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Does Thom Browne Make You Look Cool or Ridiculous?

Everyone’s dressed down. So actually putting on a suit is an Anti-Establishment stance.

-Thom Browne

Love him or hate him! There are few designers of men’s fashion who have produced more controversy than Thom Brown.

Thoughts on Thom

His aesthetic certainly pushes the boundaries between cool and ridiculous yet no other menswear designer has had a more dramatic influence on men’s fashion over the last decade.

His signature look of abbreviated proportions resembles that of an underpaid insurance broker of the fifties who washed his suit too hot. The result is a “short suit” consisting of a slim cut jacket that concludes mid-wrist,trousers with high water cuffs and black dress shoes worn without socks offering a decent exposure of hairy ankles. Breaking all the rules of men’s tailoring his suits have a very distinct and structured fit with two or three buttons, side vents, very narrow lapels and trousers without belt loops.

Browne’s signature colors hover around a wide range of charcoal grey with ties almost exclusively cut from the same fabric sporting a silver tie clip.

Originally he has not been received well and grew into many a fashion critique’s number one pet hate for years, yet when in 2006  he was named Fashion Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Designer of the Year in 2008 by GQ there was no more denying how influential this avant-garde designer had become.

His followers claim that he has injected a much-needed dose of cool into the suit industry with his new bend on the aesthetics of the 1950’s.

Born in 1965 in Allensberg Browne started out as an actor without much success. In 1997 he opted to give up the show business and tried his luck in the fashion industry instead. He was picked up by Ralph Lauren and started his own label in 2001.

In 2006 he started to design for Brooks Brothers Black fleece line and became creative director for Moncler Gamme Bleu in 2008.

Since his debut Thom Browne has branched out into a more complete set of menswear including underwear, ties and sweaters.

His design line located in New York can be purchased on Hudson Street in TriBeCa as well as all over the world.

10 Insights from Thom Browne

1. ?I don’t understand why everybody thinks that dressing casually is so much more comfortable. I’m as comfortable in a suit as I am in anything else.

2.? Good champagne—good, not expensive—has been my cocktail of choice for as long as I can remember. I like them all—Bollinger, Taittinger, and others. I also collect champagne coupes; I have more than 10. They’re one of the few things that I collect.

3.? Chariots of Fire, Death in Venice, North by Northwest, and The Thomas Crown Affair are some of my favorite films—and they’re all particularly inspiring for menswear. I watch movies all the time but I don’t like to go to the theater. It’s just too much.

4.? Guys shouldn’t spend a lot of money on a haircut. I go to Chelsea Barbers in New York, where I pay about $30. The price went up, but I’m very loyal to the woman there.

5.? It’s sad that the cell phone is replacing the watch as a time-telling device. I wear a vintage watch that’s really skinny.

6.? When it comes to shoes, you don’t really need more than a few pairs of wing tips or oxfords. They’re classics. And I wear only black shoes in the city. Brown ones are for the country.

7.? Men don’t know enough about being courteous toward women. You should get into a cab before a woman so she doesn’t have to slide across the seat. And you should always go first into a revolving door so she doesn’t have to push—unless it’s moving, then let her go first.

8.? Seersucker and khaki suits are the key to looking put-together in the summer. I also wear shorts year-round. And I would never say never, but I don’t wear sandals. With shorts, it’s wing tips and tennis socks.

9. ?I like menswear from the late fifties and early sixties. It’s the uniformity and the lack of choice from that era that I respond to. It’s also the last time that there was such a distinct American style. Now it’s all jumbled up and homogenized.

10.?I love white linen sheets, but they need to be ironed, so that limits my use of them. Otherwise, I like really good, starched white cotton sheets. They have to be white.

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About Gloria Mundi ‘Gloria Mundi’ is the woman every man needs. She has seen it all: guys who succeed and guys who fail. With many years of experience in the style arena she knows the magic ingredients to transform any frog into a prince. If you want to get inside a woman’s head (or simply inside her pants)… let Gloria whisper in your ear.

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