New Year's Style Cleanse: 14 Bad Habits that Get the Axe in 2014

How did 2013 go for you style-wise? Were you totally on point, or was there room for improvement? I’ve been traveling over the past month visiting out of town clients and doing some serious people-watching while on the road. I was sitting in LaGuardia Airport at 6AM one day, and I started a list of don’ts, which grew at each of my stops (Minneapolis, Chicago, North Dakota, and Palm Springs), evolving into the New Year’s Bad Style Cleanse below. Read on for 14 habits to purge from your style diet.1) Don’t wear a crewneck undershirt with your button-up shirt. Showing your undershirt collar is like showing your underwear, something you don't want to do in public (I hope). This goes for both casual and dress button-ups. I like Tommy John for great undershirts with v-necks that are low enough not to be visible. Here is my review of the brand.

Men's Personal Shopper: Monk Straps

2) Even if you’re traveling, you shouldn’t wear loafers with a suit. Try monk straps instead, as they can slip on and off easily when going through security (tip: packing a travel-size shoe horn will make your life easier).

3) You can leave the top button of your dress shirt undone with a tie, but don’t have the tie hanging down below your collarbone. Your tie knot should be no more than an inch lower than the top of where your shirt collar closes.

Men's Style Consultant: No Backpack with Suit

4) Never wear a backpack with a suit or sportcoat. It’s terrible for the shoulders. Also, you are going to work, not for a trail run.

5) Don’t wear a striped jacket as though it’s a sportcoat. A striped jacket is only worn as part of a suit, never as a separate.6) Don’t wear a Hawaiian shirt unless you are going to an actual luau.

Men's Stylist: Avoid Hybrid Shoes

7) Avoid those hybrid sneakers-shoes at all costs. It’s a sneaker or a shoe. Not both.8) While you’re at it, say no to those hiking-type sneakers for anything other than an actual mountain trek.9) Skip the strong colognes or aftershaves (Old Spice, I’m talking to you) if you know you’re going to be on an airplane. This is a courtesy to those around you!10) Grab the waistband of your pants (yes, right now) and yank on it. If you can pull it away from your body more than half an inch, your pants are too big. Go down in size until you find the right fit.Men's Personal Stylist: Avoid Tie and Pocket Square Combos11) Avoid pocket square and tie combos that match too closely (and especially ones that come in sets!).12) A t-shirt is too tight if it pulls such that the fabric creates a diagonal crease from your collarbone to your armpit. Go up a size if this happens to you.13) Don’t be that guy who wears a parka with ski tags dangling from the zips out to a restaurant. Technical/athletic gear is meant for just that – not date night. This includes outerwear and accessories like hats and gloves. One of my favorite brands of outerwear that gets the job done sharply is Aether.

Men's Image Consultant: Avoid Ties as Wide as Lobster Bibsa lobster bib in the truest sense of the term

14) Don’t wear ties that are too wide for you. This is true even if you paid a lot for it/wide ties may come back in style someday/your Aunt Edna gave it to you. Either donate or send them to somewhere like Tiecrafters to have it narrowed. Here’s my guide on how to choose the best proportion for you.

Now that you’ve effectively cleansed yourself of bad style habits, check out this list of 8 style resolutions to embrace for the new year. Out with the old and in with the new! What are you adding and removing from your style repertoire this year?Wishing you happiness, health and success in 2014.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

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?

Need a Last Minute Christmas Gift?

Men's Style: Tie and Pocket Square CombinationThere are officially 3 shopping days left before Christmas, including today. If you still need a gift idea, get him a tie and pocket square combination. He'll appreciate knowing up front that they work together, which will make his life easier when choosing his outfit in the morning. Here are five combos I put together for a client's wife at Bergdorf Goodman to get you started.

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!

