Tailor Made Style

It's not about what you wear, but how you wear it.

putthison:

Shoe Terminology

Yesterday’s post on shoe construction seemed to be popular, so I thought I’d do something similar by going through some more terminology. Pictured above are three of my favorite shoes, with some labeling of their different parts. Click each photo to enlarge them.

Aglet: A small plastic or metal sheath used to protect the end of a shoestring, cord, or drawstring. 

Apron: Some sort of visible stitching or edge that forms a sort of “lake” at the front of the shoe. You typically only see this on derbys or loafers.

Blind Eyelet: See eyelets.

Brogueing: The small perforations and small punches used to decorate a shoe. It’s been said that these were historically done to help country shoes drain out water, but nowadays it’s just for decoration.

Burnishing: A bit of darkening of the leather, usually at the toe or heel. Sometimes it’s called antiquing, especially if it’s done all over the shoe.

Eyelets: The holes through which you stick your shoelaces. Metal rings called grommets are usually used to support these holes. If the grommets are on the exposed side of the leather - the side that you can see - and they’re in a different color than your uppers, then they’re called agatine eyelets. If they match your uppers, they’re called matched agatine, and if they’re on the underside of the leather, they’re called blind eyelets. Generally speaking, blind eyelets are more formal than matched agatine eyelets, which in turn are more formal than agatine. Essentially, the less visible the grommets, the more formal the shoe.

Eyelet tabs: The tabs on a derby that are used to hold eyelets.

Heel cup: A strip of leather on the outside of the heel used to cover the seam joining the quarters.

Heel lifts: Two to four pieces of leather stacked to form a heel. The sides are then usually painted black or brown, depending on the color of the upper.

Insole: The layer of the sole that goes on top of the outsole and midsole. This is what the bottom of your feet touches when you wear your shoes.

Instep: The area of the foot between the toes and the ankle. Much of this is covered by the shoe’s vamp and tongue.

Lining: Most leather shoes have a leather lining that helps the shoe maintain its overall shape. You can see the lining here, and read about unlined shoes here. The lining of the insole section is also called a “sock” and it can be a full length, three-quarters, or just cover the heel section.

Medallion: An ornamental detail at the toe created by punching or perforating the leather.

Outsole: The exposed part of the sole that actually touches the ground.

Pinking: Zig-zag edges on leather, done for decoration. Sometimes this is called gimping because a shoemaker does this with a gimping machine, in which steel tools with various patterns can be fitted to achieve the desired effect.

Quarter: The part of the upper that starts at about the instep and goes back towards the heel. Ever shoe will have two quarters - the parts that cover the inner and outer sides of the foot.

Quarter rubber: A hard, non-slip piece of rubber that’s inserted into the top piece of the heel. Sometimes it’s protected by plastic “heel protectors,” which a cobbler can put in for you.

Scalloping: Like pinking, but instead of a saw-toothed edge, you’ll see a wavy cut.

Sole: The entire part of the shoe that’s below the wearer’s foot. These can be single or double leather, or even HAF (double tapering to a single). The upper and sole make up the whole of the shoe.

Throat: The central part of the vamp that dictates the maximum girth of a shoe. The throatline is the seam that joins the rear part of the vamp to the front part of the quarter.

Toe cap: A piece of leather that covers the toe area of a shoe.

Tongue: The piece of leather that comes between your foot and the shoelaces. When I was a kid, we used to pump these to make our shoes inflate, because it was somehow believed that inflatable shoes would increase our athletic performance.

Topline: The opening of the shoe, where you’d stick your foot in. On athletic shoes, this area is typically padded and referred to as the collar. On women’s shoes, you’ll sometimes see the top most part of the topline decorated with a thin, rolled piece of leather (usually in a contrasting color to the upper). That’s called French binding.

Top piece: The part of the heel lift that actually comes in contact with the ground.

Upper: The part of the shoe that you see that’s above the sole. The upper and sole make up the whole of the shoe.

Vamp: If you take a bird’s eye view of your shoe, this is the center front part of the upper.

Waist: The area of the shoe that supports the mid-section of your foot, where your arch is.

Welt: A strip of material that holds the upper, insole, and sole together. Here we see the welt seam, though it’s important to note that just because you see stitching here doesn’t always mean the shoe has been welted. Sometimes stitches are glued here for decorative purposes.

(Shoes pictured: Edward Green Malvern in Chestnut Antique calf, 202 last; Edward Green Dover in Dark Oak antique calf, 606 last; Meermin Linea Maestro plain toe blucher in dark brown Annonay naturacalf, Hiro last)

(via mycardsir)

proper-cloth:

On Stone Street.


