Casual Attire

Pro Tips: Jean Tailoring FTW

Men's Image Consultant: How to Tailor Your Jeans

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

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

The One Shoe Type That Works with Almost Any Outfit

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

How to Wear Man Jewelry

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

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

Do the front tuck

Men's Image Consulting: Half Tuck ShirtHave you tried the front-tuck yet? It's one of the best (and easiest) ways to create that undone-done look that makes it look like you're not trying too hard.Here's how you do it:

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

Note: this does not work with baggy shirts (it just looks sloppy), so make sure you don't skip step 1!image via people.com

Fall Jacket Picks

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

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

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

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

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

The only swimsuit style you need

Men's Style Advice: SwimwearSummer is over halfway through -- how strong is your swimsuit game? If you're feeling iffy about it, I highly recommend you try a swim short with a side waist adjusters. It might just change your life -- or at least make you feel like a stud when you hit the beach or pool. Below are 3 big reasons why this style swim short is so flattering:1) Flat waistbands -- have you ever noticed that a swimsuit with a bunchy waistband makes you look bunchy? That's no bueno. A waistband that lies flat against your stomach, however, reduces excess fabric which can make you look bulky around the waist. The net net is that the flat waistband you get on a swimsuit with side adjusters can actually make your stomach look flatter.2) Pool panache -- just as they do with dress pants, side adjusters convey a class and sharpness in a way those ballooning board shorts can't dream of. And of course you can tighten or loosen them for the perfect fit.3) Après-swim friendly -- because these have such a smart, tailored look, all you need to do at the end of a successful beach day is throw on a trim-fitting polo, and you can head straight to the beach club for drinks and hors d'oeuvres.I like the brands Orlebar Brown (one of my go-to's for clients), along with Frescobol Carioca and Robinson Les Bains for this style.Now obviously you'll need to adjust the length of the legs based on your body type and comfort level, but I will say that I've tried this style swimsuit with personal styling clients of all different shapes and sizes, and they've only ever given rave reviews.So are you convinced? Let me know why or why not in the comments below.Cheers,Julie

Where George Clooney Gets It Wrong

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

How to 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

This Versatile Wardrobe Item May Surprise You

Just because you’re not a cowboy, doesn't mean you should ignore the denim shirt. Sure, you can wear a denim shirt on the ranch, but you can also wear it to the office, on a date, out for dinner – just about anywhere. How rugged vs. fine the material is dictates how dressy you can take it. Also, dark rinses read fancier than light ones.Here are 4 ways to wear a denim shirt in order from casual to dressy:men's style: denim shirt1) Weathered with pockets. Wear a different shade of denim on bottom for the optimal Canadian tuxedo. If you need help with the "downstairs" portion of the look, here's my primer on how to find flattering jeans.men's style tips: denim shirt2) Half-buttoned over a v-neck or henley (tucked or not; only tuck in if you can do so without it looking sloppy). Try a jean-style chino or corduroy on bottom.men's style advice: denim shirt3) Medium to dark wash with dress pants. Throw on a fun belt to add personality to the look.men's style advice: denim shirt4) Dark rinse with suit and tie. For continuity, your tie should be textured, like a knit, cotton, wool or cashmere (a dressy silk won't look right on denim). The dark buttons on this shirt make it dressier than the previous three.Pulling off the denim shirt can be tricky, and you may not have felt confident going there in the past. But hopefully these outfit ideas inspire you to give it a shot. Denim shirts are an excellent way to add versatility to your wardrobe, and it's a shame not to do it just because you don't know how to pull it off. Try it, and let me know how you do!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.

How Your T-Shirt Should Fit

Men's Style Advice: How Your T-Shirt Should FitFor most of my clients, Summer means t-shirt time. How does yours fit? Don't laugh -- even though it's just a t-shirt, it should fit you as well as all of the other items in your wardrobe. Below are 4 key points to watch for when determining whether to buy that next beefy-tMen's Style Advice: How Your T-Shirt Should Fit1) The shoulder seam should hit directly on the edge of your shoulder. When a t-shirt is too big, these seams hang off your shoulder and make you look sloppy. But wearing a shirt with the seam right on the edge of your shoulder will make you look fit and trim.Palm Beach Men's Stylist: How Your T-Shirt Should Fit2) The length of your sleeve should hit about halfway down your bicep. Again, this will be the most flattering to your build.Men's Style Advice: How Your T-Shirt Should Fit3) When you pinch the sleeve edge, there should be 1-1.5 inches of extra fabric.Men's Style Advice: How Your T-Shirt Should Fit4) The hem of the t-shirt should hit about halfway down the fly of your pants. Any longer than that will throw off the balance of your upper and lower body (aka make you look short), and anything much shorter than that won't give you enough coverage.Now, it's your turn. Try on your favorite t-shirt...how does it measure up?Cheers,Julie 

