design: buttons barred, suit yourself

When I had Perry’s of Bangkok tailor a suit for me (in a very different time and place!), I knew I didn’t want that anachronistic row of buttons on the jacket sleeves. They used to work: I had a science teacher who would unbutton all 6 before rolling up his jacket sleeves, and the legendary suit that I found on the street when I was a roadsweeper (which deserves its own blog post) also had working buttons. But on nearly all suits today they don’t do anything beyond cheaply echoing the pips on military jackets that denote rank (read interesting details of “surgeon’s cuffs”).

The name is ‘P’. ‘SP’.

So instead I specified crisp equally non-functional gold bars in place of those buttons, and had Rama Jewelry in Thailand fabricate them with the simplest iteration of the ‘SP’ logo design by my imaginary company Slerge Design Industries (also deserving of a blog post). I also had Rama make some ‘SP’ cufflinks. I liked octagons at the time; Rama designed the cufflinks a little flashier than I envisioned but overall they came out really nice.

For the full brushed metal with gold accents design suite, I had a Seiko analog watch with high-tech display (it’s hard to believe that tiny monochrome strip was the biggest LCD screen anyone could fabricate), and a Montblanc Noblesse fountain pen (so much nicer than the groß Meisterstück fountain pen that later became popular). I also bought a knock-off of the Cartier Santos Decor lighter, then realized a) cigars taste awful, and b) I don’t want to light anyone’s cigarette.

(Thanks to Fred for modeling.)

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