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How To Dress Business Casual | Men's Business Casual Guide

Posted by Rishi Chullani on

Richard Wright-Gedcke

Many modern men enjoy dressing up. There is an element of serenity in a perfectly tied tie, a sense of calm in a well-pressed shirt. There will always be times and places to dress formal. However, these times are becoming less frequent in the workplace. Business fashion has turned a corner recently. Less and less corporations are asking for full suit and tie and more and more are asking their employees to dress business casual or ‘dress for the day’.

This change in attire should be embraced rather than resisted. This may seem counter-intuitive, but as a man who enjoys intricate combinations I love the dressing down mentality. The change does not mean that you put less thought into your outfits. In fact, I would argue it means the exact opposite.  Coinciding with the decrease in suit and tie is the increase in accessories. Men must make sure that their outfits are still planned and coordinated. Throwing on a navy suit, white shirt, and navy tie is no longer acceptable.

There are six pillars to business casual fashion. Each pillar is integral to a complete casual wardrobe and must be considered when dressing for the day.

1. Casual Shoe

One of the biggest mistakes I notice when consulting men on their wardrobe is the lack of a true casual shoe. Men love their running shoes and Nike’s. It should go without saying - however it doesn’t seem to - that running shoes are for running and basketball shoes are for basketball. Please, don’t wear either of these.

There are several exciting options that one can wear when dressing casual. The first one is a classic brown oxford. This has been a staple in the wardrobe of men for quite a while. However, it is being worn much more casually now. Pair your classic oxfords with a matching belt and watch your look instantly become more professional.

Business Casual Brown Brogues

Brown Oxford Shoes make for a fantastic look when dressing business casual!

A second option is the loafer shoe. These come in several different styles ranging from classic and plain to colorful with tassels. Let your personal sense of fashion shine as you implement your own style in the selection of your loafer.

 Business Casual Loafer

The Tassled Loafer is a perfect way to add panache to your business casual ensemble! Courtesy of www.hespokestyle.com

Lastly, for the more fashion forward gentlemen, there is the monk strap shoe. These are an extremely stylish and fashion-forward shoe that can be worn in casual as well as formal situations. Much like a loafer, there are several styles of monk strap shoes. All styles are acceptable so let your creativity soar with the selection of a bold addition to the shoe wardrobe.

Business Casual Monkstraps

Brown Monk Straps provide for a sophisticated business casual look! Courtesy of www.fashionweek.mx

 

2. Stylish Sock

Working from the ground up brings us to the next item on our list: socks. Traditionally, a sock is an extension of the pant. Therefore, one would wear a black sock with black pants and a navy sock with navy pants. This is boring. Fashion is fun. The fun sock is the simplest way to add a punch to an outfit. There aren’t really rules for pairing a sock with an outfit. Ideally it will tie into some other element of the look (e.g. pocket silk, shirt). However, this is an area where men are given full freedom to choose what they wish. Stripes, argyle, dots, and animals are just several ideas for fashion socks to look into. If you’re a dog lover find some dog socks! This aspect of your look is a great and easy way to personalize your overall style.

Business Casual Colorful Socks

Nothing wrong with mixing up the color of your socks when dressing casual but dapper! 

 

3. Casual Pant

Switch out that wool suit pant for something more casual! Again, there are a couple options here so make sure your wardrobe is stocked with a couple of each to ensure that you can build any look on any given day.

Your first option is a cotton pant. These are the basic go-to pant in the casual wardrobe and there are several things you should look for when purchasing your casual pant wardrobe. First and foremost is fit. Ensure that your cotton pant is slim and fitted. A casual look turns to a sloppy look the minute that fit is compromised. Dressing casual doesn't mean dressing sloppily. A misfitted pant is an error that will throw your entire image off. Make sure that you have a black, navy, and khaki color as these are the staples of a cotton pant. Once you those you can add periphery colors such as grey and olive.

Navy Chinos Business Casual

Navy Chinos provide for a dapper business casual look! Courtesy of www.lookastic.com

The second option is a pair of jeans. Jeans at the office? Not on Friday? Yes sir! With a well put together look; jeans are the perfect pant for more casual days. The fit of jeans should be either slim or straight. Stay away from bootcut and relaxed jeans as these are too casual for the workplace. In terms of color, there are two main options. Dark blue is the most common with a black jean coming in a close second. The common ground these two jeans share is in the darkness of the denim. A light wash or blue wash jean is unacceptable much like a relaxed jean. Make sure that your jeans are slim and dark to create a sophisticated casual look.

Dark Denim Business Casual

Dark Denim lends itself perfectly to business casual attire! Courtesy of www.pinterest.com

4. Casual Shirt

This is probably the easiest article to choose for your outfit. Since the business casual look often excludes a tie, one does not need to consider combinations nearly as intricately as when pairing a shirt and tie together. There are countless patterns and colors to choose from and you have full freedom to go from a relatively plain blue shirt to a purple paisley shirt. The choice is yours!

Colorful Shirt Business Casual

A colorful shirt can add significant pop to your business casual ensemble! Courtesy of www.lookastic.com

5. Jacket

The jacket is a crucial component of the ‘dress for the day’ mentality. Chinos and a button up is too casual for many business settings. However, the addition of a sportcoat or blazer can transform your image from casual to business professional. When choosing sportcoats for your wardrobe there are several things to look for. My recommendation to you is to go wild with it! Find some peak lapels, ticket pockets, and off-color button holes.

Individualized elements within a jacket add personal style as well as demonstrate a strong sense of fashion. These are both things that can only benefit you in business and should be thought about carefully. Avoid high end wool as it can often look to dressy. Look for unstructured cotton, linen, and wool-blend jackets that have a more casual look to them to maintain the style throughout the entire outfit. Remember you want to integrate different textures and patterns throughout the outfit!

Business Casual Blazer

Are you looking to rock a blazer with that business casual ensemble?!? Attention to details such as contrasting colored button holes will really help you to stand out!

6. Pocket Square

The final pillar may be the most fun. Accessories are crucial when dressing business casual. You should consider quite seriously how the pocket silk will add to the overall perception of your look. Eliminating a tie enhances the importance of the square. Use bright colors and bold patterns to your advantage. Remember, you have very few restrictions when adding this final element to your outfit of the day. Do not match it directly to your shirt - but other than that you have free reign!

To view The Dark Knot’s range of exquisite silk and linen pocket squares, please click here!

Blazer Pocket Square

The addition of a Pocket Square can do much to spice up your business casual attire! Courtesy of www.soletopia.com

Use these six pillars of casual men’s fashion to ensure that you are always fashion forward while remaining professional. Combining business and fashion is made easy if you carefully consider and plan each pillar. Work from the ground up and you will be rocking the business casual world in no time.

And that's a wrap for this one! I hope that you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it!

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The Ultimate Spring & Summer Suit Guide | Summer Suit Fabrics, Colors & Accessories

Posted by Rishi Chullani on

It’s that time of year. Weather in New York City feels as humid as coastal Florida. The heat on certain days can be as enervating as the Dubai Desert. Walking down a city block makes you perspire like you’ve just run a half marathon, making you wonder why you’re strutting that woolen suit. Yes, gentlemen, Spring & Summer is here. And you want to dress to the nines. I get it. Seems like an inherent conflict. A paradox of great proportions! So what are we to do, should we choose to continue to look dapper while the sun shines strongest and hardest. Fear not, there are options aplenty when looking to up your sartorial game in the spring and summer months. With that said, here is our comprehensive Spring & Summer Suit Guide!

