Friday, December 25, 2009

The New Christmas Sweater

Christmas sweater parties are well known for green, red and white chunky wool tops, two sizes too small and ideal for funny photo opportunities. These days the Christmas sweater is staging a comeback of massive proportions with offerings from well known designers as well as the inclination to dive into the basement boxes that house your parents' from their younger years.

It's true, most things in fashion are cyclical and this is no exception. Wear one with jeans or corduroys and do your part in bringing back the spirit of the Christmas Sweater. The more reindeer, pine trees and snowflakes on your sweater, the better. Be bold, be festive and be confident! Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The mixing of pieces that are formal with pieces that are casual will forever be known as "form-asual" ....atleast in my mind anyway. Gone are the days when dressing had set rules that must be, the best dressed people know how to mix tuxedo trimmings (ie: patent leather shoes) with weekender relaxation (denim) and carry it off with effortless class.

Some of my favorite "formasual" recipes are french cuff shirts with sportcoats, white collar/cuff shirts without neckwear, chunky cable knit sweaters with a bow tie, patent leather and get the point. Incorporate items from both ends of your wardrobes for something different......

Oh, and if you're wondering if that velvet blazer that you have counts for mixing formal and casual....yes, it does. It is likely the most widespread formasual attire out there, but that means the masses have caught on to that one look and it also means that you are one of a million if you put the same outfit on as the mannequin in Barneys, Nordstroms Macys and Filenes Basement...... mix your own ideas and start having fun with don't want to look like a plastic person, you want to look like yourself.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Working in Harmony

Dressing with multiple accessories and coordinating (not matching) parts can be a difficult task, but when executed properly it virtually guarantees you compliments throughout the day....and who doesn't like that????

In this picture you can see that a basic gray herringbone blazer is worn with a little bit of flair. A light lavendar check shirt, with white collar adds a background of uniqueness, and the tie compliments the color of the shirt, amplifying its appearance. The 4th, and most difficult element of the outfit is the pocketsquare. Never match the square identically to the comes off as amateur. Instead, look for colors that work together, and if the pattern does as well, that's extra credit.

A brown suede belt and shoe adds the curiosity. Black would be the pedestrian choice but we aren't into that and you shouldn't be either.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Set the Bar

A tie bar is traditionally meant to keep your neckwear from flying away from your chest and into your soup, or whatever other liquids and messes that silk can find. These days it is more a matter of elemental dressing than function, but it's nice to have something holding you back on the odd chance that you can't handle that matter on your own.

Tie bars add an element of swagger when worn properly. They say to your on lookers that you took time to get dressed in the morning, and that you care about details enough to not just rush out of the house. They are in the same league as cufflinks, pocket squares and coordinated leather accessories.....and maybe even a cut above because of the infrequency with which they are donned by the general masses.

Put one on.....wear it on a little angle and have people wondering why.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Brutal Cold Not Brutal Taste

Just because the temperatures in a lot of the country have dipped below human comfort, it doesn't mean that the tastefulness of your attire should suffer as much as you are. In fact, the colder it gets, the better the chance you have to stand apart from the masses. Reason being: most people use the cold weather as an excuse to just pack on the layers without thinking about coordinating anything.

Use that as an opportunity to put some thought into your outerwear and accessories. A tasteful shearling jacket instead of a ski parka on the way to work. A cashmere scarf instead of a polar fleece. A traditional felt fedora instead of a stocking cap. Cashmere lined leather gloves instead of puffy obnoxious mutant covers. Rubber soled dress shoes instead of chunky rubber overshoes.... you get the point.

Wherever you fall short (in terms of cold weather clothing) consider changing your challenges into ahievements and feeling great about stepping outside when the weather has you craving the inside. You'll be glad you did the moment you get your first double take.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Lot Going On

I don't usually wear colored shirts, but today I was in the mood for some reason. The suit is a royal blue color with a 3 1/2" orange and rust colored windowpane......The shirt is an alternating orange and white bengal stripe (1/8" stripes) which looks like faint orange solid from a distance of about 15 feet. The tie coordinate with the suit because it is a similar royal blue, and the pattern on the tie compliments the shirt..... To always "get it right" with your tie selections, make sure the pattern of the tie has the color of the shirt....almost as if the shirt is peeking through the tie (if the patterns were holes instead)....kind of confusing, but you get the picture. For dressing 202, coordinate the tie color to the suit as well as the shirt. You'll need to increase your tie arsenal....but that pisn't a bad thing. Leather goods (ie: belts, shoes and watch straps) should coordinate as well, if possible.

