The Fine Young Gentleman Of matters concerning men's dress, fashion & style Mon, 18 May 2015 20:21:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 On Correct Tie Length Mon, 18 May 2015 20:18:49 +0000 On a list of things most often done wrong in tailored menswear, wearing a tie at an incorrect length would likely rank in the top 3.  Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix.  Just as easily as a man can wear his tie at an incorrect length, he can also wear it at a correct length.  So, ‘how long should I wear my tie?’ you may ask.  Ideally, the tip of your tie should end in the middle of your belt buckle or waistband.  For flat end ties, such as knit ties, it is best to have the tie end at the top part of your waistband.

When a tie is worn at the proper length it helps balance out your legs and torso, wearing a tie at an incorrect length can throw the balance of the ensemble off.  When worn too long it can make the whole look look frumpy and sloppy.  When worn too short the look can look clownish.

Keep in mind, you want to have the right length when you are standing at your normal posture.  Not the super upright and straight backed posture you may use when checking yourself out in the mirror (it’s okay, we all do it, I’m guilty of doing it sometimes); but the posture you normally walk and stand with.  Another thing to keep in mind is that the type of tie knot and width of the tie do not matter, the tie length should still remain the same.  Which is to say that the tip of the tie should end near the middle of your belt buckle or waistband.  Your height and weight also matter little, wherever the middle of your waistband is, is the proper place for your tie to end.

Given the correct length of the tie depends on the height of the waist of your pants the actual length you wear your tie may very.  You will not always have your tie the same length.  In short, the correct length to wear your tie is relative to your waistband.

Above you will see what is hopefully a helpful graphic that I put together.  I hope it helps explain and show the correct tie length in an easy to understand manner.  What length do you wear your tie?  Can you make a case for a shorter or longer tie?



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New Rule: Rule 52 Wed, 29 Apr 2015 19:50:36 +0000 It’s time to add a rule. It’s been a while; perhaps I’m off my game of being a judgemental d-bag. Or perhaps I’ve just been a bit sidetracked.

Sadly, I can’t even take credit for this one; that goes to Wil Fulton of Super Compressor. It wasn’t even a rule set forth by Wil, just a statement referring to snapback hats. But it is too good not to add.

52. ‘If thee Bieber wears it, thou shall not.’

I have spoken unfavorably of the young Bieber’s style in the past.  It seems he shows no signs of relenting his assault on our eyes. But I remain hopeful, if someone with as much influence as he started to dress with some decent taste then we could all be better off for it.


A runner up for the rules from the Super Compressor article is ‘Things with mustaches on them’ because ‘they reek of Zoey Deschanel and desperation.’ A profound observation.

For the record, I strongly dislike inanimate objects with mustaches on them. Mustaches are fine on a man’s face, but nowhere else.



PS – photo credit to here and here.

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The Fine Young Gentleman Turns 4 Tue, 21 Apr 2015 18:57:00 +0000 Over 4 years ago it was proclaimed that The Fine Young Gentleman was a reaction to all of the poorly dressed men out there.

That was April 4, 2011; the post was titled ‘Actions & Reactions‘.  It was the first post on this blog.  It was written out of frustration and catharsis; but mostly of a desire to help men dress better (admittedly, I also wanted to learn more about menswear and get some free clothes).  Whether I succeed or fail in this mission is for all of you to judge.  But don’t start thinking that even if I am failing that I am going to stop trying.

Aside from having a rather simple direction and purpose for The Fine Young Gentleman, I didn’t have much else in mind.  I knew that there was a lack of good coverage of what was then a very young online custom clothing, shoe and acccessories industry.  Which as a side note, it has been a beautiful thing to watch that industry grow.  More broadly, I thought that there was a lack of good coverage for moderately priced clothing for the cubicle warriors of the world; which at the time I was one.  Those of us who, whether we wanted to or not, had to dress in some form of business casual dress or suit. We wanted to dress well, or at least presentably, and while we were not poor we were also far from swimming in cash.

