Behind the Scenes: Two New Before and Afters

If you've been hanging around here for a while, you've likely seen the before/after pictures of my work. What you may not know, though, is that it's quite challenging to get these pictures together, and the ones that I have posted only reflect a small portion of the results I've gotten with my clients. Many of them (understandably) are private and don't want their pictures included.For those clients who are open to being featured, getting an accurate before picture that's also high enough quality for web use, is often difficult, not to mention planning a professional shoot for the after shot. But when it does all come together, and the client is up for it, the results are thrilling! I love being able to feature my clients and show off the hard work that they've done to overhaul their image. Even though I'm the image consultant, much of the work is done on the client's part: showing up for appointments, trying on all the clothes, implementing my advice, etc. Image consulting is like a 12-step program: it works if you work it.So now that you've gotten that behind the scenes, you can appreciate how big a deal it is when the stars align, and I'm able to pull together a before/after I can use. Below are two new before and afters I'm proud to be able to share.Men's Image Consulting: Before and AfterThe first one is a tech CEO and father of 3 who lives in the midwest. We started working together in Spring of 2014 (when the before pic was taken), and we've been traveling back and forth to see one another several times a year since. At first it was a complete overhaul; now we're in maintenance, where we touch things up seasonally and depending on what events, talks, etc., he needs to attend or present at. This client is an absolutely fantastic guy, and I've loved every second of working with him (and incidentally, I've now worked with his wife and niece too -- it's a family affair!).The after shot was taken exactly 2 years after we started working together. The first three things we worked on that were the keys to our success off the bat were: 1) getting him into trimmer and better-fitting pants and jackets, 2) convincing him that tucking in his dress shirts would actually be more flattering to his build than wearing them out, and 3) getting him an improved haircut that would be more flattering to his face shape and hair type.

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 Men's Image Consulting: Before and AfterThe second before and after is one that my awesome client Michael H. sent me out of the blue one day. Michael is a busy attorney and father of two from the west coast. We started working together in April of 2014, coincidentally about two years ago as well. Even though the pix weren't professionally done, and I wasn't there to style him for the after shot, I was thrilled to get the email from him with the images and thanking me for my help. I don't get all the credit here though -- as you can see, Michael has not only been hard at work transforming his image and style, but he's also lost a ton of weight and gained muscle. He dropped 4 inches in waist size. Michael told me in his email that he laughs now recalling that he had told me his before picture was his best outfit.The top three elements that paved the way for Michael's success were: 1) demonstrating to him that he had been buying shirts and pants in sizes that were too large for him, 2) upgrading his haircut and showing him how to style it and with what product, and 3) teaching him how to dress in a way that was flattering to his height and newly trim build.Getting results and feedback like this is a true rush for me, and it's the exact reason why I fell in love with the work that I do. I'm a Fixer (with a capital "F") through and through, and I love being able to use my skills to help my clients become their best selves. I always like to say, "it's you, only better."Thanks so much for reading, and if you're thinking about making a major (or even minor) transformation, don't hesitate to reach out to me.Cheers,Julie 

Pro Tips: Jean Tailoring FTW

Men's Image Consultant: How to Tailor Your Jeans

There very few things like a perfectly-fitting pair of jeans on a man (the above British GQ spread of Matthew McConaughey-hey-hey is pretty good proof). And the way you have them tailored -- or not -- can make or break them. I recently did a jean overhaul with a client, and as we were having them tailored, I realized that even though I’ve already written about how to find a great-fitting pair of jeans, it’s also important to talk about the tailoring. 

1. When shortening jeans that have any kind of distressing or detailing along the hemline, ask the tailor to re-use the original hem. That means he or she will remove the hem that’s already there, cut the jeans shorter, and then reattach the hem higher up. And you get to avoid that my-mom-hemmed-my-jeans look that distressed jeans get when they're just folded under and hemmed normally. If your tailor doesn't know how to do this, find another tailor.2. Check the waist — if it gaps when you put a belt on but fits well through the seat and thighs, the waist needs to be taken in. Ideally, though, your jeans should fit well everywhere, so I'd only suggest this for jeans you already own or that are on super sale. 3. During tailoring, wear the shoes you plan on wearing most often with the jeans. That way, you and the tailor can choose the length based on that. Keep in mind that once you’ve chosen a length based on heel height, you’ll be limited to shoes with the same or similar heel height. If you have a broad range of shoe types (which hopefully you do — if not, here’s my post on the 6 essential shoes every guy should have in his closet), then not every pair of jeans is going to work with every shoe — i.e, you’ll have some that will work with flip flops and flat loafers but not with your dress shoes. So it makes sense to think ahead when having your jeans hemmed as to which shoes you’ll be wearing them most frequently with. And once you’ve decided, make sure you actually bring those shoes to the tailor when you go.Men's Image Consultant: How to Tailor Your Jeans4. Taper jeans that are excessively wide-legged. Elephant leg, as we’ve discussed, is not a good look. It can make your legs look short and stumpy — not recommended! This often happens unintentionally when jeans get shortened — the tailor brings them up without realizing that the new bottom of the jeans is unflatteringly wide. So take a good look at the width of the jeans around the new hemline to see if it needs tapering. Some jeans only need a slight taper to just above the ankles, and others need it almost as high as the knee.Do you have any tips or tricks for how you get your jeans tailored perfectly? Please share in the comments!Cheers,Julie

What to Wear for the Kentucky Derby

Even if you're not going to the Derby itself, but rather watching at home or a party, I highly recommend dressing for the occasion. There are plenty of options for Derby gear, suitable for everyone from the most conservative guys to those with a little more style aplomb. Here are a three outfits to consider, from least to most dialed:Men's Personal Shopper: Kentucky Derby Style

  1. Navy blazer, chinos or shorts, light colored dress shirt, and bright or pastel colored tie or bowtie (extra points for coordinating pocket square).
  2. Men's Personal Shopper: Kentucky Derby StyleSeersucker suit or jacket, white shirt, open collar, pocket square (in either a traditional/neutral color like navy or a bright/pastel).
  3. Men's Image Consultant: Kentucky Derby StyleBrightly colored pants, light colored shirt and sportcoat, pastel tie and pocket square.

