How to Nail Formal Wear

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and with it comes ugly sweater get-togethers, as well as more upscale soirees. We know that “Black Tie Requested” are three tricky words to tango with, so we wanted to make the season a little easier with some pointers for formal wear. I sat down with our very own Bespoke Advisors, Bruce Zuckerman and Michael Alzona, to ask them for their sartorial opinions on formal wear.

Spy vs Spy vs Spy vs Spy

If there were 13 symbols in the Lunar New Year calendar then 2015 would not be the Year of the Sheep, but, rather, the Year of the Spy. Sam Mendes’ “Spectre” has been recently released this week along with a flood of spy films this year such as Kingsman, the Man from U.N.C.L.E., and another Mission Impossible flick. (We didn’t make it to “Hitman: Agent 47.” Any good?) Don’t get us wrong here, we enjoy high-octane espionage flicks as much as the next guy, if not more, but with so many of them out we needed to compare them into a Battle Royale type-situation, to see which franchise is truly the best.

The Islay Of Teas

As the chill settles in over San Francisco, you may see Wingtip’s roving gourmand Matt Gill recommending a cup of Lapsang Souchang tea. It’s not just hot, but it’s smoked. Gill describes its flavors as reminiscent of “cigars and campfire.” We’re enchanted.

Spectre Looms over Sundance Kabuki

Last night, in an emerging Wingtip tradition, members were treated to a private screening of the latest James Bond film, “Spectre.” Guests enjoyed a medley of skewers, bruschetta, and cocktails. As expected, outfits ranged from your standard evening wear to classic Bond character renderings, such as Dr. Holly Goodhead and Emilio Largo. (For the record, your humble neighborhood journalist wore a midnight blue evening jacket with peak lapels and blue satin trim, a wing-collar tuxedo shirt, black trousers, a slim black bow tie, and a white pocket square.)

St. Germain: The Tourist Visits Mali

St. Germain’s album “Tourist” (2000) fused French house and Blue Note jazz and seemed to fit every scene. It was played everywhere: the cafes with their second-wave combinations of milk and coffee; the boutiques stacked high in shades of beige, grey, and variegated white; the deliriously uncomfortable restaurants with the hard, reverberating walls; the lounges with arcane flavors of vodka. “Tourist” was a genre-bending musical esperanto that broke down borders. It was futuristic and idealistic, and seemed primed to accompany us into the new millenium. So it was a bummer when “Tourist” faded into the aughts without a proper follow-up from St. Germain (real name: Ludovic Navarre). And it was a little nerve-wracking when that follow-up suddenly materialized this month. Would it be the long-awaited album fans wanted to hear? Or the sequel no one needed?

Opulent October Halloween Costumes

Halloween is less than a week away, and if you haven’t put together your costume or decided what you’re gonna wear, fear not, for we have your back. Here’s a list of costumes you can put together at Wingtip–or perhaps from your own well-equipped closet.

Fall TV Style Report 2015

Fall is back, and with the season comes the falling of leaves, pumpkin spice, and the wearing of Uggs. While we couldn’t care less about the latter, the new TV season is officially underway. Some millions of people have been watching football, some even baseball, but we’ve been busy digesting the most inspiring and most misguided looks for our annual Fall TV Style Report.

Wednesday: Book Launch, “Drinking The Devil’s Acre”

You may have stumbled upon his Lower Nob Hill watering hole; you may have had his signature cocktail, The Laughing Buddha; you may have even discussed the history of San Francisco cocktails with him. For those who don’t know, we’re talking about Duggan McDonnell, “the new dean of western cocktail writing,” who, after seven years of operating Cantina on a foundation of farmer’s market produce and historical cocktail wisdom has summed up his knowledge thus far in a tome called “Drinking the Devil’s Acre: A Love Letter from San Francisco and her Cocktails.”

Finishing Touches: Wingtip’s Keith Griego Twiddles Beats, Styles, Shows, and Graphics

Each Sunday morning this past August, at the Legionnaire Saloon in downtown Oakland, a reunion was being forged. Foreign Legion, made up of the lounge’s proprietor Prozack Turner, along with Marc Stretch, and Wingtip’s own Keith Griego aka DJ Design, had not performed together in a decade. But a call from one of the talent bookers at Oakland’s Hiero Day music festival set the gears in motion.