This blog was never intended for the guy looking for a $100 suit or pair of shoes.  Nor was it meant for the guy looking for a $5,000 suit.  It is meant for the guy looking to spend between $500-1,500 on a suit and another few hundred on a legitimate pair of shoes.  Most importantly, The Fine Young Gentleman is meant for the guy who has a desire to dress better; who wants to learn how to dress like a man who has his shit together.  It is not for guys who want to dress like skateboarders, lumbersexuals, festival goers, hip hoppers or fashion tarts.  You will find discussion on those other styles elsewhere.

In the past 4 years I believe that I have written about as many, if not more, of the new breed of custom and online menswear brands than anyone else.  Built relationships with them and the people behind them.  Brands like Black Lapel, Indochino, Meermin, Cottonwork, Jack Erwin and Knot Standard.  I even started my own brand, Jay Butler.  Much like I thought there was little good coverage of good dressing for men; I think there are also limited options for well made, well styled and well priced casual shoes for men.  Our feet deserve better and Jay Butler intends to provide them with better.

I realize that neither I or this blog are flawless.  Among other things; my grammar is perhaps not the best.  I should be better at answering emails in a timely manner.  And I should start putting up better posts more frequently; which includes working through the backlog of reviews I have.  I am working on getting better at all of these things.  However, sometimes progress is slow and time is limited.  Additionally, other changes are due such as a new appearance, so expect a new theme sometime soon.

Fortunately, I know that my efforts are not wasted.  Each month, I am approached by numerous brands and PR agencies asking for coverage and advertising space on The Fine Young Gentleman.  Far more of them are turned down than are accepted.   It must be that way in order to keep the content of the blog well curated.  Most of my time spent on this blog is not spent on writing; it’s spent on saying ‘no’ to people, corresponding with people (such as brands and other bloggers), web design, photography, social media and research.  The time adds up quickly.

Each month over 120,000 of you from all over the world come to The Fine Young Gentleman in search of something (although we will see how that changes with Google’s most recent search algorithm update).  Or about 4,000 people a day, or 165 per hour.  I remember during the first days of this blog, 40 people per day seemed like a lot of people – a 60 degree day, in the parlance of The Wire.  It is both humbling and flattering that so many people read this blog and find it useful.

For those of you that read the blog now and have been reading for years; I cannot thank you enough.  Indebted to you, I am.  For those brands that have supported my efforts here over the past few years, thank you as well.  I believe that it is the confluence of these three things; the readers, the brands and the blog that give The Fine Young Gentleman its unique voice on menswear.  A voice that will continue say what it wants, when it wants, because it wants.


Justin L. Jeffers


PS – as always, you are also free to say what you want, just speak up in the comments.

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The David Fin Tie Review Sun, 12 Apr 2015 23:14:23 +0000 A number of months ago I was put in touch with a precocious young man named David Herzka.  David was just in the final stages of launching his new tie brand, David Fin, which launched in late 2014 and I can say makes some very solid ties.  David told me of his affinity for ties but also of the possibility of selling ties to promote other things he likes.  Such as domestic production, luxury fabrics and helping out our veterans; by donating 15% of its profits to Hiring Our Heroes.

david fin ties brown grenadine tie and blue pinstripe suit

Another key to David’s plan is to sell his ties at a reasonable price ($85-105), one below what you would expect for a tie of such quality.  This is largely accomplished by selling their ties directly to customers via their website,  The David Fin tie journey spans from Como, Italy, where the fabric is sourced from, To New York City, where the ties are made.  In the few photos of me wearing the ties, you will see that they tie quite a nice knot.  The ties are of a thicker sort, which is something that I quite like.  The ties are not the light unlined sort you may find some places, nor are they the super heavy ones you will find from others; but a nice middle ground.  The interlining that is used has substance to it but it also has a soft flow to it.  The width is also in the middle ground, at 3.25″; which for most men is an ideal width.  David Fin ties are meant for the business man and the man or a man who prefers his neckwear to be timeless, conservative and practical.  These are not ties for the trend chasers; which is something I am not, here at The Fine Young Gentleman (which I should note is what the commentators of The Masters called Jordan Spieth today!).

