Guest Post From Rachel of Da Paura

9/13/2011













I was so honored when Kirby and Alexa asked me to do a guest post, and it is such a treat to be highlighting a very unique subject for fashion bloggers and something that is not often touched on.  After living in Rome, Italy for two years and experiencing the most jaw-droppingly sleek,  polished, refined, stylish (but not over the top) tall and utterly “cool” Italian men… I realized that not all men in the world are afraid of style, and for me?  This is a very appealing trait.  We noticed that the men were not just “put together” with their gorgeous Italian leather shoes and fitted blazers with bright colored shirts, but there is an attitude that these men posess… a confidence that gives off the impression “I don’t care” while at the same time beautifully dressed.  Scruffy unshaven faces, a cool confidence, and a glass of wine in hand -- these men give the suit a whole new meaning in which I do believe the men of the rest of the world should take note.

Ironically enough, Rome is the place that my husband and I went to study the art of bespoke handmade clothing.  Although I have shared with my readers a lot about our custom women’s clothing on our Etsy boutique (http://www.etsy.com/shop/jensenfashion), many don’t know that my husband actually specializes in making custom handmade bespoke suits for men, an art that is so rare and elite, that men from all over the world fly to specific locations just to have one made the proper way.  These suits not only fit to perfection because measurements are taken, but the canvas and inside stitching is actually hand-done specifically in order to mold the fabric to each and every shape and curve of a man’s figure.  There are many tailors, especially in the US, that claim to be bespoke and custom, however they actually simply take a man’s measurements and then ship it off to a factory to make the suit.  There are very few real bespoke tailors left, and that is why we sold everything we owned and moved all the way to Rome (I’m not complaining…J) to learn this art.  Many wealthy and influential men in the US actually fly to Europe to have their suits made because there are so few true tailors here in the US.  Eric and I are bringing the craft of bespoke to Southern California, and to the United States.  Just in time for Fall, I thought it befitting for Eric himself to say a few words on how the art of tailoring can be applied to the modern man today.

“I was enlisted to help guide a misguided public on the lost beauty of the male dress. There was a time when the majority of men would not have to wander onto their wives favorite blog spots in order to stumble onto a guest authors post in order to learn a thing or two about mens fashion (how I shutter at that word). Rather, most men knew just where to go to learn how to properly dress themselves. They went to their tailor. No, not the dry cleaner down the street who claims to be a tailor who can hem most anything men or women now a -days call pants. The tailor was an artisan, a poet of cloth. He could take the most disfigured man and mold the cloth in such a way that what was once a dysfunction now sung in perfect harmony with the rest of the body. The suit would hang beautifully off the shoulders no matter how pronounced the dropped shoulder once was. The cloths of the finest wools that had been spun with such specifications that the names that ran along the selvege carried an air of prestige. And the men would know this. To be well dressed at that time was to be educated, it was a system that men with the means took quite seriously. 

Unfortunately, what once was has now ceased almost fully to exist. The suit has become feared and the very mention of it’s name causes most men to shutter and think of used car salesmen in shades of olive greens, browns that can hardly be defined or a standard black baggy suit with a comb over. More over, the mens warehouses (I don’t capitalize the name because it is undeserving) have created some species so far from the tailored suit that it is hardly recognizable. It fears the man’s body and floats somewhere around the wearer never to come into much contact. In return the American man has embraced this dance and now buys a suit in the 3 to 5 sizes too big range. Screaming through the entire purchase “if I have to wear this piece of sh%t then I might as well be comfortable!” I mean, honestly, most are wearing strictly XXL shirts and jeans so why shouldn’t our suits be the same. Men are so afraid to care how they dress that they would rather be miserable than admit that they may look better in a fitted suit with some shade of color.  So, I charge you women readers with the task to subtly push your husband, boyfriend, interest… (fill in the blank) toward actually putting thought into how he presents himself. Because, lets be honest, most spend about 80% of one’s life in the office setting and no matter how fun casual Friday is, a suit is still mandatory dress for corporate offices.
So, deductive reason presents us with the question “if you must wear a suit for 80% of your week, why not look good in it? Why not wear it in a manner that makes you carry yourself with pride?” Tailors have been doing this for decades without fan fare or fancy labels. Rather with patterns made to the specifics of every man’s body. With more than three-thousand hand stitched stitches set in a manner to help mold the suit to the chest. With center back seams that actually fallow the small of the wearer’s back instead of just hanging off the shoulder blades and cascading out into nothing.
It was the tailors who set forth the rules which helped guide the modern man into dressing impeccable for every occasion. Rules that (after that rant) we don’t have time to explore within this post. For I am only a guest writer and therefore have a topic to hit which is how one should dress with the approach of fall. With a resounding yell I beg of you all to try and pry your minds from the idea that a suit means black. To be honest I don’t know why one would wear black to work. Black is strictly formal attire and should only be worn in morning dress (wedding lovers look it up, all others who don’t know follow suit) or in a dinner jacket or tuxedo. Fall suits should be darker in color but with the addition of some color. Plaid fabrics are great to be used for suits and can be done quite well without being too loud. Vests are a must for a perfectly put together look and in my opinion a suit is never complete without one. Americans have shied away from the vest but I urge men to give them another try. Not only do they hold the suit together but once the jacket comes off the vest continues the polished look around the office or restaurant. Finally, I must stress the need of an over coat. Any over coat will do, from the Pea-Coat to the three button long coat. It is going to be Fall and therefore it will be getting cold, so do us all a favor men and stop wearing the wind breaker from the 90’s with your over baggy dress pants (whatever that is) and Pollo. One needs a proper dress coat to wear with one’s suit and they are a necessity for the Fall and Winter months. To close things out try hard to wear cuff links and you will never feel richer. And if I catch any of you in a jacket (I believe some may call them “sport coats) with out a tie on then we will come to fisticuffs. 

All that I have mentioned can be made perfectly by a tailor to your specific measurements and requirements. An inside pocket just the size of your iPhone or patch pockets on your tweed jacket that you use only to smoke in are some of the many things that can be made for you. If you have never worn a custom bespoke suit I urge you to try it once and I fear that you may end up liking to dress “well.” You may even loose some friends because of it… but who needs them anyway.”

If any of you in the Southern California area are interested in a true bespoke suit, you can send your inquiries to jensensartoria@gmail.com.

63 comments:

THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

What an amazing post Rachel!!! I am definitely passing your info around. A man in a perfectly tailored suit is hard to come by. Now all we need to do is teach them the Italian way of wearing one :) xoxo

Rachel {Da Paura ♥} said...

Thanks again Kirby & Alexa for letting me (and Eric) guest post today! It was fun to touch on the topic of men's style for a change. Thanks also Dawn for the sweet comment! :)

xx
Rachel

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