A store for men of contrast and character
www.nomanwalksalone.com

TWO BUTTONS FOR FALL

by David Isle

One of the joys of custom made clothing is getting to choose your own details. But there are plenty of subtle yet distinctive embellishments that can be put on bespoke and off-the-peg clothing alike. Any jacket shipped with unfinished sleeves, for instance, is ready and waiting for any button configuration you care to conjure. 

Most alterations tailors will attach either three or four sleeve buttons without even asking. But on sport coats, especially casual ones - by which I mean any that aren’t solid navy - I think having one or two instead is a nice detail. [[MORE]] A one-button cuff is predominantly (but not uniquely - see Roger Moore as James Bond and Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair) a Southern Italian flourish, so I reserve it for summer jackets. 

I associate the two-button sleeve mostly with Ivy style, since I’ve seen a Kennedy or two wearing them, and they turn up on vintage Ivy-esque stuff. The Duke of Windsor’s famous closet picture features one jacket with a two-button sleeve, but it appears to be an outlier in a number of ways. I had to explain to my British and Italian tailors how I wanted the buttons spaced. So until further evidence to the contrary, I am considering the two-button sleeve one of the few elements of Ivy League style I have adopted.

Since it’s a rare style, you might need to give your tailor some close instruction in order to get it right. I think the buttons on my jacket are too close together. Every tailor, even the best ones, tend to accommodate odd requests by making as little change to their default option as possible. So when you ask for two sleeve buttons, they will just proceed as if they were going to give you the standard three or four, and then stop halfway through. But the two-button cuff is more stylish when the buttons spaced further apart, as in the Robert Kennedy photo linked in the previous paragraph. 


Another good thing about this style is that you can try it, and if you don’t like it, undo it, even if the buttonholes are functional. Just add in buttons until you arrive at your standard arrangement. But try it first with just two, because once more buttonholes are cut, they can’t be uncut. 

TWO BUTTONS FOR FALL

by David Isle

One of the joys of custom made clothing is getting to choose your own details. But there are plenty of subtle yet distinctive embellishments that can be put on bespoke and off-the-peg clothing alike. Any jacket shipped with unfinished sleeves, for instance, is ready and waiting for any button configuration you care to conjure. 

Most alterations tailors will attach either three or four sleeve buttons without even asking. But on sport coats, especially casual ones - by which I mean any that aren’t solid navy - I think having one or two instead is a nice detail.

Read More

Comments
FALL INESSENTIALS
by David Isle
It’s that time of year, when the breeze turns from cool to abrasive, leaves crinkle into golden cocoons, and style blogs publish lists of “essential” items for fall. A Google search for “fall essentials for men” gives me 84.9 million results. That’s a lot of essentials. Taking the union of all the lists even just on the first page of this search gives me well over 200 items.
If you are reading this, you survived last fall. Unless you lost something out of your wardrobe since then, there is probably no item that is essential to your survival this fall. I already have more clothes than one person, or maybe even a small village of persons, could possibly need for a whole lifetime, and I have fewer than 30 of the aforementioned 200-plus stockpile of essentials. I think I can get through another fall without, say, “grass” green socks. 
[[MORE]]
So why do all these lists of fall “essentials” exist? Certainly, most editors are always looking for an excuse to list some products with some nice photos. I stand guilty as charged. But the framing of the list as “essentials” appeals to one pathology of the male shopper - the need to “justify” any clothing purchase for “practical” reasons. The United States, at least, has an uneasy relationship with hedonism, which is both encouraged by our culture of consumerism and denounced by those crotchety old grandfathers, Puritanism and the Protestant work ethic. The “essentials” framing works because it takes an indulgence and calls it a duty, as if you could demonstrate your piety with a fourth cup of communion wine.

But the framing is, in the end, unsatisfying. Perhaps it works to sell clothes, but it restricts a man’s ability to appreciate the non-essential pleasure of wearing clothing that he enjoys only because it’s beautiful, or well-made, or is a part of a tradition worth preserving.

In truth, there is no item that is “essential” for all men to own. There was a time when every man of decent standing needed a navy suit and a dinner jacket, but that time is long gone. Plenty of men make it through successful and rewarding lives today without a tweed sport coat or a pair of brogue boots. But I don’t envy them. 

The boots pictured above may in fact be, as the description claims, “decadent and practical.” But for me, just decadent is usually enough.

FALL INESSENTIALS

by David Isle

It’s that time of year, when the breeze turns from cool to abrasive, leaves crinkle into golden cocoons, and style blogs publish lists of “essential” items for fall. A Google search for “fall essentials for men” gives me 84.9 million results. That’s a lot of essentials. Taking the union of all the lists even just on the first page of this search gives me well over 200 items.

