Don’t Clash or Crash: Cycling to Work in Style

cycling

Sometimes getting out of bed in the morning and groggily making your way to work is enough energy for your morning routine. However, a new craze has come along! Biking to work is now becoming increasingly more popular. People have always biked to work, whether its your environmentally conscious friends or your freakishly fit acquaintances, and others just like to avoid the rush of traffic in the morning hours. For whatever reason you bike to work, there has always been one complaint, “I always have to change my clothes after.” This age old problem has kept people from slipping on their spandex and packing their work clothes for the day.

With the popularity of biking to work at an all time high, a new industry has been created. Suits designed to bike to work and take meetings in. Companies like Parker Dusseau have developed a suit you can bike to work in using Marino Wool-Spandex Blend, a stretchy material. The crtoch has a diamond design instead of a four way seam, providing flexibility and comfort.

Although these suits are pricey, $495 for the jacket and $295 for the pants, it still provides a gateway to new designs and new ways to get into this niche market. So, next time you think about grabbing your bike rather than your keys, don’t hesitate!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas at Joseph Wendt

jwednt-2112Dad’s can be hard to shop for. The scramble for a good men’s gift around Father’s Day can often leave a gift giver stumped, and a gift receiver disappointed. At Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers, we can advise on any and all gift-buying dilemmas! Joseph Wendt has one-of-a-kind men’s clothing and accessories. From wine glasses to clothing, belts, shoes, cufflinks and ties, Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers can dress you dad from head to toe.

Business Suits: Choose from a variety of solid colors, subtle patterns, elegant pinstripes, flawless details and classic designs for your day and evening business attire. Every garment is customized to each gentleman’s needs, using only the finest fabrics that are meticulously tailored. Each suit is double stitched with quality detailing. Add a custom tailored shirt, shoes and tie to complete your look. Let Joseph help you build a power suit that will create confidence and poise each time you walk into that key business meeting or important company function. Image

Sport Coats: When it comes to business and attire for more casual settings, no one understands the subtleties of sport coat styles better than Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers. We pride ourselves in providing the discerning gentleman with a perfectly fitted jacket made of the most luxurious fabrics. We want you to show up looking and feeling your best, no matter where you’re headed, so we’ve broken down sport coats into three distinct categories to help you fine-tune your look.

Dress Business: This smart, professional look is for the gentleman wishing to attend his social events looking clean cut and pulled together when a full suit is not required. The detailing on each coat is unique and the end product embodies effortless style.

Dress Casual: Pair this sport coat with a more laid back pant design for the perfect combination of casual and trendy. Approach your schedule with a relaxed and classy appearance that will have you feeling confident and comfortable all day long.

Dress Social: Attend dinners, company events and social gatherings with complete confidence in a suit that is uniquely tailored, yet not overly formal. We add just the right amount of personal detail and design to help you stand out, while at the same time maintaining a polished and self-confident appearance.

Sportswear: For the ultimate in relaxation, comfort and casual sophistication, Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers offers an array of fashions including sport vests, jeans and golf shirts.

shoes_500px_05Shoes: Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers is proud to offer Fratelli Rosetti and Michael Toschi shoes, the highest quality Italian footwear that are the epitome of comfort and style. These luxurious shoes are made from the finest hides hand crafted by skilled artisans. Joseph’s offers both classic and casual styles.

Ties and Accessories: Add a splash of color and style with Joseph Wendt exclusive line of Italian ties by Tino Cosma. Each tie is a work of art meticulously designed in bold or subtle patterns. Joseph Wendt also carries a wide selection of belts, wallets, cufflinks and pocket squares. Image

Glassware: If the wine matters, so does the glass. It’s that simple. Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers sells a beautiful line of wine glasses from Bottega del Vino Crystal not available through mass merchants. Each crystal glass is handmade. Tasting after tasting, test after test, time after time, wine enthusiasts are made by the difference the glass makes. Inspired by a life in wine and created by Severino Barzan, Bottega del Vino Crystal wine glasses are first and foremost, wine-driven in design and creation. Each piece in painstakingly mouth blown and hand finished to the highest of world standards for balance, weight, shape and the tactile pleasure of holding the stem and drinking from it. Each piece features a superbly crafted bowl with single pull stem for the best possible feel in hand and mouth. Image

Custom Golf and Hunting Wear: Look stylish whether you’re golfing or hunting with a custom sports wardrobe created by Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers. Joseph can create a look from head to toe that is classic and functional no matter which sport you choose to enjoy.

 

Why Custom?

