Faulkner wasn’t hesitant to blow his own horn.
The greatest American writer? The case can certainly be made for Yoknapatawpha’s own William Faulkner. Whether you like the Nobel Prize winner’s complex writing style or not you should certainly enjoy his Southern clothing style:
Although always teetering on the brink of financial ruin, Faulkner projected the image of the Southern squire. This was especially true of Faulkner during his years as University of Virginia writer-in-residence late in life. In the more aristocratic Piedmont South, Faulkner let the Anglophilia that first appeared during his Canadian RAF days have free rein.
Check out the full article at No Man Walks Alone.
Books are often a topic of interest here at Pinstripe Pulpit, so it’s no surprise I might export such concerns elsewhere. You can read my new post ‘The Well-Dressed Bookshelf’ at No Man Walks Alone:
Research now suggests that we retain more from deep reading when we read from paper rather than a screen. Reading a physical book is not only visual, but also tactile. We feel the weight of the book. We turn a page. We remember a passage in relation to its placement on the page.
And if you’re going to have physical books then they at least ought to look good on the shelf. Hop over to No Man Walks Alone to read the entire post.
Some years back I found myself in Old Madras looking for its eponymous cloth. Tracking it down was harder than you might think. I write about that search and the wonderful homespun Indian cloth madras, a summer necessity, at No Man Walks Alone.
I stood in Nalli in Chennai asking a group of employees if they had any “madras cloth.” Nalli is perhaps the largest retailer of textiles in India, and since the cloth I asked for is named for the very city I was in—Chennai is the modern name for old Madras—surely I had come to the right place.
Read the whole article at No Man Walks Alone.
The word “polo” is inextricably linked to menswear, but there’s more to the connection than a ubiquitous clothing brand with an easily recognizable logo. The game of polo, one of the world’s oldest and most venerable sports, has given us classic and iconic additions to menswear. My post exploring three of polo’s most important contributions is now up at No Man Walks Alone:
The button-down shirt collar, that most quintessentially American classic style detail, was actually borrowed from English polo players, whom John E. Brooks saw using buttons to keep their collars from flying up during play. In 1896 he introduced this new button down collar in his family’s New York shop, Brooks Brothers, and called it the polo collar. Style icons from Fred Astaire to Andy Warhol to Gianni Agnelli were famously devoted to the polo collar.
You can read it all at ‘The Sport of Kings: Polo’s Contribution to Menswear.’
My new post ‘Fall’s Ties: Wool Challis & Ancient Madder’ is up at No Man Walks Alone. The two tie types are perfect for the seasons’ cooler weather and muted tones:
There are two classic neckties that do just that for fall and winter: ancient madder and wool challis. Each has a softer hand than most year-‘round ties with a dusty, muted appearance, easily blending with the autumn palette. Both are beautifully at home with a cold weather kit of tweeds, cords, and tattersall shirts, but they are still refined enough to dress up with flannel suits.
They hearken back to 19th C England, and the designs were blocked by hand until only a few years ago:
The designs traditionally used on both fabrics are paisleys and neats, from geometrics to pines. Wool challis will not infrequently feature equestrian and hunting themed designs as well. Many of these designs were produced by David Evans & Co. which stood as an iconic name in English silk and hand blocking for a century and a half, until the factory’s closing in 2002.
Keep your eyes open at thrift stores for classic examples, although wool challis seems to be particularly yummy to moths. Pictured is a tie dating from at least the 1960s, maybe much earlier, with a classic pedigree. Alas, it was not in good enough shape to take home.
Head on over to No Man Walks Alone to read all about it, then go buy some ties.
It’s corduroy trouser time, and the waley fabric is the subject for my latest for the good folks at No Man Walks Alone, Corduroy: The King of Wales.
Corduroy’s reputation rallied at the turn of the century, and was adopted by the horsey set as a hard-wearing country cloth. It won the approval of both Apparel Arts and the Duke of Windsor, which is one Cary Grant away from an interbellum menswear hat trick. By the Second World War, corduroy was a fashion staple of agrarians and academics both.
Read it all at No Man Walks Alone.
Rota cords at No Man Walks Alone.
My latest post at No Man Walks Alone is up, a discussion of finding one’s style identity, with a focus on my own:
“…a style identity ought to be about comfortable self-expression. We shouldn’t be dressing up for a part, playing someone we’re not.”
Click over to read more.
Vanity Fair caricatures have been something of an obsession of mine for the past year and half. I gladly give credit to the urbane Maxminimus for introducing me to the vintage prints through his blog and now Tumblr, where he now usually resides. My meagre collection pales to his.
I’ve written a brief introduction to Vanity Fair caricatures for No Man Walks Alone:
Statesmen and scientists, ministers and musicians, authors and artists, there was hardly a human pursuit without a representative in the caricatures of the late Victorian political and society magazine Vanity Fair. From its founding by Thomas Gibson Bowles in January 1869 until its demise at the dawn of the Great War, Vanity Fair’s forty-five year run produced more than two thousand lithographic illustrations.
Click to read the full post.
My new piece “Generational Style” is up over at No Man Walks Alone:
Perhaps you have an artifact that connects you with your past—your grandfather’s pocketknife, your father’s cufflinks, an uncle’s lapel pin. Others have only imagined being handed such a possession. These pieces are valuable not only as objects, but as memories of heritage and tradition.
Click over to read it all.
Continued thanks to No Man Walks Alone for tolerating my flights of fancy.
The good folks over at No Man Walks Alone have just published a post of mine on “The Search For a Grail.”
“Grail” has become synonymous with an object that is highly prized, rare, and acquired only after a great quest. Many of us have spent long hours searching for a clothing grail item. The original legend gives us some guidance on what a true Grail is.
First, it must be rare, or even unique. The Grail cannot simply be another item on the shopping list. A pair of captoes to complement your suede wingtips doesn’t count. Vintage spade soles or bespoke Vass Budapesters might.
Also, there should be a quest involved.
Visit No Man Walks Alone to read the rest.
You can also read my earlier posts on “The Birth and Rebirth of the A-1 Flight Jacket” and “About Those Shoe Trees.”