Bay Area StyleForum/tumblr Menswear Meetup

Good times were had by all. In attendance were Gus (abitofcolor), Ian (fromsqualortoballer), Bill Charman (who has made a name for himself @ SFx10 and elsewhere…), and Gregory Walton (of Louis Walton fame). I can vouch for the fact that no more are needed for a party…

Passed between greedy paws for #menswear inspection were 1) Greg Walton’s handmade-by-him amazing shell cordovan wallet (if you’re lucky they’ll be available to the masses in the near future), 2) Gus’s newly acquired bespoke Napolisumisura tweed sport coat (replete with special truffle stashing pockets) 3) a couple of vintage Rolex Submariners (Gus’s late-1980s and Bill’s late-1960s) 4) a vintage Omega TV-face watch (Ian’s) 5) Bill’s real-ass faint-worthy John Lobb wingtips. 

Spurred on by From Squalor to Baller’s post on replacement buttons (link), and suggestions from among others Horizontal Justice, I ordered some new horn buttons from BespokeButtons on eBay and had my tailor switch them out on my thrifted Kiton navy blazer.  For about $30 bucks all in I’ve now doubled my investment in this jacket.

Thanks for the inspiration, guys.  


Summer is San Francisco’s strangest season because it only seems to come when it’s not actually summer. And so while the rest of the country has been experiencing rain, snow, and other frigid weather, the last few weeks in San Francisco have been absolutely gorgeous.

It’s the type of weather that encourages you to hang out on your friend’s patio, drink beer, and talk theories about House of Cards and True Detective.

Don’t be envious though. Today, the rain has come back to the Bay Area, which means the next time summer decides to come back, it might already be October.

Getting To Know: Ian Anderson

The words engineer and sartorialist are rarely used in the same sentence. They’re so far apart that neither of them are used to describe the other. Except when you’re talking about Ian Anderson of From Squalor to Baller. Ian’s blog takes the “Buy less Buy Better” approach that is ever so popular in the online menswear community, but he also follows it up with “Buy within your means”. 

It’s a pleasure to feature Ian this week, we appreciate that he took the time to answer some questions.


WTW: Name and Occupation

FSTB: Ian Anderson, Structural Engineer.

WTW: How does the city influence your personal style?

FSTB: San Francisco, while not as formal as other large cities, has a distinct sense of style and hosts a huge variety of looks, from the bankers in FiDi to the twentysomething techies in SOMA and the Peninsula. I enjoy watching how men combine casual and formal elements to appear put-together but not too dressed up. Moreover, San Francisco is the birthplace of denim, and I don’t think any city in the USA does it better.

WTW: Who is your favorite artist? (e.g. painter, sculptor )

FSTB: Andy Goldsworthy.

WTW: Favorite book?

FSTB: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

WTW: Favorite museum?

FSTB: The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland.

WTW: Favorite non-alcoholic drink? Alcoholic drink?

FSTB: I don’t think I could ever pick a favorite. There’s just too much good stuff out there.

WTW:What are some of your hobbies?

FSTB: When I’m not working or blogging, I love to play music. I play a lot of jazz piano (although I’m not gigging as much as I used to), and when I’m not doing that I’m usually leading singalongs with my guitar. Outside of that, I like to take walks around San Francisco and explore what the city has to offer to the average pedestrian.

WTW: Favorite store; clothing or otherwise??

FSTB: There are lots of great spots nearby, so I can’t really pick a favorite. I do love Britex, the fabric store downtown. It’s full of amazing fabric, buttons, and more – I love the unending rows of raw materials and the potential that they represent.

WTW: What are the places someone must visit if they only have three days in your city?

FSTB: I think San Francisco is best explored by foot, and the journey should be complemented by many food stops. Burritos in the Mission, Italian food in North Beach, Thai in the Sunset, and so on. Outside of that, San Francisco’s hills offer lots of amazing views to those willing to hike up them; climb up Twin Peaks, Dolores Park, Alamo Square, and the Marin Headlands to see what the city really looks like.

WTW: California has never been known for their well-dressed men. However, the bay area is now known as one of the better dressed areas of the country. In your opinion, what has caused the recent shift in the way men are dressing there?

FSTB: Many people attribute (or blame, perhaps) the “Business Casual” movement to the Bay Area, and for the most part I think that it’s a reasonable conclusion. However, that laid-back style has given birth to a sense of dress that is put-together and still casual. I think it’s no accident that some of the city’s most popular men’s stores bridge dress and casual – Unionmade, Self Edge, and Alden, for instance. Moreover, the current rebirth of menswear is due largely to the affects of the internet – blogs, e-stores, etc – and no city understands tech as well as San Francisco!

Image via From Squalor to Baller

anonymous asked:

I appreciate dressing well and I'm actively working to build a wardrobe but the hardest thing for me to find is a dress shirt because my neck is extremely large around and nearly nonexistent height wise. Any tips or pointers would be greatly appreciated.

It’s tough to give you an exact answer without knowing your budget or exact measurements, but little knowledge of facts has never stopped me before.

I’m going to assume that you are asking because most off-the-rack options just won’t work for you, and that’s fine. Even buying in a large neck size and spending the extra $20 to get the body slimmed down might not be the answer.  I can’t think of any brand off-hand that will elongate your neck without strangling you, but it might just be a matter of trial and error for you until you find something works.

The other option is to go made-to-measure. We live at a time where the advancement of technology and the online interest in #menswear has bred a number of online MTM services that may be your panacea. Unfortunately, I have no hands-on experience with any of these services in order to provide a recommendation. So that is where we can turn our friend the internet for help!

StyleForum and AskAndyAboutClothes are excellent resources to learn about all things clothing.  Check out this thread on SF and this one on AAAC for help.

Fellow bloggers The Silentist (here), This Fits (here) and From Squalor to Baller (here and here) have reviewed various MTM services, and I highly recommend those articles as well as their blogs in general.

Finally, when picking a shirt you should remember to select the right collar for your face. British-styled cutaways are all the rage right now and the spread collar is always popular, while the dreaded point collar gets crapped on daily despite its “timelesness”. But you should make the decision for your shirts not based on what is trending on Tumblr, but what best compliments your face. In general, round faces should counteract that shape with a point collar while oval or long faces should opt for a spread.  Here’s a link to what Alan Flusser has to say on the issue.  Not a hard and fast rule, but something to keep in mind.

So, that’s basically a really long winded way of saying I don’t know, but hopefully the world wide web can help. Sorry.

Tumblr followers, any advice for this thick-necked anon?