Outfit Ideas

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

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

Fall/Winter Style Tip #1: Layering Made Easy

During cold weather is a great time to upgrade your style, and while there is so much you can do, I wanted to break it down and make it super simple for you. So I put together three style tips for Fall and Winter that are easy and fun to implement. Read on for #1.Fall is a confusing time -- and it's upon us. You can be walking down the street and see a guy in a parka on one block and another guy in shorts on the next. How does one dress sensibly when the day starts and ends in the 50's but peaks in the 70's at midday?Winter, too, can be tough to navigate. It's frigid outside, but the heat is pumping when you get indoors. It's no fun when the sweat starts rolling down your back the instant you walk in the door. How to avoid this?The secret lies in the layering.Fall is a confusing time -- and it's upon us. You can be walking down the street and see a guy in a parka on one block and another guy in shorts on the next. How does one dress sensibly when the day starts and ends in the 50's but peaks in the 70's at midday?   The secret lies in the layering. In order to be fully prepared for these ups and downs, it's key to have a cadre of thin layers.Some can be basic, and others patterned. The main thing is to have a mix and not too much of one color.Pull together a collection of thin v-neck and henley sweaters, thin cardigans, solid t-shirts, cotton henley shirts, sportcoats and transitional jackets (these include field-type jackets, leather or suede, and lightweight bombers). The reason the layers should be thin is that it will give you the ability to regulate your temp most easily. And thinner layers combine more easily together.You can pile the layers on when it's cold and peel them off when you overheat. For added panache, consider carrying a small classy duffle to throw your extra layers into.Something like this:Men's Fashion Tips: Dressing for FallCheers,JulieP.S. Make sure to check out Fall/Winter Style Tip #2 which gives you the rundown on how to choose outerwear.

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

Sweater Wearing for Non-Sweater Wearers

With the cold weather here (and here to stay), it's time to consider the sweater. In case you missed it, my advice was referenced in an excellent Wall Street Journal article about how to incorporate sweaters into your look. Even if you're not typically a sweater-wearer, don't click away just yet. I'm not talking about the basic sweater-over-a-dress-shirt look -- anyone can do that. It's the non-typical ways to wear knits that I'm interested in. Below are 5 ways to use sweaters to add a fresh spin to your look:Men's Style Advice: Sweaters1) Jacket alternative with a casual outfit a.k.a. swacket (sweater-jacket combo) - Leave the North Face in the closet and put on a a chunky sweater instead. As I've mentioned before, outerwear is key to pulling together an effective outfit, as it sets the tone for your look. And wearing a sweater as outerwear is a great way to mix things up. The cardigan above from J. Crew is an excellent option (similar here) is an excellent option, as is this one from Billy Reid, which is lined the same way a regular jacket is and therefore provides good protection from the elements. Men's Style Advice: Sweaters2) Cardigan worn as a sport coat - In lieu of a sportcoat, wear a shawl collar cardigan like the one above from Suit Supply with a dress shirt and tie. This is a smart look for a cozy evening holiday party. You can also add a tailored menswear vest for further visual interest and warmth.Men's Style Advice: Sweaters3) Vest worn over shirt and tie - This is a nice choice when it's not cool enough for a full-sleeved sweater like in #2. Above is another option from Suit Supply which shows how to do this. The teal blue sweater paired with the rust orange pants is a solid Fall color combo. Leave the bottom button undone as you would with a regular menswear vest.Men's Style Advice: Sweaters4) Sweater in place of dress shirt - This is a very sophisticated look, especially when done tone-on-tone as in the runway image above from Valentino (the model also has a grey scarf tucked into the sweater).Men's Style Advice: Sweaters5) Thin cardigan under suit or sportcoat - On days where it's not quite cold enough for an overcoat over your suit/sportcoat, throw on a cardigan as an in-between layer. If you want to try this look, make sure that the cardigan is thin and try leaving the top and bottom buttons open for a less "done" look as in the above image.Two additional notes...-Because wearing sweaters can get hot indoors, it's key to dress in layers which can be easily removed and replaced. The above looks work well in this way, as they each have pieces that can be removed and added back as needed.-Bear in mind that because knitwear has texture, it's inherently going to impart a casual feel to your look. The less textured the sweater is, the more dressy it will be. So if you're wearing one of these looks for work but don't want to be too dressed down, make sure it's a fine knit with a smooth surface to it.Sweaters can often feel stuffy and "old," but if you try them in new and unconventional ways as above, you'll breathe new life into your look. How are you wearing sweaters this season?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? 