Your Summer Hit List

 Men's Image Consultant: Summer WardrobeIs your summer wardrobe in need of a refresh? At key points throughout the year, my Rath & Co. clients and I reassess their wardrobes for the upcoming season. We look at what works and what doesn't, and what they didn't have enough of last year. If you haven't gone through this exercise for summer, before you go into full beach mode, carve out time to go through all of your summer clothes so that you can create a clear list of what's missing. Below is my hit list of 10 summer must-haves to help guide you, plus a couple of grooming bonuses:1) Lightweight t-shirts: a mix of henleys, crew and v-necks2) Sweatshirt or long-sleeve shirt for post-beach3) Summer footwear: sandals, flip-flops, or what I call social sneaks (aka nice sneakers you wouldn't work out in)4) Sunglasses5) Swimsuits: here's a guide on how to choose the best style for you.6) Lightweight and light color dress shirts, pants, sportcoats, and suits (the latter two depend on your social calendar and how frequently you dress up for work).7) Shorts8) Strong deodorant with anti-perspirant9) Minty soap: for more on soaps and other grooming products that will keep you cool, check out my post on Heat-Wave Style.10) Sun protection: I'm fair-skinned and super-picky about what type I use -- VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Face Cover is what works best for me. Also check out Bioastin Astaxanthin, which is an antioxidant that's said to help protect skin against the sun.What's on your hit list for summer?Cheers,Julie 

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

Bringing Your Style A-Game in a Casual Work Environment

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

How to Create Layered Outfits

I’ve been getting more and more requests from clients wanting outfits with interesting layered combinations. These types of looks are comprised of simple, classic pieces (things everyone should have in his closet), but when pulled together correctly, they become a whole greater than its parts. It's clear that some thought was put into the look, but there's no risk of looking like you tried too hard. If you’re the kind of person who wants to be noticed for your style but not right away (i.e., “who’s the sharp guy in the corner…?”), this style of dressing is perfect for you.In order to have a wardrobe where you can do this you must first collect enough pieces that combine well. Below are 12 essentials to get you started mixing and matching:1) Navy blazer – note: this must fit impeccably or the entire look is shot.2) Grey sportcoat – see note above. Men's Personal Shopper: Layered Outfits3) Thin hoodie – I like this fleece wool one from Thinple because it’s polished despite being a hoodie.4) Great-fitting jeans – dressy and dark or weathered and sporty are fair game but please nothing crazy on the back pockets.5) Casual pants like chinos or corduroys. Men's Personal Shopper: Outfits with Layers6) Patterned t-shirt – this Missoni shirt would look terrific peeking out beneath a solid navy henley, under a sportcoat. Men's Personal Stylist: Henley Shirt7) Henley – solid neutrals should be your first choice, but once you’ve got a few as a foundation, you can go for something with a pattern or pop of color.8) Workshirt/Shacket – denim, corduroy, flannel worn untucked and either unbuttoned or buttoned partially (to show the layers beneath). Note: when wearing with a lightweight jacket (see #12), it’s OK if the hemline on this piece is longer than the jacket. It adds to the outfit's visual texture. Men's Personal Stylist: Ryan Gosling's Style9) Thin sweater – think v-neck, zip-neck, or cardigan. Cardigans in my opinion get a bad rap. They aren't just for grandpa looks. In fact, as part of an interesting layered combination, they take on a whole new life. Stylist tip: leave the top and bottom buttons undone. (Ryan Gosling, as usual with all things sartorial, knows what's up.) Men's Personal Stylist: Layered Looks10) Thick sweater – a shawl collar is always a good choice, or the one from Agnès B above I just got for a client. I love the stripes inside the collar. With menswear, the snappily-dressed devil is in the details.Men's Image Consultant: How to Layer Clothing11) Thin outerwear-type vest – wear over or under your sportcoat (you won’t be able to button the sportcoat with the vest under it; that’s OK.) You can go for down as in this great street style shot from The Sartorialist above, or if you want a more manly man vibe, I am very much into this weathered leather number from Billy ReidMen's Image Consultant: How to Layer Clothing12) Lightweight jacket – here’s a good one from Belstaff.13) Boots – most layered looks that you'll be building are going to be casual, so boots like chukkas, chelseas or lace-ups are in order to complete the look. Men's Image Consultant: How to Layer Clothing14) Scarf – a lot of guys think wearing scarves as part of an outfit (as opposed to just keeping warm) is “advanced” dressing. They’re right! But if you're reading this article, that's proof you're committed to the cause, and you are absolutely up for it. Here’s a shot of a well-tied scarf I saw on a mannequin last week. The way to execute this is 1. fold the scarf in half lengthwise; 2. put it around your neck with folded end on one side and loose ends on other; 3. pull loose ends through loop; 4. tighten slightly; 5. tuck one of the loose ends up into knot.Keep an open mind when shopping for a wardrobe that works for this style of dressing. Items you might not otherwise consider (like a cardigan) can suddenly become appealing when you see them in combination as part of the whole. Same goes for the Missoni shirt in #6. Maybe it feels a little much on its own, but with just a peek showing as part of a look, it’s perfect. Generally when adding layers, you’ll go from thin to thick as you move out from your body, unless you put a down vest under your sport jacket. And if you get warm, you can easily remove one layer and still have a pulled-together look. Nothing is dependent on anything else. What I really love about dressing this way is that it allows you to build a wardrobe of basic essentials ("the canon" as one of my clients calls it), but you get to play around and show your creativity in pulling together combinations.How do you like to layer your outfits? 

