Wow. Now this is the proper combination of chocolate brown with blue undertones (that the Silver Fox just mucked up) that is highlighted by the blue shirt and really contrasts nicely with the warm-toned tie, gloves and shoes. Plus, great proportions on somebody who doesn’t look very tall; a slightly longer hem on his pants might have made his leg look longer. Slick haircut!
Reminds me of how a friend of mine (one great dresser, by the way) used to say “Never brown in town.” An old school motto that says, of course, that you’ll be wearing brown at your country estate. La di da.
When my friend said it – about 25 years ago – he referred to shoes. We’ve left that rule far behind. For me the deal breakers were brown suede, the fast way to take the funeral/wedding/bank out of grey flannels or a navy suit.
But I always like brown best with a little color. Or grey. Or black. But not brown with brown.
Totally put-together. The Japanese men’s fashion legend is radiating a precise classic style. But the cig, while the rakish diagonal detail that “makes” his personal style statement, sets a poor example for healthy living, and illustrates the source of the leathery texture of his face.
it is hard to hold a cigarette in your mouth like that. the smoke gets in your eyes and you get all squinty. plus, there’s something on fire which is really close to your face, so that’s a little scary. he pulls it off like he was born with it dangling there.
a special request to all of my co-posters: please (please!) refrain from the anti-cig comments. we all know already, as does the gentleman in this picture. thank you. I had to get that off my chest… –haapi
So much of style has to do with gesture. I like the way he is holding his gloves in the first image. Suey is so right…“that cigarette on the corner of his mouth” is almost defiant! He epitomizes self-possession.
Are these shots at different times on the same day? It looks like he has the same suit on (looking at his pants in shot 1 versus the suit in shot 2). What I really like about it is that the overcoat still silhouettes him so nicely even though he has a suit jacket on underneath- a sign of good fit in both the suit and the overcoat. (Though I think the coat is too long.)
the buttons…is he allowed to do that? (I’m sort of kidding, but seriously asking…and I’m not looking for any “fashion is about taking risks” even though I realize that it sometimes is) There are certain “rules” of menswear one is the “sometimes, sometimes, never” rule of buttons from top to bottom. I have a couple of pieces that I actually think look best with just the bottom button done. but I thought it was “wrong”…
Looks like a legend. But excuse someone who knows nothing of the right fit of costumes; doesn’t the fit on the brown costume look a bit narrow? I presume there is only one button on the front that is more than decoration.
Bah! What is it with men storing their hands in their pants pockets? You might as well keep a football in your coat pocket; it equally ruins the silhouette. All the more shame, since he’s otherwise beyond reproach (well, the cigarette would look more rakish off to the side, and his shirt sleeves are too short, but I’m quibbling). Excellent color and pattern sense, and it’s a relief to see double-breasted suits that don’t hearken back to the “power suits” of the ’80s.
mr. schemmer said… “is it me or do DB suits make a guy look fat?”
DB will help a skinny guy look a little more solid, and can make a portly man look more tailored. I tend to think they are unflattering on a) short or delicate men and b) guys with an extremely athletic build. Just not successful.
Matty, re: the buttons used here – he’s inconsistent: the overcoat has the middle button done, and the top is likely non-functional, as it’s offset. On the suit, it almost looks like the drape of that lapel is made to skip the middle button. But it’s probably otherwise. So this choice is either a)a studied iconoclastic touch or b)just something that happened. Such as, unbuttoned that middle closure to get at the cigarettes or lighter, and didn’t do it up again after.
A DB generally is cut to be worn with that middle button closed, so will look a bit sloppy in any other mode. (Think of Dave Letterman, of the hundreds of DB suits. I’ve read that his are all tailor-made [Canali?] – yet even doing his stand-up monologue he generally buttons only the inside, letting the jacket front flop around like an open book. Which only makes one wonder, “Why double-breasted?”
in the first image..well hes spot on. as for the second.. terrible!! the sleeve is to short for how loose the mid section fits. the upper arm of the jacket looks similar to walrus skin! and please, gentlemen three button..button the center. that poor fabric is screaming to be released! im sure its a nice jacket, just not with this fit. the shoulder is the only thing in this shot that works. the “silver fox” does it how it should be done.
as for the cigg…im sure this nice man is a quarter the age he looks! to me he looks 80.
Regarding his sleeves: I think an argument could be made that his (visible) jacket sleeve is just bunched up a little, rather than being cut too short. However, his shirt sleeve is definitely too short. Barrel cuffs like this should reach the base of the thumb (where the thumb bone diverges from the wrist). It should also extend 1/2″ from the jacket sleeve (French cuffs and more daring wearers can go to 3/4″). He’s a good 1/2″ inch away from the thumb base, and only about 1/4″ out of his jacket.
It’s quibbling, of course, but I think it’s important for people to know what is correct and what isn’t.
i disagree with 6:54, he probably is really mid-60s to early 70s (colored hair). people have mentioned yakuza/mafia-ish look. i think he looks like somebody’s grandpa. a lot of older asian men look intimidating, because their generation don’t smile in photos. the dangling cigarette is badass though…
nothing, too daring here in terms of fashion. although i think most men would have gone with black gloves with the black coat instead of brown to match shoes and scarf. i think what is striking is the excellent posture.
ridonkulus, that site is pretty interesting! Mr. Y. Akamine (?) definitely has a “classic menswear” approach – and his atelier walls decorated with photos of the likes of Bogart, Montand, etc underlines that 20th century apex. (And the glamourization of fashion to the masses.) Now, will one of our Japanese-reading friends visit and fill in the blanks?!
id like to chime in on the “sleeve length debate”…
regarding “bricology’s” post, GREAT info on sleeve length and the length relationship between the jacket and shirt! i personally believe style and dressing yourself is an art, allowing those who see it this way to use their artistic license, but that artistic license only comes through schooling/understanding, respect of the history there of and grasp of what could be!
id say Mr. Y. Akamine is early 60′s at the oldest! i think 6:54 was exaggerating…to make a point. if you do the math 1/4 of 80 is 20yrs old. and we all know hes not that! the point, i think, is that smoking isnt cool period, thats an ancient view point! let it go.. an apple in hand is wwway cooler!
he has his own menswear collection, importing luxury fabric (i imagine loro piana wool and harris tweed?), and sewing it all in japan. it looks like he draws inspiration from cinema, but also gives his clothes a bit of a modern twist.
i read his website. some of it’s quite serious, with him explaining tailoring and complaining that luxury fashion’s become too much about profit rather than expert skillsmanship. but there’s also a part where readers write in with questions –seeking career advice for example– and he just rips into them. the badass observation is spot-on.
For goodness sake people, could we please stop talking about what we think of smoking? Yes, it is bad for your health no one needs to be reminded of it every seven posts though. Please just focus on the clothes and how the subject wears them.
I am not a smoker and I do not condone it, but you don’t hear the smokers on this blog complaining about all of the pictures that do not have ciggarettes in them.