The Heat is On! How to Dress in Warmer Climates

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It is that time of year. The afternoon rain is approaching, the humidity is increasing.. well at least here in Florida it is! I’m not complaining, summer is one of my favorite times of year, but it certainly proposes some challenges for men who like and/or need to wear suits to work everyday. Just thinking of business suits and Florida’s heat can make one sweat, but summer is right around the corner and that’s the reality for Southwest Florida businessmen. Here are some tips on how to stay cool and look cool all at the same time:

The right suit? No sweat

The best choices for business suits in climates like Florida are made of breathable fabrics such as tropical wools and wool/mohair blends that are 120-gauge thread count. These suits wear well, are lightweight and keep their shape. Luxurious Italian cotton and linen suits also are great for staying cool but may require pressing from time to time.

For the evenings, opt for a sport coat made of lightweight wool or a silk-linen blend. These fabrics have a light/lofty feel with a beautiful textured look that is great in either solids or patterns. Another ultra-lightweight option would be a cashmere and silk-blend sport jacket. These jackets wear well and are very comfortable.

Cool leather

A lightweight shoe can make a big difference in keeping you cool and comfortable in tropical climates. Footwear made of Italian calfskin leather is the best choice. The construction of these shoes is lighter in weight and features either a terry cloth or ultra thin lining. In some instances, you can even purchase a shoe with no lining. Also, the structure of these shoes is soft and breathable and is available in a variety of styles, including wingtip, loafer, monk strap and cap toe.

Shine in 2014

new-years-eveNew Year’s Eve is a time to shine. Your resolutions are made, dinner reservations are set, you have a date.  Now all you have to worry about is: what are you going to wear?  Sure, you could go with the black tie look and blend in with everyone else, or you could add to your look with some one-of-a-kind pieces that no one else will have!

Unique cufflinks are a great way to add a pop to your look without going overboard.  Go outside of your comfort zone with a playful tie or a colorful pair of socks.  Top the whole look off with a beautiful, and comfortable, pair of leather shoes.  Compliments are sure to follow, and you’ll be remembered, for the good.

cufflinksSo stop by Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers to pick up these unique accessories that will be sure to help you ring in 2014 right!  And while you’re here, get your date glammed up with a Luigi Borbone dress, which is sure to turn heads, especially since we are the only store in the United States to carry his line.

lavinia longhiMake a resolution to look good and feel good this year by getting starting your custom wardrobe today!

Milan Men’s Fashion Week: 2012 Trend Report

Hey, pouty!  So, you did not make it to this year’s Milan Men’s Fashion Week…  You missed all the shows, after parties, mingling with celebrities, the delicious food (and drinks), and all that comes with an event of this caliber?

Get over it!  You saved yourself some Euros that you can now put towards a brand new wardrobe, sans hangover.  So, to update your new wardrobe, this is what will be trending at the show.  Now, this is something you should not miss and must have!

Alexander McQueen. Fitted with extra attention to details!

Canali.  Bring out your inner modern dapper. Double-breasted, check! Ticket pocket, check! Cuffed pants, check! Superb, double check!

Brioni.  Colorful, hell yeah! It’s not like we haven’t been begging you to splash your closet with color for sometime now…

Emporio Armani. This seems like a fantastic spring trend. Double-breasted jacket & shorts. We most definitely can’t wait!

Gucci. Did we say color? Yes, color! Patterns! Get out there, out loud!

Roberto Cavalli. Okay, yes, we said color. Now, don’t overdo it! There is a very thin line between awesome and… Well, not so much.

Z Zegna. Across the thin line… An abomination.

Moschino. Built-in cummerbund, denim shirt, bow tie, sneakers, pocket square? No comments, our brains are still processing such a disaster!

Ports 1961. Hands down, the Spring 2013 menswear trend we can’t wait for! Jacket & shorts!

PS, just for the record. Don’t you ever wear this, even on Halloween! What happened, Moschino?!

What’s Your Look and What Does it Say?

Remember how we talked so much about the power of your image?  How people make quick and lasting assumptions based on what they first see?  A very talented guy that doesn’t look ready for a promotion based on his horrible suit…  A young man trapped in his college years, who might be very capable, but comes off as unreliable.  A very smart person that is not so smart, since he always looks so preppy.  Don’t get stuck with the wrong character!  …Unless you want to role play, and be a bad boy rocker for the night to get some extra attention from the females!

The True Gentleman

This guy looks sharp even in his PJs.  The epitome of a “gentleman,” the highest tier of manhood.  From his fabric and color choices to his always classic accessories, this is as good as it gets.  His spruce and stylish look is a true representation of everything he is and does, always number one!

Who’s That Punk?

