Archive for the ‘shirt’ Category

Microsoft and fashion

Occasional DFOF contributor Steve Clayton alerted us to the Microsoft foray into apparel, and it has been covered by the broader fashion blogosphere. and tech types too.

DFOF supposes that if Camel and Caterpillar can be used to sell clothing, then why not other brands? There are enough geeks out there would would like to own t-shirts with DOS on them. DFOF can think of several of his friends who would love one. 



Microsoft is having some fun with this.


DFOF reckons that Microsoft would be best keeping this to tee-shirts. The brand would be a flop in the undergarment department.


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Hola qué tal von wicho.


Photo from the flickr stream of wicho Thanks.

Immaculate. Double cuff shirt. Perfect cuff length. Curved spread collar is not Dfof’s personal favourite, but it certainly works for Charles Phillips. Simple, bold, olive green tie. Looks like a half-windsor knot, but difficult to be sure. Two button suit. Chalk stripe. Relatively deep gorge. Impeccable fit.

To quote my colleague Jim, “Charles is a snappy dresser.”  In DFOF’s book this is an understatement, a very rare thing at an enterprise software conference.

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DFOF, like most people in the software industry it seems, reads Hugh’s  Gapingvoid. Hugh currently resides in West Texas. You may be relieved to know that this post will not discuss how one should dress in Alpine Texas. DFOF would not dare to discuss Texan fashions, as that is not in his research area.

One of Hugh’s real life friends (so more than a mere follower) is Thomas Mahon. He is a tailor who blogs. He makes bespoke suits. One day DFOF hopes to own a Mahon suit. In the meantime, DFOF must be content merely to read his blog.  This video is well worth a watch.

Thomas  and Hugh are friends with JP, whose blog, Confused of Calcutta, all people in the software industry should read. It will make you smarter, and you will also learn about cricket. JP picked up on the Advertising standards authority’s decision to water down the meaning of the word bespoke. Nasty stuff this, JP covers it well. 

Moving on to the shirt.

Thomas used to have a line in shirts too, but the suit business is so busy that he hasn’t got the time to focus on shirts. All is not lost, as he says on his blog:

As you know, I always like to keep an eye on wonderful products made here in the UK , and recently I found this super little business called “The White Shirt Company” It’s an unusual concept, but it’s one that makes good sense. Lola Cashman is a little fanatical about the virtues of a crisp, beautifully made white shirt. This is, of course, very understandable because it is a classic that never dates or fails to make you feel brand new in the morning. Lola has them made here in the UK and amazes me how far she goes to look after her clients.

All the details regarding materials and workmanship are all you’d expect on the finest of English shirts. The beauty is that they’re ready to order online and you can be wearing one of these in a couple of days, or even in three hours if you’re in central London. She does offer made-to-measure, and she’ll also alter stock sizes for you. So all-in-all it’s a very nice service. I know this because I wear some of Lola’s shirts myself and they’re what they say they are. They also supply this little gem, what a super idea.

It seems an odd concept to only supply white shirts, but it is also so refreshing that someone wants to specialise and do it so well. Check them out. You won’t be disappointed by the product or the service.

DFOF has discussed the white shirt before, but good things are worth repeating. If in doubt, go with a white shirt.

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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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A sartorial wilderness.

DFOF didn’t attend the Crunchies, so he is relying on flickr  and blogs for his coverage.  The folks from Zivity sponsored the photo shoot.

It was, by many accounts, an excellent bash. For those that don’t know, the Crunchies are the

The Internet Startup world’s equivalent of the Oscars

Across the vast expanse of chinos, dull blazers, and blue shirts, the occasional glimpse of something resembling an interesting outfit could be seen, but the dirty tide of business casual overwhelmingly dominated.

The dress sense of the award winners is grim.  Nothing hip, nothing radical, nothing innovative, perhaps one here or there vaguely smart, but really just oceans of drab dullness. A payroll conference would be more fashionable and edgy.

An honourable exception mention should go to Matt from WordPress.  He, at least, wore a tie. And it matched.  DFOF would have avoided the button down shirt with a tie, but compared to the other winners,  Matt was Jude Law.

Fewer men than try it can do stubble though.

Before next year’s awards, DFOF hopes that the nominees and attendees visit The Sartorialist Blog.   DFOF would prefer to write something upbeat.


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As a Dedicated Follower of Fashion, you cringe when handed another stupid T-shirt at a tech conference, you adjust your New Media glasses, glance at your iPhone, and move on. But what if that T-shirt embodied the hipness you so desire and that is your hallmark? Well, Atlassian is having a T-shirt design competition. You no longer can sit idle. This is your opportunity

Disclaimer: We have not formed a judging committee, I have no idea whether or not I will be on the committee, and the decision could be made by a couple of engineers over a lot of beer in Sydney. These facts do not prevent me from giving you, Dear Reader some valuable insights into this hotly contested competition.

As an employee I am officially disqualified from Atlassian’s T-Shirt competition, which irks me to no end as I would whip everyone’s ass in this competition. Nevertheless, I am compelled to dispense potentially useful information on how you might stand out from the crowd pounding down our doors with spectacular designs and ideas. Here are some possible strategies for you Closet T-Shirt Designers:

Strategy #1: Design something a woman might wear. Being engineers and being men generally, we have a terrible habit of designing things that are questionable when written across a woman’s chest. The original clean, simply designed Confluence T-shirt is one of my favs but as you can see…


This is a risky, breakout strategy as our founders are 28 year-old Australian men and of course, engineers and opinionated at times. But I think the timing is right to do the right thing by women, as Kathy Sierra pointed out a long time ago.

Strategy #2: It’s all about a clever, funny tagline. With this strategy, the design is irrelevant. Take our most coveted JIRA T-shirt. To this day, people love the tagline:


Strategy #3: Get edgy. This is risky as you might go too far. Here’s an example of one of our more recent T-shirts which may have gone too far:


This one may say something about engineers who spend too much time in front of their monitors, but I’ll let you draw your own conclusion.

Strategy #4: Make something retro and timeless.
The problem with retro is it is in the eye of the beholder, and I’m not sure there’s anything retro about a 5-year old software company. My favorite example but a really sweet T-shirt is this beauty I got from Ted Leung:


[Disclosure: I used a Newton for 18 months. I still own it.]

Strategy #5: Sex. That’s right. Sex would be a cheap trick but Hey, stooping to the lowest common denominator works often. Here’s Yelp who in a lot of their branding uses some of the same tricks as American Apparel:


Yelp can get a bit frisky with their marketing of their apparel:


Would this cheap tactic work with a bunch of young engineers in Sydney? You decide.

[as blogged on www.radiowalker.com]

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Sublime elegance from Xavier of Geneva.  DFOF has met him on a number of occasions, but alas, without a camera.  DFOF stole one on this particular evening in Stockholm, but you will agree it was in a good cause.

Here,  at the end of a very long day, Xavier  immaculate  in an  ‘old’  Corneliani Suit.   Please note the cuff length. He obeys the first rule of suitdom;  make sure it fits.  The starched but unbuttoned cuffs add a deft touch,  finished off with a neatly tied scarf.

He takes the DFOF award for the Most  Sartorially Adept  IT project manager.

And here, the perfect winter boot, in this case from Prada. A blot in the copybook as they could do with a shine, but in Xaiver’s defence, he’d walked through the worst that a late November Stockholm  could throw at him. Also the carpet wasn’t his fault. Note the sock length – no winter shins peeking out here, even though the legs are crossed.

DFOF is attempting to snare him as the French speaking correspondent. 

By the way, Xavier’s project was a great success with ROI galore, but that would be for a different blog. 

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