Tag Archives: Casual Attire

Pro Tips: Jean Tailoring FTW

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Men's Image Consultant: How to Tailor Your Jeans

There very few things like a perfectly-fitting pair of jeans on a man (the above British GQ spread of Matthew McConaughey-hey-hey is pretty good proof). And the way you have them tailored — or not — can make or break them. I recently did a jean overhaul with a client, and as we were having them tailored, I realized that even though I’ve already written about how to find a great-fitting pair of jeans, it’s also important to talk about the tailoring. 

1. When shortening jeans that have any kind of distressing or detailing along the hemline, ask the tailor to re-use the original hem. That means he or she will remove the hem that’s already there, cut the jeans shorter, and then reattach the hem higher up. And you get to avoid that my-mom-hemmed-my-jeans look that distressed jeans get when they’re just folded under and hemmed normally. If your tailor doesn’t know how to do this, find another tailor.

2. Check the waist — if it gaps when you put a belt on but fits well through the seat and thighs, the waist needs to be taken in. Ideally, though, your jeans should fit well everywhere, so I’d only suggest this for jeans you already own or that are on super sale. 

3. During tailoring, wear the shoes you plan on wearing most often with the jeans. That way, you and the tailor can choose the length based on that. Keep in mind that once you’ve chosen a length based on heel height, you’ll be limited to shoes with the same or similar heel height. If you have a broad range of shoe types (which hopefully you do — if not, here’s my post on the 6 essential shoes every guy should have in his closet), then not every pair of jeans is going to work with every shoe — i.e, you’ll have some that will work with flip flops and flat loafers but not with your dress shoes. So it makes sense to think ahead when having your jeans hemmed as to which shoes you’ll be wearing them most frequently with. And once you’ve decided, make sure you actually bring those shoes to the tailor when you go.

Men's Image Consultant: How to Tailor Your Jeans

4. Taper jeans that are excessively wide-legged. Elephant leg, as we’ve discussed, is not a good look. It can make your legs look short and stumpy — not recommended! This often happens unintentionally when jeans get shortened — the tailor brings them up without realizing that the new bottom of the jeans is unflatteringly wide. So take a good look at the width of the jeans around the new hemline to see if it needs tapering. Some jeans only need a slight taper to just above the ankles, and others need it almost as high as the knee.

Do you have any tips or tricks for how you get your jeans tailored perfectly? Please share in the comments!

Cheers,

Julie


The One Shoe Type That Works with Almost Any Outfit

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Men's Style Consulting: What Shoes to Wear

What would you say if I told you there was one shoe you could wear with just about anything on a daily basis? You’d be all over that, right? It’s true. A medium brown lace-up dress shoe can be worn with any outfit except for a tuxedo, a black suit (which you shouldn’t be wearing anyway), and shorts. Wear them with jeans, chinos, suits and dress pants.

One of the places I always recommend investing in wardrobe-wise is shoes — you’re better off buying one pair of quality shoes and replacing them as needed every 5 years or so, than a crappy quality shoe that you have to replace every year. When it comes to making the most of your footwear investment, another key to keep in mind is not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. If you rotate your shoes, they’ll last a whole lot longer.

So if you’re going to make an investment shoe purchase, I highly recommend a medium-brown lace-up. They can have a cap toe, no cap toe (see above), or you can do a wingtip (see below).

Men's Style Consulting: What Shoes to Wear

Cheers,

Julie


How to Wear Man Jewelry

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Men's Image Consulting: How to Wear Man Jewelry

Man jewelry is one of those things that a lot of guys are curious about but are not sure how to (or if they even can) pull off. I get it — it’s so easy to do it wrong, that it’s almost too intimidating to try. Take my long-time client “A,” for example, who works for a management consulting firm. When we first started working together several years ago, every Friday when he came home from the office, he’d put on a colorful beaded necklace. This was his way of marking that the weekend had begun and he was transitioning into hip and relaxed dad mode. Only issue was the necklace looked like one of those candy necklaces kids wear (that’s actually what I thought it was the first time I saw it — oops). Not exactly cool dad material. Even though A didn’t quite execute, I give him props for trying. Fortunately this problem had an easy solution — we ditched the necklace in favor of a more masculine-feeling and subdued combination of bracelets that he looked forward to putting on every weekend and that didn’t make him look like he shopped for accessories at the candy store.

