Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Journey Continues

November 27, 2006 marked the first appearance of A Suitable Wardrobe, arguably the first classic menswear weblog. Over the next few years, ASW became the most read publication of its kind, recognized by major media in the USA and the UK as one of the best blogs in the world.

As we went along, readers told me they needed a way to purchase the accessories that I wrote about without having to travel overseas. So, after several years, A Suitable Wardrobe became a store as well as a blog, a store that has expanded based on customer requests and my own passion for helping like minded men to attain the almost unobtainable. ASW fills a unique niche, and customers continually tell me how important we are to their wardrobes.

Now, A Suitable Wardrobe has further evolved. The blog and the store have become one. New content appears on the store, where you can more easily bring its subject matter into your closets. It will be joined soon by most of the content that has appeared here. And once we've migrated everything to the store, the blog itself will no longer be accessible.

It's been a fun journey thus far and I thank you for your support over the years. I hope that you will find that the new, improved, and unified version of A Suitable Wardrobe suits your needs more than ever before. Visit us at www.asuitablewardrobe.com.

As always, I welcome your comments.

Will Boehlke

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Indulge Yourself

Ah, silk. It hangs beautifully and feels wonderful on the skin, which is why it is used for the finest underwear. Or, in this case, for silk dressing gowns.

What, you may ask is a dressing gown? It is a long robe worn over pajamas or shirt and trousers for breakfast and lounging around at home generally. It is also (along with the oversized v-neck cashmere sweater and the oxford cloth shirt) one of the three things a man should have in his closet in case someone special unexpectedly stays overnight (the height of self indulgence would be to own a second gown for that purpose so he can wear his while his partner wears the other). Executed in fine necktie silk, the feel of a dressing gown will put a smile on the sleepiest face.

Dressing gowns have been worn by stylish men for hundreds of years, and though most of us no longer dress in the company of various staff and acquaintances there is no reason to deprive ourselves of the feel of silk. After all, as W. Somerset Maugham observed in The Outstation, the most important time to maintain standards is when we are alone.

Pair a dressing gown with a pair of our leather or suede house shoes and indulge yourself.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Just Add Color

Blah day? Add some casual color. Last week a Kelim patterned silk scarf and lightweight cashmere polo shirt brightened an otherwise sullen afternoon.
Words by Will Boehlke

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Let It Rain

The rains have begun here, which reminds that tailored men need three things to stay dry: an umbrella, a raincoat and, when flooded streets make them necessary, overshoes.

Moving past need to should, a proper hat also comes into play. There are two times when in this man's opinion a hat is very practical, those being to prevent sunburn on the top of a head with thinning hair and to keep off a rain that doesn't quite call for opening the umbrella (granted, baseball caps are equally functional but no-one reading this should be wearing one of those with his pinstripes).

Admittedly, a hat exclusively for light rain is not going to get a lot of wear and so one is plenty (unless like the author you cannot stand to wear the same thing several times in a row). A fedora like that on the man on the left is the most useful, and if you do need another I like a homburg rather than the bowler on the right. After all, to paraphrase Hardy Amies, the bowler should only be worn by an Englishmen.

Have a hat and then let it rain.

Words by Will Boehlke

Friday, November 7, 2014

The High Cost Of Healthy Eating

I have written more than once that the best weight maintenance program is to spend too much money on clothing. That strategy worked for me for many years - my weight rarely varied. And then things changed.

I wanted to lose some poundage this past summer when I changed to a Mediterranean diet (and the occasional chocolate chip cookie) but it was a shock when I lost more than planned. Most clothes can handle a ten pound reduction but not twenty. Relaxed jackets (definitely not the Thom Browne kind) can deal with a loss of perhaps fifteen before they begin to look unacceptably shapeless. Trousers need alteration about then as well, though the use of braces can delay the inevitable. But shirts, oh my. My shirts are gaping at the neck like something you might see in a bad sitcom. And, unlike trousers and the jacket in the photo that can be altered in a week or two, shirts usually have to be replaced. Which, when you have them made, takes three months on average.

Those many years of weight maintenance mean I have no remaining clothes from thinner times, leaving my wardrobe few alternatives to shirts made for a heavier man: rollnecks and polos in cotton or wool and, weather permitting, tee shirts. And since wool and cashmere are still marginal in our current California temperatures (it is 77F/25C as I  write this) it is the Pureness tees like the Dark Shadow and the blue in the photo that are getting the most wear. On the plus side, I blend into the Bay area landscape far better than ever before.

Dirnelli, the 40 pound losing Parisian blogger whose work has graced these virtual pages from time to time, told me last year that you don't have much to wear immediately following a weight loss and he was right. It's part of the high cost of healthy eating.

Words by Will Boehlke