Suit Fabrics

If you are looking to dress dapper during warmer months, it all starts with your suiting fabrics. While woolen suits can accompany any dapper gentleman year round, replacing your traditional woolens with either higher yarn count woolen suits (and hence a lighter woolen fabric), or alternative fabrics such as cotton, seersucker and linen, will provide your clothing with significantly more breathability, and hence have you feeling much more comfortable.

 1. Woolen Suits.

 Winter Months: During the winter, one is often required to wear a heavier worsted wool or flannel

Suit for inspiration purposes. So what is a worsted wool suit? Most wools have been created from yarns that have been spun; a worsted wool suit is comprised of woolen fibers that have initially been straightened out on an individual basis, and then twisted and spun together in a yarn. These longer strands create a finer and more durable wool. 

Heavier suits are typically designed with a lower ‘super’ number. ‘Super’ count refers to the quality of the raw wool before it has been processed into a suit. Historically speaking, the number was derived from the number of 560 yard long spools a pound of wool could yield (sounds insane right?!?). Therefore, a ‘Super 80’ meant that a pound could yield 80 spools, and a ‘Super 100’ meant that a pound could yield 100 spools. Hence, the super count essentially refers to the fineness        of the actual strands of wool. A higher number indicates finer wool, as there are more yarns per pound.

For this reason, winter months are best accompanied by a thicker wool / lower ‘super’ count suit.

Summer Months: If you are looking to maintain a traditional woolen suit aesthetic, opt for a super 150 or super 180 as opposed to a super 100 or super 120 suit that you may be using during the colder months. This will allow your fabric to breathe easily and provide you with a level of comfort during the warmer months. Be careful to ensure that your higher super count suits are constructed from wools that are sourced from reputable mills! While the super count will determine how fine the yarn is, there is no fix for woolen material sourced from poor quality mills.

 Higher Super Count Suit

A higher, super count woolen suit is ideal for the summer months. Courtesy of www.suitcafe.com

 2. Linen Suits

Linen is a lighter weight fabric that is ideally suited for spring & summer months. Linen is a breathable, light weight and durable fabric that is perfectly suited for warmer conditions. Its major drawback is that it creases easily, indicating that it should be avoided in corporate settings! Hence, opt for your linen suits when you are out casually with friends or in more relaxed settings such as a summer beach wedding! An alternative to the linen suit that will provide less creasing is a linen / woolen blend, providing the suit with more structure.

Linen suits, next to seersucker, provide the ultimate, relaxed look. If you are seeking out that dapper dichotomy of sophisticated relaxation, you have the option of choosing darker colors in linen, such as charcoal grey or darker brown. However, for that ultimate summer day time look, you are best off employing lighter colors such as tan, creams and off-whites.

Summer Weddings

For a summer wedding, you could ditch the conventional two or three piece suit look and opt for just linen trousers and a vest. Pair this combination with a lighter white cotton shirt and paisley colored tie, and you are bound to have a winning look!

Linen Jackets

Looking to forego the full suit look and dress using separates? Breaking down a look using separates with a linen jacket, cotton or khakis trousers and a cotton shirt will yield a relaxed, yet sophisticated summer look!

 Linen Suit

A Linen Suit breathes easily and is perfect for warmer climates! Courtesy of www.articlesofstyle.com

3.Seersucker Suits

A suiting staple in the southern gentleman’s wardrobe, seersucker suits have come to personify casual chic, providing a relaxed, dapper look that is prominent. Popular on summer weekends, derby meets and other formal events such as dinner dances in college or with other associations, a seersucker suit will ensure that you stand out, alluding to your ability to dress well even the weather may not permit you to do so!

The term seersucker hails from India, where it was known as ‘Shir-O’Shakar’, which in Persian translates to ‘Milk or Sugar’, referencing the contrasting nature of the fabric – smooth yet crinkled.

Seersucker is a light weight, crinkled, striped summer fabric of puckered cotton. The stripes let air into the fabric, to help you keep cool. While usually utilized within the framework of a suit, seersucker can also be worn as a sports jacket.

Seersucker’s lightweight cotton properties make it ideal for summer and allow for some striking color schemes! When accessorizing a seersucker suit, opt for patterns that are not too busy, especially if worn with a patterned shirt as well. If you are pairing your seersucker suit with a solid colored shirt, you will have more leeway with respect to the tie patterns that you choose.

Pair your ensemble with a pastel colored or animal print silk tie for an infusion of elegance and a vibrant color scheme!

 Seersucker Suit

Seersuckers light weight cotton properties make it ideal for spring and summer, in addition to providing for some striking color combination! Courtesy of www.artofmanliness.com

4. Cotton Suits.

For most men, cotton suits seem to be a default choice during warmer climates. However, with a wide array of cotton available on the world market, it is imperative that you have a discerning eye when choosing your summer fabric. Ideally, you want to go for an open weave – one that lets air in more easily. If you cannot see through the fabric when holding it up against sunlight in the summer, you know that it is not a well suited summer fabric.

Cotton Suit

An incredibly elegant and dapper summer cotton suit, courtesy of www.hespokestyle.com

5. Chambray Suits

Chambray is a lightweight cotton fabric, that is slightly glossy, yet highly comfortable. Chambray, considered a close cousin to denim, is a durable fabric that happens to drape with ease.

Chambray Suit

Courtesy of www.soletopia.com

Light Weight Fabrics

As mentioned above, lighter weight fabrics are extremely important during warmer months. Once you have settled on an open weave, you can turn to choosing the weight of your fabric. Fortunately, modern, higher quality fabrics have a stunning finish, even though they may not drape perfectly. 7 ounces (210 grams) summer fabrics typically have highly open weaves, though you should be careful to choose the right fabric, because even though some fabrics may be lighter weight their weave may be too dense for the summer months.

Summertime Suit Structure

An often overlooked element when choosing an appropriate summer suit is determining the suits construction. The construction of a suit will help determine its weight, texture and breathability. The lining of a suit often determines structure and rigidity. While some will advocate opting for an unlined suit, I would suggest going with a half lined suit. This will allow your suit to breathe more easily, while still maintain some of the structure with a conventional suit.

Partially lined suits are a convenient half way point between fully lined and unlined suits. These suits are typically lined in the arms and shoulders, and sometimes in the chest area. However, the back of the suit is left unlined to improve suit breathability.

Half Lined Summer Suit

A Half Lined Suit gives you more breathability, and is ideal for spring / summer months!

Summer Dress Shirts

Color

When opting for a dress shirt during the spring / summer months, it is best to go with a solid white or pastel colored light blue or light pink shirt. These summer staples will provide your wardrobe with a great foundation for the warmer months, providing you with a canvas upon which to accessorize your suit!

Looking for something even more dapper, that provides further injection of color and panache! Try out a green or lilac shirt for a truly preppy look!

Summer Fabrics

Fabrics

With regarding to shirting fabrics during the summer months, selecting materials that absorb moisture with an open weave is of critical importance. Materials such as Nylon, Polyester and Rayon should be avoided unless you want to turn into a mess, given that they trap heat. Instead, going with the following summer fabrics will help you maintain both a cool look and feel!

100% Cotton / Seersucker / Madras 

These fabrics are soft and durable, and absorb moisture as opposed to trapping heat, leaving you feeling cool. A good quality, lighter weight cotton, is one of the most breathable fabrics around, and so it will allow for a little airflow when drying out dampness.

Linen

Linen absorbs moisture but dries quickly, ensuring that you don’t retain those sweat patches!

Summer Shoes

While the focus of this article is on summer suits, we will delve into shoe options for the summer months across a range of looks!

Loafers provide an elegant, yet relaxed dapper summer look that is ideal for both casual and business settings.