How can you avoid looking like a casualty when it comes to wearing man jewelry? I’ve put together the following 8 basic rules for you to follow so you can get it right the first time, plus a few pix from around the web for inspiration. [Note: for the purposes of this post, I’ll only be addressing casual jewelry — necklaces, bracelets and non-wedding band rings — as that’s what I see guys struggling the most with].

Men's Image Consulting: How to Wear Man Jewelry

  1. The less shiny the better. Shiny jewelry can come off as cheesy, so if you’re thinking of incorporating metal into your jewelry repertoire, go for darker tones and matte finish. Texture within a piece can also reduce shine and make it more wearable. Bottega Veneta and David Yurman make great textured metal pieces (woven, grooved, etc.).
  2. Man jewelry doesn’t have to be metal. Consider pieces made of materials like rope, leather, wood and beads for a durable, earthy look. Think masculine shapes — things like bars, nail heads, hooks, spikes, arrows, anchors, shapes with strong lines and hard angles, and antlers all give off a manly vibe that works well in jewelry.
  3. Bracelets > necklaces. If you’re just dipping your toes in, I highly recommend starting with a bracelet or two, as opposed to a necklace. It’s a more subdued statement that won’t completely take over your look the way a necklace does. You can wear one bracelet next to your watch, or a few on their own. And don’t be afraid to mix a couple colors or textures, while keeping the overall look tasteful. Once you’re wearing it, try not to fiddle. Put it on, then forget about it.
  4. But if you’re already a style renegade, go ahead and jump in with a necklace. A good length is somewhere between your collarbone and the middle of your chest. And one or two at a time is your max.
  5. If you’re going to try rings, the most in my opinion a man can safely pull off is 2 or sometimes 3 per hand, and keep in mind the masculine shape element in #2 above.
  6. Try vintage. Vintage pieces often have a patina that give wonderful character to man jewelry. Bonus: they can also be good conversation starters. Things that are interesting and look like they have a story to them pique peoples’ interest.
  7. Keep your build in mind. If you’re smaller-boned, go for smaller-scale pieces. Similarly, if you’re a big guy, you don’t want to dwarf overly-delicate pieces.
  8. Don’t match…complement. If your watch is black leather with silver-tone metal, then don’t pick a black and silver bracelet to wear with it. Try a royal blue instead, something that will work with the cool tones. In general, warm tones (gold, mustard yellow, forest green, eggplant, maroon) work together, and cool tones (purple, royal blue, blue-based red) work together. If you’re curious about how to combine colors for the best possible effect, you may want to check out my online style course, Next Level Style, which has a full section on color.
images via GQ, Giles and Brother Instagram

Do the front tuck

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Men's Image Consulting: Half Tuck Shirt

Have you tried the front-tuck yet? It’s one of the best (and easiest) ways to create that undone-done look that makes it look like you’re not trying too hard.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Pick a t-shirt or button-up shirt that fits you well and that hits about halfway down the fly of your pants.
  2. Button your shirt all the way to the bottom. (Even though the front will be tucked in, it’s easier to control if it’s buttoned).
  3. Tuck the front of your shirt into your jeans or chinos (again, these should fit well).
  4. Don’t think too hard about what you’re about to do next.
  5. Pull the front out so that it’s blousing over your pant waistband as in the image above. The front/center 3/4 of the shirt should stay inside your pants.
  6. Go on with your day! The less you fuss around with this look, the better.

Note: this does not work with baggy shirts (it just looks sloppy), so make sure you don’t skip step 1!

image via people.com


Fall Jacket Picks

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Fall jackets represent one of the biggest gaps in a man’s s wardrobe. And as I’ve mentioned before, your outerwear sets the tone for your entire look. It’s the first thing people see on you when you walk in the door, and the last thing they see when you leave. So even if the outfit you’re wearing underneath it is on point, a jacket that’s off kills the whole look. 

