The Pantalones
November 19, 2013
A few people have recently asked about what my footwear rotation looks like, so here you go. I wear some much more more than others, but this is what I’m working with.
Not pictured: pair of black and pair of brown shit-kicker penny loafers that are MIA / four pairs of espadrilles / athletic shoes

A few people have recently asked about what my footwear rotation looks like, so here you go. I wear some much more more than others, but this is what I’m working with.

Not pictured: pair of black and pair of brown shit-kicker penny loafers that are MIA / four pairs of espadrilles / athletic shoes

November 13, 2013
GQ’s Obsession With The Baby Collar and The Value of a Full Spread:

image

I have always questioned the logic and taste of stylists working in magazines. It seems as though they feature pieces that major designers push, regardless of appearance or details, and this is especially true when it comes to dress shirts. The main offender in this instance is GQ and its love affair with the baby point collar.

Without fail, Jim Nelson (EIC of GQ, pictured below) appears in every photo sporting a shirt with a tiny collar. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him wear a spread that reaches under the lapels of his jacket. You might say that he wears the collar to appropriate the 1.5” width of his ties, but honestly, that’s another issue. If you’re the Editor in Chief of the world’s biggest menswear magazine, you should look like a man, and your collar should look like a man’s collar.

image

So what is technically wrong with a small collar?

There are a few things that a small collar accomplishes, and none of them are positive if you’re more than sixteen years old. Firstly, a baby collar takes years off your image, and that’s not in a good way. A smaller collar gives the impression that the wearer is young, a bit too young to be wearing a suit. The collar also makes your head appear much larger than the proportions of your body dictate, inspiring another characteristic of children.

A small collar also calls for a readjustment in proportion to your entire outfit. Primarily, a small collar needs a smaller tie knot; if you have a small opening between your collar points, a knot measuring more than an inch and a half can leave your neck looking constrained, drawing attention away from your face. Creating a need for a skinny tie is never a good thing, in my opinion, unless you’re headed to a Mad Men party or your pop-punk band’s first show outside of the garage.

image

When it comes down to it, the real problem I have with the baby collar is that it doesn’t rest under the lapels of a jacket, open or closed. In my book, if you can see the tips of your collar, you’re doing something wrong (unless we’re talking about a button-down collar). If your collar tips are showing, there are two unnecessary points of focus on your neck. taking away from the fluidity of your kit and highlighting the shirt as an individual piece, as opposed to a functioning part of a whole.

image

What it’s really all about is maintaing the image of your kit as an entire kit, not a bunch of singular pieces. When you look at an outfit, you want a sense of solidity and appropriateness in relation. If your shirt is standing out as a singular aspect, due to exposed collar points, that takes away from the seamlessness of your kit. The spread collar above remains nicely under the edges of my lapel, maintaining a fluid flow from tie to shirt, shirt to jacket, jacket to gillet. There is no interruption in that progression.

image

I buy my shirts with full spread and cutaway collars; I won’t buy a shirt that I am expecting to wear with a tie unless it will safely stay beneath my lapels when I am sitting, walking, or doing whatever the hell it is that I do. I own a few point collar shirts, but I wear them more casually, without a blazer. You can see, in the pictures above and below, that the tips of my collar are nowhere to be seen. The cutaway contrast and plaid collars and the spread blue striped collar achieve this qualification perfectly.

image

Some strict menswear aficionados will say that you should choose your collar solely on how it frames your face; Although that makes sense, I respectfully disagree. When choosing a shirt collar, the length and ability to nest under my blazer is the main priority. That being said, I think the full spread collar is the best option for the average man. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, Italian, or dramatic, go for a cutaway.

I will say that GQ is starting to do a better job, incorporating appropriate spreads into their editorials and features, and they aren’t the only offender in supporting the baby collar. There are plenty of magazines, blogs, and millions of people who promote and wear collars of underwhelming size. It’s an epidemic of massive proportions and little recognition. My only advice is this: the next time you go to buy a shirt, wear a jacket, respect your neck, and don’t buy a baby collar.

November 7, 2013

The New Flannel, a Refinement in Fabric:

Flannel is back. You’ve heard this before; Kurt Cobain, the grunge revival, and whatever the hell else flannel used to mean is still cool. The thick fabric, full of pills, you wore to that one bon fire, that one time, to make that one girl think you were edgy or something is still cool? Well, kind of. Flannel has been synonymous with grunge, art students, lumberjacks, and that shitty acoustic guitar player from high school for decades. That’s just the way it is, and that’s the way flannel, as the masses know it, will continue to be viewed for a while longer.  

However, there is another flannel shirt making its way onto the horizon, a modern option for the sartorially inclined man. Over the past five years (as you probably already know), there has been a movement in menswear, calling for tailored clothing that can be worn casually. The product of this movement, in a few words, is an image of casual elegance, and the flannel shirt has started to follow in this menswear movement’s tracks.