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!

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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

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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

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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

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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

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How will you be freshening up your look this Spring?

Cheers to peeling off the layers!

Julie

Try a New Hide: Stingray

Men's Style: StingrayA lot of what I hear from new clients is a desire for what I call “Next Level Style”. Next Level Style is the development of a look that is uniquely one’s own, one that will make others sit up and take notice (but only to the degree wanted, of course!). One of my favorite things to do as a stylist is to seek out clothing and accessory items that will create that affect. No more walking into your office and seeing another guy in the same exact Brooks Brothers shirt and Ferragamo tie. With that goal in mind, today I’m shining the spotlight on stingray, a material you’ve possibly never heard of in relation to style.Stingray leather (also known as "shagreen") is extremely durable and has been used throughout history for everything from swanky armored clothing to sword handle wraps. Today in the fashion world, stingray is used on items ranging from wallets to shoes. One of the nice things about this skin is that stingrays aren't threatened by extinction, so its leather can be sourced easily, which also contributes to its relatively low pricing. In fact, stingrays are found in abundance in the shallow, warm waters of the Pacific Rim and are fished commercially as a primary food source.Here are my 6 favorite stingray items currently available that I hope will inspire you to get some new hides into your rotation.Men's Style: Stingray Wallets1. These wallets above from Adam Unlimited ($80, left), and Bottega Veneta ($560, right) are sure to catch peoples' eyes when you pull one out of your pocket.

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Men's Style: Stingray Cufflinks2. Why not incorporate stingray into your dressier attire? These cufflinks ($275) would pop nicely against a grey suit, white dress shirt and a black and white or grey tie.

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Men's Style: Business Card Holder3. I recently got this business card holder ($75) from a store called Unearthed on Etsy. I love the strong contrast of black with white. Each piece is customized, so you can tell them your color preference, and they'll select a hide to suit that.

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Men's Style: Stingray Belt4. Interesting belts are an excellent way to mix things up from the usual black or brown leather. I like this one from Scunzani in dark (above), or light brown ($515).

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Men's Style: Stingray Bracelets5. A piece of men's jewelry (a.k.a. "mewlery") can be one of the most rewarding items to add to your wardrobe when done right. I am very much into this bracelet ($175, above left), which would work well with most silver-toned watches. And if you want to throw some color into the mix, try this turquoise stingray and braided leather combo ($150, above right).

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Men's Personal Shopper: Stingray Shoes6. Stingray shoes are not for the faint-hearted. These balmorals ($1195) from Harris (which I've highlighted previously) are so unique and interesting that they will surely be conversation starters. With this price tag though, you must be absolutely sure you love them before taking the leap!

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How do you like to up the style quotient? And would you wear stingray?Cheers to Next Level Style,Julie

Get this Party Started: What to Wear for Black Tie Optional and Creative Black Tie

