Menswear in China, Qing dynasty (1636–1944)

Video transcript:

Welcome back to my channel, friend!

I’m Phu, founder of Aventail.

In today’s video, I’ll introduce you to the menswear system in Qing dynasty (1636–1944), which is the last imperial China dynasty. Now China has multiple ethnics and cultures, with different systems of menswear, this video only covers the mainstream Han and Manchu system.

Enjoy!

  • Brief history about Qing dynasty in China

The Qing dynasty is created when a Manchu clan, whose people lived in North East of China, conquer China from the Ming dynasty. Like previous nomad rooted dynasty Jin, Yuan, the Qing assimilated Han culture, language, custom and went on conquest. Under the Qing, China had the largest extend border, with a large network of tributary states, the richest economy in the world, a diverse culture with many local ethnics and foreign visitors. However, it also continued the policy of closed border from the Ming, failed to industrialize, and later collapsed due to internal pressure.

  • Ming vs Qing system

During Qing dynasty, 2 system of menswear existed side by side: the Han and Manchu. The Han menswear system is the continuity of previous Han menswear systems, which had existed and evolved over thousands of years. The Manchu brought with them their menswear system and initially forced it upon Han Chinese. In later years, The Han voluntarily adopted Manchu clothes, probably because those clothes were more convenient. Han clothes evolved from sedentary lifestyle, which made them long and loose, more fitting for a rich society with abundant of clothes and leisure time. Manchu clothes have the characteristic of a typical nomad culture, they use trousers instead of skirts, the clothes are narrow fitting, better for riding horse and live a movement intensive lifestyle.

  • Casual wear

A full set of clothes typically consists of 2 or more layers depending on the weather and situation. For 2 pieces garment, it may include a Han shirt yi (衣) or a Manchu shirt pao (袍). The bottom can be a dress called chang (裳) or a trouser called ku (褲).

Inner garment: there are 2 most common types: Zhongyi (2 pieces) and zhongdan (1 pieces).

Main layer: Several styles that are popular:

  • Shanqun (衫裙): a short coat with a long skirt
  • Ruqun (襦裙): a top garment with a separate lower garment or skirt
  • Kuzhe (褲褶): a short coat with trousers
  • Zhiduo/zhishen (直裰/直身): a Ming dynasty style robe
  • Daopao/Fusha (道袍/彿裟): a style of robe for scholars
  • Changshan (長衫): Manchu influenced long shirt, often worn with magua(马褂) or riding jacket

Overcoat: Zhaoshan (罩衫): long open fronted coat

  • Formal wear

Although Chinese have different formal wear system for different occasions and religions, the most common formal wear for civilian in Qing dynasty is called Xuanduan (玄端). It consists of a black or dark blue top garment that runs to the knees with long sleeve (often with white piping), a bottom red chang, a red bixi, an optional white belt with two white streamers hanging from the side or slightly to the front called peishou (佩綬), and a long black guan. Additionally, wearers may carry a long jade gui (圭) or wooden hu (笏) tablet (used when greeting royalty)

  • Court dress

The Qing required men who served as court and government officials wear Manchu clothes, called Changshan (長衫). The Changshan can be worn individually, with magua, and later with western overcoat. Yellow color was reserved for the emperor. Bureaucrat or mandarin wore a coat with Mandarin Square to signify rank. Clothes in court never served as fashion but always to signify who that person was and what position the person hold.

  • Footwear

Standard men’s footwear was a black cloth boot and white soles. The style didn’t change from 17th century all the way to 20th century until they switched to western footwear. Royalty shoes may have more decorative features, but they were not reflected in painting. Children shoes were surprisingly more decorated then adult men as you can see here. This is a pair shoes with lion decorative from 19th century children shoe. Women shoes, on the other hand, were much more elaborated and not covered in this video.

