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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Catchup With Will Boehlke From A Suitable Wardrobe - And Some Suggestions On Shoes

I had asked Will Boehlke to comment on trends based on the recent Pitti in Florence but it is the wrong thing to ask Will about since he is a man steeped in classicism. What I got were some great tips for the man who doesn't know enough about the art of timeless dressing. Here is a catchup with Will Boehlke. 

Firstly, might I ask you about the shoes I saw you wearing recently with a linen suit? They were extraordinarily beautiful and I think Australians might want to know how to ask for something similar.

They are Edward Green Buckinghams with a spectator style ecru goatskin apron.

In Australia, Edward Green shoes can be ordered through Double Monk in Melbourne

I saw recently that you are darting around Europe – what are you seeing as trends in tailored menswear?

I may be the last person you should ask about trends in menswear but there are more scarves being worn in a loose wrap as a necktie replacement in France, Italy and increasingly in the U.S. With a jacket of course.

Can you tell me about laces and what are the different types of laces you can wear with your shoes depending on the time of day? I recently saw a magnificent pair of Gaziano & Girling shoes with red satin silk – is this acceptable because I for one would like to try it?

Red with a dinner jacket was traditionally limited to pocket squares and hose. I suggest that red silk laces might be a nice change of pace for less formal creative black tie and black tie optional events but please stick to black and white for black tie weddings and awards ceremonies. For other occasions I am fairly conservative. With the exception of a lighter color on a pair of suede oxfords my laces match my shoes.

I see you have been having some appointments with tailors and shoe makers – can you tell us about any particularly interesting tailors or shoe makers you’ve recently met and some of the items you might be adding to your wardrobe soon? 

I am giving Dimitri Gomez, the one man Parisian shoe maker shop, a try this year for a pair of butterfly slip-ons.  I have had fit issues with the first pair of slip-ons from two of the London makers and the butterfly is particularly difficult because of the design of the vamp. Unlike the Londoners, Dimitri makes a fitting shoe and I am professionally curious to see whether that makes a difference for the better.

My weight fluctuates like a yo-yo but perhaps a yo-yo that gets bigger and bigger with every movement up and down…. Do you think that it’s okay to still try and have a relationship with a tailor that’s on the other side of the world or is it better to try and stay local if you can’t rely on a consistent weight?

My advice is to spend several tens of thousands on tailored clothing. Your weight will never fluctuate again.

Within the shoe world I see that Edward Green commands a very loyal following with subsects that wear particular models such as the ‘Dover’. Can you tell us a little about Edward Green and which models are the ones which you think garner the most sartorial respect? Which are your personal favourites?

Green is quintessentially English and makes some of the world’s better ready to wear shoes, just a step below John Lobb Paris and G. J. Cleverley’s Anthony Cleverley. The leathers, coloring and the quality of the make are uniformly excellent. I particularly like the Dover country shoe, the aforementioned Buckingham slip-on that was worn by the Duke of Windsor and some of the boot models.

The Edward Green "Country Dover". Photo source: The Shoe Buff

Have you seen any new cloths or designs in cloth which you think might be fashion forward moving into your own fall in September? What can we expect to see on ASW around then?

No new designs for Fall generally. Personally, I am planning a dark gray Fox Flannel glen check and one of Seraphim’s butter soft leather motorcycle jackets.

Considering the summer is well and truly upon you, what sort of shirt cloths and weights are you currently wearing  in these lighter months?

I wear a lot of linen, both pure linen and mixed with cotton. David and John Anderson’s Zephir 170 Lino cotton and linen blend is wonderful.

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