Let’s face it, he is out there prowling for his next heart to break, and he will find plenty of girls willing to give it to him.  His black jeans and T-shirt, in combination with his Harness Fry boots, creates his mysterious, rocker look.  Thanks goodness he goes with the wind, so he wont stick around for long.

Swanky, Preppy and Ultra Cool

This guy loves fashion, and he is not shy about letting everyone know about i.  Très sartorial, always looking to push the envelope, he is young and gets away with being young while getting the respect of someone twice his age.  He will wear that great suit fabric you wish you had the, well, courage to wear.  Needless to say, this look opens all kinds of doors.  He might not be the brightest bulb, but indeed, he is the savviest!

Old Corporate

This specimen, hopefully soon to be extinct, usually comes with the worst, unfitted, outdated suit (because of work, you know?).  In his mind, the bad pant pleats are probably part of the dress code, too!  In general. his whole wardrobe is a mess, yet he still wonders why he doesn’t get that promotion.  What can a nice suit do?  It can erase that incompetent look.

John Smith

His look is fitted, somewhat up to date and is just flat-out boring.  You’ve got to figure that you can only do so much with a pair of khakis and shirts in a three color palette range.  Let us tell you something pal, besides boring, that look comes with a big tag that says “lack of creativity.”  Not a good thing to spot, especially when looking for a job.

Let’s Be Friends (Neo-Hipster)

Ah, this kid.  Left his brain, and probably his heart, in college.  Basically a low-rent version of all those way-too-genre-savvy-for-their-own-good kids in Williamsburg, he still wears those funny saying and cartoon heroes T-shirts with jeans and sneakers.  Because his brain is still somewhere in college, this kid is not stressed, he is chilling all the time.  The girls love him.  He is nice, sweet, almost always very funny, approachable…  Harmless.  The perfect friend, and he will always be just that until he finally mans up and throws his whole wardrobe away.  This look is just unreliable.

Special Entry: The Reformed Nerd

Sitting somewhere in a demilitarized zone between formal and casual, this fellow found his confidence and sense of style later than most, and it shows.  Part hipster, part preppy, part “John Smith,” part gentleman, he favors dark colors and sleek lines, but probably dresses a bit too young for his age.  He also probably needs to loosen up a bit!  Open up those collars, man, you aren’t in church!  But he’s come a long way from the Super Nintendo T-shirt days, and thanks to that old streak of nerdiness, actually knows how to polish his shoes and color coordinate, and for that, we salute him!

Off-Season

You know our dear ladies love a man in uniform, and that also applies for major sports athletes.  Some of our ladyfriends daydream off and on about them in the off-season, but mostly, they never get to see or hear from them until they’re back in uniform for the new season (unless A-Rod dating yet another Hollywood goddess).  So we snooped around a bit to see what they look like when they get to pick an outfit all on their own.

The results are surprising, ranging from “ultra swanky” to “I don’t have a style of my own yet” to even…  Well…  “Boring”!  Here are some of those dudes in our favorite (and not so favorite) clothes.

Mr. Dad! This guy is all about the professional, classic, put together look! Kudos, Eli!

Dwyane Wade: always chilling out. This guy is all about having a good time!

Trendy, he is enjoying the extra attention from the media and the ladies. His wardrobe has definitely stepped up to meet his celebrity status. Keep it up, Tebow!

Mark Sanchez is Mr. Nice Guy. He definitely has the look of being approachable. You think he is taking advantage of it?

Manny Ramirez: no words for this. We’re just going to say that matching your shirt to your lady’s outfit in such a way should be an offense allowed only for prom night.

Kobe Bryant is way too cool! He definitely has a bit of that “chill” West Coast thing going on. Other than that, his “I’m way too cool” reputation precedes him even off court.

Dustin Brown, the Guy Next Door. Dude, if you sat next to us in the Subway, we wouldn’t even see you there. It won’t hurt anyone to spice up the wardrobe just a tiny bit.

Robert Griffin III. We hope you find your style, or at least a great stylist, ASAP! From the horrible tux for your “Late Show” appearance to suits and knits more suitable for a 60-year-old man we don’t know. We think the most impressive thing you’ve worn are the nice socks, and not in a sartorial way, more like for the empowering message. Get to your homework, Rob!

Tom Brady is très chic. We guess these are the duties and responsibilities of having a supermodel wife.

A-Rod is hip. This guy really has the New York nightlife all covered!

The Next Step: Accessories

We’ve been talking about your wardrobe and reinforced our opinion multiple times on how it should be timeless, classic and harmonious, where every single piece can almost always be paired with another.

Hopefully, the foundation to your wardrobe is very strong, and now you are ready to build a distinguished look.  One that sets you apart, one that turns heads, open doors and closes deals.  This is done with a great wardrobe complimented by great accessories.  It’s all about making a statement.  Whether you are a more conservative sort or more fashion-forward, these are the pieces a successful man like you should own.

