Guess what was in the shoe shine box

The other day I happened to find myself at the Bespoke Edge windsor office and in need of some shoe polish. I asked Ron if he had a shoe shine box available and when he returned from the other room, what he handed me, quite fittingly, was an old shoebox full of what I could only surmise to be was twenty plus years worth of collecting shoe polish and shoe polish accessories.

Right off the bat I saw a 1980’s era electric shoe polisher. With a spare brush!

There were a handful of rags too, including what looked to be a more professional (microfiber?) polishing cloth with a healthy amount of shoe polish stain. And yes, there was lots of shoe polish. There was neutral shine, brown shine, black shine, and multiples of each.

But most interesting to me was a bottle of edge conditioner. I had never personally used a product like this before and the only time my shoes get this treatment is when I visit Solebox or another professional shoe shine outfit. This product is great for any scuffed edges on your soles. I shook the bottle up a bit and went to work.

Next up was the polish. And very quickly, a question came to mind: “Can shoe polish go bad?” Hunting around on the internet didn’t quite provide any certainty, but if polish can go bad, I imagine that it takes a very long time. Nevertheless, the available black polish didn’t look very appealing to me so I reached for a jar of neutral.

When I was all finished and had a pair of shiny black shoes in front of me, I couldn’t help but think how satisfying it is to polish a pair of shoes. Now, before you email me and offer to drop off all seven pairs of your dress shoes to keep me satisfied, please know that I am by no means an expert on shining shoes. But it is fun to clean up your favorite pair of shoes for a specific event (I had a wedding to attend).

Going through this little experience was also very nostalgic. Do yourself a favor and ask your own father or grandfather what they keep tucked away in their shoe shine box…

The basted fitting: A hallmark of bespoke suiting

When Ron and Brett and I founded Bespoke Edge back in 2012, it was very important to all of us that we offered a true bespoke tailoring experience to our clients. And it dawned on me the other day that one aspect of our service that I haven’t discussed much to date is our basted fitting option.

A basted fitting is when you try on your custom suit jacket that has been temporarily stitched together with white basting thread. Initial measurements that were carefully taken during your first fitting were used to create this “working” jacket. We then use this jacket to fine tune the fitting.

basted fitting

The basted fitting is also your first opportunity to try on your custom suit. It may not look like much — with loose threads, somewhat scratchy fabric, and no buttons — but it will still feel like it was made for you.

This is a chance for you and Ron to look in the mirror and ensure that the fit is just how you want it. Maybe after seeing the jacket on, you decide that you want a more snug fit? Or a more relaxed fit, perhaps? Maybe the front button placement looks to be a little higher than you had expected? These are all adjustments that can easily be made halfway through the build process, thereby eliminating the potential need for any downstream alterations.

And on our end, we’re taking careful note of the jacket’s drape. Are the shoulders warping at all? Should the sleeve pitch be adjusted? These are examples of the kind of adjustments that we make on the backend to ensure that your finished suit fits you like a glove.

basted fitting for a truly bespoke suit

Presently, we offer the basted fitting option on our hand-made suits only (we offer two lines of suiting) and it’s always up to you as to whether or not you want to take advantage of this option. It will take a little more of your time to schedule another fitting with us, but oh boy, is it worth it! Our basted fitting clients enjoy a spectacular fit. Also, key to our goal as a company, we are guiding you through a revered and time honored process that gentleman have been enjoying for a very long time.

Saville Row in London enjoys a well deserved reputation as where many of the world’s finest suits come from. It is our hope that one day we can help to put Denver on the map.

the second fitting or the basted fitting for a bespoke suit

Basted fitting: Further reading

Bespoke Edge: What is a men’s clothier?

Forbes: What is the difference between MTM and Bespoke?

About that lapel buttonhole

It seems a bit odd to have a lapel buttonhole on your jacket, but no button on the other side, doesn’t it? Why is it even there in the first place?

Like so many things in menswear, there are a handful of origin stories, many of which have very practical beginnings. The story of this button hole is no different.

Apparently, there was a time when men would wear dress hats that came complete with a small elastic cord with a button on the end. This button on a string was used to fasten to your jacket lapel, such that in windy conditions, you wouldn’t lose your hat if it blew off!

Another story is that at one point there actually was a button on the opposite suit lapel — but on the underside — such that you could button the coat all the way up in very chilly conditions. I think this is a great idea, especially since you can’t see the button with it being on the underside of the lapel.

Yet another origin story is that Prince Albert (1819 – 1861), when presented a small bouquet of flowers by his bride, Queen Victoria, cut a small hole in his jacket lapel and wore the flowers. His tailor then made the smart move to include a small hole on the left lapel of all of his jackets. Needless to say, the trend caught on.

Fast forward to today, and that buttonhole is used largely for flowers or boutonnieres. By the way, in Europe this lapel buttonhole is called a boutonniere, while in the US, a boutonniere refers to the floral arrangement.

It’s important to note that whether you opt for a single flower or a boutonniere, that you put it through the lapel buttonhole versus pinning directly to the fabric. There are some cases, however, where it may be best to let your florist arrange the boutonniere as he/she likes, but generally speaking, you should always place a flower directly through this hole. And if you look closely on well made jackets, you’ll see that there is a small bit of thread running horizontal on the backside of your jacket lapel, just below the the lapel buttonhole. This is where your flower stem goes. It’s a neat little trick to keeping everything in place.

So, there you have it! A little helpful background on your lapel buttonhole. Consider having your tailor install a small button on the backside of your opposite lapel such that you can button up all the way in the fall and winter months. And during summer, don’t forget to put that buttonhole to good use and put a flower in there!

