Accessories

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

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.

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 

How to Up Your Belt Game

Guest article by Napper Tandy of ntandy beltsA man’s belt is often a missed opportunity to have a little fun by providing a spin to whatever you’ve decided to don and exit your home in. There are no hard and fast fashion rules one should live by other than the fact that it’s dangerous to overly color coordinate. Matching a brightly colored belt with your shirt, shoes or socks can become hazardously close to fast food uniform territory.Men's Online Style Course: How to Wear a BeltThat said, socks that have some small colored polka dots or stripes, or a nato watch band of the same color, work… but tread lightly.When it comes to adding a shirt, you can never lose with a white oxford and/or a shirt which features a bit of the belt color on display.Men's Online Style Course: How to Wear a BeltThese thoughts above work for khaki, olive green or other earth-toned pants as well. Just always remember not to get too matchy or clashy. It’s not advised to go with green pants and a green belt.Men's Online Style Course: How to Wear a BeltHelp a suit take itself less seriously.People often ask if one can wear a suit with a colorful belt? The answer is hell yes, but like everything in life it’s all about context. One shouldn’t wear a red belt with a navy blue suit to a private wealth management meeting with new clients. But, one could wear it to dress down a suit when he still wants to look fearless on the street or while enjoying a cocktail at a bar. A colorful belt with a suit is like a pair of sneakers with a suit -  a dash of cranberry in vodka to ease the bite.Tropical storm?Headed to the Bahamas to recharge your soul? Colorful belts party with tropical flair like Hunter Thompson at a Hell’s Angel kegger. Just remember again, stay away from overly matchy or clashy -- contrast is king. Be bold, but work smarter not harder.Men's Online Style Course: How to Wear a BeltNapper Tandy is the founder and creative brains behind ntandy belts. Read more about Napper here, and check out his belt designs here.

Two Easy Outfits to Help You Stand Out From the Crowd

Have you ever been out on the weekend or after work and looked around to see that there are basically 2 or 3 types of outfits every guy is wearing, and no one is standing out from the crowd (in a good way)? Most guys are wearing what they wore earlier that day (jeans and logo’d/giveaway t-shirt, and blue button-down and khakis are two examples), with no effort to step it up for going out.How incredibly boring! Dressing this way is certainly not going to help you be attractive to new women, much less the one you’re already with if you are in a relationship.With the above in mind, I put together 2 sharp going out looks that you can recreate easily either using these specific items or a variation on each theme. The first is dressier, for when you truly want to dress to impress. And the second less so.Also, if you're looking to try to learn how to put great looks together yourself, I included reasoning behind my the choices. Men's Style Tips: What to Wear on a DateGrey suit, J. Crew, $650 (Gray reads friendlier and less business than navy.)Chambray shirt, Theory, $195 (A denim or chambray dress shirt is a nice departure from the everyday dress shirt for business. It shows some thought was put into creating a stylish look.)Red tie, Billy Reid, $59 (The texture in this tie contrasts well against the smoothness of the chambray shirt above. Texture will also make you look approachable, which is a good thing for when you're going out and looking to meet people, or on a date.)Blue tie bar, The Tie Bar, $15 (A tie bar is a small detail that adds visual interest and reflects style prowess. If you want to stand out from the crowd, this is the perfect way to do so without being loud or obnoxious, a trap many guys fall into when dressing for going out – in effort to be noticed.)White and gray pocket square, The Tie Bar,$8 (This pocket square is simple and classy yet adds a stylish touch to the outfit.)Brown shoes, Massimo Matteo, $169 (Double-monk shoes will allow you to look sharp and distinguish you from all the other guys in loafers and laceups.)Grey socks, J. Crew, $14 (Because there’s a fair amount going on otherwise in the look, I kept the socks quiet and matched them to the suit pants, a stylist trick that elongates your legs.)Brown belt, Magnianni, $125 (I kept it classy, matching belt to shoes.) Men's Style Tips: What to Wear on a DatePurple gingham shirt, Proper Cloth, $85 (Women can find it boring when men wear the same color light blue dress shirts day in and day out. Wearing purple shows creativity, and it’s a good conversation starter.)Jeans, John Varvatos, $228 (The slight wear in the rinse on these jeans lend them a somewhat casual feel, which works well with the tweed fabric of the vest.)Brown vest, Billy Reid, $159 (It's easy to fall into the trap of wearing all black when going out, mainly because you don’t know what else to do. But this can make you look remote and unapproachable. The softness of the brown and textured fabric on this vest will lend you a friendly air instead.)Navy knit tie, J. Crew, $59 (I kept the tie simple so as not to draw away from the patterns in the vest and shirt. The texture in the knit keeps you approachable, as above with the vest.)Tan belt, John Varvatos, $295 (This belt works with the brown in both the vest and shoes. The subtle details give the outfit more personality than a plain brown belt would, but the statement is not so strong that it draws away from everything else.)Bracelet, Miansai, $60 (For an element of fun, I’d add this bracelet in. Blue and purple work together because they’re analogous colors, i.e., they sit next to each other on the color wheel.)Brown chukka boots, H by Hudson, $285 (Brown shoes work best with this outfit due to the brown in the vest. Chukkas are a nice boot option in a look like this, as they’re casual but certainly not boring.)The playful and stylish elements of these looks clearly distinguish them from typical office garb, making it clear that the wearer knows how to dress for play vs for work.How do you like to dress for going out? Let me know in the comments below how the outfits above have inspired you!Cheers,Julie

