Jane Birkin

Our latest Suit Fit Guide has everything you need—and then some—to achieve the perfect suit for your taste and physique:

1. Options to shop by three Fit categories—Classic, Trim, and Extra-Trim.
2. A video (above) that breaks down which Fit is right for you.
3. Tips on measuring, to ensure you order the right size.
4. An introduction to owning Made-to-Measure suits (even if you’re a 6′-11″ NBA center).
5. There’s even a comprehensive infographic, defining every detail from construction terminology to common fabrics and patterns. (Know the difference between glen plaid and herringbone? If you didn’t before, you do now.)

Of course, all that minutia adds up to one thing: looking good. Below are some outtakes from our video shoot, featuring our favorite suit of the day—an extra-trim peak-lapel in windowpane-plaid wool, made in Italy by Neil Barrett. (Curious about the backdrop? That’s Seattle’s Melrose Market, where sustainable sandwiches, vintage vinyl, and hard liquor all collide under one roof.)





SHOP: SUITS & SPORTCOATS

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Speaking of suits, here’s a man who always knew how to wear them well: Parisian musical genius Serge Gainsbourg, seen here wooing Jane Birkin in the 1969 film Slogan.

For more Gainsbourg, read our recent post—and to shop all things French, visit our limited-time French Fling Pop-In Shop before it’s au revoir.

 
 

[Still photos by Robin Stein; see more of his work here.]

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French singer, songwriter, poet, composer, artist, actor and director Serge Gainsbourg was kind of like the Kanye West of his time—you know, a creative genius. A jack of many trades. A genre-hopping musician, both in the spotlight and behind the scenes. His lyrics utilized styles of wordplay that would make most rappers (and even self-described word-nerd copy editors—we checked) scratch their heads. (Mondegreen? Spoonerism? Check Gainsbourg’s Wikipedia page for definitions.)

Gainsbourg also managed to sweep some of the best-known bombshells of the 1960s and ’70s off their feet. Check out his 1968 ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ duet with then-ladyfriend Brigitte Bardot above, for example. The song is based on a poem entitled The Trail’s End, written by Bonnie Parker herself just weeks before her Depression-era crime spree with Clyde Barrow came to a grisly end. Gainsbourg’s apparent fascination with American culture is interesting—especially as we find ourselves paying homage to all things French, with our limited-time French Fling Pop-In Shop. (And, as Monsieur West is zealously requesting croissants and collab’ing with minimalist French label A.P.C.)

Below, find some favorite photos of Gainsbourg and guests—all via the essential repository for all things vintage and jaw-dropping: The Impossible Cool.


Perhaps he was not classically handsome. And legend has it that he passed out drunk after taking Jane Birkin to some questionable venues on their first date. But what Gainsbourg lacked in other areas, he made up for in his keen ability to wear a suit like he was born in it. Check out those fitted shoulders, wide lapels, and devil-may-care shirt collar.


Brigitte Bardot, Gainsbourg’s partner in crime in the song above, cleaned up pretty nice, too.


…But who wore it best? Invented in England, perfected by the French—Gainsbourg makes a trench coat look almost as good as Bardot. Note his expert use of accessories: gloves, smoke, icy stare.


Not a bad run: After breaking up with Bardot, Gainsbourg rebounded with English singer/actress Jane Birkin—but’s that’s a whole other story. Here, he rocks the “jacket-as-cape” look about 40 years before the current crop of street-style stars attempted it.

 

SHOP: FRENCH FLING POP-IN SHOP
READ MORE: FRENCH-THEMED ARTICLES

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Growing up in Aberdeen, Washington, in the 1970s left Gabe Johnson with memories of girlfriends who smelled like bubblegum and vodka, a penchant for explosives, a taste for illicit cartoons—and a zealous sense of nostalgia for America. The “real” America, as he puts it; and specifically, the mom-and-pop treasures that dot the highways and byways of this great nation, in the form of watering holes, record stores, auto shops, and other legendary landmarks that locals hold dear.

The latest undertaking of Johnson’s company, Horses Cut Shop, involves sharing the stories of those local haunts via T-shirts—the sale of which benefits the small businesses themselves.