Men's Image Consultant: Kentucky Derby StyleHats, of course, an optional bonus ;)Cheers,Julieimages via kentuckyderby.com, GQ.com, vineyardvines.com

The One Shoe Type That Works with Almost Any Outfit

Men's Style Consulting: What Shoes to WearWhat would you say if I told you there was one shoe you could wear with just about anything on a daily basis? You'd be all over that, right? It's true. A medium brown lace-up dress shoe can be worn with any outfit except for a tuxedo, a black suit (which you shouldn't be wearing anyway), and shorts. Wear them with jeans, chinos, suits and dress pants.One of the places I always recommend investing in wardrobe-wise is shoes -- you're better off buying one pair of quality shoes and replacing them as needed every 5 years or so, than a crappy quality shoe that you have to replace every year. When it comes to making the most of your footwear investment, another key to keep in mind is not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. If you rotate your shoes, they'll last a whole lot longer.So if you're going to make an investment shoe purchase, I highly recommend a medium-brown lace-up. They can have a cap toe, no cap toe (see above), or you can do a wingtip (see below).Men's Style Consulting: What Shoes to WearCheers,Julie

How to Wear Man Jewelry

Men's Image Consulting: How to Wear Man JewelryMan jewelry is one of those things that a lot of guys are curious about but are not sure how to (or if they even can) pull off. I get it -- it's so easy to do it wrong, that it's almost too intimidating to try. Take my long-time client "A," for example, who works for a management consulting firm. When we first started working together several years ago, every Friday when he came home from the office, he'd put on a colorful beaded necklace. This was his way of marking that the weekend had begun and he was transitioning into hip and relaxed dad mode. Only issue was the necklace looked like one of those candy necklaces kids wear (that's actually what I thought it was the first time I saw it -- oops). Not exactly cool dad material. Even though A didn't quite execute, I give him props for trying. Fortunately this problem had an easy solution -- we ditched the necklace in favor of a more masculine-feeling and subdued combination of bracelets that he looked forward to putting on every weekend and that didn't make him look like he shopped for accessories at the candy store.How can you avoid looking like a casualty when it comes to wearing man jewelry? I've put together the following 8 basic rules for you to follow so you can get it right the first time, plus a few pix from around the web for inspiration. [Note: for the purposes of this post, I'll only be addressing casual jewelry -- necklaces, bracelets and non-wedding band rings -- as that's what I see guys struggling the most with].Men's Image Consulting: How to Wear Man Jewelry

  1. The less shiny the better. Shiny jewelry can come off as cheesy, so if you're thinking of incorporating metal into your jewelry repertoire, go for darker tones and matte finish. Texture within a piece can also reduce shine and make it more wearable. Bottega Veneta and David Yurman make great textured metal pieces (woven, grooved, etc.).
  2. Man jewelry doesn't have to be metal. Consider pieces made of materials like rope, leather, wood and beads for a durable, earthy look. Think masculine shapes -- things like bars, nail heads, hooks, spikes, arrows, anchors, shapes with strong lines and hard angles, and antlers all give off a manly vibe that works well in jewelry.
  3. Bracelets > necklaces. If you're just dipping your toes in, I highly recommend starting with a bracelet or two, as opposed to a necklace. It's a more subdued statement that won't completely take over your look the way a necklace does. You can wear one bracelet next to your watch, or a few on their own. And don't be afraid to mix a couple colors or textures, while keeping the overall look tasteful. Once you're wearing it, try not to fiddle. Put it on, then forget about it.
  4. But if you're already a style renegade, go ahead and jump in with a necklace. A good length is somewhere between your collarbone and the middle of your chest. And one or two at a time is your max.
  5. If you're going to try rings, the most in my opinion a man can safely pull off is 2 or sometimes 3 per hand, and keep in mind the masculine shape element in #2 above.
  6. Try vintage. Vintage pieces often have a patina that give wonderful character to man jewelry. Bonus: they can also be good conversation starters. Things that are interesting and look like they have a story to them pique peoples' interest.
  7. Keep your build in mind. If you're smaller-boned, go for smaller-scale pieces. Similarly, if you're a big guy, you don't want to dwarf overly-delicate pieces.
  8. Don't match...complement. If your watch is black leather with silver-tone metal, then don't pick a black and silver bracelet to wear with it. Try a royal blue instead, something that will work with the cool tones. In general, warm tones (gold, mustard yellow, forest green, eggplant, maroon) work together, and cool tones (purple, royal blue, blue-based red) work together. If you're curious about how to combine colors for the best possible effect, you may want to check out my online style course, Next Level Style, which has a full section on color.
images via GQ, Giles and Brother Instagram

Do the front tuck

Men's Image Consulting: Half Tuck ShirtHave 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:

  1. Pick a t-shirt or button-up shirt that fits you well and that hits about halfway down the fly of your pants.
  2. Button your shirt all the way to the bottom. (Even though the front will be tucked in, it's easier to control if it's buttoned).
  3. Tuck the front of your shirt into your jeans or chinos (again, these should fit well).
  4. Don't think too hard about what you're about to do next.
  5. Pull the front out so that it's blousing over your pant waistband as in the image above. The front/center 3/4 of the shirt should stay inside your pants.
  6. Go on with your day! The less you fuss around with this look, the better.

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

Body Language Hacks to Improve Your People Skills

Men's Image Consulting: Body Language

"There are two kinds of people in this life: those who walk into a room and say, "Well, here I am!" And those who walk in and say, "Ahh, there you are."