  • Headwear

Royalty and mandarin wore Qing Guanmao (清代官帽). It has 2 style, the black velvet cap in winter, or a hat woven in rattan or similar materials in summer, both with a button on the top. The button or knob would become a finial during formal court ceremonies, and are removed for casual occasions. Red silk tassels extended down from the finial to cover the hat, and a large peacock feather could be attached to the back of the hat, if that person’s merit is approved by the emperor. Depend on the person rank and position, the hat finial can have different material and shape.

Civilian may have a straw hat like this. Or a melon hat like this.

  • Hair style

The famous queue. You’ve probably seen this hair style somewhere for dozens of times. This is not the traditional Han Chinese men hair style though. For thousands of years, Han men and women didn’t cut their hair because of Confucius teaching: the hair belongs to your parents, so you don’t cut hair to respect them. The Manchus forced every man to cut hair following Manchu style, resistances were punishable by death. Men following religious orders like Taoist or Buddhist were allowed to keep their hair styles. The fall of the Qing led to a complete change of men hair style to short hair almost overnight.

  • Clothes material

The most common materials were silk, cotton and linen, all were made domestically. Because of wide material selection, they can export their surplus, and made very intricate clothes design. Wool wasn’t as popular as like in the west, unlike later time. Leather and fur were used to make hat and winter clothes. Straw was made into hat and raincoat for the peasants and fisherman. The Qing was pretty much self-sufficient in clothes making without any import.

I hope through this video, you can have an overview of menswear in Qing dynasty. I’m making this video not as an insider but an outsider trying to understand, If I have incorrect information, feel free to comment down below.

One quick question, what is the similarity between this Changshan and this suit? Three, Too, One… Go!

They are both blue, and so is this blue Aventail belt.

Aventail belt is a holeless size adjustable belt made of full grain vegetable tanned leather. You can watch the belt introduction video link in the description. The belt is available in dozens of colors, link in the description.

Have a nice day and see you in the next video!

Men’s leather shoes for beginner

Video transcript:

Hello, friend. Welcome to my channel.

I’m Phu, founder of Aventail.

In today’s video, I’ll introduce you to the basics of leather shoe.

If you are a leather shoe expert, this video is not for you. However, if you are totally new to this great new world, stay tuned.

  • Why leather shoes

Every once in a while, you will attend a formal event, either wedding, funeral or a presentation. Or if you have an office job, in that case you need to wear semi-formal clothes. In western formality system, that means you need to wear leather shoes, end of story. Other than that, it’s is a good idea to wear leather shoes casually as well. Leather shoes give a signal that you are mature and responsible, and know the value of traditions. Leather boots on the other hand signal that you have an adventurous life style, ready to live outside the rule, and some girls definitely like that. Either way, leather shoes bring out the spark, the flare of your outfit, make it completed.

  • Leather type

The cheapest type of leather is just fake leather or split leather with a plastic coating. This type is sadly the most common type of leather for shoes. Better than that is suede, which is split leather with uncovered surface. It has a rustic, raw, unique look, but doesn’t work well in wet weather. The best leather is the full grain or top grain leather, which is the surface layer of the animal hide. Depend on the thickness of the coating, we have aniline, semi aniline, patent leather. The thicker the coating layer, the more weather resistant the leather is, but it looks less natural and more plastic. The rule of thumb is just buying the best leather you can afford and take care of it, you will enjoy your shoe more.

  • Shoe color

The most formal shoe color is black, then dark brown. After that, every other color is considered casual. For your first leather shoe, consider dark brown first, then tan or white, you will get the most milestone out of those colors. If you attend a lot of formal occasions, a black shoe should be high on your acquisition list as well. If you can afford a larger shoes collection, consider patina shoe, shoe with more than one color, shoe with nonstandard color like blue, green, red, orange… as well. Your shoe has less than 5% total surface area of your outfit, but usually is the first item to get noticed and complimented. It would be wise to invest in a good-looking shoe.

