Archive for the ‘style’ Category

How to wear Bermuda shorts (for men).

OK, there are a couple of good guides out there. The first being TABS Bermuda’s Style Advisor, which is the starting point for this. Rebecca is the Bermuda Short guru, although the people at the English Sport Shop will give similar guidance. Sean from Island Gentry also has a video that’s worth watching on 4 ways to wear Bermuda shorts.

It also gets into what I call “Going Full Bermuda”, which is an interesting term since my interpretation is to go with as many things bought from Bermudian companies as possible. Which means wearing my Smith’s Blazer with a tie and belt from ESS. The shorts and socks would be from TABS or ESS, While ESS sells shirts and shoes, that is probably optional. The other option is a Polo shirt especially if it is from a legacy company like Smith’s or Triminghams. TABS sells polo shirts, but a shirt from one of the closed department stores is heritage (as is the Smith’s blazer since ESS sells those too). But that is a digression.

Tie and shorts

From TABS Bermuda’s Style Advisor

The Traditional/Formal style used for business is to wear the shorts with a navy blazer and knee socks. The shoes are dress shoes (brogues/wingtips) although tassle loafers can be worn as well, Rebecca just says brown or black loafers. IOW something which is made of leather. Sean starts his portion on this look without a tie, which is a no-no: that’s more the casual look.

Socks should be Navy, Black, or compliment the tie.

IMG_7278The tie should compliment the shorts and the socks as the pic above shows. Although the socks take precedence over the shorts for being complemented by the tie. The tie in the TABS pic can be worn with pink or blue spectrum shorts or socks: preferably one or the other.  It would have been the perfect tie for what I am wearing.

The shirt should be white. Rebecca says it can be striped. I’ve worn pink and sky blue. But white seems to be the “safe” colour. And it needs to be tucked in.

For whatever look (formal, casual, informal, etc), the socks need to be up all the way. Otherwise, don’t wear socks. But no tie and no socks is not the formal business dress.

4 Stylish Ways To Wear BERMUDA SHORTS

Sean’s advice from Island Gentry.

The next step down is casual, which runs the gamut. On the island, steer clear of going too casual if you are going out. By that I mean, wear the type of shirt you would for the formal and open the top two buttons. You can roll the sleeves up or wear a sweater/jumper or cardigan depending on the weather.

The rule of thumb for shirts is wear a brighter shirt with neutral shorts or wear a neutral shirt with brighter shorts. This is why I say the white shirt is the best for the formal look. The same also applies for  wearing black or navy socks as opposed to the brighter colours.

Screenshot from 2019-07-06 19-23-09

The two surcingle belts are from ElizaB/Leatherman and the other is from ESS. The ESS belt spells “Bermuda”

Rebecca says wear a brown or black leather belt, which I think is the best for going formal. I also like wearing the surcingle belts, but that is better for the less formal occasions.

Espadrilles are bottom line for acceptable casual. Things have changed a lot on the island and they don’t expect the formal dress for dinner! Although, I am enough of a traditionalist that I would at least wear a good shirt for going out.

One final tip: wear white underwear. Anything else prints.

Anyway, other than the formal/business style, this stuff is pretty much people’s opinions on how to wear the shorts. Take them more as guidelines (other than how to wear the socks). Anyway, I hope this gives you ideas on how to do this style and you will try it.

More Bermuda Shorts

IMG_7278

This is a nice classic style which has never gone out of fashion in Bermuda and was once popular outside Bermuda. The look is:

The best quality Bermuda Shorts have a three inch hem, hand sewn, to hang correctly. Bermuda Shorts are garments for all seasons, representing a standard of turnout difficult to surpass in their originality. They are as well constructed as a good pair of trousers, complete with a proper fitted waistband or with belt loops or a self-supporting waistband and a seam in the center back. They are usually pleated for business use but a more informal variety can be unpleated. They usually have one pocket on each side and one on each side of the bottom. They are form-fitting, designed essentially for and can look very good on the slim or medium-built person. (Any with huge waists and bottoms will look far better in lightweight long trousers). Accompanying them are Bermuda hose (imported long – knee-length – socks), plus a white or blue button down imported Oxford or other appropriate short sleeved shirt and conservative Windsor knotted striped or corporate insignia or club or regimental tie, with a single or double breasted navy blue blazer or a sport coat or madras or linen jacket that contrasts with the Bermuda Shorts. The most appropriate shoes are imported loafers with tassels – from the USA – in black or brown, depending on the colour of the shorts – to compliment and complement the Bermuda Dress Shorts.

OK, one thing about real Bermuda shorts: they are expensive compared to most other shorts. Toss in that the best place to get them is in Bermuda (or do a search for Bermuda shorts on eBay or Etsy). But there is a problem with buying them online: the actual size is not what you think it would be if you are buying authentic Bermuda shorts. You will most likely get a size smaller than you expect if you buy authentic Island shorts (e.g.: English Sport Shop, Smiths, Triminghams, or Davidsons).

So, it’s best to go to Bermuda and buy them in person. The best place these days is the English Sport Shop (49 Front Street, Hamilton)DSCF1127. There are other branches, around the Island, but the Hamilton store has the best stock. This is the place to get the original Bermuda shorts since they have been making them since 1918.  I could do a post on just this store.

The other alternative in Bermuda is TABS (The Authentic Bermuda Shorts), which is the new kid in the business having only been in business since 2014, and opened their store in 2016. They do sell online and have a good selection. Drawback, their shorts are fairly pricey (about 30 bucks more than the English Sport Shop’s).IMG_7424 Also, their store is not on Front Street (12 Reid Street, which is up Walker Arcade from the English Sport Shop–they are close to each other).

