What to Wear Where

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

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   

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

What to Wear to Your Office Holiday Party

Your office holiday party. One of the trickiest sartorial events you may encounter.You basically have 3 choices:1) Be the boring guy who makes no effort and simply wears the same kind of thing he wears to work every other day of the year.2) Be that guy who goes way overboard with a singing santa tie and matching socks.3) Put in just the right amount of effort where actually come off as being effortless with your style.No big shock, my choice for you would be #3. Here’s how to pull off an effortlessly cool holiday party look:1) Start with your everyday office attire, then take that up a notch. So if everyday is:

  • jeans and t-shirt --> wear chinos and a nicer t-shirt, henley or polo (in this case your office is super casual, so make sure that wherever your party is taking place is not fancy; if it is, opt for one of the options below based on whatever you can find out about the venue. If you're at all unsure, it's always better to be overdressed for something work-related like this.)
  • chinos and a button-up shirt --> wear dress pants or chinos and a button-up, and add a sportcoat or nice cardigan/v-neck sweater
  • dress pants and a button-up shirt --> wear dress pants and a button-up, and add a sportcoat
  • dress pants and a sportcoat --> wear a suit open-collar
  • a suit and tie --> wear your sharpest, best-fitting suit and a tie that meets one of the criterion below

2) Add 1-2 tasteful, festive touches in the form of a bright color, luxe/wintery fabric, slight sheen or extra panache from the following list:

Men's Style: What to Wear to Office Holiday Partysocks

What to Wear to Your Office Christmas Party: Tietie (or bowtie, if that's how you roll)

What to Wear to Your Office Christmas Party: Pocket Squarepocket square

Men's Style Tips: Office Christmas Partydress shirt (if you’re wearing one)

Men's Style Advice: Office Holiday Partycuff links

Men's Personal Shopper: Office Christmas Partytie bar

 What are you wearing to your office holiday party this year? Let me know in the comments below!Cheers,Julie

Stay Handsome with these Head-Turning Halloween Costumes

They say you can tell if a woman is single or attached based on how sexy her Halloween costume is. It's a different case for men though -- most guys' Halloween costumes are super dorky and do little in service of sex appeal.(I'm talking to you, guy-in-Dog-the-Bounty-Hunter costume who tried chatting me up last year.)But I say why not even the playing field? There's no need to subject yourself to such ridiculousness, and you can in fact look kinda dashing on Halloween, especially if you take it as an opportunity to show off well-fitting wardrobe items. Trust me, the ladies would much rather see a guy in a suit that fits like a glove than some plastic-y costume you picked up at a Halloween superstore or a DIY-job covered in marker scrawl.With that in mind, here are three Halloween ideas that will have you standing out from the sea of unattractive and unflattering costumes most guys are wearing.Men's Style Tips: Stylish Halloween Costumes1) American Psycho - Take one pinstripe suit, mix in one contrast collar shirt, a pair of braces + a red "power tie," add a clear plastic raincoat, and what do you have? Serial killer and Manhattan businessman Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho." Then all you have to do is slick back your hair and walk around humming Huey Lewis tunes (fake axe optional), and you'll be in business. Men's Style Tips: Stylish Halloween Costumes2) James Dean - Feel like a boss on those tight jeans? Get after it and channel your inner James Dean. Other than the jeans, the main things you'll need are a slim-fitting t-shirt (here's my primer on how this should fit) and a dark well-fitting bomber jacket or black leather jacket (here's an oldie-but-goodie that explains how to find the latter). Final touches: unzip that jacket just enough to look mysterious, and of course you'll also want to do your 'do.This one's not exactly family-friendly, so use your discretion if kids are around.Men's Style Tips: Stylish Halloween Costumes3) Chippendale - If your tuxedo fits you well, it's actually one of the most flattering things a guy can wear. Why not bust it out (or at least parts of it) in a tongue-in-cheek way and dress like a Chippendale à la Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze above. Wear the pants, the bowtie, and grab yourself a collar and cuffs set.Men's Style Tips: Stylish Halloween CostumesWhat are you wearing this Halloween? Leave me a comment below or post a picture on my Facebook page.Cheers,Julie

That's What She Said, Vol. 3: Nisha Moodley on How to Be a Man That Makes It Happen

In my third and final interview, Leadership Coach Nisha Moodley explains how attractive "a man that can make it happen" is to her, and how having good style can easily create that. She also gives her take on the difference between confidence and cockiness. Click here or on the image below to hear what Nisha has to say on the matter.Men's Style Advice: What Women LikeAnd if you'd like more style tips and to get your questions answered by me, sign up for my FREE online event "How to Dress for Power and Success" coming up next week.

