Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Style Shrink for the day

Long before I became a mass consumer of magazines...even before those heady days of poring over The Face...my exposure to men's publications was limited. During my teens I used to read my Sister's boyfriend's GQ whenever I could though. Whilst my peers were consuming and ogling over magazines like FHM and Loaded (which to me were filled with on the most part unfunny jokes, boring/bad style and disturbing images...the only redeeming element were the sheer number of breasts on show) I was always more interested in the editorials and adverts (at times confused by the blurring lines between the two) within GQ... and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on them whenever the boyfriend left them lying around the house (which was pretty much every month). One of my favourite features within the magazine was the Style Shrink. I loved reading men's questions, ranging from enquiries into the right tie knot for a particular occasion to the correct way to wear a pocket square. Of course none of his really mattered to me, as I was just a youth quite happily wearing my favourite red Ralph Lauren Polo shirt, straight leg Levi jeans and Nike Cortez trainers. The worlds which these men were describing and asking about were so alien to me yet they captured my imagination in a way which is difficult to describe. Recently I have become aware (slightly addicted at times) to the online world of style advice with the likes of askandyaboutclothes and styleforum leading the way. I love reading about how men think about clothes and it is clear that at times they think about rules far too obsessively, we always suggest wearing what feels comfortable and what is right for the individual. Ultimately some rules are made to be broken..or at least tampered with.

So, you can imagine how pleased we were after receiving the following email...

If you can't read the above screengrab...here it is...

"Hey guys!

Just wanted to say hi and compliment you on putting together such an inspiring, hilarious, trendy and casual blog. I just found you guys this morning and been reading you the whole afternoon - cant stop laughing. At the same time, I've found soooo many things I've been looking for (on the streets) but was unable to find, talk about the deck shoes from Journal Standard. Keep up the good work because you just won another lousy reader from Milan lol.

BTW yesterday I got a foulard (little longer, brown silk very classy - as show above) and I have no idea 1. how to tie it 2. with what to wear it. Stefano Pilatti much?http://www.zimbio.com/Stefano+Pilati/articles/3/Stefano+Pilati+New+York+Times+Magazine Some ideas would be deeply appreciated!



ps - the entry about Modern Gentlemen. LOOOL. i'll start typing comments soon."

This was our first email which made us both blush and beam with pride simultaneously. We started the blog to open up a dialogue focused on menswear but we didn't really expect to receive emails like this where readers were keen to ask us questions and participate in the conversation so willingly (we only expected t continue chatting to each other with no one else even reading!)

The email sits in nicely with our 'Save the tie' campaign. The word foulard comes from the French world for silk handkerchief and to be honest with you I didn't know that much else about them other than Fred Astaire used to buy 50 a time from Brooks Brothers. if you want to learn more about them, I found this information courtesy of wisegeek. When men are wearing ties these days most like me are drawn to the skinny tie but why not opt for some traditional style?

I wish I looked like this after a hard day at the office.

Julian mentions within his email one of the best examples of a modern day foulard wearer: Stefano Pilati. When it comes to fashion, Stefano Pilati (see his feature on men.style) is certainly not afraid to lead by example. He embodies the louche elegance of YSL and of course the foulard is a key accessory for doing so. Pilati identifies with the forgotten glamour of tuxedos and scarves, a era where the foulard can complete an outfit...so why not revisit it today? It is all about style with a natural and relaxed elegance and looking back further than Pilati we of course have the wonderful Fred Astaire - "Astaire had the talent to construct a new model for men based on the democratic ideal of the classless aristocrat. He was a hero whose weapon was style, and that style was a distinctive casualness" (Quote from thesartorialist)

Here is Julian modelling the foulard extremely well - does he even need our advice?

Of course there is a danger of looking over dressed with any neck wear. I recently came across this informative article on asuitablewardrobe which offers some great advice. We suggest wearing the foulard with relaxed finishes - the folded cuff, the unbuttoned collar, Of course there is always the Fred Astaire way... teaming it up with a casual tweed jacket and wearing the foulard as a belt - again, effortless style. We suggest a great deal of experimentation. The above image demonstrates that Julian knows how to wear the foulard well already - he's just showing of to us all. I have tried searching for 'how to tie' instructions but to no avail. If Julian lived in the UK, he probably wouldn't be wearing shorts, instead I would suggest relaxed suit trousers. Jeans should be avoided but that's only my opinion. I recently found Lucas Ossendrijver's 10 rules of style and true style is all about making the clothes your own and ultimately dressing should be fun! Our main suggestion to Julian is build your confidence with the foulard by wearing it with a white shirt, as you become more comfortable you can be more adventurous...and of course you can always wear it as a belt!

Can you help Julian out better than we can? Are you an expert when it comes to everything foulard? Let us and Julian know your suggestions.


Anonymous said...

Thanks guys for honoring my style query and for giving me such valuable advice and feedback. And no i'm not showing off LOL, that's acutally the only way the salesman at the store taught me how to wear it. So please, keep them coming.

Style Salvage Steve said...

hey Julian! I will keep looking into the Foulard possibilites and hopefully our readers will come up with a few awesome ideas as well...Thomas I'm looking at you.

Pret a Porter P said...

Julian looks so handsome in his foulard.
a great posts and i'll have to check out some of the links too

TheSundayBest said...

I believe Julian is doing just fine with his foulard. What a lovely word that is as well.

Anonymous said...

I do agree with the issue on men's magazines that's why I find myself more drawn to publications like AnOtherMan and Arena Homme + par example.

but then again I have the same sentiment as Dame Vivienne Westwood when she mentioned in an interview with Arena Homme + that magazines aren't usually meant to be read. You just merely browse through them. Perhaps that's induced by the tons of visual imagery available. I just end up not reading them from cover to cover.

GQ in particular seems to hold on to too many gender norms. I could say at one point it's conservative.

As for editorials, GQ France seems to have interesting ones but I still need to have my hands on an actual issue and not just scans posted on forums. haha

100Days100Ties said...

Just picked up a foulard yesterday at a thrift store in Chicago, and am very glad you have given me directions on how to wear it and pair it.

I look forward to reading more of your blog...


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