Broke and Bespoke

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On Black Shoes and Busting out of the Groupthink Cycle

I also thrifted these items along with the PRL madras shirt posted earlier. The ties are a hand block printed Robert Talbott neat for Cable Car Clothiers, and a BB diamond neat. The shoes are from Johnston & Murphy’s ‘Handmade in Italy’ line, which have ‘bondwelt’ construction (i.e., glued on soles) and retail for $275-395.

I would never pay full retail for these, or even clearance prices. But if they’re my size, the soles are in good shape (these are), and I see them at the thrift for under $15 I generally will grab them. I’ve got three pairs that were all $12 or under and they’re fine for my needs. If you can’t resole a $12 shoe, wearing them out is still a good value proposition.

As someone whose sartorial education was mostly picked up in bits and pieces from the peripheries of StyleForvm, I’m no stranger to the groupthink that can dominate there. One of the most overwhelmingly dominant sentiments on SF is that black shoes suck, ipso facto (hardcore traditionalists and CBD folks may differ on that point, but they’re in the minority). As a result of buying wholeheartedly into that notion, I feel a little weird and self conscious every time I wear black shoes.

I’m going to embark on an effort to wear black shoes more often, perhaps even once a week (!), in the hopes that I can wean myself off the brown shoe groupthink, and hopefully expand my shoe rotation in the process (I currently have 4 pairs of black shoes that rarely get any wear, and that’s silly). We’ll see how it actually goes, but these tasseled loafers ought to help some.

Bay Area StyleForum Meetup, May 2nd

Mark your calendars folks. The next StyleForum menswear meetup is already on the books and it’s being hosted by famed San Francisco traditional menswear shop, Cable Car Clothiers. You will not want to miss this!

When: Thursday, May 2nd, 6-8pm

Where: Cable Car Clothiers, 100 Sutter Street

StyleForum Meetup at Beckett & Robb TODAY 4/4, 6:00pm

Just a reminder to all my readers who live in the San Francisco area to come join in the fun at tomorrow evening’s Beckett & Robb-hosted StyleForum meetup. Good times are sure to be had, and you’ll get a chance to check out the wide variety of offerings that Beckett & Robb has in terms of MTM suiting.

I was in last Friday getting measured for a suit, and I have to say that I was very impressed by the wide selection of fabrics, the number of customization options, and the quality to price ratio of the suits I saw both on the racks and being worn by Derek and Dustin, tomorrow evening’s gracious hosts.

Where: Beckett & Robb, One Embarcadero Center (street level), San Francisco, 94111

When: Thursday, April 4th, 6:00pm-8:00pm

Seriously, Fok is real-deal ”Rushmore” status…Co-owner of StyleForum, aka the teat that nursed #menswear. 


Seriously, Fok is real-deal ”Rushmore” status…Co-owner of StyleForum, aka the teat that nursed #menswear. 

Shoes: Allen Edmonds “Chester,” StyleForum B+S board $55

Shoes: Allen Edmonds “Chester,” StyleForum B+S board $55

These words are far too kind. It was great to meet omgerald as well, a smart and dapper gentleman to be sure—I think he may have recognized me from my shoes! He was snapping all kinds of pics from the StyleForum 10th Anniversary Party and I hope they continue to pour in over the next few days/weeks…

His amazingly faded/worn jeans and tasselled loafers made a serious run through the #menswear circuit yesterday…


Free shoe shines courtesy of A Suitable Wardrobe and A Shine and Co. at the StyleForum 10 Year Anniversary Celebration

That is brokeandbespoke in the lower picture getting his shoes shined. Super dumbfounded as to how he finds such ill garments on his thrifting excursions. It was great to meet him in person and shoot the breeze a little bit. Everyone I met at the event was just so nice and I’m really glad that I went (though I went by myself haha).

To maintain his mysteriousness, I made sure to exclude his face. Although, he has let his handsomeness grace the internet a few times recently.

Thanks to PocketSquareGuy aka abitofcolor for taking so many awesome pictures from an unforgettable event. I missed the raffle winner announcements—I assume I’ll be receiving an email soon about my $500 gift certificate to Leather Soul… ;-)


Gentlemen arriving for the screening of O’Mast at the W Hotel, San Francisco. This was the first of many events to celebrate the Styleforum 10th Anniversary Weekend.

Man…the collar gap on that dude on the top left is redonkudunkulous. If I didn’t know any better I wouldn’t think that jacket was on that Oxxford ‘ish. I’m surprised they even let this clown in…




More Styleforum Debauchery

Pocket squares being pulled, flies open, flagship burgers, hip hop flashbacks, Sherlock Holmes, Midwestern accents, an endless supply of drink tickets and new friends (shotouts to Ian and Mary).  You really ought have been there.

Kiyoshi was in Austin ~5 days and here he is, throwing up the Horns. 

Also: Crane kicks.

(Source: edwinzee)

Caught the last Bart train back in to the East Bay…What a great time was had at tonight’s StyleForum party. Mil gracias to the eternally gracious Fok for helping to start the whole thing in the first place, all the folks who help keep SF up and running, and a great thank you to the many kind women and men I met tonight…including some real SF legends like PTWilliams who was dressed like Sherlock Holmes, only better; PocketSquareGuy who was generous with the drink tickets; Urban Composition who looks as straight out of Mad Men in real life as he does in his pics; emptym (MTM) who is a real life scholar and general super-nice dude; Label King, who is a gentleman, scholar, eccentric, and overall Renaissance man; and Manton—whose Santa Cruz roots and Berkeley undegrad degree belie the intense sophistication he brings to the menswear game. It was an honor to be in such rarified company.

I also finally got to meet some serious bloggers in the flesh over the weekend: Jesse Thorn at Put This On, The Silentist, ThisFits, Edwin Zee, and several others who help make this thing great fun to do.

Also, I’m not gonna lie…it was pretty sweet to see some things in the flesh: Carminas, St. Crispins, the new Southwick for Epaulet jackets, Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project hangers, Louis Walton hand-sewn ties, a genuine circa 1994 RL Indian Head sweater, etc…Though beautiful, everything at the showcase was a little above the brokeandbespoke budget, which maxes out at about 15 large…Conversion rates these days make 1 large=~$1

Here’s raising a glass to another decade of StyleForum!

Heading out to the StyleForum festivities…

Heading out to the StyleForum festivities…