Our interview with Chase Moore, of Trilogy Financial

Over recent months, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Chase Moore, a financial advisor with Trilogy Financial. Aside from having a penchant for fine cocktails, we both share a passion for road biking. But when I learned that he used to work in the construction industry in southern Colorado, I knew Chase had an interesting story to tell…

[Ryan] You have a background in construction, right? How did you find your way into the financial world?

[Chase] Yes, growing up, my Dad built custom timberframe and log homes in Southwestern Colorado and I was always running around job sites sweeping sawdust and learning from his example of how to work hard and to do the job right the first time. When I graduated from college and moved to Denver, the construction market was booming, and it was a great place to start my career as a project manager.

My entry into the financial world started when I became a client of Trilogy, the firm that I work for now. My wife and I didn’t have a lot of money left over at the end of the month, but we were motivated to get started early with a financial plan. Trilogy took our motivation seriously, and we got started with a debt repayment strategy and a meager savings plan. Over the course of 3 years, we saw progress in our savings and also became debt free!

Being a construction project manager in one of the hottest new housing markets in the country means two things; good money and loads of stress. The stress of the job was beginning to affect my personal life, and I knew that I needed to make a career change. Project management Is all about looking into the future and planning each step that is needed to accomplish a specific goal, ie: Knowing a solid foundation is needed before the walls can be built. I realized project management was very similar to being a financial planner and with my personal experience of having our lives changed by the financial planning at Trilogy, I wanted to be able to help with this important service for others. I reached out to my advisor and simply asked, “How do I become a financial planner like you?”

What is it about your work with Trilogy that you enjoy the most? 

The most enjoyable aspect of my work with Trilogy is the mentorship based internal structure that we have. Transitioning from a career in construction management and into financial planning, I began a 12-month training program before I ever earned the right to begin taking on my first clients. The 12-month process was full of internal training & skills tests, sitting in on senior advisor’s client meetings, case planning and preparing paperwork. It was a full immersion into financial planning with the collective help of senior advisors.

Once I earned the right to begin taking on my own clients, I continued to work on a team of advisors to ensure that it’s not just my knowledge that is making a financial plan, but it’s a wealth of knowledge working together to ensure that we’re doing our best work for our clients. Constantly being challenged to grow, having access to my team, and being mentored by senior advisors to do my best work has been life changing!

I think that a lot of guys know that they need to be saving more but aren’t sure where to start. On a real practical level, what are some of the big things that men should be doing to prepare for the future, say 10, and 20 years down the road? 

The key to getting started is to create the habit of saving, regardless of the amount. Most guys tend to think, “I’ll start saving once I get this bonus…” or “I’ll make sure to transfer a few hundred bucks to savings at the end of the month.” A few months later, the bonus check got spent on a weekend trip to the mountains, and the few hundred bucks ended up becoming a sushi dinner with friends.

I’m more impressed with someone who saves $50 a month consistently than someone who saves $500 sporadically because of the habit that they’ve created. It can be life changing. Once the habit is in place, when the eventual raises and bonuses come, it’s a natural progression to increase the monthly savings amount.

If you’re someone who already has the savings habit down, now it’s time to ask; “What’s the money for?” It’s great to be sitting on a pile of cash or a healthy investment account, but finding a purpose for the money will help guide your steps for the coming 10 or 20 years. Once you know what the money is for, it will then guide your investment choices, savings rate, and account characteristics to ensure that you’re being most efficient when saving toward your priorities.

What should people look for in a financial advisor? How can we find the person that’s right for us?

The first thing that you should look for in a financial advisor is whether they are a fiduciary or not. An advisor who is a fiduciary is legally obligated to act in their client’s best interests at all times. This is a crucial place to start when trying to find someone who is going to manage your hard earned dollars.

Once you’ve found your fiduciary, you need to establish the expectations of the relationship. Simple questions such as: “How often do we meet each year to review my accounts?”, or “What is your fee structure?” are all very important questions. It’s critically important to know what you’re getting into before you make your choice. At Trilogy Financial, I’ve made it a priority to be transparent and upfront with my clients about how we’re going to work together, what it costs, and exactly what to expect moving forward. By organizing all of my client’s assets into one, simple-to-use place, checking in with them on a quarterly basis, and consulting with them about non-investment concerns such as protection and estate planning, it’s my goal to provide the best planning relationship possible by putting my client’s interests first.

I would advise against making your choice of financial advisor based on the expected returns that they’re touting or if they have a magical product that will somehow solve your problem. Financial planning is about a long-term relationship that helps you make better financial decisions over time, not chasing returns or fancy products.

At the end of the day, it’s the long-term relationship with your advisor, not market performance or a fancy product, that will help you stay accountable to your goals and move closer toward your priorities.

Why is being well dressed in the financial planning industry important to you?

For me, dressing well communicates a sense of responsibility and that I take my job seriously. Wearing a suit that fits, a freshly pressed shirt and accessories that compliment my style all communicate that the work I do for clients is important and I take my role in their life seriously. As a financial planner, it’s important to make a good first impression, but more importantly, to be meticulous in the financial planning that I do for my clients and I want that planning to be reflected in how I am dressed.

chase moore trilogy financial

 

Advisory services provided by TrilogyCapital, Inc,. a Registered Investment Adviser. Separate advisory and securities services may be provided by National Planning Corporation (NPC), a SEC Registered Investment Adviser and broker-dealer. Member FINRA and SIPC. Certain registered representative with NPC are doing business under the name of Trilogy Financial. TrilogyCapital, Inc. and Trilogy Financial are affiliated by common ownership and are separate and unrelated to NPC. Please consult with your representative to confirm, on which company’s behalf services are being provided. The opinions voiced are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by NPC. To determine which investments may be appropriate for you, consult with your financial professional. Please remember that investment decisions should be based on an individual’s goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk.