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Showing posts from January, 2013

Consider the Pocket Square. . .

The one-time olive jar in which I keep my (too large) collection of silk pocket squares atop my dresser.
One easy way for you to kick your personal style a notch or two is by adding a few silk and/or wool pocket squares to your wardrobe.  Typically, these measure 10"-16" square, or slightly larger, and the better ones have plump, hand-rolled edges.  You'll know it when you see it.  Keep your eyes open while visiting your local thrift or consignments shops.  You stand a good chance of coming across a few cast off pocket squares from Italy, Great Britain, China, or Japan, or that still have lots of life left in them.

And no.  You don't need near as many as shown above.  Five or six in various patterns (paisleys, polka dots, foulards, stripes, etc.) ought to do it.  Even with, say, just a navy blazer and a sports jacket or two in your closet, you can change up your overall appearance each day without repeating one "look" too often.  Pocket squares never look exa…

Saturday should be for dressing up a bit!

Who says Saturday attire must automatically mean fleece, sweats, grubby frayed khakis, or dad jeans with white sneakers? How about using a more relaxed day as an excuse to glam it up a bit?  Just what I did this morning for a half-day writing pedagogy seminar over on campus.  And hey, I actually received two compliments from female colleagues which added an extra, and unexpected spring to my step.  I dress this way for me, first and foremost, but it's nice when others occasionally let you know that they notice and appreciate it.

Anyway, guys, remember, this need not cost you an arm and a leg.  Here's the deal.  In the photo above , I'm wearing three thrifted items: a Corbin houndstooth tweed jacket, a Pendleton wool tie, and a Pierre Cardin silk pocket square (cream with tiny brown and red polka dots and brown edging) all of which cost somewhere in the neighborhood of US$14.  The shirt is an old Land's End "original" oxford cloth button-down shirt purcha…

10 Easy Ways to Kick up Your Style in 2013. . .

A closet full of tweed jackets reblogged from A Tailored Gentleman.

Here are ten easy things you can do right now to kick up your style in 2013 without taking the time to build a new wardrobefrom the ground up. . .

1) Pull up your pants to your natural waist and keep them there! Few things will make you look less pulled together than a pair of pants worn at your hips and all bunched up at your ankles.Why so many guys let this happen is beyond me, since it’s so easy to avoid.For one, purchase pants that are the correct length, or have them altered by a seamstress or tailor.Another way to avoid the saggy-baggy pants look is to. . .

2) Buy a belt and wear it for cryin' out loud! Ideally, you’ll want to have a leather belt to match in color, as closely as possible, each pair of your dress and casual shoes (dark brown, tan, cordovan, and black).

3) Tuck in your shirt darn it! Repeat as necessary during the day each time you visit the men's room.Again, something that’s very easy to do, a…

Let's at least try. . .

Eeewww!  Didn't his mother ever tell him not to do that?
Let's at least try, in the era of almost everyone over-sharing, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and nothing-ever-seems-to-be-kept-private-anymore to reclaim and maintain some standards of pleasant, polite behavior.  And I'm talking to us average guys.  It's as much a part of kicking up our personal style a notch or three as classic clothing, shoes, and accessories.  Really, it is.  You could be the best dressed, most educated, most financially well off, and most physically attractive person in a room, but crass behavior will undermine all of that.  Fast.  Trust me.

How we look and behave -- and no, it's not nice, but it's a fact of life -- speak volumes about us, who we are, and where we come from.  A sloppy appearance combined with bad language and unrefined behavior will keep lots of people -- family, potential dates, spouses, co-workers, and supervisors for example -- from 'hearing' anything that you m…

Start with your shoes!

The Allen Edmonds suede 'Neumok.'  Quality footwear at an affordable price and EXTREMELY comfortable.  Watch for sales and get yourself a pair in 2013.
Guys, it's time to leave the sneakers and flop-flops behind for this classic in men's footwear. If you're looking for a good place to start in dressing up your feet, something that MANY people notice but don't necessarily comment on, then these Allen Edmonds kicks  are just the ticket.  Speaking from experience, these shoes are comfortable and yet very dressy at the same time. They'll work with either jeans and a sweater or an unstructured jacket, an odd jacket and dress pants, or a suit and tie (just make sure to match your belt as closely as possible). I recommend them highly for those guys who are interested in kicking up there personal style a notch of three in 2013.

Happy New Year and Thoughts for 2013. . .

An old Apparel Arts illustration from the 1940s by the late Laurence Fellows, showing a variety of 'looks' to which we might aspire in our quest to spruce ourselves up beyond the bare slob minimum that is so common these days.
Happy New Year everyone!  In 2013, let's redouble our efforts to dress better and behave more nicely, not because it's required, but because doing so makes us better company.  And frankly, we should simply make these efforts for ourselves, even when we are alone.  


Dressing well boosts one's confidence level appreciably in almost any situation, and that ain't a bad thing.

With that in mind, here are ten related thoughts that have occurred to me during the last week.  For 2013, let's make a concerted effort to cultivate higher degrees of the following in our dress and conduct: 

1) Elegance.
2) Refinement
3) Ease.
4) Comfort.
5) Urbanity.
6) Nonchalance.
7) Good Taste (not as subjective as many might have us believe).
8) Sophistication.
9) Politene…