Why style matters.

 

A wise man once said “You may not want to judge, but the world will judge you.”

Here are four reasons why you should give a damn about style.

  1. Confidence

Look sharp, be sharp. This one is almost doesn’t need to be mentioned, but you get a huge confidence boost when you feel like you look good. Some people are afraid to venture out of a comfort zone, that is understandable. You don’t have to go full dapper dandy to develop a good style sense. Just adjusting clothing that you have to fit you better; get your dress shirts fitted, your suit tailored to look good, go with more fitted jeans instead of ones that look like you are wearing denim sweatpants. This will instill confidence that could help you land that job, or get that spouse, or sell that product, or get a good deal on that car.

  1. Timeless looks

When you care about style you learn what looks good on you, and what will look good forever. Fashion is made up of trends, and trends go in and out of style. For instance, high-waist shorts for women are coming back, it will go away again. Super skinny jeans for men are in, those will go again. The key is getting things that fit for you. And you develop your own style and tastes, but with a base understanding of timeless looks, you will never look awkward, or “last year.”

  1. Respect

You get respect when you look good, both self-respect, and respect from others. You begin to take better care of yourself; you may workout more, eat healthier, in the very least you take more consideration on how you look and others notice this for the better. People do treat you better, but some of course won’t but that is mainly out of jealousy. Once I started to care about style I noticed a change in people’s behavior, mainly how they referred to me. I was referred to as “sir,” rather than a simple “yes” for a yes or no answer I would get a “yes, sir” from all age groups. In addition, we cannot forget the compliments, not just from those who know you and see that you have been upgrading your look, but also complete strangers.

  1. Movement to adulthood

Once you start giving a damn about style, you’ll see people treat you better, as mentioned, you gain confidence, as mentioned, you begin to look like you give a damn about the direction of your life. People will see you as an adult, no longer a kid who just wears what he feels like; not saying you cannot wear what you feel like but you will take in consideration on how you look and what your image gives off to those around you. You learn how to take advantage of the judgmental world and avoid self-created barriers.

 

Stay sharp my friends.

 

DSC_0019_3.JPG

Advertisements

Holiday Party Wear

What to wear to that holiday party that is festive yet attractive.

Tis the season for gay apparel; but it doesn’t mean we can’t look bad ass while wearing it. We all know we can look good in a slick fitted suit. Pinstripes, plaid, solid, shadow stripes, etc. but is there other clothing that we can wear without looking like Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? Yes. Yes there is.

fd5ce6431f92eb6be561441a41945acf.jpg

 

  1. Sweaters

We all know about the “ugly Christmas sweater” luck has it you may have one. It may be fun or a joke and can be pulled off in casual party settings but is there a better sweater/jumper to be worn that will keep us looking good? When in doubt the regular V-neck sweater in a solid color works. Make sure you color coordinate. A dark charcoal, navy, light grey, even a black can look good; but a good default color that will always work with the holidays is red. The key is to make sure it fits right, try it on with the dress shirt and tie underneath. You have to find the middle ground between being loose and tight. Too loose, of course looks it; you may get the “lost weight this year” joke or “making room for more” tease, so you want to avoid a loose fitting sweater. Too tight, on the other hand, can just look awkward. You are not showing off your “gangs” you look like you are wearing child’s clothing and are uncomfortable. So you don’t want one clingy, and showing off outlines of your shirt and tie. It looks foolish. So once you find the right color you want and get the fit, you have an alternative to a suit to wear to the holiday party.

sweater.jpg

Daniel Craig sporting a classy casual look at the premiere of “Skyfall,” being a little bit adventurous with cuffs with a sweater, which doesn’t always work with some but sure does with Mr. Craig.

 

  1. Cardigan

Much like a sweater but button up. Some of the preferred ones would be chunky in navy, grey, charcoal, or red in casual settings. My personal favorite is a shawl cardigan in navy. You can also get a thin light weight one without a shawl which works for layering or a warmer holiday season.

shawcardigan.jpg

Mr. Craig again, wearing a shawl cardigan in the James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace.”

 

  1. Regular blazers

Blazers, as covered in another article, are good for causal settings. Suit jackets without it being a suit. Simple classic blazers are great alternatives where a suit may be too much. Classic navy blue with gold or silver buttons are a good solid choice or you can have some more fun with brown, red, or green for festive colors with gold, silver, or pearl buttons.

blazer.jpg

You cannot go wrong wearing a classic double breasted navy blazer with gold buttons, as seen being sported by Prince Charles in this image. Though single breasted is also a classic.