david fin navy dot grenadine tie

david fin ties
I was sent three ties to check out.  A navy grenadine with white dots, a brown silk prometeo grenadine (which is a larger sized weave) and a blue silk/wool floral.  Which are three of my favorite ties in the collection.
david fin ties tipping
All of David Fin’s ties are tipped with a camouflage patterned fabric.  Alluding to the brand’s support of veterans.  Some men may dislike this, others will like it.  I sit in the latter camp.  The patterns sits out of sight when the tie is worn so it is not really an issue.  You can also see the clean lines and construction of the ties.  In the picture at the top of this post you can see the keeper knots, which are made of the tie fabric, which is always a good sign.  As an aside, I’ve been to the factory that makes the ties and the factory is quite competent.
david fin tie navy blue grenadine dot
The beautiful weave of the navy dot grenadine up close.
david fin ties brown grenadine
The equally beautiful larger scale grenadine.  Note the difference in size and thus texture of this weave.  It is slightly less formal than the smaller weave grenadines but still a very formal tie.
david fine ties blue silk and wool tie
The silk/wool tie is 45% the former and 55% the latter.  The blend has a very nice feel and look to it.  The wool helps bring a nice matte appearance to the tie whereas the rusty brown flowers add a little more color and interest to the tie.
david fin tie back
Few things to take note of.  First, the small orange knot keeping the blade in shape and together.  Second, the tipping.  Third the slip stitch that is peeking out from under the folds.  You can also see a glimpse of the grey interlining.  The slip stitch is the most important thing to note, it is what keeps the whole tie together.  When stitched and tied well, as this one is, it allows the folds and the tie to move slightly with the moving and tying of the tie whilst still maintaining its shape and structure.

In conclusion, it is hard to knock David Fin’s ties for anything.  Some may want a slightly lighter tie, or more adventurous patterns.  But those things are matters of taste.  On the more concrete side of things on the construction and materials side it is hard to take anything away from David Fin.  But I like the conservative and classic nature of the fabrics in the collection.  The price is also quite reasonable for the quality of the ties; the ties I received are all $85.  I’ve gotten some good use from the ties in the few months that I have had them, I expect this to continue.  For those of you in the market for some solid ties for work or more conservative settings I recommend you check out what David Fin has to offer.  If you have any comment, questions or experience of your own with the brand, feel free to share in the comments.

jay butler WellCoatedMen6



Note: the ties featured in this post were provided by David Fin for purposes of review.  As always, the utmost care was taken to maintain and unbiased and objective perspective of the products at hand.

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Menswear Bloggers Rising Thu, 02 Apr 2015 16:15:41 +0000 This whole menswear blogging this is having a good moment these days.  Obviously, within the category there are a number of different types of bloggers and styles.  For the purposes of this post, I am referring more to the guys who focus on helping guys dress better without breaking the bank; whether it be casual clothing or tailored clothing.  Obviously, I would put The Fine Young Gentleman in that category.  But there are many other guys who run similar operations, who, also like me, are getting into the design and brand side of things.  Now, there are the bloggers who want to monetize their blog and blog audience (which there are a number of ways to do) and then there are those who want to start a different venture, such as a brand (like Jay Butler), in order to pay the bills.  Within the last few years we have seen a few guys follow the latter path:

-Will Boehlke at A Suitable Wardrobe started the A Suitable Wardobe shop

-Justin Fitzpatrick at The Shoe Snob started J. FitzPatrick Footwear

-Raphael Schneider at Gentleman’s Gazette started Fort Belvedere

-Myself, here at The Fine Young Gentleman, started Jay Butler

In the past few weeks two other guys have thrown their hat into the ring as well.  In similar businesses as each other, but slightly different approaches.

