From Felicity to The Americans: See Keri Russell’s Style Evolution Over the Years

ESC: Keri RussellKeri Russell’s style has only gotten better with time.
After playing the lead in both Felicity and The Americans, the star has spent ample time in front of red carpet cameras. From…

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The Eyeglasses Guide for Men, Part I: History & Style Overview

After the horror of the eyewear in the 80’s and 90’s, eyeglasses have turned a sartorial corner. They are no longer dreaded but necessary accessories, because classic styles are making a comeback. Now glasses are affordable, optional accessories that you can use not only to correct your vision but to boost your style as well.

Like sunglasses, glasses can have a powerful affect on your style statement. In this guide, we will discuss why you should wear glasses, history, classic style options, and where to find the most interesting pairs.

Michael Caine wearing statement rectangular glasses in the 60s

Michael Caine wearing statement rectangular glasses in the 60s

What’s to Love About Glasses?

For many of us, getting rid of our glasses (after surgery or contact lenses) was a long-awaited triumph. That begs the question, what’s to love about glasses? Plenty, actually.

  • They’re optional these days! Since they are no longer the only way to correct your vision, you can choose to wear them as little or as often as you like.
  • Eyeglasses are finally more affordable. With low-cost online eyeglass retailers lining up to take your business where there were once only high-cost, cumbersome optical stores, you can now easily find and afford more than one pair, if you want.
  • Quality materials are making a comeback. Since glasses are now more about fashion than function, more retailers are offering materials other than basic plastic and metal.
  • You don’t need a prescription to wear them. Like to look of glasses but don’t need them or hate to wear anything but contacts? No problem. Many brands now offer the option of ordering frames with non-corrective polycarbonate lenses. Only you will know.
  • Glasses make you look smart. It’s not just a stereotype, it’s actually been scientifically proven. According to Psychology Today, glasses make the wearer appear more intelligent, honest and trustworthy, in addition to reducing your threat level and associating you with a higher social class. If you’re looking to get ahead at the office, getting glasses may just help.
  • They add maturity to young faces and youth to mature faces. By pairing mature frames with youthful faces and vice versa, you can change the impression of your age.
Vintage Glasses by Blickzurück - Anett Spinola

Vintage Glasses

History of Men’s Glasses

Glasses have come a long way in the last 700 years. The first mention of eyeglasses in roughly the format we know them today, two-lens corrective frames, in historical texts was in the late 13th century in Italy. Cultures around the world had been experimenting with optics for centuries prior, and the 11th-century Arabic text of the Book of Optics laid the foundation for the creation of modern eyeglasses. By the turn of the 14th century, Venice had established a guild to regulate eyeglasses. This early eyewear employed convex lenses to magnify a subject. The earliest known pair of dual-lens glasses ever discovered was dated to 1400 in Germany.

Scissors Glasses French Empire 1805

Scissors Glasses French Empire 1805

A few hundred years later, Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals and astronomer George Airy created lenses that could correct astigmatism. Glasses with temples that extended over the ears had been around for years, but glasses that were hand-held (lorgnette) or worn over the nose (pince-nez) dominated the market. Well into the 20th century, glasses were considered a “medical appliance” that was something to be embarrassed about, and they were intentionally designed to be as invisible as possible. It wasn’t until the 1970s that retailers caught on to the consumer demand for stylish eyewear, and the market has exploded since then. Eyeglasses are no longer an accessory to hide but much rather they are a stylish accent that can be used to enhance your outfit or burnish your personal image.

Eyeglasses Construction

Eyeglasses are constructed of several parts. Depending on the frame style, eyeglasses are typically constructed of a pair of rims that secure the lenses, a bridge which connects the two lenses, nose pads, and the temples, which extend over the ears.

Classic rounded plastic Eyeglass Frame

Classic rounded plastic Eyeglass Frame

Modern day glasses are constructed from many materials, including:

Plastic

Cellulose acetate is a plastic polymer that is made from wood pulp. Unlike other plastics (such as TR-90) which can be made from chemicals and petroleum, cellulose acetate is a plant-based plastic that is molded into sheets. Individual frames are then cut from the sheet and hand polished, which is more resource intensive than extruding plastic and therefore more expensive. Acetate is stiffer, heavier and more durable than standard plastic. Multi-colored patterns such as tortoiseshell are far more beautiful in acetate since the patterns were created over an entire sheet; standard plastic must be molded or worse, painted, to achieve the same affect.

In general, plastics like acetate and TR-90 are hypoallergenic. The main disadvantages are that they are more difficult to adjust, they are heavier than metal, and under stress, they can break or snap. Given the choice, we would highly recommend seeking out acetate for its beauty and durability.

Natural Materials

Though much harder to find and very expensive, it is possible to find frames that are made from bone, horn, shell, or wood. Wood frames are a recent trend,  and they are typically constructed similarly to a plastic frame. All wood frames are often made from a hardwood that is then veneered with a more precious wood. Buffalo and deer horn is often hand carved to shape, and beautiful natural striations and a matte finishing make for a distinctive choice. Real tortoise shell is largely outlawed, but a determined person could find vintage frames at specialty retailers.

Natural materials can be a distinctive style choice, but they offer only limited styles and require extra work on the wearer’s part to seek them out.

Original Tortoiseshell glasses are very difficult to find these days as mostly only old stock materials can be made into eyewear these days. As such, they often fetch prices north of $ 10,000.

Metal

Metal is a lightweight, easily adjustable choice for eyewear. They are ubiquitous in titanium, aluminum and various alloys such as Monel, which is corrosion resistant. Metal is particularly good for thin frames, such as round or rectangular shapes.

There are a handful of disadvantages to metal. They can easily be bent or misshapen, and since metal has a strong “memory” it can be hard, if not impossible, to reform them. People with metal allergies may find they react to metal glasses. Coated metal frames can also lose their finish over time, which will cause metal glasses to age faster than plastic frames.

Pascal Zimmer from Luxembourg with Newsboy Cap, Vintage glasses and shearling collar and lapel

Round metal glasses are staging a comeback

Glasses can be a signature accessory, such as Woody Allen's classic frames

Glasses can be a signature accessory, such as Woody Allen’s classic frames

Recommended Styles

One of the reasons we love glasses at GG is that so many of the classics are back in style. Here is a selection of styles that are classic yet very modern. Note that there are many variations on each style, so if our recommended frame doesn’t suit you, there is probably a retailer out there with an option for you.

Browline frames from Glasses USA

Browline frames

Browline or Clubmaster Glasses

Browline frames are defined by a top-heavy, strong frame along the line of the brow and temples. The lenses are suspended from the top of the frame by thin metal wires, drawing the eye upwards. This style is iconic of the 50s and 60s, when it was worn by famous figures such as Malcolm X and President Lyndon B. Johnson. This style is particularly good at adding maturity to youthful faces, but for more seasoned gentleman it can risk looking dated. This edgier style is great for creative types or those who simply want to blend classic style with a bold statement. Check out these black and gold Copperfield browline frames, $ 89 with lenses or if you want more customization option, Shuron.

Round Metal Glasses

Round metal glasses have long been the choice for counter-culture, resistance and youth-culture movements, and now they are reentering the mainstream. Favored by Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi, John Lennon and even Harry Potter, they are a bold statement by someone who feels they fall just outside of the mainstream. Today, they can be found in true round shapes to softened round shapes that are a little less aggressive. Great for creative, quirky types. Check out this pair of soft round Ray-Ban 6355 frames here, $ 185 with lenses.

Round plastic frames suit many ages and styles

Round plastic frames suit many ages and styles

Round Plastic Frames with a Keyhole Bridge

Unlike round metal frames, round plastic frames with a keyhole bridge are the epitome of classic men’s mainstream eyewear. These frames help add maturity to youthful faces, but unlike browline frames, they also work well for seasoned gentlemen. Overall, this look is ageless, intelligent, and thoughtful. Of course, the material is not the best. So if horn is our of your price range, and you can’t find something in acetate that you like, check out this pair of classic round Theory frames from EyeBuyDirect, $ 70 with lenses.

 

Rectangular Glasses

Rectangular frames can make a variety of statements. Long, thin frames are simple and pedestrian, while thick rectangles in dark shades can make a bold statement for men of all ages. They are just as fresh and attractive now as they were in the 60’s. This style is particularly good for adding youthfulness to mature faces, especially in bold color choices such as clear, blue, or tortoise shell. They give the impression of confidence, competence, and a touch of edginess to an otherwise classic frame.

Big Pattern

Herbert Stricker wearing rectangular frames with a bold dinner jacket

Do you wear eyeglasses? What is your go-to style?


Gentleman’s Gazette

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London Fashion Week street style: The six accessories to invest in NOW

The show goer seal of approval

This London Fashion Week may be all about the designers’ SS19 collections (there’s lots of buzz around Alexa Chung and Victoria Beckhams’ first fashion shows in London), but if you’re really looking for style inspiration, then you need to look off the catwalk.

When it comes to new brands and trends, fashion editors, influencers and celebrities are always in the know, and trust me when I say that once a brand is spotted on a handful of them, it’s about to sell out – see last season’s STAUD bags and trench coat 2.0 for reference.

As for this season, there are already a few key pieces I’ve spotted over and over again on the cobbles, which is a sure sign they’re well worth investing in. From the next ‘it’ bag to the hottest sunglasses for spring, here are the accessories to shop now.

The snake print boots

I’m calling it: if you’re going to invest in one pair of shoes this season, make it a pair of ankle boots, in snake print preferably. Many designers and high-street brands have taken on the trend, but Chloé has been the standout style on the cobbles, whilst Mango have a purse-friendly option for you too.

Don’t be put off by the Western vibes, they’re surprisingly easy to wear. Pair with a 70s style denim suit, a floral dress or colour block trousers and an oversized mohair knit.

Shop now: CHLOÉ Rylee snake-effect leather ankle boots for £785 from Net-A-Porter

Shop now: Snake-effect ankle boots for £69.99 from Mango

The shell anklet

In case you were wondering if shell jewellery was just a fad, I’m pleased to tell you it looks here to last. Rather than wearing them on their ears or their necks, editors are now wearing them on their ankles with a cropped trouser and mule. Chic.

Shop now: Shell anklet from £15 from Etsy

The 70s sunglasses

This London Fashion Week was mainly sunny (unheard of), and as such all the fashion editors whipped out their sunnies. The style of choice: whilst last season was all about the slim cat eye, this time round, it’s bigger, bolder and more retro.

Shop now: CHLOÉ Poppy square-frame acetate and gold-tone sunglasses for £265 from Net-A-Porter

The mum mule

Despite autumn being round the corner, when the style set hasn’t been wearing boots, their next shoe of choice has been the mum mule. Think kitten heel (sculptural look preferred), bold colour and minimal to bold strap according to your mood.

Shop now: NEOUS Shom leather mules for £435 from Net-A-Porter

The pearl earrings

Last season was all about mismatched gold earrings, but this time round, there’s more of a baroque vibe, thanks to statement pearl earrings. Into it.

Shop now: SIMONE ROCHA Pearl earrings for £195 from Selfridges

The micro bag

Who needs an oversized bag, when you can have a perfectly cute – if completely impractical – micro bag. I’ve seen a few STAUD beaded pouches around, faux croc Rejina Pyo box bags, as bejewelled D&G styles and more minimalist Roksanda pouches.

Shop now: STAUD Lance beaded canvas pouch for £160 from MatchesFashion.com

Shop now: Rejina Pyo black Olivia crocodile embossed leather box bag for £495 from FARFETCH

Consider yourself Fashion Week street style ready.

Until next season…

The post London Fashion Week street style: The six accessories to invest in NOW appeared first on Marie Claire.

