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Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Role of Trousers in Men’s Fashion

The Role of Trousers in Men’s Fashion
Good trousers are never the defining characteristic of a man's outfit, unless you're a circus clown. A well-chosen outfit should direct attention toward the face and help it stand out in the viewer's mind, and drawing the eye below the waist does nothing to further that goal. Instead, trousers should present as smooth and unbroken a path as possible up the wearer's body; the best trousers will be able to retain their sleek profile whether the wearer is moving or stationary; seated or standing.
On a more practical note, of course, trousers are also where men tend to carry the little necessities of life -- their keys, wallet, cell phone, and so on. Good trousers will have pockets of the proper size and shape to carry a few small items without bulging; loading the pockets and checking a mirror can be an excellent test for off-the-rack trousers. Custom-made trousers can simply be fitted with all the usual daily items in the pockets to see if any adjustments are needed.
Trouser Fit for Men
The perfect pair of trousers should follow the natural shape of a man's body: widest at the waist, tapering all the way to the ankles, with no excess fabric hanging loose or billowing. At the same time, trousers need to be loose enough to allow for movement, and should never wrinkle or bunch around the thighs -- this is a sign that the trousers are too tight. Dress trousers should never narrow and then widen lower down on the body. 
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Monday, June 24, 2013

Jacket Sleeve Buttons

There are numerous historical reasons for jacket sleeves bearing buttons, from encouraging the use of handkerchiefs to allowing a gentleman to wash his hands without removing his jacket, a traditionally grave social offense in mixed company. Whatever the reason for their arrival on jacket sleeves, they now form an important part of the detail work or trimming of the jacket. Most traditionally, men's suit jacket sleeves bear four buttons, though it is not uncommon to find three. Regardless of number, they should always match the waist buttons, and are always placed within a half-inch or so of the hem. On bespoke suits, and even some of the higher-quality made-to-measure jackets, the sleeve buttons are functional, though there is little reason to ever use them – rather, it is a subtle declaration of the jacket's quality. When the buttons are functional, there is some temptation to leave one button undone in order to draw attention to the feature – and by extension, the quality of the men's cheap custom suit – though this is a matter of personal taste.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Shirt Fabrics

shirt fabrics, or "SHIRTINGS" as they are called by tailors, are diverse and variously appropriate. Cotton is by far the most common material for dress shirts, and most fabric names refer to a particular method of weaving. The figures indicate tissue sometimes with a wire thickness of the fabric is made, the higher numbers mean thinner yarn, fabric and there thinner and higher prices.
Shirt fabric OxfordOxford men fabric, haberdashery thicker, however, is very soft and comfortable. A more casual fabric, its most natural form is the button-down collar. Oxford shirts in colors and patterns that the threads running in one direction are dyed, while the others remain white. This gives the fabric its characteristic textured appearance. Pinpoint Oxford weave same, but finer wool, and therefore smoother and more formal. Royal Oxford is finer still, and can stand proudly beside a fine wool suit and expensive tie.

Men Fabric PoplinPoplin has a smoother texture, but the same weight, the result of a fine wire moving a shape with a thick cloth, it. It is soft and comfortable, and often used in informal shirts. The colors are easily at home, and you must particularly sports models.
Twill fabric Cotton shirt man, a diagonal light armor made for richly textured shirts without sacrificing formality. In twill, the direction of the diagonals switches back before every quarter of an inch, can give more depth tissue. When occasion or whim calls for a solid shirt, twill plays the role with panache.

Men always well BroadclothFiner Fabric linen woven so tightly that glitters. This is the most formal shirts to wear for the day to day. Fabric on end-end is the thread weaving makes the colors for a visual texture so subtle it seems solid from an arm's length away alternately. Thank you to its tight weave, this fabric shows patterns with exquisite precision.
Formal shirts are made of white cotton pique with a rich woven texture. This is the only own black tie and white tie, and is not suitable for anything other shirt.
Besides the pure cotton, above all fabrics can be found in cotton / polyester blends. These are cheaper, and if it does not look as rich or as smooth sensation, which can often be worn without ironing. No iron 100% cotton shirts offer the rich look of natural fiber and ease of synthesis, but the good ones are very expensive and cheap irritate the skin. Synthetic fibers get itchy and uncomfortable in the extreme heat, more than 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Ironing is not really that much work, and is the best way to look and feel good with shirts that are affordable enough that you can store your wardrobe with a large collection of them.

