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Unspoken Suit Rules for the Men

31 Mar



MANic Monday!  Here we go again…first full week of work, in weeks…perhaps Months.  🙂

Found this gem on buzzfeed, so it’s just perfect for MANic Monday.  Link to article, at end of blog.


1. The width of the tie should match the width of the lapel.

The width of the tie should match the width of the lapel.

It’s all about BALANCE.

2. In general, thin lapels are more modern. Wide lapels are more old-school, Mad Men style.

So choose your look accordingly.

3. A pocket square adds an extra level of polish, but make sure it doesn’t match your tie in either pattern or fabric choice.

A pocket square adds an extra level of polish, but make sure it doesn't match your tie in either pattern or fabric choice.

Before you go totally conservative, remember that the pocket square is where you get the most freedom and the one place you get to add a little pizzazz to your suit.



4. When buying an off-the-rack suit, the number one thing to check is how the shoulders fit.

When buying an off-the-rack suit, the number one thing to check is how the shoulders fit.

Tsk, tsk, John McCain. Shoulder pads should end at the shoulders. The shoulders are the hardest to tailor, so make sure they don’t stick out or stick up.

5. A collar gap between your jacket’s lapels and your shirt’s collar can signify an ill-fitting jacket.

It’s complicated.  So much, in life is (or so I’ve been told)…don’t make dressing well, become complicated.  Not when you have me.

6. Opt for a charcoal or gray suit over black, unless you’re attending a funeral.

Opt for a charcoal or gray suit over black, unless you're attending a funeral.

Dark gray is more versatile and goes with more colors.


7. Your belt should be fairly thin and the same color as your shoes.

Your belt should be fairly thin and the same color as your shoes.

Union Made makes these belts in a variety of leather and metal finishes.  They’re a big “much” for my taste…but what do I know?  Well, actually, I know quite a bit.  I prefer these belts…Shameless plug, btw.

JH belts


8. You should match your shoes to the color of your suit using this guide:

You should match your shoes to the color of your suit using this guide:

The above is hard to read, so try these 2 to give yourself a better visual.




larger image


You can save these images to your computer, enlarge, and print.

9. Double vents in the back are more modern and fashionable.

This look is also more flattering for larger figures, and it gives you enough room to do that effortlessly casual “hand in pocket” thing.

10. For a more casual, trendy look, opt for a single-button peak-lapel jacket.

For a more casual, trendy look, opt for a single-button peak-lapel jacket.


11. If you’re going for more formal business attire, opt for a double-button, notched lapel jacket.

If you're going for more formal business attire, opt for a double-button, notched lapel jacket.


12. The Savile Row Fold keeps your dress pants from falling off the hanger.



13. You should be able to slip your hand between your chest and your buttoned jacket such that it feels snug, but with room to move.

You should be able to slip your hand between your chest and your buttoned jacket such that it feels snug, but with room to move.

David Agbodji for Barneys

14. Always unbutton your suit before sitting down, or you risk ruining it.

Always unbutton your suit before sitting down, or you risk ruining it.



15. The top button of a two-button (or the middle button of a three-button) should fall at or above the navel.



The top button of a two-button (or the middle button of a three-button) should fall at or above the navel.

16. Always go with the classic windsor knot for your tie, but use the size of your head to determine whether you should go half or full windsor.

Always go with the classic windsor knot for your tie, but use the size of your head to determine whether you should go half or full windsor.

BIG HEAD = FULL KNOT. SMALL HEAD = HALF KNOT. If you’re not sure how your head size compares, ask one of your male friends. They should be able to give you an objective opinion.

17. If you’re wearing a vest, always keep the bottom button unbuttoned.

If you're wearing a vest, always keep the bottom button unbuttoned.

But plenty of men break this rule and are still able to pull off the three-piece beautifully.

18. There are practical reasons for vests beyond just how they look.

There are practical reasons for vests beyond just how they look.

A vest is best worn with single-breasted suits (so it’s actually visible). if you’re going to be wearing your suit in a cold climate, a vest can add a lot of warmth. It also adds a formal touch to your suit.