Men's Style: Black TieThere are few things more devastatingly dashing than a man in a beautifully-fitted tuxedo. If you’ve received an invitation for an event calling for “Black Tie Optional” attire, your best option is – you guessed it – Black Tie. Why not take the opportunity to bring out the big guns? I promise, womens' heads will turn, and the other guys not in tuxes will wish they had opted otherwise. Check out this shot above from a recent photo shoot for my new website (coming soon!). Pretty good, right?Relatedly, designers have been showing formalwear looks deconstructed with individual items worn as separates (as seen in my Fall style report). This gives you even more reason to invest in a tux as well as some fun and interesting formalwear elements, which will come in handy when you’re faced with a Creative or Festive Black Tie dress code. Below are my top 5 picks for pieces that will help you mix up your evening gear.Men's Style: Acne Double-Breasted Tuxedo Jacket1) Acne Velvet Double-Breasted Tuxedo Jacket -- Acne made a splash with their fall lineup of swanky eveningwear separates. This jacket speaks for itself, so keep the rest of the look simple and classic. Men's Style: Acne Jacquard Print Pants2) Acne Jacquard Print Pants - These print pants are next-level style at its best. The trim cut calls for a similarly tailored jacket. Men's Style: Michael Bastian Shawl Collar Dinner Jacket3) Michael Bastian Dinner Jacket - For evening wear with a festive twist, I am very much into this tartan shawl collar dinner jacket. The beauty of this piece is that you can wear it formally as shown above with ivory dress pants, but you can also dress it down with a bowtie, denim dress shirt, boots and cords, as seen in this excellent WSJ article on the topic.Alexander McQueen Black and Gold Stripe-Skull Bowtie4) Alexander McQueen Black and Gold Stripe-Skull Bowtie - Bring out your inner rebel with this McQueen bowtie. Let it pop against a crisp white shirt, or give it a moodier edge by pairing it with a black or dark grey shirt. Boss Black Mini Houndstooth Contrast-Collar Shirt5) Boss Black Contrast-Collar Shirt - Sport this mini-houndstooth shirt with a straight black tie and a shawl collar dinner jacket (bonus points for a lapel with contrasting color).Even if you don’t have a formal event on the horizon, consider planning ahead with some swanky evening style that will make things easy when that time comes, which it inevitably will. For my full discussion on how to choose a tuxedo, click here.How do you like to amp up your evening wear? 

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.

What to Wear This Fall

I know what you may be thinking:Fashion trends...whaa? Those don't apply to me. They're for hipsters and models and the guys who stand outside the Abercrombie store. Right?Wrong! Just because your comfort zone is more mainstream than what you see in the runway images below, that doesn't mean you have to completely ignore the trends. That kind of thinking keeps you from stepping outside the box and trying new looks that can work for you. The key is to remember that you don't have to dress head-to-toe in these trends; you can instead pull bits and pieces from those that appeal to you and make them your own.With that in mind, read on for my top 5 Fall trends and corresponding shopping suggestions.Trend #1 American GigoloFall 2012 Menswear TrendsInspired by the cult-classic movie, American Gigolo style is all about looking good while enjoying the finer things in life. Think 70's-inspired details like double-breasted jackets, geometric patterns, double-flap shirt pockets and shearling trims.  One great way to inject some jiggy Gigolo-style into your wardrobe would be with this Michael Kors suede utility jacket, (below, $695).Mens utility jacket Trend #2 Black TieFall 2012 Menswear TrendsDesigners like Dolce & Gabbana, Canali and Givenchy featured a number of sleek looks geared for black tie affairs. While it's always a good idea to have a well-fitting tux in your closet for formal events, this trend can also inform your more casual looks. Think creatively by pairing Dolce & Gabbana's midnight blue Martini Tuxedo jacket (£1345) with a pair of jeans as shown below.Men's tuxedo jacket Trend #3 Horse and HoundFall 2012 Menswear TrendsWith classic materials like tweed, wool flannel, corduroy, cavalry twill and leather, this equestrian style is perfect for brisk Fall weather. Look for items with quilting, toggles, knee or elbow patches and patch pockets on blazers or sweaters. I am very much into this glen plaid shawl collar sweater ($265) from Polo Ralph Lauren, which captures several of these elements in one look.Fall 2012 Menswear Trends Trend #4 Old WorldFall 2012 Menswear TrendsThe feel is reminiscent of last Fall's industrial revolution trend but less "dirty" and much more buttoned up. Adding details to your look like gangster stripes, vests, contrast piping, and suspenders are great ways to implement this trend. If the look vibes with you, try Rag & Bone's light grey vest (below, $325).Fall 2012 Menswear Trends Trend #5 Tyrolean FolkFall 2012 Menswear TrendsYes, the name of this trend is a little out there, but designers really were inspired by the Tyrolean mountain men of West Austria. Check out the ethnic embroidery, diamond quilting and foulard and paisley patterns in the runway images. As I said above, I wouldn't suggest the everyday guy dressing head to toe in this look, but it might be fun to try a piece here and there that makes subtle reference to it. I love this non-traditional take on a quilted jacket from Etro ($2065).Fall 2012 Menswear Trends With Fall around the corner, now's the perfect time to start thinking about how to adjust your wardrobe for the new season. I hope the trends above inspire you to create looks for yourself that are relevant to your personality, lifestyle and taste.How are you planning to update your wardrobe for Fall?