Happy mixing! This is the season to try it because if all else fails....just keep your coat on and cover up.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Curiosity Explored

A good friend of mine has been pestering me (in only the nicest of ways) to include on my blog; images of what I wear on a day to day basis with the hopes of helping people understand how to best mix patterns, colors and pieces. While I don't yet have a camera that will allow for the clarity desired, I took this picture today with my Blackberry just to see what kind of feedback and readership it delivers.

Anytime you mix multiple pieces, colors and patterns I find it best to be able to keep the amount of color to a minimum (in this case only browns and blues) and make sure to be able to relate every article of clothing (or accessory) to at least one other element in the look. Pattern sizes must be noticeably different so they do not clash and compete for the eye.

In this picture: Light blue cashmere jacket with medium brown and light tan over check. The vest is a coffee brown cashmere (relates to the over check of the coat). Tie is a steel blue/gray wool (compliments jacket and trouser) with light and dark brown flowers (again compliments the overcheck). Shirt is light blue solid. Trousers (though not seen) are steel blue/gray solid.

If you think this was a good idea, you should visit the inspiration at ( .... without a doubt you will find more creative outlooks and posts from his content on anything from music to fashion and everything inbetween. Thanks Don!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Blazer Trail

Blazers don't have to be navy or black to be purchased.... in fact, it may be better if they aren't! A sure fire way to step out of the normal and into the unique is to have a blazer made in a textured (but solid) fabric in your favorite color.

This time of year lends itself better for these kinds of purchases because the weightier fabrics of winter tend to have textures built into the cloth already. Throw on patch pockets, suede elbows and perhaps leather covered buttons and you have a jacket that is ready to be worn hard, often and most important - confidently!

Consider a cabernet red, sea foam blue, mint green or even maize color and wear it with your jeans as often as your flannels.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Peaked Curiosity

A nice way to make a suit look a little different from your everyday boardroom or business suit is to have it made with peak lapels. Instead of the classic notch, the peak lapel angles upward toward the face giving the overall feel of the garment a little more class, sophistication, elegance and of course differentiation from your counterparts.

It's under the radar enough to not have you feeling uncomfortable but edgy enough to give you a leg up in the department of having taste.

For something just a little more special, try a suit or 2 with peak lapels. As always, start with the basics and build from there. Nothing is more timless than a solid navy or gray with a unique cut. If it was good enough for Gary Cooper, certainly it's good enough for us......

Monday, November 30, 2009

Attention Getters

Details like big pockets, heavy stitching, zippers, chunky collars, or (most commonly) buttons, draw attention to the areas of your body where they are placed. If you feel uncomfortable wearing certain styles of clothing it is generally because the areas that they are positioned on relative to your body, are areas that you want to improve on or change.

For example, if you feel uncomfortable wearing a cardigan sweater, even though they are quite popular, it is because the buttons on the swater start at the middle of the chest and work their way down to the waistline, causing attention to the mid section. Guys who choose to eat more than they workout generally have difficulty because the cardigan emphasizes the stomach.

To combat the issue, opt for items that draw attention toward the top of your profile. Items like 1/4 zip sweaters or half button sweaters start buttons at the chest as well, but work their way up instead of down (like a cardigan) bringing attention to the face and not the stomach. Keep these tips in mind when dressing for the slim factor.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sole Savers

Most likely you fall into the camp of "people who don't know what do do with their shoe situation when the winter comes around." If so, the fact is you have a couple of opinion is to take advantage of both of them.