-Leil Lowndes, How to Talk to Anyone

Even the smallest gestures can reveal insights into character and shape perceptions about people. While most of my client work is focused on the clothing and grooming elements of image, I do at times work on enhancing clients' body language.The cool thing about putting intention into how you carry your body is that you can actually improve where you stand socially and in your relationships just by how you move your body in the world. Below is a roundup of some of my favorite body language hacks and where to get more info about them.

  1. If you want to come across as 100% credible to everyone, according to the book How to Talk to Anyone, by Leil Lowndes, avoid fidgeting at all costs. It's especially important to squelch any motions around your face (wiping beads of perspiration, scratching an itch, loosening a collar, etc.), which can be read as deceitful.

  2. If you want to intrigue people, use the technique Lowndes calls "Sticky Eyes." This is where you "pretend your eyes are glued to your conversation partner's with sticky, warm taffy. Don't break eye contact even after he or she has finished speaking. When you must look away, do it ever so slowly, reluctantly, stretching the gooey taffy until the tiny string finally breaks." Lowndes says men should do this in particular when talking to women. It can also be done man-to-man, but just want to make your eyes a little "less sticky" when discussing personal matters so that your intentions don't get misinterpreted.

  3. In Harvard professor and social psychologist Amy Cuddy's Ted talk, she shares how just two minutes of "power posing" can affect how you feel about yourself, and in turn, how others perceive you. Power posing actually changes your body chemistry, thereby affecting your behavior and interactions with others. One pose that's easy to remember is standing with your legs wide, chest puffed out and your arms in a wide V above your head or your hands on your hips. What's interesting about this pose is that it's innate -- people who were born blind do it when they are victorious in events, even when they've never been taught to do so. Cuddy suggests doing this high-power pose in private before important meetings like job interviews in order to improve your confidence and presence during the meeting. I've actually used this technique myself before going into high stakes meetings and found it to be very effective.

 
Have you tried any of the techniques above? Or found any others that work? Let me know in the comments below!Cheers,Julie

The 5 Worst Style Offenses of 2015

People ask me if when I'm out in public I mentally critique what other people are wearing. While unflattering outfits do register on a subconscious level, I'm actually not always scoping folks out. But every now and then I come across a particularly egregious style snafu that makes me stop and scratch my head.Below are 5 of the worst style offenses I came across in 2015, and because I like to keep things positive around here, I also put together 5 easy actions you can take to improve your image in 2016.

The Worst of 2015

1. Pants so tight we can see the full curvature of your rear end. Let's keep some of that badonkadonk a mystery, shall we?Men's Image Consultant: Tie Length2. Tie point hitting in the middle of your belly. When this happens, because the tie point often lands on the widest part of your stomach, this can actually make you look like you have more of a belly than you actually do. The bottom of your tie should instead hit at the top or center of your belt buckle, so tie your knot accordingly.3. a) Poorly-fitting rented tuxedos.b) Known associate of offender #3a: tuxedo vests.4. Excessive amounts of cologne and/or aftershave. If your smell stays in the elevator for more than 5 seconds after you exit, I implore you to tone it down. And I know I said this last year and the year before that, but my nasal passages are still being assaulted more often than they should be by awful-smelling aftershaves. If the kind you use rhymes with Schmold Schpice, find something less offensive to wear. Men's Image Consultant: how jeans should fit

5. Jean pant legs that run like a straight column from knee to ankle (above, left). I call this "elephant leg." Some tapering above and around your ankle will make you look longer and leaner (above, right).

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Style Do's for 2016

Men's Image Consultant: Undershirts1. Get undershirts that fit trimly. This will make a world of difference in terms of how your dress shirts look on you.2. Replace your worn-out jeans. I get it, they've been with you through all your ups and downs. But trust me when I say the holes and shredded bottoms are not cute.Men's Image Consultant: Boots3. Incorporate a great pair of boots into your wardrobe. If boots aren't a regular in your casual wardrobe routine, it's time to change that. Get yourself a go-to pair of leather or suede boots, and your wardrobe will be elevated instantly.4. Update your loungewear. Just because you're hanging out at home doesn't mean you need to be sitting around in a pair of old mesh shorts or your boxers. Get a few pairs of shorts and t-shirts that are specifically for just chilling (bonus: if there's a fire alarm and you have to run outside, you're set). James Perse and Derek Rose are two brands in particular that I like for this.5. Dress situationally. One of the secrets to refined style is to dress in line with whatever situation you find yourself in. This means if you go out at night, you don't wear the same thing you did to work that day. You take it up a notch. Similarly, you wear different colors and fabrics in Fall and Winter than you do in Spring and Summer. Think darker tones and more texture. Once you start learning how to dress situationally, you'll actually radiate a sense of effortlessness through your look.Wishing you a dashing and delightful 2016.Cheers,Julie

The 2016 Rath & Co. Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to the 6th annual Rath & Co. holiday gift guide! This list is one of my favorite posts to create for you. And if your inbox over the past week has been anything like mine, it's filled with a frenzy of sales and offers, some better than others. It's a little overwhelming, even for me. There is so much stuff to weed through. And let's be real, much of what's being touted as good holiday gifts is uninspired and trite. Kind of like just going through the motions of giving someone a gift without putting much thought into it. What's the point of that?

What I've done with this year's gift guide is scouted for Rath-approved items that not everyone else will be getting -- interesting and unique gifts that show some thought was put into choosing them. The list is divided up into ideas for men and ideas for women and cover a range of budgets. The ideas for men may cover the guys on your list -- or maybe they're things you'll ask for yourself.