  • Soles construction

Shoe sole can be glued, heat pressed or stitched to the upper part. Glue and heat press are cheaper, more flexible type of sole construction, but less durable then stitched construction. Glue or heat press soles are typically found in sport speaker, military, outdoor shoes, or just cheap shoes. These sole construction types are cheap and flexible, but not durable. For stitched sole, the most common types are goodyear welt, Blake stitch, and cup sole. Goodyear welt and Blake stitch are typically found in traditional leather shoes, which can be resole and reused over and over for many years of use. Cup sole is typically found in good quality leather sneaker, also durable, but this sole type is usually not to be resoled. For the best bang for your buck, you should stick with stitched sole shoes like goodyear welt, Blake stitch and cup sole.

  • Shoe types and formality

Shoe type formality is simple: the less details the shoe has, the plainer the leather is, the more formal the shoe is. In order of formality, we have as follow: opera pump, wholecut shoe, oxford shoe, derby shoe, monkstrap shoe, loafer, Chelsea boot, any type of brogue shoe, boat shoe, and leather sneakers. That’s said, with the casualization of men’s wear, you can wear most leather shoe types in business casual and casual settings, as long as it’s not too formal. So, take a look of all those shoes, and think about what your dream shoe look like. The sky is not your limit.

  • Shoe horn and quick lacing technique

Leather shoe are typically closer fit then sneaker, if you have never worn them before, it’ll take some times to get used to. Because of the close fit, it’s hard to put on shoe by hand, and you need a tool called shoe horn to help you put on shoe. You use shoe horn by putting it on your heel and slide your feet in, like this. As such, you should carry a shoe horn in your EDC if you use leather shoe regularly. Alternatively, you can use this technique of quick lacing to put on shoe without shoe horn. I’ll introduce this lacing technique in another video.

  • Shoe rotation

Because the leather shoe soaks up the sweat from your foot, it’s a good idea to let it rest and dry after a long day of use to extend shoe life. If you wear leather shoe daily, you should have at least 2 shoes to rotate. You have one shoe to wear and one to rest. If you live in an area that rains often, it’s better to have 3-5 shoes to rotate, because the shoe is wetter. In short, the more shoe you have on rotation, the longer those shoes last.

  • Shoe anti wrinkles

As you walk in your leather shoe, the shoe with strain and stretch, which leads to wrinkle. There are many techniques to reduce shoe wrinkle, and my favorite is using shoe tree. That is the simplest, least effort way to reduce the shoe wrinkle. But not matter how well your take care of your shoe, it will always wrinkle, and you should accept it as an innate beauty of leather, and a part of its charm.

  • Fake leather care

If your shoe is made of fake leather ie plastic, the best think you can do is clean it regularly and keep it in a cool and dry place. The plastic that is used for fake leather is less durable then the plastic used in raw fiber form, like nylon. Overtime, the fake leather plastic will fatigue and crack, there’s nothing you can do about that but through it away.

  • Suede leather care

Suede leather is one of more fragile leather types. It’s dry and not water resistant. You shouldn’t wear suede shoe in rainy season or winter. If you have water on your shoe, you should use paper to soak up most of the water, then let it air dry. Maintenance routines include brushing the shoe after use, and spray the shoe with suede leather water repellant once per month. Suede eraser could be useful for shallow stain, and should be used as soon as the leather is dirty. Eventually, suede leather will crack because it doesn’t have oil and fat to wet it. But while it last, it’ll serve you well.

  • Smooth leather care

Smooth leather in the market is available in different tanning process and the animal the hide came from. If you have waxed leather, which is a chrome tanned leather that is soaked in oil and wax, maintenance can be as simple as regularly brushing the shoe. If you have vegetable tanned leather or non-waxed chrome tanned leather, maintenance has 3 parts: keeping the shoe clean, wet, and waxed. Keeping the shoe clean means brushing the shoe or wiping it with a wet towel, my favorite is the later because it cleans better. Wetting leather means occasionally you apply leather oil to your shoe, either once a month or longer, depending on where you live. Waxing leather means just that, applying wax to leather. This step is only for aesthetic, it depends on if you want a polished shoe, semi-polished shoe, or totally mate shoe. I’ll go into details for smooth leather care in another video.

