Friday, November 11, 2011

Collar types

Collars in shirts go with various styles, sizes and colors. Importance of choosing the right one is underestimated by many. Truth is, that a collar lies close to the head, so it makes a strong impression on the apperance of ones face (it is often said that they are a frame to the face). You should pick a style and size that will ephasize your advantages and hide imperfections.

Point collar - One of the most common ones, with points resonably close together. The longer the points, the more they draw attention out of the face, downwards the body. This type of collar, especially a bit more narrowed, is a great choice for wide and short faces, as it tends to add more length there. Following from there, long-faced people should avoid them and rather pick the wide spreaded ones.

Spread collar - Also known as cutaway collar, has points not so sharp as the previous type. As the name indicates, it's wider and leaves more space for a tie. It shows more shirt underneath and brings focus to the upper parts of the body. Adds more proportional contrast to long and narrow faces. It is also important to notice, that spread collars are a bit more classic than modern point collars.

Buttondown collar - Great choice for a less formal apperance. It has little buttons on each of the point tips, allowing it to be buttoned down to the shirt underneath. And it should be always done, wearing this type with buttons undone is in a really bad taste.This type of the collar is nowadays more often seen without a tie, but it's up to you to wear one here.

Tab collar - One of the less popular types, it has a decorative bar behind a tie, that links two collar points together and brings the tie up. Great for an interesting tie knot and rather formal situation. Note that you should never wear this type af a shirt without a tie on.

Those just the basic collar types you should know. Choosing the right one is a personal thing for each person, because of diffrent body characteristics. And remember, It's all about balance, longer faces should be shortened with appropriate collar and vice versa.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fitting a shirt

A shirt "off the rack" is rarely perfect, It has either too much material on the shoulders, in the waist or length, but is perfect in the other area. Here comes in the wizard of fashion: tailor. It's amazing what can be made with those too big pieces that are laying around. And when buying a new shirt, we should be thinking about a tailor and what can be done to make it perfect. That's why you should always check if it's right in the shoulders and collar, because it's the hardest part to change.

Shoulders -  Make sure that seams end just at the point where your shoulders start to curve down. If the shirt is too wide, the top of your body would look sloppy and give impression of somebody that is "drowning" in his own clothes. On the other hand, if the shoulders seams are too high, the fabric will probably be too tight to wear comfortably and will create some ugly stretches.

Collar should just gently brush on your neck, not clamp on it. Button it up and try to put two fingers between the fabric and your skin - they should fit easily. But remember, that if three fingers can go inside, it might be too loose. Other way that you can check if the collar is too tight is looking in the mirror and turning your head left and right - if the collar is moving with you, then look for a larger one.

Length is important when tucking it in as well as casually leaving it out. Too long and it might look like a dress or pajama and make you look shorter than you are. When tucked, it will create extensive bagginess near the belt and add extra roundness into your figure, which is something that we should avoid at all times. Make shure that the fabric doesn't some out during usual movement (walking, sitting down, dancing) when tucked in.

Sleeves and cuffs - Clothing designers usually associate sleeve length with collar size, there are usually two lengths per collar. There might be a situation, where all the shirts with a perfect collar will have non fitting sleeve. There would be no way of avoiding service from an experienced tailor. There is a little trick that you can do to check the size: Stand up straight with your arms hanging down your body, cuffs should end on your wristbones. Then, raise your arms and check how much the sleeve gets pulled back, if it's more than an inch, then you need to get them tailored. Cuffs should be tight enough to lay on your wrist bones, but loose enought to have some space for a watch.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011


One upon a time it was supposed to hold ones pants in place, now it's just a great and stylish accessory - belt. It has lost it's original function, because nowadays pants are fitted enough to lay on a waist firmly (if they doesn't - you should get them tailored). It is very masculine item and is widely used all around the globe, in various shapes and colors. Let's now focus on a type that fits the style we are looking for - sleek and stylish elegance.
A belt you are looking for should be fairly simple. That means delicate or no pattern, toned down colors and simple buckle. That's it! Well, it's not everything, but they are just a basics that you should always keep in mind.