10 Quick and Painless New Year's Style Resolutions

New Year's resolutions are so cliché, I almost can't stand writing about them. But the truth is, when a new year rolls around, it's nice to take stock and see what you could start doing differently. The usual suspects here are diet and exercise, and often such resolutions are overzealous and set us up or failure. So this year I'm here to help boost you up with some totally doable style-related resolutions that will require very little of your time.Read on for this year's top 10 style resolutions.Men's Style Advice: New Year's Resolutions1) Try one new thing with your wardrobe. It can be easy to find one thing that you're comfortable in and that feels easy to you. But it can also be really boring! Give 2015 a fighting chance and add some sort of new element to your look -- maybe it's starting to wear more color, or swapping out your logo'd/free event t-shirts for something nicer (here's my guide for how your t-shirt should fit).2) Don’t shop without a plan (or on an empty stomach). The last thing you want to do when shopping is make mistake purchases. And shopping without knowing what you're looking for -- or when you're hungry -- will put you on the fast track to a shopping fail.3) Donate anything with holes or stains that won’t come out.  This one really doesn't need explaining. I'll just say that when you wear torn-up, crappy clothes, the message you send is that you feel torn-up and crappy about yourself. This then becomes an unfortunate vicious cycle which causes you actually to start feeling that way. (Confirm with whatever charity you're donating to what condition they will take clothing in.)4) Take your oversized clothes to the tailor. This is an instant, low-cost (at least compared to buying new things) option for upgrading your wardrobe. Stay tuned for an upcoming post about how to know what's worth tailoring.5) Think before you stink (a.k.a. avoid strong aftershaves). This one was on last year’s list, but I had to include it again. I did a lot of traveling in 2014, and one of the biggest conclusions I drew is that there's an Old Spice epidemic in the US. Nearly every morning flight I took, I felt as if I might become asphyxiated by the scent of the man sitting next to me. Trust me, just because you can't smell it doesn't mean others can't either. Ask one or two lady friends with good taste to tell you honestly if any of the product smells you're wearing are offensive. And if the initials for any of said products are O.S., drop it like it's hot.Men's Style Tips: New Year's Style Resolutions6) Wear a watch. I get it, watches are no longer necessary since we all use our phones these days. But if you're not wearing a watch, you're missing out on an excellent opportunity to distinguish your look. Above is a serious arm party courtesy of one of my clients. You don't need to break the bank when adding a watch to your look, however. There are plenty of good choices under $200 (including this one for $185 from Miansai). Choose something that resonates with you personally and that you'd feel good wearing -- not what others would expect you to wear.7) Make sure you have one suit that fits you like armor. Chances are, sometime in 2015 there will be a wedding, funeral, or job interview you'll need to attend. And you'll need a great-fitting suit for those situations -- one you don't have to think twice about. Often such events spring up out of nowhere, so it's to your benefit to have a suit ready and waiting in your closet. And if you think you can get by with that old boxy one from ten years ago, think again. There are few things less flattering on a man than an ill-fitting suit, and there's definitely no way to disguise a poor fit.8) Buy flattering jeans. Most new clients I meet are in need of a jeans refresh. Even if you have a pair that was flattering when you bought them two years ago, chances are at this point they've stretched and faded, and it's time to replace them. If you've never had a pair of jeans you feel great in, it's time to add that to your wardrobe. Here's my guide for how to find flattering jeans.Men's Style Advice: Square-Toed Shoes9) Lose the square-toed shoes. These were cool in the 90's. But the 90's is not now. Do yourself a favor and get them out of your closet so you aren't tempted to wear them.10) Take your dress shoes to the shoe guy for a cleanup and to be resoled. This is another low-cost way to refresh things, and in fact a good cobbler can make your shoes look almost new. If you don't already have someone you use, look on Yelp or other user-review sites in your area for one with high ratings, or ask any well-dressed guys you encounter where they take theirs.How many of the tips on this list are you able to implement? I guarantee that even if you do just 3 of them, you'll be in great shape, and you'll feel that much better about yourself.Wishing you a very stylish 2015!Cheers,Julie