FOR HIM

Executive Image Consulting: Men's Holiday Gift Ideas

Cause and Effect bracelet ($50) - This is for a guy who's somewhat advanced in the style dept. Man jewelry is not the easiest thing to pull off (post coming soon on that, I promise), but I love the raw feel of this painted copper cuff. It can be worn alone or in combination with a watch or other bracelets for a full-on arm party.

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Men's Image Consulting: Gift Ideas for Men

Nike + Undercover Court Force High-Top Sneakers ($150) - OK, so he's got a basic non-workout sneaker (hopefully). Now it's time to take it up a notch with something more stylish. This high-top from Nike is a great option for a guy who wants to step up his style but doesn't want to get involved in wacky colors or over-the-top patterns.

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Executive Image Consulting: Men's Holiday Gift Ideas

Felisi jeans belt ($175) - If you or the guy on your list doesn't have a solid jeans belt (no, the reversible black to brown one does not count), it's time to remedy that. I like this one from Felisi because each buckle hole is embossed with numbers for a subtle twist on the classic. 

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Executive Image Consulting: Men's Holiday Gift Ideas

Wooly Mammoth Tusk Kershaw Knife ($270) - I can't think of many gifts more manly than a badass knife like this one. The handle is made from the tusks of wooly mammoths that lived around 15,000 years ago. 

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Image Consulting for Executives: Men's Holiday Gift Ideas

Kingsman + Deakin & Francis rose gold chevron money clip ($395) - Many of my clients use money clips, so I'm always on the lookout for extra cool and different ones. This rose gold chevron one is a great find -- totally unique and eye-catching.

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FOR HER

Image Consulting for Executives: Men's Holiday Gift Ideas

D.L. & Co snake journal ($35) - There's something so luxurious about pulling a gorgeous journal out of your bag to write in, and this glitter snake journal does not disappoint. If snakes aren't her thing, D.L. & Co. has a number of other lovely options including feathers and butterflies. 

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Image Consulting for Executives: Men's Holiday Gift Ideas

Eberjey pajama set ($102) - Nice pajamas are the kind of thing women rarely buy for themselves but make them feel totally pampered when slipping into them at night (I will admit though that I inspired myself with this post and picked up a couple pairs of these for myself). 

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Image Consulting for Executives: Men's Holiday Gift Ideas

$495 Dana Rebecca earrings - Every woman needs a pair of signature everyday earrings -- ones she can wear to spin class and straight into the shower after -- without having to remember to remove them (who has time for that, really?). Jewelry is also an awesome gift because it's something she can wear but that you don't have to worry about sizing for. Bonus is she'll think of you whenever she looks in the mirror.

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Image Consulting for Executives: Men's Holiday Gift Ideas

Miscere weekender bag with zip on/off appliqués ($650) - I discovered these Miscere weekender bags on Instagram a while back and became obsessed immediately. With interchangeable fabrics/patterns to choose from for the center panel, she can adjust the look seasonally or just according to her mood or outfit. Such a smart idea in this era of "bespoke" everything.

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Image Consulting for Executives: Men's Holiday Gift IdeasLana Jewelry necklace ($980) - If you want to roll a little bigger on the jewelry front than the earrings above, then have at this black mother of pearl and quartz necklace. It has tons of different colors in it and will therefore work with a lot of different outfits. It's unique, sexy, earthy and interesting -- lots going on in one piece!

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Here's to a hip and happy holiday season.Cheers,Julie

The Case for Wearing a Watch [and some non-bank breaking picks]

Men's Image Consultant: How to Choose a Watch

Are you wearing a watch everyday? If not, you're missing out on an easy way to create a signature look, one that will set you apart from everyone else. In the image above, I've selected 25 of my favorite watches on the market right now. Many of them are from under-the-radar brands you've likely not heard of. The nice thing about these watches is that NOT every other dude in your office will be wearing the same thing as you. Several are under $300, so you don't need to break the bank to do this (although I did choose some deliciously splurge-worthy ones as well!). Below are where to find/buy, along with style notes for a few of them.

1) Tsovet, $2002) Tsovet, $2253) Aark Collective, $1994) TID, $2505) Nixon, $350. The face is made out of recycled newspapers fashioned to look like wood.6) Daniel Wellington, $2997) Orient Watch, $3408) Orient Watch, $3409) Diesel, $35010) Seiko, $35011) Aark Collective, $31912) Tsovet, $45013) Tsovet, $47514) Helson, $59915) Bravur, $82016) Autodromo $87517) Bravur, $88018) Jenny Watches, $990 [click for black band]19) Seven Friday, $115020) Uniform Wares, $120021) Autodromo $120022) Junghans, $212023) Graham Chronograph, $282524) Tsovet, $10,00025) Rolex/Bamford Watch Dept., Price upon request [If you haven't heard of Bamford Watch Department, they take various luxury brand watches like Rolex, Panerai, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, etc. and customize them, for example with military grade titanium or graphite particle coating, along with bespoke dial colors. Pretty much your wish is their command. Just like with anything on this level of exclusivity, be prepared to open your wallet in a big way for watches like these. There's some amazing pieces on their website, along with some pretty trippy pieces (like this), so it's worth a click over even if just to browse.]Tip: if you like the overall shape of something but aren't sure of the color, click over anyway, as many of these styles come in multiple colors.

Dating Profile Contest Winners Unveiled!

