Wearing a well fitted dress shirt can be the difference between an outstanding day / evening out or a mediocre one. That’s right, I said it. There are few things that feel as good as well fitted clothing, especially on your torso, which is within everyone’s peripheral vision when they are communicating with you. Ill fitted clothing, on a subconscious level, can make you feel like you don’t care enough about your appearance, and can certainly give off slack impressions to those around you. A well fitted dress shirt, however, speaks volumes. About your care, your intentional choice to seek out well fitted clothes and your attention to detail. The choice is yours! With that said, what constitutes a well fitted dress shirt? Sure, we often see images of models in well fitted clothing, but how do we know what to look for ourselves? Here is a comprehensive guide to that ever elusive, yet attainable well fitted dress shirt. Bonus points if you opt to go with a bespoke tailor – these finer points will be much easier to come by!
Please note that obtaining these elements for a well fitted dress shirt will be extremely hard to come by off the rack. I therefore suggest that you have the appropriate adjustments undertaken by a tailor or you opt for a bespoke shirt service if possible!
Below is an incredibly useful infographic by Andrew Snavely over at Primer Magazine!
The fit of your dress shirt collar is of paramount importance, as it quite literally means the difference between struggling to breathe and being comfortable!
A Dress Shirt Collar should touch your skin all the way around your neck without pressing against or constricting it. A reliable litmus test is to try and place two fingers between your collar and your neck. If you can comfortably slip your two fingers between your neck and your collar, without forcing the issue, you have the right fit.
If turning your head causes the collar to turn with it, it is considered too tight! A dress shirt collar is considered loose if it rests off your body as opposed to against it. In such an instance, you would be able to place both your fingers between your neck and your collar without moving the fabric at all.
Courtesy of mensguide.stitchfix.com
The shoulder seam should meet the corner of your shoulder, which is the furthest point from the center of your chest. This point is known as the armsyce (the hole where the sleeve connects to the shirt). A dress shirt is considered too tight if the shoulder seam is sitting close to your neck, causing a wrinkle in the shirt sleeve. Conversely, a dress shirt is considered too loose if the seam is placed below where your shoulder meets your arm.
A well fitted dress shirt should taper from your shoulders to your waist, following the natural lines of your body.
Your dress shirt should button comfortably, without constricting your torso. Your dress shirt should tuck in neatly without glaring excess fabric hanging from the sides. A dress shirt that is too tight will consist of buttons that are strained to close, causing wrinkles around the buttonholes and around the fabric area in the torso region. If a dress shirt is too large, there will be excess fabric hanging out when the shirt has been tucked in.
The torso area of your dress shirt should therefore be slim enough that it doesn’t give any more than 3-4 inches of fabric when pulled away from your chest or stomach. The dress shirt should allow ease of motion.
The armhole of your dress shirt will dictate how snugly it fits around your chest, shoulder and armpit. Most shirts with standard sizing create their armholes big, so as to serve a wider range of client body types. If you notice excess fabric hanging underneath your arm, this is a sign that the armhole has been cut too low for your body type. Conversely, if the armhole has been cut too high, this will restrict range of movement for your arms, and can lead you to feeling stifled! The armhole is therefore a critical element of your dress shirt fit.
A well tailored armhole will allow for a range of motion while still fitting snugly. Courtesy of www.kennethcole.com
The best dress shirts fit comfortably around the chest, under the armpits and across the upper back, giving you a full range of motion. A well fitted shirt will feel snug without feeling too tight. Your chest should fill out the shirt in a way where your body is discernable under the fabric.
A well fitted dress shirt should have your chest filling out the fabric. Courtesy of www.propercloth.com
Dress Shirt Sleeve Fit
Have a dress shirt sleeve that is too loose or too tight, and it will throw off the entire aesthetic of your shirt. An appropriate dress shirt sleeve is wider near your shoulder and tapers down in the same fashion that your arm does. Similar to your chest, your arms should adequately fill out the sleeves of your dress shirt, without leaving excess fabric. Therefore, your dress shirt should have uniform amount of extra fabric at any point around your arm.
Your shirt sleeve length should end right at the base of your palms. You want to ensure that your shirt sleeves are long enough so that ¼ to ½ inch of shirt cuff is exposed when wearing a suit jacket, blazer or sports jacket!
Are you looking to accessorize your blazers, sports jackets or suits?!? Feel free to check out The Dark Knot’s extensive range of linen & silk pocket squares, that are bound to spice up any ensemble!
When your shirt cuffs are buttoned with your arms by your side, your sleeves should barely touch the top of your hand when you bend your wrists. Your cuffs should be loose enough to not restrict movement, but not so loose that you can slide your entire hand through. Your cuffs should essentially be a bit looser than a well fitted watch or bracelet! Additionally, in line with above, your dress shirt sleeve length should be long enough so as to expose ¼ inch to ½ inch of shirt cuff when worn with a suit jacket or blazer.
Dress Shirt Length Tucked
Dress Shirts are typically made long, ending past your crotch. If this is the case with your dress shirts, you want to ensure that they are tucked in at all times, so that they don’t look unsightly on an evening out!
Dress Shirt Length Untucked
If you do wear your dress shirts untucked, you want to opt for a shorter length dress shirt that ends mid crotch, to ensure that you look appropriately dressed when out!
And that’s a wrap for this one! I hope that you have enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it! If you would like to get your hands on incredibly well fitted bespoke shirts, I highly suggest our recommended bespoke tailors, Signature Collection!
