In honor of tax day coming up here in the US, this week’s style briefing is all about saving you some dollar bills. I’ve scoured the interwebs with you in mind, looking for deals to help keep your pockets lined. Below are 6 sale finds I’m rather excited about. Remember, selection is limited when it comes to sale items (particularly those that come in sizes), so if any of these appeal to you, don’t sit on them for too long.
1) Mismo tote bag
Both the linen blend and blue color of this bag make it a no-brainer for Spring. If you haven’t heard of the website Farfetch, check it out. It’s an easy way to get hard-to-find items from small boutiques around the world. It also makes ordering from overseas cost-effective and simple because import duties are included in their prices.
2) Zanellato satchell
Looking for a more conservative and mature bag than in #1? Check out the Zanellato bag above. I am loving the rich brown leather and weathered gold hardware. Another bonus about this bag is if you’re tough on your things, its grainy leather can withstand a beating.
3) Boglioli sweater
When looking at sale items, it pays to be flexible. Sure, a heavy sweater is something you’d mainly think to wear on cold winter days, but a cardigan like this is also good for transitional months where it’s too warm for your winter coat, but there’s enough of a bite in the air that you need something. On top of that, Boglioli is one of my favorite brands — sprezzatura at its finest!
4) Billy Reid polos
It strikes me as odd for polos to be on sale now, at the start of Spring, but perhaps these are left over from last year. Either way, it’s a good deal on a staple. These polos from Billy Reid fit trimly but are comfortable.
5) Rag & Bone pants
I stocked up on these soft pants with a one-on-one client at the Rag & Bone store in NYC last week. This is another sale item that has me scratching my head, as the material feels quite Spring-y. Note: the material on these pants stretches, so if you’re in between sizes or unsure, go down a size. Also, they come in other colors like grey and navy.
6) 7 for All Mankind jeans
$189 $129 + 10% off if you sign up for their newsletter
The start of a new season is a good time to reassess your staples. Do you need a new pair of dark rinse jeans? If so, I like the color and non-contrast seaming on these from 7 for All Mankind. If the standard classic fit isn’t for you, there are plenty of other cuts on sale (for my primer on finding flattering jeans, click here). $20 from each pair purchased will be donated to Movember.
Keep in mind when shopping sales to look at the fine print. Often items on sale (like the cardigan above from Barney’s) are not returnable.
Have you had any exciting sale finds recently?
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Oh, excuse me, someone was talking to me about navy blazers, and I fell asleep.
The idea of navy blazers typically conjures memories of a first trip to Brooks Brothers for a rite of passage Sunday jacket, gold buttons and all. But not all navy blazers have to be a snoozefest. In fact, there are ways to take this conservative stalwart and give it a good shake-up. Read on for 5 tips on how to make a navy blazer your own:
1) Get it tailored so that it FITS you. I’ve you’re a current Rath & Co. client, or if you’ve been following me for some time, you know I’m a stickler for clothes that fit perfectly. So if you have a navy blazer that’s been hanging around your closet for a while, and the fit is within striking distance (the first thing to check is if it’s right across the shoulders), take it to a tailor you trust, and have him or her check the rest, including waist, arms and length, and make adjustments as needed. You’d be amazed at the 180 a jacket can take with a few nips and tucks.
2) Swap out those trad gold buttons for ones made of horn or gunmetal, like in the image above of a blazer I designed for a client. You’ll go from preppy to polished in no time.
3) Rather than standard navy, consider a blue with some kick to it, like midnight, cobalt or royal. Check out the same shot above of my client in his spanking new bright blue blazer. (His fiancée wasn’t complaining.)
4) Instead of a solid, try a subtly patterned fabric, like this tone-on-tone windowpane (above left — you have to expand the image to see the pattern) I just picked out for a different client. A blue hounds-tooth or pin-dot (above center and right) would also work, as would blue tweed in cold weather. From 4 + feet away, these fabrics read as solid, but up close you can see the extra oomph.
5) Wear it casually. This is an entire blog post on its own – much bigger than one bullet point, but I’ll give you the broad strokes. If you’re bored by the navy blazer-khaki pants routine (or if it just isn’t you), mix it up by pairing your blue blazer with casual pieces: with jeans, layered over a t-shirt and hoodie or cardigan, with a casual (perhaps short-sleeved – no one will know) shirt in a quirky pattern as seen in the above image and/or with casual laceups.
How do you like to wear a navy blazer?
