What to hang, what to fold?

ties in closet What to hang, what to fold?

Many people have been asking me about how I organize my closet, and what I do to maintain my clothing.

Well, one of the ways I care for my clothing is by properly hanging them in my closet. If I could, I would probably hang every piece of clothing I own since the benefits are numerous. Hanging minimizes wrinkling, airs out fabrics, and helps retain the overall shape of each garment. Unfortunately, I don’t have a gigantic walk-in closet in my apartment, so I have to pick and choose what I will hang, and what I will fold.

Here is how I personally do it:

jackets hung What to hang, what to fold?

Hang:

Collared shirts (dress shirts, OCBDs, etc.): Wrinkled dress shirts are no good- they are a must-hang. Wrinkled casual collared shirts are not as bad, but I still like to hang them up.

Dress pants: I generally use a regular triangle hanger and pass the pants through, letting them lay half on one side, and half on the other. You could go a step further and get a pant hanger as well. This reduces wrinkling, and properly airs out the pant.

Suits: Don’t ever fold a suit, unless you’re packing it for travel. Make sure both the pants and the suit are hung, and preferably on a hanger that has wide shoulders. Using a wire hanger could ruin the shape of the suit, and you wouldn’t want that.

Sport Coats / Blazers: Just like a suit, make sure to hang sport coats on wide shouldered hangers.

Jackets: Rain jackets, parkas, field jackets, you name it. I hang them all so that they can dry properly, and also to be easily accessible.

Outerwear: My coats all get hung for the same reason as my jackets. Plus, I bet outerwear takes up more space when folded than they do when hung anyway.

Belts: The way to properly hang a belt is by letting them lay straight down. You can do this by hanging your belt buckle up on some sort of clip or belt hanger.

Ties: You can roll ties up and store them, or hang them on a tie hanger. I prefer hanging them.

polo fold What to hang, what to fold?

Fold:

Knits / Sweaters: Sometimes hanging a sweater might seem like a good idea, but I’ve had sweaters stretch weirdly as a result. Thus, I fold.

Fleece: My NorthFace, Columbia, and Patagonia fleeces all get folded, but I can see why you would want to hang them too.

T-shirts / Long Sleeves: T shirts, henleys, and other thin shirts really don’t have much shape anyway. I prefer to fold them.

Polo shirts: I’ve seen polos get weird in shape from hanging as well.  I fold these, as seen above.

Casual pants: Cords, chinos, cargos, and other casual pants all get folded. Generally hot dog style, then in half, thirds, or quarters.

Jeans: I fold most my jeans, but sometimes like to hang my raw denim. Unlike washed denim, raw denim requires a bit more airing and are prone to creases.

Shorts: Shorts don’t take up much room, just fold them once hot dog style, and you should be good.

Socks: Does anyone hang their socks?

Underwear: More importantly, does anyone hang their underwear?

So there you have it. My hanging and folding habits.

Just FYI, I personally hang most my clothing on thick wooden hangers. Why? First, because they make my closet aesthetically pleasing to look at each morning, and second, because they help preserve the shape of my clothing a lot better than thin plastic hangers or worse, wire hangers.

Yes, wooden hangers will cost you more, but I’ll tell ya… they were worth every penny. Do yourself a favor and invest in some wooden hangers if you can, I highly recommend them.

Inspiration blog posts

It’s only Tuesday, but I’ve already been quite inspired by posts from two menswear blogs that I read.

My first inspiration came from a blog that several of my friends referred me to. The blog literally started yesterday, but judging by the posts, I think it will soon become one of my favorite menswear blogs of all time. It’s called Menswear Dog and I would explain why their posts inspired me, but I’ll let the picture below do the talking:

tumblr mhata3ff0h1s4yg05o1 500 Inspiration blog posts

Ingenious? Yes. Do I have anything more to say? No.

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The second post that I was inspired by was written by Derek over at Putthison.com, a blog I follow somewhat regularly. These guys explain classic style well, and are probably one of the biggest menswear blogs that I know of.

 Inspiration blog posts

Anyway, they put up a post yesterday titled “If I Could Speak to My Younger Self,” going over some style advice that a more experienced man might give to his less stylish, younger self. Advice like prioritize fit over everything else, and always prioritize quality over quantity, are part of this list (and elaborated on), and I basically agree with all of it.