That's What She Said, Vol. 1: Sara Davidson on Dressing for Attraction

I interviewed some of my most successful, smart, and gorgeous girlfriends to find out how important it really is to them for a guy to pay attention to his image and style, and I thought you might be interested in watching what they had to say. The first of these three interviews is with Sara Davidson, business strategist and marketing maven.Click here or on the image below to watch our interview. You'll hear what turns her on and off, and the one thing a guy did that completely changed the way she looked at him (and as a result she couldn't keep her hands off of him).Men's Style for DatingAfter you're done watching the interview, make sure you take my style quiz to see how you rate on a scale of 1 to 10. 

How Powerfully Are You Showing Up?

nls-logoHave you ever wondered how you rate on a scale of 1-10? Fall is practically here, and the holidays right after that. Those are key times to be exuding confidence and looking your best.If you want to get serious about your style, and be taken seriously as a result, I invite you to watch the video I made for you explaining how it all works. I've worked with hundreds of men worldwide, and it's been my incredible privilege to observe how much their lives improve and what opportunities come their way when they upgrade their style.On the same page as the video, you can also take my style quiz. It will show you how you measure up, and what you can do to get to a 10.

How to Turn Heads at the Beach

Men's Style Tips: How a swimsuit should fitNot 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.Men's Style Advice: How Your Swimsuit Should Fit2) 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).Cheers,JulieP.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.

Your Summer Hit List

 Men's Image Consultant: Summer WardrobeIs 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-necks2) Sweatshirt or long-sleeve shirt for post-beach3) Summer footwear: sandals, flip-flops, or what I call social sneaks (aka nice sneakers you wouldn't work out in)4) Sunglasses5) 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).7) Shorts8) Strong deodorant with anti-perspirant9) 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?Cheers,Julie 

What to Wear on a Spring Date

The frost has finally lifted here in New York City, and it is officially time to start thinking about Spring dates. Whether you’re strolling through a farmer’s market, going to your local botanical garden, or picnicking on a lawn, it’s key to dress appropriately. Below is a perfect outdoor Spring date outfit. Men's Style Help: What to Wear on a Spring Date Blazer via East Dane, shirt via Gant Rugger, pants and belt via Bonobos, shoes via Nordstrom.What's your favorite thing to wear on an outdoor date?

