Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tweed: Not Just for Your Grandpa Anymore

I feel the need, the need for tweed!  Ok that was a little cliche, but I couldn't resist.  I love tweed jackets, pants, suits, hats; everything really.  And my obsession for the rough looking fabric is finally justified.  I popped open this month's issue of GQ and was stunned by the plethora of designers incorporating tweed into their modern fits and styles.  With fall right around the corner, the time is now to start checking out some tweed additions to your wardrobe.  Today I'll go over three patterns that you can consider and how this new generation of tweeds is not your grandfather's fabric.

The Tweed Sports Coat

"Yah that suit's pure herringbone. Yah, that's a suit I'd like to own." The Coasters had it right when they crooned their song, Shoppin' for Clothes.  Herringbone is probably my favorite pattern, next to Glenplaid.  I currently own a herringbone tweed sports coat, and it is easily the most versatile piece of outerwear in my wardrobe.  It works in summer as much as in winter: during the hot months I roll up the sleeves and show off some of the lining, and if I can see my breath outside then I don some fingerless wool gloves along with it.  I love matching a sports coat with a polo as well, and there are few better fabrics that will complement a polo as well as tweed does.

Billy Reid 'Rustin' Herringbone Tweed Sportcoat | Nordstrom

The Tweed Suit

I know we've all seen the goofy college professor who wore head-to-toe tweed every day of his life, but modern tweed suits are all about trim cuts and comfortable fabric that will redefine the way you think about tweed.  Now, it's not a suit you will be wearing to a black tie event, but nonetheless is an appropriate choice for most offices.  The best part of a tweed suit is that you can pair it with bold accessories: think plaid shirts, boldly colored ties, bright socks and so on.  The trick is to use one or two eye catching pieces, not all of them together.  The last thing you want is to stack them on top of each other in a seemingly endless fashion, unless you're trying to be photographed by The Sartorialist, that is.

Tweed: Always Outmanned, Never Outgunned | GQ

Tweed Pants

Now you could buy a full tweed suit and only wear it with the jacket, but that seems like a waste. Whether you utilize the pants from a suit set or buy a new pair, tweed pants are as versatile as they are fashionable. Again, bold accessories will be a great accessory for tweed pants.  As usual, make sure the fit is perfect and you have only a slight break on your shoes.

Tweed Pants for the Modern Man | Express
Thanks for reading.  As always, be dapper.

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Monday, August 8, 2011

What to Wear to an Interview: The Be Dapper Way

The interview: one of the most dreaded and intimidating moments in most men's professional careers.  Whether you're out of work and trying to immediately find a new job or are just exploring options, the interview is most likely the only face time you will get with a hiring manager before they decide on who will get a position.  Generally you're going to get between a half hour to an hour of time to speak with a prospective employer, which is why this first impression will be so important.  In my experience, I've known whether or not I wanted to hire someone within 5 minutes of speaking with them.  My guess is that most hiring managers would agree.  As such, it is incredibly important that the person you are interviewing with has a good first impression of you.  That first impression will be how you look, for better or worse.  And believe me, if you show up underdressed or look like you just bought a suit off the $99 rack, your chances of landing that job will drop like a rock.  Today I'm going to go over what you should be wearing to an interview to give a stunning first impression.

Leave the Black Suit at Home

First off, always wear a suit.  Always.  Even if the workplace is casual or the job is not in an office environment, no interviewer is going to look down on the fact that you dressed well.  However, showing up in slacks and a button up with no tie might send the wrong impression or not be appropriate for that position.  Moving on: black suits are great, they are bold without even expressly being so and work with a variety of colors and patterns.  However, your black suit is not your interview suit, not even your business suit.  Save your black suit for evenings out or dinner parties.  For an interview, you should be wearing a navy or charcoal suit.  I recommend navy, as it displays a refined level of style sense and professionalism.  Keep it single breasted, with a notch lapel and preferably two buttons. Patterns, if any, should be subtle.

Navy Suit with Brown Shoes | Freshly Educated Men

This is an Interview, Not a Fashion Show

You may have a very extensive wardrobe with many fashion-forward pieces and accessories, however this is not the time to wear your lime green knit tie and boat shoes.  If what you're wearing is getting noticed by an interviewer more than what you are saying, there is a huge problem.  For your shirt, go with white or light blue and no french cuffs, you're not an exec (yet.)  Your tie should be dark and muted, no bold patterns or colors, and include a tie bar.  Wear simple lace-up oxfords, preferably brown if you're wearing a charcoal or navy suit.  No accessories beyond a leather strapped watch, if even that.

