Would you wear this high-cut bikini?

Some social media users say that this super-high-cut bikini isn’t made for women’s bodies. Earlier this month, Australian retailer Beginning Boutique uploaded an Instagram photo of its Heron swimsuit, which features a crop-top shirt and a bikini bottom with a very high waist and narrow cut. The image caused an online stir with social media…
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Dara Would Only Like to Wear Pretty Lace Undies in 2019

I’m usually not one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I actually have one for 2019, and I’m pretty excited about it. As of now, my dresser is overstuffed with years of Hanky Pankys and other miscellaneous lace-y bits picked up from Nordstrom Rack when I didn’t feel like doing …

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How to Wear Brown Shoes & Boots

When assembling outfits, even some otherwise style-savvy men can be unclear on the guidelines for wearing black or brown dress shoes. Hence, this article will elaborate on when and how to wear brown shoes, and highlight how you can combine them with socks and pants. Regularly, sayings such as “no brown in town” or “no brown after six” are mentioned, when in fact things are quite different from when these rules were invented. To understand the basics of Brown Shoes, make sure to:

  1. Watch the Video
  2. Read the article
  3. Check out the infographic at the bottom
  4. Download the free pdf pocket guide & cheat sheet here

History & Evolution of the Rules

If we go back in menswear history, we find that Beau Brummell (1778 – 1840) liked his black, champagne polished leather boots for town wear. Subsequently, leading arbiters such as Comte d’Orsay (1801 – 1852), Hermann Fürst von Pückler-Muskau (1785-1871), Honoré de Balzac (1799 – 1850), Barbey d’Aurevilly (1808 – 1889), and Edward VII (1841 – 1910) followed his example and wore black footwear for formal occasions and in town. During this period, rules along the lines of “no brown in town” or “no brown after six” were very much respected, and ensured people were socially accepted.

Beau Brummel in black boots

Beau Brummel in black boots

By the 1930’s, Edward the Prince of Wales had relaxed some menswear rules, leading to softer materials and bolder colors. He also was a supporter of brown slip-on spectator shoes (the most common type of two-toned shoes)and brown shoes in general. By the 1950’s, even English clothing guides such as Clothes and the Man by Sydney D. Barney advised: “Business and Daywear in town: a lounge jacket with matching waistcoat and trousers with footwear in black or brown, according to the suit.” In this context Barney declares, “Brown shoes with a dark blue suit are undesirable.”

On the other hand, evening dress was still rather formalized; Full Evening Dress with white tie and Dinner Dress both demanded black shoes.

So, you can see, by the 1950’s, the “no brown in town” rule was no longer valid, although black was still the color for evenings.

Three Neapolitans - Three Single Breasted Navy Jackets

Three Neapolitans – Three different pairs of brown shoes

Today, dress codes are much more relaxed than they were in the fifties, and if you’re wearing a well-cut suit, you are likely to be more well-dressed than 90% of the people around you. Even if you wear brown country boots to a restaurant for dinner, chances are that your shoes are still more elegant than many other men — unless it is a respected establishment with a dress code. Many debonair Italians, for example, only wear black dress shoes for funerals, weddings, and formal evening events. Otherwise, they prefer wearing brown leather shoes in varying shades — such as dark brown or tan shoes — especially when paired with blue suits. In Britain, black still holds a certain association with business, at least in more conservative circles. Still, many Englishmen wear more than just black dress shoes for business, with conservative styles like brown oxford shoes becoming increasingly popular.

To be explicitly clear: Today, wearing brown shoes with your outfits is generally acceptable both in the evening and in town. With that said, certain outfits and situations still call for certain footwear; light tan shoes may not be the best option for the evening, and black shoes are imperative for black tie. Remember: just because you can wear brown shoes day and night, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

Wingtip Oxford Shoe with houndstooth bespoke suit

Brown Brogues (specifically, Wingtip Oxford Shoes) with houndstooth bespoke suit

When to Wear Brown Shoes

Brown shoes can be worn with almost anything, ranging from blue jeans to cavalry twill and corduroy to flannel, worsteds and tweed. Unlike black, brown leather comes in an endless variety of shades, allowing you to create a distinguished shoe collection that is unique. Here are a few guidelines that you can adopt and adapt as you please – just take a look in the mirror and use your sense of style.

1. Business Suits

For 3-piece or 2-piece business suits, in the following colors, in solid worsteds or flannels, pinstripes or faint windowpanes or Prince of Wales Checks:

  • Black: Simply put, don’t wear a black suit with brown shoes. Black shoes, in a conservative style, work best.
  • Charcoal Grey: We suggest black over any form of brown leather. Dark brown can work, but avoid tan shoes.
  • Mid Grey: Black works, of course, but dark brown or cherry are also suitable colors. Once again, avoid tan.
  • Dark Navy: Black works well with a navy suit, but cordovan, tan, and dark brown can also look magnificent and dashing. Of course, you will stand out visually with light tan shoes and a navy suit — something to bear in mind.
  • Lighter Navy:  Black will often look better than brown, but it ultimately depends on the cloth. With pinstripes, we suggest wearing black shoes and never brown.
  • Dark Brown: Pair a dark brown suit with brown shoes, and skip black altogether.
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Since a 3-piece suit is more formal than a 2-piece suit, the heightened formailty of black shoes means they will generally pair better with such outfits. Still, pay attention to the color, as above.
    • If you wear a contrasting double-breasted waistcoat in dove grey or buff, go with black shoes as you will have created a similar ensemble to the formal stroller suit.
    • If you want to play it safe, always choose a shade of brown dress shoes darker than your suit color.
    • Of course, if you are confident enough, you can pair lighter shoe colors with dark suits, but be aware that you will gather more attention that way.
    • Black remains the #1 color for business, so if you’re unsure, stick with black, and if you invest in your first pair of business shoes, go with a black captoe Oxford shoe.
    • If you’re wearing a belt, try to match the color of the shoe to that of the belt. Since there are so many shades of brown leather shoes, your belt doesn’t have to be made of the exact same leather or the same color–just try to match it as closely as possible. If you wear suspenders, you won’t have to worry about this at all!

2. Casual Suits

Bolder patterns, material blends or brushed cotton, corduroy, etc.:

  • Green: Brown every time, for all shades. Avoid black.
  • Khaki: Dark browns work well. Avoid black.
  • Tan: Cordovan, cherry and medium brown are great. Avoid black.
  • White/Off White:  Two-toned shoes, such as brown-and-white spectators, are a dapper choice, but dark brown, mid-brown or reddish brown work as well.
  • Brown: As before, pair brown suits with brown shoes and skip black altogether.

brown shoes_900x400_2


3. Sport Coat / Odd Jacket – Trouser Combination

Fresco, Tweed, Thornproof, Cheviot, Donegal, Flannel, Worsted, Corduroy, Velvet, Cotton, Linen, Gabardine:

  • Black: With black corduroy, tan leather boots (such as chukka boots or desert boots) are a good choice. Black dress pants worn with a sport coat will look best with black shoes, though more casual shoes like black loafers could be a good compromise in terms of formality.
  • Charcoal Grey: We suggest black over any form of brown. Dark brown can work, but avoid tan.
  • Mid Grey: Black works, but dark brown and cherry are also good colors. Avoid tan shoes.
  • Blue: All kinds of brown men’s dress shoes can be worn with blue colors – cordovan, tan and dark brown can look especially smart. As before, you will garner more attention with a light tan shoe.
  • Denim: Basically, all kinds of brown leather shoes work well, even with black jeans (similar to the corduroy example above). Tan and cordovan oxblood will serve you well here. Leather boots are a natural pair for jeans, though anything with a higher ankle would naturally interfere with skinny jeans (not that we necessarily advocate for such a style)!
Chocolate brown half brogue oxford by Antonio Pio Mele

Chocolate brown half-brogue oxford by Antonio Pio Mele

  • Red:   All shades of brown work well, though reddish brown can look a bit too deliberate. Dark brown and tan are good choices
  • Green: As before, try wearing brown every time, for all shades. Avoid black.
  • Khaki: Dark browns work well. Avoid black.
  • Tan: Cordovan, cherry and mid brown are great. Avoid black.
  • White / Off White: Go for two-toned footwear, dark brown, mid-brown, or reddish brown.
  • Brown: Brown only.
  • Dark Brown: In a more smart-casual outfit such as this, tan works well when paired with dark brown.
  • Miscellaneous: Brown is the best shoe and boot color for sport coats and contrasting trousers. Sometimes you may also see boots or shoes with fabric inserts, which can be quite stylish.
Tweed boot

Tweed boot

When not to wear brown shoes

If you wear formal morning dress (morning coat or stroller) or formal evening dress (white tie or black tie) you should not wear brown shoes – go with black. The exception for this exception could be a tuxedo in brown, as worn by Noël Coward, Nick Foulkes, or Lapo Elkann. In that case, a pair of matching velvet slippers could be an option, but that’s only for the very advanced clothes horse.

Don’t wear brown shoes with black suits.

Some traditionalists would argue that you should not wear brown shoes to the opera. However, if you look at the general dress code at operas today, you will likely be more well-dressed in a conservative pair of brown shoes than the other attendees.

How to Combine Brown Shoes with Socks: Vintage Fashion Illustrations

Brown half brogue shoe with shadow stripe socks in blue & red with navy chalk stripe suit

Brown half brogue shoe with shadow stripe socks in blue & red with navy chalk stripe suit

In the vintage illustration above, a navy chalk stripe worsted suit is paired with chestnut brown calf leather brogues. This illustration is from the 1930s, proving that men wore dark suits with brown shoes even then. Moreover, they were experimenting with creative weaves, such as these beautiful shadow stripe socks in blue and red (which can be worn with all kinds of navy suits). Alternatively, blue socks with clocks or blue stripes would be a more subtle alternative.

Brown Oxford with patterns socks and pinpoint trousers

Brown Oxford with patterned socks and pinpoint trousers

The above illustration shows the benefit of understanding color temperature–that is, pairing shoes, socks, and trousers with a warm tone. Below, chinos paired with burgundy striped socks and mid-brown suede derby shoes operates on the same principle. Further, suede shoes in general will always give a more casual appearance, and are therefore a dapper alternative to more common “casual” shoe styles today, such as sneakers.

Shadow Stripe Ribbed Socks in Burgundy & light grey paired with brown suede Derby shoes

Shadow Stripe Ribbed Socks in Burgundy & light grey paired with brown suede Derby shoes

Chukka boot with rubber sole, yellow socks, and green trousers

Chukka boot with rubber sole, yellow socks, and green trousers

Here, grey-green pants pair well with mid-brown suede chukkas, underscoring the versatility of both that boot style and of suede shoes in general. The ensemble is brightened up further with some yellow socks. Bright pastel hosiery can be a smart way to add a pop of color that isn’t always visible; Fred Astaire was a proponent of this technique, often wearing things like pink socks in his outfits for films.

Dark brown Norwegian shoe with orange socks and patterned pants

Dark brown Norwegian shoe with orange socks and patterned pants

These checked pants are made of Shetland tweed, and they pair well with the rust-orange, over-the-calf socks and chocolate brown Norwegian shoes with crepe soles. This type of sole is more commonly associated with styles like desert boots, though it can work equally well with footwear with a lower ankle, as shown here.

Brown derby shoes with thornproof tweed and patterned socks

Brown derby shoes with thornproof tweed and patterned socks

The solid brown blucher or derby is a wardrobe staple because it pairs with almost every kind of informal outfit. The shoe in this illustration, while conservatively styled in terms of its leather upper, has a bit more character in its sole, featuring a solid heel and a layered toe.

Mid brown monk strap shoe with green socks and classic prince of wales suit

Mid brown monk strap shoe with green socks and classic Prince of Wales suit

Here, a classic Prince of Wales suit is combined with a mid-brown monk strap shoe and green socks. Blue would work just as well as a sock color, and perhaps even a combination of green & purple. While monk straps have an historical precedent, as shown here, they have exploded in popularity in the 21st century, as their formality level is above that of styles like loafers and boat shoes, but not quite as reserved as oxfords.

Brown oxford shoe with mid brown suit and purple socks

Brown Oxford shoe with mid-brown suit and purple socks

This mid-brown herringbone suit pairs well with a mid-brown shoe, although a pair of more highly contrasting socks would have been better. There are many styles of brogues, of course, and the more broguing a shoe features, the less formal it is.

