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 »

  • Gift of the Day: Desktop Lighters

    We have covered several different guidelines for shopping for "the guy who has everything". Today’s idea incorporates a couple of those rules, and introduces a new one. Gift him something he wouldn’t buy himself. Gift for his hobbies or passions. And a new suggestion is: Gift him the impractical version of the practical something he… Read more »

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    Posted on December 13, 2008 by
  • Gift of the Day: Shaving Tools

    How much do you want to bet that "the guy who has everything" does not have a Sterling Silver Razor Set? Does he really need a $2K+ razor set? That’s beside the point — the premise is that even the guy who has everything doesn’t really have everything. More broadly, one rule of thumb Within… Read more »

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    Posted on December 11, 2008 by
  • Gift of the Day: Golf Shirt

    Back on May 22nd, right before Father’s Day, I wrote that Golf Shirts are the new Necktie. That may have been considered blasphemy so close to the holiday most associated with the necktie. I didn’t cite any facts, but my gut told me there was a great deal of truthiness behind my assertion. Wouldn’t you… Read more »

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    Posted on December 10, 2008 by
  • Gift of the Day: Money Management

    Buying a gentleman a wallet is one of the riskiest undertakings a gift-giver can attempt. They (we) tend to be extremely particular about how they carry around their money, and that is one of the reasons we offer so many different types of billfolds, breast pocket wallets, ID wallets, money clips, and credit card cases… Read more »

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    Posted on December 9, 2008 by
  • Gift of the Day: Cufflinks

    About 10 years ago, I was told by an old, wise man or woman that a true gentleman does not buy his own cufflinks; he is gifted them. It made sense. I would argue that after a nice necktie or watch, a beautiful pair of cufflinks are complimented by a stranger more often than anything… Read more »

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    Posted on December 8, 2008 by
  • Gift of the Day: Wine Aroma Kits

    Before I expound on the greatness of this gift, let me start by saying last Christmas, I was a cynic. We sold a lot of wine aroma kits, but I thought they were kitschy. The idea was cool, but the execution seemed inauthentic. If you’ve seen the movie French Kiss (which I was forced to… Read more »

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    Posted on December 7, 2008 by
  • Gift of the Day: Cashmere Socks

    Evidently, there is a holiday coming up which I have missed amidst the news of the meltdown of our financial system and the brewing nuclear war between India & Pakistan. So what better way to bring cheer than to spend the next 18 days talking about my favorite gifts, and why I like them.  Let… Read more »

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    Posted on December 6, 2008 by
  • Official Haberdasher of Somali Pirates

    The Skull & Crossbones motif has been very hot the past few years. So hot, in fact, that I was hoping it had finally jumped the shark. I’m sure some of you will say it already had, which it did; but, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still sell, which, to a retailer, means it hasn’t… Read more »

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    Posted on November 28, 2008 by
  • On this Thanksgiving Eve…

    …we can reflect on all of the things we are thankful for: Family. Friends. Health. TARP. Jessica Alba. Small batch bourbon. Google Reader. In that order. Bill Lavin, whose belts we have been carrying for years now, releases dozens, if not hundreds, of new belts every year. It’s tough for us to keep up. Worse… Read more »

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    Posted on November 26, 2008 by
  • Our “Hipster” at Treasury

    Over the weekend, the Economist profiled President-Elect Obama’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner. You might assume we liked the article because of this passage: "The current treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, is reworking the $700 billion bail-out plan on the fly" (emphasis ours), but that statement, for reasons that should be obvious, doesn’t make us… Read more »

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    Posted on November 24, 2008 by