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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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)


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)


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


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


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)


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)


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)


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)


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

The Rath & Co. 2012 Holiday Gift Guide

Socks, swords, and a sled built for speedfreaks...What more could you ask for this holiday season? Read on for 15 Rath-approved holiday gifts.


Men's Style: Wool Suiting Square

1) Make a quick getaway from your style rut with this wool suiting pocket square ($10). Wear it with a navy blazer or suit, a light pastel shirt and a dark wool tie.

 Men's Style: Russian Coat of Arms Flask

2) For the drink that's always with you, a stately flask with the Russian coat of arms ($25).

 Men's Style: Etro Herringbone Socks

3) Socks are a holiday gift list mainstay, and these Etro Herringbone socks won't disappoint ($39).



Men's Style: Wool Hat

4) This cozy wool hat ($88) comes in charcoal, navy and cream, so there's something flattering for everyone.

 Men's Style: Oliver Spencer Two-Tone Belt

5) I always like to look for belts that are a bit "different" to help my clients define their style, and this two-tone leather belt ($180) is an excellent find with its unexpected blue buckle.

 Men's Style: Jack Spade Dress Scarf

6) Silk scarves are dressier in feel than their wool or cashmere cousins, but they do work casually. Try one like this Jack Spade dress scarf ($185) draped simply around your neck when a tie is too much and an open collar just isn't cutting it.

 Men's Style: Pierrepont Hicks Tie Case

7) The frequent traveler's defense against wrinkly neckwear: a tie case ($185), this one from Pierrepont Hicks.

 Men's Style: Champagne Saber

8) Nothing says holiday cheer like swordplay. Make like Napoleon, and open your next bottle of champagne with a Champagne Saber ($189). (Yes, you really can open a champagne bottle with a sword; click for a video play-by-play.)


Men's Style: Etro Paisley Scarf

9) Manly yet romantic, this Etro paisley scarf ($245) can take an outfit from zero to sixty with one swift loop around the neck.


Men's Style: Burberry Touch Screen Leather Gloves

10) For the guy who can't afford to be unplugged, try Burberry's touch screen leather gloves ($325). 


Men's Style: Folding Beach Chairs and Table

11) Form and function come together elegantly with this collapsible beach table and chair set ($495) which folds down to the size of a tote bag.


Men's Style: Loro Piana Suede Belt

12) Sophisticated and sumptuous, this Loro Piana suede belt ($500) works with everything from jeans to a suit. And you don't need suede shoes to rock this -- it works just fine with brown leather in a similar shade.

 Men's Style: Thom Browne Briefcase

13) Nothing beats a smooth black briefcase for making a smart and stylish impression. This one from Thom Browne  ($1850) is a handsome option.

Men's Style: Smythson Rotary Watch Case

14) For the watch connoisseur, this solid leather rotary watch case ($3720) from Smythson has two Swiss-made rotators to keep his timepieces in top-notch condition.

 Men's Style: Stealth-X Sled

15) The Snolo High Performance Alpine Sled (price upon request) can hit speeds of over 40 mph on average gradient slopes, and, on top of that, it can be folded into a backpack by collapsing one locking nut. Perfect for the speed demon with space issues.

What's on your wish list this holiday season?

Reader Question: Stylish Leather Porfolio

Question: I need advice! Looking for a father's day gift for a CEO that can be used daily! I want to buy a nice, stylish leather portfolio that can also accommodate an iPad. Preferably not a cache with a handle but more of a "man-clutch" for lack of a better word. -- LindsayAnswer: Hey Lindsay, what a nice gift idea! So for your mutch (sounds more manly than "man-clutch"), you want something durable since he'll be carrying it everyday, and it needs to be strong enough to hold the iPad. Check out Coach's Crosby Leather Portfolio ($298). It's the perfect size for an iPad + some other stuff, feels v professional, and won't scratch because of the pebbled leather. It comes in black or brown here, and a cool striped version here (see below left and right).Men's Style: Leather PortfolioHappy Father's Day to your man, and let me know how you do!-Julie

How to Dress Like You Mean Business: What Would a CEO Wear?