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How to Style a Sweater as a Layering Piece

how to style a cardigan as a layering pieceI recently saw some interesting photos at Banana Republic of sweaters styled as a layering piece, and since it IS that season where you may or may not need a sweater or cardigan, depending on temperature, wind, humidity, office AC, etc., I thought it might make an interesting discussion. If you’re not actively wearing the sweater, how do you style it? Do you wrap it around your shoulders or your waist, or do you just carry it in a bag? This can be very office-specific as well as location-specific, but here are the basic questions: Are there ways to style a cardigan that are “classic,” or does the sweater-as-accessories-look read a certain way to you, like preppy, casual, or (ahem) dated? Do you prefer to just throw a cardigan in your bag for your commute if you’re not wearing it? (In the past, we’ve talked more generally about cardigans in our guide to stylish cardigans for the office, and we’ve also discussed ways to button cardigans.)

For my $ .02, I think both looks above are way too casual for a conservative office. If I needed to shed a layer before returning to my office I’d be far more likely to throw both arms of the cardigan over my shoulders, like below. But while I see a lot of this look in real life (enough that I’d call it classic!), I see hardly any images in the styled annals of Pinterest and style blogs, which makes me wonder if people see it as outdated. (Refinery 29 has their “cool girl” take on how to style sweaters that includes a very sloppy version of the below looks…)

how to style a cardigan as a layering piece

Pictures above via East Coast Southern Soul / Preppy in Pastels / Unknown! (Please shout it out if you know who this is.)

Personnally, I will note that I probably wouldn’t do the looped cuffs as shown in image 3, and in image 1 I would probably have buttoned parts of the sweater to avoid the cape-like look and to make it look neater, like in image 2. One of the reasons I’ve always liked the cardigan-over-the-shoulders look is because you can do it on TOP of blazers if you’re really freezing, even if you’re already wearing a sweater underneath the blazer. For me it’s always been a functional look rather than an intended part of my look for the day — I’ve found that my sweaters get damaged if I throw them in my bag so I prefer to wear them around my shoulders if I’m not actively wearing them.

What are your thoughts, ladies? How are you styling sweaters as layering pieces these days, whether for work or play? Are any of these part of your “look” for the day, or are they always just a means to an end for commuting or networking events/work-related cocktail parties where you don’t want to end the conversation to put your sweater down but don’t want to wear it anymore? 

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The Best in Affordable Style from the Month that Was – August ’18

A wise man once asked: “What the hell just happened?” And for good reason. There is value in looking back. It gives us all a good gauge as to what is good, and more importantly, what is not good, going forward. Sure, the “clip show” is mostly a cheap (affordable?) device to create new content out of already published stuff. But it’s also a good way to catch up in case you missed something. So cue the flashback music. Here’s the very best from the month that was…

 

Best Sale: Banana Republic’s 50% off F&F Deal (expired) 

Banana Republic

Banana Republic has been on a roll lately. From soup to nuts, (or from shoes to shirts?) they’ve been making nice quality, well fitting & feeling goods that can be a bargain if you play the sales game right. This latest Friends and Family event also featured free 2-3 day shipping on orders of $ 100+, and as always, cardmembers got an ADDITIONAL 10% off the already as low-as-they-go 50% off.

 

Best Individual Item Deal: Any AE Brown Shoes that were an extra 20% – 40% off Clearance

Allen Edmonds

Allen Edmonds is doing away with it’s Brown Burnished shade of leather (for something called “Coffee” I believe), and that put a bunch of wheelhouse styles in the clearance section. And then they ran an extra 20% off clearance. Then bumped it up to an extra 30% off clearance. And then to an extra 40% off clearance. That put Strands, McAllisters, and the above MacKenzie wholecuts down to $ 178. For first quality! And they weren’t final sale/there was no restocking fee for returns.

 

Worst Received Product on Social: Todd Synder’s New Timex

Timex

WOW you fellas on social media didn’t like this thing. Oh it’s a looker all right, but more than a few were happy to point out that they’ve purchased automatics or mechanicals for less (even though Quartz is more accurate), as well as that any Timex with the loud “tick” is a deal breaker. Anyway, full review is here if you’re interested.

 

Riskiest post for those who love chips & salsa: How To Wear White Pants

Dappered.com

The salsa will always, ALWAYS fall off the chip when you’re wearing white pants. And do make sure you’ve picked the right picante sauce. Some people will apparently murder you if you don’t.

 

Best Week: Reader Appreciation Week!

Dappered Reader Appreciation Week

Congrats again to all the winners. And thank you once again to all of the participating brands. Can’t wait to do this again next year.

 

Most Shameless Rationalization to buy new stuff: Back to School!

Dappered.com

Not in school? Who cares! I know. Pretty shameless here. But why let the rugrats have all the fun with their new crayons and galoshes and what not?

 

Most Unlikely Brand to get picked up by Amazon: Combat Gent

Combatant Gentlemen

FFS really? Even if they actually are under new management (I believe nothing and never have that comes out of that brand), what the hell are they doing not at least RENAMING the business? You’d think that well is beyond poisoned. But what do I know.

 

Most Overlooked Room in a Bachelor Pad when it comes to Style: The Bathroom

The Dappered Space

Bad bathrooms aren’t a given if you’re flyin’ solo. Don’t let bad bathrooms happen to you. Here’s one way to prevent your water closet from (unfairly) making you look like a goober. Take command of your abode commode people!

 

Coziest Photo: Saddleback Dopp Kit & Crackling Fire

Dappered.com

Never has a toiletry kit looked more romantic. “Sex by the fire at night…”

 

Best Alternative to Mimosas at Brunch: Champgane Cocktails

From one of our weekend resets. The Champagne Cocktail. It is incredibly simple to make. It adds a little extra oomph to the bubbles, and it is dee-lish-us. This one serves up well and goes down easy. Just be careful. These suckers will knock you on your eggs Benedict hoovering arse. Especially if you add the cognac / brandy float that isn’t added in the above video.

 

Worst Attempted Comeback: Twitter Reply on Why Wear a Watch

Dappered.com

Alex via Twitter: Reasons to not wear a watch: 1. You have a phone that tells time.

The “smartphones tell time” comeback was preemptively addressed not only in the excerpt (“Why bother when your smartphone can tell the time? Here’s why.”) It’s also addressed in the third sentence of the post. I understand the post as a whole is pretty ridiculous. But, I mean… we already…

God I hate the internet.

 

Classiest Reader: Chris

Dappered.com

Chris won one of our contests (for a Saddleback no less), and sent a hand written thank you note in response. Seriously one of the coolest things we’ve ever received. Plus it was on Art of Manliness letterpress stationery. Now, that said, for all future (and past) winners, no need to send thank you notes. It’s not expected. Chris beat you to it. Save your stamps. We’re good now. Seriously, once was enough.

 

Best Upcoming Annual Autumn Feature: Best Fall Sportcoats!

Tweed. Flannel. Corduroy. It’s all happening. Or, gonna happen.

Feeling Nostalgic? Here’s the archive containing previous editions of Best of the Month that Was.


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Box fresh sneakers to up your street style game

Trainers are having a fashion moment, and we’re not talking about gym-wear.

Gone are the days of boring, uninspired sports uniforms. With designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Raf Simons dressing up sports shoes and athleisure on the tip of everyone’s tongues, it’s safe to say that trainers are officially here to stay.

We’re surprised it took this long – they’re comfortable, affordable and are an easy way to dress down an outfit without sacrificing style. While they’ve generally been a favourite of the urban style crew, big retailers like H&M, Zara and more have been gradually introducing slick new versions into their stores and everybody owns at least one pair now. They go with almost everything – jeans, cropped trousers, summer dresses – and take all the fuss out of choosing what to wear first thing in the morning.

Best Fashion Trainers

As with the rest of the fashion world, footwear isn’t impervious to the ebb and flow of trends. Pastel shades – including the inevitable millennial pink – bring a softness and femininity to classic shapes, making them the perfect addition to a denim dress or full skirt. There’s also been a lot of buzz around metallics in rose golds, silvers and gold lame, which will give you a reason to work on that fancy footwork. When in doubt however, you can never go wrong with a classic white sneak.

Balenciaga completely changed the game this season though and brought back a style we never though would see the light of day again: dad trainers. Love them or hate them, they’re here to stay and we spent a VERY long time trying to find the last Balenciaga pair available online. You’re welcome.

best trainers for women

Balenciaga Triple S Trainers, £615 at Balenciaga

The bigger the better, according to Balenciaga. These trainers were seen everywhere this fashion week just gone and have racketed up fans like Liu Wen, Bella Hadid, Hailee Steinfeld and more. Unsurprisingly, they’ve sold out almost everywhere.

Best running trainers

We chatted with Cathy, who runs a site dedicated to running, cycling and general fitness called JogBlog, about choosing the perfect running trainers. It’s worth investing in a great pair of shoes if you’re an avid runner and more serious enthusiasts should think about asking for expert advice – when Cathy first started out, she had to learn that the hard way.

She said, ‘I started out running with the cheapest pair of trainers I could find (£10 in a non-sports shop). That was a mistake – they were so stiff and uncomfortable! I then went to a specialist running shop where I ran on a treadmill so the staff could analyse my gait, then they brought out to me different brands of shoe appropriate for my running style to try on. After trying on a few pairs – I just ‘knew’ which were the right pair.’

best trainers for women

Nike NMD XR1 Trainer, £129.99 at Footasylum

These adidas Originals really aren’t messing around. This burgundy option will keep you at the front of the fashion pack and double as great running trainers.

Best trainers for the gym

Cathy shared, ‘For the gym, unless you’re doing high impact exercise such as the treadmill, then it doesn’t really matter what you wear on your feet and, as running shoes are expensive, I save my old ones for the gym to get value for money out of them!’

adidas by Stella McCartney Barricade boost trainers, £130 at Harrods

These shoes have been designed especially for the gym, with a super springy sole to keep you bouncing through your reps and a structured upper for extra support. The pastel colours are just the cherry on top.

Best trainers for walking

Nike Metcon DSX Flyknit 2, £80.47

The Nike Flyknit is a true blue staple and it was love at first sight when we spotted these kicks. It’s all business in the front with these pastel kicks, then party in the back with a bolt of neon green to keep things interesting.

Best trainers for flat feet

best trainers for women

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8, £125

Having problems with your arch? These all-black trainers are right up your alley, as they’ve been specially designed to provide extra underfoot support. Don’t let anything keep you from that workout.

The post Box fresh sneakers to up your street style game appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Labor Day Weekend Sales for Men – 2018 Affordable Style Roundup

IT’S NOT JUST A HANDFUL. IT’S A HOEDOWN.

hoedownin

Why hoedown? Too much for a handful. Enjoy the long weekend fellas.

 

Expect these to be updated as more sales start to roll in today and over the weekend. Got a tip on a Labor Day weekend sale? Send those into joe@dappered.com.

 

J. Crew: 40% off select w/ BIGSALE

J. Crew

Lots of exclusions, but there’s still plenty of deals to be had. Nice to see that they’ve included their outstanding wool/cotton blazers in this sale (full review of those can be found here). Also, under $ 300 for a Ludlow suit in worsted wool is quite nice. Half-canvas and bemberg lined. UPDATE: They jacked the discount up to 40% off on Friday. So, prices above have been updated.

 

Allen Edmonds: Extra 30% off  40% off Clearance AND Factory 2nds w/ PLUS40

 Allen Edmonds

This was already a great deal, but I had no idea that this PLUS30 code was also working on Factory 2nds. Huge thanks to Adam G. for the tip here. Just remember that there’s a steep $ 25 restocking fee on any returned through the mail factory 2nds. And you just don’t know what makes them seconds quality (small cosmetic blemishes) until they show up. UPDATE: They’ve jacked this up to an extra 40% off with the code PLUS40. Big thanks to Armed Ferret for the tip!