JulieImages via Rath & Co. and The Wall Street Journal
Looking for the perfect gift for your main squeeze? Stumped on what to request for yourself? From stocking stuffers to splurges, these 8 gifts have you covered.
1) Grid-It Organizer – Keep your gear in line with this organizer. Great for at-home storage or travel. ($14)
2) Hook + Albert Fair Isle Socks – Hook + Albert makes stellar quality socks, and fair isle is a fitting pattern for holiday gifting. ($30)
3) Bolin Webb Razor – Form meets function in this deliciously sleek Bolin Webb razor, featuring a MACH3 blade. ($80)
4) JVDF Lizard Toggle Bracelet – Lizard skin, sterling silver and silk create a cool and visually interesting combo. ($295)
5) Want Les Essentiels De La Vie Leather Gloves – The weather in NYC has been frightfully cold, and I’ve gotten more than a few “gloves needed stat” emails from clients and clients’ wives looking for gifts. I like the zipper and contrasting suede thumb on these. ($206)
6) Mont Blanc Mother of Pearl Cufflinks – The range of colors in these cufflinks make them simple to match, and the swivel bar back allows for easy placement on your shirt cuffs. ($415)
8) Lotuff Leather Duffle – Stand out from the crowd with this sumptuous navy leather duffle from Lotuff. Perfect size for an overnight or a day at work followed by a trip to the gym. ($965)
What’s on your wish list this holiday season?
Warm wishes and hip gifts,
If you’re still rocking that North Face parka over your suit jacket, it’s time for an upgrade.
Nothing ruins a great look faster than a not-so-great coat. For some reason outerwear often seems to be at the end of peoples’ priority lists, but I can’t stress enough how important it is for your coat or jacket to be up to par with the rest of your outfit. Think about it: you walk into a restaurant to meet a date. Before you take your coat off, she’s already formed an impression of you. The same goes for your office elevator. People tell me all the time that they sneak in to their office building in junk clothes/shoes and change once they’re there, but if you’re riding up in the elevator with people in your office, the damage is done. So, have I convinced you of the merits of a good overcoat yet? Good! Here are my suggestions on how to choose one.
Fit: I see too many people around in oversized, too long overcoats – such a disappointing look! It makes me think of a little kid playing dress-up. Ideally, your overcoat should fit comfortably over a suit but still be slim enough to look stylish with just a shirt and pants. The best, most versatile length for a modern but still classic look is around your knee. It should hit anywhere from mid/low-knee to just above it, depending on how modern you want the look to be (the shorter you go, the younger the look). A good-fitting overcoat should make you look taller, leaner and broader across the shoulders.
Sizing: An overcoat is meant to fit on top of your suit, so when buying off-the-rack, start by going up one size from your suit. Try it on with a suit jacket or blazer and be sure it can close. The sleeves should cover your suit and shirt sleeves.
Buttons – Make sure it buttons to a location on your body that you’re comfortable with. I like this houndstooth check coat above from Balenciaga, but notice how low it buttons on the model’s body. If it’s too low, and you get cold easily, you might want to choose a coat that buttons a little higher. Remember that you’ll likely be wearing a scarf with it on very cold days which will give you additional coverage. What about the number of buttons? Most people will need 3 buttons for a classic single-breasted style, but if you’re very tall (over 6’ 3”), you should get 4.
Style: A single-breasted notch lapel creates a more conservative/traditional look, whereas a double-breasted peak lapel is more dressy, and also warmer due to the fuller coverage and double layer of fabric over your chest. Overcoats also come with a wide choice of different pocket options for you to consider: straight/horizontal, flap/slit, ticket/no ticket, breast pocket/no breast pocket. And make sure to consider whether you want a center vent in back or no vent at all. Don’t get locked in to the first coat you see just because it’s convenient. Look around to find the one that resonates best with you. Perhaps you wouldn’t have considered one with a leather collar like the above from Burberry Prorsum until you saw it in person. There’s a world of options!
Color/Patterns – The most classic colors are navy, camel and grey (in that order), but you might also consider getting a pattern if you’re into that sort of thing. If you do go for a pattern, make sure to keep the rest of your outfit subtle. I’m anxiously awaiting this brown herrringbone which I ordered custom as a chesterfield (with a velvet collar) for a client.
Fabrics: There’s a huge range, from camel hair, to wool, to cashmere to blends. Do some research on the different weights that you’re choosing from and figure out how warm you need your overcoat to be before taking the plunge. I’ve seen people buy very heavy overcoats that they never wear because they’re just too warm. Know yourself and the climate you’re in (or that you travel to) and factor that in.
