A Few Articles To Keep You On Point
The Full Brogue
It’s easily identifiable as one of the most classic pairs of men’s dress shoes on the market, therefore every man should own a pair. They feature a brogue pattern along the sides as well as the toe cap. Broguing is the process of including perforations or small holes around the shoe. This derived from Ireland and Scotland when the outdoorsman needed a sturdy shoe for walking through the bogg. It allowed water to pass through while walking through while on the hunt.
The classic full brogue in this patina finish is perfect for anyone looking for a modern twist on a classically elegant shoe. This particular pair can be worn with grey slacks, earth-toned chinos, and dark denim.
Upper Materials: Denim Crust Patina + Brown Crust Patina
Lining: Red Calf Leather
Sole: Blake Stitched, Natural Leather Plain Sole
Last: Monti – Classic Elegance with Slightly Square Toe
The technique used to achieve this artwork is known as ‘Anticatura’, which is the Italian word for antique finishing. It’s a specialty of Italian and French shoemakers. Entrusted to the hands of the antique finisher, the upper part of the shoe becomes a work of art. The Anticatura method is a hand dyeing procedure of leather.
*Visit our custom shoe page to design your very own*
The very first obstacle to overcome is just understanding that in order for some areas to fit well, there will be concessions in terms of fit with the others. Often times a consumer will purchase a garment which fits the chest or stomach region, but may miss a key fit elsewhere. This is quite common since suit companies will try and create generic sizes that fit as many customers as possible. And with said, let’s take a look at the two most prevalent and commonly improperly worn pieces.
A suit jacket or blazer will be the most immediate item that everyone sees. Therefore they will quickly notice the fit of the chest and stomach in your garment. Although slimmer fitting pieces are ubiquitous now, there seems to be a blurred line separating slim fit from simply too tight. In case you’re unsure, here are a few tips to keep you away from the danger zone. If the jacket pulls away from the chest or buckles mid-lapel, the chest is too small. It’s also a giveaway if your shoulders are bulging out towards the front of the jacket. Similarly, if the edge of your jacket buckles at the top of your arm, then the shoulders are too wide.
Pants are unfortunately an afterthought for most men, especially when it comes to dress pants. As I mentioned earlier, we are navigating through a period of slimmer garments and are coming across more and more gents with ill-fitting pieces. A streamlined tapered pant shows well, but it should never be too tight. So tight that you can’t sit down or fit anything in your pocket.
It’s true! You can literally increase your level of success and earned income by dressing better. How is it possible? Well think about this, what feeling do you get when you put on your best suit, dress or pair of shoes? You feel Amazing and with that comes a heightened level of self-confidence. Confidence that exudes and improves how others perceive you. Not only that, but those who are well dressed begin to think more like a CEO and can tackle more obstacles throughout the day.
There is also an onset of bigger picture thinking. Meaning, individuals are no longer as concerned with minor details that may deter from larger tasks. And studies have shown that people will rely on the opinions of those who are well dressed due to the perceived level of power they wield.
Dressing Better for More Money
Dressing well also projects competence in one’s role or ability to complete their job. With this comes increased opportunities as well as promotions. Granted, you can’t just sit on your hands looking great, you still have to perform! But those who “look” better in the workplace tend to accel further and faster.
In a 2014 Yale study, two groups of men between the ages of 18-35 were pitted against one another in mock buying & selling negotiations. Those who were well dressed (suits) ended up with a better overall profit than those who were dressed more casually (sweats & sandals). They also ended up with fewer concessions.
Overall, these psychological enhancements can fuel someone to work harder or be more assertive, which can then lead to increased production and a higher income. If you’re considering a change in your wardrobe, begin with this rule of thumb. If everyone in your office is wearing shirts and slacks, put on a blazer. If everyone is wearing a blazer, throw on a suit. If everyone is wearing a suit, rock the three-piece!
Just remember, dressing better does not necessarily make you smarter… You just might feel smarter!
Custom Suits Are Well Worth The Money!
If you have ever thought about purchasing a custom shirt or suit, here is a glimpse into the realm of bespoke garments.
As the name implies, a custom garment is made especially for you based on your body measurements. A bespoke garment is made to accommodate your particular form and posture, and can likewise account for sloped shoulders, a short torso, or very long legs. Once a custom fit is experienced, it’s almost impossible to return to an off-the-peg garment that is rarely, if ever, “just right”.
