Friday, 31 August 2012

Fall 2012 Shoe Trends Part II - Longwing Gunboats

I don't own the rights to this picture.

Some time ago I wrote about heavy brogue boots and how they simply rock more than some puny fashion boots or some weak-ass Caterpillars. Now we’ll go through the ultimate street shoe, part of every connoisseurs wardrobe in places like NYC or London.

Tricker's Cordovan Longwings with Dainite soles. Picture from Frans Boone.

I must admit, it took me a while to get used to the heavy presence of the longwing brogue derby, AKA gunboat, but once it sank in, there’s no going back. My love for this shoe began a bit over a year ago, when I saw picture of one tough looking guy walking on the streets of SoHo in raw denim and Alden’s #8 (Horween Shell Cordovan color #8, a famous burgundy colored type of leather, made of a horse’s buttocks. More on that later.) longwings. After seeing the picture I was sold, but as it was a bit out of the boundaries of my own style I still haven’t bought a pair. Now, as there has been increasing discussion on how they are the smoking hot item to have this season, my trigger finger is itching more than ever.

Alden X Frans Boone. Picture from Frans Boone.

Now, there are plenty more butt-ugly longwings than there are good looking ones. To be honest, I only really approve of Aldens. Tricker’s tends to be well liked as well, and the quality is there, but I just don’t like their last shapes for longwings myself. Alden, however, is just perfect. The Barrie last has just enough sleekness not to be a total heavyweight or your grandpa’s shoe, but still retains that habitus to make other guys look puny, small and weak in their silly fashion shoes. Gunboats make a statement  few other shoes can make (when worn right).

Alden. Picture from

When it comes to materials there’s a lot to choose from. Actually, this is one of the shoe types that can work in pretty much any color and material. Espresso calf, tan grained calf, navy suede, camel suede, black - almost anything goes. It can also be livened up with a natural welt as you can see in the picture below, and the soles can be pretty much anything. I would prefer Dainite soles, but the Finnish weather pretty much dictates my choice.

Alden X Frans Boone. Picture from Frans Boone.

Longwing Gunboats work best with jeans, and I would personally only use them with dark unwashed raw denim. I have seen many to pull it off with chinos of different colors, but I personally find this is a bit more tricky. Also the fitting colors vary much with the color of your shoe, so there isn’t too much advise that can be given here. More “street” items such as cameramans, parka jackets or military-inspired pieces such as M65s work well with this type of a shoe.

Alden X Frans Boone. Picture from Frans Boone.

So, to sum it up. If you want a shoe with some street cred, almost a commanding presense yet classical lines - get a pair of good quality longwing derbies. Furthermore, if your country has no massive piles of snow during winters and boots are not a requirement, gunboats have even more going for them. Pair them with the right items and you'll have a look that will rock the streets from New York City to Tokyo.

Read the first part here and leave a comment and let me know what you think. Will you be buying a pair of some brogue boots or perhaps a pair of longwing derbies?

Thursday, 30 August 2012


Today was a good day, both work and studying wise. The navy and red theme resembled my mood pretty well I think. Think I will take the sleeves in slightly when I have time to get this suit to my tailor. Other than that the fit is pretty much what I prefer, even if the jacket is a bit long for my usual preference.

Also, I have to say warm red really works well with navy, surprises you every time. The tie is linen silk blend and has an amazing texture. Pocket square linen, and the belt from Equus Leather in espresso bridle leather. Oh, and the shirt is plain white cotton twill, as you can probably see.


Decided to go with my Cheaney's nice sleek penny loafers today, as the weather was surprisingly nice and actually a bit sunny. Nothing beats loafers when the sun is shining, and haters can hate, but loafers work with a suit. Period.

Tomorrow I'll put up the second part of my fall shoe trends text, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Late August Tuesday

For today evening’s  I decided to wear quite casual pieces. The season for my L.B.M. jacket is almost over, but in today’s 18° Celsius it was still my choice. I also picked my chambray shirt, Brooks Brothers khaki chinos and John Lobb derbies.

Accessories are a reddish orange wool tie (fantastic texture), blue cotton pocket square and rust-colored Pantherella socks. Perhaps a tiny bit of matchy matchy with the reds, but frankly I don’t find it disturbing here. As long as it’s not bright red, yellow or such I think it’s okay, when done occasionally.

Tags: menswear, men's style, men's trends, lifestyle, l.b.m 1911, brooks brothers khaki chinos, john lobb.

