Ask The Tailor: Mixing Patterns and the Best-Dressed Man in U.S. History

Here we are with another round of Ask The Tailor, the man who seems to know it all without being a know-it-all.

What are the things to consider when mixing patterns in my wardrobe?
— Steve B. in Grantsville, WV

Bravo to you for taking on the challenge of mixing patterns. Any man can wear solids that match. Any man can toss a bold-patterned tie around his neck to seem a little daring. But not all men have the chops to mix patterns. Once you pull this off (with my help), dors are going to open for you, my friend. The world will seem like a happier place and women will turn their heads. Prepare to be coveted.

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Ask The Tailor: Buying Shoes, Presidential Drinks, and Pork Pie Hats

Ask The Tailor

We’re gearing up for summer and The Tailor’s mail bag is overflowing with questions. This time he tells us why custom made shoes are more comfortable and what type of man looks great in a pork pie hat, and he reveals JFK’s favorite beer.

I‘ve stopped buying “off the rack” and never looked back. I look great in my custom-made suits and I get compliments all the time. Thank you. But I buy my shoes “off the shelf”. Should I have them made especially for me too? – Clyde in Cooperstown, NY

The short answer is “yes.” But there’s also a second answer which is “not always.” Custom shoemaking was the only way to get shoes up until the mid-nineteenth century when mechanized manufacturing processes were developed and perfected. Suddenly almost anyone could get quality shoes easily and much cheaper. But that doesn’t mean their feet were happy. Custom-made shoes fit your feet better, provide better support and are more comfortable. Because they wear better, they last longer. They will cost more, but you’ll have them for many more years. Just like a great bespoke-tailored suit.

Having said that, in some cases you’ll be fine getting a pair of shoes “off the rack”, especially if you have a fairly normal foot size and shape. Shoes are made on a “last” --- a shaped design of the human foot that serves as the template. The vast majority of people have fairly common feet, but there if you have unusually narrow or wide feet or shaped toes, you’ll be far more comfy in a custom pair of shoes made for you by a “cordwainer” --- that’s a chap who makes shoes by hand. You have to keep your piggies happy.

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Buying shoes, Presidential drinks, and pork pie hats

We’re gearing up for summer and The Tailor’s mail bag is overflowing with questions. This time he tells us why custom made shoes are more comfortable and what type of man looks great in a pork pie hat, and he reveals JFK’s favorite beer.

I‘ve stopped buying “off the rack” and never looked back. I look great in my custom-made suits and I get compliments all the time. Thank you. But I buy my shoes “off the shelf”. Should I have them made especially for me too? – Clyde in Cooperstown, NY

The short answer is “yes.” But there’s also a second answer which is “not always.” Custom shoemaking was the only way to get shoes up until the mid-nineteenth century when mechanized manufacturing processes were developed and perfected. Suddenly almost anyone could get quality shoes easily and much cheaper. But that doesn’t mean their feet were happy. Custom-made shoes fit your feet better, provide better support and are more comfortable. Because they wear better, they last longer. They will cost more, but you’ll have them for many more years. Just like a great bespoke-tailored suit.

Having said that, in some cases you’ll be fine getting a pair of shoes “off the rack”, especially if you have a fairly normal foot size and shape. Shoes are made on a “last” --- a shaped design of the human foot that serves as the template. The vast majority of people have fairly common feet, but there if you have unusually narrow or wide feet or shaped toes, you’ll be far more comfy in a custom pair of shoes made for you by a “cordwainer” --- that’s a chap who makes shoes by hand. You have to keep your piggies happy.

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Ask The Tailor: Do Your Pants Fit?

How do you stay cool and stylish while wearing a suit in the summer? When is the perfect time to take a European vacation? Why do the collars of my dress shirts bend and fray? Do my pants fit? The Tailor is here to answer your questions once again.

I have several formal events this summer in warm climates. How do I make sure to stay cool?
– B.J. in Alexandria, VA

Have a suit made from Crispaire, a traditional plain weave from Holland & Sherry. It’s lightweight and perfect for a summer fabric suit. You may also ask about Mohair, another light wool that’s excellent for summer. Both of these suits are wrinkle-free and they come in vibrant patterns and colors for suiting and jacketing.

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25 Books Every Man Should Read

25 Books Every Man Should Read

It was the French author Gustave Flaubert who said: “Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.”

We read in order to live. You want to live, don’t you?

Here are 25 books every man should read.

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