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 »

  • Update on Safety Razor Shaving

    Since I know you are all very concerned with my shaving regimen, I wanted to provide a brief update on my experiences with Safety Razor shaving. Three weeks in now and I’m now beginning to enjoy it. Here’s what I’ve learned so far: Cream is key. While they call it "wet shaving", cream seems more… Read more »

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    Posted on November 23, 2008 by
  • Hanging Around with Kirby

    Kirby Allison is an officer and a gentleman. Kirby is the young entepreneur behind the Hanger Project: a company dedicated to creating hangers that are as beautiful as they are functional. That, in and of itself, is enough to interest me since I used to require that all of my dress shirts were hung on… Read more »

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    Posted on November 21, 2008 by
  • May He Rest In Peace

    You don’t start a business like this if you don’t already enjoy reading men’s magazines. I have, at times, been subscribed to GQ, Esquire, Robb Report, Men’s Health, Details, Maxim, Men’s Journal, Playboy (for the articles), and a handful of others that have since disappeared from the landscape (Vitals, Player, FHM to name a few)…. Read more »

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    Posted on November 20, 2008 by
  • UrbanDaddy Covers the Store Opening

    UrbanDaddy, a necessary email subscription for any modern gentleman, first featured us nationally back in 2006. The hit featured Ike Behar’s custom shirt program called C.E.O. for Custom Express Original. Fast forward to 2008, and UrbanDaddy featured the opening of On The Fly’s flagship store in downtown San Francisco on the day that it opened:… Read more »

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    Posted on November 18, 2008 by
  • And We’re Back

    …Not that we ever left really. This last weekend, it was all-hands on-deck to merchandise our first retail store in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District in Embarcadero Center. Our new neighbors include Coach, Crane & Co., and Victoria’s Secret, and a couple hundred thousand office tenants in the skyscraper above us.  The store… Read more »

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    Posted on November 18, 2008 by
  • Your Quantum of Solace Premiere

    Tomorrow night (or midnight tonight in some cities), Quantum of Solace, the new Bond film is released in the U.S. (it’s been released just about everywhere else in the world already which may or may not be reflective of our diminished standing in the world). For some, tomorrow night will be a must-see movie night… Read more »

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    Posted on November 13, 2008 by
  • Sneak Peak of the New Store

    We are 4 days away from opening our first store in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District. One Embarcadero Center on the Street Level to be exact. Our neighbors will include Coach, Crane & Co., Origins, the U.S. Postal Service, and…Victoria’s Secret. While we hope to get some recognition in print for this, I… Read more »

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    Posted on November 13, 2008 by
  • Neuroses of a Modern Gentleman III

    I swear this will be my last neurosis related to coffee. Since, according to readers, "real men" don’t drink (1) mochas, or (2) any coffee drink with a straw, I have had little excuse to go back to Peet’s Coffee. After all, we have our Capresso Impressa Z5 in the warehouse that makes a perfect… Read more »

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    Posted on November 11, 2008 by
  • A Face Lift

    Long time readers will hopefully appreciate a couple of minor aesthetic changes to the Modern Gentleman’s Blog. Namely, we have tried to make it more modern and more gentlemanly. We’ve increased the font size of the actual posts so that I can continue to read the blog without glasses as I age. We’ve also redesigned… Read more »

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    Posted on November 8, 2008 by
  • “Tailored”

    I recognize that I care about clothing more than most men, and I certainly take some heat for that. The time I spent in the most traditional of men’s stores in the most liberal of college towns (Berkeley), taught me to appreciate the details that result in one shirt retailing for $95 and another for… Read more »

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    Posted on November 6, 2008 by