I've seen many different opinions about whenever you should wear a belt or not. I, personally, think that this simple item has strong influence on man's appearance. Not by accident leather belts are associated with masculinity and toughness. A simple strap around a waist can make various kinds of influence on the whole outfit. Just go to the store, pick a color and try them on! You'll see what I mean.

Do you remember our most important ingredient of modern fashion? That's right, fit and match. When there is very little we can say about belt sizes (just don't use really thin ones, because they look feminine), there are some rules you should follow when picking belt colors. First thing, always match it to your shoes! Brown shoes = brown belt, black shoes = black belt etc. It's also a good idea to keep all leather parts of your clothing in a similar shade. Next thing, buckle. Match your buckle to other metal items on your body, like a watch or tie clip. Forget about fancy designs, it should be simple and sleek.

There are two most commonly used types of a belt: leather and webbing. First is really as versatile as a belt can be. You can wear leather with almost any outfit you could imagine. There are no limitations, just remember about the matching rules. On the other hand, webbing belt can't always be worn. It generally fits best with the type of clothes characteristic to summer, so this should be the only time to put it on.

Nowadays, belt is considered more as jewelry. It lost it's need to hold pants in place and became an accessory that completes the outfit. That is the reason why it is so important to match it with everything else on your body.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

8 handshakes to avoid

Dead fishIt’s one of the most discouraging handshakes possible, especially when the hand is cold or sticky. The touch of a flaccid and limp hand brings to mind a person with weak character. Receiver of “dead fish” handshake can think that you don’t care about your relations with him.
The clampThis moderately convincing handshake is characteristic for businessmen and expresses willingness of taking control over the conversation. Rapid, strong clamp followed by few short and jerky shakes could also indicate a shy person who is afraid of being dominated.
Bone crusherA distant cousin to “the clamp” is “bone crusher” – without a doubt the worst of all handshakes. Everybody is afraid to encounter it, as it leaves unpleasant feelings on your mind and fingers. The only person “bone crusher” is making good impression on, is a crusher himself. It’s characteristic for “tough guys” who don’t miss any opportunity to intimidate their opponent and squash their palm.
Finger grabberIt happens when a person “misses” and grabs just the fingers of the receiver and sometimes is a result of uncomfortable position towards each other during greeting. Often appears when man shakes woman’s hand and he’s trying not to hurt her.
Stiff arm  - Used mainly by aggressive types and its purpose is to keep the other person  on distance and far way. People like this would lean a little and balance on their fingers to keep you out of their private space.
Hand puller  - Used with pleasure by people wanting to express their dominance. Usually ends in a strong discomfort of even pain for the receiver, when his hand is suddenly pulled closer to the other person. It can have it’s reason in the person giving this handshake feeling insecure and wanting to take control over you by dragging into his personal space. But it’s sometimes also connected to the characteristics of culture, where people prefer to keep a shorter physical distance during conversation.
PumpWhen a initiator grabs your hand and shakes in a movement that resembles pump. It usually originates from rural areas.
Dutch grabIt’s a gesture that originated from Netherlands, because one can actually hear there, that he is “Geeft ‘n hand als bosje wortelijes”, which means more or less “the person, whose hand during a handshake 
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Friday, October 7, 2011


Another part of clothing you should already have in your closet: jeans. Versatility in use makes up lack of its versatility in material. As you probably know, it's comfortable and durable piece of casual clothing. Everyone should own a pair or two of dark, fitting jeans. It's not very expensive, and there are various types of styles so everybody can find his favorite.

