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  • The Ties That Blind - A Redo | Sartorially Speaking by Marc Kadish

    Syd Jerome Presents...

    THE TIES THAT BLIND - A REDO

    On February 10th, an opinion piece entitled  "The Ties That Blind" appeared in The New York Times. It was written by Professor Richard Thompson Ford of Stanford Law School.

    His question was

    "What do these shiny badly knitted neckties say about the President?"

    I thought it was so clever and well written that I wanted to embed it in a column only to learn that existing copyright law dictated I had to wait at least 30 days to reproduce it. I had to change the original title to "The Ties That Blind" and "Blinded By The Light " in honor of an old Bruce Springsteen song.

    The requisite amount of time has passed. The professor's column, together with the faculty profile picture of him, is reproduced below. In the interim, the professor and I exchanged several emails. I knew he was working on a book about dress codes. I assumed it was not about dress codes for lawyers (remember an earlier column I wrote "Do Seventh Circuit Judges Care How You Dress For Oral Arguments") so I thought I would check with the professor. Besides having taught at law schools both full time and part time for a long time, it was my experience that most male faculty members do not consider fashion to be a priority.

    Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 4.10.50 PMScreen Shot 2017-03-24 at 4.10.55 PM

    Ford_Richard-400x400I was curious about the professor's own dress code. His faculty profile picture showed a pocket square emerging from the breast pocket of his sport coat. (Another early column entitled " Do Real Men Wear Pocket Squares?) Both of us wear pocket squares. He believes they add "interest and polish" with a relaxed style. We both like unconstructed sport coats. He likes Isaia and Barbera - both brands the store carries.

    We both like ties of a certain pattern, but never shiny ties. I don't know if the professor's column had an impact on the president's ties. I have been paying more attention to what he says and does. That's more important than his ties.

    I hope the professor comes to Chicago so I can show him sport coats and ties at the store!

  • Eton Shirts Promotion March 22-29 | Syd Jerome

    Attention to all Eton fans! Beginning TOMORROW until March 29, Eton is having a buy 5, get the 6th free on Made to Measure and stock shirts. Stop in and stock up!

    PLUS, meet the representatives from Eton tomorrow and Wednesday, March 23.

    Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 5.45.48 PM

  • A Prime Pinroll & Other Cool Cuffs

    pinroll

    Pinch, fold, roll, roll, smooth. Don’t worry if you’re confused: We decided to get straight to it and give you the simple steps to a pinroll, one of the coolest casual cuffs there is.

    The pinroll is a great way to give your denim or chinos a tapered look without having to head over to a tailor. It highlights footwear, meaning your freshest sneakers and loafers will be on full display instead of obscured by trouser hems.

    Ok, back to those directions—we’ll expand for your benefit:

    1. Pinch an inch or two of fabric at the bottom of your inside seam, effectively tightening your ankle opening.

    2. Fold the fabric back (we do it over a finger), making sure the crease doesn’t ride too far up.

    3. Roll your cuff up once while continuing to pinch the fabric, then roll again to lock the cuff into place.

    4. Smooth out any stray folds and you’ve got yourself a clean, sharp way to give your pants an extra jolt of street style.

    Working with a wider ankle opening? We’re also fans of a “wide cuff,” especially with raw denim and a good pair of black boots. Think James Dean or Brando, and fold a single time with a few inches of interior on display.

    If you’re going for a seaside or summertime look, chinos with a loose roll keep you looking smart yet laid back. Be careful not to cuff too many times and show too much calf, unless your boat is actually taking on water.

    Try out these cuffs with your favorite trouser and shoe combos, and if you dig the look consider spring and summer purchases with cuffing in mind. It’s a simple way to add texture and character to your look.

  • Footwear With a Twist

    pliner

    We’re big fans of Donald J Pliner shoes. We love the brand’s uniquely modern and trendy look and its quality.

