Archives: Dress Tips

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!

We started a video blog!


Big news everyone, BE has launched its first video blog!

If you follow BE, you know that we offer a lot of content via our various channels, specifically, this blog.

We’re realizing that we offer up a lot of text, but that maybe video can offer you something else. However, and I want to be very clear on this, that we will continue to blog in text form and give you some great interviews and style advice, just as we have always done. In addition, we will be providing some great videos to help show you what we’re talking about.

So, below is the first installment of what we’re calling the Daily BE. You can watch our videos here on the blog when we post them, otherwise, you’ll see everything up on our YouTube channel.

We’re super excited about these videos. I think that this series is something that can really grow and be a great medium with which to talk about men’s style. We will keep it casual, I’ll have some guests from time to time, do some interviews, etc, all with the aim of providing you with some real value – a quick dose of style that you can apply right away.

And these videos will be relatively short, I’m aiming for between three and five minutes. We’ll post every weekday.

Overall, we want to show you something that you haven’t seen before. At BE we know that we have the talent to really give you a great experience, and that’s what we intend on doing. I hope that we can teach you something new. I want you to ask us questions and to get involved.

Personally, I’m really excited to start this new endeavor. We will continue to do everything we can to help you become the best dressed version of yourself!

How to dress for the New Year’s Eve party

men's style for new year's eve

Are you ready to ring in 2017?! New Year’s Eve is tomorrow and if you’re going out to celebrate, we wanted to offer up some guidance on dressing to impress. So, whether you’re in the Denver area or in Scottsdale, here are some tips on how to dress for the new year’s eve party.

Wear a sportcoat

The single best way to dress dapper this year is to wear a jacket, be it a sportcoat or a dark suit. The key is just to wear a jacket. Why? Aside from looking suave you have pockets! Fill your chest pocket with a pocket square and your side pockets with some kazoos.

However, it’s important to wear the right jacket. As you are well aware, the ball drops at midnight, so that means evening attire. Your sportcoat should be nice and dark. No tans, greys, or light blues. You don’t want to look like you just got out of a meeting.

Add a pocket square

Even if you’re the kind of guy that rarely wears a pocket square, now is your chance. The louder the better. And don’t fret about folding it. If there’s one thing that us guys tend to overthink, it’s how to stuff a piece of colored fabric into our pocket. Just stuff it in there in a way that makes you happy and head out the door.

If you’re on a budget, try Nordstrom’s Rack. They tend to carry a handful of decent pocket squares between $5 and $10.

Skip the neck tie

In recent years, the necktie has really fallen out of popularity. And while that may be a sad thing, depending on where you stand on the issue, New Year’s Eve is certainly a time to loosen up and go open collar. Plus, if you don’t normally wear a tie, I don’t think New Year’s Eve is a good time to start.

how to dress for your new year's eve party

Wrap up

This year, I hope you decide to up your style game. It’s easier than you think to figure out how to dress for the New Year’s Eve party. Just adopting one of the above tips will turn some heads 🙂

Related:

A class cocktail for a new year

Thinking of pulling off a T-shirt and sportcoat combo? Read this article on Scottsdale style first.

Interview with Florence Müller of the Denver Art Museum

I recently sat down with Florence Müller, Textile and Fashion Curator at the Denver Art Museum. Müller has an impressive background. She is quite literally a world-renowned fashion and art historian. Take a quick peek at this article and you’ll see what I mean. So, not only did I feel incredibly privileged when she accepted my request for an interview, but I really feel that Denver is incredibly lucky to have her at the DAM. She was in charge of the fashion museum called UFAC – inside the Musée des Arts Décoratifs/Louvre, and has contributed to more than one hundred exhibitions worldwide, including the 2012 exhibition, Yves Saint Laurent : The Retrospective.

Müller has been with the museum for a little over a year now and her current exhibit is on display until the end of May 2017. It’s a celebration of select Japanese designers in the 1980s and the 1990s.

So, why did I reach out to her?

Well, aside from being a regular patron at the museum and art lover, I wanted to pick her brain on the menswear scene here in Denver. Having relocated from France, and being French, I figured she could provide a unique perspective on us Denverites.

