Guest article by Napper Tandy of ntandy beltsA man’s belt is often a missed opportunity to have a little fun by providing a spin to whatever you’ve decided to don and exit your home in. There are no hard and fast fashion rules one should live by other than the fact that it’s dangerous to overly color coordinate. Matching a brightly colored belt with your shirt, shoes or socks can become hazardously close to fast food uniform territory.That said, socks that have some small colored polka dots or stripes, or a nato watch band of the same color, work… but tread lightly.When it comes to adding a shirt, you can never lose with a white oxford and/or a shirt which features a bit of the belt color on display.These thoughts above work for khaki, olive green or other earth-toned pants as well. Just always remember not to get too matchy or clashy. It’s not advised to go with green pants and a green belt.Help a suit take itself less seriously.People often ask if one can wear a suit with a colorful belt? The answer is hell yes, but like everything in life it’s all about context. One shouldn’t wear a red belt with a navy blue suit to a private wealth management meeting with new clients. But, one could wear it to dress down a suit when he still wants to look fearless on the street or while enjoying a cocktail at a bar. A colorful belt with a suit is like a pair of sneakers with a suit - a dash of cranberry in vodka to ease the bite.Tropical storm?Headed to the Bahamas to recharge your soul? Colorful belts party with tropical flair like Hunter Thompson at a Hell’s Angel kegger. Just remember again, stay away from overly matchy or clashy -- contrast is king. Be bold, but work smarter not harder.Napper Tandy is the founder and creative brains behind ntandy belts. Read more about Napper here, and check out his belt designs here.
Guest post by Korinne Kubena Belock, of Urban Simplicity. Whether your closet is a large, roomy walk-in or the standard New York City shoebox of a space, keeping it organized is key to getting out the door as efficiently as possible. Once you’ve followed Julie’s steps from this article to get your closet in order, consider following a few best practices to keep common categories of items organized.Ideally your end result is as dreamy as…Clothing – For shirts and jackets, the best bet is hanging items on matching hangers, organized by type, then color. For shirts, I like Real Simple Slimline Hangers and a sturdier hanger for suits and blazers. Sweaters are best folded on open shelving, organized by color, and always use a shelf divider to keep stacks upright. In a dream world, every man’s closet would include a pull-out pant rack.Shoes – In some ways organizing men’s shoes is so much easier than ladies – simply because there are generally fewer of them. That said, the best way to keep shoes organized is open shelving so you can see everything you own. Always place your go-to shoes in sight-line with the shoes you wear less often, either up high or down low. And remember to keep casual and work shoes separate for easy access.Accessories – Are your belts piled in a corner and ties balled up with the knots still in them? I hope not! For belts, hooks are the way to go with a pull-out rack or simple hanger. Ties can be hung on a similar hook system or rolled and stored in a shallow drawer – always use drawer organizers and group ties by color. In closets with very limited space, I like to utilize the back of the door, and this valet system from Longstem Organizers is a great option that also keeps items like cuff links, sunglasses, and keys organized.The Basics – The best solution for everyday items like socks, underwear, undershirts and tees is to neatly fold them in drawers. Drawer organizers can be used to keep socks and underwear in order. For undershirts and tees, a good fold is key to make sure items don’t get buried. I always suggest folding tees and “filing” them away.Lesser Used Items – Consider storing lesser used items, like swim suits and baseball caps, in coordinated bins on higher shelving. Don’t forget to label the bins.Dirty Laundry and Dry Cleaning – The number one way to wreck a closet space it to leave dirty laundry lying around. Always have an open top bin to quickly throw things into. For clients with lots of dry cleaning, I always suggest a separate smaller bin to toss those items into to make drop-off easy on your way to work.Drop Zone – Men’s closets in particular can quickly become cluttered with everyday items like wallets, keys, change, receipts, and business cards. If there’s space, create a drop zone to organize these items on an open shelf using small catchall trays and bowls.Korinne Kubena Belock, founder and owner of Urban Simplicity, a professional organizing company based in New York City. Learn more about her company’s services at UrbanSimplicityNYC.com.