There will always be something you just want, like a Bottega Veneta woven leather iPad case, or something you should have, like a fantastic Meisterstück Classique Ballpoint Pen by Montblanc.  But for now, we will guide to some essential accessories.

Cuff links
The easiest, most subtle way (or not, think bejeweled ones) to adorn your shirt and show some style. If you want to take baby steps into the fantastic world of accessories, these should be among those first tiny moves.  Thanks to France’s King Louis XIV, who actually took the initiative on this fantastic accessory way back in the 18th Century.

Pocket squares
Just as with cuff links, go very minimal but with a ton of attitude.  Pockets squares are just as stylish when, in fact, just a portion of the fabric is actually showing.  We suggest that you start with the classic white with maybe a colored trim, and once you are comfortable and know the rules of wearing them properly, you move on to different folds and unlimited colors and patterns.  Rule #1 of pocket squares: they should never match your tie!

Sunglasses
Aviators, in particular, are the perfect shape for all face types (and they look just as great with your suit as with your jeans and other casual wear).  Choose highly polarized ones to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays.

Neck wear
Ascots, cravats, bow ties, seven-fold ties…  Did someone say “tres chic?”  If you are on the market for seriously turning heads, this is right for you.  A bit more complex than the wardrobe basics, yet there’s a huge payoff!

Tuxedo studs set
An essential to your black tie affair wardrobe.  You should have your own set, period!  With so many choices of metals and of precious and semi-precious stones, you will surely find one that matches your personality.

Watches
A really great watch is something not to be overlooked.  If you are not going to inherit a Rolex or Vacheron Constantin from grandpa, we suggest you start looking to make an investment.  A great watch is probably among one of the most sophisticated accessories you will ever have.  Find one that compliments your lifestyle (diving, sailing, exploring, hiking some high mountain, or just trotting around some stylish European city looking like the stylish man you are).  They truly do have watches for all occasions!  And this is a great way to start your foray into haute horlogerie: the stainless-steel Oyster Perpetual Explorer by Rolex.

Briefcases
Think luxurious leather.  Functional (not high school, no backpacks), yet demur and stylish.

Duffel bags/gym bags
Don’t let one of these ever ruin your outfit.  Pick it wisely, just as carefully as you would a new suit.  Stay away from canvas, as that might dress down your great outfit.  Go for better quality, as it means a longer life for your bag.

Wallets/money clips
Whichever kind you prefer, but always stay in the best of tastes.  We love this kind of wallet, in particular: super slim and soft, with enough room for the things that really need to be in your wallet.  A perfect example of the kind of wallet we dream of is the Hermes wallet in Havana evergrain calfskin.

Umbrellas

And, last, but certainly not least, a good umbrella for those rainy days.  It will always be in style, not to mention super clever, to have a great umbrella.  Just make sure it’s a high-quality one, sturdy enough to protect your other accessories on rainy days.

Your Sartorial Foundation

“Dear Santa, thanks for the fabulous presents.  Cashmere sweaters, shirts, ties and accessories…  You sure know how to make me happy!”

But before you put those new clothes…  Well, wherever there is room, we’d like to do something super-important for a sartorial guy like you.

Your closet, my friend, should be as sartorial as you.  This means it should always be impeccable, and when we say impeccable, we don’t mean just nice and tidy.  We mean clothes in it are properly hung and folded neatly, properly placed as to be more productive when it comes time to pick an outfit.  There’s nothing worse than needing to get out the door but instead finding yourself buried in your closet looking for clothes.

Why should you deal with this right now?  Well,because now is the perfect time!  You already got goodies from Santa, and this means you’ll be adding and replacing things in your closet anyway.  Which makes it a perfect time for inventory control.  Not to mention, it is the last week of the year, and it should always be in your New Year’s resolutions to be, at all times, dressed for success.  That starts in how you organize your wardrobe.  After all, you never know who you will meet or who you will run into in a given day.  You should always look your best!

Your closet should be a reflection of who you are and what you do.  For instance, if you have meetings during the day and then take clients out for drinks and to dinner, your wardrobe should make this transition with as much ease as you do.  We hope your wardrobe is where it needs to be so you will only need to reorganize it to make it functional and appealing, so that when you look at it, you feel like shopping from it, not just grabbing whatever clothes fall into your hands first.  Most definitely, you will always find the right outfit this way.  Remember, not finding one in a closet full of clothes is a huge red flag in terms of you having the right garments.  If you spend five minutes in there and see nothing you like, something is amiss!