Jackets are one of the most important pieces in the modern man's wardrobe. Adding a jacket over a shirt and pant combination can quickly and easily turn a casual look into business casual or add an element of pizzaz to a cocktail party outfit. However, using the wrong jacket at the wrong time is a common error and one that can make you look out of place. Fashion is about standing out. However, you want to stand out in an appropriate way. This guide to the three types of sport jackets and when to use them will direct you towards the correct choice every time to ensure you are properly dressed for any event.
Core Piece - Navy Blazer
The first type of sports jacket is called the core piece. Rather than an actual sports jacket, this is normally a blazer. There are a few key differences between the two. Firstly, a blazer does not have a pattern to it. Texture in the weave of the fabric is fine but there should be no definite pattern. Secondly, many blazers have metal buttons. This distinguishes it from a sports jacket and demonstrates you are not wearing a suit jacket with an off-color pant. Lastly, blazers generally have less structure to them than suits do, however, they are not an unstructured/soft shoulder jacket.
Blazers have less structure than a suit but more structure than a sports jacket, making them ideal for business settings!
The core piece should be a navy blazer. The navy blazer can be paired with a variety of pants, including grey, blue, and brown. This is your ‘go-to’ jacket. When a suit is too formal but a jacket is required your core piece should be something you can grab from the closet independent of the other attire you are wearing. Thus, a no-pattern plain color blazer is ideal and will make for easy pairing and professional looks.
The blazer is often worn in a business setting as it is a step down from a suit but a step up from a sports jacket. Make sure that you don’t neglect the other pieces of your outfit and read the previous article for inspiration!
To view The Dark Knot's extensive range of hand made linen & silk pocket squares that are ideally worn with a blazer, please click here.
A Navy Blazer, with a knitted tie and white pocket square, makes for an incredibly dapper yet casual look! Courtesy of www.hespokestyle.com
Everyday Sports Jacket - Conservative + Color!
A conservative jacket is the next piece to add to your wardrobe. Similar to the core piece, however, we are transitioning towards more fashionable garbs with more color and pattern. If the core piece is your ‘go-to’ this is your ‘everyday’ jacket. Men need a core blazer as it is a traditional jacket that will never really be out of place. In contrast, the conservative jacket is the modern man’s everyday jacket
Since fashion is not as pigeon-holed as it once was, the modern man has much more flexibility when it comes to combining color and pattern. The conservative jacket focuses on adding another element to the overall look without the jacket being the main focus. This jacket is to be worn at any time. Utilize it in a more fashionable setting at a wedding or dress it more formally at the office. The conservative jacket is a garment that has extreme versatility and will serve the modern gentlemen well in all settings and for all occasions.
There are three different jackets you should have the fall under this umbrella. The modern man's wardrobe should contain at least one conservative jacket in the main three color tones - a grey, a blue, and a brown. The important element of these jackets is to have some pattern and color without it being too bold or restrictive. This is a bit of an nondescript definition. Yet, this allows you more creative freedom and flexibility in selecting these pieces.
The pattern of 2017 is undoubtedly the windowpane check so having a jacket with this pattern guarantees you are up to date. An easy example of a conservative jacket wardrobe would be as follows: blue windowpane check, grey plaid, brown glen check. Ensuring that your wardrobe has one of each will make pairing a jacket with any business appropriate outfit relatively simple as depending on the patterns and colors used you can select between your three conservative jackets or one of your two core pieces.
To view The Dark Knot's extensive range of stunning Silk & Linen Pocket Squares, that are ideally worn with a Sports Jacket, please click here!
A blue windowpane blazer with an exquisite shirt and tie combination provides for an incredibly suave and sophisticated look! Courtesy of www.lyst.com
Finally, we come to the fashion jackets. This is where you have freedom to fully express yourself and your style. There are no rules in regards to these jackets. Go bold! Mix patterns, fabrics, and colors.
The fashion jacket is one that will be worn less. Therefore feel free to go with a higher quality wool. Since this jacket won’t see the same wear and tear that your core and conservative jackets will a super 130-150 jacket will give you more comfort and style without sacrificing the life of the jacket.
Visit your local bespoke tailor where you can pick some unique elements of your jacket. Go with peak lapels, a ticket pocket, or off-color button holes to personalize your jacket and make it one-of-a-kind. Remember, this is the jacket for weddings, christmas parties, and cocktail parties. It should stand out and be something that is remembered without being audacious.
A fashionable Sports Jacket with detailed finishing is something every gentleman should consider adding to their wardrobe! Courtesy of www.bespokeedge.com
Now that you know the three types of sport jackets, make sure your closet has at least one of each. This will ensure that you are prepared for any occasion and that your wardrobe will make you stand out in a positive way. A well-dressed man has an advantage in many aspects of life. Go grocery shopping with jacket on instead of a t-shirt and notice the difference in how you are treated. To conclude, take pride in knowing that your closet is up-to-date and has no glaring holes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
A colorful shirt can add significant pop to your business casual ensemble! Courtesy of www.lookastic.com
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
A Half Lined Suit gives you more breathability, and is ideal for spring / summer months!
Summer Dress Shirts
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!
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 absorbs moisture but dries quickly, ensuring that you don’t retain those sweat patches!
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.
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 provide an ideal look during the summer months! Courtesy of www.pinterest.com
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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).
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!
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!
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!
Few items provide textural variation and intrigue like a linen tie does. Courtesy of www.indochino-review.com
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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!
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!
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).
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.