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

Sink or Swim: Your Guide to Summer’s Best Swimsuits

Men's Personal Shopper Daniel Craig SwimsuitIf there’s one place you want to look your best, I would venture to say at the beach or poolside would be at the top of the list. After all, that’s where (presumably) you’ll be as close to naked as you’ll ever get in public. Thanks in large part to the James Bond movie "Casino Royale," which features a taut Daniel Craig emerging from the water in short, tight swim trunks, men's swim styles have been moving gradually toward higher hemlines and more tailored cuts. While not everyone has the build or desire to bare quite as much as 007, abbreviated and tailored looks are in fact more flattering and mature in feel than the oversized, extra-long trunks you may be used to. My clients are always pleasantly surprised at what a couple fewer inches and a narrower trouser-like cut can do. With that in mind, below are 6 Rath-approved swimsuits for Summer 2013, with a little something for everybody.

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Universally Flattering

Men's Personal Shopper: Hartford Swim TrunksWith its flat waistband, mid-thigh length, constructed fly and trim leg openings, this classic style from Hartford($165) looks good on just about everyone. Bonus tip: for the most flattering leg width, you should be able to fit 2-3 fingers in the bottom leg opening of your suit.

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Bold Prints

Men's Image Consultant: Paul Smith Swim TrunksGo for classy and/or beach-inspired graphics and avoid anything that involves dragons or fire-breathing (or both). I like this cheeky shark-tooth number from Paul Smith (£89).

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Show-Off

Men's Image Consultant: Orlebar Brown Swim TrunksYou're in great shape. Why not sport your swim gear with cool confidence? The flattering trouser-like cuts from Orlebar Brown (£125-160) -- note the waistband side adjusters -- allow them to transition perfectly from beach to post-beach cocktails (add linen shirt and stir well). Try the Bulldog cut if you're a little daring (modeling pict below), and the Setters if you're a lot daring (see also "European Vacation" below).Men's Personal Stylist: Orlebar Brown Swim Trunks

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Modest

Men's Personal Shopper: Bonobos Board ShortIs going to the gym a foreign concept to you? Don't worry, you can still hit the beach with panache. Look for swimwear in dark (read: slimming) colors, hemlines that hit an inch or two above your knee, and comfortably trim leg openings like those above from Bonobos ($65). Also, a waistband that's flat in front with elastic in back can be both flattering and comfortable if you have a bit of a belly.

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Surf

Men's Stylist: Sundek Swim ShortsSay sayonara to your old ballooning board shorts. The new guard is updated and upgraded. Brands like Sundek ($119) will give you a great fit while maintaining the comfort and movement you'll need to hang ten. Dig the retro vibe of the rainbow bands.

