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On Sale at eHaberdasher: PT01, Stile Latino, MaCo, Lardini, Drumohr…

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of eHaberdasher’s house label suits and sport coats, but I wanted to take a moment and note some of the fantastic inventory Ben’s added to the site in the past few months. Much of it is from the sort of high-end Italian labels that are difficult to find in the US and that you’re only familiar with through your Tumblr dashboard. Even better, eHaberdasher has much of it at remarkably attainable prices given the quality.

Pictured above are a few of my favorites.

The first two are Lardini jackets in some lovely fall/winter fabrics. I actually planned to pick up the grey-navy-brown check tweed for myself, but someone snapped it up in my size before I could. While it’s a brand that’s not that difficult to obtain, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better selection of fabrics, styles, and sizes for Lardini sport coats and jackets—with many starting under $300.

The third item is a suit from MaCo, one of over a hundred in stock at eHaberdasher—probably the highlight of the store’scurrent inventory. MaCo is a line produced by Caruso, one of the finest Italian makers of ready-to-wear tailored clothing, and a personal favorite. I think it’s worth noting Adriano Dirnelli’s thoughts on MaCo, especially as it relates to other Caruso brands.

First here:

"Clearly it’s with the Maco brand that Caruso is going all out on quality and cut, not with [Sartoria] Parma. Lovely lovely stuff."

And here:

It’s very nicely made, comfortable to wear, and very current it its styling. Fabric choices are beautiful. It’s just a shame that this brand is still confidential and not widely distributed.

Pros : Great value for money, great styling, quality of construct, and fabric choices.

Cons : Difficult to find outside Soragna (Parma).

Given that background, it’s surprising that Ben managed to get his hands on dozens of MaCo suits, and has most on sale for under $600, well below the $1,000+ recommended retail price. This puts them in direct competition with eHaberdasher’s own Benjamin line—if anything the MaCo suits are a better value, and certainly a much better buy than other suits in this range (looking at you, SuitSupply) if you find a style you like. The MaCo suits start about halfway down this combined Caruso/Maco page at eHaberdasher.

The fourth and final product I’ve featured above is a pair of fawn flannel trousers from Pantaloni Torino—makers of the famously slim PT01 trousers and somewhat lesser-known PT05 five-pocket pants. eHaberdasher has nearly 140 pairs of Pantaloni Torinos in stock at the moment for half-off retail.

And there’s much more that’s arrived in the past few months—Castangia/Battistoni sport coats and suits, Drumohr accessories, shirts and sweaters, and Stile Latino sport coats and suits, to name a few. It’s all really fantastic stuff, and all generally hard to find without flying over to Italy—which is precisely what Ben does. It’s come to the point where I get embarrassingly excited every time I receive a new email from eHaberdasher’s mailing list, eager to see what Ben’s managed to pick up from his latest sourcing trip.

To see everything he’s currently got in stock, visit www.ehaberdasher.com.

On Sale at LuxeSwap: My Stuff!

I recently moved to a new town, and in the process decided to downsize my wardrobe. That mostly consisted of taking a long, hard look at what I owned and being honest about what I actually wear. I donated a lot of it to local thrift stores, but I felt a handful of the nicer stuff ought to go to people who I knew would appreciate them. With that in mind, I sent them over to Matthew (aka lacasuarina aka SpooPoker on Styleforum) to sell on LuxeSwap, his well-regarded eBay consignment shop.

Honestly, some of this was hard to let go, but it was also kind of cathartic once I finally shipped off the box to Matthew, and I’m hopeful that whoever ends up with them enjoys them.

Allen Edmonds Strand in Walnut, Size 8.5D

Alfred Sargent Suede Cap Toe Oxfords, Size 8 UK (8.5 US)

Both great shoes that I just didn’t wear often enough.

Brooks Brothers Navy Blazer in Loro Piana Hopsack Wool, 37S

Corneliani “Made in Italy” Patch Pocket Navy Blazer, 40R

Be sure to check out the awesome buttons.

Jacob Davis “Made in USA” Railroad Stripe Chambray Shirt, S

Bit of an underrated brand making the rounds on the various flash sale sites. I’d keep this for myself, but it fit too tight—someone gained weight eating pizza while packing all those boxes for the move.