If you now want to create shoe/sock combinations yourself, take a look at this great selection of superior over-the-calf socks here.

Change The Look Of Your Brown Shoes With Shoelaces

One of the quickest and most simple ways to change the look and feel of your brown shoes is to simply change your shoelaces. The advantages are simple: it’s quick, easy, inexpensive and reversible … For quality cotton shoe and bootlaces for men’s dress shoes, click here.

Red Flat Waxed Cotton Laces on Derby Shoe in Criss Cross Lacing

Red Flat Waxed Cotton Laces on Derby Shoe in Criss Cross Lacing

Light Brown Cotton Shoelaces on Dark Brown Derby Shoes with Bar Lacing

Light Brown Cotton Shoelaces on Dark Brown Derby Shoes with Bar Lacing

Light Brown & Blue Socks with Suede Shoes in Brown

Light Brown & Blue Socks with Suede Shoes in Brown and green shoelaces

Brown Leather Textures

You will notice that brown box calf leather and suede shoes have been becoming more popular in recent years. Buffalo, reindeer skin, and alligator have been classic, yet expensive, brown shoe leathers as well. Generally, you should keep in mind that shoes with more texture are less formal. Sometimes you may even see ostrich, pigskin, fish skin, or elephant hide for shoes. Most of the time, the last is not a classic shape and the entire shoe just screams for attention–as such, we would instead recommend wearing more traditional leather shoes with formal outfits, and with casual outfits, choices like brogues, brown suede shoes, brown loafers, or ankle boots.

Leather Patina

Unlike black leather shoes, brown shoes will develop a patina over time, which can be further enhanced by leather dyes and special polishing techniques. As an example, take a look at at this beautiful patina.

Cognac Brown Derby Full Brogue with 2 inch cuff

Cognac Brown Derby Full Brogue with 2 inch cuff

Carpincho shoes & antique patina oxford

Carpincho shoes & antique brown patina Oxford

Conclusion

Brown shoes are not a substitute for black shoes, and every man should own at least one pair of black plain Oxfords. If you work in a white-collar environment, you can invest in a few pairs of black leather shoes, but otherwise go with brown because it is more versatile, it develops a fantastic patina over time, and it is the better color for casual outfits. If you don’t work in an office environment and rarely attend formal evening events, a single pair of black shoes may be enough for you, but you can never have enough brown shoes! If you like formal evening wear, invest in a pair of black patent leather Oxfords (in Austria Derby’s) or opera pumps – it is historically the correct choice for evening wear, even though some prefer polished calf skin for evening shoes.

In the broad strokes, brown footwear–everything from loafers to lace-up boots, wing-tips to cowboy boots–sports an amazing versatility, and wearing brown shoes or boots with items as varied as button-down shirts and leather jackets will serve you well. All told, there’s a lot that brown can do for you.


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The Best Winter Coats to Wear On Your Commute

the best winter coats to wear on your commute

Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Are you on the hunt for a new winter coat to wear on your commute to work? There are a TON of great options — and some crazy sales happening right now — so I thought we’d do a roundup. I’ve always advised here that wool coats are the more formal option and, in my humble opinion, often “look bettter” with conservative work attire — but I’ll be the first to note that down coats and puffer jackets have come a LONG way, and there are a ton of stylish options out there right now. (I know I’ve seen readers singing the praises of this particular coat.) Ladies, what do you look for in a winter coat — what are the most important qualities to you? Washability? Pockets? Hood? Warmth? Comfort? Do tell..

Here are some of our favorites out there right now…

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the best winter coats to wear on your commute - affordable

Uniqlo has a nice, classic-looking coat for a mere $ 79 on sale (down from $ 150). It’s available in four colors, but is only available in lucky sizes. Other really affordable options include an asymmetrical boiled wool blend coat for $ 129, with lots of sizes and colors left, and this hiiiighly rated walking coat for $ 150 in regular and petite sizes.

the best winter coats for your commute - stylish

Wrap coats are really in right now, and this gorgeous, sophisticated option from Cole Haan comes down to $ 199 right now. I love that there’s a working hood! You can find a ton of similar options out there right now, including this fun purple wrap coat from Tahari, an online-only option from Ann Taylor, a sleek option from Judith & Charles, and a reversible one from Talbots in regular, petite, and plus sizes. If down is your thing, I’ve seen a lot of readers singing the praises of this jacket from Cole Haan (available in regular and plus sizes in knee- and calf-lengths). 

the best winter coats to wear on your commute - babaton

I keep hearing great things about Babaton coats, sold at Aritzia — and they’re down to $ 175 right now, at least for the wool blend — the alpaca/wool blend is $ 275, and the wool/cashmere is down to $ 250 . We’ve pictured the wool blend, but 

the best winter coats to wear on your commute - stadium cloth

Stadium coats can be great if you don’t want a super fitted option — and I like all the pockets. J.Crew’s is very popular and highly rated (and on sale at Nordstrom and J.Crew, bringing it mostly under $ 200), but note that Everlane’s popular cocoon coat has a similar vibe. Talbots has a stadium coat in really nice rich jewel tones available now in regular, petite, plus, and plus-size petites (whoa, and for $ 135). If you like the neck coverage, this funnel neck coat from Ann Taylor is also nice.

the best winter coats to wear on your commute - ted baker

Ted Baker always makes some of the most stylish winter coats, and this printed chevron coat (with the brand’s signature rose-gold details) is gorgeous. (The Ted Baker wrap coat has been around for several seasons now — I love the collarless-look once it’s buttoned-up.) It was $ 615, but is now marked to $ 399. Other drool-worthy brands to be sure to check out if you want something really stylish: Mackage, Soia & Kyo, Trina Turk, and, on the more affordable side, Helene Berman. (Also keep an eye out for statement coats at stores like Anthropologie, The Outnet, Last Call, and more!)

the best winter coats to wear on your commute - the most elegant, luxurious option

If you’re looking for an elegant, luxurious option, it’s hard to go wrong with Fleurette — but they’re definitely pricey. The pictured coat is made from “plush Loro Piana wool” and available in multiple colors — and it’s marked from $ 1200 down to $ 800. There are lots of other Fleurette coats if you like this look and want a discount; also keep an eye out for brands like Cinzia Rocca and Brooks Brothers.  

Readers, which are your favorite winter coats? Are you on Team Wool or Team Down? Have you bought any great ones recently? 

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments! Curious for other roundups of winter coats? Here they are from 201720162013, and 2009.

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

If you're hunting for the best winter coat to wear on your commute, boy have we got you covered: we did a big roundup of the best winter coats to wear to work in 2019 -- and TONS are on sale right now, including cashmere coats, alpaca coats, wool coats, stadium coats, wrap coats, blazer coats, and more!

The post The Best Winter Coats to Wear On Your Commute appeared first on Corporette.com.

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How to Wear Purple as a Menswear Color

Next in our continuing series on how to wear various hues in menswear is the color purple. We’ll explain why it should be one of the first shades you reach for when you need a pop of color in your outfit.

Many of the colors we’ve touched on (pink, orange, and green, for example) are either neglected, underused or consciously avoided, and purple fits these descriptions. However, purple used to be the color reserved for the garments of kings and emperors, made with rare and precious dyes. Today, purple is not hard to make, so its use should not be limited to a chosen few. You don’t have to be a dandy or the late Prince to work purple into your wardrobe. Here’s how to do it.

Purple bow tie with white spots

Purple bow tie with white dots

A Brief History of Wearing Purple

For much of Western history, the color purple was worn only by the aristocracy, primarily because making it was so difficult. It was a unique color and only produced by extracting the juice from a variety of sea snail; the quantity produced was so small that it took up to a quarter of a million snails to make an ounce of dye. This process was first developed by the ancient Phoenicians, with the color being used in the garments of royalty throughout the Near East and the Mediterranean, including by the Roman emperors.

Justinian The Great Wearing Purple

Justinian The Great Wearing Purple

In Rome, no one but the emperor could wear the color, and violators would face death. Only in the mid 19th century did industrial processes enable the production of artificial dyes to create purple. Since then, the color has become accessible to the mainstream though it has remained fairly rare, but now it is more from lack of popularity than exclusivity.

Shades of Purple

It’s useful to remember that purple comes in a variety of shades or gradations, some with more red or pink in them, others containing tones of brown. It’s fairly easy to wear maroon or burgundy, which can be seen as reddish purples, in menswear, but we want something new, not easy, so we’re talking more about the other colors in the chart below.

Varieties of Purple

The many varieties of purple

General Principles for Wearing Purple

Many of the guidelines for wearing purple pertain to any bright or unusual color in clothing. First, such colors should be combined with contrasting muted hues. If your tie is green with purple stripes, wear a dark grey suit. Purple socks? Wear beige pants and brown suede shoes.

If you wear one item that’s purple, it’s risky (but not impossible) to wear any other bright colors; you take the chance of looking clownish. Instead, you can wear purple readily alongside navy, gray, and beige. In other words, it’s compatible with three of the most classic and versatile menswear colors out there and with other staid colors like olive green. Blue, which is a cousin color to purple, makes for particularly stunning combinations.

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

A rather bold combination of purple and orange that works, though the main color is still a more muted olive green

In terms of seasonality, purple is particularly versatile because it exists “at the meeting point between warm red and cool blue.”  So, depending on whether your item leans more toward the maroon and magenta side (hot) of the purple spectrum or more toward the violet and lilac side (cool), you can wear purple all year long. Interestingly, maroon and the hotter shades work best in winter while a cooler violet is perfect for spring.

Unusual seersucker with green hat by Gui Bo with purple mottled suit, tobacco linen and light grey summer sport coat

Strong purples look better on men with brown skin

Purple doesn’t have too much impact when worn by those with light skin, though it can bring out more pink in your face if you wear a lot of it close to your head, as in a bright purple shirt or sport coat, though this is not usually recommended. Stronger versions of purple are worn better by those with browner skin, which is also true of any bright colors, as there is less of a harsh contrast in tone.

Accessories: The Easiest Option

1. Pocket Squares

Like most bright or atypical colors, purple is best (and most easily) worn first as an accent in small doses. You can think of yourself as maintaining the traditional scarcity of the color and begin with a pocket square that contains just a smattering of purple mixed in with other tones rather than a completely purple one. In the charcoal pocket square from Fort Belvedere pictured directly below, the purple is there but completely subtle, especially when peeking out of your jacket’s breast pocket.

Charcoal, Purple and Blue Silk-Wool Pocket Square with Paisley Motifs - Fort Belvedere

Charcoal, Purple and Blue Silk-Wool Pocket Square with Paisley Motifs – Fort Belvedere

Afterward, as you gain confidence and get excited about the color you can increase the amount of purples, such as in a pocket square with a purple border or one that contains purple as the main color.

Fort Belvedere Pocket Square with Purple Border

Silk Pocket Square in Light Purple Violet with Green Paisley – Fort Belvedere

2. Purple Ties

From there, you can take purple out of your pocket and put it front and center in the form of a bow tie or necktie. The same principle applies–start with a dash of the color, like a purple paisley or stripe before you go for a tie that is mainly purple unless you like to jump in with both feet, in which case, go for it! Be careful never to wear a shiny satin silk tie, however, as it will come across looking cheap. Always select a high-quality silk, which will be worth the investment.

Shantung Striped Green, Purple and Cream Silk Tie - Fort Belvedere

Shantung Striped Green, Purple and Cream Silk Tie – Fort Belvedere

3. Purple Flowers and Shoelaces

Two unique accessories that will elevate your style are a purple boutonniere and purple dress shoelaces. A purple flower in your lapel buttonhole is special because it reminds us that purple is a natural color.

If you want a boutonniere that is maintenance free, one from Fort Belvedere that is made of a realistic silk will do the trick. It’s also a great way to inject a dose of springtime into your outfit when purple flowers are not in bloom and therefore not easy to find.

Violet Marguerite Boutonniere by Fort Belvedere

This Violet Marguerite Boutonniere by Fort Belvedere is handmade in Germany

Something you won’t see every day is purple shoelaces, which are an inexpensive way to show personality while still appropriate to dress shoes. Like a pocket square these are a small dose of the color, but in an unexpected place, and for under ten dollars they liven up a pair of black shoes without looking too aggressive. Showing the flexibility of the color, purple laces are also special as a sign of springtime, paired with a warm weather shoe, like a pair of white bucks.