(Runway images courtesy of Fashion Snoops.)

Five Ways to Chillax Your Suit

If you’re like a lot of guys, you have an ok time putting together a basic business-friendly look with your suit: blue shirt – check; silk tie – check; lace-up oxfords – check. But what do you do when you want to dress your suit down for situations that are more barbecue than boardroom? Below are five stylish ways to inject your everyday suit with a more casual aesthetic.1) Ditch the tie. This works especially well with a button-down collar because it frames your face so nicely (see how much better Brad Pitt looks in the image above with his shirt at attention than George Clooney does with his flopping to the sides?).2) Swap your dress shirt for a casual shirt. Think polo, nice t-shirt, sweatshirt, or rugby. The key here is for these pieces to be fitted so there’s no bunching beneath the suit.

3) Hop into a pair of simple and classic neutral sneakers (I call them “social sneaks,” not to be confused with the sneakers you work out in), and you’ve got instant easygoing mojo.Men's style: suit with sneakers4) I cannot extol the virtues of the henley enough, which is why it gets its own entry separate from #2. Most guys have crewnecks and v-necks, but henleys are next level stuff. Again, the key here is for it to be trim through the body. The guy in the image below gets extra points for the addition of a v-neck beneath his henley -- As I’ve said before, the additional layer adds visual interest.

 5) When you add breezy or cheeky accessories like a ribbon belt, mix-and-match bracelets, or a camo-print handkerchief, the informal swag is automatic. And as always, wear them with confidence!

 What do you think? How do you like to chillax your suit?

Nerd Style: What Should a Tech CEO Wear?

Mark Zuckerberg StyleIt's true, nerds run the world, but they are not exactly at the forefront of creative genius when it comes to fashion. Recently, I addressed how CEOs should dress. Today, let’s focus specifically on leaders in the tech industry. Mark Zuckerberg, with his notorious hoodies, is one obvious example of a style SOS. While we can all respect his business accomplishments, his clothing choices don't send the most positive message. Though there's nothing wrong with dressing down to an extent as a way of relating to your customer base, Mr. Zuckerberg's message is so indifferent that it alienates.A pitfall of successful tech CEOs dressing this way is that it sends a message to those seeking success in the industry that they don't need to care about their personal presentation either. In fact, the opposite is true. It all matters: your outer image, from clothes to hair, to the state of your fingernails, is the very first thing people notice, and use to form an impression of you. The image of your business is part of a much larger package  -- one which includes how those who run the business present themselves -- even in the tech world.Tech CEOs styleIn contrast, two tech leaders who use appearance to their advantage are Jack Dorsey of Twitter, and Sean Parker of Napster, Spotify, and Airtime (above l-r). Mr. Dorsey sticks to basics -- dark, solid suits and light shirts -- with impeccable tailoring. He knows what works for him. Because there's a lot of contrast between his skin and hair colors, he looks excellent in clothing that is high contrast. And Sean Parker's style is youthful but pulled together, which shows off his playful personality.Below are my style tips for up-and-coming tech guys:1) There are plenty of ways to dress well and be comfortable at the same time. In fact, a well-fitting suit made of good quality fabric should feel as comfortable as a second skin. So, get yourself a killer custom suit.2) A pair of faded dad-jeans is no easier to wear than a great pair of straight-leg jeans (try J. Crew). Look for a crisp, dark rinse with no excess detailing on the pockets.3) Keep a blazer in your office. That way, you can throw it on quickly if you get called into an impromptu meeting. Wear it over a dress shirt, henley, a t-shirt, or a polo shirt. It works with jeans too.4) If you wear sneakers to the office, make sure they're a neutral, classic style. Save your athletic sneakers for when you're actually exercising.5) Don't go overboard when creating a signature style. The point of clothing is to flatter, not to distract.As always, I'd love to hear from you. How do you think a tech CEO should dress? And what do you think of Mark Zuckerberg's hoodie...yay, nay, dependay?

