Why corozo buttons are my new favorite

corozo buttons scottsdale suit

If you’ve shopped with us before, you’ll know that aside from offering an enormous collection of suit and shirt fabrics, we carry an impressive amount of buttons. Not just different colors, but different materials like metallic and rubber buttons. But there’s one particular type that I think is really quite cool: Corozo buttons.

These buttons are made from the corozo nut, or tagua nut. This is the seed of a tropical palm known scientifically as the phytelephas macrocarpas. It’s found throughout Northern South America and parts of Panama.

The fruit of this palm is huge, about a foot across. Each fruit is made up of clusters of seeds with cavities that fill with a white, ivory-like fluid that over time, will harden. Out of this hardened substance, local peoples would fashion figurines or buttons.

Modern manufacturing methods have pushed the corozo material to its limits. It can be cut, machined, heated, bleached, and polished to a finish that I think is even more impressive than ivory. Corozo buttons are also relatively scratch resistant, have a beautiful natural grain, and resist fading.

There’s a lot to like. Plus, they are completely all natural.

custom suits phoenix unique buttons

In particular, I think these buttons are a good match for many of our Scottsdale custom suit clients because the corozo palm is a nod to the warm environment. And in Denver, the natural aesthetic and unique grain of a corozo button pairs nicely for anyone wanting to build a more natural suit.

Speaking of custom suits, let’s take a step back and talk about these buttons – or any luxury button, for that matter – in the context of a shirt or suit. Any sort of high-end button is going to add some subtle style to your outfit. I say subtle, because after all, they are just buttons. They won’t be noticed much until someone gets close enough to see them.

custom suits scottsdale unique corozo buttons

However, you’ll certainly notice them because of the way that they feel. It’s difficult to describe, you really just need to see them in person.

I think that the real beauty in these buttons is that the corozo option is yet another way to build a suit with a nod to luxury craftsmanship. To wear something that tells a story. When done properly, a bespoke suit is a work of art. Paying careful attention to the suit’s details makes for a well-rounded garment.

By Ryan Wagner

corozo buttons

Images courtesy of Corozo Buttons.

How to keep your dress shirts looking like new

dress shirts looking like new

I received a question recently on how to keep your dress shirts looking like new. The more I thought about it, I realized that this is really an important question.

When you first receive a bespoke dress shirt, whether it’s from Bespoke Edge or another provider, there’s no doubt that it looks pretty phenomenal in the box. The fabric is even better looking than the swatch had you seen and the collar looks immaculate in its crispness. You almost don’t want to take it out of the box!

Of course, you eventually do.

And if you wash your shirts at home there’s always that sad moment when you open the washer door and see your once proud dress shirt now in a wrinkled and damp pile of itself.

Sigh.

But shirts are shirts and they are meant to be washed. They’ll be fine. They will shrink a little bit, but if they are one of our shirts, I can say confidently that they will shrink just as planned. For instance, when we took your measurements to build the shirt in the first place, we accounted for a little shrinkage in the sleeves. So, your shirt will fit better and better after the first several wash cycles.

What if you have your bespoke shirts professionally cleaned? Is there anything you should know? Or directions that should be relayed to your cleaner so that your shirts come back looking like new?

First, a high quality bespoke shirt will last a long time and look nice, even after repeated washings. In my experience, skilled launderers are very hard to come by. All too often, cleaners will abuse the shirts with overly high temperatures and harsh pressing. But a good cleaner will employ hand methods where appropriate and use gentle techniques. It wouldn’t hurt to get in the habit of asking your cleaner how they go about washing your shirt and what options are available to you. At the very least, you’ll learn something new.

dress shirts looking like new

Secondly, use a very light starch on any bespoke shirt – you may be surprised how little you actually need.

And don’t dry clean your shirts, just launder them. Washing dress shirts in water is definitely going to be better for removing water soluble dirt and stains. It will also put less wear and tear on your shirts.

Before you exclaim that “…I don’t want to iron! Dry cleaning is so much easier,” you may want to ask your cleaner if they press laundered shirts. This way you get the best of both worlds – appropriate and effective shirt cleaning and no ironing (Oh, and for far less money than having your shirts dry cleaned).

The above tips will help you keep your custom dress shirts looking great, but if I had to highlight one point, it would be the pressing. This is probably the single most important thing you can do to keep your dress shirts looking like new. Whether you’re a skilled ironer or prefer to send your shirts out, be sure to pay special attention to the collar, yoke, and placket of the shirt. If these three areas are looking great, so will you.

By Ryan Wagner

Further reading

Here’s an article on how to wash your dress shirt from our Learn page.

Can you wear jeans as business casual?

jeans as business casual in scottsdale

It’s no secret that Casual Friday has taken over more days of the week. What began years ago as a way to transition into the weekend, has pretty much defined the dress code in many Denver and Boulder offices. And so the question of whether or not you can wear jeans as business casual is a very relevant one.