The 2014 Rath & Co. Holiday Gift Guide (gifts for you and her)

It's holiday go-time! Are you ready? If not, don't worry. I've compiled a list of gift ideas to help you make sure all bases are covered. Read on for 3 gifts you can ask for for yourself (and for the ladies reading this, they're for your man), 3 you can give to her, and 1 sexy gift for the both of you.

3 FOR YOU

Men's Personal Shopper: Holiday Gift IdeasS'well Water Bottle $30 - A client of mine recently embarked on a major fitness and weight loss project. As part of that, we upgraded his workout clothes and gear so he'd feel better about himself while he's working out. Since starting, he's lost 25 pounds of fat and gained 10 pounds of lean muscle. Proof positive that upgrading your exercise gear can only help you achieve your fitness goals. This sleek and sharp-looking matte grey BPA-free water bottle is a great gift for the fitness enthusiast -- or someone whose new year's goals involve fitness. The bottle will keep a beverage cold for 24 hours or hot for 12. And it has a vacuum seal that keeps drinks and carbonation fresh.Men's Personal Shopper: Holiday Gifts 2014 Striped Belt $117 - Do you, or does the object of your gift-giving, keep going back to the same wardrobe items over and over? If so, then it's time to diversify. A belt with some color/pattern to it like the one from Anderson's above is an excellent way to accomplish this. And the nice thing about it having multiple colors is that it's easy to coordinate. Since the leather is brown on this one, and it has a brown stripe, it should be worn with brown shoes (navy would also work for a more outside-the-box look). Post on how to incorporate cool non-basic belts into your look coming soon.Men's Personal Shopper: Christmas Gift IdeasSilk Blend Scarf $150 - Scarves are always a great gift (most guys I meet are in need of one), and this navy polka dot/stripe combo from Paul Smith has just enough visual interest without being over-the-top.

3 FOR HER

Men's Personal Shopper: Christmas Gift IdeasSet of Notebooks $14 - There's something uplifting about writing in a beautiful notebook, and the gold foil detail on these from from Rifle Paper gives it a rich, special feel that she'll love.Men's Image Consultant: Holiday Gift Ideas for MenMelissa Joy Manning Opal Earrings $210 - The hoop part of these delicate opal earrings goes around the back of the ear as an interesting departure from basic and boring studs. Your subtle message that she is anything but basic and boring to you.Men's Image Consultant: Christmas Gift ListBlack Saint Laurent Wallet $675 - A basic black wallet like this is an absolute fail-safe option. Clean, classic, sophisticated. You can't go wrong.

1 FOR YOU BOTH

Men's Personal Shopper: Christmas Gift Ideas for MenL'Agent by Agent Provocateur Lingerie - The uber-luxe Agent Provocateur (with price tags to match) has collaborated with Penelope and Monica Cruz on a more palatably-priced, but equally delicious lingerie collection. This line is also available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Shopbop and Net-A-Porter._______________________________________________What's on your holiday gift list? And what are you hoping to receive? Leave me a comment below -- I'd love to hear!Cheers,Julie