Investment: Remember when you purchase a high quality overcoat that it’s a classic piece which should last you at least 10-15 years. This is one place in your wardrobe where it makes sense to invest.
Where to buy: You can either go off-the-rack or custom. For the former, try department stores like Saks, Barney’s and Bloomingdale’s, along with specific brand boutiques like Hugo Boss or Prada. If you live somewhere without access to a lot of stores, you can look online. Websites like Mr. Porter and Suit Supply are good go-to’s. If you decide to go custom, check Yelp and local listings (like nymag.com here in NYC) for highly-rated clothiers or ask well-dressed friends/acquaintances where they go.
Are you shopping for an overcoat this season? I’d love to know what you’re considering! Leave me a comment below.
If there’s one place you want to look your best, I would venture to say at the beach or poolside would be at the top of the list. After all, that’s where (presumably) you’ll be as close to naked as you’ll ever get in public. Thanks in large part to the James Bond movie “Casino Royale,” which features a taut Daniel Craig emerging from the water in short, tight swim trunks, men’s swim styles have been moving gradually toward higher hemlines and more tailored cuts. While not everyone has the build or desire to bare quite as much as 007, abbreviated and tailored looks are in fact more flattering and mature in feel than the oversized, extra-long trunks you may be used to. My clients are always pleasantly surprised at what a couple fewer inches and a narrower trouser-like cut can do. With that in mind, below are 6 Rath-approved swimsuits for Summer 2013, with a little something for everybody.
With its flat waistband, mid-thigh length, constructed fly and trim leg openings, this classic style from Hartford
($165) looks good on just about everyone. Bonus tip: for the most flattering leg width, you should be able to fit 2-3 fingers in the bottom leg opening of your suit.
Go for classy and/or beach-inspired graphics and avoid anything that involves dragons or fire-breathing (or both). I like this cheeky shark-tooth number from Paul Smith (£89).
You’re in great shape. Why not sport your swim gear with cool confidence? The flattering trouser-like cuts from Orlebar Brown (£125-160) — note the waistband side adjusters — allow them to transition perfectly from beach to post-beach cocktails (add linen shirt and stir well). Try the Bulldog cut if you’re a little daring (modeling pict below), and the Setters if you’re a lot daring (see also “European Vacation” below).
Is going to the gym a foreign concept to you? Don’t worry, you can still hit the beach with panache. Look for swimwear in dark (read: slimming) colors, hemlines that hit an inch or two above your knee, and comfortably trim leg openings like those above from Bonobos ($65). Also, a waistband that’s flat in front with elastic in back can be both flattering and comfortable if you have a bit of a belly.
Say sayonara to your old ballooning board shorts. The new guard is updated and upgraded. Brands like Sundek ($119) will give you a great fit while maintaining the comfort and movement you’ll need to hang ten. Dig the retro vibe of the rainbow bands.
I know some guys who have an entirely different set of swimwear for when they travel to Europe. There you can get away with 2″ inseams, and no one will bat an eye. You can rock a shorter short in the US too: this style is especially good for slim builds, and of course you must wear it confidently. It also helps if your name has the number 7 in it (see intro). Since you’re going there, you might as well have fun with bold colors and/or patterns. Try Parke & Ronen’s Angeleno ($125) cut if this appeals to you.
File this under the category of “so not necessary you just might need it”. If you’re a tricky fit, you can always consider having your swim trunks custom made for you.
What are you planning on wearing to the beach this summer? If you need personalized help with your beach threads, drop me a line.
Want to do something nice for yourself this summer? Love yourself up by adding linen to your wardrobe. Men are relatively limited in their options for staying breezy on blazing hot summer days, but as I’ve mentioned before, linen is a hot weather essential due to its lightweight and breathable qualities. The reason it can keep you comfortable is that the cloth absorbs up to 20% moisture without feeling wet.
You can buy linen either off-the-rack or through a custom clothier (if you’re a R&Co. client, you know how crazy I am for custom). Check out these fabric swatches below for some linen sportcoats I recently ordered for two clients.
Fabrics can made solely of linen as with the shirt below from Hartford, or they can be blended with other fabrics for a more refined look. The fabrics for the sportcoats above are combined with cashmere and silk, which makes them drape beautifully. We’ll pair them with everything from jeans and a henley or v-neck t-shirt to dress pants and a dress shirt and pocket square.
Ninja stylist tip for staying cool: if you custom order a linen (or any summer fabric for that matter) sportcoat or suit, ask for it to have no lining or a quarter lining. This works wonders.
I know, linen wrinkles. If this really bothers you, give it a shot and see if you can get beyond it. Embrace the imperfection. Would you rather be drenched in sweat or easy-breezy with a few creases in your clothes?
Aside from the obvious: linen shirts, suits, sportcoats, and shorts, you can also look for vests made of linen, like the one above from J. Crew. Vests are an ideal warm-weather solution for getting the level of formality inherent to having an added layer over your dress shirt, without the extra weight of a sportcoat or suit jacket.
For casual social occasions, or if your office isn’t dressy, consider wearing a linen tie like the one above from Pierrepont Hicks. It’s seasonally appropriate and has the added bonus of keeping your neck much cooler than a heavier silk would.
Other linen accessories you can work in your summer repertoire include pocket squares and shoes (above left and right). While they won’t necessarily keep temperatures down, you will certainly look cool in them!
How do you plan on wearing linen this summer?
Growing up, my idea of fun was hitting the local menswear store and picking out ties for my dad. (Yah I know, I’m a good time.) And Father’s Day was always one of my favorite holidays because it gave me an excuse to do just that. If you’re not as fanatical about menswear as I am and need inspiration on what to give this year (or if you’re a dad and want to give hints), read on for my Father’s Day gift list.
These unique rose gold cufflinks ($550) are refined yet manly. The broad range of colors within the mother of pearl makes them easy to match.
Snappy Ankles Dad
One of the easiest, most low-commitment ways to up your style game is with socks. If your dad needs extra help in this department (if he wears black Gold Toe’s everyday, the answer is yes), get him a few pairs from Paul Smith. They make a great variety of colors and patterns, and the socks themselves are durable ($30). Note that the more colors there are in the pattern, the easier it will be for him to match them to his outfit. For my Sock Matching 101 guide, click here.
Does your dad (a) like to make a statement or (b) know how to have fun? Then these embroidered Dia de los Muertes slippers ($325) may be the perfect gift for him.
Bulky pants pockets are definitely not dapper. If your dad suffers from overstuffed wallet syndrome, help him streamline with this handsome crocodile money clip ($125).
Many of my clients travel nonstop, often to different countries, and this multi-currency wallet would simplify things for them ($285). Make the gift extra-special by having it gold-stamped — you can choose from a variety of different motifs and/or lettering.
For the dad that has everything, this vintage table box inset with a silk Hermes scarf would make a fantastic addition to his repertoire (contact store for price).
Need more tailored gift-giving help? Contact me. And have a happy Father’s Day!
It’s been a long, frosty winter, and I am thrilled to write this Spring/Summer 2013 trend report. Below are 4 Spring trends to take note of and corresponding shopping suggestions. As always, it’s up to you how literal you want to go with these. You can adapt them loosely for a subdued look or embrace them more fully, as in the runway images below. Either way, enjoy!
Trend #1: Africa
Mixing ethnic and tribal prints with classic shapes is key to making this trend wearable. Ikat (one of the oldest patterns around, though its exact origin is unknown) is a great way to rock the look. The clean silhouette and large masculine gridlines on this Balmain shirt ground the lively print, making it suitable for an everyday casual vibe.
Trend #2: Globe Trotter
This trend incorporates a wide variety of cultural references, while using comfortable fabrics which work well for the frequent traveler. Consider materials like bleached chambray, linen knits, tissue linen, crinkled leather and destroyed denim. This slim-fit cotton and linen blazer from Canali would be the perfect traveling companion and a classic way to adapt this style. Throw your shades in the breast pocket for added sophistication.
Trend #3: Seafarer
One of my personal faves, this trend brings the nautical look from the deep blue to the streets. Look for sailor stripes, lightweight peacoats, double-breasted jackets, and scarf prints. I like the stripe placement on these Michael Bastian tops below left and right because they broaden you across the chest and shoulders, creating a nice V-shape down to your waist.
Trend #4: Tailored Sport
Tailored Sport is a good example of a trend you likely won’t want to interpret literally. I can’t think of any clients with situations where it would make sense to wear warm-up pants with a sportcoat. But, if elements of this look appeal to you, take inspiration from sporty materials like nylon, pique, and polished cotton. This Sacai jacket is nicely tailored and would work well either to and from the tennis court or out to a casual dinner.
