12 Ways to Stay Cool While Wearing Classic Menswear

There’s a certain type of man–and I include myself in this group–who sees it as a matter of principle to wear tailored clothing no matter what the weather. We’re the sort who never wear shorts except at the beach and feel naked without a jacket.

So, even when it’s pushing 90 degrees, we still wear suits or sport coats and repeatedly get asked the question “Aren’t you hot?.” Although we may treat the question as a statement and say “Thanks for the compliment!” the fact is we may indeed be sacrificing comfort and sweating for the sake of elegance. However, there are certain things we can do to stay cool (literally!) as gentlemen who love to wear tailored clothes in summer temps.

12 Ways to Stay Cool Wearing Classic Menswear in the Heat

Carrera with Fresco, Boutonniere & Knit Tie

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing a Fresco suit with a Fort Belvedere cornflower boutonniere & Knit Tie

1. Choose the Right Summer Fabrics for Your Tailoring

While a worsted wool suit is sometimes marketed as year-round wear, the fact is it is appropriate for only three seasons in most cases, and the excluded season is summer. If you must wear a suit for work, in the realm of pure wool, you can wear fresco, which looks close enough to worsted though with an open weave that allows ventilation.

Seersucker is also a popular, albeit bold, suiting option for keeping cool as its puckered texture, owed to the way the fabric is woven, keeps it away from your skin and allows air circulation. You could also opt for a suit of pure linen, which may be the coolest wearing fabric, but the wrinkling can be problematic for professional settings: if you sit for a long time, it’ll make the backs of your knees look like an accordion when you get up.

Sophisticated Wrinkles a of Cotton and Linen Blend Fabric

Sophisticated wrinkles of a cotton and linen blend fabric

However, if you have the freedom to wear a sport coat, then linen is definitely in play. If you’re limited to suits (and for sports coats with less wrinkling) find a linen blend instead, like a cotton-linen or wool-linen-silk combination.

2. Lose the Lining

 

 

Gagliardi Summer jacket

A summer jacket from Gagliardi that is likely quarter-lined, with visible “butterfly lining” at the upper back only.

Thankfully, tailors and menswear manufacturers of off-the-rack jackets and suits understand that summer is hot and usually make their seasonal tailoring available unlined or with minimal lining: either half lined, meaning the sleeves, upper half and sides of the jacket but not the lower back; or quarter lined, meaning just the sleeves and upper back.

Half lining, Pen Pocket, Sunglass or phone pocket and white piping on the inside

Half lined jacket for the summer

The latter is sometimes called “butterfly lining” since the overlapping lining looks like the open wings of a butterfly. Some jackets may be totally unlined and thus shirt-like, though the insides of the sleeves will still usually be lined to help them lie neatly on your arms. Sleeve lining also lets you put your jacket on and take it off more easily. However, you may find jackets from spring/summer collections that have full lining; these are fine for spring but be careful avoid them in truly hot weather. The ultimate summer jacket is one that also has no canvas and is thus “unconstructed.” While canvassing helps the jacket conform to your body over time, it adds another layer of material to the garment.

3. Leave Your Jacket Unbuttoned

Pedro Mendes in summer blue jacket with pink flowery pocket square, white button down shirt, sky blue chinos and tan oxfords

Pedro Mendes in an open blue jacket with a pink flowery pocket square, a white button-down shirt, sky blue chinos and tan oxfords

The rule of style that you must keep your suit jacket buttoned whenever you are standing doesn’t account for situations when the temperature is scorching. If you’re in an air-conditioned office, you’re fine, but if you’re walking around in the heat, open that button. It’s summer and leaving it open appropriately reflects the casualness of the season while even injecting a bit of sprezzatura into your look.

4. Wear Summerweight Shirts

Open weave shirt fabric

Open weave shirt fabric

Unlike a blazer or suit, the shirt you wear under your jacket doesn’t have as many restrictions, as it is partly hidden. So, the wrinkling of linen is not as apparent, though a cotton-linen blend shirt provides the best balance of coolness and a crisp appearance. Giro inglese, also known as Airtexis the second option. It’s essentially cotton woven with an open weave, which lets air circulate through. These shirts are quite transparent when worn on their own, but you don’t need to worry about exposing your nipples if you have a jacket on.

5. Wear a Polo Shirt

With suits and sport coats, a long-sleeve shirt is usually de rigueur, but the short sleeve polo is a possibility if your jacket is more unstructured. The more informal and shirt-like your jacket is, the less unusual it looks not to have any cuffs peeking out from under your jacket sleeves. If you dislike the idea or have a more structured jacket, there are long-sleeve polos made with cotton jersey, which is very lightweight, or cotton pique, which has a more open weave.

Long sleeve summer polo

A long sleeve polo shirt made of sheer Jersey cotton lisle material.

6. Skip the Undershirt

This seems like a no-brainer, but some men, especially in the US, swear by the undershirt, particularly as a means of protecting dress shirts from perspiration. While you will likely sweat more in hot weather, putting on an additional layer of clothing only exacerbates the problem, and you’ll probably sweat through your undershirt anyway. Just launder your shirts regularly. If you’re dead set on wearing an undershirt, there are ultra-lightweight versions available that will minimize the added weight. These are meant more to be “invisible” though than specifically to beat the heat.

t-shirt as an undershirt

Though you should never show your undershirt under any circumstances, you can skip wearing one altogether in hot weather.

7. Skip the Tie Entirely, or Wear a Bow Tie

A unique navy blazer can work to give you a second jacket without looking similar to your suit jacket

A unique navy blazer can work to give you a second jacket without looking similar to your suit jacket

If a tie is not required, leave it at home during the height of summer and open your collar. I admit that I have a summer tie collection that I love and am loathe to give up the opportunity to make use of them. But over 85 degrees F, the tie will have to wait for another day. This is more of a possibility with a sport coat and pants combination than with a full suit, as some people find the suit with no tie look to be unsightly. However, if your suit is linen or otherwise “casual,” you can certainly pull it off better than with a worsted business suit. When you go tieless, compensate by choosing a shirt that has a pattern, perhaps stripes or a grid. Decorum and good taste demand that you open nothing lower than the second button on your shirt, however, unless you’re at the beach.

Or simply choose a bow tie instead; the lack of fabric laying on your chest will feel much cooler.

8. Unbutton Your Sleeve Cuffs

Leaving your shirt cuffs unbuttoned is a true sprezzatura move, reflecting a personal insouciance or nonchalance. Italians do it with French cuffs, leaving them open, without cufflinks, and even unfolded. But you can do the same with barrel cuffs, as it allows air to circulate better up your arms rather than having a buttoned sleeve fastened tightly around your wrists. Related to this, you can also open the small button on the forearm of your shirt as well.

Lino displaying sprezzatura - sunglasses, open shirt cuffs, wristbands, ring, sunglasses, cigarette, jacket on the shoulders, sleeve cuffs undone

Lino displaying his version of sprezzatura with open shirt cuffs

9. Wear White

Off white 3 piece suit, pastel green winchester shirt, Panama hat and self tie bow tie

Off-white 3 piece suit, pastel green Winchester shirt, Panama hat and self-tie bow tie

Put away your dark clothes, which work to absorb heat, in favor of lighter tones, but especially white. There’s a reason why people who live in equatorial nations wear a lot of white—they recognize its reflective properties.

Pedro breaking the rule here wearing tan oxfords with matching socks and contrasting white pants

Pedro Mendes breaking a rule by wearing tan oxfords with matching socks and contrasting white pants

For the practical purpose of cooling, try white pants or a white sport coat, but not at the same time unless you’re conjuring the ghost of Tom Wolfe. There are circumstances when a white suit looks good, but it can be difficult to achieve successfully. For more on the subject, check out our article on how to wear white.

10. Choose Looser Fits

Slim (and super slim) fits have been popular in recent years, particularly among younger guys (and attendees of Pitti Uomo). In summer, abandon the clinging cloth of slim shirts and trousers and opt for wider legs on pants and looser sleeves on shirts to increase airflow.

Yellow Linen Vest with Sky Blue Linen Suit

This sky blue linen suit has a looser fit that is still crisp and flattering

Linen trousers naturally make use of the same principle as the stiffness of the flax fibers keeps them off your skin. They do tend to bag a bit, so a cotton-linen blend is again the ideal compromise. Of course, you don’t want your legs to be so wide that they look like flags fluttering in the breeze.

11. Wear Loafers with “Invisible Socks”

Warm weather is the time for loafers, but more because they conjure an atmosphere of relaxation than for their heat-dissipating properties. For that, you can abandon longer socks in favor of so-called “no-show” or “invisible” socks (socklets?) and loafers. The ankle-cooling effect, which also transfers up your legs, cannot be underestimated. For those who absolutely refuse to give up wearing visible socks, this may be an occasion for linen socks or ones that only rise to the mid-calf. Some men swear absolutely that they will wear nothing but over-the-calf (OTC) hosiery, and I am one of those people, but only when the weather is cool enough for it. Believe me, when it’s 100 in the shade, you’ll regret having 50% more of your leg wrapped in fabric.

12. Put on a Panama hat

Dr Andre Churchwell with Panama hat, and striped suit with boutonniere and spectators

Dr. Andre Churchwell with Panama hat, and striped suit with boutonniere and spectators

It’s often said that your head is the first thing you need to keep cool in the summer (and warm in the winter) to regulate your body temperature. This makes sense as your head is the highest point on your body and can get baked if the sun is directly above you. The solution is a Panama Hat: stylish, light in color and weight, with a breathable weave and a brim that also protects your eyes from glare. Read our summer hat guide for other possibilities, including the straw boater.

13.  Have an Aperitivo!

Enjoy a classic Pimm's Cup in the heat

Enjoy a classic Pimm’s Cup in the heat

Here’s a bonus tip for a “baker’s dozen.” Take your tailored self to a dimly lit bar, ideally in a Mediterranean destination like Italy or Spain. Barring that, settle for a Pimm’s cup or a G&T in the UK, where the weather (usually) doesn’t get too hot in summer anyway.

