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Author Archives: Austin Ao-Xiong Wong
Many designer and luxury clothes in China are sold through inpersonal big box mega stores. These stores are often located in even more impersonal cookiecutter shopping centers. There is no real sense of identity and the retail experience is quite generic. A week ago, I visited a city in China called Chengdu. Chengdu is a smaller city with a population of 14 million (6 million more than New York City). It is famous for spicy Sichuan food and pandas. It was quite odd to find a store here with its own unique identity and brand mix. J.i has some of the top Japanese labels in the world and is uniquely decorated with props from France and America. It is quite rare for a store to carry Visvim, White Mountaineering, Sophnet, Undercover, Nanamica Uniform Experiment and Remi Reflief all under one roof.
Hey Austin – What? No recent postings? Miss you man. -Karlos
Last summer, I moved to Shanghai, China. It’s taken me time to adjust, but I am finally quite settled. I’ll be posting more in coming weeks. Sorry for the hiatus : (
A short but good interview page 217. Hope things are well! – E
Ha. Thanks a lot, E. You have always been very supportive.
I’ve been slowly replacing my wardrobe with quality pieces. I started first with my dress-wear, and now I’m focusing on my casual wear. I’m looking now for the ultimate t-shirt. I am familiar with brands like Sacai that make fantastic, but pricey tees, and I have a few TB tees, but I could not imagine spending 200 or so dollars on a load of them. So, now that you can see my taste, what designers make unique quality tees that are somewhere around a hundred dollars? – Basil
Honestly, I would not buy a basic t-shirt that costs more than $100. Most of my t-shirts are from Uniqlo and they do the trick. The collar withstands a lot of wear and they are cheap enough to throw out after a few wears.
How will the classic Thom Browne grey cardigan fit ? will a size 2 fit S or M ? i am 64kg 180cm. thinking which will fit – Will
This all depends on the season of the sweater. Current season ones (which are made in Scotland) tend to run extremely small and I would recommend a size 3 or even 4. If you want something older (which are either made in Great Britain or Italy) try going for a medium.
Hi. I am buying a pair of shoes for my husband’s bday. I saw your Alden shoes. i am debating about the plain toe versus plain toe blucher (both plaza last). Any thoughts on either one? They are within my budget before going to John Lobb (gorgeous but way out of my budget). Are these Aldens nice enough for work?- Blanche
I think you are referring to the plain toe blucher and the plain toe derby. I have a plain toe blucher and I would recommend them as they are extremely versatile and you can dress them up or down. Your husband will be able to wear them at work.
Hi Austin! I am interested in purchasing a Thom Browne brogues boots. Can you please enlighten me on the quality and where is it made from? Thanks – Daniel
Thom Browne has used two types of shoe manufactures, Tricker’s and Sanders. They first started using Tricker’s (possibly the most durable shoes on the market) but changed over to Sanders in Spring/Summer 2010. I am not particularly found of Sanders, but they do the trick. Sidenote: Sanders makes Mark McNairy shoes as well.
You gonna post Balmain SS14? You had the best FW13 Photos! – Nick T.
Didn’t make it out to Paris this summer, so no. Sorry.
Where can I see a cream double breasted jacket in Dublin? Size 42?? – Ciaran C.
I honestly do not know. I am sure Dublin has a premier department store that carries all the big names. You can maybe try finding something there.
Is it ok to wear tassel loafers with shorts or are cuffed up chinos the shortest one can go ? – Michael
It is perfectly fine, as long as you are comfortable wearing them. Some of my pants are 3 inches above my ankles making them extremely short. I do not think I am the right person to ask when it comes to pants length. Wear what feels good to you.
Great Blog, keep up the good work! Quick question, I’m in the market for some new relatively inexpensive sneakers, and I was wondering if there were any you would recommend? I’ve previously stuck with white Purcells and maybe some clean adidas. Anything I should check out? I don’t really like vans. Thanks! – Anon
I am assuming you want something a bit more classic than a Nike running sneaker (Flyknit, Lunarglide, etc.). Try a vintage German Army trainer, you can get them in a lot of surplus and vintage stores. Also there are tons on eBay.