Bringing Your Style A-Game in a Casual Work Environment

There’s nothing better than a well-dressed man in a suit. And yet, while suiting is one of my favorite things to style, many Rath & Co. clients work in casual environments and don’t have the need or opportunity to wear dressy clothes very often. For these clients, the challenge becomes how to be well-dressed and get noticed without looking out of place among their peers. There’s a fine line between putting some effort into your appearance and seeming like you’re trying too hard (which can often result in getting busted on by coworkers – never fun). Those offices where jeans, t-shirts and sneakers are more common than a jacket and tie can range from tech startups to laboratories.With these challenges in mind, I’ve created the below list of 8 tips on how to step up your style just enough so that it improves your  self-image and the way you’re perceived by others, but not to the degree that you overdo it and become the object of skepticism or even ridicule.Men's Style: Converse Jack Purcell1) If you’re wearing sneakers, make sure they’re not ones you’d actually exercise in but rather what I call “social sneaks.” These are sneakers you wear for every day, not working out. They should be clean and fresh-looking. Wash or replace them as soon as they start to look grungy. Converse Jack Purcell's are a great choice. Men's Style: Avoid hybrid dress shoes2) Same goes for any other kind of footwear you might find yourself in: keep it classy and avoid anything with the word “hybrid” in its description. The place where the sneaker meets any other kind of shoe (i.e., dress shoe, boot or sandal) is like a dark alley late at night -- nowhere you'd want to be. Men's Style: Socks3) Just because you’re wearing a casual shoe, you don’t need to wear white gym socks or plain black dress socks. In fact, wearing more interesting socks is a great way to inject style into your look without going over the top. Try different colors or patterns, like those above from Drumohr. And even simply switching from black to navy or grey is a big improvement. Men's Style: textured tie4) If you’d like to wear ties but aren’t sure where to start, go with one in a fabric with texture as opposed to a more business-y silk. It can be cotton, wool, cashmere or silk knit. Texture makes you look approachable, so this gives you the added effect that comes from wearing a tie, done in a toned-down way. Pierrepont Hicks makes a number of good choices with texture, like the one above. Men's Style: Glasses5) Just because you wear glasses does not mean you have to resign yourself to life (visually) as a nerd. In fact, I get really excited (maybe too excited) when I have a client who needs glasses. There are so many terrific frames out there, and wearing glasses is an excellent way to improve your look – even if you sit behind a computer all day. The other nice thing about using glasses to step up your look is that wearing them is utilitarian, and unless you choose something that’s really wacky or overly-stylized, you won’t be perceived as trying too hard (assuming you actually do have a glasses prescription!). Here’s a guide I wrote on how to choose. One of my favorite resources for glasses in New York City is 10/10 Optics, and they were kind enough to offer the $100 discount above for my readers (Offer good on complete pair of frame and Rx only. Not valid on existing orders, contact lenses, Maui Jim or Ray-Ban Rx Eyewear).6)  Are untucked shirts more common in your office than tucked? If so, there’s a right way to do this – and several wrong ones. Done correctly, the shirt length should hit about halfway down your pants fly and no longer than that. Also, the bottom of the shirt should have a straighter and shallower curve than the tails you see on a traditional dress shirt (which are designed to help stay tucked in). If you buy a shirt and decide you’d prefer to wear it tucked out than in, take it to your tailor to have it adjusted accordingly.7) Keep a sportcoat or blazer in your office – one that fits well and is easy to match like a solid navy or grey. That way, if you’re heading to a networking event after work, all you have to do is throw it on (but note, if your button-up shirt is untucked, switch to one that you can tuck in; you don’t want to wear a sportcoat with an untucked shirt). Men's Style Help: Dark Denim8) For those of you in jean-friendly environments, keep your denim crisp and polished. Hint: these are not your weekend knockaround/football-watching jeans. Look for dark rinse, straight-leg styles with no holes or excess whiskering and detailing on the back pockets like those above from Bonobos.Working in a casual environment is no excuse for giving up on the possibility of looking pulled together or stylish. By paying attention to a few details like those above, you can easily manage your appearance so that it enhances, rather than detracts from your overall appearance.How do these tips strike you? Do they seem doable for you? Leave me a comment below.Cheers,Julie

Your Personal Iconic Look

Men's Personal Shopper: Steve Jobs turtleneckA lot of guys have a “uniform” – something they wear throughout the year, no matter what the weather is. I know one guy (not a Rath & Co. client) who wears the same logo’d windbreaker everyday to work over his dress shirt and keeps it on all day. On really cold days, he wears another jacket over it. Oh, and did I mention he even wore it to a holiday party I attended at his home -- with shorts and flip-flops? He's evidently missing the chip that handles distinctions for situational dressing.To say the least, the “uniform” of the guy described above has room for improvement. However, in some cases, having a set look serves a positive purpose and is even desirable, but only if  it’s well thought-out and well-executed. I get requests for this quite often from prospective clients – they want their own personal, iconic look, à la Steve Jobs. I get the appeal of this. First of all, it streamlines their getting-dressed routine. Also significant is that it can help cement one's identity and give a solid sense of self both internally and outwardly with others. My only caveat here is that this needs to done in a way where a) it’s not boring (perhaps there are slight variations within what you wear each day – black v-neck sweater vs. black turtleneck sweater), and b) even though you’re sticking with the same theme each day, it shouldn't look sloppy or as though you don’t care about your appearance (think Mark Zuckerberg’s hoody).