If you are reading this, you survived last fall. Unless you lost something out of your wardrobe since then, there is probably no item that is essential to your survival this fall. I already have more clothes than one person, or maybe even a small village of persons, could possibly need for a whole lifetime, and I have fewer than 30 of the aforementioned 200-plus stockpile of essentials. I think I can get through another fall without, say, “grass” green socks

Read More

Comments
THE NEW BLACK, SAME AS THE OLD BLACK
By S. Charlie Weyman

“If you’re in the fashion world — and I have one foot in it — at some point you have to come to terms with black. Black can be very chic, and guys who are into tradition are generally not into chic.” – Alan Flusser

It was only five years ago when menswear bloggers declared that nobody should wear black. Black leathers were said not to acquire the beautiful patina that makes an old and much-rubbed pair of brown shoes so well loved, and black fabrics were considered unflattering to most complexions. The wind seems to blow in the opposite direction these days, as my Tumblr feed is overcast with black bombers, black jeans, and black boots.

Black clothing has a rich history.[[MORE]] In the Middle Ages, European nobles reserved black for the fur sables they used to trim gowns. With the advent of better black dyes, merchants and magistrates started wearing the color as a way to signal their seriousness and importance. Soon, the nobility picked it up, and by the end of the 16th century, it was worn by all the courts and monarchs across Europe. Black went out of style in the early 19th century when Beau Brummell declared it too dour, then roared back in when it was featured by the title character in the popular society novel Pelham. Black remained de rigueur for evening clothes through the Victorian period until the Duke of Windsor brought back midnight blue as a fashionable alternative.

Through all this, black has developed a very complex social meaning (perhaps more so than other colors, which are complex enough). On the one hand, it’s the color of discretion and humility, thanks to its association with ascetic religious movements (e.g. the Quakers and Orthodox Jews). On the other hand, it’s also a powerful and evil color, thanks to 19th century anarchists, mid-20th century motorcycle gangs, and even Fascists. (Interestingly, it’s that association with evil, rather than despite it, that makes it so attractive for many people). In addition, black is considered intellectual because of The Beat Movement, as well as chic and sophisticated because of the work of designers such as Givenchy and Armani. 

Perhaps most of all, black is an urban color —it’s telling that more rustic colors such as brown, burgundy, and green are referred to as “earth tones.” It’s for this reason that black persists (at least those who wish to look cosmopolitan). Black oxfords give a very sleek and contemporary look to suits, while black derbies go well with more minimalistic and modern modes of tailoring. Similarly, black outerwear and jeans can look very striking, giving men a certain urbanity that’s hard to achieve with less severe colors.  
The new black will always be black. 

THE NEW BLACK, SAME AS THE OLD BLACK

By S. Charlie Weyman

“If you’re in the fashion world — and I have one foot in it — at some point you have to come to terms with black. Black can be very chic, and guys who are into tradition are generally not into chic.” Alan Flusser

It was only five years ago when menswear bloggers declared that nobody should wear black. Black leathers were said not to acquire the beautiful patina that makes an old and much-rubbed pair of brown shoes so well loved, and black fabrics were considered unflattering to most complexions. The wind seems to blow in the opposite direction these days, as my Tumblr feed is overcast with black bombers, black jeans, and black boots.

Black clothing has a rich history.

Read More

Comments
The simplicity of a perfectly cut navy suit by Sartoria Formosa.

The simplicity of a perfectly cut navy suit by Sartoria Formosa.

Comments

THE AIRPORT TEST

by William Phips

As I prepared for my first real job interview, a friend gave some advice that proved prescient.  He told me that the more senior the interviewer, the less you need to worry.  The junior employees are the tough ones because they’ll see you both as a potential rival and as someone they may have to rely on.  With anyone very senior, he said reassuringly, it’s just an airport test. Seeing that I had no idea what he was talking about, he explained: imagine you’re stuck in Wichita. Could you stand to talk to that person until you can get the next flight out? 

The intervening years have shown me the importance of that test.

Read More

Comments

Our first Eidos arrivals are now online.    We’re impressed by the inspired cut and high quality fabrics.

Comments
If you have a certain persona onstage that is only an aspect of you, why not create one for other parts of the day?
Comments

BONASTRE

The marriage of a clean-line modern aesthetics with old-world leather quality and craftsmanship.   Precisely designed bags in vegetable-tanned leather, handmade in Andalucia, Spain.