Below are my Fall jacket picks for this year in a range of price points.

$0-300

Men's Image Consultant: Fall Jacket

Asos Burgundy Peacoat $126 – This one is a little out there with the burgundy color, but the classic peacoat style keeps it grounded. It’s for the guy that wants to think outside the box while maintaining a level of convention.

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$300-500

Men's Personal Shopper: Bonobos jacketBonobos grey quilted $328- The heather grey on this jacket is universally flattering, and the waist tabs in the back allow for a trim fit around the waist where many jackets balloon out.

Men's Style Consultant: Aether Apparel JacketAether Apparel blue zip $395 – This Aether Apparel jacket is perfect for a sporty yet tailored look. I love this brand because their clothing is performance-focused but still manages to look sharp on.

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$500-1000

Men's Personal Shopper: Belstaff Fall jacket

Belstaff navy quilted and ribbed $650 – Known for well-made and stylish outerwear, Belstaff jackets are an easy win. (David Beckham is a fan — he has a capsule collection with Belstaff of moto-inspired pieces which I also recommend checking out.) I like the combination of the knit and quilted textures in this one.

 

Men's Style Consultant: Belstaff Fall jacket

Belstaff multi-toned wool and nylon $850 – Similar to the navy Belstaff above, the mixture of different colors and textures in this jacket give it a strong visual appeal.

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$1000+

Men's Image Consultant: Thomas Maier Fall jacket

Tomas Maier grey cashmere $1250 – This faux shearling cashmere jacket is understated luxury at its best. The knit texture gives it a relaxed sweater-y feel, and yet it’s tailored enough that you could also wear it more dressily.

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Early Fall is the best time to buy because selections are good, and many stores are running sales. Don’t delay — if you wait too long, you run the risk of there being nothing left in your size, and you being stuck jacket-less until next year.

What’s your Fall outerwear of choice this season?

Cheers,

Julie

 


The only swimsuit style you need

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Men's Style Advice: Swimwear

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.

I like the brands Orlebar Brown (one of my go-to’s for clients), along with Frescobol Carioca and Robinson Les Bains for this style.

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.

Cheers,

Julie


Where George Clooney Gets It Wrong

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George Clooney Style

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.

Cheers,
Julie


How to Up Your Belt Game

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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.

Men's Online Style Course: How to Wear a Belt

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.

Men's Online Style Course: How to Wear a Belt

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.

Men's Online Style Course: How to Wear a 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.

Tropical storm?
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.

Men's Online Style Course: How to Wear a Belt

Napper Tandy is the founder and creative brains behind ntandy belts. Read more about Napper here, and check out his belt designs here.


Two Easy Outfits to Help You Stand Out From the Crowd

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Have you ever been out on the weekend or after work and looked around to see that there are basically 2 or 3 types of outfits every guy is wearing, and no one is standing out from the crowd (in a good way)? Most guys are wearing what they wore earlier that day (jeans and logo’d/giveaway t-shirt, and blue button-down and khakis are two examples), with no effort to step it up for going out.

How incredibly boring! Dressing this way is certainly not going to help you be attractive to new women, much less the one you’re already with if you are in a relationship.

With the above in mind, I put together 2 sharp going out looks that you can recreate easily either using these specific items or a variation on each theme. The first is dressier, for when you truly want to dress to impress. And the second less so.

Also, if you’re looking to try to learn how to put great looks together yourself, I included reasoning behind my the choices.

 

Men's Style Tips: What to Wear on a DateGrey suit, J. Crew, $650 (Gray reads friendlier and less business than navy.)

Chambray shirt, Theory, $195 (A denim or chambray dress shirt is a nice departure from the everyday dress shirt for business. It shows some thought was put into creating a stylish look.)

Red tie, Billy Reid, $59 (The texture in this tie contrasts well against the smoothness of the chambray shirt above. Texture will also make you look approachable, which is a good thing for when you’re going out and looking to meet people, or on a date.)

