Julie Rath: Gifts for Your Dad

It’s never too late to pick up a gift for your pops (or to make pointed suggestions to your loved ones). From token to total splurge, below are 6 Rath-approved gifts for you to choose from.

Father's Day Gifts 2014: Black and Tan UtensilBlack and Tan Beer Utensil $10 – There’s nothing like a good black and tan, and with this, your dad doesn’t need bartender skills to make one.

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Father's Day Gifts 2014: Leather Key FobLeather Key Fob $35 – A nice key chain is a small pleasure he might not actually purchase for himself. I love the rugged leather combined with brass hardware.

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Father's Day Gifts 2014: Luxury Toys V 2Luxury Toys Volume 2 $41 – He can dream big as he flips through this gorgeous coffee table book reading about underwater motorcycles and personal spaceships.

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Father's Day Gifts 2014: Garmin Approach WatchGarmin Approach S1 GPS Watch $140 – Pro or no, if your dad’s a golfer, he’ll love this watch, which will allow him to measure individual shot distances and track how far he walks on the course.

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Father's Day Gifts 2014: Hartmann Garment BagHartmann Garment Bag $445 – With travel, it’s key to keep your clothes neat so you don’t create extra work for yourself (or the hotel laundry) when you arrive at your destination. A bag like this is a frequent traveler’s best friend, as it keeps your hanging clothes in tact, and has pockets for shoes and toiletrees. It also fits nicely in an overhead airplane compartment.

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Father's Day Gifts 2014: Vintage Hermes Crocodile ClockHermes Croc Clock (call for price) – For the Dad who has everything: an Art Deco crocodile clock by Paul Dupré-Lafon for Hermès, circa 1930.

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And for the new dad, here are my tips on keeping stylish while keeping your cool.

Julie Rath: Your Summer Hit List

Men's Image Consultant: Summer Wardrobe

Is your summer wardrobe in need of a refresh? At key points throughout the year, my Rath & Co. clients and I reassess their wardrobes for the upcoming season. We look at what works and what doesn’t, and what they didn’t have enough of last year. If you haven’t gone through this exercise for summer, before you go into full beach mode, carve out time to go through all of your summer clothes so that you can create a clear list of what’s missing. Below is my hit list of 10 summer must-haves to help guide you, plus a couple of grooming bonuses:

1) Lightweight t-shirts: a mix of henleys, crew and v-necks

2) Sweatshirt or long-sleeve shirt for post-beach

3) Summer footwear: sandals, flip-flops, or what I call social sneaks (aka nice sneakers you wouldn’t work out in)

4) Sunglasses

5) Swimsuits: here’s a guide on how to choose the best style for you.

6) Lightweight and light color dress shirts, pants, sportcoats, and suits (the latter two depend on your social calendar and how frequently you dress up for work).

7) Shorts

8) Strong deodorant with anti-perspirant

9) Minty soap: for more on soaps and other grooming products that will keep you cool, check out my post on Heat-Wave Style.

10) Sun protection: I’m fair-skinned and super-picky about what type I use — VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Face Cover is what works best for me. Also check out Bioastin Astaxanthin, which is an antioxidant that’s said to help protect skin against the sun.

What’s on your hit list for summer?

Julie Rath: Rehearsal Dinner Options for Grooms

n our search for dashing rehearsal dinner options for grooms, Brian Leahy (founder of The Groom Says blog) and I start the day at Kmart and end up at Michael Andrews Bespoke. Part I of the interview (at Kmart) can be read on Brian’s blog here, and Part II (at MAB) here.

Kmart Men's Rehearsal Dinner Options

Michael Andrews Bespoke Groom Rehearsal Dinner Look

Michael Andrews Bespoke Groom Rehearsal Dinner Look

Special thanks to our gorgeous models, Alex and Adam, and to Michael Andrews Bespoke.

Images courtesy of Joanna Wilson Photography.

Julie Rath: Reader Question – Versatile Briefcase

Question: Hey Rath & Co! I see that you have some fun backpack recommendations…how about a nice, professional, hip, not-too-expensive briefcase? Big enough to carry a laptop, cute enough for after-work drinks and nice enough for an interview. Thoughts? -Arielle (on behalf of boyfriend)

Answer: Hey Arielle (+ boyfriend),

Here are three briefcase-type bags that I love and that fit your criteria. Note that you don’t want to go too inexpensive with something like this because you’ll be carrying your laptop in it. So it needs to be sturdy and well-constructed.