Brunello Cucinelli Light Grey Cotton Trousers, 33

Levi Vintage Clothing Tab Twill Chinos, 32

Levi Vintage Clothing 1960s-era 519 Bedford Cords, 32

I’d also keep the LVC pants, but … too much pizza.

Auctions end Sunday.

On Sale at Nordstrom: Anniversary Sale Picks

Prices as marked, free shipping and free returns. Sale ends August 4th.

Six months ago, I wrote about how Nordstrom lost its place to Brooks Brothers as the best place to buy first-quality Allen Edmonds. Well, the balance shifted again with this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, as they have a handful of Allen Edmonds favorites for $242.90. While a far cry from the discount of a few years ago, it’s still a good $15 cheaper than the lowest price at Brooks Brothers in their recent sales. Plus, for those who don’t have Shoprunner, Nordstrom’s free shipping and returns are a welcome alternative to Brooks Brothers’ high shipping charges and restocking fees.

Pictured above at top, from left to right:

Allen Edmonds McAllister Wingtip Oxford in Black
More interesting and less formal than your standard black cap-toe, wingtip oxfords were originally intended for less formal suiting fabrics like flannel. These days, in all but the most conservative settings, you could probably get away with wearing them with a dark worsted suit.

Allen Edmonds Strand in Walnut
The Strand in Walnut has long been a favorite online, and this is a good price, but I’ve somewhat tempered my enthusiasm, as noted in this long-ish comment on Reddit. They’re a good-looking shoe, but to me they only really work well in the warmer months, during the day, with light-colored trousers or casual navy suits. In pretty much any other setting, I think they draw far too much attention to themselves. So don’t look at them as a must-have or a staple, but certainly consider them if you find yourself wearing the sort of things I’ve mentioned above. It’s a pity that this sale doesn’t include far more versatile versions of the Strand, such as the Bourbon Calf.

Allen Edmonds Park Avenue in Black (and Brown)
As they say, if you own only one black dress shoe, it ought to be the Park Avenue. That said, if you wear suits often but don’t work in a very conservative environment, consider the Park Avenue in brown burnished calf instead (or as a complement to the black version). I find it a far more stylish color.

Allen Edmonds LaSalle in Chili
I’ve developed a bit of a soft spot for split toe bluchers, and judging from pictures I’ve seen, the LaSalle is a fine option. It’s hard to get a gauge of what “Chili” really looks like; the image I used up top from Nordstrom originally had the Strand way over-saturated, so I tweaked it a bit in Photoshop to be more representative of the real color, and the LaSalle adjusted to the brownish color you see. I’m pretty sure the saturated red color in Nordstrom’s default image is off, especially when compared to this. In any case, word online is that the Chili develops a nice patina over time, much nicer then Allen Edmonds’ other leathers.

The Neumok in Acorn is another Allen Edmonds shoe worth considering in this sale. Unlined and with a burnished toe, it’s a more casual take on the wingtip oxford, and priced accordingly—$182.90. I expect it will look great with denim and corduroy pants in the fall.

The Wolverine 1000 Mile McClean is perhaps the most surprising inclusion in the Anniversary Sale. The boot appears to be a cap-toe version of the original Wolverine 1000 Mile boot, and may be a Nordstrom exclusive, as there’s almost no mention of it anywhere else. I’ve gotta admit I’m quite tempted by the McClean—the $229.90 sale price is well below what most boots in the 1000 Mile collection go for, and I’ve been eying the original 1000 Mile boot as a goto casual boot for the fall. I actually think the McClean is a better-looking boot than the original (see a great side-by-side review here), but I already own a pair of cap-toe boots, and would have trouble justifying a second pair.

And for my token non-footwear pick, check out the Todd Snyder + Champion sweatshirt in salt and pepper. Great color, great details, made in Canada—I believe I read somewhere that they’re produced in the same factory as Reigning Champ, but I can’t seem to find the reference anymore. Note that reviews say this fits slim; you may need to go up one from your normal size.

To see all the men’s merchandise in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, click here.

On Sale at Lands’ End: Monterey Board Shorts

If you like the look of Orlebar Brown’s Bulldog side-tab adjuster swim trunks, but choke at the $240 retail price tag, you might want to check out Lands’ End.

