30 Principles of Men’s Summer Style

5-27-13 Tailored and Styled Blog--Golden Age Summer Dress

During the golden age of men’s classic style, a man still got dressed.  Contrast that to today where comfort rules and t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops are seen just about everywhere.  In terms of style, this just does not compare.

Jake Gyllenhaal Leaving A Medical Building

Granted, we don’t see many high-waisted pants, straw boater hats, and suits at the beach these days but there are still plenty of solid options for you to bring a sense of panache to the dog days of summer while still staying cool and comfortable.

5-27-13 Tailored and Styled Blog--Golden Age Summer Dress

(Photo Credit: Gentleman’s Gazette)

What I intend to do in this series of posts is two things: 1) list 30 principles of summer style in terms of how they contribute (or not) to casualness vs. formalness and 2) apply those principles to a system of “low, medium, and high” casual dress and “summer formal” dress.

By using the principles and the system, you’ll be able to select the perfect summer style for every place and situation.

First the principles.

PRINCIPLES OF SUMMER STYLE

1.    Wearing your shirt untucked is more casual than having it tucked
2.    Flip-flops, sandals, and running shoes are considered very casual shoes and will lower the style quotient of whatever you’re wearing
3.    Shorts are much more casual than pants
4.    Jeans are casual pants period, dot
5.    Denim is generally too hot for summer wear
6.    Not wearing a belt is less casual than wearing one
7.    If you’re wearing a belt, match to the main color of your shoes.  Caveat: unless you’re wearing a ribbon belt, then coordinate it with the colors of your shirt and pants
8.    Shoes without laces are considered more casual than those with (running shoes excepted)
9.    Not wearing socks is casual
10.    Always wear socks with lace-up shoes
11.    A short sleeve shirt is more casual than a long sleeve shirt
12.    Linen is a more casual fabric than cotton.  Wool is less casual than both linen and cotton
13.    If you’re wearing a linen jacket, it’s usually best to wear a linen shirt and linen pants with it, although cotton is acceptable.  Same principle applies to silk
14.    If you’re wearing a jacket but not a tie, it’s a casual look
15.    If you’re wearing a jacket, always use a pocket square
16.    If you’re wearing a jacket, always wear a long sleeve shirt
17.    If your jacket and pants contrast it’s more casual than if they do.  Suits are therefore more formal
18.    Seersucker suits look better with ties
19.    If you’re wearing a tie, don’t wear loafers, wear lace-up Bluchers/Derbies or Balmorals/Oxfords
20.    Cufflinks are formal.  Only wear them with a wool suit and tie
21.    A watch with a metal band is more casual than one with a leather dress band
22.    Loafers are more casual than Bluchers (Derbies) and Derbies are more casual than Balmorals (Oxfords)
23.    Snazzy socks can make an otherwise formal outfit less so, especially for summer wear
24.    Sports sunglasses are more casual that wire-framed “dress sunglasses”
25.    Baseball hats are very casual hats.  Wear them if you are either participating in or going to a sporting event
26.    If you intend to wear a hat, Panamas and even Boaters are much more suitable for dressing with strong summer style
27.    If you have a choice between shorts and pants, wear pants
28.    If you have a choice between jacket and no jacket, wear the jacket
29.    If you have a choice of wearing a tie, wear the tie
30.    Dress one to two levels up from what the masses normally wear in a particular situation or event.  Caveat: except where the dress is specified (e.g. wedding, work dress code), then dress as specified.  In these situations, be content with an additional small detail for individual flair.

Now notice that I did not call this a list of “rules.”  They are principles upon which to build a menu of style options for summer wear.  To be sure, some of the principles apply to more than just summer dress (e.g. match your belt to your shoes), but they are basic enough to include, especially if you are going at this for the first time.

Stay tuned for the system which I will present over the next few days.

By Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled Writer

Article publié pour la première fois le 27/05/2013

The Ivy League Sport Coat | Ivy Style

See on Scoop.itTailored and Styled

Joseph Scherrer‘s insight:

There remains a segment of the population that holds the ivy look in highest esteem. Some are fierce in their devotion to it.

It is a bona fide American look that found great popularity during the 60′s, especially when JFK came into office.

It remains a distinct style that enjoys periodic resurgence.

This article from Ivy Style provides a deeper dive into a sport coat designed by Stanley Blacker that is representative of the Ivy jackets lines and proportions.

Even though the Ivy look is not my cup of tea, I respect its American heritage. Very interesting piece…you’ll learn a thing or two by reading it.

By Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled

See on www.ivy-style.com

Article publié pour la première fois le 20/11/2013

Waisted Days | A Suitable Wardrobe

See on Scoop.itTailored and Styled

We look back today and marvel at the elegance of men in the 30s and 40s, whether on a movie screen, drawn into an Apparel Arts illustration, or even in our own family photographs.

But the difference between the suits of that era and the typical modern suit that strikes me most is the cut of the trouser.

See on asuitablewardrobe.dynend.com

Joseph Scherrer‘s insight:

You know that I’m a big fan of the Golden Era of men’s classic dress of the 20′s and 30′s.  Although the cut of men’s suits has changed, what’s special about that era is that the explosion of style that erupted made an indelible, lasting mark on style for future generations.  This includes ours, no matter how diluted most men’s sense of style is.

