Entries Tagged as 'Men’s Style'
Capitol Hill Style may focus on women’s fashion, but that doesn’t mean that the men don’t need a little help. Or a lot of help. From male muffin tops to pants that are too short to color combinations that are too garish for a funkadelic Halloween costume, the men of Capitol Hill commit their fair share of faux pas.
In the November issue, the staff at GQ makes over six Capitol Hill gentlemen who were in desperate need of a style intervention. One of the men, 2012′s 50 Most Beautiful winner Max Engling, has made an appearance on this blog before. I believe I called his ill-advised black was canvas jacket reminiscent of a B-movie villian, so I was so glad to see that the stylist at GQ hated the “loud” blazer as much as I did.
Check out the article to see a few Capitol Hill gentlemen get the GQ treatment.
And if you’re looking for a few shops that cater to well dressed gentlemen, I’d start with Hugh and Crye for shirts. Men’s shirts that actually fit better without tailoring and don’t cost an arm and a leg? Yes, please.
Photo via GQ/Mei Tao found on Reliable Source
I see it all the time, the male muffintop. Billowing, baggy men’s shirts that look more like parachutes than button-ups. The man in the photo above looks like he might sail away if a stiff wind kicked up. (Auntie Em, Auntie Em…)
The majority of Hill Staffers can’t afford custom-tailored anything, and many men don’t know that shirts should be tailored to fit close to the body. Most just grab the shirt off of the department store display table without trying it on or even thinking about it will fit them when they remove the packaging.
Most dress shirts are cut generously through the torso so that they fit a wide variety of sizes. Skinny men are supposed to have them tailored to fit, but most just skip that step. It’s either too much hassle or too expensive. So what’s a man with a lean torso supposed to do?
Enter Hugh & Crye, a D.C. shop making shirts that are as close to a custom fit as you’ll find on the rack. Instead of just using neck size and sleeve length, Hugh & Crye also takes into account your torso size when deciding which shirt will fit you best. The shirts come in nine sizes outlined in the chart below, and will fit most men.
There is no reason why the men of D.C. (or America, for that matter) should be dressing above their weight classes. You deserve a shirt that shows off what you have to offer, not one that makes women wonder how much of that added bulk is fabric and how much is hot wings and beer. It’s a poorly-kept secret that well-dressed men get the girls, so why would you ever wear a shirt that fits like my Nana’s best mumu?
But even if attracting women isn’t your primary goal, a young staffer with a bagging, sagging dress shirt looks more like a high school student who dressed up for the first time than a working professional. It doesn’t exactly instill confidence in a man’s maturity and judgment if he can’t even buy a shirt that fits.
So head over to Hugh & Crye and buy yourself a dress shirt that fits close to the body. It’s for your own good. I’d hate for you to get swept away in a tornado without a pair of ruby slippers to bring you back home.
Oh, men. We love you, but we’re less than thrilled about the way many of you dress. Thank goodness that some of your stylish cohorts are creating fashion websites that appeal to those with a Y-chromosome. The newest of these sites is Park & Bond, and it is a godsend.
The site, a subsidiary of Gilt Groupe, is part store, part style blog and offers valuable intel on how to dress for work and play. Some of the helpful articles on the main page include: a tie-tying tutorial (try saying that five times fast!), tips on how to pack a business suit in your suitcase without wrinkling it, and how to choose the right shirt for an August wedding.
Additionally, the site offers readers the chance to chat with a personal stylist free of charge. So men, esp. the men who send me Ask Belle’s, you can now pose your burning fashion questions to an expert.
If I could offer one small critique of the site, like so many women’s fashion sites, the clothes are a bit pricey. Like a $210 passport cover or a $345 Fair Isle sweater, pricey. And while spending a bit of coin on a quality piece is not a crime, I think most men who are using the site to up their game would appreciate a few less expensive pieces. As I think it would be mighty difficult to convince a newbie to drop more than a Benjamin on anything other than a suit.
Other than that, I love the site. I spent probably three hours last night reading the posts on The Intersection. My favorite article? 20 Things You Need to Know About Dress Shirts. I have already forwarded it to every man I know.
Perhaps now, I’ll stop seeing so many men in ill-fitting shirts that gape and pucker. A girl can hope.
So if you have a man in your life who could benefit from a little sartorial direction, toss him a compass and direct him to Park & Bond. Because sometimes it’s better to show, rather than tell.
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been discussing the basics of men’s fashion: buying shoes, proper tailoring, etc. So today, I thought we might shift gears a little bit and talk about what men, who already have the basics covered, can do to bring some added style to their look. And sometimes, it’s the little things that count the most.
