Style is something often associated with clothing, though it is so much more than that: manners, tone, mindset and the way you live your life are all a defining parts of your (life)style. As such, I would like to introduce to one of the most stylish individuals I know: Herbert Stricker, whom is probably better known under his alter ego Grimod - a reference to Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de La Reynière.
Most people will know Herbert for his clothing style and in the past, we have already shown some of his outfits. Being almost 7 feet tall, he was forced wear custom clothing from a very early age, and by the time I met him, he had already worked with nearly 15 bespoke tailors. His deep knowledge of tailoring, his affinity to combining patterns and colors, as well as his understanding of the perfect fit really helped me raise my level of clothing style. However, that was just the tip of the iceberg, because he is, furthermore, an expert in all matters concerning perfume and scents in addition to possessing expert knowledge of wine, food (cooking and fine dining ), cigars, and champagne, among others. When he wants to go on a picnic, he can always use his vintage Rolls Royce. He really lives a stylish life across many facets, rather than just focusing on a small portion of it.
Obviously, not everybody is fortunate enough to live the life he does, but it is all about mastering things rather than spending a lot of money. In fact, style does not require much money, you can find quality clothes in vintage stores, focus on craft beers rather than champagne and home-cooked meals even on a very tight budget. In fact, a home-cooked soup with your own stock on a simple table with (home brewed) beer, gentle background music, and interesting people can be so much more stylish than a gala dinner and champagne with caviar and people always trying to adjust there pocket squares and tie knots talking about their net worth, cars and vacations.
Style & the Internet
In my opinion, the internet has helped tremendously to connect stylish individuals from around the world. Hence, you may not be surprised to learn that I met Herbert through a clothing forum. After we exchanged a few messages, we decided to meet in person because real world encounters allow for real discussions, especially when it comes to things like clothes in which pictures can be very deceptive. Over the years, I have met many other people from such forums, but rarely were they as stylish as Grimod. In fact, I was often disappointed when I met the alter egos in person. Not only did their clothes style lack the refinement and standards they had set with their posts but they were often self-absorbed and sometimes insecure rather than stylish. Herbert once commented on this kind of situation with the words: ” Most people online want to talk about style all day long, but they don’t live it”. All the more reason for you not to obsess about certain details but to focus on your overall look and clothes before you leave your home, so you can focus on the people and enjoy life when you are out.
Now that we talked about style, let’s take a closer look at Herbert Stricker’s clothes and how they relate to his style. Most people are, in some way or another, affected by certain trends. In terms of men’s clothing, this might mean slim lapels and trousers, a high gorge, the way the front quarters are cut or the amount of drape. Grimod’s wardrobe is not free of such influences, but overall, he has developed his clothing style with regard to many details.
In this picture, we see him in a grey, quadruple windowpane three piece suit. Take a look at the lapels and trousers and you will note that he rarely changes these elements considerably, because he has found what works best for him. As you view the following photos, notice how Herbert does not appear to be overly tall; his nicely proportioned clothes fit him beautifully.
This is a classic pinstripe suit ensemble with a 3-roll-2 style. Note the high gorge, large collar and the long buttonhole. Herbert is a very tall man and hence he needs taller features to look proportional The shirt collar is large and spread, and the lapels need to be a bit wider to achieve the same look on a suit of a smaller size.
Beautiful Ulster overcoat with grey hat, windowpane suit and brown gloves and madder scarf. Note the size of the cuffs and flaps for a person of his build, it is important for them to be bigger than normal. At the same time, if you are short, you want them to be slightly smaller to look overall proportional.
Herbert Stricker in a genuine Casentino overcoat.
Unusual sportscoat with double chest pockets, open quarters tailored from the Stilmagazin Breanish Tweed. I like the combination of corduroy pants and fair-isle sweater vest.
Cuffs on jackets are usually only found on bespoke jackets or creations from the 1960′s and 1970′s, which is too bad because I think it looks great.
Even when it is hot, Herbert always wears a jacket when in town. Here a combination of red trousers with navy blazer and striped shirt with pink pocket square.
Here Grimod combines the same corduroy trousers with a tattersall vest and a plaid jacket, which is part of a three piece suit. On the one hand, you need enough contrast between trousers, vest and coat to work, on the other the size of the patterns must be different – here small tattersall, big plaid very fine striped shirt, an solid trousers.
Blue herringbone tweed with contrasting red vest, club tie and stripes shirt. Again, note the size difference in the patterns and how they work together.
Stunning combination of tattersall shirt, madder tie, brown herringbone coat, cardigan and red pocket square.
Outstanding vintage cloth with a checked shirt and a beautiful pocket square. The pattern of the tie could have maybe been a little smaller but still a great look.
Quite a few colors and textures were incorporated in this gun club inspired outfit. It’s good the pocket square is solid otherwise it would be to busy.
Another great ensemble. Look at the button down collar and how long it is – again tall people need taller features.
Interesting combination of a rope striped suit with a cardigan, textured tie and winchester shirt. Obviously, Grimod intentionally mixed the formal suit, shirt and pocket square with the informal cardigan and tie but the ensemble works due to the simplicity of colors used in the outfit.
Unusual cloth, that requires quieter accessories. Note how the purple edges of the pocket square harmonizes with the windowpane of the suit.
Scotch Grain leather & tweed leather boot combination.
Beautiful antique patina and rare carpincho leather shoes – all bespoke of course.
Great selection of lined and unlined gloves in various colors to complement every outfit.
Of course, Grimod can’t just rely on one umbrella – whether it is Francesco Maglia or Talarico, Herbert Stricker has them all.
Wingtip oxford shoes in chocolate brown burnished calf but note the seam with of the trouser leg and the size of the cuff – tall people need big features.
Once you have to go bespoke because your feet are so larger, you might as well opt for unusual designs.
Last but not least, Grimod summering in style. What do you think of his style? And who or what inspired your style?