Summer is over halfway through — how strong is your swimsuit game? If you’re feeling iffy about it, I highly recommend you try a swim short with a side waist adjusters. It might just change your life — or at least make you feel like a stud when you hit the beach or pool. Below are 3 big reasons why this style swim short is so flattering:
1) Flat waistbands — have you ever noticed that a swimsuit with a bunchy waistband makes you look bunchy? That’s no bueno. A waistband that lies flat against your stomach, however, reduces excess fabric which can make you look bulky around the waist. The net net is that the flat waistband you get on a swimsuit with side adjusters can actually make your stomach look flatter.
2) Pool panache — just as they do with dress pants, side adjusters convey a class and sharpness in a way those ballooning board shorts can’t dream of. And of course you can tighten or loosen them for the perfect fit.
3) Après-swim friendly — because these have such a smart, tailored look, all you need to do at the end of a successful beach day is throw on a trim-fitting polo, and you can head straight to the beach club for drinks and hors d’oeuvres.
Now obviously you’ll need to adjust the length of the legs based on your body type and comfort level, but I will say that I’ve tried this style swimsuit with personal styling clients of all different shapes and sizes, and they’ve only ever given rave reviews.
So are you convinced? Let me know why or why not in the comments below.
Whenever I start working with new clients, one of the first questions I ask is if there’s anyone (celebrity, newscaster, politician) whose style they’d like to emulate. More often than not, George Clooney’s name shows up on the list. No shock — Clooney is a boss on the red carpet. Has been for years. But GQ just released its annual 20 Most Stylish Men Alive list and, with it, took the following swipe at him:
FWIW: George Clooney may be an icon of manliness to those of us who were born before 1985, but nobody under the age of thirty seems to think of him as particularly stylish.
Under thirty crowd comment aside, I’m prone to agree that his casual gear could use some touching up. Here’s why, and what you can learn from it:
1) Tequila t-shirt: if you run a business, don’t turn yourself into a human billboard for it. I get the irony — Clooney’s net worth is estimated at $180 million. He doesn’t need to hawk tequila. But the t-shirt does nothing for him, and it makes him look like he’s stepping out in old, dirty clothes.
2) Dad jeans: it’s no secret that dad jeans do not a style icon make. Some dad jeans are worse offenders than others, and while these aren’t most awful ones I’ve seen, they are indeed very bad with their stumpy-leg and diaper-butt cut. Especially with his leggy new wife Amal, the last thing Clooney should do is wear jeans that make his bottom half look squat.
3) Backpack and jacket: looking for a surefire way to look like a clod and ruin your tailored clothing while you’re at it? Wear a backpack with your sport or suit jacket! This is one of the worst style mistakes a guy can make, and I am still trying to retrieve the contents of my head after its explosion thanks to the image above.
What do you think of Clooney’s style? Do you agree he’s losing his edge? Let me know in the comments below.
Today’s post is a guest piece written by Ruth Domber, owner of 10/10 Optics.
Your eyewear just may be one of the most important accessories you wear. This one item can create the image that you’d most like to project. Your specs say as much about you as the clothes on your back. With that in mind, here’s how to choose frames that will make you look attractive. [Julie note: many women find glasses super sexy on a man, so it pays to find frames that truly flatter you.]
Size matters The best nonverbal tool you have for communication is your eyes. By choosing a frame with the proper proportions, you maximize eye contact and increase possibilities for communication. Here’s how to figure out the right size: pinpoint the widest part of your face as a guide for width, contour the shape of your brows for height and the top of your cheekbone for depth.
Quick tips for a great fit
*If you have oily skin, stay away from shiny frames and opt for a matte finish instead.
*Make sure that your bridge (nose area) is a perfect fit, as that’s the one part of the frame that cannot be easily corrected if the fit is off.
*The arms of the glasses should not squeeze or push in on the sides of your face.
*How deep should the frames sit on your face? Never past the flare of your nostrils and never resting on your cheeks.
*The arms should be enough length to anchor at your temples at least 1/3 way around the back of your ear.
Color as your best asset If you want to keep it businesslike, stay with blues, garnets and greens. Think about your favorite tie colors, and go in that direction. Color communicates individuality, creativity and openness to new
ideas. You can keep it subtle or go big.
If you’re more into neutrals, use your hair or eye color as a simple way to find your best tones. And if you’re not sure about color, try natural materials. Horn, wood and leather are all tactile and elegant choices.
Let your glasses be an outward representation of who you are on the inside. If you’re still unsure of what works for you, try on a few styles, take some pictures and compare to figure out which suits you best.
If you’re in the NYC-area and in need of new glasses or sunglasses, I highly recommend you check out 10/10 Optics. It’s one of my favorite local style resources!