Conclusion

In a world where heatwaves and hottest days on record occur even when it isn’t summer, keeping cool is even more important for anyone who wants to be better dressed than wearing a t-shirt and shorts. When it’s 90 degrees, and I am not at the beach, I do sometimes, and with great reluctance, wear just a polo shirt or a long-sleeve jersey shirt with light trousers. However, I also find that covering yourself with cloth can be even better than exposing your skin to the broiling hot sun.

To some extent, there’s always the possibility that we have to compromise on our wardrobe choices, but we also need to be prepared, so we can continue to wear the tailoring we love. Ultimately, the principles behind all the tips for staying cool are 1) reducing the layers and thickness of the clothes you wear and 2) avoiding as much fabric-to-skin contact as possible, which then allows more air to circulate.

Make use of these principles to stay cool in summer to whatever extent you please, depending on your individual style–how casual or formal you are–and how much you can stand the heat.

What do you do when the mercury rises? Share your approach in the comments section below.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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How to Wear White as a Menswear Color

For many men, the only white articles of clothing they wear are white dress shirts, undershirts, and underwear. They may avoid white either because it seems to be too bold a statement, they are concerned about keeping it clean, or it’s simply nowhere to be found.

Or, white can simply be taken for granted. However, a full range of white clothes has much to recommend for the contemporary gent, and the arrival of summer is the perfect opportunity to add more white to your wardrobe. Today we will explore the different ways men can wear white.

Double Breasted Off White Suit

Double-breasted off-white suit with white shoes

A Brief History of White Clothes

White was originally associated with the garb of the wealthy for a variety of reasons, first of all, because keeping white clothing clean was expensive in the age before dry cleaning and washing machines, requiring regular care and maintenance that was beyond the reach of many.

Beau Brummell in 1805

Beau Brummell in 1805 wearing a white shirt and stock

By extension, wearing white was an outward sign that you had enough money to afford the luxury of its care. More than this, it showed you were rich enough that you didn’t even need to engage in any manual labor where you had a chance of getting dirty.

Tennis-Cable-Knit-V-neck-Sweater-Apparel-Arts-1936

Two gentlemen, one wearing a classic tennis sweater and shorts ensemble, which the other sports white pants, a gray blazer, and a red carnation boutonniere in an Apparel Arts illustration from 1936

White was also the color worn by those people–again, the wealthy elite–who went to resorts and country destinations in the summer, both because white helps reflect hot sunlight and because it enforced the idea of leisure.  They would participate in sporting activities on holiday, which is how tennis became associated with white uniforms. When the well-heeled returned to the city in the autumn, they switched back to more drab gear, hence the supposed “no white after Labor Day” rule.

Leonardo DiCaprio as the great Jay Gatsby in a white suit. Does he look sullen because he has to keep it clean?

The good news is that today, we have the luxury of washing machines and fairly inexpensive dry cleaning, so wearing white is not limited to the rich. There may still be some situations where wearing the color can evoke class associations, which will be discussed below, but for the most part, it can be worn by anyone on a variety of different occasions.

When Can You Wear White?

The short answer is summer; the long answer is that it’s possible any time of the year if done properly.

White Looks Best in Warm, Sunny Weather

In hot weather, white keeps you cool as it reflects sunlight, something you can see from the prevalence of white clothes in hot climates, including the Middle East and India. The very brilliance of white itself makes it look its best in the sunshine. For this reason, it’s especially at home in resort-like settings. Think the Greek islands, the Amalfi Coast, and the French or Italian Riviera in July. This includes cruises, which also are warm-weather ventures. To be honest, white also looks best with tanned skin because of the contrast, so if you’re fair or pale as a sheet, you should consider other light colors that will give you better contrast. Those who have olive, tanned or brown complexions have it made when it comes to wearing white.

White in a summer holiday setting.

In Cooler or Cloudy Weather

In cloudy weather, white clothes can look out of place. The false “no-white-after-Labor-Day” rule notwithstanding, predominantly white outfits are usually avoided after summer because what looks great in August looks glaring when days are not as bright. White demands sunlight to tame it and tone it down. In fall and winter, muted hues like olive green, gray, and brown are prevalent both in nature and as attire. Follow the seasonal trend. This is also good wisdom to follow because cold weather usually brings rain and thus mud, snow, and slush, all of which can wreak havoc on white garments. However, you can wear winter white, which is an off-white rather than a pure white, on sunny December days, few they may be, usually in the form of flannel pants. I find that when January comes along, I am longing for something to remind me of summer, so if I get a sunny blue-sky day I’m putting on winter-white trousers. With global climate change, there is bound to be a 50-degree mid-winter day when you can do it.  Of course, if you are fortunate to live in a climate where sunshine and warmth are in abundance year round (Florida comes to mind), you can wear regular white nearly anytime you, please.

White for Winter

White for winter, well probably Italian winter rather than Minnesota winter.

How to Wear White

White Shirts

One might imagine that the basic white dress shirt doesn’t require much discussion since it’s the one white item most men own (not including white unmentionables); a white shirt is standard. However, some lesser known information about white shirts can be useful to help you maintain classic style. Originally, the long-sleeved white shirt with buttons and a collar that we know today was seen as an undershirt, meant to be hidden: hence the requirement to wear waistcoats and vests and ties–anything to hide as much of the white as possible. Nowadays, we wear white button-down shirts uncovered with just a pair of pants, which our forbears would see as us going about in our undergarments.

Napoleaon's Shirt which was only worn as an undershirt with extremely fine hand stitching

Napoleon’s shirt, which was only worn as an undershirt despite its extremely fine hand-stitching

Although we may applaud the more relaxed standards of the present when it’s 90 degrees out, and we can wear only a white polo and jeans without getting looks of disgust, some of the associations of white shirts with underwear still apply today, particularly when you’re wearing tailoring or are dressed formally. When you put on a tuxedo, for example, you’re supposed to wear a black cummerbund or a waistcoat to prevent the white of your shirt from showing beneath the bottom button of your jacket. When you wear a vest, either as part of a three-piece suit or in a different color or pattern with the bottom button open, your trousers are supposed to have a high enough rise to avoid showing the white of your shirt under your vest. It goes without saying that if you are actually wearing a white undershirt, it should never be exposed at your neck. To remember these style rules, it’s useful to think of the white t-shirt as underwear, and by traditional standards of propriety at least, you shouldn’t show your underwear.

A definite style don't: a visible undershirt

A definite style don’t: a visible undershirt

Another consideration that may alter your thinking about white shirts is the fact that white can be stark and cold because of its brightness, so while it works like a charm with suits or sport coats in cool colors (gray, blue) if you’re wearing warmer hues like a green linen sport coat or brown flannel suit, you might choose a shirt in ivory or ecru (white with a warm yellow undertone) or light blue instead to soften the contrast.

White Pants

After a white shirt, white trousers are probably the next most common clothing item in menswear, though the drop off is steep in terms of how many men wear them. Pants may also be the most difficult white item to wear in terms of keeping them clean, which could account for their rarity. On sunny summer weekends, I prefer the Southern European vibe created by wearing white cotton pants, especially when paired with bright linen sports coats. White pants are more difficult for the workplace because they do present a strong statement in their own right; however, you can make them fade back, so they almost become the equivalent of a white shirt, if you pair them with softer or more muted jacket colors like olive, brown or navy.

White Ring Jacket trousers

White trousers can look fairly subdued when paired with more muted colors.

Of course, a navy blazer, especially double breasted with gold buttons and white trousers make for a classic nautical-themed outfit. Now you’re off work again and on a boat, whether it be a city cruise, two-week cruise to the Caribbean, or your own private yacht. This is the one place where white (in combination with other garments, admittedly) still can evoke class consciousness and accusations of snobbery.

Ralph Lauren in a Navy Double Breasted Blazer and White Pants

Ralph Lauren in a navy double-breasted blazer and wide white pants, a look that screams upper class; the car doesn’t hurt either.

As if to ruin all the fun, white pants do present the particular hazard of getting dirty fast; the hems will readily accumulate street grime and the seat can become sullied at a moment’s notice if you sit on a subway or park bench. I have a number of solutions. First, buy cotton that can be washed. Then spot treat and wash any individual stains at the end of the day or shortly thereafter. For the rare situations when more extensive marking occurs, even if the item says “dry clean only,” you can hand-wash white cotton chinos or put them in the washing machine with cold water on the gentle cycle. Of course, you can just dry clean. Secondly, spend less on white pants. It is easier to enjoy wearing a $ 189 pair of white pants from SuitSupply and wash it occasionally than worry about damaging an $ 800 pair from Salvatore Ambrosi, bespoke quality notwithstanding.

Beyond that, exercise precautions when wearing white trousers. For instance, I avoid sitting directly on the half-wall at Pitti Uomo before making sure it isn’t covered with cigarette ash. When I’m on vacation mode and wearing white pants, I’m also often carrying a pamphlet, map, site guide or other fold-out documents that I use to sweep away debris before I sit; or I unfold and sit on the paper. Better to look a bit fastidious than ruin one’s pants!

White trousers at Pitti Uomo

Men sitting on the Pitti Uomo half wall while wearing white pants in cool weather

So, yes, white trousers (and jackets) do require a certain degree of added caution and care as well as extra fastidiousness. But, if you’re already the sort of guy who spends time getting your tie dimple exactly right or who polishes his shoes to a mirror shine, this will be nothing new to you. If anything, it’s a chance to slow down and be mindful, which we need in our accelerated world.  If you aren’t the cautious sort, then you’re also likely from the school of thought that says white clothes are meant to show some character marks, so you too can wear them and just not give a damn. The penchant of Gazette readers for tailored clothes also makes wearing white pants easier: even if you sit on something, you can rest assured in the fact that your rear end will be obscured by the vent flap of your jacket when you’re walking around.

