Autumn is Here…

… But give fall fashion some time.

I know, I know. Boots have been sitting in closets. Sweaters are ready to be worn. And those cool jackets? They will have their time to shine. But be cognizant of the fact that it’s still warm, at least for those of us in the Eastern United States. There’s no need to look super eager. So, for now, keep dressing for the summer months. You don’t want to be the one in the office appearing to be crazy because your outfit is 34 days ahead of the temperature.

Make dressing with some sense a priority.

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Breaking Monotony

Everyone has a style. I encourage and respect that (even if I don’t always like certain people’s). Do what works for you.

But, sometimes, you have to try something new. We’re not Amish (unless you are, in which case I’m assuming someone printed this post for you). Therefore, you have wardrobe options. If you’re always bright and colorful, try some earthy fall colors in the coming months. If you’re constantly wearing black, go buy a crimson tie or canary skirt to add a bit of flare to your wardrobe. You never know how a different look will make you feel until you try it.

And that doesn’t just go for color schemes but grooming as well. For months at a time, I’ll let my hair and beard grow. Then one day I’ll get bored, cut both off, and start fresh. The beautiful thing (right now) is that it’ll all grow back. Or, ladies, if you’re thinking about trying a different hairdo, look at some folks who have a similar head shape, bone structure, and complexion and, if you like the way they wear their hair, go for it. The worst that can happen is you hate it and, in 3 months, you’ll be able to move back toward what you had before.

While we’re talking about switching up styles, know that different outfits serve different purposes. It is a must that I tailor some of my clothes because of the caliber of event they’re regularly worn to. Others can be worn right off the rack. And the accessories change with events too. If I’m shooting for a night on the town, I may don a suit and v-neck with loafers and earrings if I want to sauce it up. But, when I feel like looking smart but stylish for a meeting with a client, I’m throwing on cosmetic frames with a suit and well-polished hard bottoms (Note to myself and you: Polish shoes tonight). Either way, it’s about looking confident and comfortable in whatever you wear. And you don’t have to step out of your comfort zone daily but you should do it frequently enough to shake things up.

You never know what you’ll need to look like in your next work environment, so developing versatility and comfort now should be the game plan. Whether your employer, your significant other, or that barista at Starbucks that has been giving you the eye for the past few months, it’s nice to see that you can try something new and still look (and perform) like a winner.

All in all, no matter how old you are, you’re too young not to have fun and enjoy life.

Make being well-dressed and well-groomed priorities.

Oh, by the way, I’ve got a crazy post coming for next week’s fashion post. Make sure you’re subscribed to the blog so you don’t miss out on #TailoredAndTaperedTuesdays.

Know What to Wear Where and When and Win

Yes, that is a tongue twister if you say it 10 times fast. And, no, that is not a typo. Knowing what to wear where and when so that you will win in the professional world. Today will be a very long day for me. I woke up for some reason at 4:30 (grateful that I did wake up though) and so I began my day. I worked out, ironed my clothes for the day (which I would have done last night but just didn’t feel like it), looked over some client documents, and prepared my portfolio for a consulting opportunity. I’m going to need to be out of the house at 7:10 to handle some stuff before work and still arrive at the office between 8:15 and 8:30. But that’s not what’s going to make today long. Today will be long because I have an after work dinner to go to at which I will still be working. And it is important to know what to wear to this dinner so that I succeed.

Dressing is a lot like marketing. You have to know your target audience. Being that I’m in the field of fundraising, I know what events require my tuxedo and what lunches I’ll need to dress down for in some chinos and a polo.

Tonight’s dinner is with the new parents at my school. Now, I don’t want to come out in my most formal navy suit with all the bells and whistles like a french cuff shirt and a pocket watch. These are new parents who I may be developing relationships with over the next decade or so of their child’s life. I want to meet them and make them comfortable. So, since the weather is still nice out, I’m wearing my brown suit with a bow tie or a knit necktie and some bold (but not too loud) wingtips. Though my target market may eventually see me in my tuxedo, tonight is not a night to come on too strong.

Next week, on the other hand, we have our annual Major Donors’ Dinner to show appreciation to all those who have given a certain amount, as well as to court those who we hope to get to a certain giving range this year. That’s where the cuff links come out. My target market, though they don’t know me, is comfortable with someone in my position asking for x-number of dollars. There’s no need to ease them into the process.

You must know what to wear where and when in order to win.

And please believe that, tomorrow, I will be in chinos and a polo.

 

Make professional development a priority.

Take Care: #Shoes

So you have 3 pair of dress shoes, right?  And 3 suits.  15 dress shirts, 4 pair of slacks, and 26 ties.  Pretty solid wardrobe for those of us under 40 years old.  But how do you keep all of those great investments in pristine condition?  Over the next few weeks, I will be publishing a series of posts to help you along the voyage of strengthening your wardrobe and making sure it can stand the test of time.

