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.
Not ready to go as itty bitty as Burt Lancaster in The Swimmer? Even if you aren’t swimming home through the posh pools of suburbia, you should still do everything in your power to look your best when hitting the beach or pool. (And no, those ballooning board shorts don’t cut it.)
Below are my tips on what to look for in a well-fitting swimsuit, and my all-time favorite brand and style:
1) Trim leg openings make very slim legs look less so, and broad legs more proportioned.
2) A waistband that lies flat against your stomach will reduce any unnecessary bulging through the middle. This is why I will never tire of Orlebar Brown’s suits. He wrote the book on flat waistbands, and his swim shorts come in a variety of lengths (the Bulldog being the most universal).
3) Jams happened in the 80’s, and they should stay in the 80’s. So make sure the hem hits no lower than the middle of your knee. Your legs will look infinitely more athletic if you keep it to 2-3 inches above the knee. For more modesty, you can go for right at the knee, but please nothing longer.
4) Choose solids or a classy pattern, and avoid cargo pockets. (Hint: classy never involves skulls, jokers or fire-breathing tigers).
P.S. If you need more style help, I’m developing a program that might be right up your alley. It’s an online styling course called Next Level Style, and in it I teach all of my latest and greatest styling tools. The program gives you idiotproof tools for how to upgrade your style easily and effectively. So if you want to hang out with me more and learn how to take your style to a place you never thought possible, click here to sign up, and I’ll keep you in the loop about the program.
Happy day before July 4! As I assume your plans for tomorrow may involve some combination of burger-eating, alcohol-imbibing, and grass-sitting, I’ve decided to share some stain removal tips to help keep your holiday fresh and clean. Below are 5 main offenders and what to do if you have a run-in with them:
1) Red wine: dab with white wine.
2) Grease: add a can of Coke to washing machine.
3) Sweat: apply a paste of 3 aspirin tablets mixed with two tablespoons of warm water and let sit for 1 hour.
4) Ketchup: (this one’s a little more complicated) a. working from back of stain, flush with cold water; b. pretreat with liquid laundry detergent and let sit for a few minutes; c. rinse well; d. apply white vinegar with sponge and rinse well; e. repeat steps b-d a few times until you’ve removed as much as you think you can; f. pretreat with a pre-wash stain remover and launder; g. if stain persists, rub with liquid laundry detergent and soak in warm water up to 30 min; h. launder again.
5) Grass: soak in vinegar for 30 min then machine wash.
Happy July 4!
Is your summer wardrobe in need of a refresh? At key points throughout the year, my Rath & Co. clients and I reassess their wardrobes for the upcoming season. We look at what works and what doesn’t, and what they didn’t have enough of last year. If you haven’t gone through this exercise for summer, before you go into full beach mode, carve out time to go through all of your summer clothes so that you can create a clear list of what’s missing. Below is my hit list of 10 summer must-haves to help guide you, plus a couple of grooming bonuses:
1) Lightweight t-shirts: a mix of henleys, crew and v-necks
2) Sweatshirt or long-sleeve shirt for post-beach
3) Summer footwear: sandals, flip-flops, or what I call social sneaks (aka nice sneakers you wouldn’t work out in)
5) Swimsuits: here’s a guide on how to choose the best style for you.
6) Lightweight and light color dress shirts, pants, sportcoats, and suits (the latter two depend on your social calendar and how frequently you dress up for work).
8) Strong deodorant with anti-perspirant
9) Minty soap: for more on soaps and other grooming products that will keep you cool, check out my post on Heat-Wave Style.
10) Sun protection: I’m fair-skinned and super-picky about what type I use — VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Face Cover is what works best for me. Also check out Bioastin Astaxanthin, which is an antioxidant that’s said to help protect skin against the sun.
What’s on your hit list for summer?
Scorching hot temps got you down? When it’s 90+ degrees out, you are definitely going to do some sweating. But there are ways you can prepare so that you minimize the damage to your wardrobe and appearance. Below are 11 tips for keeping cool and confident this summer.
1) Take your morning shower with the coldest water you can stand, and use a cooling soap with mint.
2) When you get out of the shower, powder your feet, armpits and groin to help keep you dry. Menscience body powder uses cornstarch and zinc oxide instead of talc (which has shown to have negative health effects) and was formulated for all-over use.