     Fit it right. One more time, this is the most important rule. Even the bes looking or the most expensive panst will look really bad when they are not suitable for your body. Things that you should keep in mind are waist size, lenght and width of the legWaist should fit you snuggly, not to let your pants drop, however when it crumbles too much after putting on a belt, then its too big. Remember, if you feel any discomfort while breathing, it means they are propably too tight. Fit is supposed to make you look better but at the same time it should give you the comfort you need. Next thing to consider, length of the leg, can be easily adjusted to your height by a tailor or even yourself, if you  know how to use a needle and thread. It's quite easy to find the right measure: just take your shoes off and stand flat on the ground. Material by the soles should barely touch the ground. Leg cut is the most important factor here, because it changes overall look of your posture and whole outfit. Too loose will make you look shorter than you are and give the impression of a person that is not interested in looking good. Too tight could be uncomfortable and ruin your casual, manly elegance. It's difficult to find perfect pants for your figure, because most of the pants "off the rack" nowadays is created to fit average size. Most of my own pants had to be narrowed by a tailor. There are 5 types of cuts:
1. Bootcut - fitting in the waist and thighs. but a bit loose on the bottom to wear over high shoes.
2. Relaxed fit - a bit looser in leg than regulars. I would avoid this type as it makes you look shorter, bulkier and doesn't match mordern man's elegance.
3. Regular - Straight line from top to bottom. Propably most common type cause of the comfort it leaves, however not recommended by myself.  They tend to look acceptable only on heavier guys, average and skinny should stay with more fitted pants.
4. Slim fit - like regular but with narrowed leg under the knee. they make you look tall, slender and stylish, whan the material is just touching your skin.
5. Skinny fit - a bit more brave choice, as the material here is tight aroung your body, leaving no comfortable space and exposing details of your figure.

     Pants are supposed to create straight lines along your legs, which make you look taller and slim. That means, throwing away all those old fashioned cargo pants. You don't want any pockets to break those lines, because that would make you look more bulky, short and give a bad influence on overall appearance. Other varieties that I reccomend to avoid are strange types of jeans wash, like acid or disression of the material. It's really the opposite of a modern  anddrapper look.
     For the beginning you might consider buying one pair of dark indigo jeans and one pair in dark grey, both slim fitting of course.

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Monday, October 3, 2011


     You have a few T-shirts in your wardrobe, don't you? It might be one of the most popular element of male clothing. Just go on the street in a sunny day and see for yourself how many people wear it. Reason for its popularity comes from a fact that this is a very simple and versatile way of casual dressing. However, even so simple clothing has a few rules you should follow.

     Fit your size. This is single most important rule of modern man's clothing (will be covered further in one of the following posts). What does it mean? It means saying goodbye to baggy T-shirts. Yes, you heard me well. "But they are way more comfortable!" somebody can say. Believe me, you will look way better when wearing clothes designed for your size. I recently discovered that mine is one smaller than I used to wear over past few years. At the beginning it can feel a little strange, but everybody can get used to this. And the feeling you get when looking at this new, well dressed person in the mirror - priceless.
     Forget printed T-shirts. I know most of you love them, because of the colorful or funny designs, but they can easily make you look more childish next to a better dressed man. If that’s the only type you have, I strongly recommend you to buy few plain colored ones. Go with  black, white, grey, dark navy and generally everything toned down a bit. Plain, simple T-shirts when worn alone are expressing confidence and casual elegance. And they are also great as a base for more complicated outfits.

     Understand various types of T-shirts:
Crew neck - is propably the most common one. It's just simple, round collar that fits almost everything and is a great base for shirts, jumpers, cardigans etc.
V-neck - takes second place in a popularity race. It's a collar in the shape the first letter implies. Every man should own at least two of them in black, grey or white. Just try to not go too deep, if It shows too much of your neck to make you feel comfortable, you should propably search for one with smaller "V".
Y-neck - is similar to previous one, but has few buttons on the bottom of a collar. See the picture for reference. It's a pretty interesting and versatile type to wear. You could layer them with pretty much everything, including other T-shirts.

     As the base of fashionable wardrobe, I reccomend you to get 3 crew necks (white, black and navy) and 3 V-necks (white, black and grey)With this set you have base for pretty much every layering you could think of and they are also great to wear by themselves.
     After completing the list above, try choosing 3 more T-shirts by the color of your choice: green, orange, blue and even red - whatever feels good to you. Why suddenly those colors? Let's just say that there might be a situation somewhere in time, when you need to add to your outfit a little bit of warmness and all you need is a few inches of this color under your neck.

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