All Things Green: Working with the color Green

Green Fabric

Late last year, we were overwhelmed when Pantone announced The Color of the Year for 2013. We were actually pretty stoked that they picked a “darker” color this time- at least compared to the last four Colors of the Year. Imagine in 2009, they chose Mimosa from the yellow family; in 2010 they picked Turquoise; in 2011 Honeysuckle; and in 2012 Tangerine Tango. Those colors can be a bit daring for the conservative menswear industry.

At first we thought: “This is our time!!”, “Finally, a darker color!”, “A man’s color this time…” Then again we thought about it and realized, hey, Emerald green can be quite difficult to pull off! Actually all things green is difficult to carry out in men’s wardrobe.

So we searched and waited. We waited for signs that green can be a staple in men’s wardrobe. Until we found this:

Gosling and Pattinson in Green Suits

The more important question is who wore it better?

We’re having doubts if you can consider these as ‘signs’ because they’re freaking Hollywood celebrities for chrissake! Truth be told, there’s a notion that the color green can only be limited to accessories and sportswear for the Average Joe. Some see greens in menswear as tacky, clownish, greedy or villainous.

Joker

Y so srs?

Draco Malfoy

“Filthy mudbloods!”

But we are not Average Joes. In this competitive world, we must act and think outside the box. We’re supposed to be a cut above the rest. After almost half a year of contemplating the values of green in menswear, we realized there’s more to greens than clowns, villains, accessories and sportswear.

According to psychologists, green is a color of growth and vitality, associated with new life and renewal. It is associated with balance and harmony of the mind, body and emotions. It also helps in decision making by clearing and relaxing the mind.

In business, it represents self-reliance, reliability and dependability. If your favourite color is green, you can be a family oriented guy or a nature lover. Most people would agree that green is a color of prosperity and abundance in finance and material wealth.    The right shade of green can be a symbol of sophistication and educational attainment.

So let’s play with the color green shall we?

Green Overcoat & Fedora

Green is not tacky at all! This guy has the guts for wearing a DB-overcoat with a fedora hat. Usually this ensemble screams “Inspector Gadget” but the color made it work.

Green Tie on Green Shirt

The dash of gray on this one tones down the green stripes on his shirt and the emerald polka-dotted tie.

Green Knit Tie

If you thought that you cannot mix blue with green, think again. The detail of the colors in his outfit is really rich. The brown button complements the navy and green knit tie.

Green Slim Blazer

Who will not fall in love with this green blazer! We’re not sure if it is suede or cotton but we sure do love the color!

Gold Rolex with Green Dial

Check out this Gold Rolex watch with a green face. As we said, the color green is perfect for accessories.

Green Sweater with Navy Blue Jacket

The green sweater is just right with this dark navy blazer. Notch it up a bit with that cool pocket square.  It’s perfect for Fall/Autumn.

Green Penny Loafers

Penny Loafers are coming back this season. Green leather will make your outfit interesting! Make sure to put some pennies on the slits for good luck!

Green Jacket with Choco Brown Pants

Earth tones are really good for your wardrobe. Check out this green blazer matched with white pocket square, and chocolate brown pants. Don’t worry, you will not look like a tree!

Green Coat on Brown Suit

Try incorporating greens in your wardrobe. A man should not be limited with blacks, browns, and blues! Colors will do wonders in your outfit. Be confident and sport some greens!

The Dynamic Duo: Monks and Double Breasted Suit

The Wonder Duo

There are things in life that are just perfect for each other: coffee and pastries, peanut butter and jelly, red wine with steak. Some are just not complete without the other. In sports we have Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, in comic books we have Batman and Robin, in movies we have Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, and in music we have Jay-z and Beyonce. Wonder duos are everywhere, even in fashion.

There is no other way of wearing a double-breasted suit than with a monk-strap shoe. Of course there’s no concrete rule to wear one with the other. You can pair a black wingtip with a blue double-breasted but it just does not feel right. If you’re brave enough to wear a double-breasted suit, notch it up a bit by wearing a monk-strap.

The Suit

Men shy away from the double breasted suit, at least for the last decade. Well, we can’t blame some of us guys, the double-breasted suit is reminiscent of the dark age of menswear that is the 90s. Can you remember those loose blazers with huge shoulder pads? We may be forever scarred for life, but let’s give the double-breast a chance.

As early as 2011, the movers and shakers of menswear have been reviving the double-breast fever, minus the mistakes of the olden times.