Years ago, I worked a 9 – 5 job in an “Office Space” office. Managers didn’t wear sportcoats, ever. Only executives wore suits. And the rest of us sported jeans or dockers with a polo shirt. I was one of the outliers because I would wear slacks and a button-up dress shirt each day. But even then, I would reach for the jeans on Friday to save myself some laundry.

So if even the best intentioned of us end up succumbing to the siren of Casual Friday, I think it’s worth discussing how your jeans should look for them to be considered appropriate in the office.

Style

Keep them dark in hue. A dark pair of jeans will always be more dressed up than their lighter counterparts. And make sure that they are free of any fades, rips, fraying, or spills. Dark jeans will also be very versatile. You can wear just about anything from a casual chambray shirt to a sharp black one.

Fit

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “well, of course my jeans fit.”

And I’m sure that’s true, but to wear jeans as business casual you’re going to want to go a step farther. First of all, there should be little to no break at the ankle. A relaxed fit jean is just that, relaxed, and better worn on the weekends or outside of the office. Secondly, take an honest look at the way your jeans fit and check for excess bagginess around the thighs and/or seat. There’s nothing wrong with having your jeans tailored for a closer fit.

Wrap up

It’s OK to wear your jeans as business casual, but that doesn’t mean you can reach for just any old pair of jeans. Keep them dark blue and free of any fades or tears. Strive to eliminate the break and have them tailored if need be.

I think you’ll be amazed at how little adjustments in fit can help you to stand apart from the crowd in the office.

By Ryan Wagner

Further reading

Raw versus selvedge denim

Thoughts on cashmere suit fabrics

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Every so often we receive an inquiry on our cashmere suit fabrics. Much of the time, guys are simply curious whether we even offer them (we do), because so many retailers do not.

Looking back through my old archives, I see that I’ve never written on the subject before! With fall approaching, I think it’s timely to write some words on the topic.

First of all, if you’re lucky enough to have a cashmere sweater in your closet, then you already know just how soft and comfortable they can be. Nothing else seems to come close in terms of luxury and warmth. A high quality cashmere garment can also last you a very long time – and even grow softer.

But all of this comes at a price. I would categorize high-end cashmere as investment clothing and so we should carefully approach this topic of cashmere suiting.

If you’re considering the purchase of a cashmere suit, you’ll need to decide if 100% cashmere is best. Or, if you should be eyeing a blend instead.

Let’s talk a little about cashmere itself, before looking into its functionality as a suiting material.

Cashmere is a type of wool, but one that is exceptionally fine and soft. It addition, it is very strong and light. Perhaps most interestingly, when compared to sheep’s wool, cashmere provides about three times the insulating power.

Cashmere wool is the fine undergrowth fibers of a cashmere goat from the cold plateau of China’s Gobi Desert. Each spring a goat will shed this insulation, but it will take around 3 cycles for a goat to produce enough wool for a single sweater. It’s worth noting that the cashmere is combed from the goats, not clipped. But not all of the fibers are created equal. The longer fibers are deemed higher quality and will find their way into your luxury sweater. The lower quality fibers will respectively end up in a lower cost cashmere garment, and one that will likely pill sooner and to a greater extent.

So, back to our question of suiting…

From a clothing perspective, what you should know is that cashmere isn’t going to have the same body and elasticity that a wool fiber will have. Cashmere makes for a great sweater because the fit isn’t such a big deal, but a suit needs to stand up on its own – it needs to hold its shape.

So, is a cashmere suit a bad idea?

No, of course not. You’ll just need to ensure that the structure of your suit jacket can make up for the lack of body in the fabric (i.e. full canvas construction). This is true for a blazer or sportcoat as well.

Similarly, you will run into some challenges with the pants. You should know that cashmere slacks are going to quickly lose their crease, thereby resulting in a more casual look. They may be too warm, also.

cashmere suit denver

A wool and cashmere blended suit may be the best choice as you’ll gain the benefits of each fabric. Much of what we offer, and frankly what we’d recommend, is a 10% blend (90% wool and 10% cashmere). The cashmere will add warmth and softness while the wool will provide the body and elasticity that a suit needs. It may not seem like a lot of cashmere, but frankly, it’s enough to visibly change the texture of the fabric and add some real warmth (literal and figurative) and softness to the fabric.

Wrap up

Cashmere is a wonderful fabric. Nothing else comes close in terms of softness and comfort. A 100% cashmere suit will be warm, soft, and luxurious, but it may not hold its shape as well as a blend. When shopping for a cashmere suit, consider your budget and the intended use to make a smart decision.

By Ryan Wagner

Further reading

More on cashmere from Wikipedia.