Today only, their look-alike Monterey board short is on sale for just $17.60. At 5”, the Monterey’s inseam is an inch shorter, and unlike the Orlebar Brown trunks they feature a half-elastic waistband.

But hey, beggars can’t be choosers. No promo code necessary, and sale (probably) ends midnight Central time.

The Monterey board shorts are available in red and navy here.

In My Cart at J. Crew

Use promo code SALEFUN for an extra 40% off sale merchandise. Expires tonight, July 22nd, at midnight Eastern.

Promo codes for 40% off sale merchandise and 50% off clearance seem to be the weekly norm at J. Crew. They added more merchandise to their sale section over the weekend; here are a few things I’ve been mulling over.

Vetra worker jacket in indigo
$119.99, from $248 retail. Well, it was in my cart, but the sizes are starting to sell out. The jacket’s made in France by Vetra, a fourth-generation clothing company from Paris. I like how this Continental take on workwear makes for a casual alternative to sport coats; sort of reminds me of the spring shirt-jacket Derek wrote about a while back. Would’ve been great for this past spring, but should still be great as we transition into fall.

Stripe leather and cotton web belt
$17.70, from $39.50. Made in the USA.

Urban Slim Fit Broken-in Chino in Bisque
$35.99, from $75. Great price and a great color for this time of year.

See all J. Crew men’s sale merchandise by clicking here.

The problem with some people at Pitti is that they take themselves too seriously, and don’t have the self-awareness to understand that they are, in fact, a little silly, and that there is nothing wrong with that. That’s real indignity, and I see that same trait in the shrill critics of the Pitti people. Really, in the end, it’s just clothes. We need them because we are hopelessly inadequate animals. So, if we are going to get dressed, which most of us are, we may as well have some fun.

Fok, aka LA Guy, co-founder of Styleforum

Thomas Mark Heritage

"Heritage" is a frequently-bandied and oft-abused word in menswear these days, wielded by marketers trying to tap into a broader cultural yearning for "authenticity"—whatever that means—and nostalgia for bygone eras marked by quality in materials, construction, and design. They understand that for many of us who develop an interest in menswear, there’s often a desire to reflect that shared identity and appreciation for the past in what we wear—or at least, to fake it.

It’s kind of funny to me how something akin to pride still swells up inside me when reading and talking about Americana in clothing, even though I’m a naturalized American citizen. Although I was not born into that heritage, I’ve adopted it as my own.

However, as an African—born in Madagascar, and raised in my formative childhood years in Kenya—I sometimes feel a bit of a disconnect from the “heritage” most-often referenced in menswear. And there’s always a part of me that wonders how I can incorporate my affinity for the continent of my birth into my day-to-day wear.

So I enjoyed finding out about Thomas Mark Heritage yesterday, a new line of Africa-inspired men’s accessories with raw materials sourced from the continent. The collection features cotton pocket squares, bracelets, and cufflinks.

Most of the squares are made from beautiful Malian cotton batik, as well as one Kuba-styled print from Congo and a Tuareg paisley print. The bracelets feature beads from a half-dozen countries across the continent, and the cufflinks are made from Ghanaian baule beads.

One of the cool things on the Thomas Mark Heritage website is the ability to search for accessories by region; that’s how I discovered my favorite piece, the black onyx Nakuru bracelet. It’s the sort of understated, elegant jewelry I could actually see myself wearing, and it happens to be named after a region in Kenya I often visited as a child.

Thomas Mark Heritage was launched this week by Thomas Anthony, a Philadelpha-based designer and creative director. Originally from Pretoria in South Africa, Thom tells me he started Thomas Mark Heritage expecting that “there were other men from the African diaspora who are looking for a way to wear a piece of Africana as part of their classic modern menswear fits. The pocket squares and wrist beads are intended to do just that; they can add a little colour to your usual suit or sportcoat and dress shirt ensemble in a way that means something to you (and can be a conversation starter as well).”

"It’s been an interesting journey sourcing these materials from all over the continent, trial-and-erroring the beads for durability, working out the best way to add nice raised contrast edges to the pocket squares," Thom says. "The materials are all so beautiful that I try to basically stay out of their way—there’s not much you can do that will improve upon one of these richly coloured Mali wax prints, you know? I just add a little trim and try to stay true to what the artisan intended."