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When you have the time, check both sites out! I think a big part of my job is to help bring style inspirations to you when I can, and let’s be real, if a dog wearing a tie and blazer isn’t going to inspire you to dress better, what is?

Some wicked shoes

wooster mismatched shoes 0 Some wicked shoes

At first glance, these shoes look pretty normal, albeit stylish. The grainy leather, the deep brown color, and the solid design all combine to make a pretty beautiful shoe. But as you look at each shoe individually, you’ll notice that they’re actually different designs! One is a wingtip, the other is a brogue captoe. Had me doing a double (or triple) take.

Turns out these are legitimate shoes, purposely mismatched by Tricker’s x Engineered Garments.  Don’t see myself pulling these off anytime soon, but thought it would be fun for you guys to check out.

Style rules – part 4

Welcome to another addition of the “Rules of Style” by Ralph Lauren. Remember, most of the time these “rules” should be taken as suggestions, rather than hard-fast musts. The key is to develop your own sense of style, but I think having the rules under your belt is still helpful.

Here are my thoughts for this week:

style note 10 Style rules   part 4

Why they chose this to be a rule baffles me. First of all it’s not a rule, it’s more of a thought/preference. Second, I don’t really agree with it, and let me tell you why.

I think sport coats, cashmere cardigans, and denim jackets all have different uses in one’s wardrobe. Yes, all three can work with a dress shirt and tie, but the occasions that you can wear each item will probably be a bit different. What I’m saying is that a denim jacket or cardigan isn’t quite a 1:1 substitute for a sport coat. Sport coats will certainly be the most formal of the three. Cardigans come next, and then denim jackets.

Denim jackets are considered very casual, so when you pair a tie and dress shirt with one, you’re basically dressing your outfit down. With a cardigan, I’d say you’re keeping your outfit neutral in formality, and with a sport coat, you’re dressing the outfit up. So in all, I think all 3 combinations can be great, but know they are not true substitutes.

style note 11 Style rules   part 4

Personally I think this is a pretty solid look, but borderline preppy. I don’t actually own any repp ties for that reason, and in case you don’t know what a repp tie is, here’s an article about them. Anyway, a classic oxford shirt paired with a repp tie is a solid and safe look to go with if you want to showcase your “American” sense of style.

Oh, and clearly you can tell this is Ralph Lauren’s rules of style by this picture- check out that tiny polo design on the guy’s shirt.

style note 12 Style rules   part 4

I love the four-in-hand knot. In fact, I love it so much, it’s the knot I use about 95% of the time. The other 5% is divided between the half-windsor and full-windsor. It’s easy to tie, versatile (can work for pretty much any occasion) and really looks great with most tie widths. In case you don’t know how to tie this knot, here’s something to help you.

So to recap:

Cardigans, denim jackets, and sport coats all work well with a tie & dress shirt. The formality will likely differ with each piece though.

If you want to put together a solid American look, just pair an oxford shirt with a repp tie. Though preppy, it can’t go wrong.

The four-in-hand knot is almost the only knot you really need to know. Easy to tie, and works for basically all situations.

Hope these help; peace easy my friends.

Tasteful use of loud colors

img60090770 Tasteful use of loud colorsPhoto from Rugby.com

Navys, greys, whites, beiges. These are just some of the colors that can help build a fundamentally solid wardrobe that you can count on for the rest of your life.

However, let’s say you’re feeling especially perky one day. You’re tired of wearing such “vanilla” clothing, and decide to add some spice to the mix. Well, one way to accomplish such a task is by incorporating some bold colors and patterns to your outfit. Purples, greens, pinks, yellows, you name it. But let’s say you don’t want to overdo it and cause a big distraction with your outfit.

The trick is to incorporate louder colors subtly onto a more conservative palette. For example, having a multi-colored plaid shirt by itself can be a bit busy and hard on the eyes. However, layering a solid colored v neck sweater over that shirt can do wonders for you. Having the collar and cuffs show slightly will still allow others to see the fun pattern and colors, but it won’t be distracting or flashy.

street style pitti uomo 5 Tasteful use of loud colorsSee the red incorporated into this outfit, making the color pop? Or the guy on the right using a bold red color pocket square and bracelet? 