Shopping Excursion: Rehearsal Dinner Options for Grooms

In our search for dashing rehearsal dinner options for grooms, Brian Leahy (founder of The Groom Says blog) and I start the day at Kmart and end up at Michael Andrews Bespoke. Part I of the interview (at Kmart) can be read on Brian's blog here, and Part II (at MAB) here.Kmart Men's Rehearsal Dinner Options Michael Andrews Bespoke Groom Rehearsal Dinner Look Michael Andrews Bespoke Groom Rehearsal Dinner LookSpecial thanks to our gorgeous models, Alex and Adam, and to Michael Andrews Bespoke.Images courtesy of Joanna Wilson Photography

Manhandling Fall 2011's Menswear Trends

As a Personal Stylist, my mission is to create outfits that make my clients look and feel terrific. Dressing well is about manhandling the rules and trends to create a look that's uniquely one's own.This roundup of Fall's menswear trends and my corresponding "real life" suggestions are meant to serve as inspiration as you figure out what works for you.Trend #1 Military

Military Fall 2011 Menswear Trend

Military is a perennial favorite, and designers are adept at keeping it fresh each season. A major bonus that comes with it is the epaulette, which fools the eye into thinking the wearer's shoulders are broader than they actually are. Look for jackets like Reiss's military macintosh coat ($485) or Burberry's wool and cashmere peacoat ($1195).

Reiss Men's Military Macintosh Coat

Burberry Men's Pea Coat

You could also go the authentic route and hit up an Army-Navy surplus or thrift store for a military peacoat. I found this handsome one (complete with arm patch and interior stencil and name plate) below for $60 at a thrift store in Connecticut last Fall.

Vintage Men's Military Peacoat

Trend #2 British CountrysideBritish Countryside Fall 2011 Menswear TrendCollections from designers like Louis Vuitton and Ferragamo presented an upscale equestrian feel as seen in details like tall boots and neutral and muted colors. Camel and grey are often mixed with burnt orange and deep purple and seen in patterns like plaid and argyle. If you've got spare coin and the proper coloring, then this burnt orange toggle coat from Burberry Prorsum ($2990) would take you from zero to Fall in a matter of seconds.Burberry Prorsum Men's Toggle CoatAnother option that's a little less up in the proverbial fashion grill is this tan toggle coat from RL Rugby ($348).RL Rugby Men's Toggle CoatAs for fabrics, corduroy and velvet are getting a lot of airplay this Fall. One easy way for you to incorporate some of this into your wardrobe is via neckwear. Check the corduroy ties below from Brooklyn Industries, ($30, below left) and Lands' End Canvas ($49.50, below right) along with Lanvin's silk twill and velvet bowtie ($562).

Brooklyn Industries and Land's End Canvas Men's Ties

Lanvin Men's Velvet BowtieTrend #3 "Tough Guy"

Tough Guy Fall 2011 Menswear Trend

Needless to say, the look here is aggressive. It's replete with leather, padding, hoods, motorcycle jackets and angry-looking patterns. [Note: Proceed with caution when wearing gym towel and boxing gloves for activities occurring outside the ring.] If you like this vibe, then try Alexander McQueen's Regal Skull T-Shirt ($195) below.Alexander McQueen Men's Skull T-Shirt

A leather jacket is another easy way to rock this trend. I like this charcoal one from Second Sunday ($215) because the grey is an unexpected color for a leather jacket.

