The pithy, opinionated, and sometimes brutally frank Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke challenges average guys to live a life less ordinary and embrace classic style in the broadest sense. it's time to rise above the trite, the boring, the predictable, the mundane, the banal, and the commonplace. It's time to stop behaving like barnyard animals at the trough and leave behind the perpetually sloppy man-child aesthetic of the last two decades or so. It's time to learn once again how to present and conduct yourself like an adult with some grooming, finesse, and sophistication. And here is where you can learn how.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Make it a Double-breasted October. . .

Recently arrived from An Affordable Wardorobe.  Too bad, school is over until late August, and it probably won't be cool enough to wear this suit until mid- or late October once the heat of the summer and early fall have left us.  This photo comes from the AAW blog.

Here's a post for the real menswear nerds out there.  Two or three days ago, a new item was deposited on our front doorstep.  This Ermenegildo Zegna double-breasted suit in super-soft wool flannel, purchased from Giuseppe Timore at An Affordable Wardrobe, and to which I treated myself when an outstanding payment for a recent translation arrived.  It was still a steal.  Here's the description, taken directly from Mr. Timore's blog:

"Double breasted suit in grey glen check flannel, (black and soft off white check). 40L.  Broad European shoulders, draped chest, 6x4 double breasted front, four button cuffs, no vent, fully lined. Trousers [feature] double reverse pleats, brace buttons, soft cut. 100% wool, made in Switzerland by Ermenegildo Zegna."

I took the liberty of removing the dimensions of the items described above, but suffice to say the coat already fits me like I was born in it unlike the recently purchased J. Press tweed 3-piece, which was far too tight and had to be returned to the seller.  With this double-breasted number, even the sleeve length is already good (I tried everything on with a dress shirt).  The inseam might be just a hair long, but I'll try the pants on once more with some lace-up dress shoes before making up my mind about taking them to my tailor, Mrs. V., or the other tailors I use occasionally, Mr. and Mrs. D.    

Best of all, the suit also features a subdued Glen Check pattern, my personal favorite.  Just enough variation to provide visual interest and avoid looking like every other guy out there in a suit, the few who even bother anymore.  You know.  The typical solid navy, charcoal, or black suit.  These have their place, of course, but some slight variation would be nice once in a while especially if a man has more than one suit hanging in his closet.  I prefer to shake things up a bit myself.  

It helps that my father demonstrated that subtle plaids, houndstooth,  seersucker, pin cords, and the like could work extremely well for suits when I was a boy at home.  And keep in mind that he was a muckety-muck in the fairly conservative financial sector on Wall Street.  Hence my own attitude about being a bit adventurous when it comes to patterns.  With care, they can look extremely good, but you've got to wear such items with confidence.  As I've mentioned elsewhere here at The Average Guy''s Guide to Classic Style, that's the case with any sort of classic male attire.  (Self-) Confidence is the key.

In any case, it's entirely possible that this particular suit might require no alterations whatsoever before I can wear it.  Just dry-cleaning and then waiting around for the autumn semester to begin, and the long, hot American Midwestern summer to wane into Fall.  If I can pin down my overly-scheduled, department chair wife long enough to snap a photograph or two of yours truly when the suit gets its first wearing, I'll share a picture here. . .  in about six months or so.  Sigh.  Life is cruel sometimes. 

-- Heinz-Ulrich.


guy said...

I have been wearing double breasted suits ever since I started work and I think they are difficult to beat. I would however always recommend 6 front buttons, not 4 and double vents at the back. Somehow the lapels do not seem right with 4 buttons especially if you keep the bottom right hand side one free. I have a lovely summer Prince of Wales check with a pale blue line. The rest I'm afraid are boring conservative charcoals and pin strips for work. I do have however what friends call my Al Capone DB pinstripe. Makes me look like a 80's banker.


Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Thank you for our comment, Guy. Agreed! The double-breasted look is a great one, something I never realized as a younger guy. Maybe I should have been a banker (or a 1930s movie gangster) instead of an academic though?

Best Regards,

Heinz-Ulrich von B.