dressing your guy :: part 1

Dressing your guy should be a fun experience; however, when it’s time to shop there are so many things to consider that it can easily feel overwhelming.
I’m excited to kick off a three-part “Men’s Style” series today in collaboration with Jen Brinsmade of J. Hilburn clothier for men, focused on dressing your man with ease. This post is dedicated to finding the “proper fit” for shirts. Next, we’ll tackle pants and jackets and then we will conclude with Fall and Winter trends.

“Simplicity has always been my mantra,” comments Jen, and her recommendation that we use The Style Pyramid as an easy guide when making selections for that special guy is a great point of reference to start. It also serves as great tool for women’s style as well.

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The Style Pyramid includes three key components :: Fit, Fabric and Style.

+FIT :: sits at the head of the pyramid as the key factor for any wardrobe addition. The way a man’s clothes fit will affect his overall appearance even if the fabric and style are not top notch.

+FABRIC & STYLE :: at the base of the pyramid sit the componant’s that represent a man’s preference and taste, essentially how he would like to present himself to the world.

Rules of thumb :: If the fit is perfect and the fabric is well made but it doesn’t suit his taste {or you for that matter}, don’t buy it. A piece of clothing should meet ALL three criteria before making a purchase. Let’s be honest, if you don’t consider these fundamentals, a piece will likely wind up hanging in the closet unworn and your money wasted.

Now let’s begin with the proper fit of dress and polo style shirts since they are the foundation of a guy’s wardrobe…

The Perfect Fitting Dress Shirt by J. Hilburn

Here are 4 common shirt-fit mistakes that keep your man from looking his best ::

1. Shirt fat (that’s right…makes me cringe writing it) :: When a man’s shirt is cut too wide for his body through the torso and then tucked in, all the extra fabric puffs out and makes him appear larger in the mid-section than he truly is. A shirt properly tailored to his body will help eliminate the appearance of excess “pounds”. If your current “off the rack” purchases don’t fit well, consider having them altered. This is a often a cheaper alternative to tossing out something you like verses buying something completely new.

2. Sleeve width and length :: When a dress shirt sleeve is cut too wide and sits too long where the cuff is buttoned, a billowing effect occurs which makes a man look more like a pirate than a modern man. Fitted sleeves and a length that stops at the wrist bone will give a cleaner, more sophisticated appearance. For polo shirts, make sure the sleeve length measures 1-2 inches above the elbow.

3. Shirt length :: Most mass-produced shirts are cut extra-long resulting in a penguin-tail overhang below a man’s rear end. An untucked shirt after a long day of work can look more like a man’s version of a dress instead of a dress shirt. The ideal length should fall in the front where the thumb touches the thigh when arm is fully extended.

4. Shoulder seams :: The best fit is where the seam sits on the top of the shoulder where you can actually feel the bone (the acromion process). Anything beyond the shoulder results in an ill-fitting shirt.

Need a good start? Shop some of our favorite picks in-stores and online ::

Banana Republic Monogram Micro-Gingham Shirt

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Hugo Boss Sharp Fit Check Dress Shirt

PIma Cotton Interlock Ralph Lauren Polo

Southern Tide Skip Tide Polo

Stay tuned for our next Men’s Style post covering how to fit trousers and jackets coming soon…

Stylishly yours,

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