If You Try One New Thing This Fall, Make It THIS Accessory

One thing about Fall that gets me more excited than I probably should is BOOTS. Boots pretty much rock my world, and I’m thrilled that it’s time to start looking at what’s in stores this Fall.Here’s why boots are so awesome:1) Boots are a great way to distinguish your work clothes from your “going out” clothes.2) [this one’s sneaky] Since boots often have thicker soles than regular shoes, they can give you a little help in the height department.3) There are loads of different boot styles that allow you to create your own unique look (we’ll go over a few below), and designers are always coming up with hip new details.4) Because boots are not as ubiquitous as, say, regular dress shoes, wearing stylish boots will set you apart as someone who is “in the know” about style.And here are 3 great boot picks for this Fall in various price ranges:Up to $250Men's Style Advice: Topman Boots Topman - $100 Don't let the buckle scare you. It's a subtle touch that will only be visible when you're sitting down. $250-$500Men's Style Advice: Rag & Bone bootsRag & Bone - $450 - The roughed-up suede makes them gritty and masculine, but the half captoe maintains the polish. $500 +Men's Style Advice: BootsOfficine Creative - $690 - These boots are made from a gorgeous glossy cognac buffalo leather and will look great with both your jeans and dress pants.Have you ever worn boots before? If not, I'd love to hear why. Leave me a comment below.

6 Rath-Approved Father's Day Gifts

There's still time before Father's Day on June 15 to pick up a gift for your pops (or to make pointed suggestions to your loved ones). From token to total splurge, below are 6 Rath-approved gifts for you to choose from.Father's Day Gifts 2014: Black and Tan UtensilBlack and Tan Beer Utensil $10 - There's nothing like a good black and tan, and with this, your dad doesn't need bartender skills to make one.

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Father's Day Gifts 2014: Leather Key FobLeather Key Fob $35 - A nice key chain is a small pleasure he might not actually purchase for himself. I love the rugged leather combined with brass hardware.

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Father's Day Gifts 2014: Luxury Toys V 2Luxury Toys Volume 2 $41 - He can dream big as he flips through this gorgeous coffee table book reading about underwater motorcycles and personal spaceships.

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Father's Day Gifts 2014: Garmin Approach WatchGarmin Approach S1 GPS Watch $140 - Pro or no, if your dad's a golfer, he'll love this watch, which will allow him to measure individual shot distances and track how far he walks on the course.

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Father's Day Gifts 2014: Hartmann Garment BagHartmann Garment Bag $445 - With travel, it's key to keep your clothes neat so you don't create extra work for yourself (or the hotel laundry) when you arrive at your destination. A bag like this is a frequent traveler's best friend, as it keeps your hanging clothes in tact, and has pockets for shoes and toiletrees. It also fits nicely in an overhead airplane compartment.

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Father's Day Gifts 2014: Vintage Hermes Crocodile ClockHermes Croc Clock (call for price) - For the Dad who has everything: an Art Deco crocodile clock by Paul Dupré-Lafon for Hermès, circa 1930.

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And for the new dad, here are my tips on keeping stylish while keeping your cool.

What's on your Father's Day gift list?

Cheers,Julie

The Six Shoes Every Guy Should Own

In a perfect world, you would have something in your closet to wear for every occasion. Part of that is having the right footwear. After all, having the WRONG shoes can completely throw off an otherwise great outfit (we've all seen that guy looking smooth in his well-fitting suit but massacring the look with his 90's square-toed dress shoes). If you only focus on how you look ankle up, you miss the mark. Below is my list of the 6 essential shoes every guy should have in his closet.Men's Personal Shopper: Crockett and Jones Finsbury Oxford1. Brown Laceups -- A lot of new styling clients resist this one thinking there's no need for it, but truly it's the most versatile shoe in your wardrobe -- you can wear it with everything from jeans to a suit. Go for a medium shade of brown that can be worn with the widest variety of pant shades.

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Men's Personal Shopper: Crockett and Jones Alex Laceups2. Black Laceups -- This is your dressiest shoe, to be worn with suits and on formal occasions. Choose one with a clean toe, i.e., no seaming or broguing, so you can wear it with a tuxedo (after polishing it up).

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Men's Personal Shopper: John Varvatos Loafer3. Loafer -- There are lots of variations on loafers, so you should go with what appeals to you visually. And avoid the pitfall of buying a "hybrid" shoe (anything with a very sporty sole). As I've said before, the place where the sneaker meets any other kind of shoe is like a dark alley late at night — nowhere you’d want to be.

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Men's Personal Shopper: Common Projects Sneakers4. Social Sneaks -- This is my term for a clean and classic non-athletic sneaker (i.e., one you wouldn't work out in). It's for casual walking around.