Visible pocket liners with white trousers

Pocket liners are often visible with white cotton pants

The second issue with white pants is their relative transparency: the bare skin of your thighs where they touch the cloth will generally be somewhat visible through your trousers. You can solve the issue by purchasing (or commissioning) white pants that are lined to the knee, but an added heat-inducing layer sort of defeats the purpose of reflecting sunlight by wearing white. I personally wear gray underwear that covers my thighs and again rely on my sport coat to (literally) cover my rear end. Pocket liners are another story though, as it is common for these to be visible through the fabric on the front of white pants. One option is to cut the liners out and stitch closed the remnant, professionally or otherwise. You’ll lose the use of the front pockets, but those who privilege style over functionality are reluctant to load the front pockets of trousers anyway to preserve clean lines.

Another is to find a pair of white pants with no pocket liners, to begin with. Bonobos used to sell chinos with this option. The last possibility is to just go with it–visible pocket liners are part of a casual “I don’t care” summer look, like wrinkled linen. Then again, the quarters of your wrinkled linen sports coat may hide the liners anyway.

Toni Rossi from Halston in Naples wearing white

Toni Rossi from Halston in Naples wearing white

White Suits and Sport Coats

There’s a certain man or type of man who can pull off a white suit. When I was growing up, that man was Don Johnson, but nowadays, you don’t want to remind people of Miami Vice circa 1984. The other option is to go for more of a “Southern Gentleman” look a la Tom Wolfe, whose trademark white suit has been in the news more since his passing; the effect can be similar to wearing seersucker.  It should be noted, however, that Wolfe has said he wore white initially to get attention as a reporter. People would notice him in a crowd of other journalists and answer his questions. Rest assured, you too will be noticed too in a white suit. Furthermore, you want to avoid being labeled the guy who imitates Tom Wolfe. Safer and a bit easier to pull off is an off-white or cream suit, in some warm weather fabric like cotton or linen, but safer yet is hedging your bets and halving the risk by wearing just the top half.

Tom Wolfe in a white suit

Tom Wolfe in his iconic white suit; we find the dark shirt and socks a bit too stark in terms of contrast

White sports coats present the perfect opportunity to break out the colored shirts. I personally favor light blue or perhaps a navy and white gingham plaid shirt, though avoid dark colored shirts because the contrast will be too strong, and you’ll end up evoking John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.

White Jacket At Sea 4

White jacket worn at sea with a blue shirt

Yes, you can wear a pure white shirt with a white jacket, whether a linen sports coat for summer or a dinner jacket, but to do this successfully, you want to create a bit of contrast or differentiation between your two layers. To some extent, this will be natural since no two whites are exactly alike; the difference in the material will present different gradients of white. Furthermore, most white jackets are in reality off-white since linen and wool cannot be dyed to a pure white because of natural oils and the overall nature of the fibers. So, your white shirt will always be whiter than your jacket. However, you can emphasize the distinction further by wearing a white shirt with some sheen (like a royal Oxford) or a subtle pattern, like end-on-end, twill or herringbone.

A white herringbone shirt

A white shirt with a subtle pattern can help distinguish it if you wear a white jacket along with it.

Whether you get an off-white suit or a white jacket, it’s paramount that your choice fits you well. If it’s already too big it will look even bigger on you because white clothes reflect back a lot of light to the viewer; it’s a matter of optics.

White for Formal Wear

Though evening wear is usually associated with black tie, the dinner jacket worn by Sean Connery’s James Bond in Goldfinger has become an inspiration for those looking to inject “white”–well, ivory, actually–into formal wear. Most commonly the white dinner jacket makes an appearance in tropical weddings or cruises near the equator.

Sean Connery as James Bond wearing a white dinner jacket with a red carnation boutonniere

Sean Connery as James Bond wearing a white dinner jacket with a red carnation boutonniere

In the Bond films, it is worn variously in the Bahamas, Morocco, India, and Latin America; a hot climate is essential. Even though a white dinner jacket may be worn by some in hot weather anywhere, like an outdoor summer opera in the UK, it is usually seen by purists as out of place.

Ralph Lauren 4x1 Dinner Jacket

Ralph Lauren 4×1 White Shawl Collar Dinner Jacket

If you do wear it, a shawl collar is preferred rather than a peak lapel, as the shawl is more in line with the relaxed nature of the white jacket; pockets should still be jetted rather than flap. Your choice of material should be a light wool even though cotton or linen versions can be found, as these will rumple and wrinkle. Check out our guide to dinner jackets for more specifics on the white version.

White Menswear Accessories

After the white dress shirt, the other essential white item most men own is a white linen pocket square, whose presence is intended to coordinate with said white shirt under all conditions: with a tux, a suit, or a sport coat. For an added accent of white, go beyond the idea of the pocket square and use a white boutonniere flower, like a white carnation, rose or edelweiss (for something different), all available from Fort Belvedere.

White boutonnieres Fort Belvedere

White boutonnieres from Fort Belvedere

White neckties are rarer but can stand out as something different, again, mainly in warm, sunny weather. They aren’t the easiest to find but are generally white silks printed with a small geometric motif in other colors. These are sharp enough to be “ceremonial” or wedding ties but can also be dressed down, perhaps with a blue linen sports coat. As with all light-colored ties, the prime consideration is making sure it stands out visually from your shirt, so a white tie can suggest wearing a light blue shirt instead of another white. Or, you can cheat and go with an ivory tie. Just remember not to go too dark with your shirt to avoid making the outfit look inelegant.

A white silk tie with geometric motif

A white silk tie will still stand out against a white cotton shirt.

Just as every man is advised to own a white linen pocket square, he is also warned never to wear white socks. This should not be a strict rule, as it is presented as a way to keep people from wearing white gym socks outside of athletic settings. White dress socks are different. In those situations where you can’t wear low-cut invisible socks with white trousers, what else would you wear? This is even more true for winter white flannel pants. White dress socks are even more difficult to find than white neckties but a pair or two in cotton or linen should be part of your wardrobe if you own white pants.

Pantherella white dress socks

Pantherella white dress socks

White Shoes

Continuing with footwear, white shoes are an underappreciated choice for summer shoes. Interestingly, more men will wear white sneakers (with the aforementioned white gym socks) than white dress shoes. The classic American choice is white bucks. Readers of a certain age will remember “The White Buck Kid,” singer Pat Boone, who was known for these shoes, but they are associated more broadly with trad style. As the name implies, they are made of white deer leather or buckskin, and the good thing about them is that if they get scuffed or distressed, it’s an expected part of their character.

white buckskin shoe

If you want to mix white with another hue, you can try spectators instead. Defined simply as two-toned shoes, usually Oxfords or derbies with a wingtip and broguing, spectators are a showy choice with vintage appeal that can pair with other classic menswear like tab collar shirts and collar pins. As such they are also more formal than bucks.

Navy Jacket, Winchester Shirt with Club Collar, Collar Pin & Spectators

Spectator shoes pair well with white trousers.

Conclusion

After reading about the many possibilities for wearing white, hopefully, you will try adding more of this hue to your wardrobe, and not just in the form of another white shirt or pocket square. White embodies the spirit of summer, and in cold weather, you can still wear winter white on sunny days to brighten up the season. You do have to be somewhat outgoing to wear it, especially in our drab casual culture, but if you’re well dressed, you’ll stand out anyway, so add some individual panache and boldly put on white.

How do you wear white? Share your experience in the comments section below.


Gentleman’s Gazette

MEN FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Look like a Gentleman, Travel in Style and Enjoy the Best in Men’s Accessories at Hook & Albert. Get 20% Off Your First Order with Coupon Code TAKE20. Shop Now!

Male Corsets and Golden Cowboy Boots: The Paris Menswear Shows Delighted In Blurring Gender

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

PARIS—Since when has Men’s Fashion Week in Paris been a glamorous, hipper-than-hip event? And since when have the outfits been hotter and pinker than those designed for this city’s legendary Folies Bergère cabaret show?

The answer might be since this season, when the “Homme” Spring/Summer 2019 collections (June 19-24, 2018) had it all. More usually attended by a well-groomed, insiders’ club of male buyers and reporters, the once duller-than-Sunday-lunch menswear collections were anything but this season. What’s more, they attracted the in-crowd to bear witness. Everyone from Naomi Campbell to Rihanna and Kanye West sat front row.

Some of this had to do with the fashion world’s equivalent of musical chairs or new blood. Some came down to the creative minds charged with forever reinventing fashion, and currently pushing the bar in getting men to rethink “acceptable” dressing-up codes.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast — Fashion

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Pockets in Menswear: The Complete Guide

One of the things that a gentleman eventually notices and appreciates when wearing tailored clothes is just how many pockets a suit or sport coat has.

Pockets, whether on a jacket or other article of clothing, are a key but often overlooked practical feature in clothing. In this article we will explore the range of pockets that appear in classic menswear.

A Brief History of the Pocket

From prehistory all the way up until the 17th century, what we consider to be a pocket–pouches sewn into clothing–did not exist. Instead, some sort of external purse or tie-on pouch, usually in the form of a belt, was the norm to carry money and other small items. In fact, the celebrated Bronze Age “iceman,” Ötzi, was discovered with just such a belt pouch.

A sculpted life-size rendition of Ötzi the Iceman wearing his belt pouch, also visible in its original state at right.

A sculpted life-size rendition of Ötzi the Iceman wearing his belt pouch, also visible in its original state at right.

A disadvantage of this was that when you were carrying valuables, their visible presence furnished a temptation to thieves and literal “cut-purses.” So, the solution was to hide the items below layers of clothing, first in the form of pouches accessed via slits in one’s outer garments and then, at least in menswear, through the creation of the contemporary covered pocket sewn into the lining. Interestingly, women’s clothes rarely if ever contained pockets, and even to this day, women’s dresses tend not to have them, so women often find themselves needing a purse to carry necessities. The discrepancy between gendered clothing was so important that a part of the women’s rights and suffrage movements was a push for women’s garments to contain pockets for their practicality. However, the differences mostly still remain.