If you know me, you know I take my wardrobe very seriously.  One critical aspect of a man’s wardrobe are the shoes that he selects to wear with his outfit.  He can be dressed in the finest suit with the most expensive shoes but if those shoes are not polished, he may as well be wearing sneakers.  I am currently in the process of recording my own YouTube series which will include a video on how to properly polish ones leather shoes.  But until my own is complete, this video by The Art of Manliness, one of my favorite websites, should suffice.

Pairing

I’m very fond of pairing the correct watch, belt, and shoes.  Now, everyone knows (or should know) that your shoes ought to match your belt whenever formally dressed (the rule doesn’t apply when you’re wearing white chucks but definitely when wearing dress shoes).  Anyway, I found this graphic online and had to share it with you all.  Of course, you want to incorporate your own style but let this serve as a starting point.

Men who care about their style wear a watch. Here's how to make it work for you.

Five Essential Items for Every Man’s Closet

When it comes to your clothes, it’s worth investing time and money in key pieces that will last a lifetime.

by Yale Breslin

ONCE UPON A TIME, men’s fashion was simple. A few pairs of jeans, a few good suits and you were set—not just for a season but for years. Talk about the good old days. Today, popping into the shop, or even browsing online (the preferred choice of the shopping cognoscenti), is no small task.

The meteoric expansion of men’s fashion over the past decade has brought a bounty of benefits—men are finally dressing their age and body type, understanding what shapes and silhouettes work best for them, and realizing that less is more—but it has also created one big dilemma: a paralyzing amount of choice. Each season, an ever-growing number of menswear designers add to the list of wardrobe “necessities.” After all, who doesn’t need a gold lamé tracksuit, a scarf the size of a picnic blanket or a hat that looks like something Smokey Bear would wear—and that only one of the world’s biggest rap stars could actually pull off?

This fall, it’s time to get back to basics, sticking to what you know best and are most comfortable in: the classics. Whether you follow every trend with the consuming passion of a teenage crush or still bum around in the same Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt you wore at uni, when it comes to your wardrobe, it’s worth investing both time and money into a few key items that will, with proper care, last a lifetime.

THE CAMEL COAT

A common thread that wove its way through the men’s fall collections was the camel coat. Little wonder. This longtime closet staple is about as easy as they come. Sharp and simple, it looks good on just about everyone, from Prince Charles to Kanye West.

If you don’t already have a vintage coat you can resurrect or are simply looking for a quick way to update your look, you’re in luck. This season, almost every menswear designer out there put their own unique spin on this most classic of coats.

Marc Jacobs ’s classical interpretation comes in ultra-soft baby alpaca and wool (£1,310; marcjacobs.com ), while Marni’s slightly furrier version seems to reference “Where the Wild Things Are” (£1,170; +44 (0)245 9520). Perfect for the urban jungle. Ralph Lauren styled his like a trench, with a tonal belt (£1,195; ralphlauren.com ), while AMI’s Alexandre Mattiussi created a modern classic with his double-breasted version (€580; mrporter.com ) and Burberry updated its Chesterfield in a luxurious double cashmere blend (€3,095; burberry.com), for an easy transitional piece that will take you from the nip of autumn through the chill of winter.

THE CLASSIC BLAZER

The blazer isn’t just the most classic item a guy can own, it’s the most necessary. Season after season, it dominates the runways—not to mention the boardrooms. But it can also be the piece that’s least likely to succeed in your closet. One of the most common mistakes men make is wearing a blazer that doesn’t fit. You know the ones: The shoulders are too bold, the sleeves too short and the hemline goes way further than it ever should.

This fall, the blazer is shrinking and it’s time to get on board. Emporio Armani gives you exactly what you want—a black cashmere jacket that masters fit, proportion and comfort (€1,500; armani.com ). Playing with subtle texture, Fendi’s navy flecked-wool version is a keeper (€875; farfetch.com ), while Jil Sander shakes things up with a midnight-blue version in textured brocade (£1,050; jilsander.com ). But Scott Sternberg ’s cult label, Band of Outsiders, trumps them all with a youthful tuxedo blazer with sharp lapels ($2,200; bandofoutsiders.com ). Dress it up with a fitted chambray shirt and your favorite tie, or dress it down with your favorite jeans and Chelsea boots. You’ll look debonair regardless of your direction.

THE BLACK JEANS

It’s not the easiest thing, finding the perfect pair of slim-cut black jeans. Fit, as we all know by now, is key. Add to that the challenge of buying denim that can make the transition from day to night, while still maintaining that masculine feel, and it may feel hopeless.

But this season, designers have eliminated the excess—so say goodbye to zippers, extra pockets, patches, fades, rips and tears. Jeans are being streamlined, tailored to the idea of “what a guy really wants.”

