Tag Archives: Pocket Squares

New Year’s Style Cleanse: 14 Bad Habits that Get the Axe in 2014

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How did 2013 go for you style-wise? Were you totally on point, or was there room for improvement? I’ve been traveling over the past month visiting out of town clients and doing some serious people-watching while on the road. I was sitting in LaGuardia Airport at 6AM one day, and I started a list of don’ts, which grew at each of my stops (Minneapolis, Chicago, North Dakota, and Palm Springs), evolving into the New Year’s Bad Style Cleanse below. Read on for 14 habits to purge from your style diet.

1) Don’t wear a crewneck undershirt with your button-up shirt. Showing your undershirt collar is like showing your underwear, something you don’t want to do in public (I hope). This goes for both casual and dress button-ups. I like Tommy John for great undershirts with v-necks that are low enough not to be visible. Here is my review of the brand.

Men's Personal Shopper: Monk Straps

2) Even if you’re traveling, you shouldn’t wear loafers with a suit. Try monk straps instead, as they can slip on and off easily when going through security (tip: packing a travel-size shoe horn will make your life easier).

3) You can leave the top button of your dress shirt undone with a tie, but don’t have the tie hanging down below your collarbone. Your tie knot should be no more than an inch lower than the top of where your shirt collar closes.

Men's Style Consultant: No Backpack with Suit

4) Never wear a backpack with a suit or sportcoat. It’s terrible for the shoulders. Also, you are going to work, not for a trail run.

5) Don’t wear a striped jacket as though it’s a sportcoat. A striped jacket is only worn as part of a suit, never as a separate.

6) Don’t wear a Hawaiian shirt unless you are going to an actual luau.

Men's Stylist: Avoid Hybrid Shoes

7) Avoid those hybrid sneakers-shoes at all costs. It’s a sneaker or a shoe. Not both.

8) While you’re at it, say no to those hiking-type sneakers for anything other than an actual mountain trek.

9) Skip the strong colognes or aftershaves (Old Spice, I’m talking to you) if you know you’re going to be on an airplane. This is a courtesy to those around you!

10) Grab the waistband of your pants (yes, right now) and yank on it. If you can pull it away from your body more than half an inch, your pants are too big. Go down in size until you find the right fit.

Men's Personal Stylist: Avoid Tie and Pocket Square Combos
11) Avoid pocket square and tie combos that match too closely (and especially ones that come in sets!).

12) A t-shirt is too tight if it pulls such that the fabric creates a diagonal crease from your collarbone to your armpit. Go up a size if this happens to you.

13) Don’t be that guy who wears a parka with ski tags dangling from the zips out to a restaurant. Technical/athletic gear is meant for just that – not date night. This includes outerwear and accessories like hats and gloves. One of my favorite brands of outerwear that gets the job done sharply is Aether.

Men's Image Consultant: Avoid Ties as Wide as Lobster Bibsa lobster bib in the truest sense of the term

14) Don’t wear ties that are too wide for you. This is true even if you paid a lot for it/wide ties may come back in style someday/your Aunt Edna gave it to you. Either donate or send them to somewhere like Tiecrafters to have it narrowed. Here’s my guide on how to choose the best proportion for you.

Now that you’ve effectively cleansed yourself of bad style habits, check out this list of 8 style resolutions to embrace for the new year. Out with the old and in with the new! What are you adding and removing from your style repertoire this year?

Wishing you happiness, health and success in 2014.

Cheers,
Julie


For Love of Linen

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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.

Men's Personal Shopper: Custom Linen Sportcoats

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.

Men's Personal Stylist: Linen Shirt

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?

Men's Personal Shopper: Linen Vest

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.

Men's Personal Stylist: Linen Tie

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.

Men's Image Consultant: Linen Pocket Squares and Sneakers

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?


Need a Last Minute Christmas Gift?

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Men's Style: Tie and Pocket Square Combination

There are officially 3 shopping days left before Christmas, including today. If you still need a gift idea, get him a tie and pocket square combination. He’ll appreciate knowing up front that they work together, which will make his life easier when choosing his outfit in the morning. Here are five combos I put together for a client’s wife at Bergdorf Goodman to get you started.


