The History Of Menswear Told Through NYPL’S Digital Collection: Part 9

Earlier this year the New York Public Library shared 180,000 prints, maps, manuscripts, and much more in a digital public domain collection for the very first time. In it, we unearthed menswear ads from over one hundred years ago. In this series, we explore them. Discover part nine below, and find the other parts here in case you missed them.

More Novelty In The Shirt Way 1865

Patterned Shirts Cartoon
This cartoon by John Leech from 1865 pokes a bit of fun at dress shirt patterns, and how they’re determined to be in vogue based on their fabrics and patterns. Just because something is new, and potentially even on-trend, doesn’t mean it’s the shirt that’s going to make you look and feel your best. That’s why we believe in creating shirt patterns that don’t look like every other, but still embody a sense of timeless style.

When it comes to fabric, men’s dress shirts originated as mostly cottons or linen during the summer. In 1910, silk was very popular until the cost of silk import drove the prices too high around 1920. In the early years, thicker, coarser weaves such as broadcloth were favored, with the softer oxfords and mercerized cotton leading the later years.

Today, nearly all of our dress and casual shirts are 100% pure Egyptian cotton, but for a few cut from linen or linen-cotton blends. We source our cottons from all over the world, but predominantly Italy, India and Thailand.

Then, from the 1930s on, fabric and design options exploded. Flannel, cotton, rayon, and tons of prints and styles were introduced and the modern variety of options was born. Different cuts and styles have come and gone since, ranging from Classics to our original popover.

How do you pick which patterns to give a try?

| Posted in News |
Edens Men's Dress Shirt for Lean And Athletic Men

Hello 11: Break Beyond Boundaries In Blue Check

Phone Illustration Remember telephones without caller ID? This series is meant to prompt a bit of curiosity, discovery and excitement. Like our old friend, the landline. A new shirt in focus every Monday to start your week off on the right foot.

The Edens

At long last, discover a cheerful new twist on the workweek blues. Our Edens dress shirt is part of our Professionals collection inspired by impactful expressways in Chicago; those that have reshaped the region perhaps more than any other twentieth-century force.

What’s unique about this shirt?

Influenced by the three-lane William G. Edens Expressway — the first of its kind in Chicago in 1951, our Edens shirt features a unique blue and white check pattern. Showcasing our button-down collar (not too big, not too small), and a smooth, durable 100s poplin fabric, the Edens makes a smart impression.

Why should I care?

Blue is one of the most popular dress shirt colors, as it appeals to both men and women. And, this shirt features classic blue and white, while making a fun statement. Checked shirts can often be associated with more casual outfits, but this pattern actually brings an interesting dimension to a formal look. Furthermore, this print is not too busy, ensuring the finished outfit is clean and polished.

How should I wear it?

Wear it with dark denim for walks around town or with black slacks to evening dinners under the stars. If you want to pair it with a tie, which is totally a choice of preference when it comes to a button-down collar, a typical rule is to make your checked shirts lighter than your tie. And, to go with a larger pattern on your tie to create a nice contrast. It will also look nice with a charcoal cardigan.

When should I wear it?

The Edens is a more casual shirt, perfect no matter where you want to travel, and it’s fully weekend ready. Take it along for hitting the open road and heading to the mountains. Or stay at home, and catch up with your neighborhoods around a backyard fire pit.

Explore the Edens, and pave the way in blue and white check. Or get started by finding your custom fit.

Explore other posts in our Hello? series here.

| Posted in Hello? |
Ginger Sangria & Enfilade Pocket Cocktail

Enfilade & Ginger Sangria

The Pocket Cocktail

In this series, we pair one of our one-of-a-kind print pocket squares with a delicious cocktail. One starts a conversation, the other keeps it going. Today’s edition is an elegant sangria, and was crafted by RebeccaP of Food52.

::

Ginger Sangria

[inspired by our Enfilade pocket square]

Ginger and peaches are a classic combination, and white wine smoothes out all of the rough edges.

