Archives: Shirts

What is a broadcloth dress shirt?

Have you ever found yourself asking the obvious question, what is a broadcloth dress shirt?

First of all, there are basically (4) types of fabrics out there – broadcloth, oxford, pinpoint, and twill. I’ll cover each one in a subsequent blog post, but let’s start off the series with a brief discussion on the broadcloth.

What it is

Sometimes referred to as poplin, this is the classic dress shirt fabric.

Broadcloth fabric is created using a simple over/under weave pattern. Imagine a checkerboard pattern – that’s how the yarn goes. This is the simplest way to manufacture a piece of clothing and so it should come as no surprise that nearly 80% of all clothing is made in this style.

Broadcloth is a lightweight and slick looking fabric because it’s usually made with very fine yarns. Therefore, most uniforms are made of a broadcloth fabric to portray that very clean and almost minimalist appearance.

When to wear it

Since broadcloth fabrics have a smoother texture than other fabrics they are usually a good match for formal occasions. So you’ll have no problem sporting this fabric at a wedding or other swanky event.

And as the number of woven yarns increases the overall weight of the shirt will become lighter. This is what makes a fine broadcloth shirt great for year-round use.

By Ryan Wagner

How to wash a dress shirt

We get a lot of questions from our clients on how to wash their new BE dress shirt. A custom shirt is a very special purchase and the last thing you want to do is wear it out once and then ruin it in the laundry!

But fear not, our shirts are pretty robust and if you keep in mind a few rules, we think you’ll be fine.

Here’s the BE guide on how to wash a dress shirt:

Wash at home

Washing your dress shirts at home is just fine. Use cold water for your darker fabrics, but warm water is OK for white shirts or lighter colors. Now all shirts are going to shrink to some degree – when Ron takes your measurements he will account for this minor shrinkage. But be sure to always let your shirts air dry on a hanger after you wash them to help mitigate any additional shrinkage.

Professional cleaning

Professional cleaning won’t be a cheap option, but it will be a safe way to minimize shrinkage and keep your ironing board in the closet. However, this is not “dry cleaning.” We don’t want you to dry clean your BE shirts. This process can be very tough on your shirt fabrics and will surely shorten your shirts’ lifetime. Instead, instruct your cleaner to use water and detergent with light starch, if any.

Don’t forget…

  1. Remove collar stays before washing or ironing.
  2. Pre-treat stains to help wipe them out!
  3. Hang your shirt on a wooden hanger when it’s not being worn – no skinny metal hangars.
  4. Iron with gentle heat and don’t be shy with the steam.
  5. Speaking of steam, BE art director Brett Wagner doesn’t even own an iron! Instead, he chooses to steam his shirts.

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There you have it, the BE guide to washing your shirts. Now you know all there is to know about how to wash a dress shirt!

Have any questions for us? Feel free to drop us a line.

By Ryan Wagner

It’s time for you to redefine business casual

Don’t underestimate the power of a really great white shirt and pair of slacks.

Whether in or out of the office it’s a great combo. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Chances are the dress code at your office is deemed business casual. But as a former cube dweller myself, you and I both know that business casual may be better labeled relaxed business casual. Polo shirts, jeans and yes, T-shirts are regularly worn among the white collar offices around Denver.

To some extent this is a reflection on Colorado’s more casual atmosphere – the so-called ‘lifestyle’ clothing trend. But all clothes are lifestyle clothing!

And so it is our pleasure to be introducing a new concept to you – sophisticated business casual. What does this mean? It means shaking off the stigma of business casual and taking it to the next level. No more polo shirts and dockers. Instead, use this formula:

1. A great fitting shirt with detail

2. A great fitting pair of pants with detail

The genesis of this concept actually has its roots in one of my past trips to Singapore. But to understand this story you need to first know something about the country. Singapore is not too far from the equator. So that means that days are almost always the same – mid 80’s, mostly sunny and high humidity. Your first visit the heat will hit you like a wall. Your second visit you’ll get smart and stay inside during the day and then venture out walking at dusk.

