Let's begin with, when wearing a dress shirt with jeans, do not wear athletic shoes, no matter their color. If you are not running, do not wear running shoes. Unless you have a severe foot ailment, athletic shoes are for athletic activity, not everyday life. Instead, wear dressy sneakers, desert boots, loafers or more casual dress shoes. I will emphasize this footwear advice with a clip from Crazy Stupid Love below.
Here are a few more no-no's before showing you the right way to wear a dress shirt with jeans. You will notice, that although Jerry has progressed to untucking his shirt, he still doesn't look right. His shirt is just a little too long, but I congratulate him because many men wear dress shirts that are extremely too long versus just a little too long. Like Jerry, you might think wearing a dress shirt with jeans is as easy as untucking and going, but that is not the case. A true dress shirt is too long to be worn with jeans and the dress shirts made to the appropriate length are still too long for shorter men. This means you must hem the dress shirt before pairing it with jeans...
An untucked shirt should end halfway down your back pockets, and the front hem of the shirt should expose some of your jean's zipper, not hide it. I usually tell the tailor to hem the front of my client's shirts about 3/4 down the zipper. Then I have her check to make sure the hems are even. You either want the front and back hems matching or have the back be an inch or so longer. This is to accommodate the shirt riding up as you move around.
Another lesson to learn from Jerry's white dress shirt is its size. It is too long in the sleeves and baggy in the torso. When wearing a shirt untucked, flawed fits are more exposed. Make sure your dress shirt fits nicely to prevent a slovenly look. Too big of shirt and your torso becomes a whirlpool of fabric. If the shirt is too tight, it will get caught on your belly and waist band of the jeans - also a sloppy look.
My last issue with Jerry's shirt is the combination of the stiff fabric with a breast pocket. The inflexibile fabric of a regular dress shirt moves well when tucked into slacks because it is secured, preventing excessive wrinkling and creases. When a stiff dress shirt is untucked it is free to fold and crease all it wants. A pocket makes this catching and creasing more obvious. It also makes your shirt dorky. Best to have no pockets on stiffer untucked dress shirts. They look much better on casual long sleeve button front shirts in softer fabrics.
A staple garment is different for every man. It could be a blue button front for the gentleman with blue eyes and an office job. Perhaps the linen pant is a staple for the guy that runs the kayak check out because runs warm and loves comfort. For another, it could be a navy sport coat and khaki chinos, while another is a simple Tee. Everyone will have different wardrobe staples because every man has a different lifestyle, although, some may argue that there is one tried and true staple wardrobe for each and every fella. The jean.
If there is one item that could be argued that every man could use, it is the denim pant, but with so many choices out there, mistakes run rampant. With so many colors, fits and brands from Levis and Gap jeans to Diesel, focus is key.
Color/Wash: Typically go for a nice indigo wash with light to no distressing. No tears, no bedazzled pockets – meaning no True Religion, no crazy colored thread etc.
Avoid washes that are deep blue everywhere, but the knees. A light wash on the knees draws all your attention down and makes you look shorter. Also, there is nothing fabulous about people staring at your knees. Jeans are supposed put the focus on you, not the other way around. That is why they are such a staple.
Other colors that can be of use in your wardrobe are grey, white and black washes of denim. As long as you stay with the same rules of simplicity that I have given you for your blue jeans, this will add awesome diversity and style to your closet without making you look the fool.
Legs: The relaxed and baggy look makes you look fat and short. Unless you are an athlete with thighs that can kill, this will make you look like you are swimming in big boy pants. Instead go for these types of fits: “vintage,” “straight,” “relaxed skinny,” “relaxed straight,” “standard.”
The skinny jean is for the ladies, but some brands do make “skinny” jeans that look more like a straight fit.
Boot cut is for men who wear boots. Do not wear boot cut jeans with any other shoe. In fact, the narrower the show you wear, the thinner your jean leg should be and vice versa.
Fits: Do you have a long inseam? Lucky, Seven For All Mankind, Gap online and sometimes Diesel can run as long as 36 inches on the leg.
Looking for the right size? Gap runs a bit big, Diesel, G Star Raw and William Rast run thin, but here is the best way to find out what brand is for you. Go into a department store and grab every jean that fits the color/wash, style and leg instructions that I have given you and try each one on until you find one that fits you best.