You can always find the standard blue/black/grey suit in stores; but going custom gives you the option to choose from hundreds of fabrics in different patterns, weight, and material composition.
There is a high level of craftsmanship offered with full or half-canvassed suits. They deliver an exceptional fit that drapes properly and holds very well over time. There are, however, custom tailors that are using a new-aged fused option which reduces cost but still provides an ideal drape. You can also ensure that your garments are being constructed with 100% wool as opposed to multi-blend substitutes that limit breathability and increase wrinkling.
The Unique Effect
Taking the above points into consideration, your custom tailored garment will be as individual as your own signature. Whether you prefer a peak or notch lapel, single or side vents, standard or functional cuffs; you will have the option to literally customize and build out every single detail.
The Value of Custom Suiting
Considering all of the advantages of going custom, a bespoke garment is well worth the cost. It will outlast your store-bought threads and will undoubtedly set you apart on your dapper conquest.
*Contact Brew@bespokuture.com for more info or to begin your custom journey*
What does Super 100’s Mean for Suits?
For starters, let’s breakdown the difference between the two styles of wool suits that you may run into; Worsted & Woolen. These wools are prepared in different ways resulting in a different look and feel. If you were to magnify them, worsted yarns look smooth and have long fibers, while woolen yarns are much hairier with lots of short fibers. Therefore, worsted wools are slick when woven and woolen wools end up being softer, fluffier fabrics. Woolen wools tend to be warmer because they are full of air which acts as insulation.
Origin of the ‘S’
In the 18th century, wool merchants would label their fabric as low, medium, fine and super in order to identify the level of quality. As you can imagine, this process was entirely too subjective for wool merchants in Bradford, England; so new method was created. The merchants would use a scale based on the number of hanks that could be spun out of one pond of combed wool. A “hank” is simply one strand of yarn that is approximately 560 yards long.
Fast forward to the late 60’s. The Department of Agriculture devised a grading system for wool based on fiber diameter and the standard deviation in relation to each Bradford count.
Now, Onto The Numbers
When you see suit tags that say Super 100’s or Super 140’s, the number represents the number of times the worsted wool has been twisted. Generally, the higher the number, the finer and lighter the cloth will be. The higher Super count will also mean that it has a smoother texture and appears more luxurious. This however, doesn’t mean that a Super 80’s suit is a piece of junk. The lower the S number, the “sturdier” the cloth. It is generally heavier and the texture is a bit coarser.
As you can imagine, a Super 160’s wool will feel better on the body since it is much finer; however, it won’t have as much wear because the fabric is more delicate. The higher fabric counts are considered high maintenance and are therefore worn occasionally. Although the finer counts are often more expensive, some retailers take it to the extreme and offer woven counts of Super 220 and above. Be wary of such labels.
A Super 100’s suit, whilst not as fine or smooth as a Super 160’s suit, has greater durability and is much more practical for everyday wear. This should also be considered if you are likely to be in a suit most days of the week.
The graphic below will help guide you on your next suit purchase, to ensure that you are buying based on what you need and not a gimmicky sales pitch.
** If you choose to have one custom crafted versus buying off the rack, give us a call to set an appointment – You’ll have your very own custom suit in 4-5 weeks!
Should You Wear A Belt?
That is indeed the question, but do you know how or when NOT to wear one? There are multiple options when it comes to holding up your trousers and here are some of the best option for you.
These days belts are worn for two main reasons, style and function. The style aspect consists of matching with shoes or coordinating with one’s outfit. The latter of course deals with keeping your pants from to the ground! However, what a lot of people don’t know is that some belt use can lead to unpleasant health issues. According to Russell Yang, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of gastrointestinal and liver diseases at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, a tight belt or waistband is like a tourniquet around your gut. It ultimately disrupts the flow of your digestive system.
Tight-fitting pants can also increase abdominal pressure, making it difficult for gas and food to move downward. And when stomach acid goes back up, you’re more likely to suffer heartburn and acid reflux. Additionally, a tight belt magnifies bowel discomfort and stomachaches.