Do you think you could provide a bio as a sticky or a primary page on your website? It would be nice to know about who you are, what you do, and, in particular, how you pick you style. Also, do you get any of your items tailored? – John
Thanks for the suggestion; you can always visit my Instagram if you want to see some personal images. And yes, I get everything tailored.
Have you seen “The Great Gatsby”? What did you think of the menswear in the movie? Have you seen the Brooks Brothers collection? What did you think of it? – Jakob
I saw the movie and thought the clothes wear a good reflection of the times. Even though they are a bit exaggerated, I liked it nonetheless. I have very mixed feelings with regards to the Brooks Brothers collection. Some of the pieces are quite pronounced and it takes a special type of person to wear it.
Is Cucinelli cashmere high quality even if it comes from China and Mongolia? – Eric
China and Mongolia both have very high quality cashmere. The quality of the cashmere really depends on how you spin and treat it. Yes you can use the underbelly of the goat for a softer hand but pilling and durability are determined by the spinning.
I am sure this has been asked before but… If I am a slim 38, what size Thom Browne suit should I be getting? Also, how would you compare the fit versus a Band of Outsiders blazer? Thanks. – Paul
I would get a size 1. Band of Outsiders runs extremely small. Go a size up if you are thinking about purchasing BoO.
Would you happen to know who makes the Ralph Lauren “Made in America” shoes? – John
Allen Edmonds for Ralph Lauren Polo Made in America. Crockett and Jones for Ralph Lauren Polo Made in England. Edward Green for Ralph Lauren Purple Label Made in England. Silvano Sassetti for Ralph Lauren Purple Label Made in Italy.
Hi, I’m big fan of you and i always watch what you wear and how you wear. What i want to know is your measurements, and what size does you wear Thom Browne. It’s really great thankful if you let me know that. Always good luck with you. – Kun K.
I have been asked this a lot. Maybe should make a little page that gives all my measurements, ha. I wear size 0 and 8UK for shoes. Thank you for the kind note.
Please tell me no one has coined this yet. American peacock swag slang term for dad jeans: Papa Jawnz. If it hasn’t, please give me credit when you tell someone like Lawrence. – Eresto
Haha. vvv clever.
Hi Austin, I love your blog. Anyways, I know you have many Thom Browne pieces. How is fit on shoes? I have wide feet and it goes only size 12. Do they go any higher? Thank you. – Ciel
If they have your size, you should be absolutely fine. All Thom Browne shoes run extremely wide.
Hey! Love your blog. I am trying to find some shoes that I saw a celebrity you may recognise wearing. I think they are boat shoes but they look like moccasins (!?). Please help! - Joel L.
Kanye is wearing Visvim FBTs. If anyone else is interested, thats a Balmain hoody and I assuming the pants are Balmain as well. Not sure about the t-shirt, looks like American Apparel.
Do you know much about the quality of Aldo shoes? Also, where do you research your information for the quality of clothing? – Ethan
I have no experience with Aldo shoes. If you want something decent for about the same price I recommend the ASOS made in England line.
I’m looking for a lightweight summer jumper that makes me stand out from the crowd. Because it’s a jumper, which I might not be able to wear if it’s too sunny, I’d only like to spend around 80 max. Cheers, looking forward to your suggestions (if you have time), – Matt
By jumper, I am assuming you mean sweatshirt. I have been taking a liking to the Todd Snyder x Champion sweatshirts and more specifically the ones the with pocket. They are a bit over your budget, but I highly recommend them.
How should suit trousers fit? I’m thinking especially around the thighs. Should they be as slim as my chinos or a little bit wider? I’m wondering whether I should have my tailor take in the thigh on my windowpane charcoal suit. – Jakob
Usually my cotton pants are a lot slimmer than my wool pants. I make them extremely tight but they tend to mold to my body after a handful of wears. As for wool pants, it really depends on the type of wool. Flannel tends to stretch out and I make them a bit tighter than a middle weight wool. The problem with making flannel pants tighter is that the knee bulges become more visible. Bear in mind than you may split the thigh seams if they are too tight.