There's a lot of great info out there on what to wear for dates, but not so much for a high-level business role like CEO. Whether you're looking for a C-suite position or you already have one and want to dress the part (this can define your relationship with your staff), your appearance is key to your success.Appropriate attire will vary based on the type of business environment you are in. A Fortune 500 company is likely to have a much more formal dress code than that of a smaller tech company, which, in turn, is apt to be even more dressy than a start-up. Below are eight tips on how to dress like you run things:What Does a CEO Wear: Power Ties1. Dark colors and straight lines signal authority. So a navy suit and with a strong shoulder and a red tie connote power and authority. For the smaller tech company or a culture where you want to be slightly more approachable, it might be a textured red tie with polka dots and a navy blazer. (Tip: many websites allow you to shop by color, which is a great time-saver.)2. High contrast color combinations are perceived as powerful (that's why a tuxedo is so eye-catching); just make sure you're not wearing too much contrast for your own natural coloring.How to Dress Like a CEO: Laceup Dress Shoes3. For dress shoes, opt for lace-ups over slip-ons. You'll gain credibility that way.4. While we're talking footwear, it's important to keep your shoes clean and well-maintained. Find a great shoe guy and take your shoes in as often as needed for polish and retooling. Here in Manhattan, my go-to is The Leather Spa.5. Get good haircuts. A lot of guys discount the importance of a great scissor cut, but it can truly make or break your look.What Does a CEO Wear: Quality Attache Case6. Invest in high quality accessories like a leather carry-all or portfolio. You'll use these things everyday, so it makes sense to spend a little more on them, as your cost per wear will be lower.7. Make sure your clothes fit right. A good fit not only flatters your body, but it also shows that you've taken the time and effort to make yourself look good, and that you're aware of where and how to choose clothes that suit you.8. Have confidence in your choices. For example, if you decide to wear socks with an interesting pattern or a color you've never worn before, dive right in. If you don't own what you wear, people will pick up on that. The absolute most important element of your outfit is confidence!

New Dads: Keeping Stylish While Keeping Your Cool

This article originally appeared on the Deposit a Gift blog.

There’s lots of advice around on how new moms can keep it together fashion-wise after a little one arrives on scene. As a men’s Image and Style Consultant perhaps I’m biased, but sometimes new dads have just as much trouble maintaining a fresh sense of style. The keys are to keep it straightforward and functional, and below are six tips on how new dads can do just that.


Masculine Baby AccessoriesThe heading may sound like an oxymoron, but there’s a whole industry catering to hip dads who don’t want to carry around flowered diaper bags. Companies like Diaper Dude and Storksak design bags with these dads in mind: they come in solid dark colors like carbon grey and army green, not to mention in brown and black leather.

Men's Storksak Jamie Bag


Stylish FunctionalityIt’s no secret that you need to tote a lot of gear when you have kids. Luckily for the fashion-conscious dad, slim cargo pants are currently on-trend, so these guys can stow some of what they’ll need in those pockets for easy access. I like this khaki pair from Lands’ End Canvas, the black camo’s from Rogue or J Brand’s vintage trooper cargo.Lands' End Canvas Men's Slim Cargo Pants


Dark MatterThe first thing I usually hear from clients who are parents is how easy it is for clothes to get ruined from drips, drools and worse. With this in mind, new dads should look for machine washable clothes in forgiving dark colors.


Know Your FabricsStyle-savvy dads can further protect their clothes by wearing stain-resistant fabrics. A company called Nano-Tex has engineered an incredible fabric called Nano-Care Stressfree that literally repels stains; brands like Gap, Levi’s and Eddie Bauer sell clothing made with this technology. New dads can also protect themselves from looking worn out by wearing fabrics that look better when a little wrinkled. Think chambray, linen or flannel shirts and washed cotton chinos from inexpensive stores like Uniqlo.Men's Linen Shirts


Basic GroomingIt can be easy to get lax about haircuts, hair trimming and shaving once the little one shows up, but part of looking good is maintaining these elements of style. Many hair stylists make house calls, making it easy to fit cuts into your busy schedule.

Men's Shaving Brush and Stand


Stay OrganizedWhen you’re sleep-deprived, you won’t want to contend with a messy, confusing closet. Clean and organize your closet regularly so you can get dressed quickly. And if you need help, call in a professional.


Most importantly for new dads: Have a clear game plan at the outset. There’s no need to descend to a dad jeans + hoodie combo when you can just as easily put on a casual sport coat and well-fitted jeans – even if you’re just heading to the park. I hope the above tips help, and I welcome your questions and comments!