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Men's Personal Shopper: Chelsea Boot5. Dress Boot -- A dress boot adds wonderful versatility to your wardrobe. It's the perfect answer to the question of what to wear out on weekends. And with a dressy enough boot and in the right environment, you can also wear it with dress clothes like a suit or pants and sportcoat. For more on the different types of boots to choose from, go here.

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Men's Personal Shopper: Rain/Snow Boots6. Rain/Snow Boot -- Depending on what type of inclement weather you get, this is either a rain or snow boot (or both). It should have a rubber sole for gripping and be waterproof or water resistant.

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Once you have these essentials, you can build from there, getting variations within each category. Think variations on toe detail and broguing for the black/brown laceup, and different varieties of boots.Do you have everything on this list? If not, what are you missing?Cheers,Julie

Sale Finds in Honor of Tax Day

In honor of tax day coming up here in the US, this week’s style briefing is all about saving you some dollar bills. I’ve scoured the interwebs with you in mind, looking for deals to help keep your pockets lined. Below are 6 sale finds I’m rather excited about. Remember, selection is limited when it comes to sale items (particularly those that come in sizes), so if any of these appeal to you, don’t sit on them for too long.Men's Personal Shopper: Tote Bag1) Mismo tote bag $477.15 $334Both the linen blend and blue color of this bag make it a no-brainer for Spring. If you haven't heard of the website Farfetch, check it out. It's an easy way to get hard-to-find items from small boutiques around the world. It also makes ordering from overseas cost-effective and simple because import duties are included in their prices.

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Men's Personal Shopper: Zanellato Bag2) Zanellato satchell $875.95 $613Looking for a more conservative and mature bag than in #1? Check out the Zanellato bag above. I am loving the rich brown leather and weathered gold hardware. Another bonus about this bag is if you're tough on your things, its grainy leather can withstand a beating.

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Men's Image Consultant: Boglioli Sweater3) Boglioli sweater $1150 $459When looking at sale items, it pays to be flexible. Sure, a heavy sweater is something you’d mainly think to wear on cold winter days, but a cardigan like this is also good for transitional months where it’s too warm for your winter coat, but there’s enough of a bite in the air that you need something. On top of that, Boglioli is one of my favorite brands -- sprezzatura at its finest!

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Men's Image Consultant: Billy Reid Polo4) Billy Reid polos $88 $61It strikes me as odd for polos to be on sale now, at the start of Spring, but perhaps these are left over from last year. Either way, it’s a good deal on a staple. These polos from Billy Reid fit trimly but are comfortable.

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Men's Image Consultant: Rag & Bone Pants5) Rag & Bone pants $185 $130I stocked up on these soft pants with a one-on-one client at the Rag & Bone store in NYC last week. This is another sale item that has me scratching my head, as the material feels quite Spring-y. Note: the material on these pants stretches, so if you’re in between sizes or unsure, go down a size. Also, they come in other colors like grey and navy.

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Men's Image Consultant: 7 Jeans6) 7 for All Mankind jeans $189 $129 + 10% off if you sign up for their newsletterThe start of a new season is a good time to reassess your staples. Do you need a new pair of dark rinse jeans? If so, I like the color and non-contrast seaming on these from 7 for All Mankind. If the standard classic fit isn't for you, there are plenty of other cuts on sale (for my primer on finding flattering jeans, click here). $20 from each pair purchased will be donated to Movember.

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Keep in mind when shopping sales to look at the fine print. Often items on sale (like the cardigan above from Barney’s) are not returnable.Have you had any exciting sale finds recently?Cheers,Julie

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

Rath & Co. 2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Men's Holiday Gift IdeasLooking for the perfect gift for your main squeeze? Stumped on what to request for yourself? From stocking stuffers to splurges, these 8 gifts have you covered.Holiday Gifts for Men1) Grid-It Organizer - Keep your gear in line with this organizer. Great for at-home storage or travel. ($14)

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Men's Holiday Gift Ideas2) Hook + Albert Fair Isle Socks - Hook + Albert makes stellar quality socks, and fair isle is a fitting pattern for holiday gifting. ($30)

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Holiday Gifts for Men3) Bolin Webb Razor - Form meets function in this deliciously sleek Bolin Webb razor, featuring a MACH3 blade. ($80)

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Men's Holiday Gift Ideas4) JVDF Lizard Toggle Bracelet - Lizard skin, sterling silver and silk create a cool and visually interesting combo. ($295)