One of the things that has changed most in the intervening 90-odd years is the placement of the waistline on men’s pants.

As Will Boehlke illustrates in the photo, pants used to land at a man’s natural waist just above the navel.

Nowadays, you’re hard pressed to find a pair of pants must above the hips.

If you’ve got an “expanded” waistline, this is not a good move.

Maybe waistlines will rise, and if they do it will be a victory for classic style and men everywhere.

By Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 17/10/2013

The Men’s Summer Style System, Part 4–SUMMER FORMAL

Up to this point for the men’s summer style system I’ve covered SUMMER LOW CASUAL and SUMMER MEDIUM CASUAL and SUMMER HIGH CASUAL.

We now move on the to penultimate option for summer dress and that’s SUMMER FORMAL.  There are 4 variations of SUMMER FORMAL and all involve some form of a suit and tie up to and including a Tuxedo.

Wear summer formal if you are going to the office, a wedding, the opera, or similar event where dressing more casual just would not do.

SUMMER FORMAL 1.0

 

Elements:

- Suit:

– Linen suit

– Cotton suit

- Shirt:

- Long sleeve linen shirt

- Long sleeve cotton shirt

- Tie:

– Linen

– Cotton

– Silk

- Shoes

– Bluchers/Derbies with socks

- Belt: Matching with shoes

- Accessories: Pocket Square

 

Recommendation:  Although SUMMER FORMAL 1.0 incorporates a tie, one should be careful about when and where it is worn.   It is generally less appropriate for office environments than the lightweight/tropical wool suit.  However, for outdoor/indoor events that call for more formality, especially during the day (e.g. Church, school graduations), this option is a sensational choice.  If you can get away with wearing a linen or cotton suit to work, by all means do so.  Add a bit more formality with a double breasted jacket.

 

SUMMER FORMAL 2.0

 

Elements:

- Suit:

– Lightweight/tropical wool suit

- Shirt:

– Long sleeve cotton shirt with button cuffs

- Tie:

– Linen

– Cotton

– Silk

- Shoes:

– Bluchers/Derbies with socks

- Belt: Matching with shoes

- Accessories: Pocket square

 

Recommendation:  SUMMER FORMAL 2.0 is perfect for the office.  Wearing a button cuff shirt and Bluchers is considered a bit less formal, but it will definitely pass with flying colors for any situation in which a suit is called for.  Wearing a double breasted jacket will up the style quotient.

 

SUMMER FORMAL 3.0

 

Elements:

- Suit:

– Lightweight/tropical wool suit

- Shirt:

– Long sleeve cotton shirt with French cuffs

- Tie:

– Silk

- Shoes:

– Balmorals/Oxfords with socks

- Belt: Matching with shoes

- Accessories:

– Pocket square

– Cuff links (metal matches the belt buckle)

 

Recommendation:  The option upgrades the button cuff for French cuffs and cuff links and Balmoral/Oxford shoes.  These two additions take the lightweight/tropical suit to the pinnacle of business elegance, especially if worn with a double breasted jacket.

 

SUMMER FORMAL 4.0

 

Elements:

- Suit:

– Black or midnight blue Tuxedo

-  Shirt:

– Pleated formal shirt with French cuffs

- Tie:

– Silk bow tie: bat wing, diamond, or butterfly

- Shoes:

– Patent leather Balmorals/Oxfords with matching socks

– Patent leather opera pumps with matching socks

- Button suspenders

- Accessories

– Cuff links (metal color/finish matches shirt studs)

– Shirt studs (metal color/finish matches the cuff links)

 

Recommendation:  The unsurpassed look of summer formality remains the venerable Tuxedo.  Wear one in midnight blue to add punch to your style.   

SUMMER FORMAL dress is the way to go if the event or situation calls for a suit and tie.  The key here is that the fabrics will work to keep you cool and looking good in the summer heat.

By Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled Writer

Article publié pour la première fois le 04/06/2013

Men’s Suit Silhouettes from 1934 | Gentleman’s Gazette

See on Scoop.itTailored and Styled

Learn all about the details of 1930′s suits with men’s fashion illustratations from the period & learn how to wear a double breasted vest.

See on www.gentlemansgazette.com

Joseph Scherrer‘s insight:

I eagerly anticipate these “Golden Age” posts from my good colleague Raphael Schneider at  Gentleman’s Gazette.

The reason is that they elicit so many possibilities for dressing sharp in today’s casual and disheveled age.

It’s like looking through the Sears Christmas catalog toy section when I was a kid–it seemed like I wanted everything.

So it is with the looks that come from that singular era in men’s sartorial history.

This piece is also a great follow-on to Sonia Nicholson’s outstanding article on the suit silhouette.

As Raphael shows, shoulder width, waist height, button stance, and lapel width has shifted in every which way throughout the years.  In analyzing various illustrations, he provides suggestions for making the silhouette more classic in proportion.

His musings on double breasted waistcoats and overcoats are also very educational.

Lots of good substance in this post…highly recommended!

By Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 19/09/2013