Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the launch party for the brand-new Seattle location of Suitsupply, the made-to-measure menswear store that is going to give your local Nordstrom some serious competition. Menswear is all about construction and fit. Because the trends don't move as quickly as those for women, it's especially important for men to invest in pieces that will communicate their personal style and last for several seasons. Quality, my friends. Quality.
The PR geniuses behind this party did an exceptional job of finding the Suitsupply man in Seattle. Never have I been in a room filled with such well dressed fellas. Plaid pants, high quality shoes, tailored, thoughtful style. It was a gold mine for a single lady (or man).
The beauty of Suitsupply is the emphasis on tailoring and current trends. Stepping into Suitsupply is like stepping into an issue of Esquire, which I highly recommend. The in-house tailor can adjust your suit while you wait.
Suits, I realize, may be something that you rarely wear. So, is suit supply for you? Indeed. Remember, menswear is all about construction, fit and communicating your personal style. That means items should be built to last and be functional.
Interested in stepping up your style game? Here are a few entry point to help you ensure you are a fashion-forward man:
1. Make sure you have the perfect bag.
Think about your lifestyle. If everything is online, a portfolio or document bag isn't for you. But, for the gentleman with paper to carry, establish yourself as a successful expert at every meeting.
2. If you only have money to buy one item, buy a coat.
The ladies have heard this from me before. We spend so much time outside and the Seattle climate demands that we wear some sort of jacket or coat most of the year. A high quality coat elevates your entire ensemble. I'm a big fan of this vest from Suitsupply because it is styled to perfection (which is helpful) and you can see the impact of fit. Sure, you may already have a down vest from REI and think you are covered. You could certainly make that work. But if you want to be current, your vest needs to be slimmer fitting and this does the trick. Plus, layering a down vest under a wool coat is functional and fashionable. That's challenging to do if your vest is bulky. Invest, my friend.
3. Your shirt needs to communicate 2014, not 1992.
A slim-fitting shirt is essential for the modern man. It should not be tight with the buttons pulling apart. You want to be able to move easily to do manly things, of course. But, it should also not be baggy. Layering a dress shirt under a heavier work shirt (chambray, wool or cotton) is a great way to up your game and stay warm without a hoodie or sweater. You can always add a tie to the mix, as well. I love this shirt from Suitsupply, but if you are on a budget, Express can work well, too. Remember, construction matters, so the nicer quality shirt will last longer. Fewer pieces, better quality, long term investments. These are your goals.
We happened to run into a columnist from the Seattle Times at the Suitsupply party. I'll tell you what I told her, "Women expect a lot more from men than they used to. They need to be more put together. When you see the woman all put together and the man in sweats. Well, you want to cry."
Go forth and conquer.
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