I spend a lot of time in guys’ closets, and let me tell you, I’ve seen it all. From paint cans and bikes to ladies’ underwear, closets can easily become a catch-all for all the stuff we don’t have the time or energy to deal with. So we just toss it in, close the door, and forget about it until we have to get dressed again the next morning. With Spring upon us, now is an excellent time for a closet sweep and organization. Below is my 6-step process for how to whip your closet into shape.1) Go through everything in your closet and assess it for fit, style and function. Refer to this post for the seven questions to ask yourself about each item as you decide whether to keep, donate, or toss. The questions make it crystal clear as to how to handle each item. During a purge, I like to lay out garbage bags flat on the floor and then pile all the giveaway items on top so I can track as I go how much is being removed.2) As you’re going through items in Step 1, remove the wire dry-cleaning hangers (and plastic dry cleaning bags). They can damage your clothes, which costs you money in the long run because it means you have to replace them sooner. Swap them out for wooden or plastic ones, and if you’re pressed for space, use slim-line hangers. If the majority of the hangers in your closet are uniform, you'll eliminate distraction, and it will be easier for you to find what you're looking for when you need it.3) Turn everything to face in the same direction, and organize by type, and then color. That means, put all your dress shirts together, and within that bucket, all solid white shirts, solid blue shirts, blue patterns, etc., go together. I get that this may be hard for you to maintain, but if you do it now and find that it saves you time when getting ready in the morning, you may be more likely to stick with it in the long run. (I don’t know about you, but anything that helps find what I need to get out the door in the morning faster, thereby affording me more sleep, is priority).4) Keep shoes neatly stacked on a shoe rack or in shoe boxes. Use shoe trees for nice shoes.5) Put belts on a belt rack and ties on a tie rack (or you can roll each neatly and put them in a drawer). Each different "type" of item should be kept together.6) Anything you don’t use on a daily or weekly basis like luggage or sports equipment should be kept outside the main areas of your closet. You want easy access for the things you need frequently; everything else can be out of sight and less accessible.Stay tuned for my next dispatch, a guest post from one of my favorite resources, closet organizer Korinne Kubena Belock. She’s going to get down and dirty with more specifics for how certain items should be stored for easiest access and maximum longevity.In the meantime, you can get started on your Spring cleaning project. Leave me a comment below to let me know how it goes for you.And if you're still feeling lost with how to whip your wardrobe into shape, my Next Level Style course might be for you. In it, I spend a whole section on how to do this, including how to create a "gaps list" to determine what's missing from your closet and how to go about acquiring these items in a strategic and intelligent way. The course also has a bunch of great bonuses, including a $50 Nordstrom gift card. Click here for more info.Cheers,Julie
Have you been wondering about getting a custom suit or shirt but aren't sure where to start? Between the newspaper ads ("3 suits, 2 shirt and a tie for $199!" - what??) and the Hong Kong tailors coming to your office with wheelie bags full of fabrics, the whole thing can be pretty overwhelming. I've been working with custom tailors for my one-on-one clients since starting my business and based on that, I put together the guide below for you on how to choose wisely. Your results, after all, are directly related to who you select to make your clothes.And before you get dollar signs in your eyes at the talk of custom clothing, you should know that you can often save money buy going custom. That's because you're not (typically) paying a premium for a brand name or store overhead.
If you have time to devote to the process, 9 times out of 10, guys are better off with custom clothing (particularly for suits, sportcoats, dress shirts and tuxedos) than off-the-rack. Time frames can vary widely, taking anywhere from 4 to 12+ weeks from the time of the order. It’s an up-front investment of time that pays off in the end: when you’re done, the clothier has your measurements and knows how to fit you, so you don’t have to go through major fit adjustments each time. And of course the biggest benefit to going custom is that your clothes will fit you immeasurably (haha) better than off-the-rack. The second biggest benefit is that you get to select the exact fabric and details you want.Once you’ve decided you want to make the move to custom, it’s key to find someone reliable and who does good work. Here’s how to do that:1) Look on local listings like yelp or other user-review sites for well-recommended ones in your area.2) Google “best custom clothier/suits/shirts [where you live].” If you live in a major city, the local magazines often rate area vendors like custom clothiers, so check their websites as well.3) If you come across any men with bang-on style, ask them where they’re doing their shopping. Chances are these guys will have a great custom tailor they can recommend to you.Create a running list as you go and rule out any that are not comfortable for your budget (as I said above, you can save money by going custom, but prices can vary greatly depending on where you go). Take that narrowed-down list and make introductory appointments with your top 2 or 3 choices. Any good custom clothier will allow you to come in to meet with a salesperson and check things out in general without any pressure to buy. Here are some things to find out when you’re there:1) How custom are they? - There are various levels of "custom clothing," and it's a term that's used quite liberally for anything from made-to-measure to full bespoke. So it's best to find out exactly what level of custom you're getting with each clothier. (Try to find someone who actually makes a custom pattern for you, as opposed to made-to-measure. With MTM, they take a base pattern that already exists and alter it to fit you.)2) Canvassing vs fusing - This refers to the construction of a suit jacket or sportcoat. Fully canvassed suits will last longer and drape better on your body than those that are fused (the latter basically means glued together). A canvassed suit has a layer of wool and typically horsehair between the outer and inner layer of the jacket, giving it body and helping it be more durable. A fused suit can develop “bubbling” on the lapel after a few rounds of dry cleaning or if you get caught in the rain. So ideally you’re looking for a custom tailor within your budget who offers fully canvassed suits.3) Selection of fabrics - Look for fabric books from known brands like Zegna, Holland & Sherry, Loro Piana, Vitale Barberis, Thomas Mason and Canclini. If the clothier carries a variety of books from these brands, that is usually a sign of legitimacy. A broader selection will also make it easier for you to choose and get just what you want.4) Details - Do they have a variety of options when it comes to details like buttons and thread color for monogramming/stitching? It's better to have more options than fewer. And do they use real mother of pearl and horn buttons and bemberg linings? Ask. These details are an important sign of quality.