What To Do If The Answer Is No
Luckily, there’s some reprieve. You can elect to not wear a belt at all, but this may take some getting used to. Your pant waist needs to fit properly and you must be okay with open belt loops. If you are wearing a jacket however, it’s much easier to pull off. The next option brings us to suspenders (braces-UK). Although their popularity dwindled post-1920, they have been making a sartorial return in the past decade. Most suspenders have clips on the end which make it easier to wear with any type of trousers, but some ready to wear or custom made pants will have buttons sewn on the waistband to accommodate ‘button-on’ suspenders.
**Just a friendly reminder – A belt should never be worn with suspenders**
If you are leaning towards custom made pants then you have the option for belt loops, no belt loops, suspender buttons, or waist adjusters (seen below). Omitting belt loops and extending the button tab provides a clean and streamlined look. It also shows that you have taken the time and money to have pants made to fit your exact size. It may feel risky at first, but the outcome is well worth the effort.
If you need help putting together the best look and fit for your body type – Give us a shout and let’s get started today!
Wardrobe Backup Plan
Steps To Prepare For Style
Have you ever purchased a suit off of the rack and realized that the shoulder padding made you look like a 1980’s wall street exec? Well here are a few pointers to help you understand the modern options that are at your fingertips.
Likewise, if you find yourself working with a custom clothier, you should be able to identify the shape that works best for your body and style.
The normal shoulder will be the most common style with roughly 1/2″ or more of padding. This delivers a slight slope and a smooth transition from shoulder to the sleeve head. This build was created to cover the masses, so most retailers will craft their jackets in such a way. Ready to wear jackets may also leave you with puckering in the back if your shoulders are not perfectly straight.
The Neapolitan shoulder is commonly known as the Naples shoulder or “spalla camicia”. It is an older method from southern Italy that has been resurrected by modern-day dandies. It is crafted with more fabric at the base of the sleeve head and is then bunched together when connecting to the armscye. There is no padding in the Neapolitan shoulder and the added space at the sleeve head allows for greater comfortability. You will only find this in tailor-made suits and is an ideal fit for gents with larger shoulders.
The casual shoulder is another relaxed option that provides a modern look. It is typically constructed with custom made jackets and allows for a natural drape and fit. There is little to no shoulder padding with this construction and it’s often found in casual blazers.
High Sleeve Head
The high sleeve head is considered more modern and is also classified as a rope shoulder. It can be identified by the well-defined ridge above the hem. This is another design crafted at the hands of highly skilled tailors, and will not be found in stores. The high sleeve head tends to be more narrow and rests just above the shoulder.
Not all suits are crafted equally, so be sure to try out a few different looks. You will find that retailers provide suits in either an American, Italian or British cut. However, going custom will give you the best option for your preferred look.
You may still be wondering as to whether or not you can wash your dress shirts at home. Despite what your dry cleaner may tell you, the “crazy” notion of taking care of your own shirts is not just a myth. If done in the right way, you could save hundreds of dollars per month per year.
Washing Your Shirts
It’s actually quite simple but it will take some patience on your part, especially if you have a ton of dress shirts. First and foremost, pay close attention to the tag to see what care instructions recommend for treatment. A quick rule of thumb is to wash dark colors in cold water and light or white colors in warm to hot water.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Separate the colors and toss them into the washer with a small dose of detergent and run a standard cycle.
2. Transfer the pieces into the dryer and select a “Delicate” or “Gentle” which will run for approximately 12-18 minutes. Essentially, you are aiming to wick away some of the moisture during the tumbling phase without completely drying out the garments.
3. Take out the shirts and immediately iron while still damp. You can also hang them up to air dry, but you will still have to deal with the wrinkles.
So that it’s! 3 easy steps to keep some money in your pocket, as long as you are willing to do the work.
*DISCLAIMER: If you hate washing clothes or ironing, or do not have the time to do either; this process is not for you!
If you’ve ever heard me talk about functional wardrobe options, I undoubtedly mentioned the three-piece suit. This selection will prominently display your modern day refinement and aesthetic prowess. Regardless of whether you are wearing a solid color or an elaborate pattern, the three-piece suit is the best way to showcase your threads.
