How To: Business Casual

While you can never go wrong with a suit, it is no longer the go-to option when deciding what to wear for a professional event.

These days, the majority of professional, academic and even social gatherings are deemed “business casual.” But what in the world is that?

Traditionally, business casual has been taken to mean khakis, a dress shirt and a blazer for men. However, with the continual trend of the workplace becoming less strict (think Mark Zuckerberg’s t-shirt) with business attire, the lines have blurred even more.

The benefit of that blurriness is that it leaves some extra wiggle room for men to play around in, according to a GQ article.

Men can be creative. Men can experiment with different combinations of clothing. Instead of a blazer, men can be adventurous and throw on a crisp military field jacket over their dress shirt and tie, according to the GQ article. If a man was so inclined, he could channel the king of cool,  Steve McQueen, from “Bullitt” and wear a blazer with a turtleneck. These days, the workplace dress code is less like the 10 Commandments, and more like the pirate “guidelines” from the film “Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl.”

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The important thing to remember is that business casual is more business with a twist, than it is Saturday morning casual. The classic staples should always be built on top of with some exciting variations, not the other way around. That means if you are not going to wear a tie, make sure to put on a sharp pair of chinos, coupled with a crisp dress shirt and well-tailored blazer.

Overall, business casual is what you make of it. It is never wrong to stay conservative and go with the classic blazer and khakis. However, these days it is okay to be more adventurous. Go ahead and wear that new navy suit with a sweater and t-shirt underneath. Just remember, play up the little things when going casual.

The details matter even more when the dress code is relaxed.

 

For more info on business casual, as well as some great outfit variations, check out the GQ article I referenced in the post and this article from Forbes.

http://www.gq.com/gallery/what-to-wear-today-april-2016#1

http://www.forbes.com/sites/reneesylvestrewilliams/2012/05/09/what-is-business-casual/#384a89bb5d7d

 

 

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Supply & Advise: Miami’s go-to men’s style shop

 

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The two biggest issues for guys who want to dress well are time and a go-to men’s clothing store.

Let’s face it, the majority of men hate going to the mall to shop around all day, and even if they did enjoy it, there really is no clear, practical men’s style shop. Until now.

Supply & Advise was opened in 2013 as the solution for the lack of men’s clothing options in Miami, Fl.

“The idea behind S&A was to fill a void,” said Kevin Beltran, a senior employee at S&A. “It was made for men who are tired of having to order three or four different sizes of clothing from online retailers.”

The first time I walked into the store, I thought I had stepped into Steve McQueen’s closet, thanks to the classic movie posters, like the one of the 1966 film, “The Sand Pebbles.” All of the tough, testosterone-evoking pieces of clothing and accessories helped as well. It’s like going inside of a men’s style batcave.

While S&A offers many brands that are “Made in America,” the store focusses on offering the best products for men, no matter where they are from, Beltran said.

The rugged, gentlemen’s store is inspired by vintage military looks and practical work gear, while simultaneously offering suave suits and ties. It offers brands such as the American shirt maker, Gitman Vintage, the California grooming brand,Baxter of California, the sneaker company, New Balance, and the jean company, Levi’s, to name a few.

My favorite aspect of the store is that they deal in the classics, not the current trends or fads of men’s fashion. The items they offer, such as their assortment of Alden shoes or the classic Randolph Engineering sunglasses, will never go out of style, and they will last the buyer a lifetime. It is staples like those that make the store a jewel in in the ruff that is the men’s style scene of Miami.

S&A is a bit on the pricey side for all of us up-and-coming professionals, but I wanted to highlight is as a goal to strive for. It embraces the principles that I think are important for young man to have when thinking of dressing well, which are embrace the classics and less is more.

“Assemble your core armory- your white oxford shirt, your white dress shirts and your blur dress shirt- and then go with the fun stuff around those,” Beltran said.

 

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For a better look at the products and services S&A offers, check out their website, and take a look at the article that GQ featured them in last November.

http://www.supplyandadvise.com/

http://www.gq.com/story/the-10-best-menswear-stores-in-america-gq-100

 

The Suits of Batman v. Superman

I recently saw the much anticipated “Batman v. Superman” film, and I only have good things to say about it. However, I will save my full movie review for another time. One of the main things that did catch my eye, other than the awesome story, were the suits the characters wore on screen, and I am not talking about their superhero costumes.

Every time Ben Affleck graced the screen as Bruce Wayne, he was impeccably tailored in some beautiful ensemble of men’s clothing. Similarly, Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent was always the quintessential,  “intrepid reporter,” when he was on screen, which is something I noticed back in “Man of Steel.”

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After doing some research, I found out that the costume designer, Michael Wilkinson, had a hard time dressing the two main stars in civilian clothes thanks to their body’s constantly changing, according to a Fashionista.com article.

Their weight fluctuations made buying off the rack extremely difficult, according to the article.

The obvious solution was custom tailoring. For Affleck, Gucci custom-designed his entire character’s billionaire, playboy look, and for Cavill, the in-house costume design team created his mobile reporter outfits, according to the article.

If Gucci was custom-designing my entire wardrobe, I am not sure if I would cry or laugh of pure joy. Nevertheless, you better believe I would be wearing a suit to class every day like my man Anthony Williams does, which if you have not read about, you should read my first blog post, “Dress for Success.”

