This style of cuff features a double row of buttons that allows the wearer to adjust the size of the cuff according to his preference and the size of his wrist and hand.
This pattern originated in the Scottish Highlands of the 17th century, but it’s certainly not old-fashioned. Taken from the traditional tartan of Clan Campbell, the pattern features repeating diamond shapes with intersecting diagonal lines, and comes in a variety of colours and sizes. Long associated with the golf course, it looks great on your socks and sweaters off the links, too.
The aviator hat evolved in the days of open-cockpit airplanes as necessary protection for a pilot’s head. Like a close-fitting leather helmet with a small peak, ear flaps and a chin strap, it was lined with fleece or fur for warmth. While such headgear finally became obsolete after World War II, aviator hats adapted to civilian life. Sometimes trimmed with coyote fur to keep the face warm, today’s aviators are often made from high-tech fabrics for lightness and maximum comfort.
A dress shirt that features a barrel cuff has a reinforced cuff joined by two buttons. Often these cuffs will have two rows of buttons to allow the wearer to adjust the fit. A barrel cuff is considered appropriate for semi-formal and business occasions and is the most common dress shirt cuff.
In addition to holding a man’s pants up, the belt offers a glimpse of leather or fabric such as canvas to complement his shoes; hence, the golden rule that the belt should match the shoe in terms of colour. Most trousers are made with belt loops and they can look unfulfilled without a belt. When worn with a suit or smart sports jacket, the general preference is for a discreet leather belt in either brown or black – matching the shoe colour.
Bird’s-eye is a woven pattern often seen in fabrics used for suits, jackets and neckwear. Its distinction is innumerable small dots of colour arranged geometrically. The pattern can also be overlaid with a windowpane check.
Prussian general Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher has been immortalized in footwear. In the early years of the 19th century, he commissioned a new boot for the Prussian infantry with leather side pieces that could be drawn up and laced together over the instep. In the fullness of time this evolved into the blucher shoe, also known as the Derby, its distinguishing feature still being “open lacing,” with the two parts of the shoe that are laced together being sewn on top of the shoe rather than beneath it.
The classic boat shoe (or deck shoe) was invented in 1935 by Paul Sperry, who was looking for a way to improve the traction of shoes on the slippery deck of a boat. He cut a herringbone pattern of grooves into the soles of a pair of lace-up loafers and was delighted with the result. The “Authentic original Sperry Top-Sider” was born. In the 1980s, boat shoes became an integral part of the American preppy look and have since undergone many adaptations, including the transformation from a lace-up into a slip-on. Traditionalists do this in another way, by tying the laces in a “can’t come undone” barrel knot.
The bomber jacket was originally made in sheepskin and was designed in England, in 1926, by an American former stunt pilot named Leslie Irvin. While his shearling versions were worn by Allied crews during the Second World War, the iconic leather bomber was developed for the American Air Corps by Schott Bros. Reaching down only to the waist, it offered warmth and protection in the cockpit without any cumbersome bulk.
Boot-cut jeans are straight through the hip and thigh, flaring out slightly at the bottom (but not so much as to suggest a return to the 1970s). These jeans often have a lower rise and are a great everyday look, not to mention a welcome break from squeezing into your skinny jeans.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. It can often be used as an imitation of gold, or as a semi-precious metal in its own right. Brass is quite shiny though not very durable, and most often appears in a man’s wardrobe for his buttons, belt buckles, shoe buckles, tie bars, cufflinks and other jewellery. It must be regularly polished to maintain its bright gleam.
Brogues take their name from the Gaelic word bróg, meaning “to pierce a piece of leather with an awl.” The original brogues were practical deerskin shoes worn by rural men as they tramped across the rain-sodden moors of Ireland and Scotland. Those shoes had holes punched into the uppers so that any water that got inside the shoe could find its way out when the wearer took his next squelchy step.
First introduced by Brooks Brothers in 1896, the button-down collar is now a staple of a man’s wardrobe. It has been considered appropriate for business on this side of the Atlantic since the 1950s, but is also a feature of more casual shirts for weekend wear due to its sporting heritage. This style comes in a range of fabrics and can definitely be worn morning through evening.