Over the past few seasons, the presence of lightweight flannel in shirting has increased steadily, and the pieces have been far from the heavy, point-collar flannel shirts of the past. A lightweight flannel allows for a more elegant drape and youthful cut. The fabric lends itself quite perfectly to the casual elegance, sought after by today’s man. The softness and comfort of flannel, paired with modern cuts, details, and furnishings, creates an incredibly beautiful shirt that doesn’t immediately bring Seattle and the grunge movement to mind.

Since lightweight flannel acts in the same ways a poplin or oxford fabric would, the possibilities in shirting are endless. That being said, above I’ve chosen a few different styles of lightweight flannel to share with you guys. The popover is having a moment right now, and this forest green popover from Piombo is a perfect example of how the modern flannel fabric finds its place in casual Italian tailored clothing. Similarly, this refined fabric has a place in the world of dress shirts.

The dark blue, green, and gray plaid dress shirt, custom made by Modern Tailor, is a perfect example of the elegance of this refined flannel. Finished with a wide spread collar and thick mother of pearl buttons, this shirt brings flannel into the world of the modern custom dress shirt.

The oxford cloth shirt, commonly found with a button-down collar, is a classic staple of the American prep enthusiast. Lightweight flannel is an easy substitute for the oxford fabric, as seen in the striped button-down shirt from Breyburn above. These small changes, like collar style and mother of pearl buttons, distinguish the new flannel trend from its tired older brother.

Lightweight flannel is a fabric that will be very much present in the coming seasons, providing warmth for fall and winter, while remaining wearable and breezy for spring. The refinement, found in menswear today, has reached the world of flannel. It is a new age for the flannel shirt, an age of elegance and personality.

Location: Lavallette, NJ

Photography: Greg Costanzo

Styling: Alex Delany

Art Direction: Alex Delany

October 31, 2013

Film by Greg Costanza 

(Source: mypantalones)

October 21, 2013
Today @greg_costanzo and I are starting to shoot a big fall editorial for The Pantalones. Here’s a sneak preview of one look featuring vintage Harris Tweed and accessories from the new collection from @theKnottery.  (at Pingree)

Today @greg_costanzo and I are starting to shoot a big fall editorial for The Pantalones. Here’s a sneak preview of one look featuring vintage Harris Tweed and accessories from the new collection from @theKnottery. (at Pingree)

October 1, 2013

The New Flannel Teaser

Early yesterday morning, Greg and I drove down to Lavallette beach to shoot an editorial that I currently have in the works. The light was absolutely incredible, and the photos that we got are unreal. As the name above dictates, the editorial will be examining the transformation of the modern flannel shirt, and it will be dropping sometime in the next two weeks. 

We also shot a little bit of video, a medium that I haven’t really explored yet on the blog. Greg edited everything after we got back yesterday, and this is what we came up with. Hope you guys enjoy it.  

Big thanks to Cadillac for the hook up on the ride there. 

(Source: mypantalones)

September 11, 2013

WIWT - September 10th, 2013:

It’s been a while since my last WIWT post, but we’re back on campus and back in action, as of right now. Greg and I met up after class yesterday and roamed campus in search of some shots yesterday, and we definitely got some good ones, posting up outside of Green Hall. The film looks incredible.

It’s pretty obvious that this is a simple kit. Espadrilles, denim, a blue OCBD, and a cap. It’s a kit I’m sure most of you have worn in some form or another. It’s basic, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. Personalization of your image is something that can be achieved with the slightest tweak of an aspect of a standard piece of clothing.

I’m willing to bet that anyone reading this blog owns a blue OCBD. It’s a wardrobe staple for sure, and at times they can get a bit boring. However, there are small things that you can do to draw attention. I almost always unbutton my collar and flip it up when I’m wearing an OCBD by itself. I also go for unbuttoning the fourth button on casual OCBDs when it’s warm out. They’re both little touches that tell people you have a bit of personality, and they can make a blue OCBD a little more interesting, to yourself and those around you. They’re the slightest of changes, but they really can change the image of a shirt so rooted in traditional dress.

Photography by Greg Costanzo   

(Source: mypantalones)

September 6, 2013

A few weeks ago, the guys from Proper Cloth asked me to design two custom shirts, featuring their new soft collars. Of course I accepted the offer, and as a result, I added two insanely beautiful shirts to my wardrobe. Here are some images from the resulting editorial, which turned out brilliantly. 

The two shirts are as follows:

  • 100s Khaki Stripe Poplin with white contrast collar, mother of pearl buttons, french placket, green torso monogram, and soft Milano spread collar and cuffs
  • Thomas Mason Blue/White Oxford with mother of pearl buttons, green torso monogram, and soft Milano spread collar and cuffs

Huge shouts out to Chris and the rest of the Proper Cloth team for directing this insane editorial.  