    Since launching in 1989, Donald J Pliner has built a reputation for quality craftsmanship and use of innovative materials in men’s and women’s luxury footwear and accessories. They’re champs at one of our favorite styles, the double-strap monk, and when it comes to classic loafers, additions like nylon mesh and python print add new-school texture.

    That mix of sure-footed quality with surprising sartorial twists helps make Pliner footwear special—shoes and boots are infused with bold, colorful, modern styling that’s influenced by a mix of destinations both near and far. Visit Syd Jerome and treat your feet to Donald J Pliner today.

  • A Bicycle Built for You

    custom bicycle

    Attention, sartorial cyclists: If your suit is bespoke, why not your bike? If you’re passionate about the way you dress, consider applying that same care to your wheels. Off-the-rack commuters or road bikes are fine for simple practicality or speed, but if you want your ride to speak for you, a common Schwinn won’t do.

    A few enterprising U.K. cyclists are all about appreciating handmade frames, and they beat us to the punch on a clever headline about custom bicycles. Bespoked is the annual event celebrating bike artisans from around the world, who travel to Bristol to present their finest handmade models. Happening April 5-7, this year’s celebration boasts more than 100 exhibitors, a venerable who’s-who of the bicycle-building community.

    One of last year’s design standouts came from right down the lane, so to speak, with Bristol maker Robin Mather presenting an “adjustable geometry” cycle with a unique appearance and features. Bold pipework lets the rider adjust the head and fork angles, making the bike a testament to customizability, emblematic of the whole spirit of Bespoked.

    While Mather’s model veers towards the experimental, there are plenty of practical options that still pack a visual punch. London newcomers Quirk Cycles makes sleek road frames finished in bold colors: Their Instagram shows off a lot of bright blues and pinks. When it comes to U.S.A. makers, the folks at Bespoked seem to have a soft spot for the Pacific Northwest: Strawberry Cycles, Winter Bicycles and Ahearne Cycles all have been featured as “framebuilders of the week” and all started out in Oregon.

    Winter Bicycles moved to PA, where builder Eric Estlund crafts his custom frames. When it comes to ordering, your imagination is the limit—this is your dream bike, so don’t hold back. Past customizations for accommodating fishing and photography gear should give you an idea of what’s possible. Whether you’re looking for a certain finish or custom racks, now’s the time to think up a bicycle tailored to your vision and fit.

  • Java Magic: DIY Cold Brew Coffee

    cold brew

    How many cups per day? If your answer is greater than zero, you’ll know that coffee shops routinely overcharge us for a measly mug of joe. Lately, upcharges have been even greater for the supposedly enigmatic cold brew coffee. Often enough, the convenience during our morning rush makes it a necessary expense.

    Many are willing to pay up simply because the methods of these java sorcerers are shrouded in mystery. How do they wondrously reduce astringency and create such a smooth beverage? Well, the only thing you really need is a bit of time, foresight and a few materials any self-respecting beanhead already has in stock.

    Start out with your favorite blend. We’re fans of San Diego’s Modern Times, in no small part because of small-batch releases of bourbon- and rum-barrel-aged beans, but their signature Black House blend is ideal for a cold brew. You can use pre-ground, but the fineness will add to the acidity cold brew is so lauded for cutting down on­—fresh, coarsely ground whole beans are your best bet.

    Place your ground beans in the bottom of a jar and slowly pour cold water over them. A 1:5 ratio of coffee to water should please most palates, but mess around with the ratio until you find one that works for you and your blend of choice. Seal and refrigerate your container, then go about your day.

    Between 12 and 24 hours later, depending on desired strength, your batch is ready to filter. Pour into a large French press and slowly plunge. No press? Go back a few steps and ‘steep’ the coffee right in a jar of water using a cheesecloth or filter pouch.

    Your cold brew is a concentrate, and will taste best diluted—a half concentrate; half water mix is widely recommended. Mix with cold water and pour over ice for cool refreshment, or mix with hot water for an ‘instant’ hot coffee. Either way, you’ll enjoy the extra-smooth flavor. Seal off whatever’s left over and keep it in the fridge, as your batch will be good to drink for up to two weeks (though the flavor starts to degrade after one). Et voilà—a simple, tasty and effective way to get your caffeine fix.