I told her that I can imagine that one of the many culture shocks was seeing how much more casual we dress in Denver. I was curious in what ways she had recognized men dressing down. Müller said that in terms of costume, she has noticed two types of men’s attitudes.

Firstly, that there are the hipsters and that they are bringing a more international flair to the area. This makes sense since there are so many new people living here and they are coming from all over. They are bringing their styles and attitudes with them. Müller told me about the young guys she regularly sees in LoDo and RiNo who have a knack for finding creative things in the consignment stores. In this regard, she said that Denver reminded her of what she sees in LA or San Francisco. And that the young guys are oftentimes being more creative with their style than the girls!

Secondly, there’s a men’s style that Müller has seen regularly at DAM events. She explained that on a number of occasions, she sees men dressed in dark tailored suits paired with Western accessories like cowboy boots and even the very western addition, the bolo tie. The latter really surprised me because personally, I very seldom run across the bolo tie. It has always felt like something more of an Arizona or maybe a New Mexico look, not Colorado.

It was this juxtaposition of the traditional and elegant being paired with something noticeably frontier in attitude. Think: A sleek tailored tuxedo or dark suit and dressy cowboy boots. This, Müller explained to me, was very much a Denver style, a touch of tradition that she finds so unique to the area. “It’s very charming and very beautiful. To mix [a western accessory] with something that is very well cut. It’s so chic, so elegant. It’s attractive because it’s specific.”.

bolo-tie

It’s difficult to talk about the American frontier and Manifest Destiny without some talk of the Old World. Müller said that a lot of Europeans are inspired by the American frontier and our western attitudes. Outside of menswear and style, this really resonated with me. Throughout my own travels, when I have conversed with Europeans, or even Canadians, they are often very fascinated with the American interior – the Grand Canyon, cowboys, Native Americans, etc. The concept of wide open space and with it, the simple act of hoping in a car and taking a road trip throughout the open country.

And so I understand why Müller was able to pick up on the cowboy boots and the bolo neck ties, but I was curious about something else now. I asked her, within the context of menswear, what time period in American history was her favorite? She answered with the 1950s and the 1960s, that mid-century America was unequivocally the most fascinating period in the US for men’s attire. It was the architecture and the lifestyle that she found so appealing.

“The American cars, and everything really, was so full of style. It was a time that was a symbol of the new world – a world that was rebuilding with a lot of hope for the future.”

Müller reminded me that there were garments for every situation, for every moment. “It was still a world with rules in terms of how the social life was happening. There was the suit for the office, the suit for dinner, the suit for the opera house, and so on. Specifically, there were seersucker jackets and cotton jackets with very pale blue or pale pink tones worn with polo shirts and trousers with sneakers.” It was this prevailing idea that some clothes were just specific to the weekend. What I found interesting was that there had not been a mentality like this in France. That this mid-century attitude towards menswear was very unique to America. “It was a cool attitude,” Müller said.

Aside from menswear, I wanted to know what period of textile and fashion history she found the most interesting, be it in the United States or elsewhere. “I very much like the end of the eighteenth century,” she told me. “This moment of change after the French Revolution…The fashion had to be light and the young woman wanted to be dressed in cotton and linen.” She went on to explain that this period was really inspired by the classical Roman and Greek periods. “I like the moment of changes, the body being liberated and seen, not hidden by hoops or other things.”

Once again, here’s an example of nostalgia really influencing fashion and style. Today, we are returning to our mid-century design roots in many ways. And even in the eighteenth century, the French were looking to the ancient Greeks for their own design inspiration.

As my time with Müller started to wind down, she gave me some insight into the fashion community. That those in fashion and style always seem to be waiting for something new to happen, for “some new way of looking at the body and expressing it.” I think this makes a lot of sense. Like so many things in life, it’s the inflection points that are the most interesting.

But what lingered with me after our call was a yearning to go out and purchase a sharp looking pair of cowboy boots that I could wear with my favorite peaked lapel suit – the accented words of a French fashion curator in the back of my mind, “it’s a look that is so chic, so elegant!”

By Ryan Wagner

A special thank you to Florence Müller for taking the time to speak with BE, such a great honor!

For more information on Müller and her work:

See this Denver Art Museum press release

Where is her work now? You’ll find Müller’s work housed in the Textile Art Gallery on level six of the museum’s North Building.