Monday, October 13, 2014

Accessories Part 1

tAccessories are that category often neglected in men's clothing shops -- and are negligible in malls and department stores. We love accessories at Jackson & Connor because they allow you to add a little bit of color, pattern or texture, or to add a small touch to an outfit. Sometimes, the accessories are truly better than the outfit. This fall season, we're seeing so many excellent pieces -- favorites from seasons past as well as new ones.

Edward Armah

We've gushed about Edward in the past. He got his start in menswar in London and later moved to the States where he became a personal shopper for Nieman Marcus and Saks. He made the leap into meanswear with several wildly successful lines. He's particularly well known for his boutonnieres, pocket rounds, and bow ties, but he's moving into bags, scarves, neckties and other accessories. Here's a sampling:


Founded in South Shields, UK in 1894, Barbour is known throughout the world for their rugged waxed cotton jackets and coats. John Barbour started the company as an importer of oil cloth, and while the headquarters has moved around a little bit, they reside in South Shields where they started. Barbour is a classic line offering high quality sweaters, gloves, caps, umbrellas, and a wide variety of sportswear. They still make their waxed cotton coats in the UK -- and there is a hungry market, including but not limited to the royal family.

Studio Donegal

One day, Tristan Donaghy strolled into Jackson & Connor by chance while in Northampton on vacation, and told us about his little mill -- the Glebe Mill in Kilcar, County Donegal.

 (How did he get to Northampton, you probably wouldn't normally ask? He fucking sailed from Ireland to Canada, drove down, and hung out in our little town with friends.) He told us all about their amazing hand-dyed, hand-spun Irish wools that they weave by hand to make some of the most incredible scarves that are soft and smooth against the skin. The trick, he reminds me, is a twill weave, which tends to be more open, thus softer. Check out the macro shots -- they're unreal. The secret to their excellent scarf is that they are constantly tweaking the designs, creating new warps, coming up with new ways to show the bootlay...Tristan and the rest of their small crew produce 2-300 pieces a year.

Jack Sartori

We were introduced to Jack as a friend of a friend, and he quickly became one of our favorite people. As charming as he is handsome, his ties are outrageous. He's got business all over the northeast, including a high-end tie factory in Brooklyn producing some of the finest neckwear and accessories I've ever seen. When he decided he wanted to get into brick-and-moartar, Jackson & Connor was the first place Jack reached out to, and we're honored to carry such a quality line in our shop. His interliners are carefully selected, silks, wools and cottons painstakingly sourced, and recently Jack partnered up with Masel Milano in Como to create a 100% Zegna cashmere necktie. Wow. The knits below are 100% silk and handmade in Brooklyn. The vine and feather tie bars are sterling silver, etched to perfection, and the ties are brand new this fall -- perfection!

(bottom four images courteousy of the Jack Sartori website)

Ciré Gloves

These are my favorite gloves, hands down. Durable, quality leathers with cashmere and wool-cashmere blend linings. Their unlined driving gloves are a thing of beauty. Make sure you buy them small because you'll want them to still fit tightly after your hands stretch them out. One of their best gloves is the Elite -- it has a 100% cashmere liner that separates from the full grain deerskin outer. You can wear either, or on vicisously cold nights, wear both, stick them in your pockets and your hands will never feel the chill.


We discovered this line at the Magic shows (not rabbit out of a hat, but rather menswear/clothing/accessories trade show), and loved it right away, because what's not to like? Smart braided leather bracelets hand-wrapped by the owner and her mom right in New York. No "Made in China" nonsense, just great folks making great gentlemanly bracelets. Some have a t-hook (which never slips), while others have a fitted clasp with a magnet on each side to ensure a tight fit all day no matter what. The lighter the color leather you get, the more mottled and textured it becomes as you wear it, get it wet, abuse it and love it. She recommended showering with it -- for the sake of the glue that holds this sucker together, I wouldn't recommend that per se, but don't take it off when you do the dishes, shave, wash your get the idea.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fall Fashion Guide 2014

Last week, the Daily Hampshire Gazette published its annual Fall Fashion issue for the Pioneer Valley, and the Jackson & Connor spread looked fantastic! You can check it out here.

We typically shoot one model in two different outfits, so this time to try something different, we did two models in two outfits.

Mary Carol Skinner is a good friend of the store, and blew it out of the water with this outfit:

Mary Carol wore Alberto Ceramica five-pocket pants -- a remarkable trouser. They're made entirely of synthetics, and yet they still breathe, have an open, woolly hand and work dressed up or down, any season but the dead of winter. The textured white shirt with cuff detailing comes from Luchiano Visconti, as does the vest. We love this one -- the lining is a nautical print featuring old sailboats, knots, harpoons and the like. The water repellent belted double-breasted black trench coat is from Ralph Lauren, and features a quilted button/zip-out lining to adjust for the wide range of temperatures we get in fall.

Kevin Ward is a newcomer at Jackson & Connor, and willingly offered himself up as our modeling guinea pig.

Kevin wore a Fezza medium gray nailhead two-piece, two-button suit, and wore it well. These suits have been cutting slim, but they're a great price, and work well on a slender frame. The Shirt is by Luchiano Visconti, the necktie is Braemore Neckwear, one of the newer lines at Jackson & Connor, but a big favorite of ours (and of our customers). Each necktie is handmade in their Canadian factory, and they feature twelve hand-stitchers just to put the finishing thread down the center of the seam. The boutonniere and silk pocket square are from Edward Armah -- Edward is one of the nicest guys in the industry, and one of the most creative. His innovative pocket rounds, boutonnieres, carte-poche and other items were already a smash hit -- now he's introduced leather goods and accessories, neckties, hats, and a robust array of new patterns. Just check out some shots of Edward's booth at the S/S 2014 MRket show:

 Pretty cool, huh? Our models were amazing -- thanks to them both! More shoots coming up, including a big stay tuned.