1. Wear rubber soled dress shoes. Many shoe makers now craft them in a way that they still look sleek with a low profile rubber sole meant to immitate that of a more traditional leather one. These should be worn on days when it isn't rainign but the streets are definitely wet or snow packed. (

2. Invest in rubber shoe covers called galoshes. There are all kinds from simple black or even brown (generally about $20-$25) to my preferred style from a company called "Swims". These covers are a cut above the masses and retail for more than the standard (about $130) but they will pay you back in compliments. They look more stylish and are available in several colors, not to mention they fit and protect better than their competition. (

The point is, invest in your shoe care and shoe rotation before it's too late. One rainy or snowy day without the proper shoe (or shoe protection) is enough to take your $500 Ferragamos from "deal closers" to "deal breakers!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pic it

The lapels on your suit can say a lot about the contruction and integrity of the garment..... Traditionally, "pic stiching" is the visible stiching done in the same color as the garment that traces the edges of the lapels, pocketing, and sometime the seams of your coats and trousers. It is a sign of quality when done in the old school ways of hand finishing, though today it is common to see it done on fashionable garments via machine work.

If you have the option on selecting a suit with or without pic stitching, always opt for it. The stiching adds an element of richness to a garment that may otherwise seem "blah" and will have you feeling like you belong in an era gone by.

Hold onto the elements of classic dressing....there's a reason they are considered timeless!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Worth it

If you are looking for a shoe company who makes some of the finest footwear in all the world, you should consider Santoni ( They are an italian shoe company, known for crafting footwear from the choicest leathers the world over.

Based on my opinion, these shoes have timeless lines in updated styling. The shoes look similar to the ones that all of your coworkers wear, but after a second glance there's just something different about them. They are a pinch longer, a little leaner and the leathers look aged and cured to perfection, all resulting in more quality and certainly a dash more style.

All of their lines are premium shoes, but their Benchmade collection is their cornerstone. Invest the close to $1,000 in a pair and you will be surprised at how well that money was spent.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

To Logo or Not to Logo...

Hey.....guy with the 72"golf umbrella bearing his favorite golf club manufacturer's logo.... Can I ask you a question? When was the last time you went onto the golf course and used your suit as your briefcase to carry your clubs?

If you walk the streets on a rainy day, it is inevitable that you will see a decently (even well) dressed man walking around with a full blown golf umbrella. Everything from head to toe was thought out, except for his most obvious accessory - the umbrella.

If you're going to take the time to think about what you're wearing, consider taking the extra step and investing in an umbrella that is consistent with the rest of your attire. A classic wood handle, a sturdy canopy, and logo free......all of those elements wreak of class and consciousness and are a sure fire way of advertising yourself as 'someone who cares' instead of promoting a golf company that has no business in the city.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Shine, Shine, Shine on......

Taking proper care of your footwear is one of the most overlooked "responsbilities" in wardrobe maintenence. Some people are too lazy, some are too cheap and most are simply uneducated on how to actually proceed.

Not all polishes are created equal - if you dont shine your shoes often (or go somewhere that does it for you) you should be using a shoe cream like "Meltonian." ( It provides a deep moisturizer to the leathers, which is essential to the leathers flexbility and longevity. It will also keep the leathers from cracking over time.

If you polish your shoes more than once a month, you should be using a shoe wax like "Kiwi"(, which provides a higher shine than a creme would. If you are looking for that extra gloss, this is the way to go.

Whichever route you choose, using proper shoe care can restore some of your old beat up favorites and continue the life of your current investments. Take these very simple steps and you will find your shoes lasting longer and looking better!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Experiment with Happiness

This isn't something you physically put on, but it is something you can wear regularly. It's always with you, though most of the time you opt not to use it. It can change your day, and it unknowingly will change someone elses the moment you do it with sincerity.

A Smile....yes, a Smile, can be a day changer with exponential benefits.

Think of the last time someone smiled at you before you smiled at them. It made you feel incredible didn't it? You even thought to yourself how rare that was and it most likely stuck with you all day.

Unfortunately most of us don't do it even once a day to a stranger, but all of us are more than willing to accept them incase someone wants to throw one our way. Here's a challenge: Smile at 5 strangers today, and see how good you feel when it's time to go to bed.