-Sabir Peele at Men’s Style Pro launched a 4 fabric collection with Dragon Inside mens style pro dragon inside

-Juan and Jose Zuniga at Teaching Men’s Fashion launched Estuniga, a custom suit and shirt brand, in collaboration with Point Click Tailor

estuniga green suit


And on a related note:

-Antonio Centeno of Real Men Real Style and Aaron Marino of Alpha M last year started StyleCon, the second annual meeting is this May 1-3 down in Atlanta


So why do I bring all this up?  For a few reasons:

-Menswear, both tailored and non tailored is having a moment.  I hope that moment turns into an era, I plan to do what I can to make that happen.

-As bloggers we have been hearing from readers and customer for years what men want.  We are now taking that knowledge and converting it into tangible products.  Good products.  All of the guys that I have spoken with who went from blogging/writing on men’s style to starting a brand are not just in it to make money but we also believe we can offer a better product to consumers and that we can, through our designs and products, help guys dress well.  Readers and consumers should know this and they should also know that many of us bloggers are friendly and sometimes work together to some extent.  One could argue that we’re in this together.

-The word needed to be put out for the new MSP and Estuniga collections, both of which are very strong and both are made by solid mtm companies (Dragon Inside and Point Click Tailor).  I highly recommend you all take a look at them.  I wish Jose, Juan and Sabir the best with their new endeavors.

-I wanted to see how I feel writing in bullet point format.  Potential foreshadowing…  Do you guys like it or not, your thoughts would be appreciated, thanks!  And as always, thank you for reading!




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FYGblog Found Elsewhere Tue, 17 Mar 2015 15:04:57 +0000 Dear Readers,

Over the past few weeks both content from The Fine Young Gentleman as well as an interview of myself has been posted on outlets aside from this here blog.  First, a few weeks ago an interview of myself by Eric Scriberras of MentorMe Podcast was posted.  The discussion focuses primarily on my journey to start Jay Butler and even The Fine Young Gentleman.  Which all started during my time as an auditor at Deloitte.  The interview lasts for roughly 45 minutes so I will not be offended if you do not listen to it.  But, if you are at all interested in starting your own thing, it could be worth your while.  If any of you have any questions about starting a blog or company or leaving a secure career, feel free to ask questions in the comments section.  We can start a discussion right here on FYG.

Second, I was recently asked by Forbes of Czechoslovakia if they could use my chart on matching shoe color with trouser color, I thought it was a cool idea so I obliged.  If any of you can read or understand Czech it may prove to be a nice read.

We will be back to our regularly scheduled programming of sometimes snarky style advice and reviews next time, stay tuned.

mentorme jay butler ss-JLJ

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The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: The Men of The 2015 Oscars Wed, 25 Feb 2015 20:41:39 +0000 Ask and now you shall receive.  Apologies for missing the Golden Globes and Grammys this year, but fear not, I’m not going to skip out on all three shows.  Sadly for my judgemental side, things were looking pretty good this year.  But as always, there were a few guys who just couldn’t pull it together.  Aside from some snarky commentary I will also throw in some educational bits on how some of the men could’ve taken their black time game from good to great.

A few things to note.  The night was laden with shawl collars and wide lapels, both of which are things that are looked upon kindly here at FYGblog.  Things that are not looked kindly upon are not wearing a pocket square with a tuxedo and anything wears.

