Would you call it tasteless for your tie to be the same color as your pocket square? I saw someone on tumblr declare it so and I wanted to get a perhaps more professional opinion (:
I think it’s a bad look to have a tie and pocket square been the same color, pattern and material. You gotta switch that up a bit. I wrote a four-part series on how to pick a necktie, which should clear most of this up.
Hey dude! I have red hair, but I'm not a ginger. I like to dress business casual to school (sweaters, sometimes over button downs, cardigans with nice pants and such), but I'm worried I'm going to break some sort of clashing color faux pas with my hair. Are there certain colors or genre of colors I should stay away from? Any I should try to wear especially? Thanks!
If you read through Alan Flusser’s “Dressing the Man”, he spends quite some time talking about the importance of framing one’s face through color. Indeed, not all colors look great on all people — but that shouldn’t scare you away from trying stuff out.
One theory was to use your hair color as a way to frame your face by utilizing a similar color or tone in the jacket you’re wearing. For instance, I have dark black hair, so darker tones like charcoal, midnight blues and potentially black all could help frame my face.
Now, this isn’t to say you should go and buy a red jacket — that might be a bit too much, but certainly I don’t think it would hurt to incorporate some red elements, but mainly I’d stick with earth tones: olive, greens, tans, browns, chocolate and maybe even ecru.
If you have lighter (ie: pale) skin, then stay away from high-contrast combinations, such as black and white, which will only serve to make you look more pale than you already are. You don’t want to use harsh neutrals, instead look for softer natural colors to bring out the color in your skin. Pink is a great OCBD color that ads some life to almost anyone’s face. Blues look great when combined with reds.
For more information, start looking up information on color theory. And if all else fails, hold the items you’re thinking of wearing/buying up to your face and look in a mirror. Ask yourself if those colors will make you look more alive and vibrant, or dead and lifeless.
what dress shoe do you prefer for suit and tie? how bout blazer/khakis/less formal oxfords, derbies/bulchers, or slip ons? wingtip or cap toe?
I think a plain captoe balmoral looks best, but you can easily get away with a shortwing or longwing. If it’s a grey suit, I’d advise black. If it’s navy I’d advise burgundy or a darker brown. You could go with walnut or London tans, but those are more country to me and better with casual-fabric suiting — as does the derby/blucher lacing.
For blazers, loafers work as do bluchers, in browns and tans.
What brand to you prefer or recommend when it comes to knit crew and v-necks? I have had a very hard time finding a "go-to" brand when stocking up on basic sweaters that will keep their shape and last. Also, do you prefer cashmere or any other type of wool to cotton? Thanks!
I’m a big fan of my Howard Yount v-neck lambswool sweaters. Great price for the quality you receive. I probably would prefer wool over the others, simply because of cost it’s cheaper than cashmere and it’s warmer than cotton.
Hey Kiyoshi, what is your opinion on Johnston & Murphy and have you had any personal experiences purchasing from this company? Thank you!!!
I would avoid them. Their quality is not very good and they seem to be targeting low-end retail prices — meaning they’re using cheaper construction. They’re not of the quality they used to be back in the heyday of American shoe manufacturing.
Hi Kiyoshi, i'll be going for my first time to Chicago in a couple of months. I'll probably be on a Frank Lloyd Wright run all day, but a few visits to stores couldn't hurt. (They will hurt my wallet) Anything really special like Haberdash worth of your recommendation?
I’d check out Haberdash (and their EDC store), then make your way north to Oak Street and check out Shrine Haberdashers, Jack Spade and George Greene. If you go down Michigan, it’s worth stopping in at Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren and Mark Shale. There’s also the Saks Men’s store (separate from the Saks Fifth Avenue store, which is across the street), Neiman Marcus, Barney’s and Bloomingdales.