Friday, June 21, 2013

What’s in a Men’s Jacket

chart of sport jackets versus suits
The terms “sports jacket” and “suit jacket” are often used interchangeably.
While the two are similar and understandably confused, there is a definite difference between a sports jacket and a suit jacket. The cut of the two are very similar; however, a sports jacket does not have the same limitations as a suit jacket.
Because a sports jacket, or blazer, is independent of a matching pair of trousers, it is considered more casual than a traditional suit, and is often a good fit in today’s relaxed workplace dress code.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Personal Menswear For Doctor

Of course, not all of a doctor’s life is spent on the job in the hospital — but can still have a professional impact. Even social events with fellow practitioners can require a good personal appearance, to say nothing of conferences and other business travel, so invest in a few smart suits. A single-breasted, two-button suit in charcoal gray is an excellent default for most situations, with a lightly-patterned suit for less formal settings making a nice backup choice when variety is called for. Your large collection of shirts and ties should make matching easy, and you can always wear one of the suit coats with differently-colored slacks to create a casual trousers-and-jacket look — or buy a few more aggressively-patterned sport coats for personal wear, if your salary can cover it.
Sample Wardrobe: The Doctor’s Closet
A doctor’s personal wardrobe will largely be shaped by personal tastes, but the professional wardrobe should always include at least a few shared basics:
Wardrobe Basics – Clothes Every Doctor Needs
5+ white lab coats
1+ suit
1+ pair dress shoes, beginning with a classic black Oxford
2+ pair comfortable leather shoes (many shoemakers offer orthopedic versions for working on your feet)
belts to match each pair of shoes
12+ high-quality dress shirts
12+ high-quality ties
12+ absorbent, V-neck undershirts
5+ dress slacks, light and dark colors
10+ pairs dress socks, matched to the color of your trousers
Wardrobe Options – Extra Style for Medical Practitioners
2+ sport coats
2+ turtlenecks
2+ sweaters
2+ pairs jeans for days off
1+ pair leather gloves (black and then brown are the obvious first and second choices)
1 quality overcoat, wool or leather
1+ hat
cuff links, collar pins, tie clips, etc.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Menswear and fashion advice for individuals with physical handicaps

All about fashion choices for men working with disabilities — no advertisements, no bogus links; just solid advice on finding a good men’s suit and other clothing for those with physical limitations.
It’s hard to imagine two more personal issues than a man’s wardrobe and his medical conditions, which may be why little reliable literature exists addressing menswear and fashion for the disabled. That shyness seems misplaced, however — as with many other products, clothing can be adapted to meet individualized needs. Beyond flattering a specific body, high-quality menswear can also be more comfortable and more convenient for a man with a disability. And, as with any man, a sharp look will make a favorable impression on others and draw attention to the personal style and wardrobe as a defining and memorable characteristic.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What To Look For In A Leather Shoe & How To Protect Them

