The Idle Man – How To Dress Business Casual

New article written for the Idle Man up today, read the full piece here. Shop all your menswear needs with theidleman.com

An excerpt from How To Dress Business Casual – Min A. Lee:

Learn how to navigate the business casual dress code for your summer office attire. We put together our favourite pieces to keep you comfortable while maintaining a professional and smart appearance. 

Read more Men’s Style Guide features.

When it comes to dressing for your 9-to-5, the grey area between sleek tailored suits and getting away with denim is challenging. Depending on the work environment, business casual allows men a chance to express individuality without overstepping those bounds into losing respectability among their peers.

The challenge is finding what looks work best for your environment as well as your style, and keeping a balance between business appropriate wear, and a comfortable outfit to help you get through the day. With everything from business casual suits, shoes and trousers to choose from, we’ll help you through the minefield and help you find a look that will work for you.

What is Business Casual for Men?

Business casual. It’s a term that gets thrown around a fair amount, but what exactly is it? In simple terms business casual is similar to smart casual, but tends to relate more to your work environment, and so can adapt according to your surroundings. If you’re in a traditional office where people tend to wear suits and ties, then you might be more limited to what casual aspects you can incorporate into your wardrobe. However there are still ways that you can keep your outfit comfortable as well as smart, and this is what business casual is really all about.

Business Casual Suits for Men

Normally, when we speak of suits it’s about formality. In the case of business casual you can still pull off a tailored suit. It comes down to knowing your fabrics. Cashmere, silk and velvets are best for those evening occasions. Heavy weight wools even worsted wools are a no-go for summer. Aim for:

  • Linen
  • Cotten
  • Polyester

You may find these light weight fabrics wrinkle easier, but are much more breathable for the warm seasons. They may not have the luxurious appeal of fine wools, but you’re wanting for a more relaxed vibe to begin with. Keep the colours on the lighter side and the cuts well-fitted. If you really prefer dark grey and black, you can always lighten things up with a cool patterned shirt. Usually socks and suits go hand-in-hand, but you can skip on them for summer.

mens outfit grid smart business casual suits
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man | SHOP: Suits

Business Casual Blazer

There’s more freedom that comes with using a blazer, single or double-breasted. You can pair it with different coloured trousers for personality. Though as with all men’s business professional attire—keep it tailored. You want to avoid looking unkept. Make sure the length of your trousers are hemmed properly.

On the other hand, this is the chance to explore different textiles. Generally, blazers are solid to help define them from sports jackets, and neither come with matching pants. We will go into the difference between the two later on.

Here’s some other style points to consider:

  • Pass on wearing a tie.
  • Sport a good quality t-shirt underneath.
  • You can get away with unbuttoning the collar.

Make sure that you follow complementary colour rules. Check out this quick guide to understanding the colour wheel. Having a chance to play with style doesn’t mean avoiding all the rules. You don’t want to clash.

outfit grid mens business casual blazer
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man | SHOP: Blazers

Business Casual Jeans

The main question is, are jeans business casual? Yes and no. There are ways to make jeans fit into the mens business fashion category. Of course, this is if your office allows it.

First here’s what not to wear:

  • No distressed denim, whether purposely done for design or not. Distressing is strictly casual men’s fashion only. Your boss doesn’t want to see holes all over your pants and if you are dealing with clients on a regular basis, they don’t either.
  • No fabric that’s showing wear patterns around the knees and seat. Those pairs need to stay in your weekend pile.
  • No heavy whiskering or edgier dye jobs, such as acid washes. It doesn’t look as professional as it needs to be for men’s business casual.

With the blues, keep it clean and keep it dark. Summer tends to be the time for lighter blue washes, but darker is sharper. It looks more confident in the work place. You can go for monochrome blacks and blues or step out in high contrast with lighter tops and jackets.

If you really want to try colored denim, look for solid pale grey or beige, neutral tones. White is another option that can look savvy. There are a spectrum of jean colours out there, but the vibrant ones look more well-groomed when worn as a trouser.

Mainly, if you are going for jeans, everything needs to be immaculate. From the jacket to the shoes—make sure they all fit you correctly, nothing baggy, especially the jeans. Preferably keep to a blazer and a crisp button down to help take away the lax appearance of denim.