Thomas Mark Heritage bracelets start at $19 and pocket squares at $39. You can see all the accessories at www.thomasmarkheritage.com.

Today Only at J. Crew: Extra 50% Off Sale Merchandise

Use promo code, TODAYONLY. Expires tonight, July 10th, at Midnight Eastern.

J. Crew’s obviously running out of original promo code names because they used the exact same one almost exactly a month ago. Only this time, the discounts are even steeper, with half off almost all sale merchandise. Makes me wonder if these one-day 40-50% off promo codes are going to be a monthly thing—probably not the greatest way for J. Crew to try to boost their dismal gross margins.

Also, an interesting tidbit from the promo code small print: while the promotion expires at midnight online, it’s good in-stores through July 22nd.

Here’s what I found interesting this time around; I’ve tried to only include merchandise with plenty of sizes still available, and I’ve noted non-returnable Final Sale items:

Ludlow Suit in Italian Cotton Piqué
FINAL SALE. $219.98, from $546 retail; pretty good for a casual summer suit, and plenty of sizes still left. The link above is to the jacket, the trousers are available in classic fit and slim fit.

Dotted Blue Pajama Set
$39.75, from $89.50 retail. What? These look comfy.

Linen-Cotton Ludlow Suit Pants in Vintage Grey
FINAL SALE. $74.99, from $188 retail. The matching jacket is long gone, but as separates these would be great with sport coats in tan linen and navy cotton. Or even just with a navy short-sleeve polo or white long-sleeve polo.

Bowery Classic Trouser in Steel Grey Cotton Twill
$29.75, from $79.50 retail. I’ve been intrigued by the Bowery Classic ever since Ian posted a great review of them a while back, and this is the lowest I’ve ever seen them go; that’s incentive enough for me to try out a pair or two myself. Also available in a saturated caramel color for the bold.

Slim Madras Shirt in Serene Blue Plaid
$34.75, from $75 retail. They say short guys like me shouldn’t wear big patterns, but I love bold madras in blues and reds.

Irish Linen Shirt in Navy
$37.25, from $79.50 I wrote a while back about how I’m on the look out for a navy casual summer shirt, and this looks like a fantastic option.

Suede MacAlister Boot
$54, from $148 retail. I highlighted these during the last “TODAYONLY” sale, and now they’re another 15% off. Pretty sure I’ve never seen the MacAlister go so low. I also had a bunch of people affirm the opinion that the Italian-made MacAlisters are superior to Clarks Desert Boots.

Ebbets Field Flannels Ball Cap
$19.75, from $49.50 retail. I could talk about how Ebbets Field Flannels is one of the most-respected ball cap companies around, but let’s be honest: my initials are “AA”, and this has a giant “A” on the front. That’s why I really want it.

Again, this sale ends online tonight at midnight Eastern, but runs through July 22nd in stores.

See all J. Crew Men’s sale merchandise here.

On Sale at  Brooks Brothers: Half Off US-Made Ancient Madder Ties

We’re barely into July, the days are wondrously long, today’s forecast high is 100°F, and here I am thinking about cooler weather and fall already.

Brooks Brothers launched their summer clearance sale late last week, and as they make room for this fall’s new arrivals, it represents a good opportunity to pick up anything from last fall and winter that happens to still be around, as much of it is deeply discounted.

Poking around in the clearance section, I found this large selection of ancient madder ties. Ancient madder, as many of you know, is a printed silk fabric with a “chalky” hand, long associated with fall/winter in general and tweed sport coats in particular. They’re often printed in neat patterns (that is, small repeated geometric shapes) or large paisleys, both of which are available at Brooks Brothers and pictured above.

While traditional or “true” ancient madder is printed in England, Brooks Brothers’ fabric is printed in Italy, and made up into ties here in the United States. They’re 3.25” wide—what I consider the perfect width for ties—and come with a self-keeper, that is, a keeper loop made from the same fabric as the tie.

At 50% off the original retail price, they come in at $57.50. Click here to see all the colors and patterns available.