My bet is that you will feel invigorated and potentially adapt the idea of smiling into your routine.... A novel idea that will pay you back in spades. It embodies everything this blog is about....Smiles are timeless and they build confidence in yourself and in others. Since you have it with you all the time, you may as well use it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dimples are Duds

Most men are fashion failures. Some are fashion current, but very few are fashion forward. "Forward" doesn't mean wearing runway pieces or things so abstract they look like spacesuits....rather, I am using the term 'forward' to describe a look that is simply uncommon amongst your peers. Specifically (for this post anyway) in the way you knot your tie.

In the quest for the ever perfect dimple, many men have dedicated hours, days or even years to perfecting what they consider to be the quintessential dimple in the top of their tie. Their coworkers recognize it's perfection, and it makes its owner smile internally with pride.

Guess what..... the 'perfect dimple' should be laid to rest for now. You may have worn it well, but others have caught on and learned to tie it better than you did. Take the next step toward individuality and tie your tie with no dimple at all; you will peak people's curiosity and have them asking themselves if they really are as unique as they bet is that they are simply current, when what they want is to be forward....

2 points to the guy in the non-dimpled tie.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Flood Warning

Look at your pant bottoms. Are they breaking more than once?

If so, take them to your tailor and have them shortened for a more put together and professional look. The days of the full/double and even triple break have been archived and placed on hold. Now in the mix is the small or sometimes miniscule break from grandpa's closet. Accept it, his generation knew how to look appropriate.

The same idea applies to your jacket sleeves. If you find your shirt sleeves aren't showing when you have a coat on, those things need to be shortened. If your coat sleeves go anywhere past the break in your wrist (where your thumb meets your forearm) you are wearing sleeves too long for your own good. While we're on the topic, your shirt sleeves are probably too long for you too. When they are buttoned, the shouldnt go any further than 1/2" past the break in your wrist.

Use the break of your wrist as the factor in tailoring your jackets and shirt sleeves. Jackets should be at or above (see: closer to your elbow) the break, and shirt sleeves should be at or below (see: closer to your thumb) the break.

Follow these rules and you're 3 steps closer to being presentable.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Key is Contrast

Another way to put the "odds of looking good" in your favor is to play the card of contrast. The more contrast you put into a look, the more powerful or impactful the impression. Conversely, more monochromatic looks tend to come off as soft and gentle.

Think of it in terms of a suit - for your dressiest occasions, and ones where you want to be perceived as powerful, you will generally lean toward wearing a white shirt and a dark suit. The contrast between a dark exterior (suit) and a bright white interior (shirt), along with a textured solid tie of similar tone to the suit results in a look that is confident, competant and full of impression.

When guys wear a dark suit (think charcoal) with a dark shirt (think gray or even worse, red), and an even darker tie; the end result looks like your high school prom meeting the business world. You've grown up, start dressing like it.

If you want to put a good foot forward and have a look that is remembered, use contrast to your advantage and include a minimal number of colors.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


The correct lapel shape on your suits and sport coats can make all the difference in terms of appearance. Without a doubt you have had some suits that you feel great in, the ones that make you walk a little taller and smile a little wider. And unquestionably you have some suits that you wear on rainy days because they simply aren't up to snuff with the others.

A contributing factor, and one you may have never thought about, is the shape and height of your lapel. Every lapel has a gorge on it - the seam that intersects about halfway through the lapel. The higher that lapel is "set" (by higher, I mean closer to the shoulders), and the more horizontal the seam, the longer, leaner and more powerful you will appear. You gain instant presence. (See sketch at bottom right).
Conversly, If your lapels have a low gorge, with a seam that is angled more vertically, you will have a drowned out and outdated appearance. The suit shape will make you feel dumpy, sloppy and less than impressive. (See sketch at bottom left)

Have a look at your lapels.....if they are low and angled, it's time to put your money to use and invest in something more current and empowering. After all, you're wearing a suit for a reason - to impress......let your lapels work FOR you, not AGAINST you.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shorten Up

When tying your neck tie, be careful not to fall victim to the methods your Dad taught you 20 years ago. Aside from being tied with a tiny little peanut of a knot, the tip of the tie falls below your belt line, doesn't it? If so, you are sadly mistaken with something far out of style.

