Some of my menswear photos from Pitti Uomo 2022 in Firenze. More on my Instagram Account.
Linen shirts are the new cotton shirts
It’s not like that. Cotton shirts won’t be phased out any time soon. However, it is reasonable to say that linen shirts and other linen garments look to become a long-lasting trend because they support the movement towards sustainable fashion.
But linen creases, doesn’t it?
Linen creases, yes. The fibres are stiff and “break” as soon as you button your freshly ironed linen shirt. On the other hand, the creases are exaggerated. Much (the better!) linen keep up quite well from morning to night, and then there’s the fact that the breaks actually start to soften as soon as they’ve occurred. The hard edges round off as the day passes by.
And, then you have the benefits:
Studies show that linen is one and a half times better at dissipating body heat than cotton shirtings. In practice, this means that the temperature behind a linen shirt can be lowered by 3-4 degrees on warmer days.
If you sweat in your shirt, a linen shirt will dry faster than an otherwise equivalent cotton shirt.
Comfort is partly a matter of personal taste. However, most people prefer their fabric not to scratch. Linen also excels here. Run a hand over linen and you’ll experience a softness you won’t find if you perform the same tactile check on a cotton fabric. Linen is also totally anti-static, no pain, but pure pleasure when dressed in linen.
If an ordinary men’s shirt lasts three years, a linen shirt lasts four. Although linen shirts will often cost a little more than cotton shirts, you will also wear them longer.
As well as potentially lasting longer, only 1/4 of the water used to make a cotton shirt is used to make a linen shirt.
More than 50 % off the price
When closing the webshop in 2017 I kept some lengths of very fine vintage fabrics. I wanted to have them made up over time.
I’ve come to realise that I have too much, simply. So I’ve decided to put a batch on sale. Jacketings were 2.100-2.200 DKK, and suitings 3.300-3.500 DKK.
Now I sell a length of jacketing at 1.000 DKK (approx. 118 £, 150 $ or 134 Euro), and a length of suiting for a 2-piece at 1.500 DKK excl. shipping. Almost all lengths are single lengths. When they are gone, they are gone. First come, first served.
Jacket lengths are 2.10-2.20 m, suit lengths are 3.30-3.50 m.
I’ve selected all fabrics, carefully. They are from Zegna, Botto and other venerable Italian merchants and mills. Some fabrics have been woven in England.
Summer jacketings have a hard twist body that you cannot come about today. They are very resistant to creasing, and you cannot wear them out. Your tailor can use his heavy iron on them. He will love them.
The bold patterns have a distinctive old school touch to them, and you cannot find anything today on the market that replicate them fully.
How to order
Write to email@example.com specifying your order and address. I will calculate shipping for your country. Wire to PayPal afterwards.
Patience is key, when you are in Florence with a camera. You will have to endure a lot of visual pain but in the end you will be rewarded.
Last time I was Florence, in January 2019, these four gentlemen were my biggest photographic reward. If you enjoy well-made classic clothing, you cannot dream about more. The gentlemen are a homogeneous group, there is a common bespoke trait, yet they are individuals too.
I’m not sure who they are exactly. I believe one or two are in the trade, whereas the others are connaisseurs.
In the photo above a lovely raglan from Donegal tweed. The blue combination of striped shirt, necktie and dot neckerchief is strong.
A double breasted cashmere overcoat, nice paisley scarf.
Excellent raglan style with silk scarf, tie pin and toscanello. The best dressed of the fantastic four, which says a lot.
And, a belted slip-on overcoat with another silk scarf.
Photography: Torsten Grunwald
Invention of the tartan dinner jacket
“Few of my father’s clothes were any use to me after his death. … I did, however, take one of his Inverness capes, and a Rothesay Hunting Tartan suit, which he used to wear for tea after shooting. I had it altered to fit me, substituting zip flies, which would have horrified my father for the buttons. It still contains in the pocket a tab bearing my father’s name, H.R.H. The Duke of York, and the date 1897,” the Duke of Windsor writes in his memoire, A Family Album (1960).
The tartan suit was red with single-breasted shawl collar design.
“I happened to wear it one evening for a dinner at La Croë near Antibes [The French Riviera], where the Duchess and I lived for a while after the last war. One of our guests mentioned the fact to a friend in the men’s fashion trade, who immediately cabled the news to America. Within a few months tartan had become a popular material for every sort of masculine garment, from dinner jackets and cummerbunds to swimming trunks and beach shorts. Later the craze extended to luggage,” the Duke adds in A Family Album.
Unlike the Duke’s dinner jacket the American tartan tuxedo would have the lapels covered with black silk. It would also follow the dominant tradition of using black trousers with a coloured dinner jacket.
The craze spread to Europe. Dinner jackets for summer got tartans too.
Another tartan dinner jacket
In 1951 the Duke had his very own dinner suit made by Scholte in a green a tartan. That is, Scholte made the jacket, Harris in New York made the pants, and Hawes & Curtis made the waistcoat.
The dinner jacket, or better, dinner suit, was a double breasted 4 x 1 peak lapel design. The Duke had many jackets in that Kent style.
A tartan dinner jacket on Savile Row
When I was in London recently, I dropped by Davies & Son on Savile Row, a somewhat overlooked tailor on The Row.
On a dummy, a beautiful tartan dinner jacket was on display.
It made me wonder, how tartans and dinner jackets found each other.