Custom tailoring is almost a lost art, but there’s nothing like having a suit designed to your exact specifications and body or wowing other gala goers with a one-of-a-kind suit no other man in the ballroom

Image — let alone the world — could be wearing.

I have earned a loyal following among business leaders, executives and major NFL players whose sheer size can create additional measurement challenges. All of them realize the benefits of having their clothes custom-made.

So why custom? Naples is a small town and you don’t want to run into anyone else with the same suit, which is why I only make one suit with each fabric. If you buy a Joseph Wendt custom suit, you won’t see it on anyone else!

I think a lot of men don’t realize the tremendous power of dressing well and being unique. It’s an absolute advantage when you utilize it. I have always said, clothing is psychology. It’s a visual psychology versus a verbal psychology, but it’s totally psychology.

Plus, fit is so important, and it’s hard to get that with a department store suit. It’s so difficult to get that perfect fit with a suit you buy off the rack. That’s another reason, custom is key. I understand that young guys just starting out need a bunch of suits and maybe have to go to Men’s Wearhouse or a department store. If you do have to buy off the rack, make sure you spend time to have it properly tailored.

Joseph Wendt Custom Clothier now offers tailoring services at our Fifth Avenue South store. Tailoring services are available during business hours to assist customers with altering suits and dress shirts, resizing and hemming pants, re-lining jackets or pants, special occasion dresses and more. Customers are asked to call ahead for an appointment, but walk-ins will be accepted. Call (239) 530-0070 to make a reservation, or visit our Fifth Avenue South store, located in Downtown Naples, Florida.

The Heat is On! How to Dress in Warmer Climates

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It is that time of year. The afternoon rain is approaching, the humidity is increasing.. well at least here in Florida it is! I’m not complaining, summer is one of my favorite times of year, but it certainly proposes some challenges for men who like and/or need to wear suits to work everyday. Just thinking of business suits and Florida’s heat can make one sweat, but summer is right around the corner and that’s the reality for Southwest Florida businessmen. Here are some tips on how to stay cool and look cool all at the same time:

The right suit? No sweat

The best choices for business suits in climates like Florida are made of breathable fabrics such as tropical wools and wool/mohair blends that are 120-gauge thread count. These suits wear well, are lightweight and keep their shape. Luxurious Italian cotton and linen suits also are great for staying cool but may require pressing from time to time.

For the evenings, opt for a sport coat made of lightweight wool or a silk-linen blend. These fabrics have a light/lofty feel with a beautiful textured look that is great in either solids or patterns. Another ultra-lightweight option would be a cashmere and silk-blend sport jacket. These jackets wear well and are very comfortable.

Cool leather

A lightweight shoe can make a big difference in keeping you cool and comfortable in tropical climates. Footwear made of Italian calfskin leather is the best choice. The construction of these shoes is lighter in weight and features either a terry cloth or ultra thin lining. In some instances, you can even purchase a shoe with no lining. Also, the structure of these shoes is soft and breathable and is available in a variety of styles, including wingtip, loafer, monk strap and cap toe.

Dancing with the Doctor

It’s been a very long time since we’ve taken a trip into a nerdy subject, so it’s a great time to revisit some of the fun of sci-fi fashion!  We’ve previously gone over visions of the future, “Star Trek” uniforms, and more, but this time we’re taking a look at a sci-fi staple that has made coming up with a new outfit every few years a staple: “Doctor Who.”

The_Doctor

If you aren’t familiar, “Doctor Who” is a British television series about an alien from the planet Gallifrey who goes by the self-appointed title of “The Doctor,” because he sees himself as someone who helps and fixes things and people.  He travels throughout the breadth of time and space in his spaceship/time machine, the TARDIS, which is broken, and so is stuck disguised as a 1963-period blue British Police Box on the outside.

The show has been running since 1963, and since actors aren’t immortal, The Doctor has been played by a multitude of actors over the years.  The show dealt with this very creatively.  The Doctor, being an alien “Time Lord,” has the ability to “regenerate” whenever he’s fatally injured, but not injured so severely that he dies outright.  He becomes a new man, and, while still a rebirth of the same person, has a new face, new personality quirks, and new tastes, including in fashion.  The Doctor tends to stick to one or two outfits throughout an incarnation’s tenure, and with the recent reveal of the newest Doctor, the 12th, and his new outfit, it seemed like a perfect time to have some fun, and look back at 51 years of a quirky, hyperactive fictional alien’s bizarre fashion choices!

