Hob-nail boots, pince-nez and Rubato denim – at the pop party

Thursday, April 21st 2022
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The pop-up opening party was lovely last night. Thank you everyone for coming. 

It feels like the event has settled into a really nice pattern - part shopping evening, part welcoming of new brands, part simple knees-up for a mix of both readers and friends. 

But there’s not much more to say other than thank you - so let’s talk about some interesting things everyone saw from Jake’s, Bentley’s, Rubato and Ludovic Lunetier yesterday. 

Tim Bent, of Bentley’s, admitted that when he went to Paris recently to trawl the markets and see dealers, he came back not with the trunks he was aiming for, but some curiosities he really didn’t want to sell. 

They included the two pairs of boots below.

The Red Wing-type work boots are from the collection of Douglas Fairbanks Jr. They’re remarkably well preserved, given he apparently used to wear his shoes to death. 

They were also a perfect fit for me, which made it the more frustrating that they weren’t for sale. They’re going straight into Tim’s collection. 

Same goes for the mountain-climbing boots, which had an incredible hob-nail sole. 

Look at those nails worked around the sole edge, and then jutting out of the front like a set of horrific teeth. The most impressive thing, when you see them in person, is what hard, aggressive things they are, yet how finely made. Each nail is fitted together perfectly, and the stitching is so fine. 

Of course, Tim also has dozens of more standard pieces, including an alligator document case and a stunning layered jewellery box. 

The key with these antiques I’ve found - to my cost - is getting something you will actually use every day, and a jewellery box is something I actually would. Unlike the cigar cases I’ve tried to turn into phone cases or business-card carriers over the years. 

Ludovic, the glasses maker from Brussels, had some work going on to show - both sketching of new bespoke commissions and cutting of horn frames. 

Which was helpful, because the first thing everyone asks is where he’s based, and where the glasses are made. 

It was also good to see his made-to-order frames - three sizes, small, medium and large, based on analysis of his bespoke customers and how their sizing groups together. When you see them set out like that, it seems silly that glasses usually come in dozens of designs, but usually only one size. 

However, as with Tim it was hard not to spend time looking at Ludovic’s curiosities, like the samples of shell (for which he works with Daniel Bernard, ex-Maison Bonnet) and designs like the pince-nez. 

These are obviously pretty niche, but a well-known wearer is Jean Grimbert, previously of Arnys. Apparently he was a neighbour of Ludovic’s in Brussels and became a customer, but Ludovic had no idea who he was (not being involved much in menswear) until someone else pointed it out.

Jake’s shirts I spent some time trying on, for the first time. 

The button-down is a little low for me, but the ‘leisure collar’ he does, like a camp collar, is very nice (above). It sits a little higher at the back of the neck, which I find helps a lot with the style. If you have a remotely long neck, a camp collar can be quite unflattering. 

I fit a 15.5 neck, but the body shape (Jake only does one) was rather too full for me. This means his offering might not be for everyone, but the shirts are well made and very good value - if they do work for you, it’s a great option in London in terms of style and value. 

That was obvious given the number of customers that came in yesterday to see Jake, and spoke about all the shirts they’d had made. One had had every PS cloth made up. 

And again, while I wouldn’t wear some of them, it’s great having a big splash of colour on one side of the shop, with all Jake’s oxford stripes and printed madras jostling for attention. 

Finally, I was interested to see Rubato’s expansion into denim and shirts

The jeans are really nice and, perhaps in contrast to the knitwear, very wearable. They have a good medium rise, a slightly tapered leg that isn’t slim or full, and come once-washed once, rather than raw.

This means they might not be for denim purists, as they won’t fade in the same way as raw or unsanforised jeans. Personally I’d also prefer more regular rivets on the fly. But I think the jeans  will have a very broad appeal. The ecru off-white is perfect, the denim is a nice mid- to heavy weight, and I even found myself considering the pure white, despite swearing I’d always prefer ecru.

I found the size 32 waist a bit too tight in the hips, so went up to a 33. These fit better, and I appreciate the slightly higher rise. They do give though, so I’ll wait and see whether that was the right decision. I can also bring them in if necessary, of course, but can’t let them out. 

The other new range is the shirts, which are heavy enough to be overshirts, but you could also tuck in if you wanted to. 

The white denim is nice, and the chambray too, if perhaps not that unusual. The smaller pointed collar and chest pockets will be familiar to those who buy from Bryceland’s or The Real McCoy’s.

My favourite was the olive drab, which is made in a great linen/cotton -a heavy, almost canvas-like material, but cooler than the other shirts because of the linen in the yarn. That’s what Carl is wearing above (with the white jeans). 

The pop-up continues until Saturday, 10-6pm every day, at The Service, 32 Savile Row. All details here

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Peter

Amazing jacket you’re wearing Simon! May I ask who made it?

SVT

I agree, one of the best photos of Simon with a great combination of color and size.

AH.

As an overseas reader, I am not able to come so thanks very much for this write-up.

May I please know which size are you for the rubato olive shirt? I’m also interested in it and your size would be a good reference. Thank you.

I’m also surprised about the hip measurement of the rubato denim – based on the size chart it should be quite similar to Blackhorse lane NW1 (109cm vs 108cm).

Gabriele

Hi Simon, how do the ecru jeans from Rubato compare to the Drake’s ones you featured recently? Do you have a preference for one, or are they more or less equivalent? Thanks!

Jonathan

Hi Simon, good to see everything up and running. So Jake’s BD collar sits low at the nape? I’ve had my eye on his shirts for a while, but I’m now doubting whether the low stand will work on my (long) neck. No substitute for trying one – hoping to swing by on Saturday afternoon to do so. Jonathan

Rups

Simon couple of questions, firstly on the 10th photo down in the Rubato section there is a blue and white shirt with a collar, what is this please? Is that Rubato piece as I dont recall seeing anything like that from them before?