Spring 2012 Menswear Trend Report

Spring has not quite sprung yet here in NYC, but I've already been hitting the pavement and interwebs with my styling clients' needs in mind. Even if you aren't planning on a complete wardrobe overhaul this Spring, transitional periods like now are great times to take a look at what you own and consider strategically adding a few items that will help you get the most out of what you have. With that in mind, below is my roundup of Spring 2012's menswear trends, along with corresponding suggestions.Trend #1 Old HollywoodSpring 2012 Men's Style Tips: Old HollywoodClean, crisp and confident, the Old Hollywood trend is timeless. In many ways, it's a nod to style icon Cary Grant, known for his simple block colors and classic style. Think white pants, double breasted tailored jackets or sportcoats. For both, make sure the fit is slim, and for the latter, also have it cut on the short side, just covering your seat. Look for white pants from designers like Simon Spurr, Hermes, DSquared2, and Ralph Lauren Black Label ($295) below.Spring 2012 Men's Style Tips: White PantsTrend #2 SuburbiaSpring 2012 Men's Style Tips: SuburbiaSpring runways abounded with checks and plaids, frequently in silhouettes that had a 1950's suburban feel. Think of it as what you might wear to a summer barbecue: gingham, camp shirts, polos and blazers. This blue and green check shirt below ($185) from Billy Reid is an easy example of how to rock this trend.Spring 2012 Men's Style Tips: Check ShirtTrend #3 Urban SafariMen's Spring 2012 Style Tips: Urban SafariSafari jackets were introduced as part of the British military's tropical uniform. They're lightweight for easy mobility and typically contain expandable front pockets. I like the safari jacket because with it, fashion goes hand-in-hand with function, as it can come in many materials and colors (usually neutral) and have additional details like contrast stitching and an attached waist belt. The gorgeous leather one below from Bottega Veneta ($8100) is a luxe example of this look -- let's hope those safari pockets are loaded with cash though because this jam does not come cheap! Of course, there are plenty of other styles out there that are friendlier on the wallet (see here and here). Other ways to incorporate safari style into your wardrobe are via linen fabrics and silk-blend shirts.Men's Spring 2012 Style Tips: Safari JacketA word of caution: when choosing neutral jackets, try to choose a shade that's flattering on our skin tone. Most of us look better in either cool tones (blue-based, like grey) or warm tones (yellow-based, like tan or olive).Trend #4 Naval AcademyMen's Spring 2012 Style Tips: Naval AcademyBrands like J. Crew and H&M presented collections with a maritime aesthetic, as seen in details like stripes, ribbed knits, blue/red/white color palettes, nautical prints, Bermuda shorts and Fisherman's sweaters. This pocket square ($65) from Richard James is a peppy way to work the trend into dressier outfits.Men's Spring 2012 Style Tips: Pocket SquareI hope you found this trend report helpful and inspiring as you get your wardrobe in gear for Spring. As always, I welcome your comments and questions. And if any of these trends resonate with you, but you're still not sure how to implement them, please contact me for more tailored help.Runway photos courtesy of Fashion Snoops.