It goes without saying that you must first get comfortable in your three-piece suit and show off its full glory. In terms of style and appropriateness, this is the dressiest of your business suiting options. You wouldn’t typically wear a three-piece suit to work unless you are the boss, or simply want to outshine them. The full three-piece look gives off a Wall Street executive vibe, so keep that in mind when preparing for your next meeting.
Not Your Average Three-Piece Suit
For a sleek and dapper look with less formality, toss the jacket aside and show off the waistcoat and pant on their own. This set can be accompanied by a tie or bowtie or none at all. You can also leave the jacket out of the equation to allow for more range of motion and better airflow.
Increase your stylish look by mixing up the jacket, waistcoat, and pant. Depending on the fabric, color, and pattern, you can play around with options to achieve a few different looks. This gives you the opportunity to incorporate more colors and textures, or simply break up the uniformity of your three-piece.
Ultimately, if you just need a strong and simple option that will fare well throughout the day, go ahead and leave the waistcoat at home. The standard two-piece is a great way for you to tone down the set.
So no matter how and when your three-piece is worn, just be sure to have one in the rotation. If you need one custom-made, we can certainly help with that.
What To Wear With A Navy Suit
I am often asked what core articles men should have available in their closets. With the assumption that casual options are already in place, I always respond with the need for a navy blue suit. Whether striped or solid, the navy suit is truly a classic garment that stands the test of time. As an added bonus, it wears well in both daytime and evening settings.
The ability to pair this ensemble with so many options make it the definitive staple suit. With that being said, I’ve included a diagram to help put together a few possibilities for your on-the-go lifestyle.
*You can easily substitute black shoes and leather accessories for the ones mentioned below.
What To Wear In Warmer Weather
Spring is upon us and you have more than likely begun preparing for all the spring weddings you will attend. The goal is to keep it light and stylish by first selecting the right fabric. The go-to suiting choice for these wondrous occasions will point you in the direction of cotton or linen.
Cotton Suiting (including seersucker)
Allows for a relaxed structured garment that looks good with or without a tie. Cotton is lightweight and breathable with a medium wrinkle factor; and if you come across a cotton suit with a bit of lycra, it will provide you with added comfort and flexibility.
Is perfect for warmer weather due to its breathability and moisture absorption properties. It is lightweight and very durable which allows for a longer lifespan if cared for properly. Be aware, however, that linen tends to wrinkle very easily.
Whether you choose a cotton or linen suit, feel free to select a 2 ply cotton or linen blended shirt. Lean more towards lighter colors for shirts, accents, and accessories to fall in line with a Springtime flow.
If you are bold enough to add custom slippers to the mix, aim for linen. Spring colors to consider – (suit) white, cream, khaki, light blue, (shirt) white, pink, lavender, mint green, periwinkle blue, canary yellow.
Earlier this week I came across a wonderful article outlining the steps needed to properly care for your suit. It had a great deal of useful information but left me wondering.. Do consumers know what to do with all of the other pieces that make up their wardrobe? With that notion, I wanted to share some best practices from head to toe.
Whether you are wearing a felt fedora or linen ivy cap, you never want to put these in the wash or use excessive water. A stiff bristled brush will do the trick to remove dirt. On cotton or linen caps, try warm water and vinegar to remove dirt or stains.
There is some flexibility with the cleaning options for shirts. Some may only have their shirts dry cleaned, but you can absolutely wash them yourself. If you choose that route, be sure that you are washing on a delicate cycle and using warm water for white shirts and cold water for shirts with color. You can iron them immediately after, or tumble dry on low heat and then iron. This is a great way to save money, however, you may not achieve the same result when picking up from your dry cleaner. So if you have the money, take your shirts to the cleaner and opt for minimal to no starch. Never, I repeat, Never wear your white dress shirts more than once without a cleaning. White shirts quickly accumulate dirt and it is nearly impossible to remove once it sets in.
To preserve the suit jacket you should always hang it on a wide shoulder suit hanger and use a suit brush to remove lint. If you do not plan on wearing the jacket for quite some time, have it dry cleaned and cover it with a garment bag. Do not have your jackets dry cleaned more than once every 4-6 months. The chemicals will only expedite the breakdown in the fabric. Instead, utilize your suit brush and have the garment properly steamed. If you try and iron your jacket, you will only succeed in damaging the thread and may even create a ‘sheen’ effect from applying too much direct heat. If you have to wear a suit often, spend the money on 3-4 quality garments so that you can rotate them throughout the weeks and months.