So, on that note, we figured we’d make a list of what your wardrobe must have.  Obviously, some of us have more of a certain item than others (we’re slightly biased when it comes to accessories, we’re sure you can’t tell, *cough*), but there will always be staple sartorial foundation pieces like the navy blue suit, white dress shirt and black Oxford lace-ups.  We are not born with flawless sartorial sense, so feel free to get inspired by your best dressed contemporaries.  You probably think a wardrobe of this caliber will be very extensive, and this probably intimidates you.  Again, remember, we want you to think of the very basics.  A solid wardrobe with pieces that serve you well from the boardroom to the after hours bar.  Seamless from dressy to casual, in which every piece coordinates successfully with most of the others . A trendy but mismatched closet does not serve anyone well.

The foundation of your wardrobe:

-Suits.  7 full suits should be considered the minimum (remember, you should never wear the same suit two days in a row).

  • Black, for formal occasions.
  • Navy, the most versatile.
  • Medium grey, a versatile suit that can be worn throughout the year and paired with most colors.
  • A mix of herringbones, pinstripes, shadow stripes and solids to add versatility through the month.
  • A tan or brown suit should make its way into everyone’s closet.  A very flattering color on most men.
  • Throw a flannel or tweed suit in the mix for those cold winter months.

-Sports coats: a minimum of 4 should be in your closet at any given time, ready to go.  They can be a variety of dress-up styles for business or more casual to turn heads in a social scene (just add a pocket square).  Every man should have at least one navy sport coat, and a variety of plaids, tweeds and solids.

-Trousers.  Fill your closet with as many as you can, to make you look lush and successful.  15 is probably a good number for the well-dressed man in addition to pants that are part of a suit.  Your mix here is basic wools, flannels, and cotton.

-Jeans.  At least 2 pairs of dark jeans, and make sure they are crisp and able to be worn with a t-shirt, button down or with one of your sport coats.  Or go a step further and pair with a jacket from your suits.

-Dress shirts.  3 dozen is by far the most appropriate number.  It will give you a good rotation.  Remember that at any given time, there will be an X amount of dirty shirts and X amount of shirts at the cleaners.  No need to be running to the cleaners to get a shirt.  Build your wardrobe to have about 12 ready to wear at all times.  At least 5 whites, about 4 in the blue family (lights, mediums and darks), ivories/pale yellows, pinks, lavenders and grays.  Always have in your collection some patterned shirts: striped, checkered and plaids should have you looking sharp and switch you up from the typical solids.

-Ties.  Select them with care so that they complement your suits and shirts.  Pick fabrics and patterns that are versatile and stylish.  There are classics: plain navy, regimental stripes, subdued paisley or pattern.  10-25 is a good amount.

-Shoes.  Here you should have a great variety as well (shoes need a day off, too).  But these are some basics.  One pair of black Oxford lace-ups in calfskin are a great pick to transition from day to night.  A pair of chestnut-brown wing-tips goes well with pretty much anything.  Also, throw a camel-colored monk strap or slip-on in the mix.  This color can add flavor to any suit, especially those navies in your closet.  And don’t forget a pair of loafers and a pair of boots.  Bonus style points if you add a pair of suede bucks!  Also, don’t forget a good camel colored shoe.  An amazing touch to any suit, especially navies.  Don’t forget to coordinate a matching belt!  And to state the obvious, coordinating belts for each pair.

-Tuxedo and accoutrements.  Here is where you should get the best quality you can afford.  This, my friend, is a life investment, because one should know…  You always get what you pay for.

-Tuxedo shirts. Please have at least 2 different styles to add variety.  Always be prepared for formal occasions.

-Knitwear.  Cashmere and merino wool are great additions.  A mix of crew necks, v-necks, vests and cardigans should help you look tres chic even on weekends.

-Casual shirts. At least 5 (think of Friday nights!).

-Over coat.  At least one, and invest in a fine one.  Navy or camel colored wool, cashmere, camel hair, or a blend of these.

-White, gray and black t-shirts.  Great for a timeless casual look paired with jeans, or to wear under shirts, sweaters or even a jacket.

As to how to place these items?  This is as important as how to properly maintain them so that they always look crisp and ready to be worn.  We’ll have another blog just on that very soon.

We hope this was helpful.  Always remember, classic, simple and understated equals timeless, long-lasting and recession-proof.  Whatever the item, it should be made of fine-quality fabrics and materials with superior manufacturing construction and techniques.  And, most importantly, it should fit you as perfectly as possible (we will tell you this a million times more).  No amount of fine cloths or material will make up for an ill-fitted garment, advice that every man should live by.  Last, but not least, being the stylish man you are, you shouldn’t be afraid to add occasional zing to your closet (à la Italian, Sprezzatura).  With a sensible wardrobe like this as a base, adding to it is not rocket science.