  • Patent leather care

This is the easiest type of leather to care for. All you have to do is clean it and keep the shoe in a cool and dry place. It should last you a long time. But patent leather is hard to repair. Minor scratch can be polished and your shoe will look like new. But if your shoe has a significant scratch, you should bring it to a cobbler. So, it’s an all or nothing type of leather.

After this video, I hope you have an overview of leather shoe and know where to start with it.

And do you know what is good with your leather shoe? Aventail belt!

Aventail belt is a premium holeless size adjustable belt, available in dozens of colors.

You can check out our shop and belt in the link in the description below.

Have a nice day and see you in the next video!

Menswear formality for beginner

Video transcript:

Hello there! Welcome back to my channel!

I’m Phu, founder of Aventail.

In today’s video, I’ll introduce to you about the meaning of clothes formality.

  • What is formality

Back when we had hierarchy societies, clothes signaled what class you belonged to, what was your position in the pyramid, what trade you belonged to. One can spot from a mile away if a person is a peasant, merchant, soldier, or 3rd ranked bureaucrat… We also had important events and places that in order to attend, we have to wear more elaborated clothes to fit in. The higher position a person holds, the more important event, the more sacred place, the more elaborated the clothes of that person is required. That is the definition of formality: the set of rules you have to follow according to level of importance of either the person, the time, or the place. Now the world is flat, everyone is equal before the law, but formality still holds for the time, the place and your position in the pyramid, whatever that pyramid is.

  • Why care about formality

Human society is an ordered society. We place higher and lower value for time, place, position. Only when we know our place in the society can we contribute to it, benefit from it, and may climb up the social pyramid when time comes. A man who doesn’t care about social order signals to everyone in an ordered society that he is a lawless, reckless idiot, who don’t deserve even the lowest position in the pyramid. In order to respect social order, you are required to respect the rules, behaviors, etiquette, and yes, clothes formality.

  • Which system of men’s wear formality

Different cultures have different set of men’s wear that suit the different formality occasions. If you are in the military, you can’t wear a business suit to a military parade. When visiting certain pagodas, you have to remove your shoes no matter of who you are. It’s always wise to research beforehand about the event that you attend, the place dress code, and what to be expected of a person in your position. That’s said, with the wide spread of western clothes, most parts of the world have accepted a common dress code and formality system that can be applied everywhere, from Europe to Asia, from America to India… This video will introduce the formality system of western clothes, and some variants.

  • Casual clothes

Casual is the lowest formality level. Here you can find anything and everything under the sun: t-shirt, polo, jean, chino, sport wear, leather jackets… Basically if you wear it and it’s comfortable, looks good to your eye, it’s good enough. However, you are still in public place, and there are still some rules even with casual wear. You should wear clothes that cover your private part and as much of your underwear as possible. Your armpit, your chest, and belly should be covered as well. If you have a not very flattering body shape, you should wear clothes that reduce the body flaws as much as possible. That is a general rule, every detail is up to you. You can wear casual clothes when you are in public place and the time and place is not important enough for a more formal outfit.

  • Business casual clothes

If you have an office job, you are expected to wear business casual outfit. Because the importance of the place and time, you are here to work with someone to provide value to someone, it requires a more formal outfit. At the basic, you are expected to wear at least formal shirt, trouser and leather shoe. Depend on your rank and culture, you are expected to wear sport jacket, blazer, or a suit as well. But, in some other places, if you wear any jacket, it may be perceived as too pretentious, so a sweater or bare shirt can be an alternative. In some office job, like software engineer, wearing casual clothes to work became the norm, but if you wear business casual, the more power to you. When you are properly dressed, everyone will know that you respect the work, the time, and will get the job done. That can be more important than getting the job done itself.