I’m always on the lookout for the perfect style topic to share with you in each post. And I was looking back through my archives recently when it occurred to me that there are some gems in there you may have missed. So in case you didn’t see them the first go-round, below are four of my favs that I think you’ll find useful.
How to Change Your Hair Style (George Clooney sets a good example above)
Guest article by Napper Tandy of ntandy belts
A man’s belt is often a missed opportunity to have a little fun by providing a spin to whatever you’ve decided to don and exit your home in. There are no hard and fast fashion rules one should live by other than the fact that it’s dangerous to overly color coordinate. Matching a brightly colored belt with your shirt, shoes or socks can become hazardously close to fast food uniform territory.
That said, socks that have some small colored polka dots or stripes, or a nato watch band of the same color, work… but tread lightly.
When it comes to adding a shirt, you can never lose with a white oxford and/or a shirt which features a bit of the belt color on display.
These thoughts above work for khaki, olive green or other earth-toned pants as well. Just always remember not to get too matchy or clashy. It’s not advised to go with green pants and a green belt.
Help a suit take itself less seriously.
People often ask if one can wear a suit with a colorful belt? The answer is hell yes, but like everything in life it’s all about context. One shouldn’t wear a red belt with a navy blue suit to a private wealth management meeting with new clients. But, one could wear it to dress down a suit when he still wants to look fearless on the street or while enjoying a cocktail at a bar. A colorful belt with a suit is like a pair of sneakers with a suit – a dash of cranberry in vodka to ease the bite.
Headed to the Bahamas to recharge your soul? Colorful belts party with tropical flair like Hunter Thompson at a Hell’s Angel kegger. Just remember again, stay away from overly matchy or clashy — contrast is king. Be bold, but work smarter not harder.
Guest post by Korinne Kubena Belock, of Urban Simplicity.
Whether your closet is a large, roomy walk-in or the standard New York City shoebox of a space, keeping it organized is key to getting out the door as efficiently as possible. Once you’ve followed Julie’s steps from this article to get your closet in order, consider following a few best practices to keep common categories of items organized.
Ideally your end result is as dreamy as…
Clothing – For shirts and jackets, the best bet is hanging items on matching hangers, organized by type, then color. For shirts, I like Real Simple Slimline Hangers and a sturdier hanger for suits and blazers. Sweaters are best folded on open shelving, organized by color, and always use a shelf divider to keep stacks upright. In a dream world, every man’s closet would include a pull-out pant rack.
Shoes – In some ways organizing men’s shoes is so much easier than ladies – simply because there are generally fewer of them. That said, the best way to keep shoes organized is open shelving so you can see everything you own. Always place your go-to shoes in sight-line with the shoes you wear less often, either up high or down low. And remember to keep casual and work shoes separate for easy access.
Accessories – Are your belts piled in a corner and ties balled up with the knots still in them? I hope not! For belts, hooks are the way to go with a pull-out rack or simple hanger. Ties can be hung on a similar hook system or rolled and stored in a shallow drawer – always use drawer organizers and group ties by color. In closets with very limited space, I like to utilize the back of the door, and this valet system from Longstem Organizers is a great option that also keeps items like cuff links, sunglasses, and keys organized.
The Basics – The best solution for everyday items like socks, underwear, undershirts and tees is to neatly fold them in drawers. Drawer organizers can be used to keep socks and underwear in order. For undershirts and tees, a good fold is key to make sure items don’t get buried. I always suggest folding tees and “filing” them away.
Lesser Used Items – Consider storing lesser used items, like swim suits and baseball caps, in coordinated bins on higher shelving. Don’t forget to label the bins.
Dirty Laundry and Dry Cleaning – The number one way to wreck a closet space it to leave dirty laundry lying around. Always have an open top bin to quickly throw things into. For clients with lots of dry cleaning, I always suggest a separate smaller bin to toss those items into to make drop-off easy on your way to work.
Drop Zone – Men’s closets in particular can quickly become cluttered with everyday items like wallets, keys, change, receipts, and business cards. If there’s space, create a drop zone to organize these items on an open shelf using small catchall trays and bowls.
Korinne Kubena Belock, founder and owner of Urban Simplicity, a professional organizing company based in New York City. Learn more about her company’s services at UrbanSimplicityNYC.com.
I spend a lot of time in guys’ closets, and let me tell you, I’ve seen it all. From paint cans and bikes to ladies’ underwear, closets can easily become a catch-all for all the stuff we don’t have the time or energy to deal with. So we just toss it in, close the door, and forget about it until we have to get dressed again the next morning. With Spring upon us, now is an excellent time for a closet sweep and organization. Below is my 6-step process for how to whip your closet into shape.
1) Go through everything in your closet and assess it for fit, style and function. Refer to this post for the seven questions to ask yourself about each item as you decide whether to keep, donate, or toss. The questions make it crystal clear as to how to handle each item. During a purge, I like to lay out garbage bags flat on the floor and then pile all the giveaway items on top so I can track as I go how much is being removed.