I’m an amateur tailor and I’ve been studying clothing construction as I take apart store-bought clothes and sew my own. You occasionally make remarks about the quality construction of clothing. Where did you learn about what makes high quality construction in terms of fabric, sewing techniques, and patterns? – Joshua
I have always been interested in clothing and I also took apart clothes and put them back together. Its just a general interest of mine and through the years I developed an understanding for quality garments. I guess I taught myself.
Not to be offensive, but you’re a pretty small guy, right? I am 170 cm and usually have big problems finding jackets that fit right off the rack, especially when it comes to sleeve and body length. Do you usually just get these parts tailored, or do you buy brands that offer garments with a shorter overall length? – Sebastian
I am about 5’10” (177cm) and I usually have everything done (taper shorten body and sleeves). Its a bit difficult for me to buy clothes off the rack as my shoulders are wide and I am quite slight. The shortest jackets on the market are Thom Browne. Their jackets should fit you like a normal jacket.
Hi, I have a wedding at cancun in July & i don’t wanna wear the typical beige-khaki suit, I want something different, chic & fun, can u help me? email me at – Enrique
Khaki is not the most comfortable summer fabric. Try something in tropical wool or seersucker. I think you would be quite found of seersucker.
Was wondering what pants you consider to be essentials? what kind of denim/chinos generally ‘go together’ with everything? and could you also please suggest a pair of sneakers that generally looks good with anything too? thanks much love – Khenrub
Cargopants. I have cargopants in all types of fabrics. My most “go-to” pants are from Michael Bastian x Gant. They are extremely slim (off the rack) and I use to wear them everyday and through the years have developed quite a “patina”. As for the sneakers, I have a “dressy” sneaker is from Lanvin, a navy low top. You should maybe check those out or go with the Common Projects Achilles low in either white or navy.
Hi, I have recently stumbled upon your blog through an article I read on Google search. For the past 3 years in high school I have leaned towards dressing (for lack of a better word) an adult. Recently (past year) I really want to dress business attire. I am wondering where you would point a first time suit buyer. Looking to spend under 600 on a suit in gray (unsure whether 2 or 3 piece.) I’ve been told to look at Brooks Brothers Black Fleece line. Furthermore, I would like to know terms that I should know when buying a suit so I don’t sound silly at the store. I would like to purchase a suit that is tight to my body, similar to Japanese style. I am 5’11″ 150 pounds, normally size medium. – Chris T
Brooks Brothers Black Fleece is a good choice. Its quite a unique suit based off the “sack jacket”. The sack jacket was developed by Brooks Brothers to fit all body types. There were no darts in the front and was suppose to fit a little bigger. Don’t let that discourage you. You can tailor it down to fit snug and it looks great as the front is extremely clean. I am sure you have most of the basic terms covered, single breasted, double-breasted, canvas and hand (the feel of the fabric). I think you will be fine in that area. Word of advice, don’t let the salesperson make you buy a size or anything you don’t want. You are most likely a size 1.
How do you know Gabriel Zeller? – Hermes
Same place I meet all my friends: Casual encounters, Craigslist.
Seeing a collection on the runway enables you to experience the true mood and vision of the designer. However, you do not see the little details that make the vision a reality. At your seat, you have a brief second to guess the fabrics being used, the fit, the ease of comfort and, more importantly, the quality of the garment. I am glad that many designers offer a re-see of the collection were you fully experience the vision.
I have written about the Moncler Gamme Bleu signature down blazers on numerous occasions and they are some of my favorite pieces ever. This season’s work had a number of Scottish references which included tartans and kilts. The tartans were not only wool but were photographed and printed onto a rubberized water proof material. Kilts were present throughout the collection and were incorporated with a number of down blazers. Sprinkled with the Scottish Highlander garb, were cable knit pieces with a twist. Down blazers had traditional wool cable-knit bodies but the sleeves were nylon and quilted to mimic cable-knit. One of the most creative pieces was a navy wool down blazer with a coated rubberizing treatment on the shoulders. This created an illusion of water soaked wool. I usually like more “understated” pieces but, I was shocked on how much I liked the kilted down blazer. It is not something I would wear often but there is a chance you may see me wearing one next season.