For your slacks, follow the same cleaning and caring method as your suit. Never put dress pants in the washer machine. You’ll wind up with a damaged garment and quite possibly in tears. For cotton, linen, cotton blends, denim, etc.; feel free to toss them in the washer in warm to cold water and hang dry if you have the time. Always store wool trousers on a proper pant hanger.
The absolute very first thing you should do with a new shoe purchase is to spray them with an all-weather protectant. When storing, be sure to use shoe trees made of cedar to maintain shape and absorb moisture each wear. Cleaning is pretty simple if kept up. The first step is to remove any dirt or dust. Leather requires polishing and leather lotion at various times. As for suede, you can achieve a clean look with a rubber eraser and a coarse brush. Try using warm water and vinegar when removing deep stains. Likewise, you can get the dirt off of canvas shoes with warm water and a bit of soap.
No matter what you have in your closets and drawers, just be sure to remain vigilant in your upkeep efforts… and be sure to live in style.
Think about the tons upon tons of shoes on the market. With so many of them crafted from leather and at various price points, it’s hard to determine the exact level of quality for the items on your feet. Many shoes are made with genuine leather or a leather upper (meaning some leather was used and the rest is man-made), but how do you know what to look for specifically? By outlining some of the various types of leather, you can determine how to best spend your hard earned money or at least ask the right questions!
This leather comes from the top layer of the hide which has ALL of the grain and refers to hides that have not been sanded, buffed, or snuffed to remove imperfections (or natural marks) on the surface of the hide. The grain remains and provides the fiber width strength and durability. The natural surface of full grain leather burnishes and beautifies with use.
This leather is the second-highest quality. It has had the “split” layer separated away, making it thinner and more pliable than full-grain. Its surface has been sanded and a finish coat added. This step produces a colder synthetic feel with less breathability, and it does not develop a natural patina. It is typically less expensive and has greater stain resistance than full-grain leather. As long as the finish remains unbroken.
This leather is the third grade of leather and is produced from the layers of the hide that remain after the top is split off. The surface is usually refinished (spray painted) to resemble a higher grade. It can be smooth or rough.
This leather is created from the fibrous part of the hide left once the top-grain of the rawhide has been separated from the hide. During the splitting operation, the top-grain and drop split are separated and can be used to create suede. The strongest suedes are usually made from grain splits (that have the grain completely removed) or from the flesh split that has been shaved to the correct thickness. Luxe suede is a man-made material whereas Kid suede comes from a baby goat. Kid suede is usually softer and lighter in weight because the skin is not tough like that of an adult goat.
This leather is any leather that has had an artificial grain applied to its surface. The hides used to create corrected leather do not meet the standards for use in creating vegetable-tanned or aniline leather. The imperfections are corrected or sanded off, and an artificial grain is embossed into the surface and dressed with stain or dyes. The resulting finish is shiny (not as shiny as patent leather) and plastic in appearance, which helps hide the corrections or imperfections.
This leather is a type of coated leather that has a very glossy, shiny finish. The coating process was introduced to the United States and improved by inventor Seth Boyden of Newark, New Jersey in 1818, where he used a linseed oil–based lacquer coating. However, modern patent leather usually has a plastic coating.
Is the dust and shavings of the leather glued and pressed together. In the world of leather, it’s pure junk. Leftover scraps are ground together with glue and resurfaced in a process similar to vinyl manufacture. Bonded leather is weak and degrades quickly with use.
Once you’ve found the right shoes, be sure to protect them with waterproofing sprays and use shoe trees to prolong the structure. Remember to remove any dirt or stains as quickly as possible. Also, by rotating through a few different pairs, you can greatly increase the life of your footwear.
*Visit designs.bespokuture.com to create your very own high-quality custom footwear*
September is an interesting time in the world of fashion because of all the new fall lines are released. This gives consumers a plethora of options as seasons change and new styles are showcased.
Many of us have some sort of direction when it comes to adopting new styles, while others may feel helpless. It also doesn’t help that office dress codes vary from business to business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dominate in style! Below, we will walk through some looks that will help you improve your daily office wear.