2011 Holiday Gift Guide

December is here, and you know what that means: 'tis the season for presents up the ying yang! Below is my top-ten list for holiday gifting. I hope you're able to find something on here for whoever is on your list (including yourself), and if you'd like shopping help tailored specifically to you, please contact me.Lanvin men's cufflinks1.// Lanvin rhodium cufflinks ($335) - Manly in an edgy yet subtle way, these cufflinks will match just about anything in your closet.2.// Microphone speaker ($24) - This quirky little speaker from MollaSpace comes in gold or silver tone. Perfect for the guy who likes a little extra attention.Men's wool hats3.// Wool hats - It takes a certain who-gives-a-damn attitude to wear a pom-pom hat. I like this one from Gant by Michael Bastian (above left; $85) because it has an old school feel, like something a Royal Tenenbaums character would wear. For a less statement-y but still stylish option, try the Christopher Kane hat (above right; $375). The houndstooth pattern is a nice upgrade from the standard solid skully.Men's Astrakhan hat4.// Astrakan ambassador hat ($385) - If the giftee in question is more traditional and appreciates old-world style, I would recommend this luxurious Astrakhan hat from the A Suitable Wardrobe store. It's great for travel because it packs flat.Viktor & Rolf Patchwork Hat5.// Viktor & Rolf patchwork scarf ($388) - A scarf is an easy holiday gift because you don't have to worry about fit. I'm a big fan of this patchwork number from Viktor and Rolf. All of the different patterns and textures give it a rich and interesting feel.Hugo men's pocket square6.// Hugo pocket square ($8) - There's no need to sacrifice style if your gift budget is modest. Snap up this gingham flannel pocket square from The Tie Bar. Its blue and black color combo is sharp in an unexpected way.David Family Wines 2007 Pinot Noir7.// David Family Wines 2007 Pinot Noir ($62) - Act fast: David Family Wines is about to end sales on their 2007 Pinot Noir, at which point it will go back into the cellar for additional aging (to be re-released in 2 years for $85/bottle). This gift is perfect for the discerning wine-lover: not only is it unbelievably delicious stuff, it also features a smart-looking leather label.Manhattan tools8.// Up Your Manhattan Game - In other booze news, after giving us the right ingredients for a solid Manhattan in last year's gift guide, this year whiskey enthusiast Josh Wortman shows us what tools to get. He recommends a Japanese glass mixing cup ($53), a bar spoon ($18), and a julep strainer ($11). Josh also likes these very small batch bitters ($18) made by soon-to-open Dutch's Spirits Distillery in upstate New York. And if you need recipes, grab PDT's new cocktail book ($16).Miansi tie bar9.// Miansai tie bar ($66) - Adding a tie bar is an easy way to take your steez to the next level. Don't be afraid of the pattern on this one from Miansai. It would work well paired with a solid grey wool or cashmere tie and the blue and black pocket square in #6 above.Tenue de Nimes x Travelteq men's laptop bag10.// Travelteq X Tenue de Nîmes laptop bag (€395) - Time is of the essence if you're into this handsome limited edition Tenue bag: only 50 pieces were made. The mashup of two traditional materials - Florentine Vacchetta leather and Japanese selvage chambray - gives it a classic-meets-modern style.There you have Rath & Co.'s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide! Hopefully there is something on here that nails it for you/your guy, or at the very least it inspires you to come up with your own thoughtful surprises. Happy gifting!

Reader Question: Versatile Briefcase

Question: Hey Rath & Co! I see that you have some fun backpack about a nice, professional, hip, not-too-expensive briefcase? Big enough to carry a laptop, cute enough for after-work drinks and nice enough for an interview. Thoughts? -Arielle (on behalf of boyfriend)Answer: Hey Arielle (+ boyfriend),Here are three briefcase-type bags that I love and that fit your criteria. Note that you don't want to go too inexpensive with something like this because you'll be carrying your laptop in it. So it needs to be sturdy and well-constructed.Each suggestion below has a slightly different vibe:Jack Spade Men's Briefcase J. Crew-Billykirk Men's SatchelDoucal's Men's BriefcaseCheers, and let me know how you do!-Julie 

