Men’s stuff & using starch
Men’s stuff is what I usually go for when I shop. WRONG ! I really have to make an effort to stop looking in the men’s department and I force myself to look at girlier pieces when I shop….instead of that oh so soft blouse with the plunging neck- line and tiny buttons I will be drawn like a magnet to the men’s stiff poplin or chambray shirts , slouchy pleated pants, over- sized hoodies, drawstring beach pants, low-crotched wool sweatpants ,long bathing trunks and bermudas and large men’s sized scarves. I am very claustrophobic and subsequently cannot stand tight clothing , so men’s clothing works better for me and also suits my life-style .
I starch my clothes, yes , I do. I have never used fabric softener in my life. I like stiff crisp starched shirts against my skin , and scratchy wool , thick coats and men’s fabrics. If you want to try it just put liquid starch into your washing machine instead of softener, or ask your dry cleaner to starch your shirts , or just spray starch on them before you iron . Starched shirts keep clean for a longer time and protects them against wear and tear. Cotton sheets that are starched feel fresher and have more body.
With towels just dry them outside instead of in the dryer. When you hang them outside to dry they come out all crunchy and scratchy, as if they were starched…delicious.
It is strange that American homes , huge as they are , do not have a place to hang the laundry out to dry. Everyone uses dryers , which ruin your clothes and make them too soft and mushy. In many European cities we dry our clothes on the roof of the building or in a patio. In Europe I do not posses or need a dryer.
Speaking of starched tees , a couple of T shirt companies make the delicious dryish jersey that I like to feel agains my skin. Not too soft, not too drapey , just brittle enough , and for those people who like me prefer a more crisp cotton t shirt to a soft spongy one , check out the new Californian brand Stateside , they have those perfect slouchy tees that are perfect to wear with a more edgy look . The other casual wear / t shirt company I love and look for is the Australian Bassike , like Stateside : too cool for words, makes you want to buy all their jersey collection , from long tees to drawstring pants and shorts.
I am so grateful for Phoebe Philo at Celine who has finally brought us tomboys the perfect masculine pant with a feminine fall to it …a.k.a less droopy and saggy at the bum and perfect with flats too. I always check out what Phoebe is wearing after her show when she comes out of the catwalk to say hello. Guaranteed it will be a great man’s pant from her collection , a Stan Smith sneaker and a gorgeous simple white shirt or a loose slouchy round-neck sweater that looks like a sweatshirt except that it is probably cashmere.
My favorite pant of all times was given to me many years ago by photographer Peggy Sirota. She found this vintage man’s pleated pant in a heavy black wool drape at a flea market in L.A . It was a classic tailor- made gentleman’s pant from England, with pleats, a slouch, a lowish crotch and it hung low on the hips, quite roomy at the thighs and then it tapered down to the ankle . It was perfection! I gave it to my tailor in London , John Pearse , and asked him to copy it for summer and for winter in 5 fabrics over the years and make the jackets to match . This was 15 years ago and I have not changed the style by one stitch .
So imagine my happiness when I see that pant again , presented this week at Burberry Prorsum men’s autumn 2014 show. It is the only pant featured in the show, in black and in grey. See below.
With the pants , I have selected other men’s pieces that I like a lot for this cold winter.
From Burberry Prorsum fall 2014 , the perfect wool pant.
From S Double : the Gitman Bros. blue shirt , suede desert boot/sneaker and plimsoles (made in Europe , not in China)
From Rick Owens : the dropped crotch sweatpants
From Supreme : the Schott Shepskin coat and the wool trench
From Church‘s : the Grizedale brogue boot.