Summer Suede Shoes

For a more formal dress look,  a two tone white & tan brogue will provide that ultimate summer dapper look, whether you are dressing for a beach wedding, the Kentucky derby or the local country club!

Two Tone White & Tan Brogues

Two Tone White & Tan Brogues provide an ideal look during the summer months! Courtesy of www.pinterest.com

Summertime Colors

While fabric is your most important consideration for dressing dapper during the summer months, color considerations should be equally important. While Fall & Winter seasons are typically associated with earthier tones such as darker greens, burgundy, navy and mustard yellow, Spring & Summer months are accompanied by lighter colors such as pink, lilac, blue, light blue and green. Employing lighter colors will go a long way towards ensuring that you are dressed the part during tropical weather!

Light Pink – Nothing makes a style statement like a gentleman embracing light pink! Embrace your inner effeminate side, and display that you are not afraid to mix it up. Light pink can help create some of the most visually appealing combinations, whether you are using it as a base with your cotton shirt, or accessorizing with a pink tie, pocket square or lapel flower.

To view The Dark Knot’s range of pink silk ties, please click here.

To view The Dark Knot’s range of lapel flowers, which includes some beautiful pink lapel flowers, please click here.

Pink Suit

A pink suit makes for the ideal summer look! Courtesy of www.pinterest.com

Green – While Fall Season is typically associated with earthier tones of green, such as olive, spring & summer are best accompanied by lighter, pastel green shades, that will help you exude a sense of relaxed debonair.

To view The Dark Knot’s range of stunning Green Silk Ties, please click here.

Green w/ Blue Printed Silk Tie

The Dark Knot's Nantucket Fish Green w/ Blue Printed Silk Tie, provides for that ultimate, summer, relaxed dapper look! Courtesy of www.thedarkknot.com

Lilac – While bolder men may often employ darker shades of purple to show off sartorial inclinations, it’s lighter counterpart, lilac, is often overlooked. Lighter purple, also known as lilac, is a great way to mix up your spring & summer combinations with unique color schemes. While other colors in this list will undoubtedly help elevate your style game, creating your ensembles using overlooked colors will take your style game to another stratosphere! Pair your suits with a lilac shirt or accessorize with a lilac tie, pocket square or lapel flower for that ideal spring / summer relaxed look!

Lilac Shirt Summer Months

A Lilac Shirt creates a relaxed yet elegant look during the warmer season! Courtesy of www.pinterest.com

Yellow – While darker, earthier shades, such as mustard yellow, best accompany cooler months, warmer months are best paired with standard yellow hues. Accessorize your suits with a yellow tie or pocket square to truly make a dapper statement during the warmer season!

Yellow / Blue Printed Silk Tie

The Dark Knot's Falmouth Birds Yellow w/ Blue Silk Tie creates an incredible look during the Spring / Summer months! Courtesy of www.thedarkknot.com

Khaki – Listed last on this list, because this is the option people think of most easily when dressing for the summer months. A Khaki Suit will allow you to exude a relaxed air when the heat steps up! Though you should avoid wearing this suit in the evenings, a khaki suit will look incredibly well put together with the right accessories.

Khaki Suit

A Khaki Suit provides the ultimate relaxed dapper look during the spring / summer months. Courtesy of www.hespokestyle.com

Accessorizing Your Summer Suits

While exercising discretion in choosing appropriate suit and shirt fabrics and colors for warmer weather is essential to looking dapper in the summer, your accessories will really allow you to stand out against your contemporaries. No introduction to accessorizing in any way shape or form can be done without a color wheel. Given that accessorizing, by definition, requires adding layers of clothing, an understanding of color theory is of critical importance.  

Color wheels are largely divided into two camps; cooler colors, represented by green, purple and blue, and warmer colors, represented by orange, red and yellow. Using this basic division of color, we can start to create color schemes that provide contrast and color as we progress further with our color experimentation. Using this color wheel below, we will introduce color schemes from the least progressive, yet elegant (monochromatic), all the way to the most aggressive color scheme that provides the ultimate pop of color (complementary).

Color Wheel

Courtesy of www.classicshades.com

Monochromatic: Often an overlooked color scheme, a monochromatic color scheme is incredibly elegant and one of the simplest color sequences to execute on. A monochromatic scheme entails pairing a darker or lighter variant of a color together. An example would include a navy tie against a light blue shirt, or a burgundy tie against a light pink shirt. In the examples above, navy and burgundy are darker (shades) variants of lighter colors such as blue and pink. Because this color scheme is using colors from both the same side of the color wheel (either both cool or both warm colors), and from the same literal spoke (color) of the wheel, this is considered the least progressive one.

Similar Color Scheme: The next color scheme on your evolution to sartorial domination, a similar color scheme employs adjacent colors on the color wheel. Typically utilizing colors on the cooler side of the color wheel, examples would include a blue shirt with a green tie or a light purple shirt with a navy or blue tie. A similar color scheme allows you to wear different colors without creating strong contrast, as both colors are on the cooler side of the color wheel.  

Neutral Color Scheme: An effective and simple color scheme, a neutral color scheme utilizes colors that are of a neutral tone, such as greys and browns. These color schemes don’t create any specific contrast, and hence can be used with a multitude of colors. Examples would include a grey tie against a white, blue or pink shirt, and a brown tie against a green shirt.

Triadic Color Scheme: Graduating over to more complex color schemes, a triadic color scheme uses colors that form a triangle on the color wheel. Examples include blue, red and yellow & purple, green and orange. Great combinations include a red or burgundy tie against a light blue shirt, a purple tie against a light green shirt or a mustard yellow (darker variant of yellow), against a light blue shirt. Notice how this color scheme is utilizing both warm and cool colors, helping to create a significant degree of contrast. It is this strong contrast between warm and cool colors that helps to create a visually appealing aesthetic!

Complementary color schemes: The boldest of the color schemes, a triadic color scheme involves using two colors that are diametrically across from each other on the color wheel. Examples would include blue & orange, red & green and purple & yellow. As you can see, these combinations will create extremely strong looks, whether in the form of ties, pocket squares, lapel flowers or even socks!

The key when using a color wheel is to choose color schemes and colors that you would be comfortable with, and work from there. While it can be great to get out of your comfort zone, sticking true to your personality and the types of colors that you like wearing is also of paramount importance! It’s often that balancing act that makes dressing stylistically so much fun!

Tie Fabrics

While woven silk is a great year round fabric, alternative fabrics such as printed silk, linen or cotton can really help accentuate your summer vibe! All of these alternative fabrics are lighter than traditional woven silk. With woven silk, threads are interwoven by warp (vertical) and weft (horionztal) threads criss crossing each other, using a weaving machine. This creates depth to the fabric, and by virtue of the sheer number of threads, more weight.

To view The Dark Knot’s range of beautiful silk ties that are ideally suited for the summer months, please click here!

Printed Silk Ties

With a printed silk tie, hand screen printing (using large stencils that outline the design, with color subsequently poured in), or ink jet printing are used to print a design on a satin weave of silk. Hence, printed silk ties are lighter, due to lesser threads being used, with the design emanating from an actual printing process.

With that said, a large percentage of printed silk ties in the market place do look like they have literally been designed for summer weather. Initially popularized by brands such as Hermes and Ferragamo, these unique neck pieces are often accompanied by a theme, such as sea life (fish, crabs), hobbies (tennis, golf, sailing), adventure (safaris), or general lifestyle (palm trees, beaches). These printed silk ties are a great way to inject personality into your wardrobe, while piquing others interests in regards to your hobbies & lifestyle!