Double Breasted by Banana Republic

Double-breasted suit by Banana Republic 2011 via Esquire

Dunhill 2011 Esquire

Dunhill 2011, via Esquire

Lanvin, Spring

Lanvin, Spring 2011

The double breasted suit is back and it’s here to stay. It took a little time for it to grow on us. Here are some pics so you guys can appreciate it more:

Dapper Men

Dapper Men

Navy Double Breasted

Navy is such a classic take on a double-breasted suit.

Light Blue Double Breasted

Gutsy dapper man. The light fabric is perfect for an afternoon lunch out.

Casual Double Breasted

That double breasted suit does wonders to his outfit

Esquire Double Breast

So sharp!

John Legend Double Breasted

One of the most stylish men of music, John Legend wearing polka on a DB suit

Ryan Gosling Double Breasted

Of course, Ryan Gosling.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Double Breasted

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a DB. What a dapper.

The Shoe

Monk Shoes

The monk strap is the significant other of the DB suit. They’re just perfect for each other. Monks are type of shoes designed like an oxford but with a strap closure across the instep rather than a lace up front closure. In recent years, monks were overshadowed by their more popular cousins, the oxfords. Nonetheless, Monks are great addition to your wardrobe. I mean, can you resist these sexy shoes?

Unstrapped Double Strapped Monk

When speaking of double-straps, some prefer not fastening the upper strap. It adds to the style.

Single Strap Monks

You can pair monks with jeans!

Double Monks Brown

Grey on dark brown monks takes casual to a whole new level.

Double Monk Light Brown

Monks look best in dark brown…

Reddish Monks

…but it goes well in other colors too!

Now here are the wonder duos in action:

Double Breast with Double Monks Double Breast with Double Monks 2 Double Breast with Double Monks 3

Once you appreciate the double-breasted suit, you will never see a common single-breasted suit in the same way. The double-breasted suit is edgier and sharper than an ordinary suit. Now that it’s back, try wearing one in the office. We’re sure you’re going to turn some heads.

Your Second Skin: A Modern Man’s Guide to Shirt Fit

Taylor Lautner in GQ

Nothing looks as good as a guy in a well-tailored shirt. You may not have the body of a god, but wearing a well-fitted shirt is the next best thing. Proper fitting is the most important aspect of style. You can have the luxury of buying branded and expensive shirts, but it all goes down the drain if it’s too big or too small for your comfort.

thisfellow.com

thisfellow.com

There are certain rules to be followed in a well-fitted shirt. If you want to alter a specific shirt, you can’t just go to your tailor and demand something to be done. The proper thing to do is to consult him on the right measurements. After all, he’s the professional. Nonetheless, we know for a fact that not everyone has time for that. Here are some sizing rules of thumb when purchasing a shirt.

Neck and Collar

2 Finger Rule

When it comes to the basic measurements, you should be able to insert two of your fingers in your collar when the top button is fastened. The style of the collar should be appropriate for the one who wears it and the event on which it is worn. When considering the body type, men with longer necks are advised to pick high collars while men with full necks should wear lower collars.

Fit of sleeves and cuff

Sleeve Length

The length of the sleeves is measured from the center of the back yoke to the end of the cuff. Cuffs should fit closely while leaving room for movement. Here you have the liberty to pick a slightly longer sleeve. You may not sense it, but shirts usually shrink vertically.

Proper Cuffs

When closed, cuff should end at the base of your thumb where your arm and hand meet. Always consider that at least 1 cm of the cuff ends should be visible underneath a suit sleeve.

Body and Shoulders

Proper Fit

Almost half-a-decade ago, you wouldn’t find any tapered shirt in the menswear department of your local stores. Today, we are lucky for having a wide array of choices. There are 3 options to consider when choosing a shirt in so far as body fit is concerned: the classic, the slim and the contemporary. The classic is the default measurement worn by our ancestors. It is traditional, a bit loose, and ideal on almost all sorts of body shape. The slim is a very modern fit silhouetting the body. It looks good on dudes who have a medium to athletic build. The contemporary fit is the best of both worlds. It is fitted at the waist, but not as tight as the slim fit. The safest way to go is the contemporary fit.

The fit on your shoulder is very basic. Make sure that the armhole’s seam fall at the edge of your shoulder.