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European Vacation

Parke-&-RonenI know some guys who have an entirely different set of swimwear for when they travel to Europe. There you can get away with 2" inseams, and no one will bat an eye. You can rock a shorter short in the US too: this style is especially good for slim builds, and of course you must wear it confidently. It also helps if your name has the number 7 in it (see intro). Since you're going there, you might as well have fun with bold colors and/or patterns. Try Parke & Ronen's Angeleno ($125) cut if this appeals to you.

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Made-to-Measure

File this under the category of "so not necessary you just might need it". If you're a tricky fit, you can always consider having your swim trunks custom made for you.

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What are you planning on wearing to the beach this summer? If you need personalized help with your beach threads, drop me a line.Happy Summer!Julie

For Love of Linen

Want to do something nice for yourself this summer? Love yourself up by adding linen to your wardrobe. Men are relatively limited in their options for staying breezy on blazing hot summer days, but as I’ve mentioned before, linen is a hot weather essential due to its lightweight and breathable qualities. The reason it can keep you comfortable is that the cloth absorbs up to 20% moisture without feeling wet.You can buy linen either off-the-rack or through a custom clothier (if you’re a R&Co. client, you know how crazy I am for custom). Check out these fabric swatches below for some linen sportcoats I recently ordered for two clients.

Men's Personal Shopper: Custom Linen Sportcoats

Fabrics can made solely of linen as with the shirt below from Hartford, or they can be blended with other fabrics for a more refined look. The fabrics for the sportcoats above are combined with cashmere and silk, which makes them drape beautifully. We'll pair them with everything from jeans and a henley or v-neck t-shirt to dress pants and a dress shirt and pocket square.Ninja stylist tip for staying cool: if you custom order a linen (or any summer fabric for that matter) sportcoat or suit, ask for it to have no lining or a quarter lining. This works wonders.

Men's Personal Stylist: Linen Shirt

I know, linen wrinkles. If this really bothers you, give it a shot and see if you can get beyond it. Embrace the imperfection. Would you rather be drenched in sweat or easy-breezy with a few creases in your clothes?

Men's Personal Shopper: Linen Vest

Aside from the obvious: linen shirts, suits, sportcoats, and shorts, you can also look for vests made of linen, like the one above from J. Crew. Vests are an ideal warm-weather solution for getting the level of formality inherent to having an added layer over your dress shirt, without the extra weight of a sportcoat or suit jacket.

Men's Personal Stylist: Linen Tie

For casual social occasions, or if your office isn't dressy, consider wearing a linen tie like the one above from Pierrepont Hicks. It's seasonally appropriate and has the added bonus of keeping your neck much cooler than a heavier silk would.

Men's Image Consultant: Linen Pocket Squares and Sneakers

Other linen accessories you can work in your summer repertoire include pocket squares and shoes (above left and right). While they won't necessarily keep temperatures down, you will certainly look cool in them!How do you plan on wearing linen this summer?

Jean-eology: How to Find Flattering Jeans

Having good jeans is not hereditary or otherwise beyond your control. But it does take know-how and patience. The wrong jeans can send the wrong message entirely. So this is one you want to get right. Read on for the definitive Rath & Co. guide to shopping for denim.

The Most Flattering Style

Men's Personal Shopper Straight Leg JeansJust about everyone looks good in a pair of inky blue, straight-leg jeans. This is the first basic pair that I recommend everyone should have. It’s timeless.

The Best Style for Your Build

What does the perfect pair of jeans look like? Well, that depends on your physical proportions.

  • If you're of average build, good styles for you include RRL Straight Leg, 7 Standard Classic Straight Leg, J Brand Kane or Citizens of Humanity Sid.
  • If you’re slim, try 7 Jeans Slimmy. Don’t let the name freak you out – these aren’t skinny jeans. The Slimmy’s are cut straight, without a lot of excess room in the leg and with a slight taper toward the ankle. I’ve had many conservative clients love the fit of these. Billy Reid's Slim Jean is another good choice.
  • If your thighs are built, try Joe's Straight Leg Classic or AG The Protégé.
  • If your waist size is larger than your inseam and/or you need more room overall, check out 7 Jeans’ Austyn cut. Sometimes loose cuts (of anything, really) can make you look larger than you actually are, but these give you room to breathe while still looking flattering.
  • If your rise is low (this is the distance between your waist and the bottom of your crotch), Hudson’s Byron cut is an excellent option.