  • New Trends in Formal Wear | Sartorially Speaking by Marc Kadish

    Syd Jerome Presents...

    NEW TRENDS IN FORMAL WEAR

    Almost two weeks have passed since the Oscars. Some of the men’s magazines published the now inevitable list of best dressed and worst dressed within a day or two after the Oscars. So no one needs my personal list. Besides, I do not like the act of judging. My least favorite part of teaching was “judging” students' final grades. But there is a way to use the Oscars as a means of highlighting changes in formal wear without sitting in judgment.

    But let's digress. I did not grow up paying attention to the Oscars. My wife has always told me she and her mother watched her first Oscar show before she even left the hospital. The tradition has continued throughout our marriage. Suzin hosts an Oscar party at our home every year. There is lively commentary on the women’s fashions. I remain mute during those discussions. But I comment on some of my pet peeves, such as pants that are too long and jackets that don’t fit. This year my wife and her friends challenged me to write a column on men’s Oscar fashions.

    But since the men’s magazines had quickly written their comments, I wandered over to the store for some inspiration. Scott Shapiro suggested that the Oscar fashions were not representative of the new looks in formal wear that the store carries. Almost all the men who attended the Oscar show wore traditional black tuxedos. I believe Dev Patel was the only one wearing a white dinner jacket.

    Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 5.34.59 PM

    So what is the store carrying which is traditional and which shows the new styles? Look at the two pictures. Scott is standing next to a traditional black Canali tuxedo. An alternative look is for a midnight blue or even a dark gray. The other picture shows a new Etro dinner jacket. Notice the pattern. What you can’t see is the very lively patterned lining. Formal wear has now become another staple in a man’s wardrobe to complement suits and sport coats.

    Here’s a few observations:

    1) Attend a lot of black tie charitable fundraising events. You will be contributing money for, what I hope, a worthwhile cause. And it will give you a reason to purchase more than one formal outfit.

    2) I like a peak lapel one button coat in a dark color.

    3) You don’t have to worry about a cummerbund anymore (besides, they can be uncomfortable when you sit down) because the trouser waistbands now have a satin edge which matches the lapels of the jacket.

    4) Don’t worry about purchasing a white tie, also referred to as full dress, outfit with tails, a white wing collar, vest and bowtie. I’ve never been to an event where someone is wearing such an outfit. I hear that tails are worn at Royal Weddings and before the United States Supreme Court (where they are referred to as morning coats) if you are a member of the Solicitor General’s office appearing on behalf of the government…but again, I have neither attended a Royal Wedding or appeared before the Supreme Court as a government lawyer.

    5) I prefer a white shirt with studs (which are worn in lieu of buttons) and matching cufflinks.

    6) I prefer a traditional bowtie (which I am very poor at tying which I suppose is another reason why I never liked bowties) over solid silk ties. But I like a smaller more discrete bowtie .

    7) Finally - wear over the calf dress hose and dress shoes. I’m not real good at the sneaker look.

    And do come into the store to look at the variety of new and traditional looks !

  • Chin Up: Our Guide to Shirt Collars

    shirt collarsThe shirt collar: barring any noggin accessories, it’s the uppermost aspect of your ensemble. It can frame your face in a flattering manner, put that new tie into context and help set the tone for your whole look.

    There are several choices, so we set up a handy guide to help you differentiate. Keep plenty of the first ‘core four’ in stock, focusing on the one that works best for you, and then rotate in more distinctive styles.

    Point

    Thought of as the most traditional, the point is more or less the default setting for collars. That’s by no means a bad thing: The collar’s simply angled points let it work as a canvas for a variety of tie knots.

    The point collar is perfect for a streamlined look, pairing well with a classic blazer. This collar will stay low-key, so long as you remember your tie—leave the collar unbuttoned and you risk unruly, flapping collar points.