For more on dressing business casual follow the link above. 

 

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The Idle Man – James Bond

Article up on theidleman.com – How To Dress Like James Bond

By Min A. Lee

An in-depth look into 007 reveals a complex protagonist with immaculate style. We examined a selection of Bond films for some of the best lessons in tailored menswear and accessories you’ll ever receive. You’ll be dressing like James Bond in no time!

Read more Men’s style guides.

While we are obsessed with the current James Bond, Daniel Craig, the iconic style that has become vital to bringing the literary character to life on the silver screen began with three men: Terence Young, Anthony Sinclair and Sean Connery.

TerenceYoung coached Connery into portraying the Bond that would set the bar since his first film Dr. No. Using his own bespoke tailor, Anthony Sinclair, Young felt everything worn by Bond was a huge proponent of the persona.

We asked Remmert van Braam, founder of the popular Bond Lifestyle, from the clothes to personality, what is it about James Bond that attracts men and women:

Bond always knows his stuff, from the wine he drinks to the car he drives, he knows what he wants and wants the best. This is something Bond creator Ian Fleming already put in the novels, naming specific brands and Bond’s sartorial preferences. Usually these are high-end, quality products. It might sound materialistic, but what men and women might admire in Bond is that even though he gets all the best things, he just as easily ruins bespoke suits, handmade shoes, or expensive vehicles and he doesn’t seem to care. Except of course when it’s his beloved Aston Martin DB5 (or his Bentley in the novels).

— Remmert van Braam, Bond Lifestyle

Clean silhouettes, easy shoulders, a slight flare to the jacket and movable fit define the Conduit Street tailor’s aesthetics. The British style embedded by Sinclair still translates across all of the 007 films to this day.

Let’s break down all of Bonds’ main looks, and how to achieve them.

The Tuxedo

Tuxedos appear heavily throughout the Bond movies. It’s important to remember, tuxedos are notably different from suits:

  • Suits can be worn anytime of the day, while formal tuxedos are for evening.
  • Color plays a role; tuxedos are usually black or extremely dark blue. Suits can be lighter shades.
  • Traditionally tuxedos will contain satin: the lapels, buttons, trimming down the trouser legs, while suits don’t.
  • The jacket lapels themselves are different. You won’t see tuxedos with notched lapels.
  • Tuxedos should have a bow tie versus wearing casual neck piece for suits.

Whenever we think of ‘Dr. No’, the first scene that comes to mind is that epic moment when through a cloud of cigarette smoke, Connery introduces himself as, Bond. James Bond. He was wearing a Sinclair designed tuxedo in midnight blue with a Lanvin shirt, these moments were the start of many.

The Grey Suit

Throughout the Connery era, Sinclair’s clean aesthetics were at the forefront. A popular style was his glen check three-piece suit in Goldfinger, featuring narrow lapels, ticket pocket along with the slip of a handkerchief and notched lapel waist coat.

Here’s Roger Moore working a grey, chalk stripe jacket with a peaked lapel. What’s the difference between pinstripes and chalk stripes? The latter is set wider, and sewn at an angle to mimic a tailor’s chalk line.

As time progressed, Brioni dressed Pierce Brosnan in neutral, but with a wider lapel with a higher gorge and no waist coat. The pleated trousers of Sinclair disappeared for slimmer cuts with darting.

Brioni was switched out for Tom Ford by “Quantum Of Solace.” While Craig did wear the Italian brand for one movie, a change in costume designer also influenced the change to Ford. Though there is variation between the designers of Bond’s suits, the fact remains from Sinclair to the more modern take we see now—grey is timeless.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE AND SHOP THE IDLE MAN – TOP MENSWEAR DESTINATION!

The Idle Man -12 Best Watches Under £100

Fashion article up on theidleman.com – The 12 Best Watches Under £100 – Min A. Lee

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“A symbol of identity and status, watches provide major style flexibility, but can come with hefty price-tags. We rounded up the 12 best men’s watches under £100 to keep you looking sharp.

Check out more from our Men’s Style Guides here.

