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:
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
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.
Grey 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.)
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!
During cold weather is a great time to upgrade your style, and while there is so much you can do, I wanted to break it down and make it super simple for you. So I put together three style tips for Fall and Winter that are easy and fun to implement. Read on for #1.
Fall is a confusing time — and it’s upon us. You can be walking down the street and see a guy in a parka on one block and another guy in shorts on the next. How does one dress sensibly when the day starts and ends in the 50’s but peaks in the 70’s at midday?
Winter, too, can be tough to navigate. It’s frigid outside, but the heat is pumping when you get indoors. It’s no fun when the sweat starts rolling down your back the instant you walk in the door. How to avoid this?
The secret lies in the layering.
In order to be fully prepared for these ups and downs, it’s key to have a cadre of thin layers.
Some can be basic, and others patterned. The main thing is to have a mix and not too much of one color.
Pull together a collection of thin v-neck and henley sweaters, thin cardigans, solid t-shirts, cotton henley shirts, sportcoats and transitional jackets (these include field-type jackets, leather or suede, and lightweight bombers). The reason the layers should be thin is that it will give you the ability to regulate your temp most easily. And thinner layers combine more easily together.
You can pile the layers on when it’s cold and peel them off when you overheat. For added panache, consider carrying a small classy duffle to throw your extra layers into.
Something like this:
P.S. Make sure to check out Fall/Winter Style Tip #2 which gives you the rundown on how to choose outerwear.
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:
1) 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.
4) 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!
With the cold weather here (and here to stay), it’s time to consider the sweater. In case you missed it, my advice was referenced in an excellent Wall Street Journal article about how to incorporate sweaters into your look. Even if you’re not typically a sweater-wearer, don’t click away just yet. I’m not talking about the basic sweater-over-a-dress-shirt look — anyone can do that. It’s the non-typical ways to wear knits that I’m interested in. Below are 5 ways to use sweaters to add a fresh spin to your look:
1) Jacket alternative with a casual outfit a.k.a. swacket (sweater-jacket combo) – Leave the North Face in the closet and put on a a chunky sweater instead. As I’ve mentioned before, outerwear is key to pulling together an effective outfit, as it sets the tone for your look. And wearing a sweater as outerwear is a great way to mix things up. The cardigan above from J. Crew is an excellent option (similar here) is an excellent option, as is this one from Billy Reid, which is lined the same way a regular jacket is and therefore provides good protection from the elements.
2) Cardigan worn as a sport coat – In lieu of a sportcoat, wear a shawl collar cardigan like the one above from Suit Supply with a dress shirt and tie. This is a smart look for a cozy evening holiday party. You can also add a tailored menswear vest for further visual interest and warmth.
3) Vest worn over shirt and tie – This is a nice choice when it’s not cool enough for a full-sleeved sweater like in #2. Above is another option from Suit Supply which shows how to do this. The teal blue sweater paired with the rust orange pants is a solid Fall color combo. Leave the bottom button undone as you would with a regular menswear vest.
4) Sweater in place of dress shirt – This is a very sophisticated look, especially when done tone-on-tone as in the runway image above from Valentino (the model also has a grey scarf tucked into the sweater).
5) Thin cardigan under suit or sportcoat – On days where it’s not quite cold enough for an overcoat over your suit/sportcoat, throw on a cardigan as an in-between layer. If you want to try this look, make sure that the cardigan is thin and try leaving the top and bottom buttons open for a less “done” look as in the above image.
Two additional notes…
-Because wearing sweaters can get hot indoors, it’s key to dress in layers which can be easily removed and replaced. The above looks work well in this way, as they each have pieces that can be removed and added back as needed.
-Bear in mind that because knitwear has texture, it’s inherently going to impart a casual feel to your look. The less textured the sweater is, the more dressy it will be. So if you’re wearing one of these looks for work but don’t want to be too dressed down, make sure it’s a fine knit with a smooth surface to it.
Sweaters can often feel stuffy and “old,” but if you try them in new and unconventional ways as above, you’ll breathe new life into your look.
How are you wearing sweaters this season?
I’ve been getting more and more requests from clients wanting outfits with interesting layered combinations. These types of looks are comprised of simple, classic pieces (things everyone should have in his closet), but when pulled together correctly, they become a whole greater than its parts. It’s clear that some thought was put into the look, but there’s no risk of looking like you tried too hard. If you’re the kind of person who wants to be noticed for your style but not right away (i.e., “who’s the sharp guy in the corner…?”), this style of dressing is perfect for you.
In order to have a wardrobe where you can do this you must first collect enough pieces that combine well. Below are 12 essentials to get you started mixing and matching:
1) Navy blazer – note: this must fit impeccably or the entire look is shot.
2) Grey sportcoat – see note above.
3) Thin hoodie – I like this fleece wool one from Thinple because it’s polished despite being a hoodie.
4) Great-fitting jeans – dressy and dark or weathered and sporty are fair game but please nothing crazy on the back pockets.
