The process of narrowing down my aesthetic and determining my style has taken years. But at last I have recently settled on something that I’m comfortable putting in words: Ivy League sensibility with a generous dose of Southern Italian insouciance.
Ivy League is so appealing to me because it uses accessible fabrics and has an easiness about it—it’s both comfortable and easy to look good in with minimal effort. I like to take the Ivy League aesthetic and apply a contemporary southern Italian cut and fit to make it more appealing.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll recognize that I am a major fan of Eidos Napoli. The reason is because the silhouettes Eidos produces in tailored clothing nail my style perfectly—a soft, un-padded, natural shoulder line; a flattering, fitted, yet not tight shape; and contemporary fabrics and design details. Obviously it is a big help that it fits me nearly perfectly right off the hanger, which will not be true for everybody.
But my aesthetic of Ivy League prep with Southern Italian tailoring is expressed exceptionally well in Eidos’ collections. Chalk it up to design director Antonio Ciongoli being the grandson of Italian tailors and the son of an Ivy League college graduate in New England.
Whatever the case, this is my style, and this is what you’ll find reflected most on this blog.
Recommended Brands and Shops
Of course I love Eidos, but I wear a lot of other brands, too. Here are the shops I have bookmarked and shop at regularly.
I love this store's entire premise, and their product delivers. Their aesthetic is fantastic, and their quality matches it.
This is an awesome, economical shop with attractively designed menswear. I vouch strongly for their ties, and am anxious to try their polos and tailored jackets (which are the most exciting thing since Eidos, in my opinion).
Lots to love from Ralph, though the primary things I've gotten from him the last several years have been shoes and ties. That said, he's got some of the most killer outerwear, and his tailoring options can be great—less boring and better styling, generally, than Brooks Brothers.
This shop carries some of the best and most interesting clothing from some difficult to find labels. A majority of my Eidos sportcoats are the NMWA-exclusive cut. But they also carry an excellently curated selection of brands that cover the gamut from streetwear to high tailoring. A definite bookmark.
These guys do great online made-to-measure shirts. Two of my most-worn, favorite shirts are from there. I prefer the Soft Roma Cutaway and Soft Ivy Button-Down collars for most everything, with Soft Roma Spread for shirts I know I'll only ever wear with a tie. This link gets you $20 off your first order.
Not quite the powerhouse it once was, but I still love a lot of the ideas J.Crew puts out. Especially for someone at the beginning of building a wardrobe, it is an excellent place to get some solid menswear.
Yes you read that right. While my closet isn't filled with it, some of my favorite sweaters and jeans are from Abercrombie. What I'm usually looking for there is outerwear, knitwear and casual stuff I don't want to pay too much for (like pajama pants or tees).
This Canadian brand packs a lot of value in good-quality menswear. They are aiming to be a viable competitor to SuitSupply, with a similar-quality product, only for less money in most cases. I particularly love their trousers and chinos, and am keeping a close eye on their tailored jackets.
I look here for quality shoes (Peal & Co. in particular), classic ties and Oxford button-down shirts, knitwear and outerwear. I look at their Red Fleece line for casual knitwear, and I have a few pairs of Red Fleece chinos too.
Another mall brand that I'm all about for certain things. I shop online to avoid feeling old (ha!). But in particular, I buy their jeans (slim-straight is my favorite silhouette of theirs) and their boxers.
These guys make a great product at a great price point. What's great, though, is they use pretty interesting fabrics in their tailoring, so you're not stuck with the same old boring grays and blues all the time.