I held a contest a few weeks ago, along with dating coach Sarah Jones, to review the dating profiles of 3 guys' from our email lists. We had some great entries, and I'm excited to be sharing our commentary with you. Huge props to these guys for entering the contest -- it takes some serious cojones to put yourself out there like this. If you're not on my newsletter list, I highly recommend getting yourself on there, as I frequently hold contests and share commentary in my newsletters that you won't find me posting about anywhere else. Read on for our reviews...Men's Style Advice: Dating ProfilesJulie:These pictures display a great mix of expressions and moods. It shows you as a well-rounded guy, and I like that you included one with more of your body as well as just your face. What would make your profile pix an even more thorough combination, is if instead of using all of them from the same scene, you included pictures from different situations. That gives you a chance to show yourself in various situations where you show up in your life, and how you dress for each one.Overall, you have a friendly, open and smart look, which is appealing. I like that the images aren’t too posed -- you come across as very “real” in them. Great shirt choice, too. The grey picks up nicely on the silver tones in your hair, and the rolled up sleeves make you look approachable.I do have a couple of suggestions for you:

  1. In the two closeup shots, your dark glasses frames obstruct your eyes. Most women find eyes extremely appealing (they’re often the first thing people look at in others’ faces), and with the glasses impeding my view of them, I lose that connection.
  2. There are a few red spots on your face, which can be a little distracting to the viewer. I’d love for you to clear them up so that we can focus on everything else that’s so great about these shots. Here is a blemish patch that I've found works well for my clients, and it's only $5.

Great work!Sarah:Hi there! Excellent job right off the bat talking about her and her values. Intelligence, openness, and playfulness. “Deliriously exciting” — so good! Every woman wants to have that effect on a man. :)I love the “stimulating conversations that would last all night…” — very, very good. See what you did there? You incorporated “stimulating” with “lasting all night.” Very sexy and yet subtle. It is referring to “conversations” after all, ahem (straightens collar). ;)In that second paragraph, you go more into what those initial values you mentioned in her say about your relating with each other and your experience of her as well as what you’re like as a man.Then you segue into who you are, and I love that you’re not overly humble. You’re honestly stating what you enjoy about yourself — so important, as it sets the tone for her to enjoy you too!In the end, go into a little more sensual detail about your favorite kinds of gigs and museums and where you’d like to take HER.Also, maybe replace the last line, “If this sort of man would rock your world, get in touch as I’d love to hear from you,” with something like, “If you’re half as excited reading this as I was writing it, message me. I’d love to hear from you.”It feels more natural and playfully personal.Overall, beautiful job! I can feel your excitement through your thoughtful, visceral words. You took it home for the win with the “stimulating conversations” line. Well done. ;)

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New York Men's Image Consultant: Dating StyleJulie:Your images show a nice mix of expressions which allow your potential dates to see both your serious and fun sides. To add to that, if you’re going to include two pics, I’d love for one of them to show more of your body (either full body or even just the upper half). That way, they can get a sense of your build and how you dress, and therefore determine if you’re a match physically. It also makes it more personal and less like you’re using posed headshots. This is an excellent start!Sarah:Hi there!I like how you share your value of meaningful conversations and discovering new places. It goes harmoniously with your expat detail and love of adventures. Beautiful statement, “I consider myself an energetic person with a stable character.”I can see your character shining through in that very statement! That’s not something you hear often – the combination of those traits — so it’s fresh and sincere.I’d replace the, “Some people would say they don’t understand my sense of humor,” with, “It takes a special jewel of a person to really, fully understand my sense of humor — most likely, a jewel with a deep sense of humor herself who I’d immensely enjoy getting to discover!”This way, you’re acknowledging her, calling her special, and generously / rightfully sharing the attention with her and her sense of humor.In the food and books section, talk about your very favorite Mediterranean dish and your very favorite Asian dish. The sensual specificity of the exact meals shows your own sensuality, that you experience the world in a delicious way — implying that you’ll delight in her sensually as well, and she in you. It brings the conversation there in a subtle way. (Thanks to my friend and colleague Adam Gilad for that special tip as well as the principles of a lot of the advice I’m sharing!)Overall, your personality shines through, and what I suggest is bringing her in more and sharing your sensual side more through describing food and places you enjoy.

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New York Men's Image Consultant: Style Advice for DatingJulie:I love the friendly, engaging smile you have in your profile pic. It makes you come across as easygoing and happy with lots of positive energy. I do have a few suggestions which will help make your images even better:1) I like your breezy haircut, but it would be great if you could trim the hair over your ears (or have your hairdresser do it). This will clean up the look and make you look a little less shaggy.2) It’s a bit hard to tell because the image size is so small, but I’d love for you to consider whitening up your teeth. You have a wonderful smile, and this would freshen it up even more. Crest Whitestrips are a great, affordable option.Overall, like I said, you come across as very appealing. And with a few tweaks, you’ll be even more so.Sarah: Hi, your profile is great. We worked on it together, and when you first sent it to me, it was a little too strong with, “We are going to do xyz,” instead of, “Let’s see about xyz,” which is a more laid-back feel.For everyone else reading, I’ll share what you and I did with your profile so they can benefit too. :)First, you open with the, “You’re the kind of woman who…” frame, which sparks her intrigue and pre-qualifies. The women who respond to, “You’re usually shy, but bubbly and talkative around people who ‘get’ you,” are women who are right down your alley, from Sentence #1.Then you continue to explore her personality, views on life, and values in that first paragraph, allowing her to see herself there.In the second and third paragraphs, you talk about the two of you together on a fun date, piquing her interest further and showing your playful side.Then you mention you as a couple, “if we’re fortunate to get that far with each other,” which acknowledges that you are two people with your own choices and preferences and may or may not be the right fit. This is realistic and the opposite of needy. It sets a strong vibe.Finally, you transition into, “As for me,” and share more about yourself - both your personality and your values so she can really get a sense of you. I remember we changed one sentence in that last paragraph from details all about your multiplayer tactics game “‘baby’ project” and replaced it with, “I’ll spare you the details, but just know - it’s quite exciting though a potentially distant second to sharing a laugh with you. :)”I love that sentence! It shares your real, palpable passion for what you’re creating while also giving her “potential” space to come in and share a laugh with you, bond with you, and be the center of your attention for an evening.So good! All in all, you share what she’s like, what you’re like together, and then what you yourself are like, all in a way that showcases your unique personality in an inviting, laid-back, genuine way.Well done! :)

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For more information on Sarah, including how she might be able to help you, click over to her website Introverted Alpha.Cheers,Julie   

Fall Jacket Picks

Fall jackets represent one of the biggest gaps in a man's s wardrobe. And as I've mentioned before, your outerwear sets the tone for your entire look. It's the first thing people see on you when you walk in the door, and the last thing they see when you leave. So even if the outfit you're wearing underneath it is on point, a jacket that's off kills the whole look. Below are my Fall jacket picks for this year in a range of price points.$0-300Men's Image Consultant: Fall JacketAsos Burgundy Peacoat $126 - This one is a little out there with the burgundy color, but the classic peacoat style keeps it grounded. It's for the guy that wants to think outside the box while maintaining a level of convention.