Check out the rest to see some styling from Jake and Fenimore.

November 21, 2012
The Pantalones Sits Down With Maine’s Rancourt & Co.:

Interview Series No. 5 -
The words “quality” and “heritage” are thrown around the menswear community a lot; maybe even enough to dilute their true meanings. However, when you have shoes that are made to order in Maine, by a family who has been doing it for over fifty years, it’s hard to think of two words better to describe a product of such beauty. Those shoes belong to a fantastic company named Rancourt & Co. I was lucky enough to get to chat with Kyle Rancourt and learn a little bit more about the brand and the beautiful shoes they produce. Enjoy:



What is your name and position at Rancourt & Co.?

Kyle Rancourt. Vice President, in charge of sales, marketing, and brand direction.


What kind of product does Rancourt & Co. produce?

We produce leather footwear, specifically genuine handsewns and Blake welt stitch constructions. We specialize in hand sewn shell cordovan. All of our shoes are crafted by hand and are completely re-soleable. 


What kind of guy would wear shoes made by Rancourt & Co.?

The truth is I think any guy could wear our shoes, our product offering is becoming so diverse that I believe there is something for everyone. However, our customer is one who cares about quality, heritage, and service.


I understand that Rancourt is a multi-generational family business. What is the story of Rancourt & Co.?

My grandfather emigrated from Quebec when he was a young man to work in a shoe factory. He eventually started his own shop which transformed from a moccasin shop to a fully function shoe factory when my Dad joined him in the early 80’s. Being a contract manufacturer for larger brands, their companies were bought and sold a couple of times. Over three years ago my father and I decided to buy back some of the assets from the company he sold to and start Rancourt & Co.. Over the years my Dad has worked with the likes of Cole-Haan and Allen-Edmonds, traveling the world and learning about every aspect of the shoe business. This is the knowledge and experience that is embodied in our company today.

Read More

(Source: mypantalones)

November 9, 2012
Navali x The Pantalones Give Away:

What was that? You lost your old card case, the one in which you used to store your six Amex Centurion cards? You’ve got no place to hold your solid gold access card to the eye of The Statue of Liberty and the numbers of the four Victoria’s Secret models you just ran into?

Well you happen to be in luck. I’m hosting a little give away with my friends at Navali, and we’re giving away 100% leather card case to the guy (or girl) who wins this contest. The case has six card slots, two currency pockets, and it measures 4.75” x 3” x 0.25”.

Here’s what you have to do to enter :

  1. Reblog this post 
  2. Like Navali on Facebook
  3. Follow The Pantalones on Tumblr

That’s it.

I’ll announce the winner next Friday, November 16th, so make sure to enter before noon that day. I will contact whoever wins via post and message. Good luck.

July 17, 2012
The Pantalones sits down with Norway’s Berg&Berg:

Interview Series: No. 2

If you’ve been around the menswear blogosphere, chances are that you’ve heard of the men’s accessory powerhouse that is Berg&Berg. Based in Oslo, Norway, Berg&Berg is run by the husband and wife team of Mathias and Karin Berg. I was lucky enough to have a chat with Mathias and learn a bit more about the brand, the launch of some new products, and how they do modern elegance so damn well. Enjoy:

When was Berg&Berg created, and what led to the creation of the brand?

We launched the brand and webshop in November 2009. It started as a part-time project of passion - we both had normal white collar jobs back then. We really wanted to create something real, not just memos and powerpoint presentations, and after considering a few options, starting an accessories company seemed like the most exciting idea. We traveled to Italy, looked for the best manufacturers and suppliers, and the project was born. Seeing something you have designed turn out great and then hopefully go on to be appreciated by a customer is a great feeling. It would be hard to go back to a normal office job now.

What type of pieces does Berg&Berg produce?

We started with ties, scarves, pocket squares, socks, and cashmere accessories. This fall we are very excited to launch our leather goods and knitwear collection.

Is there a certain type of guy that would wear the accessories that Berg&Berg produces?

I think it´s fair to say that a typical customer is not only interested in the style and design of the product, but also the history, the fabric, the construction and the origin. After talking with quite a few customers, my impression is that they are very knowledgable. I remember reading a New York Times article last year about the new breed of menswear bloggers that “look at men’s fashion the way other guys look at cars, gadgets or even sports”- I think that many of our customers feel the same way.

The knit tie is an essential for the type of man or blogger you just described, and it is certainly one of my favorite products produced at Berg&Berg, for the reason that they are not so simple. What are some of the ways you deviate from the standard solid knit tie?

