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?

How to Turn Heads This Season: Spring-Summer 2013 Trend Report

It’s been a long, frosty winter, and I am thrilled to write this Spring/Summer 2013 trend report. Below are 4 Spring trends to take note of and corresponding shopping suggestions. As always, it’s up to you how literal you want to go with these. You can adapt them loosely for a subdued look or embrace them more fully, as in the runway images below. Either way, enjoy!


Trend #1: Africa

Men's Style: Spring 2013 TrendsMixing ethnic and tribal prints with classic shapes is key to making this trend wearable. Ikat (one of the oldest patterns around, though its exact origin is unknown) is a great way to rock the look. The clean silhouette and large masculine gridlines on this Balmain shirt ground the lively print, making it suitable for an everyday casual vibe.Men's Personal Shopper: Spring Trends


Trend #2: Globe Trotter

Men's Style: Spring 2013 TrendsThis trend incorporates a wide variety of cultural references, while using comfortable fabrics which work well for the frequent traveler. Consider materials like bleached chambray, linen knits, tissue linen, crinkled leather and destroyed denim. This slim-fit cotton and linen blazer from Canali would be the perfect traveling companion and a classic way to adapt this style. Throw your shades in the breast pocket for added sophistication.Men's Personal Shopper: Spring Trends


Trend #3: Seafarer

Men's Personal Shopper: Spring 2013 TrendsOne of my personal faves, this trend brings the nautical look from the deep blue to the streets. Look for sailor stripes, lightweight peacoats, double-breasted jackets, and scarf prints. I like the stripe placement on these Michael Bastian tops below left and right because they broaden you across the chest and shoulders, creating a nice V-shape down to your waist.Men's Personal Shopper: Spring Trends


Trend #4: Tailored Sport

Men's Personal Shopper: Spring 2013 TrendsTailored Sport is a good example of a trend you likely won't want to interpret literally. I can't think of any clients with situations where it would make sense to wear warm-up pants with a sportcoat. But, if elements of this look appeal to you, take inspiration from sporty materials like nylon, pique, and polished cotton. This Sacai jacket is nicely tailored and would work well either to and from the tennis court or out to a casual dinner.Men's Personal Shopper: Spring Trends


How will you be freshening up your look this Spring?

Cheers to peeling off the layers!


Spring Must-Haves

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Cheers, and Happy (almost) Spring!



Rathie Spies: Hollander and Lexer Sale Alert (TONS of Linen!)

I dropped into the imaginative, spooky-meets-elegant menswear shop Hollander and Lexer on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn this week just as new Fall items were being unpacked and put onto racks among a number of summer sale pieces. If you're fighting a losing battle with the heat even at this point in the summer, I'd suggest checking the place out: they've got a great selection of linen, much of which is seriously marked down.Below are a few of my favorite pieces along with a couple of looks I put together mixing and matching from Summer and Fall.Hollander and Lexer Mens Checked=Hollander and Lexer lightweight cotton checked jacket (originally $240, now $120) with Schiesser's supersoft henley ($140). The wide shawl collar and print on this jacket give it a really unique vibe, and the buttons on the henley lend some visual interest -- as opposed to just a plain t-shirt but also without overpowering the blazer the way a graphic shirt often can.Mens Lightweight KhakisEM's of MASONS cotton-linen blend khakis (originally $190, now $95). Fantastically lightweight: airflow is a good thing!Mens Rag & Bone JeansRag & Bone lightweight jeans (originally $265, now $132.50). Love the chipped paint detail on the buttons -- makes me think of a sink in a decrepit old clinic somewhere.Hollander and Lexer Mens JacketHollander and Lexer navy linen jacket with cotton lining (originally $425, now $212). Great interesting details like the vertical slit pockets and epaulets.I don't often make it to the outer boroughs, but this trip was worth it!

Rathie Spies: J. Crew Sale Alert

I was trolling J. Crew's website today in search of sale items for a client and found all kinds of markdown goodness. Now is the perfect time to scoop up those "nice to haves" -- things that aren't a necessity but would be a useful addition to your wardrobe if the price is right. J. Crew is offering an additional 30% off all sale items until midnight on Thursday, and shipping is free if you spend over $150. I love this grey linen shirt, originally $69.50, on sale for $34.99.J. Crew Mens Grey Linen ShirtFor an end of summer backyard shindig, pair it with these navy shorts (originally $49.50; now $27.99),J. Crew Mens Navy Shortsand these Sperry boat shoes (originally $118; now $69.99),Sperry Mens Top-Siders...roll up your sleeves, and you're good to go!(Sale code is "SHOPNOW".)