Each suggestion below has a slightly different vibe:

Jack Spade Men's Briefcase

J. Crew-Billykirk Men's Satchel

Doucal's Men's Briefcase

Cheers, and let me know how you do!

Julie Rath: The Six Shoes Every Guy Should Own

In a perfect world, you would have something in your closet to wear for every occasion. Part of that is having the right footwear. After all, having the WRONG shoes can completely throw off an otherwise great outfit (we’ve all seen that guy looking smooth in his well-fitting suit but massacring the look with his 90′s square-toed dress shoes). If you only focus on how you look ankle up, you miss the mark. Below is my list of the 6 essential shoes every guy should have in his closet.

Men's Personal Shopper: Crockett and Jones Finsbury Oxford

1. Brown Laceups — A lot of new styling clients resist this one thinking there’s no need for it, but truly it’s the most versatile shoe in your wardrobe — you can wear it with everything from jeans to a suit. Go for a medium shade of brown that can be worn with the widest variety of pant shades.

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Men's Personal Shopper: Crockett and Jones Alex Laceups2. Black Laceups — This is your dressiest shoe, to be worn with suits and on formal occasions. Choose one with a clean toe, i.e., no seaming or broguing, so you can wear it with a tuxedo (after polishing it up).

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Men's Personal Shopper: John Varvatos Loafer3. Loafer — There are lots of variations on loafers, so you should go with what appeals to you visually. And avoid the pitfall of buying a “hybrid” shoe (anything with a very sporty sole). As I’ve said before, the place where the sneaker meets any other kind of shoe is like a dark alley late at night — nowhere you’d want to be.

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Men's Personal Shopper: Common Projects Sneakers4. Social Sneaks — This is my term for a clean and classic non-athletic sneaker (i.e., one you wouldn’t work out in). It’s for casual walking around.

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Men's Personal Shopper: Chelsea Boot5. Dress Boot — A dress boot adds wonderful versatility to your wardrobe. It’s the perfect answer to the question of what to wear out on weekends. And with a dressy enough boot and in the right environment, you can also wear it with dress clothes like a suit or pants and sportcoat. For more on the different types of boots to choose from, go here.

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Men's Personal Shopper: Rain/Snow Boots
6. Rain/Snow Boot — Depending on what type of inclement weather you get, this is either a rain or snow boot (or both). It should have a rubber sole for gripping and be waterproof or water resistant.

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Once you have these essentials, you can build from there, getting variations within each category. Think variations on toe detail and broguing for the black/brown laceup, and different varieties of boots.

Do you have everything on this list? If not, what are you missing?

Julie Rath: Outfit Building Through Color-Linking

PS by Paul Smith Men's Henley

‘Tis true, I talk about henleys a lot in general as smart layering pieces,  but this  number ($310) from PS by Paul Smith is currently at the top of my favorites  list. Here, the devil is in the details: the marled wool and red button thread  stitching are just the right unexpected touches to make its wearer  stand out without being party-pants obnoxious. I got this piece for a client  during Mr. Porter‘s Friend’s  and Family sale a few weeks back, and in person the red button hole thread is  much more visible than in the image above. The cool thing about this detail is  that it allows you to wear red elsewhere in your outfit as a way of pulling an  entire look together. With that in mind, here are some ideas of how to style  it:

Under a sport coat…

GANT by Michael Bastian Prince of Wales sport coat

Opt for a neutral-colored fabric with a thin red line running through it as  part of the pattern like this GANT by Michael Bastian sport coat. (Red elbow  patches optional.)

Under a sweater…

Polo Ralph Lauren men's cashmere sweater

Because both red references are on your top half, wearing a red sweater like this one above, from Polo Ralph Lauren, is a bit of a  no-brainer. Bonus: if you want to tie in your bottom half, add socks that  have some red in them like those from Corgi below. Note that solid red socks would be  overkill.

Corgi men's socks

 

Under a sport shirt…

Bonobos men's check sport shirt

Another somewhat straightforward choice, throw it on under a sport  shirt that has red in its pattern, like this one from Bonobos, as an alternative to a v- or crewneck t-shirt.