Close up purple on white by Fort Belvedere

Purple dress shoelaces from Fort Belvedere in a muted hue

4. Purple Socks

Continuing on the subject of footwear, we at The Gentleman’s Gazette aren’t fans of bright “crazy socks,” but ribbed purple socks are surprisingly low-key in the right shade, combined with another tone, such as the purple and dark green shadow stripe pictured below. They won’t immediately direct everyone’s attention to your ankles like cheap neon purple ones but will offer an added bit of interest to your look. You can capitalize on the versatility of purple by wearing them with a variety of pants and shoe combinations: brown, beige, navy, gray, and others.

Shadow Stripe Ribbed Socks Dark Green & Purple with brown suede shoe and khakis

Shadow Stripe Ribbed Socks Dark Green & Purple with brown suede shoe and khakis

Intermediate Difficulty: Purple Shirts and Sweaters

1. Shirts

To bring a larger and more visible amount of purple in your wardrobe, try wearing it on your torso in the form of a shirt or sweater (cardigan or knit vest), ideally under a sport coat or suit jacket. The first rule with purple shirts is to go light.

Bright solids make you look like you’re a twentysomething playboy ready for the club. If you want to wear a solid, what you desire are shirts commonly labeled “lavender,” but an even better choice is a white shirt with a light purple windowpane grid or thin stripe over the top. In other words, keep the purple in the pattern. All of these are actually conservative enough that they are fairly common as business wear in the UK, though you’re less likely to encounter them in North America.

How to wear and not wear a purple shirt

Purple shirt (and tie) worn well in a light tone at left from Chester Barrie and badly in a harsh tone at right (from Express)

A shirt with a lavender tattersall check, perhaps combined with a second color in the pattern, adds a dose of spring color to any outfit. In the example below, the main grid is in a classic navy, and there are fewer purple lines interspersed. Tattersalls are perfect for a “smart casual” or “business casual” look, as they straddle both urban and country style.

Purple and Blue Tattersall

A restrained purple and blue tattersall pattern

If you’re talking more casual shirts, the field opens up, again with the caveat that lighter, subdued purples are preferable to loud ones that hurt your eyes. In warm weather, especially, a lavender gingham or Bengal stripe shirt can fit the bill nicely.

Lavender button-down shirt

A lavender button-down gingham shirt from Proper Cloth

2. Knitwear

On the other hand, in winter, bright knit cardigans or vests have been traditional for some time within usually staid British style. Having a shock of orange, cobalt blue or purple is accepted as a way to bring some happiness into cold winter days. In such cases, the hot color on the sweater is still covered by a jacket and accompanied by otherwise sober clothes. For instance, the image below, two purple items appear conservative under a gray jacket. The outfit at below left might be worn similarly beneath a brown or olive tweed sport coat.

Two examples of purple knitwear

Purple British knitwear: a Cording’s vest and a purple sweater (and shirt) from Chester Barrie worn well with a conservative gray jacket

Advanced: Pants, Sports Coats and Suits

1. Trousers

When talking purple pants and jackets, we’re entering more treacherous territory. Purple trousers will inevitably be of the extreme “go-to-hell” variety, and those in the grape family can be especially shocking. Really, the best chance of pulling off purple pants is to lean toward the maroon side of the spectrum. These will still get a lot of attention but are less “in your face.” As a bonus, maroon pants play really well with navy and gray and look more formal.

Two attempts at purple pants

Purple go-to-hell pants at left and a more subdued maroon pair worn beautifully by Wei Koh of The Rake magazine (via Permanent Style).

2. Purple Jackets

Even more daring is the purple sport coat. Because it is often a top layer, it is guaranteed to be noticed and can quickly make you the center of attention. This goes against Beau Brummell’s often quoted maxim that a man who is truly well dressed isn’t noticed for his clothes, only for the general aura he projects of being well put together.

Unless you’re an entertainer or want to be looked at, uphold the same principle used for purple shirts and keep color in the form of a windowpane check, like Wei Koh does in the photo above. Your jacket’s base color or pattern, such as a Prince of Wales check, will then be conservative, and you’ll just have some purple lines–an overplaid–on top of it. This is

Two Purple Sport Coats

At left, a Pal Zileri gray jacket with light purple windowpane overcheck; at right, a bold purple sports coat worn by Christopher Korey

3. Purple Suits

The most purple you can wear would come in the form of a suit. This is also the most difficult to achieve successfully. You can very easily look like a large grape or the Joker. For those who feel compelled to go so far, one key is to get the absolutely right shade of purple, and the other is to have the right skin tone.

Just search Google for images of purple suits, and you’ll quickly realize that men with brown skin rock the purple suit. Of course, once you wear a purple suit, you have entered into the world of contemporary fashion. You can still apply the principles of good tailoring, but, strictly speaking, you’d no longer be wearing classic style.

Purple Suit

A purple suit, worn well, with subtle accessories

Conclusion

Once a forbidden color reserved for royalty, then commonly associated with dandies and showmen (all of the above in the case of Prince), purple has a lot to recommend it for classic menswear. It can be worn in a number of ways and coordinates with a surprising range of other colors. Purple really offers something for everyone. If you have conservative taste, you can wear it in the form of an accessory or in the pattern of an otherwise staid dress shirt, while the bold can experiment with the boundaries of traditional style with larger doses of the color.

Which camp do you fall under? Do you wear purple? Tell us how in the Comments below.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Men’s Wear Brand Fisher + Baker Targets Women for Minneapolis Event

Fisher + Baker is a men’s brand, but that didn’t stop the company from targeting women for an event at its Minneapolis headquarters earlier this month.
More than 80 women showed up at the Fisher + Baker studio for a Sip and Shop event, its first initiative targeted to females.
The event also served as a fund-raiser for Minnesota Wild’s Jason Zucker’s #Give16 Campaign, which was created by Zucker and his wife, Carly, to build the Zucker Family Suite and Broadcast Studio at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.
Fisher + Baker donated $ 2,500 to the campaign from the event.
“Women are powerful consumers and are influential in the brand and style decisions of the men in their lives,” said Mike Arbeiter, Fisher + Baker’s chief executive officer and president. “By targeting female consumers as part of our brand engagement strategy, we are building awareness with a community that has a strong influence on men’s wardrobes.”
At the event, the women browsed through the brand’s classic styles of outerwear, sweaters and shirts while enjoying wine and cheese. Among the most popular items was the Lexington Vest, which retails for $ 298.
Arbeiter said the Sip and Shop event “was intended as a pilot concept that if

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Yes, you can wear sneakers to your holiday party — here’s how

Body-conscious minidresses and sky-high heels have long been the holiday party go-to uniform, but this season, the trend tides have turned — suffering for style is so passé. Sparkly pieces with a sporty twist allow you to stay comfy without sacrificing festive glamour: Consider layering a cozy turtleneck under a glittery sheath or jazzing up sweats…
Fashion News, Photos, and Video | New York Post

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Holiday Attire for Men: What It Means & How to Wear It

The source of confusion in this dress code is that it can mean anything from cocktail attire with a festive twist to the recent vogue for ugly Christmas sweaters.

Our most general piece of advice for the holiday or festive dress code is to gravitate to the more formal end of the spectrum which we’re going to lay out today. After all, no one is ever going to fault you for looking put together. The exception to this advice, of course, is if the hosts have clearly stated that the party is going to be more extravagant and playful in nature and that ugly sweaters are expected. In that case, by all means, do loosen up and have some fun.

Ugly Christmas Sweater

Ugly Christmas Sweater

Your safest bet, of course, will always be to ask the hosts for advice directly as a gentleman always makes the effort to follow a dress code as closely as he can; to do otherwise would be an insult to your hosts. One more piece of general advice here before we dive in, keep it varied and have a few options handy, after all, it’s a busy time of year for parties and you may be invited to more than one that has a holiday or festive dress code to it so having a few options at your disposal will never be a bad thing.

Tartan adds a bit of playfulness to any outfit

Tartan adds a bit of playfulness to any outfit

How To Meet The Holiday Attire Dress Code Stylishly?

The simplest answer is this, think of it as being an offshoot of cocktail attire with an extra holiday touch in terms of color or some playfulness that’s incorporated into your outfit such as wearing tartan which has been an established alternative when it comes to holiday wear since at least the middle of the 20th century. Regarding color then, do feel free to incorporate some of the standard colors of the holiday season such as red and green. With that said, however, don’t go for bright and gaudy hues as these are just going to make you stand out a little bit too much. Instead, go for something subtle, understated, and elegant.

Now let’s cover today’s subject through the lens of multiple different types of holiday parties, each with differing levels of formality and cover the related dress accordingly.

Office Appropriate Festive Attire

Regarding how dressed up you should be for such an event, just take a cue from the regular day-to-day attire at your office. In other words, think of how you should dress as being a somewhat typical office outfit, maybe just a bit more relaxed and with a seasonal element to it.

White Collar Office Parties

Firstly, if you work in a traditional white collar office environment, go for something that’s appropriately conservative. For example, a suit perhaps three pieces or double-breasted in a dark color like charcoal, navy, or in midnight blue, if you’re feeling especially elegant. Along with this, you could go for a dress shirt, ideally French cuffed and probably in a pastel color as white might be just a bit too stuffy for a festive party.

Oxblood derby shoes is a great option for Festive Attire dress code

Oxblood derby shoes is a great option for Festive Attire dress code

In terms of shoes, you’ll want to keep things appropriately conservative as well so you could go for the classic black cap toe oxford or if you’re feeling just a little bit more playful, something in a very dark brown color perhaps an oxblood. You could go for something like a monk strap or something incorporating just a little bit of broguing in its design but you don’t want to get too crazy and you probably won’t want to opt for light colors like tan either. After all, if your regular office attire consists of those black oxfords, you’ll want to keep it in the neighborhood of that kind of shoe even for a party like this.

Refrain from wearing this loud Christmas tie at a white-collar office party

Refrain from wearing this loud Christmas tie at a white-collar office party

As for your accessories, the novelty tie emblazoned with huge Santa heads is probably going to be a little bit too informal for a party of this nature. Instead, you’ll want to go for something like a dark burgundy or a similarly muted hue perhaps with a slight pattern to it. Although solids are of course a safe bet. Your pocket square can be a little bit bolder in comparison to your tie and can possibly incorporate some small patterns as well. Just remember that all of the elements of your outfit should ultimately remain harmonious.

You’re likely going to have the most latitude here with your cufflinks, they can be solid metal in any shade of course and can incorporate stones or other engraved designs. This type of party is just playful enough, however, that you could also do something with miniatures, say, for example, a tiny reindeer just so long as it’s understated and subtle. Have fun with it and try to strike that ideal balance between formal and festive.

Eagle Claw Cufflinks with Malachite Balls by Fort Belvedere combined with green tie bar and malachite pinky ring

Eagle Claw Cufflinks with Malachite Balls by Fort Belvedere combined with a green tie bar and malachite pinky ring

Tie bars, collar clips, and rings can also be worn as long as they are similarly understated and of course, matching your metals is always a good idea. Finally here regarding boutonnieres, something light-colored and small so as also to be understated would be an ideal choice.

 

 

Do not attempt to wear super bright colors as it may make you look clownish

Do not attempt to wear super bright colors as it may make you look clownish

Less Formal Office Parties

For a slightly less formal type of office party, we recommend that you go with a combination of sport coat and odd trousers. A patterned or textured sportcoat would be a good choice here with or without a tie. Something for example in herringbone, houndstooth, or a mottled tweed will provide a rustic quality that’s still appropriate for the season. Wearing a blazer with a tartan or other plaid pattern would be an ideal way to be seasonally appropriate, a little bit bold, and a little bit rustic all at the same time.

Opt for tweed if you are going for the rustic look

Opt for tweed if you are going for the rustic look

Finally, this would also be a great opportunity to break out something like a burgundy velvet jacket if you’re feeling especially avant-garde. Your shirt could be plain in color, either in a pastel shade or alternatively in a rich dark hue if you’re going for something a little bit more fashion-forward. Also, the shirt could feature a pattern just so long as that pattern doesn’t clash if you’ve also got one in your jacket.