There are plusses and minuses to English Sport Shop and TABS. I would suggest checking both store out before buying. The best rule of thumb is that English Sport Shop is the more traditional of the two, TABS is the more contemporary by Bermuda standards. They both make great products. A biggie for TABS is that they are closer to being true in size (ESS’s tend to run a size or two small: e.g, you would want a 38 if you wear a 36 and maybe 34). I like them both and have shorts from both companies (although partial to ESS for its being the “heritage” brand).

There are options if you don’t want to go to Bermuda to buy them. Brooks Brothers, Jos A. Banks, and similar mens stores are a good bet. Brooks does sell authentic Bermuda shorts, but their price is similar to TABS without the selection of colours. Lands End and LL Bean are also an option, but not as close to the real shorts as Brooks Brothers Bermuda shorts for shorts not sold on Bermuda.

The advantage of buying shorts locally is that you know they will fit.IMG_7245

One other point for buying Bermuda shorts in Bermuda: it’s a whole lot easier to get the socks to go with the outfit. There are some of online retailers that carry them (TABS, The Sock Company UK, and The Great Canadian Sox Company). Vagden, Glendale, and HJ Hall make ribbed, knee high (golf) cuffed socks. [1] Navy blue is a default, but there is a rainbow of colours out there if you want to add some dash to the look.

This is standard dress in Bermuda: OK, the national dress. This look will certainly get you attention if you are not in Bermuda or at a Bermuda function. The bottom line is that this is the look for you if you want to stand out from the crowd and bring some Bermudian charm to your life.

Here is a video of the owner of the English Sport Shop explaining Bermuda Shorts

Note:
[1] Vagden, which are sold by the The Great Canadian Sox Company, makes the socks sold by the English Sport Shop.  Glendale make very substantial socks.

See also:

He’s got the look!

My Bermuda Shorts outfit

I’ve been threatening for some time to try the accepted Bermudian business dress, which I mentioned in my fashion for a changing climate post.  The weather is finally getting unbearably warm to the extent that I really couldn’t care less what people think–I want something that is going to be comfortable!  Unfortunately, supplex shirts aren’t going to be acceptable wear for business anytime soon*.

Surprisingly enough, the outfit received more positive comments than I expected.  Sure, it does look like a boy’s school uniform, but I’ll always opt for comfort where comfort is concerned!

I’ve been told that I have the legs to pull this off (and the kilt as well).

I just wish I had the hair!

* Supplex nylon has a unique moisture-management treatment to help disperse perspiration. It looks and feels like cotton, but dries much faster.

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Fashion for a changing climate

A friend of mine told me that British Foreign service workers used to receive hardship pay to live in Washington, DC at one time due to the hot summers. Now that the Earth is warming, we all need to think about more comfortable work attire for hot climates. Part of me wishes that the Continental Advocat’s robes were long enough to hide that one is wearing shorts. Of course, the alternative is to wear Bermuda Shorts as they do in Bermuda.

The real Bermuda shorts, worn three inches above the knee and they are correct national day and evening attire for any non-formal occasion including meetings on the Island of Bermuda. The correct mode of dress is Bermuda hose (imported long – knee-length – socks), plus a white or blue button down imported Oxford or other appropriate short sleeved shirt and conservative Windsor knotted striped or corporate insignia or club or regimental tie, with a single or double breasted navy blue blazer or a sport coat or madras or linen jacket that contrasts with the Bermuda Shorts, and tassel loafers. While dressy, They are not formal wear. There is no such thing as black formal Bermuda shorts. When invitations state formal wear on the Island, they exclude Bermuda Shorts and instead mean a dinner jacket, with matching long trousers and bow tie.

If you are tempted to go the route of wearing the Bermuda shorts attire, the proper hose can be found by googling “Bermuda Socks” or “Men’s Long Golf Socks”. The proper Bermuda hose is similar to kilt hose in that it comes almost to the knee and then folds over. The socks are thin knee-highs. The tops fold down 4 inches; the top of the fold ending at the top of your calf. This ebay seller carries this type of sock at a reasonable price, but you can expect to pay anywhere from £2.25-9.99+.

Proper Business shorts are made of finer fabrics, traditionally linen or wool blends, usually in subtle shades such as gray, beige or navy blue. But you will find them also in tropical color including pink, green and yellow. It seems to me that cotton would also work provided it is in a conservative colour (khaki, stone, etc.). The US Company Lands End has been trying to bring the Bermuda short fashion to the States and sells what appears to me to be an acceptable pair for business attire. You are also looking for a 23 CM (9 inch) inseam if you are of average height for that proper Bermuda Shorts look.

the Real Deal (English Sports Shop Linen!)

If you are willing to travel to Bermuda to buy REAL Bermuda shorts, the best place to buy Bermuda Shorts is the English Sports Shop (49 Front Street, Hamilton City, Phone: (441)295-2672) or Aston & Gunn (2 Reid Street, Hamilton HM 11 Phone: (441) 295-4866) At least you will know that you are being truly authentic in your attire.

Well, it’s a thought for hot weather business attire! If we can’t do something about climate change, then we will have to do something about dressing to survive the hot weather that comes with that change.

See also:

And special thanks to Denise for coming up with the Real Deal (English Sports Shop Linen!) for me at a bargain basement price! Now, I’m officially dressed!