What you need to do is shorten up your tie length. Start by donating all of your thin ties, the ones with geometric airbrushings on them. Next, aim at having a tie length that finishes at the TOP of your belt buckle when standing straight up. If it's a little shorter, no problem. If it's a little longer, re-tie. The shorter tie will give you a longer silhouette, and also net you a slightly wider knot....and that is a good thing.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mix'n it up......

Individualism, through clothing, is much more than simply buying what you don't already have.

Digest that for a moment and ask yourself if this applies to you.... I bet it does.
Instead of being a robotic dresser, one who is incredibly predictable in everything from his shirt to his trousers to his shoes, decide to have fun with clothing by being unpredictable.

Buy something bright green, wear a sportcoat with elbow patches, put a pocket square in, buy flat front pants, add big patterns, 2" trouser cuffs. Anything from your norm! Ask yourself "is this normal for me?" If the answer is no way, you're on the right track.

It will be a nice change of pace from your gray trousers, light blue shirt and black know the outfit, it's the one you wear everyday and the one that every one of your co workers does as well. Do yourself a favor and fail at being boring.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Opposites Attract

If you have ever been bored with the way one of your older (or newer, for this matter) suits looks, you should consider adding another element.

A vest can be worn with a suit to give it more of a layered look and doesn't necessarily have to match your suit identically to be appropriate. If you have the option of getting matching cloth (generally in custom clothing), the look is very formal and buttoned up, certainly an elevated way of dressing.

If you don't have matching cloth, be sure to choose something that is noticeably contrasting so you don't look like you're trying to match your suit to your vest.....this is the equivalent of wearing non matching trousers with a suit coat: amateur hour.
Sweater vests and cardigans work best for sportcoat outfits while tailored vests look stunning for suits. Give it a try and add another element to your wardrobe; you're almost a guarantee to get compliments if it's done right.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Suede Thinking

When wearing fall and winter clothing, nothing finishes a look off better than suede details such as shoes, gloves, belts and coats. The reason it makes your outfit look so rich is because the textures of suede coincide perfectly with the textures of heavy weight clothing.

Think of how a flannel suit looks and feels: it is textured, "fuzzy" and full of depth in the same manner that fine suede is. Wearing a calf skin shoe with flannel is fine, it still looks quite elegant, but it doesn't add the element of "that guy takes it to a different level" that suede would.

Invest in classic items like shoes and a matching belt (start with brown) and you will find yourself wearing them with anything from jeans and cords to flannels and cashmere.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Seal of Approval

My favorite gift that I have ever received from my wife is something a little off the beaten path, literally. It's an item with a story, a history and undoubtedly something that has survived through generation upon generation of use.

Though recently outfitted to more appropriately reflect me, I think of where this item may have been when it was with it's first owner each and every time I use it....which is daily. It's worn, beat up, made of cast iron, and shows no signs of age when put to use. It works as well now as it did the first time it was used.

I'm referring to an antique embosser from ages passed, retrofitted with an embossing disk bearing my initials. I use it for something very simple - to stamp stationary. It's personal, it's unique and it sends a message to the receiver....

To me, stamping stationary yourself is more fun than having someone else do it for you.... it's lasted this long, why not continue to tradtion.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to Mix Pattern

If you have ever wondered if you can wear a stripe on top of a stripe, or a plaid with a stripe with a check, or a check with a check with a check, the answers are all yes.

Don't be afraid to mix patterns, they all go together....the key to getting this correct is mixing with the right sizes. When mixing pattern, be sure that the patterns are of noticeably different sizes or widths.

For example, wearing a suit with a 1.5" stripe is excellent when paired with a striped shirt width of 1/16" because the stripes are noticeably different in size. Throw on a solid colored tie, and you are good to go.

If you keep your sizes different, feel free to mix whatever you'd like.

