Posture.

Gentlemen,

This topic is absolutely critical to how you are perceived when you walk into a room, your office.. wherever really.. Also, it is a treatable affliction if you happen to have poor posture and there are simple ways to amend it!

When you were in high school, you all knew those jocks and athletes (I was the latter) that walked around with their chests held high and people thought it was because they were not nice guys.. however it was because they were conditioned to hold their bodies in a straight position. You have to think of your spine as a hose, if there is a kink in the hose, the hose does not flow properly.

This is a relatable subject to almost all my other posts and here is why: proper posture exudes confidence and power. We all know it. Someone who is nervous or not confident in a situation tends to hunch into themselves even at the slightest level or even if we are getting comfortable in a situation (sitting in an office with colleagues as an example)

This is why we as gentlemen have to keep this top of mind at all times.

There are certain tricks I have practiced over the years to ensure that my posture in correct that take only a few minutes – in the morning stare at yourself in the mirror with severely exaggerated good posture and hold it for several seconds to train your mind to be in a non-exaggerated similar position. That is it. It has worked very well for me.

Not to mention how posture can relate to how clothes fit you.. there are certain adjustments a tailor can make to your garments depending on how your posture is. Being in the ‘green zone’ as I like to think of it in an almost perfect (no one is perfect) will help the way your clothes fit allowing your jacket and pant to fall properly. This ‘green zone’ of posture affects men in different shapes and sizes.. taller men tend to hunch and shorter men tend to try and lengthen themselves and have this type of exaggerated posture I mentioned. Trying to settle yourself into this green zone will really affect how you present yourself in daily life!

There are obviously some postural afflictions that cannot be fixed easily on your own so please find yourself a great chiropractor as I have done… they may find issues you did not even know you had… mine saved my life!

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Event Dressing.

Gentlemen,

We just had our first snowfall recently here in Toronto and it reminds me that ’tis the season for event dressing. Whether it is a black tie NYE event, Christmas parties or work gatherings, now is the time to start thinking about what to wear!

Often times clients or new customers come to me last minute looking for some type of obscure smoking jacket or something as simple as a shawl collar tuxedo.

Gentlemen, this goes back to the post of ‘what it is all about’ – a gentlemen is not fickle and he plans ahead.

That being said – the holidays are a time for fun, for colour, and for texture!

Why not think of something in velvet.. here I am going back to the latest The Kingsmen – that burnt orange velvet tuxedo jacket is a true statement piece! Possibly think of something without the satin lapels to allow you to wear it dressed up or down. These types of jackets are great for the said events above!

Onto the tuxedo.

I believe every man (especially in a big city like Toronto) should have a classic black tuxedo as there are plenty of events during this time of year (and TIFF that just passed) that one could wear it to and really stand out of the crowd.

Tuxedo ideals:

1. Peak lapel or shawl collar would be my lapel choice
2. The fabric should either be wool/silk or wool/mohair for a slight glisten in the fabric
3. Some customers opt out of the satin stripe on the pant, do not opt out.. it enhances the tuxedo look
4. Patent oxfords or velvet loafers
5. Have Fun

Resurgence of the DB

Gentlemen,

Since the ‘Kingsmen’ movies have come out there has definitely been more double breasted suits and jackets coming out in RTW collections everywhere.

This is a classic look that was extremely popular in yesteryear and now generally associated (in my circle at least) with power suits.

What does power suit mean to you?

To me it is something visually striking that exudes confidence from the wearer. A suit that is great for that big meeting or social settings. Often time I hear from gentlemen that they feel it is showing off to wear it but I disagree.

It is interesting how history repeats itself, especially in fashion, seeing the old time gangsters of the 20s (Boardwalk Empire, or even in historical pictures) to the ad men of the 50s (Madmen) it is almost inspiration as the similarities are there to the ideals of today’s garments.

Someone who has sartorially influenced me in these television shows is Roger Stirling. Although often in a three piece, when he is wearing his DB garments, they are impeccable which goes very well with the character.

Some stylistic points of view:

1. The button stance in a traditional DB Jacket should be high, to avoid any break in the lapel

2. Always have it buttoned, the gentlemen walking around with their DB jackets open is almost an atrocity.

3. I almost always have a ticket pocket on my DB jackets, but the emergence of the patch pockets look quite nice on it as well! It is about the details!

So gentlemen, start thinking about wearing a double breasted jacket. You will enjoy it!

Respect.

This is a large, loaded word.

But the context that I am writing about this morning is two fold:

How does image reflect respect for whom you represent? Which in turn continues to ask how you show self respect and how it reflects in your work.

The first question goes back to several topics I have written about.. caring about the details and the idea of creating your own brand. But what was said then is null and void without the over arching topic of respect.

I had this conversation with a great client of mine, and this gentleman has an over abundance (no such thing) of respect for himself, colleagues and his work.. and you can see how this results in his wardrobe. He said to me, “Vince, the idea of showing up to work in casual attire shows a lack of respect for the job you have and even your boss!”

