Patrick Johnson has been getting some buzz in the last four to six months. Partly because of their awesome Tumblr, and partly because of their association with GW and Ethan, some of the best dressed men around.
Sometime last Fall, they published a “Top Ten Suit Crimes” list in The Punch, an Australian news and opinion website. The rules expounded are pretty basic for anyone who has been paying attention to this stuff. However, they’re worth reminding, and I like that the guys over at P. Johnson did it with a bit of a middle finger. I’ve posted their top ten tips below, but you can also click the link to the original article to read a bit about what brands they recommend buying.
Top 10 suit crimes
Avoid wearing sports sunglasses with a suit. It doesn’t make you look like a blues brother, it makes you look like a PE teacher at a wedding.
Cut the manufacturers tag off the sleeve of your suit. It’s amazing how many people leave them on. If you need to flash the label of your suit to prove its worthiness then you should get a new tailor.
If you don’t want to look like you are facing up for your first court appearance then don’t button up all the buttons on you suit jacket. For a two button jacket only button the top button. On a three button jacket, button the middle button always and the top button only occasionally.
4. Walking to work
Unless you are channelling Jerry Seinfield, avoid wearing chunky white trainers with a suit. If you want to exercise then wear a track suit.
Its not 1991 and you’re not a American footballer so don’t wear shoulder pads that are overly thick with suit shoulders that are too wide. The shape of a suit’s shoulder is very important, it dictates the suit’s cut and is the tailor’s signature.
Furthermore it’s the only part of the suit that can’t be altered, so make sure the shoulder is right.
Trust your own instincts and don’t let the sales person’s flattery push you towards the wrong shoulder.
With the exception of the occasional pleasing colour pop that can be achieved with the well thought out use of a simple pair of plain bright socks (ie. Red), stick to socks within the grey, navy or black family. Don’t wear bright striped socks, they won’t make you look like a dandy, they’ll make you look like a twat whose girlfriend bought his socks.
A baggy sleeve looks sloppy and makes the whole suit look shapeless. The sleeves of your jacket should provide enough room to be comfortable, but no more. Assuming your shirts are the correct length, the suit’s sleeve should stop 1cm before the shirts cuff.
8. Pimpn’ Loafers
Pointy loafers in white/ light brown (or any colour for that matter) that turn up at the end look awful.
When the sales person tells you “these are all the rage in Italy”, that usually means, we got the stock really cheap because they stopped wearing these in Italy 5 years ago. If you are a South American drug kingpin then I apologize.
Try to find a relatively plain pair of black lace ups for a navy/ grey suit.
9. Belts with suits - don’t do it
Belts with formal suits don’t work, especially when wearing a tie.
Instead use trousers with side adjusters. A belt breaks up the flow of the outfit, which results in your legs looking shorter. They also create unnecessary bulk.
If you are going to wear a belt then please choose one that matches the color and material of your shoes. Also choose a belt with a small, discrete buckle.
10. Don’t fart in a wet suit.
How to Thrift for Menswear
Part Three: Getting the Good Stuff
Thrift stores are full of high-quality menswear. Menswear is relatively timeless. Women shop for men, and they make mistakes - sometimes expensive ones. The kind of men who buy high-quality clothes don’t want to be bothered with selling them. The stuff is out there.
Here’s eight tips on how to pull in the cream of the crop:
- Know your fit. If you don’t try things on, you’re begging for a disaster. Learn what can be altered, then stick to stuff that will fit perfectly.
- Buy it when it’s there. Every thrift store piece is one in a million. Maybe more. Don’t put it back on the rack and go get lunch or even walk around the store thinking about it. If it’s right, buy it.
- Time your visits. Thrift stores keep regular schedules - new stock goes out at specific times. Either observe the patterns or simply ask politely when new stuff goes out. You can also try to hit sales, but at thrift store prices, getting something great is much more important than saving $5 or $8.
- Touch and stare. Perfect the thrift cruise. Run your hand across the shoulders of the garments while inspecting as carefully as you can. You’ll feel the good stuff as much as you’ll see it.
- Look for damage. Look carefully for damage. CAREFULLY. There’s nothing worse than losing $25 on a jacket with moth holes you missed, or a big stain. Hold pieces up to natural light to help spot holes, and check for stains - pants lining could be yellow (eww) or collars could be soiled. If you’re willing to put in the time and resources, you can fix these things (I’ve had pants linings replaced before), but factor that into your cost.
- Know your brands. Your goal should be to identify quality by sight and touch, but you can also cheat with a brand list. Of course, even pieces by fine brands can be sub-par, damaged or out-of-date, but it’s a start.
- Watch out for licensees & diffusion lines. If you find a piece by a well-known brand, but it’s not great quality, it’s probably a licensee or a diffusion line. Just as Ralph Lauren makes everything from Purple Label to J.C. Penney’s American Living, many brands offer goods at a variety of quality levels. Many fashion houses also sell or have sold their names to low-quality makers in their non-core businesses (like menswear). You can read our fuller piece about menswear licenses and thrifting, but suffice it to say: if the label says Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Givenchy, Lanvin or Christian Dior, it’s probably a piece of crap.
- eBay is your friend. If you’ve got a smart phone, you’ve got a way to identify the value of that piece in your hand. Search for completed auctions on the web or in the eBay app and get a sense of the market. Some brands fly under the eBay radar, but for larger brands, it’s an easy way to distinguish between Brioni (primo) and Baroni (junk).
One of the great pleasures of thrift store shopping is the opportunity to put your hands on all kinds of clothes - from the best to the worst. There are innumerable signs of quality, but here are a seven basic guidelines.
- Look for trousers with details that mean quality. Split waistbands, pick stitching in the fly, a belt loop, suspender buttons and a closure with a generous tab are good signs of a quality piece.
- Look for shirts with mother-of-pearl buttons. They’ll look more lustrous and feel cold on your lip. They’re more expensive and prone to chipping, so they’re only used on high-quality shirts.
- Look for fully canvassed jackets. Better jackets will have three discrete layers in their chest - an outer, a lining and a canvas in between. Use the pinch test to distinguish. If you only feel two, they canvas and outer are glued together, a sign of a lower-quality jacket.
- Don’t by corrected-grain shoes. Shoes that have a shiny, plasticky look are made of “corrected” or “polished” leather. Because of imperfections, they top layer is sanded off, then replaced with a plastic coating. This is cheaper than picking undamaged hides, so it’s most of what you’ll find on the thrift store shelf. They’re not worth your time or your $10.
- Never buy synthetics. I’ve been trying to think of a good reason to buy a piece of clothing with any synthetic fiber in it at all. All I can think of is a trench coat, which might have some synthetic for warding off rain. Otherwise, if you see polyester or nylon, put it back on the shelf.
- Don’t buy third-world-made goods. With the exception of basics that you need at that moment (say a perfectly fitting Brooks Brothers oxford - the classic thrift shirt), there’s no reason to buy clothes made in the third world. The words “Made in England” (or Italy or the US or Canada or Switzerland or Germany) don’t guarantee quality goods, but the words “Made in Bangalore” generally do guarantee something that’s mall-quality at best.
Of course, you’ll gain knowledge with experience, and you’ll make mistakes along the way, but I think you’re ready to get out there and shop!
This guy would survive a horror movie.
This guy would survive a horror movie.
Every single time this comes up on my dash it gets funnier. Like I just fell of of my bed from laughing so hard
He fucking hit him with a lamp.
I love his freedom pants.
I kept watching it to figure out why he had to bring the printer, but then it hit me he probably had a paper due.