For pizza in the Loop, I’d recommend Exchequer’s (you can call ahead, reserve a seat and order to have the deep dish pizza ready for you when you sit down). Miller’s Pub is one of the few bars I’d recommend if you must drink in the Loop during the evening.
the park avenue and the strand are perfect, but the shoe must be on the sale section to get the 50% off, so im trying to get a regular priced shoe plus the shoe on sale(dress shoe) so i can get the dress shoe for 50%. so im pretty much stuck with whats on sale aha. and i think you dont need a code for the deal to work, you just have to get the full priced shoe, then the shoe on sale gets 50% off. actually i dont know how it works cause its not working for me.i forwarded you the email though
I didn’t see any dress shoes worth buying, to be honest. If you’re looking for some suede bucks though, I’d look at the Bass Brocktons.
Hello! Since you give such good style advice, I thought I'd enlist your help. I've recently got a job with Chester Barrie, and I am to receive a clothing allowance of 2 suits, 5 shirts and 5 ties. Have you any advice on what shirts would be the most versatile? Thanks
Congratulations on the job! Not sure what your personal style is like, but I’d imagine you’d be doing more traditional “city” dress and might want to stick with white shirts rather than blue. I’d probably keep it simple and go with five white shirts, but you’re probably a bit more wiling to use color than I would be.
I’d go with two white shirts (always good to have two, just in case one gets a stain), a blue shirt, a pink shirt and maybe a blue and white bengal striped shirt. Fairly conservative, a bit diverse and easy to coordinate with most suits and ties.
hey so, im trying to get dress shoes from shoebuy since theyre having a bogo, where you get 50% off any sale item when you buy a full priced item. im trying to get a dress shoe thats on sale. i want a black or brown dress shoe, im wearing it it with a slim suit, so like i dont want a bulky one, can you choose one for me? or do you think there are better sales elsewhere?
I would get the Allen Edmonds Park Avenue in black and the Strand in walnut.
Although, I don’t see where this deal is located on the site. Guessing this is an e-mail offer?
Can one wear an untucked sports shirt with a tie? Or should the shirt be tucked in.
I think that looks pretty terrible. It’s like, “I want to be formal and wear a tie — but I also want to be relaxed and casual, so I’ll untuck my shirt.” The end result is a disheveled look that’s incoherent and lacks maturity. It’s lazy and and just looks bad.
Hey Kiyoshi, how easy would it be for one to have a 42 Reg blazer tailored to fit a size 40 with a slimmer (34") waist?
Not easy at all. Don’t do it. It’s a waste of money. The problem is that the shoulder width on a 42” is too wide to fit properly on a size 40” chest. That’s just money down the drain and an expensive alteration that’ll just be disappointing.
Price including shirt and shoes might go north of your budget though. Start sniping eBay for those, if you can. Also, remember to set aside money for alterations. Upside is that a decent pair of black captoe oxfords can be worn with other suits (for interviews, weddings, church, funerals, etc.) — and you can probably find a pair of Allen Edmonds Park Avenues for around $100 if you look long enough on eBay. Bowties can be hand for cheap via The Tie Bar.
I will be in Las Vegas for my birthday come March 7th. My main priority is to purchase a blue/navy velvet blazer, with my remaining budget (around $5000.00) going towards expanding my wardrobe appropriately. So far I've marked down Barneys, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue (as well as Off Fifth), and the North and South Outlet. Any further shopping recommendations along those lines?
There’s a Tom Ford and Kiton store worth popping into. Truth be told though, I have only been to Vegas twice and really didn’t do any shopping. So I’m probably not the best source for this.
I have a Lands end navy blazer whose gaudy brass heraldic shield buttons make it unwearable for me. I am looking to replace the buttons with either navy buttons (more suit like) or brown/Pearl buttons (still odd jacket-ish) I want your advice on what direction to go in as far as button color/material is concerned and also any advice for online merchants. (Looking for a cheap upgrade to an inexpensive jacket) Thanks - Drake
Hey Mr. Silentist, thanks for answering my last question. I have another question about a sort of style rule. The bloggers I read take it for granted that natural materials are preferable to man-made. I recently noticed that the classic Norwegian sweater is part poly, though. What do you make of that? Is that a reason to avoid them? Is the Norwegian an exception? Or are sweaters?
I bought one of the Howard Yount sweaters back in December and I am pretty happy with the quality but a little disappointed in the fit. It isn't bad but it is a little baggy for me through the chest and waist. I love the length and the sleeves couldn't be much shorter without it being a problem. Do you know any other thick lambswool sweaters that are of similar or better quality with a slimmer fit? I don't mind spending money to get something nice since I only need two or three sweaters.