 

Nordstrom Rack: Extra 25% off Most Clearance

It’s another clear the racks Nordstrom Rack event. Looks like most of their clearance section has had an extra 25% taken off the already marked down price. No code here. Prices are as marked.

 

EXPRESS: 40% off EVERYTHING

Express

Not bad. EXPRESS can be more than graphic tees with lions and “LOYALTY” splashed across em’. But yeah, still gotta dodge some of that super loud and logo’d up stuff.

 

Bonobos: 20% off $ 175, 25% off $ 500, 30% off $ 750, 35% off $ 1500 w/ TWERK

Bonobos

Geeze Bonobos. Them be some steep thresholds. But… I suppose Bonobos doesn’t really do “cheap,” despite being bought by Wally World. Some of their stuff is way out of the budget. (Premium chinos for $ 200? No thanks.) But some of their tailored stuff, like those sportcoats, are home runs.

 

Club Monaco: 25% off w/ FALL18

Club Monaco

Yes, there are some 3rd party brand exclusions, but they’re pretty few and far between. Which means 25% off those new Red Wings and/or the Filson Original Briefcase. Thanks Club Monaco!

 

Huckberry: Select Labor Day Weekend Deals

Huckberry

Quite the end of summer clearance feel going on over at Huckberry right now. Those Flint & Tinder 365 shorts aren’t cheap at full retail, and they’re hardly dirt cheap even with the sale, but the fabric really is outstanding and the made in the USA factor is a huge plus.

 

J. Crew Factory: 50% off Most + Extra 50% off Clearance w/ SALEAWAY

J. Crew Factory

Bummed that this doesn’t apply to men’s blazers and/or suiting. Also, note that JCF has switched from all merino basic v-necks and crew necks this year to something they’re calling a “perfect merino blend,” which is described as cotton/poly/merino? Eeesh. Anyway, at least the extra 50% off clearance code is a pretty solid deal. Not bad if you’re looking to grab a few inexpensive long sleeve button downs for the upcoming cooler weather.

 

Lands’ End: 40% Off Full-Price Styles w/ CELEBRATE & 3427

Lands' End

Lands’ End can be a bit hit or miss for some of us, and they don’t carry a ton of variety, but when they hit on a basic they hit it out of the park. Like those 100% wool year’rounder dress pants. Lots of guys swear by those. And their quilted jackets are nice for the price. 40% off is pretty solid. When they go 50% off, it’s almost always limited to just one item. You can go multiple here.

 

Brooks Bros: Men’s Shirts $ 59 each When You Buy 4 Or More

Brooks Brothers

It’s a select dress and sport shirts deal, so be prepared to sort by size and fit. Milano is their slimmest fit, while their Regent fit is a pretty good athletic fit for most fellas. Works out to $ 236 total out of pocket by the time its all said and done, but if you like Brooks Brothers shirts? These bulk deals are a good time to stock up. Works on select dress and sport shirts.

 

UNIQLO: Wool/Cashmere Topcoats are back – $ 149

UNIQLO

Okay, so, it’s not a sale. But nothing says the impending return of fall and winter quite like UNIQLO’s extremely popular “chesterfield” wool/cashmere topcoats being restocked on their site. Four colors to pick from. Just be warned that they’re not the thickest/warmest coats. Yes, the fabric is nice. But it’s not gonna keep you super warm when it’s real cold out. ALSO… UNIQLO is running a free shipping no minimum deal that I believe expires tonight, 8/30/18.

 

Also worth a mention:


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Beau Brummell: The Original Gentleman of Style

Just as all of humanity can trace its origins to a single common ancestor, the DNA of classic menswear, dandyism, and the contemporary iGent goes back to one person: George Bryan “Beau” Brummell (1778-1840). In this profile, we examine the life of a man whose impact on style can still be strongly felt more than 175 years after his death.

Beau Brummell Sculpture on Jermyn Street

Irena Sedlecka’s sculpture of Beau Brummell on Jermyn Street in London

Beau Brummell: The Original Gentleman of Style

Early Life

Although Beau Brummell lived centuries ago, aspects of his life will bring to mind today’s #menswear personalities. His story represents the culmination of generations of gradual social elevation: his grandfather was a shopkeeper whose clients included aristocrats, his father gained higher status and wealth as private parliamentary secretary to Lord North, and Brummell himself would obtain the friendship of the future King George IV. And, much like today’s Instagram influencers, he achieved his success entirely by promoting his individual style.

Joshua Reynolds' portrait of the Brummell brothers

Joshua Reynolds’ portrait of the young Brummell brothers

From childhood, Brummell was educated to be a gentleman of status. His father sent him and his brother William to Eton, where, by his early teens he had already demonstrated a precocious mastery of stylistic innovation, embellishing his cravat by adding a gold buckle to it.

Eton College

Eton College in Windsor, where Beau Brummell first displayed his sartorial innovations.

This flair with dressing, accompanied by a penchant for witty remarks, were early signs of what we could call the Beau Brummell brand, one he would consciously cultivate for the rest of his life. As a student, Brummell was average, indifferent to his studies both at Eton and, later, at Oxford, where he remained for only a single term.

Badge of the 10th Royal Hussars

Badge of the 10th Royal Hussars

Upon the death of his father in 1794, the sixteen-year-old Brummell inherited a third of the estate (£20,000-£30,000, equal to several million today by one estimation), held in trust. At this point, he petitioned to join the Tenth Royal Hussars, the regiment of the Prince of Wales, likely in an effort to curry favor from the man who was next in line for the throne. This would be a springboard to further advancement since the new money Brummell held would not be enough to secure a place among the highest of society. However, it may have been enough to get into the regiment, a gambit that paid off for him, as he was indeed noticed by the Prince and highly favored by him on the basis of his charm. As in his academic career, Brummell didn’t do anything special while in the military, yet he managed to gain two promotions–to lieutenant and then to captain–and special privileges–he was allowed to shirk on his duties. Brummell had his entrée into the so-called “bon ton,” the elite 1% of British society, due to the patronage of the Prince.

A caricature of the Regency ton

A French caricature of “the bon ton.”

Brummell as Style Influencer

However, when the Hussars were slated to be posted to Manchester, which Brummell considered a social and cultural backwater, he resigned his commission and established himself as an arbiter of style and wit in London. This was the height of Brummell’s fame and where he made his lasting mark on menswear. His greatest contribution was promoting a completely new style of dress for men, later called “The Great Male Renunciation.” Previous to Brummell’s innovations, men’s clothes were more flamboyant, heavily influenced by the French court and involved wearing wigs, white hair powder, perfume, elaborate silks, and knee breeches with stockings. Brummell replaced this with natural, unadorned hair, long trousers worn with boots, and coats without much ornamentation. Specifically, his uniform was a blue coat (known as Bath coating) with a buff waistcoat, off-white linen shirt with a white cravat, buckskin trousers, and dark riding boots. In the evening, he wore a blue coat as well, though with a white waistcoat, black pants that ended at the ankle, striped silk socks and black slippers. Furthermore, he replaced the reliance on perfumes and powders for personal hygiene with the concept of a daily bath.

Beau Brummell's daytime look

A rendition of Beau Brummell in his typical daytime attire.

The earlier fascination with Continental style had been fed by the great French aristocratic courts of Kings Louis XIV-XVI as the vanguard of fashion. However, the bloody wake-up call of the French Revolution in 1789, followed by a war between Britain and France in the 1790s, prompted the growth of a homegrown British style. Brummell’s genius, however, was not that he invented the elements of his dress from scratch but rather that brought together various inspirations and made of them a coherent whole.

The boots, buckskin trousers and use of wool evoked countrywear, which continues to play a huge role in British tailoring to this day. According to Brummell’s biographer, Ian Kelly, the tailcoat with brass buttons was something already worn at Eton, while blue and buff were the unofficial colors of those in the Whig political party. Directing attention to the cravat worn high on the neck was something being done in post-Revolutionary France, so that influence never went away, and the streamlined silhouette and muted colors of the new look as a whole were supposed to recreate, in clothed form, male nude statuary from Classical Greece. Thus, the hybrid #menswear looks we see today–British Prince of Wales patterned jackets made in unstructured Neapolitan cuts worn with American OCBD shirts and loafers–represent a continuation of Brummell’s legacy: taking the best aspects of different cultural approaches to style and making of them a global synthesis.

A modern #menswear synthesis of styles

Atte Ryknonen, from Finland, wearing a globally-influenced outfit composed of a British glen check pattern in an unstructured Italian jacket along with an American-style denim shirt.

Brummell’s Legacy

The mechanism by which his influence spread is much the same as what happens with today’s iGent who is seen wearing a tobacco linen suit or Casentino overcoats, making it the “must have” of the season. One man innovates and everyone else follows suit, which is what happened, with essentially positive long-term results in the case of Brummell and his circle. What he did in the early 19th century still informs the consensus of what good taste looks like in menswear. His clothes represented an understated elegance including a disdain for anything “over the top.” He also established a limited range of appropriate colors and the color theory for combining them effectively through contrast, something we still do when we pair blue and gray or brown and blue. In later generations, Brummell’s look would evolve into the suit and tie but, more directly, into the sport coat and pants combination, since he preferred not to match his coat with his trousers. The emphasis on neckwear as the ornamental center of attention in a tailored outfit remains with us via the necktie or bow tie. Brummell’s choice of contrasting black and white as he changed from day into evening wear remains the black-tie dress code today. Yet it is perhaps formal morning dress, particularly a morning coat and separate colored trousers with a light-colored vest, that most closely evokes the Regency attire Brummell actually wore.

SRS in a morning coat

Sven Raphael Schneider in morning attire

Many of the behaviors of menswear connoisseurs are also the legacy of Beau Brummell. For one thing, he showed an incredible attention to detail as he dictated how he wanted his clothes to be made–something lovers of bespoke clothes are certainly familiar with–and would go to multiple tailors, each of whom was the best for a different article of clothing. Always displaying a strong cravat game, Brummell time-consuming approach to clothes also applied to his neckwear. It is said that he spent hours adjusting his cravat in front of a mirror to get it just right, arranged in such a way that it looked natural and not overly contrived. In this, he practiced one of the defining aspects of sprezzatura: dedicating a great deal of effort to make something you wear look nonchalant like no effort was required at all. Today, Brummell’s practice of sprezzatura is most often applied to how the contemporary gent should arrange his pocket square to look nonchalant in contrast to the elaborate and affected variations seen online. Indeed, long before the existence of internet tutorials, Brummell’s followers, including the Prince of Wales himself, would gather to watch him go through his dressing routine, undoubtedly voicing their “likes” and imitating his techniques.

Beau Brummell wearing a high cravat

Beau Brummell’s cravat game has translated into the modern pocket square game

Among his Regency-era fanboys, Brummell was known as much for his epigrammatic wit–the tweets of his day–as for his style, and his witty remarks were collected as “Brummellisms.” One, in particular, is often repeated as advice for the current day: “If John Bull [the average Joe] turns around to look at you, you are not well dressed but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable.” This has been taken as a warning against dressing like a Pitti peacock in a style that is mainly meant to be noticed by others, though Brummell’s own fame, ironically, depended on the fact that his mode of dress was noticed. A similar paradox should not be lost in our increasingly casual world either since any well-dressed man is likely to stand out nowadays.

Brummell’s Downfall

Like many modern celebrities, Brummell’s lifestyle was ultimately his downfall. His personality was haughty and his witticisms often acerbic or rude, so they had a great potential to alienate people. As one example, his practice was to sit with his admirers in the bow window (thereafter nicknamed the “Beau window”) at White’s gentleman’s club in London and pass judgment on the style of men passing in the street, behavior that is familiar to anyone who frequents menswear forums or reads Instagram comments. However, Brummell’s tendency to say snarky things eventually alienated the Prince of Wales, whom he called “fat” when he didn’t recognize him at a masquerade ball.

The future George IV

A caricature of the Prince of Wales, known for his decadence and obesity.