Available online at nomanwalksalone.com

Comments
REGIONALISMS
by David Isle
Although the United States has always been remarkably homogenous for a country of its size, the increasing ease of sending people, objects, and information from coast to coast have made the States more similar than ever before. My mother claims that fifty years ago any North Carolinian could tell which Harris Teeter a fellow Tarheel shopped at after five minutes of listening to them talk. That may be hyperbole, but it’s certainly the case that regional differences of speech, cuisine, and dress are obsolescent.
But not quite yet obsolete. Just as you can still guess someone’s hometown if you locate the right locutions, there remain some articles of clothing that almost always betray the wearer’s origins.  
Board shorts worn while not swimming: Southern California
[[MORE]]

The rest of the country seems to be giving up board shorts even as swimwear, which is a welcome development. But they were never adopted as actual street wear outside of Southern California, where they were ubiquitous. One of my graduate school classmates in San Diego typically held office hours wearing board shorts and a wifebeater. So board shorts are yours, SoCalians. It could be worse; I could have listed frosted tips instead.
Seersucker suits: The South
Seersucker was first mass produced in New Orleans to battle the swampy Southern weather. It may have been codified as a Southern garment by Atticus Finch’s use of it in To Kill A Mockingbird. Former Mississippi Senator Trent Lott introduced Seersucker Thursdays to the Congressional calendar in 1996. Despite occasional participation from legislators as far afield as Alaska, the core members of the seersucker caucus have always come from the South.
Cowboy boots: Texas
This is as good a place as any for me to clarify something: Texas is not part of the South. Or at least the part west of Dallas is not. Outsiders seem to consider Texas to be not only part of the South, but its exemplar. But nearly every Texan and every Southerner I have ever talked to agrees that they are distinct cultural entities. This is as true sartorially as it is in other cultural dimensions. Never in my dogmatically cursory search of Seersucker Thursday photographs and roll calls did I find one Texan. Likewise, Southerners do not wear cowboy boots. Nor does anyone else outside of Texas and the more unfortunate parts of Brooklyn. Because they are not cowboys. They do not herd cattle nor do they have ranches and therefore have no use for cowboy boots. In Texas, of course, they are standard issue, even (perhaps especially) for carpetbaggers.

REGIONALISMS

by David Isle

Although the United States has always been remarkably homogenous for a country of its size, the increasing ease of sending people, objects, and information from coast to coast have made the States more similar than ever before. My mother claims that fifty years ago any North Carolinian could tell which Harris Teeter a fellow Tarheel shopped at after five minutes of listening to them talk. That may be hyperbole, but it’s certainly the case that regional differences of speech, cuisine, and dress are obsolescent.

But not quite yet obsolete. Just as you can still guess someone’s hometown if you locate the right locutions, there remain some articles of clothing that almost always betray the wearer’s origins.  

Board shorts worn while not swimming: Southern California

Read More

Comments
Another incredible knit from Gray.   Chunky cable knit sweater with mixed yarns of merino wool in rust and tan.  😍

Another incredible knit from Gray. Chunky cable knit sweater with mixed yarns of merino wool in rust and tan. 😍

Comments

fromsqualortoballer:

Out & About: A Visit to the No Man Walks Alone HQ

When I visited New York last year I had the opportunity to meet many of the great people behind some of my favorite companies. One such person is Greg Lellouche, who founded No Man Walks Alone last year. Like I said then, Greg and his team have done a great job of finding wonderful items across a broad spectrum of styles; the garments vary significantly throughout the store, but the level of quality is high throughout. 

During my most recent trip East I had the opportunity to stop by the No Man Walks Alone HQ and  meet up with Kyle, who runs the day-to-day operations of the store along with Greg. I was able to take a look at some of their core products that I’d only seen online and peek at some new items headed to the website in the next couple of weeks. Just like before, I found the items to be exceptional across the board, both in quality and level of design.

Read More

Lovely write-up. Thanks Ian !

Comments

CONTRAST AND CHARACTER

by David Isle

I wrote last week about clothes that contrast with what everyone else is wearing – that is, clothes that are non-conformist. This post is instead about contrast within your own outfit – specifically, contrasting lightness of color.

Read More

Comments
Of the innumerable effects or impressions of which the heart, the intellect or (more generally) the soul is susceptible, what one shall I, on the present occasion, select?
- Edgar Allan Poe
Comments
We’re bringing 3-piece back. Them other boys don’t know how to act. (at No Man Walks Alone HQ)

We’re bringing 3-piece back. Them other boys don’t know how to act. (at No Man Walks Alone HQ)

Comments
Shooting some new @eidosnapoli arrivals today. 😍 (at No Man Walks Alone HQ)

Shooting some new @eidosnapoli arrivals today. 😍 (at No Man Walks Alone HQ)

Comments