Second Sunday Shifter Men's Leather Jacket

Trend #4 English Schoolboy

English Schoolboy Fall 2011 Menswear Trend

The pants are tight, and that's (sort of) ok. I think it goes without saying that this trend -- tight pants -- is one of the hardest to, er, pull off. Plaid "party pants" like those seen in the above runway images can be a marmite choice for some, as they often have a privileged prep-school feel. But if you have a slim build and would like to go down this plaid-bottomed path, consider a pattern with minimal contrast, and make sure the pants give you ample breathing room. And keep everything else understated. I would pair Thom Browne's unconstructed trouser below ($595) with a clean white dress shirt and navy or grey blazer. At the very least, Chuck Bass would approve.Thom Browne men's plaid pantsTrend #5 Industrial RevolutionIndustrial Revolution Fall 2011 Menswear TrendFor his debut namesake collection, former Cloak and Versace designer Alexandre Plokhov looked to industrial photography for inspiration. Elements of this are apparent in his collection, along with those of YSL, Ermanno Scervino, Burberry Prorsum and Dolce and Gabbana. Designers showed items like chambray shirts, leather, stained denim, henleys (my go-to layering piece), vests, and hooligan hats, all in moody colors like grey and black. A great way to implement this trend would be with the charcoal DSquared2 henley ($390) below. I like the inclusion of brown elbow patches for color and textural contrast.DSquared2 Men's HenleyI also recommend this extended double-layer vest from John Varvatos ($498). Note that the color of this vest is called "Iron Grey"...very Industrial Revolution-chic.John Varvatos men's vestTrend #6 LumberjackLumberjack Fall 2011 Menswear TrendI sincerely hope you did not have your fill of brawny man style over the last few seasons because this trend is back in force. Check out all of the tweed, twill and plaid in the runway images above. Even if you do not frequently engage in the chopping down of wood, you, too, can incorporate this trend into your daily steez. Try this plaid half-zip work shirt from Polo Ralph Lauren ($195). It's a cool mash-up of the half-zip silhouette typically seen in sweaters, with the plaid typically seen in a sport shirt. The half-zip also lends to easy, interesting layering.Polo Ralph Lauren Men's Plaid ShirtAnother easy way to do it up lumberjack-style is with a sporting vest. Look for details like padding, pockets and zippers. Try Moncler's Ander houndstooth vest ($895) or Ralph Lauren Black Label's short canteen vest ($695) for an outdoorsy, woodsman-y feel.Moncler Ander Men's Houndstooth VestRalph Lauren Black Label Men's Canteen VestThere you have it -- my Fall 2011 trend report. Good luck in molding these themes into your own taste and budget as the leaves hit the ground. And as always, I welcome your comments and questions. Happy Fall, people! 

Runway images courtesy of Fashion Snoops.

Tie and Pocket Square Combinations: Going Out Edition

Men's Going Out Ties and Pocket SquaresWhen creating a solid going out look, it's important to choose items that are distinct from your everyday office wear. That doesn't mean you can't wear a work suit out on the town, but rather if you do, you must distinguish it using your accessories. This was my intention when styling a client for a big charity event last week. He has some beautiful new suits and sport coats on order from Michael Andrews Bespoke, and those wouldn't be ready in time for the event. So I worked with what he already had, deciding that for him, it would be all about the ties and pocket squares. Lucky for me, the Saks and Barney's men's departments (mainly) were ripe for the picking of such fancy and festive pieces. And picked I did. See above for the final selection.Pretty much all of these ties and pocket squares work with one another, with the exception of the middle tie and bottom left square. This combo looks like you tried to create your own matching tie and pocket square set -- something you neeever want to wear -- but didn't quite make it happen. As far as matching goes, most of these ties and squares are the perfect "mismatch" for one another. This in fact is what you should be looking for when choosing playful combos that work for going out. If you're the sort of fellow who likes things more coordinated, then you should use the colors in your pocket square to pull out a minor color from your tie. The tie on the far right combined with the pocket square on the middle left is a good example of this.In the end, we went with the lavender tie on the left and the navy and silver striped pocket square on the top left. I like the mix of the smooth surface of the tie with the more textured square. And the stripes work with the stripes because they are of different widths and go in different directions (read more on mixing stripes here). This was an especially cool choice because depending on how you insert the pocket square, the stripes can run either vertical or horizontal, resulting in two very different looks. The horizontal is a bit straight-laced, while the vertical is more unexpected. Versatility warms my little heart. Ties l-r: Canali $140 from Saks, Armani $145 from Saks, Brioni $195 from Saks.Pocket squares left column top-bottom: Armani $95 from Barneys, Charvet $75 from Saks, Simonnot-Godard $60 from Bergdorf; right column top-bottom: Brioni $80 from Saks, Simonnot-Godard $60 from Barneys, Bloomingdales $28 from Bloomingdales.

Profile in Awesomeness: Tony Martignetti

Check out my latest Profiles in Awesomeness interview with the well-heeled and always entertaining Tony Martignetti, Founder of Martignetti Planned Giving Advisors and Host of Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Tony and I talk Garanimals, the Blockbuster Uniform, and why he can sometimes be found in women's pants. We shot this video at the beautiful Michael Andrews Bespoke studio (Note how Tony's tie and pocket square coordinate with MAB's wallpaper. The man is a pattern-matching fool.).  Click the image above to play.