 

  1. Tweed sport coats

A strong staple for colder climates, tweed is a nice texture and fun functional wool. Suits are fine and a good choice, but a sport coat or blazer in tweed wool would also be a good alternative to the run-of-the-mill blazers. They come in a wide range of colors and patterns, but choose wisely so you don’t stick out too much at that holiday party.

tweedblazer.jpg

Roger Moore in “Moonraker” looks ruggedly fitting in his tweed sport-coat, note the suede elbow patches, which are  very traditional for hunting tweed jackets. Sadly, such a extra can go underappreciated now these days.

 

  1. Velvet blazers

Velvet may not be for the faint of heart but it does come in simple classic colors and patterns. But those who want to dress fiercer, you can find unique and fun funky patterns out there. Navy is again a classic, but red, surprisingly, fall into a normal color for velvet blazers. Personally, I wouldn’t go for a full velvet suit, just the blazer. It is a great choice when the dress code calls for black tie optional, like some New Year’s parties. To add some extra flair, go for a silk, neutral color pocket square; I like to pair my navy one with a white pocket square.

velvetsuit.jpg

Something to avoid: the full on Velvet Suit! Though can be seen here on the run way, it is far from fashionable.

 

 

 

 
velvet blazer.jpg

Instead go for something a little more fitting by just sporting a velvet blazer. Looks nice when hosting the party, or just out visiting one. And, as times have it now, it is something that isn’t too common; so it can add that bit of flair you may be looking for.

 

  1. Vest

When a jacket may be too much, or it is just too hot for the other choices for your holiday party, a vest may be the best way to go. You can split up a three-piece suit to just the vest and pants, or just sport a fun vest. Colors, patterns, they even come in tweed and can add to the festive look. In addition, you can add the odd vest to add layers to keep warmer and stay festive.

tweedvest.jpg

Found at Nostrums.com; a tweed vest, or even a velvet vest, or just a vest in general can be a fun accessory to your ensemble or the main over piece to ring everything in together; especially for the warmer climate holiday events.

 

 

So yes, there are ways to look festive and look good other than the slick suit. In addition, accessories are always fun. Festive scarves, hats, cuff links, etc. the list goes on, just make sure it works with the rest of the outfit. Make a pass on the cartoonish Reindeer tie.

Happy Holidays!

Dress Code Decoded

You probably have seen the words Dress Code before, and probably these terms before as well. Wedding invites, employee handbooks, fine dining recommendations or regulations, but what does it all mean. This article will help define the terms associated with the term “Dress Code.”

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary a dress code is “a set of rules about what clothing may and may not be worn at a school, office, restaurant, etc.” In general, for men’s clothing, dress codes are divided up into six categories: Casual, Business Casual, Business, Cocktail Attire, Black Tie, and White Tie. Sometimes Black Tie is referred to semi-formal and yet sometimes Business is referred to semi-formal. Some people even refer to Business attire as formal and Business Casual attire as semi-formal; this is just completely wrong. Traditionally, White Tie is known as formal, and Black Tie as semi-formal, and of course there is the Black Tie Optional as well but I will get into that later. The confusion has come about from the misuse of the terms. For most, the most formal they will get is in a Black Tie tuxedo. But from all of this came the use of White Tie and Black Tie to help hash out the differences.

Now let’s dive in and analyze each one in close detail.

Casual

Casual clothing is what some would call jeans and a tee-shirt; others would put such clothing into an even lower category that I have heard being called “Ultra Casual” or “Uber Casual.” Nevertheless this is the category that one would wear things like: chinos, denim, polos, button-downs, tee-shirts, shorts, boat shoes, sneakers and other casual shoes. Vary rarely would you see a sport coat or blazer in this category. Some may consider workout clothing and clothing they do household chores in this category, this would be an incorrect assumption.

Business Casual

Clothing in this category should be what you normally see around the office, on a relax day. Casual tie or no tie, use of a sport coat or blazer, dress khakis or other dress trousers, dress shirts of various patterns or solid colors, maybe a polo (traditionally a sport shirt) under a jacket, dressier shoes – brogues, loafers, various colors. Sometimes you may see the sad sight of a lonely tie – a dress shirt with a tie but no jacket. It is not that the wearer has draped his jacket on a hanger or over a chair, he just doesn’t wear one – this is traditionally seen as a big No, and unless you want to look like generic background character number 13, I would advise in pairing it up with a blazer or sport coat. This category of clothing is not appropriate for closing a deal in, or tending a board meeting. And depending on the job, it is defiantly not interview worthy, (unless that is all you have. Better than nothing).