Let’s start things off with one of the best dressed men of the night, Eddie Redmayne.  Hid midnight blue tuxedo fits perfectly and all of the details are spot on.  Take notes gentlemen.
Another exceptionally well dressed gent was Benedict Cumberbatch.  Out of everyone, he did the white jacket the best.  Although he does need to shorten his sleeves and pants slightly to show a little cuff and decrease the break. Lastly, Benedict would do better with a slightly taller bow tie, it is too small for his head.
These days its hard to expect what McConaughey is going to pull out.  Although the fit of his jacket looks to be pretty good I personally don’t care for the fabric.  The vest is also not meant to be worn with a tuxedo, but with a regular suit.   Better luck next time.
Someone always has to try the black shirt, always.  And just like every man who has done so before him, Kevin Hart would’ve done better for himself in a white shirt.
Chris Pine: killing the double breasted game.
I don’t know or care who Miles Teller is.  But the lady in his arm is a whole other story.  Who did your boob job?  My future wife may need your doctors services.  Now, if you’ll excuse me.
I am pretty sure we all know that John Travolta is a bit of an odd duck by this point.  But whatever prompted him to put this outfit together is beyond me.  Pretty much everything about it is wrong.  Runner up for worst dressed man.
What is wrong with Will.i.iam's outfit?  Hm, let's see.  EVERYTHING.
What is wrong with Will.i.iam’s outfit? Hm, let’s see. EVERYTHING.  White girls would say ‘I can’t even’.  Without question the worst dressed man of the night.
I applaud Selma star David Oyelowo for his adventurousness.  The color and fit of his tux are great.  I just wish he would’ve worn a bow tie that was black and a pocket square.  PS – if you have not seen Selma, go see it; an incredible film.
In another example of coloring outside the lines, Neil Patrick Harris donned a fantastic light grey shawl collared tuxedo.  Like Mr. Oyelowo, NPH would done better with a black bow tie and a pocket square.  But an exceptional ensemble nonetheless.
Things to never do: button both buttons on a two button jacket.
Props to Chris Pratt for giving hope to many an average white guy.  His shawl collar tux game is on point.
As always Bradley Cooper is looking suave.  I have a few issues with Clint Eastwood’s ensemble but he 100% legend so he can do whatever he wants as far as I am concerned.
Is that a Daytona?  I really hope it is.
Usually I am a Channing Tatum fan but he’s not on his A game this time round.  First of all, flap pockets are not at home on a tuxedo jacket.  Second, the lapels are not wide enough for his shoulders; they need about another inch of width to be in a good proportion to his body.  As we know proportions are of the utmost importance with tailored clothing.
Would not have expected Andy Samburg to pull such strong tux game.  Aside from his pre-tied bow tie (which is anathema) his ensemble is great.



GQ, GQ UK, Sydney Morning Herald, Oscars,






If you thought this post was going to go down without mention of Jared Leto’s get up then think again.  I think he took this outfit from the rejects closet from your local prom tux rental store.  The only justification for wearing something that is both this comedic and horrific is drugs.  Likely in massive quantities.  But even then…



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The Knot Standard Suit Review, 2.0 Sat, 14 Feb 2015 21:30:55 +0000 It was nearly two years ago that I first reviewed Knot Standard. The review was pretty positive, however, there were a few marks against the brand. A few months back we decided to do another review of Knot Standards custom suits and jackets, in this case just a jacket. I’m glad Knot Standard and I gave it a second go, sometimes one time just isn’t enough.

Since my first review a few things have changed at Knot Standard. The website, the branding, the fabric selection and sales channels are perhaps the most notable. The most important of the 4, as relates to this review is the sales channels. When I first worked with Knot Standard back in late 2012/early 2013 I do not believe they had any of their showrooms in operation. Now they have 6 (NYC, DC, Austin, Dallas, Houston and Dubai), I imagine they will open more as time goes on. So, why is this relevant?

Whereas with my first suit from Knot Standard I submitted my measurements online, this time I went to their NYC flagship showroom. Which for a number of reasons is a very different experience. First, you are fitted by one of Knot Standard’s stylists/fitters. I was fitted by Marisa and Samantha, whom both seemed rather competent. Second, the fabric selection in the showrooms is much more comprehensive than what is online. By that I mean there are hundreds, if not thousands of fabrics to choose from. For me, the latter benefit was of more interest. There was a book shelf laden with swatch books from Loro Piana, Holland & Sherry, Ariston, VBC and more. I nerd out over stuff like that.