With red footwear…

Red men's deck shoes

Red deck shoes like these from Polo Ralph Lauren and Shoo respectively are as bold as I’d suggest you  go for pulling in red elsewhere in your outfit. Of course, bright red  shoes are not for everyone, so as always, make sure to stick with what suits  your personality when choosing your look.

With red laces…

Diemme Roccia Vet men's boots

Wearing red laces like those in these Diemme boots is a more low key way of bringing your upstairs  and downstairs together.

Using the red button thread stitching on this henley as above is just one  example of how to subtly tie in any color in one part of your outfit with the  same color elsewhere. You can do this with almost any clothing detail. As  always, I welcome your questions and comments about how to accomplish this.

Julie Rath: Look Taller with these Ten Tips

julie-rath-bio-photoDo you ever wish you looked a little taller? Many of my clients, even if they are above average height, list this as an image goal. At 5′ 1″ myself, I appreciate the sentiment. Luckily for us vertically-challenged folks, we can use clothing as smoke and mirrors to achieve (or at least get closer to) the look we want. Below are 11 tips on how to dress so you look taller:

Patterns and Color
1) Wear the same color (or at least similar tones of color) on top as you do on bottom. That way, you avoid the horizontal line of a color break across your middle, which would cut you in half otherwise.
2) Similarly, you should avoid wearing a belt that contrasts strongly with the rest of your outfit, as it will abbreviate you.
3) Wear socks in the same color as your pants. It makes your legs look longer.
4) Everyone knows to wear vertical stripes, but did you also know that diagonal lines create illusion of length? In addition to vertically striped pants, suits, jackets, and socks, try a repp (diagonal stripe) tie.

Lines of Clothes
5) Dressing in layers allows you to add lots of elongating verticals. Think a hoodie or sweater with a zip or a cardigan left open (try under a sport jacket or a casual jacket).
6) Wear a pocket square. It draws the eye up to your chest favorably.

Sportcoats or Suit Jacket Details 
7) Opt for peak lapels, as the detail and upward-pointing angles guide the viewer’s eye in an upward direction, making you look taller.
8) As in #1, the diagonal lines of a suit jacket or sportcoat’s lapels will extend your height. Choose one with a “low button stance,” which means it buttons lower on your body, extending those diagonal lines.
9) The gorge on your jacket is where the collar meets the lapel. If you’re buying custom, tell them you want a “high gorge,” which will have the same upward-orienting effect as in #7.
10) Buy your jacket on the short side (or have it tailored that way) so that it just covers the curve of your seat. This makes your legs look longer.
11) When you have your jacket sleeves tailored, ask for at least 1/4″ of shirt cuff to show. If not enough or no cuff shows, it can make your arms (and the rest of you by proxy) look short.

Is there anything about your appearance you’d like to balance or camouflauge? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll tackle it in an upcoming post.

-Content provided by Rath & Co. Men’s Style Consulting. Read more: http://rathandco.com/2014/05/look-taller-with-these-11-tips/#ixzz32ecGeINS

Julie Rath: What to Wear on a Spring Date

The frost has finally lifted here in New York City, and it is officially time to start thinking about Spring dates. Whether you’re strolling through a farmer’s market, going to your local botanical garden, or picnicking on a lawn, it’s key to dress appropriately. Below is a perfect outdoor Spring date outfit.

Men's Style Help: What to Wear on a Spring Date
Blazer via East Dane, shirt via Gant Rugger, pants and belt via Bonobos, shoes via Nordstrom.

What’s your favorite thing to wear on an outdoor date?

Julie Rath: To Tuck or Not to Tuck — Wearing Boots

One of the first things women notice on men is their shoes. No, really. Below  I take you through the main categories of boots and explain what to wear with  each and address the tuck-or-not question. (Hint: it has nothing to do with  whether or not you have nice ankles.)

 

Work BootThe Work Boot – Utilitarian and  rugged in feel, but handsome nonetheless, the work boot is best worn casually.  It’s often water-resistant with a warm lining and therefore great for  negotiating snow drifts. And besides, if there’s any falling timber on the Upper  East Side, you’ll be ready. Note: this boot looks better when it’s a little beat  up.

Tuck? Yep, especially when there’s a layer of slushy muck  along the sidewalk. You might need to cuff your pants once or twice for this,  and you can also try leaving your boots untied or loosely tied (depending on how  long your laces are – you don’t want them dragging through black puddles) and  pushing your pants easily into the tops. Don’t worry about making sure each pant  leg looks exactly the same. It should be a little undone.