Monday, 27 August 2012


Today it was time to give my new grey workhorse suit a second wear. I really love the fit on this one. The spalla camicia shoulders follow a soft and natural line and it has the perfect setup of two horizontal front pockets and a chest pocket (I hate angled front pockets and ticket pockets). Also, the fit along my body was just spot on from the start saving me some green ones with the alterations. However, the best thing ever is the fabric. The suit has been made from Loro Piana’s Super 150 Tasmanian Wool, and it is just insanely soft and light to wear. Had the piece been made by some bigger brand than Cavaliere I don’t dare to even think how much it would have cost. Now for 40% off the price was very reasonable for the quality.

I decided to use it today with a light blue spread collar shirt, yellow grenadine tie from Ede & Ravenscroft and brown leather. Furthermore, I decided on a blue pocket square to keep the fantastic tie as a center piece.

The shoes are my C&J Hallams and the belt from Equus Leather. I did think of picking my rather sleek Cheaney loafers instead, but it just didn’t happen. Should there be one more a bit warmer day, I will probably use this with them and a more casual tie.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Casual Sunday

Something I had on today. Love the textures and the colors here, I have to say. Heavy burgundy crewneck knit, navy corduroys, custom-made bridle leather belt in london tan and my beloved Tricker's Stows in acorn.

The bracelet is from Kiel James Patrick, here to add some of that East Coast flair.

Belt by Equus Leather, probably the best value for money you can get.

The dark navy of the trousers also help to bring the shoes' color up a level.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Pocket Squares

For today I thought of writing about my own favorite pocket squares. I have a bunch, shown here in the first picture. Perhaps three of four are missing from the picture. The rack is from Kent Wang, and as good-looking as it might be, I have to say I'm not that pleased with it. The clips just aren't completely right and to make the squares stay you need to fold them too much and they will wrinkle.

Anyway, here are my top five favorites, the squares I use the most along with my plain cotton and linen white ones.

This wonderful white/red linen pocket square is just amazing. The colors are bright and crisp and the size is just right - 16"x16". Made in England by Giaves & Hawkes and bought from Malford of London for a good price of GBP 25.

This Tom Ford pocket square is from eBay. The perfect pair for my many brown ties, and the cream geometrical prints and borders just make it beautiful as hell. The only criticism is that the silk is somehow slippery, and usually requires a few corrections along the day.

From Polo Ralph Lauren, and is perhaps the one of mine I like the most. The texture is something I've never seen in a silk square before, and the large vintage-themed golfer print is just fantastic. It will probably have a post of its own soon. Found from eBay for just USD 20.

This one is also Tom Ford. Pink with white borders and navy/pink/white camo pattern it's the perfect pair with some of items, such as the light purple Barba Napoli shirt.

Turnbull & Asser has made this blue baby, and it ticks all the boxes a pocket square should. The weigth of the silk is just perfect and it's the perfect size of 16"x16" The print and the colors work well with any blues and it folds beautifully.

More to follow later on. Remember to like on Facebook. I won't spam your feed so no worries. :)

Tags: menswear, men's style, men's fashion, trends, style, lifestyle, pocket squares, pocket square rack, Tom Ford, Polo Ralph Lauren, Turnbull & Asser, Gieves & Hawkes.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Fall Mood

This week the reality of where the country is located on the gbobe seems to have finally arrived to Finland. The fall coming, this time for real. Even though last weekend still had some warm sunny days, now the temperatures seem to be dropping for good. It's not all bad however, as I finally got my Polo Ralph Lauren cords from my trusted tailor yesterday. After pulling them on the chilly morning didn't feel so bad at all.

On a side note, these pants are just hard as **** to photograph. They're either too blue or almost black. In reality they have that beautiful dark navy color with a blueish shine with a teddy bear soft texture.

Anyway, some details. I chose my new Litchfields to continue breaking them in and moulding them to my feet. Then, a lightly padded vest from Zara with brown suede and corduroy details, and underneath a Polo Ralph Lauren OCBD (Oxford Cotton Button-Down shirt) and a navy club tie, also from Ralph. Custom-made bridle leather belt from Equus Leather, unfortunately not shown in pictures.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Almost Friday

Today's details. My Hickey Freeman charcoal pinstripe suit, pink contrast collar shirt, navy 7-fold silk tie with pink squares, white cotton pocket square and black plaintoe oxfords.