If you do not live near any of those 6 cities, you are always welcome to browse their online collection, which is still quite strong. Online, suits range from $495 to $995 online but can go much higher in the showrooms depending on what fabric is selected.  Suits start at $795 in the showrooms, however, all jackets are fully canvassed, not half canvassed (which is the case for the intro level jackets online.  Knot Standard likes to say that the showrooms pick up where online leaves off (which is not meant as a bad thing) in that it does provide so many more options for fabrics.  It also takes the burden of measurements off of the customer and on the brand, which for some guys is a deal breaker.

knot standard nyc store fabric books knot standard nyc store fitting

After taking about 20 minutes to run through all of the swatch books of interest I settled on a blue windowpane tweed from Ariston, an Italian mill (I received the jacket for purposes of review, however, it would cost around $1,200). We settled on a jacket, although I wish I would’ve ordered pants to go with the jacket (not only because this fabric in a full suit would be absurd but also it would’ve allowed me to review Knot Standards pants as well). As you can see, the fabric is rather aggressive, but not so much that it is tacky or tasteless. It is quite an exceptional fabric, both in its quality and style.  The flecks of the tweed give it a lot of interest and depth.

The details I chose for the jacket are as follows: peak lapels (4.0” width), 2 button, 2 side vents, Milanese lapel button hole, functioning sleeve buttons (3), barchetta (rounded slanted) breast pocket and half canvassed. I also specified the buttoning point.

knot standard suit ariston fabric jacket

When the jacket first arrived I again met with Samantha in order to make alterations. However, we did not meet in NYC, we met in Philadelphia. Which brings up a few important points. First, that Knot Standard covered the alterations and sent the jacket back to me which was an easy and cost free operation on my end. Second, that they do from time to time travel to cities where they do not have showrooms. For instance, Samantha comes to Philadelphia on a fairly regular basis so for all of you Philly guys that may be something to keep in mind.  This is not something that would come with an online sale.  It is really a different experience when you work with the showrooms as opposed to online.  The extra work that is put in on Knot Standard’s (in this case Samantha’s) end certainly showed through in the whole experience, including the customer service.  Anyway, Samantha and I agreed to lengthen the sleeves slightly and bring in the waist. Once all of the alterations were done the jacket is as you see it now.

knot standard tweed windowpane jacket
After alterations the fit of the jacket is great.  The shoulders (which I like that they have very little padding) are comfortable and set well on my frame.  The jacket also has a nice shape from the arms to skirt and is not too long.  Overall the jacket has a great fit and look good.  The pattern matching at the shoulder/sleevehead is also quite good, which is not an issue for solids, but for large scale checks like this windowpane the pattern matching is of more importance.
knot standard suit review
The back of the jacket sits well on my back.  There is no bunching or creasing of the fabric which is good.
knot standard milanese lapel button hole
That boutonniere is really a thing of beauty.  If only all were this nice.
knot standard lapel flower loop
The underside of the lapel is another area where Knot Standard does well on the details.  The flower loop below the boutonniere, the stitching between the lapel and collar and the flap of fabric folded to underneath the collar are all nice details.
knot standard boat breast pocket
It is hard to see at first, but the breast pocket is there.  It is a nice rounded shape, which I think is a nice detail.  However, the pattern matching could be a little better, you can see that the horizontal stripe does not quite line up.  From this photo you can also see the beauty and depth of the fabric.  Almost like a Donegal tweed with all of the flecks of various shades of blue and white.
knot standard button hole
The button holes are nice.  The stitching is tight and even.  The color of the stitching is also well matched with the fabric.
knot standard button shanking
Good shanking on the front buttons.  And that fabric again, so nice.
ariston blue windowpane tweed fabric
As I noted before, I opted for flapped hacking pockets.  Knot Standard did a better job of the pattern matching on the flaps than on the breast pocket, almost perfectly aligned with the pattern on the bottom part of the jacket.
knot standard blue paisley jacket lining
The lining I choose is a nice light blue paisley, it ties well with the light blue from the tweed.  The stitching around the sleeve head looks to be done by hand, which is preferable to a machine for this area of the jacket.  In other areas machine stitching is preferable.
knot standard sleeve buttons
One of the nice options that Knot Standard has in its showrooms is the ability to choose from a variety of buttons.  For this jacket I chose a medium brown, which goes well with the fabric.  The sleeve button holes are nicely stitched and spaced.

