This weekend is menswear market week here in New York, and so my biannual check-in with the friends and colleagues who help keep the Ivy Style ship sailing as we head into our second decade (if you’d like fresh content on a daily basis, please consider supporting the site).
Randall Hanauer, Sr. of R. Hanauer/BowTies.com shared my concern about the precarious state of the necktie. “You see it on television, the navy suits and white shirts,” he said. “The men look undressed. There’s nothing handsome about a man’s neck.”
Strangely enough, while the overall tie pie may be shrinking, R. Hanauer’s share of it is growing. “Our business is actually up. English reps and basic stuff seems to be actually what is selling.” There’s an argument right there for the power of tradition: men may be wearing fewer ties, but when they do, they want them to be classic. “It’s a little disturbing when you hear men say they don’t want to wear ties any more,” Hanauer continued. “The necktie is greatest piece of apparel there ever was. It’s exciting, it’s your personality. You can put on a gray suit, but any kind of necktie depending on how you feel. It’s fun.”
Just look at all the ways with which you can have fun:
Midway, Kentucky-based Crittenden Rawlings, whose career includes tenures at Polo and Norman Hilton, was there with his usual mix of Anglo trad. His country sportcoat with throat latch was executed in lavender linen herringbone, and was paired with a spread-collar shirt, equestrian-themed tie, and penny loafers.
From a few feet away, this fabric looks like a muted ’60-era madras, but is actually made from wool. Critt said he may be able to custom order it in various cuts, so give him a call to find out more.
Castaway Clothing had a plethora of embroidered pants and shorts with new motifs, including scotch and cigars, and, for the next morning, the hangover cure:
Frank’s Pants was there, with the label they won’t be using any more:
Survivalon’s top-seller is now available in olive, and will keep you dry on rainy train platforms, as well as on sailboats:
Finally, Duck Head will take flight once again this fall with a big relaunch playing up its Southern heritage. There are three back labels for three different quality levels.
Stay tuned for an interview with the man who made DH khakis a college staple in the ’80s. — CC
Great to see R. Hanauer and Crit featured here. I’m always curious what those two Southern gentlemen are up to. It’s also “interesting” to see the continuing evolution of Duck Head, the brand that refuses to die. Or rather dies over and over and keeps coming back.
Randy Hanauer is great!
Critt is brilliant!
Unfortunately, the current incarnation of duck head is a joke.
I bought a pair, about a year ago.
To be kind, they were an vastly inferior product.
It was once an incredible product, the plain front twill pant avail in gray, navy, olive, & khaki.
They began offering khaki in a forward pleat & shorts around the mid 80’s.
Everything went to the devil after that…
Nevertheless, good to see Randy & Critt can still knock it out of the park!
R. Hanauer, Sr. was certainly right when he said: “There’s nothing handsome about a man’s neck.” And yet, shirt manufacturers insist upon leaving too great a distance between the collar button and the button below it, leaving too much of a gap when we don’t wear a necktie. Even custom shirtmakers don’t offer the option of reducing that distance.
Michael Spencer and Ratio Clothing both will alter the position of the second button. With Ratio, it’s an option; with M.Spencer, one can simply request it in the order notes.
“You see it on television, the navy suits and white shirts,” he said. “The men look undressed. There’s nothing handsome about a man’s neck.” It’s so true! TV accentuates these bad style choices. A middle-aged, fair skinned white guy in a white shirt on TV is disastrous. That should be a cue that’s it’s not good in person to person settings either. Put the tie on, and problem solved! (Consider going to blue shirts too which will be even more complimentary.) It’s funny: The style choice people make is “I don’t want to wear a tie” as opposed to “what looks best on me”. People see the strangest things in a mirror.
@ Jonathan Sanders
I have nothing against ties and often wear them. But the only men who need a tie to hide their neck are in dire need of help! Stop looking at yourself in the mirror Johnny and get some muscle! I bet you can’t wear speedos either.
What the Duck?!
Another relaunch? Seeming more like a lame duck.
Several re-launches and they still can’t get the logo on the back right … when will they learn?
I assumed R. Hanauer only offered bow ties and was pleasantly surprised to find that not to be the case. They have some great looking offerings.
Duckhead can relaunch all it likes but until they omit their external tag I will never give them a try.
Good to see Duck Head coming back. I always loved their shorts.
A linen jacket with a throat latch? That’s like a submarine with a screen door. How about a seersucker parka while we’re at it?
Frank’s pants. Duck Head pants. I got two pairs of Bill’s pants today (khaki, British khaki). Nothing beats a great pair of khakis.