I’d like to go on record…I am NOT a fan of men wearing vests. 

19. Sleeve cuffs should be exposed about half an inch.

Sleeve cuffs should be exposed about half an inch.

For a harmonious look, try to match the visible cuff length to the amount of collar that is visible at the back of the neck.


20. When you get your suit home, you’ll need a seam ripper or a small, sharp pair of scissors.

When you get your suit home, you'll need a seam ripper or a small, sharp pair of scissors.

Unstitch the jacket’s pockets, remove the tack stitches from the jacket’s vents, and remove the little embroidered label from the jacket’s left sleeve. Do this very carefully to ensure you don’t actually rip the fabric or neighboring threads.

21. Make sure that your socks are long enough that there’s no exposed leg when sitting down.

Make sure that your socks are long enough that there's no exposed leg when sitting down.

No one needs to see your hairy gams.  And no need to wear these striped socks. 😉

22. Your tie should always be darker than your dress shirt.

Your tie should always be darker than your dress shirt.


23. The suit jacket should be just long enough to cover your pants zipper and butt.

The suit jacket should be just long enough to cover your pants zipper and butt.


24. Your tie should JUST reach the waistband of your trousers, or be slightly shorter.

Your tie should JUST reach the waistband of your trousers, or be slightly shorter.



25. For a more fashion-forward look, the pant hem should hit right at the top of your shoe.

For a more fashion-forward look, the pant hem should hit right at the top of your shoe.

For a more conservative look, the pants should cover the top of the shoe and parts of the laces.


26. If you sweat a lot, wear an undershirt.

If you sweat a lot, wear an undershirt.

Preferably one with a deep neck so it doesn’t peek through. Nothing will cheapen the appearance of a suit more than a glimpse of undershirt.  Also, the “muscle-tee”, should be left to the gym, not underneath your dress shirt.  My opinion, btw.

27. Finally, go for the dimple.

Finally, go for the dimple.

The dimple is the little hollow beneath the knot of your tie, and it gives a slightly disheveled yet polished appearance to your finished look.

The below look does not have a dimple…but it still looks great.


Such a fun week ahead…and a Critical Weekend!!  Can’t wait!

Song of the Week…Peace of Mind, by Boston…and a shout out to my 2 favorite Bostonians…Cathy and Mark!!

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And that she did!  Peace out!!















15 Things Every Man Should Have

3 Mar


Thank you Tom Ford!  

MANic Monday…and Mr. Mayor, this one’s for you! I can’t help myself, so I have comments on each.  I’m nothing, if not, consistent.  You gotta love that about me. 😉


1.  Sense of Humor – Must Have.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it!


2.  Well read – again, even a wicked sense of humor can be overshadowed by someone not “well read”…Bad grammar and bad spelling, well, let’s not even go there.


3.  A sport you love or are good at.  Not sure he has to actually “play” the sport, but a love of sports, is a good…make that a Great quality to possess.  A love of football, is an  even better quality to possess.  Go Bears!


4.  Tweezers – yeah… no need to sport a uni-brow.  This is easy to do, if you feel you cannot, ask your barber.  Or you wife.  Or your girlfriend…


5.  A good cologne.  Grey Flannel.  Still makes my knees weak, and have loved it since the 80’s!  I even have Paddy wearing it.  Kevin, didn’t have a choice. 🙂   And another shout-out to my brother, Mr. Mayor, who started wearing this in college.

Grey Flannel2

6. A good dark suit.  Nothing better.  Nothing.  Make sure it fits well.



7.  Classic pair of black lace up shoes.  Shoes make the man.


8.  A smart blazer.  I personally prefer the dark suit, but a beautiful blazer is also very nice.


9. Dark denim jeans.  Yes!  Leave the boyfriend jeans, to the gals…like me!


10.  Lots of crisp white shirts.  Hey…I just blogged about white shirts.  Mainly for the gals, but I did feather some in for the guys!



11.  New socks and underwear.  Again, a resounding yes!  Same goes for the gals…at least as far as underwear goes.  I rarely wear socks, unless absolutely necessary.  And I don’t find it necessary to post a picture of men’s underwear.  Boxers over briefs, btw.  But boxer briefs, do have merit.


