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History of Men's Fashions by NJS


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#37 Sator

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 03:58 PM

That's good news that it has been released in America.

#38 Anthony Jordan

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:20 PM

I too have a copy of the book, having arranged to be given it as a Christmas present. I greatly enjoyed reading it and suspect that I will be rereading it again shortly. I often dip into it when passing my bookshelf!

As to yellow chamois gloves, I first got the idea of wearing them for general town use from a tailor's advertisement pinned up in the tailor's shop recreated in St. Fagan's Museum of Welsh Life, just outside Cardiff. The advertisement showed two gentlemen in lounge suits, one of whom was wearing the aforementioned gloves. I thought it was a very good idea indeed and follow suit whenever the weather permits.

Attached is a link to a photograph of the shop, outside only, unfortunately:

Posted Image


And here is one of the inside, about half way down the page: http://dogpossum.org...gans_welsh.html

#39 NJS

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 04:42 AM

Those are nice pictures. I can still remember older men from my childhood who used to wear chamois gloves as a matter of course in a provincial town - in fact, long dead now, I can even give a couple of their names - Messrs Trethowan and Shaffery.
NJS
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#40 JMB

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 11:17 AM

History of Men's Fashions by NJS

NJS:

Regarding the penchant for showing a half inch of cuff as being uniquely American, not necessarily so. Decades ago when I lived in New York City, I was tailored by Bernard Weatherill. Charles Weatherill, who was trained in England before coming stateside, insisted that the proper amount of cuff to be shown for me was a half inch. He explained his reasoning as follows:

"Squire, a half inch is appropriate for a man of your height, which is just shy of 6 foot 2. When you shake a man's hand your cuff will come forward
slightly and a glimpse of your double-sided cufflink will show momentarily. Most Americans don't wear them, y'know, which is a pity. But if by chance there is a woman standing nearby, she will take note of your tailoring, your tie and accessories."

Just as a tailored lounge or coat requires balance and proper fit, the size and proportions and stance of a man will determine the details that make all the difference between being well-tailored or not. The height and style of your collar and the amount of cuff shown has nothing to do with this
country or that; it's all about you, and nobody else but you.

JMB

#41 NJS

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 08:55 PM

There seems to be some confusion over what my book says (to the extent that I have just had a peek myself). The relevant passage (through which light-heartedness had been intended to saunter) is this:
"The usual modern rule seems to be for about half an inch of shirt cuff to show. However, some really fine English tailors cut coat sleeves long and there simply is no room for any shirt cuff to show through. In Parkinson's Law the author C Northcote Parkinson, as well as noting that, as the British Empire declined in size, the number of officials in the Colonial Office increased, observed that Americans show cuff and the British don't. Over-pre-occupation with this issue would, however, be tiresome."

I tried, throughout, to be faithful to my observations from life and reading but to retain a sense of humour. Bearing in mind that other books in which my name appears include "Halsbury's Laws' Annual Abridgment" for 1984 and "Butterworth's Health Service Law and Practice" (2001), keeping a sense of humour on the subject of men's dress was not difficult. I consider that it is a subject worthy of serious study and consideration but, also that, there is room for humour too - as we have found on this site, in some of the wonderful cartoons.

Having said that, a fair amount was edited out of my book because of the publisher's economies. For what it is worth, my own philosophy on dressing may be summed up by this:

Above everything, remember that we should dress to live and not live to dress. If you go riding on a wet day, you will (you should) end up spattered with mud. If you take your children on a summer picnic, you might do well to start out in a navy blue reefer jacket, white flannel trousers and co-respondent shoes - but it is a testament to a very fine day indeed if you end up: with ice cream smeared over the knees of your trousers; the dog's footprints on the white buckskin of your shoes; your wife's lipstick on your face and a few strands of burnished gold from your daughter's head on your shoulder, as you carry her flushed, sun-kissed and sleepy, homeward bound.
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#42 Sator

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 05:32 PM

I have at long last finally found a text that suggests showing 1/2" of sleve. And, yes, it is American. Anecdotes aside, no published British text has ever recommended such a thing, and this only provides further evidence that this is largely an American preference.