Shine in 2014

new-years-eveNew Year’s Eve is a time to shine. Your resolutions are made, dinner reservations are set, you have a date.  Now all you have to worry about is: what are you going to wear?  Sure, you could go with the black tie look and blend in with everyone else, or you could add to your look with some one-of-a-kind pieces that no one else will have!

Unique cufflinks are a great way to add a pop to your look without going overboard.  Go outside of your comfort zone with a playful tie or a colorful pair of socks.  Top the whole look off with a beautiful, and comfortable, pair of leather shoes.  Compliments are sure to follow, and you’ll be remembered, for the good.

cufflinksSo stop by Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers to pick up these unique accessories that will be sure to help you ring in 2014 right!  And while you’re here, get your date glammed up with a Luigi Borbone dress, which is sure to turn heads, especially since we are the only store in the United States to carry his line.

lavinia longhiMake a resolution to look good and feel good this year by getting starting your custom wardrobe today!

Revenge of the English Shooting Jacket

Here’s something that you may be surprised to see us talking about.  Although, anyone familiar with this blog over the past two years wouldn’t be at all surprised to see us talking about this after we spent multiple pages discussing the history of golf clothes!  Today, we want to talk about that stalwart of the Anglosphere, the English shooting jacket, or coat, if you prefer.

"I'll call it what I want."

“I’ll call it what I want.”

We’ve gone over the history of suits and some of their variations in the past. What’s relevant here is that by the 1800s, the modern “suit” had reached a point where you can easily trace all of the modern variations from it.  Its basic lines were very similar to the lines of today.  But, hilariously, the most common variations of suit jackets, the sport coats, have their origins in English military and hunting culture.  The blazer goes back to the H.M.S. Blazer, and its crew’s attempt in 1837 to impress Queen Victoria, who would be making a surprise visit, on the fly, resulting in a modified uniform that eventually became the blazer.  Meanwhile, the hacking jacket and shooting jackets, slightly more formal in lines than the blazer, birthed the basic sport coat that we think of now.  But, in England especially, the hacking jacket, made of wool or tweed with a single vent for horseback riding, and the shooting jacket, typified by a leather patch on the front shoulder to prevent wear from the butt of a weapon, and also made of wool or tweed, never completely gave way to the modern sport coat, and are still worn to hunt and ride.

241px-1901_Sartorial_Arts_Journal_Fashion_Plate_Men's_Norfolk_Jacket

Norfolk stylin’.

The shooting jacket started life as the Norfolk jacket, a belted, single-breasted jacket with box pleats and a belt.  It was designed specifically so that it would not bind when the elbow was raised by the wearer to fire their weapon, and became popular during the 1860s in the Prince of Wales’ personal circle of hunting pals, eventually spreading to the general populace, as these things often do.  Its basic lines can still be found in military and police uniforms around the world, but it’s rarely seen as a shooting jacket in its own right anymore.

shooteruplandih0Over time, the shooting jacket evolved into what we see today: a jacket similar in lines to other sport coats, but made with a shoulder patch to absorb weapon recoil, and made of stronger materials to withstand rain, burrs and shotgun scorching.  The materials chosen, wool and tweed, are for just that, to withstand the elements.  The lines are what we would, in the present, consider “formal,” because that was the fashion of the Victorian Era that birthed it: formality in all occasions, even the informal.  It is, in many ways, simply a more utilitarian suit jacket.  Larger buttons on the pockets are there to keep them closed, even while running at a clip, so that items won’t fall out, the elbows are fitted for the wearer to allow for easy raising of the arms to aim and shoot, without disrupting the wear of the jacket, et cetera.

While style didn’t truly enter into the equation when they first came into being, now, shooting jackets are a style statement in their own right.  Modern hunters frequently wear clothes designed purely for function, that are sometimes beyond unattractive…

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So, some people, including in the US, where the shooting jacket never truly caught on, are going back to the wool and tweed jackets of yore, to hunt in style.

To that end, we’ve jumped into the fray, making our own English shooting jacket for the express purpose of having it auctioned off at a Naples, FL wine festival.  Made of a thick wool tweed with intricate detailing throughout, with upper shoulder and chest patches for resting the gun, and to receive the recoil of a long arm.  The elbow patches are a stylish touch, and also for durability when shooting.  There’s extra tension in the elbow region when positioning oneself to shoot, an inverted pleat down the back, patch pocketing, and a half-belt along the back waist, all adding to the unique look and style of the jacket.  We’re really proud of this one, so take a look at it below!  Hopefully, our minor contribution can help these lovely jackets get a new foothold in the hearts of hunters and shooters in the US.

