Articles Tagged with Santostephano

Freedom Is A Road . . .

seldom traveled by the multitudes. –Frederick Douglass

As the Fourth of July weekend approaches here in the States, I would like the reader to know I do not appreciate politics at any level.  While the introductory quote may come into question, the point I will centralize my efforts on is the word freedom. While researching, digesting then applying what you have learned into the creation of your own style, in the beginning there has to be structure. The structure helps one and through repetition, have a solid foundation. Or as Allen Iverson said many years ago, “we talkin’ about practice!” 

When you become comfortable, this is the time for honest expression of one’s self. To truly indulge life and love, one must be free.  Dressing well is your book cover.  The story inside must match the what the book cover offers.  Freedom, in what you wear and how you wear it.  Taking a timeless piece of clothing and adding something a bit avant-garde whether it be rolling the sleeves up slightly on your navy blazer or wearing colors that pop.  It is something you embrace and wear flawlessly without constraints of negativity.  Freedom.  Think of those traditionalists who adhere strictly to the standard and are afraid to steer themselves in another direction.  It has zero to eliminating the standbys, for these are proven, to go Pitti Uomo.  It has to do with striking a balance in what you wear and how you wear it.  Freedom.  Everyone wants change but how many are willing to change?  Change is a simple process but difficult for many to execute.  To change you have to free yourself of whatever that disrupts your flow.  If one is wearing a suit with a standard white pocket square, would it hurt to change it out for something non-traditional but vibrant?  Freedom to work your personality into how you dress.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, what if you are content with how you dress?  Wearing the same things could be looked at by the other side as blasé blah.  Are you truly content if you are not expanding your boundaries, studying and experimenting style-wise?   Are you free if follow the standard to the letter without exploring improvisation?  Be the jazz saxophonist who breaks protocol and incorporates trills into his or her first solo!  Learn how to adopt as well as adapt.  Or a better way to make my point is something Bruce Lee once said, “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.”

We, sometimes get caught in a cycle, a routine.  I am not stating it is bad.  As mentioned earlier, structure is important. But as an individual with a solid foundation, you have to separate yourself from the crowd.  Free yourself and expand your style endlessly!  Until next time, jal ga! 

 

*Featured picture: Waistcoat by Perry Ellis, shirt by Paul Smith, tie by Daniel De Fasson, pocket square by Santostephano, pants by Dockers, watch by Movado

*Supplemental picture: Jacket by Merona, shirt by Alfani, pocket square by The SquarExtraordinaire, pants by Dockers, shoes by Sebago, watch by Stuhrling Original, sunglasses by Nautica 

A Pocket Square Must Always . . .

always – be white and a bit wild.  If it is too prepared, it is tacky.  Lapo Elkann

I respectfully disagree about the pocket square always having to be white.  But, you should own at least one!  It is obvious I will be touching upon an accessory, in my humble opinion, every man should use to its full advantage-the pocket square.

The pocket square’s origins can be traced back to Egypt, the Greeks and the Romans.  Most notably, King Richard II of England was the first to use the pocket square as we (should) do in modern times.  A pocket square can make your ensemble go from nice to wow.  When one has taken the steps to have to have a solid foundation, look to accessories.  What is indispensable to creating your own style is incorporating your individualism.  Personally, when it comes to my pocket squares, I adore lots of color as well as floral patterns.  I know it comes from my Korean heritage.  I often wonder how I was dressed for my 100 day celebration, baek-il.  Once again, I digress. Pocket squares come in cotton, seersucker, silk as well as polyester blends.  When shopping for pocket squares, keep in mind the color palette of your wardrobe as far as dress shirts, causal shirts, t-shirts, and ties.  Depending on the material of your blazer, sport coat or suit jacket, this will determine the pocket square material.  In addition, the formality of the event will dictate the style you integrate as well as the fold of the pocket square you will use.  Another consideration to add is this: when wearing a tie, never match the pocket square.  There are pocket square/tie sets that can be purchased everywhere.  Avoid them like negative thoughts.  This isn’t something one has to acquiesce halfheartedly to.  You just don’t do it.  For example, if your tie has some highlights of blue contained within its respective pattern, use a pocket square that has a shade of blue that is not similar.  It also, may or may not incorporate a subtle/not so subtle pattern.  Again, be cognizant the color wheel comes into play for your entire outfit.  Now, when one is not wearing a tie, match the shirt whether it is a dress shirt, a casual shirt or a t-shirt.  A pocket square transformed me from bouncer to casual gent in roughly 5 seconds.  As far as where to purchase pocket squares, I wholeheartedly advise Ebay.  If you have been reading along, you are aware I have an on line crush on it.  I have been fortunate enough to find not one, but two vendors I recommend.  In the photo to the left, those are pocket squares sold by The SquarExtraordinaire.  They frequently run specials and are quick with their deliveries.  Those are just some of the pocket squares I have purchased.  I have paid roughly $4.50-$6.00 per square.  They are of great quality.  They have assortment of styles to choose from as well as fabrics such as seersucker, flannel, cotton, etc.  The second vendor I found is Feather And Smith  and they make their own reversible pocket squares.  They sell for $8.95 per square.  They ship quickly and are of great quality too.  I liked the style and the versatility of their pocket squares.  Having a pattern on both sides makes for a definitive conversation piece.  Although I am certain those of a conservative style will roll their collective eyes at them. But who cares?  You shouldn’t.  Remember, once you are fundamentally sound, you will be able to evolve your own style.  At the end of the day, this is what you desire.  A look and a feel you are most comfortable with, confident with, and secure with.  You’re poor, broke and handsome not rich, prosperous and handsome.  At least for the interim.  Of course, this goes without saying, if you can get your hands on some high end pocket squares for a good price, do it!  You can find these gems on . . . wait for it . . . Ebay!  The Tom Ford silk pocket square in the featured picture was won for $35.50.  It is second hand and if one takes a gander at Tom Ford.com, they sell brand new $165-$195.  The Givenchy, also in the featured picture is a vintage from the early 80s. I won this one for $14.  If you like to indulge a little bit of panache with your pocket squares, Santostefano is another high end, low buy pocket square.  These list for $150 or more but you can bid or buy them outright at the Ebay vendor Frieschskys.  They are great to work with.  I had a little problem that was solved with one phone call from the vendor!  That is excellent, customer service.  As mentioned in a previous post, second hand stores and the like aren’t anything to turn your nose up at.  Locate them in your city and go spend some time there.  What are you waiting for?  Until next time, jal ga! 

 

*Supplemental picture, top right: Jacket by Christian Dior, shirt by Brooks Brothers, tie by Saks 5th Avenue, pocket square: Santostephano, watch by Stuhrling Original

*Supplemental picture, left: Jacket by Merona, t-shirt by INC, pocket square: Feather And Smith

*Supplemental picture, bottom right: Jacket by Stafford Collection, shirt by Alfani, tie by Gucci, pocket square by Santostephano, watch by Stuhrling Original, glasses by Uniqlo