Wedding Ties: What to Tie on When Tying the Knot

This post originally appeared on The Groom Says.I always say a groom should look dashing at his wedding, and choosing the right accessories is key to the result. In selecting neckwear for your nuptials, remember that you're not choosing a power tie or a work tie -- you're choosing a wedding tie, and it should be celebratory. After all, that's what the whole day is about. So give yourself permission to think outside the box and go with something you might not normally wear. You'll still look like you, only a cool and sharp groom version of you. Below are several different categories of ties that are just right for those that are altar-bound..SOLIDSSolids: Wearing a solid tie is a nice way to let your bride, no doubt gorgeous in her wedding dress, take center stage. I recommend using a shade from the wedding color scheme and/or the bridesmaid dresses. I like the three below (left to right): from Drake's London (£95), Turnbull & Asser ($175), and to go with a more casual look -- perhaps a khaki suit -- this linen tie from Faconnable ($115). All three are available in a range of colors for easy coordination..TONE-ON-TONEIf a solid doesn't have enough flavor, but you still want to keep it simple, try one that's tone-on-tone like those below from Jil Sander ($165; also comes in tan) and Brioni ($195)..METALLICAnother easy principle to follow is matching metals to metals. So if your bride's jewelry and your belt buckle, watch, cuff links, etc. are silver-toned, you might incorporate a corresponding metallic shade into your tie. This rule works particularly well if your metals are silver and you happen to have cool skin tone, or if your metals are gold, and your skin tone is warm. For silvers, I like this diamond-patterned tie from Sam Hober ($80) and this silk stripe from Giorgio Armani ($145). Keep in mind that the Sam Hober is on the dressy side because the pattern is small.For more on dressing for formal weddings, check here..PEARLESCENT PATTERNSFor a daytime wedding, particularly one that's outdoors, you can brighten up the colors with something more upbeat while keeping with the wedding's color scheme. These pearlescent ties, like (clockwise from top left) the stripe & dash from Stephano Ricci ($200), the pencil stripe from  A Suitable Wardrobe ($120), the jacquard from Paul Smith ($130), and the paisley from Fine & Dandy Shop ($45) just scream "I DO"..CHEERFUL PATTERNSTies with light-hearted patterns like this Macclesfield (a style of tie with a small scale repeating pattern named for an early English tie-making center) from Drake's (£95) and this floral from Thomas Pink ($105) are particularly jubilant and therefore excellent picks.I am also very into this dotted twill tie ($135) from Jil Sander. The color scheme is conservative, but the polka dots keep it whimsical enough that you won't look stuffy on your big day..SUBLIMINAL PATTERNSThis is a terrific way to send a message to your guests that you might not want to spell out in so many words. For instance, you might use this stork tie from Ben Silver ($120) to let your guests know it's a boy! and that perhaps they ought to consider getting you a second gift sooner than expected.Ok, maybe not so much with the storks ... but as you can see, there are loads of different ways you can go in selecting neckwear for your wedding. The keys are to consider what your bride is wearing, the wedding colors and theme, the time and location of the event, your personal style, and (of course) what looks good on you. Nail those elements, and you'll be the best-dressed groom to grace an altar.If you're interested in learning more about how I can tune-up your groom attire, contact me by phone at (646) 434-7842, by email or on Twitter.

