Summer is winding down and school bells are starting to ring. Supply stores are kicking off their sales and you’re nostalgic every time you pass a kid with a JanSport backpack. You think: Man, I used to look so freakin’ cool back in the day. What happened? Maybe it’s time to go back to school—style school, that is. We caught up with sartorial mastermind and your professor for today, Manolo Costa of Manolo Costa New York to get educated. So grab a desk, class is in session.
English: “ ‘Bespoke’ is a British term for tailored clothing that is handmade to compliment the specific proportions of an individual. After careful measurements are made, and the cloth has been chosen by the customer, a garment would then be ‘spoken for’ —hence, ‘bespoke.’ While in today’s world ‘bespoke’ connotes any product that is made to order, it originated with men’s clothing.”
Math: “Creating distinctive proportions is as much mathematics as it is art. Balancing measurements and delivering the perfect drape for a suit coat, while achieving a very precise silhouette is imperative. Remember that creating distinctive proportions applies to everything from choosing a tuxedo to selecting the perfect pair of jeans.”
Science: “In the summer months leading into Autumn, [you must] wear fabrics that are breathable. Perfect fabrics for the changing season include hopsack, nailhead and birdseye. The open-weave concept behind these fabrics allows for air to circulate, keeping your body cooler and more comfortable.”
Health: “One of the best investments a man can make is a pair of bench-made, hand-welted shoes. The shoes give you a great foundation when building your wardrobe; more importantly, they give you the ideal support for a full day of work, whether you’re standing or sitting. Well-made shoes can also improve your posture and prevent back pain, too!”
Physical Education: “Fabric mills have developed a new type of cloth that takes comfort and luxury to a new level. The latest technical achievements at some of the most renowned mills allow for a natural elasticity with no memory effect. They are not only wrinkle-resistant, but also provide unlimited comfort and ample mobility, which makes them ideal for an active lifestyle.”
History: “Like the beat of history, fashion is cyclical and trends tend to reappear after a certain amount of time. For example, flat-front trousers have been a mandatory ‘rule’ since the 1990s, but pleats are now (again) making a comeback. Wide lapels were a huge trend in the 1970s; now they are quickly overtaking the short-lived skinny lapel.”
Psychology: “Feeling good—inside and out—means everything. There’s nothing better than knowing your clothing has been created for you personally. The way you dress cannot only improve your confidence, but it also has a direct and major effect on how you are perceived by others. Spiffing up your wardrobe with clothes that are made to measure can change the way people treat you for the better, because you’ll appear more successful. To an outside observer, clothes really do make the man.”