Also, try to keep bold patterns/colors to around one piece. Wearing green pants, bright red sunglasses, and a hot pink shirt might seem like a good idea (it’s not), but will probably blind those that you walk past. Instead, if you opt for just one of those pieces, and layer some more conservative colors around it, your look will be a lot more tasteful and appropriate.

So my recommendation is DO IT! It’ll set you apart, and you’ll be able to have some fun with your outfit. However, make sure you do it within reason, and wear your loud colors somewhat conservatively. This way, you’ll look daring and spicy, but won’t give off an air of obnoxiousness.

Happy Friday everybody!

What am I wearing 1.22.12

Time for another outfit of the day post. Felt like dressing up a bit (ie: putting on a tie and pocket square), but also wanted to remain casual enough to blend into the city a bit.

Here’s my solution:

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Coat: Banana Republic | Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples | Pocket Square: John W. Nordstrom

Shirt: Brooks Brothers | Tie: Drake’s | Cardigan: Black Fleece

Belt: Perry Ellis | Pants: Ian Velardi | Socks: Merona | Shoes: Paul Smith

So as many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Thom Browne’s branding (the red, white, and blue, generally on grosgrain). That’s exactly why I’m wearing this Black Fleece cardigan along with a relatively conservative outfit. I think a small, but noticeable pop of color can really put some spice into an otherwise “safe” getup, so this cardigan fit the bill for me. I’ll certainly be doing a post about adding pops of color to an outfit shortly.

So until then…

Product Review: Alden Long Wing Bluchers

Once in a while, I’d like to review a product for you guys on this blog. Sometimes, it might be my initial reactions towards a product I just purchased, and other times I’ll go over something that has been part of my outfit rotation for some time. Today, I’ll start with a fairly new purchase: a pair of shoes by the famous American shoemaker Alden.

Alden is one of the few remaining true American shoemakers. They manufacture in Middleborough, Massachusetts, and have been at it since 1884. The pair I got is one of their most classic designs, known commonly as the long wing blucher (LWB). The design is fairly similar to that of a normal wingtip, the only difference being that the wing design extends from the front of the shoe all the way to the back. Here are some pictures below:

alden lwb4 Product Review: Alden Long Wing Bluchers

Alden Made in the U.S.A.

alden lwb1 Product Review: Alden Long Wing Bluchers

See how the wingtip design extends all the way throughout the shoe?

alden lwb2 Product Review: Alden Long Wing Bluchers

You can tell the stitching on the welt ends at a point near the heel.

alden lwb3 Product Review: Alden Long Wing Bluchers

Black leather sole with rubber at the edge of the heel.

alden lwb5 Product Review: Alden Long Wing Bluchers

Wearing the shoes around the house.

alden lwb7 Product Review: Alden Long Wing Bluchers

You can get these in many shades of brown as well.

alden lwb8 Product Review: Alden Long Wing Bluchers

Pretty handsome shoe in my opinion.

alden lwb6 Product Review: Alden Long Wing Bluchers

Outfit I’m wearing with the shoes.

Shirt: Brooks Brothers | Sweater: Old Navy | Watch: Omega

Bracelet: Unbranded | Jeans: Tellason | Shoes: Alden

Okay, so let me go into the review.

Construction: These shoes are solidly constructed. First off, all Alden shoes are Goodyear welted, meaning that the upper portion of the shoes are sewn onto a welt that also attaches to the sole. This is definitely one of the highest forms of shoe construction you can find, and Alden’s been doing it brilliantly for generations. The other great thing about Goodyear welting is that it allows you to easily resole the shoes when your soles start to fall apart. Alden has a great policy where you can send in your old shoes to them, and for around $100, they can refinish the entire shoe, get you a new sole, and have them back to you looking altogether brand new.

Another thing to add is that the attention to detail is top notch, probably because these shoes are hand-made domestically. I can’t find any flaws in stitching, lining, broguing, or just about any other construction element of the shoes. Suffice it to say, I’m happy with the overall quality.

Comfort: Comfort is surprisingly good. When comparing these to my Allen Edmonds, the Aldens are actually more comfortable even out of the box. I do believe they still require some breaking in of the sole, as the sole is a bit stiff from the get-go, but for the most part I think comfort isn’t going to be a problem. Might also have to do with the fact that the last (the shape/mold of the shoe) is a bit roomier than my other pairs of shoes.