There are those items in a man’s wardrobe that, while basic, are so important as to be indispensible; a great pair of jeans, a well fitting blazer, plain white t-shirts, an oxford button up and so on. Two different pairs of brown shoes, a polished lace up and a more casual loafer, are also absolute essentials in every well dressed man’s arsenal. The perfect dark brown shoe can be worn with nearly every color from navy and grey suits, to dark blue denim, to khakis, and every look in between. Because a man should have options, two pairs of shoes give you the versatility to work with nearly every garment in your closet.
The first pair of brown shoes a well dressed man should own is a nice pair of dark brown lace up “dress” type shoes. Many styles are available from cap toes to wing tips and worn in a dark brown and well polished leather they are always appropriate and timeless. While perfectly at home with a navy or gray suit this type of shoe can also add some formality to a more casual look. Try wearing them with chinos for a modern and dressy look.
The second style in the brown shoe one-two punch is a casual loafer. As with lace ups there are endless styles to choose from including more casual “driving” style loafers to more formal dress types. Any of these styles work wonderfully with a casual outfit of denim or khakis and can even be paired with shorts for spring and summer occasions. I recommend pairing a loafer with a cotton suit for a cool and elegant summer wedding look. Just in time for spring and summer the brown loafer is warm weather footwear at its finest so ditch the socks and show some ankle.
If you have not already, give the brown shoes a chance. One casual and one formal, and I guarantee you will be won over by their versatility. Get ready to stand out from the black shoe masses! One note though, unlike black shoes (where any black belt will do), if you are wearing a brown belt with your brown shoes it must match or be vastly different. Example, if you are wearing a rich chocolate brown shoe, your belt must be equally rich in that chocolate brown shade or of separate earth tone entirely like cream or olive green.
Written by Scott Wicken
Hopefully these 5 “laws” can help you begin your wardrobe update with confidence and clarity. At the end of the day style is something intensely personal and different for each person. The key is finding what you like and making it your own. As the great author Gore Vidal said “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and then not giving a damn.”
Written by Scott Wicken
I have always liked the look of wearing all black when I go out, such as a nice black button-up and slacks. This helps me look sharp and sleek. However, recently (correct me if I’m wrong), I see that men who go out wearing flashy, colorful, or vibrant outfits, seem to catch the ladies' attention more. Here's my dilemma: I just don't look good wearing bright colors and feel uncomfortable wearing them. I would like to know if there is a style that would accommodate both looking sharp and standing out.
-Mike, San Diego
Life After Denim shirt available at Nordstrom
Different women are attracted to a variety of men. Some women like tattooed men with jewelry, some women prefer the feminine gentleman in Gucci shoes. Others adore the guy in a T-shirt and jeans. My advice for how to dress for a night on the town depends on the type of woman you want to attract. For now, I will give you some general, yet sound, advice.
The Johnny Cash look can be quite sharp and dashing, but in a club it can make you look like an employee of the bar or can come off as a little too “dark cowboy” for a fine lady’s taste. This doesn’t mean you have to wear pastels or communist red. In fact, don’t. You want to be noticed without being flashy.
Try wearing some dark jeans with a casual button front (not to be tucked) in blue or gray. Top that off with some dressy sneakers or stylish loafers. Or you can pair some black slacks with a royal blue shirt tucked in. Pick rich hues, not bright ones, and always choose shirts with a nice texture to it. Avoid obvious stripes, cheap fabrics, shirts that are too long, anything shiny or bedazzled, and bold floral patterns. Begin with colors and subtle prints you feel comfortable with before branching out. One final piece of advice: Never get dressed with the attitude that you want to impress the ladies. Women will smell the desperation on you.
Don’t be afraid of color – It may seem daunting at first, but adding a shot of color to your wardrobe can be a simple and effective way to add new life to your closet. The key is to start small and simple and as you get comfortable add additional pieces to your wardrobe. Try adding a lavender dress shirt to your workday wardrobe; by keeping the tie and suit a more muted color like light grey or charcoal it will all come together in a stylish yet understated way. For more casual situations, try an aqua blue, rust red or soft yellow polo shirt paired with some dark denim jeans or khakis. Before you know it, you will be wearing rich hues and bold colors like an east coast prepster or a dapper Italian rake.