This article concerns leather footwear and how to repair it when necessary.
Applying_PolishIntroduction to Leather Shoe Repair
A well-made pair of shoes is the foundation of a man’s ensemble. They are what a smart look stands on, so to speak.
Shoes are likely to be the most expensive article on your person beside your wedding band. That said, these shoes meet your investment and return you years of looking sharp.
Finding a great pair of shoes can be a task or opportunity to splurge. As a teenager with what I thought was impeccable taste, I would ratchet up a huge bill on online auctions for British footwear. I bid on patent leather Paolo Vandini winklepickers, suede Chelsea boots, and red snakeskin boots a la Vincent Gallo. These shoes were a bit out of my budget, but I figured they were worth every shilling in the long run. There was no “long run” after all.
Many of these shoes were ruined because of my lack of maintenance. I have learned a lot since then now that shoes in my closet have lasted years not seasons. The wear-and-tear of daily use and the occasional step on your blue suede is inevitable, but using a few easy methods should keep shoes looking great through rain or shine.
Leather Shoe Repair
It really pays to know your local cobbler or shoe repairer.
Here in Madison, I have told everyone with an ear to lend and shoes to fix about Franco the cobbler. He has cornered the local market on shoe repair with his know-how and ability to fix the saddest looking leather shoes you can throw at him. The aptly titled Franco Shoe Repair is on 1213 Regent Street in Madison, WI.
We’d also like to thank Paul Herwaldt for his help on this article – he is a third generation cobbler who owns Shoe Repair Plus in Green Bay, WI. Paul performs shoe repair via mail at a fair price – highly recommended for those of you who do not have access to a local cobbler.
Weatherproofing New Shoes
You might ask, ‘Aren’t my shoes already weatherproofed?’
Yes, your shoes are already weatherproofed when you first put them on. If a new pair of shoes came with a disclaimer, it would tell you that the first round in weatherproofing is provided and the next round is up to you.
I compare the first weatherproofing to the top coat of wax on a new car. It is only going to look that sexy for so long after you roll it off lot until you put on your own coat when necessary.
You might also ask ‘How are my leather shoes effected by water?’
Water can and will destroy the suppleness of your shoe’s leather. Breaking in your shoe is desirable to mold to the form of your particular foot, but water warps the shape of the shoe in an undesirable way.
Leather footwear can manage tens of thousands of flexes. A persistently wet and dried shoe will only last a fraction of these uses.
Leather is nothing but animal skin (most often cattle or horse) which is made up of fat and proteins can only retain a set amount of moisture after being cured and tanned. The fibers that criss-cross each other in the corium, or the hide, give leather its unique strength, but are also very susceptible to drying out and cracking if not treated with care.
I do recommend that you condition your leather footwear – this ensures the leather maintains the right level of moisture to prevent cracking.  Two brands I have used and endorse are Leather Honey & Chamberlain’s leather conditioner.
Protecting New Shoes Against Salt
Walking around a Midwestern city in the slushy winter months will certainly expose any leather owner’s shoes to road salt.
For others in warmer climates, shoes are threatened by lesser hazards like sand and lime. Like salt, these can be harsh in prematurely wearing out your leather, but are less difficult to remove once they permeate or scuff the leather itself. If left untreated, the salt will discolor and weaken the finish of the shoe.
This is also something to keep in mind if purchasing a secondhand pair because of the nature of the set-in salt stain.
A thin layer of waxy polish between the leather and these harmful elements could be the difference between a one minute cleaning versus a costly trip to the cobbler.
I most recommend beeswax because of its ability to cover all tones or colors and it is not as noxious as Kiwi polish and other leading brands.  However anything is better than nothing when dealing with slush and snow.
Note: simply using a damp cloth does not thoroughly remove that salt ring from the toe of your shoe after it has dried.
Owning an expensive leather shoe is slightly demanding. Be mindful of how often your shoes get wet then dry out, or become exposed to alkalines, acids, and salts all of which can erode your shoe and your hard-earned shoe budget.
Repairing Leather Shoes On Your Own
You might have the impulse to go out and buy a quick fix. The whole idea of maintaining shoes is not adding to the pile of shoe expenses.
No amount of polish or “waterproofing” spray is going to keep out water if you are continuously walking in rain. However, you will need some store-bought implements in keeping your shoes looking great for years.
The single-use products that are on the market today (one-use shoe polishes with applicators, shine wipes, etc.) are ultimately more expensive and less effective in the long haul. My father still uses an old clapboard shoe-shining kit containing polishes and bristle brushes. A bristle brush, a rag, and one or two tins of a neutral colored, trusted brand of polish is the best place to start.

1. Select a Waterproofing Compound
There is a lot of debate on the subject of which waterproofing compound is most effective. Just like other consumer products, there is quite a vast market of shoe compounds out there to consider. But not all of these products in the shoe care section are just polishes; many products have enhanced formulas for specific kinds of footwear.
Wax-based Polishes – Unlike shoe pastes and creams, which are designed more to nourish the leather, wax-based polishes are made to create a shine and by doing so create a superficial protective layer than can provide light resistance to water and salt. Manufacturers such as Lincoln make a good product, along with Meltonian who also provides their polish in a wide range of colors. The key to this type of protection is consistent application after every few wears, or every wear if the weather is particularly wet. This is the most high-maintenance approach.
Specialty Waterproof CompoundsChamberlain’s Water ProtectantObenauf’s Heavy Duty Leather Preservative and Sno-Seal Weather Protectant are just three examples of waterproofing compounds whose main purpose is protection. They do a solid job when applied properly and have a longer sticking period than polishes because it is an industrial-grade product. Unlike the above mentioned compounds, these protectants do not create a shine but rather to seal out moisture; as such they may need to be used in conjunction with a polish once the seal has been set. If you have to combine a protectant with a polish, make sure you follow Step 2 closely.
Spray-on Waterproofing Compounds – Of all the waterproofing techniques, this one receives the most amount of flack. Common arguments are that it doesn’t allow the leather to breath and that if the compound contains silicone it will dry out the leather.
My stance is if ease of use is your concern, then it’s much better to use a spray on waterproofing than nothing at all.
Companies such as Meltonian make a water-and-stain protector that is safe to use on leather and suede and is dry and ready 30 minutes. These waterproofing sprays should be used liberally, as they lose their effectiveness after only a few wears. They are not meant to penetrate the leather, but rather provide a protective glaze.
2. Test & Prepare for Waterproofing
This next step is crucial for any shoe that is not black. This process is meant to retain the original appearance of the shoe, and you don’t want to mistakenly discolor the shoe.
If you haven’t already, remove the laces and thoroughly clean the shoe with a brush and rag to remove dirt. Be advised not to assume the color match guarantee made by the manufacturer will hold up. You don’t want to be an exception to the rule.
Choose a discreet part of your shoe, such as the side of the shoe’s tongue under the laces, and apply a small amount to see how it reacts.
After you are more confident, move to an area like the inner back of the shoe and test again. Remember, the tech-ed rule applies here: test twice so you can do the right job once.
3. Applying the Protectant
The only difference in applying a waterproof compound versus a shining compound is the distribution of the product on your shoe. When shining your shoes you can spot shine on occasion – when waterproofing you need to ensure a water tight barrier is formed or the whole process is for naught.