Also what is the jacket you are wearing in a double breasted Navy please? Thank you))

Anon

Can anyone identifiy the green army/safari style jacket seen only from the back?

RubenSR

The New Rubato collection looks wonderful, both the shirts and the denim. It particularly seems more wearable / contemporary than other collections indeed. Do you perhaps know what shade of denim Carl Pers is wearing in the pictures, ecru or white? Cheers

Tommy Mack

Rubato: I thought so too. I really like the idea of a garment that straddles the divide between shirt and overshirt.

Simon, I was hoping to visit the pop up on Wednesday till my kids both fell ill. If I can’t make it tomorrow I’ll see you next time!

Kenneth

Good morning…..good luck..i know it will be a smashing success….HAPPY EARTH DAY…..

MBB355

Very cool community you’ve built here, Simon

MBB355

Simon, what do you think about wearing one of the new Rubato shirts as an overshirt untucked and unbutton over a tucked-in t-shirt? It’s a look I see Steve Calder of Informale do a lot. I initially was unsure about it but I’ve come to think it’s really cool. Like the casual, spring-summer version of a jacket over a shirt. And it’s unusual enough to be interesting, but not quirky. Could work well with one of the new PS Tapered Tees or over a breton stripe tee. Thanks.

MBB355

Agree it’s different than most of what PS covers. But it also seems to me that PS has, along with the times/culture, gradually focused less on tailoring and more on casual-elegant dress. So it’s easy to envision PS covering a look like this. Indeed, it’s not all that different than some of the PS Overshirt looks, or the shawl cardigan over the PS Tapered Tee. By the way, a “How to Dress Like” Steve Calder piece could be cool. I think he’s the master of tastefully interesting casual dressing.

Rob

Hi Simon,

Thanks again for organising this. I did enjoy speaking with the makers (Jake in particular and Oliver/Carl).

I do think, though, that maybe the Rubato guys maybe should have followed the Bryceland approach of having a full selection of stock to try and shipped later.

Best wishes,

Rob

Rob

Hi Simon. It was mostly the fact that Kenji etc. didn’t allow customers to walk away with items from the pop up itself. They instead accepted orders and sent them out over the next fortnight.

For me that meant that they had every size if the Westerner shirt and I could try them on to find the correct size.

For the Rubato Officer chinos, though, they had a few but there wasn’t a full selection of sizes to try by the time I got to the pop up. I think I would have preferred to be able to try a few sizes to settle on the most appropriate fit etc.

But really just a thought – I can imagine the logistics of sending stock long distances by courier isn’t straightforward at all.

Thanks again for organising and for the makers attending.

Best wishes

G

Hi Simon, is Carl wearing the ecru or white jeans on the photos?
thanks

John Kiely

Hi Simon,
I popped in yesterday and had a wonderful time. I caught myself feeling a little nervous seeing people I follow and read up on so much (yourself included), but everyone was lovely (yourself included).
I bought a shirt from Jake. He seems a top lad. The customised sleeve length is a huge plus for me – It seems my arms are longer than the average. Would you say his standard Oxford is a lot fuller than say Drake’s Oxford or Anglo Italian’s or your own PS version? I’m a little concerned the shirt may be too full and roomy for me.

John Kiely

I did try on. I can be very indecisive and Jake was really nice. I’m sure I’ll enjoy the shirt and make it work.

Thanks again and best wishes.

Michael

Congrats on the pop up Simon, was great to see some more of the Rubato and PS stuff in person and Jake’s shirts were great too. There was also a very nice chatty atmosphere between the other people who had come along. Do you mind me asking what jacket you had on Friday? It looked to be charcoal from a quick look and wasn’t sure if it was the Hitchcock one or not.

SVT

Fit)

Valentin

Hi Simon,

Hope all is well. Do you happen to know the mill that produced the fabric of this Drakes’s jacket? https://www.drakesarchive.com/it/natural-large-herringbone-linen-silk-jacket Any tips where I can find a similar cloth would be highly appreciated. Thank you very much in advance!

Best
Valentin

Christopher

I am very curious to see how the Rubato white denim will fit. In regard to the measurement chart I have ordered it in 32. After your comment, I am a bit curious, if I have to size up…but the fit around the waist won’t be as good and I would prefer to wear it without a belt.

Yash

Hello Simon,

Congrats on the pop up. Clearly a great success in regard to bringing people together.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the boys from Rubato and seeing their products (bought the chinos – shortlisted the jeans and a few other bits), as well as getting measured up by Lunetier_Ludovic for a future pair (or more) of glasses.

When you take into account Jake and Bentleys it was simply just a well balanced collection of passionate artisans, all with something specific and unique to offer.

There was also (I felt) a subtle buzz about the whole thing, like we were all getting back to celebrating being out and about and enjoying dressing and clothes. Not sure if that was just my own feeling…

Thoroughly enjoyed it, had some interesting conversations and will be a regular at future pop ups and gatherings.

Yash

Yash

Excellent, glad to hear it.
Thanks Simon, catch up soon.

Santosh

Hi Simon..nice to see you on Saturday..thoroughly enjoyed the cloths on display..though could not spend much time because I have to get back …till next time

Christopher

Dear Simon,

my white Rubato denim arrived yesterday. The 32 fits for me perfect. But I am not quite sure about the length, for me (1,80cm) it seems to be suboptimal. What are your thoughts about altering, or do you tend to turn the up the hem as it is pictured in Rubato’s beautiful lookbook?

Best regards
Christopher