Tucked-in Zone

Zack Gordon in White House Down Premiere

Zack Gordon should have at least tucked his shirt. Taken from the premiere of White House Down

Never tuck a shirt meant to be un-tucked and vice-versa. If the shirt’s length is longer than your fly, it’s meant to be tucked. Another way of knowing is by checking where the spare buttons of your shirt are stitched. If it is located at the side of your shirt (right above the hem gusset), it’s meant to be un-tucked. If it is at the bottom of your button packet, then it is meant to be tucked in.

Knowing how to pick a well-fitted shirt says a lot about a person. It means he knows what he wants and gets it. It means he knows and understands himself. We all have different body types but the clothes should fit the man and not the other way around. Otherwise, the clothes wear you instead of you wearing the clothes.

Should Men Wear Paisley? Yes!

Paisley Pattern

Let’s face it, not all man can handle paisley. It’s one of those things that either create or destroy a man’s image. You need the guts, the balls, and all the courage in this world to effectively sport one. Indeed, only the boldest men can give credence to this wonderful print called paisley.

Paisley Outfit

Can you handle it?

Paisley’s roots can be traced all the way from India’s boteh patterns. Boteh is a Persian word meaning bush or shrub. It may also connote palm leaf, cluster of leaves (thus the repeated pattern) and flower bud.

Boteh

Here’s the usual boteh pattern from India

Today, it can be associated with those intricate patterns resembling a tear drop or a Kidney. The term “paisley” is derived from a town in Scotland where a large amount of it were produced in the 1800s.

The Beatles Paisley Everywhere

Paisleys overload!

By the 1960s the paisley print became the hottest pattern in every man’s wardrobe. Paisley became synonymous with the late 60s and 70s. The Beatles’ helped a lot in its resurgence in the popular scene.

Why scared? Is it because it is associated with the 70s and everything in it can be tacky? Well, it depends.

The hard and fast rule when wearing paisley is to mute everything else that comes with it. If you’re quite a beginner in wearing one, try to keep it at its minimum. Limit the pattern to small pieces of clothing like your tie, your pocket square or your socks.

Paisley Suit

Paisleys on suits can look good on this model, but leave it to the professionals. Keep your paisleys at a minimum

You can also check out some monochromatic paisley in ties and other garments.

Paisley Bow Tie

Bowties are cool, and it gets extra-cooler when in paisley.

Red & Blue Paisley Pocket Square

Paisley-printed pocket squares are the best!

White Paisley Tie

This tie is clean and sophisticated yet with a dash of cool paisley design

Blue Scattered Paisley Tie

Check out the scattered paisley! It looks good on anything!

Brown Paisley Tie

Some just can’t pull off this look

Paisley Pocket Square

Here’s another detail on pocket squares! It just adds a spark in the whole outfit.

Paisley Scarf & Pocket Square

Can you pull off the prints in this outfit?

Blue & Orange Paisley Tie

What we love about paisley is how it gives richness and texture to the whole outfit. Men’s wear is all about the details and adding a dash of paisley in your ensemble can give spice to it.

The Charismatic Chambray Shirt

The Incomparable Chambray

Back in 2005, the Chambray shirt was unheard of. As a matter of fact, according to Google, the only Chambray that was frequently searched back then was a certain hotel in France named Chambray-lès-Tours. By 2009, the Chambray fever boomed when fashion bloggers started sporting them. The trend gained so much momentum that by 2013 it surpassed the Chambray-lès-Tours keyword.

Keyword Comparison for Chambray

“Chambray Shirt” is in blue while “Chambray les tours” is in red. By 2012 their keyword searches went head-to-head.

What is chambray and why the sudden resurrection?

Chambray Fabric

It is a lightweight fabric, usually made of cotton that is plain weaved. Being thin and fine, it is perfect for summer and spring where the temperature is higher. Chambray is actually the type of material used to make the shirt. Just like the khaki, it is the textile fabric not a piece of clothing. There seems to be a wrong connotation that a chambray shirt is the knock-off version of denim. It’s more than that.

Kanye West Wearing Chambray Shirt with Denim

Kanye West wearing Chambray on denim.

Chambray and denim are often confused with one another. Both are usually colored blue and one may not distinguish the other with just a single glance. By touching them, however, you will realize that Chambray is the lighter of these two materials. Denim is usually used on pants, shorts and jackets while the chambray is often used on shirts and other accessories like ties and hats. The material can even be used on shoes.