Aleks Cvetkovics with denim shirt on top of a turtleneck sweater

Aleks Cvetkovics with denim shirt on top of a turtleneck sweater

In terms of styling and materials, choices like the Oxford cloth button down or OCBD would be appropriately semi-formal. A chambray shirt would be another good choice or alternatively, you could substitute the collared shirt altogether for something like a dark turtleneck sweater under your jacket. You can round out this look with some flannel trousers or corduroys.  As far as shoes are concerned, you could opt for something like wingtips or loafers just so long as they’re well shined.

Casual Office Parties

Brown sport coat with fair isle vest and Fort Belvedere accessories

Brown sport coat with fair isle vest and Fort Belvedere accessories

Our advice is largely the same as for semi-formal office parties but with a few key distinctions.

Ralph Lauren Cable Knit Cardigan Sweater

Ralph Lauren Cable Knit Cardigan Sweater

First of all, you can feel free to swap out the sport coat with a cable knit pullover or a cardigan sweater in a warm color. Alternatively, a fair isle sweater or sweater vest will allow you to stand out a little bit more while still looking rustic and traditional.

Allen Edmonds Chukka boots paired with dark denim jeans

Allen Edmonds Chukka boots paired with dark denim jeans

In addition to flannel trousers and corduroys, a casual office party would also be an appropriate time to break out dark denim or perhaps even colored chinos if you’re feeling especially bold.

Crazy Christmas Socks

Crazy Christmas Socks

Finally, you can add an accent with some brightly colored dress socks or maybe incorporate your crazy socks featuring Santa and his reindeer here and you can round out the look with some informal shoes or perhaps a dress boot.

Residential /Private Holiday Parties

SRS in a brown turtleneck sweater

SRS in a brown turtleneck sweater

Now let’s briefly cover some advice on what to wear to a holiday or festive party given in a residential or otherwise similarly private setting. In the broad strokes, you’re going to want to keep things a little bit more relaxed for a home party than you would for an office party but the breakdown we’ve just given for three different formality levels of office parties can still hold mostly true here as well. In other words, all of the suggestions we gave for specific combinations of garments still hold true for home parties as they did for office parties but when we gave you more than one option in some of our breakdowns, you would here opt for some of the less formal of those options.

SRS wearing a denim shirt with a sport coat

SRS wearing a denim shirt with a sport coat

For example, at a semi-formal or mid-level holiday house party, you could perhaps go for the turtleneck sweater before going for the button-down. Remember, the bottom line for house parties is always the dress code that’s printed on the invitation and/or the personal advice of the hosts. If the party takes place during the holiday season but the invitation says black-tie, wear a tuxedo and leave that tweed sport coat at home.

Non-traditional Black Tie ensemble with velvet DB jacket and midnight blue trousers, following the clack black tie style rules

Non-traditional Black Tie ensemble for the holidays with burgundy velvet DB jacket and midnight blue trousers, following the black tie style rules

CONCLUSION

While the holiday or festive dress code covers a wide range of levels of formality, it doesn’t have to be a source of anxiety. For a party at work, take a cue from your regular office attire and add a twist or two and for a residential party, take your cue from the invitation and the advice of the hosts and feel free to be just a little bit more relaxed and playful and yes, if ugly sweaters are expected, do loosen up and feel free to have a little bit of fun.

What sorts of combinations have you worn to holiday parties in the past? Share with us in the comments section below.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Should You Wear Cuffed Pants? A Guide to Trouser Cuffs

In recent years, cuffs, also known as turn-ups, have somewhat fallen out of favor with mainstream men. At the same time, it’s a very classic look that has been around for a long time and will likely also be a part of classic men’s wardrobe for the foreseeable future.

Basically, it is a folded edge at the hem at the bottom and it looks like a turned-up edge that it’s added to the pant leg. Traditionally, a cuff is not cut but simply folded from excess fabric at the bottom hem. Because of that, if you will let out the cuffs, you could always create a longer pair of pants or trousers. When you do that, you usually don’t have enough fabric left to put a cuff back on. In that case, you simply add a faux cuff meaning it is cut separately and then sewn on to give you a little more extra room when you’re short on fabric.

Cuffed Angled Hem

Cuffed Angled Hem

For bespoke trousers or suits, you sometimes also see angled cuffs which is more difficult to do and they are always faux cuffs because you cannot have a continuous piece of fabric with a faux cuff. The benefit of the angled cuff is that you don’t have a break in the front, at the same time, the back part of the trouser leg reaches almost the heel which is very pleasing. You also reveal more of the shoe. On the formality scale, cuffed trousers are always less formal than pants without cuffs.

History Of Turn-Ups

Historically, the origins of cuffs stemmed from a time where you would turn up the bottom hem of your trouser in muddy weather. In 1890, the then Prince of Wales who later became King Edward the seventh introduced the permanent turn-up which was there just for fashion reasons and was not a necessity due to outside weather conditions.

Cuffed pants became the norm for businesswear between the 1890s and the 1940s. During World War II, there was a fabric shortage and so it was decided to forego the cuff or the turn-up so you could save on a fabric and create more garments instead.

King Edward the Seventh

King Edward the Seventh

Ever since the 1950s, cuffed trousers have gone in and out of fashion but over the years, they’ve always remained, they’ve always come back and likely they will always come back even though they might not be super fashionable at this point in time.

By the way, the British refer to cuffs as things you have on your sleeve versus on the pants or trousers, they’re called turn-ups. Sometimes Savile Row tailors also call them PTUs or permanent turn-ups. At the end of the day, they’re all the same.

Spezzato Suit Jacket and Matching Vest with Contrasting Yellow Pants and Brown Oxfords

Raphael Employing Spezzato with a Suit Jacket and Matching Vest with Contrasting Yellow Pants with cuffs and Brown Oxfords

When Do You Typically See Cuffs On Trouser Hems?

You definitely see them in suits and in Italy, I’d say the majority of suits will have the cuff. They’re also popular in white-collar professions with lawyers, bankers, and the like. Cuffs can help to make a suit silhouette look more grounded especially when you have vertical stripes such as a pinstripe or a rope stripe.

In terms of the seasons, you can find cuffs anywhere from flannel suits or tweed suits all the way up to summery seersucker suits. In the collegiate realm, cuffs are favored by people who are interested in trad style. On the other hand, if you’re more a follower of the preppy style, you’re more likely to just manually turn-up your uncuffed pants.

Very tall cuff and very short pants - if the pants would have touched the shoe it would have been perfect

Very tall cuff and very short pants – if the pants would have touched the shoe it would have been perfect

Cuffs are also often a feature on odd trousers or slacks that are worn to the office. Just think of the typical gray flannel pants with a navy blazer, for example, or other office outfits that are a bit more serious. When it comes to casual pants, you still may encounter turn-ups on chinos or khakis even though you can also find them without cuffs.

When it comes to traditional workwear such as denim or jeans, you will not find a cuff because that would simply be impractical. In this day and age, a cuff on a pair of jeans would simply look weird. That aside, you can also find cuffs on shorts, typically, they make it a little less formal so for most shorts, I don’t think they’re appropriate but it is an option that exists.

Tan Monk Strap Shoes with beige cuffed pants

Tan Monk Strap Shoes with beige cuffed pants

To Cuff Or Not To Cuff?

That is the question!

The bottom line is cuffs or turn-ups are optional and it’s a personal style choice. For example in my suit collection, I have a bunch of suits with cuffs that are a little more casual, at the same time, I have three-piece suits that don’t feature cuffs whereas others do feature cuffs.

The big advantage of cuffs is that it adds a bit more weight to the bottom part of your pants thus creating a nicer drape or hang of the trouser especially if you have pleated pants. Of course, they also can help to create a visual balance, for example, for double-breasted suits or vertically striped suits.

Cuffs definitely give you a slightly more traditional look and if you want a contemporary look with a slim fit, oftentimes, it’s better to forego the cuff for a cleaner silhouette. That being said, there’s one area where cuffs and turn-ups are always unacceptable from a historical point of view and that is formal wear. So you’ll never see cuffs on a proper tuxedo, a black tie ensemble, a white tie ensemble, or a morning coat. Likewise, you also won’t encounter it with a stroller suit.

So if you’re buying trousers that are not for a formal occasion, should you add cuffs or not? At the end of the day, if you’re undecided, I always argue in favor of cuffs because you can always have them very easily removed at the alterations tailor. Think of it as an additional fabric that allows you to be creative with the size of your cuff but if you don’t like it, you can always get rid of it.

On the flip side, if you decide against cuffs from the get-go and you later realize that the fabric is too flimsy and you would like to have a cuff in there, it’s very difficult to add one back on because most of the time, there’s not enough fabric left even for a faux cuff.

Extremely short pants with paisley crazy socks

Extremely short pants with paisley crazy socks

How  To Wear Cuffs Well

First of all, for a true cuff, you always need a plain hem and you want the front just to slightly touch the top of your shoe. In general, cuffs look best if they just slightly touch your shoe without creating a deep break or any puddling around your ankle. So when in doubt, a cuffed pair of pants is always slightly shorter than an uncuffed pair of pants. Having too much excess fabric at the ankle paired with a cuff can just look sloppy. Also, if your pants have cuffs as well as pleats, the break can interrupt the nice crease and the nice line of the pair of trousers.

When you wear dress boots, make sure that the pants have enough space so they go over the boot and don’t just get caught on it, otherwise, you always have some puddling going on that’s very unsightly.

Pants too long because they puddle

Pants too long because they puddle

In terms of cuff size, there is again no right or wrong. Historically, there has been anything from under one inch to all the way up to two and a half even three inches. As with most things in menswear, it pays to stay in the middle which is typically between one and a half inches or two inches. In the metric system, that’s about 3.5 or 3.75 centimeters and 5 centimeters. According to Alan Flusser, a traditional cuff size is 1 and 5/8 of an inch for men who are 5’10” or shorter. If you are taller than that, you should go with an inch and 3/4.

Personally, I like it slightly larger so sometimes I have a two-inch cuff or slightly smaller something that’s also slightly bigger but it definitely is a bit more noticeable and if you want to go for a classic look, this guideline hits the nail on the head.

Of course, you can also pay attention to other aspects in your suit. Let’s say you have very wide lapels, you should not have a very slim cuff because it simply looks not proportional. Also, you can look at the height of your collar in the back of your neck of your jacket and try to match that to the size of your trouser cuff.

Fringed spectator suede tassel loafer with dotted socks and slim large cuffs

Fringed spectator suede tassel loafer with dotted socks and slim large cuffs

Get Started With Cuffs

So what are some good ways to get started with cuffs?

I suggest you maybe start with a pair of chinos because you can wear them a little more casually and otherwise, you can also wear them with a suit including a solid navy suit which is quite formal for a suit but nevertheless, it can be worn with cuffs. If you don’t wear suits a lot, you could experiment with cuffs on slightly more casual pants such as flannel pants, tweed slacks, or linen pants.

So in conclusion, it pays to have cuffed trousers in your wardrobe, whether they are really casual slacks, chinos, or slacks that are a part of a suit. At the same time, you never want to add cuffs to very formal ensembles because they are simply not meant for that.

When you opt for cuffs, go with a slightly shorter trouser length so you have a nice hanging pair of pants and at the end of the day, the sky is the limit and your choice or preference decides on whether you have a lot of cuffs in your wardrobe or very few but it always pays to have at least a few pairs of pants with cuffs because it just gives you a complete wardrobe.

Do you prefer pants with or without cuffs? Please share with us in the comments below!


Gentleman’s Gazette

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What to Wear to Work From Home

what to wear to work from home

Everyone’s eyebrows shot up when The Wall Street Journal suggested that instead of sweatpants, you should be wearing proper office clothes to work from home. You may be wondering: what specifically does the WSJ say I should wear to work from home? Is it like comfortable workwear for late nights, the kind of stuff you wear when you suspect you’ll be stuck at the office for hours and hours past your usual quitting time? Comfortable magic pants for work that feel like pajamas but aren’t? Maybe, you think, it’s the kind of stuff that we here at Corporette have suggested you might consider wearing to work on the weekend if you’re supervising people — fleece blazers and jardigans and things. 

Um, no. This was what the WSJ suggests you wear to work from home, and Twitter had a field day with it

I kind of feel like the phrase “slacks” might apply. (Should we be wearing pantyhose under the slacks as well?) And I love that they show the purse in there — like you should be walking around your home with your purse so you can complete your look. Total dollar value of everything pictured there: $ 4,195. 