12.  A classic tuxedo.  Two words.  George Clooney.  🙂  Missed seeing him at the Academy Awards, last evening.  On TV, of course, since I wasn’t there.  Sadly.


13.  A beautiful day watch with a metal band… I’d edit this to a beautiful watch.  I gave Kevin a Rolex for our 10-year anniversary…and I think it looks dated… I’d love him to sport a classic, round-face watch, with a black band.  But he can keep the original Rolex.


14.  A great pair of sunglasses.  Stick with the classics like, aviators or Ray-bans…none of those obnoxious, neon-colored lenses, or ridiculous flashy sunglasses, screaming a designer name or worse yet, the name of a car.    Those…are ridiculous.  Go classic…you can never go wrong!


15.  Perfect teeth… In this day and age, if you don’t have perfect teeth, you are in the minority.  It’s a good idea to use whitening strips while you are at it.  Bradley Cooper…the new George Clooney…well, almost!


Song of the Day:  I Saw the Light by Todd Rungren.  In honor of American Hustle, a movie I have yet to see, but know the soundtrack rocks!

A few comments regarding the Academy Awards

1.  Ellen Degeneres Rocked it.  Absolutely nailed it.  Just love her!

2.  Lupita Nyong’o was, in my opinion, the best dressed.  And I didn’t mind the headband.  Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Hudson, Cate Blanchett, and Amy Adams round out the top 5.  This is afterall, partially a “fashion-blog”, so needed to get my opinion out there.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

3.  Matthew Mcconaughey gave a very heartfelt speech, thanking God, his father and family…then it went a bit “out there”… You can take the man away from the bongo’s, but not always the bongo’s away from the man.  My goodness.

4.  Kim Novak.  Yikes.  Best tweet of the night:  Andrew Rossi ‏@AndrewRossi  11h  Oscar producer 1: “Should we meet Kim Novack face-to-face to confirm she looks normal and is lucid?” Oscar producer 2: ABSOLUTELY NOT.  That…was awkward.  And yes, she’s 81, but it was still awkward.

5.  How in the world could John Travolta, butcher the name of Idina Menzel, since hers was the only name he needed to pronounce.  One word.  Rehearsal.  Two Words.  Show up.

6.  Not sure botox and plastic surgery always turn out well.  Just sayin’.

7.  I had more fun tweeting, re-tweeting (yes, retweeted the Ellen selfie, and participated in History) and laughing at everyone’s Facebook rants.  And how about Lupita’s brother, just jumping into this pic?  Guessing this will be his new FB profile pic.


7.  And second best tweet…It just wasn’t Liza Minnelli’s night (in the blue in the back).  This is the back angle of Ellen’s selfie.


Coming up in Friday’s blog…Things I know.  World’s shortest blog ever. 😉



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Thank you Mark B, Noel, Jason and Mark D…for letting me be “that one girl”. Love you boys! xoxo





This, happens to be true.

Let’s Hear it for the Boys!

6 May


MANic Monday…I feel I’ve been neglecting the men, and haven’t been as loyal to the MANic Monday blogs as I should.  I’m trying to rectify that, and shall be back on track on the first Monday of the month, as well as feathering in some more male-oriented blogs.  While the blog that used to get the most amount of views, “Jay Cutler Needs a Life Coach” is currently hovering around 13,000 views…the blog that has skyrocketed past that is now “The Truth About Sport Coats”…at over 55K views.  Quite telling.  So, as I’m an equal opportunity blogger, and since I just published All things Stylish (for the Gals)…I present to you, All things Stylish …for the boys!

And…no need to print out the entire blog, as it will use many color cartridges.  You can right-click and save to your computer and print only the items that pertain to you.  Always thinking of others, and saving the environment. 🙂

Collars and Cuffs

Men's guide to Collars, Cuffs and Suits


Rolling your dress shirt sleeves


The Perfect Modern Suit

The perfect modern suit

The Difference is in the Details


The Guide to Men’s Suit Tailoring


Guide to Shoes

Gentlemen's Guide to Shoes

Outerwear Guide

Outerwear Guide



Black or Brown

black or brown

Best way to hang your trousers




Style 101 Tips



Wing Tips and Color


The Parts of the Shoe


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Tie me Up!…How to Tie a Tie…and Choose a Tie


Pocket Squares



And for those men who still wear a bow tie…and not only during Prom or when standing up at a wedding.

