If anyone knows the power of a smart jacket, it’s Walé Oyéjidé, who has worn his fair share while working as an attorney. Outside the courtroom he pursues his Philly-based menswear line, Ikiré Jones, which turns out sharply tailored versions with splashes of West African prints, a nod to his Nigerian heritage. The standout of his spring/summer collection: this unstructured double-breasted linen jacket, with wide peak lapels and a bright wax-canvas interior — also seen on the underside of the collar. It’s proof that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Or, just maybe, that you should always judge a jacket by its lining. $750 at Ikirejones.com.
I’ve been following the (now skyrocketing) career trajectories of Ontario Armstrong and Clifton Wilson for several years now. They own Armstrong & Wilson, a Philly-based company that turns out some of the coolest men’s accessories—ties, pocket squares, bow ties—that I’ve seen. And I’m not the only one singing their praises. Everyone from ESPN NFL analyst Darren Woodson and Chris Bosh to Al Roker and Mos Def are fans of the line.
Name: Sabir M. Peele
‘Hood: Philly ‘burbs
Day Job: Founder and creative director of Men’s Style Pro blog
Where We Found Him: Leaving COOK in Rittenhouse Square
Sometimes the world of fashion crosses over into the world of sports (see: our official style ranking of all the uniforms in the NFL). And now we’re heading back out to the field once again, thanks to football player Malcolm Jenkins, who signed a three-year contract with the Eagles last Wednesday. What this means for Philly: We have a veteran safety on the team who, according to Shoppist’s sister blog Birds 24/7 (I know, can you believe we’re related?) is “an adequate, starting-caliber safety with good size and versatility.” Hm. Okay. But it also means that we’ve now got Rock Avenue Bow Ties, Jenkins’s bow tie and pocket square line.
I recently sat down with Thierry Stern, the president of Swiss watch company Patek Philippe. The Stern family has owned Patek Philippe since 1933, and Thierry was basically raised on the ground floor of the luxury watch company. He’s a fourth-generation member of the business; his great-great-grandfather was the one who bought the company (the Sterns owned a dial-making factory that supplied the dials to Patek for years).
When you make watches that are worn by some of the most prominent, wealthy people in the world (i.e. Paul McCartney, Brad Pitt, Nicolas Sarkozy—you can get one at Govberg Jewelers), you learn a thing or two about luxury. Here’s what Stern has to say about showoffs, how watches are just like cars, and what luxury really is.
Fashion is a woman’s game—or is it? All over town, menswear shops and bespoke studios are opening, flourishing, and proving that style isn’t just for the girls. From the rugged leanings of Fabric Row’s Armour to the handcrafted gems by Rittenhouse’s Commonwealth Proper, it’s never been easier—or more fun—for guys to stretch their sartorial wings. Here, what the well-dressed Philadelphia man will be wearing this spring.
Tragically, the monocle is making a comeback, as dutifully detailed in the New York Times on March 5th in Allen Salkin’s article, “One Part Mr. Peanut, One Part Hipster Chic: The Monocle Returns as a Fashion Accessory.”
The only good thing about all of this unnecessary pretension and stupidity is that the monocle apparently hasn’t made its way to Philadelphia as of yet.
The salesperson at trendy Modern Eye chuckled when I asked if they had any monocles in stock. The woman answering the phone at Sazz Vintage sounded incredulous, insisting, “We wouldn’t carry anything like that here.” Not even Briar Vintage could help me out.
But as awful as the monocle is—and, in case you’re not getting this loud and clear: THE MONOCLE IS TRULY AWFUL—is it really the worst fashion statement a man can make? Take our Shoppist poll below.
Name: Aaron Pierce
Where He Lives: Rittenhouse Square
Day Job: Visual director and menswear designer at Commonwealth Proper
Where We Found Him: Between brunch at the Cambridge and a latte at La Colombe in Rittenhouse
What He’s Wearing: Custom navy suit, shirt, textured wool tie, and floral pocket square, all by Commonwealth Proper. Matte green Ray-Ban Wayfarers.
Name: David Alexander
Where He Lives: Rittenhouse Square
Day Job: Marketing director for Jacqui Daniels Designs
Where We Found Him: Leaving St. Marks Church after mass
What He’s Wearing: Bespoke riding boots, chaps, Hermes belt and shirt, emerald ring by Henri David at Halloween, Ralph Lauren portfolio, and a bespoke coat. (“I ride and was feeling equestrian.”)