QUALITY CLOTHES

by admin on October 19, 2011

shirt with contrasting details

the urban lumberjack look

it has been a very long time since esme has gone on a field trip…..in fact, she doesn’t remember doing so as a little kid.  but yesterday she had her chance.  her fashion class took an expedition to khaki’s, an up-scale men’s store in the carmel plaza.  esme, rather selfishly, has not tended to pay a great deal of attention to menswear, other than admiring mr. noir’s tweed blazers.  but the clothing in this store was displayed like tantalizing candies, so colorful and shiny that one was filled with immediate lust.

you would not believe the colors—purples and turquoises and goldenrods amongst the more traditional navies, browns, and grays.  shirts with purple stripes and turquoise floral cuffs.  fabulous displays of brightly hued bow ties.  a lovely little still-life of shirt collars with ties standing upright in them looking for all the world like painted penises.  how cute!

phallic ties

and don’t get me started on the fabrics.  we were treated to a guided tour of corduroys made of a cotton-cashmere blend (to die for).  marvelously soft tweed and plaid jackets, unlined for coolness.  as esme has said before, why can’t they make these things in her size??

a couple of things stood out.  one was a trend that esme has been learning about in class, as well as on her shopping expeditions.  the store has a whole section of MADE IN THE USA clothing.  there are customers who refuse to buy garments made abroad, and this is apparently a growing trend.  some of the sweaters are even made of wool from sheep grown on small new england farms, knit a few miles away, and sent right to carmel!

along with this MADE IN THE USA trend is a fashion for a sort of urban lumberjack look.  jeans, thick wool sweaters, and chunky shoes are popular with both young and old.

perhaps you know all about the difference between expensive tailoring and men’s warehouse ware.  esme knew there was a difference, but could not have told you what it was.  first, of course, expensive fabrics are finer, softer, and more luxurious.  but here’s something to look for.  while lower-end jackets are made with facing (the stuff inside the front that keeps them straight) that is bonded or glued to the fabric, higher-end jackets have facing that is stitched so that it “floats” or moves with the body.  the more expensive jacket will mold to the wearer’s body with each wearing, while the cheaper one will wrinkle and pull.  there are also differences in construction of the details:  collars, cuffs, pockets, etc.

esme immediately went home to inspect mr. noir’s collection of jackets.  most have been bought at 80% off sales at high-end stores like khaki’s.  in fact, the first one esme inspected WAS from khaki’s, and was definitely possessed of stitched facing.

which brings us to a question:  who buys this stuff?  christophe would love it, but certainly could not afford it.  most was way too non-traditional for mr. noir.  esme would have loved to have some of the pieces in women’s sizes at 80% off, but this is a double fantasy.  i will keep my eyes peeled for the next big sale:  i’m sure we can find something cozy and tweedy hiding in a corner for mr. noir, and maybe even something discounted enough for christophe.  btw, if you are willing to spend the bucks, they will custom order anything you’d like!

impressed,

esme

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