Archives: Dress Tips

Matching: What should match and what doesn’t matter

When coordinating an outfit it is important to consider matching certain items, or at least be aware of what color combinations you happen to be using.  In fashion, there are few golden rules and sometimes good common sense will help you prevail.  Traditional dressers over the years would probably tell us that socks should match trousers, shoes match the belt, etc.  Today we see wardrobes that are put together with obvious thought and many with none at all!  Do understand that people around you are aware of the time and effort that you put into your clothing and appearance.  The following matching and coordinating tips I propose for discussion.

 matching

  • Match socks to trousers.  This does not mean that your sock color has to match the trouser perfectly, but try to bring in as much of the trouser color as possible.  Pattern socks with a contrast color background that have the trouser color in the print or design of the sock works too.  Patterns in socks like polka-dots, argyles, foulards, stripes, and other abstract designs are all fun accents that help create your own style and fashion taste.  Just use good sense if you have an important mission that day.

 

  • Match belt to shoes.  In men’s fashion it is important to coordinate your belt and shoe color as close as possible.  Never wear a black belt with a brown or tan shoe and the reverse would also apply.  Belts on occasion will have more than one primary color that may pick up the shoe color.  Sometimes introducing this contrast accent is a nice touch to a wardrobe.  It is fine to be creative in your combinations, but do realize that others will notice a stark contrast in colors.

  • Match tie to “?”.  Each one of us will have an opinion on this one.  Some may say that your neckwear should match the suit or blazer, while others may think the tie should coordinate well to your shirt, pocket square, socks, etc.  The fact is that some combination of all of the above will probably be successful.  I am a believer of adding some color to that necktie so often you will not be matching anything, but just accenting your outfit with some tasteful contrast.  However, the neckwear you chose can have multiple colors that may match the color of the suit, shirt, pocket square, socks….and it goes on and on!  Be creative and have fun developing your personal wardrobe!

     

Bespoke versus made to measure clothing

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As a custom clothing provider we are often asked about bespoke versus made to measure (MTM). And while they may seem to be synonymous, nothing could be farther from the truth.

If a suit is considered made-to-measure it means that a customer’s measurements have been taken and that the garment will be cut from a pre-existing, standard pattern that is then altered to roughly fit those measurements. The key term here is pre-existing, which simply implies that a pattern is not fashioned from scratch for an individual customer.

Generally, more machine work is involved in made-to-measure garments with a limited amount of hand work. Regarding the construction of a suit, machine sewing usually makes a relatively lifeless coat. Hand sewn jackets look and feel better, moving as if they are part of the wearer. Remember the suits that James Bond wore? Yup, those were certainly custom.

Bespoke, or custom garments, are a different story altogether. The customer’s measurements are taken and then a pattern is fashioned from scratch – these garments tend to be made mostly by hand. The word bespoke itself is derived from the verb to bespeak or to “speak for something”. From a fashion perspective, the term bespoke is reserved for individually patterned and crafted men’s clothing. When a customer chose a length of material, it was said to have been spoken for. Therefore, a tailor who makes your clothes individually, to your specific personal requirements, is called “bespoke”. Using your pattern, the cloth is cut and trimmed and the specific parts of the garment are sewn together.

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Bespoke clothing offers a man full control over the tailoring process. At The Bespoke Edge we are proud to offer the following benchmark standards:

  • Hand work used almost entirely on all garments
  • The individual cut of your personal pattern
  • Tremendous selection of the finest fabrics available
  • Your measurement profile stays with BE
  • Unparalleled personal service and consultation
  • 30 years of menswear experience

In most cases, when a man has full control over the creation of his custom clothing the cost will be higher – not the case with BE. We are able to keep costs down and offer our customers an affordable priced garment because there is no middle man.

Men who try bespoke tailoring often become lifetime advocates, simply because no off-the-rack garment or made to measure garment can compare. Let us show you the bespoke experience!

