Reviving The Check Shirt

The check shirt is an item that even the most fashionably inept individual can relate to.

It’s a classic piece that transcends the wardrobes of men across the globe – from sharply dressed city boys to rugged, blue-collar workers.

Their popularity is plain to see; you only need to walk along your local high street for confirmation. But this popularity comes at a price, and quite a serious one at that. The problem is, check shirts have become a little boring. Certainly not as an item in itself – they’re available in more patterns, sizes and palettes than ever before – but the way it is worn? I feel as though it has lost its edge.

All too often do we see large groups of men staggering around town after dark in horrible shirts, terrible jeans and pointed black shoes. Too often do we see check shirts worn un-tucked under shiny blazers. And too often do we see check shirts worn in the most dull and uninspiring ways imaginable.

Yet this is a timeless piece that has a lot to offer the modern style-conscious gent – way more than what your local city or high street might suggest. It’s possible to become too comfortable with our clothes; simply following the crowd and trying to fit in. The majority don’t think outside the box and are reluctant to try new things.

  • The check shirt is one of these safe options and if we really want them to work for us in a unique and contemporary way, we need to re-evaluate the way we approach them.
  • With all this in mind, here are three styling techniques that will help breathe new life into your current collection…

Written by Fabio Attanasio

An old saying goes: “Always look at a man’s shoes, they will tell you a lot about him”.

The tenth and last article for Natural Gentleman is about the fascinating industry of the shoes. Just like for every other garment of a gentleman’s closet, also for the shoes a lot could be said and a web article may not be the most appropriate tool to write in depth about this matter. Provided that buying an high quality pair of shoes is a lifetime investment, it is essential to debunk the myth according to which expensive shoes, being rigid, hurt.

  • An excellent pair of shoes, except the case of an efficient marketing campaign, is not supposed to hurt and if this happens is just because of a wrong size or sole width. As for hand-made shoes, these are the basic steps. After the design phase, the leather and the lining are cut.
  • The next step is the binding phase in which the previously-cut pieces are put together to make the upper. Then the upper is mounted onto the form and stitched (in Good Year type, Norvegian, Bologna, Tyrolean, or Tubular).
  • Next is the sole-making phase that involves attaching sole and heel; finally the finishing phase is needed for the colour and the polishing. It takes twenty to thirty days to make a pair of shoes because there are technical intervals which must be respected: the finishing itself for example requires four or five days.
  • A tip: it is better to go for a “good-year welted” pair than for a blake one; only the first one can be changed if damaged and the shoes will return to mint conditions!

In the end, thanks to this nice (at least for me!) experience, not only did I have the chance to write down what I have learnt during the interviews of the past two years, but also it pushed me to reopen some dusty style books resting on my shelves, in order to check whether my statements were grounded .

Thus, I would like to thank the guys of Natural Gentleman for this opportunity and you Dudes for your enthusiastic feedbacks. It is a mix of details that makes a man elegant and for sure “clothes don’t make the man, but they can help a man look great”! ?

Written by Fabio Attanasio – author of the blog thebespokedudes.com