This jacket is badass. There is really no way around it. It fits well, it looks good and is well made (for those that care, Knot Standard has its products made in China). For those of you looking to spend $500 and not $1,200 you should know that really the only difference between my jacket and yours would be the fabric and half canvassing vs full canvassing and the more direct customer service (their online CS is still strong). Online you can still get all of the customizations you can in the showroom. I would argue that Knot Standard is the leader in its price bracket for the diversity of customizations that they can offer, which for the more particular of us, is something worth taking into account.  At the end of the day it is hard to knock this jacket or the process to get it (including dealing with Samantha) much.  That said, I recommend Knot Standard to those in the market for a custom suit or jacket, especially if you have a plethora of specific customizations you would like done.  If you have any questions, comments or thoughts of your own; please feel free to share them.



Note: FYGblog did receive the jacket being reviewed for the purpose of review.  The utmost effort was taken to provide a useful and unbiased review on the brand and item at hand.

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Top 10 Tips For Buying Made To Measure Suits Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:55:50 +0000 Made to measure suits have been written about a lot on this web site.  A LOT (I think I have reviewed more made to measure brands than anyone else on the web). However, in most cases I am either reviewing a made to measure suit brand or advising guys that made to measure is a superior alternative to off the rack suits. Which, a vast majority of the time, it is (the image to the right I have seen used on numerous sites to extol the benefits of mtm vs otr/rtw, it should go without saying but the photo on the left is an off the rack suit where that on the right is a made to measure). Admittedly, what I have sometimes slacked on is providing useful advice on getting the best made to measure suit you can get. For that I apologize. Perhaps I have strayed from the original mission of this blog; to provide useful, practical and applicable style advice to men who want to dress better.

So, ‘how can I get the best made to measure suit?’ You may wonder. I know that I have been asked that question more than a few times. I’d like to boil my thoughts down to a few points that I think every man can use.  Some of these points are pretty obvious, but others are not and may even seem weird or unnecessary.  But trust me, after ordering 15+ suits and jackets online these are some lessons that I’ve learned the hard way…  Please keep in mind that this list is by no means comprehensive and will be added to over time, much like the Rules of Men’s Dress section of this site, but this provide a good starting point and some things to think about.