Dominate in Your Suit
In 2018 the corporate look has become much more relaxed with companies leaning towards business casual. For those corporate warriors that are still required to sport a suit and tie, here are some tips to have you looking like you run the show. First, let’s push those solid black & navy pieces to the back of your closet. These days, it’s perfectly acceptable to meet with your boss or close a large deal wearing a subtly patterned suit. There is depth, character, and professionalism all rolled into one garment. If you are still stuck on wearing a blue suit, then go with a medium or slate blue option. This is the new navy and an option that can be worn as a solid or pattern. Keep in mind however that thick pinstripes will give off a Gordon Gekko vibe. On the contrary, a thinner pinstripe, subtle windowpane, or Prince of Wales check will deliver a look of modern youth and provide you with the confidence to rule the office.
Once these new suit styles are acquired, it’s time to identify the right shirt options. Yes, it is very easy to grab your white or pale blue shirt to wear with the new threads, but let’s avoid that urge. Rather, let’s incorporate new hues such as purple, pink, yellow, green, and red. These can be very powerful and sometimes overwhelming colors, but when you find them in soft tones you can put together an acceptable look. Now that you have suits in subtle patterns, pairing solid shirts with them is perfectly fine. But remember, as your comfort level grows try adding some gingham or micro-stripe options to the mix. And don’t be afraid to try French cuffs and different collar styles like a spread, cutaway, or club.
Shoes for Success
What you put on your feet can make or break your outfit and you don’t want to be caught sending a message of carelessness. So step outside the standard oxford or derby box and try out double monkstraps or dress boots. Keeping your shoes polished and rotating between wears can keep up their overall look. You can even kick it up a notch with a burgundy monk or blue/brown balmoral boot. The monkstrap can be paired with your grey and navy suits to upgrade that classic look. They can also be dressed down and worn with dark jeans. Lastly, wearing a dress boot ( which can be worn with a suit or jeans ) will immediately set you apart from the crowd.
Yes, it’s that time of year when you find yourself preparing for galas, black tie affairs, and holiday soirées. If you’re like most gents, finding the perfect attire for these occasions can be quite daunting. Unfortunately, some of you wind up on the “what not to wear” list, so let’s review what to wear to your next gala.
First, let’s consider the overall look that needs to be accomplished. For any of these events, the typical look consists of dark-hued evening attire. This actually makes the selection process a bit easier when it comes to building your ensemble. Unless… the attire is white tie. Just in case, here’s a quick guide to the various formal looks.
One commonly used method in style pairings is to identify your statement or staple piece. From here, you can build up from your shoes or flow down from a jacket, vest, etc. Since these evening gatherings are typically held in mild to dimly light ballrooms, your shoes are not a focal point (excluding the red carpet). That leaves us to focus on the jacket as the statement piece and building block.
Tuxedo, dinner or smoking jackets are all viable options for such an occasion. The classic tuxedo is the go-to for most black tie events. These days gents are including modern hues like midnight blue, and the omission of the classic cumber bun. In North America, the dinner jacket is the inverse of the standard tux, found in white, mother of pearl, or variations of off-white. The smoking jacket, which was typically worn over the suit after dinner has now been modified, cut down and worn especially for these events. Jacquard and brocade fabrics emerged as go to pieces in the recent years. These options provide a more ornate look to your selection. Overall, you will want these jackets to have a shawl or peak lapel and made with satin or silk facing.
Keep it simple when it comes to your shirt pairing. Whether it be white or black, stick with more formal looking cotton fabrics. A solid twill or royal oxford will be your most formal choices for the best look. If you want a classic look, you can always opt for a pleated or ribbed front; and French cuffs should be your go to.
Keep it simple! Black or midnight blue with or without a satin strip will certainly do the trick. Remember, it’s a formal affair; no need to get too crazy. Remember, your pants should not have belt loops. Instead, they should be purchased or made with a front tab extender and waist adjusters. The absence of a belt helps to achieve a streamlined and clean transition.
When it comes to footwear with these style options, try to resist the urge to wear your everyday work brogues. Two options that will suit you well are the ever-present patent leather oxfords/wholecut, or velvet slippers. Both give off a refined look which says that you know what you’re doing in these scenarios.
When in doubt, reach out for assistance. You don’t want to embarrass yourself and your date by being the only guy at a black tie event in a grey business suit!