Some thoughts on my choices, the shirt especially. I used to wear a lot more contrast collar shirts, now only very rarely. To be honest, I just put this shirt on today as I had been lazy at ironing my shirts the last few days and it was the only one ready. I have to admit they are a bit of a Wall Street trader's (or a wannabe's, like in my case) style gimmick, perhaps mostly because of Gordon Gekko. Anyway, I still like them a lot as a part of otherwise simple combinations, like here.

What I don't like is the collars. They are too narrow and the collar points a bit too short. They're not a disaster, but could be a lot better. However, I made up a perfect plan today. I'm gonna make this my next grand DIY project and sew hidden buttons behind the collars. This way I can force them into a nice roll and hopefully transform the shirt from a bit too fashion-forward into a cool hidden bd-collar shirt. The tie is Versace found from StyleForum some years ago. Works here well, in my opinion.

One day to go, so muster your remaining strength folks - tomorrow evening is just behind the corner.

Oh, and remember to like on Facebook to get a notification from all new posts. No spam, so don't worry.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


Last weekend me and my girlfriend decided to have a small weekend trip to Helsinki. Even though it's a city that I tend to visit quite often all year round, a small visit out of the oridinary routines was quite nice, especially so in the weather we had.

The only item you really need to do a trip like this the right way, is a nice and classy holdall/weekender bag. I think I need to get a canvas one in navy for next spring and summer, preferably with light tan or dark brown leather parts.

What I have on me in the pictures was a Barba Napoli shirt, 3.25" brown pin dot silk tie, brown/cream pocket square and a pair of khaki chinos from Brooks Brothers. Shoes were, again, my beloved 39 dollar pair of Aldens, courtesy of eBay.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Fall 2012 Shoe Trends Part I – Brogue Boots Examined

Every year when the summer nears its end, I start favoring more rough and rugged clothes. As the dress code is not that strict where I work and is almost non-existent at the Finnish Universities (no Nike running shorts though, thank God), wearing more work wear and street inspired clothing is no problem (especially on Fridays). For countries with stricter dress codes you can still rock this stuff off the clock, when you take your dog for a walk, for example.

So, here is the first hot shoe model for the fall 2012.

Previously I've only owned one pair of good boots, Stows made by Tricker’s in England. Tricker’s is known for producing top-end quality country boots and derby shoes. My pair is in color "acorn", a beautiful but perhaps slightly delicate color that pops out of the usually dark hues of fall. I’ve also had a belt made from a similar London Tan tone bridle leather by Equus Leather. A belt whose color compliments these boots perfectly.


However, for a long time I’ve been planning on getting a pair made in a slightly slimmer last and in dark brown, espresso-like color. As the winter in Finland consists of a lot of snow, slush and salt on the roads, I decided to purchase a cheaper pair that doesn’t mind a lot of punishing and also doesn’t break my heart if they get scratched a few times. Many of these boots come with (usually double, though) leather soles, which is fine for, say, San Francisco or Northern Italy, but won’t do up here. For places like mine you want to go with boots equipped with Dainite rubber soles. So, from the various options that tick all the boxes I ended up in the Loake Litchfields that were well-priced at 139 GBP.


So, how to wear such shoes? My two favorites are either corduroy trousers or just denim. Last week I bought a nice pair of raw denim and some time before that I found a perfect navy pair of Polo Ralph Lauren corduroys from eBay (just 55 pounds incl. shipping, pretty good). The raw denim can be seen below, and corduroys will star in many fall combinations soon enough.

So, for sturdy, warm and stylish fall and winter shoes you will want to go with a nice pair of wingtip brogue boots. Colors vary from tan to black and the lasts from semi-sleek to ultra-heavy, so there is certainly a pair waiting for you. Brands that I can recommend start from Loake, Barker and Cheaney with the top-end including such brands as Tricker’s or Church’s. Avoid fashion brand boots (Hugo Boss, Tiger of Sweden etc.) as they are made from totally crappy materials and also look pretty pathetic. A country boot like this needs a proper welt that you will only find a GoodYear-welted shoe. This item will be hot this fall, but will remain a stylish and properly rugged piece of a modern and stylish man’s wardrobe for years to come.

Part II next week, and more to come still this week.

Tags: Menswear, men's fashion, men's style, lifestyle, fall 2012, fall trends 2012, fall fashion 2012, brogue boots, country boots, tricker's stow, acorn, dainite.

Monday, 20 August 2012

The Nordic Fit Also on Facebook And Other News

A good way to keep up and be notified when new posts are published is to like on Facebook.