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$300-500Men's Personal Shopper: Bonobos jacketBonobos grey quilted $328- The heather grey on this jacket is universally flattering, and the waist tabs in the back allow for a trim fit around the waist where many jackets balloon out.Men's Style Consultant: Aether Apparel JacketAether Apparel blue zip $395 - This Aether Apparel jacket is perfect for a sporty yet tailored look. I love this brand because their clothing is performance-focused but still manages to look sharp on.

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$500-1000Men's Personal Shopper: Belstaff Fall jacketBelstaff navy quilted and ribbed $650 - Known for well-made and stylish outerwear, Belstaff jackets are an easy win. (David Beckham is a fan -- he has a capsule collection with Belstaff of moto-inspired pieces which I also recommend checking out.) I like the combination of the knit and quilted textures in this one. Men's Style Consultant: Belstaff Fall jacketBelstaff multi-toned wool and nylon $850 - Similar to the navy Belstaff above, the mixture of different colors and textures in this jacket give it a strong visual appeal.

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$1000+Men's Image Consultant: Thomas Maier Fall jacketTomas Maier grey cashmere $1250 - This faux shearling cashmere jacket is understated luxury at its best. The knit texture gives it a relaxed sweater-y feel, and yet it's tailored enough that you could also wear it more dressily.

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Early Fall is the best time to buy because selections are good, and many stores are running sales. Don't delay -- if you wait too long, you run the risk of there being nothing left in your size, and you being stuck jacket-less until next year.What's your Fall outerwear of choice this season?Cheers,Julie 

Boss Level Layering

With Fall on the way, it's time to get down to the important business of layering.

Layering is THE way to get through transition seasons like Fall and Spring where there can be dramatic fluctuations in temperature at different points in the day. To make Fall shopping easier for you, below I've shared 4 of my top picks to layer with for layering this season, within a range of budgets, so there's something for everyone.

$0-100 Thin Sweater - This sweater is the perfect basic. You can wear it in place of a standard dress shirt under a sportcoat or suit jacket. It can go under a thick button-up shirt, and even under a chunky, textured cardigan sweater.

$100-150 Dressy Hoodie - Another versatile piece of knitwear, this hooded linen blend cardigan is perfect zipped up or left open in place of a jacket on a crisp day. For dressier occasions, you can wear it in place of or under a sportcoat/suit jacket (with or without neckwear).

$150-200 Lightweight Vest - Like the hoodie above, this vest can go beneath a sportcoat/suit jacket (the idea behind this look is that just a portion of the vest or hoodie peeks out on either side of the jacket opening, thereby creating visual interest. Unlike the sweater, however, the vest can also go on top of the jacket. For casual looks, try it as shown above right over a dress shirt and zip-neck sweater. The three collars work together nicely as they frame the face.

$200-250 Denim Overshirt - A.P.C. is a French brand known for high quality denim. A shirt like this will only get better with time. Wear it over a t-shirt, henley, or thin sweater like the first one listed above. Leave it unbuttoned or buttoned just to the bottom of your breastbone.

How to Shop on a Budget

I know how it is. Your wardrobe is missing some key pieces, but you don't have tons of cash to devote to the resolution. Don't worry -- I've got your back! Read on for some of my best budget shopping secrets.

  1. Get on the lists - There are some great flash sale and deal sites out there like Jack Threads and Gilt. These websites have daily drops of curated collections at excellent prices (and yes, you can typically return things that don't work). Also, make sure to check out Dappered, which is a site that shares some of the best deals to be found on the web.
  2. Make friends with the salespeople - Salespeople (naturally) like to make sales. For that reason, a really good salesperson will go out of his or her way to let you know when certain items are going on sale, often in advance. If there's a store with clothing you typically like, look for a friendly salesperson who will add you to their "book" and let you know when the items you're interested in are going on sale before the sale gets announced to the general public. They may even be able to put things on hold for you so that you can snatch the items up before anyone else gets them.
  3. Set up alerts - If you find an item you like online that's out of your budget, you can set up a sale alert so that you're notified of when the price drops. ShoptagrNifti and Rack It Up are three sites that do this for you.
  4. Get the code - Most online stores will give you 10-20% off just for signing up for their list. That allows you to take a good amount right off the top. You can also try googling the store name plus the word "code" or "coupon," and you may be able to get a discount that way too.

Happy Fall, and happy bargain-hunting!Cheers,Julie 

And the Winners Are [LinkedIn Profile Pic Reviews]

In July, I made an offer that as a free gift, I would evaluate five of my newsletter subscribers' LinkedIn profile pics. I chose randomly from the applicants to give suggestions on where they can make improvements.  These guys were brave, agreeing to be critiqued in public like this! (I warned them that they needed to be thick-skinned to apply.) Huge props to the guys who did. See below for the 5 reviews. And if you aren't on my newsletter list, definitely check it out, as I make offers like this frequently.Men's Style MakeoverFran, you have an open facial expression, which is very appealing. Busy backgrounds are usually not a good idea, but the trees in your picture mesh together, and your face pops against them so we don't lose you in the background. Given your profession as a chaplain, these elements of openness are a bonus. The main thing I'd change about your picture is that I'd much rather see you in a button-up shirt or even a nice sweater than a plain t-shirt. Simply put, it's more professional. There's also something about the way your face is skewed to the diagonal that makes my brain hurt a little! The shot would be better if it was straight on so people don't have to tilt their heads to look at you.

