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)

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Coordination

Gentlemen,

When it comes to what shirt to wear with what suit and which tie.. I am sure there are countless of you who have a battle with your mirror each morning. There are a few simple rules that if you apply them.. will make your mornings stress free.

Rule one. Colour.

Colour matching has a few different properties (remember this is totally subjective because these are my rules, not every gentleman has to follow the same)

One rule is that your tie and square do not have to 100% match.. as long as there are colours that read off of each other.. ex. paisley tie with a solid similar colour square on a neutral colour shirt (white/blue) .. that is an easy one for the office.

But if you are going to a party or getting married.. some type of event that does not require a tuxedo.. then the colours can simply read off of each other..different shades of a similar colour within all the dress furnishings – look at the above photo for examples.

Rule two: Patterns

Mixing patterns can be a tricky thing, this takes a little more skill and a good eye.

The general rules for this are that the patterns in suit, shirt, tie and square all must be different sizes than each other so that it is not all micro designs or all large in your face paisleys and stripes. Once again, look at the above photo for examples of this

Overall, the idea is that everything flows into each other and feels right when you look at it. Often times, something may look good when you are thinking about it but when you lay it out or put it on.. you feel off put about it.. that is your cue!

What do I get married in?

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.

Elegance:
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!

Timelessness:
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)

Colour:
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?

Today’s Consumer 

Gentlemen, 

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. 

Sprezzatura

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.

Value PT. 2

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.

Value

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.”