Friday, September 30, 2005

Disco Party - get out the PLATFORM SHOES !

How many men twisted their ankles wearing platforms back in the 70's? There has to be an injury log out there somewhere, because most of us have seen guys in flat shoes fall on their asses in the club. Generally while trying to perform a stunt on the dance floor, or... just before closing time.

We can't imagine some of the guys we know having the impediment of wearing such shoes while trying to navigate anything. Apparently, back in the 70's, it wasn't a problem. These shoes were super styling, super fly pimp daddy-o freaky cool to the nth degree. No doubt there were people staring at these bad ass shoes 30 plus years ago and wishing they could only be so damn cool.

Foot stomping, jive talkin', platform pumping, leisure suit, tight disco shirt wearing hot ass stud muffin. And if he could pull off the moves and swivel those hips on the lighted dance floor, he was the farkin' KING.

Leisure suit jacket comes off, hung on the back of his bar chair and he's back on the dance floor. The shirt is tucked in, the flares or big bells are skin tight and he's groovin' to the thump of the bass. Fog machine and strobe lights make even the people who can't dance look like they can. And, if you're stoned on your ass after that visit to your car with your friends in the parking lot to smoke some weed and are now sitting in your seat, you're staring at the whole picture unaware that your mouth is open and you look like a dork and a half. You may as well get on the dance floor and do a twirling whirling dervish under the strobe in the fog just because, well... it'll freak out people who know you.

We can't tell you how many disco shirts we've picked up only to find what appears to be pot seed burns on them, but... it's been a LOT. So... if you're looking for something like that, let us know. Most of them don't make the transition to being put up on But, we always seem to keep a few around.

You can score a stoners shirt from the 70's.

Munchies not included.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

vintage clothing GUAYABERA shirts

hand embroidered GUAYABERA SHIRT

Looking for a mexican wedding shirt? We only wish we had 500 of these, in all sizes - but, no... we have this ONE special shirt in a size small. Some man will get lucky in this shirt, we just know it. Because it's so frickin' kick ass in its design that it's bound to garner some major macho mojo.

The shirt is becoming impatient to have some new life put into it. We swear we heard it speaking in a deep baritone voice with a huffy overtone, "...where is that bastard, I'm so tired of waiting... if I knew anything about him - anything... I'd hunt him down and jump on his back."

Yeah. Work long and hard enough and this stuff mumbles.


Friday, September 23, 2005

70s Disco Party Clothes for Men

Looking for mens polyester 1970's Disco Leisure Suits? Look no further than !

We've been having a damn BLAST putting together some of the funkiest stuff for you retro party guys, and we can tell you that we're having a hard time keeping stock because these suits are literally flying off the shelves.

Bell bottoms and wild disco shirts are prime items for fun men on planet earth. Get that man in a crazy AUTHENTIC disco shirt and his personality changes immediately. We've had such an amazing reception from all of you wild men that we can barely keep up with your demands for the best of the best in retro 70s party attire.

The crew at DressThatMan just wants to say.... we LOVE you guys!

And, thanks for all of the compliments you've given us lately - especially the ones we would never publish publicly. It keeps us inspired even when we are dead ass tired.

If you haven't checked us out, get over here before all of the goods are entirely picked over.

The work day is done for us. It's Friday night and we're heading out for a night on the town. We'll quaff some for you, eh?

Hopefully, our heads will be clear and we'll get some major work done by the time we're back at it when Monday rolls around.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

ZIP HISTORY & how zippers work

Zip it up. And, unzip it, too. Because zippers ROCK. But, where in the world did they come from?

The history of the zipper goes back to an invention patented in 1851 'Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure.' Patented by Elias Howe who invented the Sewing Machine.

Perhaps it was the success of the sewing machine, which caused Elias not to pursue marketing his clothing closure. As a result, Howe missed his chance to become the recognized 'Father of the Zip.' Instead, f
orty-four years later, Mr. Whitcomb Judson (who also invented the 'Pneumatic Street Railway') marketed a 'Clasp Locker' a device similar to the 1851 Howe patent. Being first to market it gave Whitcomb the credit of being the 'Inventor of the Zipper', However, his 1893 patent did not use the word zipper. The Chicago inventor's 'Clasp Locker' was a complicated hook-and-eye shoe fastener. Together with businessman Colonel Lewis Walker, Whitcomb launched the Universal Fastener Company to manufacture the new device. The clasp locker had its public debut at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and met with little commercial success.