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Men's Style MakeoverHi Terry, thanks for the nice note you included in your entry. Here's what I think you can improve upon with your profile pic -- overall, the image feels dated to me with that colorful mottled background. For a studio shot, you're better off with plain white behind you instead. If you're going to redo these, I'd also suggest you get (and use) a higher resolution image so it doesn't look as fuzzy on screen, and when you crop it before uploading, I want to see more of what you're wearing on top. I like to think of a suit, shirt and tie as a portrait themselves, and it's distracting that we only catch the top part of your tie. Try to show more to waist level or the bottom of your breastbone, and make sure you're centered in the image when you crop it too. You're smart to be wearing a solid shirt (solids photograph easily), but white can look stark in pictures, so I'd suggest a different solid like light blue instead. In terms of the content of the image (aka you!), I know it's hard if you aren't comfortable being photographed, but it would be great if you could give more of a natural smile. A good photographer will be able to help you relax and be more yourself in the moment during the shoot.

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Men's Style MakeoverHey Rob, your image is another where my eye immediately gets distracted by the background. You get lost in front of the tree, lights, snow, decorations, and pine cones -- that's a lot of stuff going on behind you that isn't related to your work! It's cool to take your pic outside or look for an interesting background, but it should be neutral and not distracting. My advice: keep it professional and get the seasonal stuff out of there. Check out point #4 in this post on how to get good headshot photos, and also this portfolio of client images on my website for ideas on better backgrounds. Your outfit, too, is a little casual for a LinkedIn shot (definitely looks like this is a pic that was taken socially but that you're using for business). I'd suggest the same shirt with a sportcoat or suit jacket instead. Otherwise, your smile is fantastic -- you come across as very personable and likeable, a can-do guy!

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Men's Style MakeoverChris, I love how you come across in this image as having a fun, upbeat personality. Who wouldn't want to work with someone with that energy?! With your sales job, being magnetic in that way is key. A few things for you -- see if you can crop the image so that the top of your hair doesn't get cut off and so that we can see more of your upper body. Cut it to mid-chest at least. That said, the shirt you're wearing is too busy for a headshot (which may be why you cropped it so much!). Busy patterns are distracting to the viewer. So, eventually, you should look to have a new pic taken wearing a solid color or less busy pattern instead. Finally, there is nothing like a gleaming white smile, especially if you're selling things. Check out some of those tooth whitening toothpastes or Crest whitestrips and/or, if you know someone who's good with photoshop, you can have him or her whiten your teeth couple shades. It'll brighten you up and make you even more appealing!

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Men's Style MakeoverCalvin, you clearly put time and energy into this shot, and it shows. I like how you're looking off to the side -- it's different from the standard straight-on shot, and with your line of work being creative, it's compelling. The first thing my eye is drawn to though is a dark line that cuts across the top of your image, skirting your hairline. Can your photographer edit that out? It would make a huge difference. I'm also not wild about the grey suit against the grey background, as it gets a little lost, but the windowpane pattern on your suit does make it stand out somewhat. Like I said, you clearly put effort into creating this shot, and a lot of things about it work -- the patterns in your suit and tie are the right scale for a headshot (i.e., not too small). The charcoal grey suit picks up on the grey in your hair, and your skin pops against your vibrant blue shirt. In terms of your outfit, the two things I would change are your pocket square and lapel pin. The pocket square is too close to your shirt color but not exact -- it looks like you were trying to match it but didn't quite execute. Rather than matching your pocket square to a major element in your look (i.e., your shirt), you're better off with a square in a color that picks up on a minor color elsewhere in the outfit. A light grey like the one in the pattern of your tie or the windowpane of your suit jacket would be better -- it will be a more nuanced look. You might even be able to have the color of your square photoshopped so you don't have to reshoot. Finally, the lapel pin. It's a great detail for in-person, and it suits you and the creative image you're putting out there, but it doesn't translate in pictures. To someone who doesn't know what a lapel pin is, it will be confusing and distracting (it almost looks a little like a microphone!). It's a nice touch, and it suits you, so save it for in-person appearances.Thank you so much to everyone who entered. You guys are awesomely bold putting yourselves out there for critique like this -- I know it isn't easy! I'll be doing more contests like this in the future, so if this sort of thing interests you, make sure to sign up for my list so you can find out about it.Cheers,Julie

The only swimsuit style you need

Men's Style Advice: SwimwearSummer 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.I like the brands Orlebar Brown (one of my go-to's for clients), along with Frescobol Carioca and Robinson Les Bains for this style.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.Cheers,Julie

Where George Clooney Gets It Wrong

George Clooney StyleWhenever I start working with new clients, one of the first questions I ask is if there's anyone (celebrity, newscaster, politician) whose style they'd like to emulate. More often than not, George Clooney's name shows up on the list. No shock -- Clooney is a boss on the red carpet. Has been for years. But GQ just released its annual 20 Most Stylish Men Alive list and, with it, took the following swipe at him:FWIW: George Clooney may be an icon of manliness to those of us who were born before 1985, but nobody under the age of thirty seems to think of him as particularly stylish.Under thirty crowd comment aside, I'm prone to agree that his casual gear could use some touching up. Here's why, and what you can learn from it:1) Tequila t-shirt: if you run a business, don't turn yourself into a human billboard for it. I get the irony -- Clooney's net worth is estimated at $180 million. He doesn't need to hawk tequila. But the t-shirt does nothing for him, and it makes him look like he's stepping out in old, dirty clothes.2) Dad jeans: it's no secret that dad jeans do not a style icon make. Some dad jeans are worse offenders than others, and while these aren't most awful ones I've seen, they are indeed very bad with their stumpy-leg and diaper-butt cut. Especially with his leggy new wife Amal, the last thing Clooney should do is wear jeans that make his bottom half look squat.3) Backpack and jacket: looking for a surefire way to look like a clod and ruin your tailored clothing while you're at it? Wear a backpack with your sport or suit jacket! This is one of the worst style mistakes a guy can make, and I am still trying to retrieve the contents of my head after its explosion thanks to the image above.What do you think of Clooney's style? Do you agree he's losing his edge? Let me know in the comments below.Cheers,Julie

