Category Archives: Tailored Fit

New Year, New Look?

Ten Sure Ways to Successfully Mix Up your Look (part of a series)

I promised ten. I’ve given you seven so far: the ticket pocket, western pocket, striped neckwear, the power of a Holland & Sherry shirt made from Thomas Mason fabric, adding a new color or some working button holes (or both at the same time), and last week I suggested you consider the virtues of a vest. Two more today, then you may have to wait until Spring is here for number ten, but it will be worth the wait.

Square it Up!

Add a pocket square … to finish your look.

I like the crisp, straight fold or straight edge look with suits and the puff fold with sport coats. But there aren’t any hard rules in that regard. It’s part attitude, part personality. You may also want to try “points up.” In my opinion, the straight edge and points up work best with squares of cotton or linen, while the puff requires the more fluid movement you get with a silk square.

To see a demonstration of how to fold and wear each style, take a look at this great, short video. Thanks, Tim!

With respect to color and pattern, there is no reason to be timid when wearing a pocket square. The square should coordinate with your tie but not match it. Either the tie or the square should have top billing, but not both. This is one area of getting dressed to develop some variety and push the boundaries. If the dominant color in the square picks up a color in your jacket or tie pattern, you are sure to have a winning combination. At a minimum, begin with a basic collection of a few solid squares (including white linen) and a couple with more pattern and color.

BTW….your TJ Clothier can help you with pocket squares made from tie silk or cotton shirting fabric.

French Lessons

Voulez-vous parlez la langue d’elegance? Oui.

Then may I suggest that you wear more shirts with cuffs prepared for cuff links. A French cuff (or Double-fold, as the English call it), with a tasteful touch of jewelry to keep your cuff together, epitomizes refined elegance.

Could French cuffs be too much in some cases? Sure they could. I wouldn’t wear them to play in a pick-up hoops game or to stand on the sidelines at my kid’s Saturday soccer game. I wouldn’t even wear them to the Super Bowl (unless I’d been invited to sit in the Owner’s Box.) I might wear them with a bold shirt, some jeans, and a drop dead sport jacket for a guys’ night out. For some men it is part of their everyday look, while for others it is reserved for the most special of occasions.

French cuffs are especially appropriate for your finer white and blue shirts, shirts with medium to spread collars, and any shirts that you do with collars and cuffs of white that contrast with the body and sleeves of the shirt (as shown on the blue striped shirt above left.)

If you already have French cuff shirts in your rotation, you may want to consider trying our newest variation within the range of style options that we call the ‘Mitered’ cuff (shown in the picture above left with the K&E link and in the center photo.) The angled cutaway moves the link slightly further from the wrist and reduces the potential for fraying at the edges. If you get frustrated because your French cuff shirts wear out to easily, this may be your answer.

So, get a couple of new pocket squares and a fresh stack of shirts with French cuffs, and you are sure to make a confident impact.

Sartorial Regards,

Take a Few Years Off Your Age…

Shawn S. asks: My significant other has been after me to update my look – and I agree with her that someone in my profession should not be tagged as ‘old school ‘because of his clothes. She gets frustrated by my lack of enthusiasm for shopping, and, trust me, I get that my clothes are mostly about five years old, and would like to be thought of as “current “. But I’m not trying to look like Ryan Seacrest, and I am not prepared to get rid of everything in my closet and bet the farm on a whole new wardrobe that might go out of fashion before my cell phone contract comes up for renewal. Do you have a sensible strategy that you can suggest for updating my wardrobe?

Tom Talks: Here’s what we would recommend you consider doing to update your look. Think in terms of taking three steps to get started:

1) Consider wearing more trousers without pleats, cuffs, and even without creases – just don’t go overboard until you’re comfortable with the new look and feel. A shorter rise in the trouser (think a shorter zippered pant cut to fit on your hips and not on your ‘equator’) makes it easier to walk and move around. Try squatting down in a full cut pleated trouser and then get up quickly – a much more comfortable maneuver in a pleat-less pant. Your range of motion, like how high you can raise your leg at the knee, improves with a shorter rise flat front pant model — whether its traditional denim or the latest 5-pocket flannel or twill trouser cut to fit like jeans.

2) Realize that closer fitting clothes – properly sized and tailored, of course – trim your silhouette and can literally help you shed weight visually. When it’s done right it really works, and your fan club will see the difference right away. As tailors, we incorporate our “tricks of the trade” to enhance your silhouette by making the shoulders a bit more narrow and raising the coat button position while trimming the girth of the jacket at the button. But fear not — trimmer doesn’t have to mean tighter and less comfortable. With our soft construction option and a new generation of fabrics engineered with a “stretch” component, closer fitting tailored clothes can be nearly as comfortable as jeans but still meet the dress code at work.

3) Hedge your bets by adding only 3 outfits at one sitting – not unlike ‘dollar cost averaging’. This strategy allows you to move in and out of micro-trends in clothing but stay on course as fashion evolves. I’d suggest you consider three outfits together: one for Thursday (dressy office attire — suit/shirt/tie, etc) when you’re all business, one for Friday (business/casual attire—sport coat, trouser, open collar shirt, etc) like how you’d dress to meet your wife for dinner, and another for cool weather Saturdays (comfortable and social – jeans or another 5-pocket trouser, a sleeveless or long-sleeve knit layered over a collared sport shirt, and comfortable shoes) to wear when you’re going to a friend’s house for wine and cheese before heading out to the movies. We’ve designed several Value Packages that will help you do exactly what we’re suggesting here.

Best Regards,