Early 19th century French fashion illustrations emphasizing pockets in menswear.

Early 19th-century French fashion illustrations emphasizing pockets in menswear, including the, ahem, interesting placement of the second one

Jacket Pockets

Though pants pockets are more widely used, when it comes to actually talking about pockets in menswear, suit jackets and sports coats get most of the attention, probably because of their interesting variety. In a nutshell, there are three main forms of external pockets on jackets in order of increasing formality: patch, flap, and jetted.

1. Patch Pockets

Patch pockets are common on sport coats like this one from Pini Parma.

Patch pockets are common on sport coats like this one from Pini Parma.

The patch pocket is in a sense the most “primitive” as its construction is also the most basic: a patch made of the same material as the jacket itself is simply stitched onto the surface. It is the least hidden of the pocket types, as it, as well as the contents it contains, rests above the garment surface; in this way, it has something in common with early external pouches. The patch pocket is seen as casual because its construction is highly visible, so it appears primarily on sport coats. If it appears on a suit, the suit is immediately rendered casual rather than appropriate for business wear; on the other hand, you could also likely split the suit and wear the top as an odd jacket.

Because they are spacious and wide opening at the top, patch pockets invite you to stick your hands in them for casual loafing. They also invite you to toss things into them; however, if patch pockets are laden with heavy items, even keys or a large mobile phone, they can sag, creating a sloppy appearance and permanently warping their appearance, even when they are empty. Pressing the pocket with an iron can help with this, but the best approach is prevention: use these pockets only for light items. Despite having some shortcomings, I personally prefer patch pockets on my sport coats for their relaxed appearance and what I consider a cleaner look than flap pockets.

Oatmeal tweed jacket

Finally, on occasion, you will come across a blended pocket, such as this patch pocket with a flap, which steps up the formality of the pocket slightly above a plain patch pocket.

Green jacket, camel doeskin vest, striped woll tie, small checked shirt, blue cornflower bz Fort Belvedere

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing a green jacket with flap pockets paired with a camel doeskin vest, a striped wool tie, small checked shirt, and a blue cornflower by Fort Belvedere

2. Flap Pockets

Next in formality is the flap pocket. This differs from the patch pocket because the pouch exists beneath the surface of the jacket and is covered with a flap made from the same material as the jacket itself. This was originally supposed to keep debris from getting into jacket pockets when worn in the country. Flap pockets occupy a sort of middle ground in terms of formality: they are the main choice for business suits, but they can also appear on sport coats as a testament to their casual origins.

Definitely a fashion faux pas - your tie should never peek out from under your jacket

Oops, both pocket flaps should be untucked (and don’t let your tie peek out from under your jacket either)

Because it is soft, the flap often ends up tucked inside the pocket, which can look sloppy if you have one tucked in and one not.

An example of jetted pockets on a summer sport coat

An example of jetted pockets on a summer sport coat

3. Jetted Pockets

Sometimes, men will comment that they prefer to leave the flaps on their pockets tucked in, and, actually, flap pockets were originally intended to be worn this way; the flaps were only taken out if they were necessary to keep rain or debris from getting in. Essentially, a tucked in flap creates impromptu jetted pockets for a cleaner, more polished silhouette. These are the most formal pocket style, appearing on evening wear and formal morning dress alike, though they can also appear on suits and even on sport coats. Their appropriateness for formal clothing, however, lies in their streamlined appearance, since all you see of the pocket is a slit. Jetted pockets are also referred to as besom pockets or welted pockets; the term “welted” refers to the reinforced edges (welts) of the slit, which are partially decorative and partially practical support.

Horizontal ticket pockets compared to angled ticket pockets on a three-button tweed  hacking jacket.

Horizontal ticket pockets compared to angled ticket pockets on a three-button tweed  hacking jacket.

4. The Ticket Pocket

Usually, the discussion of jacket pockets–and of menswear pockets in general–ends here. However, this omits a great number of others that are present on jackets. The ticket pocket, for example, is a third pocket that appears on the lower quarters of a jacket, above the main right pocket. This is because the wearer is assumed by default to be right-handed and would reach into it with his dominant hand. Lefties have to go bespoke or made to measure for the same convenience. The ticket pocket is most commonly flapped and slightly smaller than the pocket below it, though jetted versions exist. The name hints at its original purpose as a feature for train travel: a gentleman traveling to the country would carry his ticket in it, which is also why it technically should be a feature on British country-style jackets, such as tweeds, rather than those intended to be worn for business. When it appears on three-button hacking jackets, the ticket pocket, and indeed, all the flap pockets, may be cut on an upward sloping diagonal; this makes it easier to access the pockets while on horseback, further reinforcing their country associations.

A Neapolitan barchetta pocket and a patch breast pocket.

A Neapolitan Barchetta pocket and a patch breast pocket.

5. The Breast Pocket

The common chest or breast pocket is welted, having a visible edge. A variant that displays a dash of rakish sprezzatura is the barchetta (little boat) pocket of classic Neapolitan tailoring, with welting that is curved like the shape of a boat. In the days before tissues, handkerchiefs had a very real use, and putting them in the breast pocket kept them separate from the potentially dirty objects one carried in the main pockets of a jacket. Today, the hankie or pocket square is largely ornamental, and what better place to display one than the upper chest, where it also can visibly coordinate with a tie? Choose a pocket square that isn’t too bulky, as large ones will make your pocket bulge and thereby break the clean line of your left lapel.

The left lapel line is often "broken" if the pockets on that side of the jacket are filled.

The left lapel line is often “broken” if the pockets on that side of the jacket are filled.

Interestingly, women’s jackets often omit the breast pocket though they are omnipresent in menswear.

In the realm of less casual tailored jackets, you may find a patch breast pocket instead of the usual welted version. This will always appear in conjunction with other patch pockets on the jacket, never with flap or jetted ones. In field jackets or safari jackets, which are even more casual, you are likely to find a hybrid pocket–a patch pocket with flaps. These feature larger, thicker flaps than what you see on tailored jackets or a flap that buttons or snaps down, making them more functional than the fairly ornamental ones on suits. In these sorts of jackets, which are really the upper-body equivalent of cargo pants, the more pockets the better, so you’ll generally have a pair of chest pockets instead of only one. However, it is worth remembering the principle that with classic menswear simple and minimalist usually means greater formality, so an emphasis on pockets is a clear sign of casual dress.

 A field jacket and Cucinelli safari jacket. Notice that the bottom pockets are flap but not patch pockets while the top pockets are hybrid flapped patch pockets.

A field jacket and Cucinelli safari jacket. Notice that the bottom pockets are flap but not patch pockets while the top pockets are hybrid flapped patch pockets.

6. Inside Pockets

Probably the most useful pockets on a tailored jacket are the inner ones though they aren’t often talked about. They may not be a sexy topic, but it’s worth “looking under the hood” at the inside pockets as part of your off-the-rack purchasing decision. Most sport coats and suit jackets will only have two, one on each side. This is enough to carry a coat or breast wallet on one side (the left side if you’re right-handed) and your phone on the other. You don’t necessarily want to add many more things on the right side due to the bulk; this is especially important since the wallet goes on the same side where there is already a pocket square. Popular options for additional ”everyday carry” in the other pocket are a cell phone, a small notebook and pen for notes, lists and ruminations, or even a flask of booze. If you’re lucky enough to have additional pockets, you can use them for other things, like your vehicle key fob, mints, a cigar, or the aforementioned notepad.

Rounded corners on a wallet minimize wear

Rounded corners on our Fort Belvedere wallet minimize wear and help them slide cleanly into a jacket pocket

Something to remember about jacket pockets, however, is that no matter how many of them you have, if you want to maintain a sleek silhouette, so you don’t really want to load up the pockets. A large set of house/office keys and a fistful of loose coins go better in an overcoat, portfolio or briefcase so as not to create unsightly lumps that deform the appearance of the jacket. Keep to smallish, light items, for which you’ll find the inner (and outer) pockets of a jacket incredibly useful.
Half lining, Pen Pocket, Sunglass or phone pocket and white piping on the inside

Half lined jacket with a pen pocket, a wallet pocket, and a bonus pocket for sunglasses or a phone

Pants Pockets

Most people have a basic sense that their trousers have two pockets, one on each side. However, those who have had custom trousers made will be more aware of the surprisingly large range of pocket options available on a pair of pants.

1. Slant Pockets

Typical slant pockets on an atypical pair of Neapolitan-style pants.

Typical slant pockets on an atypical pair of Neapolitan-style pants.

By far, the most common side pockets on trousers are slant pockets. As the name implies, these are cut on an angle, enabling the wearer to slide his hands into them easily.

 

Sean Connery as James Bond, wearing trousers with vertical pockets.

Sean Connery as James Bond, wearing trousers with vertical pockets.

2. Vertical Pockets

However, as is often the case for aficionados of men’s style, something beyond the ordinary is more desirable.  This can be achieved through choosing pants with vertical pockets that run straight up the side seams. These can make the front rise of your trousers look clean because there is no pocket line intersecting it. Alternatively, if you are wearing pleated pants, a vertical slit will run perpendicular to the pleats. Such pockets are frankly not easy to find, but they are an option on custom trousers from some brands.

 

Frogmouth pockets are rare these days.

Frogmouth pockets are rare these days.

3. Frogmouth Pockets

Another possibility is the frog-mouth pocket, named for its supposed resemblance to the mouth of a frog. In the sense that these are oriented horizontally across the front of the trouser, they are the opposite of the vertical slit pocket. As such, they also really make the pockets a visible feature of the pants. To me, they have an equestrian vibe,  and they enable you to pose with your fingers tucked into them while keeping your thumbs out. Frogmouth pockets go with flat-front trousers as they would interfere with pleats.

