Yearly Archives: 2012

Newsletter – June 2012

“I have wondered how long men would retain their ranks if divested of their clothing.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Principles of Graphic Design in Dressing

When composing an image, graphic designers use a few well-known principles to ensure their art is appealing to the eye. Gentlemen can apply those same timeless principles to the art of dressing.

Rule of thirds:
Most designers avoid placing the focal point in the exact middle or right on an edge of the image. Instead, it’s placed about a third of the way in from an edge. When wearing a suit, the hem of the coat should reach well below the halfway point to avoid visually cutting your frame in half.

Avoiding fragments:
When a design element extends beyond the edge of the image, distracting visual fragments can be formed. Designers enlarge the fragment to avoid jarring the eye. Ensure your collar and shirt cuffs extend an appropriate length past your coat to keep from creating small visual fragments in your outfit.

Remember, you are an image to those who see you, and considering the visual design of that image is always important.

Shoes That Shine

There’s more to choosing a pair of dress shoes than making sure their color works for your outfit. Each type of shoe has its own level of dressiness, and will work best within a range of outfits.

From casual to dressy, here are a few classic choices:

Loafers: Shoes without laces are part of the broad category of loafers (such as penny loafers and moccasins). Less dressy than their laced-up counterparts, loafers can be worn easily with business-casual outfits, lightweight summer suits, and dressier casualwear.

Bluchers (open lacing): If the top of the shoe and the tongue are crafted from one piece of leather, a portion of the tongue shows from beneath the laces, giving it an open look (such as wingtips and Derbies). Bluchers are frequently more detailed than both loafers and balmorals. Wear with suits, slacks, and dressier jeans.

Balmorals (closed lacing): When the lacing pulls the shoe shut over the tongue (such as Oxfords), it gives the shoe a more formal look than open lacing. Wear with your dressiest suits and to formal occasions such as receptions, weddings, and funerals. The most elegant balmorals have minimal detailing.

Ask Jesse: Dress Shirt Shrinkage

Question: How much shrinkage should I allow for when I select new dress shirts?

Answer: As your custom tailor, naturally we allow sufficient fabric for shrinkage, so you never have to worry about ending up with a shirt that’s too small. If you still want to know the basics of shrinkage, remember that cotton fabrics will generally shrink more lengthwise (from top to bottom) than across (from side to side). Some shirts may shrink up to half an inch in length.

Check that you can fit one to two fingers between your neck and the collar. This allows room for ease in wearing and for any shrinkage. Most shirts will allow plenty of length in the body of the shirt, but make sure the shirt sleeves are long enough to lose half an inch and still reach to your wrist easily.

Newsletter – May 2012

Tie Quality

Ties add more than a splash of color to your work attire – the quality of your tie contributes to your image as well. The next time you’re selecting new ties for your wardrobe, make sure they are of long lasting, high-quality workmanship.

When comparing ties, the first consideration is the “hand” or feel of the tie. Check that the fabric feels pleasant to the touch. A scratchy or stiff tie is likely to be of lower-quality fabric than one that simply feels luxuriant. This “touch test” applies equally well to thick and thin fabrics.

Next, check the manufacture’s tag to see what type of fabric you’re holding. Silk or wool ties are generally preferable to synthetics. The natural elasticity of these fibers will stretch better around the neck, leading to a longer useful life in your wardrobe.

“For a man, choosing his tie in the morning is without a doubt one of the most poetic acts of his day.”