Ginger Infused Simple Syrup

  • 2 pieces ginger about 3 inches long
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Ginger Sangria

  • 6 ripe peaches
  • 1 1/2 cups brandy
  • 1/2 cup Triple Sec liqueur
  • 3 750 ml bottles of dry white wine
  • 1 cup ginger infused simple syrup

Peel and cut the ginger pieces into thin long slices. Combine the ginger, sugar, and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Let the mixture simmer for about three minutes, and then cool to room temperature. Strain the syrup and store in the refrigerator. The syrup can be made up to two weeks in advance.

Peel, pit, and slice the peaches. Add to a medium sized bowl, and then pour the brandy and triple sec over the fruit. Cover and store in the refrigerator for several hours. If you enjoy a strong brandy flavor, store overnight before use. Several hours before drinking, combine the white wine, ginger simple syrup, and soaked peaches (and the brandy liquid) in a large punch bowl or beverage dispenser. Add ice cubes or a block of ice right before serving.

::

Who might you enjoy this cocktail with?

Photos and recipe courtesy of Food52.

| Posted in Pocket Cocktail |
Omni Men's Dress Shirt for Lean Men

Hello 10: Cutaway To A Brighter Place

Phone Illustration Remember telephones without caller ID? This series is meant to prompt a bit of curiosity, discovery and excitement. Like our old friend, the landline. A new shirt in focus every Monday to start your week off on the right foot.

The Omni

Escape to a place where you can meander amidst ambitious paintings, sculptures, and photographs from the masters of contemporary arts. Discover our new Omni, part of our Professionals collection inspired by the unique heritage of neighborhoods in Miami.

What’s unique about this shirt?

Miami’s Omni originated in the 1920s as a high-end shopping area with many major department stores along Biscayne Boulevard. Drawing on the famed Art Deco pastel architecture from the 1930s, our shirt features a blue, pink, and white stripes pattern that sets your mind at ease as soon as you slip into it.

Why should I care?

Go beyond the usual workweek blues. Crafted to embody the fashionable allure of its namesake, our Omni showcases a cutaway collar, a smooth dobby fabric, and convertible cuffs. Its pattern is unique enough to set you apart, but subtle enough not to call out for unwanted attention.

How should I wear it?

Pair this shirt with dark denim in the fall or khaki shorts on warmer days. Not only does it stand alone as a sophisticated statement, but also it wears nicely with anything in the gray, black, and navy colorways. Top it off with a black tie, or a black blazer for a more formal look.

When should I wear it?

This is the perfect spring and summer shirt! You’ll find it works well for afternoon strolls in the shopping district, dock picnics overlooking glorious lakes, and adding a smart pop of color to your work week.

Discover the Omni, and create your next adventure. Or get started by finding your custom fit.

Explore other posts in our Hello? series here.

| Posted in Hello? |

The History Of Menswear Told Through NYPL’S Digital Collection: Part 8

Earlier this year the New York Public Library shared 180,000 prints, maps, manuscripts, and much more in a digital public domain collection for the very first time. In it, we unearthed menswear ads from over one hundred years ago. In this series, we explore them. Discover part eight below, and find the other parts here in case you missed them.

Gentleman’s Shirt 1860

 

A Gentleman's Shirt

“These cross plaits are very much in vogue among young men,” is something we’ve never found ourselves saying. But there’s plenty else that our men’s dress shirts today have in common with the recommendations in this guide for men who still did their own sewing in 1860.

The round upright collar highlighted in this piece is similar in some ways to our banded collar, often called a “Mandarin Collar” or “Nehru Collar”. It’s one of our newest collars and is basically a slimmer collar band, without a collar blade or fold to the collar. We use this collar in one of our more formal shirts, the Wesley, cut from 120 yarn count poplins and mother of pearl buttons. But what makes it unique is that it’s such a versatile collar, with the ability to be worn more formally, or incorporated into more everyday designs.

Furthermore, the square wristbands showcased align in some ways with our French cuff, our most formal cuff. Our French cuffs are twice as long as our regular cuffs, are folded back on themselves and closed with cuff links. They have a very pronounced look, and we usually pair them with our more debonair collar styles or formal shirts.