  • Formal clothes

Every once in a while, you will attend a formal event. It will be an important meeting, a wedding, funeral, or even press conference, parliament meeting… Here the cultures diverse, so your experience may vary. In the west, beside business suit, there are also black tie and white tie dress code, which is more formal then business suit, and you should adhere if you attend one. In other western influenced places, the business suit is as formal as it gets. However, in some places, wearing a western suit when you are in a government seat is frown upon. In some places, funerals mean dark color clothes, other places, white ones are required. So, for the safest option, you should have at least one business suit, and adapt per situation.

  • Difference between income

With all those rules, not everyone can always adhere to them. People have various income levels, when they can’t follow a dress code simply because that’s not affordable to them, that’s OK. If you go to a place where most people wear cheaper clothes, it’s advised that you dress down as well to avoid alienate them. But if you can afford to wear appropriate clothes, and the event call for a certain dress code, you should follow, no excuse. The rule for oneself is always stricter than the rule for others.

  • The casualization of men’s wear

As society changes, culture changes as well. What was deemed casual in last century became formal wear today. Who knows, maybe someday your sweat pant and t-shirt will become men’s wear classic. People may wear tracksuit to court room. But for now, have a suit in your closet, you will need it.

That’s why we develop the Aventail belt, this is a 35mm holeless premium belt, suitable for both casual and formal occasion.

You can see the demonstration video link in the description.

The belt is available in dozens of colors, link in the description.

Have a nice day and see you in the next video.

Hand stitch an Aventail ratchet holeless belt

Video transcript:

Welcome to my channel, friend!

I’m Phu, founder of Aventail.

In today’s video, I will show you the process that we use to stitch the ratchet into the belt. This is only one step among many. The whole process takes several days to finish, and this is one of the most critical steps.

At first, we need the leather piece to be split into 2 like this, we only stitch the ratchet to the outer layer. Let’s begin.

As you can see, the hand stitch step takes a lot of time to finish. We are currently the only ratchet maker that make the belt this way. Yes, It’s over engineering. But the end result is the load bearing part of the belt is reinforced, and very hard to fail. If you only use a belt for one season, and through it away in the next one, this over engineering doesn’t matter. But if you want your belt to age just as your shoe, then every details count.

The belt is available in dozens of colors, link in the description.

Have a nice day and see you in the next video!

10 belt types in 1 video

Video transcript:

Welcome back to my channel, friend!

I’m Phu, founder of Aventail.

In today’s video, I’ll introduce you some of the most common belt types on the market. Now, this video only covers belts that have functionality is to keep your pant up. Tool belts and decorative belts are in a whole another universe and outside of this video’s scope. Enjoy.

  • Holed belt

This is the traditional holed belt. You’ve probably seen this belt many times already, in all kind of shape and design. This belt works by looping the tail over and under, like this. The advantage of this belt is its simple construction. The less parts the belt has, the less likely it fails. The downside is this belt doesn’t fit very well, you usually have hole at least 1 inch apart, which make it impossible to fit you in all occasions.

  • Ratchet belt

This is one of the more popular belt types recently. The belt works by the ratchet look with the buckle like this. And to pull it off, you push the lever like this. The advantage is this belt can fit you quite closely, the ratchet tooth is 7mm apart, so you can adjust it to your size. The downside is this mechanism is a bit complex. You can have a cheap ratchet belt made from cheap material. If you want a ratchet belt with premium material and proper construction, it’ll cost you more than equivalent holed belt.

  • Leather backside friction belt

This belt is not very popular, however this is the default Vietnamese officer belt. This belt works like this: the buckle create friction with the belt back side, which hold the belt together. As you can see the back side of the belt has grooves 3mm apart, so you can adjust a tighter fit even better than ratchet belt. The advantage is this belt is affordable, rather good looking, and comfortable. The downside is the manufacturing process is very rigid. It takes a certain type of leather, and only a certain type of color is available, which makes it suitable for uniform, and not for civilian life.

  • Leather frontside friction belt

This belt type is more popular for women than men. The belt works like this: it creates friction between the front side of the belt with the metal loop to hold the belt together. The advantage is this belt can be adjusted to infinite size, because there is no hole or groove to speak of, which can absolutely fit the person. The downside is this belt doesn’t hold very tight, I guess that’s why it’s more popular for women than men, whom prefer belts with more holding strength.