How to tie a bow tie

What jeans are best for your body type

Men's body type vs jean cut

Buttoning your Jacket


Boxers or Briefs?


The Future is brighter…


Basics for the Young Gents


How to wear a suit


Guide to Pants


Dressing for your skin tone


Reasons men shave


All things Fitness


Men’s Looks I Love.  Love.  Love.















This is Patrick, rocking it in J. Hilburn…at my brother’s house!

My goodness…I had sooooooo much fun putting this together…and all to “shore up my male fan base (thanks Bruce).

OK, my new song obsession for the week:  “Dont you Worry ‘Bout a Thing” by Stevie Wonder…from the soundtrack of Silver Lining Playbook.  If you have not seen that movie, you are missing out, big time.  I’ve seen it on the big screen, and just watched it again this weekend with Meredith.  Loved it more the second time around.

Coming this week…a Mother’s Day blog!

Check out my newest venture:




fashion guru

fashionable waists


I'm not arguing


Are We Well Suited?

4 Sep

Yes, I’ve posted this saying many times before.  I like to think of it as driving my point. 🙂

Men’s Suits…love, love, love them…and love men in Suits.  What can “kill” the look of a man in a suit, is when the suit happens to be “poorly fitting”.  A great tailor can right this wrong. And yes, when your weight happens to fluctuate 20-30 LBs, that shows on your clothes (as it does for both men and women, and sadly I know this first hand).  If you start off with a great fitting suit from the get go, a tailor can do just a few adjustments to keep you looking sharp! 🙂

Here are 7 ways to see if your suit fits

1. Shoulder pads end with your shoulders.

2. Your flat hand should slip easily into your suit under the lapels when the top (or middle) button is fastened. If you put a fist in, the suit should pull at the button.

3. The top button of a two-button suit — or the middle button of a three-button suit — should not fall below your navel.

4. With your arms at your sides, your knuckles should be even with the bottom of your jacket.

5. Jacket sleeves should fall where the base of your thumb meets your wrist.

6. Between a quarter and a half-inch of shirt cuff should be visible.

7. One inch of break.

Source:  Esquire Magazine

Are you well suited?

The Perfect Suit for the Modern Man

Lastly…a quick a rule, suits should be subtle in their patterns. If you can make out a pattern from more than ten feet away, it may be too bold. It is appropriate to wear suits with or without ties. When not wearing a tie, make bolder choices with your shirts. You do not want to look like you simply took off your tie. It is perfectly fine to wear a patterned suit with a pattern shirt and tie, just be sure the shirt is subtle (whether striped or checked).

And here is a preview of what Fall has to offer for Ties:

Men’s Suits…most certainly suits any man!



And yes, it’s not Monday, but I still think this is one of the funniest ecards around!

Tie me Up

2 Jul

And no, this is not an homage to Fifty Shades of Grey…:) I know my friends, and know they will mention this.  As I always say, “there’s an elephant in the room…it needs to be addressed”.  And yes, I read all 3 of those books in less than 2 weeks, as referenced in previous blog. 🙂

During the week at my house, it’s typically just Patrick and I, as Mer Mer is at IU, and Kevin is in San Francisco.  So, when Patrick needs to wear a tie, when they have home games for Lacrosse, and needs a bit o’help, it falls on my shoulders.  Kevin has never required help tying his tie (one of the benefits marrying a much older man 🙂 ), so I truly didn’t have much experience doing so.    I thought, perhaps others are also in my shoes, so wanted to share some of the Tie Tips I’ve found.

How to Tie a Tie

How to Tie a Half-Windsor Knot

And for those who need even more guidance, here’s a YouTube video…chosen based on # views, and for a Standard Windsor knot…which seems to be the knot of choice!