Notice in the picture, the windowpane on the suit is much larger than the print of the tie. That allows the eye to focus on the look overall, as opposed to having difficulty figuring out where to focus; a common problem when pairing several pieces of similar size.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Man Purse = Murse

Is he carrying a man bag? Is that dude wearing a "murse?"

If you have ever said one of those two statements to yourself or some of your friends, you should be ashamed. A man carrying a bag is one of the most logical ideas if you actually take a second to think about it, and making fun of those who do is simply a cryout of insecurity.

There are reasons why women never leave home without one (it's fucntional), and reasons why we, as men, are always clammoring for the right place to put that phone, gum, pen, wallet or whatever else you find yourself using on a daily basis (we can be illogical).

Bags hold things of size or of odd shapes, and allow you to carry lifes necessities without looking like you have your pant pockets stuffed with socks; so the next time you find yourself saying "I wish I had my (fill in whatever you find yourself missing regularly), consider purchasing a tote of some sort, and using it regularly....just be ready for the "man bag" comments and defend your position with pride!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Is there a better place than the golf course to showcase bold patterns, bright colors, and ridiculousness in general?

Ian Poulter has this down maybe more than any other golfer in the world. He expresses his personality through clothing, and could care less what others think of him. His willingness to step WAY outside the box has given him the attention that his golf game couldn't provide.

Have a look at his latest venture: Ian Poulter Design.

They are a company that is purely influenced by the way Ian wants to dress. Though these patterns may appear bold and progressive, they are actually archived type fabrics from decades past when everyone on the course was wearing similar things. The only difference now is the amount of people willing to express themselves.....perhaps we have become too self conscious? Sad but true.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Do You Get it?

I am a big believer in there being two types of people; those who "get it" and those who dont. What that means in a whole sense, I simply cannot explain. It's instinctual, it's the way they go about their day, the way they handle situations, the way they treat people. Anytime you are around people who get it, you can learn something that will inevitably benefit you in the future.

In style, as in life, there are those who get it, and those who don't. Maybe more than anyone I know of, Lino Leluzzi (of Al Bazar) "get's it" spot on, every time with the way he dresses. Be willing to be influenced by his style and you will find yourself understanding sooner than later.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Put a lid on it....

Trilby, Bowler, Stingy Brim, Porkpie, Homburg and Derby: Sound familiar? I'm guessing not....

Let' try another one: Fedora?

Correct, these are all names of different types of hats that gentleman (traditionally)can don on the tops of their heads. It used to be that men and hats were synonomous; they simply wouldn't leave the house unless they had the appropriate headwear to accompany the days attire.
Gone are those days, but thankfully the millinery scene is making a comeback of sorts. The last few years have paved way for it to be cool to wear proper headwear. Many celebrities, politicians, fashionistas and nobodys have all given a nod to the throwback stylings of yesteryear by making a statement with their hats and opting for a look that is both current and classic.

Traditionally made of fine felt, the world's best hats (in my opinion, and many others' as well) come from a local Chicago milliner and friend named Graham Thompson. His shop is called Optimo Hats ( and they are located on Chicago's south side. He crafts all of his products by hand in the old world ways of manufacturing; one piece at a time, as if they were art. Pick one up, and you will likely care for it as if it were.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cost Per Use

Think about the last time you bought something that cost "a little more than you planned on spending." I'd venture to guess that you wear or use that product a lot, and every time it comes out you appreciate it as much as you did the first day you bought it.

Keep your splurges confined to items of timelessness; things you will be able to use over and over again. If you can look at your purchases in terms of a "per use" cost, you will find that the things you pay the most for, end up being the cheapest in the long run because you use them until worn out.