It comes from Roberto Cabrera's book on tailoring. Note too that it is not issued as a decree ('thou shalt show 1/2" of sleeve') but it is clearly stated that it is a personal preference.

#43 Naive Jr

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 01:18 AM

Here, BTW, is a photo taken around 1949 of the cutting rooms at Bailey and Weatherill, a West-End tailoring house:

Posted Image

Notice that the shirts sleeves of only one cutter are clearly visible - and he has his arms stretched forwards and slightly bent so as to cause this, even if his cuffs were finished to show no shirt sleeve when his arms are at his side.


You seem to assume the cutters wear the same lengths of sleeves of shirt and jacket as their customers or clients. I have observed that Huntsman salespeople do not wear Huntsman suits.
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#44 Naive Jr

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 01:30 AM

showing 1/2" of sleve - this is largely an American preference.
Note too that it is not issued as a decree ('thou shalt show 1/2" of sleeve') but it is clearly stated that it is a personal preference.


Personal preference may be based on comfort (Central European Rudolf Steiner claimed the principle of American life philosophy is comfort, which may be viewed as adverse to exertion of spiritual activity), but it seems to me as an American that display of shirt sleeve extending from the jacket sleeve is a matter of aesthetics. It looks better to me.

Decree (or not) - sounds like club rules or some sort of hierarchy more common to military organisations - is this aspect supposed to be American?
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#45 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 05:52 PM

I am afraid that the publisher decided upon it and refused to budge, despite the fact that, although there are historical references, it is not a full history and the book is intended to record some information that is still relevant but being neglected.



Boy, do I know how he feels. When I pitched my book to Batsford, the scope was an all inclusive look into tailoring and it's techniques from around 1880 to the Edwardian period, giving period draughts and how to make them in two sections, one section reflecting the hand techniques and iron work from the "West-end" houses and the second the machine work used by the middle and lower class trades. A bit of an all inclusive, scholarly look into Victorian tailoring and cutting. This was intended to bring the world of historical and theatre costuming out from the 1960's, as there has been a recent Renaissance in historical costuming. In order to do things more like they were done in the past, not just modern lounge drafts with a seam added here or there with period lapels being flogged as "historical".

After much debate, and going back and forth with the publisher I'm afraid my work has been relegated to a "General history of Victorian tailoring and techniques from 1838 to 1901 (encompassing the whole of the Victorian period). No contemporary drafts of garments, instead model patterns to scale and simplified machine work techniques. So basically an "Introduction to Victorian Tailoring"or as I like to call it "Victorian tailoring for dummies".

Is it worth it? Well to be honest I am quite gutted I do not get to my 2 vol. masterpiece on the subject and nearly called the whole thing off. Then my wife and other told me to give them what they want, if it sells well (which it should do as another book of the same scope, but dealing with Elizabethan costumes became the best seeling book they ever had) then I have leverage to do what I want with the next work.

Since then I think I have had a better idea of doing the follow ups to this work. I am kicking around two ideas; first idea is to do a series much like the C.P.G., each volumes going into detail of each garment type, or a more practical "a la Osprey" type of book. This way I could go into details highlighting the costume, tailoring, and making up for each role in society, ie. a book on the English Gent in the Country, a Book on an East End Coster, A book on Farmers &c. &c.

oops sorry for my ramblings on!

NJS, are you going to do a follow up on this work or another subject?

Jason
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#46 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 05:58 PM

I have observed that Huntsman salespeople do not wear Huntsman suits.


What? That's like going to a car showroom for X brand and seeing your salesman come back from lunch in a Y brand car! Seriously, one would have to think "what's wrong with the product?", if the salesman goes with another firm.
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#47 David V

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 04:18 AM

What? That's like going to a car showroom for X brand and seeing your salesman come back from lunch in a Y brand car! Seriously, one would have to think "what's wrong with the product?", if the salesman goes with another firm.


It usually indicatets that staff can't afford the product they sell or produce.

How many Bentleys do you find in the factory lot?