Bow Ties! – a very basic illustration on how to tie a bow tie!

How to wear a tie clip – Now that we have the windsor knot  down Pat (pun intended)…we needed to address the Tie Clip!    Patrick indicated he wanted to wear a tie clip, with his perfectly knotted tie.    I suggested he wear it on the smaller part, so as not to be seen (like Kevin does), but he said, “no Mom, it has a design, I wear it so people can see it”.  And he’s right.  Note to Kevin (sadly, he won’t see this as he is not a follower of this blog).

Some rules regarding wearing a Tie Clip

• “We see guys wearing their tie bar too high or too low all the time. The rule is simple: It goes between the third and fourth buttons of your dress shirt”.

• “It may sound obvious, but a tie bar doesn’t just clip the front end of your tie to the back-end. It fastens both ends to the placket of your shirt.”

• “Finally, never wear a tie bar that’s wider than your tie. That’s the worst! Keep things narrow.”

Tie Tacks – an ornamented pin with a receiving button or clasp that is used to attach the two parts of a necktie together or to attach a necktie to a shirt.  I’ll be brief re: these…because you have to push the pin through the tie to make it stay, I’m not a fan.  Why would one put a hole in a silk tie?  Exactly!  So, no tie tac.  This picture is of a ladybug tie tack.  Hmmm.

I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll continue to mention this…Men – If you do not have a pink tie in your repertoire of ties, You are Missing the Style Boat!

Other Fabulous Ties

Keeping it in Proportion

Knowing how to tie a tie is one thing, knowing which knot to wear with a particular collar is another!  Our friends at J. Hilburn, have developed a helpful guide to take the mystery out of this question all men must have!  This is available in a handy pdf, which you can download right here:

Happy MANic Monday, and a very Happy 4th of July week!!



Professional Image Guidelines for Men

4 Jun

Dress for the job you want…not the job you have!  I’ve always heard that advice, and like to think I’ve lived that advice.  When I graduated from college, everyone, men and women, wore suits to work.  Women could wear pants suits, but we still wore suits.  Now, it seems anything goes.  Dressing appropriately for work, almost seems to be a lost art.  What exactly are Professional Image Guidelines for Men at the office?  This will apply more for Men who actually work in an office where there Are Professional guidelines, as opposed to men who can get away with shorts and flip-flops.  And yes, those offices do exist..don’t ask me how I know this. 🙂



The shirt sleeve cuff should be loose and extend to the end of your wrist.
If your shirt has a button on the sleeve above the cuff, button it.

No wrinkles in collar, cuffs or facing

Collar loose enough for one finger to fit in neckline

Collar of shirt stands one-fourth to one-half inches above collar of suit

Sleeve extends one-eighth to one-fourth inches below the jacket

No short sleeves with suit jackets


A classic “Straight” collar is appropriate for all suits. It is traditional and conservative.

The “Tab” or “Pin” collars are other traditional shirts. They are both neat and formal.

The “Button-Down” collar is the most casual of all business shirts and looks fine without a tie.  Also looks “collegiate”.

“Banded” and “Mock” collars are nice alternatives to a traditional collared shirt when a tie isn’t required. Select this style in dressy fabrics, such as silk, for an evening appropriate “smart casual” event.


The smaller the pattern and the darker the tie, the more authoritative the look.  Pattern small to medium is optimal.

The point of your tie should lay over your belt buckle.

With the width matched to lapel width

I will continue to post pictures of Pink ties to drive through my point that Every man needs to have a pink tie! 😉


When buttoning the jacket of a three button suit, fasten the top two buttons.

A double-breasted suit should always be buttoned when standing.

The cuff of your shirt should extend about a half-inch beyond a jacket sleeve.

Does not wrinkle across the back

Length must cover buttocks–measure from collar seam to floor and divide it in half for length

Collar lies flat against the shirt


Fit is everything. Too big or too tight throws off the balance of your overall image.

Pant hems should clear the shoe heel, but rest on the front of the shoe, creating a slight break.