Printed Silk Ties

Animal Printed Silk Ties, such as these, by The Dark Knot, provide for a novel and charming look during the spring / summer months! Courtesy of www.thedarkknot.com

Linen & Cotton

Given their lighterweight fabric properties, these ties are ideal for warmer months. As mentioned above, both linen and cotton are lighter, more breathable fabrics, that are ideal for warmer months. These ties are often unlined, resulting in a lighter, cooler feel. Linen & Cotton Ties are often presented in lighter pastel colors, making them an ideal choice during the scorching heat!

For an ideal summer look, pair your linen or cotton tie with a seersucker, linen or cotton suit, providing that ultimate, relaxed dapper look!

Linen Ties

Few items provide textural variation and intrigue like a linen tie does. Courtesy of www.indochino-review.com

Knitted Ties

With a recent resurgence in knitted ties, it is no surprise that knitted ties have become a popular go to option during the spring / summer months!

Knitted Ties are on the less formal end of the neckwear spectrum, and can be used to dress down a suit or dress up more casual attire. Because Knitted Ties are characterized by their textured, loosely woven appearance, and are more breathable than silk, they are ideal for spring / summer months!

While Knitted Ties wouldn’t typically be worn to a formal business setting, they are ideal for less formal situations involving a more casual dapper look (e.g chinos with a buttoned down shirt and blazer).

Knitted Ties come in a range of fabrics, from silk to wool. However, for warmer months, silk knitted ties will offer the most breathability and a lighter weight feeling, while woolen knitted ties are more ideally suited for winter months.

 Knitted Tie Summer

A Knitted Tie provides incredible textural variation against this summer seersucker ensemble! Courtesy of www.hespokestyle.com

Tie Colors During The Summer

When strutting a tie during warmer seasons, try opting for a triadic or similar color scheme that incorporates blues, pinks, corals and greens. Examples would include a pink tie against a light blue shirt, a coral tie with a blue shirt, a blue tie with a light pink shirt or a green tie with a light blue shirt.

If you really want something bold this summer, an orange tie against a lighter blue shirt will pop off fantastically.

Burnt Orange Tie

An Orange Tie against a Blue Shirt can create an incredibly bold & stunning look during the Spring / Summer months! Courtesy of www.mystyleweekly.com

Pocket Square Fabrics

Just as with ties, silk is a fabric that will look aesthetically appealing year round. With its natural sheen and strong vibrant colors, silk is ideal for any season. However, if you are looking for textural variation that adds to your layered aesthetic and provides a material that is more in line with the seasons, opt for cotton or linen.

Silk Pocket Square Summer Months

A Silk Pocket Square can add a level of panache to your ensemble, irrespective of season! Courtesy of www.thenordicfit.com

Cotton Pocket Squares

Ideal for summer months, given their textured fabric. For aspiring dapper gentlemen looking for more creativity with their pocket square folds, the rigidity and structure of cotton will allow you to create a wide range of folds, whether it’s a two, three or four peaked fold, or something more complex.

Linen Pocket Squares

Also providing great visual aesthetic, a linen pocket square falls somewhere in between silk and cotton in terms of structure and rigidity. Linen has the rigidity to allow for more complex folds that will show off crisp pocket square corners, while at the same time maintaining its suppleness for puff folds that are typically associated with silk pocket squares.

Linen Pocket Square

Linen Pocket Squares will provide your ensemble with versatility. Courtesy of www.soletopia.com

Pocket Square Colors during Spring / Summer Months

With a Pocket Square, your best bet is to use the secondary colors in your tie as your primary color in the pocket square, or vice versa. For example, a blue tie with a hint of pink in it could be matched perfectly with a pink or burgundy pocket square. During the summer months, opt for lighter colors where you can. Even if the primary color of your pocket square is not a pastel, trying to use a pocket square with a hint of a pastel color (e.g secondary color or even the hand rolled edges), can work fantastically!

Other Accessories

Looking for other ways to liven up the summer ensemble? How about a lighter colored lapel flower or tie bar. Garnishing your outfits with smaller details will really allow you to stand out, injecting your ensembles with further flair and personality!

For those of you that are sufficiently evolved with your style game, you can opt for louder, more colorful socks. However, just as with other elements of your ensemble, your socks should contrast sufficiently with the balance of your suit and accessories!

And that’s a wrap for this one! I hope that you have enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it.

To view The Dark Knot's range of Spring / Summer Ties, please click here.

To view The Dark Knot's range of exquisite silk & linen pocket squares, that are ideal for warmer months, please click here!

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BEAU BRUMMELL GROOMING PRODUCTS REVIEW

Posted by Rishi Chullani on

It’s that time of day. You’ve hit snooze countless times. The sun has been up for over an hour, and you’re suddenly in a frenetic rush to get to work. You do the essentials – brush your teeth, take a shower, and maybe even find time for a shave. You reach out for that aerated can of crap that you typically squeeze your shaving foam or gel out of, run the blade against your skin a few times, and realize, lo and behold, that you haven’t gotten a clean shave. Your skin looks dry, and your hands feel coarse. You may put on a suit and a tie. Even a pocket square. But you know you could look and feel better. So much better. If only you had a grooming routine – something that motivated you to wake up 30 minutes earlier, because you knew you would feel so damn good doing it.

How convenient would it be, instead of rushing through that morning frenzy, to have a routine that was all encapsulating. Sure, I’ve used face washes, exfoliants and moisturizers before. But they have all been from various brands, or from similar brands with different ingredients. Wouldn’t it just be easier to go with one brand that had an active ingredient as a foundational tool for their entire grooming kit. Seems logical enough right? If I’m relying on a skin care routine in the mornings or throughout the day, I would want to use products that are tied by a common thread, so that I know they are all working in unison to give me that refreshed, glowing look & feel that I am after!

BEAU BRUMMELL FOR MEN SNAPSHOT

Welcome to Beau Brummell For Men– a skin care and grooming products company where artisanal men’s skincare is crafted in small batches in a New York laboratory, to ensure consistency of the highest standards. Beau Brummell’s vision is both inspiring and effective: To help every man look and feel like a true gentleman, by providing a simple daily skin care routine and attention to detail.

While Beau Brummell’s production is conducted in small batches, they do offer an extensive range of grooming & skin care products so that no stone is left unturned, including: The Gentleman’s Facial Moisturizer, The Gentleman’s Facial Scrub, The Gentleman’s Face Wash, The Gentleman’s Facial Mask, The Gentleman’s Shaving Cream, The Gentleman’s Shaving Brush, Walnut Hand & Foot Scrub, Cedarwood Beard Oil Conditioner and a Hand Repair Lotion!

Beau Brummell Grooming & Skincare Products

THE NAMESAKE & BRAND INSPIRATION

Where did Beau Brummell For Men draw their brand name and inspiration from? George Bryan Brummell, better known as Beau Brummell, was one of England’s most refined gentlemen from the late 18th to early 19th centuries. Born to a middle class family, Beau Brummell was enamored by style and personality, and became a testament to that as opposed to adopting principles of class and money. Beau Brummell’s true ambition was to revolutionize men’s fashion of the day, and he is now credited with inventing the modern man’s suit! He brought in the era of wearing finely tailored, fitted clothing – an age of fashion that became synonymous with the term ‘dandyism’.

In addition to his timeless innovations in Style & Fashion, Beau spent nearly 5 hours a day grooming himself! Following his lead, men throughout England and subsequently, Europe, began the practice of shaving daily, bathing daily and wearing fragrances.