Swedish-born (who later immigrated to Canada), Gideon Sundback, an electrical engineer, was hired to work for the Universal Fastener Company. Good design skills and a marriage to the plant-manager's daughter Elvira Aronson led Sundback to the position of head designer at Universal. He was responsible for improving the far from perfect 'Judson C-curity Fastener.' Unfortunately, Sundback's wife died in 1911. The grieving husband busied himself at the design table and by December of 1913, he had designed the modern zipper.

Gideon Sundback increased the number of fastening elements from four per inch to ten or eleven, had two facing-rows of teeth that pulled into a single piece by the slider, and increased the opening for the teeth guided by the slider. The patent for the 'Separable Fastener' was issued in 1917. Sundback also created the manufacturing machine for the new zipper. The 'S-L' or scrapless machine took a special Y-shaped wire and cut scoops from it, then punched the scoop dimple and nib, and clamped each scoop on a cloth tape to produce a continuous zipper chain. Within the first year of operation, Sundback's zipper-making machinery was producing a few hundred feet of fastener per day.

The popular 'zipper' name came from the B. F. Goodrich Company, when they decided to use Gideon's fastener on a new type of rubber boots or galoshes and renamed the device the zipper, the name that lasted. Boots and tobacco pouches with a zippered closure were the two chief uses of the zipper during its early years. It took twenty more years to convince the fashion industry to seriously promote the novel closure on garments.

In the 1930’s, a sales campaign began for children's clothing featuring zippers. The campaign praised zippers for promoting self-reliance in young children by making it possible for them to dress in self-help clothing. The zipper beat the button in the 1937 in the "Battle of the Fly," when French fashion designers raved over zippers in men's trousers. Esquire magazine declared the zipper the "Newest Tailoring Idea for Men" and among the zippered fly's many virtues was that it would exclude "The Possibility of Unintentional and Embarrassing Disarray." Obviously, the new zippered trouser owners had not yet discovered the experience of forgetting to zip-up.

The next big boost for the zipper came when zippers could open on both ends, as on jackets. Today the zipper is everywhere, in clothing, luggage and leather goods and countless other objects. Thousands of zipper miles produced daily, meet the needs of consumers, thanks to the early efforts of the many famous zipper inventors.

--- History of the Zipper can be found on by Mary Bellis
---- Find out HOW zippers work at howstuffworks... we LOVE that site!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The history of Harris Tweed

Last evening a vintage Harris Tweed coat arrived. Whoa. The jacket was made in England in Manchester and is dated in the pocket as 1955. EXCELLENT condition and we couldn't be more thrilled. We've sold many jackets, blazers and coats made of Harris Tweed. But, this one was special. Naturally due to our inquisitive nature, we wanted to know more about Harris Tweed.

Everything that you'd ever want to know about Harris Tweed can be found here.

What is Harris Tweed?
Harris Tweed is cloth that has been handwoven by the islanders of Lewis, Harris, Uist and Barra in their homes, using pure virgin wool that has been dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.

The history...
The story of Harris Tweed is the story of a remote island community that lies between the Highlands of Scotland on the north west tip of Europe and the North Atlantic Ocean.

For centuries the islanders of Lewis, Harris, Uist and Barra have woven the magical cloth the world knows as Harris Tweed, Clo Mhor
in the original Gaelic- 'The big cloth'.

From time immemorial, the inhabitants of the West of Scotland, including the Outer Hebrides had made cloth entirely by hand. As the Industrial Revolution reached Scotland, the mainland turned to mechanisation but the Outer Islands retained their traditional processes. Lewis and Harris had long been known for the excellence of the weaving done there, but up to the middle of the nineteenth century, the cloth was produced mainly for home use or for a purely local market.

In 1846, Lady Dunmore, widow of the late Earl of Dunmore, had the Murray tartan copied by Harris weavers in tweed. This proved so successful that Lady Dunmore devoted much time and thought to marketing the tweed to her friends and then to improving the process of production. This was the beginning of the Harris Tweed industry. At that time the method of making this handmade was as follows:

The raw material, wool, was produced locally and part of it would have been used in its natural uncoloured state, the rest was dyed. In the 19th century vegetable dyes were used. Following dyeing, the wool was mixed, the shade being regulated by the amount of coloured wool added; then it was oiled and teased; the latter process involves pulling the wool apart to open out the fibres. The next part of the preparation, carding, results in the fibres of the wool being drawn out preparatory to spinning. This was a very lengthy process followed by spinning carried out on familiar spinning-wheel by women. Until the turn of the century a very early type of handloom was used for weaving with a manually operated shuttle. The final process is finishing where the tweed is washed and given a raised compact finish. The involved in this process was often accompanied by songs in Gaelic.