5) Fit confirmation - For your first order, the clothier should only put one test for each type of item through first to confirm fit. Then, once fit has been confirmed (and any needed alterations have been made), they can put through the remaining items. Don’t work with a clothier who orders everything up front. In addition, most clothiers will have you pay for all or half of your items upon ordering, so it’s in your best interest to place a small order initially, and once you’ve confirmed you’re happy with the process and results, you can go back and order additional items.6) Fittings - Any good custom tailor will want you to have at least two fittings (the number of fittings you need will depend on how “tricky” your body type is) to make sure the fit is right. If they simply order the clothes and tell you that you can come pick up, that’s a problem.7) The cut - I've worked with a variety of custom tailors, and some have a standard cut (i.e., slim, classic, etc.) which they will automatically give you unless otherwise requested. And others will ask you how you want things to fit. If you want a slim, modern fit, but you choose someone who cuts more traditional, you'll end up in a suit that feels too boxy to you. Go with someone who will deliver the type of fit you want and who will also talk it over with you if necessary to help you decide.8) End result - The tailor you end up with should have a guarantee that you’ll be happy with the fit in the end, and if you aren't that they'll alter and/or redo items as needed until you are.Based on the above, you can make an informed decision as to who your best option is.Do you use a custom clothier? If so, how has your experience been? If not, what's holding you back? Let me know in the comments below.Cheers,Julie
- You’re wearing the same clothes and hair style you did ten years ago.
- You aren’t happy when you see yourself in the mirror.
- You look in your closet every morning and are unsure what looks good on you or what to wear in a given situation.
- People don’t respond to you in the ways you’d like them to.
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it’s likely time for a style upgrade.Updating your style can include anything from a complete wardrobe and grooming overhaul to simply adding a handful of outfits to your closet. It all depends on your particular needs.There are 3 routes you can take to achieving your upgrade:1) DIY – Look through magazines and at blogs and earmark guys with styles who you like. Make a list of the individual elements of their looks that appeal to you specifically. Put that list in order of priority (you don’t want to try everything new all at once, or you could go down the path of fashion victim). This list may also be affected by your budget, i.e., if what you like is going to be very expensive, say a certain type of suit, that may need to go lower on the list than something less pricey like trying out some cool patterned socks. Make your way down the list incorporating one new element every few weeks. You can also check out this piece on how to define your personal style if you’re unsure even of what appeals to you.2) Semi-Assisted – There are online courses which can teach you how to become self-sufficient with styling yourself with varying levels of individual help. You can check out my courses Next Level Style and What Looks Good on You and see if those resonate for you. Many of these courses (including mine) offer satisfaction guarantees and are therefore completely risk-free to try.3) Fully-Assisted – Find an image or style consultant to help you one-on-one. Working with someone who is seasoned and knows what he or she is doing is a serious financial investment (my average client spends several thousand dollars to work with me). I would also highly recommend working with someone who specializes in consulting for men. You want someone who lives and breathes this stuff, and in my experience many image consultants who work with both men and women only work with men a small fraction of the time and therefore aren't necessarily on top of the menswear market. Do a google search for “men’s image consultant/style consultant/personal stylist/personal shopper [where you live]” and see what comes up. You can also go to AICI.org and check their listings for accredited image consultants in your area.You should be able to tell pretty quickly from the person’s website if they’re the right fit for you. The aesthetic of their website is a direct reflection of his or her taste, which, given the visual nature of the business, is key. If you can’t find anyone you like in your area, then look for someone who does online consultations, and you might also consider traveling. I’ve had people fly coast-to-coast to work with me, and it makes sense if you think about it: the amount of money you spend on airfare and hotel could very possibly equal the amount of money you spend on mistake shopping