As Beau Brummell’s website says “In the spirit of Beau, Beau Brummell is committed to improving the lives of men everywhere. It is our belief that with enough care and attention to detail, every man can look and feel like a gentleman. Let Beau Brummell enhance your appearance now, as he did for men centuries ago.”

PACKAGING AND BRAND VALUES

When I first received my extensive range of products from Beau Brummell, I was highly impressed on two fronts. First, and foremost, was the packaging. Elegantly presented in sleek black tubes, tubs or bottles, these products look absolutely exquisite. They make you want to take full pride in your grooming & skin care routine, as their offering looks absolutely stunning.

The second aspect that really stood out was the amount of product that sent me. I have been sent product by brands before, and it is usually done in a shoddy manner with small sampler kits. These guys went above and beyond and sent me full sized offerings of almost their entire product range. This showed me that on a philosophical level, there are two great guys running this brand. That they don’t skimp. If they’re not skimping on the product their offering, they are certainly ensuring that they deliver the very best with their actual product. You can see that their vision to helping gentlemen look & feel better is in fact authentic – something most brands simply cannot claim!

Courtesy of www.leclubdouze.com

FOUNDATIONAL INGREDIENT – ACTIVATED CHARCOAL

So what is the common ingredient that ties all these exceptional products together? Beau Brummell’s foundational ingredient across its entire product line is activated charcoal, which effectively works as a sponge for your skin. It can absorb the oils and toxins from your face and still leave you feeling fresh and rejuvenated. Activated charcoal, also known as cosmetic grade charcoal, is a natural ingredient that helps to detoxify the skin. Activated charcoal draws impurities away from the skin, through a process called adsorption. Adsorpotion is a process where articles bind to a solid.

Charcoal is an extremely strong adsorbent, with a large surface area that can attract 100 times its own weight in impurities, making it an extremely effective detoxifier. Active charcoal is the same mechanism that allows you to run polluted water through a carbon filter, yielding clean, purified water suitable for drinking. It is the same process that Egyptians were using to remove toxins from their water millennia ago. It is a privilege to see Beau Brummell adopting this ancient wisdom and incorporating it into a sleek, modern aesthetic.

Beau Brummell’s entire product range, including its shaving cream, contains activated charcoal, making its products excellent at both detoxifying and moisturizing the skin.

As Beau Brummell so aptly say on their website “You wouldn’t go out in a wrinkled suit, so why step out with imperfect skin.”

THE GENTLEMEN'S SHAVING CREAM

Most of the negative effects that come from shaving come as a result of not having sufficient lubrication, often down to cheaper modern products. The key to a close, comfortable shave is to apply a quality cream that works to both moisturize and soften your skin and beard, both before and after your shave. This is exactly what The Gentleman’s Shaving Cream accomplishes!

Beau Brummell’s Shaving Cream comes presented in an elegant black tub, and provides you with an easy and luxurious lathering experience.

The Gentleman’s Shaving Cream offers a subtle blended scent of sandalwood, rosemary and lavender, offering a truly refreshing experience. The cream is loaded with glycerin, plant extracts and essential oils, which lock in moisture and helps keep skin hydrated, while simultaneously enveloping your facial hairs in a lubricated environment, allowing for a close and effortless shave.

Beau Brummell specifically avoids any parabens and artificial colorings, which are known to irritate and dry out skin.

Ideally, the cream should be whipped up in a lather and applied using the brand’s shaving brush (please see below).

Beau Brummell Shaving Cream

Personal Experience:  I personally loved using this shaving cream, with its sandalwood and rosemary scents, and the rich lather that it was able to generate. I felt an extremely close shave and my skin definitely felt smoother than with previous shaving products that I have used.

Value: At $28 per tub, Beau Brummell’s Shaving Cream offers exceptional value. A rich, scented cream that lathers easily and softens your skin, this exceptionally crafted and packaged item will last you for a while and leave you wanting for more.

THE GENTLEMEN'S SHAVING BRUSH

A badger hair shaving brush is essential to a closer, more exquisite shave. A shaving brush has three main benefits with regard to a closer, more effective shave (1) Allows you to formulate a much richer lather than you would be able to make with your hands. This allows your facial hair to be completely covered, rather than thin, runny lather, that will only cover the roots of your hair (2) The brush will help to gently exfoliate your skin, removing any dry cells or trapped dirt that may have built in the pores of your skin. Dry skin can interfere with the razor’s action on your face, causing irritation (3) The brush helps to lift, soften and cover each individual whisker on your face, making the hair much easier to slice through, allowing for the closest possible shave while protecting your skin from razor irritation.

Beau Brummell’s shaving brush is made from 100% badger hair. These rugged, yet soft bristles help to create a generous lather, helping to exfoliate the most stubborn beard hairs. This 100% badger hair brush helps you to get the most of your shaving cream, by bringing out the thickest lather possible. The brush’s rugged bristles help to lift your hairs up, aligning them to be cut, and forcing shaving cream deep beneath the beard.

Badger hair has been used for over two centuries to create the finest brushes, and The Gentleman’s Shaving Cream is proud to be continuing this tradition going forward!

Shaving Brush Badger Hair

Personal Experience: I found the brush extremely effective and easy to use, helping whip up a rich lather that would make the shaving process effortless.

Value: At $18, The Gentlemen’s Shaving Brush provides exceptional value, offering more in comparison to its price point than many of its competitors. This shaving brush is exceptionally well built and should stand the test of time.

WALNUT HAND & FOOT SCRUB

 Need to soften your feet and hands after the relentless pounding and use that they are subject to throughout the day. Welcome to one of Beau Brummell’s most exquisite product offerings – their Walnut Hand & Foot Scrub. This stunning scrub is comprised of crushed walnut shell, pumice and oat flour to effectively remove dead skin & dirt, revealing a fresh, vibrant layer of healthy skin. A variety of natural oils leaves a smooth, conditioned feel.

Hand & Foot Scrub

Personal Experience: As a gentleman, there are not many things besides typical moisturizers that will get you excited about cleaning your hands and feet. However, Beau Brummell’s Walnut Hand & Foot Scrub definitely hits the spot, allowing you to feel relaxed and completely taken care of.

Value: At $28, this exceptional hand & foot scrub that is beautifully packaged in sleek, black bottle casing provides incredible value.

THE GENTLEMEN'S FACIAL MASK

Facial Masks help to deeply clean skin, purifying and clearing one’s complexion. They effectively act as a sponge, to draw out impurities from the skin, while essential minerals within the clay are released and the skin absorbs them.  

The Gentlemen’s Facial Mask treatment draws out impurities using Kaolin-rich clay and activated charcoal, with natural conditioning botanicals subsequently softening your skin. This mask will become part of your weekly routine. The result is a refreshed, more vibrant complexion.

Beau Brummell’s Men’s Facial Mask is rich in activated charcoal (please see ‘common ingredient’ above). In the amount of time that it takes the mask to dry on your face (7-10 minutes), the activated charcoal draws out and absorbs toxins and dirt from deep within your pores. With regular, weekly use, The Men’s Facial Mask should reduce the amount of breakouts that you experience, and leave your skin feeling soft and fresh.

Beau Brummell Facial Mask with activated charcoal

Personal Experience: While this was my first time using a Facial Mask, I could definitely feel the effects of brighter looking and softer feeling skin immediately after the treatment. It was an absolute pleasure to break into facial mask treatments using Beau Brummell’s product, and would highly recommend it for anyone interested in upping their grooming game.

Value: At $28, this exquisite product that yields immediate results is a definite bargain. Additionally, it is presented in a beautiful black tub, making it the perfect gift for yourself or a significant other.

