Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ralph in Paris

[A bit delayed, but nonetheless...]

It was an exciting day at the Ralph Lauren offices when the announcement was finally made public that Ralph Lauren will show his Men's Spring 2009 Purple and Black Label Collections next week in Paris.

DNR broke the news on June 12 and confirmed that Ralph has secured a spot on the last (and most anticipated) day of Paris Men's Fashion Week. This is a big move for the RL clan, showing the collections abroad earlier than in years past, usually during late summer in New York. Other big players showing the same week include Lanvin, Dior Homme, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Paul Smith, among others. Let the games begin....

The major move won't disappoint. Perhaps someone typing this post has seen a sneak peak of the looks for Spring and they are looking very promising. Can't give anything away until the pictures surface next week, but Ralph is coming on strong with the best of the best from Purple Label and is reinventing the modern young man with Black Label.

It's crazy to be thinking about next Spring already as Fall has yet to hit stores. But, not to worry, Fall is on the way (despite scorching temperatures across the country) and will be delivering classic Fall pieces per usual. An entry is in the works as to how to build the perfect Fall wardrobe, complete with pictures and cool tips, etc. Be on the lookout for that one coming closer to the cool weather.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bespoke: Lost in Translation?

Bespoke has lost its meaning.

"Bespoke" roots its meaning from the 17th century when men would walk in to tailors and pick a roll of cloth to be cut into a suit. The roll had then "been spoken for." Today the premise is still the same. Go to a tailor, pick out a fabric and have well over 20 measurements taken, multiple fittings, and a voice in every aspect of the handmade work of wearable art. The suit is constructed to specifications to flatter every line and measurement of your body. The average price for a Savile Row bespoke suit can quickly get above $7,000. There truly is no compromise for a bespoke suit.

However, in today's increasing quest for luxury within fashion, "bespoke" and "made-to-measure" are used interchangeably. This is unacceptable. "Made-to-measure" is simple having a pre-made template cut to your measurements and can be done by machine or by hand. Sadly, the British Advertising Standards Agency does not agree with the tradition of bespoke. On June 18, 2008, the British Advertising Standards Agency did not support the complaints Savile Row Bespoke (the group that represent Savile Row tailors) made against London retailer Sartoriani. Sartoriani recently ran ads for a "bespoke" suits for under $1000. These suits were actually machine cut in a German factory.

The British Advertising Standards Agency seems to have ignored all tradition and talent that goes along with the word "bespoke." Regardless of what the standards agency thinks, bespoke is a handmade suit with multiple fittings, well over 20 measurements, and custom in every aspect. True bespoke is really the ultimate in men's suiting and will always remain this way.

Monday, June 16, 2008

TOMS Shoes

TOMS shoes are a version of the Argentinean shoes called alpargatas, similar to an espadrille.  They are made of many different materials, including canvas, burlap, and suede fitted to a rubber sole.  We have been wearing TOMS since Spring 2007 and we are infatuated.  They are comfortable and a great alternative to a sandal or flip flop.  Paired with cropped chinos, a pair of shorts, or a swimsuit TOMS look great for any occasion.

TOMS come in a variety of colors and are great year round.  The plaid ones above are great for summer.  There is a pair in navy canvas with white soles for the ultimate nautical look.  Best of all they are for a good cause.  For every pair purchased, a pair is given to a child in need.  Since their start TOMS (Shoes for Tomorrow) has donated over 60,000 pairs of shoes to children in Argentina and South Africa.  In 2008 their goal is to give over 200,000 pairs to children all over the world.

TOMS shoes: fashionable, affordable, philanthropic, and just plain cool.

photo courtesy of

A Navy Tie Affair: Defined

You might be wondering exactly what A Navy Tie Affair entails. Well we’re here to tell you. Our names are Attly and Will. We represent the ATL and the great state of Texas and are here to serve the world with our grandiose knowledge (thus far) of fashion as we see it. So, who do we think we are making such sweeping statements? Here’s a little background. From the days of mom dressing us in Ralph Lauren corduroys and saddle oxfords, fashion has been in our blood, an innate calling, if you will.

As the years passed, fashion trends have come and gone. Unfortunately, we found ourselves guilty of latching on to some of the bad ones, but hey, who hasn’t been down that road. Nonetheless, we have always stuck out from the crowd and constantly tried to bring something new to the table. Time has been spent honing skills with Neiman Marcus and Ralph Lauren, in fact we are currently working for Ralph Lauren in New York City for the summer. Thus, we decided it would be worthwhile to begin chronicling our style, cool things we’ve found, inspiration and anything else that comes to mind.

So that brings us up to date: A Navy Tie Affair. We don’t wear black. In fact, we loathe black, with the classic tuxedo as a tiny exception. Fashion has forever depended on black as a go-to color for timelessness and elegance, but it’s just so boring. Alas, we have found our wardrobes based around navy instead of black. In essence, we are an update to the classic Black Tie Affair: something for the young, modern and stylish man to take note of and update his basic black with navy. It’s as simple as that.