Ralph Lauren Fourth of July Sale: 30% Off Select Sale Merchandise

Use promo code HAPPY4TH for 30% off. Code expires July 7th.

One of the nice things about this weekend’s 30% off promo code at Ralph Lauren is that it includes merchandise from all of Ralph Lauren’s menswear lines, ranging from Denim & Supply up through Purple Label and Black Label. I’ll highlight a few that caught my eye.

RRL Bradley Red Chambray Workshirt
Even at 58% off, this is admittedly really expensive for a casual shirt. But I have a soft spot for red chambray shirts, and this is a pretty awesome one, with thick slubby fabric and mother-of-pearl buttons.

Polo Ralph Lauren Canvas & Leather Messenger Bag
Ralph Lauren’s Filson alternative, available in navy, khaki, and the olive pictured above. Sunglasses not included.

Denim & Supply Madras Shirts
I’m still wary of Ralph Lauren’s lower-end D&S line, which is often over-designed to the point of gaudiness. But it’s hard to argue against madras shirts for under $35. I like madras shirts with bold, saturated colors like the blue and red one on the left—just $27.99! For something a bit more toned down, the green plaid madras shirt on the right is $34.99.

Polo Ralph Lauren Straight Fit Hampton Jean
For $52.49, you get dark mid-weight selvedge denim in a straight fit with minimal decoration. Sounds good to me. Similar jeans also available in a slim fit.

Polo Ralph Lauren Custom Fit Dress Shirts
The sale includes a bunch of PRL’s slimmer custom fit dress shirts for as low as $35, including the tattersall buttondown collar poplin pictured above.

You can see all Ralph Lauren merchandise eligible for the promo code here.

On Sale: Up to 37% Off Rancourt-Made Bass Weejun Loafers

Some of you may recall that Bass recently introduced the Fenmore, a limited-edition Weejun penny loafer made in Maine by Rancourt & Co. Since Bass long ago outsourced production of their iconic preppy staple overseas, the new shoe was heralded as something of a return to roots. I’m sure the less grumpy members of Tradsville rejoiced.

Alas, it seems the celebration may have been premature. I started mulling over this post just a day or two ago, and in the interim, Bass removed the Fenmore from their website, as well as the Youtube video that accompanied the launch. The shoes can now be found for $209 at Gilt and 6PM.com. You can disregard both sites’ stated MSRP of $350; Bass’s own site had the Fenmore listed at $295. Still, $209 is a discount of nearly 30%—pretty good for loafers made in America by a respected shoemaker. Plus, the various leathers are sourced from Chicago’s Horween Leather Company, some with a pebbled grain and others with an oily finish that looks an awful lot like Chromexcel.

At face value, 6PM.com is the best place to pick up a pair of Fenmore Weejuns, as they’re $209.99 with free shipping. They’re available in a pebbled brown and a smooth burgundy (color 8 Chromexcel?).

Gilt carries the Fenmore in six different colors, and for some people picking up the loafers at Gilt may also be a better deal. I think pretty much everyone has a Gilt membership these days, but if you don’t, they’ll give you a $25 credit if you join through a referral link (that’s mine, and yes, I also get a $25 credit if you join). That brings the Fenmore Weejuns down to just $184 plus shipping.

For current members, Gilt occasionally sends out 30% off promo codes. It’s never been clear to me who gets these, or why, but if you happen to get lucky, that makes the loafers just $146—a steal for Rancourt-made shoes.

For everyone else, 6PM.com may have the cheapest Rancourt loafers around.

Extra 25% Off Sale at East Dane

Use promo code 25MORE for 25% off all sale merchandise. Code expires Thursday, June 26th.

When East Dane released a rare promo code early Tuesday for an additional discount on sale merchandise, there was an immediate scramble for the most obvious deal: Drake’s London ties for under $70. Most of the ties I picked out for this post sold out by the time I started drafting it, but two are still lingering as I write this that are versatile enough to see a lot of regular wear: a charcoal dotted tie ($58!) and a black tie with white flower neat pattern ($64).

These brown pebble grain Dainite sole Mark McNairy wingtip boots are just begging to be worn with dark denim this coming fall. Goodyear-welted and made in Northampton, England by Sanders & Sanders, they’re a steal at under $200.