Shop a few of our favorite shirts at the bottom of this article. First though, join us as we trace the history and influences of Horses Cut Shop, in the words of “Professional Boat Rocker” Gabe Johnson himself:

Origin Story. “Horses Cut Shop was started as unincorporated meeting spot for artists, riffraff, musicians and people who wished to create their own ‘reality,’ if only for one day or night at a time. The world wasn’t giving me what I wanted in terms of community, so in 2009 I decided to create the conditions that would.” [Watch a video about Gabe and said meeting spot that we made last Christmas.]

Smells Like Home. “Horses Cut Shop, as an entity, was styled after the American Fraternal Orders (Moose Lodge, Elks Lodge, Eagles Club, Knights of Columbus, etc.), and the ’70s summers of my youth in Aberdeen. The Cut Shop was a fortified compound in upper Fremont [in Seattle] that smelled like smoky burnouts, farm animals, whiskey, gas, mayhem and the ever-present dangerous machine. (This Flickr link provides photographic evidence of three years spent just under the radar of Seattle’s Finest.)”

A New Hope. “The Cut Shop experience was anchored by a monthly Sunday Brunch that we managed to pull regularly, on a volunteer basis, without fail for three years before the shop closed due to sale of the property by the owner. Ultimately, money was needed to continue the experiment in another location and in a new way. Hence the foray into the T-shirt business. The sale of T-shirts that celebrate and support ‘real’ America, an America that’s hanging on by a thread, seemed in-line with my ultimate goal of preserving and shaping the kind of world I want to live in. The T-shirt business is a vehicle for storytelling and simply a cover for my illicit love affair with America and the riffraff that makes her hum.”

Core Beliefs. “I believe beauty and knowledge can be found in the soul of inanimate objects. I tend to worship things that were built for use, community and to outlast the maker. In this sense, a wrench is like a record store and an old tavern is like a worn-in pair of boots. These objects—these places—are constructed with deliberate intention; they’re the embodiment of the American Dream and the products of our country’s worship of self expression and individualism. I want to acknowledge them and celebrate the creators/makers behind the name and logo.”

Fun Facts:
– I was born and raised in Aberdeen, Washington, along with four generations of my family.
– My favorite place to be is either lost and/or in some type of trouble.
– I’ve been arrested and charged with “Mayhem” twice.
– I believe that if you’re respectful of the differences in disposition and avoid harming others, there are no rules and everything is permitted.
– I believe the America I love peaked during the summer of 1979. Specifically, the evening of July 26th, 1979.
– The slow death of my hometown (Aberdeen, WA) has had the greatest affect on me as person.
– I may or may not have founded The Comstock Commission in 2008.

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Under the Influence. Gabe’s influences include, but are not limited to:

 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK18NP4kB7U 
Men of Substance. “The Bandit (Burt Reynolds’ character in Smokey and the Bandit), Hunter Stockton Thompson, Jack Tripper (Three’s Company character) and Steve McQueen.”

 
 
Wild Women. “Jane Birkin, The Runaways, Lynda Carter, Nancy Sinatra.”

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt0xxAMTp8M
 
Miscellaneous: “That poster of Farrah Fawcett, girls that roller skate, Evel Knievel, being put in/let out of handcuffs, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, Apocalypse Now, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, skinned knees, cherry bombs. As is probably evident by now, I left my heart in the Aberdeen of the ’70s.” [See Gabe’s Tumblr for further odds, ends and vintage awesomeness.]

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Made from America. A few of our favorite Horses Cut Shop shirts (which double as a checklist for your next road trip). All are made in the USA and benefit the independent businesses that emblazon them.


L-R: Comet Tavern, Seattle | Amoeba Music, SF | Wolski’s Tavern, Milwaukee
Twin Anchors, Chicago | Hole in the Wall, Austin


L-R: Moby Dick’s, Minneapolis | Kelly’s Olympian, Portland
Pete Paulsen’s House of Wheels, San Leandro | Sunset Sound, Hollywood | Baranof, Seattle

 

SHOP ALL: HORSES CUT SHOP

 
 

[Portrait of Gabe Johnson by Angel Ceballos. Still-life photos courtesy of Horses Cut Shop.]