The Rath & Co. 2012 Holiday Gift Guide

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Socks, swords, and a sled built for speedfreaks…What more could you ask for this holiday season? Read on for 15 Rath-approved holiday gifts.

STOCKING

Men's Style: Wool Suiting Square

1) Make a quick getaway from your style rut with this wool suiting pocket square ($10). Wear it with a navy blazer or suit, a light pastel shirt and a dark wool tie.

 

Men's Style: Russian Coat of Arms Flask

2) For the drink that’s always with you, a stately flask with the Russian coat of arms ($25).

 

Men's Style: Etro Herringbone Socks

3) Socks are a holiday gift list mainstay, and these Etro Herringbone socks won’t disappoint ($39).

 

SNAG

Men's Style: Wool Hat

4) This cozy wool hat ($88) comes in charcoal, navy and cream, so there’s something flattering for everyone.

 

Men's Style: Oliver Spencer Two-Tone Belt

5) I always like to look for belts that are a bit “different” to help my clients define their style, and this two-tone leather belt ($180) is an excellent find with its unexpected blue buckle.

 

Men's Style: Jack Spade Dress Scarf

6) Silk scarves are dressier in feel than their wool or cashmere cousins, but they do work casually. Try one like this Jack Spade dress scarf ($185) draped simply around your neck when a tie is too much and an open collar just isn’t cutting it.

 

Men's Style: Pierrepont Hicks Tie Case

7) The frequent traveler’s defense against wrinkly neckwear: a tie case ($185), this one from Pierrepont Hicks.

 

Men's Style: Champagne Saber

8) Nothing says holiday cheer like swordplay. Make like Napoleon, and open your next bottle of champagne with a Champagne Saber ($189). (Yes, you really can open a champagne bottle with a sword; click for a video play-by-play.)

 

Men's Style: Etro Paisley Scarf

9) Manly yet romantic, this Etro paisley scarf ($245) can take an outfit from zero to sixty with one swift loop around the neck.

 

Men's Style: Burberry Touch Screen Leather Gloves

10) For the guy who can’t afford to be unplugged, try Burberry’s touch screen leather gloves ($325). 

SPLURGE

Men's Style: Folding Beach Chairs and Table

11) Form and function come together elegantly with this collapsible beach table and chair set ($495) which folds down to the size of a tote bag.

 

Men's Style: Loro Piana Suede Belt

12) Sophisticated and sumptuous, this Loro Piana suede belt ($500) works with everything from jeans to a suit. And you don’t need suede shoes to rock this — it works just fine with brown leather in a similar shade.

 Men's Style: Thom Browne Briefcase

13) Nothing beats a smooth black briefcase for making a smart and stylish impression. This one from Thom Browne  ($1850) is a handsome option.

Men's Style: Smythson Rotary Watch Case

14) For the watch connoisseur, this solid leather rotary watch case ($3720) from Smythson has two Swiss-made rotators to keep his timepieces in top-notch condition.

 

Men's Style: Stealth-X Sled

15) The Snolo High Performance Alpine Sled (price upon request) can hit speeds of over 40 mph on average gradient slopes, and, on top of that, it can be folded into a backpack by collapsing one locking nut. Perfect for the speed demon with space issues.

What’s on your wish list this holiday season?


What to Wear This Fall

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I know what you may be thinking:

Fashion trends…whaa? Those don’t apply to me. They’re for hipsters and models and the guys who stand outside the Abercrombie store. Right?

Wrong! Just because your comfort zone is more mainstream than what you see in the runway images below, that doesn’t mean you have to completely ignore the trends. That kind of thinking keeps you from stepping outside the box and trying new looks that can work for you. The key is to remember that you don’t have to dress head-to-toe in these trends; you can instead pull bits and pieces from those that appeal to you and make them your own.

With that in mind, read on for my top 5 Fall trends and corresponding shopping suggestions.