Men's Image Consulting: Matthew McConaugheyMatthew McConaughey in his signature fitted Dolce & Gabbana suit (he appears in their fragrance ads).

How to develop that look? Well, that’s easier said than done and, I’ll be honest, you may need help from a professional. But I’ve outlined four steps below on how to move toward creating your own.1) Make a list of words that describe the look you’re going for and how you want to be received by others. Then narrow that list down to three or four. If you’re not a wordsmith, spend quality time on Google looking at images of other guys who embody what you’re going for. Then describe that look verbally. You may also want to consult the thesaurus for ideas once you come up with an initial word or two.2) If you haven’t already found visual examples of others who give off the same vibe you’re looking for, do that now. Then ask yourself, what are the identifying characteristics in those outfits that create that sensibility? It may only be parts of different looks (the shirt fabric, or the way patterns are combined, as two examples) that resonate with you. Make a list of those items. This is the source list that you’ll be pulling from when you test things out.3) Using the list above, test each of these things out one at a time. If your financial resources are limited, you can do this in a dressing room without purchasing items. Ask friends whose opinions you trust and who you know will be honest whether the look works for you or not. (Generally, this is not going to be a store salesperson.) Doing this will allow you to narrow down your source list to your final choice(s). A word of caution: if the elements you’re trying out make a really bold statement, like brightly colored bracelets or socks with a standout pattern, limit yourself to a max of 3-4 items along these lines per outfit.4) Whatever you go with, have CONVICTION about it. This is important because if you don’t feel confident about your appearance, most likely others won’t either. And remember, everyone looks at himself more critically than other people do (honing in on specific perceived flaws like a thick midsection or short legs – which others might not notice as acutely as you do), so try to take a more macro approach as I mentioned in this article on defining your personal style.I know this can sound like a big undertaking, but if you follow these steps above and get advice from a professional or people you trust, you can absolutely achieve it. If defining your style is something you’re working on, let me know how it goes for you. I’d love to hear about your hits and your misses.Cheers,Julie

Your Guide to Stylish Ski Attire

You want the latest when it comes to skis and other equipment, but do you look the part when it comes to your ski clothes?

Man's style: what to wear skiingEven if you're not arriving via helicopter (à la Fiat Group founder Gianni Agnelli), there are plenty of ways to stay stylish on the slopes.

If you look like the Michelin Man when you ski, it’s likely you haven’t rethought your attire since the late 90's. Fortunately, along with advancements in skis, poles and other gear, there's a lot new in the style department with plenty of excellent options that serve both form and function. Ski-wear designers have been heavily influenced by the more fitted cuts on the runways. And new fabric technologies allow for close fits that still provide warmth and flexibility. Bottom line: you can project a flattering physique on the slopes while staying warm and maintaining mobility.When dressing for the slopes, you should wear a baselayer, midlayer, insulating layer, and coat or shell. Below are my suggestions within each category, plus accessories.BaselayerA baselayer is skin tight (or close to), thin- to medium-weight, and synthetic or wool. For wool, try brands like Ibex and Icebreaker. And for a high-performance synthetic, check out X-Bionic products, which are moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial, and designed to optimize circulation. All three brands even make boxer shorts. (Better safe than sorry.)Men's image consultant: what to wear skiingMidlayerA midlayer is a sweater, fleece or thicker base layer like a turtleneck. Dale Norway (above left) makes very sharp-looking ski sweaters. And for something sportier, check out the half-zip options from Kjus (above right).Insulating LayerThis is a thin, light down jacket worn beneath your shell (note: this layer is not always needed in non-frigid temps and/or if your winter jacket is very warm; it can also be a vest as opposed to having full sleeves). I like Kjus for this, along with Peak Performance.Men's Personal Shopper: Ski ClothesPantsFor heavy-duty insulated pants, try Peak Performance's Supreme Aosta. They're highly wind- and waterproof and also have ankle guards, which is good if you ski with your ankles together (most intermediate or advanced skiers do). A good-looking lighter-weight option with more stretch and ankle reinforcement is Frauenschuh’s Alex pant.Men's Personal Shopper: what to wear skiingParkaFor your outermost top layer, you can’t go wrong with a Canada Goose duck-down parka (above left). If you’re not a fan of logos, Moorer (above right) makes absolutely gorgeous, luxurious (and splurgy) parkas that sacrifice nothing in terms of protection from the elements.Gloves or MittensBlack Diamond is by the far the highest-ranking winter company for accessories by outdoor enthusiasts. These mittens are warm in sub-zero temps, are fully waterproof, and have removal liners, which is great because you can use them on warmer days without the liners. Liners are key also if you're skiing multiple days because you can dry and/or wash them more easily. For gloves, if you’re really popular, these are integrated with Bluetooth technology and a vibration alarm for incoming calls.SocksA single layer is best because it preserves the "micro climate" between your foot and boot, circulating air and keeping your feet warm. Go with 100% wool. DarnTough is great quality and has a lifetime guarantee.ScarfYou can’t go wrong with one of these in a color that coordinates with the rest of your gear.Men's Personal Shopper: what to wear skiingHatWear a beanie like this one above under your helmet.Face MaskIn very cold weather, it’s nice to have something that goes over your face, like this face mask or buff. If you wear one of these, you may not need a scarf.GogglesSmith I/O Recon goggles have a micro-optics display where you can view your speed, real-time jump analytics, weather and buddy tracking, GPS mapping, and even a music playlist mode.A note on combining: don’t go nuts mixing too many colors. If you wear a pop of color like bright red or orange, have it be on either top or bottom, with the remaining colors in the look neutral and coordinating with one another.PSA: make sure to wear sunblock when skiing. The sun reflects off the snow onto your face, so you need to take extra precaution. I like Armada Sport 70 for all outdoor activities.Are you ready to hit the slopes in style? I’d love to hear what you’ll be wearing – let me know in the comments below. And if you're more about hot chocolate than black diamonds, stay tuned for an upcoming post on one of my favorite activities to style: après-ski.  