THE GENTLEMEN'S FACIAL MOISTURIZER

Moisture is the key to a healthy looking face, and The Gentlemen’s Facial Moisturizer ensures that you are always looking refreshed and hydrated!  This product is infused with Argan oil, a natural, non-clogging moisturizer. Activated charcoal helps draw out toxins from your pores, while caffeine provides you skin with an energized feel!

Men's Facial Moisturizer

Personal Experience: The Gentlemen’s Facial Moisturizer worked like a charm. Soft and with a refreshing feel, my skin felt softer and looked brighter soon after application! I would definitely recommend this daily men’s moisturizer to all men! In fact, they recommend using it twice a day.

Value: At $24, this product provides exceptional value. With an effective ingredient mix that does an excellent job at hydrating your skin and removing impurities, this sleekly packaged moisturizer is a definite buy.

HAND REPAIR LOTION

With the amount of use we subject our hands to on a daily basis, they become highly susceptible to increased dryness and callousing. A lotion that conditions your hand and helps keep it moisturized is therefore extremely important!

With Beau Brummell’s Hand Repair Lotion, activated charcoal helps absorb toxins, thereby purifying your skin. The addition of shea butter, glycerin and avocado oils work together to help provide the right moisturizing balance for your skin.

Men's Hand Repair Lotion

Personal Experience: This beautiful product left my hands feeling moisturized and soft immediately after application. Furthermore, the addition of shea butter and avocado oils provided the perfect balance of texture and scent for an enhanced grooming experience!

Value: At $25 per tube, this well crafted, effective and scented moisturizer is a steal. Presented in elegant black tube packaging and with a product that will last you for some time, I would highly recommend this hand moisturizer to anyone that is looking to elevate their grooming routine!

SUMMARY

Beau Brummell For Men adheres to its brand’s vision of helping men feel like true gentlemen, by providing the market with an extensive, effective array of well crafted grooming & skin care products. The five products listed above that they have sent me have all worked exceptionally well. With subtle scents, such as sandalwood or rosemary, they are an absolute pleasure to use. Moreover, the packaging they are presented in enhances the overall user experience, and makes you look forward to using their products in the mornings and throughout the day. Their pricing is very reasonable, providing excellent value. Every now and then, you come across a brand whose product you both completely indulge in and want to preserve and take care of, all at once. Beau Brummell For Men is that brand!

Beau Brummell For Men is happy to offer The Dark Knot readers a 15% off sitewide discount, using the following discount code: KNOT15

This post was sponsored by Beau Brummel For Men, but my opinions are my own.

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How To Dress For Your Body Type: A Man's Guide

Posted by Rishi Chullani on

Kathryn Fassett

Our civilization has been wearing some form of clothes for 170,000 years. It wasn’t until the year 1868 that the invention of the tape measure made it possible to create a standard set of sizes used to create off the rack clothing. Before that society-changing invention, no one had to worry about buying clothes that fit their body, because clothes were made specifically for the person who would be wearing it. Today, understanding how to flatter your body type is one of the most difficult aspects of assembling a wardrobe.

Dressing to your body type is a combination of accentuating the features of your body that look good and drawing eyes away from the parts you’re least happy with. The first step is to identify your shape. In this guide, we will cover “mid-section” shapes, athletic shapes, and variations for extra tall and extra short men, both large and petite.

Tailor Note

Before we get to specific body shapes, there’s one piece of advice universal to every body type. Find a talented tailor and become friends with him. Buying clothes off the rack means that no piece will ever completely fit your unique shape. When you wear clothes that are too big, you lose shape and look like a teenager wearing his father’s suit. When you wear clothes that are too small, you not only limit your range of motion but your clothes will bunch, wrinkle, and generally not lay flat.

The hardest part of buying off the rack clothing is that one piece of clothing can be both too big and too small. A good tailor will be able to make necessary changes to off the rack clothing it order to give you a more exact fit. A well-tailored suit will make any body shape more attractive.`

Going to the same tailor and developing a relationship is like putting someone in charge of making sure your clothes fit properly. Your tailor becomes an expert at dressing your body shape, and that’s just one less thing that a powerful and busy man like you needs to worry about. A good tailor is the single most important tool for a well-dressed man to have.

Body Type Shapes

When dressing according to your body type, paying attention to your shape is of critical importance, as the goal is to maximize perceived aesthetic strengths and minimize perceived aesthetic weaknesses. The following body type guide is what we will be roughly following in our assessment below.

 Courtesy of www.realmenrealstyle.com

Mid-Section Shapes (Triangle and Oval)

The first two shapes we’ll cover here both involve a wider waist and hips proportionate to narrower shoulders. A triangle is formed when a man has narrower shoulders flaring out to wider hips. An oval shape is similar, but often with rounded or sloping shoulders and a round midsection. Oval shapes sometimes have thinner legs, creating a disproportionate shape.

Triangle

A man with a triangle body shape will seek to balance our their form, adding definition to the shoulders and drawing attention away from the width of their hips. The goal is not to necessarily appear slimmer in the midsection but to make the rest of the body appear proportionate.

Larger man suits

Emphasizing shoulders and maintaining a level of proportion can flatter a man with a midsection body type! Courtesy of www.soloartists.com

Oval

A man with an oval shape tends to have a more direct desire to appear slimmer in the middle, although he is also seeking to balance our their frame by adding bulk to the shoulder and legs. This means creating visual lines that move vertically and adding authority to shoulders.

Dressing A Midsection Shape

One important way to slim down your midsection is to avoid patterns and fabrics that create horizontal movement. This cuts the vertical line that you want to achieve and makes you appear even wider and rounder.

Instead, reach for vertically-aligned patterns like pinstripes or herringbone. Neither ovals or triangles should wear solid colors, which have a tendency to shine the light on exactly what shape your body is. Instead, choose simple patterns in darker, slimming, tones. Lightweight fabrics won’t add additional bulk and will help you retain freedom of movement.

A darker hue suit will allow a rounder shaped man to add perceived vertical lines to his aesthetic! Courtesy of www.gq.com

Balancing proportion by adding padding shoulders will naturally make your midsection look slimmer, an important consideration for triangle shaped men. Practice good posture to help keep your rounded shoulders from drooping lower than their actual position. Avoid flashy accessories like belts that draw attention to the width of your waist. Instead, put on a watch and choose a wider knot for your tie. These accessory hacks will help add more balance.

Avoid “skinny” cut pants. A straight flare from your hip to your shoe will bring balance to the bottom half of your body, while anything that hugs your frame will emphasis how slim your legs are in comparison your midsection.

You can make your shoulders appear wider by choosing a spread collar, wide lapels, or a wider tie. These slight visual cues create lines of movement that are flattering to your body shape.

To view The Dark Knot’s range of stunning 3.25” (8.5cm) width ties, that are ideally suited for larger men, please click here!

Fashion doesn’t end when you’ve finished getting dressed. For example, a bulky wallet or keys stuffed into a trouser pocket is another way that a person might perceive you to be wider than you are. Opt for a minimalist billfold or keep your necessities in your jacket pocket instead. Another tip to help you look your best throughout the day is to always unbutton a single breasted jacket before sitting down. Rebutton the jacket when you stand.

To view The Dark Knot’s Money Clip, that is ideal for carrying around cash and credit cards in a minimalistic fashion, please click here!

Athletic Shapes (Trapezoid & Athletic)

The next two shapes are variations of the athletic body. If you form a trapezoid, your shoulders are slightly wider than your hips. This may not be the most common shape for a man, but it is the shape that most ready to wear clothing is made to. See, it’s not just women’s fashion that holds people to impossible standards.