Rath & Co.-Approved Backpacks

Men's backpackI know I've said before that no grown man should be seen wearing a backpack, but rules were made to be broken. Designers have been giving us some surprisingly terrific options lately, which makes me more inclined to suggest this style bag for my clients. The vibe on these is cool and grown-up -- not a backpack you'd use for Lunchable and Trapper Keeper-toting. Below are seven that I'm particularly fond of in varying price ranges. Mulberry HenryMulberry Henry Men's BackpackFrom the venerable Mulberry brand, the Henry backpack ($570) is sleek and sophisticated, and the gold hardware adds an element of class. This backpack is padded and sturdy enough to carry a laptop. The Brothers Bray & Co. Rucksack

Brothers Bray Men's Rucksack

Urban Outfitters calls this attractive surplus-style option ($98) from The Brothers Bray & Co. a rucksack. It might be a easier for you to feel like a grown-up carrying a backpack if you call it by this term ("It's not my backpack. It's my rucksack."). Whatever butters your biscuit. Navy Altitude Rucksack

Navy Men's Altitude Rucksack

Another of the rucksack ilk, this one from Topman ($60) is a great, affordable option. At this price, I wouldn't trust it to hold a laptop, but it can certainly get you around town in style otherwise. Ally Capellino Alisdair BackpackAlly Capellino Alisdair BackpackMade from durable (and beautiful) leather and blue Harris tweed, this backpack (£475) for sure is an investment. It will, however, last forever if you take care of it. Fjallraven Anniversary Kanken Mini

Fjallraven Anniversary Kanken Mini

A common site on the L train here in NYC, the Fjallraven can run the risk of looking hipster-y when worn in one of the bright primary colors. That's why I like the subtler vibe of the leather label and shades on offer for the anniversary edition ($60). Seil Marschall Canvas Climber's BackpackSeil Marschall Climbers LW Men's BackpackLike the Fjallraven above, this bag from Seil Marschall ($475) has a 70's day hike feel, but the leather and metal accents make it appropriate for stylish city life. There you go, 7 fantastic, Rath & Co. approved backpacks for Fall. Now there's no excuse for dressing like the middle schooler next door.

Rathie Spies: Etiqueta Negra Leather Bag Sale Alert

Etiqueta Negra Men's Weekender BagI almost tripped up the stairs at Etiqueta Negra in Soho today when I saw this gorgeous leather weekender: there he was, just lounging at the top. Hey handsome.I went over to take a few pictures while my client was changing back into his clothes in the dressing room. Originally $1200, it's on sale now for $850. A bag like this is a serious investment, but it will last for years and years -- when of course it will look even better than when you first got it.

Men's Holiday Gift Guide

Few things make me happier than inspired and successful holiday gift shopping. Below are ten holiday presents to consider for your husband, boyfriend, dad, brother...or to pass along to well-meaning gift-givers with a nasty Christmas sweater habit.


1.// Travel Ashtray: Your guy fancies himself a modern-day Don Draper? It doesn't get any more Mad Men than Phillipi's Black Habana travel ashtray ($88). Its black leather case, magnetic closure and stainless steel details all make me want to go pick up a bad habit.







2.// Man-Bags: Gorgeous textured leather, intricate stitch detailing, and off-center zipper...this specimen, above left, from Doucal's ($278) is the man-bag to end all man-bags. But lucky for obsessives like me, there will never be an end to man-bags. So if you are looking for something a little more undone, then check this on the right from Will Leather Goods ($289). I like the distressed leather, grommets, contrast handles and of course the buckle closure at the bottom (see here). Very vintage army feel.


3.// Manhattan Kit: Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey ($25-150), Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth ($25-35), Griottines brandied cherries ($25), Angostura Bitters ($13), and a tray that makes large ice cubes ($10). Side note: some people fear they "might look like a pansy" if they throw an ice cube in their whiskey glass. But Whiskey Expert Josh Wortman says it's perfectly ok to use the ice cube trays above (and in fact as the ice melts, some liquid can open up the flavor -- so it tastes better). Says Josh, "I use these trays all the time at home. The idea is you get good coldness with minimal dilution. You do want some dilution depending on the spirit." So let your man enjoy his Manhattan with minimal watering-down and minimal pansiness with this all-encompassing kit.