Written by Scott Wicken
You know Dear Abby? Well, I am now in full Dear Vanessa mode. I have a monthly column with 944 Magazine that answers men's and women's fashion questions each month. Continue reading to see what April brought 944 readers and feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com with any fashion questions of your own.
I am finally able to grow some sweet facial hair but need some advice on how to groom it. Is a beard too ridiculous? Is a mustache too hipster? What about the goatee? Is that completely out of style? Help! I have dark hair on my head and on my face. I am 6 feet tall and 190 pounds.
— Chad, Golden Hill
First things first: Is this “sweet facial hair” you speak of growing all over your face or in splotches? Is it thin and soft? If you have answered yes to either of those questions, any fur on your face is ruefully discouraged. If you can grow even half the glory of Tom Selleck, then let’s move forward. First, I want you to grow a beard ... a good quarter-inch. Be sure to continue shaving your neck, stopping your razor where your head starts or at your chin, whichever you feel looks more appropriate for your face structure. Once you have seen yourself with a beard, take a picture. At this point, I want you to shave in a goatee. This look tends to be a bit dated (even sleazy), but on the right man can be very sexy. Again, take a picture of yourself and keep the goatee for a week. Next, shave off the chin portion of the goatee to create a mustache and take another picture of yourself. Now, compare all the pictures ... which do you like the most?
This exercise is a way to see what works best with your sense of style and face. Don’t dismiss any of the looks right away. Often times, when men grow any kind of “stylish” facial hair for the first time, they feel like they have a foreign object on their face. Prepare yourself for this awkwardness to avoid shaving off all your hard work. Once you get used to the feel of facial hair, you can accurately judge whether you like it or not.
Some styles that should NEVER be worn: chinstraps, muttonchops and grizzly, overly long anything. No 5-inch goatees. No Santa beards. No mustaches that travel all the way down to your chin. No. No. No. Also, avoid dyeing facial hair an unnatural color as it should always remain a similar shade to the hair on your scalp. Use these tips as a guide and enjoy your masculine ability to grow hearty facial hair!
Not everyone can afford to have a personal stylist in his or her life, but now every 944 reader can have access to one. Please send questions concerning fashion to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each month one men’s and one women’s question will be answered in Vanessa’s “Fashion Fix” column. For a wardrobe consultation with a personal stylist, visit www.vanessavaliente.com.
There has never been a better time to embrace classic American Sportswear. Classic American designers like Polo, JCrew, Brooks Brothers, and Levis are making high quality, stylish, and affordable basics that add an instant and easily obtainable upgrade to your wardrobe. Try a classic Polo or oxford shirt paired with a trim fitting khaki pant or dark denim jean. Throw in a JCrew cashmere sweater and a clean white sneaker or brown loafer and you are off and running. These brands and styles are called “classic” for a reason they will always remain in style.
Do you know what an epaulette is? Epaulettes are a type of ornamental shoulder piece used as insignia of rank by armed forces that originated in the French army. Now though, the word is used colloquially, to refer to a type of shoulder strap - Like the little strap with a button on the shoulder littering all sorts of men's stylish shirts from Express to Macy's.
Epaulettes are everywhere right now so I want you to be careful when buying them. First warning, don't go overboard. You only need two, three max, shirts with epaulettes on it. Second warning, careful with the trendy factor. If it seems cheap and overly decorated then skip it. Third warning, this is a military inspired shirt, but you don't want to look like you are actually in the military. Make sure there are no patches on your epauletted shirt and don't get it in khaki or olive green.
When wearing the epaulette shirt, pair it with straight leg jeans, casual slacks, fine corduroy, chinos or shorts. Do not pair it with cargo pants, military pants or dressy slacks. Lastly, never tuck this shirt in. If you buy an epaulette shirt that hits below halfway down your crotch, get it hemmed. I repeat, never tuck this in and don't run around with it hanging down your ass.
As for an epaulette shirt I can recommend for you, I adore this Banana Republic Slim fit shirt, pictured above. It may not look like much, but I just put it on a client and it looks fantastic. Quote, "I think this is the best shirt I have ever put on." Another one I am liking is this INC shirt. Notice the clean lines of both shirts. these should be your rule of thumb for epaulette shirts.