Design: Truth is, I don’t think these shoes are very sleek or sexy. The last that these shoes are on, called the Barrie last, is slightly chunky, and the longwing design takes a bit of getting used to at first. For that reason, some might consider the design to be too old or boring. However, I don’t think these shoes are trying to be some sort of modern chic cocktail-hour shoe (like many English or Italian shoes might be).

They’re designed to be a daily workhorse of sorts, with a signature American look & feel to them. The chunkier sole helps support your foot better, the rock solid leather defends your foot from the elements, and the long wingtip design is a classic design that’s been loved and worn for ages. I personally love the look, hence me purchasing, but can see why others might feel like the shoes aren’t handsome enough to buy.

Material: The materials used are very high in quality. I can already tell that the sole and uppers feel hefty by touch, and will stand up to daily wear and tear with ease. Good news is that leather is still soft, despite being so durable, making the shoes a pleasure to wear.

Price: The price of most Alden shoes will be between $400 and $600 (when made with calf-skin). Clearly, they’re expensive, and not something to be taken lightly. To add, Aldens don’t go on sale. I was lucky enough to find a loophole and get some on sale via some menswear forums, but I likely won’t have an opportunity like that again. So the question begs, are they worth the asking price?

Well, it depends. To some, the price increase from a pair of Allen Edmonds might not be worth it. They’re constructed similarly and might even source their leather from the same place. I do know they use the same cordovan leather. However, I do think that the attention to detail on these shoes is much higher than any of my Allen Edmonds. The shoes feels sturdier, and thus, looks like they’ll last longer. They’re also more comfortable. So to me, the increase in quality is evident, and sometimes I’m willing to shell out some more dough as a result.

Just be aware that the law of diminishing returns is certainly playing a factor at this point. Let’s say these were almost two times as expensive as my Allen Edmonds. Are they two times as good? No. Are they, in my opinion, maybe 10-20% better? Probably. So the question really becomes, are you willing to pay double the price for a slight increase in construction and quality (and design for those who like it)?

Conclusion: Overall, the shoes are constructed with the highest quality materials, feel rather comfortable even from the get-go, and are clearly strong enough to be in the game for the long haul. The look of these shoes can take a little getting used to (as I had to), but they are a classic Alden design- something that will likely never go out of style. The asking price is steep, but could be worth it for some of you. For those who need to save some money, stick with Loake, Charles Tyrwhitt, or Allen Edmonds. If you like any of their designs and have the money though, I highly recommend a pair of Aldens. You’re guaranteed excellent quality and construction.

Here are some links if you’d like a pair for yourself:

Unionmade

Alden of Carmel

J.Crew

Style Comparison: Suits vs How I Met Your Mother

One of my favorite TV shows, Suits, is coming back on the air soon. In promoting the season premiere, they put out this awesome infographic comparing two of my favorite style icons, check it out:

541793 410473259032310 945637069 n Style Comparison: Suits vs How I Met Your Mother

Personally I’m a fan of Harvey Specter’s style. Looks uber classy, professional, and powerful. However, I will say that it takes an equally classy, professional, and powerful person to most effectively pull the look off, and Harvey Specter certainly checks all the boxes. Truthfully though, the safer route is Barney’s notch lapel two piece suit, which is still an absolute classic.

Wish List #4

Christmas has come and gone, and massive end-of-the-season sales have begun. Time for another wish list from yours truly.

Saint James Meridien II shirt

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Oddly, this shirt has been on my mind for the last three weeks. Really, it’s nothing special since all it is, is basically a long sleeve striped T shirt (albeit a high quality one) with a slightly unique neck opening.  To add, I’m not a huge fan of horizontal lines on shirts since I’m a bit shorter, and such patterns don’t do any favors for my stature. Still, this shirt keeps popping up in my head. I suppose it might be the shirt’s history? Or incredible layering ability?

You can grab one from J.Crew or Unionmade (who is actually having a semi-annual sale right now).

Wolverine 1000 Mile boots

boot2 Wish List #4

Why do I keep posting boots in my wish lists?