In actuality, Brummell was unaffected by loss of Prince’s friendship but was instead ruined by a gambling habit. He had always lived an extravagant life that required considerable expense. Membership in the Tenth Regiment was a costly affair, as soldiers had to pay for their own elaborate uniforms, horses, and frequent mess hall banquets. In order to remain well dressed, Brummell also claimed to require at least £800 per year (roughly £67,000), and, in addition to this, he amassed sizable gambling debts. He would lose £10,000 in a night, one source reporting he had debts of more than £600,000 (20 times his original inheritance). Facing numerous creditors, Brummell fled England for Calais in 1816. At this time, he was already suffering from the symptoms of syphilis that he may have contracted while living the high life in London. Eventually, he regained favor with the now King George IV and was granted the position of consul at Caen, which enabled him to begin paying off his debts. Unfortunately, the position, which paid a mere £800 per year. was eliminated after the king’s death, and Brummell found himself first in debtor’s prison and then in a sanitarium where he died, insane, from the symptoms of his sexually transmitted disease. The passing of the once most famous man in England went largely unnoticed.

Beau Brummell as an Old Man

Purportedly a self-portrait by Brummell of himself as an older man.

His Legacy

Since his demise, Brummell’s legacy has been subject equally to admiration and ridicule. During the Victorian era, his life was sanitized and various apocryphal sayings and exaggerated practices were attributed to him, but his witticisms were also famously mocked by William Hazlitt for being truly witless and Brummell himself labeled “a splendidly useless human being.” Interestingly, his older brother William lived comfortably as an estate-owner and gentleman without pursuing celebrity though he is essentially forgotten today.

Beau Brummell's Grave

Beau Brummell’s grave in the Protestant Cemetery at Caen still receives regular visitors.

Brummell’s dramatic rise and fall certainly made his life ripe for cinematic treatment, and he has been the subject of several films including one starring Stewart Granger and Elizabeth Taylor in 1954 and a British TV version in 2006. The question of whether Brummell was brilliant or just knew how to get noticed is one that we can ask about social media icons today.

Conclusion

Whatever the case, the fact remains that Beau Brummell was ahead of his time and so many of the things we do as wearers of classic menswear owe a debt to him. What do you think of his style and legacy?


Gentleman’s Gazette

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How to Get Your Style Groove Back

how to get your style groove backSo here’s something we haven’t talked about in a thousand years: how to reassess your personal style and, if necessary, get your style groove back. Some fun things we’ve discussed in the past include where to start when you need style inspiration, the weekend you vs. the weekday you, how to cultivate style (vs. following trends), “next step” brands (as in, I’ve graduated from Express — what’s next?) and, many moons ago, how to revamp your entire wardrobe.

I’m going through a bit of this right now myself. This is how I’m trying to get out of my style rut, but I’d love to hear your tips as well!

1) Assess what’s working. For example, you may have a great uniform right now that works — like black tops and gray pants — and you’re just looking to mix it up a little without throwing out your entire wardrobe.

2) Assess where you want to go — and what’s stopping you now. For example, if you’re not a fan of ironing, the starched-blouse-Carolina Herrera/Arianna Huffington look is not for you. But you could add an academic look by wearing collared dickeys beneath sweaters, or replace the idea of a collar with a prominent necklace, worn with an opaque white tee.

3) Retrain your brain, if necessary. For example, maybe you don’t like the look of flats with skirts and dresses, but you ALSO don’t like to wear heels. This doesn’t necessarily mean that skirts and dresses are out for you, just that you have to educate yourself on how people are wearing them. On a related note, this may also be necessary if you’re thinking to yourself, “I wore _[trend]_ when it came around the first time and I won’t be caught DEAD in it again!” If we’re talking about Hammer pants, OK. But bootcuts — or leggings — or duster coats — or plaid — there are a lot of things that feel “trendy” but are just cyclical and come back in style again and again. The people who make the clothes are savvy enough to make the styles different by just a bit — the cuts are just sliiiightly different and the ways they can be worn tend to be different.

4) Get Pinning. I know, if you were in it to win it in 2013 or so with Pinterest, it may seem to be waning in its current iteration, but I really do think that this is where Pinterest excels. (Have you stopped by our Pinterest boards lately for some inspiration?) I’m pinning:

  • outfits I like
  • body twins where I like THEIR outfit (As I’ve noted before, my hourglass shape has turned more apple over the years, and it’s so difficult to find celebrity or blogger inspiration where they don’t look winched into Spanx.)
  • outfits that challenge me — sometimes I look at an outfit and think NOPE, not for me, next — and other times it’s a bit more puzzling whether it is or isn’t for me. I find that if I pin the look after four or five visits, I can put my finger more precisely on what I do or don’t like (the shoes, the lines, the pattern) and how I might want to try the look for myself.

5) Start trying things on! Shopping, thrifting, clothes swaps… they’re all good. If you have similar-sized friends, try to do a closet declutter event at the same time. Services like Stitch Fix can also be great because they can force you to try new things that are a little bit outside your comfort zone. (I would also say that our four-week work outfit challenge might be great here — lots of workwear inspiration and ideas!)

Ladies, what are your thoughts on style ruts? Have you been in one recently? What did you do to get your style groove back? How often do you reassess your personal style?

Stock photo via Deposit Photos / nejron.

If you've gotten into a rut with your personal style, it can seem daunting -- but we've rounded up our best tips for how to get your style groove back!

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ICYMI: Gucci Cruise, Festival Street Style & September Issues Are Rolling In

Sure, we’re all glued to our phones/tablets/laptops/watches that barely tell time, but even the best of us miss out on some important #content from time to time. That’s why, in case you missed it, we’ve rounded up our most popular stories of the week to help you stay in the loop. No need to thank …

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A Tribute to Summer Style

Autumn used to be my favourite season. I love the textures, jackets, coats, boots, turtlenecks, scarves, gorgeous foliage, and crisp fresh air. These days I prefer Summer. I grew up in a tropical and Mediterranean climate, and seem to have come full circle with the type of weather that makes me happiest. 

We’ve lived in Seattle for fifteen years, and although everyone raves about the Summer here, it doesn’t satisfy my need for heat. It’s a mild 23 and 29 Celsius degrees most days (75 to 85 Fahrenheit). Sunny, no rain, and quite dry (about 42% humidity). Spending more time in Salt Lake City, where Greg works part of the time, has helped. Here it’s a sunny 38 Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) on most days. Very hot, but also very dry with only 15-20% humidity. We were also fortunate to recently spend two weeks in hot and humid coastal Italy.

A lot of my love for Summer has to do with what I can wear in hot weather. I love wearing soft, breezy and flowing fit & flare dresses and knee-length A-line skirts without feeling cold. I enjoy wearing a single layer (with or without a camisole, depending on the humidity) instead of being all bundled up. I like to wear shoes that don’t need socks because my feet can breath. I enjoy the delicateness and prettiness of Summer fabrics, like lace, eyelet, tencel and Swiss dots. I enjoy the pretty Summer footwear like pointy-toe ballet flats and mules. I love sheer Summer fabrics like cotton and silk. I enjoy crisp, bright and cheerful Summer patterns. I adore the swoosh and movement of drapey Summer skirts and dresses on my legs. I like to showcase bare ankles with cropped pants and jeans, instead of insulating them with knee-highs, socks, and high-shaft boots.

I love how varied my style can be in Summer. In the colder months I’m focussed on feeling adequately warm, dry and insulated because I have little resistance to the cold. I therefore gravitate towards the same outfit formula far too often: jeans + pullover + boots + blazer/coat + scarf.

In Summer I can wear cropped white jeans and pants up to a 100 degrees as long as it’s very dry. I wear all sorts of dresses without a topper (but will bring one for a/c). I have fun wearing dainty skirts. I sport a wide selection of footwear instead of boots. I wear blouses, shirts, cotton knitwear, and knitted tops that I don’t wear at all at other times of the year. 

I feel more elegant and alluring because I’m not all bundled up. I’m feeling the breeze, energized by the warmth, and walking with a spring in a my step. I LOVE Summer style. How about you?

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BWW Review: Joshua Bergasse Creates a Sensational New Style For the Leiber and Stoller Smash SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE

When the smash hit revue SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE, celebrating the pop classics of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, opened on Broadway in 1995, director Jerry Zaks staged each beloved number with snazzy show-biz slickness and glitz, suggesting the ways they might have been performed by the artists who introduced them when in concert or on television variety shows.
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The Ivy Style Primer

For many, the Ivy, Prep, and Trad styles tend to blend together in a way that makes it difficult to differentiate them from one another.

We’ve discussed preppy style in detail and in this primer, we’re going to focus on the Ivy style, which unbeknownst to most, is actually a style of its own, separate and apart from prep and trad.

Of course, there are many similarities, but in most cases, it’s not so much the clothing, but how they’re worn.

The prep look is far more nautical in appearance, more beach appropriate and an ideal style for the Hamptons and Cape Cod. Ivy style, on the other hand, is a dressier version of prep that’s ideal for the historic chambers in the hallowed walls of America’s Ivy League schools like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.

Yale students in more formal Ivy attire

Yale students in more formal Ivy attire

The History of Ivy Style

While the preppy style has been around since the early 1900s, first making an appearance around 1910, the ivy style really began to flourish in the early to mid-1950s on the grounds of the top universities and colleges in America. Just as prep style influenced many designers, ivy style took its fair share of the credit leading us to use the terms prep, ivy, and trad as synonyms of one another. Blended over the years, Ivy style was born out of an interest in appearing more elegant and well dressed than the casual undertones of the prep culture.

Ivy Style started to flourish in the 1950s

Ivy Style started to flourish in the 1950s

While prep style was reserved for garden parties, sailing, and casual affairs, Ivy style was for more formal, casual occasions such as attending class at Harvard Law, going on a late dinner date with the young lady you met at the Square or an event your parents insisted you attend with them at the country club after giving you a stern warning to leave the boat shoes and anchor bracelets at home.

Ivy style was perfect for on campus lectures

Ivy style was perfect for on-campus lectures

The style was a direct reflection of college life at the campuses only the most affluent and well-versed students could attend. It separated the men of Harvard and Yale from the common youth at other colleges, and especially in a town like Cambridge where there are more colleges than shopping malls, the Ivy style became a way to instantly recognize a member of your social circle. That is until the style caught on and began to rise in popularity amongst all young men and women throughout the Northeastern United States.

Despite the students of the Ivy League schools knowing the style as “Ivy”, the rest of the world simply adopted it as a more formal version of prep and thus the blending of the styles was introduced. It is only the rarest of gentlemen that can pinpoint the differences between the various styles but is something we’ll attempt to explain.

What is Ivy Style?

Ivy style is about two things. Representing yourself through your wardrobe as a member of one of the most elite universities or colleges in the world and dressing down when the authority figure such as your father would normally dress up.

It’s really that simple. Slightly more formal, yet still relatively casual. Of course, today the styles are intertwined like vines along an old rusted fence and ivy style as its own subculture fell from existence in the late 1960s. Today the only separation between the two is the varying degree of formality, yet even that is too close to distinguish.

Contemporary Ivy Style by Ralph Lauren

Contemporary Ivy Style by Ralph Lauren

Christian Chensvold of Ivy-Style.com makes the perfect analogy. He says, “In 1964, when a spirited girl meets a handsome, reserved, all-American, clean-cut kind of guy who gets his clothing at Brooks Brothers and simultaneously finds herself both attracted and repelled by him, she teasingly calls him ‘Ivy League.’”

Classic ivy style with a modern twist

Classic ivy style with a modern twist

“And in 1970”, he says, “after the fall of the Ivy League Look when this same spirited girl meets the same all-American guy, she mockingly calls him ‘preppy.’”