Red Chambray Tie

Red Chambray Tie

Chambray Caps by Stussy

Chambray caps by Stussy

Chambray Kicks by Bathing Ape

Chambray Kicks by Bathing Ape

The fabric goes all the way back to the 1500s where it was used by the Elizabethans to stiffen their neck ruffs. It was also used in petticoats, curtains and wall hangings. When the availability of the fabric became prevalent, it lost its charm to the royals but became a staple in the ordinary household. Thus, the chambray shirt was widely known as a work-man’s uniform, often associated with blue-collar job workers. However, in the 50s, one style icon by the name of James Dean sported the chambray as part of his rebellious and disillusioned image.

James Dean in Chambray

James Dean in a timeless Chambray classic

Chambray shirts are low-maintenance. You can put it on without having it pressed if you want to go for that rebelled look. It is also versatile in a way that when ironed (sometimes starched), it can be worn in more formal occasions.

Formal Chambray

What a dapper!

The chambray is not limited to the color blue. It also looks good in other colors such as…

Pink Chambray Shirt

Pink;

Green Chambray Shirt

Green;

Purple Chambray Shirt

…and purple.

Heck, it even looks good with patterns.

Polka-Dotted Chambray Shirt

Pair it with Khaki’s. They’re just perfect for each other.

Chambray on Khakis

Chambray on Khakis by AdrianP

You can also pair it with white

Chambray on White

…or orange shorts.

Chambray on Orange Shorts

Via Tommy Rossi

And of course, the classic chambray on Denim is a timeless look!

Chambray on Denim

Chambray on Denim by Reinaldo Irizarry

Chambray is a good investment for your wardrobe. It is comfortable, versatile and most importantly, low-maintenance. Every guy looks good in ‘em! Give it a try.

Fashion Faux Pas: Common Suit Mistakes

Suits - Harvey Specter

Suits are considered the modern man’s second skin. And just like your own skin you want to look good in it. Indeed, a well-tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men. If you want to look good in a suit, take note of these common suit mistakes that can make or break your overall style.

Suit Mistake Convention

Is this a Suits Mistake Convention? (Credit to the owner of the photo)

Wrong Belt/Shoes Combo

Belt & Shoes

We have stressed before that when speaking about menswear, the carpets must always match the drapes. The color of your shoes must be of the same shade with your belt. There are no exceptions to this rule when it comes to formal wear. If you can’t find a good belt of the same shade with your shoes, then try donning some suspenders.

Backpacks

Backpack

If you’re always on the go, never partner your suit with a backpack. Not only does it look horrendous, but it also deforms the shoulder pads in your jacket. Hey, you don’t want to let that 20-dollar backpack ruin your 500-dollar suit!

Inappropriate Trousers

Mismatched Suit

It’s called a suit for a reason. If the jacket and the trouser are made together: they must get worn-out together and they must be disposed together. Never justify yourself that they’re both “black.” Chances are, when the camera flash hits your outfit, one is darker than the other.

Unfit and Baggy

Andre Agassi Baggy Suit

Never again…

There’s nothing more awkward than seeing a guy in an unfit and baggy suit. It’s like a child wearing his dad’s clothes. The suit should hug the body perfectly. The best way to acquire this is by going bespoke. The ready-made suits in your local department store are made for the mannequins. Your body is unique in every way so develop a good relationship with an excellent tailor.

Collar gap

Collar Gap

It shows that the suit you’re wearing is not yours.

This is one of those mistakes that once you realize, it cannot be unseen. It’s that gap the blazer’s collar and the shirt. You produce collar gaps when the jacket collar is too big for the wearer’s neck size. This happens because the blazer is from RTW or was poorly made.

Shoulder divots

Shoulder Divot

This is one fitting faux pas that you need to be aware of. These stubborn shoulder divots happen when the shoulder pads of the jacket are broader than your natural shoulder. When buying ready-to-wear, make sure that your shoulder snugs perfectly with the jacket. It can be very difficult, even for a well-experienced tailor, to alter shoulder jackets.

Button Rules

The bottom button should always be left alone. This menswear etiquette’s origin is unknown, but most experts would say that it is a tribute to King Edward VII. Legends say that King Edward VII became so plump that he can no longer fasten the last button of his waistcoat. To save the King from humiliation, everyone in his court did the same. The practice spread all over the world and became an unwritten rule among dapper men.

Buttons Unbuttoned

No matter how odd it may seem, there’s no harm in trying.

Mistakes are common and it happens to the best of us. It’s okay to commit anyone of these in your lifetime but that does not mean that you should never learn from it.

Now you know.