So among the high temperatures, do you think the business men of Singapore are wearing suits all day long? Nope.

What about ties? Are they wearing neck ties? Again, no.

What you start to notice as you walk around the city during the workweek is that only a few men are wearing full suits. Instead, the vast majority are wearing this:

1. A tailored shirt

2. Tailored pants

It’s that simple.

Now part of the reason that everyone is wearing tailored clothing is that custom menswear is very mainstream in that area of the world. Tailor shops are everywhere. Some good quality and some not so good. But what you start to realize is that the men of Singapore are more or less wearing what us Westerners would call business casual. But they are doing it so much better.

 

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So what can you do? Firstly, make sure your clothes fit. Secondly, add something unique. Whether it’s a contrast collar or accent stitching, both are subtle enough to carry you through the workday, but still fun and unique to set you apart from the crowd.

And here are (2) seasonal tips to help take your business casual to the next level:

Tip #1: In the summer, unbutton your first two buttons and roll up the sleeves.

Tip #2: In the cooler months, layer with a trim sweater.

So ditch the polo shirt and jeans look. Using the simple guidance above you’ll be redefining the business casual dress code in your office in no time.

By Ryan Wagner 

Your poolside fashion checklist

summer-style

Well, we made it to summer everyone! Wash Park is packed to the brim, the 14ers are drying off and you just received your invite to a pool party. Time to pull out the faded polo shirt and ball cap, right?

No! Please, no!

The BE crew is here to help with your poolside fashion. Here’s your 2014 guide to the summer pool party.

1. Button down shirt

In the land of T-shirts, bro-tanks and the prolific Hawaiian print (we are a long ways from Hawaii, fellas), wearing a casual button down shirt will set you apart. Suddenly, you are the sophisticated gentlemen among boys.

A long sleeve shirt is great. Wear it untucked and then you can roll the sleeves up and unbutton the top button when the mercury rises. Linen reigns supreme for summer, but don’t discount cotton and cotton blends. Still afraid you’ll overheat? Then go with a short sleeve button up. Regardless which route you choose, be sure your shirt tails have been shortened. Otherwise, it’ll simply look as though you forgot to tuck in your shirt in the first place!

And yes, a few wrinkles in your shirt are OK for the pool.

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2. Shorts (that fit!)

When the sun beats down with vengeance and you’re trying to maintain a conversation it’s important you keep your cool. And for maximum breathabillity you need to bust out the shorts. But if you’re wearing a decent shirt, you can’t just pull out the cargo shorts you had in college.

Keep this in mind: Stick with a closer fit to the thighs and shorts that end just above the knee. Any lower and not only will you appear shorter, but it may seem as though you’re swimming in your clothes instead of the pool.

3. Decent shoes

It’s been said that the way a man treats his shoes is how he treats himself. Yes, hanging out at the pool is casual. But let’s not ruin your look with sandals you’ve had for 5 years. You know exactly what I’m talking about. And yes, you should go and throw them out right now (I’ll wait).

Whether you opt for flip flops, boat shoes or something more formal, just be sure they aren’t scuffed or faded. And leave the socks in your drawer.

4. Sunglasses

How can you have an intelligent conversation with the opposite sex while squinting into the sun? Unless you’re Clint Eastwood, you can’t. Normally, it’s a wise move to remove your sunglasses while engaging in conversation, but at the pool, you get a pass. It’s bright out and the reflection off the water isn’t making things any easier. That being said, pick a good pair that you like and forget the fads. Sunglasses are perhaps the least complicated wearable plastic to manufacture and yet somehow the most expensive. Here’s an interesting article on the subject.

sunglasses

What missing?

While we may not be able to teach you the fine art of conversation or instill in you a detailed knowledge of summer cocktails, we do hope that you’ll at least be well dressed. And that’s half the battle, isn’t it?

Did I miss something? What’s your go-to poolside outfit?

By Ryan Wagner