NYC’s Fashion Week and FNO Post Mortem

Bold, bold, bold!!

Let us explain.  Today marks the end of the September Fashion Week here in New York City.  It got kicked off last Thursday with everyone’s favorite incredible, worldwide, synchronized fashion party, Fashion’s Night Out!  Believe it or not, FNO is only four years old.  It was started as a way to help to jumpstart fashion shopping in the recession-crippled economy with the backing of Vogue Magazine and its publisher, Anna Wintour.  Who’s Anna Wintour?  Well…

“Anna happens to be a friend of mine, a fact which is of absolutely no help in coping with the cold panic that grips me whenever we meet.”  -Barbara Amiel

So it probably wasn’t invented as a gigantic, global fashion block party.  And that’s what it has become: a night of insanely fun mini-parties filling every boutique clothing store and department store in every major city in 19 countries spilling out onto the streets.

We mean that literally.

This year, the crowd skewed a bit younger than it has in the past, and it seemed as if the designers were anticipating that.  After all, the final night of the DNC was scheduled for the same day as FNO, and young people are notoriously poor voters, so it might have been some smart reading of the tea leaves at work there.  Whatever the reason, “young” and “informal” seemed to dominate the windows and stores.  From the more preppy looks…

To “modern hipster”…

To everything in between, but still on the same wavelength…

The celebrities and designers on hand were usually dressed more formally than the collections of the stores they were helping to promote!

We recommend against the golden loafers, though.

In fact, women’s clothing completely dominated, easily outnumbering the displays for men’s clothes by four to one.

But as if to prove that Fashion’s Night Out is not Fashion Week, the runway shows on Fashion Week went in very different directions.  The key word?  “Bold!”  No, seriously, every fashion journalist on the planet said that.  And we agree.  The stripes, crazy patterns, wild color selection, leather, suede and frayed edges of the Spring Collections displayed all scream “look at me!”  After last year’s dark look, and the previous two years’ austere designers, it makes sense that we were getting a bit antsy and ready to go for broke.

Apparently, if Boy by Band of Outsiders is any indication, so for broke that we’ll be living on the beach. We’re strangely okay with this.

But to be honest, as fun as Fashion Week and FNO are, they don’t mean much in the scheme of fashion.  Yes, we can get some general ideas from them (generally looser, less-form fitting and more colorful designs will be in vogue next year), but this certainly doesn’t mean we’ll all be dressing as hipsters in lime green stripes.  Ultimately, FNO is about getting people in the door and paying attention, and Fashion Week is about selling fantasy.  On those counts, they both succeeded.

Shoes: From Ugly to Outstanding

The earliest shoe designs started as more of a simple affair, often mere “foot bags” of leather to protect the feet from rocks, debris and cold.  By today, it has evolved so much, both in style and in production, and remains a very important part of any culture, even literature.  Our dear Cinderella can testify how a shoe can most definitely change one’s life.

The oldest known leather shoe, about 5,500 years old, found in Armenia. And its great (x1,000,000) grandson, Fratelli Rosseti two-tone wing tips, available today.

Shoes have had many uses, from more utilitarian reasons like keeping the feet warm, to insuring faithfulness (yes, you read it right).  For example, the Chinese custom of binding women’s feet to keep them small is many centuries old.  Originally, the practice owed little to aesthetics.  Bound feet were thought to insure faithfulness, since with such deformed feet the wife would supposedly find it difficult to travel very far on her own.  The Venetians did something similar, as well.

Most definitely, shoes, above all other reasons throughout time, secure one a very cool spot in the  highest ranks of society.  And don’t even think our society, with as many choices of shoe types, is oh so cool and clever.  Not one of the footwear styles you see today are less than 400 years old.

It may have started with just humans wearing animal skins or furs wrapped around their feet stuffed with straw.  From the sandal, the oldest crafted shoe covering known to us, to today’s marvels of engineering, the shoe is an example of evolution in progress, as we always find new materials.

Over one hundred operations go into the construction of a shoe.  Even with the help of machinery, and, not to mention, the long process of converting putrescible animal rawhide and skin into the beautiful leather we like.  Here is a video we much appreciate about the craftsmanship of one of our favorite accessories.  And below that are some interesting notes about shoes throughout history.

-Until around 1800, shoes were made without differentiation for the left or right foot.  Nice and comfortable!

-Tanned leather has been a favored material for footwear since the Arabs introduced fine leatherwork in Spain in the Eighth Century.  The leather making trade of the Spanish Arabs was centered around the city of Cordova, to which we owe the origin of the cordovan, a soft, fine-grained leather shoe.

