trousers with only a very slight break. I have never been to Saville Row, or even England, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting.IMG_3463

I have never had a nice watch. I don’t like big giant wrist robots with gadgets or jewels, but I would one day like a timepiece that is universal enough to wear with anything and durable enough for a Navy SEAL. I know they exist, I don’t really need one, but I would like to own one early enough in life for me to put some dings and scratches on it.

There is a town in Ethiopia call Aksum. In that town is a small chapel called the Chapel of the Tablet. No one is allowed inside but tradition holds that this is where the Ark of the Covenants is kept. They say it was carried there either by, or for, the Queen of Sheba who was said to have returned from a royal visit pregnant with an heir to the Holy throne. I want to go there.

I want a classic late 60’s Ford Bronco. A company called ICON will build one from the ground up with a brand new engine, water proof upholstery, and all the modern bells and whistles. I would rather have this than a Ferrari.

The black hooved pig raised in Spain and Portugal is fed almost exclusively on acorns or olives. Once harvested these pigs become the most heavenly melt in your mouth pig possible. It is called Jamon iberico and was not available in the U.S. till 2007. Yes please. On a jamonera.

I want a brown leather Brooks saddle with a fixed gear Chappelli bike to mount it on.

I want a living room set of furniture designed by Kaleo Kala; all hard wood, oiled not stained. Modern design executed with traditional craftsmanship.

I would love to one day stand in front of Michelangelo’s Pieta, the greatest sculpture ever hewn by man, but to hang on my wall, I want a Justin Bua.

I expect to get none of these things and somehow I will still be happy.

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Monkey Suit: because its summer

My niece is getting married this summer. I’ve never met the guy. She’s a smart girl so I’m sure he’s great but I’m not so sure about all of this. I am however sure that he has nothing to do with the point of this post so right at the beginning, I’ve already digressed. Typical.

The point is that the reception is outside. Summer wedding outside; what to wear?montgomerymeninsuits

My family is not a formal bunch by anyone’s measure. We may be a little better put together than those with whom we associated coming up, but that bar can’t get any lower. So really, the only one who will care at all what I wear- is me. But I do care. I think we have gone over this before. I may be digressing again.

It must be a suit. I know it’s summer and outside, but it’s a wedding for heaven’s sake. And yes, wear the jacket. The fact that I even felt I had to justify that statement shows just how low that bar is set.

My closet is always just a tad deficient, and I may not be in a position to fix that right now, but in the spirit of weddings and love, allow me to dream just a little.SUIT_Cotton_Linen_Whipcord_Grey_003

I said a “little” so I’m not going to go all bespoke here, but there is still room for reaching without reaching all the way to the stars. I’d be happy to reach for the laptop and order a suit from Bonobos.

Yup, the pants guys make suits.

I don’t just want a suit. I want a cotton/linen blend, lightweight, light colored, summer suit.SUIT_CottonLinen_Almond_Slim_Group_050_(2) (2)

I also want a light colored, slightly playful, but not too much, pocket square to add a little flair. Bonobos makes those too.PKTSQ_HudsonDot_Linen_Carnation_382

I actually made some myself out of a pair of Bonobos pants I owned that met an untimely demise due to rambunctious behavior and a can of paint.destroinside

I suggest you order them as pocket squares rather than pants. Cheaper that way. Less work too.

The rational side of me knows that as a Californian, such a suit could be worn year round. That adds value right?

Just remember, especially when wearing light colored suits; your tie should always be darker than your shirt, and it’s probably best to stick to light colored shirts the pocket square should not exactly match your tie. It can match your shirt, but not your tie.PKTSQ_AnchorWave_Linen_NavyBlazer_377

Come to think of it… 50 bucks says half of the guys won’t be wearing suits but will wear ties. So I think I’ll wear a suit but not a tie. Unless I wear it in my pocket as a pocket square.

New rule: your pocket square can match your tie if it is in fact, your tie.IMG_3463

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Hunting Season and Menswear as Punishment

Mom could always sew and her skill kept clothes on our back. Dad could hunt and his skill kept food on the table.

Them in 80’s. Not the 1880’s… the 1980’s.

She was making him a nice navy jacket. We called such clothing church clothes and Dad would look quite respectable in this piece. As she sat at the machine threading needles he went off to the woods with some friends.

As the tale gets retold, and knowing what I know of my father, I’m sure the hunting party’s staying out through Sunday was a surprise to dad. Perhaps a truck got stuck in the mud on Saturday forcing them to stay the night.

Mother suffered his lingering over the Sabbath in silence and finished father’s gift.

When the jacket was presented to Dad he found that the lining of the coat was hunter’s orange. It would be rude of him not to wear it and when on, no one could see the blinding insides. But when sitting in the pews, if Dad felt the desire to put his arm around his wife, the Bishop behind the pulpit would get a fluorescent flash from Dad’s jacket reminding everyone of my father’s transgression.

Happy hunting everyone.

Them playing dress up.

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