How to Choose the Right Tie Width

Skinny, and even slim ties, are not one size fits all. Check out GQ’s August 2010 cover above featuring Zac Galifianakis ridiculously sporting a tie barely two inches wide. While super skinny ties have had their moment (and thankfully seem to be on their way out), one of the most important considerations you can make when getting dressed is scale, i.e. matching the size of the things you put on your body to your body. This creates balance and visual harmony, which is a nice way of saying, I am trying to help you not look like a lollipop.See how much better Galifianakis looks with a slightly broader tie? It complements the width of his face and large scale of his facial features, whereas the pencil-thin version only emphasizes them.Bottom line. If you have a broad face and neck, you’re best off with a wider tie. You don’t have to go for the lobster-bib look of the 80’s and 90’s, but consider something in the 3 ¾ -4" range depending on your size. This way you’ll look more well-proportioned and less tootsie pop. If your face and neck are more average width, you can select a more modern, slim tie, somewhere between 3” and 3 ½” across. Of course, your tie at its widest point should equal your jacket lapel at its widest point, and there are ways to determine that. Stay tuned for more posts on proportion as it relates to other elements of your wardrobe, as it truly is the foundation of sartorial distinction.It can be difficult to be objective about your body shape and scale. So, if you’d like advice that’s actually tailored to you, contact me for a body shape strategy session. I will show you which clothing proportions suit you best and why. This can be done in person in the NYC-area or by Skype and email.

Men's Holiday Gift Guide

Few things make me happier than inspired and successful holiday gift shopping. Below are ten holiday presents to consider for your husband, boyfriend, dad, brother...or to pass along to well-meaning gift-givers with a nasty Christmas sweater habit.


1.// Travel Ashtray: Your guy fancies himself a modern-day Don Draper? It doesn't get any more Mad Men than Phillipi's Black Habana travel ashtray ($88). Its black leather case, magnetic closure and stainless steel details all make me want to go pick up a bad habit.







2.// Man-Bags: Gorgeous textured leather, intricate stitch detailing, and off-center zipper...this specimen, above left, from Doucal's ($278) is the man-bag to end all man-bags. But lucky for obsessives like me, there will never be an end to man-bags. So if you are looking for something a little more undone, then check this on the right from Will Leather Goods ($289). I like the distressed leather, grommets, contrast handles and of course the buckle closure at the bottom (see here). Very vintage army feel.


3.// Manhattan Kit: Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey ($25-150), Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth ($25-35), Griottines brandied cherries ($25), Angostura Bitters ($13), and a tray that makes large ice cubes ($10). Side note: some people fear they "might look like a pansy" if they throw an ice cube in their whiskey glass. But Whiskey Expert Josh Wortman says it's perfectly ok to use the ice cube trays above (and in fact as the ice melts, some liquid can open up the flavor -- so it tastes better). Says Josh, "I use these trays all the time at home. The idea is you get good coldness with minimal dilution. You do want some dilution depending on the spirit." So let your man enjoy his Manhattan with minimal watering-down and minimal pansiness with this all-encompassing kit.


4.// Shot Glasses: Ok, so I'm very a bit partial to bulls. In keeping with the cocktail theme of the previous entry is this bull's head shot glass ($28). It's perfectly calibrated so it balances right-side-up on its horns and nose. So your guy can attend to Important Things sans worry over spillage. (The shot glass also comes in bear, deer, moose, rabbit, ram, rhino.)


5.// Wool Coat: If your man still wears a fleece jacket or ski parka over his dress clothes, the jig is up. Every guy needs a coat that is both warm and grown-up looking. A great option is this wool driving coat from Rag & Bone ($795) because the style is classy, the length is modern, and the interesting details like double-welt pockets and black shawl collar give it a little extra steez. Buy it in the same size as his suit jackets (those that fit well!).












6.// Lace-Up Boots: My men's boot obsession is no secret, and this season designers have failed to disappoint with all sorts of options for this style. If your guy is into intricate detailing and statement-making, then I'd recommend these from Roberto Cavalli (top row left, reg. $1150, now on sale for $690). The high shine, dramatic broguing, lug soles and buckle detail are all attention grabbers. A toned down option in the same color and with the same degree of shine are those above from Gucci (top row right, $795). If he prefers to fly even further below the radar, then check out those in the bottom row from Giorgio Armani. The matte finish leather is a much subtler statement. (Pant-tucking not required.)

.7.// Glen Plaid Tie: Christmas ties get a bad rap. Take a pass on those that blink, sing or come with their own greenery, and give him something a little classier. This red and green glen plaid tie ($88) from Engineered Garments will give him that holiday flavor without the nasty aftertaste.