Who did it best? Levi’s is a tried-and-true brand whose authenticity still reigns supreme in the denim marketplace. Try the 510 skinny fit (€99; levi.com ). For a more rock ’n’ roll edge, you won’t find a better way to channel Jagger than to put on a pair of Saint Laurent’s Hem jeans (€290; ysl.com ). J.Crew, meanwhile, under the design direction of Frank Muytjens, can be relied on for a solid pair that won’t break the bank (€113; jcrew.com ).

There’s also a new kid on the block that looks likely to dominate the denim space, and that’s Frame Denim. The London-based brand, which has already managed to get the girls’ attention with its hip-hugging styles, is tackling the guys’ market with its L’Homme Noir Slim-Fit, recently unveiled on Mr Porter (€228; mrporter.com ). Long and lean but with room to move—it’s as if they read your mind.

THE PERFECT TEE

White or gray. When it comes to a solid crew-neck T-shirt, these are the colors that should dominate your drawer. The classic, clean silhouettes seen in other sectors of fall fashion should also be applied to this wardrobe staple.

Yet for such a simple item, many get it wrong. The hemline should sit just below your waist, the shape should err on the fitted side and the sleeves should fall somewhere between the middle of your shoulder and the elbow. Easy in definition, difficult in practice.

Fruit of the Loom is a guaranteed success—who doesn’t love a three-pack (£11 for a three-pack; outdoorlook.co.uk )? The award for the most bang for your buck goes to Gap, whose white and gray essential tees stand the test of time without fading (€10; gap.eu ).

If you’re looking to go more upscale, T by Alexander Wang has a version in solid heather gray (€105; mrporter.com ), while ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo ’s sophisticated T-shirts are worth everyone’s investment (€63; eastdane.com ).

Roll the sleeves up slightly if you’re feeling playful. If James Dean did it, so can you. Just be sure to keep it subtle.

THE DRESS SHOES

When it comes to footwear this fall, be bold and buckle up! The most advanced of all dress shoes, the monk strap, is making a comeback. Gone are the days of pairing your “fancy” monk straps with a suit. Instead, treat them like the rest of your kicks—wear them every day. Try Bottega Veneta’s double-strap boot (€850; bottegaveneta.com ), or Dolce & Gabbana’s single-strap version with bold silver hardware (€475; dolcegabbana.com ). For the fashion-forward, Saint Laurent’s Hedi Slimane blurred the line between a creeper (another runway favorite) and a monk strap—creating a covetable mashup (from €695; ysl.com ). Or play it safe with Saint Laurent’s simple Université 30 (€595; ysl.com )

THE GUIDE // Three Style Icons

You’ve got role models to help guide you in life and business—why not in style? Start your sartorial lessons on the silver screen, where the likes of Eddie Redmayne, James Dean and Ryan Gosling provide fashion choices to match their acting skills and good looks. They’ve each taken risks, but always erring on the side of a classic sensibility.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

They’re Throwing Salt

I got to NY 2 days after the blizzard had ended.  Streets were icy.  Snow was piled along the sides of cars.  And salt was on every sidewalk and doorstep for a 200 mile radius.  That salt had me scared to wear my Cole Hann, Johnston & Murphy, and Allen Edmonds hard bottoms, which in change, altered my planted wardrobe for the week.  One of my college classmates, however, came over for lunch and had a pair of Cole Hanns on.  As we walked from the apartment to the pub, I asked him if he wasn’t worried about the warping effect that salt has on the shoe and he said by the time he remembered what salt does to leather hard bottoms, he was already on the subway.  Sad day for such a beautiful pair of shoes.

Well, people, all hope is not lost!  I found a quick fix to the shoe warping issue while looking at Valet (download the Valet app on your smartphone for easy access).  If you know you HAVE to go to this interview and can’t put on a pair of shoes you don’t care about, I may have found a solution that will save the investment on your feet.

Salt-Free Shoes

Each winter, the United States uses 18,000 tons of salt on roads and sidewalks. Inevitably, a good portion of that salt will get absorbed into your shoes—leaving otherwise beautiful footwear dried out and stained. It’s important to remember that the salt starts drying and warping the leather quickly, so act fast. Here’s how to save your shoes:

  1. Make a solution of one part plain white vinegar to two parts water.
  2. Dab the solution onto the stains, working from the outside toward the center of the stain.
  3. Dampen a clean cloth with water and wipe down the shoe to remove any lingering vinegar.
  4. Press a dry cloth into the leather to remove out any residual moisture.
  5. Let them air dry for a day and then condition, buff or polish as usual.

Suede?

Suede isn’t a great shoe option when there’s salt and slush out, but should you get some salt stains on your suede shoes, start by brushing the nap with a suede brush. Dip a cloth into your vinegar solution and wring it out. Dab the solution onto the stain and the blot with a dry cloth until the stain is gone.

FYI

The practice of salting roads began in the 1940s.

Source: Valet