  • Leather weave belt

This belt can be an interesting option for hot weather. As you can see, this is a holed belt with a ton of holes, made by weaving leather straps together. The upside is this belt has holes pack closely together, which makes it fit better than traditional holed belt. The downside is if this belt gets dirty, it will be hard to clean.

  • Fabric friction belt with fixed buckle

This is another military belt. The belt works by looping the tail over and under like this. The advantage is this belt has no hole or groove, so it fit exactly to the person’s body. The downside is, you know, this is a military belt, it is cheap, durable, works, but not much pretty, yes?

  • Fabric friction belt with snap buckle

This is a military inspired belt. It works like this: you open the buckle, push the tail through, then close the buckle to lock the belt in place. It makes putting the belt on and off a bit faster. This belt has the same advantage and disadvantage like the military belt before: cheap, durable, and ugly.

  • Fabric friction belt with frame buckle

This belt is designed for streetwear. It works by looping the tail over and under like this, then you let the tail to hang down like this. If you want a functional belt that’s also standout a bit, this can be for you. The upside is this belt will fit exactly to all body shapes. The downside is, can you wear it with your outfit?

  • Velcro belt

This is an outdoor, trekking type of belt. It works by attaching the head and tail of the belt with Velcro, like this. The upside is this belt also fit very well, because no holes and groove. The same downside as other military belts, this one is only for used, not for shown.

  • Elastic belt with no buckle

This belt is also one of a more popular belt types recently. This one works by attaches these loops to the first belt loops of your pant, like this. This is one of the most comfortable belt types in the market, it both fit well and stretch to fit your body when moving. The downside is, yes, it’s ugly. However, if you wear your shirt untucked, this is not a problem. Another downside is elastic fabric usually doesn’t last very long.

I hope through this video, you can have an overview of different belt types in the market. Now most of these belts are only for casual outfit, only some of the leather belt can be used for formal occasion.

Aventail belt is one of those belts.

Aventail belt is a full grain vegetable tanned leather belt with ratchet construction. The belt is designed to fit both casual and formal outfit, so that you always look dapper in every occasion.

The belt is available in dozens of colors, link in the description. Have a nice day and see you in the next video!

The beauty of leather

Video transcript:

Welcome back, friend!

I’m Phu, founder of Aventail.

In today’s video, I’ll explain the beauty of leather.

  • History of leather

Human has a long history of using animal hides, probably predate homo sapien itself. We can find tool to carve animal skins as early as 400000 years ago. Tanned hides appear later, with earliest tools appear in ancient Sumer 5000 years BC. Since then, leather has spread throughout Mesopotamia and beyond, and become the invaluable part of civilizations. With this durable, water resistant, and easy to access material, people had made clothes, shoes, bags, tents, canoes, saddles, armors… With these items, human can travel far and wide, enable nomad lifestyle, connect the East and West through the silk road, and more. Without leather, the world as we know it would be a very different place.

  • Brief introduction about leather production

Raw hide as you know doesn’t last in normal condition. For every meat-eating animal, raw hide means food. In order to preserve the hide, we must treat the leather with the process that change its chemical composition. There are several ways that temporary preserve the hide, for exp: treat the leather with aluminum salts, fat, oil, brain… In these ways, the result products are called parchment, not real leather. To make real leather, the raw hide must be bound with tannins. There are 2 most common tanning process: chrome tanning and vegetable tanning. Chrome tanning is faster and cheaper, but most of the oil and fat from the leather is stripped away, makes it dry and brittle overtime. Vegetable tanning is very slow, can takes up to a whole year to finish, but the result leather retains oil and fat, makes it last a very long time.