What features would you add to a shirt you were sewing?

| Posted in News |

#GoodPeople: Mickey Ashmore

#GoodPeople
Our customers are extraordinary people. Here are their stories.

::

Something that made founder of Sabah, Mickey Ashmore, think differently recently was his attempt to do a headstand. “I kept kicking my legs up and falling over. I was getting close, but couldn’t quite hold it. Then it hit me: what’s the method behind this madness? Slow, steady, thoughtfully, I finally got my legs up, and held the headstand. I’ve been thinking about that ever since – figuring out the method to the madness,” said Mickey.

Mickey

The last time Mickey smiled so big it hurt was the other day when he looked around his office, and saw a well functioning organization full of happy, motivated, and good people. Which led us to discuss the happiness he could bring to other people: if he could give a gift to anyone, Mickey would give his parents a trip around the world.

I’ve been thinking about that ever since – figuring out the method to the madness.

Up next, we dug into his clothing preferences. “I don’t think I have any clothing I would consider ‘prized.’ With that said, I really appreciate my collection of RTH clothing, as well as my kurta by Matt Dick of Small Trade Co. I am very inspired by both of those brands and the people behind them.”

Recently, a pair of bright blue Sabahs and a mutual appreciation for each other’s work brought Mickey and one of his newest friends, George Venson of VOUTSA, together. We met at a hardware store when he commented on my blue shoes and have been working together ever since.

Finding an ultimate calm satisfaction in life… and finding one to share that with! But does that even exist?

Digging into past friendships, one of his favorite early memories with his best friends was in fourth grade. They group dialed the cute girls in their grade who were having a slumber party of their own. “I think that call ended, and we all had girlfriends. It was a group decision! How sweet,” he reminisced. Though, that relationships didn’t last. Now, Mickey is most afraid of not finding an ultimate calm satisfaction in life… and finding one to share that with! But does that even exist?

Mickey

“I’m energetic, fun, very loving, and enjoy people, but I also know what’s what, and am socially aware. I also like to gather people,” he shared. So, Mickey’s spirit animal would be a very smart dog, probably a sheep dog, specifically.

And, when he dances when no one is watching, he plays Boogie Wonderland by Earth, Wind & Fire. “I wish I could say Hey Mickey but that’d be a lie,” he professed. If you want to say hey to Mickey, find him here.

Ready for more goodness? Explore our other #goodpeople profiles.

| Posted in #goodpeople |

The History Of Menswear Told Through NYPL’S Digital Collection: Part 7

Earlier this year the New York Public Library shared 180,000 prints, maps, manuscripts, and much more in a digital public domain collection for the very first time. In it, we unearthed menswear ads from over one hundred years ago. In this series, we explore them. Discover part seven below, and find part one here, part two here, part three here, part four here, part five here, and part six here in case you missed them.

Donchester: An Arrow Evening Shirt 1915

nypl.digitalcollections.510d47e0-fe06-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.w

This print ad shows that one hundred years ago, the most important requisite of a dress shirt was good appearance. Much is the same today, including the many types of ill-fitting dress shirts, such as the horrors of a bulging bosom expounded upon in the ad.

The Donchester Arrow evening shirt, shows that a fitted shirt should feel snug, but not too tight, and will provide the requisite confidence for you to approach your favorite lady. Here at H&C, we believe the best dress shirts fit comfortably around the chest, under the armpits, and across the upper back, giving you a full range of motion. So, your chest should “fill out” the shirt in a way where your body is discernible under the fabric. However, if the buttons pull when you’re standing still with your arms down, it’s too tight.  In terms of the ideal overall shape for looking your best, men’s dress shirts should taper from the chest to the waist, following the contours of the body and creating a clean line (i.e., no excess fabric) between the shirt and pants when tucked in. Arrow, too, believes your shirt should remain “flat, immaculate, and in its place.”