  1. Do not get functioning buttonholes. Why? Functioning buttonholes make alterations to sleeve length much more difficult (and more expensive), especially with patterned fabrics. This is because often times to maintain the correct distance between the end of the sleeve and the last button (around 1.25-1.5”) the sleeve needs to be shortened from the shoulder, not the end of the sleeve. Whereas, with non-functioning buttonholes the sleeves can be shortened or lengthened from the end of the sleeve and the buttons moved as needed; this is a much easier and less costly alteration.
  2. Error on the conservative side, when in doubt make measurements larger, rather than smaller. Why? It is easier to take out fabric then add it. Most jackets and pants come with very little, if any, fabric to let out, thus diminishing the possibility of making something larger. However, it is easier to take something in and make it smaller. As an example: your friend measures your chest as somewhere between 41” and 42” but isn’t sure. Go with 42”. If you go with 41’ and the jacket comes and is too tight, it may be impossible to let it out. However, if you go with 42” and it is too big, then it can easily be taken in.
  3. Don’t try to take your own measurements.  You may be able to easily take some measurements like wrist and bicep; taking measurements of your shoulders and legs could prove impossible to do by yourself.
  4. If you have a friend take the measurements, have them double check or have a second friend take the measurements. Additionally, if a brand has videos or guides on how to take the measurements (which they should), watch them. Why? Because any given brand may have a slightly different way of measuring and interpreting measurements.  So it is always good to double check how they want you to take the measurements.
  5. Go with what you are comfortable with, don’t try to be something or someone you are not. Wearing a suit well is due in large part to the fit of the suit and what you pair with it. However, the importance of wearing something that is in your style comfort zone should not be overlooked.  Nor should the importance of wearing something with confidence.
  6. Research the type of look you want. This includes fabric color/pattern, button stance, gorge height, little details (side tabs, suspender buttons, interior pockets etc), shoulder type, front quarter disposition etc. This is particularly important if you are planning on working with a shop that can accommodate a multitude of custom requests like My Tailor, Ravis, Mohans or Knot Standard. If you want a certain look, inquire with whatever makers you are debating using to see if that is something that they can do.
  7. Have expectations, but don’t make them ridiculous. You can’t expect the world from a $500 suit – it is likely that the suit will not be perfect!  Too many times I receive emails from readers asking how this, that and the third can be fixed.  Or why wasn’t this or that done.  I’ve also had some of these thoughts before.  But at the end of the day you have to be realistic in your expectations.
  8. Research the makers. This goes along with points 4 & 5. If you have a certain look you are going for or have a certain set of criteria you want met, for instance full canvassing vs half canvassing or a more structured shoulder rather than a less structured one, then seek out a maker that can meet those criteria.
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask for alterations and remakes. Just because something has been made specifically for you does not mean it is going to fit out of the box. In fact, chances are far better that it won’t. Count on making some alterations to the garment, fortunately, many makers will either make the alterations themselves or give you a credit to have the alterations made. In some instances, alterations are not enough to fix a jacket or pants; or they are too costly. Ask for a remake, especially if the brand did the measuring (and is thus without question at fault) and not you.
  10. Know where the blame lies for errors. Contrary to what many customers think, the customer is not always right. Sometimes the blame for a poor fitting suit lies with the customer. Sorry guys, but it’s true. I am even to blame for the some the things that I have had made not fitting well. If you give the brand incorrect measurements and the garments come out fitting poorly then it is not the brands fault. It is yours. However, on the flipside, if you gave them flawless measurements and the garment fits poorly then it is their fault.



Image credit – Suavv, although admittedly, I am not sure the image is originally theirs, but it is where I pulled it from.


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Chensvold Is Back At It: Masculine Interiors Fri, 23 Jan 2015 17:19:14 +0000 Dear Readers,

Not realizing that it had been almost 3 weeks since my last post I knew I had to get something up ASAP. I am sorry for being so absent the last few weeks, I’ve been a bit consumed by other activities (like shoes).  Fortunately, some of my menswear writer friends have been keeping to putting out some original content.  One such I would like to highlight today is Christian Chensvold.  I hope you enjoy what he is up to these days.  In the next post we will revert to the more usual line of conversation.

Long time fans of this blog may or may not know of my fandom for the things Christian Chensvold over at Ivy Style puts out.  His first foray into the menswear and men’s style world was, which was followed by the legendary Ivy Style.  Although Dandyism has fallen a bit by the wayside, Ivy Style still goes strong.  In the past few months Christian has put his creative gears into overdrive and started two new ventures.  First, there was and now there is Masculine Interiors.  Over the past few years Christian and I have spoken about golf on a number of occasions, to the point where I have invited him to come play my course in the burbs.  However, I was mostly unaware of his affinity for the interior design/living space realm.  Fortunately, he is putting that interest into what form he knows best, the internetwebblogthing.  The voice and content style is somewhat akin to what is available at Ivy Style, which I find to be a good thing.  I hope some of the commenter battles are also as good.  Anyway, I’ve spent a good bit of time browsing Masculine Interior’s pages the past few weeks, I hope you enjoy it as well.

masculine interiors


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