4.// Shot Glasses: Ok, so I'm very a bit partial to bulls. In keeping with the cocktail theme of the previous entry is this bull's head shot glass ($28). It's perfectly calibrated so it balances right-side-up on its horns and nose. So your guy can attend to Important Things sans worry over spillage. (The shot glass also comes in bear, deer, moose, rabbit, ram, rhino.)


5.// Wool Coat: If your man still wears a fleece jacket or ski parka over his dress clothes, the jig is up. Every guy needs a coat that is both warm and grown-up looking. A great option is this wool driving coat from Rag & Bone ($795) because the style is classy, the length is modern, and the interesting details like double-welt pockets and black shawl collar give it a little extra steez. Buy it in the same size as his suit jackets (those that fit well!).












6.// Lace-Up Boots: My men's boot obsession is no secret, and this season designers have failed to disappoint with all sorts of options for this style. If your guy is into intricate detailing and statement-making, then I'd recommend these from Roberto Cavalli (top row left, reg. $1150, now on sale for $690). The high shine, dramatic broguing, lug soles and buckle detail are all attention grabbers. A toned down option in the same color and with the same degree of shine are those above from Gucci (top row right, $795). If he prefers to fly even further below the radar, then check out those in the bottom row from Giorgio Armani. The matte finish leather is a much subtler statement. (Pant-tucking not required.)

.7.// Glen Plaid Tie: Christmas ties get a bad rap. Take a pass on those that blink, sing or come with their own greenery, and give him something a little classier. This red and green glen plaid tie ($88) from Engineered Garments will give him that holiday flavor without the nasty aftertaste.








8.// Man Jewelry: The problem with how many guys wear jewelry is that they take it to extremes (see Seasons 1 and 2 of Jersey Shore). For anything beyond the typical wedding ring/watch/cuff-links/tie clip, there's an art to wearing men's jewelry well. Two key points to keep in mind that will keep him clear of getting all Mr. T on you: keep it simple and not too sparkly and make sure he feels like himself in it, like he's been wearing it for years. With that in mind, here are two options to consider. Nautical is always a big theme in menswear, and along those lines I like this Hooked bracelet from Miansai ($55, above left, comes in other colors). Pair it with a nautical watch and maybe a simple rope bracelet, and you've created a look that's both easygoing and personal to him. If that's too sporty, then consider this necklace from Maison Martin Margiela ($125). It's solid and ruggedly stylish, and best of all, you won't have a Situation on your hands when he wears it.


9.// Leather Belt: I love the non-traditional hardware and leather loops on this Apolis Pelican Belt ($138). Plus the fact that you get to roll it up and stick it in a tin can when you're done wearing it! What guy wouldn't love that?


10.// Rath & Co. Gift Certificate: But the most effective way to guarantee your man looks his best this holiday season? Give him a gift certificate to Rath & Co. Until February 15, 2011, we're offering $50 off the purchase of all services. We'll tell him his best colors, hair styles, patterns and styles. We'll clear out his closet and even shop for him. We pretty much do everything except clean and cook dinner. Heck, we don't even do that for ourselves.

Rath & Co.'s Back to School Edition

Growing up, whenever a new school year rolled around, the only thing that made me not want to hide in the Indian Burial Ground near my house was the prospect of getting new clothes, particularly that all-important first day outfit. At this point in my life, I don’t really have an excuse to get a new Fall wardrobe every year but the idea persists. For Back to School 2010, I’m making my selections from a male perspective. So here you have what I would choose for back to school if I were a guy…As you may have heard before, you are way TOO COOL to be still wearing a backpack. A messenger bag, on the other hand, is the perfect fit for one’s manly carrying needs. I’ve been lusting over this Moore & Giles beauty ($485) in Nubuck Bison for some time. It would house my laptop perfectly (I measured – I’m good like that). I love the texture on both the bag and the shoulder strap. This bag crush is not going away anytime soon..Next up on my hit list is a pair of jeans from Billy Reid's collection for Levi's. The designer's prize for winning GQ's Best New Designer Award was to collaborate with Levi's and create a collection of tailored workwear denim. The results go on sale September 10, at 12:01 AM Eastern Time..You can never have too many well-fitting shirts, so here again I'm hitting up Billy Reid and his "dressy-casual whiskey-soaked style." The John T. shirt ($195) in blue & green strikes me as a nice way to incorporate some darker Fall colors without looking drab. Very cool how they've matched up the seams in back to create diagonals in the pattern (see below) -- a little extra Southern flavor on that flavor. I like it with these brown pants, but I'd also like to see it with charcoal grey, either on bottom or as a sweater or jacket...It's a little out there, but I could so rock this Barney's printed wool bow tie ($75). The patterned shirt actually tones down the loudness of this piece's message..If you're boot-obsessed like me, then you too hold the belief that no Fall shopping trip would be complete without a new pair of boots. Right now, I'm definitely vibing with the Diemme Roccia Vet boot (€280), which come from a collaboration between Diemme and Japanese retailer Beauty & Youth United Arrows. With the contrast stitching and colored laces and soles, they strike the perfect balance between stylish and masculine. They come in a couple different colorways -- my pick for myself would be the brown with blue laces above. You can get them here..My final picks are this cotton trench coat ($160) and lightweight denim scarf ( $24), both from Topman. Budget-friendly and machine-washable: doesn't get much better than's back in session!