A man with an inverted triangle body shape, on the other hand, is a more extreme version of an athletic body. To picture the inverted triangle, picture a bodybuilder or professional athlete. The shoulders form the flat “bottom” of the triangle while the much thinner waist and hips from the point.

Trapezoid

If you form a trapezoid, congratulations. Whether or not you feel your body type is ideal, the fashion industry has decided it is the “normal” from which to draw standard sizing and create ready to wear clothing. You may have an easier time finding a good fit right from the rack, but don’t mistake this to mean that you need a tailor any less. One or two small corrections can have a huge impact on the way you look.

On a trapezoid, most colors, patterns, and textures will look great. Experiment with what colors work best with your skin tone, but your frame doesn’t require you to adjust the visual lines your clothing creates naturally.

Bespoke Suit Trapezoid Body Type

A range of patterns will flatter a trapezoid frame! Courtesy of www.michaelandrews.com

Inverted Triangle

A man with an inverted triangle body shape can show off the physique that he’s no doubt labored over. The challenge is mostly in finding clothing that fits correctly because each piece will need to be tailored. Jackets will be tight in the shoulders and loose in the waist. Trousers will feel tight on thighs but loose at waist and butt.

Athletic Cut Suits

Some suits are athletic cut, which means they are made to be more appropriate for a trapezoid or inverted-triangle body. Even so, it’s important to think of your off the rack suit as the source material from which your suit will be made. You will need to purchase items large enough to completely cover your body and fit the biggest areas. Allow your tailor to bring the rest in and make it look like it was designed for you.

If you plan on changing your body in the future, for example, if you plan to continue increasing the size of your bicep, talk to your tailor about your goals. A skilled tailor may be able to help you get more mileage from your suits by tucking extra fabric into seams that can be let out later.

Dressing Athletic Shapes

Looking great in a suit with an athletic body shape is easy. A wide range of colors, patterns, and textures are available to you. But the real star of your outfit is your body! There’s no need to distract from your shape. Classic pieces in dark or neutral colors will make your silhouette the star of the show.

Despite the fact that a range of colors, patterns and textures will suit the athletic man, suits with darker colors and muted patterns will go a long way. A solid color focuses attention on the shape of your body. Many men would rather avoid this, but an athletic man can be proud to show it off. Suit fabrics should be light to medium weight to avoid adding extra bulk with a heavier fabric.

Darker, solid or subtle patterned suits serve to flatter the athletic man! Courtesy of www.pinterest.com

While allowing your natural shape to come through is a privilege for an athletically built man, opting for suits that don’t make your shoulders far too oversized relative to your waist is important. Pants that are slightly loose around the waist will help to alleviate this disproportion.

Accessories such as a watch or pocket square add a polished elegance. An athletic man has a great frame to rock suspenders as well.

Small details in the construction of your suit will have a big impact. Emphasize the line of your leg with contrast stitching on your pants. Choose a ventless or one vent suit to get an ultra-tailored fit.

Tall Shapes

A man who stands over six feet tall would often prefer a less imposing look. Dressing to a tall body means giving the visual cues that you are not towering over everyone else. Men who are tall can have an entire range of body types in their torso, so it’s important to consider height with other factors. In this guide, we’ll cover tips for the tall and big and the tall and thin.

Big and Tall

A tall man with broad shoulders or a barrel chest has a frame that can feel intimidating to others. His challenge is to soften that image while still accentuating those enviable features of broad shoulders. Likely, off the rack clothing will be too short in the arms and legs and need to have the hem taken down by your tailor.

Tall Men Suits

Taller men are well served wearing patterns encompassing horizontal elements, such as plaid, so as not to accentuate height discrepancies even further!

Tall and Thin

A tall and thin man stands above the crowd but can have an unbalanced look. A tall and thin man is challenged to visually manage his height while balancing out the slimness of the rest of his body. Off the rack clothing is often difficult to purchase because arms and legs are very short when you get down to a size that fits your width.

Dressing A Taller Body

Tall men have a tendency to look squeezed into their clothes. This seems to be a phenomenon that affects both lean and wide men. If you run towards the athletic, you may be tempted to reach for a more tailored silhouette. This can leave you looking pinched in the middle. One way to avoid this is to choose a suit with two vents. This provides a little extra space for movement, which keeps your look natural. Being tall generally means that you have longer limbs, so your tailor will need to add length. Your tailor can also help you adjust the torso of your jacket, lengthening it where needed.

When it comes to choosing color, pattern, and texture, your best choice also depends on whether you're thin or large. Tall men should avoid solid colors, which don’t do anything to break up your body line. A thin man can add bulk to his frame with heavier fabrics like tweed, while a larger man will want to stick to lightweight fabrics.

Likewise, a double-breasted suit creates more broadness across the chest and shoulders. This is a great choice for a tall and thin man, while a larger man will want to remove emphasis from those same areas. A tall and large man would do better with a single-breast suit. Faint patterns are the most attractive, although never vertical pinstripes or other patterns that move the eyes up and down.

Tall Men Double Breasted Suit

A taller, thin man can add perceived width to his frame with a double breasted suit! Courtesy of www.pinterest.com

For the same reason, suspenders are always a poor choice for a taller man. They emphasize height and make a tall man look taller. Some men choose a bowtie instead of a tie that draws a line down their torso. If you do stick to a traditional tie, it’s important to make sure that it’s long enough to just reach your belt bucket.

Proportion for Taller Men

Whether tall or thin, several of the choices you make regarding your outfit deal directly with your body size. Proportion is the idea that everything ought to seem the same size. If you can picture a large man wearing a delicate, tiny silk knot tie or a very thin man with a wide double-windsor knot, you can picture disproportion. In these instances, the man ends up looking clownish with an item that seems strange on his body.

Proportion is important in many different areas of your fashion, but it is particularly obvious in accessories. Anything dainty and slight will seem out of place on a tall and broad-shouldered man. Anything oversized and clunky will make a tall and thin man look like a caricature. Check for proportion in the width of your tie, the knot you choose, pocket square fold, watch size, belt buckle size, and the size and design of smaller accessories like cufflinks and tie clips.

To view The Dark Knot’s range of exquisite Extra Long Ties, that are ideally suited for taller men (6’1 and above), please click here!

Short Shapes

Short men often want to appear taller, particularly if he is on the larger side. Petite men who are short and thin often seek balance and build, of which height is an important factor. Much like the discussion for taller men the in the section above, dressing to a shorter body type depends a bit on the rest of your overall body shape. A man who is short and thin has a different goal than a man who is short and wide. Therefore, each needs to take a different fashion strategy.

Short and Wide

If you are short, you stand at a disadvantage when it comes to the perceived size of your stomach. A taller man can hide a little extra belly without drawing too much attention to it. The same extra weight on a shorter man looks a lot different. Your goal is to choose pieces that elongate your form and create the illusion of height, which naturally balances your width.

Short and Petite

A short and petite man has the challenge of elongating his form as well. But if this is done without balance in mind, he can end up looking like a gangly teenager. Balance and proportion are key for a petite man, as well as a good relationship with a tailor. If you want to avoid shopping in the boy’s department, the tailor will help you adjust off the rack sizing to your frame.

Shorter Men Suits

A solid colored suit without any visible breaks between shirt and pant will flatter a man with a shorter, slimmer profile! Courtesy of www.themodestman.com

Dressing A Shorter Body

Shorter men need to select pieces that elongate them. One way to do this is with vertically oriented patterns like pinstripe or herringbone, although solid colors are also flattering for short men. If you are short and wide, skip the solid colors and opt for light patterns in a monochromatic palette. Monochromatic gives you the same effect as solid color without emphasizing width. If you opt for monochromatic, keep the darkest tones in the bottom half of your ensemble and bring the lighter tones up.