8.// Man Jewelry: The problem with how many guys wear jewelry is that they take it to extremes (see Seasons 1 and 2 of Jersey Shore). For anything beyond the typical wedding ring/watch/cuff-links/tie clip, there's an art to wearing men's jewelry well. Two key points to keep in mind that will keep him clear of getting all Mr. T on you: keep it simple and not too sparkly and make sure he feels like himself in it, like he's been wearing it for years. With that in mind, here are two options to consider. Nautical is always a big theme in menswear, and along those lines I like this Hooked bracelet from Miansai ($55, above left, comes in other colors). Pair it with a nautical watch and maybe a simple rope bracelet, and you've created a look that's both easygoing and personal to him. If that's too sporty, then consider this necklace from Maison Martin Margiela ($125). It's solid and ruggedly stylish, and best of all, you won't have a Situation on your hands when he wears it.


9.// Leather Belt: I love the non-traditional hardware and leather loops on this Apolis Pelican Belt ($138). Plus the fact that you get to roll it up and stick it in a tin can when you're done wearing it! What guy wouldn't love that?


10.// Rath & Co. Gift Certificate: But the most effective way to guarantee your man looks his best this holiday season? Give him a gift certificate to Rath & Co. Until February 15, 2011, we're offering $50 off the purchase of all services. We'll tell him his best colors, hair styles, patterns and styles. We'll clear out his closet and even shop for him. We pretty much do everything except clean and cook dinner. Heck, we don't even do that for ourselves.

Finding Your "It" Leather Jacket

Lately I've been shopping for three different clients looking for each one's own "It" leather jacket. Each guy already has a leather jacket that he wears, but the fit is off in all cases. The biggest mistake guys make with leather jackets is buying ones that are too roomy and too bulky. A leather jacket should fit snug to the body; you shouldn't be able to fit anyone else under there with you. Armholes should be cut high, and sleeves should hit no lower than at the base of your wrist. Don't be surprised if you have to go one size down from your usual to get the right fit.Other ingredients for achieving leather jacket greatness:1.// Think leather jacket, not leather blazer or leather trenchcoat. The former feels dated, and the latter might get you arrested.2.// Choose the right color for your complexion: if your skin tone is cool, go with black; if warm, go with brown.3.// Don't be afraid to up the style quotient when deciding what to pair it with. After all, you are wearing your "It" leather jacket, so you might as well wear it with personality. Try it with a slim tie for a night out as seen above.4.// Refrain from putting a jumble of things in your pockets. This not only adds bulk, but it will also stretch out that killer fit you worked so hard on.5.// Just say "no" to patches, logos, racing stripes, hoodies and excess distressing.

Sock Matching 101

You may not have given much thought to your socks, but believe it or not, people do notice them. You could be wearing the most fantastic pair of shoes, but if the choice of socks is off, it up-ends the whole ensemble. When choosing socks to match your outfit, the common wisdom is that they should coordinate with your pants, as a way of elongating the leg. Of course as with anything else, there are exceptions to the rule. With a monochromatic look, or with khaki trousers and brown shoes, show some personality by sporting a colored sock in a solid or pattern. If wearing patterned socks appeals to you, and you want to take it a step further, select a motif that keys into and complements another element of your outfit: the pattern in your tie, sport jacket, or shirt for example. And whatever you do, make sure your socks are long enough such that when you sit down and cross your legs, your lower leg remains undercover.

Here is a basic combo I like:

And here's one that's a little more "advanced":







Basic: socks from The Sock House, $29.50; tie from Rag & Bone, $105.Advanced: socks from The Sock House, $24.75; tie from Fine and Dandy Shop, $49.

