Thursday, March 31, 2016
Peal & Co. shoes aren't terribly hard to find on eBay and in thrift shops but of course some Peals are harder to find than others. Peals made by Alfred Sargent or Crockett & Jones for Brooks Brothers are fairly easy to come by. Edward Green's for Peal & Co. are a little older and a little harder to find. In my mind, though, the unicorn of Peal & Co. shoes are pairs made by the company when it was an independent bespoke maker, before Brooks Brothers purchased the rights to the name to essentially create a re-badged, in-house offering for the Anglophile element.
With that in mind, I don't usually post many links to eBay auctions (unless they're my own!) and I don't think I've ever posted a link to an auction that has already ended, but I guess some rules are made to be broken. Also, original Peal&Co. shoes in new old stock, pristine condition from the 1936-1956 period are so rare (roughly the period wherein the late King's warrant was in use by the company), I thought these were worth posting for posterity's sake.
Nate10184 is a StyleForum member and a long-time fan of An Uptown Dandy - he was also kind enough to give me a heads up on these absolute gems that he had up for auction. Many thanks Nate - good stuff! You can see the auction with more pics here.
Monday, March 28, 2016
I'm a big fan of Soiffer Haskin and Ghurka, so this could be a match made in Heaven!
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"Fashion Notes from the Annual Maytime House Party Gala Week-end at Princeton University" - Apparel Arts, Spring 1934 Fabrics & Fashions Issue
With Spring and then Summer hopefully right around the corner, I thought this excerpt of an article on trends and fashions spotted on Princeton's campus in the Spring of 1934 by the editors of Apparel Arts might be inspirational to some, informative to others, and entirely over the head of the cargo pants and t-shirt crowd. In any event, I don't know about you, but it's impossible for me to not be riveted to a piece of writing that begins with the rather bold statement, "Any question as to the national popularity of gabardine can be conclusively quashed . . ."
Saturday, March 26, 2016
I'll be the first to admit that I don't stray very far from brown shoes. There are so many variations on that color that I don't see the need for too many other shoes in my rotation. As a result, I only own a handful of non-brown shoes, and these tend to see very limited use for special occasions. Off the top of my head, I have a pair of black captoe semi-brogues from the Grenson Masterpiece line for Paul Stuart - they're still in pristine, unworn condition in the box. I also have a pair of black Johnston & Murphy Handmade 100s -wingtips with the spade or shovel sole. And I think that's about it for black (there's a pair of blue suede Kiton loafers in the closet somewhere as well, but I plan on wearing those as soon as its warm out!).
I definitely don't stray very far from my wheelhouse, so I have looked from afar at the variety of new colors that Edward Green has been offering for the last few years. Interesting, I thought, but probably not for me. I was intrigued, then, when I had an opportunity to purchase a pair of classic Asquiths on the incomparable 888 last from the Edward Green factory store, but in the new Cloud Antique leather color. My thinking was that I really don't see myself wearing black shoes anytime soon, but the Cloud option might be an interesting option that would allow me to break out some of the black hats, as well as the black overcoat, in my closet that just don't get into the rotation because I wouldn't think to pair them with brown shoes.
The Cloud Antique color is kind of hard to describe - it would be too simplistic to describe it as "grey." It has a "boned" effect, but it also calls to mind what a dark pair of shoes might look like if they were left for decades in the sun-filled window of some shop on a lonely side-street. Of course, Edward Green also utilizes their patinating skills to great effect - there is a warmth to the tone of the leather upper at the medallion and along the rear quarters.
All in all, a classic style in a color that is a bit of a departure for me but which I hope will open up a new range of (admittedly darker) colors in my wardrobe palette. And what's really so wrong with that?
Friday, March 25, 2016
It's funny how the old rules are always being discounted and discarded! Yet if the "new" rule in 1934 was that the jacket could be a lighter color than the slacks, isn't it in fact an "old" rule now? Further proof of the never-ending penchant of the "men's style" cognoscenti to espouse "breaks" from tradition which are in fact . . . traditional.
Monday, March 21, 2016
I mentioned a few months back that Bill Gallo, of the eponymously titled studio Bill Gallo Art,and I had traipsed over to Greenwood Gardens to try and create an image that would provide the basis for a portrait of An Uptown Dandy (you can see the original post here). Bill took some great pictures and ultimately decided on the one that you see below which in turn led to the portrait above. You can see more of Bill's great work here.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Jesse Thorn has been doing great things over at Put This On for years now. In addition to providing wonderful content for that site, he does interviews for his radio-show/podcast with a wide range of interesting people. Most recently he sat down to talk men's style with G. Bruce Boyer, who's can always be counted on to provide insightful commentary on how to dress like a grown man. Here's a link to the audio- the segment with Bruce begins at the 36'30" mark of the show:
Friday, March 18, 2016
There's something about a pair of vintage Edward Green shoes that I'm just unable to resist, especially when there's tons of broguing involved and the price is under $100. There's also something about Edward Green's various shades of brown - they really do get better with age. Of course, you don't have to take my word for it - in this case, we'll let a vintage pair of Edward Green's do all of the talking.
Nordstrom sold Edward Green shoes in the mid-1980s which were re-branded for Nordstrom and stamped on the insole with the "Made in England" designation. Most of the models that I've seen that were made for Nordstrom included the Malvern, the incomparable Windsor, as well as the wonderful Braemar which I picked up recently. Essentially a pair of Falkirks with the additional thistle or floral motif at the center of the uppers, my understanding is that these models were based on a design lifted from the Peal & Co. archives and dates back to the 1930s.
The leather was a bit scuffed and dried out when I came into the possession, but luckily there didn't appear to be cracking. So, armed with my trust shoe care kit and a few ounces of Saphyr Renovateur and Leather Balm, I set about trying to restore a bit of the luster to the dark oak uppers. After a bit of buffing, the richness of the leather patina began to shine through in the toe box and near the quarters.
These days, most Edward Green shoes come with a nice bit of burnishing that gets better with time. Back in the mid-eighties, the leather of the Edward Green offerings had a much more even tone - the patina developed over time based on use, wear, etc. as in the case of these lovely examples of the craftsmanship and durability from the early years of John Hlustik's stewardship of the venerable house of Edward Green.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Hope everyone is doing well! It's been a while since my last post - in the meantime, I've been working on my collection of vintage hats. Hats are an interesting accessory. Most people steer clear of them as an outdated fashion that borders on the costume. I agree with the sentiment for the most part when it comes to straw boaters and bowlers and such, but there's something elegant about a well-made fedora. Unfortunately, there aren't many too many well-made hats compared to the offerings from the dozens of hat companies that were in competition from the 1920s to the 1960s before the hat died as an everyday accessory. But if you can find a well-made fedora from the golden age of headwear that isn't too worn and hasn't been devoured by mothballs, you might have found a little treasure for yourself.
From what I've seen so far, Stetson's reputation as the king of hat makers was certainly well-deserved. The touch of Stetson felt, even after, 70 or 80 years, is really something to behold. But there more than held their own.
In the picture above, I'm wearing a Champ Featherweight from the late 1940s or early 1950s. The Featherweight was advertised as light to the touch, and the model's logo featured a scale with two packs of cigarettes weighing more than one of Champ's fedoras, an image which certainly speaks to the ubiquitous nature of cigarettes during the middle of the American century.
Also pictured at center is fellow hat aficionados Adam Coren, the vintage hat expert at J&J Hatters in New York City, and Professor William Gallo at right (in an early 1940s Pre-Stetson Mallory, yet another of the long-ago Fifth Avenue Hat companies).
I'll try to post more detailed images of the Featherweight in the next few days!