Not to be confused with the Chrysler Cordoba, filled with “rich, Corinthian Leather.”

-Beginning in the Twelfth Century, the sabot, a shoe cut roughly from a single piece of wood, was the predominant footwear of the European peasant, becoming so pervasive for the next several hundred years, that it managed to inspire a new word: “sabotage.”  Fifteenth Century Dutch workers flung their sabot into the wooden gears of textile looms to break them, fearing their livelihoods were threatened by the machines.

Believe it or not, this was a plot point in Star Trek VI. The one with Vulcan Samantha.

-Pointed shoes originated in France, reportedly the invention of a Count of Anjou who wished to hide his deformed hooves.

-King Henry VIII initiated the vogue for wide-tied shoes in England, presumably to hide his gout-swollen feet.

You know, the Henry that created an entire new branch of Christianity so he could get a divorce? …Then beheaded the woman he remarried? …Then his third wife died in childbirth? …Then he divorced the fourth wife? …And beheaded the fifth? And died before anything bad happened to number six? That guy.

-The custom among men wearing high-heeled shoes at the court of Louis XIV grew out of the King’s desire to mask his diminutive stature.

REAL little men don’t hide their smallness, they make it look GOOD.

-Back in 1324, King Edward II decreed that there should be a standard measure for shoes.  He obviously had trouble in shoe shops finding the correct fit!  He came up with a simple method.  On the basis that a baby’s foot must be the smallest size, this would be the starting point, and equal to size 0.  He determined that an inch was equal to three barley corns.  The corns had to be round, and dry, and taken from the middle of the plant.  Each size then went up 3 barley corns each until it reached 13.  Instead of continuing upwards, he decided to go back to the start, and so 13 plus 3 barley corns equaled 1 again (confused yet?)!

Pictured: the famous barley corn baby measuring tool.

-Today, units for shoe sizes vary widely around the world.  European sizes are measured in Paris Points, which are worth two-thirds of a centimeter.  The UK and American units are approximately one-quarter of an inch, starting at 8¼ inches.  Shoes size is often measured using a Brannock Device, which can determine both the width and length of the foot, making it the most accurate measurement.

Bet you never knew that’s what this thing was called.

-Due to the appearance of new man-made materials, shoes have become increasingly less biodegradable.  Currently, mass-produced shoes generally require 1,000 years to degrade, and/or may not degrade at all.

-Even adult feet can change size due to muscles and tendons altering, getting either smaller or larger.  It is a good idea to have your feet measured every 5 to 10 years.

Failure to check feet regularly may result in Shaqification.

A White Canvas

These are classic pieces.  Completely trend-free, definitely part of your sartorial foundation.  But why are they so frowned upon?  We are talking about whites, beiges and that entire neutral spectrum on the lighter side.

So, the next time you think of these lighter shades of neutrals as plain and boring or too complicated, think again.  You might be just experiencing a lot of creativity.  Neutrals are to a sartorial guy what a white canvas is for a painter.  Are they complicated?  No way, neutrals are the easiest way, not just to put together, but to acquire that super chic look all year-round.  If you’re still not convinced, think of those bright colors and hard-to-do accessories, which is exactly what neutrals are for.

Can you think of a style icon that is known for wearing loads of color?  If you were told to go to your closet and assemble your coolest outfit, would it be colorful?  Is “effortless” the reason why we love it?  Dress in shades of neutrals.  It may not be a dynamic look, but it is sophisticated.

Start by mixing your neutrals: for example, the darker ones with the lighter ones and then move up to different shades of one color, then, finally, add texture to that mix.  Hopefully by summer, you’ll be ready for that super stylish white suit.

Don’t be afraid, here are some good tips on wearing neutrals.

Keep your whites spotless and in good condition (skip the trip to the dry cleaners when possible, this just adds to the yellowish look and obviously shortens the life of your garment).  We prefer hand washing.

If you’re wearing more than one item that’s the same color, make sure they are either exactly the same color, or clearly different shades of the same color.  Nearly the same but not quite is not a good look, as it looks like you’ve tried to match exactly and failed.

Since neutrals are soft and easy on the eyes, all-neutral ensembles can read a bit bland.  A great way to spice ‘em up is to add a variety of textures: leather, wool, tweed, rough linen, smooth cotton.  Pieces with pick-stitching and other 3D detailing also add textural interest.

And finally, it can be messy out there.  This is magical and worth keeping in your bag at all times: a Tide pen!