If you would like to read more about the costume design for the movie, check out the link for the full fashionista.com article at

http://fashionista.com/2016/03/batman-v-superman-costumes

 

How To: The classic four in hand knot

“A well tied tie is the first serious step in life. ” – Oscar Wilde

Summer is almost here, and with it comes interviews and networking opportunities. So, I decided it would be a good time to demonstrate how to tie the the classic four in hand tie knot. This is by far the easiest of all the different knots out there, but that does not make it any less appropriate or stylish.

Th four in hand conveys a practical, can-do attitude. It is a widely used knot that is hailed for its versatility and straightforward appearance. I personally enjoy using this knot because it is the first one taught to me by dad several years ago, and it has never let me down. I also enjoy the look of it when done correctly.

The Steps:

  1. Bring the long end across the short end.
  2. Pass the long end behind the short end.
  3. Bring the long end across the front.
  4. Bring long end up through the center loop you just created.
  5. Pull long end down through the loop.
  6. Tighten and bring up to your neck.
  7. Make center dimple.

If you got it on the first try, I commend you. However, if you were like me when I first learned how to do this properly, you most likely came out with some strange monstrosity of fabric. Tying a tie properly is like any other good thing in life– it takes practice and patience. If you stay at it, you’ll be glad you did.

 

Until next time gents,

the clean cut guy

P.S. If you would like to see an older, more sangfroid man show you how to tie this particular knot, visit Brooks Brother’s youtube page, or check out the video down below.

You can never be too dressed up

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A recent article in the Wall Street Journal titled, “Why Dressing for Success Leads to Success,” caught my eye several days ago. According to the article, studies have shown that wearing formal clothes in the work environment boost an employee’s productivity, confidence levels and abstract thinking.

I took all of this into consideration on Monday night when I was deciding what to wear for my first internship interview, which I had the next morning. I decided to go with classic style staples: navy blazer, white dress shirt, charcoal slacks, light blue tie and black wing-tip shoes. The end result was a sharp look that gave me both the confidence and calmness that I needed to go into the interview with.

Interestingly, when I arrived at the agency, I found that the PR work environment doesn’t stress a formal dress code. The majority of the men working at this agency were dressed in business casual clothes: polos/button-downs and slacks. Some employees were even more casual than that. I don’t say this in a bad way. Their style mirrored the fast-paced, energetic feel that their agency had. Nevertheless, the contrast between myself and the PR professionals led me to reflect on my style choices.

I dressed up because I went into that interview trying to get a position, and that deserves a formal outfit that reflects my goals. And, despite what people say, first impressions are the most important. It is vital to always look your best, in order to give yourself your best chance. At the very least, whoever is hiring won’t be able to rule you out because of your appearance.

The interview was the first of many for me, as I am only starting my journey of becoming a professional. I had a few key takeaways from the experience:

  1. Be flexible– you never know what you will have thrown at you in an interview.
  2. Don’t be discouraged by your age. It is never too early to start gaining experience. Even if I don’t get the position, I am better off for going through the interview process.
  3. You can never be too dressed up. When in doubt, reach for a clean cut. IMG_2153 2

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Here is the link to the article I mentioned above.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-dressing-for-success-leads-to-success-1456110340?mod=e2twhttp://www.wsj.com/articles/why-dressing-for-success-leads-to-success-1456110340?mod=e2twhttp://www.wsj.com/articles/why-dressing-for-success-leads-to-success-1456110340?mod=e2tw

 

Dress for Success

Awilliams

Getting to class on time in the morning  is hard enough when we only have to deal with brushing our teeth and slipping on some comfortable workout clothes. Imagine waking up earlier, so that a proper grooming and dress routine could be done.

For Anthony Williams, it is a no brainer. Williams said coming to class in sweats and sneakers, while easier and less time consuming, only makes him feel detached and sluggish.

Williams, a junior journalism major at the University of Florida, comes to class everyday wearing a suit, or a variation of one. There are some days when he comes in a sports coat and chinos, and other days when he comes dressed in a complete suit. Overall, no matter what variation he chooses,  he is always looking sharp and accompanied by his trusted brief case. Williams says the act of dressing up every day keeps his mind sharp and his mood positive and engaged.

“I feel more alive,” Williams said.

Williams said he sees school as his current job, and he has decided to dress the part of a working man. That means putting on a crisp dress shirt and tie every morning and taking the day head on.

“You never know who you are going to see,” Williams said.

Williams said he encourages all his friends to get dressed up, and he even offers to lend them some of his older blazers that no longer fit.

When I met with Anthony, he had on a well tailored khaki blazer, white dress shirt, green bowtie, blue slacks, and caramel colored shoes. A very nice ensemble, and I enjoyed the fact that he inverted a classic look. Usually, many guys will wear a blue blazer with khaki pants, but Williams turned that around, and it worked out nicely for him.

Williams is a true inspiration to the millennial guy. It takes discipline and resolve to follow such a tedious routine this early in life, and I commend him for it. He certainly inspired me to get dressed up more often.

For more on Anthony, check out his blog at

https://awilliams2000.wordpress.com/