#48 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 05:59 AM

Granted, but then again, a jacket is a hell of a lot less to produce than a Bentley. Personally, if I had a Saville Row front, I'd eat the cost to have my salesmen (over a certain senority of course) to display the wares from my board.
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#49 JMB

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 06:03 AM

Nicholas:

Apropos of yellow chamois gloves, Jean Cocteau had a penchant for them. And if memory serves, they were made for him by Hermes.

JMB

#50 gentleman amateur

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 05:06 PM

The book is available here in Japan via Amazon. Can't wait to get it. It's too bad that the publisher edited out some of the author's manuscript. Back in graduate school, we read PhD theses and our professor's manuscripts before their publicatons as monographs and textbooks. Much was edited out, some for conciseness, a lot just because even academic presses over the last decade published smaller books for economics.

#51 NJS

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 01:42 AM

NJS, are you going to do a follow up on this work or another subject?

Jason


There is another book on the way. Here is a taster:
Triggers
So far as individuals are concerned, it is well-known that scents trigger memories of: places, people, seasons, events and stir our feelings and conjure up atmospheres; the aromas of: rain on fresh asphalt; new-mown hay; cut grass; warm horse leather; English spring mornings and daffodils -

"…that come before the swallow dares,
And take the winds of March with beauty"…

English autumn leaves and garden bonfires; old colouring pencils in a pencil box; brown paper; excellent cigars; Turkish cigarettes; aromatic pipe tobacco; roasted coffee; ice cream; garden roses and jasmine; old tweed clothes; the smell of cordite from a first good shot in the crisp morning air; the summer sun on sea sand; the smell of burning coal and wood fires - are all strong, clear, first memories from childhood and youth; of things as important to us and as immutable as anything that we have or know - the strong smells of first experience and that is, maybe, why we like perfumes that bring these memories back to us, stir our feelings and conjure up these atmospheres: these are our scents of security.
<b></b>NJS<b></b>

#52 NJS

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 02:12 AM

It is now available through most amazon sites, including - http://www.amazon.co...&pf_rd_i=507846

and should be available, somehow,throughout the world. I have been working on Book II, as I now have secured a two book contract for two follow-ons. This explains why I have not been much around to contribute to this site which is going from strength to strength.
NJS.
<b></b>NJS<b></b>

#53 greger

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 08:07 AM

Sometimes you need to go to a small company to have a book published, so you get what you want. Some will even publish just one copy.

I wouldn't let a big company railroad the intent of my book when it is a specialized book. Big companies don't know about specialize. They are after large scale sales. Hosteck went to a large company and the man he dealt with said go to this little side company we have. There are small local companies that do all their own printing and send out to a book binder. Some local companies send most printing out, which I would avoid. Skill levels among printers can vary alot, like tailors. Ask to see their work. Big companies have to sell lots of books to cover their cost; graphic arts, printing, binding, storage, sell list, orders, etc. A person going the small route would have to figure the storage, sells list, sales and shipping; but you get what you want. If you go the small route learn from those who do very well at it. And don't forget letting libraries know, if they get your book people will see it for years in the library and some will want to buy. Many crafts people go to the library. So, the intended book is is history? Or, better labeled under crafts (how to do)? Maybe it should be labeled under both. A librarian might help you figure its place.

A hint about ink and paper; "Blinding" white paper is not good, as black ink should not be used, either. To much contrast, makes it hard to read. Brownish yellow paper with brown ink is best. How this is done is to match the ink to the paper. The ink is black enough that the customer thinks it is black, but it is not, instead it is as brown as the printer can get away with without the reader knowing. What hue of brown, that matters, too, which depends on the paper color.

#54 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 03:52 AM

The thread is hard to follow here, is going like a flip-flop.

My master tailor was measuring the sleeve length to the wrist knuckle, the cuff then would be to be seen 1/2 inch.
I personally would made the cuff not more than 0.75 - 1.0cm with hanging arms to be seen.
When you raise the arm the sleeve becomes even shorter.

Many people have different lengths of arms.
www.berlinbespokesuits.com




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