Dress Shirts

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

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

What's Your Power Suit?

I’m not going to lie, the term POWER SUIT makes me cringe a bit. Yes, the right suit can help you look powerful, at least if it fits you perfectly, but just donning a suit does not by itself do the job. There are other pieces to the puzzle. So if you're going into a situation where you want people to sit up and take notice when you walk in, read on for 4 easy tips on how to manage your appearance.How to Dress Powerfully: Ties1) Straight lines and angles in patterns and clothing silhouettes signal authority. An easy way to apply the former is with ties: the tie above left is much stronger because of its angularity than the tie to the right with its curved lines. For silhouettes, you can see this everywhere from glasses, to suits, to sport jackets (if you wear glasses, my article on how to choose glasses frames is a must-read). For example, a squared-off jacket shoulder is more commanding than a soft shoulder. Amy Cuddy Ted Talk2) Adopting the posture and body language associated with dominance, can change not only how others perceive you, but also how you feel about yourself. Check out this fascinating TED Talk by Harvard Professor and social psychologist Amy Cuddy. According to her research, if you spend just two minutes in “power poses” before going into an evaluative situation like a job interview (you can do them in a bathroom stall), the benefits will be considerable.3) Dark colors in general, and high contrast color combinations like deep navy and white, are commanding and will cause others to perceive you as powerful (that’s why a tuxedo is typically black and white).4) Crisp clothing textures are more authoritative than rough textures. So if you are going into a situation where you want to be received that way, you should wear a crisp suit, a pressed and non-textured dress shirt and a smooth tie.The nice thing about looking more powerful is that it actually causes you to feel that way, and that in turn affects how you act, causing you to take more "leader-worthy" steps. Of course, the flip side is that many leaders can appear too dominant, without having communicated warmth in a way that allows them first to build trust with the people they are trying to lead. Stay tuned for more on how to fine-tune your image so that you strike the perfect balance.

So Fresh and So Clean in 2013

It’s always nice to get a fresh start in the new year. Below are 8 suggested style resolutions to help you abandon old ways and embrace new ones. Men's Style: Colorful Dress Shirt1) Incorporate color. Fall and winter are seasons for dark, moody colors, but Spring is the time to work in some pep and optimism. Try a solid shirt in an unexpected shade like this green above. Keep the rest of the look solid to avoid overkill (or eye strain).2) Try a different brand. Too often what I see in new clients’ closets is a lack of variety. While it’s natural to stock up if something works for you, think outside the box in the new year, and experiment with new brands. One that I love is Todd Snyder, which now has a website from which you can order directly.3) Shoe care. An easy way to get right in the new year is to have your shoes refurbished by a good cobbler. My go-to in NYC is The Leather SpaMen's Style: Turtleneck Sweater4) Try a new garment. If you’ve never worn a turtleneck sweater (à la Steve McQueen), now could be the time. They’ve been all over the runways and stores recently, and they’re a great way to up the style ante when done right. Keep the fit trim, the knit fine, the color neutral, and layer it under a suit or sportcoat as an alternative to a dress shirt and tie.5) Whiten your teeth. You can do this with an at-home kit like Crest Whitestrips, or get a stronger solution with custom-made trays from your dentist. Men's Style: Color Blocking6) Embrace a trend. One Spring 2013 trend that's very accessible is color-blocking. This sweater from Tim Coppens with large swaths of color is an easy way to incorporate this look.7) Love your clothes up. Lose the wire hangers from the cleaners (which cause your clothes to become misshapen), and get nice quality wooden hangers, or, if you have space issues, I’m a big fan of these non-slip slim line hangers.8) Get new headshots. If you haven’t done this recently, what are you waiting for? Click for my step-by-step guide.Wishing you all things good and stylish in the new year.Cheers,Julie

Images courtesy of GQ and Black Watch

No-Brainer Shirt and Pants Combinations

With business casual all the rage in many offices, the pairing of dress shirts and pants is a hot topic. In some ways, this is actually easier than putting together an outfit where you're considering suit (or blazer and pants), shirt, tie, and sometimes pocket square patterns. But still, based on empirical data (a.k.a. what I see when hanging out in clients' closets), a lot of people get it wrong. Below are 7 quick and easy points to keep in mind when selecting a business-casual dress shirt and pants combo.1) Avoid wearing striped pants with just your dress shirt. This tends to look a little "off," like you broke your striped suit apart and wore just the pants themselves.2) If you broke rule #1 and are wearing striped pants with just a dress shirt, don't worry I won't hunt you down. Just promise me that your dress shirt isn't striped too. How to match your shirt to your pants: herringbone3) If your pants have a pattern (plaid, windowpane, check, etc.), go with a solid shirt, and vice versa. Otherwise you border on looking clownish. Some fabrics are "tone-on-tone," which means they have a subtle pattern to their weave, like a herringbone, but are still all one color. Fabrics like that read as solids and are perfectly fine to wear with patterns. See above how, viewed closely, there appears to be a pattern in the shirt, but overall it reads as a solid. How to match your dress shirt with your pants: color combinations4) If you're very tall, you may want to break up your height by choosing pant and shirt colors that contrast one another, creating a horizontal line at your waist (see above left). On the flip, if you want to look taller, choose combinations where the colors are more similar in depth and intensity so as to create one long line top-to-bottom (above right).5) White goes with everything. In fact, the white dress shirt is a wardrobe cornerstone -- about as important as, say, a belt or a navy blazer. It comes in especially handy on the inevitable running-late mornings when you need to grab-and-go.6) A contrast collar shirt is mostly worn with a suit for a Wall Street-y look. But if you're going to wear it with just dress pants, opt for pants in a dark hue.7) For specific color recommendations, I like brown pants with pink, light blue, ecru and yellow shirts. And gray pants provide a solid anchor to brightly colored or boldly patterned shirts.Do you have trouble pairing dress shirts and pants? Leave me a comment or question below. I'd love to hear what's on your mind.Images via Mr. Porter and Bonobos.

Show Your Stripes

I'm loving this black and white striped Ralph Lauren tie that I got on sale for a client at Bergdorf Goodman. Originally $150, it rang up as $69. The deals these days are out of control.We'll pair it with a white dress shirt as shown above, a black vest and matching black trousers. I also like it with the striped and checkered shirts below. While pattern mixing may feel a little strange if you've never done it before, consider it as a "next step."  Branching out this way will also give you more options to work with when putting outfits together. The main consideration when doing this is to make sure the patterns you pair up are of different proportions to one another. Here, too, the striped shirt works because its stripes run vertical, while those on the tie run diagonal. When done correctly, pattern mixing is an excellent way of adding versatility to your wardrobe.