Monday, 23 May 2011

Newton Street Vintage

Newton Street Vintage jacket

Etsy is a worldwide online market established 2005 with a physical office in Brooklyn, in New York, in the United States of America. It's a better eBay for handmade and vintage items.

Newton Street Vintage is an Etsy shop established late last year. Zach, the owner, lives in Cambridge, in Massachusetts, in the United States of America, a style aficionado in the right place.

I've mentioned how Steve McQueen style overlaps with Ivy style. I've moaned about how difficult it is to get hold of natural Ivy-style jackets and how antique is the way to go. Well, Newton Street Vintage is an impeccable source of relevant jackets and other Ivy items.

Zach's interest in clothes began with vintage denim and worked from there to other antique bits. Newton Street Vintage is refreshingly accessible, and Zach's systematic approach to his interest brings an authority that appeals to expert and novice. He told me something about his love of detail:
When I was a kid, I loved fighter planes and would buy actual manuals to learn the parts of planes. Same thing happened when I got into tailoring. Why Ivy? I grew up on the East Coast and my dad, who was in his 20s in the early 1960s, wore Brooks Brothers, so it was always just kind of around. I didn't learn that it was called Ivy until later. So just by needing to know what I specifically wanted, I learned about terms like lapped seam or gorge.

I'm also learning to tailor. I've made shirts, working on my first trousers now, and I've had success designing my own suits. I didn't sew them, I used a manufacturer, but I designed and sourced the raw materials.
The Cincinnati Kid

The jacket that McQueen wears in Bullitt is an unusual combination of Ivy and English styles. Ivy, as I've said, is traditionally a centre back vent rather than one to each side. However, a traditional Ivy style jacket, even without a ticket pocket and elbow patches, still gets you closer to the actual Bullitt jacket than, say, the one from Grand Prix Legends and The King Of Cool. You get closer to Steve McQueen style even if the colour is, say, grey. (See above picture of Steve in The Cincinnati Kid with pretty lady Ann-Margret.) The difference, as I've noted, is structure.

McQueen, Shoreditch

One more thing and on a different note: McQueen is a themed bar, lounge and restaurant in glittering London's Shoreditch area. The menu takes inspiration from the Midwest, which means steaks and burgers, of course, but there's also lobster and other seafood and - popular in McQueen's birthplace of Indiana - Cajun. Sounds tasty to me, but my overall default position on things like this is, obviously, cantankerous. The chesterfields, warm light and polished wood help create the kind of setting in which McQueen was often photographed, though, and reports suggest the place blends the easily spoilt mixture of McQueen theme and Hoxton hipster well. I'll find out soon.

One more, er, one more thing, again on a different note: if you buy through the Amazon Steve McQueen Style shops (link at top right), the prices and conditions are the same as if you buy from Amazon in general but you support this site. Likewise, you support this site if you click the Google advertisement (bottom right).

Monday, 16 May 2011

Steve McQueen Style Ladies: January Jones

January Jones as Betty

January Jones was in Mad Men, and I once mentioned Mad Men as an aside in a post. That'll do.

Monday, 2 May 2011


I again have to say most Steve McQueen Style suggestions are just that: suggestions. Remember he wore something other than Sanders playboys, for example, but they're close (Tricker's Mud Guard boots look more like it, actually, which is something for another post). Modculture is, as the name suggests, a website for the old mod subculture. A thread on its style forum recently peeked at one of the Steve McQueen Style specials from last summer, where I say "Orlebar Brown is a company that's made shorts only since 2007" (I have further shorts suggestions for a new summer special, by the way). The thread concluded Steve McQueen wore Orlebar Brown.

My post mentioned Daniel Craig, something this blog does often, because he arguably has Steve McQueen style. The Modculture thread pointed out that Daniel Craig's shorts look different to Steve McQueen's shorts, which is clear as long as you have sight. My blog uses Daniel Craig as a light way to extend suggestions, as a popular present-day version of Steve McQueen style. Daniel Craig has Steve McQueen style. His shorts look different to Steve McQueen's shorts. You know, the previous two sentences can accord.

I'll try a new approach. You'd be weird if you put Steve McQueen's shorts on Michael Jackson's dead body. What's more, Michael Jackson's dead body would fail to achieve Steve McQueen style. You, Michael Jackson's dead body and Steve McQueen style are three different things. Now let's turn this delicate point up to 11: Steve McQueen and Steve McQueen style are two different things.

McQueen wore what suited him. One way to get close to his style is to wear what suits you. Obviously, I have to draw the line somewhere. A skullcap suits some people, but it'd definitely be weird for this blog to suggest one. Remember, though, it'd be weirdest of all to put Steve McQueen's shorts on Michael Jackson's dead body.

OK, let me get rid of semantics, logic exercises and the surreal:

1. It's wrong to conclude from my summer special on swim shorts that Steve McQueen wore Orlebar Brown, because I say in the post "Orlebar Brown is a company that's made shorts only since 2007". Steve McQueen died in 1980. That's 27 years before Orlebar Brown made shorts. This means it's impossible Steve McQueen wore Orlebar Brown shorts.

2. The post on swim shorts mentioned Daniel Craig's shorts for two reasons. One reason the post mentioned them is many people think Daniel Craig's style is a bit like Steve McQueen's style. The other reason the post mentioned them is they're famous. This is a slight blog about a slight world. It's obvious Daniel Craig's shorts look different to Steve McQueen's shorts. It's strange to think anybody has them confused.