3) Use deodorant with antiperspirant, which slows the production of underarm sweat.
4) Apply a cooling product like Korres’s Greek Yogurt Cooling Gel as needed, post-shower. It’s designed for sunburns, but does a great job relieving all sensations of heat from your body.
5) Face wipes also make you feel and look cool by absorbing grease and oil.
6) Get your hair cut shorter and more frequently during warm months (including cleanups for the hair on the back of your neck and around your ears).
7) My guiding principle is that clothing should always fit impeccably, but in the summer months, I am OK with slightly looser fits to facilitate airflow, especially for items like linen shirts and pants.
8) Dark colors absorb sunlight and therefore heat, so opt for light colors like white, off-white, light grey, beige, and pastels, all of which present as more seasonally appropriate as well.
9) Choose natural fibers that breathe and are good at absorbing moisture. These include tropical weight wools, seersucker (not just for suits), linen (try in a tie if you wear one every day), hopsack, light cottons (opt for cotton broadcloth vs. a heavier oxford), cashmere, and silk. I like Bonobos’ lightweight chinos and the summer weight casual top above left and right. When shopping, be sure to read labels and avoid anything with nylon or polyester in it.
10) A quarter-lined or unlined suit jacket or sport coat will be lighter on your body than one with a full lining. (Note: this type of unconstructed jacket is inherently more casual than those with full linings, so be wise about where you wear them). If you go quarter lining, make sure the lining is made from Bemberg, which does a better job than silk of wicking moisture from your body.
11) Keep your office stocked with a backup shirt (especially good if you have a big meeting at the end of the day or dinner/drinks after work), face wipes mentioned above, and a bottle of deodorant. That way you’re set if things get sticky.
How do you stay cool and comfortable in the summer months and still look like you mean business?
If there’s one place you want to look your best, I would venture to say at the beach or poolside would be at the top of the list. After all, that’s where (presumably) you’ll be as close to naked as you’ll ever get in public. Thanks in large part to the James Bond movie “Casino Royale,” which features a taut Daniel Craig emerging from the water in short, tight swim trunks, men’s swim styles have been moving gradually toward higher hemlines and more tailored cuts. While not everyone has the build or desire to bare quite as much as 007, abbreviated and tailored looks are in fact more flattering and mature in feel than the oversized, extra-long trunks you may be used to. My clients are always pleasantly surprised at what a couple fewer inches and a narrower trouser-like cut can do. With that in mind, below are 6 Rath-approved swimsuits for Summer 2013, with a little something for everybody.
With its flat waistband, mid-thigh length, constructed fly and trim leg openings, this classic style from Hartford
($165) looks good on just about everyone. Bonus tip: for the most flattering leg width, you should be able to fit 2-3 fingers in the bottom leg opening of your suit.
Go for classy and/or beach-inspired graphics and avoid anything that involves dragons or fire-breathing (or both). I like this cheeky shark-tooth number from Paul Smith (£89).
You’re in great shape. Why not sport your swim gear with cool confidence? The flattering trouser-like cuts from Orlebar Brown (£125-160) — note the waistband side adjusters — allow them to transition perfectly from beach to post-beach cocktails (add linen shirt and stir well). Try the Bulldog cut if you’re a little daring (modeling pict below), and the Setters if you’re a lot daring (see also “European Vacation” below).
Is going to the gym a foreign concept to you? Don’t worry, you can still hit the beach with panache. Look for swimwear in dark (read: slimming) colors, hemlines that hit an inch or two above your knee, and comfortably trim leg openings like those above from Bonobos ($65). Also, a waistband that’s flat in front with elastic in back can be both flattering and comfortable if you have a bit of a belly.
Say sayonara to your old ballooning board shorts. The new guard is updated and upgraded. Brands like Sundek ($119) will give you a great fit while maintaining the comfort and movement you’ll need to hang ten. Dig the retro vibe of the rainbow bands.
I know some guys who have an entirely different set of swimwear for when they travel to Europe. There you can get away with 2″ inseams, and no one will bat an eye. You can rock a shorter short in the US too: this style is especially good for slim builds, and of course you must wear it confidently. It also helps if your name has the number 7 in it (see intro). Since you’re going there, you might as well have fun with bold colors and/or patterns. Try Parke & Ronen’s Angeleno ($125) cut if this appeals to you.
