Category Archives: Casual Wear

5 ways to use COLOR to put a Spring in your Step

Orange shirtWhen not watching the games of March Madness,  I was out in the garden a lot on the weekends in March.  Where I live it was time to plant more herbs and to get my vegetable garden going.   Mostly though the mission was to wake up the garden from it’s winter hibernation and to add some fresh color.

I especially like the vibrant pink tones of the fuschias, and geraniums.  The yellow and orange tones provided by the marigolds and ranunculus are already making the back yard a happier place.   The colors of spring and summer have a way of doing that.

Color is a favorite topic for most any publication about design, be it fashion, interior design or creating the best landing page for your website.  A uniquely potent medium, color is full of emotion and energy – a powerful resource for your image and personal style/branding.   The colors that you wear and how they are combined can dramatically impact how you are perceived by others.  Doing it well immediately increases your level of influence.

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No matter the season, there are occasions and venues that require dark, neutral clothing, but lighter shades of blue and gray, as well as earth tones (tan, olive, brown) are the perfect backdrop or frame for the colorful shirts, ties, and pocket squares (and socks)  that the warmer, brighter months invite.  For Spring, think LIGHT and BRIGHT!   Lighter tones inspire comfort and ease – a certain cool, while brighter tones energize and command attention.

 

orange and blue   multi color

Here are five ways to use color to get some Spring into your appearance:

  1. Depending on where you live and what business you are in, you might work more color into your suits, blazers, jackets, and pants.  Why not consider a blazer that is bluer than navy or a light weight jacket in a favorite color made from linen or cotton, or tropical weight wool?
  2. Depending on your natural coloring, as well as your profession, lighter clothing may not be your best choice. Introducing stronger, brighter colors with classic charcoals or navies can create a more dramatic, more powerful, and more flattering look. Pump up the volume with bolder colors in your shirt and/or tie, and turn a subdued, staid outfit into a true star of your wardrobe.
  3. Wear shirts with color other than your basic blue.  With light to medium shades of blue or gray clothing, introduce shirts in tones of orange, green, pink and lavender.
  4. Point #2 applies to your casual wardrobe especially!  In that case you have even more latitude with color and pattern.  Have fun!  If not now, then when?
  5. With respect to neck wear and pocket squares, who’s to stop you from throwing caution to the wind?  I still prefer and recommend the more classic patterns, solids included, but as far as color, wear what you like that coordinates with your shirt and jacket.  By all means, go bright and go light.  That being said, a sharp navy tie with a seersucker, summer tan, or light blue suit is elegance personified.

 

Give me a Break! Finding the Best Pant Break to Fit Your Style.

A guide to help with deciding how much your pant bottoms should “break” over your shoes.

As it turns out, much has been written in the blogosphere about the pant break options, and with general accord. The basic options for the proper length of one’s trousers are as follows:

  • No break
  • Slight or medium break
  • Full break

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break2

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In most cases, a slight break is the preferred option. It’s balanced, right down the middle, and never wrong. A medium break is achieved when the bottom of the pant is about ½” to ¾” above where the heel meets the leather (Heel height can vary a little with men’s shoes.) The front of the pant should have one fold or “break.”

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A full break is when the pant bottom falls at or somewhere below the top of the heel (but definitely off the ground.) In this case the front of the pant will show at least two, possibly three folds or “breaks.” As is the case with both pants in the photo above, it is difficult to pull off this length and have it not look sloppy, like you’re standing in a puddle. The full break only works with a pant that is cut full, with plenty of drape at the knee and bottom. In that case the extra fabric has more room to flow out over the shoe. If your legs are on the longer side, this may be a style to consider. If you prefer wearing suit and sport coats that “drape,” then wearing pants that also drape will achieve a balance pleasing to the eye. Drapes are expected to nearly reach the floor. If your shoe size happens to be larger than average, then all-the-better. The last thing you want is for your shoe to disappear under your pant bottom. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand million times, it’s all about proportion when it comes to these things.

The concerns associated with the no break option are essentially the opposite of those with the full break. On the extreme you run the risk of inviting the proverbial “are you expecting a flood?” comments. The shorter length of a “no break” pant works best when the pant fits on the trim side. In this case, fashion is on your side right now. Pants that are cut full and with no break run the risk of looking “cut off.” If you have changed from wearing pleated pants to flat front pants in the past few years, but you haven’t adjusted the length of your pants, they may need to come up a half inch or so to be rebalanced. The size of your feet and shoes is another part of the overall geometry to consider. Does your shoe size rival that of an NBA forward? Then trim fitting, no break pants aren’t really for you, unless you are intent on making a fashion statement.

To summarize, what most influences whether your pants length will look balanced and appealing is the relationship between the pant length to the width of your pant and the size of your shoes. For my money, the sweet spot is ½” above where the heel meets the leather. From that point, up or down ½” is what I like to call the “range of acceptability.”

As for me, give me a break already, but just a slight one please!

Tailgate Ready

Dressing the Best at the Tailgate

Pity the man with the vegetable tray. I really have nothing against cut up vegetables and Ranch dip, but I’m glad that I wasn’t the one who showed up at the season’s first Tailgate party with that in hand. It’s just better form to arrive with most anything wrapped in bacon, great sausage to throw on the grill, a bottle of really good Napa Cab or a great new micro brew. All that being said, if you are not the host, what would be worse than not bringing something excellent to share would be to arrive empty-handed.

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New math applied to Sportswear: 3 + 1 = 5

Getting dressed for your summer weekends and down-time has never been so easy… and stylish.

The Question:
“What can I wear that with?”
I hear that from customers all the time. Most men are reluctant to buy a shirt that they can wear with only one particular jacket or pair of pants. If we buy a new sport jacket we want to make sure that we have at least two pants and three or four shirts that will look good with it. It’s important to make sure that the new wardrobe investment won’t spend most of the time just hanging in the closet or neatly folded in a drawer.
Since it’s summertime, and you’re going to be casually dressed for warm weather as much as possible for the next ten weeks or so, we have an idea that will make it almost too easy to answer “what can I wear that with?” and have you always looking good.

The Solution:
Three shirts + One pair of shorts = Five distinctly different looks.

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