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Men's Holiday Gift Ideas5) Want Les Essentiels De La Vie Leather Gloves - The weather in NYC has been frightfully cold, and I've gotten more than a few "gloves needed stat" emails from clients and clients' wives looking for gifts. I like the zipper and contrasting suede thumb on these. ($206)

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Men's Holiday Gift Ideas6) Mont Blanc Mother of Pearl Cufflinks - The range of colors in these cufflinks make them simple to match, and the swivel bar back allows for easy placement on your shirt cuffs. ($415)

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Men's Holiday Gift Ideas7) Paul Smith Hooded Jacket - You can't beat a fitted hoodie for sharp layering. In fact, it's one of my layering essentials. ($530)

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Holiday Gift Ideas for Men8) Lotuff Leather Duffle - Stand out from the crowd with this sumptuous navy leather duffle from Lotuff. Perfect size for an overnight or a day at work followed by a trip to the gym. ($965)

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What's on your wish list this holiday season? Warm wishes and hip gifts,Julie 

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

Free Your Feet: Summer Shoes

Even naked isn’t naked enough in the ridiculous heat and humidity we've been having on the east coast. In my last article, I listed hot weather survival measures for clothing and grooming, but this time shoes are on my mind. If you’ve never switched up your footwear when the temperature rises and your dogs start barking, I urge you to consider it. You’ll look more seasonally appropriate, and your feet will thank you. Read on for Rath-approved picks in 8 categories of summer footwear.Men's Stylist: Espadrilles1) EspadrillesThese stylishly nonchalant espadrilles from Castañer ($150) are an excellent alternative to flip-flops for those wanting more toe coverage.____________________________________________________________________________________Men's Stylist: Summer Shoes2) Leisure ShoesOk, so this category is totally made-up. But the name fits these Riviera shoes ($80), doesn’t it? Don’t wear for anything other than leisure.____________________________________________________________________________________Men's Stylist: Sandals3) The Mandal (if you dare)If you’re a Rath & Co. client, you know I’m big into the messages that one’s appearance gives off. In the case of mandals, most of what I see around says, “I’m sensitive and I recycle.” While these are no doubt virtues, there's no need to express them via your footwear. My suggestion: ditch the Velcro and bungee cords, and dial it back with a simpler, more classic version of the mandal, like the pair above from Alvaro ($295). When buying mandals, I highly recommend trying on in the store before committing. You need to see them on your feet in order to know if they’re going work for you.____________________________________________________________________________________Men's Stylist: Leather Flip Flops4) Flip-FlopsNot ready to go full-mandal but still want to give those dogs some breathing room? Try a leather flip-flop like these from Olukai ($85). It’s classier than the rubber or fabric versions. Just promise you’ll only wear it for beach and pool.____________________________________________________________________________________Men's Stylist: J. Crew Bucks5) BucksMore office-friendly than the other options above, bucks work for casual to moderately dressy places of work like advertising agencies or web development firms. Wear a pair like the ones above from J. Crew ($198) with summery chino and seersucker suits or with button-up shirts and chinos.____________________________________________________________________________________Men's Stylist: Crockett & Jones Newquays6) Buck AlternativesIf bucks are too much for you, try a casual lace-up sans rubber sole for a similar, but less statement-y look. I have my eye on these from Crockett & Jones ($505) for a couple of clients. They're unlined and light weight which = summer perfection in my book.____________________________________________________________________________________Men's Stylist: Summer Shoes7) Slip-OnsExcellent with everything from a summer suit to shorts, these leather slip-ons ($150) are modeled after a traditional Indian sailing vessel, the Kishtee. Think of them as the cooler, older brother to your traditional deck shoe. They're also great for travel because they're so lightweight.____________________________________________________________________________________Men's Stylist: Casual Sneaker8) Social SneaksThese are the sneakers you don't wear to the gym. I like the clean lines of Fred Perry's Seabrights ($125) for a timeless look.____________________________________________________________________________________What's your footwear of choice this summer? As always, I love hearing from you. Leave me a comment below, or if you'd like more tailored help with your summer footwear game, contact me.Cheers,Julie 

Gifts for the Dapper Dad

Men's Personal Shopper: Father's Day Gift IdeasGrowing up, my idea of fun was hitting the local menswear store and picking out ties for my dad. (Yah I know, I'm a good time.) And Father's Day was always one of my favorite holidays because it gave me an excuse to do just that. If you're not as fanatical about menswear as I am and need inspiration on what to give this year (or if you're a dad and want to give hints), read on for my Father's Day gift list.