As a result of the marketing efforts of Lady Dunmore, increased sales of the tweed were achieved and trade was established with cloth merchants in large towns in the UK.

At about the turn of the century the primitive small loom was replaced by the improved "fly-shuttle" loom. This was made of wood and heavier than the earlier loom tending to make weaving an occupation for men rather than women. Although originally imported from the Galashiels a local joiner started making the new type of loom in 1903.

Between 1903 and 1906 the tweed making industry in Lewis increased rapidly. Mr Aeneas Mackenzie's carding mill in Stornoway added spinning machinery and a second mill was started by Mr Kenneth Mackenzie from whom one of the largest Harris Tweed producing companies in existence takes its name today.

At a meeting in Stornoway in 1906 efforts were considered for placing the industry on a more satisfactory footing. This was a most harmonious meeting and as the Trade Marks Act had been passed in 1905 making provision for a registration of Standardisation Marks, it seemed to be novel opportunity to end the increasing practice of offering mill-spun tweed as genuine Harris Tweed.

This meant the introduction of a system of whereby the tweed was inspected and, if passed, given a certifying stamp which would give confidence to the trade and public. A company limited by guarantee was formed under the title The Harris Tweed Association Limited. This was mainly to ensure the grant of a mark and an application was filed to register the well-known Harris Tweed Trade mark consisting of the orb and the Maltese Cross with the words Harris Tweed underneath. One of the objectives of obtaining a Mark was to protect the industry from the competition of the spinning mills.

The original definition read,"Harris Tweed means a tweed, hand-spun, hand-woven and dyed by the crofters and cottars in the Outer Hebrides".

The Certification Mark was granted in 1909, registered in 1910 and stamping began in 1911. Amended Regulations were confirmed in June 1934 and the following was promulgated, "Harris Tweed means a tweed made from pure virgin wool produced in Scotland, spun, dyed and finished in Outer Hebrides and hand-woven by the islanders at their own homes in the Islands of Lewis , Harris, Uist, Barra and their several purtenances and all known as the Outer Hebrides".

There could be added in legible characters to the Trade Mark, the words "Woven in Lewis", "Woven in Harris", "Woven in Uist" or "Woven in Barra" for the purpose of distinguishing where the tweed was made".

The alteration in the Trademark Definition in 1934, allowing the use of millspun yarn, enabled the industry to make a huge leap in production. The stamped yardage increased tenfold and continued to increase till the peak figure of 7.6 million yards was reached in 1966.

The Hattersley single width loom The introduction of the Hattersley domestic loom in the 1920s enabled the weavers to produce more and to weave complicated patterns that could not be woven on the large wooden looms that were used for the previous 50 years.

This loom was brought to the islands by Lord Leverhulme who owned Lewis and Harris for some years and introduced many changes with mixed results.

The Hattersley loom is still used in the industry but is being replaced by the new Bonas-Griffith double width loom which was introduced in 1996 to satisfy market demands for wider, softer, lighter Harris Tweed. The Harris Tweed Association was the proprietor of the famous "Orb" Trademark. Throughout this century the HTA protected and promoted the Orb all over the world. The success of the industry meant that competitors tried to imitate Harris Tweed or pass off other fabrics as genuine. Much of the competition was from mainland Scotland and this led to a case at the Court of Session in 1964 that was, for a long time, the longest civil case in Scottish legal history. The judgement by Lord Hunter re-inforced the 1934 definition that tied all production processes to the Outer Hebrides and removed the threat of mainland competition. The years following the 1964 case were the most successful ever for Harris Tweed but, by the late 1980s the industry had begun to contract as fashions changed and the Harris Tweed jacket became less popular. The industry set out to transform itself by:

* producing a new double width loom
* re-training weavers
* introducing new, tougher Standards
* marketing the new wider, softer, lighter tweed.

The Harris Tweed Authority took over from the Harris Tweed Association in 1993 by Act of Parliament. Thus the definition of Harris Tweed became statutory and forever tied the cloth to the Islands:

Harris Tweed means a tweed which has been hand woven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the islands of Harris, Lewis, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist and Barra and their several purtenances (The Outer Hebrides) and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.

The late 90s are a difficult time for the British textile industry and Harris Tweed is no exception. However there is confidence that the hard decisions taken to reform the industry will eventually bear fruit and secure the future of this unique product.

The history of Harris Tweed from its origins right up to the 1993 Act of Parliament has been published by Acair Ltd of Stornoway, Isle of Lewis ( Tel: +44 (0) 1851 703020).

