Archives: Dress Tips

Style lessons from James Bond

Bond has always been a sharp dressed gentleman, there’s no denying that. But what can we learn from him, sartorially speaking? Why is it that he always looks so sharp? Let’s break it down and see what style lessons we can learn from Bond.

Tailoring

Obviously, tailoring is a big reason Bond looks the way he does in his clothes. He’s certainly not wearing anything off the rack. From Connery to Craig, Bond has always worn a well-fitted suit. Even though Daniel Craig’s suits have been almost skin tight, there’s no denying the fact that they are bespoke.

Now you certainly don’t need to wear a very slim suit (and honestly, it’s not a good look for all body types), but if you want to improve upon your style, you need to wear a tailored suit. Be that MTM or true bespoke, a suit or jacket that’s made to your body’s contour will look far better than anything else.

Lesson: There’s no substitute for custom.

Stick to the basics

Throughout the Bond films, there was always a nod to present day fashion. For instance, Roger Moore wore a large lapel on his suits, as was the trend in the 1970s. Similarly, Daniel Craig is wearing very small (maybe too small!) suits in Spectre and Skyfall. The latter being an accentuation of modern day fit, that is slim and reminiscent of the mid-century look.

However, Bond keeps his overall style relatively low key. He is never wearing bright colors and taking any “fashion risks.” I would say that his overall style is relatively conservative, actually. But moviegoers never feel this way about Bond, right? They can just tell that he’s well dressed. I think that this is in large part due to the fact that he sticks to the basics and does them very, very well.

Lesson: Stick to a neutral color palette

Wear a pocket square

Bond almost always wears a pocket square. And it’s almost always a clean fold, with about 1/4 inch extending beyond his chest pocket.

I think many guys tend to think that pocket squares should be reserved only for weddings. After all, that’s where we usually see them, right? However, as Bond shows us over and over again, a crisp white pocket square, or some other soft tone, offers up an understated elegance that is never distracting nor flamboyant.

Lesson: Wear a pocket square already!!

Never worrying about being overdressed

For years, I would always dress down to suit my surroundings. For instance, when going to get a haircut, I would leave my sport coat at home and just wear a dress shirt and pants. I was worried about being overdressed. In the years that BE has been in operation, I have fortunately kicked this habit and embraced my passion to dress sharp everywhere I go.

I may not walk into a business meeting at a coffee shop wearing a tuxedo, but I do wear a suit, or at least a sharp sportcoat. Yes, I may be the only guy dressed up in a jacket, but you know what? The other guys are probably wishing that they wore one.

Lesson: There’s nothing wrong with being the best dressed man in the room.

Always having your jacket buttoned

This is something that you may not have noticed watching the Bond films, unless you’re a suit guy, like me. That Bond always has his jacket buttoned when standing or walking, as he should. He doesn’t leave it unbuttoned in some misguided effort to appear casual. It’s a subtlety, but one that really contributes to Bond’s elegance in menswear.

Lesson: Button your jacket anytime you’re standing.

Style lessons: Further reading

Here’s an excellent blog on all things related to James Bond style — well worth a read for some additional style lessons: The Suits of James Bond.

How to wear a pocket square in the office

how to wear a pocket square in the office

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, pocket squares are a lot of fun. I can’t think of a better way to add a little personality to your wardrobe than by artfully adding a little color into your chest pocket. While many guys don’t see any problem wearing one at a wedding, they get a little timid when it comes to the workplace. Do you know how to wear a pocket square in the office?

It’s easier than you think. And with this article, I hope to give you some guidance on choosing a great looking pocket square.

In a nutshell…

How to wear a pocket square in the office:

  1. Pick the right material by matching the fabric to that of your jacket.
  2. Choose something with a pattern for a stylish look.
  3. What you need to know about matching is that your pocket square should refer to and complement the rest of your wardrobe, as opposed to matching it exactly.
  4. Fold your pocket square with the puff method (described below).

Let’s go a little more in depth.

paisley pocket square

Material

Pocket squares come in all shapes and sizes. They are most commonly silk, and made up in a 12″ x 12″ square. But we also see linen and cotton pocket squares. If you look real hard you can even find flannel and cashmere(!).

How do you know what to choose?

The rule of thumb when choosing a material is that you want to match the fabric of the pocket square to that of your jacket.

For most office use, you’ll be just fine sporting a silk pocket square because you’re probably wearing a nice woolen suit. Whereas, for linen and cotton suits, you will want to consider choosing a more textured pocket square fabric, like linen or cotton, because silk will look a little too refined for a more casual suit.

Consequently, a cotton or linen pocket square will always be more casual than a silk pocket square. A notable exception is a crisp white cotton pocket square that always looks great for black tie events and when you’re wearing a white dress shirt.

a cotton pocket square and how to wear a pocket square to the office

Patterned or solid?

Solid is obviously the easiest to match, right? But a patterned pocket square is so much more fun!

That being said, there are many different types of office environments and therefore many different answers to how to wear a pocket square in the office. If you’re in a creative field, then you’re probably OK sporting a colorful pocket square with a unique pattern. However, for a more conservative environment, it’s always a safe bet to stick to a nice crisp look — a pressed cotton pocket square that extends just a quarter to a half inch above your chest pocket.