Ivy School Boys on a Walk

Ivy School Boys on a Walk

“So you see”, remarks Chensvold, “the clothing is essentially the same. It’s just how women referred to the clothing — and the men who wore it.”

Various Ivy Leaguers

Various Ivy Leaguers

Today, the only difference comes down to semantics. True Ivy Leaguers will opt for penny loafers, Preps will choose boat shoes. A Prep will wear pants and shoes without socks. Conversely, Ivy Leaguers will only do so in the heat of summer. A Prep will almost never wear a suit and usually opt for a navy blazer instead. An Ivy Leaguer – while he loves the blazer – will still wear a suit almost half of the time.

When it comes to Prep, it’s about convenience, comfort, and style. For the Ivy Leaguer, it’s about style followed by comfort and then convenience. A Prep will throw on the first polo shirt he finds in his closet and pairs it with GTH pants. An Ivy Leaguer will take the time to put it under a cricket sweater and wear linen pants in eggshell.

When it comes to sports and lifestyle, both Prep and Ivy styles intertwine completely. Polo, tennis, and golf remain favorites and a weekend in Southampton is considered a sublime way to spend the summer. Winters are spent in Palm Beach, and there’s nothing better than spending a warm afternoon sipping G&Ts on a sailboat.

The tennis sweater was a pinnacle of ivy style fashion

The tennis sweater was a pinnacle of ivy style fashion

Ivy Style Purveyors and Clothing

Of course with blended styles, the same clothiers occupied both the preppy style industry and the Ivy style industry. The most popular for Ivy Style was J.Press followed closely by Brooks Brothers, both of which were instrumental in the development of the mingled style we know it as today.

Of course, with Ivy style being so closely related to prep, we urge you to read our Preppy Style Guide by clicking here for the most iconic clothing. However, let’s examine some style staples we would find in Ivy Style pre-1967.

Classic Penny Loafers

Classic Penny Loafers

Penny Loafers

Introduced in 1936 by the G.H. Bass shoe company, penny loafers became an instant hit amongst the wealthy undergrads at Ivy League Schools in the United States. The ease of slipping them on combined with the formality of leather and suede made it the perfect compliment to a formal and yet very casual wardrobe. Read more about the penny loafer by clicking here.

A casual day in the life of an ivy leaguer

A casual day in the life of an ivy leaguer

Khaki Pants

Also called chinos, these are generally made from 100% cotton and despite being worn today by many retail stores and trades workers as uniforms, also work very well to compliment a blazer or with a sweater and tie. Available from numerous merchants, the classic chinos come from Brooks Brothers and are designed as a pair of business casual trousers perfect for a variety of events. They’re especially comfortable to wear in the summer as they breathe nicely, but they also work well due to their sturdier construction when compared to dress slacks.

Knit Ties

Made from silk and wool, knit ties are a great way to fit into a more formal business environment while displaying a certain amount of sprezzatura and casualness. Their luxurious feel and cri de la soie texture make them a style staple for future corporate raiders, oil barons and media moguls that are still grasping onto their youth. Click here to see a selection of the finest knit ties from Fort Belvedere.

A classic Ivy League student

A classic Ivy League student

Herringbone Jackets

The herringbone jacket is a perfect way to turn what could otherwise be a more formal jacket into something casual without a wild pattern. With its country appeal, it became very popular for wear by those who frequented or took part in equestrian events. It was the jacket to use when you wanted to dress up for a date on the town but without looking like you were attending a funeral. With flap pockets and larger buttons to increase its casual tone, it has been and still remains a staple in ivy style. Today, it works very well with a pair of boots, an oxford cloth button-down shirt and corduroy pants.

Tweed sportcoat with with green and purple herringbone tones

Tweed sport coat with green and purple herringbone tones paired with Fort Belvedere accessories

Two Button Cuff Jacket

Almost a homage to avoiding anything worn by your father, the two button cuff jacket became the standard worn by the Ivy League crowd. As if intended to piss off the older generation, it’s still worn today by Ivy Leaguers and is a great way for anyone to turn a formal jacket into leisurewear.

The iconic letter sweater

The iconic letter sweater

School Sweaters

School sweaters are usually reserved these days for the cheerleading team, but back in the 1950s, men would wear these knit sweaters boasting their School’s letter in the center of the sweater. Not necessarily popular today, it was a standard amongst men on game days both on and off campus as a show of support for their school.

Classic Ivy Leaguer in a School Sweater

Classic Ivy Leaguer in a School Sweater

Recommended Reading

Here are a few of our favorite books on Ivy Style.

Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style by Jeffrey Banks

An authority on preppy style, Jeffrey Banks focuses on the style that helped shape what we know today as Prep. Taking us back to the Ivy League campuses of the fifties, this incredible book shows us the most fashionable ivy league style staples from its heyday. Click here to get a copy.

Ivy Style: Radical Conformists by Patricia Mears

A look into the styles of the most prestigious college campuses in the mid 20th century, Mears introduces us to what was pinnacle of classic preppy fashion. A great read filled with insights and history, you can get your own copy by clicking here or read our review here.

The Ivy League by Daniel Cappello

While it discusses the style, this book focuses on everything Ivy League related. From the private clubs to the classroom, it’s a really fantastic read if you’re interested in the schools and the lifestyle but never had the chance to attend. Click here for your copy.

The Ivy Look: Classic American Clothing – An Illustrated Pocket Guide by Graham Marsh

“Democratic, stylish and comfortable”, The Ivy Look is literally a pocket guide to everything Ivy Style. Focused on life before the preppy style, it showcases what it meant to be a member of the Ivy League in the early 1950s to mid-1960s. It’s an interesting book but one that tends to tread slightly outside of the Ivy Style focusing on celebrities who attempted to replicate parts of it. Click here for your own pocket guide.

Take Ivy by Shosuke Ishizu

Described by The New York Times as, “a treasure of fashion insiders,” Take Ivy is a look at the classic Ivy Style and how the American fashion influenced Japan. An archive of photographs serves as its road map to discussing the trend that swept the nation and then jumped the pond. Click here for your own copy.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this has given you a glimpse into the minor differences between Preppy style and Ivy League style. Obviously, there aren’t many and it’s very difficult to differentiate the two; especially when designers, the media, and the general public all classify them as one in the same.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Celebrating Diversity in Style

I turn 48 today and feel extremely blessed. I’m happy, healthy, loved, have dear friends, a wonderful family, the best husband, and a precious little doggy. I have peace in my heart because I enjoy life and have learned to appreciate the small things that I’ve taken for granted in the past. I also love my job, which I find rewarding and fulfilling. 

I’ve been in the fashion industry — or “Rag Trade” — for 26 years. I’ve worked in garment manufacture, retail, and I’m now a consultant. First, I was a designer for children’s wear, and then a retail buyer who specialized in ladies wear. Later we moved to Seattle and created youlookfab.com. Instead of continuing a retail buying career, I started my own wardrobe consulting business in a brand new country on my own. I don’t think I’ll be so gutsy again, but glad I had the chutzpah at the time. I came up with a model that helps people with their wardrobe and style on a one-to-one basis — and the rest as they say is history. YLF and my wardrobe consulting business feed off of each other, and are in their 13th year. I have an amazing clientele who are the nicest people, and I happily share my experiences as a fashion professional with the YLF community for free.

I’ve accumulated a knowledge in different aspects of the same industry. And I’m extremely passionate about what I do. I feel a calling to help and encourage anyone who wants to develop and evolve their sense of style and have fun with fashion. I call myself a fashion stylist or wardrobe consultant, but these days I feel more like a style activist.

An activist is someone who campaigns to bring about political or social change, which is what I do in my own small way on YLF. Although it’s much better than it used to be, the fashion industry is still fraught with biases, sexist symbolism, ageism, and a lack of ethnic diversity. The concept of beauty and the ideal body type is based on a very narrow set of ideals that do little to encourage and empower women. Instead, a lot of fashion messaging communicates that there is something wrong with you when you don’t look a certain way. That you can’t feel attractive, look fabulous, dress wonderfully, or be stylish because you’re too old, wide, short, tall, asymmetrical, wrinkled, narrow, grey, round, straight, dark, pale, blemished, scarred, wobbly, hairy, dressy, casual, eccentric, tattooed… and the list goes on. These dated and demoralizing fashion concepts make me sad and angry. With every fibre of my being I believe that we can ALL have a great sense of style.

There is no one way to be stylish, no one way to look beautiful, and no one ideal body type. Style is not an age, dress size or budget. It’s an energy and confidence that is expressed through what you wear and how you wear it. As soon as you say that you can’t – I’m right there, saying, yes you can. Style is a puzzle that can be solved. It is not innate. It can be learned, refined and evolved throughout your life as we enjoy each leg of our style journey.

I’ve helped people find their personal styes across sizes US000 to US34, across heights 4ft 9 to 6ft 4, and across ages 16 to 81. They cover a range of nationalities, ethnicities, and genders. I have blind clients, clients with crutches, clients in wheelchairs, pregnant clients, and clients who have had full mastectomies. I’ve reviewed closets that are larger than most master bedrooms, and some smaller than a coat closet. I feel enormously fortunate to be exposed to a wide cross section of the female population because it keeps my mind open and constantly rethinking and challenging dated style concepts. It also makes me laugh at how fickle fashion can be, and how we must never take it too seriously.

There are no wrong sartorial choices but simply preferences that vary from person to person. There are no rules, but simply guidelines that you can take or leave at your discretion. Body type dressing is one approach, but is merely a starting point that helps you create a set of personal figure flattering priorities. Style is as diverse as the people in this world, and an appreciation for a look that is not your look shows respect and decency. So today, on my birthday, I’m celebrating YOU, your style, your beauty, your age, your love for fashion, and your positive energy. Help me shout from the rooftops that style is PERSONAL and should be encouraged and enjoyed at every size, lifestyle and budget.


YouLookFab

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Royal life is ruining Meghan Markle’s sexy style

Ever since she said “I do” to Prince Harry on May 19, Meghan Markle has been under pressure to adhere to royal protocol — and look good doing it. But for the past six weeks, the new Duchess of Sussex’s fashion selections have come under fire: from her choice of sheer pantyhose to the tailoring…
Fashion News, Photos, and Video | New York Post

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ICYMI: Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton Debut, Pitti Uomo Street Style & Shop White Shoes

Sure, we’re all glued to our phones/tablets/laptops/watches that barely tell time, but even the best of us miss out on some important #content from time to time. That’s why, in case you missed it, we’ve rounded up our most popular stories of the week to help you stay in the loop. No need to thank …

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Fashionista

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Meghan Markle makes her royal ascot debut in style

OHMYGOSSIP — Exactly one month after the world watched the royal wedding, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made a surprise appearance in England Tuesday for the Royal Ascot opener. Queen Elizabeth II, her family and her guests will arrive at 2 p.m. each day during the royal procession, where they’ll be driven in horse-drawn carriages down the race track and into the pageant ring, E! Online mediates.

It’s the first time Meghan has attended the annual event, which began in 1768. She wore a Givenchy dress—the same label she wore for her wedding day—and a Philip Treacy fascinator. She likely impressed Queen Elizabeth II, who signs off on every detail, including the dress code.

Queen Elizabeth II arrived in the first carriage, joined by Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Lord Samuel Vestey. Princess Beatrice, Prince Charles, Princess Eugenie and Camilla Parker-Bowles sat in the second carriage; Meghan and Harry joined Prince Edward and Countess Sophie in the third carriage; and Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Michael of Kent, Lord de Mauley Rupert Ponsonby and Lady de Mauley Lucinda Ponsonby sat in the fourth carriage. Prince William, meanwhile, was busy exploring the International Business Festival in Liverpool, and Mike Tindall and Zara Tindall welcomed Baby No. 2, a girl, Monday in Stroud.