I mean… 

We’ve talked a lot about comfortable workwear, as well as how to set up the best home office and (over at CorporetteMoms) we’ve discussed mistakes to avoid when working from home. But we haven’t actually talked about what to wear to work from home, so let’s discuss. Readers who work from home all or most of the time — what do you wear to work from home? Readers who work from home sometimes, what do you wear to work from home? 

What I Wear to Work From Home on Solo Days

Even though we have a small team at Corporette (me, Kate, April at CorporetteMoms, and a few others for occasional/part-time work), we conduct almost all of our correspondence via Slack, email, or telephone — so it really doesn’t matter what I wear for anyone but myself. Personally, I don’t notice a huge difference in productivity if I’m “dressed” versus if I’m in, say, workout clothes. As I kind of got into in our discussion on makeup looks for different occasions, my work-from-home look has slightly shifted from when I worked from home occasionally to now, when I work from home all the time:  

When I only worked from home occasionally, this generally meant “no makeup.” When I started working from home all the time, though, I struggled with this a bit because I had read all this stuff about how if you’re working from home you should “get dressed as if you’re going into the office,” and it conflicted with my previous “no makeup” mentality. Even if I had successfully completed a workout, if it was just me, why should I put on makeup? It all came down to “who am I wearing makeup for anyway”? … What I’ve settled on lately for ease of application but a bit more polished than absolutely no makeup is sheer lipstick like a Chubby stick, blush, undereye concealer, waterproof eyeliner, and occasionally a liquid shadow. The routine takes me about two minutes, maybe less.

So “looking dressed” for me involves a 2-minute makeup routine and basically weekend wear in terms of clothes — jeans, cords, leggings-as-pants, maybe occasionally a super easy dress. Simple jewelry. No heels. (The only difference with my actual weekend wear is that, during the weekend itself when the kids and I are around each other all day, I may wear more easily washable stuff like fleece tops from Gibson (affiliate link) or actual sweatshirts.) My daily work from home look is a little bit more relaxed from my “business casual” look when I was a staff attorney at a non profit, but that’s only because my “business casual look” at the time was the more comfortable end of my “conservative law firm attire” — much of what I wear now, I would wear to a business casual office. 

What to Wear to Work From Home If You’re Video Conferencing, Supervising People At Home, Or More

I think these situations are entirely different cans of worms, and I’d love to hear from people who do it often. (I’ve actually been meaning to write a separate post about what to wear for video conferencing.) Some quick thoughts:

  • If your work from home includes videoconferencing, think about what will be visible in the video. I know a lot of women who wear “personality glasses” as a way of minimizing makeup needs, and that can include work from home purposes — if you have a big pair of Warby Parkers on and your hair in a bun or otherwise pulled back it’s an acceptably studious look. I always think a collar looks nice, so consider having a cardigan with a shawl collar, a comfortable blazer somewhere nearby to throw on before your videoconference, or even the crisp collar of a blouse. A simple necklace goes a long way towards framing your face or finishing your look. You also want to think about what will be on view behind you, of course — if you’re working from your bedroom, try to angle the camera so it’s not facing your bed or the huge pile of clothes on the chair that you keep meaning to hang up. (Just me?) 
  • If your work from home includes supervising others, consider a stricter interpretation of business casualFor example, I’ve heard of some lawyers who are either solo practitioners or the sole firm representative in their city, and they may work in their home with a paralegal or other assistant, either on a daily basis or an occasional basis. Every relationship is different, of course — these tend to be highly personal situations, after all! — but I would urge you to consider being on the more formal side of things. For example, instead of ripped skinny jean leggings or yoga pants, wear knit ponte pants like NYDJ or the beloved Eileen Fisher magic pants

Readers, over to you — what do you wear to work from home? Would you wear the WSJ’s outfit? Do you feel more productive if you’re dressed in business casual for the day? 

Just for kicks, here’s some of my preferred work from home attire recently…


Pictured at top and on pin: via Stencil.

The Wall Street Journal recently suggested that if you work from home, you should wear slacks, loafers, and a $  3500+ purse. Say what? Even if you're in a really conservative field like law, consulting, or investment banking -- the kind of male-dominated fields where a business suit would be totally appropriate most days at the office -- we say NOPE. We listed our thoughts on what to wear to work from home, both if you're working by yourself, AS WELL AS what to wear to work from home if you're videoconferencing or using Zoom or Google Hangouts for meetings -- as well as what to wear to work from home if you happen to supervise someone else in your home, like a paralegal or assistant. What are YOUR thoughts on what to wear to work from home? Come share...

The post What to Wear to Work From Home appeared first on Corporette.com.

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The Skirt That Convinced Tyler She Could Actually Wear Corduroy

I could be mistaken, but the last time I attempted to wear corduroy was probably circa seventh grade, when I was working my way out of a “hippie” phase (don’t ask) and I still wasn’t aware what “style rules” were. (Shout-out to the girl who made fun of my black belt and brown shoes, thus rendering …

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Stripes in Menswear: Different Types and How to Wear Them

When it comes to the classic patterns of menswear, those based on the simple line–that is to say, stripes–remain just as popular today as they have been for centuries. In this primer, we’ll discuss the different kinds of striped patterns in tailored clothes and show you how to “fall in line” with wearing them well.

Striped Suits - Boardwalk Empire

Matt Letscher (left) as Joe Kennedy and Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson in a still from Boardwalk Empire

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

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

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

What are Stripes?

Stripes are a series of parallel lines that do not cross each other. They are found in a variety of orientations in menswear; typically, suits and shirts feature vertical stripes, though horizontally striped garments do exist, as well. Additionally, neckwear and accessories (such as pocket squares or hat bands) may feature stripes in various orientations. Because of the lack of interaction between lines, striped patterns are simpler than checks, which also means they tend to be more reserved, and therefore more formal. Combinations of colors are often used to create differently named patterns, which we will discuss below.

Stripes 101: Broad Terminology

Before we dive headfirst into the pantheon of specific stripe styles that exist, it’s important that we go over some terminology. The following terms can be thought of as broad categories that apply to multiple striping patterns; you’ll find definitions for each of the examples listed further down in the article.

  • Self-Stripes

    A “self-stripe” is integral to the weave, rather than printed or otherwise added later. Seersucker is an example of a self-striped fabric.

  • Warp Stripes

    Vertical stripes created by changing the color or increasing the number of warp (vertical) yarns in a garment. Most menswear stripes – including pinstripes, chalk stripes, and candy stripes, among others – are examples.

  • Weft Stripes

    Horizontal stripes created by changing the weft (horizontal) yarns in a garment. These are less common than warp stripes.

Common Types of Stripes in Menswear

Common types of stripes in menswear; we’ll profile each of them below.

  • Balanced Stripes

    Symmetrically patterned, indicating that the background and stripe are equal in width. Usually refers to shirt fabrics. Bengal stripes are an example.

    • Unbalanced Stripes

      Asymmetrically patterned, indicating that the width of the stripe is either narrower or wider than that of the background and/or that the stripes are not spaced evenly. Pinstripes are an example.

  • Fancy Stripes

    Industry jargon for a weave or pattern that does not match any other specific definition; it may still generally be a balanced stripe, in some cases.

  • Jermyn Stripes (and other “street stripes”)

    Rather than a specific type of stripe, this is a broad reference to the style of bright, boldly striped shirt fabrics favored by custom shirtmakers located on or around Jermyn Street in London. Therefore, Jermyn Stripes may describe Bengal stripes, candy stripes, or any other traditional stripe style. Some patterns may also make reference to other well known retail streets in London, such as Bond Street.

Note: The two terms on the above list that are mutually exclusive are “warp stripe” and “weft stripe.” Phrased another way: all self-stripes are either warp or weft stripes, but not both. If stripes were introduced to both the warp and weft yarns of a garment, a check pattern would then be created.

Stripes in Suits and Shirts - 1936

Vintage fashion illustration from 1936 – note that stripes are a pleasing pattern for both suits and shirts.

Types of Stripes: Balanced

Simple Two-Tone Stripes (Narrowest to Widest)

  • Bengal Stripes

    A two-color vertical pattern, with the background and stripe being of equal width. A Bengal stripe is broader than a chalk stripe and narrower than a candy stripe. Commonly done in white and one other color. An example of a balanced stripe. The fabric was originally shipped to world markets from Bengal (Calcutta), India. The term is used to describe shirt fabrics, but never suit fabrics.

     

    Examples of Bengal Stripes in blue and goldenrod.

    An example of Bengal stripes in goldenrod.

  • Candy Stripes

    Equal-width stripes of a color and white on fabrics used for shirts and sportswear. A candy stripe is broader than a Bengal stripe, is usually done in white and one other color, and reminds many people of a candy cane.

    An example of candy stripes in blue.

    An example of candy stripes in blue.

  • Sandwich Stripes

    A nickname for a style of bold vertical stripes, usually about 0.5″ wide. Used to describe sports jackets, pants, and outerwear, but never shirts.

Sandwich Striped Jacket

Vintage fashion illustration from Esquire, April 1942 – This jacket featured sandwich stripes in alternating brown and natural (off-white) and was paired with flannel slacks in “brownstone” (a mixed weave of brown and grey).

  • Regency Stripes

    Vertical Stripes of equal width, most often associated in a historical context with Regency England. Like Bengal stripes, Regency stripes are often white alternating with another color, run vertically rather than horizontally, and can usually be classified as a balanced stripe. Unlike contemporary shirt stripes, however, Regency stripes are often rather oversized and can be as thick as an inch (or more).

    An example of regency stripes in light yellow.

    An example of regency stripes in light yellow.

  • Awning Stripes or Cabana Stripes

    Bold, vertical, balanced stripes that look like the material used for awnings and outdoor furniture, and are also commonly found in sportswear. Never used to describe shirt stripes.

    An example of awning stripes in forest green.

    An example of awning stripes in forest green.

  • Convict Stripes or Prison Stripes

    Extra-wide, black and white, horizontal stripes. The pattern was originally designed in the mid-18th century, with the idea of making escaped prisoners easily identifiable. Its use waned by the mid-20th century, by which point it was largely replaced by solid-color garments in orange or similar colors.

    A group of convicts in the Utah Penitentiary, 1880s.

    A group of convicts in the Utah Penitentiary, 1880s.

Multicolored and/or Textured Stripes

  • Rugby Stripes

    Horizontal stripes, similar in width to awning or prison stripes. Typically found on more informal shirts, especially those traditionally worn by rugby players (in which cases team colors would often be displayed). Common in either one color and white, or in two alternating colors. Also found as a pattern on knit ties (still in a horizontal orientation).

    • The two-color versions are sometimes accented with a slimmer white stripe as a sort of outline, thus technically making them unbalanced in such cases.
An example of a rugby stripe in navy and white.

An example of a rugby stripe in navy and white.

  • Track Stripes, Alternating Stripes, or Variegated Stripes

    A pattern in which the background color stays the same, but the color of the stripes does not. Frequently used in shirts.

    • Sometimes accented with single threads of another color (e.g. black) as a sort of outline, thus technically making them unbalanced in such cases.
An example of alternating stripes in blue and orange (with black outline).

An example of alternating stripes in blue and orange (with black outline).

  • Seersucker (fabric)

    A vertically striped fabric in which some of the stripes pucker, an effect created in the weaving process. In construction, selected warp (vertical) yarns are pulled tight, while others are left loose, creating seersucker’s distinctive texture. Most often made of cotton, it launders easily, needs no ironing, and masks wrinkles, making it ideal for summer garments. Another fabric, plissé, achieves a similar wrinkled texture through a chemical coating.

    Seersucker

    Seersucker fabric in green, illustrating its characteristic weave.

    • Hickory Stripe or Railroad Stripe (fabric)

      In the late 19th century, a type of heavyweight dark blue seersucker known as “hickory stripe” was used to make the overalls, jackets, and caps of train engineers and railroad workers. This cotton fabric was durable like denim and breathable like standard seersucker. Even today, some railroad companies incorporate this stripe into their uniforms.

Railroad stripe fabric, with penny included to show the size of the weave.

Railroad stripe fabric, with a penny included to show the size of the weave.