Trend #1 American Gigolo

Fall 2012 Menswear Trends

Inspired by the cult-classic movie, American Gigolo style is all about looking good while enjoying the finer things in life. Think 70’s-inspired details like double-breasted jackets, geometric patterns, double-flap shirt pockets and shearling trims.  One great way to inject some jiggy Gigolo-style into your wardrobe would be with this Michael Kors suede utility jacket, (below, $695).

Mens utility jacket

 

Trend #2 Black Tie

Fall 2012 Menswear Trends

Designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Canali and Givenchy featured a number of sleek looks geared for black tie affairs. While it’s always a good idea to have a well-fitting tux in your closet for formal events, this trend can also inform your more casual looks. Think creatively by pairing Dolce & Gabbana’s midnight blue Martini Tuxedo jacket (£1345) with a pair of jeans as shown below.

Men's tuxedo jacket

 

Trend #3 Horse and Hound

Fall 2012 Menswear Trends

With classic materials like tweed, wool flannel, corduroy, cavalry twill and leather, this equestrian style is perfect for brisk Fall weather. Look for items with quilting, toggles, knee or elbow patches and patch pockets on blazers or sweaters. I am very much into this glen plaid shawl collar sweater ($265) from Polo Ralph Lauren, which captures several of these elements in one look.

Fall 2012 Menswear Trends

 

Trend #4 Old World

Fall 2012 Menswear Trends

The feel is reminiscent of last Fall’s industrial revolution trend but less “dirty” and much more buttoned up. Adding details to your look like gangster stripes, vests, contrast piping, and suspenders are great ways to implement this trend. If the look vibes with you, try Rag & Bone’s light grey vest (below, $325).

Fall 2012 Menswear Trends

 

Trend #5 Tyrolean Folk

Fall 2012 Menswear Trends

Yes, the name of this trend is a little out there, but designers really were inspired by the Tyrolean mountain men of West Austria. Check out the ethnic embroidery, diamond quilting and foulard and paisley patterns in the runway images. As I said above, I wouldn’t suggest the everyday guy dressing head to toe in this look, but it might be fun to try a piece here and there that makes subtle reference to it. I love this non-traditional take on a quilted jacket from Etro ($2065).

Fall 2012 Menswear Trends

 

With Fall around the corner, now’s the perfect time to start thinking about how to adjust your wardrobe for the new season. I hope the trends above inspire you to create looks for yourself that are relevant to your personality, lifestyle and taste.

How are you planning to update your wardrobe for Fall?

(Runway images courtesy of Fashion Snoops.)

Spring 2012 Menswear Trend Report

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Spring has not quite sprung yet here in NYC, but I’ve already been hitting the pavement and interwebs with my styling clients’ needs in mind. Even if you aren’t planning on a complete wardrobe overhaul this Spring, transitional periods like now are great times to take a look at what you own and consider strategically adding a few items that will help you get the most out of what you have. With that in mind, below is my roundup of Spring 2012’s menswear trends, along with corresponding suggestions.

Trend #1 Old Hollywood

Spring 2012 Men's Style Tips: Old Hollywood

Clean, crisp and confident, the Old Hollywood trend is timeless. In many ways, it’s a nod to style icon Cary Grant, known for his simple block colors and classic style. Think white pants, double breasted tailored jackets or sportcoats. For both, make sure the fit is slim, and for the latter, also have it cut on the short side, just covering your seat. Look for white pants from designers like Simon Spurr, Hermes, DSquared2, and Ralph Lauren Black Label ($295) below.

Spring 2012 Men's Style Tips: White Pants

Trend #2 Suburbia

Spring 2012 Men's Style Tips: Suburbia

Spring runways abounded with checks and plaids, frequently in silhouettes that had a 1950’s suburban feel. Think of it as what you might wear to a summer barbecue: gingham, camp shirts, polos and blazers. This blue and green check shirt below ($185) from Billy Reid is an easy example of how to rock this trend.