purchases if you choose with the wrong consultant just because he or she is located near you. If it’s in your budget, you may also consider flying the consultant in to see you. It’s certainly more convenient if you can swing it.Finally, if one-on-one seems like it’s going to be out of your budget, then contact a local fashion school with styling programs and ask if any of their students are looking for practice clients. Many up-and-coming stylists actually are looking for people to style, and they'll help you either for free (in exchange for images for their website and/or testimonials) or at reduced rates. I worked with a practice client when I was at FIT, and it worked out great for both of us!Are you ready to take the plunge to upgrade your style? If so, let me know in the comments below what you're going to do first.Cheers,Julie
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. Grey 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.) Purple 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
Guest post by Sarah Pease, The Proposal Planner(™) from Brilliant Event PlanningWe’ve all been there: you check the calendar on February 1 and make a mental note that Valentine’s Day is a mere two weeks away. But before you know it, it’s February 13, and you and your sweetheart still have no plans. All is not lost! There’s still time for you to create a romantic, brag-worthy day. As someone who plans marriage proposals professionally, I’m used to finding a way to create something special and romantic in a matter of days (or even hours!). Here's a breakdown of some fun, last minute date ideas (and corresponding gifts) to make this year’s Valentine’s Day one for the books.1. Charity Gala — A charity gala is the perfect excuse to get glammed up for a good cause. Give your partner the opportunity to dust off that little black dress and hit the town for a night of socializing. You’ll be partying for a greater good and it doesn’t get much better than that. Hit Eventbrite or your favorite charity’s website to find a gala near you. Extra credit: If you want to make it a fun night with friends (and you’re sure your partner won’t mind), buy a whole table and share the love!Corresponding Gift Idea: read the book A Path Appears by Kristof and WuDunn to get ideas for ways to surprise her by making a donation to a charity that she will feel connected to.2. Get Adventurous — Few things are more romantic than sharing a scary-exciting experience with your partner. Paragliding, skydiving, late night snow skiing/tubing or even a day on the roller coasters at your local amusement park will all get the adrenaline flowing. And, because these aren’t the typical “romantic” type of dates , you’ll be able to book it last minute. Extra credit: prepare an adventurous meal after your activity that pushes your limits like a tasting menu, dinner in the dark or, if you want something less formal, a spread at home of crazy foods that you’ve been afraid to try until now.Corresponding Gift Idea: Get a backpack and fill it with all the things she’ll need for the adventure on Valentine’s Day and for future adventures: a GoPro camera, hat, mittens, scarf for cold weather or a cute Lululemon outfit [Julie note: ladies **love** Lululemon!], hiking or snow boots and fun snacks like Clif Bars and Gatorade.3. Virtual Getaway — Does she talk dreamily about taking a trip to Paris? Bring France to your house with a virtual getaway: transform your home with twinkle lights and posters of Paris, pick up a classic French wine, baguette, some fantastic cheese and macarons for dessert. Throw some Edith Piaf on your playlist or download a French 101 podcast and learn how to say I love you in French. If Paris isn’t her thing, you can do a virtual getaway anywhere in the world, no reservations required. Extra credit: purchase a travel guide to your dream destination and spend the evening planning your perfect trip together. Seal the plans with a (French) kiss!Corresponding Gift Idea: The possibilities are endless! Travel hacks like passport covers or a new suitcase, classes to learn a new language together (and continue the romance for weeks to come), or even splurge on plane tickets to your dream destination for a future date! [Julie note: if you choose Paris, get her some French lingerie! Great brands I recommend are L'Agent by AP, Agent Provocateur, and Kiki de Montparnasse.]Sarah Pease, The Proposal Planner™ is recognized as the foremost expert on marriage proposals and is the pioneer of Marriage Proposal Planning. Based in New York City, Sarah and her team at Brilliant Event Planning and sister company Proposal Ideas have designed and produced dream engagements for countless lucky couples from across the world and are the go-to source for all things regarding "Will You Marry Me?" Sarah is available for press, speaking engagements and appearances as a subject-matter expert on marriage proposals and wedding planning.