Tomorrow the first part of "the sexiest shoes you can wear in the fall of 2012" post. Stay tuned.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Start the Week Sharp and Fresh

I personally like dressing up quite formally at the beginning of the week and then slide into more casual combinations as the week goes by. However, those Monday mornings can be a bitch and a good way to pull yourself out of the bed then and getting into the zone is definitely to wear your own superman costume. I prefer doing this also as a kind of way to discipline myself and keeping myself in line – Monday is a suit day.

Being still a student and only working part time and every now and then, my budget and therefore my wardrobe has its limitations. I’ve invested mostly in odd jackets and plain suits for their adaptability. My only suit with a pattern is my Hickey Freeman that I found from New York earlier this year for a mere 25% of the RRP. The garment is of quite fantastic quality for 350 USD and the fit was perfectly right at the shoulders. So, with some (quite heavy at places) tailoring it made a nice power suit for the more formal days.

The pictures are from last week when I had the chance to take them. Drake’s London for Emma Willis purple tie, a light purple/pink spread collar shirt (again, collar bones are eating dust somewhere) with the softest and most beautiful collar roll ever and a crisp white cotton pocket square. I really love how the weave makes the tie alive without making it look like a cheap (in taste, them fashion ties do cost a lot) Armani or Hugo Boss tie. I’m not a huge fan of an ironed tv fold, and even with this look I prefer just folding it as sharply as possible by hand, but by hand only. In my opinion this simple detail retains some of the flair from more relaxed combinations.

As shoes I’ve chosen black plaintoes. This shoe type is not often thought to be an alternative to a combination like this, but I personally like it a lot. The plain vamp allows the shine from a well-cared shoe to be the star of the moment. With more exotic leathers and lively colors the seamless and holeless vamp highlights the beautiful leather even more, increasing the effect.

With this kind of a set you don’t want to fool around with the socks too much, so a simple grey was my choice here.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Less Is More

On Friday I decided to go for simplicity. Perhaps because I wanted to break out my new pair of raw denim from Indigofera, but hey, who wouldn't want to wear a new pair of jeans.

 I decided to go with my L.B.M. cotton jacket, as it has the qualities to go well with jeans, but I must admit it did leave me thinking if the lack of contrast between the upper and the lower half. In the first picture that looks like a problem, but I would say that the greatly different textures (love the broken twill weave in the jeans) it did work quite well in the real world.

As simple was the theme, I went for a basic white cotton pocket square with a nice relaxed fold, and as brown suede is just sex when worn with dark raw denim, my Alden sude belt and loafers were a certain choice.

Think I have to clean my shoes again. Pff. I admit the jeans are about a centimeter too wide from the leg opening for these shoes, but it was good enough for their first night out. I've got them to be worn with heavier boots anyway, so tapering is not an option.


Anyways, it's only Saturday now, so let's keep enjoying the weekend and be sure to check back soon. Some heavy stuff coming tomorrow and Monday!

Friday, 17 August 2012


It's Friday again. and time for a nice weekend trip. Here are a few quick shots I took before leaving for work. A few shirts nicely folded, a new pair of raw denim I got yesterday, khaki chinos, a few relaxed ties and some accessories. Tassel loafers and boots (if it rains).

Thursday, 16 August 2012

This Week's eBay Item

This week there was another treat coming from eBay. On Sunday I found just the perfect pair of Polo Ralph Lauren corduroy trousers from England for just 45 pounds plus shipping 11 pounds. To my surprise I received the garment already on Wednesday. So, 2.5 business days. That’s pretty fast international shipping for 11 pounds. These go for 149 euros in the stores here in Finland, and it’s usually quite hard to find PRL from European eBays, and I hate customs fees and extra taxes, so I’m pretty happy with this find.

The pair is navy and fits perfectly from the waist and upper legs. The only thing I have to get done is the usual one, tapering the legs. The fabric feels of very good quality and the color is deep and nice, just like the ones I’ve tried on before. The details are very good as well. The quality aspect makes me especially happy as I was already prepared to go to H&M to buy a pair from them. Now I ended up paying not much more from an item of totally different quality.

So, what to wear these with? Cords are traditionally related strongly with Ivy-inspired clothing, and also work well with many kinds of street wear. Expect to see some combos with my brogue boots when the temperatures drop again.

I was meaning to write about fall shoe trends and the shoe types that I think will be just pure awesome the upcoming season, but I’ve noticed some problems with the pair I received. I’ll hold off on that for a few days till I get things sorted out with the company I bought them from.