How to Look Attractive in Glasses

Today’s post is a guest piece written by Ruth Domber, owner of 10/10 Optics.Your eyewear just may be one of the most important accessories you wear. This one item can create the image that you’d most like to project. Your specs say as much about you as the clothes on your back. With that in mind, here's how to choose frames that will make you look attractive. [Julie note: many women find glasses super sexy on a man, so it pays to find frames that truly flatter you.]Men's Style Blog: How to Choose GlassesSize matters The best nonverbal tool you have for communication is your eyes. By choosing a frame with the proper proportions, you maximize eye contact and increase possibilities for communication. Here’s how to figure out the right size: pinpoint the widest part of your face as a guide for width, contour the shape of your brows for height and the top of your cheekbone for depth.Quick tips for a great fit*If you have oily skin, stay away from shiny frames and opt for a matte finish instead.*Make sure that your bridge (nose area) is a perfect fit, as that’s the one part of the frame that cannot be easily corrected if the fit is off.*The arms of the glasses should not squeeze or push in on the sides of your face.*How deep should the frames sit on your face? Never past the flare of your nostrils and never resting on your cheeks.*The arms should be enough length to anchor at your temples at least 1/3 way around the back of your ear.Men's Style Blog: How to Choose GlassesMen's Style Blog: How to Choose Glasses FramesOther features If your hair is thin, or you’re bald, a bolder look brings the attention back to your eyes. Angles make weak jawline look more defined.Men's Style Blog: How to Choose Glasses FramesColor as your best asset If you want to keep it businesslike, stay with blues, garnets and greens. Think about your favorite tie colors, and go in that direction. Color communicates individuality, creativity and openness to newideas. You can keep it subtle or go big.Men's Style Blog: How to Choose Glasses FramesIf you’re more into neutrals, use your hair or eye color as a simple way to find your best tones. And if you’re not sure about color, try natural materials. Horn, wood and leather are all tactile and elegant choices.Men's Style Blog: How to Choose Glasses FramesLet your glasses be an outward representation of who you are on the inside. If you’re still unsure of what works for you, try on a few styles, take some pictures and compare to figure out which suits you best.If you're in the NYC-area and in need of new glasses or sunglasses, I highly recommend you check out 10/10 Optics. It's one of my favorite local style resources!Cheers,Julie

Father's Day Gifts That Do Good

Much of my job is helping other people spend money in intelligent ways. The items my clients buy with me are investments in themselves both personally and professionally. (After all, the right suit can help you get the job or attract the girl.) And I'm always on the lookout for products that also make a difference in the world. It's extra-gratifying to help people find things that not only help them feel great about themselves but that also give back. So this year for Father's Day, I've rounded up the list below of Rath-approved gifts that do good in some way:Men's Style: bracelet/jewelry for menThe Rise Collective Survivor Cuff Man jewelry is a tricky thing to pull off (largely because non-cheesy man jewelry is rather elusive), but when I saw the Tim Ferriss instagram snap above, I had to find out more about this intricate and interesting piece. Turns out, the writing means "survivor" in Cambodian Sanskrit. And with each purchase, The RISE Collective provides a life essential to a survivor or at-risk child of slavery that will help educate, empower and protect them from a life of enslavement. Examples include school supplies, nutrition and health care. Go with matte finish for a more subtle look. $98 Men's Style: Father's Day GiftDavid Family Wines Everest Pinot Noir 100% of the proceeds from your purchase go to Next Generation Nepal's earthquake relief fund. Specifically -- I love how forthcoming they are about exactly how much goes to the charity -- for every bottle they sell, $53.17 will go towards their goal of donating $25,000 to NGN. $95. Men's Style: sunglasses for menTOMS sunglasses Sure, you've seen TOMS shoes all over, but did you know they also make sunglasses? For every pair of shades sold, TOMS will help one person somewhere to achieve better vision -- either by giving a pair of glasses, providing eye exams, or even providing surgery to those in need. The $98 Culver Matte Tortoise above will flatter most face shapes. $68-189 Men's Style: Father's Day GiftsLSTN Headphones From the handcrafted wooden earbuds above to the old school ear-covering phones, LSTN has your listening needs covered. For every pair of headphones sold, they help restore hearing to a person in need. In under 2 years, LSTN has been able to give the gift of sound to over 20,000 people through Starkey in the U.S., Peru, Kenya and Uganda. And if you sign up for their newsletter, you get 20% off your first purchase. $49-199Happy Father's Day!Cheers,Julie 

In Case You Missed These

Men's Style Advice: How to Change Your HairstyleI'm always on the lookout for the perfect style topic to share with you in each post. And I was looking back through my archives recently when it occurred to me that there are some gems in there you may have missed. So in case you didn't see them the first go-round, below are four of my favs that I think you'll find useful.How to Change Your Hair Style (George Clooney sets a good example above)The 6 Shoes Every Guy Should OwnHow to Combine Dress Shirts and PantsHow Your T-Shirt Should FitEnjoy!Cheers,Julie