Brown suit – how to wear it?

Why are so many people reluctant to wear brown? In the past, brown was a color worn by the lower classes because it didn’t get dirty very easily. Brown is common in English tweed, which is used for horse riding and hunting. Traditionally, black is designated for formal events where navy and grey were best for business events.

Brown has never been a popular color at formal events or in business meetings. Many people associate brown with coziness or homelieness, which is the opposite of power colors which project authority and strength. Brown is a traditional color and people who wear it are seen as unlikely to break with tradition.

If you wish to wear brown, keep it to weekends and social events. For business meetings and other professional gatherings, you should wear navy, gray, or black. When wearing brown, choose a cooler shade like chocolate instead of a honey or brass color. Wear a white or pastel shirt and a coordinating tie. Colors that match well with brown include dark green, burgundy, or beige.

Blazer – a classic piece in your wardrobe

A blazer is a type of jacket with large metal buttons that usually comes in navy blue. While blazers used to be part of sport dress for yacht or cricket, they are not the same thing as a sports coat.

Original blazers were single-breasted jackets with colorful stripes that had school or club emblems. There are many stories about where the term came from. One of the stories is that the name came from a rowing club in Cambridge, who were red jackets which looked like a blazing fire on the river. Another story says that a ship called the HMS Blazer created new uniforms that were navy jackets with brass buttons. Blazers became an important part of school outfits for boys, especially at schools like Eton. Blazers also became popular in America, but they were less formal.

Contemporary blazers are double-breasted. There are two ways to wear blazers. One is the more formal way, with trousers, and a shirt and tie. A less formal way to wear a blazer is with chinos or jeans.


Trench – an iconic coat

In the spring, it is great to replace heavy winter coats with light spring coats. It also means a return to colors, not just in nature but also in our clothes. A trench coat is wonderful for spring. It is as classic as a black dress or a white shirt. Trench coats were created in the late 19th century, after Thomas Burberry invented gabardine, a cross woven wool fabric that resists wind and water. They were originally made for the military, which is why today they still retail elements like epaulettes or D-rings. Trench coats were also used in expeditions to the South Pole and Antarctica.

Trench coats initially became popular after the First World War and have only gotten more popular since then. Classic trench coats are beige or black, but today you can find them in any color or pattern. A classic trench coat also has a belt, but it can be clasped or tied. Leaving the belt hanging free makes you look sloppy and should be avoided for any professional functions. Likewise, removing the belt is also a bad idea.

Trench coats are universal and can be worn day or night and for both social and business occasions.


Sport jacket vs. suit jacket

It may seem like all jackets are the same, but there are big differences between a blazer, a suit jacket, and a sport jacket.

A sport jacket has nothing to do with tracksuits or t-shirts. The term sport jacket came about because gentlemen used to do sports like horse riding and hunting while wearing them. A sport coat is less formal that a suit coat.

Sport coats are usually made of wool, tweed, or more exotic fabrics like corduroy, cashmere, or velvet. It usually has two to three buttons and can have a texture or pattern.

The cut is similar to a suit jacket. An American style jacket is has one cut in the back while a British style jacket has two cuts and a continental style jacket does not have a cut.

A sport jacket that is matched with nice pants and a shirt is a good for business casual events. For more informal occasions, a solid navy jacket can be paired with jeans or chinos and a colorful shirt. Sports jackets are not appropriate for formal meetings and parties.


Monogram on a shirt

Monogram on a shirt

A monogram is a symbol that is based on letters and is used as decoration. It usually represents the owners’ initials. Monograms first came about when people needed to mark objects with the initials of the owners. They have been used since ancient times, but experienced their most widespread popularity during the Victorian era. It showed that people were fond of having personalized objects, but it also came to be associated with snobbery.

Monograms fell out of fashion because of mass manufacturing and the prevalence of brands. Today using a monogram shows that you are an individual and have something that is unique to you. You may put a monogram on personal items like stationery, pen or briefcase. Some exclusive brands offer this service to its clients free of charge.

The most common use of monograms for men today is on custom-made shirts. It shows that the shirt was made for you by a tailor and demonstrates that you care about detail and an individual approach to clothing. Most tailors offer embroidery services to put monograms on your clothes. However, it can also be seen as ostentatious and an unnecessary luxury. But I like to think, that is is better to wear your own initials, than those of the tailor.

Monograms can be added by hand or by a machine in any place on a shirt, but they are usually on the cuffs, pockets, collars, or lower edge of the shirt. Monograms in bright colors or those on the cuffs are the most ostentatious. Most monograms are subtler and can only be seen by the owner of the shirt. They are in the same color as the shirt or are in a hidden place.

A tailor made shirt shows sophistication and good taste, but you don’t need to be ostentatious about it. A monogram will compliment your outfit and symbolizes the uniqueness of your clothing.

Guidelines for creating a monogram for men.

Monogram consist of an initials of name and surname or names and surname.

Monogram guidelines


Shirt – the details (2/2)

When choosing a shirt, a gentleman should also pay attention to the details like:

  • Collar style

There are many kinds of collars. They can be straight or rounded, narrow or broad, high or low, and without or without buttons. There are also specialty collars, like the mandarin collar, which does not require a tie or bow tie, or collars that require a special pin or chain.