Business

This is not “semi-formal.” Regardless of what I may have said earlier, this is not semi-formal nor is it formal. Here you will only find suits, which are jackets with matching trousers but I bet you already knew that. Now suits have different levels of formality to them as well. Lighter colors, fabrics like linen and cotton, patterns like black and white glen plaid would all be considered on the lest formal ranks. But wait I said this isn’t formal or semi-formal, that is correct those terms will be explained in the next two categories. More formal suits would be dark, micro patterns or solid colors. Navy, Charcoal, Dark Grey, are all on the formal end, perfect for interviews and board meetings, etc. Black suits are only, and I repeat, Only for funerals… OK maybe you can wear one in a pinch or if you want that Yakuza look, but they are best to have one reserved for funerals.

Three piece suits, ones with a matching waistcoat (don’t wear a belt), are on the more formal end of that pattern/color. Wearing one for an interview may not be wise, as it may give an impression of too formal. Use of the Odd waistcoat is a fun idea, and a way to add some spice to your daily routine. Some may view it as a way to turn down the formality of a suit as well. Example: paring a navy suit with a green or brown vest would be a good way of lowering the formality of the navy, but keeping the formality of a vest.

Along the lines of shoes, dark conservative, mainly black are advisable, though you can get away with brown. But when in doubt, go with a plane toe or cap toe oxford or derby shoe.

Cocktail Attire

What is this odd term? Does it pertain to just cocktail parties, which may be few and far between now these days? Sadly, from my own experiences this term was not used much because people do not know what it means, but now these due to more articles etc. more people want to use this term. Hell there was a time I did not know what it meant. But let’s remind any misconceptions or preconceived notions and overall ignorance of the term. Supposedly this term came into popular use in the early 1900s to emphasize the formality of the event without going full out black tie or white tie; which are terms discussed later in this article. Most men should not have a problem fulfilling the simple requirements of this dress code. This dress code can be, or better yet should be found on most wedding invitations. In general, for cocktail attire men should wear a dark or medium grey suit, charcoal or navy is also acceptable especially if the event occurs or goes into the night. Simple patterns would be OK for this dress code. This is not a tuxedo situation, that would be overdressed. As for the dress shirt, it is better to err on the safe side and go with a white or muted color, micro neutral patterns can work, but stay away from loud bold patterns and colors. Neckties should be conservative, patterns are fine as long as, like the shirt, they are not too bold and loud. Pocket square is a good additive, however try not to match your tie, this is an opportunity to add another color into your ensemble. But when in doubt match your shirt color; it gives you a clean James Bond finesse. Black dress shoes would be essential; any other color would just be too casual understate the formality of the event. And of course socks that match your trousers or shoes or even something else in your outfit if you want a little extra color for fun. Just be careful. If you know the event is more on the causal, informal end of the spectrum you may be able to get away with a blazer and odd trouser if you don’t want to suit up. You might possibly be able to pull out your velvet blazer for the more casual scenarios, especially if you are the host of the party. In addition, if the event leans more casual that’s when you can get away with some more bolder looks, remember it is still safer to err on the conservative spectrum.

Black Tie (Semi-Formal)

Tuxedo aka dinner jacket with matching trousers. Traditional is better in this category. Black is the color… navy or midnight blue are also equally good alternatives. There is very little room to play here so I will first go with the staple look. Satin Peaked or Shawl Lapel, notched is too much of a business suit. Single button on a single breasted jacket, or a 6×2 button double breasted jacket. Jetted pockets, no flaps (you can cheat and slide the flaps inside the pockets if the company who made your tuxedo is smart enough to put the satin on both side of the opening of the pocket). A satin strip going down the side of the pants. You can sport a pocket square but it is safe to go with white. Your bowtie should be the same color as your cummerbund or vest, which should be black and satin at that. Never ever, ever, wear a belt. Your pants should have side tabs adjusters or you should wear suspenders (or braces), and you should always wear a cummerbund or vest, this is no other option on this. A white, bone, or off-white coat with navy or black trousers is reserved for hotter weather climates. If you don’t follow that you will look under dress and your tuxedo would look cheap.