Have you ever wondered if there's something you're doing with how you dress -- either consciously or unconsciously -- that might be causing women to react less favorably to you than you'd like? Humans are visual creatures, and first impressions matter quite a bit. With Valentine's Day coming up, and with it the possibility of romance (or attempts at romance) this is an especially key time to be sure not you're not making any style mistakes.I wrote a post a while back on how to look irresistible to women, and now I'm sharing my list for what not to do. You know the obvious don'ts, like pleated pants, clipping your phone onto your belt, skinny jeans, and boxy suits, right?Below are ten more nuanced don'ts that you may not have previously thought of (and that you may even have been thinking of as do's).1. Shiny black leather shoes with jeans2. Suit jacket with jeans (as opposed to sportcoat/blazer)3. Wearing the same thing to work as you do going out4. Popped collars5. Overfilling your pockets6. Running sneakers and gym socks with nice shorts7. Untucked dress shirts that are too long and were not designed to be untucked8. Saggy, wide-legged work pants9. An entire wardrobe consisting of shirts with writing or logos on them10. Overt branding (spending all of your money on items with prominent logos and branding gives off the unsexy and arrogant message that you have something to prove in terms of achieving a certain status. You should buy brand names only if/when you like the quality, fit and look).Does anything surprise you on the list above? Have you noticed anything else that seems to turn women off? Let me know in the comments below!Cheers,Julie
Guest post by Sarah Jones of Introverted Alpha
Learn exactly how to approach social and dating skills in a way that gets results.
Even though natural attraction may sound like an inherent gift -- that you’re either born with or not -- it is no such thing.The truth is that like anything worth building, natural attraction is simply a skill.I have found that when men develop a strong and benevolent sense of self, they can’t help but attract women who are a great match for them.I’ve seen it over and over again, with men who didn’t think they could even get themselves out of the work-home-work cycle, much less attract a beautiful girlfriend.By following the steps I’ve outlined for you below, men consistently defy the supposed odds and attract amazing women.So how do we get YOU attracting women naturally and successfully?Whether you want to have more light and fun dates, or whether you’re on the search for a beautiful, inspiring woman to partner with, there are three steps you need to take in order to become a naturally attractive man:
Step One: Discover Your Vibe
Since you’re in Julie’s community, you already understand the importance of how you come across in terms of your dress and presentation. That gives you a huge amount of leverage in social and dating interactions.That said, are you aware of what makes YOU uniquely attractive as a man?That’s something that not a lot of guys know about themselves, and yet it is the fundamental starting point for attracting women naturally.This is because once you know what makes you a wonderfully attractive man, a few things happen:First, you instantly have more natural confidence around women.Second, you know what your strengths are, so you can style yourself and your conversations accordingly, all while being 100% authentic.Third, you’re able to recognize and receive women’s respect, attraction, and eventually devotion.Once you have a core understanding of who you are and why a woman would love you for you, you can finally discern and receive a genuine sexy romance when it comes your way.
Step Two: Develop Core Skills
Once you’ve determined what’s sexy about you, it’s time to build your core skills.This starts with the basic skill of confidence: an assurance within yourself that gives you the strength to become more of the man you want to be every day.With confidence comes the ability to build key social skills, dating skills, sexual skills, and partnership skills.That’s all it is – skill-building. Your current level of skill is in no way a personal reflection on your inherent worth. It is a linear, logical skill to be developed.This is often the biggest mindset shifts my clients experience.
Step Three: Find Your Flow
You’ll know you’re pretty well in your groove when you’re enjoying genuine comfort with yourself, others, and beautiful women.You’ll know you’re REALLY in your groove when you’re comfortable being intimate with beautiful women and being in close relationship with gorgeous women who deeply inspire you and are deeply inspired by you in turn.That sounds amazing, right? If you’re wondering whether you can actually do that, it would be understandable. Many men have asked the same.I can tell you right now that after working with dozens and dozens of men 1:1 - you CAN.You absolutely can.Once you discover your vibe, develop core skills, and find your flow, you can’t help but attract women naturally.Sarah Jones is the founder of Introverted Alpha, where she helps smart introverted men attract women naturally by building core skills and confidence. Learn more and download her Free Welcome Gift at Introverted Alpha.
