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Kissing Buttons

Describes the close arrangement of cuff buttons on the sleeve of a jacket. Kissing buttons are sewn close together so that they are touching or just overlapping. This used to be the mark of a Savile Row suit, but can now be found on most jackets from a variety of retailers.

Knit

Examples of knit socks can be found as early as Ancient Egyptian times, and there’s still nothing better for a cold day. Although modern sweaters are usually knit by machine, knits made of wool, cotton or synthetic blends all share the warmth and elasticity that characterizes this textile. Knits can be made of thin cashmere or thick and chunky wool to make cable-knits for cold winter days.

Leather

Thirty years ago, a man knew what was meant by the term “dress shoes.” They were the lace-up shoes he wore with a suit – sturdy, plain and designed not to stand out. Oxfords were always “closed laced” – in other words, the two parts of the upper that are drawn together by the laces were sewn under the front part of the shoe. Classic Oxfords still follow that pattern, made with an undecorated vamp, stitched welts and leather soles. They may or may not have a toe cap.

Linen

Linen is a strong fabric woven from flax with a history that goes back even further than biblical times. Smooth and at least twice as strong as cotton, it is delightfully cool in hot weather when made into shirts, jackets, pants or suits. Its one drawback is a tendency to crease and wrinkle, though men who take pleasure in their linen summer gear have been known to remark that this merely adds character.

Loafers

The very name conjures up notions of informality and comfort – and laziness. Did these shoes really catch on because men were too lazy to bend down and tie their laces? Some experts believe loafers originated in Norway, the off-season work of fishermen, before sharp-eyed tourists brought the pattern back to the U.S. in the 1930s. Others point to the moccasin made by First Nations peoples. Either way, penny loafers became a central part of American culture in the mid-20th century.

Long-Point Collar

Also known simply as a point collar, these collars feature a narrow spread between the two points, and are usually considered less formal than their wider counterparts. However, experts who pay attention to the aesthetic relationship between a collar style and the shape of a man’s face and neck recommend a narrow spread for thinner guys.

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