Raw denim

Jeans typically still feature a coin pocket

4. The Coin Pocket

If you’ve owned a pair of jeans, you are likely familiar with the coin pocket, a small, seemingly useless pocket that nests inside the larger one on the right front. Originally, it was developed by Levi-Strauss to enable men to carry their pocket watches while wearing denim. Today, in the era of wristwatches, this pocket has become vestigial, something more for a traditional aesthetic than any real function, though some men store things like coins, mints, or a condom in it. Along with the two front and two back pockets, the coin pocket is responsible for the term “five-pocket pants.”However, coin pockets can appear in pants that are more formal than jeans too, such as summer chinos, usually in conjunction with regular slant pockets.

Some of the rear pocket options on custom made-to-measure trousers from Luxire.

Some of the rear pocket options on custom made-to-measure trousers from Luxire.

 

5. Back Pockets

Surprisingly enough, the variety of rear pocket options on pants exceeds even the possibilities of the front. You may have no pockets at all, one pocket or two, buttons or no buttons, flaps or simple welts–quite a bit of choice for something with minimal usefulness. Sure, you can put something in those rear pockets, but nothing much if you plan to do any comfortable sitting. As with most clothing design features, simpler means more formal, so dress pants would normally just have plain jetted rear pockets, perhaps with buttons. Once flaps enter the picture, the trouser becomes more casual. Rear patch pockets (again, think jeans) are especially casual.

Brooks Brothers St Andrews Links Golf Pants

Brooks Brothers St Andrews Links Golf Pants

As with jacket pockets, caution is urged in putting things in your trouser pockets. Sure, it’s practical to load your pockets up, but nothing ruins the appearance of dress pants more than being able to see a large wallet or iPhone through the fabric. Take it from a guy who used to carry a massive boar-bristle brush in his front pocket as a teenager: if you have any consideration for style, stay light and limit your pocket contents to small items, like a loose cash, credit cards, or a couple of keys.

Shirt Pockets

When considering shirts with pockets, we are usually in the world of casual: single-pocket polos or two-pocket Western shirts. But in the realm of tailored style, one thing comes to mind: the Oxford cloth button-down or OCBD, which bears a single chest pocket on the left side. Unfortunately, shirts with a patch chest pocket have become associated in the popular imagination with nerds wearing pocket protectors or, at best, absent-minded and stylistically challenged science teachers. However, connoisseurs of classic style understand the true appeal of the OCBD: it’s ability to be casual yet easily wearable with tailoring at the same time. Part of its casual heritage is the presence of the pocket, so purists will avoid OCBDs that don’t have it. Generally, nothing is put in this pocket, certainly not a pen, unless you want to risk leakage or are willing to go the pocket-protector route.

The chest pocket is a traditional OCBD feature.

The chest pocket is a traditional OCBD feature.

Conclusion

Pockets are something we use every time wear clothes, yet, rarely do we think about them in terms of their appearance, variations and history. Pockets are not only functional but can have a stylistic impact depending on how they are cut and whether they are present. In fact, they are also major earmarks revealing the formality or casualness of a particular garment. Are pockets meaningful in your style? What do you put in yours? Do you have advice to share on pockets? Tell us in the comments section below.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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eBay RoundupThere’s a lot of great menswear on eBay, but to find…

eBay Roundup

There’s a lot of great menswear on eBay, but to find the good stuff, you have to search for hours. Which is why we do these roundups, so that our readers can find good deals easily and quickly. For those looking to get an extra round-up each week, subscribe to our Inside Track newsletter. We not only cover the best of eBay, we also list each week’s store sales.

To find more menswear on eBay, try using our customized search links. We’ve made them so you can quickly hone-in on quality suits, excellent dress shirts, fine footwear, good jeans, workwear, contemporary casualwear, nice ties, great bags, and well-made sweaters.

Outerwear

Sweaters and knits

Shirts and pants

Shoes

Ties

Bags, briefcases, and wallets

Misc.

If you want access to an extra roundup every week, exclusive to members, join Put This On’s Inside Track for just five bucks a month.

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FASHION UPDATE:

eBay RoundupTwice a week, we round up the best of menswear on…

eBay Roundup

Twice a week, we round up the best of menswear on eBay so our readers don’t have to. For an additional roundup, along with a list of each week’s best sales, subscribe to our Inside Track newsletter.

To find more menswear on eBay, try using our customized search links. We’ve made them so you can quickly hone-in on quality suitsexcellent dress shirtsfine footweargood jeansworkwearcontemporary casualwearnice tiesgreat bags, and well-made sweaters.

Suits, sport coats, and blazers

Outerwear

Sweaters and knits

Shirts and pants

Shoes

Ties

Bags, briefcases, and wallets

Misc.

If you want access to an extra roundup every week, exclusive to members, join Put This On’s Inside Track for just five bucks a month.

Put This On

FASHION UPDATE:

eBay RoundupThere’s a lot of great menswear on eBay, but to find…

eBay Roundup

There’s a lot of great menswear on eBay, but to find the good stuff, you have to search for hours. Which is why we do these roundups, so that our readers can find good deals easily and quickly. For those looking to get an extra round-up each week, subscribe to our Inside Track newsletter. We not only cover the best of eBay, we also list each week’s store sales.

To find more menswear on eBay, try using our customized search links. We’ve made them so you can quickly hone-in on quality suitsexcellent dress shirtsfine footweargood jeansworkwearcontemporary casualwearnice tiesgreat bags, and well-made sweaters.

Suits, sport coats, and blazers

Outerwear

Sweaters and knits

Shirts and pants

Shoes

Ties

Bags, briefcases, and wallets

Misc.

If you want access to an extra roundup every week, exclusive to members, join Put This On’s Inside Track for just five bucks a month.

Put This On

FASHION UPDATE:

eBay RoundupWe spend hours trawling for the best of menswear on…

eBay Roundup

We spend hours trawling for the best of menswear on eBay so that you don’t have to. To get a third eBay roundup each week, along with a list of the best sales, subscribe to our exclusive Inside Track newsletter. It only costs $ 5 a month. The savings you’d earn from just one eBay purchase a year will offset the subscription.

Here’s an interesting listing: a suit company reached out to us about a sample sale they’re holding on eBay. The suits are mostly half canvassed, some fully canvassed, and they’re all brand new. These suits were originally made as trial or fitting suits for the company’s made-to-measure program. Their prices are normally around $ 700 to $ 1,000 for a suit, and we think they make nice stuff. This is an opportunity to get a quality garment at a fraction of the original price. Of course, with that comes some risk. All sales are final, and you’ll want to pay attention to measurements. Given that these are made-to-measure, however, there are probably some generous inlays in the garments to allow for better-than-usual alterations. 

To find more menswear on eBay, try using our customized search links. We’ve made them so you can quickly hone-in on quality suits, excellent dress shirts, fine footwear, good jeans, workwear, contemporary casualwear, nice ties, great bags, and well-made sweaters.

Suits, sport coats, and blazers

Outerwear

Sweaters and knits

Shirts and pants

Shoes

Ties

Bags, briefcases, and wallets

  • Frank Clegg Leatherworks briefcases (1, 2)

Misc.

If you want access to an extra roundup every week, exclusive to members, join Put This On’s Inside Track for just five bucks a month.

Put This On

FASHION UPDATE:

Virgil Abloh Named Louis Vuitton’s Menswear Designer


NEW YORK (AP) — Paris-based fashion house Louis Vuitton has named Kanye West collaborator Virgil Abloh as its new menswear designer.

The 37-year-old is founder of the Off-White label and will become, alongside Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, one of only two people of color in charge of a major fashion house. He replaces Kim Jones, who left in January to become men’s wear designer for Christian Dior.

In a statement, Abloh said “I find the heritage and creative integrity of the House are key inspirations and will look to reference them both while drawing parallels to modern times.”

Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke Monday praised Abloh’s “innate creativity and disruptive approach (that) have made him so relevant, not just in the world of fashion but in popular culture today.”

The company says Abloh’s first show will take place during men’s fashion week in Paris in June.

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Grids, Plaids and Windowpanes: Checked Patterns in Menswear and How to Wear Them

When it comes to the classic patterns of menswear, those based on the geometry of the square–checks, grids, and plaids–have a long history that remains popular today. In this primer, we’ll discuss the different kinds of square and rectangular patterns in tailored clothes and show you how to “check yourself” without wrecking yourself.

 

Don Draper (Jon Hamm), Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) and Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) - Mad Men

Don Draper (Jon Hamm), Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) and Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) – Mad Men

Because men typically want to project a serious, businesslike demeanor when wearing tailored clothes, the most popular patterns are not overly ornate but are based on the simple geometry of the line: one being stripes (which will be the topic of a future article) and the other checks. These two basic patterns can create greater interest than simply wearing solids while still looking subdued and formal, though there is always the opportunity (or risk!) of making them quite bold.

Plaid and windowpane suits (with a chalk stripe in between) from 1936

Plaid and windowpane suits (with a chalk stripe in between) from 1936

What are Checks?

Checks are defined by horizontal and vertical lines that cross one another at right angles, forming squares or rectangles on the cloth. They are thus always more complex than stripes, which also means they tend to be bolder and more informal.  The particular ways these lines intersect and the combinations of colors used to create different named patterns, which we will discuss below, though, for convenience, I will use the word “check” as an umbrella term that includes all patterns that are based on these intersecting lines.

Types of Checks

1. Graph Check

The simplest pattern based on squares is an evenly spaced grid made up of thin lines in a single color, called a “box check” or “graph check” because of its resemblance to graph paper. Graph check usually appears on shirts, and probably the most common version is a white shirt with a navy blue grid, making for a pattern that is definitely conservative and office appropriate; however, red, green, yellow and other colored grids can also be found. Usually, the boxes of a graph check are small, around a quarter inch, and the rule is that bigger squares make the shirt more casual.

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing a classic blue graph check shirt

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing a classic blue graph check shirt

Small boxes easily accommodate a tie because the simple pattern doesn’t assert itself that much. If the grid is larger, say 3/4″ to 2″, the look seems more casual. You can still wear a tie, perhaps a knit tie from Fort Belvedere, or something with texture, but an open collar looks good too with a larger grid, especially in warm weather. Whatever the size of the grids, properly lining up the rows of squares on the parts of a shirt that are made from different pieces of cloth, like where the shoulder and sleeve meet, would be a hallmark of quality to look for.