Types of Stripes: Unbalanced

Simple, Two-Tone Stripes (Narrowest to Widest)

  • Hairline Stripes

    Very narrow stripes (about the width of a hair), made by weaving single threads in color to contrast with the background. They are used mainly in fabrics for men’s shirts, neckwear, and other apparel. The term is principally used to describe shirt fabrics, and less commonly, suit fabrics.

    An example of hairline stripes in green.

    An example of hairline stripes in green.

  • Pinstripe or Banker’s Stripes

    Stripes that are the “width of a pin” (usually less than 1/16″ wide). The term is used to describe both shirt and suit fabrics, where the pattern is used frequently.

    An example of pinstripes in red.

    An example of pinstripes in red.

  • Pencil Stripes or Dress Stripes

    Fine stripes in men’s suit fabric, two or three warps wide, in a color to blend or contrast with the background. The stripes are roughly the width of a carpenter’s pencil mark (about 1/16″ inch). Wider than a pinstripe, but narrower than a chalk stripe. The term usually refers to shirt fabrics, and rarely describes suit fabrics.

    An example of pencil stripes in black.

    An example of pencil stripes in black.

  • Chalk Stripes

    Stripes in men’s suit fabric resembling tailor’s chalk lines. While previously used to describe a pattern of white or off-white stripes on the dark ground of cloth used for suits, the term is now used to refer to the size and style of the stripe in general. A chalk stripe can now be any color, but it is wider than both a pinstripe and a pencil stripe. The term is never used to describe shirt stripes.

    An example of chalk stripes in violet.

    An example of chalk stripes in violet.

    • Rope Stripes

      Note that you may sometimes see the term “rope stripe” to refer to a wider chalk stripe that resembles a rope; this definition is too subjective to be considered standard.

      An example of what might be called a "rope stripe," in teal.

      An example of what might be called a “rope stripe,” in teal.

  • Double Stripes, Triple Stripes, etc.

    A pattern of multiple pinstripes, pencil stripes, or other narrow stripes in proximity. Usually refers to shirt fabrics.

    An example of a double stripe; white on a blue background.

    An example of a double stripe; white on a blue background.

  • Multitrack Stripes

    A pattern mixing stripes of different “tracks,” or spacing. The term usually refers to shirt fabrics, and is rarely used to describe suit fabrics.

    An example of multitrack stripes, in varying shades of blue and grey.

    An example of multitrack stripes, in varying shades of blue and grey.

Multicolored Stripes

  • Blazer Stripes

    Wide, vertical stripes, like those used on older school and team blazers in England. Never used to describe shirt stripes.

    Rowing 1st Vlll Close up of the black & red striped blazers with gold piping & The King's School, Chester - Boys' 1st VIII impress

    Rowing 1st Vlll Close up of the black & red striped blazers with gold piping & The King’s School, Chester – Boys’ 1st VIII impress

  • Shadow Stripes

    Vertical stripes, usually narrow, bracketed or “shadowed” by lighter or smaller stripes on one or both sides. A classic shadow stripe features shadows which are variations on the main stripe color, but contemporary offerings feature shadows in different colors. This definition typically applies to shirt fabrics. The same term alternately refers to a self-striped fabric, where the shadows are created by yarns twisting in the opposite direction of the main stripes and are thus only visible in a certain light; this definition typically applies to hosiery and accessories.

    • Bar Stripes

      A type of shadow stripe where the contrasting smaller stripes symmetrically flank both sides of the main stripe.

An example of bar stripes, in alternating blue and orange, on a grey background.

An example of bar stripes, in alternating blue and orange, on a grey background.

  • Halo Stripes

    A pattern sometimes used in suit fabrics, which looks as though the center of a stripe is the same color as the background but is surrounded in another color in a “halo” or eclipse effect.

    An example of halo stripes. in indigo.

    An example of halo stripes. in indigo.

  • Regimental Stripes or Battalion Stripes

    Stripes in colors identified with various English military regiments and used in ties worn by their officers in civilian dress. The stripes range from 0.33″ to 1.5″ wide. In addition to authentic regimental stripes, similar colors and arrangements are used in neckwear in both England and the United States. The term is most properly used only in conjunction with neckties. Englishmen wear their ties so that the stripe slants from their left shoulder down toward the right; Americans go the opposite direction. The pattern became popular in England following WWI and then spread to America shortly thereafter, especially after Edward VIII visited the US in 1919.

    assorted repp ties

    Assorted ties with regimental stripes.

    • Collegiate Stripes and Club Stripes

      Contrasting stripes of bright and dark color, often in gray-yellow-red or gray-green-blue combinations. The pattern was popular in collegiate shirts in the late 1950s and was also worn to identify country/social clubs.

An example of collegiate stripes, in red and grey.

An example of collegiate stripes, in red and grey.

  • Grecian Stripes

    Figured stripes incorporating a Greek fret or similar design, spaced well apart. Used as a neckwear pattern.

    An example of Grecian stripes in grey.

    An example of Grecian stripes in grey.

  • Roman Stripes or Rainbow Stripes

    Bright stripes in groups of contrasting colors, usually running in the warp (lengthwise) direction.

    An example of Roman stripes, in various colors.

    An example of Roman stripes, in various colors.

  • Ombré Stripes

    Stripes incorporating the effect of an ombré (in other words, a shaded gradient), usually within the stripe itself, as opposed to the background.

    An example of ombré stripes; a green gradient on a black background.

    An example of ombré stripes; a green gradient on a black background.

Textured Stripes

  • Broken Stripes

    A pattern, usually for suit fabric, that appears to be made up of solid, chalk-type stripes from a distance, but upon closer inspection, resembles a series of aligned dashes.

    An example of broken stripes in blue.

    An example of broken stripes in blue.

    • Beaded Stripes

      A subset of broken stripes wherein the stripes resemble dots rather than dashes.

An example of beaded stripes; grey on a dark charcoal background.

An example of beaded stripes; grey on a dark charcoal background.

  • Satin Stripes

    A pattern of alternating shiny and matte stripes created by the fabric’s weave. Popular for dress shirts made of fine cotton, a “satin stripe” may describe any width or color of stripe(s), but usually features a solid color with a contrasting weave.

    Satin stripes in white, presented at an angle to show how light affects the design.

    Satin stripes in white, presented at an angle to show how light affects the design.

  • Morning Stripes, Cashmere Stripes, or Spongebag

    While there are numerous variations of striped trousers for formal daywear (or “morning dress”), the signature choice is the “cashmere stripe.” Trousers are sometimes called “spongebags” when featuring this pattern; this is because the pattern has a very close resemblance to traditional spongebags, or dopp kits. Note that tailors call this pattern “cashmere stripe” even though the trousers are not made of cashmere at all!

    A closeup view of the classic morning stripe.

    A closeup view of the classic morning stripe.

  • Ticking Stripes

    Any of several simple vertical stripe patterns, usually blue and white or black and white, that resembles mattress ticking. Such patterns are popular for shirt fabrics, as well as denim and canvas.

    An example of ticking stripes in black.

    An example of ticking stripes in black.

Honorable Mentions

  • Madras Stripes

    While the fabric known as madras more holistically features a plaid, checked, or otherwise geometric pattern, some garments will feature striped sections as well. In these cases, said stripes (typically wide cabana-style stripes that are light in color and not necessarily balanced) can be referred to as “madras stripes.”

    An example of what might be called "madras stripes," in grey.

    An example of what might be called “madras stripes,” in grey.

  • Wallpaper Print

    Style of print that has a vertical emphasis (either a stylized stripe or simply a vertically arranged pattern) and a fanciful or flowery decoration in the manner of old-fashioned wallpaper. Used to describe shirts.

    An example of a wallpaper print which incorporates stripes into its design.

    An example of a wallpaper print which incorporates stripes into its design. Most likely used as actual wallpaper and not for shirts – hopefully!

  • Mille Stripe (fabric)

    A finely striped fabric that looks like a solid from a short distance, because the fabric is striped almost thread by thread (actually, the stripes are usually formed by groups of two or three threads, and a true thread-by-thread stripe is known as an end-on-end). The term refers to shirt fabrics, never to suit fabrics.

    An example of mille stripes in red.

    An example of mille stripes in red.

  • End-on-End (fabric)

    A type of fabric, most often used for shirts, constructed so that the warp (vertical) yarn alternates color. Typically alternates between blue and white yarns, giving a faintly striped or textured appearance to the final fabric.

    An example of end-on-end weaving, with various stripes incorporated.

    An example of end-on-end weaving, with actual stripes also incorporated in this case.

How Do You Wear Stripes?

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

Shirts

Striped shirts are usually a safe choice. If you want something restrained that pairs easily with a tie, a standard two-tone stripe, such as a Bengal stripe, is a good option. Even safer would be a pencil stripe or hairline stripe, in that these stripes of a very small scale can read as solids from a distance. Moving toward smart casual or business casual, try a candy stripe with a more muted, solid tie. For totally casual, tieless looks, choose candy stripes or Regency stripes in warm weather and multitrack stripes for winter.

Bernhard Roetzel wearing a striped shirt, muted knit tie, and grey windowpane suit

Bernhard Roetzel wearing a Bengal striped shirt, muted knit tie, and grey windowpane suit

On the other hand, if you want to forget about playing it safe, go for a striped shirt with a striped jacket. It’s important to remember in this case that the sizes of the stripes on each garment should differ greatly (for example, a pencil-striped shirt with a sandwich-striped jacket). If the “density” of the patterns is too similar, they will not appear harmonious to the eye. Similarly, consider how prominent the pattern of your shirt is when choosing a tie. Solid color ties are a safe choice, but you could also try a tie that has a stripe of a different scale (regimental stripes, for example), or features a different type of pattern altogether.

Esquire May 1938 - Multiple Paired Stripes

Vintage fashion illustration from Esquire, May 1938 – Note the striped patterns in the tie, shirt, and suit.

Jackets

Stripes on a jacket can sometimes be a bold statement, though not always; generally, the broader the stripe, the bolder the effect. For example, if a jacket features brightly colored sandwich, awning, or blazer stripes, it will come across much more aggressively than one made up of muted pinstripes. Keep this in mind when choosing a jacket, and remember: try on a few options to compare their effects on your frame. For instance, a fine white pinstripe on a navy suit jacket remains conservative, but a cabana-striped summer sports coat or one with Roman stripes would be quite loud.  If there are bright colors or many colors, the jacket obviously becomes bolder. A navy hairline stripe on a grey jacket is easy to wear, but a pencil stripe would require more careful consideration.

full canvas vintage rowing blazer made in England with red knit tie by Fort Belvedere

Full-canvas vintage rowing blazer (made in England) with red knit tie by Fort Belvedere

Whatever you choose, one thing you will notice with a striped jacket is how it creates the impression of a longer torso. Tailored menswear has always sought to flatter the male form through added visual suggestion; vertical lines over the chest draw the gaze upward. As a general practice, pair your patterned jacket (if it is not part of a suit) with solid trousers, to avoid clashing patterns. Regarding your choice of tie, you can follow two options of layering and either wear a solid tie or go pattern-on-pattern, which requires more skill.

Rowing Blazers at Henley Royal Regatta, England

Rowing blazers (with blazer stripes) worn with plain trousers – Henley Royal Regatta, England

Suits

Stripes are not as inherently bold as checks, and can be worn with slightly greater latitude in suits (as evidenced by the rich history of pinstripes and chalk stripes in white-collar professions). Therefore, their acceptability depends on the dress code of your office and how much you want to be noticed. Suits with broader chalk stripes (or “rope stripes”) are more risky, as the loud pattern can easily make your outfit look more like a costume. Italian style tends to be bolder in making use of striped suits, especially ones with regularly spaced patterns, but they are still difficult to carry off.

Chalk stripe suit with navy tie and White Irish Linen Embroidered Contrast Framing Pocket square

Chalk stripe suit with navy tie and White Irish Linen Embroidered Contrast Framing Pocket square

Overcoats

It is said that things you can’t get away with in a jacket, like large peak lapels and aggressive textures, are acceptable with an overcoat. The same goes for stripes. Even so, however, bold, wide stripes on an overcoat should be avoided, as when combined with a long, buttoned overcoat, you will appear to onlookers as one giant mass of large stripes. Instead, opt for a more reserved stripe, similar to one found on a well-made suit. Though always a statement, a subtly striped overcoat, worn with an otherwise reserved outfit, is likely to garner more style compliments than other garments that would be considered loud.