  • Utility value

These days, there are many materials that are far stronger, durable, and chemical resistant than leather: nylon, carbon fiber, Kevlar… But if you need something both durable and beautiful, to carry you though your daily life, leather is without replacement. Modern leathers are available as thin as 0.5 mm to as thick as you want. Many animals that was not traditionally used for leather production are now available: crocodile, kangaroo, stingray, python, ostrich… With leather, if you can imagine it, someone can make it.

  • Longevity value

The oldest leather item still exists is a 5,500-year-old shoe, found in Armenia. Of course, not all types of leather are made equal. The cheapest type is fake leather, made entirely of plastic, it will disintegrate even if you babysit it. Another type of cheap leather is split leather with a plastic coating, typically called genuine leather. With this leather, as soon as the coating scratch or crack, it will look like crap. Now let’s talk real leather. Leather longevity depends on 2 factors: how wet the leather is and how much coating it gets. Chrome tanned leather is dry and will eventually crack. Vegetable tanned leather and waxed leather is wet and resist cracking better. Aniline leather is leather without coating, which has a warm and luxurious feel when touched, but not very durable. In the contrary, Semi aniline and pigmented leather has thicker coating, which is more durable, but it feels hard and plastic to the touch. With properly wetted and coated leather, it will definitely last a lifetime, well worth your investment.

  • Personalization value

How do you know that you have a life well lived? Is it not the grinding, struggling, sacrifice, exhaustion that you know that your life is well spent? The items that you carry with you will bear marks of your adventure: that sand mark from a beach in Thailand, that scuff mark from a food stall in Beijing, that water mark from a random rain in Tokyo. Plastic will disintegrate and be thrown away. Nylon will bear no mark and remember nothing. But leather will bear your marks, your adventure. And through leather, your life will be remembered.

  • Tradition

Unlike other luxury items like silk or champagne, leather has history root all over the world, from many civilizations. Wherever human hunt or raise animals, we can find artifacts made from their skins. From the boots of Mongol, to the books cover in Rome, to the canoe of Native American, leather represents human ingenuity and craftsmanship. When you acquire a leather item, you don’t just buy an item, you buy a living history piece that has thousands of years of development. And thus, you acquire a piece of civilization itself.

  • The animals spirit

Human has a long history of carrying animal symbol to represent their virtue. Roman legions carry eagle and boar symbol for wisdom and endurance. Aztec warriors wear jaguar suit to represent strength. Although most modern leathers are made from domestic animals, you can remember them not as what they are but as what they were. Modern cow evolves from aurochs, mighty animal from the ice age. Modern pig evolves from wild boar, some of the most intelligent animals, even smarter than dogs. Goat and sheep come from the hardy environment of mountains and deserts. By carry their symbol, you will remember that you are not alone in this world.

  • Environmental value

Most of leather that you see in the world are fake leather made of plastic, or split leather with a plastic coating. When they wear out or you are bored of them, they end up as land fill or floating it the ocean for hundreds of years, because they are not bio-degradable. It’s an unsustainable material, and will destroy this planet when our descendants inherit it. In contrast, real leather, whether vegetable tanned or chrome tanned, is bio-degradable. Some people even say they are edible, I haven’t tried eating leather though.

  • Value for self-enjoyment

There is a saying: Mystery creates excitement. For a uniform material like plastic, everything about it is regulated to a tight specification from a factory. You know it’s chemical composition, it’s manufacturing process, how it reacts to the outside world. There’s no mystery about plastic. Leather is not like that. Animal skins are created by billions of cells working together one protein strain at a time. From that skin, the following tanning process will react to different cells structure differently. There aren’t 2 similar pieces of leather exist. If you have vegetable tanned leather, it will go through patina process overtime, which will create beautiful gradient color. With leather, you will witness true mystery, and with that, true excitement.

  • Social value

Leather clothes have always represented the extraordinary of society. A well-polished black oxford is mandatory for 19th century western aristocrat. Leather bomber jacket carry the smoke and fire of world war 2. Leather biker jacket represent the outcasts, the rebels, the one outside the rule of the society. There is even a leather fetish subculture that focus in unique sexual experiences in Germany and US. Whatever leather means to you, your leather clothes signal that you don’t live an ordinary life.