I wanted to dive a little deeper and I asked him what he meant. He spoke of other men in his office, industry and other industries entirely and how he sees the new generation is being lackadaisical right down to their morning routine of shaving (whole other topic entirely), dressing, commuting.

He even related productivity to the fact of how proud he felt dressing for his job.. which makes sense.. does it not? When the last thing you are worried about is the feeling of your clothes.. sitting/standing/working for ten, twelve, eighteen hours (we all get there) will make you comfortable and again.. confident to do your job head held high.

When you respect yourself enough to feel that way, confidence is the immediate result. For example: pressing your shirts – in ONE second this imprints the idea of not caring when you neglect to do it.

Once again, the point of this blog is not to command that everyone wears tailored clothing. Quite the contrary, it is more about these little things that have huge results. It all is going to make you men more confident which will get you further in all aspects of your life.

So, put some respek on your name.

(hope you get the reference)

Shoes.

Gentlemen,

This topic is vast.. lots to talk about in terms of what to wear with what. But there is something that is much more important.

How to properly care for them.

Men usually are unaware of this concept – the concept that shoes are leather.. leather is skin and needs to be taken care of the same as you take care of your own skin.

Your feet sweat during the course of a day.. and that sweat seeps into the leather and when you take your shoes off and kick back after a long day.. that leather still needs to work for you. What is the number one most important thing is putting a cedar shoe tree inside immediately after removing your foot.

We all know the concept of a cedar closet and how it keeps moisture away from previous coats and other goods. It is the same concept for your shoes.. that cedar takes away the days moisture and it actually helps the leather stay in its initial shape.

Good shoes are an investment.. if you take care of them, they will in turn take care of your feet. There is one piece of advice that I always, always tell my clients and friends. You cannot mess around with your feet… sore feet makes for a sore attitude.

On this point.. finding the right shoe should be similar to finding the right piece of denim for you. It has to fit PROPERLY. Never buy a shoe on the concept of it stretching to your foot, that is ridiculous. Leather does not stretch, it may form to your foot.. if it is a high quality leather.. but tight is going to stay tight.

Me personally, am a big proponent of rubber sole shoes or at least if it has a rubber insert in the sole. Brands like Doucal’s, Canali, Henderson, Ferragamo, etc. are brands that I enjoy because my feet do not hurt after a 12 hour day. BUT the idea of ‘to each their own’ is real in this case. Everyone has a different foot and finding the right shoe may take some time and some research.

Again, shoes are an investment. Invest in your feet. You will perform better in your daily life.

The Word “Influencer”

Gentlemen,

This is a word has been a topic of debate in my circle for some time now and I would like to inquire/discuss its meaning.

I was recently at an entrepreneurial event and a gentleman approached me and introduced himself as an influencer. I did not really understand it, so I asked him, “what is it that you influence?” … he did not really know how to answer it but he said he would add me to Instagram.. great..

But it did get me thinking..

Why is it that this word has come into our society? In my mind, an influencer should be a mentor, manager, someone who defines the word ‘leader’ – someone who wants people to be better. In turn, social media has painted people with ‘cool’ outfits who do not really create content (other than a lot of selfies) as influencers.

I disagree with this.

Those of you who know me or have seen my Instagram, know how I dress, fairly colourful and I enjoy to push the limits while still being tasteful (I hope so at least). It is one way that I express myself, I do not enjoy simplicity, while I believe it definitely has its place.. but common, have some fun? But I also do not call myself an influencer. I do not recommend that everyone dress like I do – haha

I often assist business men with their wardrobes and they show me pictures of what they want to look like. Whilst this is a great tool for ideas, you should be able to communicate how you would like to put your own spin on it.

Creating your brand is important now a days, fewer jobs and more competition make it important to stand out in a stack of papers and numbers.. not in just what you wear but who you are. Create something in yourself that would make a potential employer, business partner, customer or client say.. “I want to work with you”

What is that for me? Honesty, Integrity and a black and white attitude.

The point to this post is for me to say – be yourself and create your brand and that is how you will be successful.

Are Pleats Back?

Gentlemen,

There seems to be a resurgence of pleats in men’s fashion as of late so I would like to quickly mention a few guidelines as I have already dabbled in a few pleated trousers personally.

A few things I would suggest:

1. If you would like to have a pleated trouser, use a single pleat only

2. Nowadays, they are more for fashion rather than before when they were used to give more room in a trouser, so something aggressively pleated, or multiple pleats is unnecessary

3. Pleats that go inwards instead of outwards (in my opinion) seem to be what is on trend (and still provide a little more room in the trouser..which is nice to be honest)

A trouser should still be shapely (without being tight) and a slight taper towards the bottom is a very flattering look!

However, do not go out and get all of your trousers like this.. one or two is nice for a change but limit it because we all know how fast things are going to change! Notice style icon, Roberto Raro in the photo for a prime example of what I am illustrating.

SO to answer my own question: Yes, pleats are here but a flat front definitely has its prominent place in the market.

Thank you for reading, Gentlemen

Ciao for nowRoberto Raro