Double Breasted Overcoat without scarf and popped collar - a very common trend at Pitti

A striped, double-breasted overcoat, collar popped, worn only with a shirt – a very common trend at Pitti Uomo.

Pants

As mentioned above, striped pants worn with a plain jacket (either a cutaway coat or lounge coat) are a staple of proper morning dress. Outside of formal daywear, however, striped pants are somewhat less common as a standalone garment than their checked (or differently patterned) brethren. As such, those pairs that do exist often feature wider patterns in bright colors, and would best be characterized in such cases as a type of “go-to-hell pants” and worn in the same way, as a statement.

Duke & Duchess of Windsor on their wedding day in morning dress

The Duke of Windsor in formal trousers with morning stripes on his wedding day, 1937.

Waistcoats

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

Subtle Striped Waistcoat

A waistcoat with a very subtle stripe, worn with a much bolder paisley tie and a shirt with a slight pattern.

Accessories

As is usually the case with any bold colors or patterns, accessories are a good place to start with stripes because they represent a relatively small dose of the pattern, and can integrate a bit of interest without becoming visually overwhelming. The most commonly represented stripes on neckties are hairline stripes, colored shadow stripes, and regimental stripes (all most often at a diagonal, though the first two of these can sometimes be vertical or horizontal).  Multitrack stripes can be a good choice for casual ties, and wooly winter ties gain subtle interest from a fabric-style shadow stripe.

JFK with father and brother wearing adark on light chalk stripe with striped knit tie and collar pin

Joseph Kennedy, Sr. (center), with sons John and Joseph, Jr. Young JFK wears a horizontally striped tie (and a chalk stripe suit), while his father’s tie features a wide club stripe.

In drab winter weather, a striped scarf can be a terrific option as well, lending interest and excitement when colors are more muted. Meanwhile, in summer, outfitting a straw hat with a striped band can up your sporty sprezzatura.

Green & Blue Paisley & Stripes Double Sided Wool Silk Scarf by Fort Belvedere

A double-sided wool-silk scarf by Fort Belvedere – this side features blue and yellow bar stripes on a green background.

 

Boater Hats for summer

A selection of straw boaters, each with a multicolored, striped band.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has cleared up the distinctions among the various forms of striped fabrics available in menswear. With this information and a bit of practice, you should be able to name a stripe style on sight and even identify hybrid combinations that blend the features of more than one kind of stripe (for example, an alternating end-on-end pattern). Stripes are a versatile pattern style that can either tend toward the casual and evoke a sporting heritage, or be right at home in more formal settings–featured in the wardrobes of everyone from resort-goers to bankers.  This wide range of possibilities speaks well to the versatility of stripes in your wardrobe, as they are amenable to being dressed up or down. Overall, one thing’s for sure–if you do your homework, it’s not hard to earn your stripes.

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


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How to Wear Pink in Menswear

Thanks to corporate marketing initiatives in the mid-20th century, pink is entrenched in the minds of most Americans as a distinctly feminine color. So how can men best wear it?

Blue is for boys and pink is for girls is a common perception around the globe. However, pink is a supremely versatile color and should receive more play in the masculine wardrobe. In this article from our series on wearing different colors in menswear, we’ll discuss the history of pink in menswear, and when, where, what and how to wear pink successfully.

Pink Patterns - Photo by fabriziodipaoloph

A dandyish outfit comprised of three pink-based patterns – Photo by fabriziodipaoloph

A Brief History of Pink in Men’s Fashion

For a long time in the history of the West, pink was not associated with one particular sex or gender. Opinions on whether to dress a newborn in blue, pink or some other color varied by region or country. However, coding by color began to take hold in the mid-20th century when American companies began marketing pink items for girl children and blue for boys.

Until last century, boys wore dress-like garments in their early years. Pink was also a color associated for a long time with male children.

Until the last century, pink was also a color associated with male children, like the boy above, who also wore dress-like garments until they reached a certain age.

Within a few decades, the equivalence of pink with women was established, so that even now, articles on pink for men are always bound up with considerations of gender. Sure, during “Pinktober” men in the US, including players from the National Football League, that most macho of sports, wear a lot of pink to spread breast cancer awareness. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is followed by “Movember,” which re-establishes masculinity by promoting the growth of facial hair for the whole month! Indeed, men’s brands often market pink items variously as red, crimson,  and other names rather than calling them pink for fear that they won’t sell otherwise.

Light Pink summer blazer

Light pink summer blazer

Meanwhile, The Independent proclaims that “menswear is borrowing from the girls” in its use of pink while an article in The Telegraph asks “Are you man enough to wear pink?” Inevitably these articles tout that you are actually more manly if you wear pink because it shows you are secure enough in your masculinity to do so. A recent scientific study also shows that women actually do prefer pink but because of this, they also love men who wear pink and find them more attractive. Whatever makes you feel confident wearing it, I guess, though for me, choosing pink is, first of all, an aesthetic decision: it simply looks good with certain colors.

Pink Double Breasted Seersucker with Boater Hat via Dandy Portraits

Dr. Andre Chruchwell in a Pink Double Breasted Seersucker with Boater Hat via Dandy Portraits

In any case, gender associations surrounding pink exist mainly in North America. In India, men wear pink all the time. In the UK, you’re likely to see pink shirts more widely represented with suits and ties among bankers and other businessmen. There, men who wear pink area have been found to earn £1000 more a year than those who don’t.

Shahrukh Khan wearing pink

Bollywood megastar Shahrukh Khan wearing a pink shirt

How to Wear Pink

Pink Winchester Shirt & Grey Suit

An elegant fall or winter combination composed of a gray notched-lapel suit, a pink Winchester shirt, a pink pocket square, and beige gloves.

When Can You Wear Pink?

While pink may first be associated with the brighter color palette of spring and summer, it is a wonderful year-round color if you choose the most complementary shade for the season and your outfit.

Bright shades of pink are ideal for spring and summer, while muted shades of pink can be worn year round. In the warmer seasons, you can experiment with wearing pink as the dominant shade in your outfits, such as a pink blazer or pants, while in winter, pink makes for an interesting color for a shirt or an accessory, such as socks.

Which Tone of Pink Should You Wear?

In terms of the color spectrum, pink is a very interesting color. According to science, it technically doesn’t exist, because if we look at a rainbow or light refracted from a prism, there is no pink visible in it. Red is the first color in the rainbow and violet the last–remember ROYGBIV? Pink occupies the blank space between red and violet, which includes all the light waves we can’t see (infrared, ultraviolet), so our eyes invent pink to fill in that gap. In a simple practical sense, however, the color we see as pink is created by mixing red and white. Still, it can be dark or light and either tend toward peach (if it contains undertones of yellow) or fuchsia/mauve (if it contains more blue or purple).

Ten Shades of Pink

Ten Shades of Pink

Generally, for men (and, I would argue, for anyone), lighter pinks are preferable in either tone (the first three colors on the bottom left of the image above). Brighter pinks are loud and dominate an outfit. Assessing where a pink item of clothing lies along the range of tones is important if you plan to coordinate with a second pink or even with other colors; for example, a pocket square that contains a salmon pink will not go well with a tie that is peach pink, and some variants of pink may look better with particular blues while others may make blue look more purple.

Pink Blazer, Shorts and Bag

Nick Wooster wearing electric pink

For those who are resistant to wearing pink or who want to be creative in creating the color, try a pattern that contains red and white, like a white shirt with thin red stripes or a red and white herringbone tie. When these two colors appear side by side in a tight pattern, they will read to the eye as pink.

Herringbone Wool Red and Off-White Bow Tie Handmade by Fort Belvedere

Depending on how it’s combined, this Herringbone Wool Red and Off-White Bow Tie by Fort Belvedere can read as pink or muted red

Ultimately, the choice of which pink to choose depends on your complexion if you are getting a shirt or sport coatas these articles of clothing place the color in proximity to your face. If you have brown skin, most pinks will work for you. If you have a lighter complexion, pink still looks best if you have a tan. Fortunately, pink is most suitable as a warm weather color because of its brightness, so you can work on tanning beforehand. If you aren’t tan,  a large stretch of pink near your face will bring out any pink spots or blotches and emphasize them more.

Pairing Pink with Other Colors

Pink is a great choice because it pairs well with all the major menswear colors–namely gray, blue, and brown–and then some. Pink and gray–from light gray to charcoal–are ready companions, such as in the form of a pink tie with a gray suit. If you have gray hair, pink will also be your friend, perhaps as a pink shirt. In the shoulder season between winter and spring or summer and fall, pink can succeed with burgundy or maroon. Combining these cool weather hues with pink makes for an apt transition between seasons.

Pink and brown pairings

The author in two simple pairings of subtle pink with brown: a pink linen tie and a pink cotton pocket square with white border; pink linen striped shirt.

My personal favorite color to wear with pink is brown. A pink summer tie with a brown linen jacket is a terrific choice. Pink and blue also feature together frequently but need a little more caution.

Especially when it is worn with mid-blue rather than navy, pink can make the blue appear more indigo or violet, shifting it toward the purple part of the color spectrum. This isn’t necessarily bad, but be aware of the interaction.

Caesar Romero as The Joker

How to wear and not wear pink and green. Caesar Romero as The Joker at left

A bold pairing that isn’t seen that often is pink and green, which are complementary on the color wheel, though an abundance of caution is needed lest you end up looking like the Joker as played by Caesar Romero. As usual, moderation is the key. Try olive green and a light pink instead of neon.

Gianni Fontana in an outfit dominated by green plaids. Just the jacket or the coat work well but not both together

Gianni Fontana’s choice of olive green and pink is a winning combination, though one plaid is enough in any given combination

Lastly, in summer, pink and white are a winning combination; after all, pink is made with red and white, and that white undertone can bring together a pair of white pants and a pink shirt.

Pink shirt white pants

IAmGalla pairing a subtle pink shirt with white pants for a summery look

What to Wear in Pink

Pink Shirts

The easiest way to add pink to your wardrobe would be a shirt. Make it fairly light; that way you get enough of the color to make an impression but not to overwhelm. The history of the pink shirt as part of classic style is, admittedly, a short one, as is the history of any colored shirt or any shirt with a pattern for that matter. Originally, all shirts used with tailoring were white (or off-white, depending on how bad your washing was). Stripes were originally shunned for their association with the lower classes, sin, and the Devil then maintained negative class connotations for some time. Colored shirts, similarly, were associated with manual labor (thus, the term “blue-collar workers” based on the denim or chambray shirts they wore). So, no gentleman would wear anything other than a solid white shirt. However, as norms of dress relaxed or were defied, colored shirts began to creep in.

Canali pale pink dress shirt

This Canali pale pink dress shirt is understated

Sources usually credit Brooks Brothers for introducing pink dress shirt for men in the early 1900s, but it only took off in the post-War ’40s as part of a burgeoning defiance of norms and part of the Ivy-style movement. Consider wearing it under a sports coat or suit jacket, which tames the color and minimizes the interplay of the color with your skin tone. With a polo shirt, on the other hand, the color is your “top layer” and the pink has a more potent impact–it can dominate as the focus of attention and also clash more with some skin tomes unless you wear a polo with a jacket (not usually recommended). With that said, you have more leeway for bright colors in warm weather, so a light pink polo in the heat of summer is still a possibility, but start out with pink long-sleeved shirts under a jacket.

Pink Accessories

White and pink Fort Belvedere pocket square

A white Irish linen pocket square with pink details from Fort Belvedere.

If you don’t want to go big to start, accessories are a great way to add pink to an outfit. The smallest dose can come in the form of a pocket square that contains a little of the color, either as a border along with several others in a paisley. A larger splash can be achieved with a pink boutonniere in your jacket lapel. There are a number of naturally pink flowers, including the most popular for buttonholes: carnations and roses.

A pink carnation boutonniere from Fort Belvedere.

A pink carnation boutonniere from Fort Belvedere.

Around the same size, you can go with a pocket square that is mostly pink, perhaps with a white or cream border. Lastly, consider a pink tie, but avoid ones that are shiny. If you get a printed silk tie in pink, try one that contains other colors, maybe in the form of a geometric pattern or stripes. Solid pink linen or raw silk ties (shantung, tussah) are great for the summer because their texture and matte finish tame any potential gaudiness.