New Year's resolutions are so cliché, I almost can't stand writing about them. But the truth is, when a new year rolls around, it's nice to take stock and see what you could start doing differently. The usual suspects here are diet and exercise, and often such resolutions are overzealous and set us up or failure. So this year I'm here to help boost you up with some totally doable style-related resolutions that will require very little of your time.Read on for this year's top 10 style resolutions.1) Try one new thing with your wardrobe. It can be easy to find one thing that you're comfortable in and that feels easy to you. But it can also be really boring! Give 2015 a fighting chance and add some sort of new element to your look -- maybe it's starting to wear more color, or swapping out your logo'd/free event t-shirts for something nicer (here's my guide for how your t-shirt should fit).2) Don’t shop without a plan (or on an empty stomach). The last thing you want to do when shopping is make mistake purchases. And shopping without knowing what you're looking for -- or when you're hungry -- will put you on the fast track to a shopping fail.3) Donate anything with holes or stains that won’t come out. This one really doesn't need explaining. I'll just say that when you wear torn-up, crappy clothes, the message you send is that you feel torn-up and crappy about yourself. This then becomes an unfortunate vicious cycle which causes you actually to start feeling that way. (Confirm with whatever charity you're donating to what condition they will take clothing in.)4) Take your oversized clothes to the tailor. This is an instant, low-cost (at least compared to buying new things) option for upgrading your wardrobe. Stay tuned for an upcoming post about how to know what's worth tailoring.5) Think before you stink (a.k.a. avoid strong aftershaves). This one was on last year’s list, but I had to include it again. I did a lot of traveling in 2014, and one of the biggest conclusions I drew is that there's an Old Spice epidemic in the US. Nearly every morning flight I took, I felt as if I might become asphyxiated by the scent of the man sitting next to me. Trust me, just because you can't smell it doesn't mean others can't either. Ask one or two lady friends with good taste to tell you honestly if any of the product smells you're wearing are offensive. And if the initials for any of said products are O.S., drop it like it's hot.6) Wear a watch. I get it, watches are no longer necessary since we all use our phones these days. But if you're not wearing a watch, you're missing out on an excellent opportunity to distinguish your look. Above is a serious arm party courtesy of one of my clients. You don't need to break the bank when adding a watch to your look, however. There are plenty of good choices under $200 (including this one for $185 from Miansai). Choose something that resonates with you personally and that you'd feel good wearing -- not what others would expect you to wear.7) Make sure you have one suit that fits you like armor. Chances are, sometime in 2015 there will be a wedding, funeral, or job interview you'll need to attend. And you'll need a great-fitting suit for those situations -- one you don't have to think twice about. Often such events spring up out of nowhere, so it's to your benefit to have a suit ready and waiting in your closet. And if you think you can get by with that old boxy one from ten years ago, think again. There are few things less flattering on a man than an ill-fitting suit, and there's definitely no way to disguise a poor fit.8) Buy flattering jeans. Most new clients I meet are in need of a jeans refresh. Even if you have a pair that was flattering when you bought them two years ago, chances are at this point they've stretched and faded, and it's time to replace them. If you've never had a pair of jeans you feel great in, it's time to add that to your wardrobe. Here's my guide for how to find flattering jeans.9) Lose the square-toed shoes. These were cool in the 90's. But the 90's is not now. Do yourself a favor and get them out of your closet so you aren't tempted to wear them.10) Take your dress shoes to the shoe guy for a cleanup and to be resoled. This is another low-cost way to refresh things, and in fact a good cobbler can make your shoes look almost new. If you don't already have someone you use, look on Yelp or other user-review sites in your area for one with high ratings, or ask any well-dressed guys you encounter where they take theirs.How many of the tips on this list are you able to implement? I guarantee that even if you do just 3 of them, you'll be in great shape, and you'll feel that much better about yourself.Wishing you a very stylish 2015!Cheers,Julie
It's holiday go-time! Are you ready? If not, don't worry. I've compiled a list of gift ideas to help you make sure all bases are covered. Read on for 3 gifts you can ask for for yourself (and for the ladies reading this, they're for your man), 3 you can give to her, and 1 sexy gift for the both of you.
3 FOR YOU
S'well Water Bottle $30 - A client of mine recently embarked on a major fitness and weight loss project. As part of that, we upgraded his workout clothes and gear so he'd feel better about himself while he's working out. Since starting, he's lost 25 pounds of fat and gained 10 pounds of lean muscle. Proof positive that upgrading your exercise gear can only help you achieve your fitness goals. This sleek and sharp-looking matte grey BPA-free water bottle is a great gift for the fitness enthusiast -- or someone whose new year's goals involve fitness. The bottle will keep a beverage cold for 24 hours or hot for 12. And it has a vacuum seal that keeps drinks and carbonation fresh. Striped Belt $117 - Do you, or does the object of your gift-giving, keep going back to the same wardrobe items over and over? If so, then it's time to diversify. A belt with some color/pattern to it like the one from Anderson's above is an excellent way to accomplish this. And the nice thing about it having multiple colors is that it's easy to coordinate. Since the leather is brown on this one, and it has a brown stripe, it should be worn with brown shoes (navy would also work for a more outside-the-box look). Post on how to incorporate cool non-basic belts into your look coming soon.Silk Blend Scarf $150 - Scarves are always a great gift (most guys I meet are in need of one), and this navy polka dot/stripe combo from Paul Smith has just enough visual interest without being over-the-top.