I’ve come to love the four-in-hand knot paired with any collar style. It always works and is never overpowering.I also love an askew tie bar. Rakish.

proper-cloth:

On Stone Street.

I’ve come to love the four-in-hand knot paired with any collar style. It always works and is never overpowering.

I also love an askew tie bar. Rakish.

(via iwishtocontinue)

brokeandbespoke:

In Praise of Asymmetry

Symmetry is overrated; few things in the natural world are truly symmetrical. We don’t want our clothing to outwardly reflect any artifice, even if inwardly we may call on them to do so. We often speak of the height of ‘style’ being the man or woman who looks ‘natural’ in his or her clothing.

This is, perhaps, at least partly why I have always found symmetrical tie knots to look a little overdetermined, a little un-natural. To be sure, the bulk of a full Windsor knot can sometimes swallow a person’s face. But beyond the dimensions of proportionality, there’s something more abstract to me about why they don’t look right. Even a half Windsor, though slightly less bulky, looks awkward in its silky triangularity.

I like a tie to move a little throughout the day; to end an evening a tad askew, at an angle that more appropriately matches the asymmetry of the average human face. A Windsor—and its fractional variants—likes to stay put, anchored between the collar points of your shirt like a stony weight, lifeless in its turgid knotting. 

My preference is for asymmetrical knots. With a thick wool tie it might be the standard four-in-hand. Most often, I tie what some call a Knize knot. For particularly light ties, a double four-in-hand is my knot of choice. I never opt for a knotting that will produce a symmetrical triangle. Life is, in reality, too messy and uneven to bother with any pretense towards symmetry. 

Ithaca, NY

Any followers know the area? I will be here working until Friday and would like to do something better than sit in my hotel room after work at night.

Any stores I should check out, restaurants I should eat at, places to go and see? Hit up the ask/fan mail and let me know!

hommism:

That tie bar is ridiculously wrong and long

And the adjusters on them suspenders are way too high.

hommism:

That tie bar is ridiculously wrong and long

And the adjusters on them suspenders are way too high.

putthison:

Emergency Spot Cleaning 
A few days ago, I was sitting outside and enjoying a turkey sandwich from a local deli when a few drops of juice from the tomatoes fell onto my wool trousers. 
This is far from the first time i’ve been irresponsible while eating food. When I had a job that required me to travel almost weekly for half a year, stains would inevitably find their way to my clothing while I was hours away from being able to rush the garment to my dry cleaner or treat the stain myself at home. 
One of the most important thing you learn about stains and how to remove them is to treat the stain as quickly as possible. It’s for this reason that I started carrying around a Tide-to-Go pen. For the past few years, I’ve always kept one in my briefcase and this thing is nothing short of magic. 
Place a small amount of its liquid solution on the stain, apply friction and let it dry. It’s worked for me on wool and cotton (fortunately, I haven’t had to test it on silk just yet) and in just a few minutes, too. 
The only stains I’ve found it doesn’t work so well on were oily grease stains, which the product’s website openly admits. Regardless, for a few bucks it’s worth having around if you’re a bit of a messy person.
-Kiyoshi

Seconded. I keep one in my briefcase for similar reasons, whether I’m travelling across country or just driving to the office.
Definitely recommended.

putthison:

Emergency Spot Cleaning 

A few days ago, I was sitting outside and enjoying a turkey sandwich from a local deli when a few drops of juice from the tomatoes fell onto my wool trousers. 

This is far from the first time i’ve been irresponsible while eating food. When I had a job that required me to travel almost weekly for half a year, stains would inevitably find their way to my clothing while I was hours away from being able to rush the garment to my dry cleaner or treat the stain myself at home. 

One of the most important thing you learn about stains and how to remove them is to treat the stain as quickly as possible. It’s for this reason that I started carrying around a Tide-to-Go pen. For the past few years, I’ve always kept one in my briefcase and this thing is nothing short of magic. 

Place a small amount of its liquid solution on the stain, apply friction and let it dry. It’s worked for me on wool and cotton (fortunately, I haven’t had to test it on silk just yet) and in just a few minutes, too. 

The only stains I’ve found it doesn’t work so well on were oily grease stains, which the product’s website openly admits. Regardless, for a few bucks it’s worth having around if you’re a bit of a messy person.

-Kiyoshi

Seconded. I keep one in my briefcase for similar reasons, whether I’m travelling across country or just driving to the office.

Definitely recommended.