Durable Men’s Shoe Suggestions
Specialty Footwear – There are many companies that make solid footwear using water resistant materials such as gortex, synthetic leathers, and non-slip rubber soles. Although they are not on the same level as higher end men’s shoes and do not offer as much protection as galoshes, their stylish design and inclement weather durability make them a favorite among practical men. An example is the ECCO Berlin GTX. Its large sole and open laced design make it a less dressy shoe than a classic oxford. But when it comes to not having to worry about the rain or snow and for the man who does not want to be hassled with multiple pairs of shoes, these a staple.
Boots – From hiking to work, boots are made to be tougher and are a great choice for inclement weather thanks to their height and ability to protect the ankles. Unfortunately they are limited in the range of clothing they can be worn with; anything dressier than odd trousers is stretching their boundaries. Although the dress boot has a wider range and can be worn with a mens suit, it provides less protection than its brawnier brethren. Due to its thinner sole and smaller heel you’ll have less clearance when traversing puddles and thus dress boots should be worn with as much care as dress shoes. With all that being said, all boots should be treated regularly with a waterproofing compound depending on the wearers environment and frequency of wear.
Galoshes – Galoshes are rubber footwear that slip over shoes and protect them from the elements. Galoshes are a good choice because because they are now sleek and easily incorporated with dressier wardrobes. The term includes both over-shoes and over-boots, the difference being the amount of coverage around the footwear. With a history of serving men (and women) for over 100 years, they have perfected the art of keeping the wearer dry by completely encapsulating the feet and as an added bonus often provide excellent traction. Their downside is that proper fit is absolutely necessary.
A good pair of new galoshes can range in price from $20 to well over $150, the difference being durability and style although a very solid pair for occasional wear can be found for less than $30. Companies like Swim offer a wide range of durable and stylish galoshes online. For the gentleman who walks through all weather, a sturdy pair of galoshes can prove to be invaluable.
Read this last section or this could happen to you!
Read this last section or this could happen to you!
How To Dry Wet Shoes
In closing this article, I want to address the inevitable question of what to do when your shoes get wet. Despite all of your planning, you’re bound to get caught in the rain once!
Wick off the water right away or use a dry rag or towel if available to wipe off the water. Pull the moisture from the inside of the shoe. This can be done with newspaper or a small dry towel. The key is to draw the moisture out, so every hour or so replace the moist paper with dry paper. Depending on the extent of the soaking, this could take from two hours to two days.
Despite what you might think, leaving your shoes next to a heat source only makes the problem worse. Let them dry slowly at room temperature. If you heat them you will cause the moisture to leave too quickly and greatly increase the chance of the leather cracking. Cracked leather can not be repaired.
Once the shoes appear dry and no more moisture is being drawn out of the shoe, clean and condition with a leather balm or cream and finally polish as usual.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Basics of Accenting

The devil is in the details, and little accents will go a long way in setting your style apart from others. Beyond the custom suit and dress shirt, men can consider hats, shoes, haircuts, jewelry, and even non-visual cues like colognes to craft their image. These are highly personalized stylistic elements (sometimes literally, in the case of a monogrammed watch or handkerchief); don’t be afraid to make them your own. Some people still say that Abraham Lincoln won his first election because he took a young girl’s advice and grew out his beard, and who are we to argue? It certainly looks good on him in the photographs.
Once again, a few basic guidelines are more valuable than a textbook of dos and don’ts — black is still more formal than browns or other colors, socks should blend smoothly into the trousers, and jewelry should be simple and unobtrusive (and limited to a marriage band and wristwatch in the most formal settings). Anything done with your hair or beard should obviously be neat and even. Beyond those basics, the style is once again up to you — and ideally, to a thoughtful discussion with a tailor who knows your appearance and your style goals.