I will be the first to argue that those claiming that television does not affect one’s behavior and lifestyle are horridly wrong. Think about it; in the last 24 hours, how many conversations have you had that centralized around the goings-on in your favorite sit-com? The fact of the matter is, is that Television affects our lives on a daily and regular basis either blatantly or subliminally. With that in mind, I am going to point something out that perhaps you did not consider.
In the last five-ish years, men of all sizes have slowly been taught to take their style cues from The Don on TVs Mad Men. How could a GIANT not want to dress as slick as those Madison Avenue ball busters? Each crease, each button, and tie calculated to the stitch. We get a very glamorous glimpse into an era of yore in which one didn’t leave their house without suspenders, neckwear, and a jacket. ThereAreGiants even has a hash-tag on Twitter that we use when we see something we like in men’s fashion or style that is based around this revolution; “#DonDrapered”.
Whether you have sat down to watch these womanizing Ad-Men or not, consider now how many of your friends have upped the ante of their own wardrobes since the show aired. Directly or indirectly, it seems as if guys are learning how to ‘step it up’ in the clothing department.
In late 2012, menswear took on a rebirth and it is now very apparent that dressing up is catching on. However, now we are seeing the clocks being turned back even further in current and upcoming apparel for men. Blame it on Downton Abbey if you will, but I also think that men have realized that clothes sometimes just do make the man. As 19th century author Charles Dickens once said ‘Anyman may be in good spirits and good temper when he’s well dressed.’
Because of the Return to the 1900’s that is popping up in even the slightest of apparel details, ThereAreGiants put together a Turn-Of-The-Century photo spread based off of the looks of 3 characters famed in literature of the time.
The Great Gatsby
An acclaimed millionaire known for his extravagant Long Island parties of the roaring twenties, Jay Gatsby was certainly the well-dressed man of the Hamptons. Undoubtedly he would not be caught dead wearing anything less than a three-piece suit and was probably a reference of sorts to his male constituents who were either trying to keep up to his game or feebly attempting to outshine him.
ThereAreGiant’s ‘Gatsby’, Daniel, stands 6’6” and is sporting pops of 1922. With his over-sized, mini-paisley print, bright orange bow tie tied in with the multi-colored thick striped pocket square, Daniel is ready for a Gatsby caliber party either in the Hamptons or The Plaza Hotel.
What really makes this modern version of the 20’s special is the custom made 7-button and collard vest from Indochino, decorated with a genuine pocket watch and fob from The Fine & Dandy Shop (bowtie and pocket square also from F&D) and finished off with a pair of Gap jeans (tall size – 36” inseam, of course) and size 13 Allen Edmonds .
Going ‘over-board’ with your wardrobe for your friends party is now no longer an issue because it is encouraged that you dress up the top and keep the bottom casual – as long as your footwear is on point; Sneakers be damned for this genuine gent.
The hard working boys of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s hawking news papers to the elite in the business section of town always tried to look as presentable as possible. Though tight choreography was probably not involved in the reality of these orphaned children, the deep down drive to survive and succeed must have. Seeing the well dressed bustling about their busy lives swept the gents into a fantasy world of their own; one in which they had a pair of wool or tweed trousers to parade around town.
ThereAreGiants’ 6’6” Newsie got gussied up from his normal work day wear into a pair of blue plaid, tan wool pants fromMarc Jacobs and matching pin-striped suspenders from our friends at Fine & Dandy Shop on West 49th street in NYC. Now, our Marc Jabcos did not have suspender buttons tailored on to them for our vintage button on suspenders, so F&D owner Matt pointed us in the direction of these fun suspender clips with buttons on them. One simply snaps them onto the waistline of your pants and fastens the leather suspender arms onto your now in place button. Voila, you now are capable of having old school suspenders on every pair of your own pants.
Because of the various patterns throughout this particular look, we thought a stark white shirt would do our Newsie the most justice; that and it pops the same orange and paisley bowtie from Gatsby quite well, not to mention the tweet wool woven ‘news boy’ cap – it is quite literally the piece that tops off this ensemble.
Though a Newsie would probably have had many holes and scuffs in his shoes, ours is coinciding his shined Allen Edmonds with his matching 1910 style brief case; ready for work, or lose the brief case and be ready for a ‘Throwback Thursday’ night out.
A vein man indeed, Dorian Gray requested that a portrait painted of him be enchanted to age instead of him. He lived a fast life, which was only reflected in the canvas of his face, hidden out of plain site so no one would know his true internal or external appearance. Would such a narcissistic man ever wear paupers’ clothes? Absolutely not! Dorian Gray in his circle of colleagues was a compass of style and male elegance.
Daniel, ThereAreGiants’ ‘Dorian’, is giving us a stoic portraiture of the 1900’s rewarding his appearance with a burgundy silk-nylon blend blazer from H&M accented by a blue and burgundy pin-striped pocket square from The Fine & Dandy Shop. Blue on burgundy certainly is a pleasing combination, however this square was chosen for the blue and white placard Tommy Hilfiger button down and then mirrored in the pin-stripe cream colored bow tie. Personally I love the dark blue piping around the cuffs, collar, and placard of this dress shirt; it really grounds the shirt and makes it it’s own stand alone piece.
*NOTE* I usually throw H&M to the dogs because of their lack of accessibility for we TALLS, however this particular suit jacket did, in fact, fit Daniel’s extra long arms quite fairly… clearly they are a hateful hit or miss.
Gloves are never a requirement, however, if you’re going to have them, for decoration or necessity, then I would suggest a dark shade of brown in leather – always leather. A gentleman needs a well form-fitted leather glove so he may hold doors, access his wallet, and button and unbutton his jacket as the occasion may call for it. Though when a man should take off his gloves, they should be held by the palm in a clenched fist as shown here as to not give a misshapen appearance to a coat or suit jacket pocket.
This, as was Gatsby, is a clean and clear example of how to dress up the top and keep the bottom casual – again with a pair of 36 inseam dark wash Gap jeans, and a well shined pair of saddle shoes – our beloved Allen Edmonds.
Trends may come and go, but I have a feeling that this new found footing in the Golden Age may be sticking. After all, a clean, tailored look will never go out of style. These staple items once found in black and white photographs are sure to be found gracing a friends Facebook in Instagram sometime soon.
MANY thanks to Matt Fox at the Fine & Dandy Shop located in NYC. Walk-ins and online orders of any gentleman’s accessories are accepted.