Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Impressions of Boston

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I spent a long weekend in Boston; it was our first visit to that historic city.  We stayed at the Omni Parker House, the home of the Parker House roll and Boston cream pie.  Interestingly, JFK proposed to Jackie in the hotel restaurant, and Ho Chi Mihn was once a pastry chef in its kitchen.

I traveled to Boston with the preconceived notion that the city was filled with gentleman's shops.  I was hoping to find shops filled with leather and wood, wool and cigar smoke.  I was sorely disappointed.  The hottest shopping spot is Newbury Street where one finds Burberry, Armani, and other similar high-end, high-priced fashion shops.  The most interesting store I found was J. Press in Cambridge, but I even left there empty-handed.

Between trips to the local taverns for beer and the World Cup, I did a lot of people watching.  I was surprised to discover that the population is largely composed of young, fit individuals; maybe I've grown too used to Southern obesity. 

The standard male uniform appeared to be dark, flat-front trousers, a black belt with modern silver buckle, black shoes and a blue striped or checked button-down shirt (sans jacket or tie).  Even in the downtown area I rarely saw a man wearing a tie. 

I was more perplexed by the attire of the young women in Boston.  I saw countless attractive women wearing blouses with a low scallop in the back that completely revealed the back of their bra, including the straps and the fastener.  It reminded me of the thugs that wander around with sagging pants and exposed boxers.  I'm no expert on women's clothing so I'm not sure what advice I would give those young women.  Is it too risqué to wear those blouses without a bra?  Maybe.  But in my mind underwear should go under ones' clothing.

Notwithstanding its lack of sartorial splendor, I found Boston to be safe, interesting and historical.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Reader Question: Tie Cleaning

Where should one send a tie to be professionally cleaned?

Although I have never used their service, it appears from a search of the online style forums that Tiecrafters is the consensus favorite.  Their tie cleaning service is $10.50 per tie, with a four tie minimum.

By no means should you take a tie to your local dry cleaner.  Your neighborhood cleaner is probably clueless about how to properly clean a tie.  They would likely press the tie, causing the rolled edges to be cruelly flattened and possibily even damaging the silk.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Men's Flair

Men's Flair has flattered me with an offer to become a weekly contributor to their online style magazine.  I will be joining several other columnists including one of my favorite bloggers, Simon Crompton, who writes at Permanent Style.  My first column should appear in the next day or two.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Warby Parker Review

This weekend I finally got my hands on some Warby Parker eyeglass frames.  As part of their free home try-on service, Warby Parker shipped me five frames of my choice.  I ordered the Miles (pictured), Fillmore, Zagg (in two colors) and the Langston.  They arrived second-day air packaged in a nice black box with "Warby Parker" embroidered in gray on the top.  After examining the frames, I find myself quite impressed with the styling, quality and price (only $95). 

Unfortunately I was disappointed by the fit.  I tried on the Fillmore frames first and was shocked at how narrow they were between the temples.  I found the Zagg and Miles to be equally narrow.  The Langston was better, but even the temples of that pair splayed apart slightly.  I looked back at the Warby Parker website to see if I had somewhere missed a sizing selection.  I then discovered that most of the frames are listed as "Width: Medium."  A very few, like the Langston, are listed as "Width: Wide."  I have a relatively large head (my hat size is 7 3/8), but it's not a watermelon.  Yet even the widest available frames (of which the selection is small) are too small for my face.  This is somewhat surprising to me; I had assumed that these big, chunky-styled glasses would also be proportionally larger in size.  I was mistaken.  Hopefully if Warby Parker continues to enjoy success they will decide to offer some of their great styles in a variety of sizes.

If you have narrow or slight features then I would heartily recommend a pair of Warby Parker eyeglasses.  Nowhere will you find comparable style and quality for the money.  If you have a big head like me I guess, at least for now, you will have to look elsewhere.