Short men want to avoid segmenting their body. Chunky accessories such as a large watch create horizontal visual lines. Keep accessories simple and elegant. Another line-creating item to avoid is anything with short sleeves. A blazer creates nice long lines on the arm and brings emphasis up from the base of the torso. Contrast stitching on trouser pant legs is another way to draw the eye vertically down your body.

Proportion

As we discussed above in the section for taller men, proportion is a critical component of dressing a short body. In fact much of the advice in that section can be reversed for a short man. Your tie, for example, needs to just reach your belt. While for a taller man this means a longer tie, a shorter man requires a tie proportional to his body. Proportion also involves matching accessories to the size of your body, such as large watches for men with big arms and something smaller for a petite man.

Summary

Although it can be difficult to find off the rack clothing that fits your body type, a good tailor can help you alter the clothes you buy for the best look possible. There are different tricks every body type can use to look their best.

  • Mid-section shapes can increase the width of their shoulders with jacket pads and spread collars. Minimizing width in your stomach means choosing items that create vertical movement in small patterns like herringbone. Never choose skinny fit pants and avoid clunky accessories that break up the illusion of height. Keep your pockets empty and wear lightweight fabrics to avoid adding bulk.
  • Athletic men can choose more form-fitting pieces like ventless or single vent suits. A man with a trapezoid body will find lots of options on the rack that only need minimal tailoring. A man with an inverted triangle frame should discuss body building goals with his tailor, who may be able to help you keep a good fit as you change. Athletic bodies look great in classic looks in neutral and dark colors, letting your natural silhouette be the star of the show.
  • Taller men work on minimizing their height by breaking up the vertical line of their body. This can be accomplished with accessories like a watch or a belt. If tall men are also very thin, they will want to add bulk with heavier fabrics and double breasted suit jackets. Taller men who are also larger will want to choose lightweight, single breasted suit jackets with two vents for the maximum range of motion.
  • Shorter men have the opposite desire and need to create a vertical line without any horizontal breaks. This means no chunky watches and streamlined, minimalist accessories. Light patterns and fabrics are a great way to do this, while a short and thin man has the best build for solid colors. A short and wide man should not wear a solid color, but instead a micro pattern like checks.

Finding the right clothing for your body type is something that is worth putting a little effort into. If you take the time to fill your closet with items that flatter your body and work together, choosing ensembles will be as easy as mixing and matching.

And that's a wrap for this one! I hope that you have enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. 

For Style Tips pertaining to Shorter Men, feel free to check out comprehensive blog The Modest Man!

 

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5 Style Tips For Tall Men

Posted by Rishi Chullani on

Kathryn Fassett

Whether you are standing as tall as Shaq or are 6’4 and appear as though you are towering amongst your counterparts, proportion is absolutely critical when dressing men of length. Barring the Dutch, paying attention to details to reduce perceived vertical lines will go along way to ensuring that you look dapper without seeming out of place or proportion. And the Dutch will probably have to pay attention too!

A tall man has the challenge of dressing in a way that doesn’t emphasize his towering stature. A few visual tricks in your ensemble can help make you seem a more standard height. But tall is a nonspecific description of a person. A man’s height is only one consideration for how to dress, and so a tall man ought to also consider style tips for thinner men, larger men, or athletic men depending on the rest of your body size. No matter what shape you’re in, these 5 style tips for tall men will help you look universally stellar.

Plaid Suit Tall Men

Courtesy of www.pinterest.com

1. Jacket Styles

When it comes to jackets, a tall man can make a safe bet with a two-button, single breasted selection. Thinner men can rock a double breasted jacket, but a wider or more athletically-shaped tall man would put too much emphasis on chest width with a double breast. Jackets should be looser and have a straight fit. If you have a trim physique you might be tempted to reach for a more tapered suit jacket, but taller men run the risk of looking squeezed into their clothing. A looser fit helps you look more natural. It’s a good idea to opt for a suit with two vents to help achieve that casual look.

If you find yourself in a pinch and your jacket is too short, your first step (if you can’t get to the tailor) is to add a watch. If that isn’t enough to offset the gap, cuffing the sleeves at the elbow can fix the problem for a casual gathering at least. This won’t be a good enough fix for more formal situations.

Courtesy of www.theidleman.com

2. Tips For Tailoring

Unless you are purchasing bespoke or made to measure clothing, most of the pieces a tall man can buy won’t fit properly. The most common areas where a tall man needs the help of a tailor is in the shirt waist (which will likely be too high) and in the sleeves and pant legs. There are some clothing brands that offer clothing designed for tall men, but these sizes often pigeonhole taller men into one body type. A good tailor can make the single biggest difference in your wardrobe than any other tool you could have.

3. Proportion

One theme we often visit on this blog is proportion. Proportion is important in every aspect of your ensemble, from your accessories to the patterns you choose. The idea is that you create a balanced look when your accessories are proportional to your body size and your patterns are varied in proportion. For a taller man, this can sometimes translate into larger patterns and a wider tie or thick watch to achieve a balanced look. If you are on the thinner side, this is not as great a look for you.

In every case, a faint pattern will always be a better option than a solid color. Solid colors have a tendency to emphasize the reality of your body situation. For short guys, solid colors make them look short. Taller guys look taller in solids. A subtle such as herringbone gives you a little bit of distraction. Vertical pinstripes, on the other hand, will make you seem even taller. This is the case with any vertically-oriented pattern.

Subtle patterns such as herringbone will allow your proportions to stay in check, and not elongate vertical lines too much. Courtesy of www.indochino.com

4. Fabrics and Textures

For the most part, a taller man can take advantage of any fabric or texture available. As with other considerations, larger men should avoid adding extra bulky fabrics while thinner men can pull these off with ease. Light weight fabrics make everybody look good. Textured fabrics can replace patterns with ease, although you should be ever mindful of avoiding vertically-oriented emphasis.

5. Fine Points and Accessories

A taller man should make a few restrictions on accessories. For example, suspenders are never a good option for a tall man because when people look at you, their eyes are naturally drawn up and down your chest, making you seem even taller. Ties will always need to be longer to reach your belt.

But when it comes to other accessories, such as the width of your tie or watch size, it’s more important to pay attention to proportion and your body size. Widespread collars make a man’s shoulders seem slightly more broad. This works to a taller man’s advantage and helps him look less imposing. At the other end of your ensemble, a wider cuff at your trouser break helps balance your legs and make them look less long. The same concept can be applied to your shirt cuffs.

To view The Dark Knot’s extensive range of extra long length ties, which are ideally suited for taller men, please click here.

Another suit detail to pay attention to, in this case to avoid, is contrast stitching. When a suit has decorative sewing in a color that stands out against the fabric, it can add a pop of panache to an ensemble. Unfortunately for our tall friends, these end up creating nice long lines of color. The results will make you look even taller than you are.

Tall Men Wide Spread Collar

A widespread collar shirt can help accentuate perceived horizontal lines for taller men. Courtesy of www.mensfash.com

Bring It Together

Style tips for tall men are always hinged on the other attributes of your body. It’s important to understand proportion and to work with a good tailor to start with pieces that fit your body. Light fabrics and subtle micro-patterns will help a tall man seem shorter while flattering any body type underneath. Wider cuffs and a spread collar can add balance to your silhouette. These basic tips can help you build an array of wardrobe items to mix and match with ease.

And that’s a wrap for this one. I hope that you have enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it!

To view The Dark Knot’s extensive range of extra long length ties, which are ideally suited for taller men, please click here.

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