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
It is really great if a man appreciates sartorialism.. but what good is it if he is not a true gentleman?
There are other aspects to this other than what clothes you wear.. so much more.. and this is an area of concern for the latest generation – the millenial. I am classified as a part of this generation so I feel that I am somewhat of an expert on what makes them classified here – no sense of loyalty, an obscure sense of entitlement and fickleness.
The opposite of all these qualities are a part of what makes a man a true gentleman and frankly.. what good business can be built on. In a world where the cheapest option always wins defeats a loyal, true business relationship where in the long run.. the latter would be the better option. The idea of the handshake is obsolete whereas my father and his father came to this country and built their lives on this.
This is an area of passion for me because the whole idea of this blog is to educate and appreciate what the ideal gentleman would do in all areas of their lives.. not just about what he should wear for certain occasions.
I am sure there is a lot up for debate here.. but I truly believe the ideals of yesterday will always be stronger than what this generation has in store.
As wedding season hits full swing this summer, I want to give you a few hints as to what I am suggesting for my grooms.
Guys (women too because you always have a few cents to add..), its your wedding. Its a party. Don’t be uptight and think you just need to wear a suit. Have some fun with it, wear a three piece with a double breasted vest or even a smoking jacket. Why not.. it is your day.. go hard! That being said… having fun with it does not mean that you just throw the elegant silhouette out the window.. crisp lines, cool patterns, colour, texture.. all good things to add. Now a days its not just about the dress.. marriage is a partnership so head into it with some style and flair!
I hear.. well I want to wear it again.. ya of course you do. That is the great part of dressing a groom. He is going to use it for more then 6 hours! To my previous point – a three piece does not always need to be worn with the vest.. a smoking jacket is great for any special occasion (New Years, any black tie event)
This always seems to be such a point of discussion.
No. Your white shirt is not going to bother the white of the dress
No. You do not have to match your groomsmen. Stand out from them.
No. Your tie does not have to match her dress.. its not prom guys. You both should coordinate with what you are wearing independently. Make it look planned but not like you studied the fibers of fabrics to see if it matched.
Yes. You have to own it. Walk Tall. Be Confident. It is about love (and the open bar…), remember?
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.
This post is about something completely unrelated to the previous post.
It’s about the literal value of things and why they cost what they cost and how it relates to you.
I’m writing this because I had a client come to me the other day with quotations from other locally owned made to measure businesses that were exorbitant prices for made to measure suit from a “no name” maker using well known fabric mills.
He asked me what would be the point of buying a Canali or a Zegna suits or jackets when he was just paying for their marketing.. that is what the rationalization that the other locally owned business used to sell him on their product.
This is where the consumer needs knowledge about these makers as well as others who are all over the price spectrum. You’re not paying for marketing.. it may be part of their cost formula. But as far as I can tell – hand work on some garments, the literal construction of it, the details that go into the making these garments and as well as the many, many years of expertise that these companies (some have been around since the early to mid 1900s) have learned and literally turned into a science is all part of the equation.
For example – I’m not saying that everyone should go and buy a $3500 suit… hardly .. just making a point – Ermenegildo Zegna HAVE their own sheep farms and they produce certain wools and take the best sheep from that inch ? , breed them – then do it again with the next offspring and continue to do this until they find a wool that literally feels like silk. They have been doing that since before WW2… SO to me personally, that’s not marketing, it is science.. it is the development of a fine product that withstands the test of time and wear.
Now to make another point – I’m sure that the proprietor of said shop makes a nice product. That’s neither here nor there. My point is to you as a consumer/suit wearer/whatever you are, is DO your homework and find a shop who will tell you how it is (who has integrity..yes, they exist), only then will you be in good hands.
This entry is titled, “Value” – but it is not about any type of monetary valuation of clothing. It will be shorter than most because it is a black and white message.
It is about the value you put into yourself.
Whether you are in a suit every day, business casual, or super casual for work – you should always put value into how you represent yourself. Your image is the first thing people look at – and sometimes judge – and there are a lot of simple things I see done wrong just on my walk to work each day. The worst is when I hear, “Well my office is super casual and no one really cares.” That does not give you the excuse to not iron your shirt, have your trousers the proper length or dress like you care.
These are simple things that cost nothing. Do them. You never know who you are going to meet each day. You will notice a change in the way people interact with you. Being ‘clean cut’ doing the aforementioned things exudes confidence and that you care about the details. It sends a message without you even saying anything.
Like I have said in my previous posts, “If you look good, you feel good then you do better business.”