File this under the category of “so not necessary you just might need it”. If you’re a tricky fit, you can always consider having your swim trunks custom made for you.
What are you planning on wearing to the beach this summer? If you need personalized help with your beach threads, drop me a line.
Want to do something nice for yourself this summer? Love yourself up by adding linen to your wardrobe. Men are relatively limited in their options for staying breezy on blazing hot summer days, but as I’ve mentioned before, linen is a hot weather essential due to its lightweight and breathable qualities. The reason it can keep you comfortable is that the cloth absorbs up to 20% moisture without feeling wet.
You can buy linen either off-the-rack or through a custom clothier (if you’re a R&Co. client, you know how crazy I am for custom). Check out these fabric swatches below for some linen sportcoats I recently ordered for two clients.
Fabrics can made solely of linen as with the shirt below from Hartford, or they can be blended with other fabrics for a more refined look. The fabrics for the sportcoats above are combined with cashmere and silk, which makes them drape beautifully. We’ll pair them with everything from jeans and a henley or v-neck t-shirt to dress pants and a dress shirt and pocket square.
Ninja stylist tip for staying cool: if you custom order a linen (or any summer fabric for that matter) sportcoat or suit, ask for it to have no lining or a quarter lining. This works wonders.
I know, linen wrinkles. If this really bothers you, give it a shot and see if you can get beyond it. Embrace the imperfection. Would you rather be drenched in sweat or easy-breezy with a few creases in your clothes?
Aside from the obvious: linen shirts, suits, sportcoats, and shorts, you can also look for vests made of linen, like the one above from J. Crew. Vests are an ideal warm-weather solution for getting the level of formality inherent to having an added layer over your dress shirt, without the extra weight of a sportcoat or suit jacket.
For casual social occasions, or if your office isn’t dressy, consider wearing a linen tie like the one above from Pierrepont Hicks. It’s seasonally appropriate and has the added bonus of keeping your neck much cooler than a heavier silk would.
Other linen accessories you can work in your summer repertoire include pocket squares and shoes (above left and right). While they won’t necessarily keep temperatures down, you will certainly look cool in them!
How do you plan on wearing linen this summer?
It’s been a long, frosty winter, and I am thrilled to write this Spring/Summer 2013 trend report. Below are 4 Spring trends to take note of and corresponding shopping suggestions. As always, it’s up to you how literal you want to go with these. You can adapt them loosely for a subdued look or embrace them more fully, as in the runway images below. Either way, enjoy!
Trend #1: Africa
Mixing ethnic and tribal prints with classic shapes is key to making this trend wearable. Ikat (one of the oldest patterns around, though its exact origin is unknown) is a great way to rock the look. The clean silhouette and large masculine gridlines on this Balmain shirt ground the lively print, making it suitable for an everyday casual vibe.
Trend #2: Globe Trotter
This trend incorporates a wide variety of cultural references, while using comfortable fabrics which work well for the frequent traveler. Consider materials like bleached chambray, linen knits, tissue linen, crinkled leather and destroyed denim. This slim-fit cotton and linen blazer from Canali would be the perfect traveling companion and a classic way to adapt this style. Throw your shades in the breast pocket for added sophistication.
Trend #3: Seafarer
One of my personal faves, this trend brings the nautical look from the deep blue to the streets. Look for sailor stripes, lightweight peacoats, double-breasted jackets, and scarf prints. I like the stripe placement on these Michael Bastian tops below left and right because they broaden you across the chest and shoulders, creating a nice V-shape down to your waist.
Trend #4: Tailored Sport
Tailored Sport is a good example of a trend you likely won’t want to interpret literally. I can’t think of any clients with situations where it would make sense to wear warm-up pants with a sportcoat. But, if elements of this look appeal to you, take inspiration from sporty materials like nylon, pique, and polished cotton. This Sacai jacket is nicely tailored and would work well either to and from the tennis court or out to a casual dinner.
How will you be freshening up your look this Spring?
Cheers to peeling off the layers!