The aptly named evening shirt in the ad reminds us of our Logan in white. Featuring a tall point collar and beautiful 120-count poplin, our shirt boasts luxury details such as mother-of-pearl buttons and brass collar stays. It also features convertible cuffs—easily worn buttoned, rolled up, or dressed up with cufflinks—making this shirt suitable for professional and formal occasions as well as post-event unwinding.

What else intrigues you about this ad?

| Posted in News |

#GoodPeople: Brian Oh

#GoodPeople
Our customers are extraordinary people. Here are their stories.

::

The last time food and travel photographer Brian Oh smiled so big it hurt, he was in Kathmandu for work in April with a colleague. One afternoon, they headed up the steps to the Buddhist Swayambhunath temple that’s colloquially referred to as “Monkey Temple,” because of the swarms of monkeys that inhabit the grounds and surrounding hills. Just outside the main stupa they sat in the shade to escape the midday sun and have a Coke. “I noticed one particular monkey staring daggers into the back of my colleague’s head from a couple of yards back. I told her not to move, and I began taking pictures as the monkey creeped forward until it stopped inches from her face. Being the good sport that she was, she stayed in place so I could keeping snapping away. Of course, the story ends with monkey fistfuls of hair, screams, and me dying from laughter,” recapped Brian.

Brian Oh

After hearing that, we had to know more about Brian’s friendships. One of his favorite early memories with his best friend comes from a time when they were actually not friends at all. Rather, they more or less hated each other when they met in elementary school, he shared. “I remember making a comment about how loud and obnoxious his gum chewing was and he told me to mind my own business. That was nearly twenty years ago and he’s now my oldest friend,” recalled Brian.

When it comes to his newest friend, they were brought together by work. “She was thrust upon me for an assignment at work. Turns out she’s not a terrible person,” he joked. And, if Brian could tell the person he feels closest to right now something that he hasn’t, he would let them know they’re a terrible singer in the car, but it’s endearing nonetheless.

Speaking of music, when he dances like no one is watching, Brian plays Lotus Flower from Radiohead’s King of Limbs, which he lovingly describes as, “halfway between the Macarena and a seizure.”

It’s a juxtaposition of experiences that constantly refreshes my sense of perspective of how fortunate I am, and that I should never take it for granted.

Moving onto the clothing he surrounds himself with, while Brian’s most prized clothing item is not a particularly exciting item (according to him), it’s certainly been an exciting number of places. It’s his heather gray hoodie from Saturdays NYC that’s about six years old, which provides comfort and durability in spades. It’s a staple in his wardrobe and part of his travel uniform, which means it’s been with him to upwards of 20 countries and dozens of 12 plus hour flights.

All that traveling for his job to developing countries has made Brian think differently recently. “It’s an ongoing exercise in cognitive dissonance. I regularly have weeks where I’ll start off Monday in some of the poorest communities in the world and by the weekend be in some of the wealthiest (like Tokyo, London, or back to DC). It’s a juxtaposition of experiences that constantly refreshes my sense of perspective of how fortunate I am, and that I should never take it for granted,” said Brian.

Brian Oh

When it comes to his perspective of himself in the world, if Brian had to pick a spirit animal, he might say an albatross, because the mythology of the bird is so layered and multifaceted; it’s seen as both a good and bad omen, and among one the most efficient fliers of all birds, covering great distance with almost no effort (some say that they can sleep in flight). Brian continued, “Not that I feel like my presence is particularly portentous, but that perhaps I, like anyone else, can be perceived differently by different people and, like the albatross, keep flying without concern.”

I don’t think that feeling will ever go away, no matter what I actually accomplish in my life, but I think that’s important as it keeps me from being complacent.

If Brian were to get a blue ribbon this week, he’d get it for killing six giant cockroaches in one night in his hotel room in Timor-Leste, where he’s currently staying. “They didn’t stand a chance,” he exclaimed.

Brian is most afraid of not getting the chance to feel like he’s done some measurable good in the world. “I don’t think that feeling will ever go away, no matter what I actually accomplish in my life, but I think that’s important as it keeps me from being complacent,” he elaborated.

