Author Archives: Tom James

Confidence in your Appearance makes Everything Easier


Edward Le Vine was in the insurance business for 63 years. That should qualify him as a voice of experience! (Sadly, he died within a few weeks of our filming his video.) Edward got started in business when Truman was in the White House (way ahead of my time.) It was about the time that cars got seat belts, the color TV was invented , and Roger Banister broke the four-minute-mile. I know, some of you reading this can’t even wrap your head around that. How could there have been life without color TV?

A whole series of technological advances, increased regulations, policy complexities, and many other factors lead to some dramatic changes in his business over the span of his career. On the fashion front, things changed a lot too. Lapels got narrower, then really wide, then narrow again. By the time the 70’s hit, Edward was in his prime. (If we come up with any pictures of him during that decade we’ll be sure to share them.) Edward got to see the pendulum swing a whole bunch of times. One of the few constants for him was the pride he took in his appearance, believing that dressing well, mostly in a suit and tie for work, demonstrated a level of respect for his work and his clients. Always thinking about what was next, Edward’s last question to his TJ clothier, Tim, was “what are you gettin’ for a tan gabardine suit these days?”

So there you go. The sage advice of the day is: Take pride in your appearance. Dress well and appropriately for everything you do. The added bonus? Dressing well will make everything easier and more comfortable.

Enjoy your Life….you know!

How clothing choices elevate life


The second in a series of three featured clients, Greg is a man who figured out early in life to give most of his attention to the big things, not the small stuff. Making good choices about education and career, who to spend your life with, values and a code of ethics to live by….those are some of the big things. Oh sure, the small stuff matters, like how you tie your tie or wearing shoes that are shined. Choosing the best colors to wear and coordinating colors and patterns in interesting ways adds to the enjoyment. As does being dressed in a way that respects the venue, occasion, and participants. So, yeah, you should sweat the small stuff too.

But, as Greg puts it, the real rewards come to those who persevere, who keep plugging away, and to those who do right by others. The success that comes from that provides for more to choices, more options,….more enjoyment.

As you watch the video you will see that Greg’s style of dress is different from Tim , who we featured on earlier this week. Greg is a seasoned veteran in a creative industry, and his clothing choices reflect a man who both knows his limits and who is also comfortable with color and pattern and pushing the envelope to raise the enjoyment from getting dressed each day.

Dress up and enjoy the day!

Reflecting what Matters Most

Does clothing make the man or is it a reflection of who he is on the inside?

In addition to the Smith family, who we featured last week, we recently went behind the scenes with three other Tom James clients: Tim, Greg, and Edward. Each man represents a different generation, a different industry, and wears a different style. Tim, 27, is a rising star in the commercial real estate business. Drafted into the Air Force during the Vietnam war era, Greg is an owner and the President of a successful interior design business. Edward, who passed away at the age of 88 just a few weeks after sitting down with us, had been an insurance professional for 63 years.

Our lofty goal for these conversations was to uncover a fresh perspective on who our clients are, how they define success, and the part we play. What I heard is that we help our clients to feel exceptional, make the desired impression, and reflect on the outside who they are on the inside.

During the next week we will share three brief videos of each man telling us about his work and his perspective on professional clothing. We begin today with Tim. As a young man, the sense of empowerment that Tim gets from wearing a high quality, well-fitting suit gives him an edge. In the highly competitive world of commercial real estate, every advantage makes a difference. As you hear him tell it, listen closely for what Tim believes his clothing choices communicate to others.

Love what you do. Hold your head high. Be an inspiration to others.

Generational Style

A Legacy of Professional Consistency

Sometimes the acorn doesn’t fall very far from that old oak tree. Sometimes it falls from the tree, tumbles down a hill, floats down the creek, and rolls through the woods to an entirely other place. On the whole, each generation aspires to re-invent itself, however subtle the variance from parental influence. Putting that into practice, the more traditional the environment, the more “subtle” the difference between generations. In the case of the Smith family from Kentucky, the theme of their wardrobes and who they choose to work with is one of professional consistency.

When asked about their favorite garments of all-time, Brooken, an attorney, says his favorite item is his seersucker suit. His uncle, Raymond, genuinely enjoys French cuff shirts and well-polished shoes. And Russell – let’s just say he shall not soon be separated from his camel hair blazer.

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The Smith family has operated a family business and practiced law for three generations. The first brother, Russell, Jr., became a client in the late 70s, followed by Raymond in the early 80s. Just as their business and the law have been family traditions, so has their Tom James clothier come to be.

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