    Spread

    This style is quickly becoming the new standard, and for good reason. Modern and versatile, the spread collar is able to move between casual looks and formal occasions with ease.

    The name refers to the space between collar points, and a medium or semi-spread is a safe bet. It supports common tie knots and makes every guy look distinguished. Pair with a light sweater and sportcoat for a new-classic look.

    Spread can vary, and one designer’s "medium" may be a bit wider than the next. Once a certain distance is crossed, however, you end up with the…

    Cutaway

    A collar with practically horizontal points that can appear as if the shirtmaker has ‘cut away’ small triangles. You can think of it as a ‘super-wide’ spread, but don’t let superlatives make the style seem unapproachable: The cutaway is bold, and a current staple in its own right.

    Wearing your cutaway with a patterned tie and double-breasted jacket gives an effortless yet sharp, continental look.

    Button-Down

    Holes in your collar are usually inadvisable, but they’re necessary for the American-preppy coolness of a button-down collar. Having your points fastened down adds visual texture, especially if the buttons themselves are of handsome quality.

    Button-downs look excellent in plaid and/or with a knit tie (pairing with neckwear leans into the Ivy look). If you’re looking to leave your collar open, a button-down is certainly a snappy choice.

    Club

    The rounded club collar was once quite common, but it fell out of favor and nearly disappeared from wardrobes until recent years. Resurrected and on-trend, the club collar is a great choice for those who crave options in men’s style. Rounded points look fresh while maintaining an old-school dapper vibe. Balance it within your look so that it doesn’t lean too stuffy or too novel.

    Tab

    Flip-side to the cutaway, the tab collar uses a hidden button or snap to draw the collar further inwards and accentuate the points. This is an excellent option for slim silhouettes, perky tie knots and dressers who enjoy subtle details. Your look needn’t be super formal, but it should be ‘tight’.

    Banded

    The defining factor here is the ‘lack’ of collar, or more accurately, the absence of a fold in the cloth. For obvious reasons, ties aren’t an option here (though a scarf can add to the stylishly artistic appearance). Perfect if you can’t get enough of Henleys and want to translate that feel into a high-casual look.

  • Samuelsohn Keeps Spring Breezy

    samuelsohnIt’s time to stock up on what’s hot for spring. We have a great selection of Samuelsohn suits and sportcoats that will make you feel and look cool in the upcoming season. The designer’s signature ‘ice wool’ fabric maintains an ideal temperature, holding heat in when the weather’s brisk and reflecting heat if it warms up.

    Light blues and understated plaids appear throughout the new collection, lending a breezy and fresh quality to your look. Samuelsohn’s ‘featherlite’ jackets are perfect for staying sharp while on the go, with natural stretch and water-repellant features to keep you looking fresh no matter what.

    Combining elements of modern styling with classic and precise tailoring, Samuelsohn has been crafting the finest sophisticated menswear since 1923. Visit us at Syd Jerome and check out Samuelsohn’s new spring collection.

  • Shine on in Schneiders

    schneiders-salzburg-SS17_9x6Since their first waterproof trench coats in 1946, Schneiders Salzburg has produced understated outerwear for discerning dressers. Today, Schneiders coats are iconic markers of consistent and stylish comfort—both worldly and familiar, following their motto “Everywhere at Home”.

    Made in and for the winters of Austria and Central Europe, they offer comfortable protection from the climate of America’s Northeast and Midwest. Looking back in time has spurred new designs. From reimagining their Delphin line of raincoats to taking inspiration from trench coats named for Austrian motorcyclist Fritz Dirtl, Schneiders takes pride in remembering and updating authentic styles.

    When the air is chilly, experience the warmth of angora wool or the softest cashmere. New pieces combine old-school cool with fresh details like diamond quilting patterns and crisp bomber jacket-style collars. Schneiders coats will have you wanting to go outside, no matter the weather.

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