Before the Royal Ascot, Kensington Palace announced Meghan and Harry will visit Dublin, Ireland on July 10 and July 11, at the request of Her Majesty’s Government. “The Duke and Duchess are looking forward to learning more about Ireland’s history and experiencing its rich culture,” the palace said, “as well as meeting the people who are shaping the country’s future.”

Find us also on Twitter @OHMYGOSSIP and @OHMYGOSSIP_USA
Source: E! Online

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My Father’s Style

My darling Dad is 86 and lives on his own in a very quaint little town called Velp, in the Netherlands. It’s a five minute drive from Arnhem, which played a crucial role in World War Two because it was headquarters for Operation Market Garden. If you’ve seen the movie, “A Bridge Too Far”, you’ll know what I’m talking about, and see how my Dad grew up during the extremely hard war years. Papa moved back to his hometown when my Mum died eighteen years ago in Cape Town. My Dad loves his hometown and is very happy there.

I’m close to my Dad and enjoy a special bond with him. Our bond grows stronger each year, which is something that I nurture and cherish.

As far as my Dad’s style goes, Mama sorted that out because Papa finds shopping tortuous and tedious. Since Mama loved to shop, she happily took over that part of his life. I’ve taken on the role of sorting out my Dad’s wardrobe and style since Mama died, and am happy to do it. With my Dad’s blessing on what he likes and dislikes, I’ve chosen everything in his wardrobe for almost two decades.

Papa likes to keep his wardrobe VERY minimal, simple and classic for maximal versatility and ease. He wears the same undertees, shirts, jeans, socks, belts and shoes all year round. He simply layers over the lot with knitwear, jackets, coats, scarves and hats when the weather is cold. The formula works extremely well for him.

Papa only wears short-sleeved button down shirts, because he finds long sleeves fussy. He has eight shirts. He wears black, blue and brown jeans, and has one in each colour. He has an assortment of cashmere and cotton pullovers for varying weather — about eight in total. He has a black and brown belt, one to match each pair of lace-up shoes. He has one jacket, one coat, two scarves, and three hats. Apart from wardrobe basics like undies, socks, sleepwear and Birkenstock type slippers for at home — that is it. He does not wear shorts, sneakers, tees, sweats, hoodies, blazers, sandals or trousers. It’s easy fitting my Dad’s very small wardrobe into his very small Euro closet.

My Dad’s wardrobe may be minimal, but it’s colour-rich. He’s worn shades of orange and red for as long as I can remember. His specs are burgundy, which he chose himself! He likes most shades of blue, brown and green. He does not like black or grey, but enjoys his one pair of black jeans. Papa’s shirts are from the Gap and his jeans are Levis. His knitwear and belts are from J.Crew and Banana Republic. His outerwear, scarves, hats and shoes are from Nordstrom. Both pairs of shoes are Ecco.

I’m thankful to have a wonderful Dad who is a role model to me. He’s soft-spoken, introverted, gentle, generous, intelligent, good with numbers (he’s an accountant), a very hard worker, extremely independent, smiley, headstrong, and has busloads of grit. Papa is one of the most charming people I know, a gentleman, and utterly adorable. I’m grateful to be able to visit him three to four times a year (he stopped travelling to Seattle at 82.) These are the moments in life that count.

We at YLF wish you, your Dads, including Dads who are no longer with us, a happy and peaceful Father’s Day.

Papa

Ice Cream


YouLookFab

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Using Three or More Colors for Sophisticated Men’s Style

Even those who are new to classic men’s style can look sharp by relying on fundamental two-color pairings like navy and grey or blue and brown, with a suit in one solid color and a tie in another. But, once you develop an interest in the nuances of dressing well, you’ll be looking for ways to add greater richness and complexity to your outfits. One way to achieve this is by working three or more colors into a single outfit. In this article, we’ll show you how to carry off multiple colors without looking like a peacock.

How to Use Three or More Colors Successfully in an Outfit

As a wardrobe develops, it’s easy to go for a solid worsted wool suit and a solid silk tie: it’s simple and straightforward, requiring little thought, and it looks good. Simply add a white shirt and brown or black oxfords, and you have a smart outfit that fits most professional workplaces and urban settings. However, the same few colors can get boring over time! So, here are six tips to add more color to your tailored style, some that involve boosting your overall color use and others on how to bring in multiple colors quickly with a single item.

Increase Your Overall Use of Color

1. Change Up the White Shirt

While a white shirt can serve as a standard backdrop to your tie and jacket, it is just that–very standard. To go beyond basic, try a light blue shirt with a navy suit or a pink shirt with gray. You’re immediately adding a third color that also reduces the stark contrast that a white shirt can create.

A light blue linen dress shirt

A light blue linen dress shirt

To take it a step further, look for shirts in other pastel colors such a lavender, salmon, and pale green. They make excellent backdrops for the brighter versions of their colors – purple with lavender, orange with salmon, and hunter green with pale green. This subtle addition of color will help you tie together your other accessories.

Tweed jacket with yellow orange dress shirt and Houndstooth Silk Bourette Bow Tie Burgundy Cream - Fort Belvedere

Pairing a tweed jacket with a pale yellow-orange dress shirt helps add subtle color that helps tie together the houndstooth bourette bow tie and a wool pocket square

2. Add a Vest or Waistcoat in a Bright Solid

Another easy way to add a even more color to a suit is to put on a waistcoat or vest in a different, brighter color.  Odd vests are expected to pop–even highly formal morning dress accommodates robin’s egg blue and buff waistcoats–so go bold with orange, red, royal blue or yellow. For casual cool or cold weather wear, colorful knits are easy to find. In the image below, imagine the same sage green suit with a white shirt and no vest. The purple tie would still show some panache, but the outfit would not have the same richness without the blue shirt and orange knitted vest.

Beutiful green suit with orange knit vest and purple knit tie, brown hat and gloves as seen by beforeeesunrise.com

Beautiful green suit with an orange knit vest and a bold purple knit tie, brown hat and gloves as seen by beforeeesunrise.com

Your vest can also act like a dividing line, which lets you wear a tie that is the same color as your jacket without it looking boring, and if your tie and jacket color are slightly off from one another, the vest tricks the eye into not noticing the difference.

Layering with a simple alternation of two colors.

A bright yellow knit vest acts as a divider between tie and suit jacket

3. Trade the Suit for a Sport Coat and Trousers

Part of the ease of a suit is its uniformity: you don’t need to worry about coordinating top and bottom. Yet, many men, myself included, prefer an odd jacket and trousers to a suit in part because it opens the door to more color combination. In summer, you can go all out and try bright chinos or go-to-hell pants and in winter, colorful corduroys.

A taste of the Chino and Corduroy Colors at Cordings

A taste of the Chino and Corduroy Colors at Cordings

On the other hand, the added variable of different colored pants can create the temptation to over-match by trying to match a solid tie to one’s pants. This can be done, provided the tie is very nearly or exactly the same color, or if the items are similar enough in color but different in texture (like a grenadine tie with worsted wool trousers); however, it’s not particularly creative and can make you look like you’re trying. Therefore, you might prioritize wearing a tie of a third color: a maroon tie with a navy sport coat and gray pants, for example.

 4. Don’t Forget Your Feet

Colored shoelaces are an overlooked means of adding a single pop of color that ticks all the boxes: it’s quick, cheap and unique. For around $ 10, which is cheaper than any other menswear accessory you can think of, you can increase the colors you wear. Just make sure you know how to lace your shoes.

Close up Red Shoelaces Round Waxed Cotton - Made in Italy by Fort Belvedere

Close up Red Shoelaces Round Waxed Cotton – Made in Italy by Fort Belvedere

5. Add a Boutonniere

The hole in your jacket lapel is meant to be filled, and a boutonniere flower is a perfect choice to do that while adding a spot of new color. If you’re wearing a navy suit with a soft yellow tie, why not introduce a lilac or light blue flower?

Madder Print Silk Tie in Buff 9cm width with Red Pattern , Field Scabious Boutonniere Buttonhole & Classic White Pocket Square

In this classic navy and yellow combination, the Purple Field Scabious Boutonniere adds a pop of color to the muted tie, shirt, and jacket

Add Several Colors at Once with Patterns

The next step is to add multiple colors at the same time using one article of clothing, which augments the richness of what you’re wearing more than relying purely on solids.

1. Necktie

A foolproof method to do this is to replace a plain tie with one that contains stripes or a repeating geometric motif. The elements that make up the pattern have to be a different color in order to be visible and often include multiple tones. The beauty of a patterned tie is that it can act as a bridge between the other pieces you are wearing. In the image below of Sven Raphael Schneider, the red tone of his tie works with his trousers, while the lighter stripe pattern coordinates with his gray jacket. The presence of a pattern also breaks up the ground color and therefore de-emphasizes any variation between the main color of the tie and something else you’re wearing, such as trousers. Therefore, an exact or precise color match matters less for coordination.

Sven Raphael Schneider wearing a striped tie with a gray checked sport coat and Nantucket red pants

It’s equally possible when wearing a patterned tie to use the pattern to introduce an additional color. The base tone of the tie can match your jacket while the geometric motif adds one or more colors you don’t yet have on. A classic example is the classic maroon, navy and gray striped tie. You could wear this with a gray suit and add two new colors or with a navy blazer and gray pants, making maroon your added color.
Cashmere Wool Grenadine Tie in Dark Blue, Burgundy, Light Grey Stripe - Fort Belvedere

Cashmere Wool Grenadine Tie by Fort Belvedere

Small repeating geometric patterns on a tie are also fantastic because they often include multiple accent colors. The one below from Fort Belvedere contains purple, white, light pink, teal, and yellow, so you’d be adding touches of up to five colors with just one tie.

If you want a more casual tie that provides an infusion of several colors at once, try a two-tone changeant silk knit. This is made up of two different colored yarns, such as brown and gold or blue and light blue, knitted in such a way that the tone looks like it’s changing depending on the light and viewing angle (thus the French term “changeant“). Mottled knits are a variation on this, mixing two colors. Lastly, you can find slubby shantungs that display secondary shadow colors, giving you multiple subtle tones in one tie.

Pink Two Tone Knit Tie Fort Belvedere

Pink Two-Tone Knitted Tie from Fort Belvedere

2. Pocket Square

Accessories as a whole are a safe way to add multiple colors at once because you only get them in tiny doses. While you can add just a single new color with a pocket square, one with a pattern will give you the most bang for your buck, packing more color than any other item you can wear. In the images below a paisley pocket square contains at least eight different tones, yet, despite this, it never overwhelms. Moreover, even if a hankie contains a complex paisley pattern made up of a dozen different colors, you can manipulate it in your breast pocket, turning it this way or that, to determine which colors you want to show. In one photo, it’s worn in a puff fold to emphasize pink, and in the other, orange.

Pocket squares afford even greater freedom than ties when you want to add color because they are expected to differ from the rest of your outfit. Beginners to men’s style often commit the faux pas of buying matching pocket square and tie sets, but the true connoisseur knows that the handkerchief is the place to introduce an additional hue; it should never be too “matchy.” Sure, there could (or should) be a bit of your tie, shirt, pants or jacket color represented in your pocket square, but beyond that nearly anything goes. In the image below, the pocket square actually repeats the red and gold of the bow tie motif and the red of the jacket’s windowpane grid but highlights gold more than any other part of the outfit.

A yellow wool challis pocket square provides an opportunity to introduce an additional color.

3. Scarf

Scarves and pocket squares have a lot in common, and the former can be considered, in some ways, larger versions of the latter. However, with a scarf, whether silk with a printed pattern or solid cashmere, you’re getting a stronger effect, so consider it an accent and surround the scarf with subdued colors or solids.