Rathie Spies: Brooks Brothers Friends & Family Fall Event

Brooks Brothers is offering a sweet 25% off all purchases starting tomorrow 9.23 and ending 9.27. Consider it a chance to beef up your Fall wardrobe. Below are my top picks.BB-Levis collaboration. Opt for the darker wash in either 501 original straight leg or the 514 slim fit ($148), which runs a little narrower. Pass on the 505 regular fit. Their high rise will take you into dad jean territory -- a land best left unchartered..The Merino Zip-Front Vest ($89.50) might not exactly be a sock-knocker, but I assure you that you'll get tons of wear out of it this season. It's the perfect layering piece to toss on beneath a blazer on brisk days, and this shade of gray is universally flattering..Speaking of sweaters, if you felt like upping the ante, you could check out this Black Fleece Polo Sweater ($350). I love its unexpected details: grosgrain trim on the placket,  button-down collar and five buttons down the front (two more than you'd normally see). It's all very Royal Tenenbaums..For cold weather, you can't go wrong with a wool necktie. Those in plaid or tweed above ($125) each are a great option. They're seasonally appropriate, and they'll also keep your neck warm. If you're a pocket square lover, pair textured neckwear like this with a silk square. The contrast of textures will make the combo visually appealing.A link to the F&F invite is below.Brooks Brothers F&F Fall 2010 Invite

WWMFW (What Would Mr. Fox Wear): Breuer's Knit Ties

You may think I’m all kinds of crazy for saying so, but some of the coolest clothes I have seen recently were worn by animals. Not just any animals, but rather the fanged, furry stars of Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I finally saw on video a few nights ago. These critters sport beautifully tailored suits, sumptuous knits, and cozy corduroy, all of which have me jonesing for some brisk Fall weather. Of course, the blazing NYC summer is still in full effect, but the fact is, Fall/Winter clothes have already dropped, and you’d be hard pressed to find a decent selection of summer gear anywhere other than at a sample sale.And so it was no surprise yesterday that when breezing through Bergdorf’s men’s department, I was immediately drawn to these relaxed but stylish cashmere and wool-silk blend neckties by Breuer for Bergdorf Goodman ($145-175). They would be perfect for a fox, badger, gopher, or yes a person, on those frigid winter days when even your eyeballs are cold. Particularly well-suited to those in a creative field, these ties manage to offer both a bit of self-expression and a nod to business dress. These bad boys are great with tweed suits or rough-textured odd jackets. I’d also like to see them worn more casually with a denim shirt. A four-in-hand or any simple tie knot is best here, as this fabric is thicker than that of most ties, and you want to keep your knot proportional to your face. These ties might look more relaxed, but if worn properly, they’ll give you an extra edge. So make like an animal and prepare early for Winter -- it'll be here before you know it.

Wedding Attire: Non-Tux Alternatives for Grooms

As seen on the Brilliant Event Planning blog.Every groom should look dashing at his wedding. If the dress code permits, ditch the tux in favor of a well-chosen, perfectly-fitting suit. The beauty of buying a knock-out suit is that once you have it, you can wear it for different occasions like job interviews or other important events. It’s a wise use of your wedding budget, and all guys look fantastic in a well-fitted suit.Here are some of my top tips on suiting up your wedding:

  1. Color: A navy or grey suit with a white shirt and black shoes are excellent options. If you’re not asking your groomsmen to buy the same exact suit as yours (which is a great way to build goodwill with them, especially if budget is an issue), you should give them guidance on color. In this situation, opt for navy because if you just tell them, “buy grey suits,” you’ll end up with all different shades and patterns. Black can work too, but it’s a strong color that not everyone looks good in, so go with the easier-to-wear navy.
  2. Time of Day: If your wedding is a more casual, daytime affair, you can wear a navy blazer, shirt, and tie with khaki, grey or seersucker pants. To look really pulled together with this option, match the metals of your belt buckle and watch to the buttons on your blazer. So if your buttons are gold, wear a gold buckle and a gold watch. With silver-tone buttons, opt for silver accessories.
  3. Ties: Neckwear provides a nice way to coordinate with the color the bridesmaids are wearing and with the color scheme of the overall event. Look for ties that pick up on colors that will appear elsewhere in the wedding. If you’re wearing a suit and you’d rather stick to a more classic and simple style for yourself, try a long white or silver tie, and let your groomsmen do the color thing. That way, you’ll have a look that pulls the event together as a cohesive whole.

