Category Archives: Tom Talks

Proportional Challenges Dressing for your Body Type Part 3

Last week, Rob asked for guidance on how to dress his 6-foot frame on a limited budget.

Rob, they say the ‘devil is in the details’. I can confidently say the devil is in ignoring the details. Details count.

Details/Construction – Coats

  • Your clothing should fit a bit on the easy side.
  • Coat lapels should be regular to slightly wider with notches that are not too close to the shoulder line. Current fashion would suggest a lapel width of 3” to 3 ½” or slightly wider if the lapel is peaked (comes to a point instead of being notched.) A natural shoulder line, slightly extended but not too padded or roped, is preferable.
  • Details, details, details. Flaps and pockets add substance and dimension. Add a ticket pocket to some of your suit or sport coats. Side vents are your best choice for the back of your jackets. A puff-fold pocket square is a good idea.
  • Two-button and double-breasted (6 buttons, 2 to button) jackets provide good lines for your build. Try to avoid three button coats with the top button being functional. (You’ve no doubt heard the “bean pole” or similar reference enough already. Let’s put a stop to that.)

In the next installment. – shirts! And in the mean time, check out The Virtual Tailor!

Proportional Challenges: Dressing for your Body Type Part 2

Last time, Rob asked for guidance on how to look great at his height of 6 feet – and on a limited budget.In your case, Rob, your height is on the tall side of average, which is a natural advantage and something to accentuate, but you will want to wear clothing that fills out the horizontal to balance and refine your look. The following guidelines will give you more detail on how to do that:


  • Emphasize the horizontal and widen your overall appearance by wearing more clothing with a horizontal element in the pattern, i.e. plaids and checks.
  • The best fabrics for you are those with texture and substance (or at least the appearance thereof) such as flannel, tweed, oxford cloth, twills and herringbones, etc.
  • Avoid fabrics that cling.
  • If you want to wear stripes, consider those that are wider set…. at least 3/4” apart. The further apart the stripes, the bolder they can be. The same advice holds for checks and plaids. Tighter patterns should be more subtle while broader patterns can be more intense.

Tomorrow, we talk construction! And in the mean time, check out The Virtual Tailor!

Proportional Challenges

Dressing for your Body Type

Rob H. writes: I am a 6 feet tall, slim guy. What can I do to look sharp while making the most of a limited budget?
TomTalks: Your question is really two parts, both highlighting issues many men struggle with at some level. One has to do with choosing styles and fit that make the most of your build (body type), and the other has to do with making the most of your wardrobe budget.
For men, the essential parameters are just two – the vertical and the horizontal.

  • Vertical: Medium or Average height (5’ 9” to 6’ 1”), Tall, or Short
  • Horizontal: Slender, Average, Muscular (athletic), or Stout (heavy)

Optimal dress based on one’s body type is essentially about visually accentuating the positive aspects of your build or essential parameters and reducing those aspects that create the most challenge.
Custom suits are all the rage these days. When a suit is made for you, it fits well. It literally emphasizes the positive in such a way the negatives are a non-issue.
It’s true the man of regular proportions (equally admired and despised by the more proportionally challenged) has more freedom within “the rules.” The rest of us would do well to pay stricter attention to some particular guidelines. Even when you wear custom suits there are guidelines that are wise to follow.
We’ll investigate those ideas over the next week. And if you can’t wait,…check out our NEW FEATURE – The Virtual Tailor. It’s a virtual treasure trove of resources to help you look your best!

Shoe Restoration

You can have shoes restored to practically their original condition through the Tom James Recrafting Service. It is awesome! We have received shoes that look like they were caught at the bottom of the river and were returned looking brand new. The cost is a fraction of replacing some pairs and worth every penny. Here are your options.

A. Recrafting – This process is done by stripping the old wax & polish build up, re-dyeing the uppers and applying a brand new protective finish, waxing and hand polishing the uppers to a high luster. The shoes are then resoled including new cork insoles and full heels.

B. Prestige Package – This process combines the first process but also includes new full cedar shoetrees and a cotton flannel shoe bag for travel and protection.

Note:Some Vibram soled shoes cannot be resoled or refinished. Italian and domestic soled shoes are distinguished upon the recrafting and the proper sole is added.

scuffed shoes By eschipul