3 FOR HER
Set of Notebooks $14 - There's something uplifting about writing in a beautiful notebook, and the gold foil detail on these from from Rifle Paper gives it a rich, special feel that she'll love.Melissa Joy Manning Opal Earrings $210 - The hoop part of these delicate opal earrings goes around the back of the ear as an interesting departure from basic and boring studs. Your subtle message that she is anything but basic and boring to you.Black Saint Laurent Wallet $675 - A basic black wallet like this is an absolute fail-safe option. Clean, classic, sophisticated. You can't go wrong.
1 FOR YOU BOTH
L'Agent by Agent Provocateur Lingerie - The uber-luxe Agent Provocateur (with price tags to match) has collaborated with Penelope and Monica Cruz on a more palatably-priced, but equally delicious lingerie collection. This line is also available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Shopbop and Net-A-Porter._______________________________________________What's on your holiday gift list? And what are you hoping to receive? Leave me a comment below -- I'd love to hear!Cheers,Julie
Your office holiday party. One of the trickiest sartorial events you may encounter.You basically have 3 choices:1) Be the boring guy who makes no effort and simply wears the same kind of thing he wears to work every other day of the year.2) Be that guy who goes way overboard with a singing santa tie and matching socks.3) Put in just the right amount of effort where actually come off as being effortless with your style.No big shock, my choice for you would be #3. Here’s how to pull off an effortlessly cool holiday party look:1) Start with your everyday office attire, then take that up a notch. So if everyday is:
- jeans and t-shirt --> wear chinos and a nicer t-shirt, henley or polo (in this case your office is super casual, so make sure that wherever your party is taking place is not fancy; if it is, opt for one of the options below based on whatever you can find out about the venue. If you're at all unsure, it's always better to be overdressed for something work-related like this.)
- chinos and a button-up shirt --> wear dress pants or chinos and a button-up, and add a sportcoat or nice cardigan/v-neck sweater
- dress pants and a button-up shirt --> wear dress pants and a button-up, and add a sportcoat
- dress pants and a sportcoat --> wear a suit open-collar
- a suit and tie --> wear your sharpest, best-fitting suit and a tie that meets one of the criterion below
2) Add 1-2 tasteful, festive touches in the form of a bright color, luxe/wintery fabric, slight sheen or extra panache from the following list:
What are you wearing to your office holiday party this year? Let me know in the comments below!Cheers,Julie
One of my secret weapons for up-leveling a guy's style is to mix in new colors, textures and patterns. With the cold weather upon us, now is an excellent time to do this because there are natural ways to change up your style -- and do it well. Below are some of my best tips for how to do this.How to Turn HeadsTo get the women around you to take a second look, you need to change up how you dress. If others are used to seeing you in solid blue shirts day after day, and you all of a sudden show up in a purple check, it's going to make a real difference. (Now of course, not everyone wants their style upgrade to be immediately noticeable. If that applies to you, go for a subtler change, say a switch to a blue check.) Certain colors, textures and patterns are more seasonably appropriate than others, and that's what I'm going to tell you about today for Fall and Winter clothing. I'll break this down for you into three main categories: color, texture and pattern.ColorFall and Winter is the right time to start incorporating darker, richer colors like olive green, bright red, deep purple, royal blue, chocolate brown and rich navy. Think about these tones for sweaters, pants (like the green AG cords above), shirts and sportcoats. These are the colors we typically associate with cold weather, so it makes sense.TextureThicker, heavier textures like in my client's jacket above are also more appropriate as the weather cools down. These include flannels (for dress pants, suits, sport jackets and also shirts) tweed, corduroy, suede, quilted outerwear and thickly-knit sweaters.PatternsIn these thicker fabrics, Fall and Winter-friendly would patterns include houndstooth, windowpane, glen plaid, and regular plaid.The beauty of cooler weather is that you get to incorporate more layers as the weather cools down, which in turn means more of these colors, patterns and textures can become part of your outfit. And as a result of that, your outfit becomes much more interesting.How do you plan on mixing up your wardrobe this season?Cheers,Julie