The Perfect, Simple Accessories

Fail to Prepare and You Can Prepare to Fail

Just as you would research a company, their history, look at their website and prepare otherwise for a job interview, you should be preparing your wardrobe the day before as well.  Prepare your outfit, make sure it is what you want so you're not scrambling for a new tie in the morning.  Shine your shoes, there is a lot you can tell about a man by his shoes.  Remove any stray strings or thread from your suit and use a lint roller to remove any hair, dust or other debris.  Looking your best takes preparation, and there are few days more important than an interview to do so.

Charcoal Topman Suit | City Society

Thanks for reading.  As always, be dapper.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

3 Ways to Wear Your Suit Jacket

I love suits. I wear suits to work even though I don't have to, they just put me in a frame of mind that I am ready to work (really it works, I talk about in in this post: Why Dress Above the Dress Code.) However, there are times when wearing a suit to the office sticks out more than others, mainly casual Friday. Even so, I still like to get a lot of use out of my suits. As such, today I'll show you three ways to wear a suit jacket so you can still show off your well tailored wardrobe without looking out of place.

With Jeans: From 9-to-5 to Night Out

A well tailored suit jacket looks great with jeans and it is a great combination for casual Fridays or less formal offices. The trick here is to pair up your wardrobe correctly so it doesn't look like you just grabbed whatever jacket was in reach as you were walking out the door. First, your jeans should be dark and simple. No tears, patches, rhinestones or bedazzling. Also, I would opt for a straight or slim cut over boot-cut. As with any other time, your jacket should be well tailored. The best part of this outfit is that it works for occasions outside of the office as well, so you don't need to stop home before hitting the bar after work.

Jeans and a Suit Jacket |

With a Polo: Not Just for the Country Club

Ok this can be hard to pull off, especially if you don't want to look like this. However, it's all about keeping the rest of your outfit as trim and well fitting as your suit should be. I prefer a contrast brightness, whether dark on the suit or the polo, but the guy below pulls off a full dark hue masterfully. Having a great beard certainly doesn't hurt either.
Polo with a Suit |

With a Sweater: The Sophisticate

Tie or not, rocking a 3 layer look with your suit jacket is a huge style upgrade for the fall. It works on so many levels and for so many situations. The biggest thing to remember here is to not try and match colors (i.e. do not wear a navy jacket with a navy sweater.) Go for contrast and inject some bold colors into your wardrobe. This yellow sweater below might be a little too bold alone, but with the tweed jacket over it the whole outfit just works.

Sportcoat and Sweater |

Thanks for reading.  As always, be dapper.
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Monday, August 1, 2011

How to Buy A Leather Jacket: A Simple Guide

A well made leather jacket can be an expensive proposition, luckily you can make a leather jacket last for years if you invest well.  Not only that, but a leather jacket is one of the most versatile pieces of outerwear you can own.  They look great over t-shirts, polos, oxfords, and anything else you can think of.  The trick is finding one that doesn't look like it's swallowing you.  Today we'll talk about how to find a leather jacket that you'll love to wear for years to come.

Size it Down

My guess is that most leather jackets are made too big.  Not a scientific fact, just my observation from trying on leather jackets over the years.  Due to this, if you simply abide by the sizes you are buying for t-shirts, you are going to end up with a jacket that is too big.  When you're shopping for your next leather jacket, try on one that's a size smaller than you would expect.  You should still be able to zip it up, but it should be snug.  The armholes should be a little higher than you might be used to and the sleeves should fit tightly as well.  It may be slightly uncomfortable, but the beautiful thing about leather is that it will stretch and conform to your body over time.  Plus, you don't want this looking like your dad's bomber jacket, this should be a jacket with a modern tailoring cut.  One more thing, make sure the jacket ends right at the waist of your jeans, any longer and the trim look of the jacket won't be noticed.

Think He Needs A Large?  Think Again. |

No Patches, Stripes, Extra Zippers, etc.

Many designers like to add all kinds of embellishments to their clothing in an effort to make them stand out (Express, I am talking about you.)  Sadly, all these extras do is get in the way of what could otherwise be a great looking piece of clothing.  If you find a leather jacket that fits you perfectly, the jacket will do all the talking.  So avoid the "Honor" patches, the racing stripes up the side and anything that generally is unnecessary to the look of the jacket.

Schott NYC Vintage Motorcycle Jacket

Give Brown a Chance

Yes, black is the ultimate go-to color for leather jackets, I know.  However, that does not mean you shouldn't look into brown.  I actually believe it is a more versatile color than black, same as I believe with shoes (as I talked about in this article: Buying Fashionable Men's Shoes.)  You are able to inject many more colors and palettes into an outfit with a brown leather jacket than black.  And if you intend to wear a leather jacket often (why wouldn't you?) then you will want something versatile.  Bottom line, just TRY a brown leather jacket before you decide on a black one.  You may be surprised at how good they will look on you.

All Saints Recluse Biker Jacket

Thanks for reading.  As always, be dapper.
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