One of the oldest symbols of America, the hammock. Go ahead, hang it anywhere.
We finally have a point by which to measure how far Internal Policy is ahead of the blog curve.
Put This On is one of the kings of the Men’s Style Blogosphere and I commend them highly for their efforts to keep men’s style simple (as it should be) and bring it to the masses. In their article today, Derek (of DieWorkwear fame) recommends you get navy GoldToe over-the-calf socks, just as Internal Policy did ten days ago.
This is a huge blow to the editor-in-chief of Internal Policy, who assumed we were a full two weeks ahead of the bigtimer blogs. We will attempt to recalibrate the blog to provide you better service.
Kansas City Confidential (1952). Horseshoes and paper cranes? Sick tie.
Shutter Island (2010). The best thing about Shutter Island is this ugly tie.
In my opinion this is a separate category from novelty ties which were more of an ’80s thing. These “ugly ties” hearken back to the “Bold Look” American GIs took up after the second World War. The key to wearing an ugly tie is to make certain everything else you’re wearing is plain (white shirt, no patterns or stripes, etc.). You probably shouldn’t pay retail.
novel, hammock, bottle of vodka
I saw it almost a week ago and have been resisting endorsing any movies on Internal Policy, but I really enjoyed Midnight in Paris (despite being annoyed through half of it for reasons you may also experience). Yet this was a forgivable annoyance because it is necessary as the movie plays out its very enjoyable thought-experiment (one which I’m sure all of us do frequently). It’s also Woody Allen’s most stylish film — at least in many years. It’s simple, I wouldn’t call it smart, but I might call it necessary viewing.
Ever notice nine out of ten jacket models on the J.Crew site have either their hands in their pockets or one or two hands in the area of the red circle?
Yo J.Crew, your quarters are open, again.
In their attempt to mimic Italian styling, J.Crew goes too far. The above model is just centimeters away from unintentionally exposing a triangle of shirt, his belt buckle, and the bottom of his tie. All it would take is standing up straight to reveal all of this to you. Of course this wouldn’t be an issue if his jacket was unbuttoned, but it is buttoned. How can people think this is a good look for men? J.Crew’s solution to selling you a jacket which is both too short and too open-quartered?
Place your hands strategically to hide the awkward fashion-forward styling.
To be fair it isn’t J.Crew alone doing this. Apart from this issue, their crotch-choking low-rise pants, and their tiny shirt collars, I don’t really have a problem with J.Crew. But none of that shit is comfortable. Classic styling is in part classic and enduring because it is comfortable. None of this extremely “form fitting” nonsense is, and frankly it is also emasculating. Having some extra fabric for complete freedom of movement is what we call luxury.
As a sidenote: yesterday I collided with an old woman as I was staring at a group of beautiful women surrounding Mickey Drexler at the local J.Crew. In my defense a couple of them were looking back at me.
Several writers behind Internal Policy happened to read Hagakure during their formative years:
Verily, over the past few years, the two images above have become equivalent in my mind.
You may have noticed many others allowing their mustaches to grow endlessly. The general idea seems to be the bigger the mustache, the more masculine you appear. The actual effect is anything but. Instead you appear to lack control over your appearance, like a man with really long nails who doesn’t play guitar.
So for your upper lip I instead propose what shall be termed the cropped or “military” mustache. The northern vertical boundary of the mustache is the gap between the mustache and the columella of the nose and the southern boundary is a line between the mustache and upper lip. Horizontally it does not extend much farther beyond either side of the mouth. This mustache is all about not crossing lines.
It is achieved merely by using small scissors to crop the mustache (and a razor blade if you wish to be neat). Benefits include looking more professional, not having to use mustache wax, and knowing someone is wrong (and completely without taste) to ask if your mustache is ironic.
Pierre Fresnay in Le Grande Illusion (1937). With pencil-variant.
Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds (2009). Pushing it a little far.
Vincent Cassel in Mesrine (2008).
Alain Delon in Le Cercle Rouge (1970).
There is only one fear regarding the military-styled mustache:
Donatas Banionis in Tarkovskiy’s Solaris (1972).
Yesterday my compatriots (conspirators) criticized me for not discussing my socks in my previous post. My drawer is filled only with (well maybe there are a few other things in there…) the GoldToe Windsor model in navy:
“56% Wool, 43% Nylon, 1% Spandex. Exclusive of Ornamentation.”
Yes, I wear Over The Calf socks which may not be sexy but are incredibly functional. They absolutely never slide down your legs and have even been comfortable for construction work in 100 degree humid summer weather. Wool is a fantastic material and really the only choice for socks. Navy is a versatile color, and having only one color of sock in the drawer is an amazing luxury when you wake up terribly hungover. If you’re looking for a way to be in marked opposition to the sockless crowd, OTC socks are also a great way to privately express your scorn (and only when trousers come off will anyone really know). Going sockless is for when you just can’t find the time to put them on before you must sprint out of the apartment.
Another completely unrealistic scene from a travesty of a film, Nine (2009). How can socks which are not OTC stay up so well? They’re either bigtimer socks… or just movie magic. As a man, you must do you your best to avoid becoming an unconsciously skin-showing victim of fashioin.
Something of an homage to the oft misunderstood and even maligned Beau Brummell, master of minimalism:
Top to Bottom: Vintage Tart Arnels, Southwick Blue Blazer, White Brooks Brothers Shirt, tan wool trousers, RM Williams Wentworth.
Note: Unlike Brummell, I am not a boot-tucker.
Yesterday the man behind How To Talk To Girls At Parties stated that wearing an ascot makes you look like a douche.
While the above may be true, sometimes you just feel perfectly comfortable looking like a douche. If such a sentiment were not occasionally present in men’s dress, there would be no place for go to hell pants either.
Brando wears a different ascot in practically every scene of Gillo Pontecorvo’s Burn (1969). His character is also the ultimate badass(hole). There’s also an amazing score by Ennio Morricone.
Here is a more modern ensemble featuring an ascot from the Florentine shop Tie Your Tie — via Die Workwear:
Suspiciously similar to an outfit worn in a certain movie starring Vincent Cassel (though I think he may be wearing a cravat).
To summarize, the clothes you put on can be used to influence the way you are perceived by those who view them. Sometimes you may wish to give the non-verbal cue: ”fuck off”. The key is of course to be aware of the messages you send. I’m certain I’m not the first to make this comparison, but the ascot (or cravat) can be the sartorial equivalent of the dilophosaurus.
Note: I will attempt to refrain from dinosaur-menswear comparisons in the future.