Fashion tips for men
A few pointers from The Bespoke Edge:
• A parachuting back side of a shirt indicates it is too big for you. Your shirt should properly fit your back and stomach.
• Skinny ties (about 2½ inches thick) arein, and your lapel should match the width of your tie.
• Pick-stitching adds a subtle, handmade feeling to a suit. Contrast stitching will make the shirt pop.
• Look for working buttonholes, which allow you to roll up your suit sleeves.
• The perfect summer suit: an unstructured herringbone jacket with accented button hole and slim lapel, accented cuff stitching and a custom, short length. Choose an unlined jacket to stay cooler in the summer and wear a lightweight, subdued-tone, cotton tie instead of a heavy silk tie.
• For a more casual button-down, pick a colorful shirt unbuttoned at the collar with the sleeves rolled up. If you want to wear it untucked, make sure the shirt tails don’t fall below your back pockets.
• Pick a shirt collar that flatters your body type. If your face is round and you have a shorter neck, pick a point collar, to elongate your neck and make your face look slimmer. Pair this with the “Four In Hand” slim necktie knot.
• Thin, vertical stripes or small, gingham or tattersall patterns are slimming. Plaids and big checks can make you look heavier.
Brett Wagner got his first suit at age 5. Not long thereafter, his father taught Brett and his brother, Ryan, how to perfectly tie a necktie and fold a pocket square.
Their father, Ron Wagner, had worked in menswear sales for more than three decades, so there were no ratty, ill-fitting T-shirts and grungy shoes in that household. As children, the boys understood more about men’s style than perhaps the sum knowledge of the entire state of Colorado.
“The details make the man,” was a family motto.
Today, Brett Wagner knows how to wear a suit better than Barney Stinson of “How I Met Your Mother” fame, so it’s no surprise the Wagners run a custom suit company, The Bespoke Edge.
It is surprising, however, that Brett Wagner lives in Boulder, the state’s greatest style offender.
Many local guys simply hate shopping, or they don’t know how to dress themselves, or they don’t think it matters, he says.
“People don’t really dress the way they used to,” Brett Wagner says. “It’s pretty refreshing and nice to have been brought up in the way that you should look nice and presentable. You are your own brand, and how you dress is the first thing people see about you.”
The Wagners decided to launch The Bespoke Edge on Father’s Day two years ago, after the clothing company where their father worked went out of business.
The goal: Offer custom suits, shirts, vests, pants and jackets for reasonable prices. We’re not talking the sales rack at Sears; a made-in-America-to-order suit starts around $800.
Sign up for a free, in-your-home consultation, where you will be measured (on more than 20 different points). You can pick your fabrics (hundreds to choose from) and details (stitching, buttons, collar shape, cuffs). A custom suit will arrive in five to six weeks.
“The fit is everything,” Brett Wagner says. “You can have the nicest fabrics in the world and if it’s a sloppy fit, it’ll come off looking that way. You can walk down and see the difference between the 1990s-style suit with big, broad shoulders and a baggy fit, compared to how David Beckham or Brad Pitt look these days.”
The Bespoke Edge is especially popular among nontraditional body types, like the big who are not tall, and the tall who are not big. Brett Wagner is slender with broad shoulders, which means he would otherwise resort to going up a size for a shirt.
“Since being in business, we have come to realize that many Colorado guys want to dress better and show some style, but they need some help getting started. After all, we all know guys don’t like asking for directions,” Brett Wagner says. “We set out to become a leading source of information and guidance and to bring back the human element with regards to how men shop for clothes.”
The Bespoke Edge is actively marketing to areas around Boulder, too, such as Longmont, but it’s challenging without a storefront, Brett Wagner says. He says they’ve been searching Longmont for fashion-minded shops to potentially partner with for an event.
The Bespoke Edge does have current clients who work in Longmont.
“There are definitely guys in Longmont (who) wear suits and have a penchant for dressing sharp,” he says.
Oliver Dilivio, formerly of Longmont, has a custom shirt from the Bespoke Edge.
Dilvio, who recently moved to Texas for graduate school, says his girlfriend gave him a gift certificate for a shirt for Christmas. As first, he says, he was unsure what to expect and a little apprehensive. But he says the process went smoothly.
In fact, he says, it was one of the best gifts he’s ever received.
“It’s hand’s down the best shirt I own. Hand’s down,” Dilivio says. “It’s cool to create something no one else has.”