2) As you’re going through items in Step 1, remove the wire dry-cleaning hangers (and plastic dry cleaning bags). They can damage your clothes, which costs you money in the long run because it means you have to replace them sooner. Swap them out for wooden or plastic ones, and if you’re pressed for space, use slim-line hangers. If the majority of the hangers in your closet are uniform, you’ll eliminate distraction, and it will be easier for you to find what you’re looking for when you need it.
3) Turn everything to face in the same direction, and organize by type, and then color. That means, put all your dress shirts together, and within that bucket, all solid white shirts, solid blue shirts, blue patterns, etc., go together. I get that this may be hard for you to maintain, but if you do it now and find that it saves you time when getting ready in the morning, you may be more likely to stick with it in the long run. (I don’t know about you, but anything that helps find what I need to get out the door in the morning faster, thereby affording me more sleep, is priority).
4) Keep shoes neatly stacked on a shoe rack or in shoe boxes. Use shoe trees for nice shoes.
5) Put belts on a belt rack and ties on a tie rack (or you can roll each neatly and put them in a drawer). Each different “type” of item should be kept together.
6) Anything you don’t use on a daily or weekly basis like luggage or sports equipment should be kept outside the main areas of your closet. You want easy access for the things you need frequently; everything else can be out of sight and less accessible.
Stay tuned for my next dispatch, a guest post from one of my favorite resources, closet organizer Korinne Kubena Belock. She’s going to get down and dirty with more specifics for how certain items should be stored for easiest access and maximum longevity.
In the meantime, you can get started on your Spring cleaning project. Leave me a comment below to let me know how it goes for you.
And if you’re still feeling lost with how to whip your wardrobe into shape, my Next Level Style course might be for you. In it, I spend a whole section on how to do this, including how to create a “gaps list” to determine what’s missing from your closet and how to go about acquiring these items in a strategic and intelligent way. The course also has a bunch of great bonuses, including a $50 Nordstrom gift card. Click here for more info.
Have you been wondering about getting a custom suit or shirt but aren’t sure where to start? Between the newspaper ads (“3 suits, 2 shirt and a tie for $199!” – what??) and the Hong Kong tailors coming to your office with wheelie bags full of fabrics, the whole thing can be pretty overwhelming. I’ve been working with custom tailors for my one-on-one clients since starting my business and based on that, I put together the guide below for you on how to choose wisely. Your results, after all, are directly related to who you select to make your clothes.
And before you get dollar signs in your eyes at the talk of custom clothing, you should know that you can often save money buy going custom. That’s because you’re not (typically) paying a premium for a brand name or store overhead.
If you have time to devote to the process, 9 times out of 10, guys are better off with custom clothing (particularly for suits, sportcoats, dress shirts and tuxedos) than off-the-rack. Time frames can vary widely, taking anywhere from 4 to 12+ weeks from the time of the order. It’s an up-front investment of time that pays off in the end: when you’re done, the clothier has your measurements and knows how to fit you, so you don’t have to go through major fit adjustments each time. And of course the biggest benefit to going custom is that your clothes will fit you immeasurably (haha) better than off-the-rack. The second biggest benefit is that you get to select the exact fabric and details you want.
Once you’ve decided you want to make the move to custom, it’s key to find someone reliable and who does good work. Here’s how to do that:
1) Look on local listings like yelp or other user-review sites for well-recommended ones in your area.
2) Google “best custom clothier/suits/shirts [where you live].” If you live in a major city, the local magazines often rate area vendors like custom clothiers, so check their websites as well.
3) If you come across any men with bang-on style, ask them where they’re doing their shopping. Chances are these guys will have a great custom tailor they can recommend to you.
Create a running list as you go and rule out any that are not comfortable for your budget (as I said above, you can save money by going custom, but prices can vary greatly depending on where you go). Take that narrowed-down list and make introductory appointments with your top 2 or 3 choices. Any good custom clothier will allow you to come in to meet with a salesperson and check things out in general without any pressure to buy. Here are some things to find out when you’re there:
1) How custom are they? – There are various levels of “custom clothing,” and it’s a term that’s used quite liberally for anything from made-to-measure to full bespoke. So it’s best to find out exactly what level of custom you’re getting with each clothier. (Try to find someone who actually makes a custom pattern for you, as opposed to made-to-measure. With MTM, they take a base pattern that already exists and alter it to fit you.)
2) Canvassing vs fusing – This refers to the construction of a suit jacket or sportcoat. Fully canvassed suits will last longer and drape better on your body than those that are fused (the latter basically means glued together). A canvassed suit has a layer of wool and typically horsehair between the outer and inner layer of the jacket, giving it body and helping it be more durable. A fused suit can develop “bubbling” on the lapel after a few rounds of dry cleaning or if you get caught in the rain. So ideally you’re looking for a custom tailor within your budget who offers fully canvassed suits.
3) Selection of fabrics – Look for fabric books from known brands like Zegna, Holland & Sherry, Loro Piana, Vitale Barberis, Thomas Mason and Canclini. If the clothier carries a variety of books from these brands, that is usually a sign of legitimacy. A broader selection will also make it easier for you to choose and get just what you want.
4) Details – Do they have a variety of options when it comes to details like buttons and thread color for monogramming/stitching? It’s better to have more options than fewer. And do they use real mother of pearl and horn buttons and bemberg linings? Ask. These details are an important sign of quality.
5) Fit confirmation – For your first order, the clothier should only put one test for each type of item through first to confirm fit. Then, once fit has been confirmed (and any needed alterations have been made), they can put through the remaining items. Don’t work with a clothier who orders everything up front. In addition, most clothiers will have you pay for all or half of your items upon ordering, so it’s in your best interest to place a small order initially, and once you’ve confirmed you’re happy with the process and results, you can go back and order additional items.
6) Fittings – Any good custom tailor will want you to have at least two fittings (the number of fittings you need will depend on how “tricky” your body type is) to make sure the fit is right. If they simply order the clothes and tell you that you can come pick up, that’s a problem.
7) The cut – I’ve worked with a variety of custom tailors, and some have a standard cut (i.e., slim, classic, etc.) which they will automatically give you unless otherwise requested. And others will ask you how you want things to fit. If you want a slim, modern fit, but you choose someone who cuts more traditional, you’ll end up in a suit that feels too boxy to you. Go with someone who will deliver the type of fit you want and who will also talk it over with you if necessary to help you decide.
8) End result – The tailor you end up with should have a guarantee that you’ll be happy with the fit in the end, and if you aren’t that they’ll alter and/or redo items as needed until you are.
Based on the above, you can make an informed decision as to who your best option is.
Do you use a custom clothier? If so, how has your experience been? If not, what’s holding you back? Let me know in the comments below.
Does any of the following sound like you?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it’s likely time for a style upgrade.
Updating your style can include anything from a complete wardrobe and grooming overhaul to simply adding a handful of outfits to your closet. It all depends on your particular needs.
There are 3 routes you can take to achieving your upgrade:
1) DIY – Look through magazines and at blogs and earmark guys with styles who you like. Make a list of the individual elements of their looks that appeal to you specifically. Put that list in order of priority (you don’t want to try everything new all at once, or you could go down the path of fashion victim). This list may also be affected by your budget, i.e., if what you like is going to be very expensive, say a certain type of suit, that may need to go lower on the list than something less pricey like trying out some cool patterned socks. Make your way down the list incorporating one new element every few weeks. You can also check out this piece on how to define your personal style if you’re unsure even of what appeals to you.
2) Semi-Assisted – There are online courses which can teach you how to become self-sufficient with styling yourself with varying levels of individual help. You can check out my courses Next Level Style and What Looks Good on You and see if those resonate for you. Many of these courses (including mine) offer satisfaction guarantees and are therefore completely risk-free to try.
3) Fully-Assisted – Find an image or style consultant to help you one-on-one. Working with someone who is seasoned and knows what he or she is doing is a serious financial investment (my average client spends several thousand dollars to work with me). I would also highly recommend working with someone who specializes in consulting for men. You want someone who lives and breathes this stuff, and in my experience many image consultants who work with both men and women only work with men a small fraction of the time and therefore aren’t necessarily on top of the menswear market. Do a google search for “men’s image consultant/style consultant/personal stylist/personal shopper [where you live]” and see what comes up. You can also go to AICI.org and check their listings for accredited image consultants in your area.
You should be able to tell pretty quickly from the person’s website if they’re the right fit for you. The aesthetic of their website is a direct reflection of his or her taste, which, given the visual nature of the business, is key. If you can’t find anyone you like in your area, then look for someone who does online consultations, and you might also consider traveling. I’ve had people fly coast-to-coast to work with me, and it makes sense if you think about it: the amount of money you spend on airfare and hotel could very possibly equal the amount of money you spend on mistake shopping purchases if you choose with the wrong consultant just because he or she is located near you. If it’s in your budget, you may also consider flying the consultant in to see you. It’s certainly more convenient if you can swing it.
Finally, if one-on-one seems like it’s going to be out of your budget, then contact a local fashion school with styling programs and ask if any of their students are looking for practice clients. Many up-and-coming stylists actually are looking for people to style, and they’ll help you either for free (in exchange for images for their website and/or testimonials) or at reduced rates. I worked with a practice client when I was at FIT, and it worked out great for both of us!
Are you ready to take the plunge to upgrade your style? If so, let me know in the comments below what you’re going to do first.