2. Windowpane

When a graph check contains larger squares, the pattern may be referred to as windowpane, referencing windows that have divided panes, which are rarer today than they once were. The term isn’t used as much for shirting as for tailored clothes: odd jackets, suits, and waistcoats. Windowpanes have supposedly come back into style in recent years, but true menswear aficionados know it’s a classic pattern that has been around for a long time. Although similar to the graph check, the grid formed by the crossing lines of the windowpane pattern often creates rectangles rather than perfect squares. These rectangles are always longer in the vertical dimension, tall rather than wide, which can create a subtle sense of added height in the wearer.

A muted grey and beige windowpane pattern showing the rectangular panes.

A muted grey and beige windowpane pattern showing the rectangular panes.

The lines forming a windowpane can be softly or strongly defined, broken up or even doubled. You can have a white grid on a blue base, blue squares on brown, beige on grey or any variety of complementary color pairings. The color of the panes and how defined the lines are determines how bold or conservative the result is. Solid lines in bright colors are more assertive than muted lines. The density of the boxes also has an impact. If the panes are large on a jacket, it is can be more conservative than one with numerous panes since the multiplication of boxes makes the pattern louder.

Strongly assertive windowpane suits

Strongly assertive windowpane suits

3. Tattersall

Next up in terms of complexity is Tattersall, which is the same as a graph check but it involves lines of two or more different complementary colors. Some possibilities are blue and black, green and blue, red and blue, or orange and blue to name just a few. The lines that make up a tattersall can be of different thicknesses or solidity, being clearly defined or faded back, but the size of the squares they form is always uniform.

Tattersall is actually named for Richard Tattersall, groom to the last Duke of Kingston, who founded a London horse market in 1766 that is still the leading auctioneer of horses in Europe today. Specifically, fabric in the pattern known as Tattersall was used for horse blankets in the late 18th century before seeing more widespread use. Tattersall is mostly used for shirts and waistcoats, such as those sold by Cordings of Piccadilly, and has a traditional association with British country style, which is not surprising given its origin. Tattersall can be worn for rural pursuits, like shooting or fishing, perhaps with a horse or bird print tie, flat cap, and a tweed sports coat. As a vest, the typical tattersall has red and blue crossing lines on a buff or yellow ground, and wearing one is an appropriate homage to a classic style.

Ethan Wong of Sprezz x Style wearing a tattersall waistcoat

Ethan Wong of Sprezz x Style wearing a tattersall waistcoat

Yet, despite these associations, tattersall shirts have translated easily to office settings both in North America and the UK. This may be because the lines of two colors add to its versatility in combining ties. Less common is the Tattersall sports coat, though I own a couple for spring and summer wear, one with brown and beige lines and the other with two different shades of blue. To me, these have more of an Italian flavor.

4. Gingham

Gingham (sometimes called “Vichy” in Europe) is the simplest of the checks involving thicker lines, in this case, generally a single color crossing on a white background. Blue tends to be the most popular, though many colors of gingham are possible. The distance between lines is always regular, so the result looks like the typical checkerboard and is most often featured on shirts. An interesting aspect of gingham is that when the colored lines cross one another, they result in darker versions of the color, adding richness.

A recognizable form of gingham is the classic Italian restaurant tablecloth.

A recognizable form of gingham is the classic Italian restaurant tablecloth.

For many, gingham may evoke thoughts of picnic blankets or the red and white tablecloths in an Italian restaurant, and thus men who wear gingham are sometimes mocked by those who are ignorant of style. Nonetheless, the association of gingham with casual dining speaks to its nature as a casual fabric. It is also identified with rural simplicity, at least in the American imagination, a connection emphasized by the fact that Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz film wore blue gingham as did Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island. I personally associate gingham shirts with summertime and wear them by repeating the colors of the pattern in my other articles of clothing. For example, you could wear a green and white gingham with off-white pants and an olive green linen sport coat, or a blue and white gingham with navy chinos and an off-white jacket.

Hugo Jacomet wearing a trademark blue gingham shirt with a more formal outfit.

Hugo Jacomet wearing a trademark blue gingham shirt with a more formal outfit.

5. Shepherd’s Check

As its name implies, shepherd’s check is another rural pattern, this one originally used by Scottish shepherds on the border with England, so we have one check that originated with horse blankets (Tattersall) and another with sheep blankets. Shepherd’s check looks almost like a gingham but is distinguished by the visibility of a twill pattern. That is, you can see diagonal lines intersecting the squares, which makes the pattern more complex. As with gingham, shepherd’s check usually appears as a single color on a white ground. Though it can be used on any article of clothing, in contemporary tailoring I have seen it most frequently on ties followed by jackets.

6. Gun Club Check

A connection to the country pursuit of shooting is embodied in the gun club check, though this time in America. This check is again of Scottish derivation, a “district check” typical to a particular area in the west Highlands. However, it was adopted by the American Gun Club for their overcoats and sport coats in 1874. Originally, a gun club check meant four colors of crossing lines–black, rust, gold, and green–designed as both an homage to the colors present in the landscape of the Highlands (similar to the nature of tweed) and as a kind of hunter’s camouflage; however, these days, it’s equally common to find gun club checks in only two colors, usually brown and blue. Like gingham and shepherd’s check, the lines in a gun club check are even and fairly thick, and like shepherd’s check, the diagonal twill pattern is visible. What makes gun club check unique is the presence of two or more colors, though such patterns may also be labeled shepherd’s checks, so identification can be tricky.

Andreas Weinas wearing a gun club check jacket.

Andreas Weinas wearing a gun club check jacket.

7. Plaid or Tartan

The most complex checked pattern in menswear is the tartan or plaid. These are formed by intersecting lines of varying thickness and any number of colors. Though it is not always the case, usually the squares and rectangles on a tartan are different sizes because the space between the lines does not have to be even. This flexibility, and the fact that new tones are created when different colored lines cross, allow for a great variety in the appearance of tartan cloth. To make matters more complicated, in North America the word “plaid” would be used to describe what is called a “tartan” in the UK while “plaid” is used there to describe any sort of checked pattern.

Of course, tartans are associated with–you guessed it–Scotland, where individual patterns represent specific clans.  Given the brightness and busyness of tartans, they are casual in terms of everyday wear. Because the pattern is quite variable, many versions of plaid can be worn for sport coats, especially ones with evenly spaced squares, but, unless you are daring, traditional tartan (like Blackwatch) is worn best as a shirt (without a tie), accessory items (ties, scarves), if not a kilt. In the United States, tartan shirts may be identified with cowboys and lumberjacks, especially when they’re made of flannel, reinforcing the rustic associations of the cloth. However, in Scotland and the UK, the tartan can be worn during highly formal occasions, such as at the Queen’s Garden Party, because it represents Scottish national dress.

A tartan worn as a jacket by the daring maidoookini.

A tartan worn as a jacket by the daring maidoookini.

8. Madras

The most famous plaid of non-Scottish origin is madras, an intense, bright, warm weather fabric that isn’t for the man who wants to fade into the background. Named after the city in India where it is woven (modern-day Chennai), Madras is a handwoven slubbed cotton. It resembles Scottish tartan in terms of patterns but incorporates colors more commonly found in Indian textiles, like yellow, pink, and orange, which are suitable for summer. Check out the Gentleman’s Gazette madras guide for an account of its fascinating history and how it became especially popular in the United States.

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing a subdued madras casual jacket, great on vacation

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing a subdued madras casual jacket, great on vacation

9. Glen Check and Prince of Wales

Finally, we have glen check (sometimes also called glen plaid), which I mention last because it isn’t what I would consider a pure check if we are talking only about grids since it admits more than just lines; it also contains varied houndstooth patterns making up the lines and filling the blocks created by them. However, given its name and the fact that the crossing pattern of rectangles is visible, it definitely deserves a mention here as one of the most popular patterns in menswear.

Prince of Wales showing a blue overcheck pattern

Prince of Wales showing a blue overcheck pattern

We could easily dedicate an entire article to the glen check and its history, though for now, suffice to say the pattern was first developed in Scotland (where else?) by Elizabeth Macdougall as her estate check before the future Edward VII noticed it and fell in love with it. The closely associated Prince of Wales check actually fits more with our definition of checks as it is essentially a glen check with the addition of an overcheck or overplaid in a different color. This is a grid of a contrasting color, a windowpane pattern, superimposed on top of the glen check to give it even more depth. Overplaid is a popular manifestation of checks in tailored menswear, and it’s a great example of how rich and complex checks can be.

How Do You Wear Checks?

In the world of tailored clothing, checks can be worn in many ways, but the choice depends on your personality and how much you like loud, bold patterns in your wardrobe.

Shirts

Checked shirts are usually a safe choice. If you want something restrained that’ll easily pair with a tie, a standard single-color graph check is a good option. Even safer is a mini- or micro-check, in essence, a gingham but on a very small scale that reads as a solid from a distance. Moving toward smart casual or business casual, try a tattersall with a tie. For totally casual, tieless looks, choose ginghams and Madras in warm weather and flannel tartans for winter.

On the other hand, if you want to forget about playing it safe, go for a checked shirt with a checked jacket over it to repeat the pattern. Consider how prominent the pattern of your shirt is when choosing a tie. Solid color ties are a safe choice, but you could also try a tie that has a similar repeating pattern on a different scale (larger or smaller circles or squares, for example).

I

Gingham shirt worn with a windowpane suit containing lines of different colors.

Gingham shirt worn with a windowpane suit containing lines of different colors.