Speaking of dark denim, there are still a few pairs of Imogene + Willie straight fit jeans left for under $100. I honestly haven’t followed the brand too closely of late, but when I visited them in Nashville a few years ago, they were making the jeans right there in their shop. Pretty cool.

Final sale merchandise at East Dane is discounted 70%—with the additional 25% discount it’s all a whopping 77.5% off retail. Final sale means no returns or exchanges, so there’s obviously some risk involved. One brand we see here that I’m willing to take my chances with is Aspesi. The high-end Italian maker is best known for their slim (and expensive) field jackets, but the discounts puts their other merchandise down to the Gap/Banana Republic/J. Crew range. Personally, I’m eying this "made in Italy" navy linen shirt, as I’ve been wanting a casual navy summer shirt for some time (inspired, no doubt, by this picture of George Cortina). Also worth a look are these Aspesi chinos, still available in most sizes.

See all East Dane sale merchandise eligible for an extra 25% off.

On Sale at STP: $39 Tailored Fit Baird McNutt Irish Linen Sport Coats

Thanks to Jamie for the tip. Use promo code SFB61114 for 35% off $59.95 sale price. Code expires tonight, June 12th, at midnight Central Time.

These are Lands’ End jackets from two years ago that originally retailed for around $250 a piece—you can still find a full description and (generally positive) customer reviews at the original product page.

I tried out the large herringbone jacket when it was first released, along with a pair of trousers made from the glen plaid. Made with 100% linen fabric from Ireland’s Baird McNutt mill, the construction and fit is comparable to the navy Lands’ End cotton-linen suit I’m wearing here: slim fit, unpadded shoulders, quarter-lined for better breathability, taped seams, and short enough to work on my 5’7” 38S frame. My only real complaint is the awkwardly low armholes, which restrict movement a bit when you try to raise your arms. I also suspect some people won’t like the slubbiness and wrinkles of 100% linen fabric, but that’s just part of its charm.

While these jackets were originally part of a suit, the patch pockets, swelled edges, and casual patterned fabric mean that they work just fine as standalone sport coats for the summer, paired with white, stone, or grey trousers and loafers. They could even do some early fall or late spring duty with dark denim and chukka boots.

I returned the glen plaid trousers because the lime green horizontal lines proved much brighter than conveyed by online images—I thought the pattern didn’t quite work for trousers, but it should be fine as a jacket. As for the large herringbone jacket—I’m not sure why I returned it, but it was probably because of the price.

Now that they’re just $39 a piece, though, I’m definitely taking another look.

Maybe Dad Wants a Tie

There’s this trope that keeps appearing in ads and promotional emails over the past few weeks: “Don’t get Dad another [boring/ugly/unwanted] tie this Father’s Day, buy him our product instead!”

This is where I say to my wife and boys that you don’t need to get Papa anything for Father’s Day. A Sunday afternoon together will more than suffice.

For anyone else who does want to give a gift for Father’s Day, I ask that you to reconsider the necktie. It need not be ugly nor unwanted, but boring might just be okay. Unlike the novelty ties often pressed upon fathers this time of year, the best ties are usually subdued: solid or simply-patterned in dark colors. There’s elegance in simplicity, and against a white or light blue shirt, such ties defer attention from themselves to the man wearing them. What better way to honor Dad?

My favorite ties are made by Drake’s London. Handmade in England, Drake’s ties are world-class in construction and materials used, and I daresay there’s a tangible difference from your typical tie. The first time I knotted a Drake’s tie, I literally gasped aloud. There’s something about the exquisite fabric and supple construction that creates the perfect knot almost every time, and the very act of doing so is a simple pleasure that will long be appreciated.

If you’re used to purchasing ties at department stores, the retail price on Drake’s ties will probably shock you. Thankfully, there are a number of stores that have them on sale at the moment, including Barney’s, Barney’s Warehouse, and Mr. Porter. However, with five day standard shipping at the latter, and questionable designs at Barney’s and Barney’s Warehouse, your best bet is actually at East Dane, which has a dozen Drake’s ties for under $100, and can guarantee delivery by Father’s Day if you order today.

Because maybe, just maybe, Dad wants a tie.