A Winning Combination: Blue Stripe Shirt & Purple Tie

I have always appreciated Brian Williams’ style, and this shirt and tie combo is no exception. What works in particular for me is the use of an analogous color scheme – i.e., colors that appear adjacent to each other on a color wheel, in this case blue and violet. (A color wheel is a circular diagram of the spectrum used to show the relationships between the colors, as seen below.)Analogous color schemes are often found in nature and are harmonious because the colors involved are closely related. Beyond that, this combination strikes me as pleasing because the base color is blue, which conveys peace and order -- a feeling I rarely get watching the news these days (so thank you for that, Brian Williams!). The Bengal stripes lend a casual air to the look, but the dark suit and solid tie ground it with a bit of formality. In addition, this pairing is fresh and eye-catching because, while it is harmonious, the violet-light blue shirt and tie pairing is somewhat unexpected.For those looking to recreate this look, I found some similar options. For shirts:from Canali ($200), Hickey Freeman ($117) and Nordstrom ($59.50) in descending order of wallet-busting. And for ties I like the violet chevron-textured one from Michael Kors ($85) atop the pile below,Sam Hober's Purple Oxford Silk ($80 but sadly out of stock at the moment),or, for something with texture, try Sam Hober's silk grenadine ($80).Side note: in researching Brian Williams’ style for this post, I stumbled across a blog entitled “The Brian Williams Tie Report Archives,” dedicated to nothing other than painstakingly archiving the neck wear worn by America’s most trusted voice in evening news. This blog isn't the strangest thing I've ever seen on the internet, but it's close enough for rock n' roll. In spite of that, I gotta say it's a relief knowing I’m not the only one who watches the news mostly just to scope out what the anchors are wearing.

How to Wear Plaid for Summer If You're Not a Lumberjack

Designers have plaid flannel-ed us silly over the past few seasons, and the trend doesn't appear to be going anywhere. Plaid itself is a timeless pattern, although it's understandable for one to call me biased given the tartan background of my website. If you're not engaged in the chopping down of trees but are wondering how to wear this style in a subtle, non-grunge trend way, I suggest trying a plaid silk necktie in a traditional width, 3 to 3.5 inches. The sheen of the silk feels fresh in contrast to the near ubiquitous plaid in duller fabrics like flannel and cotton. If you wear it in this way, you'll be referencing the style ever so slightly, but because you aren't diving head first into it, or combining it with other trends like skinny tie width, these pieces will still feel current for years to come. Above are a few of my favorite choices for Summer. From left to right: Drakes $135, Fairfax $130, Etro $155, Fairfax $130, Drakes $135. All from Barneys New York.

Saks Friends and Family Event: Food for Thought

Saks 20% off Friends and Family event begins in stores tomorrow and runs through April 25. While I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I wonder about the term "Friends and Family" when the discount is posted front and center on their website. To steal the title from one of my favorite movies, I'm thinking "Me and You and Everyone We Know" might be a more apt name for it. Between the whole world knowing about the discount and the long list of brands for which the special doesn't apply, there's going to be more competition than ever for the good stuff.  After studying the fine print noting what lines are excluded from the sale, I came up with a few items worth having a look at -- or at least discussing! A lot of times I have trouble finding short sleeve sport shirts that I like because so many of them just look sloppy to me. I like this one from Rag & Bone ($195) for its crisp, clean pintuck detail down the front. These vertical lines are actually slimming, so if you haven't yet sculpted your '10 Summer Beach Body, look to this shirt for a quick fix. Rich chocolate brown leather + Converse hi-tops = cunningly updated old-school style. Check 'em out ($145)..If you typically lean toward a more traditional look but are looking for subtle ways to mix it up without breaking the bank, think about adding colorful socks like these from Paul Smith ($30) to your repertoire. They're a great way to get a flash of color into your look without stepping outside your comfort zone. Extra points if you match them to another part of your outfit..With the warm weather approaching, the lightweight fabric of a knit tie feels very fresh to me.  Most neckwear in this material that I see around is either in solid colors or has contrasting horizontal lines. This one from Rag & Bone ($105), however,  stands out to me with its tone-on-tone diagonal textured stripes. No matter what your age, the knit tie lends a touch of youthfulness to your look, and the unexpected detail on this one will definitely take your outfit to another level.Note: if the thought of wearing the above items all together in one outfit has even crossed your mind (oh noes!), consider scheduling some time with me. Please see my Services page.