Successful Spring Layering: How to Roll in Like a Lion (or Lamb)

Happy (almost) Spring! Of course, one day's sunny and sixty-five could be another day's stormy and forty, so don't forget to dress strategically. The key to successful Spring dressing is layers. Below are five tips on how to layer for everything from lion to lamb, along with my top picks for Spring layering pieces.1) Wear thin combinations of layers, like a fine cashmere sweater, a Spring jacket, or a lightweight t-shirt. The more thin layers you wear, the more you can adjust to your comfort.2) Consider the vest. From down to leather to suiting fabric, there's a vest for every occasion. And remember, with a down vest, you can wear it over or under your suit/blazer.3) Just because you're not wearing your puffer doesn't mean you can't wear gloves and a scarf. I love the cool, nonchalant look of winter accessories on their own, without a heavy winter jacket.4) For days where it's too cold to wear your lightweight jacket but too warm to wear your heavy one, wear two lightweight jackets. Try a denim jacket beneath a one that's cotton-twill or nylon.5) This is pretty intuitive, but typically the easiest and most visually pleasing way to layer is to wear the lightest weight layer closest to your body, going thicker as you move away from it.And here are just a few of my Spring layering picks...

Lightweight Jacket

men's style: waxed jacket

Belstaff Gangster Waxed Cotton Jacket ($645): I admit, one of the main reasons this jacket caught my eye is its name (but let's be real, can anything from Mr Porter truly be categorized as "gangster"?). Name aside, it has a great trim fit, and waxed cotton is a good way to get the look of leather without the pricetag.

Vest

men's style: knit vestRag & Bone Milano Waistcoat ($255): This vest is is a nice piece because even though it's a sweater, it doesn't fall into the trap of looking frumpy (which sometimes can happen with open sweaters like cardigans and vests). The buttons, pockets and triangle-opening at the bottom give it a pulled-together, suiting feel.

Lightweight Scarf

men's style: lightweight scarf

Yigal Azrouel Tonal Colorblock Scarf ($135): Throwing on a lightweight scarf like this one is an easy way to cut the chill without risk of overheating once you go inside.For more specific Spring outfit ideas, click here. And if you'd like more tailored help with your Spring wardrobe, contact me.

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!

Scenes from Paris

I can't believe it's already been three weeks since my trip to Paris. I had a spectacular time wandering the city and checking out all the shops on my list. When it comes to how the men over there style themselves, I will say this -- French men wear scarves like nobody's business. Even once indoors, the jacket comes off, but the scarf stays on. It's clearly an integral part of the outfit. Below are a couple mannequin shots I took outside Eglé Bespoke demonstrating different ways to incorporate a scarf into your look.how to wear a scarfhow to wear a scarfNote in both images how the scarf doesn't cover up the other detail at the neckline -- tie knot or collars. It actually adds visual interest and dimension to the look, making it more sophisticated. Another nice thing about adding neckline detail is that it draws the eye upward making you look taller and flattering your chest. On top of that, the vertical lines created by the downward drape of the scarf are slimming...scarves for the win!Below are a few more images from the trip:Doorway on Rue du Mont ThaborColorful cufflinksLooking out the window of the Musée CarnavaletTaxidermy ceiling at Musée de la Chasse et de la NaturePatterned socks are a small detail that pack a lot of style punch (remember, only a sliver of the pattern is visible to others)Snowy night on Pont des ArtsCaught myself in this one

How to Wear Spring's Statement Shoes (+ Rath & Co. Featured in WSJ)

Spring 2012 Men's Shoe TrendsA big thank you to The Wall Street Journal for including me in the recent article, Spring Shoes for Men Step Brightly. The piece discusses how men's footwear is trending toward colorful uppers or soles and "statement" elements like spikes and wild patterns; my advice on how to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe is included at the end of the article.After speaking with the WSJ reporter, I had an outfit brainstorm, and below I share with you a few specific looks that incorporate Spring 2012's shoe trends.