Did you put together a great outfit today? That's all well and good, but I gotta tell you: if your outerwear is bad news, it doesn't matter what you have on under it. Your look is shot.Your coat or jacket sets the tone for your look, so read on for how to bring it up to speed.A lot of times my one-on-one clients know they need outerwear but don't know where to start. There are a multitude of different types of these jackets, and it can be really confusing, especially if you're shopping online (do you know what a "utility jacket" is???) To simplify your options, I've broken them down by length and given you samples for each. Click the links to see the samples.Here's what you have to choose from for Fall and Winter outerwear:Waist lengthIncludes: bomber, vest, leather and suede (usually this length, but they can also go to upper-thigh), denim (good for layering)Upper-thigh length (length hits about where your hip creases when you lift your knee up)Includes: parka, field jacket, utility jacket (has four pockets on the front), shirt jacket, peacoat, sporty shell-type jacketMid-thigh lengthIncludes: raincoat, overcoat (here's my rundown on how to shop for an overcoat)Knee lengthIncludes: overcoat, dressy/traditional raincoatOf these options, it would be great if you owned one from each length category, but if you can't swing that, try for one from each of two categories, preferably one with a dressy feel and one with a sporty feel. That helps add versatility so you aren't wearing the same thing day in and day out.And make sure the jacket or coat fits you properly. The seams should hit right on the edges of your shoulders, the sleeves shouldn't go past your wrists, and it should fit trimly through the torso, but you should be able to button/snap it.Cheers,JulieP.S. Make sure to check out Fall Style Tip #3 which shows you how to break the monotony if you find yourself wearing the same thing day in and day out.
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.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:Cheers,JulieP.S. Make sure to check out Fall/Winter Style Tip #2 which gives you the rundown on how to choose outerwear.
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:1) 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.2) 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.3) Medium to dark wash with dress pants. Throw on a fun belt to add personality to the look.4) 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
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:1) 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. 2) 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.3) 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.4) 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).5) 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
They say you can tell if a woman is single or attached based on how sexy her Halloween costume is. It's a different case for men though -- most guys' Halloween costumes are super dorky and do little in service of sex appeal.(I'm talking to you, guy-in-Dog-the-Bounty-Hunter costume who tried chatting me up last year.)But I say why not even the playing field? There's no need to subject yourself to such ridiculousness, and you can in fact look kinda dashing on Halloween, especially if you take it as an opportunity to show off well-fitting wardrobe items. Trust me, the ladies would much rather see a guy in a suit that fits like a glove than some plastic-y costume you picked up at a Halloween superstore or a DIY-job covered in marker scrawl.With that in mind, here are three Halloween ideas that will have you standing out from the sea of unattractive and unflattering costumes most guys are wearing.1) American Psycho - Take one pinstripe suit, mix in one contrast collar shirt, a pair of braces + a red "power tie," add a clear plastic raincoat, and what do you have? Serial killer and Manhattan businessman Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho." Then all you have to do is slick back your hair and walk around humming Huey Lewis tunes (fake axe optional), and you'll be in business. 2) James Dean - Feel like a boss on those tight jeans? Get after it and channel your inner James Dean. Other than the jeans, the main things you'll need are a slim-fitting t-shirt (here's my primer on how this should fit) and a dark well-fitting bomber jacket or black leather jacket (here's an oldie-but-goodie that explains how to find the latter). Final touches: unzip that jacket just enough to look mysterious, and of course you'll also want to do your 'do.This one's not exactly family-friendly, so use your discretion if kids are around.3) Chippendale - If your tuxedo fits you well, it's actually one of the most flattering things a guy can wear. Why not bust it out (or at least parts of it) in a tongue-in-cheek way and dress like a Chippendale à la Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze above. Wear the pants, the bowtie, and grab yourself a collar and cuffs set.What are you wearing this Halloween? Leave me a comment below or post a picture on my Facebook page.Cheers,Julie
In my third and final interview, Leadership Coach Nisha Moodley explains how attractive "a man that can make it happen" is to her, and how having good style can easily create that. She also gives her take on the difference between confidence and cockiness. Click here or on the image below to hear what Nisha has to say on the matter.And if you'd like more style tips and to get your questions answered by me, sign up for my FREE online event "How to Dress for Power and Success" coming up next week.