Bryce told me a very involved story about how Sodor had an emergency and the Island had flooded. All the trains and cars had washed away. It was a disaster. I was a bit annoyed that he was carrying on about trains. But I realised that is how he relates to the world. He was trying to tell me about Japan. How lots of people had died. How Thomas was trying to be useful and help clean up the mess. He was searching for survivors. I see how he emulates the good characters in his storybook world. Asuka is Japan and Japan is Asuka to him. He was quite worried about her I think. We had to have a long talk about how she is okay. Obviously Baldwin is narrating the story, not Ringo.
My awesome little nephew. I want to say he’ll grow up to be an amazing person, but I think he already is.
I've been feeling a calling to make menswear a profession. However, I know that developing my eye and tastes is going to be far from enough to get me anywhere. What skills should I start developing in my free time, and what other steps ought I take to make this dream a reality?
Odin - If you love it, go for it. Find your niche, find a mentor, get cracking. But don’t expect to make piles of money, if thats what you’re after, find another career path.
The clothing industry is great for many things. You meet amazing people, some of the most passionate and obsessed. You get to work with product that is the distillation of years of refinement - the very best of artisinal work. But the first 5 years at least I got paid peanuts and worked six days a week. After 13 years I get paid what any self respecting lawyer or banker would call peanuts and work six days a week. But I wouldnt do anything else.
When John F Kennedy presented himself, hatless and sack suited, for his inauguration in 1961, a nation of fedora wearing men took note. America had been humbled, had gone to war and had proven themselves mighty next to their allies the British. The 50’s had been an era of almost militant conformism, with many by the early sixties wanting to revolt against the feeling of austere sobriety the last decade had defined.
JFK allowed men across America, and consequently the world, to drop hats from their daily wardrobe. The stuffiness of a felt hat was for the most part abandoned, and men restricted their hat wearing to styles that sang of sunny days and weekends - the panama, the baseball cap.
Fast forward to today, and many believe the same will happen to the neck tie - that much maligned noose and modern day symbol of corporate adherence. The modern salaryman has stretched casual Friday across his working week, losing his tie and with it one more complication to deal with of a morning. The standard black suit has found other ways to adorn itself - bejeweled cufflinks, square toed loafers and chunky belt buckles. Mass producers of corporate wear see sales of ties lower than ever before, with many choosing to focus their thrust on wedding and occasion neckwear. For most men, a pre-tied black bow tie, silver satin evening tie and a small handful of rep stripe twills will suffice.
Thank god we aren’t most men.
Well dressed men everywhere are making a return to classicism in their appearance. The traditional rules around a mans wardrobe are being re-assessed, and whilst some scriptures are archaic and irrelevant, many have great wisdom and logic, and help present a suit wearing man at his best.
The Four in Hand neck tie is just one more brush with which to paint a rich portrait, and the great tie makers of the world are making styles richer in colour and texture than ever before, drawing on inspiration from tie wearing eras as different as the twenties to the fifties.
So which rules do we keep, and which abandon? Basic proportion and colour helps show the way here. A ties dimensions should correlate to that of your jacket in a few respects - very wide lapels should avoid very narrow ties, and vice versa. But that’s not to say a heavier man can’t wear a slimmer tie, so long as it stays within the bounds of classic proportion. Traditionally a narrow tie would sit at about 7.5cm at the blade, a wide one around 9.5. Wider than this says Neapolitan traditionalist, narrower says Jazz drummer. That doesn’t mean they can’t be worn to great affect, it’s just a trickier play for a more experienced hand
The texture of the tie can also play a big part in the appropriateness of the size - many knit ties are all of 6cm wide, but look fantastic on even a fuller figured guy, while cashmere ties can push the border of 10cm in width and not weigh down a smaller man. Know how each tie is meant to look and you can play with the rules as you please.
Mixing these textures can also create beautifully interesting looks that would take a second glance to really see what makes it so interesting - a rich cashmere tie with the sheen of very fine worsted, the slubbing of silk tussa on the dry hand of a classic English twill, or the drape and clarity of a 50oz twill silk under a fuzzy flannel. Play with textures as you would mix grades of pattern and shades of colour.
So take advantage of the choices the likes of Drakes, Marinella and Charvet offer - it’s a subtle play for those that really understand.