Jackets

Checks on a jacket are always a bold statement though the features of the pattern determine exactly how much. How intense a check appears, especially a windowpane, depends on the strength of the lines. For example, if the grid of a windowpane jacket features solid or bright lines, it will come across more aggressively than one made up of muted lines or soft colors, so keep that in mind when choosing a jacket, and try it on to see how you like the effect. For instance, a muted beige windowpane on a navy jacket remains conservative but a gingham summer sports coat or one with a madras pattern would be quite loud.  If there are bright colors or many colors, the jacket obviously becomes bolder, and the same is true if the number of boxes is increased. A navy glen check on a grey jacket is easy to wear, but adding a pink overplaid changes things.

Whatever you choose, one thing you will notice with a checked jacket is how it creates the impression of a wider chest. Tailored menswear has always sought to broaden the shoulders and chest through tricks of lapel width and style and shoulder padding among other things; horizontal lines across the chest created by checks draws the gaze outward to the same effect.

A comparison of shows the effect of a checked pattern has on the impression of chest width.

A comparison of shows the effect of a checked pattern has on the impression of chest width.

As a general practice, pair your patterned jacket with solid trousers to avoid clashing patterns. Regarding your choice of tie, you can follow two options of layering and either wear a solid tie or go pattern-on-pattern, which requires more skill.

Even with a patterned jacket, it's possible to wear a patterned tie.

Even with a patterned jacket, it’s possible to wear a patterned tie.

Suits

Because they are strong patterns, any check can become bold if it is used on a two-piece let alone a three-piece suit, with the exception of something like a brown tweed glen check. A windowpane suit, even if the lines are muted, always remains assertive simply because the boxes are large and multiplied over your entire body. Therefore, their acceptability depends on the dress code of your office and how much you want to be noticed. Plaid suits are particularly risky as the loud pattern can easily make you look clownish. Italian style tends to be bolder in making use of plaid suits, especially ones with regularly spaced patterns, but they are still difficult to carry off.

Plaid suits can be difficult to pull off.

Plaid suits can be difficult to pull off.

Overcoats

It is said that things you can’t get away with in a jacket, like large peak lapels and aggressive textures, are acceptable with an overcoat. The same goes for checks. Though always a statement, a well-made checked overcoat worn with an otherwise reserved outfit is likely to garner more style compliments as a distinctive feature than other garments that would be considered loud.

A checked overcoat makes for a statement piece.

A checked overcoat makes for a statement piece.

Pants

Checked, typically plaid, trousers appear loud even if your upper body is clad in a solid jacket. Thus, these would best be characterized as a type of “go-to-hell pants” and worn in the same way, as a statement.

Gianluca Cerutti wearing plaid wool flannel trousers

Gianluca Cerutti wearing plaid wool flannel trousers

Waistcoat

A great option for wearing checks in tailoring is a waistcoat. The waistcoat has traditionally been a means of introducing bold color or pattern, adding personality and a sense of fun under a staid solid suit. Whereas bold pants are an in-your-face defiance of convention, bold waistcoats are almost expected, and you can match a color in the pattern with that of your jacket.

The author wearing a waistcoat with a brown plaid pattern to match a brown flannel suit.

The author wearing a waistcoat with a brown plaid pattern to match a brown flannel suit.

Accessories

As is usually the case with any bold colors or patterns, accessories are a good place to start with checks because they represent a relatively small dose of the pattern and can integrate that bit of interest you want against an otherwise reserved outfit without becoming visually overwhelming. The most commonly represented checks on neckties are windowpanes, shepherd checks, and glen checks/Prince of Wales patterns.  Tartans like black watch are great for casual or wooly winter ties. Notice that when windowpane check appears on a tie, the pattern is displayed on a bias or diagonally to follow the angle of the tip.

 

In drab winter weather, plaid scarves are a terrific option as well, lending interest and excitement when colors are more muted.

Plaid scarves can add color and pattern without being overwhelming.

Plaid scarves can add color and pattern without being overwhelming.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has cleared up the distinctions among the various forms of checked fabrics available in menswear. With this information and a bit of practice, you should be able to name a check on sight and even identify hybrid combinations that blend the features of more than one kind of check, like overplaids. For the most part, checks are patterns that tend toward the casual to varying degrees and that evoke a country heritage–either with American cowboys in the most relaxed sense or with the recreational pursuits of the British country gent.  This wide range of possibilities speaks as well to the versatility of checks in your wardrobe, as they are amenable to being dressed up or down. No matter how you wear it, one thing’s for sure–it’s hip to be square.

How do you like to wear checked patterns? Tell us in the Comments section.


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eBay roundupThere’s a lot of great menswear on eBay, but to find…

eBay roundup

There’s a lot of great menswear on eBay, but to find the good stuff, you have to search for hours. Which is why we do these roundups, so that our readers can find good deals easily and quickly. For those looking to get an extra round-up each week, subscribe to our Inside Track newsletter. We not only cover the best of eBay, we also list each week’s store sales.

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eBay RoundupTwice a week, we round up the best of menswear on…

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Many thanks to our pal the RJcat for sending us some links for this week’s roundup (I dig this telescopic folding umbrella from Talarico, a small shop in Naples, Italy). To find more menswear on eBay, try using our customized search links. We’ve made them so you can quickly hone-in on quality suits, excellent dress shirts, fine footwear, good jeans, workwear, contemporary casualwear, nice ties, great bags, and well-made sweaters.

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To find more menswear on eBay, try using our customized search links. We’ve made them so you can quickly hone-in on quality suits, excellent dress shirts, fine footwear, good jeans, workwear, contemporary casualwear, nice ties, great bags, and well-made sweaters.

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FASHION UPDATE:

eBay RoundupTwice a week, we round up the best of menswear on…

eBay Roundup

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Trying to keep warm in this cold snap? There are some great winter items in today’s roundup, such as this Nigel Cabourn x Eddie Bauer down parka, Danner hiking boots, and chunky Drake’s Fair Isle scarf

To find more menswear on eBay, try using our customized search links. We’ve made them so you can quickly hone-in on quality suitsexcellent dress shirtsfine footweargood jeansworkwearcontemporary casualwearnice tiesgreat bags, and well-made sweaters.

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eBay roundupWe spend hours trawling for the best of menswear on…

eBay roundup

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To find more menswear on eBay, try using our customized search links. We’ve made them so you can quickly hone-in on quality suits, excellent dress shirts, fine footwear, good jeans, workwear, contemporary casualwear, nice ties, great bags, and well-made sweaters.

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How to Wear Blue and Gray: A Classic Menswear Color Combination

If you had to choose the most important colors to form the basis of a tailored wardrobe, they would be blue, particularly navy blue, followed closely by gray. These hues not only play well with various other shades but also work beautifully with one another, thus making them the most versatile color pairing in menswear.

The combination is always stylish while remaining conservative and perfect for the office. In this article, the first of a series of classic color combinations, we take a look at the different ways to pair blue and gray.

Windowpane Suit with Gray Windowpane Tie

Windowpane Suit with Gray Windowpane Tie

How to Wear Blue and Gray

Blue and Gray with a Suit and Tie

The easiest way to coordinate blue and gray is to match the two in a suit and tie combination.  It’s commonly said that when a man first ventures into the world of tailored clothing–or into the working world that demands such a dress code–he should begin with a navy blue suit. Using a gray tie with this navy suit is a surefire way to earn style points.

The second suit a man should own when starting a business wardrobe is a gray one, but here the recommendations vary between a mid-gray and a charcoal. In either case, you simply take the opposite approach as your first suit and coordinate with a blue tie. The entire range of gray presents a neutral backdrop for any mid – to navy blue tie to work. And, the fact that both blue and gray are cool colors ensures they will pair naturally. Even if your gray suit contains warmer brown tones, you’ll have no issues because blue also combines perfectly with brown.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in a mid-gray suit with mid-blue tie.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in a mid-gray suit with mid-blue tie.

Avoid Strong Contrast

Although pairing a gray tie with a blue suit and vice versa is nearly foolproof, there are some ways for you to make the most of this combination. For one thing, avoid too strong a contrast between the two colors, which is the general rule for any color coordination. So, if your suit is dark gray, avoid a really pale blue.

Add Pattern and Texture

Beyond avoiding sharp contrast, try adding complexity and interest to your blue and gray combinations by introducing textures and patterns. Sure, you can start simply with a white shirt, solid tie, and a plain worsted wool suit, but this gets boring fast. An easy way to add a pattern while remaining classic is to use a gray glen check tie in silk (or wool for winter) with a navy suit. For a gray suit, get a navy grenadine tie in either a large or fine weave (garza grossa or garza fina) to inject texture. In the reverse scenario, pick up a silver grenadine for a blue suit.

Use Items with Both Colors Together

The most sophisticated method to combine gray and blue with a suit and tie, however, is to choose items that contain both colors together. For example, you can wear a navy suit with a gray windowpane pattern. By definition, Prince of Wales suiting fabric differs from a glen check because it contains an overcheck in an additional color, and a common version of this is a gray base pattern with the addition of a blue overcheck, giving you both in one shot.

 

An example of Prince of Wales suiting fabric from Sartoria Rossi showing a gray base pattern with blue overplaid.

An example of Prince of Wales suiting fabric from Sartoria Rossi showing a gray base pattern with blue overplaid.

Printed silk ties with blue and gray geometric patterns or knit ties with both colors in them are likewise excellent options. I especially like the versatility of striped ties with either a repp pattern or large block stripes for this purpose. If you get a tie with stripes of both colors you can wear them easily with either gray or blue suits.

 

@nfld_rm55 wearing a blue and gray block stripe tie.

@nfld_rm55 wearing a blue and gray block stripe tie; find a similar one here

Gray and Blue with Odd Combinations

The same techniques mentioned above can be used when wearing sports coat and trouser combinations, though some men may be put off by the perceived difficulties of coordinating an additional article of clothing: pants in a different shade. If you begin with blue and gray, this is actually a piece of cake. Like the navy suit, the navy blazer is a staple, foundational item of menswear. Technically, a solid blazer has to be blue, so begin there and add gray pants.
Andreas Weinås doesn't look like a security guard in this combination of navy and gray.

Andreas Weinås doesn’t look like a security guard in this combination of navy and gray.