When wearing a straight and narrow collar, you should use a single knot tie, like a straight knot or a Kent. With broad and thick collars, you should wear thicker knots like the Windsor.

Good shirts will have collars with openings where you can put stiffeners to help keep the shape of the collar straight and stiff. Better and more solid stiffeners are made from metal or mother of pearl, while cheaper ones are made of plastic. Do not forget to remove the stiffeners before washing.

  • Sleeve length

Shirts can have a short sleeve which ends before the elbow or a sleeve which reaches all the way to the elbow. A short sleeve can be straight or have a cuff, while a long sleeve always has a cuff. Short-sleeve shirts are less formal and should not be worn during business meetings, but they are appropriate in a more casual setting under a sport jacket without a tie.

  • Cuff type

Cuffs can be single and straight and have one or two buttons. Cuffs can also be double with buttons or holes for cuff links. A double cuff with pins is particularly elegant and looks stylish.

  • Other style elements:
    Some shirts look best with a pocket square, which can be square or diamond shaped. Other things to look for include decorative buttons and complimentary seam colors.

Shirts – an indispensible part of any gentleman’s wardrobe (1/2)

When talking about ties, you cannot forget about another essential element of men’s clothing – the shirt. Most men only think about the color and size of a shirt, but when searching for a quality garment, there are many more options to think about. The best shirts are customized by tailors, who will adjust the size and cut to fit each individual and who can change style features like the cuff type, seam colors, or button design. Shirts can also be monogrammed on the pocket or at the bottom of the shirt.

What are the most important things to look for when buy a shirt?

  • Size

When looking at size, one needs to consider both the collar size and the length of the shirt. The collar should fit around your neck with one finger comfortably fitting between the collar and your neck. Collars are measured in inches and available from 38 to 52. It’s best to measure your neck or have a salesperson do it for you first and then choose a shirt.

The size of a shirt is defined by height, which means the width and length are made for the average person of that height. You should find a shirt that matches your height so the shirt proportions match your body.

  • Fabric

The best fabric for a shirt is pure cotton. In the summer, you want a light cotton, but in the winter, you should look for a heavier, thicker material, sometimes called double-ply. Unfortunately, pure cotton shirts tend to wrinkle and it is difficult to press them. There are synthetic cotton blends, usually made with polyester, which are resistant to wrinkling and are easier to press.

  • Color

Classic shirts are usually solid color or have a pattern with just one color. These colors are easier to match with ties and jackets and always look elegant, therefore, it’s worth investing in several different shades. The most common colors are white, ivory, bright yellow, sky-blue, and rose. White is the most neutral color and suits all occasions, but you should select colors based on your preferences and on your complexion and hair color.

Striped and checked shirts with two or three colors match plain jackets and solid ties. These shirts are less formal and are not recommended for business meetings. Those with a strong imagination and good taste can match patterns, but for beginners, matching patterns can be a risky experiment.

  • Cut

Men’s shirts come in normal or slim fit. Men with broad shoulders and a solid trunk should choose normal fit, whereas thin men ought to opt for slim fit shirts. A tailored shirt highlights a thin body and prevents the problem of having too much material to tuck in to trousers.


Ties – Selection, Storing, and Tying

When choosing a tie, you need to consider both the occasion and the rest of your outfit. For business meetings, interviews, and work, you should avoid anything too wild and choose a classic tie with just a few colors. When the occasion is less formal, you can choose a more colorful or patterned tie that matches your outfit.

Ties come as wide as 5 inches, but the standard width these days is 3 to 3.5 inches (8-8.5cm). A general rule for tie width is to make the tie proportionate to the width of your jackets lapel.

Matching a tie with a shirt and jacket can be a real challenge. People who have good taste and are trendy can use ties to show off, but others who are not as confident can follow these guidelines to choose ties.

Harmonize colors
Choose a dominant color for your outfit and reuse it on different things. You could wear a navy blue jacket with a light blue shirt, and then choose a yellow tie with a navy blue pattern. The varied but consistent colors make your outfit look more professional. Generally, your tie should be darker than your shirt.

Harmonize patterns
Don’t go overboard with patterns. You should only wear one piece with a pattern and keep the rest of your outfit neutral.

Harmonize fabrics
Don’t wear your summer linen tie with a heavy wool suite. If you are wearing a heavier fabric suit, then wear a heavier weight tie. The same goes for lighter weight outfits.

Coordinate with a handkerchief
A handkerchief can be placed in the breast pocket. It should match the rest of your outfit, but it should not be the same material as your tie.

Choose the right knot
Depending on the collar of your jacket and the thickness of your tie, there are different knots to choose from.

When you store ties, lie them flat instead of leaving them tied. When tied, the tie should reach just to your belt. If it is too long or too short it will make your body seem out of proportion.

There are many different knots you can try:

  • – Kent: This is a straight, asymmetrical knot used for small collars. It works best for thick ties and wider ties.
  • – Four in hand (also called the straight knot or knot in four): This knot is the most general and can be used on any thickness of tie and with an average sized collar.
  • – Windsor: This is a symmetrical knot that is more difficult to tie but looks more elegant. It is best with broad collars and thin ties. A thick tie will make the knot look too big.
  • – Half-Windsor: This is a symmetrical knot that is best with broad collars and thin ties. It is slightly less casual than the full Windsor knot.