That navy solid suit that you know, the one you wear every week when you have the big meeting? the same one you painfully paid $3,000 for?? Well, it was worth it because you use it and feel great in it. It raises your level of confidence and gives you an edge when you need it. (Cost Per Use over 2 years at 1x/week: $28.84)

That purchase makes a heck of a lot more sense than the $4,000 purple suit you picked up on clearance for $ know the one.....stuck in the back of the closet, dust on the shoulders, you've tried it on at home infront of the mirrow 11 times, but it's never made it outside of the house..... (Cost Per Use: $650 )

When you splurge, splurge on things that you will always makes justification a lot easier!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Show it Off

If you have ever gotten your jacket sleeves tailored in a department store, the odds are they are far too long. Your sleeves should go no further than the break in your wrist, where your hand meets your arm..... Do this test: relax your arms straight down the side of your make a "thumbs up."

Your shirt, if properly fitted, will go about a 1/4" below that break in your wrist. The jacket sleeve should be cut about a 1/4" above the break in your wrist, allowing you to show 1/2" of cuff when your jacket is on. Anywhere between a quarter inch and a full inch of cuff is common and appropriate looking. The more cuff you show, the more european the flair.... the more fitted the suit, the more cuff you can get away with showing off.

Remember these simple rules for sleeve length, and you're one step looking closer to decent.

Monday, September 21, 2009

More than a pair

Most men, unfortunately, fall into the trap of wearing the same 1 or 2 shoes every single day of the work week. Not only is it monotonous, boring and tasteless; it is taking away from what should be a lengthy lifespan for your footwear.
By investing in quality goods and developing a rotation that has versatility, practicality and logic - you will do justice to the rest of your clothing by allowing each to be paired up in more ways than your previously imagined. You shouldn't ever have to wear your shoes 2 days in a rown, unless of course, you are on a short business trip and packing more than 1 seems unattractive.

The truth is, footwear needs to relax after each wear to allow the perspiration to dry out properly. By inserting a cedar shoe tree into the shoe, you will maintain the shape, and pull the moisture away from the leather properly, thus eliminating any odor that may have existed otherwise.

You wouldn't wear the same suit, pant of shirt 2 days in a row (we hope) so there isn't any reason to do so with your footwear. Build a rotation slowly, and you will eventually find yourself with shoe options to fit every occasion. If you actually do 'wear a shoe out' in less than 2 years, you dont have enough.

As with anything, build it logically by adding these shoes first: Dress Lace shoes in black, cordovan and medium brown. Dress Loafers in Chestnut and Black. Casual loafers in brown, black and chestnut. After those - go with what you love.....until then, add logically.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Most people tend to overcomplicate a look and get too creative -They think too hard and it usually ends in a train wreck. To avoid that inevitability, just keep things simple..... 2 or 3 colors is more than enough and is a sure fire way to look fresh, feel sharp and have people notice that you are a person of taste and distinction. The people who look great with the most consistency are minimalists....they know when to stop.
Try using noticeably different shades of the same color (ie: a deep navy cardigan with a carolina blue button up) and you will find yourself looking sharp with very little effort. Keep your emphasis on fit and simple accessories...... you will undoubtedly be noticed without being over the top.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


What do you do when you look into your closet and say "I have nothing to wear?"

We have all gotten to this stage, whether you dress in business formal (suits) or business casual (different things to different people) on a daily basis.

The good news is, I have a simple solution that works everywhere from the office to the evening, and even into the weekend. It will have you looking trim, feeling as comfortable as if you were in your jeans, and will keep your overall appeal up because you wont look like every other robot on the street (see: good thing).

My suggestion is adding what is called a 5-pocket trouser. It is the ultimate pant -- cut like a jean, but constructed of dressier fabrics like wools, flannels, corduroys and even cottons. It is a little more unique than your typical jean, and a little less formal that the standard wool trouser.

Give em' a shot, I think you'll end up pocketing a few more than 5!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What Would Grandpa Wear?

If you are the type of person who asks themselves "what's in right now?" you should immediately answer your own inquiry with "whatever grandpa would wear." It's true, the older archived fabrics like Flannels, Donegals and Harris Tweeds are staging a comeback of true force right now. It isn't limited to just tailed jackets and trousers either.....
The sportswear lines from several designers at all pricepoints have re-introduced some of their earliest designs in updates fabric finishes. You will see a lot of shawl collared sweaters, covered leather button details, vests in every cloth imaginable, toggles, suede shoes, plaid everything, shorter trousers hems, chunky cropped (leather) jackets and an elevated interest in leather goods (yes, including "the man bag").
Each year, men are becoming more and more interested in accessorizing and taking a serious interest in the way they present themselves to the world. The majority of men feel the need to make themselves feel good through image......those who refute that say it because they simply don't know how to execute. One thing they can't argue is that everyone likes to feel good about how they look, and our grandparents' generation always knew how to do so.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Perception is everything.....