You may have heard that the classic navy jacket and gray trousers will make you look like a security guard, but if you choose an appropriate fit and quality materials that simply won’t happen. Just stay away from cheap shoes, polyester fabric, and baggy fits, and you’ll be fine. Add a pocket square to the outfit, even a simple white linen one, and there’s no way your outfit will be mistaken for a uniform. Wearing a striped shirt or tie that isn’t plain, including the aforementioned navy or silver grenadine, will elevate the look as well.
Blue blazer with gray trousers

A rich navy blue double-breasted suit jacket with gray trousers

The opposite move–a gray sports coat with navy trousers–is rarer, maybe because it is generally more difficult to pull off a lighter jacket with darker pants. However, there’s no reason to be dissuaded, as long as your blue pants don’t look like the bottom half of a suit. Here, a pattern can be your friend and using a gray sports coat that contains a pattern, again the classic glen check or Prince of Wales, will enhance your chances of success.
Brian Sacawa of He Spoke Style wearing a glen check gray sport coat and navy blue pants.

Brian Sacawa of He Spoke Style wearing a glen check gray sports coat and navy blue pants; note how the dark navy knit tie neatly ties the dark pants with the lighter jacket

Multiple Layers of Blue and Gray

Going beyond the basics, you can use the principles in our Layering 101 guide to increase the sophistication of your gray and blue combinations.  When we talk about layering we immediately think knitwear and overcoats for colder weather.
These provide great opportunities to add either alternating layers of blue and gray hues–like a navy tie, gray sweater vest, and navy jacket–or a swath of the same color–like a navy blue tie, cardigan, and pants under a gray flannel sports coat. You can do the same with a gray or blue overcoat too: decide whether you want to duplicate the underlying color or contrast it, then get creative.

Gray and Blue Accessories

Accessories, including gloves, hats, and scarves, are another great way to use these two colors, and, again, you have two broad options. If you have a gray coat on, you could go monochromatic and select elegant gray cashmere-lined peccary gloves to match tones. Alternatively, go with a contrast and choose a pair of bold petrol blue leather gloves in lamb nappa leather. With a scarf, you may be able to “kill two birds with one stone” by purchasing a double-sided version, like this dark blue and gray one in alpaca from Fort Belvedere, which lets you contrast or blend with a flip of the cloth.
Raphael looking dapper wearing petrol blue gloves from Fort Belvedere

Sven Raphael Schneider looking dapper wearing petrol blue gloves from Fort Belvedere and a navy overcoat

An overlooked accessory that’s especially great for warmer weather is a boutonniere. You won’t find a gray flower, even in nature, but you can definitely pop a realistic silk blue cornflower boutonniere into the lapel buttonhole of your gray suit jacket to bring on the spring.

Blue and Gray Shoes and Socks

Although blue and gray is usually a conservative combination, one of the boldest things you can do for your overall outfit is to wear these colors as footwear. Dark navy Oxfords are the best choice with a suit since they resemble a standard black business shoe with just a hint of added color, but they are difficult to find. Those with dandy impulses and in a less conservative environment could go with brighter blues, such as a blue wholecut Oxford or monk strap, paired with a light gray suit.
Navy Suede Double Monk Strap shoes

Navy Suede Double Monk Strap shoes

In terms of availability, your best bet for blue shoes might be navy loafers, which are most often found in suede, though polished calf leather makes for a more formal choice, perhaps with gray trousers and a sports coat. Pairing blue shoes of any sort with blue pants are trickier but possible if both colors are similar enough.
Blue calf leather loafers with navy pants

Blue calf leather loafers with navy pants

Those who are truly committed and a bit daring can try to locate spectator shoes that combine both navy and gray. A two-tone shoe is surprisingly versatile because it can accompany tailoring of either color.

Navy and gray brogue wingtip from J. FitzPatrick.

Unusual but surprisingly versatile navy and gray brogue wingtips

Solid gray shoes appropriate for tailored clothing are exceedingly rare and tend to be lighter gray monk straps or derbies. Thus, they’re awkward for navy trousers due to the high contrast they create, and wearing them with gray could create too much uniformity in your outfit. However, you could always experiment if you find a pair. Something with two tones of gray or just dark gray would be more useful.
If you aren’t ready to make the leap to blue or gray shoes, a unique and inexpensive option that will also brighten things up is shoelaces in one of these classic colors. For around $ 10, you can put gray laces on black oxfords to be worn with a grey suit or blue laces on brown shoes with a navy suit.
Black Captoe Oxford with dark gray and black dress shoelaces by Fort Belvedere

Black captoe oxfords with blue-gray and black dress shoelaces by Fort Belvedere

Socks are also a terrific option to coordinate blue and gray. As a rule, begin with the principle of matching socks to your pants, not your shoes. You can show some panache by wearing socks that contain the complementary color to your pants (for example, blue socks with gray trousers ) or, better yet, socks that contain both colors, like a light blue and light gray shadow stripe.

Blue and Gray for Casual Wear

Though the Gentleman’s Gazette focuses on classic style, we’d be remiss not to mention the most popular article of casual clothing and probably the most popular blue fabric worn throughout the world–denim. We don’t specifically think of wearing gray with denim, but maybe we should take this page out of the classic menswear book and apply it to casual wear too. Blue jeans can easily be paired with a gray sports coat, provided the jeans are not overly distressed and the jacket casual enough, like something in an unstructured cotton or with sufficient texture.

Atte Rytkönen from Dress Like A with jeans and a gray jacket.

Atte Rytkönen from Dress Like A wearing jeans and a gray jacket.

Blue denim shirts have recently become a popular transitional garment, worn instead of dressier shirts with sports coats. Add a navy jacket, gray pants, and the aforementioned blue loafers, and you have a fantastic outfit.

A perfect combination of gray and blue with a denim shirt from Pini Parma.

A perfect combination of gray and blue with a denim shirt from Pini Parma.

Conclusion

There’s a reason why blue and gray are the base pairing in the DNA of classic men’s style, the primary colors to draw upon. Those who are new to color coordination use them as a means of creating fundamentally sound clothing combinations with minimal anxiety, while those who are stylistically advanced return to the pairing as a constant even as they experiment.  How have you used shades of gray and blue? What are your favorite combinations using these two colors? Tell us in the comments below.

 


Gentleman’s Gazette

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eBay RoundupThere’s a lot of great menswear on eBay, but to find…

eBay Roundup

There’s a lot of great menswear on eBay, but to find the good stuff, you have to search for hours. Which is why we do these roundups, so that our readers can find good deals easily and quickly. For those looking to get an extra round-up each week, subscribe to our Inside Track newsletter. We not only cover the best of eBay, we also list each week’s store sales.

If you’re looking for a great pair of shoes, there are styles for almost everyone in today’s roundup, from work boots to Chelsea boots to sneakers to dressier lace-ups. These unlined Allen Edmonds chukkas are also incredibly soft, making them extra comfortable for weekend wear. 

To find more menswear on eBay, try using our customized search links. We’ve made them so you can quickly hone-in on quality suits, excellent dress shirts, fine footwear, good jeans, workwear, contemporary casualwear, nice ties, great bags, and well-made sweaters.

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FASHION UPDATE:

eBay RoundupTwice a week, we round up the best of menswear on…

eBay Roundup

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  • Ralph Lauren retro-outdoor style backpack (green, orange)

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eBay RoundupTwice a week, we round up the best of menswear on…

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Some terrific shawl collar coats in today’s roundup, such as these from Kapital and Ralph Lauren. You can wear either with slim jeans and these black work boots

To find more menswear on eBay, try using our customized search links. We’ve made them so you can quickly hone-in on quality suits, excellent dress shirts, fine footwear, good jeans, workwear, contemporary casualwear, nice ties, great bags, and well-made sweaters.

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eBay RoundupThere’s a lot of great menswear on eBay, but to find…

eBay Roundup

There’s a lot of great menswear on eBay, but to find the good stuff, you have to search for hours. Which is why we do these roundups, so that our readers can find good deals easily and quickly. For those looking to get an extra round-up each week, subscribe to our Inside Track newsletter. We not only cover the best of eBay, we also list each week’s store sales.

In today’s roundup, there’s a great jeep coat from Private White VC. Jeep coats descend from the cold-weather blanket coats trappers and hunters used to wear, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. During the Second World War, the US government issued their design. It was made from heavy, rugged twills and worn by US troops. The original jeep coats were short and double breasted, but I like Private White VC’s design – the longer length gives the coat a sense of drama. I just wish the one on eBay was in my size. 

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The Best New Menswear Pieces To Buy Right Now

Balenciaga Bazar Striped Textured-Leather Cardholder Cementing its status as a menswear mecca, Mr Porter has tapped achingly cool Parisian brand Balenciaga for an exclusive capsule collection. As well as hyped clothing and way-slicker-than-average sneakers, it includes pieces like this textured-leather…
Fashion Clothing Collections – FashionBeans.com

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

eBay RoundupWe spend hours trawling for the best of menswear on…

eBay Roundup

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To find more menswear on eBay, try using our customized search links. We’ve made them so you can quickly hone-in on quality suits, excellent dress shirts, fine footwear, good jeans, workwear, contemporary casualwear, nice ties, great bags, and well-made sweaters.

Suits, sport coats, and blazers

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FASHION UPDATE:

eBay RoundupThere’s a lot of great menswear on eBay, but to find…

eBay Roundup

There’s a lot of great menswear on eBay, but to find the good stuff, you have to search for hours. Which is why we do these roundups, so that our readers can find good deals easily and quickly. For those looking to get an extra round-up each week, subscribe to our Inside Track newsletter. We not only cover the best of eBay, we also list each week’s store sales.

To find more menswear on eBay, try using our customized search links. We’ve made them so you can quickly hone-in on quality suitsexcellent dress shirtsfine footweargood jeansworkwearcontemporary casualwearnice tiesgreat bags, and well-made sweaters.

Outerwear

Sweaters and knits

Shirts and pants

Shoes

Ties

Misc.