Handmade Means Hands-On

Designers What to Wear

When the folks at Hamilton Shirtmaker hear all the current chatter about returning to heritage, artisanal craftsmanship and authenticity, they can just roll their eyes and yawn. They don't have to return to these values because Hamilton never abandoned them. After all, their company has been making bespoke shirts by hand since 1883. Back then, of course,there was no ready-to-wear—going to a tailor or a seamstress to have clothes made was the normal way to buy them.  Back then, too, Hamilton's home city Houston was a roughneck upstart, not the sophisticated dynamo it is today, so the business and the city...

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Ultimate Black Dress

Designers What to Wear

Back in 1926, Vogue magazine showed for the first time a little black dress courtesy of Coco Chanel. Her idea was totally modern: she created a relatively affordable dress in a simple style and neutral color that a woman could wear for many social occasions merely by changing her shoes and jewelry.The simple style meant the dress could be worn for several seasons without looking out of date and the black color, heretofore worn primarily by those in mourning, had by then become appropriate everywhere. The idea of creating a dress that could be worn almost anywhere, anytime with merely...

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Alexander Julian

Designers What to Wear

With his signature horn-rim glasses and distinctive redhead look, Alexander Julian is a colorful character. The first time we saw him he was also wearing periwinkle blue, purple, hot pink and apple green in a pattern and fabric of his own design. He was a wonderful jolt of color in the midst of a sea of menswear grays, tans and navys. It was love at first sight. Now with five Coty awards for fashion design and the Pinnacle award for furniture design among his souvenirs, Alex is still fascinated by color.   His latest experiment? A group of extraordinary (yep,...

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The Brits

Designers Miscellaneous What to Wear

  The quirky opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games now in progress in London reminded us how we do love the Brits! Especially since so much of what has come to be classic men's clothing derives from the iconic tailored styles they were wearing in the early 20th century, styles from Savile Row and Jermyn Street that have evolved to return again and again. So, we decided, time to revisit both those worlds by watching "Chariots of Fire", the 1981 movie about the British track team entered in the 1924 Paris Olympics. Started not long after World War I, those...

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Subfusc

Miscellaneous What to Wear

  How does a student dress these days to take an exam? Our informal survey of them-that-know tells us that at most citadels of higher education anything goes--shorts, tee-shirts, pajamas, flip-flops... whatever. Not if you are sitting for an exam at Oxford University, that bastion of the British academic tradition. We found that out when a friend who is enrolled there for a post-graduate degree came to us recently for sartorial advice. He had just found out that to be eligible to sit for exams, each student must arrive on the appointed day dressed in subfusc underneath an academic gown....

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