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.
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
This post is about you and how what I do relates to you … it will probably quell a few arguments as well.
Today.. men want their stuff now.. or even yesterday and I feel like this doesn’t make sense. Why wouldn’t someone want to wait at least a short period of time (one to four weeks max) for something that will be better than what is front of him.
Has the imagination lost out in all of our minds.. why can’t someone picture or comprehend that if they wait they can get something better. Unless obviously if something happens and you need something instantly.
Patience and planning can go a long, long way within your wardrobe. Whether you have someone that helps you or feel you’re capable on your own – these two values can take you miles ahead of those around you.
I constantly hear, “I cannot picture this,” when they’re looking at swatches for made to Measure. When in reality, the only thing you have to imagine is what’s in front of you. Most times, you’re not picking something obscure or extremely liberal… drape the piece over your arm and look at it against the skin of your hand… boom there’s your picture.
The point of this is what I mentioned above – patience and planning – goes a long long way to not making you look cookie cutter.
Sixteenth century writer Baldassare Castiglione was the first writer to coin this phrase – what it’s true intention was to help define the Western ideals of a true gentleman. The Webster Dictionary’s definition of the word is, “studied nonchalance: graceful conduct or performance without apparent effort.” In layman’s terms.. the art of looking as if you did not try to appear that amazing.
This is where it comes into the gentleman’s wardrobe (and where a lot of gentlemen are getting it wrong) and how it relates to their life.
The idea of sprezzatura in relation to one’s clothing is not simply just breaking up a suit and thinking that it is OK because “you are being sprezza” as I have heard certain gentlemen call it. No. Relate back to the definition, “studied nonchalance,” rather than random stabs at not caring.
A true gentleman always puts thought into his appearance as I have mentioned in a previous post and wearing different coordinating/contrasting articles of suiting is an art form; an art of expressing oneself.
However, this is where the gracefulness and nonchalance should be apparent. A gentleman should be confident, not arrogant. He should be able to walk into a room and everyone is put at ease because of the air around him.
Sprezzatura is not concept that is simply mixing and matching but it is the true embodiment of what a gentleman should be and what this blog is about: confidence.
PS. if you do not follow Luca Rubinacci (featured image) on Instagram already.. please do – his gentleman’s tips are great reminders of what we should all embody.
In honour of Pitti 91 (major menswear show) in Firenze, I would like to write a post about colour in relation to menswear..
And why most do not embrace it.
I have different clients in many occupations, but there tends to be one.. well two common themes – plain blue and plain grey. Now, I am not saying that we all need to go out and get a forest green suit and catch a few looks. No. However, why do we need to be so extremely conservative? That is not rhetorical..
I am personally a big advocate of colour, pattern and texture.. but still in a tasteful manner of course.. and I am in the business so it is much easier for me to be expressive. When we are creating custom pieces, it is my job introduce third and fourth options to introduce more versatility to a wardrobe and an element of sartorialism (is that a word?). I do this because most men would not purposely choose out of their comfort zone.. but that is the thing.. they do not know the limits to their own comfort zone.. in regards to their closet! Many times, I hear.. “Wow I never would have thought of that but I love it!!”
This somewhat relates to the previous post in terms of confidence. You can pull off anything that YOU want to pull off. If a tonal blue check sport jacket for Friday’s is the extent of that, then we are heading somewhere! And I am totally into that.
But for you young men beginning your careers, do not be afraid to be a little bit expressive.. do not worry, you will still get your promotion by working hard.. not by looking like your boss.
A lot has changed in the world of men’s clothing over the last decade.. but there is a movement out there and I really like where it is going.
It is headed towards a great mix of the way men used to dress in the “Mad Men” era with a mix of the “oh-god-that-is-way-too-tight” era of the last ten years. I have noticed this transition in the last several years of working in this business and it is refreshing…
The word “tight” is not in my vocabulary nor was it ever in my wardrobe.
Yes, I understand that men want to “throw a pose” as I call it when they are walking down the street but when I am asked to continually take things in.. I have to stop for a minute and say to the man.. try sitting… or moving.. or functioning normal..
The point of this first post is to praise those men who are going away from this to this new, said transition.
Tailored clothing should provide a great silhouette yet with the comfort and ease that you do not literally FEEL your clothes. The right things should be accentuated (upper back, slimmer waist) but we should not see your love handles through your jacket
If you follow that really simple guide line.. when you are “throwing a pose” walking through your city’s financial district.. you will catch a lot more looks… because you should.
Dress Well. Feel Good. Make IT Happen.