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Dandies, Æsthetes & Flâneurs

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Collars and stock ties and coats, oh my! [04 Apr 2005|09:59am]
Hello again from the Land of Cotton! (Old times HERE are not forgotten...)

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Detachable Collars
As I described earlier, my adventures in versatility in neckwear have lead me to purchase a shirt and two detachable collars from http://www.riverjunction.com

The shirt is of decent quality. I've certainly had much nicer shirts but I also have worn shabbier ones... It's simply but elegantly and sturdily constructed. My biggest complaint is that the sleeves do not have French Cuffs, and that the button's default position seems intended for Popeye the Sailor's meaty forearms... Not the trim and dapper arms of a dandy! The modification of moving the buttons is a simple one, but I'm still disappointed about the French Cuffs. I'm thinking about going to Wal-Mart and simply purchasing a pair of fancier buttons that would at least add a little interest to the cuffs...

At any rate, I digress. The detachable collars are pretty sturdy, although I think the price of $10.00 is a bit steep - but then again, we must always remind ourselves that this is a specialty market and the laws of supply and demand dictate that we're going to pay a little extra for our foppish peculiarities!

One of the collars, the one they describe as the Westminster, is perfectly fine and looks quite pleasing with a waistcoat and super-thin four-in-hand. The other, the Aberdeen, gave me a mess o' headaches.

The collar's fold is so tight that it's pretty much impossible to stuff anything except for a super-thin plantation tie into the daggum thing. I fought it for at least an hour before I threw my hands up in a foppish fit of COXCOMB RAGE.

I emailed River Junction and asked them for the arcane secrets. A fellow named Jim informed me that in period they had the same problem and solved it by wearing the tie visible, only slightly covered by the collar. I researched and saw that this seemed to be the case in several instances. (A few gents wore their ties completely covered. I can only assume that they were either workers of Dark Magicks or they had softer linnen ties...)

Stock Ties
As you may know, I've also been searching for the method of tying a stock tie. I found these simple but effective instructions:

http://www.foxhuntingshop.com/TallyHo/Stock_Tie_Instructions.jpg

I tried the knot out on a standard ascot and the knot is impressive to say the least. Quite full and remenescent of the considerable bows associated with Little Lord Fontleroy (good article, by the by). I don't know if it's quite my style, but worn with a more conservative neckcloth the Stock Tie is quite a dapper acoutrement.

In slightly related news, I took first place in both English and Western Beginner Walk at the Hampton Saddle Club 4-H Horse Show. (I won't mention that I tied for first with a 10 year old girl in English and my 13 year old brother in Western...)

Modification of Womens' Coats
At a Thrift Store Adventure I encountered a very smart frock-coat type of garment that was mistakenly placed on the men's rack. I tried it on and found the fit and cut so striking that I purchased it, encouraged by remarks made by other gents on this form that they've done the same. The only problem is I absolutely detest buttoning my coat on the "wrong side." It feels far too feminine and unnatural. I've decided to undertake converting it so that the buttons are on the other side but have thus far met little success with getting the button holes right, even after two years of costume construction and design classes. I really need to find a girlfriend to do this sort of thing (sewing, cooking, cleaning, etc.) for me.
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