To Foreign Legion, the stage show is at least as important as the setlist. After all, this is the group that once got a management deal based on a stage stunt that involved the featherweight emcee Prozack Turner hiding in the backpack of heavyweight emcee Stretch, before the latter turned his back to the audience so the former could unzip the bag and perform a verse from the cozy confines of the backpack–still hovering three feet over the stage.

Agave Visits Wingtip (Plus: Avion Tequila Tasting)

Agave Denim showcases their West Coast Luxury at Wingtip this Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 7-8. In the spirit of Agave, all customers who purchase new Agave garments at the event will be invited to join us for a special Avión Tequila tasting – Silver, Reposado, Añejo – accompanied by Mexican fare to thank you for… Read more »

  • Favorite Paragraph of “Lords of Finance”

    Last week, I wrote a post linking to a James Fallows post on how Liaquat Ahamed made some Great Depression history much more interesting through the style of his writing in Lords of Finance. Now almost halfway through the 500 page tome, I have come across what will probably be my favorite paragraph even though… Read more »

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    Posted on May 18, 2009 by
  • Sinatra by Scorsese & DiCaprio?

    Blogging from the road can be tough, so I apologize for coming back to this bit of news on Wednesday: Martin Scorsese is slated to direct a Frank Sinatra biopic. Variety, naturally, has the scoop.  As they explain, DiCaprio is an easy rumor to play Ol’ Blue Eyes since he has starred in the last… Read more »

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    Posted on May 16, 2009 by
  • “Bearish on Pinstripes”

    The New York Times Fashion & Style section featured an article on Wednesday entitled "When No One Wants to Look Like a Banker". Of course, this is ground we covered back in October here, but perhaps it just hadn’t sunk in yet.  So agreeing with the main premise of the article, and have admitted to… Read more »

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    Posted on May 16, 2009 by
  • Sitting in a Chair in the Sky

    Last week, I had to book a ticket on a jetplane for Boston where I’d be doing "some research" for an upcoming "project". Tickets were actually pretty cheap (about $200 roundtrip), and both JetBlue and United had almost identical fares, and departure times that were fine with me. While I probably have more miles with… Read more »

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    Posted on May 13, 2009 by
  • Lords of Finance

    Is every single blog post during this recession going to reference the fact that we’re in a recession? I hope not. But buzz about a book that takes an in-depth look at the Great Depression — Lords of Finance by Liaquat Ahamed — resulted in its selection as our May Book-of-the-Month selection. It’s certainly relevant,… Read more »

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    Posted on May 10, 2009 by
  • The 2,500 Hour Smoke

    In the interests of transparency, here were my ballpark assumptions:  A typical Double Corona is almost 8 inches long A typical Double Corona takes about 90 minutes to smoke assuming a reasonable pace The cigar mentioned below is 1704 inchesMore controversially, I assumed there were 12 inches in a foot, and 60 minutes in an… Read more »

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    Posted on May 9, 2009 by
  • How Quickly Things Change

    What a difference a economic collapse makes! Not that should come as any surprise, really, but it hit me in a new way this last week.  For the past couple years, there have been dozens, if not hundreds, of blogs that have popped up that follow the "ultra-luxe" market. They’re blogs that highlight diamond-covered iPhones… Read more »

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    Posted on May 4, 2009 by
  • Downtime in Boston?

    I will be in Boston for a couple days next week, and thought it would be a good excuse to do some legwork on the Modern Gentleman’s Guide to Boston. While I plan to use the interwebs to find some of the places I’ll visit, I figured it would be even better to go directly… Read more »

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    Posted on May 4, 2009 by
  • Portfolio, R.I.P.

    Portfolio2007-2009 It seems like only yesterday that I was kicking myself for missing the inaugural issue of Portfolio – Conde Nast’s glossy competitor to Fortune, Forbes, and the like. Well, I didn’t miss it — I think I still have it — but I meant to write a review of it very early on since… Read more »

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    Posted on April 27, 2009 by
  • A Future for Bookstores?

    Our San Francisco store opened in mid-November of last year right as retail sales around the country were cliff-diving. There are numerous reasons why our first store made a lot of sense, but the reality is that we moved into a mall-like complex beneath 4 of the largest office towers in the Financial District. Our… Read more »

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    Posted on April 25, 2009 by