Note: Aside from cuts, there's a huge variety of pocket styles among different types of denim. This is an important factor because you want to make sure that the rear pockets are not too long for your seat. For example, I’ve found that with clients 5’ 8” and under, the pockets on the 7 Standard Classic jeans are too long and end up making the client look misproportioned.

Washes and Colors

Men's Personal Shopper Worn JeansOnce you’ve got the dressier dark blue rinse, you'll want to get a more casual rinse that’s a little lighter in color (see above). These are for weekend afternoons and low-key trips to your favorite watering hole.Men's Personal Shopper Denim Rinses Another easy way to add versatility to your denim wardrobe is to introduce colors aside from blue. I’m a big fan of grey, white, off-white (the latter two especially good for warm weather; see above) and other interesting shades like red. If this appeals to you, check out Rag & Bone for an array of unique washes which change each season. Last Fall, I styled a client in a pair of burgundy AG’s and orange suede Louis Vuitton driving loafers. It was a very cool look! Note that if you go with white (a bold, confident choice), make sure you keep them spotless.

Savvy Shopping Tips

  • Unless you’re buying selvedge denim (a thicker, stiffer type of Japanese denim), most jeans will slacken up to one size as you wear them. So it’s good if they're a little snug when you buy them.
  • Sizing varies from brand to brand. If you’re 34 in one brand, you may be 33 in another.
  • Always check out your rear view in a three-way mirror when trying on jeans. What looks like a party in the front may be droopy drawers in the back. And make sure to wear a belt when trying on – this will help indicate what fits and what doesn’t. Your jeans are too big if your belt hikes your belt loops up toward your seat, or if you have crimping anywhere along the waist.
  • Set aside a chunk of time and try on as many pairs as you can. A few times a client and I had thought we’d found The Right Pair, only to try on one more style and find one that's even better. It pays to spend a little time doing this.

Tailoring

  • Once you’ve found jeans that turn heads, you may need to have them tailored. If they need hemming, make sure you bring with you to the tailor whatever shoes you’ll be wearing most frequently with them.
  • Ask your tailor to reattach the original bottom hem after shortening them (they don’t always offer this without your asking).
  • If you’re having slim or straight-leg jeans hemmed, pay attention to where the tailor is going to cut them. Sometimes shortening jeans can compromise the desired slimness in the leg, so in order to maintain the integrity of the cut, you should have them tapered slightly toward the ankle as well.

Side note: if you like the look of cuffed jeans (see "Washes and Colors" above), you can skip the hemming and roll 1.5" cuffs.

To Be Avoided at All Costs

 Men's Personal Shopper Denim Don'tsNot to be dramatic, but please don’t be caught dead in any of the following jean-related offenses: heavily contrasting stitching, (No), obnoxiously-patterned pockets (Double No), very pronounced whiskering or distressing (feels artificial and is not slimming), boot cuts (save it for the cowboys), or black jeans (this worked for the "November Rain" video but little else).

Take Care

Wash your jeans inside out to maintain the color.

Pricetag

In general, you get what you pay for with jeans – up to a certain point. A $50 pair of jeans from Uniqlo is a good option if you’re watching your budget, but know that they won’t last as long as a pair of Citizens, for example, that cost $175. Do the math: in some instances, it makes more sense to invest in quality up front rather than have to replace inexpensive jeans every year. All of that said, I have a client who had been talked into buying several pairs of $1K plus Louis Vuitton denim by an overzealous salesperson before he started shopping with me. Perhaps you cannot put a price on that which makes your butt look good, but really, it’s not necessary to spend more than $250-$275 to get a solid pair of jeans. Once I started shopping for that client, I found him a whole slew of denim that cost less than ¼ of what he had spent previously – and he liked them better than the super-pricey ones.

The Canadian Tuxedo…?

 Men's Personal Shopper Canadian TuxedoEver wonder if you’re cool enough to rock the jean-on-jean look? Well, you are! You just need to know how to do it. The key to wearing jeans on bottom with jeans on top is to make sure each item is a distinctly different wash from the other. A fail-safe way to do this is to combine a light rinse denim top with a dark, selvedge jean. A light rinse denim top also looks clean and crispy with white jeans.I know all of this may sound complicated, but trust me, putting a little effort into your jean shopping will go a long way. If you'd like tailored help with achieving denim excellence, contact me.Cheers,Julie