7 Grooming and Dress Tips for Men

Attention to detail is crucial when creating that competitive edge! Sometimes the small details that most of us do not think about, are in fact what others really pick up on. That potential new employer notices your less than perfect appearance, or the new client that you are trying to win over does not see your A-game that day. It is truly the little things that can derail that well thought out outfit or the grooming details that we do not think are important!

My son, Brett, this past weekend told me a story of when one of his colleagues shared their interview methods with him. The colleague, who had conducted many interviews in his career, said that after he was introduced to the applicant the first thing he would look at would be their fingernails. Were they dirty, were taken care of, did the applicant wash his/her hands before they walked in the door? Depending on the quality of the applicants fingernails the interview would continue based on the premise that if the applicant doesn’t take the time to wash his/her hands or take care of themselves, how can they pay attention to the details for the company. While this example may be a little extreme, I find it interesting that sometimes people pay attention to what’s least expected. It’s important to take pride in how you present yourself, your hair doesn’t have to be perfect everyday, but it’s always worth trying to look your best!

Here at The Bespoke Edge would like to offer the following 7 grooming and dress tips that will help polish your image and fine-tune your current wardrobe.

1) Clean and polished dress shoes
If your dress shoes can be polished, shine them up! If they can’t be polished, at least make sure you didn’t spill something right on the toe of your shoe.

2) Match belt color to shoe color
This is a subtle detail that goes a long way. It doesn’t have to match perfectly but a simple rule, brown belt goes with brown shoes, and black belt with black shoes.

3) Socks, socks, socks!
When in doubt, match your sock color to your blazer color. But have some fun here, throw in some brightly colored socks to contrast your suit, can’t go wrong with argyles or a fun polka-dot!

4) Well-groomed hairstyle
Shampoo, conditioner, product. Whatever your style is make sure it’s clean and looks like you’ve paid attention to it in the last 24 hours.

5) Cleaned and trimmed fingernails
Like my son’s story, clean your fingernails and wash your hands. Try to stay away from the bad habit of biting your fingernails. It’s one thing if you’re working out in the backyard and get your hands dirty, but that’s why there’s soap, clean ‘em up!

6) Minimal cologne
Cologne is meant to be an intimate fragrance, if you walk by me and I can smell it for 5 minutes after you’ve left the room, it’s too much! One spray will suffice, spray on your bare neck and chest or on a wrist, then dab your wrist on your neck. Do not rub on your skin, this will reduce the length of time cologne lasts. Focus on pulse points, like your neck and wrists.

7) Take a shower
Take a shower and wash your face. At of all the challenges in your day, this should not be very difficult. Clean yourself up daily and smell good.

Feel free to contact us at with other questions that you have about developing that professional, business wardrobe. A big part of looking and feeling your best are your clothes. Wearing the right clothes for the right occasion and of course well fit clothing. Fitted clothes that match your individual body shape and style go a long way. Shouldn’t you have clothing that is as individual as you are?

How to care for your ties in 3 ways

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An all silk, hand-sewn tie will last many years if proper care is given to it and some simple guidelines are followed. Read these simple instructions on how to care for your ties.

1) Untying your tie
 Always untie the knot in your neckwear each time you wear your tie.  Leaving the tie knotted may cause permanent wrinkles and will make it more difficult to vary your knot style.  When you untie your necktie, simply reverse the tying procedure and avoid pulling the small end through the knot.  Light wrinkles may be removed by using a steam iron, but do not allow the iron to touch the fabric.

2) Cleaning your tie
If your tie requires dry cleaning, be sure to choose a company that has experience and a good reputation in neckwear care.  If you stain your tie while wearing it, always blot the stain rather than rubbing it. Often a clean cloth and a small amount of seltzer water can go a long ways when you’re in a pinch. If your tie has to be slightly pressed, specify that it be hand pressed using just steam.

3) Storing your tie
To store a tie simply drape it over a hanger or around the collar of the outfit you plan to wear. Be careful never to fold or crease your ties. When traveling lightly roll up each tie and pack carefully. Once you arrive at your destination unroll your ties and hang over your outfit to allow any creases to work themselves out.

Don’t know how to tie a tie? Take a look at our How to Tie a Tie Guide »