Spring 2012 Men's Style Tips: Check Shirt

Trend #3 Urban Safari

Men's Spring 2012 Style Tips: Urban Safari

Safari jackets were introduced as part of the British military’s tropical uniform. They’re lightweight for easy mobility and typically contain expandable front pockets. I like the safari jacket because with it, fashion goes hand-in-hand with function, as it can come in many materials and colors (usually neutral) and have additional details like contrast stitching and an attached waist belt. The gorgeous leather one below from Bottega Veneta ($8100) is a luxe example of this look — let’s hope those safari pockets are loaded with cash though because this jam does not come cheap! Of course, there are plenty of other styles out there that are friendlier on the wallet (see here and here). Other ways to incorporate safari style into your wardrobe are via linen fabrics and silk-blend shirts.

Men's Spring 2012 Style Tips: Safari Jacket

A word of caution: when choosing neutral jackets, try to choose a shade that’s flattering on our skin tone. Most of us look better in either cool tones (blue-based, like grey) or warm tones (yellow-based, like tan or olive).

Trend #4 Naval Academy

Men's Spring 2012 Style Tips: Naval Academy

Brands like J. Crew and H&M presented collections with a maritime aesthetic, as seen in details like stripes, ribbed knits, blue/red/white color palettes, nautical prints, Bermuda shorts and Fisherman’s sweaters. This pocket square ($65) from Richard James is a peppy way to work the trend into dressier outfits.

Men's Spring 2012 Style Tips: Pocket Square

I hope you found this trend report helpful and inspiring as you get your wardrobe in gear for Spring. As always, I welcome your comments and questions. And if any of these trends resonate with you, but you’re still not sure how to implement them, please contact me for more tailored help.

Runway photos courtesy of Fashion Snoops.


2011 Holiday Gift Guide

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December is here, and you know what that means: ’tis the season for presents up the ying yang! Below is my top-ten list for holiday gifting. I hope you’re able to find something on here for whoever is on your list (including yourself), and if you’d like shopping help tailored specifically to you, please contact me.

Lanvin men's cufflinks

1.// Lanvin rhodium cufflinks ($335) – Manly in an edgy yet subtle way, these cufflinks will match just about anything in your closet.

2.// Microphone speaker ($24) – This quirky little speaker from MollaSpace comes in gold or silver tone. Perfect for the guy who likes a little extra attention.

Men's wool hats

3.// Wool hats – It takes a certain who-gives-a-damn attitude to wear a pom-pom hat. I like this one from Gant by Michael Bastian (above left; $85) because it has an old school feel, like something a Royal Tenenbaums character would wear. For a less statement-y but still stylish option, try the Christopher Kane hat (above right; $375). The houndstooth pattern is a nice upgrade from the standard solid skully.

Men's Astrakhan hat

4.// Astrakan ambassador hat ($385) – If the giftee in question is more traditional and appreciates old-world style, I would recommend this luxurious Astrakhan hat from the A Suitable Wardrobe store. It’s great for travel because it packs flat.

Viktor & Rolf Patchwork Hat

5.// Viktor & Rolf patchwork scarf ($388) – A scarf is an easy holiday gift because you don’t have to worry about fit. I’m a big fan of this patchwork number from Viktor and Rolf. All of the different patterns and textures give it a rich and interesting feel.

Hugo men's pocket square

6.// Hugo pocket square ($8) – There’s no need to sacrifice style if your gift budget is modest. Snap up this gingham flannel pocket square from The Tie Bar. Its blue and black color combo is sharp in an unexpected way.

David Family Wines 2007 Pinot Noir

7.// David Family Wines 2007 Pinot Noir ($62) – Act fast: David Family Wines is about to end sales on their 2007 Pinot Noir, at which point it will go back into the cellar for additional aging (to be re-released in 2 years for $85/bottle). This gift is perfect for the discerning wine-lover: not only is it unbelievably delicious stuff, it also features a smart-looking leather label.

Manhattan tools

8.// Up Your Manhattan Game – In other booze news, after giving us the right ingredients for a solid Manhattan in last year’s gift guide, this year whiskey enthusiast Josh Wortman shows us what tools to get. He recommends a Japanese glass mixing cup ($53), a bar spoon ($18), and a julep strainer ($11). Josh also likes these very small batch bitters ($18) made by soon-to-open Dutch’s Spirits Distillery in upstate New York. And if you need recipes, grab PDT’s new cocktail book ($16).

