Sport Shirts

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

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

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

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

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.

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!

Rath & Co. in Today's Wall Street Journal

 

It's an exciting day here at Rath & Co! We were featured in today's Wall Street Journal article entitled, "Stylish Guys Steal Short Sleeves From Nerds." Please click here for our advice on how to wear a short-sleeve button down shirt and not look like Milton from Office Space or your IT guy (ironically enough, our IT guy was in our office when we did this interview -- he claimed no offense).

Spring Layering: It's Go Time

This week I styled a client in a thin cashmere sweater, a leather vest, and a lightweight jacket over that. It was a cool and creative look because it combined several different fabrics and textures that one might not normally think to put together. When we were done, it occurred to me that the season for interesting spring layering is fading. Pretty soon the weather will be so hot you can barely bring yourself to wear just one layer. So get your layers on while you can.Here are three specific examples of combinations I like:

Sweater + leather vest + lightweight jacket

Rag & Bone Men's Sweater, Golden Goose Men's Vest, Rag & Bone Men's JacketSweater from Rag & Bone ($240), vest from Golden Goose ($395), and jacket from Rag & Bone ($625). Note: Check out the grey contrasting panels on the back of the sleeves on the jacket. A unique, playful touch.Rag & Bone men's jacket contrasting panels

Oxford stripe shirt + wool vest + jean jacket

Polo Ralph Lauren men's shirt, RL Rugby men's vest, Levi’s for Opening Ceremony men's denim jacketShirt from Polo Ralph Lauren ($85), vest from RL Rugby ($198), denim jacket from Levi's for Opening Ceremony ($250)Note: if you're going want to wear jeans with this look, make sure the wash is distinct (i.e., darker or lighter) from that of the jacket.

Henley + vest + blazer

Barney's Coop men's henley, J. Crew men's vest, Gant Rugger men's blazerHenley from Barney's Coop ($65), vest from J. Crew ($118) and blazer from Gant Rugger/Bonobos ($398). As I’ve said before, layered dressing has a distinct advantage in that it creates visual interest. It’s also a nice way to deal with a chilly morning leading to a warm and sunny afternoon, and then back to cold once the sun goes down: remove and replace layers as needed.

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".)

Casual Friday — Rath & Co.’s Top Tips

Casual Friday MenIn case you missed it, Rath & Co. was featured on last Friday's The Early Show talking Casual Friday and what people can and can't get away with. The video can be seen here. Below are more thoughts on the topic:

  • When Casual Friday rolls around, make sure you don't forget that you're still going to work, so some level of "business" needs to be involved. They always say to dress for the job you want, and that's a good rule of thumb. If you're going to the beach straight from work, you can find somewhere along the way to stop and change. Swim trunks + office does not lead to promotion!
  • Guys should beware of wearing shorts to work. Everyone is fitness conscious these days -- that's great. We know you spend hours at the gym working on your quads, but you don't need to display those gams at work! A little mystery doesn't hurt.
  • I saw a guy walking down the street recently in dress pants and carrying his dress shirt with a messenger bag slung across his shirtless torso. It looked uncomfortable and beyond strange. Instead of tearing off your clothes as soon as you hit the elevator, look for light colors and breathable fabrics like linen and lightweight cotton. I also like a blend of microfiber polyester and rayon because it wicks moisture away from the skin and doesn't wrinkle easily in humidity.
  • If you work in a creative field like advertising and want to wear whatever you please so that you're comfortable enough to channel that inspiration, be sure you're not doing so in a way where you show too much skin. There are plenty of other ways to express creativity: bright colors, fun patterns (like the purple plaid Billy Reid shirt in image above) and unique accessories like an interesting belt from APC or a punchy tie bar from J. Press over a knit tie (see below).

Mens Casual Friday J. Press Tie Bar Mens Casual Friday Belt

Happy Friday!

Men's Style: What to Wear on July 4

I can’t think of a more American brand to give a quick shout out to on this most American of all American holidays than Gant, even if the company is now Swedish-owned. Gant was founded by Bernard Gant, an industrious Ukranian immigrant whose dream was to become "a real American." His first job off the boat in 1914 was sewing shirt collars in a sweatshop in NYC's garment district. In 1941, he started his namesake line, which epitomizes tried and true American style -- "casual, comfortable, reflecting the good life and leisurely lifestyles on the American East Coast."I snapped this picture of a Gant handloom madras shirt, known as “The Hugger” at the very cool, industrial-inspired Gant Rugger store ($115; 353 Bleecker St; 212.620.5949). This lightweight, ultrasoft cotton charmer would be a sound choice for a weekend that I sure hope finds you in full-on cocktail, bbq and firework mode. The good life and leisurely lifestyle indeed!Check out the stealth pinup girl patch hidden behind the cuff. She looks ready for the long weekend too...

