Archive for the ‘jeans’ Category

DFOF is mildly irked

That he and his able band of geek  experts weren’t invited to cover the Crunchies from a fashion perspective. Perhaps we are too incisive, cutting edge and critical for the soft underbelly of silicon valley fashion? Last year we labelled it a sartorial wilderness.  Based on a browse through flickr, we see little evidence of improvement this year. A spotted waistcoat was about it. And when a Microsoft executive looks positively dapper then these are indeed trying times.


image   Even though Hugh wasn’t there, and this cartoon was drawn before the event, he managed to capture its essence. That is genius. We note that in true 2.0 style some folks have a business doing a geek fashion blog combined with some sort of online shop thingy. It is called hiscatalog.com DFOF wishes them luck.  They have written very kind things about the award winners in the hope that people will click on the pictures and buy the clothes.


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Shirts and Pants.

I’m lucky enough to work in a place where I get to determine the dress code, and while it’s tempting to insist that everyone wear purple, ribbons in their hair, or tuxedos, the knob is permanently set to whatever. Squeezing into suits and heels is necessary for most client work (none of ours being particularly boho) but around the office? Wear what you feel like. That being said, there are others present, so looking like a total slob is not particularly desirable.

LIZA!Personally, I have always had a thing for collared shirts and a certain level of rumpled formality, which probably stems from doing time at a private school. Instead of uniform-appropriate tennis shirts and turtlenecks, I always opted for a tie and slightly wrinkly white Ralph Lauren button-downed shirt. There’s something about old-fashioned men’s casual wear I have always liked, and if it wasn’t considered campy and Liza Minelli-ish for women to wear ties, I’d be in one right now.

steven alan shirtFinding the perfect cotton collared shirt has been something I’ve been working on for quite some time. This desire was unrequited until about a year ago, when I stumbled upon a store called Steven Alan in New York. The outpost I found is on Elizabeth Street, and very nearly a literal hole in the wall (as well as being right beside a Cuban diner that is endlessly packed, no matter what time of day you walk by). At first it looked like men’s shirts only, stack upon stack of them. But lo, upon further investigation, they offered women’s apparel as well.

The moment I tried on my first shirt, in red gingham (what’s not to love about red gingham? So what if I look like a picnic table, or Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island? It’s cheerful, damn you!) I was hooked. I knew that Steven Alan was making shirts just for me. With button seams that are stitched just so to lay the collar perfectly open at the neck, they at first actually appear to be straight-up Brooks Brothers fare, until you get close. The subversion is in the details, including seams on the outside and pockets on the inside (Note: if you are at all broad-shouldered, these shirts are not for you. They’re very much crafted with skinny geeks in mind). I have since bought four shirts from Mr. Alan and am dangerously close to creating a uniform for myself. But that’s another issue altogether.

Earnest Sewn jeansSo now, what say you of pants? I am a jeans sort of person, and while I was assured a number of years ago that pencil-legged jeans were out, out, OUT, to be replaced by wide-legged pants of all sorts, I note with humour that this trend has taken a little longer than expected to land, with mainstream ads touting the shift only really starting to be plentiful this year. Of course that didn’t stop me from snapping up those wide-legged jeans ages ago. However, my personal preference is for flared-leg (“boot cut”) jeans that are not too low-rise (all that does is show the world your underwear when you’re least expecting it).

I was always a Gap girl, and convinced that anyone who spent more than $80 on denim was a total moron. Until I tried on my first pair of designer jeans at the venerable Henry Lehr, one of Manhattans’ finest dungaree purveyors. That changed everything. I’m now a total designer jean convert (it’s about cut, colour fastness, and, shall we say, “support”), and have again been lucky enough to find a brand that wears like it was made just for me.

Earnest Sewn jeans are made my crazy people that say things like,

Our concept lies in the idea of mixing the Japanese beauty aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi, with denim’s Americana past. In staying true to this we incorporate pride in workmanship and commitment to authenticity.

I pretty much have no idea what that means, but damn, I love your jeans, Earnest Sewn!

This universe of high-end denim features a manufacturing process that’s more like what you might expect from a master craftsperson, not a clothier, and the ES routine includes,

The Sewer who sews the entire garment from start to finish (instead of a factory assembly line) without any guides on the sewing machine (further adding to the hand made feel of the garment), the hand sander who sands down the jean with sand paper (after completing months of charcoal drawing training before he is ready to work on our garment), and the wet process technician, who washes the jean, resin coats it, and oven bakes it.

The three people who have worked on the pants then hand stamp it and sign their names. The Gap, this ain’t, on so many levels.

As usual, this post has more to do with stuff I like to buy than it does with geekiness in general; this is mostly because I am a bad person who forgot to bring my camera to SXSWi and I have a quota to fill.

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The Boing Boing look

Thanks to the DFOF 2.0 paparazzi model, aka the wisdom of  spies, we bring you Cory Doctorow,the fellow behind the most excellent boing boing blog.

Cory Doctorow

(photo from the flickrstream of rooreynolds, trainspotted by Cote)

This could be described as if Gucci does Railroad Engineering hats, but if one is going to wear a hat, make it iconic and take no prisoners. This example beats the both beret and the Mao look by a considerable margin. The Ray-Ban wayfairers (or v similar) with clear lenses – pure goodness.

Aleks, Cory and Giff

The complete look works well. The turned up jeans remind DFOF of the days of Bros, but that was 20 years ago. Let bygones be bygones.

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Thingamy’s threads.

Sig, founder of Thingamy  is no slouch. 


sig 1 



Hankerchief lifts the blazer.



Crisp, elegant, polished  and perfectly put together.


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Steve Jobs and Style

Via this Gismodo post we bring you exactly what Steve Jobs wears:  Levi 501’s, St Croix mock turtleneck and New Balance 991s.

Steve Jobs  and the iPhone

(photo Dan Farber’s  excellent stream)

There has been a lot written about his outfit, and it does a remarkably good job at keeping him instantly recognisable.  As Steve  Heller (a well known design historian)  notes

How does this pertain to a journal of Design? Steve Jobs is design. When he gets up before the public he is a logo. His uniform is key to this corporate identity. I suppose I could have said as much in an analytical narrative, but I chose to write it as I felt it. There is something comic about it, no?
Frankly, I enjoy how he’s branded himself in relation to his usually wonderful products. Look how different he and Bill Gates are in this regard. Its fascinating.

It has the side effect of making anyone wearing something similar seem like a wannabe.  This is an unremarkable outfit, but what is impressive is the consistently with which he maintains the look. (see here for a pic from 1997)

 He has made it his own.

From lostinafog…(very funny blog btw)  One of the few times he has even mildly deviated from this look was for the launch of the nike-ipod. He wore Nikes.

After that he returned to the New Balance. (picture via cult of mac)

If you are interested in other fashion insights, packed with wit and wisdom, the brilliant Manolo’s Shoe Blog and spinoffs are well worth a  regular visit.  See his choice of  “athletic shoes”

 DFOF  would like this book.

(By the way The New Balance 991’s have been discontinued, replaced by the 992’s. )

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