Blue tie bar, The Tie Bar, $15 (A tie bar is a small detail that adds visual interest and reflects style prowess. If you want to stand out from the crowd, this is the perfect way to do so without being loud or obnoxious, a trap many guys fall into when dressing for going out – in effort to be noticed.)

White and gray pocket square, The Tie Bar,$8 (This pocket square is simple and classy yet adds a stylish touch to the outfit.)

Brown shoes, Massimo Matteo, $169 (Double-monk shoes will allow you to look sharp and distinguish you from all the other guys in loafers and laceups.)

Grey socks, J. Crew, $14 (Because there’s a fair amount going on otherwise in the look, I kept the socks quiet and matched them to the suit pants, a stylist trick that elongates your legs.)

Brown belt, Magnianni, $125 (I kept it classy, matching belt to shoes.)

 

Men's Style Tips: What to Wear on a Date

Purple gingham shirt, Proper Cloth, $85 (Women can find it boring when men wear the same color light blue dress shirts day in and day out. Wearing purple shows creativity, and it’s a good conversation starter.)

Jeans, John Varvatos, $228 (The slight wear in the rinse on these jeans lend them a somewhat casual feel, which works well with the tweed fabric of the vest.)

Brown vest, Billy Reid, $159 (It’s easy to fall into the trap of wearing all black when going out, mainly because you don’t know what else to do. But this can make you look remote and unapproachable. The softness of the brown and textured fabric on this vest will lend you a friendly air instead.)

Navy knit tie, J. Crew, $59 (I kept the tie simple so as not to draw away from the patterns in the vest and shirt. The texture in the knit keeps you approachable, as above with the vest.)

Tan belt, John Varvatos, $295 (This belt works with the brown in both the vest and shoes. The subtle details give the outfit more personality than a plain brown belt would, but the statement is not so strong that it draws away from everything else.)

Bracelet, Miansai, $60 (For an element of fun, I’d add this bracelet in. Blue and purple work together because they’re analogous colors, i.e., they sit next to each other on the color wheel.)

Brown chukka boots, H by Hudson, $285 (Brown shoes work best with this outfit due to the brown in the vest. Chukkas are a nice boot option in a look like this, as they’re casual but certainly not boring.)

The playful and stylish elements of these looks clearly distinguish them from typical office garb, making it clear that the wearer knows how to dress for play vs for work.

How do you like to dress for going out? Let me know in the comments below how the outfits above have inspired you!

Cheers,

Julie


This Versatile Wardrobe Item May Surprise You

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Just because you’re not a cowboy, doesn’t mean you should ignore the denim shirt. Sure, you can wear a denim shirt on the ranch, but you can also wear it to the office, on a date, out for dinner – just about anywhere. How rugged vs. fine the material is dictates how dressy you can take it. Also, dark rinses read fancier than light ones.

Here are 4 ways to wear a denim shirt in order from casual to dressy:

men's style: denim shirt1) Weathered with pockets. Wear a different shade of denim on bottom for the optimal Canadian tuxedo. If you need help with the “downstairs” portion of the look, here’s my primer on how to find flattering jeans.

men's style tips: denim shirt2) Half-buttoned over a v-neck or henley (tucked or not; only tuck in if you can do so without it looking sloppy). Try a jean-style chino or corduroy on bottom.

men's style advice: denim shirt3) Medium to dark wash with dress pants. Throw on a fun belt to add personality to the look.

men's style advice: denim shirt4) Dark rinse with suit and tie. For continuity, your tie should be textured, like a knit, cotton, wool or cashmere (a dressy silk won’t look right on denim). The dark buttons on this shirt make it dressier than the previous three.

Pulling off the denim shirt can be tricky, and you may not have felt confident going there in the past. But hopefully these outfit ideas inspire you to give it a shot. Denim shirts are an excellent way to add versatility to your wardrobe, and it’s a shame not to do it just because you don’t know how to pull it off. Try it, and let me know how you do!

Cheers,

Julie