If the dress code says black tie optional, it is not too hard to figure out that means you can wear a tuxedo or you can wear cocktail attire. In this case, one of those odd, trendy tuxedos (i.e. the long neck tie ensembles or even a velvet jacket etc.) could possibly pass but it is better sick to safer conservative looks.

White Tie (Formal, or Full Dress)

If you get invited to an event that requires this, congratulations. In turn, this is probably the strictest of dress codes; don’t even think of trying to be bold and flamboyant in this situation. There is no open to interpretation for this code at all. So here is the breakdown: White bow tie, white shirt with wing collar, white waist coat deep cut, black coat with tails and peaked satin lapel, black matching pants with satin stripe, black silk over the calf socks, and black patent leather oxford plan toe shoes or patent leather opera pumps. What if it is cold outside? Well there are rules for that too in the White Tie code. A simple overcoat won’t due, something like a Paletot may work but you want to have something of equal prestige as your white tie outfit, but if you are pressed a simple double breasted or single breasted overcoat like the chesterfield (yes you can go with navy) will do just fine; you can also throw on a white silk scarf with tassels if you want. If you want to be bold but not out of place a cape (yeah I said a cape) will work as well. Some options you can add if you want, white pocket square, top hat (for outerwear), white gloves, white boutonniere. Anything else or anything different is not white tie apocopate. Make sure your proportions and measurements are correct; waistcoat should be long enough to cover you belt line and better to be cut along the lines of your jacket. One man who brought his A game to a white tie event was Tom Ford at the 2014 MET Ball & Gala.

TomFordAtMET.jpg

This image is what you should strive for: Tom Ford at the MET Ball & Gala May 5, 2014. (it may be on the tighter end but still everything seems to be on the mark).

Combat Gent Suit Review

CombatGentGreySharkskin (5).jpg

I bought two suits from Combat Gent. The first suit I bought from them was this Charcoal sharkskin suit, or Pick and Pick as some call it. The second suit is a charcoal glen plaid with a beige windowpane overlay. I purchased the second suit a little bit after getting the first one, it was on their off-season sale and I liked the price point and materials of the first.

CombatGentGreySharkskin (8).JPGCombatGentGreySharkskin (11).JPGCombatGentGreySharkskin (15).JPG

15631087_10100270695571944_572904594_o.jpg                               15682257_10100270695576934_1335568227_o.jpg

 

The suits are 100% wool. Half canvased lined, Full polyester lining, has three internal pockets. Two external pockets (slanted for the Sharkskin) four pants pockets, Four plastic sleeve buttons with mock buttonholes – as in they just have thread sewn to give the impression that there is a buttonhole, but that is good for tailoring, if they were working buttonholes the tailor would have to adjust from the shoulder which is more work and thus more expensive. But this adjustment is very common with off the rack suits.

 

15658773_10100270695611864_81112049_o.jpg            15681731_10100270695601884_630583147_o.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complements from my tailor: She said for the price that it was a good suit. The wool feels like it would be in the Super 100s range, which those super numbers are technically not regulated, but Combat gent doesn’t claim any super range. Pants are unlined.

CombatGentGreySharkskin (17).JPG CombatGentGreySharkskin (18).JPG

(Detail inside the pants. They have a rubber waistband to help keep your shirt tucked)

Overall Combat Gent is competing with other companies’ off the rack suits, like JC Penny, Kohl’s, and Men’s Warehouse, and in my opinion they are successful. Though one turndown would be the in inability to try it on, though they do accept returns and exchanges but that can be an inconvenient to the buyer and there can be issues of low stock quantity. Overall if you know your size, I would chose Combat Gent over the other department stores unless they have something you want, like patterns or fabrics. Combat Gent doesn’t variety too much, when they do it is a limited batch and is usually price around $200 or above, which isn’t too bad.

Are they the best? No. The fit is nice, definitely use their sizing charts and assistance. You can communicate with their Customer Service to get help. But in general you have to go a size up for their slim suits from a classic fitting suit. If you are familiar with JCP’s J.F. line they fit almost like those. Their pants on the other hand are your normal size, which threw me off. I’m normally a size 30 but with slim and skinny fitting clothing I have to go with a size 32. But their 32 was more generous in the waist, which isn’t a big deal, a tailor can take them in for a small fee easily. There are better suit out there, some Made to Measure websites offer more variety in fabrics and options, and supposedly Combat Gent has started to do such but only in person measuring sessions – which limits their customer base for such, but in person is the better way to go.

I know for the price I’ll be back.

 

15628861_10100270695596894_2050732227_o.jpg