5) Casual pants like chinos or corduroys.
6) Patterned t-shirt – this Missoni shirt would look terrific peeking out beneath a solid navy henley, under a sportcoat.
7) Henley – solid neutrals should be your first choice, but once you’ve got a few as a foundation, you can go for something with a pattern or pop of color.
8) Workshirt/Shacket – denim, corduroy, flannel worn untucked and either unbuttoned or buttoned partially (to show the layers beneath). Note: when wearing with a lightweight jacket (see #12), it’s OK if the hemline on this piece is longer than the jacket. It adds to the outfit’s visual texture.
9) Thin sweater – think v-neck, zip-neck, or cardigan. Cardigans in my opinion get a bad rap. They aren’t just for grandpa looks. In fact, as part of an interesting layered combination, they take on a whole new life. Stylist tip: leave the top and bottom buttons undone. (Ryan Gosling, as usual with all things sartorial, knows what’s up.)
10) Thick sweater – a shawl collar is always a good choice, or the one from Agnès B above I just got for a client. I love the stripes inside the collar. With menswear, the snappily-dressed devil is in the details.
11) Thin outerwear-type vest – wear over or under your sportcoat (you won’t be able to button the sportcoat with the vest under it; that’s OK.) You can go for down as in this great street style shot from The Sartorialist above, or if you want a more manly man vibe, I am very much into this weathered leather number from Billy Reid.
12) Lightweight jacket – here’s a good one from Belstaff.
13) Boots – most layered looks that you’ll be building are going to be casual, so boots like chukkas, chelseas or lace-ups are in order to complete the look.
14) Scarf – a lot of guys think wearing scarves as part of an outfit (as opposed to just keeping warm) is “advanced” dressing. They’re right! But if you’re reading this article, that’s proof you’re committed to the cause, and you are absolutely up for it. Here’s a shot of a well-tied scarf I saw on a mannequin last week. The way to execute this is 1. fold the scarf in half lengthwise; 2. put it around your neck with folded end on one side and loose ends on other; 3. pull loose ends through loop; 4. tighten slightly; 5. tuck one of the loose ends up into knot.
Keep an open mind when shopping for a wardrobe that works for this style of dressing. Items you might not otherwise consider (like a cardigan) can suddenly become appealing when you see them in combination as part of the whole. Same goes for the Missoni shirt in #6. Maybe it feels a little much on its own, but with just a peek showing as part of a look, it’s perfect. Generally when adding layers, you’ll go from thin to thick as you move out from your body, unless you put a down vest under your sport jacket. And if you get warm, you can easily remove one layer and still have a pulled-together look. Nothing is dependent on anything else. What I really love about dressing this way is that it allows you to build a wardrobe of basic essentials (“the canon” as one of my clients calls it), but you get to play around and show your creativity in pulling together combinations.
How do you like to layer your outfits?
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?
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!
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,
There are few things more devastatingly dashing than a man in a beautifully-fitted tuxedo. If you’ve received an invitation for an event calling for “Black Tie Optional” attire, your best option is – you guessed it – Black Tie. Why not take the opportunity to bring out the big guns? I promise, womens’ heads will turn, and the other guys not in tuxes will wish they had opted otherwise. Check out this shot above from a recent photo shoot for my new website (coming soon!). Pretty good, right?
Relatedly, designers have been showing formalwear looks deconstructed with individual items worn as separates (as seen in my Fall style report). This gives you even more reason to invest in a tux as well as some fun and interesting formalwear elements, which will come in handy when you’re faced with a Creative or Festive Black Tie dress code. Below are my top 5 picks for pieces that will help you mix up your evening gear.
1) Acne Velvet Double-Breasted Tuxedo Jacket — Acne made a splash with their fall lineup of swanky eveningwear separates. This jacket speaks for itself, so keep the rest of the look simple and classic.
2) Acne Jacquard Print Pants – These print pants are next-level style at its best. The trim cut calls for a similarly tailored jacket.
3) Michael Bastian Dinner Jacket – For evening wear with a festive twist, I am very much into this tartan shawl collar dinner jacket. The beauty of this piece is that you can wear it formally as shown above with ivory dress pants, but you can also dress it down with a bowtie, denim dress shirt, boots and cords, as seen in this excellent WSJ article on the topic.
4) Alexander McQueen Black and Gold Stripe-Skull Bowtie – Bring out your inner rebel with this McQueen bowtie. Let it pop against a crisp white shirt, or give it a moodier edge by pairing it with a black or dark grey shirt.
5) Boss Black Contrast-Collar Shirt – Sport this mini-houndstooth shirt with a straight black tie and a shawl collar dinner jacket (bonus points for a lapel with contrasting color).
Even if you don’t have a formal event on the horizon, consider planning ahead with some swanky evening style that will make things easy when that time comes, which it inevitably will. For my full discussion on how to choose a tuxedo, click here.
How do you like to amp up your evening wear?