How will you be freshening up your look this Spring?
Cheers to peeling off the layers!
I feel silly writing about Spring as I sit at my desk with the heat on blast, but I’m the positive type, and I know that in a few short weeks Spring will be here. In fact, I’ve already been shopping for warm weather clothes for my clients. Now is the perfect time for that, just as stores are loading up with their best selections. With that in mind, below are 6 garments to get you through the coming months in stellar style.
Lightweight jacket (bonus if it’s suede or leather)
Don’t underestimate the power of a perfectly-fitting leather jacket. Click for my guide on how to accomplish this. It’s the perfect reminder that Spring is just around the corner.
Great-fitting polo shirts
I have a new client who says he hasn’t met a polo shirt he didn’t like. My plan is to make him a touch more discerning. After all, everyone is wearing polo shirts. But not everyone gets it right (see Mitt’s missteps). Show some know-how, and make sure yours flatter you. Here’s how your polo should fit, and how to stand out from the crowd when you’re wearing one.
No show socks
These thin, low profile socks are must-haves for loafer-wearers. No one wants to see your short gym socks smushed into your shoes. Try Falke for this. Match them to the color of your shoes for added discretion.
Nice gym clothes
Many of my clients are implementing or upgrading their workout regimens this Spring. You don’t have to drop the same amount of coin on gym clothes as on your regular clothes, but the fact is if you like your workout clothes, and they feel good on, you’ll have a better workout. Keep it classy with Lululemon Men’s.
I call these social sneaks. There are loads of different styles to choose from for this. The key is to keep it consistent with your own aesthetic so it doesn’t look like you’re trying too hard. Example: if you’re on the conservative side, you shouldn’t show up to Casual Friday in checkered Vans; instead, go for something simple and classic like a navy, white, or grey Jack Purcell or Rod Laver (above). Wear these when you’re walking around on weekends, or Fridays at work depending on your office environment. Reminder, these are NOT the sneakers you wear to the gym.
Even if you’ve never worn linen, promise me you’ll try it this year. Linen is lightweight and breathable – perfect for those warm days when some airflow is welcome. I highly recommend pair of linen pants, an unstructured linen jacket and/or a linen shirt. You will thank me in July!
What are you looking to add to your wardrobe this Spring? Drop me a line if you need some guidance.
Cheers, and Happy (almost) Spring!
A lot of what I hear from new clients is a desire for what I call “Next Level Style”. Next Level Style is the development of a look that is uniquely one’s own, one that will make others sit up and take notice (but only to the degree wanted, of course!). One of my favorite things to do as a stylist is to seek out clothing and accessory items that will create that affect. No more walking into your office and seeing another guy in the same exact Brooks Brothers shirt and Ferragamo tie. With that goal in mind, today I’m shining the spotlight on stingray, a material you’ve possibly never heard of in relation to style.
Stingray leather (also known as “shagreen”) is extremely durable and has been used throughout history for everything from swanky armored clothing to sword handle wraps. Today in the fashion world, stingray is used on items ranging from wallets to shoes. One of the nice things about this skin is that stingrays aren’t threatened by extinction, so its leather can be sourced easily, which also contributes to its relatively low pricing. In fact, stingrays are found in abundance in the shallow, warm waters of the Pacific Rim and are fished commercially as a primary food source.
Here are my 6 favorite stingray items currently available that I hope will inspire you to get some new hides into your rotation.
2. Why not incorporate stingray into your dressier attire? These cufflinks ($275) would pop nicely against a grey suit, white dress shirt and a black and white or grey tie.
3. I recently got this business card holder ($75) from a store called Unearthed on Etsy. I love the strong contrast of black with white. Each piece is customized, so you can tell them your color preference, and they’ll select a hide to suit that.
5. A piece of men’s jewelry (a.k.a. “mewlery”) can be one of the most rewarding items to add to your wardrobe when done right. I am very much into this bracelet ($175, above left), which would work well with most silver-toned watches. And if you want to throw some color into the mix, try this turquoise stingray and braided leather combo ($150, above right).
6. Stingray shoes are not for the faint-hearted. These balmorals ($1195) from Harris (which I’ve highlighted previously) are so unique and interesting that they will surely be conversation starters. With this price tag though, you must be absolutely sure you love them before taking the leap!
How do you like to up the style quotient? And would you wear stingray?
Cheers to Next Level Style,