One boot that has particularly caught my attention is the 1000 mile boot by Wolverine. These bad boys are quite acclaimed in the menswear world, and for good reason. I had a chance to try them out recently, and not only do they look great, but you can immediately tell they’re built like an ox. Proper Goodyear welting on a leather sole, high quality upper leather & stitching, made in the USA… what’s not to like? Plus, I think they are incredibly versatile. They’re equally appropriate on a mountain hike as they are at an office event.

I would go out and get them immediately, but I think I’m past my boot quota for 2012-2013. Oh, and if these boots are too expensive for you, I found a great deal on an amazing, less expensive alternative made by Chippewa. You can find them on Amazon for only $86 with coupon “workboot.” Yea, seriously.

Drake’s navy pin dot tie

k0eh.03048.001 m 1 Wish List #4

I recently saw a Gitman Vintage navy shirt with a subtle pin dot pattern on it at a clothing boutique here in SF. I immediately wanted one in my closet, so I started searching the web to find one in my size. Unfortunately, I failed to find one at a decent price, but the shirt got me to thinking. Hey, wouldn’t this pattern look great on a tie or pocket square?

Since having that thought, I’ve been looking all over the web for a decent tie and pocket square combo in the navy + pin dot pattern. Well it turns out that one of my favorite tie makers, Drake’s of London, carries a nice one as shown above. They’re also having an end of the year sale right now, so the prices are cut about 25%.

If the price is still too high for you, good news is that you can get both a tie and pocket square in this pattern at thetiebar for a lot cheaper than the Drake’s tie above.

J.Crew denim shirt

PJ BL122 DRESSC G 20121128165248 Wish List #4

Grant it, I don’t think it needs to be specifically from J.Crew, but I’ve been looking for a nice dark indigo denim shirt for a while now. I think a denim shirt is a piece that can effortlessly dress a formal outfit down, and still look appropriate in most situations. Definitely a refreshing change from your normal white, blue, or pink dress shirt that you may wear on a daily basis.

The only reservation I have with getting a denim shirt is its versatility. I generally wear jeans everyday and the color of this shirt in particular would be too similar to the color of my jeans, making the outfit look less than ideal. Either way, I’m on the fence, but I must say… J.Crew makes this shirt look damn good.

So there you go, my January wish list. You know, sometimes I wonder if it ever ends…

Oh well, TIME TO SPEND MOAR MONEY!

Ask me: Pitti Uomo

doyougrazia 441793 Ask me: Pitti Uomo

Courtesy: Complex Mag

What do you think of these outfits from Pitti Uomo? Seems a bit extravagant to me. – Ronald

For those of you who don’t know what Pitti Uomo is, it is a menswear trade show that occurs in Florence, Italy twice a year. Some of the world’s top designers and labels will converge at this location to show off their new collections for the season to come. It’s also a time when people in the industry will wear the most fashion-forward stuff you’ll ever see, and take pictures of each other out in the streets.

I personally think that the outfits people wear at Pitti can range from beautiful to laughable (or both). Some people put together combinations of clothing that are both innovative and inspirational to me. For example, I saw people at Pitti using colorful gloves as pocket squares for their outerwear. Fashionable and practical? Boy did I want to go out and put that in practice immediately. Also, some of the outfit color/pattern combos are beautifully executed, and I’m extremely jealous of the high quality garments being worn. Kiton, Isaia, Brunello Cucinelli, good lord.

xJNM5 Ask me: Pitti Uomo

At the same time though, I am completely turned off by the absurdity of what some of these people are wearing. Trendiness is off the charts at Pitti, and I feel like conservatism is sometimes laughed at.

Suit shorts? Of course, but only if it’s above the thigh!

Jackets shrunken to toddler sizes? Hmm, shall we try baby sizes?

Women’s hats and meggings? Maybe we should add a bow to our hair as well?

So I guess that’s my long way of saying that the outfits at Pitti can range from ludicrous to fabulous, and most of what’s being worn should be seen as fashion-forward and trendy as opposed to classic and timeless. Probably fun to look at and take small ideas from here and there, but not necessary to emulate in its entirety. Definitely not dogging on the event or the people who attend it, as I think events like this are necessary to move fashion forward, but you probably won’t see me in some of the more outlandish Pitti-wear anytime soon.

So there you go, my thoughts on Pitti Uomo. Oh, and if you want a laugh, here’s an excellent article about how to “fit in” at Pitti Uomo.