We try to go beyond the standard silk knit tie and work with other fibers as well, like wool, cashmere, and even linen. The linen knit tie has actually been our most popular item this spring; those things are quite hard to predict in advance. In addition to selecting new, interesting yarns, a knit tie can be woven in many ways to create interesting structures, and we try to do that as well. With the patterns, it´s a balance of creating something interesting that remains classic and will work for many years. 

One of the things I think Berg&Berg does beautifully, and something you just mentioned, is balance classic elegance with contemporary liveliness. How is this balance achieved?

We have a classic and traditional foundation, with regards to design and quality, but we aim to create pieces that are versatile and can be worn in many ways. For years now, classic pieces have been worn by our generation in ways not strictly adhering to the rulebooks of classic clothing: classic tailoring worn in a modern way and classic pieces worn with casual clothing and streetwear. As much as we love a classic navy suit with a spread collar shirt and regimental tie, we try to create a collection that fits a modern customer.

We also try not to be too serious and exclusive in our communication. Although we take the collection very seriously, we don’t have to be that serious. A personal, informal dialouge with our customers is definitely something we value. 

Fabric is obviously a large part of achieving your aesthetic and making an accessory stand out. What goes into the selection of a fabric at Berg&Berg?

It’s all about finding the right mix of texture, colors and pattern, and i’s no secret that we prefer classic patterns that work in a modern setting. We started out building a collection based on our own tastes, and after a while you get sort of a sixth sense telling you “that’s a Berg&Berg fabric.” The fabric selection is a very fun part of the product developement process, a phase where everything is possible. After a while there are always some darlings that have to be killed though.

Berg&Berg seems to take inspiration from a multitude sources. Where does the inspiration for a Berg&Berg piece come from? Does your Norway home play a large role in inspiration?

Yes, inspiration definitely comes from a wide variety of sources; books, movies, music, and of course Tumblr, haha. Being Scandinavian definitely plays a big role. Although a paisley tie or a tartan scarf is not Scandinavian style per se, I believe our Scandinavian viewpoint on classic style gives us a modern, contemporary edge.

Alright, you have to pick two ties, two pocket squares, and two pairs of socks to wear for the rest of your life: go.

Pocket square:

  • White cotton or linen 
  • Dark silk or wool paisley 

Ties:

  • Solid navy silk tie 
  • A grey herringbone cashmere knitted tie

Socks: 

  • Over the calf ribbed wool sock. Navy with light blue dots
  • A heavier wool sock for the colder days

What can the menswear enthusiast expect to see from Berg&Berg in the coming season, in terms of product, material, and inspiration? 

We are so excited to finally show our customers the leather goods collection this fall.  We have worked on this for quite some time now, and it has been a long process to get all the details right. We had many rounds of sampling before we finally found a perfect leather and perfected the features. The collection will definitely be a great addition to the brand. Also the knitwear turned out great, and I believe we found a spot-on balance between modern and classic styles.

(Source: mypantalones)

April 24, 2012
Black Stilletos and The Pantalones present: The Spring Tracklist

This is a mix of tracks, curated by Margarita and myself, for your listening pleasure. We tried to stay pretty far away from your usual radio hip-hop bullshit and give you something a little more real. You’ll find some tracks familiar and some not so familiar, but regardless of the notoriety, these are tracks that make us feel good. Get this tape going and crack a cold one, freestyle in the mirror, throw your illest b-boy stance, lay in the grass, bump it in your car, or do whatever the hell you want. Just make sure you enjoy it.

The Spring Tracklist:

  • Intro
  • Lynguistics | Cunninlynguists
  • RewindRhyme | Gorilla Warfare Tactics
  • Work | Gang Starr
  • Big Bank Hank | Blue Scholars
  • I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman | K-OS
  • Forest Whitaker | Brother Ali
  • The Past Time | Language Arts Crew
  • Can I Kick It | A Tribe Called Quest
  • Ray Charles | Chiddy Bang
  • Stage Dive | Sol
  • Re-Fresh | Common Market
  • I’ve Been Down | Sweatshop Union
  • Quit While You’re Ahead (ft. Choclair, Maestro, Fresh-Wes & Moka Only) | Classified
  • Got To Have It | Method Man
  • LittleManBigCity (ft. Maggie Brown) | Sam Lachow
  • Late For The Sky (ft. Slug & Aesop Rock) | Evidence
  • I Said Hey | Macklemore

Stream/Download Mixtape

Download Separated Tracks 

April 19, 2012

Intro - Black Stilletos x The Pantalones Mixtape 

I’m excited to announce that, sometime in the near future, the beautiful Margarita and I will be dropping a Spring mixtape. This is going to be a collection of our favorite feel-good hip-hop tracks to which we’d like all of our followers to vibe and ride.

I just finished mixing the intro to the tape, so let the anticipation begin. 

Liked posts on Tumblr: More liked posts »