If Brian could give a gift to anyone, he’d give President Obama a shirt with Leslie Knope’s face on it and the words “FLAME DUCK.” Which we’d argue, could definitely be measurable good. Get to know more about Brian, and keep in touch with him on Instagram.

Ready for more goodness? Explore our other #goodpeople profiles.

| Posted in #goodpeople |
Florville

Hello 9: Cut Straight To What Matters

Phone Illustration Remember telephones without caller ID? This series is meant to prompt a bit of curiosity, discovery and excitement. Like our old friend, the landline. A new shirt in focus every Monday to start your week off on the right foot.

The Florville

Meet our Florville, part of the Barbershop collection celebrating both the man in the spotlight, and the countless others working behind the scenes who helped him become the man he is today.

What’s unique about this shirt?

This shirt was inspired by a Haitian born businessman, William de Fleurville, who worked as the man under the stove top hat. After first meeting Abraham Lincoln in New Salem, Fleurville moved to Springfield, Illinois. There he opened his barber shop across from the State House: a place that would become for Lincoln a near second home.

Why should I care?

The President’s barber for 24 years, Fleurville’s relationship with Lincoln ran much deeper than hair. Lincoln handled Fleurville’s legal affairs and when the President left for Washington, he entrusted the barber with care of his property and affairs. Embodying the bold commitment of its namesake, our Florville features a handsome red, white, and blue pattern with our signature cutaway collar in 120 thread count poplin.

How should I wear it?

This shirt will look great paired with navy or black slacks, dark denim, and even khakis. You might enjoy completing your outfit with a tan belt, and a pair of custom made Sabahs. For a more buttoned up look, wear the Florville with our Seneca blazer in charcoal. Or for a summer evening put on this shirt with a navy cardigan and tan shorts.

When should I wear it?

Well, July 4th and Memorial Day are likely the obvious occasions for showing off your American pride – and for that, the Florville is a perfect fit. But, this shirt is so much more versatile than that. Every day is a good day to wear bold colors, and a unique, sophisticated pattern. For example, if you want to make a good impression in the office, if you’re catching up with an old friend at your local bar, and if you’re headed to a birthday party for your favorite aunt.

Discover our Florville, and cut to what matters most. Or get started by finding your custom fit.

Explore other posts in our Hello? series here.

| Posted in Hello? |

The History Of Menswear Told Through NYPL’S Digital Collection: Part 6

Earlier this year the New York Public Library shared 180,000 prints, maps, manuscripts, and much more in a digital public domain collection for the very first time. In it, we unearthed menswear ads from over one hundred years ago. In this series, we explore them. Discover part six below, and find part one here, part two here, part three here, part four here, and part five here in case you missed them.

Arrow collars & shirts. Saturday evening post, April 13, 1912.

 

Men's white dress shirt

 

This print ad from over 100 years ago shows that white shirts, such as our Kent and Bellevue, have always been a wardrobe staple for gentlemen. Beginning during the Victorian era, the white dress shirt emerged as a symbol of wealth and class distinction, becoming a powerful influence. The pure white color of the cloth meant that only a person of substantial prosperity could afford to wash their shirts frequently enough and own enough, to wear each day. Furthermore, the collar itself become a status symbol, with high-standing detachable collars which prevented a downward gaze. As a result, starched high rigid collars distinguished the elite from those who needed low collars for ease of movement, such as clerks.

As late as the 1920s the white dress shirt was still associated with moral respectability. For example, “in 1924 Thomas J. Watson, the founding father of IBM, insisted on employees wearing a classic white shirt in the office,” according to The Washington Post. You’ll recognize that this association with ideals of determination and loyalty also play out in the ad above.

As Arrow Collars’ highlights, whether playing tennis or going for a drive on a Saturday evening, you can’t go wrong with a white shirt and the air of distinction it provides. By using adjectives such as “attractive and valuable,” and pairing a man with a mate, they’re really tapped into the underlying benefits of looking sharp. The only thing we’re left wondering is why is the gentleman on the side of the road holding a tennis racket and no duffel bag.

What surprised you most about this ad?

| Posted in News |