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Serge Gainsbourg: Kind of weird looking. And yet he was a hit with the ladies—including British bombshell/actress/singer Jane Birkin. How did he do it? What he lacked in chiseled features, he made up for with charm, talent, and killer Valentine’s Day gifts. (He also knew how to wear the heck out of a suit.) If you’re still searching for a Gainsbourg-caliber date night for the big day (this Thursday)—read on for tips from some of the most discerning women we know. And if you missed it, check out our first installment of Valentine’s tips from last week.


1. GOOD WINE & GOLD CHAINS
Courtesy of Laura O. – Men’s E-Commerce Features Writer

GO: “A home-cooked meal—complete with table settings, good wine (Willamette-Valley pinots; Argyle is good) and some great music—wins big points.”

WEAR: “Dark-wash jeans, a nice wool sweater and oxford shoes (and a chef’s apron—you’re cooking).”

GIVE: “One of my favorite gifts was a big statement necklace that he picked out himself. [Shown: Kate Spade.] I get tons of compliments every time I wear it. Another was a travel-sized notebook—my husband had written a little note in the front of it. I carried it around every day until it was used up.”

 


2. PRIVATE PLANES & TRUFFLE FRIES
Courtesy of Simone H. – Digital Creative Director

GO: Little Big Burger in Portland, Oregon. Best little cheeseburger and truffle fries a girl could ask for.”

WEAR: Blue denim, a refined field jacket and Red Wing boots.”

GIVE: “I live on an island and ferry into the office. Romantic, yes. But day-in, day-out, a royal pain in the arse—which my darling husband has to hear me whine about daily. So last year, he chartered a seaplane to take me from Seattle to Bainbridge Island—bypassing the Friday ferry lines completely. We pulled into the harbor, where he was on the dock with my packed Longchamp bag! After a quick drink at the Harbor Public House we climbed on the plane for a weekend on Whidbey Island.”

 


3. FALL COLOR & A PHONE CASE
Courtesy of Kate B. – Designer Collections Site Merchandising

GO: “My husband and I used to escape to The Berkshires in western Massachusetts a couple of times a year. It’s also where we got married, so it’s a very special place, and the perfect Valentine’s retreat. Being recent East-Coast transplants, we’re looking forward to discovering our ‘Berkshires’ of the West soon.”

WEAR: “Matt is a very T-shirt-and-jeans kind of guy, but I love him all layered up. I always find a shawl collar very smart-looking, and this Rag & Bone cardigan will give him versatility for the trip.”

GIVE: “We keep gift-giving pretty minimal for Valentine’s Day, in exchange for a nice dinner out—but I think that this year, my husband Matt will need to step up and gift me a new iPhone case. I’ve had my current case as long as I’ve had the phone, and it’s definitely worse for wear. He teases it constantly, and since I have a penchant for shoe-shopping over tech purchases, he may need to take the leap for me with this shiny number from Jimmy Choo (or for real brownie points…Rag & Bone booties from my wish list).”

 


4. MAYAN RUINS & DADAIST JEWELRY
Courtesy of Brie C. – Public Relations Specialist

GO: “I generally don’t make much of Valentine’s Day because it always falls during the middle of Fashion Week (unless a designer counts as my V-date?), but this year I get a good one: on the beach in Tulum, Mexico, having a romantic dinner with my boyfriend.”

WEAR: “I love a smartly dressed man (read: layers, tailored pants, blazer…hello, Joshua and Travis of Street Etiquette), but beach-casual is essential for this year. If you look like you’re trying too hard on a beach it’s an instant fail, so a casual, collared shirt and shorts is a win. My boyfriend is famous (or rather, infamous) for a pizza-printed T-shirt, and while I find it truly spectacular, let’s hope that one stays in the closet this time.”

GIVE: “Although I tend to resist contrived romance—jewelry never fails. I have my eye on this Marc by Marc Jacobs dress as a gift to myself to wear on Valentine’s Day, but from him, I lust after anything Tom Binns.”

 

NEED MORE IDEAS?
SHOP: VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS 
…And stay tuned for more Valentine’s tips in the days to come.

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