Easy Ways to Look Better in Tailored Clothing
Whether you’re into the “coat-and-tie look” or not, most of us have to wear a suit at some point, and for those times, it’s amazing how much can be done with just a few basic steps. Look at the photo above, for example – two men in suits, but wearing them to very different effects. The man on the left looks great. The man on the right … less great. So much can be done with just a few simple changes.
Get Your Pants Hemmed
You want your pants hemmed so that there’s either one break, or no break (a break is the small indentation on your pants as your cuff “breaks” over the top of your shoe). You may find, however, that even with properly hemmed trousers, you pants will slip down a little throughout the day, which will ruin those clean, vertical lines. Some simple solutions: wear suspenders, which will keep your pants up at all times; get your waistband and belt adjusted by a tailor, so they fit you better (although, you’ll always experience some slippage with belted trousers); or simply, pay attention to where your pants are and pull them up when need be.
Show a Bit of Cuff
You want about a quarter-of-an-inch of shirt cuff to peek out from your jacket sleeve. There are, however, some complications with this.
First, if your shirtsleeves are too long, you probably don’t want to shorten them. Shirtsleeves need to be a bit long, so that the cuff doesn’t ride up on you as you extend your arm (think of it as having some slack). Instead, you just want your cuffs to stay in the same position, regardless of how you move around. To achieve this, bring your shirt to an alterations tailor and have him or her tighten or loosen the cuff by moving the cuff button. It shouldn’t cost more than a couple of bucks.
Second, if your jacket sleeves are too short or long, you’ll need to have a tailor either let out some material from the edge or take your sleeves up from the cuff. The second process can be complicated by “working buttonholes,” where the buttonholes are actually punched through and not just for show. Don’t skimp here and let that last button sit too close to your sleeve edge. Instead, have your tailor take the sleeve up from the armhole, but know that it’ll add to the cost.
Wear Better Shoes
Finally, wear better shoes. Ones that are made from full grain leather, not corrected grain. Cheap shoes look bad when they’re new, and worse with wear. Luckily, the market for good, full-grain leather shoes has gotten a lot more competitive over the years, which means the entry price has dropped to about $200. You can start with this list of good brands. I’d add Jack Erwin to that now, although I think you still get a nice jump in quality as you move from them to Meermin, Herring, or Loake (conversely, Jack Erwin is located in the US, so it’s a lot easier to return shoes if need be). If $200 is too much for you, there’s always eBay and thrifting. For eBay, you can use our customized search link or smart shop smartly for Ralph Lauren. To learn how to thrift better, check out Jesse’s three-part guide.
Doing just those three things won’t make you look like Cary Grant, but they’ll make you look better than most suit-wearing people in the world. To look even better, read Jesse’s very reasonable and easy tips here. To look even better still, learn about the fit and silhouette of tailored clothing.
(Photo via White Hawk Warrior)
ganryu ss 15
In his ‘Monuments’ series French photographer Mathieu Bernard-Redmond uses existing economical data charts to render artificial “architectural accidents”. “I have been working on this project since 2005. I use financial charts and statistics as basic shapes to produce photographic representations of global economic and ecological concerns. The charts have been modeled using 3D software and are then integrated into my landscape photographs. By turning these curves and sculptural shapes into massive constructions—close to memorials, monumental structures—I intend to reach something beyond data. My purpose is to underline their fundamental link to landscape and thus, to human and natural history,” says Bernard-Reymond.
Ten Tips for Ironing Shirts
Most people hate ironing, but I admit to finding a strange pleasure in it. There’s something gratifying about passing a hot iron over cloth, and seeing a wrinkled mess transform back into a smooth, familiar garment. It is, however, a chore, and like all chores, there are better and worse ways of doing things. Over the years, I’ve picked up ten things that I think not only help speed the process, but also improve the results.
- Dampen your shirts. Most irons are terrible at giving off steam, so before your start ironing, dampen your shirt with some mist from a water spray bottle. That will help soften up the fibers.
- Put damp shirts in a plastic bag. Let the water soak in and evenly distribute by rolling up your damp shirts and putting them in a plastic bag. This will also prevent the water from evaporating. I typically spray down three shirts at a time, and let them soak while I work on the others.
- Press down. Get the job done faster by actually pressing down on the iron. Do this to the back though, not the front, otherwise you risk pushing in new wrinkles.
- Don’t crease the sleeves. Unless you’re in the military, sleeves shouldn’t be creased to the edge. So, iron right up to the edge and stop. You can also use sleeve boards.
- Iron the thick parts first. To avoid having to do touch-ups, iron things such as the collar, placket, and cuffs first. They’re less likely to wrinkle than the thinner, larger areas such as your shirt’s back.
- Gently iron around buttons, snaps, and hooks. Don’t iron over them, as they can crack or melt.
- Don’t flatten the collar. Iron your collar so that it’s flat and smooth, but don’t use your iron to fold it down entirely. Instead, iron just the back of the fold, where the collar would touch the back of your neck, then use your hands to fold down the rest of the collar.
- Get a good ironing board. Countertop ones are small, but they don’t give you enough space to work. Foldable, four-legged ones are the business. I like ones with slightly narrower, pointy ends, so I can get to tough-to-reach places on my shirt.
- Avoid over-ironing. Remember this bit from Seinfeld? Yes, something can be too dry. Iron up to the point where the last bit of moisture can evaporate after five minutes of hanging. Otherwise, you risk making the cloth shiny, brittle, or even a bit yellow with time.
- Button everything up. If you iron in batches, button your shirts all the way up before hanging them. This will help you avoid that wavy, bacon-like placket that can result from a shirt hanging too long in your closet.
(Video by Garra Style)
Koningskerk (‘King’s church’) Amsterdam. 1956.
Archtitects: W. van de Kuilen/C. Trappenburg
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