The Money Clip. Nothing ruins the line of a perfectly cut suit like a giant ass tumor. So put your Castanza wallet away and start stowing your essentials in a slim, sophisticated money clip. Your rear end will thank you.
Cufflinks. Last week’s tutorial on tailoring mentioned that a man’s shirt sleeves should hang just slightly longer than the sleeves of his suit jacket. This makes a chic pair of cufflinks an essential piece in any man’s wardrobe. Plus, I think cufflinks are really dashing. They just finish off an outfit with a flourish, and it’s a great way to express your personality in the staid world of business attire.
Tie Bars and Tacks. One of my biggest pet peeves is when men wear ties without a tie bar or a tie tack. First off, their utilitarian because they keep your tie from flopping into your food or drink. And secondly, they provide an opportunity to mix a little Rat Pack chic into your ensemble.
Pocket Squares. I’ve mentioned the love I hold for these tiny silk handkerchiefs before, but let me say it again. Pocket squares really lift an outfit. Your basic navy suit makes you just another staffer in a boring blue blazer. But add a pocket square in a tie-coordinated color, and you become as close to GQ as any Hill denizen can be.
If the colors scare you, a basic white or grey pocket square is less intimidating and still suave. And to add even more swank to your suit, Sam Hober offers a myriad of creative ways to fold your pocket square.
On a financial note, I think the best place to buy stylish accessories for men is Etsy. The online shopping site has a great selection of vintage pieces at really low prices. Plus, if I ever asked a man where he got his tie bar, and he responded with, “It’s vintage,” I’d probably go week in the knees. (Just something to think about.)
So if you have the basics covered, these little extras are a great way to boost your look and take your suit from boring to breathtaking. ZZ Top wasn’t lying, every girl is crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.
When I was a little girl, I would sit in a tall wing-backed chairs in Nordstrom’s Men’s Department and watch the tailor fit my Father for his suits. I was always so jealous that I had to buy my clothes off the rack, but my Father could have his custom fit. Of course, now, I know the difference between bespoke and basic tailoring, but part of me is still jealous of how easy it is for men to find clothes that fit.
While women’s sizes vary widely, men have got it made with standardized sizes. Stores who cater to men’s suiting have tailors on site, we don’t even have retailers who cater solely to women’s suiting. And yet, despite these advantages, some men are still walking around the Capitol in suits that look like they came right off of the rack and went straight into their closets.
Whether the cause is no tailoring or poor tailoring, it’s equally sickening. So here are some quick and essential tailoring tips for the masses.
Hemmed Tight. The easiest alteration that your suit will need is that the pants will need to be hemmed. When hemming suit pants there are a couple of facts to consider:
1) How tall are you? If you’re shorter than 5’10″, I don’t recommend cuffed pants. If for some reason, you must have cuffs, make sure that the height of the cuff is proportional to your height.
Why are cuffs bad? Well, if you’re not very tall, having cuffs on your pants is like wearing a measuring stick on your leg. It creates a scale which just accentuates your lack of vertical appeal.
2) As a general rule, the front of your trousers should touch the upper part of your shoe and the back of your trouser should not touch the ground. Where you go from there is up to you. I (like many women) prefer a generous break in the pants. I think that like a wide lapel, it looks a bit more luxe. Though if you prefer something less substantial that’s fine too, as long as it touches the top of your shoe. (This isn’t negotiable. Please stop walking around in pants that are too short. You look like a schmuck.)
Flat and Buttoned. Perhaps, the most egregious of all tailoring issues is when a jacket doesn’t fit through the shoulders. When a man is standing with his arms relaxed at his sides, his lapels should lay flat against his chest. If they lift away from the body, that means his tailor need to find a new profession.
As for the buttons, those should also rest slightly against the body or hang just slightly away depending on your preference. Oh, and if you’re wearing a three-button suit, remember that the rule is sometimes fasten the top button, always fasten the middle button, never fasten the bottom button. If you’re wearing a four button jacket (why would you?), the rule is sometimes, always, sometimes, never. Fastening the buttons this way allows for a looser feel (which is more modern) and more movement in the hips (which is more comfortable).
Hidden Up My Sleeve. Lastly, let’s talk about sleeve length. When standing with the shoulder relaxed and arms at your side, your suit sleeve should touch the base of your thumb. Not the middle of your forearm, not the top of your wrist, the base of your thumb.
In addition, your dress shirt should hang lower than your sleeve by 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch. Nothing says, “My tailor learned his craft from Sweeney Todd,” like having jacket sleeves that are longer than your shirt sleeves.
Is this an exhaustive list? Of course not. There’s also pocket location, button placement, lapel width, fabric content and shoulder seaming to discuss, but that’s another show. Today, I just want to fix the four or five worst offenses. I can conquer the rest in another post.