Previously The Idle Man brought to you a brief history on men’s watches and finds under £500. Overall, what is it about watches that has survived decades of technological advances?

It comes down to symbolism. Watches are common gifts for major achievements, whether it be a company promotion or a special birthday, think “coming of age.” They have become heirlooms to many, holding special memories as they are passed down through the family tree. It’s rather hard to pass down a tablet or apple watch. Technology doesn’t have the same longevity. Watches cross generational gaps. There’s a huge possibility you’ll treasure the same watch company that your Grandpa did.

No matter how the economy dips, watches retain value. The amount of time and craftsmanship that goes into creating a single mechanical dial pushes this value higher. Take a look at this in-depth video by Hodinkee, founded by watch connoisseur Benjamin Clymer, exploring Seiko manufacturers.

Now let’s take a look at the money aspect. Patek Philippe, need we say more? Who wouldn’t lust for a watch from the famous Swiss manufacturer, but we’re talking 5 figures at the very least. That is to be expected from a design house that has supplied royal families.

Style has gone far beyond dressing head-to-toe high end brands. Fashion moves quickly. This constant change has impacted how we shop. Many find themselves mixing high to low or favouring mid-tier designers.”

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View the video and read the entire article containing the best mens watches, more style tips and shop for all your menswear needs at theidleman.com

 

Fashion Writing – Teddy Stratford Shirts & Audrey Magazine

Article written for Audrey Magazine, read the full piece here.

How the Police of Bangkok Inspired a New York City Dress Shirt Company

 

Normally, National Public Radio (NPR) is considered at the forefront of distributing news and cultural programming, not as a media outlet for fashion. But one podcast is beginning to change how the global fashion industry is viewed.  Rather than a constant stream of modern trends and red carpet celebrity drama, which at times feels more like a reality television show, NPR host Jacki Lyden was given the task of presenting the topic in a way that will appeal to listeners.

Regarding her new production, she explained, “We have to do it as anthropology—and more like a salon of the air.  That’s where public radio audiences would come in—in the amazing cultural context of fashion, and as business, diversity, history, entertainment and social commentary.”  Hence, The Seams: Clothing Is Our Common Thread: In Every Stitch, A Story was born, and from its recent beginnings Lyden has used the world as a palette and shared stories that force us to think about fashion as a complex, yet engaging academic conversation instead of an image roll of pretty outfits.

Lyden’s first episode on theseams.org pulled us into the streets of Bangkok with entrepreneur Bryan Davis, who credits his extreme fascination with the police attire of the city as an influential obsession that would lead him on a successful kickstarter campaign for a patented dress shirt.

“I was reading about the police department, so I was particularly tuned into the police, and I noticed the police had these awesome uniforms, these really close fitting, sharp uniforms,” Davis states during the recording.

During a traffic stop, Davis found an opportune moment to question the officer where the uniform was from.

Luckily, instead of a ticket, he received an address for a local tailor, “My friend and I walk in to the tailor’s…she’s got to translate.  But what’s interesting in Bangkok is that the police all get their uniforms completely custom made.  This tailor was measuring me up asking, ‘Do you want cuffs on these pants,’ and all this stuff and then he got to a point where my friend couldn’t translate she didn’t know the word apparently for zipper…I want a zipper I’ve never seen that before!”

Taking inspiration from the uniform, Davis enlisted the partnership of master tailor Carl Goldberg and launched the company Teddy Stratford.  Using campaign money, the “Zip Fit Shirt” was released featuring a zipper hidden under a faux button placket to create a slim, stream-lined look.  In order to maintain the high quality that can be easily lost with mass production, all shirts are hand made in New York City with a retail price of approximately $185.

This experience shows us how every piece of clothing we have carries with it some anthropological and/or sociological aspect.  Clothing isn’t only just a reflection of individualism, but part of a giant industry that battles financial and ethical concerns along the way, which is what Lyden’s series for NPR hopes to address to a growing consumership.  As the podcast advances, we aim to share with you more compelling features, and if you are interested in listening in, visit theseams.org to check out the latest aired episodes. – See more at: http://audreymagazine.com/how-the-police-of-bangkok-inspired-a-new-york-city-dress-shirt-company/#sthash.GYQQbp54.dpuf