Too Cool For School (A Case Against Backpacks)

Guys, I have to tell you something that will either upset or (hopefully) liberate you:You are TOO COOL to still be carrying a backpack.If you’re no longer a student and are not on a euro tour, there's no excuse. For some reason, Manhattan's streets are overrun by knapsacked men, and it always makes me scratch my head because it is such an awkward and unattractive look. It's especially troubling when the guy in question is wearing what would otherwise be a nice work outfit. Instead, his look is overwhelmed by a clunky nylon box strapped to his back, which only makes one wonder what grade he's in. It's also downright dangerous on an NYC subway when the backpack-wearer turns around in tight quarters. I've seen this happen to more than one woman, and the guy had no clue he nearly took her out! There are many better options out there to comfortably carry your things while looking great and not injuring lovely ladies who might otherwise be into you.$50 and under

I like both the style and the price of this messenger bag from Urban Outfitters. It's got a vintage feel while still work appropriate. The bag comes in two color combinations: khaki with brown and brown with brown. I prefer the contrast of the khaki and brown option (above) -- classic and classy ($48).$50-$100

The top handles and long strap on this tote make it perfect for guys who want the freedom to carry their bag in a couple of different ways: over the shoulder, in hand or slung across the body. This style comes to us from a collaboration between BillyKirk and Urban Outfitters. I like how it embodies classic almost preppy detailing but remains modern via a fresh color scheme. It's a little hard to tell from this small image, but it's got playful green piping. I wish it came in other colors too...dark grey with black or royal blue detailing or a deep chocolate brown with navy would look fantastic ($88).

Collaborations between smaller fashion companies and larger chains are big these days -- and it obviously worked in this instance as well. Seattle-based Rian Handbags collaborated with Urban Outfitters on this great backpack alternative. I love it because while being wallet-friendly, it still has visual interest in the wax-coated canvas and off-center clamp detailing. It's got a slightly more urban flavor than the previous two options ($100).$100-200

This bag above, also by Rian, is perfect for those guys with a little less to carry around. The combination of the canvas with the worn leather is really nice, and I love the edgy artwork used on the interior of Rian bags (it's the background on the shot below). Designer Rian Berry wrote in an email, "the correlation between the artwork and the the backbone of our Rian mainline products." While I'm normally not a fan of large logos on things, on these it's subtle and doesn't interfere with the style or appeal of the bag. It also comes in black on black as seen below, which has a bit more of a downtown feeling ($128).

$200 and up

This Sam Cycle bag from Property Of...  is another outdoorsy-feeling bag with vintage and classic details. With its higher price point come more durability and a richer feel than the previous options despite its ruggedness. It's also a bit bigger and definitely laptop-friendly ($285).

I included the Sackett bag from Moore and Giles twice because I couldn't decide between the two -- Brompton brown leather (top) or Nubuck bison woodland (bottom; I love these names -- maybe the latter is what a big game hunter carries his laptop in?). What I'm getting at is not only is this bag absolutely gorgeous, but you also have a number of different colors and materials to choose from. That way you can express your own personal style without looking like you're trying to show off the brand name of whatever it is you're carrying ($485).I hope that if you are a backpack-wearer, one of your New Year's resolutions will be to graduate from that cumbersome look and pick up something more sophisticated that will suit you better. Happy New Year!