• Suit Yourself: Ali


    “You never forget your first suit,” David Coggins muses after a couple of beers late one weeknight—which night, exactly, I don’t recall off-hand. But he’s right. You graduated in that suit, landed the job in that suit, got the girl in that suit...you became a man in that suit.

    Rugby gets that. This spring marks the introduction to Rugby’s tropical wool, linen/silk/wool blend and cotton gabardine suiting. Though rendered in classic trad hues and patterns, Ralph Lauren fabricated an Italian silhouette. Lauren’s own Italian tailor hand cut the patterns, creating a suppressed waist, natural shoulder, fully canvassed jacket that hugs incredibly well off the rack.

    This week, presented by Rugby* and styled by me, features five creatives making it in New York City. They paid a visit to the University Rugby shop and then I tagged along on their commutes, inside their homes and into their favorite greasy spoons to not only show how to look put together in a suit, but how to break it apart. You never forget your first suit—better make it tops.

    Ali, under the moniker A Noble Savage, is a bit of a kaleidoscopic creative. His Brooklyn loft is a unique space doubling as a showroom for a constantly re-imagined collection of inspirational objects ranging from fashion to found art, furniture and books. In his linen Glen plaid jacket, he’s fastening horse bits on some antique shoe lasts for his latest conceptual installation. The jeans, a sort of homage to Warhol’s summers spent painting in fields of The Hamptons, are a window into his person, his work and his style.

    Vintage Gucci horse bit loafers are the preppy pinnacle of the horse bit variety. Though paint splattered, Ali’s utter disregard for them is precisely the disposition in which they were adopted by the prep-set years ago.

    Not everyone can pull off a bow tie simply because the majority of men don’t know how to tie one. I wear them that much more because of that pitiful fact. Tucker Carlson, who’s consistently worn bow ties since childhood, equated it to “a middle finger protruding from your neck.” And that’s exactly the air in which you don one.

    If a man could only own one belt for the rest of his life, the brown leather slide belt with engine turn buckle would have to be it. Dress it up, dress it down, it just works.

    A signet ring, the quintessential preppy accessory, is one of the only pieces of hand jewelry that a man can pull off outside of his wedding band.

    Originally worn at Eton, the club collar garners its name from other men wanting to be seen as part of this exclusive club. Ali subverts the scholarly rope-striped navy suit with a club collar oxford, bright argyle sock and crocodile John Lobb tassel loafers.

    *In its sponsorship of this feature, Rugby provided financial compensation, in addition to the product in question, for my photography services and opinions. The entire wardrobe is provided by Rugby save a few instances in which the subjects wore their own pieces.

    Apr 7, 2011 | Permalink (11) Total Comments

    C.L. Young left a comment on 9/30/2012 at 3:44 AM:

    @J—Maybe that’s why people stare at me when I wear my bowties!

    Chris Callis left a comment on 4/9/2011 at 1:41 PM:

    Love the paint-splattered jeans. Probably my favorite piece for this coming summer. I love the prospect of going up into the art studio with a pair of beat up Levi’s and making a day of it. Well done with this week, Fred—plenty of inspiring content.

    dspirlin@yahoo.com left a comment on 4/8/2011 at 12:36 AM:

    Best feature yet.  Wow, looks like Rugby has FINALLY got it ! This model exudes the true essence of Tocdays Renaissance Man. Someone who in all aspects of his life exudes without words being spoken…THAT HE HAS ARRIVED! Great job Ali.

    ERIII left a comment on 4/7/2011 at 11:35 PM:

    Excellent work FEC!!! Love it!!!

    Joey Dee left a comment on 4/7/2011 at 11:28 PM:

    Whats nicer than an Italian made suit? Wait—nothing. I could see concern with Rugby pieces, if it was covered in graphic prints like an ed hardy or somethinng like that; but one could actually leave the house looking swell in a Rugby suit.
    As for the jeans I believe that may be ‘real’ paint.
    Great work on the photos, love hiw he ties the bowtie.

    chris W. left a comment on 4/7/2011 at 6:06 PM:

    Favorite thus far!

    Glenn left a comment on 4/7/2011 at 5:09 PM:

    Total Home run! Best post yet!

    J left a comment on 4/7/2011 at 3:48 PM:

    That Tucker Carlson, such a bad-ass! I’ve always thought bow ties looked better on guys you wouldn’t expect to be wearing one—like black dudes.

    teversole left a comment on 4/7/2011 at 3:00 PM:

    Love the Glen Plaid sport coat. It and the Linen Plaid were my favorite but my size was gone in a day. Something to be said about these overpriced pieces, they sure sold out in a hurry!

    Carlos left a comment on 4/7/2011 at 2:53 PM:

    Your photographs are getting better and better. You’re doing a great job. I didn’t agree with men tapering their pants and hemming them way above the ankle… but I guess if you can’t beat em, join em. I sent a couple of my pants to the tailor and am wearing my first pair as we speak. Vintage washed blue Brooks Brothers pants.


    Alton McDowell left a comment on 4/7/2011 at 2:46 PM:

    Great pics, the best of the week so far