Pockets remain flat, no bulging

Pants must be well-pressed



Dark socks such as navy, black or brown are best.
Over-the-calf socks are much better than shorter styles.

Color blends with pants and shoes

Subtle patterns that resemble solid from a distance

Argyle’s are for business causal only

Going without socks is never appropriate in a business setting.  I repeat…Going without socks is Never appropriate in a business setting!  Again, do Not ask me how I know this. 😉


The below photo is a Fashion DON’T, btw


Best shoes for business are wing-tips, Oxford’s and dress loafers. Wear wing-tips with traditional suits — Oxford’s and dress loafers with more casual looks.
For many men, shoes are an afterthought, but cheap or uncared for shoes can ruin an otherwise polished appearance.  Flip Flops are not considered appropriate for business…nor are Converse or Mandals.   And nor should one wear slippers in the office. 🙂

Highly polished (if leather)

Oxfords and suede must be cleaned

The best quality you can afford

Dark color: black, cordovan or brown

Thin or medium soles

Tie or slip-on and tassel loafers for suits and sport coats

Penny loafers or loafers with low vamp for business casual  only

Avoid  boots


An all-weather (i.e.trench) coat and a well-maintained briefcase/tote are essential finishing pieces for most business outfits. Select a good quality trench coat with a zip-out liner so you can wear it year ‘round. You are often wearing a coat when you meet someone for the first time. Make sure this is one of the best items in your wardrobe.  And don’t worry about looking too James Bond…And as far as a briefcase/tote goes, backpacks are great for going to and from the office, but for a business appointment, one should have a nice attaché.

imageserver (1)



Make it the best quality you can afford

Leather only, hard or soft

No molded plastic or metal

Discreet combination lock


Short and clean hair; should not touch shirt collar

Hair in nose and ears are trimmed

Avoid excessive gels and lotions

Avoid facial ornaments

Avoid heavy fragrance

Clothes are clean and well-pressed

There are no buttons missing or falling hems

Nothing is torn, stained, or discolored



No bracelets, chains or fancy rings

No earrings

No heavy sport watches or calculators

Simple and elegant are best choices

Gold , silver or leather strap for watch

Cuff links simple, small size; no fancy or clear stones for daytime

Silver-toned cuff links with silver watch; gold toned with gold watch


Other Accessories

Pocket square that complements tie, never identical to it

No tinted glasses

Braces in neutral color, or to complement tie, jacket or shirt

No clip-on suspenders for business

Never wear braces with belt

Simple, classic leather belt design

No large or ornate belt buckles

Belt color matches shoes

Belt  must be in good condition


fitted clothes


And this blog is dedicated to my brother Mark, whom I have always felt is the Best-Dressed man I know…and that goes all the way back to my childhood…and this is in no way a ploy to suck up to him, as he has mentioned, at times, he finds my blog “boring”…when it has to do with girl stuff, rather than Man stuff. 🙂

This man below, personifies, Perfection…as far as dressing.


Be Happy and Be Well.



The Truth about Sport Coats (not that we were ever lying)

2 Apr

Sport coats are where the well dressed man really distinguishes himself from the pedestrian  dresser”. 

It’s MANic Monday!  And today, it’s All about Sportcoats…and later this week it will be All about Peeps!

Every man can wear a sport coat, but many are unsure what to wear it with.  Can they pair it with slacks, jeans, golf shirt, turtleneck?  What kind of print works?  Tweed, Paisley, Hounds tooth?  Must they wear a tie with it?  Like most fashion “rules”…there are no rules.  Wear what you like, and what you feel looks good…Of course, Using guidelines is always a smart move, if you have No idea what you like or what looks good on you.

Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn.  Gore Vidal

Some Basic Rules…aka Guidelines, for wearing Sport Coats

* Using the blue blazer as the “corner piece”, the wardrobe should contain as many soft earth tones, tans and blues as possible.

* Classic colors like navy blue or black add a more formal appearance to your outfit.

* Colors like tan and white make your outfit more casual.

* Sport coats can be paired with almost any type of pants. Wool trousers, denim jeans, and khakis are just some of the possibilities that can be expertly paired with a sport coat.