All text above is from the website and is their property.

Check out their website! See how Harris Tweed is made.

DressThatMan in Harris Tweed !

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

the miracle of POLYESTER

Polyester began as a group of polymers in W.H. Carothers' laboratory. Carothers was working for DuPont at the time when he discovered that alcohols and carboxyl acids could be successfully combined to form fibers. Polyester was put on the back burner once Carothers discovered nylon. A group of British scientists took up Carothers' work in 1939. In 1941 they created the first polyester fiber called Terylene. In 1946 DuPont bought all legal rights from the Brits and came up with another polyester fiber which they named Dacron.

Polyester said "hello there" to the American public in the year 1951. It was originally promoted as a miracle fiber that could be worn for 68 days straight without ironing and still look presentable. Although we've naturally been tempted, DressThatMan has not yet tested this theory. We're most curious what might happen if we stretched it to 69 days.

In 1958 another polyester fiber called Kodel was developed by Eastman Chemical Products, Inc. Polyester was in expansion mode. Since it was inexpensive and durable fiber, small textile factories popped up nationwide, producing cheap polyester garments. Polyester experienced a constant growth well into the 1970's and even a period of a shortage in the mid 70's when demand peaked. Before the 70's ended, sales drastically declined. Most likely influenced due to the negative public image that emerged as a result of the public scourge, outfit enemy #1 known as the polyester double-knit leisure suit. Polyester was seen as cheap and tacky. Not to mention its unbreathable qualities during the height of the disco era. A deadly combination.

Polyester is quite friendly and plays well with other fibers. It's a common ingredient in cotton blends to help lend a no-iron label to a wide production line. Mainly because it's cheap to produce, is durable and coupled with the wrinkle resistant properties, it all feeds into the public lazy at large factor. How many of us iron on a regular basis anymore? Most don't. For the most part, we can thank our friend polyester for that. The magic of science and chemicals.

Never EVER iron 100% polyester anything directly with a hot iron. If you must wad up and wrinkle your poly products, steam them instead - even though a warm iron will generally do the trick it's best to avoid the ugly mess and chancing the possibility of melting a petrochemical fiber and adhering it permanently onto your iron and ruining your garment. Although you can safely iron poly stuff with a towel or some other cotton fabric down on top of the polyester, the crew at prefers steaming everything to ironing. It's way more fun than ironing, too.

Nylon, polyester and acrylic tend to be slow to ignite but once ignited, severe melting and dripping occurs. So be careful. Polyester is resistant to flame ignition, but once ignited it melts like hot cheese and sticks to things.

Yikes. But oddly enough, it's the polyester blends with cotton that have higher flammable qualities. Probably because cotton likes to burn and polyester likes to drip and stick. But, silk is the worst. It has a high flash burn rate which can actually be increased by the color dyes and other additives used in its production.

As could be predicted, heavy, tight weave fabrics will burn slower than loose weave, light fabrics of the same material. The surface texture of the fabric also affects flammability. Fabrics with long, loose, fluffy pile or "brushed" nap will ignite more readily than fabrics with a hard, tight surface, and in some cases will result in flames flashing across the fabric surface.

Wool is naturally flame-retardant. If ignited, it generally has a low burning rate and much higher probability rate that it will self-extinguish. Glass fibers and modacrylic are nearly flame-resistant. These synthetic fibers are designed and manufactured to possess flame-retardant properties.

Enough about flaming and burning undesirables. Let's move back to the object of our passionate petrochemical romance. Polyester. Onto its resurgence.

Our current day passion for the charm of petrochemical polyester is embraced through the development of luxurious fibers such as the polyester microfiber. The masses adore it. Microfibers are riding a wave of popularity thus predicting a very bright future for our friend polyester. Technology has been enabled us to produce polyester filaments used that are finer than silk. The products created are breathable and water repellant and durable, too. The miracle fiber has given us polar fleece and our collective hearts were again warmed to polyester. Blankets and clothing to keep us all snuggly and cuddly microfibers made us fall for wrinkle resistant polyester again.

The invention that overcame its tacky factor reputation by surviving a major scourge has become a supernatural synthetic. The marvels of science and the resulting invention of microfiber polyester is gaining a major reputation as a luxury fabric that will surely be here to stay for years to come.

The crew at DressThatMan salutes the magic of science for giving us polyester. Daily.

We no longer have to be made to feel cheap, tacky and generally tawdry because of our passion for polyester.

Now we can feel all of those things just because we are.

for more information about fireproofing fabrics go here