Tough to say. I don’t have excessive sweater sizing knowledge. It seems to vary quite a bit. You’re probably going to have to try out several brands before you find one that works (and then stock up!), which is a pain. I’m sorry I don’t have a trimmer option readily at hand to give you.
Hi love you blog. I'm buying a motorcycle soon and I've been looking at the Schott Perfecto 618, however I'm not sure if I should get the black or the brown. What's the general idea/theory of style behind black and brown jackets? Also do you have any recommendations of any beautiful motorcycle jackets, preferably under $600? Thanks!
I see you already asked the same question to This Fits. I’d go with black though. I just think brown looks best for bomber jackets, but black looks more badass with motorcycle jackets.
I also could be watching too much “Sons of Anarchy”.
I have a question concerning the dress v sport shirt option aswell. What types of shirts should I stay away from if I wanted to pair with jeans? I know there's some fabrics that almost look like silk. Maybe it's me but I don't think it'll look good if I pair it with jeans. Can you inform me on what types of shirts, fabrics, & patterns I should buy & stay away from if I wanted to wear it with jeans?
I would avoid shirts with a French cuff, for one. I would probably avoid shirts sans chest pocket and with a French placket, too. To me, those are more formal shirts.
From there, you’d probably want to avoid shirts that are too “dressy” in nature. If it looks as if it’s meant to go with a suit, then perhaps it’s best to avoid it.
Shirts with patterns (plaid, gingham, checks) are fairly safe with denim. Button-down collars are casual, too. Shorter hems if you intend to wear them untucked. Oxford cloth is a good casual fabric along with chambray, madras, linen and seersucker. I would avoid twills and herringbones and most broadcloths.
Whats the difference between a sport & dress shirt? Can dress shirts be worn casually with jeans? I want to stray away from generic brands such as JCrew & buy better quality shirts. I always wear a pair of raw denim with brown shoes. I prefer to dress more casual & never wear sportcoats. Can you recommend some brands/websites? Looking to spend about $150 per. Also, styles & fabrics for casual look would help with the option of untucked. Not looking for MTM. You can keep this private, thanks!
A sport shirt is generally more casual than a dress shirt. Typically, it’s going to feature things like a button-down collar, front placket, chest pocket, a shorter hem to wear untucked and patterns like plaids. Often retailers will use alpha sizing (S/M/L) instead of exact neck and sleeve sizes.
Dress shirts are meant to be worn tucked in and have a longer hem. They often come in exact sleeve and neck sizes. They’re meant to be worn more formally with a jacket of some sort (sport coat, blazer, suit). The patterns are more often solids, conservative stripes, perhaps an occasional subtle check like a glen plaid. The collars are mostly spread or point (although, some would argue they could be button-down). The more formal dress shirts will have a French placket and French cuff and no chest pocket.
Look at places like traditional retailers like Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren for dress shirts and sport shirts (although, both of their sport shirts come with branded logos, which I’m against). There’s also great choices from Epaulet, Gitman Vintage, Sid Mashburn, WHARF Clothing, Gant, etc.
After moving out to the San Francisco Bay Area last week, my daily commute now consists of maybe getting up off of my bed and into the living room. As you can imagine, this doesn’t necessitate clothing remotely approaching the most casual work attire.
Combine this with the area’s tech-startup culture and you instantly find yourself in a completely different mindset from when you have to get up, get dressed, get on a train and get to an office building each morning for work in the hustle-bustle of Chicago’s Loop.
I’ve continued to wear my uniform, however, I’ve shed parts of it. I don’t put on a sport coat or blazer, nor do I knot a tie around my neck. What you see above is what I wear each day: jeans, a blue OCBD, military web belt and socks (if my toes are cold).
Often, we leave the apartment for lunch and I’ll quickly throw on a pair of desert boots and a navy washed cotton sport coat with a silk pocket square. It’s still casual and gives me the ability to carry my loose items like my wallet, pocket calendar and phones with me around downtown Mountain View.