* When matching trousers, black should be reserved for only gray sport coats.  After that, use your darker trousers such as browns, grays and navy for your professional wear and the lighter colors such as tan and pearl gray for your more social occasions.

* Pair a light-colored sports coat with dark trousers, such as a patterned tan sports jacket with denim jeans, or a light brown camel coat with dark brown or navy slacks.

The same basic guidelines for shirts and ties with a suit apply to the sports coat, but you can get a little bolder in your selection.

Here are a few Cliff Notes:

*  Keep Patterns small and muted.  This is a safe rule.

*  Bold patterns only after 6 P.M. – I warn against loud, Hawaiian prints.  Ever.

* Sport coats have 2 or 3 buttons.   Only button the Top button when there are 2 buttons, and button the Top 2 buttons on a 3-buttoned sport coat.  When you button all the buttons, it tends to look too constricting.   And please buy a size which can be buttoned.

Stock your closet with a selection of sports coats that are appropriate for different occasions. Choose a patterned jacket and a solid color and then pair them with different types of pants, such as cotton twill, polyester, wool, denim or corduroy to dress the jackets up or down.   Match darker jackets and lighter pants, such as a velvet navy coat with light gray pants or a dark brown sports coat with light khaki pants.  Not sure I know many men, however, who can pull off the Velvet navy coat!

The Navy Blazer

*  Navy Blazer – The true cornerstone.  Comes with brown or metal buttons…When angling towards the shiny, bright, brass buttons…Think Thurston Howell, III…may Not be the look you are hoping for.  But, if you like brass buttons on your Navy blazer or sport coat and not brown or tan buttons, go for it.

This is Perfection!

• Subtle – again, not loud.  Not too bold.   Fabulously subtle.


Light weight wools and silk and wool blend work nicely.  Also include your cotton and linen blends for a sophisticated look on a warm summer day.  When selecting shirts and ties, always complement the Main color in the coat



Wool and cashmere are great Fall fabrics.  Herringbone and Hounds tooth patterns work well in fall weights and should be treated as solids.


The right shirt (J. Hilburn, of course), accessories and footwear can pull your sports coat and trousers together. Take the time to experiment with colors and styles of ties, shirts, belts and shoes to find a look you find pleasing. (

Men’s fashion “rules” and guidelines are sooooo easy…Men can Always look fantastic!!
And speaking of rules…I found this little nugget, and just had to share, as it’s humorous (and I like humor) well-written ( as I sometimes believe I can pull off), and quite tongue in cheek…And since I’m not all about Rules of Dress, but have specific ideas of what I like, I enjoy what this gentleman, make that young gentleman finds appropriate.  (Courtesy of
Rules of Men’s Dress

All style is relative. Some people will disagree with what this blog dictates is good style, and this blog would most likely disagree with them on what they think is good style. As you can imagine, this results in a situation in which there is no single list of men’s dress rules that are comprehensive and absolute. The following are a set of rules that The Fine Young Gentleman stands by. There are some rules that are immutable, such as the one that a man should match the metal of the bit on his loafer with the buckle on his belt with the metal on his suspenders with the buttons on his blazer with the metal of his cufflinks. Then there are some rules that have exceptions, such as the rule that a man’s socks should match the color of his pants. The Fine Young Gentleman’s rules are derived from a variety of sources including tradition, classic rules of men’s dress, common sense and personal taste.

1. Thou shall match the metal of the bit on his loafers, belt buckle, suspenders, blazer buttons and cufflinks.

2. Thou need not match the metal on his watch with the other metals he is wearing, however, it is preferable.

3. Thou can wear black shoes with a navy suit/pants.

4. Thou shall only wear black, brown or oxblood (burgundy) leather shoes for business dress. The only exceptions allowed are white bucks. Blue, green or any other colored shoes are inappropriate.

5. White bucks are badass…just like the Honey Badger. 🙂

6. Thou shall match the color of his socks with the color of his pants. As an exception, socks can be matched to something worn above the waist such as a man’s shirt, tie, pocket square or suspenders (braces in the UK).