Camel overcoat with printed silk scarf

Camel overcoat with printed silk scarf

4. Shirt

Going beyond accessories, my favorite underappreciated technique for adding multiple colors at once is a tattersall shirt.  The tattersall pattern is made up 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. In the example below from Cordings in the UK, there are actually four different colors–pink, purple, blue, and black–skillfully combined. The tattersall is versatile enough to wear in most business settings, providing an understated but clearly apparent injection of color. You can find multi-colored striped shirts too, but they can risk being too loud and look more casual than a fine grid.

A tattersall shirt from Cordings that makes use of four colors.

5. Patterned Waistcoat

We’ve mentioned solid waistcoats above, with an emphasis on knits, but the traditional odd waistcoat is supposed to be one that displays a strong pattern. If you have a solid shirt on, you could make your vest the tattersall. Another thing layering this way with a waistcoat achieves is that it gives you more opportunities to play with colors. Your waistcoat can act like a bridge because it can coordinate with a color in your tie, in your jacket, or both!

Chester by Chester Barrie - Plaid sportscoat, tattersall vest & red pants

This patterned waistcoat by Chester by Chester Barrie pulls coordinates all the colors in this bold ensemble

6. Tailored Jacket

For your jacket layer, an overcheck is your friend. This is a windowpane grid in one color laid over another plaid pattern. The most famous is the Prince of Wales check, which, by definition includes a glen check in one color over which there is a grid of another hue. For instance, you might find a grey Prince of Wales with an overcheck in sky blue. Just like that, by wearing one of the classic menswear patterns, you have an additional accent color. You can then coordinate accordingly with the colors of your tie and perhaps a vest.

Burgundy Prince of Wales jacket with green overcheck; knit tie and pocket square from Fort Belvedere

Burgundy Prince of Wales jacket with green overcheck; knit tie and pocket square from Fort Belvedere

7. Socks

The crazy socks trend seems to have reached a peak a few years back, and it’s not one we’ve really gotten behind, but this doesn’t mean that you should only  stick with boring solid black. You can wear socks in various accent colors, and especially ones that show some pattern, to amp up the number of colors you’re wearing in one step. It’s not just a trendy move either as you can find a variety of colored and patterned dress socks in vintage apparel arts illustrations from the 20th century.

Vintage fashion illustration showing socks with shadow stripes and clock patterns.

One option to instantly incorporate two colors is shadow-stripe socks, which have one main color along with a second “shadow” color in the ribbing stripes. If you want even more subtlety, try socks with clocks (the name for the pattern running down the side) such as a conservative charcoal socks with burgundy and white clocks.

Conclusion

No matter what the season, it’s always the right time to work more color into your outfits. Sometimes, the assumption is that if you use a lot of colors in an outfit you will end up looking like a clown (or a Pitti Peacock).

Colorful outfit

Pitti Peacock “Il Bisonte” showing the extreme use of color that characterizes his personal style. Photo by guerrisms.

However, adding one other yet unrepresented hue is easy and shows your stylistic expertise. Of course, restraint and careful consideration should always be part of a gentleman’s sartorial game. Pick and choose where you want to add your colors and how far you want to go. It’s not likely that you’ll wear colored shoelaces, bright socks, go-to-hell pants and an orange knit vest at the same time. Think of the ideas in this article as a buffet of options for you to choose from. Just don’t overload your plate! Accessories enable you tho experiment without fear on a small scale. Meanwhile, tattersalls, Prince of Wales checks, and bright knit vests let you up your color quotient while remaining firmly within established tailoring tradition. Lastly, remember as a rule of thumb that if you are wearing colors that read primarily as neutral (brown, beige, grey, navy, khaki, black), almost any other color can be added freely.

This gun club check reads as a neutral, so other colors can easily be introduced without overwhelming the outfit

How do you wear multiple colors? What are your favorite combinations? Let us know in the comments.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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The Trad Style Primer

No doubt, by now you’ve read our in-depth Preppy Style Guide and primer on Ivy Style. In today’s guide, we’re going to delve into a less commonly known variation of Northeastern American style known as Trad.

Trad is arguably the most classic and refined version of Northeastern college attire. Short for ‘traditional’, it’s a very contemporary take on classic menswear dating back to the roaring twenties when men seemingly took the most pride in their public attire. However, like preppy and Ivy styles, trad was born out of a need to rebel against the classic business suit as a way for students to develop their own independent personality while blending it with the attire their father thought to be appropriate for study at Harvard or Yale.

Trad Style at School

Trad Style at School

Perhaps a brilliant imitation of the more dapper gents attending Oxford or Cambridge, trad style became a way for young men who were uncomfortable in the casualness of polo shirts and boat shoes to still maintain some mutinous behavior without utterly offending the more conservative dandies of the upper echelons of society.

A prime example of classic trad style from a magazine

A prime example of classic trad style from a magazine

The Difference Between Trad and Ivy Style

If we consider that Ivy style is a more traditional approach to prepdom, we can easily say that Trad is a more sensible approach to classic menswear with a slightly contemporary and freeing approach that the preppies adopted their style around. The entire purpose of trad is to maintain a conservative approach to style without appearing dated. For those attending the Ivy League schools of Boston and New York, this meant donning a more formal version of the navy blazer, often adorned with a small crest on the breast and paired with standard white dress shirts over button-downs with a repp or solid tie.

For a more casual event, while Ivy style might require a school sweater, the more traditional man would opt for a more formal sweater such as a v-neck, vest or turtleneck that would be partially covered by a jacket. Granted this was most popular back in the 1960s and 70s, when the bulky turtleneck was a style staple.

A little waspy with traditional style from Time

A little waspy with traditional style from Time

Today, for the more dapper trad, it might mean an odd vest under a tweed jacket with a bow tie. A very safe and less provocative style for the American man, the trad style grew from the popularity of ivy and prep styles as many of the more conservative students were simply not permitted to leave home in casual wear to attend functions or school.

Similar to how many fathers today wouldn’t allow their daughter out of the house in a tube top or miniskirt, the traditional father of the 1950s wouldn’t permit his son to step foot in his alma-mater with anything less than a jacket and tie. Trad became that very safe alternative that still managed to allow young men the ability to express themselves and fit in with their peers who dressed far more contemporary.

A perfectly dressed trad man is the young man who can leave his home dressed to rebel his father but still looks charming enough that dad doesn’t notice anything is wrong.

A casual day in the life of a trad dressed man

A casual day in the life of a trad dressed man

How to Select Trad Clothing

The biggest tip if you’re looking to achieve the classic trad appearance is to simply try to dress conservatively with a bit of nonchalance.

Focus on traditional style staples like the navy blazer, the three-piece suit, and the cardigan sweater but stretch the bounds by choosing less common fabrics, selecting tweeds or opting for check suits over solid. Forget the matching vest of the three-piece suit and add an odd vest to your outfit.

Perfectly trad with a little prep in his step

Perfectly trad with a little prep in his step

Forget the classic ties and instead opt for interesting tie patterns and textures. Choose less common knots for your ties such as the Oriental, Victoria or Kelvin knot and allow your lack of uniformity to shine in a way that people notice but can’t figure out how you achieved it.

The goal is always self-expression and like Ivy style, it’s about rebelling against the rules of classic fashion. Oxfords are always a great shoe for business attire but rather than the standard black leather try pairing a suede Oxford with your suit instead. Simple changes such as colorful shoelaces over black can even alter your appearance and work to harmonize an outfit by matching it to your tie or suspenders.

David Wilder of the renowned Ivy clothier J.Press once explained trad style by saying “Imagine your best-dressed uncle throwing open his closet for you to frolic around in.”

Examples of Classic Trad Style

Suits are worn most of the time by trads whereas Ivy Leaguers and preps would often focus on blazers. While the preps would often fold up their pants the more conservative trad would never get out of the house before his father would say “roll those pants back down.” To mitigate this risk of embarrassment, the trad would cuff his pant leg. A perfect compromise between the standard uncuffed pant and the rolled look their preppy friend managed to get away with. It gave a sense of relief, albeit a small breakthrough from the stifling conservative traditions of a bygone era, it was still a way to minimally – yet appropriately – express oneself.

Trad style from Princeton

Trad style from Princeton

Casual shoes are a staple in Ivy style. Preppies love their boat shoes; Ivy guys swear by the penny loafer, but neither of those shoes did the conservative parent believe was appropriate to wear out. If you’re into Ivy style and you wear a seersucker suit, you could combine them with white buckskin shoes. For trad, that is too loud and over-the-top, instead, you’d maybe wear a pair of suede shoes. It is fashionable enough that dad might do a second take as you walked out the door, but he probably wouldn’t be able to place exactly what was off with the outfit. Even if he did think it was inappropriate, he would probably have a difficult time arguing why. So long as you were wearing it casually and not with formalwear, you got away with it.

A casually trad outfit

A casual trad outfit

Just like a miniskirt on the girl, the goal for the prep was to show off just a bit. Bright colors, slim-fit shirts and shorts that showed some leg, the preppies got away with a lot. They were the hooligans of Harvard at the time, and the style grew in popularity. Trad style followers, however, opted for plain solid shorts on a hot weather.

For the trad man, it was all about natural fitting clothing. Leg hair didn’t show, abdominal muscles didn’t peek through the shirt. Showing off was something left for the preppies but it didn’t mean you couldn’t carefully showcase some style.

Today bright shoelaces, socks, and pocket squares are widely accepted. However, back in the day where Dad put on a suit just to check the mail or get a haircut, men had to be far more careful. This meant using brighter colors for hidden accessories such as your key fob or a handkerchief. If you were a real rebel you might throw on a crocodile or lizard grain belt over the standard leather. It was just your way to show off a bit without an authority figure noticing.

An American alligator dress belt

An American alligator dress belt

 

 

Conclusion

Unlike prep and Ivy styles, trad is no longer as known or popular as it once was. Today, society has become far more lenient and men are more free than ever to adopt a more colorful palette of expression. In fact, if the average person saw someone wearing the standard trad outfit today, they would probably think they were very classically attired and its subtlety would be lost. Nevertheless, it’s still important for the sartorially-savvy man to be familiar with the style as there remains a small contingent of men that follow the trad style rules.

How do you quietly rebel against classic menswear? Do you have any unique ways of expressing your style without making it noticeable?


Gentleman’s Gazette

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The 5 Rules of Style for On-Point Women’s Business Attire

Style is everything. It can be the difference between you having an immaculate or exceptionally crappy day. Black Enterprise caught up with Stylist & CEO of Immaculate Wardrobe, Sophia Hyacinthe, who has built an incredible women’s styling business with over 13 years of styling experience, working with women CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies, publishing industry powerhouses, and girl bosses all over New York City. Hyacinthe offers business attire styling tips to freshen up that drab everyday work outfit, especially if your job requires you to be suited or “work professional” day in and day out.

The 5 Rules of Chic Business Attire Style

Fit First

Put fit first as it is the foundation to any look. Pick shapes and lines that best flatter your body. Prominent shapes in tailored womenswear include: cropped skinny pants, wide leg culottes, fitted pencil skirts, and A-line midis. Once you’ve found your perfect shape, I always recommend visiting a tailor to have them make any adjustments to ensure that it is truly the perfect fit. It’s the little touches like raising or lowering a hemline and taking in the waist that really customizes and refines the look.

business attire

(iStock/Photography Firm)

 

Suiting Remixed

Classic suiting has been given a fresh spin with bold colors and sticking prints. Crayola-esque hues along with pastels are major this season. For a simpler approach, pair bright separates with muted tones and for a more fashion-forward look, go all out and sport the full bright look. Praiseworthy prints include vintage floral designs along with traditional menswear suiting prints. For a more tamed approach, pair printed pieces with cool neutrals or for a more daring look, mix contrasting prints. The key to mixing prints is pairing some that share similar color themes.