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

How did 2013 go for you style-wise? Were you totally on point, or was there room for improvement? I’ve been traveling over the past month visiting out of town clients and doing some serious people-watching while on the road. I was sitting in LaGuardia Airport at 6AM one day, and I started a list of don’ts, which grew at each of my stops (Minneapolis, Chicago, North Dakota, and Palm Springs), evolving into the New Year’s Bad Style Cleanse below. Read on for 14 habits to purge from your style diet.1) Don’t wear a crewneck undershirt with your button-up shirt. Showing your undershirt collar is like showing your underwear, something you don't want to do in public (I hope). This goes for both casual and dress button-ups. I like Tommy John for great undershirts with v-necks that are low enough not to be visible. Here is my review of the brand.

Men's Personal Shopper: Monk Straps

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

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

Men's Style Consultant: No Backpack with Suit

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

5) Don’t wear a striped jacket as though it’s a sportcoat. A striped jacket is only worn as part of a suit, never as a separate.6) Don’t wear a Hawaiian shirt unless you are going to an actual luau.

Men's Stylist: Avoid Hybrid Shoes

7) Avoid those hybrid sneakers-shoes at all costs. It’s a sneaker or a shoe. Not both.8) While you’re at it, say no to those hiking-type sneakers for anything other than an actual mountain trek.9) Skip the strong colognes or aftershaves (Old Spice, I’m talking to you) if you know you’re going to be on an airplane. This is a courtesy to those around you!10) Grab the waistband of your pants (yes, right now) and yank on it. If you can pull it away from your body more than half an inch, your pants are too big. Go down in size until you find the right fit.Men's Personal Stylist: Avoid Tie and Pocket Square Combos11) Avoid pocket square and tie combos that match too closely (and especially ones that come in sets!).12) A t-shirt is too tight if it pulls such that the fabric creates a diagonal crease from your collarbone to your armpit. Go up a size if this happens to you.13) Don’t be that guy who wears a parka with ski tags dangling from the zips out to a restaurant. Technical/athletic gear is meant for just that – not date night. This includes outerwear and accessories like hats and gloves. One of my favorite brands of outerwear that gets the job done sharply is Aether.