7. Thou shall match the color of his belt to that of his shoes. This holds true in all situations except when wearing white bucks.

8. Thou need not match the leather on his watchband with that of his shoes and belt, however, it is preferable.

9. Thou shall wear a belt when wearing pants with belt loops.

10. Thou shall never, ever, ever use their belt to hold accessories like beepers, phones, Blackberrys, ID tags and/or keys.

11. If pants do not have belt loops they should have side tabs and/or buttons for use with suspenders (braces).

12. Thou shall never wear a tie and pocket square of the same pattern. The sports commentators who do so look like fools.

13. Thou shall not wear a French cuff (double cuff) shirt without a jacket.

14. Thou shall always doubt salespeople and in-store tailors opinions on fashion, style and fit. The stores they work for pay them, not you. Their motives are to sell products to who will buy them, not necessarily to who will look best in them.

15. Thou shall not wear slip on shoes with a suit. In fact, they should be avoided.

16. Thou can wear loafers with a suit, however, this is mostly practiced in America.

17. Loafers are badass, especially those with bits or tassels.

18. Thou shall not wear flat toe/square toe shoes. They should be avoided like the plague. They are cancerous to a man’s wardrobe. They are aesthetically offensive. Their sole purpose lies in showing men what not to wear. Money spent on these would have been better spent on Enron stock circa June 2000.

19. Thou shall only wear patent leather shoes for black tie (semi-formal) and white-tie (formal) occasions. Patent leather is never acceptable to be worn in a dress or causal setting.

20. Thou shall never wear a long necktie for a semi-formal (black tie) affair, even if that tie is solid black.

21. Thou can wear brown suede shoes for business dress. They are elegant and gentlemanly.

22. Brown suede shoes are badass.

23. Thou shall not wear Chesterfield coats, which are typically signified by a velvet collar, with anything of less formality than a suit. They should not be worn with business casual attire.

24. Thou shall not wear a tie without a jacket. If done so, he will run the risk of looking like a waiter at TGI Fridays.

25. Thou shall not wear suspenders (braces) without a jacket. Sorry hipsters.

26. Thou shall only wear suspenders (braces) that utilize buttons, not clips. Again, sorry hipsters.

27. Thou shall not wear a crew neck undershirt when the top button of a shirt is left unbuttoned. When leaving the top button unbuttoned thou shall wear a v-neck undershirt as The Dude does. The Dude abides.

28. Thou can wear brown suits for business dress.

29. Thou shall only wear shirts with white collars and white cuffs with a jacket. These shirts should not be part of a business casual wardrobe.

30. Thou shall leave the bottom button of vest (waistcoat) unbuttoned. Except when wearing a double-breasted or flat-bottomed vest, in which case the bottom button should remain buttoned.

31. Thou should iron the collar of a shirt before wearing it. Creased collars caused by dry cleaning and hanging do not follow the natural circularity of one’s neck.

32. Thou shall utilize a pocket square when wearing a jacket.

33. Pocket squares are underrated, underutilized and most importantly they are badass.

34. Thou shall not wear a back pack/book bag when in business dress, especially when in a suit. Book bags are reserved for casual wear and students.

35. Thou shall not wear a shirt with any type of logo on it in a business setting, including when in business casual dress. These shirts should be reserved for casual wear.

36. Thou shall wear a tie bar at a slant, not horizontal.

37. Off color shirts with a white-collar should have French (double) cuffs, regardless of whether of not the cuffs are white or the same color or pattern as the shirt.

38. Life is more fun in a tuxedo (dinner jacket).

39. Thou shall never button all three buttons of a three button jacket. Sometimes the top, always the middle and never ever ever the bottom.

40. Thou shall wear over the calf socks as opposed to crew socks whenever possible. For they are far superior in both form and function.

41. Thou shall not wear a solid black suit for business or professional activities. Save it for formal events and funerals.

42. Style is a state of mind.

And yes, I believe he used the term “badass” three times.  I find this hilarious…but many of the rules/guidelines are right on.

Song of the Day:  Suit and Tie, by Justin Timberlake



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In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.  Thomas Jefferson