(iStock/Nomad)

 

Best Foot Forward

This is the area where you really get to express individual style, whether you’re an avid flat wearer, sneaker fiend, or strictly a stiletto girl, you get to really have fun in this department. Use your shoes to express your best self. Shoe trends worth stomping for include ’80s-style pumps, dad sneakers, along with solid white and bold colors.

business attire

(iStock/macroworld)

 

Brilliant Blouses

Maximize work staples with a rotation of fun blouses. Designers are taking it up a notch with exaggerated sleeves, intricate collars, and form-flattering wrap styles. With summer approaching, opt for these styles in lightweight linen fabrics.

business attire

(iStick/Maksym Azovtsev)

 

All About Accessories

Accessories add personal flair and serve to really elevate the look. Noteworthy accessories include waist belts that layer perfectly over blazers and dresses. Mixed metals, a silver watch, a gold bracelet, no problem. And lastly, carry your work files in style with this season’s patterned “it” bags.

business attire

(iStock/ajr_images)

The post The 5 Rules of Style for On-Point Women’s Business Attire appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Mum’s Best Style Advice

Once a year I pay tribute to my late Mum, who taught me more about style than anyone else. She sowed my style seed, and was a fabulous shopping buddy. She wholeheartedly supported my extreme career change at age 21 when I moved away from psychology to study fashion, one of the best decisions of my life. I wish I could tell my Mum how instrumental she was in giving me the confidence and drive to switch my career focus and start again. Since I can’t do that, I’m sharing her fashion wisdom with you instead, and hope that she can feel my enormous gratitude on her big fluffy cloud in the sky. 

I’m taking you back to 1984 after we just moved to Cape Town, and I was fourteen years old. We were new to the country, learning our way around, and I was an impressionable teen who loved fashion. I wore a school uniform, which made wearing regular clothes all the more important and a rare event. What you wore and where you bought your clothes did not go unnoticed, especially as the new kid at school. I felt I had a lot to prove, and being perceived as having good fashion sense was important to me. 

On a beautifully sunny and warm Cape Town day during school vacation, I went grocery shopping with my Mum at a mini mall where there were a few fashion stores. Mum asked if I wanted to browse the stores after the groceries were done, to which I enthusiastically said yes please. Our first stop was a shop called Scotts. Initially I refused to enter and Mum asked why? I replied that my new friends told me that Scotts was uncool and old-fashioned. Cheap and nasty. I wanted to shop at the hip stores like Foschini, Truworths, Edgars, Smiley Blue, and LA Clothing, because then I’d look and feel fabulous too. 

At first Mama looked at me with a puzzled expression, and then she laughed gently. She said: “It’s not about where you shop, and how much money you spend — but about what you find and how you wear it. Let’s just have a quick look.”

So we went into Scotts, but my heart wasn’t in it. I adored my Mum, but my friends obviously knew better than she did about where to shop in this new city. At least, that’s what I thought. It wasn’t long before I spotted an amazing pair of high-waisted baggy white pants with light blue insets on the sale rack. Mum took the pants, gave them a once over with her discerning eye, approved, and told me to try them on. They were absolutely perfect.

Mum helped me match the pants with a cropped light blue and white striped top, and oversized white jacket with gigantic collar, the same light blue insets, and shoulder pads. I LOVED this look and forgot I was in the oh-so-forbidden Scotts. After we got the clothes, we went next door to get white perforated flat oxfords and white clip-on plastic earrings that put the finishing touch on the outfit. I was thrilled and very excited about this look.

I wore this outfit over and over, with great confidence and happiness. It garnered many a compliment from the very same friends who were dead set against shopping at Scotts. A few friends asked me where I got the outfit, and I said, Scotts! They gasped and didn’t believe me, and some tuned up their noses. That was fine because I felt like a million bucks. As Mum so rightly told me back then, it doesn’t matter where you buy your clothes. It’s about how well you assess the quality, colour, silhouette and fit, how well you put together the look, and how confident you are wearing it. Lesson learned at age 14 and I’ve been grateful ever since.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of my magical Scotts outfit. Instead I’m sharing a pic of Mum and infant me back when I was born in Hong Kong in 1970. My mum was glam, graceful, classic and polished despite the setting, task or activity. Crying babies, a postpartum body, a husband who worked long hours, and no sleep wasn’t going to prevent her from wearing earrings, make-up, styling her hair, and sporting elegant sleepwear.

Mama
 
Mama, it’s been 18 years since your passing, and words can’t express how much I love and miss you. You will forever be my stylish role model because you always knew best. In addition to your fabulous style sense, you had inner strength, a fiery persona, unconditional love for your family, immense love for animals, fearless courage, and sheer grit.

We at YLF wish you, your Mums, including Mums who are no longer with us, a happy and peaceful Mother’s Day.


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Karl Lagerfeld Made Nautical Fashion for the Street (Style) at Chanel’s Cruise 2019 Show

In lieu of an exotic destination, Chanel staged its Cruise 2019 runway show right at home in Paris’s Grand Palais. But Karl Lagerfeld and his team managed to make it feel like more of a voyage, erecting a literal cruise ship as the backdrop (and party venue) for the runway. And what do you get …

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What Happens to Your Style When You Stop Wearing Jeans

I wasn’t always obsessed with denim. There was a time (not long ago) when I could go days without wearing a pair of jeans. But in the past few years, my denim obsession has grown substantially, which I think is a result of discovering so many cool denim brands and styles. It all started when I began trading in my typical skinny pair for new styles like cropped flares and straight-leg jeans. And as my denim obsession grew, my denim collection grew. However, through this process, I found that other areas of my wardrobe were getting neglected (i.e., actual pants) thanks to my habit of reaching for a pair of jeans every day. Which is why I decided to embark on a self-imposed “denim detox” for a week. (And I must admit, it was harder than I’d imagined.)

I have much less trouble taking a break from jeans when the weather is warm (thanks to my pile of denim shorts), but the week of my denim hiatus happened to coincide with a strong cold front. My reaction? Ugh. It seems silly, but I was actually dreading this hiatus. Of course, I take days off from wearing jeans and try to mix things up as much as possible, but for multiple days in a row? I didn’t know if I was going to make it. But I did—without a single cheat day—and my hypothesis was admittedly contradictory.

On one hand, many of the alternate pant styles I wore were much more comfortable than the 100% cotton jeans I typically favor. On the other hand, I came to the conclusion that I should wear jeans if I want to. My reoccurring thought as the week went on was, This would look so much better with jeans. I’ll admit that I think my style temporarily suffered by the end of the week, especially at its lowest point when I resorted to wearing leggings for two days in a row.

Contradictory hypothesis aside, the weeklong denim detox I endured had a positive long-term effect on my style. I realized that I’m clearly in need of more options in my wardrobe, which will make me more willing to step out of my sartorial comfort zone in the future.

With that, keep scrolling to read about the three stages of my denim detox. Then shop non-denim pants that just might make you want to ditch your jeans more often too.

This was my “eagerness stage.” I was looking at the detox with an optimistic mindset and wore a pair of cropped corduroy pants I scored for $ 20 at J.Crew months earlier. They were warm, cozy, and comfortable. I decided to embrace the retro vibe that day. Things were off to a good start.

My loafers need these linen pants. 
These “sailor pants” are currently topping my wish list.  Available in sizes XS to L.
Wearing these pants is guaranteed to make you happy. Available in sizes 0 to 12.
These are almost as versatile as jeans. Available in sizes 4 to 8.
These affordable trousers are said to be “butt-boosting”. Available in sizes 00 to 14.
I’m not opposed to giving the cargo pants trend a try. Available in sizes 23 to 32.
This print is insanely versatile. Available in sizes 2 to 26W.
Perfect for work (and life).  Available in sizes 0 to 12.
I would trade five pairs of jeans for these pretty pants. Available in sizes 00 to 12.
The reviews on these best selling pants are very convincing. Available in sizes 00 to 20.
These plus a cropped T-shirt and white sneakers are exactly what I want to wear this weekend. Available in sizes DK 34 to 42.
This brand is pretty much all I want to wear right now. Available in sizes XS to L.
Khaki pants returned last spring and I think it’s time to embrace it. Available in sizes 14 to 26.
A worthy investment, in my opinion. Available in sizes 23 to 32.
It’s time to stock up on the linen pants for summer. Available in sizes 12 to 22.
Aritzia describes these pretty pants as being “exceptionally soft”. Sold. Available in sizes XXS to XL.

See? There are plenty of other pant styles in the sea beside jeans.

The post was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.

This was my “leggings phase.” I’d already worn all my casual favorite non-denim trousers at this point. What I was left with was either too fancy or not warm enough. In fact, I spent the entire length of a shower on Thursday night thinking about what pants I’d wear the next day, only to come to the conclusion that I would just wear leggings again. (Not that I have anything against leggings—they’re of-the-moment—but wearing them once in my denim-less week was enough for me.) Two leggings days in a row made me miss my jeans even more.

This was my post-detox “recovery phase,” during which time I felt more like myself than I had in days. I felt accomplished armed with the newfound knowledge that not wearing jeans won’t necessarily improve my style, but it will probably keep me from adding to my denim collection for the time being. (That way I can add a few new pant styles, dresses, and skirts to my lineup.)

To sum things up, my biggest takeaway was that the best way to discover what your wardrobe is lacking is to stop wearing the thing you wear the most.

Celebrity Style and Fashion Trend Coverage | http://www.whowhatwear.com

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Up to 50% Off Original Price @ BCBGeneration.com!

The Under-$50 Item That Will Improve Your Style

When she’s not working with big names like Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Hudson, and Hilary Swank, celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger also divulges her fashion expertise in our Ask a Stylist column. Erlanger is also the official ARMI Captain at the luxury rental and styling platform Armarium. From the best places to source vintage to the secret to finding your most flattering jeans, come back each week for a professional’s perspective.

No matter how much you love to shop, it can be almost impossible to purchase on-trend items every season while staying within your budget. However, if you’re looking for a way to update your style, affordably accessorizing is the key. Today, I’ve chosen to focus on an accessory that is essential to completing every look, a bag.

Replacing your bag with one that matches this season’s trends is a great way to revitalize your style with one simple change. These bags are sure to elevate your looks with the latest trends while helping you avoid having to replace your entire closet. Between embellished, metallic, and straw bags, there is a trend that is sure to update any style. The best part—all the bags are under $ 50.

Scroll down to shop the best under-$ 50 bags to update your style.

Up next, shop the three best one-piece swimsuits for summer. 

Celebrity Style and Fashion Trend Coverage | http://www.whowhatwear.com

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Develop Your Style Spidey Sense

A “spidey sense” is an extraordinary ability to sense imminent danger. Your style spidey sense (or SSS for short), on the other hand, is your ability to detect a dangerous item or silhouette that will make you feel less than fab. 

For the last couple of years I’ve been developing my SSS with a very special mentor. Naturally stylish and with unparalleled intuition, my mentor has helped me to become a better fashion stylist to my clients, and better at creating my own wardrobe.

It helps that my mentor has a similar body type to mine. We share a slight frame, a long neck, short hair, a small head and narrow shoulders. As a result, our figure flattering priorities are in sync and we have a close mentor-mentee relationship.

We both need clothing with narrow fits and plenty of structure. I used to have to think hard about these factors, but now my SSS makes it easy. I have a supernatural ability to detect tops, toppers and dresses with structure around my shoulders, shoulder neck points, and neck. My SSS tingles whenever I pick up an item that has a wide neckline, sloppy shoulder line, or extremely oversized fit. It also sends me a warning alert when sleeves are too wide.

When I first started to develop my SSS it would buzz with alarm whenever it detected a remotely fluid fit. But with the help of my mentor I fine-tuned my SSS to detect items that have just enough structure

You too, can spend time with my mentor, Spider Sam, to develop your own style spidey sense. He’s generously offering free sessions today and for the rest of this week. We at YLF wish you a happy and peaceful Easter and Passover.

Couch Patrol

Brown Couch

Rear View

Spider Hood

Hood Hair

Handsome

Vigilant

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