 

Chukka BootThe Chukka – Originally worn by  polo players (the name is derived from the word chukker, the playing period of a  polo game), the Chukka is now worn by all men, regardless of whether they carry  a mallet. This low-style boot can be dressy or casual, dictated by the material  it’s made from – usually suede or leather. Wear them with jeans, chinos, dress  pants or a suit, depending on how refined the boot material is.

Tuck? Never.

 

Lace-up BootThe Lace-up Boot – These boots are  your most versatile option and come in a range of heights. Pull them on with  jeans and a leather jacket (make sure the shade of the jacket leather is the  same as that of your boots). Or wear them with a suit for a sharp-dressy look  that also keeps your ankles warm as you power across town during an arctic  blast.

The lace-up boot is a candidate for one of my favorite fashion moments: the  nonchalant half-tuck. While you’re welcome to play it safe and wear your pants  over your boots, why not show a little lace and let the bottoms of your chinos  or jeans – cuffing or rolling optional – fall casually into the tops of your  boots? Don’t make it too perfect. Note: if you’re feeling noncommittal (or are  short on time), lace them halfway, then wrap the laces around the tops of your  boots a couple of times and tie them, as in the image below.

Boots Tied Around Back

Tuck? See above.

 

Chelsea BootThe Chelsea Boot – Formerly  reserved for riding your scooter around London to visit your favorite Beatle,  the Chelsea boot now gets a lot of airplay in mainstream menswear. This style is  often characterized by an elasticized side panel that makes it easy to pull on  and off – great for zipping through airports. Wear with dark jeans for a night  out or with your suit for an effortlessly sleek look.

Tuck? Don’t even think about it.

So that covers my general rundown on boots. For specific boot suggestions,  please contact me  directly. And, as always, I welcome your suggestions and comments.

Julie Rath: Wake Up that Navy Blazer!

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Oh, excuse me, someone was talking to me about navy  blazers, and I fell asleep.

The idea of navy blazers typically conjures memories of a first trip to  Brooks Brothers for a rite of passage Sunday jacket, gold buttons and all. But not all navy blazers have to be a snoozefest. In fact,  there are ways to take this conservative stalwart and give it a good shake-up. Read on for 5 tips on how to make a navy blazer your own:

1) Get it tailored so that it FITS you. I’ve you’re a  current Rath & Co. client, or if you’ve been following me for some time, you  know I’m a stickler for clothes that fit perfectly. So if you have a navy blazer  that’s been hanging around your closet for a while, and the fit is within  striking distance (the first thing to check is if it’s right across the  shoulders), take it to a tailor you trust, and have him or her check the rest,  including waist, arms and length, and make adjustments as needed. You’d be  amazed at the 180 a jacket can take with a few nips and tucks.

Men's Personal Shopper: navy blazer

2) Swap out those trad gold buttons for ones made of horn or  gunmetal, like in the image above of a blazer I designed for a client.  You’ll go from preppy to polished in no time.

3) Rather than standard navy, consider a blue with some kick to it,  like midnight, cobalt or royal. Check out the same shot above of my  client in his spanking new bright blue blazer. (His fiancée wasn’t  complaining.)

Men's Personal Shopper: navy blazer 4) Instead of a solid, try a subtly patterned  fabric, like this tone-on-tone windowpane (above left — you have to  expand the image to see the pattern) I just picked out for a different client. A  blue hounds-tooth or pin-dot (above center and right) would also work, as would  blue tweed in cold weather. From 4 + feet away, these fabrics read as solid, but  up close you can see the extra oomph.

 

Men's Personal Shopper: navy blazer

5) Wear it casually. This is an entire blog post on its own – much bigger than one bullet point, but I’ll give you the broad strokes. If  you’re bored by the navy blazer-khaki pants routine (or if it just isn’t you),  mix it up by pairing your blue blazer with casual pieces: with jeans, layered  over a t-shirt and hoodie or cardigan, with a casual (perhaps short-sleeved – no  one will know) shirt in a quirky pattern as seen in the above image and/or with  casual laceups.

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How do you like to wear a navy blazer?

-Content provided by Rath & Co. Men’s Style Consulting. Read more: http://rathandco.com/2014/03/wake-up-that-navy-blazer/#ixzz2zjgMSaZq