It’s not something that would ever get you noticed by a street-style photographer in New York during fashion week, but it’s still stylishly practical for the environment I work and live in daily.
I know many will probably find this extremely boring. It’s not challenging. The pocket square is barely trying to interject a color into a very monochrome palette. Wouldn’t a necktie elevate this look? Why not add a more formal element or two? Anyone could do this!
And, yes, anyone could do this. That’s my point. Creating a stylish look is really simple. You don’t need a complicated wardrobe or to really do anything super “advanced” with color, patterns and fabrics. You don’t need to wear a full suit — or even a necktie — to have a cohesive, put-together look. And dressing nicely doesn’t even have to be a daily practice that interferes with your daily life and morning routine.
If you’re living frugally on the Ramen Noodle Budget, don’t think you need to wear a new outfit everyday of the month. No one will ever expect you to never wear the same thing twice. Odds are, if they do notice that you wore the same thing twice, then you’re probably dressing a bit too outrageously to the point where people are remembering your clothing instead of you as the person.
So, realize what you need each day and dress yourself accordingly for your situation. It might turn out that you don’t need much.
Hey Kiyoshi, I was just wondering how the Uniform has been working out for you? Any regrets, second thoughts, uniform breaking, or comments from others that you always seems to be wearing the 'same thing'?
It’s been working out fine. I actually have a forthcoming post about that topic.
No regrets or comments from people. The only “uniform breaking” I do is typically on weekends, where I change things up a bit and wear some non-blue OCBDs and maybe white denim.
Thanks for the suggestion of a good tailor; I had been stalling getting some adjustments for lack of one. I have a few items that aren't especially of good quality, an old cord blazer for one. How can I tell if it can/can't be altered, and should I even bother with it? Someone gave it to me, and I'd like to make it fit well, even if the alterations cost as much as the blazer did. Or would you rather just spend it on a new one from a brand you love? Thanks.
Depends what alterations are needed. If the shoulders are too large, then you’re S.O.L. Nipping the waist, getting cuffs adjusted, those can be done.
Either way, you can have a conversation with a tailor before you get any actual work done. They should know if something’s doable and give you a quote. It’s up to you if it’s worth getting something reworked. Often though, it’s usually not unless it’s a really great garment.
re: I have a slim frame with a long torso. As such, anything that fits my chest inevitably ends up being way to short on me. Any suggestions on where to look? --> You might wanna refer the guy to styleforum and the "38L - the DEFINITIVE thread" (maybe not his exact size, but it discusses things for slim tall guys nonetheless).
Hey man, you were In Las Vegas not too long ago. I'm going in March for a business trip, anything stores worth visiting?
You should stop in the Kiton store, even if you can’t afford a $180 pocket square.
There’s some other stores along the strip, but I didn’t get to stop in and check them out (was kinda sick and I had work to do). Search the StyleForum threads to get a better idea of what’s there. Be warned: it’s hella expensive.
Can you recommend a tailor in Chicago? I have a Barbour quilted jacket that needs to have the sleeves shortened. The only tricky part is that I want to keep the suede trimming in the cuffs, so I'm afraid to just taking it to my local dry cleaners (I live in Hyde Park). Many thanks!
I’d recommend Paul Chang Custom Tailors. They do pretty good work and have a fairly wide range of experience doing things outside the realm of traditional tailored suits. I’d have some outerwear alterations done there in the past and liked the results and have gone to them for several years now.
I have a slim frame with a long torso. As such, anything that fits my chest inevitably ends up being way to short on me. Any suggestions on where to look?
You’re possibly looking at “regular” sized jackets or shirts using S/M/L sizing conventions. For dress shirts, buy them in your actual neck and sleeve lengths. For jackets, look into those with “long” sizing (ie: 38L instead of 38R).
If that’s still not working out for you, then consider using MTM services online. I have a longer torso myself, so I prefer shirt tails to be longer. I basically measure my best-fitting shirt and then input those measurements into their online form and add a few inches to the overall length of the shirt.
For jackets, you might have to look into custom-made items. I kind of doubt it though, as you most people in your situation can probably work with a “long” sizing off the rack.