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Dressy Dad

Men's Personal Shopper: CufflinksThese unique rose gold cufflinks ($550) are refined yet manly. The broad range of colors within the mother of pearl makes them easy to match.

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Snappy Ankles Dad

Men's Personal Shopper: SocksOne of the easiest, most low-commitment ways to up your style game is with socks. If your dad needs extra help in this department (if he wears black Gold Toe's everyday, the answer is yes), get him a few pairs from Paul Smith. They make a great variety of colors and patterns, and the socks themselves are durable ($30). Note that the more colors there are in the pattern, the easier it will be for him to match them to his outfit. For my Sock Matching 101 guide, click here.

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Festive Dad

Men's Personal Shopper: Velvet SlippersDoes your dad (a) like to make a statement or (b) know how to have fun? Then these embroidered Dia de los Muertes slippers ($325) may be the perfect gift for him.

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Practical Dad

Men's Personal Shopper: Money Clip

Bulky pants pockets are definitely not dapper. If your dad suffers from overstuffed wallet syndrome, help him streamline with this handsome crocodile money clip ($125).

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Traveling Dad

Men's Personal Shopper: Multi-Currency WalletMany of my clients travel nonstop, often to different countries, and this multi-currency wallet would simplify things for them ($285). Make the gift extra-special by having it gold-stamped -- you can choose from a variety of different motifs and/or lettering.

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Aesthete Dad

Men's Personal Shopper: Hermes Scarf Box

For the dad that has everything, this vintage table box inset with a silk Hermes scarf would make a fantastic addition to his repertoire (contact store for price).

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Need more tailored gift-giving help? Contact me. And have a happy Father's Day!

Spring Must-Haves

I feel silly writing about Spring as I sit at my desk with the heat on blast, but I'm the positive type, and I know that in a few short weeks Spring will be here. In fact, I’ve already been shopping for warm weather clothes for my clients. Now is the perfect time for that, just as stores are loading up with their best selections. With that in mind, below are 6 garments to get you through the coming months in stellar style.Men's Style: Leather JacketLightweight jacket (bonus if it's suede or leather)Don’t underestimate the power of a perfectly-fitting leather jacket. Click for my guide on how to accomplish this. It’s the perfect reminder that Spring is just around the corner.

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Men's Style: Polo ShirtGreat-fitting polo shirts I have a new client who says he hasn’t met a polo shirt he didn’t like. My plan is to make him a touch more discerning. After all, everyone is wearing polo shirts. But not everyone gets it right (see Mitt’s missteps). Show some know-how, and make sure yours flatter you. Here's how your polo should fit, and how to stand out from the crowd when you're wearing one.

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Men's Personal Shopper: No Show SocksNo show socks These thin, low profile socks are must-haves for loafer-wearers. No one wants to see your short gym socks smushed into your shoes. Try Falke for this. Match them to the color of your shoes for added discretion.

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Men's Style: Workout ClothesNice gym clothes Many of my clients are implementing or upgrading their workout regimens this Spring. You don’t have to drop the same amount of coin on gym clothes as on your regular clothes, but the fact is if you like your workout clothes, and they feel good on, you’ll have a better workout. Keep it classy with Lululemon Men’s.

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Men's Style: Casual SneakersNon-athletic sneakers I call these social sneaks. There are loads of different styles to choose from for this. The key is to keep it consistent with your own aesthetic so it doesn’t look like you’re trying too hard. Example: if you’re on the conservative side, you shouldn’t show up to Casual Friday in checkered Vans; instead, go for something simple and classic like a navy, white, or grey Jack Purcell or Rod Laver (above). Wear these when you’re walking around on weekends, or Fridays at work depending on your office environment. Reminder, these are NOT the sneakers you wear to the gym.

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Men's Style: Linen ShirtSomething linen Even if you’ve never worn linen, promise me you’ll try it this year. Linen is lightweight and breathable – perfect for those warm days when some airflow is welcome. I highly recommend pair of linen pants, an unstructured linen jacket and/or a linen shirt. You will thank me in July!

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What are you looking to add to your wardrobe this Spring? Drop me a line if you need some guidance.

Cheers, and Happy (almost) Spring!

Julie