  • Future of leather

For a material that has such a long history, the zenith of leather consumption hasn’t come to pass. New tanning processes are being developed. New animals are being used for leather production. New companies and artisans are joining the leather crafting business every year. And a booming economy with billions of people who have never used leather in their lives before, now have the change to join this exciting world. The future is bright for leather, indeed.

That’s why we at Aventail have made this holeless belt from vegetable tanned leather. It’s available in dozens of colors, link in the description.

You can watch the video describing this belt in link in the description. Have a great day and see you in the next video!

How wide your belt should be

How wide your belt should be

Video transcript:

Welcome to my channel, friends.

I’m Phu, founder of Aventail.

In today’s video, I’ll show you show you how wide your belt should be.

Here are some leather straps I’ve cut to different width to simulate belts. The straps width ranges from 20mm to 40mm.

I will wear each strap with 2 outfits, one formal, one casual and show you photos side by side.

Let’s begin with 20mm.

Here is 25mm.

Now is 30mm.

This one is 35mm.

Now for the widest one, 40mm.

As you can see, the narrower belts are more elegant and fit more for formal outfit. At the same time, those belts are swallowed in casual settings.

In contrast, wide belts stand out very well in casual outfit, but overwhelm formal settings.

The belt with the middle width 35mm is the right balance between formal and casual outfit.

But this is not the whole story.

I’m 1m75 or 5ft10, If I scale my height lower or higher, the belt’s width should change as well to keep the harmonized look.

Currently Aventail belts are available in 35mm width with other sizes in development.

Let me know in the comment, what is your favorite belt width?

Aventail belt is available in dozens of colors, link in description below.

Have a good day and see you in the next video!

How long your belt should be

Video transcript:

In today’s video, I’ll show you show you how long your belt should be.

Not all belt can be shortened. It depends on the style of the buckle.

If your belt has a buckle type like this, you can’t shorten your belt unless you know how to work with leather.

Or if you want to go with an unconventional look, like Jon Snow here, this video is not for you.

Otherwise, if your belt buckle can be removed easily, you can cut your belt to length. Here are some examples of those buckles.

So, how long should you belt be?

The best length is your belt tail should just go past the first belt loop.

If your belt tail is way pass the first belt loop, it will flop around like this. Very annoying.

So why not the second belt loop?

Because different belt types have different locations for the second belt loop. It could be here or around here.

Either way, you have your belt tail poking inside your jacket, still annoying.

In contrast, the first belt loop of most pant types is always around here.

You don’t have problem of belt tail flopping around or poking inside your jacket.

At Aventail, we cut the belt to your size, so you have to worry about your belt length.

Aventail belt is available in dozens of colors, link in description. Have a good day and see you in the next video!

Matching belt with pant and shirt

Video transcript:

Welcome to my channel, friends.

I’m Phu, founder of Aventail.

In today’s video, I’ll show you how to match your belt with your pant and shirt.

In this outfit, I pair my khaki pant with light tan belt.

As you can see, the belt is almost invisible. Which is good, because now that you have taken the belt out of the equation.

You can wear any shoe color that you like without worrying about belt matching.

To create this outfit, you should have a belt that is a matching color of the pant. Or if that’s too hard, just wear grey belt, it’ll match with anything.

Now, I’ll switch to this outfit. I pair my blue shirt with my blue belt.

What do you think?

Personally, I think this outfit doesn’t look good. it makes my torso looks longer, but your experience may differ.

Historically, men’s outfit are design to make our legs look longer and torso shorter.

On the other hand, this blue belt compliments the blue shirt very well, makes people pay more attention to its color and texture.

There you have it, you can match your belt with your pant or shirt, not just shoes. This is a unique look that you should try.

Today I use Aventail light tan belt and blue belt. It’s a full grain veg tan leather, holeless, micro adjustable belt.

The belt is available in dozens of colors, link in description. Have a good day and see you in the next video!