I feel silly writing about Spring as I sit at my desk with the heat on blast, but I’m the positive type, and I know that in a few short weeks Spring will be here. In fact, I’ve already been shopping for warm weather clothes for my clients. Now is the perfect time for that, just as stores are loading up with their best selections. With that in mind, below are 6 garments to get you through the coming months in stellar style.
Lightweight jacket (bonus if it’s suede or leather)
Don’t underestimate the power of a perfectly-fitting leather jacket. Click for my guide on how to accomplish this. It’s the perfect reminder that Spring is just around the corner.
Great-fitting polo shirts
I have a new client who says he hasn’t met a polo shirt he didn’t like. My plan is to make him a touch more discerning. After all, everyone is wearing polo shirts. But not everyone gets it right (see Mitt’s missteps). Show some know-how, and make sure yours flatter you. Here’s how your polo should fit, and how to stand out from the crowd when you’re wearing one.
No show socks
These thin, low profile socks are must-haves for loafer-wearers. No one wants to see your short gym socks smushed into your shoes. Try Falke for this. Match them to the color of your shoes for added discretion.
Nice gym clothes
Many of my clients are implementing or upgrading their workout regimens this Spring. You don’t have to drop the same amount of coin on gym clothes as on your regular clothes, but the fact is if you like your workout clothes, and they feel good on, you’ll have a better workout. Keep it classy with Lululemon Men’s.
I call these social sneaks. There are loads of different styles to choose from for this. The key is to keep it consistent with your own aesthetic so it doesn’t look like you’re trying too hard. Example: if you’re on the conservative side, you shouldn’t show up to Casual Friday in checkered Vans; instead, go for something simple and classic like a navy, white, or grey Jack Purcell or Rod Laver (above). Wear these when you’re walking around on weekends, or Fridays at work depending on your office environment. Reminder, these are NOT the sneakers you wear to the gym.
Even if you’ve never worn linen, promise me you’ll try it this year. Linen is lightweight and breathable – perfect for those warm days when some airflow is welcome. I highly recommend pair of linen pants, an unstructured linen jacket and/or a linen shirt. You will thank me in July!
What are you looking to add to your wardrobe this Spring? Drop me a line if you need some guidance.
Cheers, and Happy (almost) Spring!
The polo shirt has been unfairly accused of looking boring, most notably in the summertime. The key to avoiding a polo snoozefest is, rather than having the same exact shirt in every color it comes in, finding a variety of styles and details that suit you depending on the occasion. There are loads of options to choose from: colored stitching to make it casual, or a contrast collar for pop, to name just two. Below are some of my favs for this season in 6 different styles.
1. Supersoft Casual
The small pocket, long placket, and contrast stitching (especially the unexpected diagonal lines to the right of the pocket) combine nicely to give this polo a laid back feel. I’ve gotten this specific top for a few clients, and they’ve all remarked on how soft and comfortable the fabric is. Billy Reid, $88.
2. Sporty Stripe
A polo that has horizontal lines across the upper half is excellent if you want to look broader through your chest and arms. I particularly like the fresh color combo on this one. Gant by Michael Bastian, $135.
3. Interesting Details
The marled cotton and button-free placket give this shirt a understated-cool and even beachy vibe. It would look great with white jeans or rolled up chinos. Orlebar Brown, $119.
4. Button-Down Collar
The good thing about a button-down collar is that the collar stands at attention and frames your face nicely. Brooks Brothers Black Fleece, $150.
FIT NOTE 1: This model’s sleeves are too long. The correct (and most flattering) sleeve length should be about halfway between your bicep and your elbow. Your tailor can shorten it if necessary.
A polo shirt is inherently casual and therefore should be untucked most of the time. This one is on the dressier side with its smooth fabric and slight sheen, so I’m ok with it being tucked in. Ralph Lauren Purple Label, $295.
FIT NOTE 2: When worn untucked, the bottom hem of a polo shirt should hit just below your waistline. If it’s any longer than that, you should get it shortened.
6. Quirky Print
I like how this polo is offbeat in its pattern but understated in its color palette. Keep the look low-key by wearing it with dark grey jeans, or flashy fellows can rock it a pair of red cotton chinos. YMC, $70.
How about you? What are your favorite options from above, and how do you like to mix up your polos?