Miansi tie bar

9.// Miansai tie bar ($66) – Adding a tie bar is an easy way to take your steez to the next level. Don’t be afraid of the pattern on this one from Miansai. It would work well paired with a solid grey wool or cashmere tie and the blue and black pocket square in #6 above.

Tenue de Nimes x Travelteq men's laptop bag

10.// Travelteq X Tenue de Nîmes laptop bag (€395) – Time is of the essence if you’re into this handsome limited edition Tenue bag: only 50 pieces were made. The mashup of two traditional materials – Florentine Vacchetta leather and Japanese selvage chambray – gives it a classic-meets-modern style.

There you have Rath & Co.’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide! Hopefully there is something on here that nails it for you/your guy, or at the very least it inspires you to come up with your own thoughtful surprises. Happy gifting!


Shopping Excursion: Rehearsal Dinner Options for Grooms

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In our search for dashing rehearsal dinner options for grooms, Brian Leahy (founder of The Groom Says blog) and I start the day at Kmart and end up at Michael Andrews Bespoke. Part I of the interview (at Kmart) can be read on Brian’s blog here, and Part II (at MAB) here.

Kmart Men's Rehearsal Dinner Options

Clip-on ties: a must-miss

 

Michael Andrews Bespoke Groom Rehearsal Dinner Look

Doesn't get any cooler than this...

 

Michael Andrews Bespoke Groom Rehearsal Dinner Look

...or this.

Special thanks to our gorgeous models, Alex and Adam, and to Michael Andrews Bespoke.

Images courtesy of Joanna Wilson Photography.

 


Tie and Pocket Square Combinations: Going Out Edition

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Men's Going Out Ties and Pocket Squares

When creating a solid going out look, it’s important to choose items that are distinct from your everyday office wear. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear a work suit out on the town, but rather if you do, you must distinguish it using your accessories. This was my intention when styling a client for a big charity event last week. He has some beautiful new suits and sport coats on order from Michael Andrews Bespoke, and those wouldn’t be ready in time for the event. So I worked with what he already had, deciding that for him, it would be all about the ties and pocket squares. Lucky for me, the Saks and Barney’s men’s departments (mainly) were ripe for the picking of such fancy and festive pieces. And picked I did. See above for the final selection.

Pretty much all of these ties and pocket squares work with one another, with the exception of the middle tie and bottom left square. This combo looks like you tried to create your own matching tie and pocket square set — something you neeever want to wear — but didn’t quite make it happen. As far as matching goes, most of these ties and squares are the perfect “mismatch” for one another. This in fact is what you should be looking for when choosing playful combos that work for going out. If you’re the sort of fellow who likes things more coordinated, then you should use the colors in your pocket square to pull out a minor color from your tie. The tie on the far right combined with the pocket square on the middle left is a good example of this.

In the end, we went with the lavender tie on the left and the navy and silver striped pocket square on the top left. I like the mix of the smooth surface of the tie with the more textured square. And the stripes work with the stripes because they are of different widths and go in different directions (read more on mixing stripes here). This was an especially cool choice because depending on how you insert the pocket square, the stripes can run either vertical or horizontal, resulting in two very different looks. The horizontal is a bit straight-laced, while the vertical is more unexpected. Versatility warms my little heart.

 

Ties l-r: Canali $140 from Saks, Armani $145 from Saks, Brioni $195 from Saks.
Pocket squares left column top-bottom: Armani $95 from Barneys, Charvet $75 from Saks, Simonnot-Godard $60 from Bergdorf; right column top-bottom: Brioni $80 from Saks, Simonnot-Godard $60 from Barneys, Bloomingdales $28 from Bloomingdales.


Profile in Awesomeness: Tony Martignetti

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Check out my latest Profiles in Awesomeness interview with the well-heeled and always entertaining Tony Martignetti, Founder of Martignetti Planned Giving Advisors and Host of Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Tony and I talk Garanimals, the Blockbuster Uniform, and why he can sometimes be found in women’s pants. We shot this video at the beautiful Michael Andrews Bespoke studio (Note how Tony’s tie and pocket square coordinate with MAB’s wallpaper. The man is a pattern-matching fool.).  Click the image above to play.