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T&F Slack Men's Shoes

1) A great Spring combo would include a pair of neutral shoes with a neon sole like the bucks, above, from T&F Slack. Pair them with white straight-leg jeans and a denim shirt for a casual night out.

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Tod's Men's Competition Shoes2) If the shoe itself is brightly colored, like Tods' royal blue Competition Shoe, go with a dark wash, straight-leg jean, a grey henley shirt and a navy vest.

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Esquivel Men's Boots3) If neon shoes are too much of a commitment for you, you might dip your toes in the trend by adding color via your laces, as with the Esquivel shoes above. Because the color pop is not too prominent, you can play around by incorporating other colors into your look. Pair these boots with dressy jeans and a sport shirt that has some yellow in the pattern, like the one below from Polo Ralph Lauren. The reason yellow and purple work together is that they are complementary colors, meaning that they live opposite from each other on the color wheel. When used together, complementary colors intensify each other and create a harmonious color scheme.

Polo Ralph Lauren Men's Shirt

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Jimmy Choo Men's Provocative Paisley Slipper4) For a shoe where the detail (as opposed to the color) is the statement, like Jimmy Choo's "provocative paisley" slippers above, you want to keep the rest of your look tailored and simple. Wear these with a midnight three-piece suit for a posh night out, or for a more casual event, try a medium grey dress shirt and black or charcoal grey pants. The important thing to keep in mind with shoes like this is that they need to be in line with your personality, and wearing them with confidence is key. (As an aside, check out this fun Bond-style video detailing the Burlesque silhouettes hidden in the print.)

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I hope the post above gives you ideas for your own combinations if you decide to rock Spring 2012's shoe trends. Let me know what outfits you put together!

Outfit-Building Through Color-Linking: PS by Paul Smith Henley

PS by Paul Smith Men's Henley'Tis true, I talk about henleys a lot in general as smart layering pieces, but this number ($310) from PS by Paul Smith is currently at the top of my favorites list. Here, the devil is in the details: the marled wool and red button thread stitching are just the right unexpected touches to make its wearer stand out without being party-pants obnoxious. I got this piece for a client during Mr. Porter's Friend's and Family sale a few weeks back, and in person the red button hole thread is much more visible than in the image above. The cool thing about this detail is that it allows you to wear red elsewhere in your outfit as a way of pulling an entire look together. With that in mind, here are some ideas of how to style it:Under a sport coat...GANT by Michael Bastian Prince of Wales sport coatOpt for a neutral-colored fabric with a thin red line running through it as part of the pattern like this GANT by Michael Bastian sport coat. (Red elbow patches optional.)Under a sweater...Polo Ralph Lauren men's cashmere sweaterBecause both red references are on your top half, wearing a red sweater like this one above, from Polo Ralph Lauren, is a bit of a no-brainer. Bonus: if you want to tie in your bottom half, add socks that have some red in them like those from Corgi below. Note that solid red socks would be overkill.Corgi men's socks Under a sport shirt...Bonobos men's check sport shirtAnother somewhat straightforward choice, throw it on under a sport shirt that has red in its pattern, like this one from Bonobos, as an alternative to a v- or crewneck t-shirt.With red footwear...Red men's deck shoesRed deck shoes like these from Polo Ralph Lauren and Shoo respectively are as bold as I'd suggest you go for pulling in red elsewhere in your outfit. Of course, bright red shoes are not for everyone, so as always, make sure to stick with what suits your personality when choosing your look.With red laces...Diemme Roccia Vet men's bootsWearing red laces like those in these Diemme boots is a more low key way of bringing your upstairs and downstairs together.Using the red button thread stitching on this henley as above is just one example of how to subtly tie in any color in one part of your outfit with the same color elsewhere. You can do this with almost any clothing detail. As always, I welcome your questions and comments about how to accomplish this.