Which brings us to…

blue check pocket squares and how to wear a pocket square in the office

Matching

If you only remember one thing after reading this article, I hope it’s this: That your pocket square should refer to and complement the rest of your wardrobe, as opposed to matching it exactly. The standard approach is to pick up some of the colors in your necktie. If you’re not wearing a necktie, then pick up some of the pattern in your dress shirt. You can even look to your socks!

If you’re just starting out learning how to wear a pocket square in the office, stick with some very basic patterns, like simple stripes or a check pattern. And something in only a couple of colors. As you become more comfortable with matching your pocket square, maybe you want to try some more unique patterns…

skull and bones pocket square and how to wear a pocket square in the office

Folds

There are many ways to fold a pocket square, but you already know that. In fact, I’d argue that the internet has made it a relatively intimidating endeavor to learn how to fold a pocket square, there are just so many options that it’s easy to feel like you won’t get it right.

In my opinion, there are two basic folds. And guess what, they’re super easy.

They are the puff and the reverse puff.

How to wear a pocket square in the office: Wrap up

Remember, in the early twentieth century, a well dressed gentleman would have never left the house without a pocket square in his chest pocket. It’s a great piece of tradition that’s certainly worth bringing back to the office.

Further reading

Our favorite summer pocket squares

Should you wear a cotton or silk pocket square?

When should you be wearing a pocket square?

elephants pocket square

nautical themed pocket square

Spring style trends for men — 2017

unique fall blazer denver custom suits and one for spring style trends for men

Spring is on the way, gentlemen. And in recent weeks it has certainly felt like it has already arrived here in the mile high city. Brett was recently in Scottsdale where the mercury is already approaching 90 degrees! Suffice it to say, it’s time we started thinking seriously about spring style. Here’s what we’re predicting will be key spring style trends for men in 2017:

V-neck sweaters

As we transition into the warmer weather, the venerable V-neck, in a nicely breathable merino wool, should be your go-to. However, the key difference between this year’s V-neck sweaters and those of past years, is that the V-shape is getting deeper. That means a sharper angle and a more masculine look.

Whether you wear a T-shirt under it is your call.

More colorful suits

While a good charcoal or navy suit will always be in style, this year we’re starting to see more patterns and color in our suiting. Pick something in a thoughtful shade of green or purple to start. A plaid pattern is a great way to ease your way into things. Pair a suit like this with a solid dress shirt and you just created your Spring/Summer 2017 uniform!

Double breasted jackets

Yes, double breasted suit jackets are coming back! We’ve kept a close eye on them over the past couple years — a couple here, a couple there — but they’re definitely on the rebound. Just promise us that you’ll always remember to button your jacket while standing (sigh).

Shorter beards and longer hair

That’s right, our grooming is headed in different directions. A shorter beard and/or 5:00 o’clock shadow will lead the pack this year while longer and more wavy hair will push up against the close-cropped and shaved hipster styles that have been popular in years past.

Spring style trends for men

There you have it. Our succinct prediction for 2017. Did I miss anything? Anything you want to add? Let us know today!

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Thanks for reading!

The best way to improve your style? Master the basics

custom wedding suit

We are often asked what is the best way to improve your style. And the answer may surprise you – focus on the basics and do them really well.

It’s easy to think that good style is all about complex matching and playing with colors. After all, that’s what we see on Pinterest and Instagram, right? (At least, we do!) But it doesn’t need to be that complicated. The single best way to improve your style is to focus on the basics and do them, really, really well.

A great example is Brett’s style in the following images. He’s dressed in black tie attire, which may seem pretty standard and straightforward, but let’s look closer.

Fit

The first thing you probably notice is that he’s wearing a perfectly fitted suit. If you read this blog regularly, then you know that fit is the most important thing when it comes to clothing.

best way to improve your style with a custom suit

Pocket square

Brett’s also wearing a pocket square. As opposed to a bright color, it’s just a basic white. However, it’s crisply pressed – yes, that means ironed. There’s just about a quarter to half an inch showing and with his white dress shirt, it helps to frame the overall look.

Tie bar

Then there’s the tie bar. It’s appropriately sized for his neck tie, meaning it doesn’t cover the entire tie, and it’s nice and horizontal. Yet it’s not showy or bold in any way, it’s very basic.

Bespoke details

And then there are two details of his suit that are very bespoke – the contrast button hole stitching in grey and the working button holes on the sleeves. These are relatively subtle, but very much nods to bespoke suiting. Also, Brett has a great lining. The rich purple pattern is very elegant. Perhaps you think it’s very bold (you obviously haven’t seen our other linings!), but the reality is that this lining is very versatile for dressy occasions – it’s a very sophisticated look.

The jacket lining, the contrast stitching, and the surgeon cuffs all work together to reinforce the black tie look.

interesting jacket lining on a custom suit

Wrap up

Are you starting to see how easy it is to boost your style? There’s plenty of time to get down into the weeds with complex matching and clever layering, but if you’re just starting out, focus on a couple of the basics and ace them!

As always, let us know if you have any questions and don’t forget to subscribe to our twice-monthly newsletter if you haven’t already. And here’s a link to our ever growing YouTube channel!