Whether you like it or not, everyone who you come into contact with on a daily basis forms a perception of who you are and what you are about, based on what you wear-how you accessorize and the way you carry yourself..... it cannot be argued and it isnt necessarily fair, but it is the truth.

How you dress instantaneously influences the way that you are treated by strangers because they have no other grounds to judge you on. The visual image you put forth precedes anything you can say or do to the people who see you....thus, it is the most important factor in making your first impression.

Look at the picture below - without knowing any of these people you are already forming an opinion about each. You have thoughts, both positive and negative, about what each of these people stand for. We do this same exercise several times a day without even realizing it.

Think about the way you tie your tie; it speaks volumes about the person you are or the person you want people to think you are.
  • Four-in-Hand: Very conservative, could care less about trends, wants to just fly under the radar.

  • Half Windsor: Interested in a little bit of an edge, but not quite sure he wants to be noticed everywhere.
  • Full Windsor: Wants to be noticed, likes attention, interested in clothing.

Always remember, a first impression is just impression......after that it is up to you to act like the person you are trying to express. Impressions are on the surface. Who you are at your roots is most vital because at the end of the day, you will be remembered for what you do and not what you say (verbally or through dress)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pay it Forward by Influencing Others

You have it, your parents have it, your teachers have it, the woman behind the counter at your grocery store has it and the UPS delivery man has it.

Do you wear your belt a certain way? Do wear your hat on a slight angle? Is your hair styled differently than your friends? Do you drink a certain drink? Are the shoes you're wearing the exact same as everyone elses? Of course not! The reasons you buy what you buy, walk how you walk, or wear what you wear is because you want those things to say something about who you are..... Each is a part of your individual style and is a reflection of how you want to be perceived by others.

It's "your style" but really you picked up those cues from seeing it somewhere else....unfortunately the only ones you recognize are the ones whos style appeals to you. If you're looking for some individuality or perhap some inspiration, take note of how people package themselves. You will find some things you admire and learn to appreciate people for who they are in the process!

Next time you see someone who's image you appreiate, recognize why and duplicate it the next time you want to get noticed.... who knows, perhaps it will influence another onlooker. It's a way of paying it forward.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Feeling Fall

It's still 75 degrees outside, but the cooler mornings have me wanting to wear fall clothes! Those will have to wait for now, but the good news is that all of the magazines, stores and talk is about tweeds, flannels and weightier wools.

Most men are year round dressers - meaning they wear the same things regardless of the season....except for a short sleeve shirt here, or a heavy sweater there....

With the return to classic clothing and 40's/50's era dress, seasonal clothing is getting more attention than it has for several years.

Do yourself a favor and try a few outfits this year in season specific finishes. As usual, stick to more basic patterns for your firsts additions; it will allow you to mix and match with multiple pieces and also wear more regularly than some more patterned pieces you may be tempted with.

How to wear it? Think Classic American.... Cary Grant & The Kennedys....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Watch Out..... The time is now

Men only have a few options when accessorizing... and a watch - or timepiece - is generally the most comfortable way for one to do so. The reason is because a watch is consistent with what most men seek out:

1. Functionality and purpose

2. Common amongst their peers
3. Indulgent
Watches can be incredibly cheap or incredibly expensive. Regardless of how much you pay for it, the overall purpose of it remains the same: To keep us on time for whatever we are doing..... and of course to tell our onlookers a little something about who we are.

These are some of the watches I love most. Each has an element of timelessness to it but with a dash of character that sets it apart from something more pedestrian.
Do yourself a favor and invest in a time piece. If you're anything like me, it will give you a sense of pride and satisfaction everytime you put it on.