Category Archives: Mens Apparel

Decisions: Boardroom vs. Bedroom Four Essential Points of Style for Men circa 2014

by Cathy Berger, Fashion SocieteWhat style changes lie ahead for 2014? The return to cuffed pants.

Nowadays both sexes firmly count themselves as Decision-Makers. Not all 21st century norms have been overturned as more often its men commanding a boardroom while women remain with ultimate say in the bedroom.  Males continue to dominate the tech and construction industries, while females are gaining ground in engineering and finance. Universally, “dressing for success” has been talked up, over, and inside out.

Boardroom attire for both sexes has evolved constructively, while Victoria’s Secret has caused bedroom attire to become virtually mainstream.  Yet ladies alone have a unique luxury of wardrobe choice where men don’t – skirts and dresses can substitute for pants! Men—metrosexuals, college students, urban guerillas and high-powered corporate execs- have one sartorial option and one alone: all pants, all the time. So it would behoove guys to get the details right, right?

The secret to a proper look for any man is attention to pants in relation to shoes. Starting with the cut at the top, to the color of the fabric to the cuffs at the bottom-  details must be coordinated with the shoes.  Here are 4 of the more pertinent points, because as you know, gentlemen, females are watching:

1.  Jeans – look best when worn with boots or sneakers or casual loafers. The hem should cover the back heel and you should not be able to see the socks (if worn at all).

2.  Chinos – best worn with edgy (not gym) sneakers and should hang quite long over your shoe.

3. Flat-front waists— wear them.  Despite what you think, pleats make you look bigger and cue the world you are out-of-style.

4. What style change lies ahead for 2014? The return of cuffed slacks. “A good trouser is cut to sit properly on a shoe. Precise, clean, sharp.” says Duncan Quinn, a British bespoke owner with shops in New York and Los Angeles who prefers a “turnup”, which is the English term for cuff. Furthermore, Alex Young, the suiting director at NYC’s Freemans Sporting Club Bespoke Studio and self-described “ambassador of cuffs,” says hip men are “cuffing” up. It’s not just a pointless flourish, he states, as a cuff adds weight, anchoring the hem and creating a cleaner drape.

mens pant lengthsRegardless of whether you buy off-the-rack or via bespoke, note these points:

  1. Cuffed Suit Pants – should be worn with classic, clean line shoes, nothing casual or thick-soled. Wear with a sharp crease down the front; let them cover and sit on top of the shoe.
  2. Un-cuffed Suit Pants – can be worn with classic, somewhat casual yet current shoes and the hem should come down a little further than with cuffed suit pants and allow for a small break.

With a new year in motion, what better time to “get it right” by starting at the bottom and working your way up! Decisions, decisions, decisions……. ~

Winter Sale: Not Always A Bargain

This winter season, the sales outnumber the snowflakes. With bargain signs 90 saleeverywhere, where do you start? 90% off is a pretty tempting draw. Just remember, regardless of what something costs, how good you look depends mainly on how wisely you choose.
Here are 8 tips to out-smart those sales:
1. Don’t buy anything at 50-70% off if it is not something that you would want at regular price. Exception: If it’s a hot and obvious trend that looks totally fabulous, buy this thrill and enjoy knowing it will have a very limited life.
2. No matter how inexpensive, it is not a great deal if it doesn’t fit with your needs. It will end up being a cheap find stuck in the back of your closet. Save that money and put it towards something you can’t wait to wear.
3. You can’t go wrong with high quality basics from designers that you normally wouldn’t/couldn’t spend the money on.
4. Take garment care into consideration. If it is something you’ll have to dry clean with each and every wear, then your bargain may no longer be a bargain. If it looks inordinately delicate and you are afraid it won’t hold up to cleaning/washing, maybe it is best left in the store. Poor workmanship doesn’t hold up at any price.
5. Is it a flattering color; does it suit your figure or physique; is it the proper length? By the way, these are questions to ask yourself before ANY purchase.
6. Attack the bargain racks like you’re shopping for groceries–with a list of what you actually need for your wardrobe. Advanced tip: What you buy should go with at least 2 pieces you already own.
7. A real steal is a garment you truly need in a color you’ll wear often. Basic colors like grey, beige, brown, navy or black are easy to coordinate with other items and stay in style forever.
8. Try before you buy when the sale price is marked “Final Sale”. Many ultra bargains are not returnable. Don’t spend if you’re not sure.

Despite these tips you’re the proud owner of a new mistake? Swap your unwanted “treasures” with friends who can use them!

6 Must-Have Men’s Shoes | Color Ahead Fall/Winter 2012-13

1. CaptoeConservative but elegant even in a casual format. Finally – what every man might secretly desire. Because what well-dressed man doesn’t love shoes? Blacksuede cap toe from Mark McNairy, $398.00

2. Monk Strap One step beyond the one thick strap you usually find on a monk-strap loafer, this modern version has two thin straps with a lighter buckles.
Choose this in the morning when you feel like making an understated, stylish statement. Leather shoes ($1,260) by A. Testoni.

3. Wing tip – Most high-powered execs have got a need for them Not all wing tips look right with suits. But this pair, with its closed-lace construction, slim leather soles, and rich brown patina, could hold its own with most any two OR three-piece suit.
Leather shoes ($595) by Fratelli Rossetti.

4. Oxford Lace-upCasual dress down days for sport coats with slacks You can’t get much more elegant than a finely made black lace-up, particularly when the toe looks like this: not too pointy, not too round, and not remotely square.

5. Loafer – Say no to laces. Face it; some days just call for no ties. A hand-rubbed, skillfully shaped pair of do-I know-what-to-wear-or-what loafers like these Berlutis are just the kind of shoes that command respect. Even at the office. Leather loafer ($760) by Berluti.

6. the Derby – For Every Day: The Shoe You Can Wear Anywhere. In dreams there’s one pair of shoes you can wear everywhere, all the time, from tuxedos to track pants. We’ve looked, and honestly, dreams are just that. What we have found though, is one pair of shoes that you can wear almost everywhere: these chestnut-brown derbies from the undisputed champion of Swiss footwear, Bally. Leather Scribe derbies ($725) by Bally

Color Rules: You need 3 different color shoes- dark brown, black and cordovan. Want to focus on one? Dark brown owes its versatility to a few key features: their rich color (a dark brown beats black for versatility any day), their knack for blending well and being less obvious than black, and their range in hue which reaches farther and wider than pretty much anything else around. Consider them the skeleton key to your closet and wear them with care. Because most other colors aren’t nearly as versatile. Relax on the weekend and on a casual evening with a light shade of brown and for an elegant night, or an important meeting, a dark chocolate-ly shade.