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

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

Now that you’ve effectively cleansed yourself of bad style habits, check out this list of 8 style resolutions to embrace for the new year. Out with the old and in with the new! What are you adding and removing from your style repertoire this year?Wishing you happiness, health and success in 2014.Cheers,Julie

How to Look Good in the Rain

Few things are worse than getting caught in the rain in your dress clothes. Especially if you’re on the way to work, and you know you're going to spend much of the day in wet clothes until your outfit dries. My suggestion: check the weather before you get dressed, and make sure your wardrobe includes rainy weather gear. Below is my list of must-haves for soggy days:Men's Personal Shopper: Dressing for the RainRaincoat – I spend a lot of time in peoples' closets, and I've seen some pretty awful windbreakers masquerading as rain gear. Bad weather is no excuse to look drab and unstylish. Pull it together with a sharp raincoat. Two great options are a classic trench, or a more modern mac (above left and right). If you wear suits or sportcoats everyday, buy in a size that will fit over them.

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High Quality Umbrella – Don’t be that guy whose umbrella turns inside out and flies across the street poking someone’s eye out. Cheap umbrellas break easily, leading to wasted time and money (not to mention adding to pollution in landfills). Why not spare yourself the headache by investing in a high quality umbrella? Blunt and Davek are two of the toughest umbrellas out there, and they come in various sizes. Just make sure you don’t leave it behind in a taxi.

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Men's Personal Shopper: Rain ShoesOvershoes – There's a whole new generation of good-looking overshoes that are nothing like your father's black rubber rain shoes. If you have nice shoes, it makes sense to protect them. I'm a big fan of Swims which come in a variety of colors including navy and olive green (which are nice if you only want to get one pair; if not, black goes over black shoes and brown over brown).

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One of the most important components of being well-dressed and having a well-rounded wardrobe is dressing appropriately in all situations, including bad weather. Fortunately, dressing to dominate the rain only requires three items. Does your wardrobe include these three things?

Your Fall Shopping List

Men's Personal Shopper: Fall Fashion TipsEven if you’re still rocking shorts and polo shirts, the time is now to make plans for your cool weather wardrobe. I’ve been pounding the pavement and interwebs hard looking for the best items for my clients as the stores are flush with new merchandise. If you’re planning on doing some Fall shopping yourself, I must warn you that one of the worst things you can do is to go shopping without a plan or, at the very least, a list. Just wandering into a store aimlessly is for sure the easiest way to end up with nothing at all, or worse, to get pushed into buying a pile of clothes you’ll never wear. With that in mind, I created this list of 18 must-haves (or nice-to-haves) to inspire and keep you organized as you craft a smart Fall/Winter wardrobe.Transitional jacket -- think peacoat, car coat, or other medium-weight optionLeather jacket -- here’s how it should fitOvercoat -- buy now while the selection is good, and there’s still time to have one custom-madeOuterwear vest -- wool/cashmere/down, as in the header imageLined raincoat -- you can also get one with a zip-out lining, which is one of the most versatile garments you can ownDress boots -- yes, you can wear these with your suit!Bad weather boots -- look for options that are waterproof and have rubber soles for tractionWool/cashmere socks -- if you're tall or have very long legs, get ones that go over your calves so your legs remain covered when you sitWool/cashmere ties -- perfect for frigid days in combination with a scarfHat, gloves and scarf -- don't wait for someone to give these to you as a holiday gift!Winter-weight casual pants -- Incotex makes great corduroys and moleskin pantsHeavier-weight sport shirts -- a trim-fitting flannel is a great weekend go-toHeavier weight dress shirts -- in more tightly-woven fabrics like oxfordFall/Winter suits, dress pants and sportcoats -- look for tweeds, flannels and heavier-weight worstedsMenswear vest -- wear with jeans for a stylish going-out lookSweaters -- v-necks, polo-necks, henleys, thin cardigans and thick shawl-collared cardigans are good optionsLong sleeve tops -- in thick materials like waffle-knitHoodie -- look for one that's super soft and trim-fittingRemember, autumn is all about layering, so even if for example the idea of a thin cardigan or outerwear vest don't appeal to you, think about them in combination with the rest of your wardrobe. The more you can mix and match pieces, the more versatile what you own will be.If you'd like more tailored help with your Fall/Winter wardrobe, contact me. I'm currently booking appointments for the first week of October.Cheers,Julie