Designing spring and summer clothing inspired by my favorite bourbon
When it comes to seasons, I’m a fan of the colder ones. Fall and winter, yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the Northeast, but I have always preferred cool temperatures over hot ones.
That fondness for the span of time between October and February extends to my wardrobe as well. Here on the site, I’ve often referred to fall and winter as my style sweet spot. And as a result, I have lots of suits, jackets and trousers that could rightly be categorized as cold-weather or winter weight.
Spring and summer, on the other hand, are times of the year when I honestly feel a little lost. Although I’ve accrued a modestly healthy number of cotton and linen pieces over the years in my closet, I have to say that I haven’t put as much effort into cultivating a warm weather wardrobe to complement its cold weather counterpart.
So when I had to the opportunity to visit the new Alton Lane showroom in Tribeca a few weeks ago, I treated it as a prime opportunity to bolster the spring/summer offerings in my closet.
Before getting into the details of what I chose, I want to talk briefly about the showroom. Situated in the heart of Tribeca–right next to that amazing alley you’ve seen countless times on Instagram–the showroom is cozy and decidedly masculine. The street-level space is Alton Lane’s new NYC flagship. Inside, you’ll find leather sofas, shelves of menswear books, a television tuned to sports (which I honestly could have done without), racks of in-season offerings and a three-seat copper bar stocked with Elijah Craig bourbon–a tailor made space for leisurely perusing books of fabric swatches.
Once I sidled up to the bar and settled in with a dram, I got to the fabrics. Because I practice what I preach, I went in with a pretty firm idea of what I was looking for. Top on that list was a tobacco linen summer suit. As I thumbed through the fabric books and finally found what I was looking for–the perfect tobacco linen from Scabal. Along the way a nice lightweight wool windowpane also from Scabal caught my eye as well. Being the good Libra that I am, I decided to not make a decision and took the easy way out–tobacco linen suit and windowpane sport coat.
As my visit to Alton Lane was part of our ongoing partnership with Elijah Craig, I wanted both of my garments to give a little tip of the hat to one of my favorite bourbons. The color of the linen suit pays tribute to the golden color of the bourbon and the grey windowpane was a nod to the color found inside a charred oak barrel–small details that may only have a special meaning to me, but when you’re getting custom clothing, it’s always nice to incorporate a subtle hidden message and meaning. Beyond that, I wanted to create pieces that were timeless and classic, just like the bourbon.
Next came the fitting process, which is equal parts traditional and modern. The traditional part is, well, traditional. Measurements with the tape followed by filling up some try-on garments. After that comes a little bit of technology via a full body scan, which helps to reveal all of the things well-tailored clothing is designed to hide!
All in all, I had an exceptional showroom experience all around. And I can’t wait to share the results. Stay tuned!
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style