Happy bday America!

Hot Summer, Cool Vests

My cousin who works in A&R in the music industry sent me the above picture of his stylish self in the audience of the American Idol finale a few nights ago (it's a family quirk, taking pictures of the tv). He’s rocking a sharp-looking Michael Andrews Bespoke vest, an old off-the-rack shirt that he had tailored to fit, and Persol shades as neckwear. The vest is made of lightweight wool and cost about $300. Check out how perfectly it fits him and the spirited lining in the images below.

Bespoke refers to clothing made to a person's exact specifications and involves the creation of a unique pattern for each customer, which why is the fit is so dead-on.

“No one can see it. It’s like I’m carrying around a little secret.”

Cousin or no, I love the look of a guy in a vest, particularly when it’s worn with confidence. They're actually very slimming the way they pull the midsection in when fitted correctly. As the Sartorialist says, guys might wear vests more often if they calculated how many extra beers they could drink without looking fuller in the waistline, by just pulling in their guts with a vest. And just because temperatures are rising, you don’t have to abandon this smart look. For hot weather, it’s all about fabric and light colors. A white cotton long sleeve shirt will always be cooler than one that’s black, rayon and short-sleeved. Natural fibers like cotton, linen and wool (tropical weight for summer) draw heat away from the body, keeping your temperature down, and light colors don't attract heat. And if you're ditching your blazer in favor of a vest...well, more points for the vest when trying to beat the heat.With that in mind, I selected a couple lightweight vest options that work for summertime and fit within other price ranges. The nailhead vest from Billy Reid below is made of 100% cotton, has whalebone buttons and runs $245.The shrimper boat lining is a cool down-home touch.And here it is styled with the Orleans shirt ($165).For those seeking lower price points, J. Crew has an Irish linen vest ($88) that will keep you cool as a cucumber on summery days. Try the british khaki if your coloring is warm.Or the grey if you're cool.So this Memorial Day weekend, go on, crack open a cold one, and vest it up for summer.

Get Your Spring on With Two Shirt and Jacket Combos

I was pulling clothes for a store fashion show this past week, and I put together two sharp looks that are definitely blog-worthy (despite the shamefully bad iPhone photos). The first is a killer royal blue nylon Boss Orange jacket ($275) with a checked shirt from DKNY ($69). The colors in this outfit are lively but guy-friendly, and the jacket has the perfect amount of metallic sheen where it's not obnoxious. Try it with jeans for going out or stone-colored khakis for day.The second outfit provides a pop of Spring color as well, but the effect is somewhat softer. I find the mint green INC shirt ($39.98) particularly refreshing, as it makes me think of the juleps I'll be gulping down in a matter of mere weeks for the Kentucky Derby. The grey Hugo Boss jacket ($345) anchors the lightness of the shirt, and the graphite pinstripe cotton pants from Kenneth Cole ($79.50) are the perfect choice for a lightweight but still put-together pant.Nothing gets the heart racing for Spring like a little warm weather steez.

Congrats to Billy Reid, GQ's Best New Menswear Designer in America

I'm pleased to join the chorus congratulating Billy Reid on this honor. I have frequently highlighted his footwear in this space, and now I'll tell you a little bit about his line in general and some of his other handsome creations. When you look at Billy Reid's designs, you get a distinct sense of the persona and character of the pieces themselves: the effortlessness of Southern charm. Based in Alabama, Reid has a down-home approach to producing fine quality clothing and accessories and imbues his line with a slow, sweet, bourbony feeling (which, incidentally they will serve you from the bar in back of his East Village store). He produces everything from handmade suits and ties to his eponymous sport shirts and jeans. He even did a quirky red union suit with hunting-themed patches that Bloomingdales had to reorder five times last year! One of my favorite pieces in his current collection is the plaid shirt above (my photo skills unfortunately do not do justice to the warmth of the purple or the richness of the forest green). The unusual color combination is masculine and distinctly appealing. It's a stepped-up version of the more common Eddie Bauer and L.L. Bean alternatives. More images of Billy Reid looks, including the union suit and a bright orange and white plaid shirt that's not for the faint-hearted, below.Congrats Billy...well played.

Rathie Spies: Ben Sherman Sale Alert

This week I was looking for classy, tailored clothing with a certain cool factor for a client, and I decided to check out Ben Sherman in Soho. As luck would have it, practically the entire store is 50% off! We scored a blazer, a button down, and a pair of amazing boots (not on sale, but how cool is the graduation of color in the leather from light at the top to dark at the toe?)all for $350. They had huge variety of nice casual button-downs like the one above for $35. Many others had interesting details like pearled/metal hybrid buttons and epaulets. If this sale doesn't spell stockup, I don't know what does.(Note: You can also find sale items online here, although the prices on the website don't reflect the additional half off.)