Fort Belvedere pink linen tie

A textured light pink linen tie from Fort Belvedere

Pink Sport Coats and Suits

More daring than even the pink shirt is the pink sport coat, as it puts the color front and center as your top layer of clothing. This is definitely a summer look with a Neapolitan vibe, and something containing linen will likely be your fabric choice.

A red and white micro-patterned jacket from Boggi Milano that looks like a mauve pink.

Riskiest of all is an entirely pink suit, which is exceedingly rare outside the confines of Pitt Uomo and remakes of the Great Gatsby. The most famous wearer is the fictional Jay Gatsby from F. Scott Fitzgrerald’s novel. In the book, the suit gets merely a passing reference. Gatsby’s rival, Tom Buchanan, is told that Gatsby is an Oxford man, to which he exclaims “Like hell he is! He wears a pink suit.” Again, the color is noted as being unconventional, a sign that Gatsby is “new money.” Despite occupying only a small space in the written text, the pink suit features strongly in both the Robert Redford and Leonardo DiCaprio film adaptations. Note how DiCaprio’s Gatsby is styled in the lightest possible shade of pink though with faded stripes. The overall impression is American, specifically Southern, rather than Italian, similar to the effect of wearing a red and white striped seersucker suit.

The pink striped suits with cuffs

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jay Gatsby in a pink striped suit

Pink Socks

While we at the Gentleman’s Gazette are not fans of crazy socks, you can certainly add a dash of personality and color to an outfit with pink and gray shadow stripe socks from Fort Belvedere, which remain conservative enough for work. The inclusion of gray striping suggests an essential pairing of these socks with any suit from light gray to charcoal.

Pink and grey Fort Belvedere socks

Pink and gray shadow-stripe socks from Fort Belvedere

As far as pink suede shoes or sneakers go, give them a wide berth. They’re just too fashion oriented and obviously showy. However, to casualize an otherwise tailored look, try replacing the brown or black laces on a pair of brogues with pink dress shoelaces as a very inexpensive way to perk things up.

Conclusion

As our society moves toward eliminating gender stereotypes, the possibilities for men of wearing pink have opened up and the color has gained traction in classic men’s style. Of course, many gents have long ignored the gender politics of pink and wear the color boldly. As with any new color, you can start small with pink accessories or dive in feet first with a pink shirt or jacket. Either way, you’ll discover how surprisingly well pink combines with other colors.

Do you wear pink as part of your traditional men’s style? What are your opinions on the color pink?


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Should You Wear Jeans with a Jacket?

Have you ever asked yourselves, should I wear a jacket with jeans? Is it too formal? Is it just right?

In this guide, we talk about nothing but jeans, blazers and suit jackets; when you can wear them, when you should avoid them, and anything else you want to know about those combinations.

Obviously, it’s a very similar question to can I wear a jacket without a tie and we discuss it in a separate video, so stay tuned.

When Should You Wear A Jacket With Denim?

Many men today wear it yet it goes against traditional style rules because jeans used to be strictly blue-collar workwear.

Today, men’s style is a lot more casual than it used to be 50 or 60 years ago and jeans are probably the number one worn pants by men. As everything gets more casual, of course, a lot of men try to wear jeans with anything else they have in their wardrobe, particularly suit separates because that’s what they sometimes have to wear to work.

In an attempt to dress up their jeans or to dress down their suit, they simply combine the two but it rarely works and it hardly ever looks advantageous unless you follow a few clear-cut rules.

The issue of suit jackets with jeans is that it is a clash of formalities. Typically, it’s a combination seen worn by middle managers who want to seem approachable yet be a cut above their subordinates. It’s definitely a fine line to walk but dressing purposefully and thoughtfully is the key here.

How To Pull Of The Jacket & Jeans Look

Pair your jacket with your dressiest jeans

Pair your jacket with your dressiest jeans

1. Pair Your Blazer Or Sport Coat With Your Dressiest Jeans.

That means no holes and no used look. Also, it’s really important that you have enough contrast between your sport coat and your jeans. If you have a dark washed denim with a dark navy blazer, it’s not enough contrast and it looks odd because it’s similar yet it’s not a suit and it’s just weird.

So in general, a medium dark wash or something slightly lighter is best. It’s essential that your jeans don’t puddle and are hemmed to the exact right length.

In terms of cut, a straight leg or maybe something that slightly tapered works best. Definitely avoid really baggy cuts as well as a bootcut. Also, don’t cuff or pin roll your jeans because that’s simply too casual.

Several jeans and jacket combinations worn by Sven Raphael Schneider

Several jeans and jacket combinations worn by Sven Raphael Schneider

2. Go With Jackets that Have Different Colors & Patterns.

Branch out and go with jackets that have different colors as well as patterns and materials because that’s more contrasting or interesting, but also more casual and it works better with jeans. Good features include notched lapels because peak lapels would be too formal. You can also have patch pockets because they’re more formal than jetted pockets or flat pockets.

In terms of patterns, you can go with little houndstooth pattern, maybe a small micro check or a classic Prince of Wales check.When it comes to material compositions, 100% wool is okay but to make it more casual, add cotton and linen blends. Sometimes, wool linen or wool cotton blends or sometimes also a little bit of silk or cashmere for a softer hand and touch.

In terms of jacket colors, you can go with lighter shades of blue, maybe a royal blue, or even a lighter blue. Overchecks could be in red or an orange because that’s a little more casual. In the winter, brown tones are great especially as a Glen check with dark brown and off-white or maybe a herringbone jacket in a medium brown.With all those lighter colors, one pair of dark washed denim really works best because it provides a contrast and it’s a classic jeans color. The personal favorite of mine is the color green, it goes really well with dark washed denim. Also, definitely avoid white or off-white jackets because the denim will color off on it and the contrast is too strong.

Mercer and Sons Button Down collar with S-curve

Mercer and Sons Button Down collar with S-curve

3. Wear Casual Shirts To Bridge The Gap Formalities.

Long-sleeve dress shirts are good but ideally, you should avoid the most formal variations in solid white because they’re just too businesslike. Instead, maybe you go with an off-white or a green shirt, maybe something with a rougher texture, and maybe skip ironing to create a more casual look.

A light blue checked shirt is a great choice

A light blue checked shirt is a great choice

Alternatively, you can also go with button-down collars because they are more casual and check shirts, as well as little houndstooth shirts because they’re also more casual than solids. If you want something like a solid, I suggest an oxford fabric with a two-tone, maybe light blue and white because it’s durable and more casual. No matter what shirt you choose, always tuck it in because an untucked shirt with a sport coat or a suit jacket simply looks odd.

A classic derby shoe is your best bet

A classic derby shoe is your best bet

4. Wear The Right Shoes.

Wear the combination of jeans and sport coat with the right kind of shoes. Black Oxfords are way too formal and not appropriate here. At the same time, boat shoes are too informal and should likewise be avoided.

Ideally, go with brown tones or burgundy and oxblood. If you want to be a little more experimental, you can think about olive green, gray or maybe navy. In terms of styles, a classic derby shoe is good.

This color will definitely make you stand out

This color will definitely make you stand out

Alternatively, you could opt for loafers, either tassel loafers or penny loafers, both work. Other good options are monk straps with some broguing and a wingtip or those more fashion-forward double monks in burgundy. If you want to go with oxfords, go with brogues, either half brogues or full brogues, because that’s casual enough to wear with jeans and it ties the ensemble together with your sport coat. Other good options include chukka boots or Chelsea boots.

In terms of leather texture, suede is really great to combine with jeans and a sport coat. Why? Simply because it’s a little more casual. It’s less serious and as such, it ties together those two elements of different formalities

Jacket With Jeans Style Don’ts

Never attempt to wear your Db business jackets with jeans

Never attempt to wear your Db business jackets with jeans

1. Never Combine Business Jackets With Denim Jeans.

Avoid black business suit jackets or pinstripe jackets with dark blue jeans; it just looks weird and odd. As discussed before, while some suit jackets can be worn with jeans especially if they’re more casual, any kind of business suit should not be combined with jeans, that includes solid navy jackets or maybe solid gray jackets but also any kind of stripe, pinstripe, rope stripe or chalk stripe. They won’t look good with jeans.

2. Skip DB business jackets.

Double-breasted is typically more formal. It has peak lapels and as such, it is even more formal than a single-breasted blazer with patch pockets. Hence, avoid those. However, in recent years, double-breasted jackets have become a lot more popular especially at Pitti Uomo. And if you have something that has a nice linen blend maybe with the Prince of Wales pattern and lighter colors, you can definitely combine them with jeans.

Does this look appeal to you?

Does this look attractive to you?

3. Never wear a t-shirt with jeans underneath a jacket.

It’s a clash of formalities. Either you wear just a t-shirt and some jeans and you skip the jacket altogether or you opt for the jacket but you go with a casual dress shirt or a blend of polo shirt and dress shirt that I mentioned before.

Black oxfords are a big no no

Black oxfords are a big no no

4. Never wear any kind of black shoes.

It simply looks out of place. Black is fine for formal business suits and office wear but not when you wear it with jeans. Instead go with browns, tan tones, burgundy tones, greens or anything else but not black.

Skip neckwear and accessorize with a pocket square

Skip neckwear and accessorize with a pocket square

5. Skip any form of neckwear.

Jeans with a jacket are not ideal if you want to wear a tie, a bow tie or maybe an ascot simply because it would be too formal and a clash. So if you opt for the combination of jacket and jeans, forego your tie and your neckwear. Instead, go with a pocket square or maybe a boutonniere because that creates a visual interest and it just creates a more polished look.

 

A casual dress shirt

A casual dress shirt

6. Do not wear a formal dress shirt with a jacket and jeans.

That means, double cuffs with cufflinks because that’s too formal for regular cotton denim. Likewise, a solid white shirt is not appropriate. A light blue might work.

Maybe go with a different texture, a different weave that is more open so it breathes better and you’re more comfortable during the summer. Striped shirts can work especially if you have bolder stripes, wider or larger scale stripes, or maybe stripes in a different color. At the same time, the whole ensemble has to work together.

7. Don’t wear jeans and a sport coat if you don’t know the dress code.

Why? Well, if you’re not sure about a dress code it always pays to dress one notch up. In that case, it would mean wearing your blazer with a pair of chinos rather than your jeans. Alternatively, if you think that’s over-the-top, you can skip the jacket and just go with a casual dress shirt and a pair of slacks, either chinos or jeans, depending on what you think is right for the occasion.

Diagonal tweed in gray

Diagonal tweed in gray

By the way, during the colder months of the year, a tweed jacket works really well with jeans simply because it’s more casual by definition. It has a coarser weave, it has warmer earth tones, and so it’s a great jacket that is usually single breasted and has notch lapels which makes it again less formal and therefore, perfectly suited for jeans.

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

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

That being said, there are tons of other jackets which are less formal and therefore equally as well suited to jeans as a tweed jacket. Some of them include a Panama jacket which is more of a summer jacket and a Harrington jacket.

CONCLUSION

You can definitely wear a jacket with jeans; just make sure it’s casual enough and not your typical business suit. When it comes to footwear, brown shoes are your friend and make sure it’s not too casual but also not too formal.


Gentleman’s Gazette

MEN FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

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Melania Trump Says ‘Focus on What I Do, Not What I Wear’

PRACTICALLY SPEAKING: As any politician can attest, setting the stage is essential to an public appearance. While First Lady Melania Trump is once removed in terms of being an elected official, she made today’s visit to Cairo – the finale of a four African nation tour, a cinematic one with a visit to the Pyramids in Ginzi.
Her arrival in Egypt began with some of the ingredients of the standard airport meet-and-greet: Schoolchildren, her fellow First Lady Entissar al-Sisi and a red carpet. But what was the third of four diplomatic entrances this week bordered on silent, according to a press pool. No music played and “very tough security” kept a close eye. In addition, police manned rooftops as the motorcade made its way through the city streets. Although work weeks can reel into Cairo as many as 25 million people, traffic was not an issue, partially due to Saturday being a holiday, the pool said. Media types were advised to leave their electronic devices behind, when the caravan stopped at the presidential palace. There, Trump and Egypt President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi met behind closed doors for under an hour.
Today’s activities included paying a visit to officials at the U.S. Embassy

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