Julie Rath: How to Pack Like a Pro

The way you pack can either make or break your trip. Hanging around the airport lost baggage office is a drag (I’ve been there), as is opening up a suitcase and finding everything in a crumpled mess. With some foresight and planning, however, you can make the process seamless and worry-free. Read on for 9 tips on how to pack like a pro:

1) If you travel frequently to the same location, say from your east coast office to your west coast office, leave a trunk or suitcase at the hotel. Most good hotels are happy to do this for frequent guests, and often without charge. Lifestyle engineer and frequent traveler Tim Ferriss recommends this, and while you may not keep lentils and whey protein in your trunk like Tim does, his idea is enormously useful for clothes and shoes which can take up a lot of space in your luggage. When the clothes you wore are dirty, simply give them to the hotel laundry and tell them to put them back in your bag when they’re clean. Every so often you can switch things out so you aren’t repeating outfits too much.

Men's Personal Stylist: How to Pack for Travel2) One can tend to accumulate things along the way when traveling, particularly for leisure. In order to make sure everything fits on the way back and/or that you can still fit your bag as a carry-on, bring along 4-5 empty gallon-size Ziploc bags on your trip. When you’re packing to come home, fold and put your dirty clothes inside the bags, then (and this is the key), SIT on the Ziploc to squeeze out all of the air, and then zip it shut. You’re essentially vacuum-sealing your clothes. This works great for dirty t-shirts, underwear and socks, and it saves you a huge amount of space. When you get home, the contents of the Ziplocs go straight into the laundry. No sorting required.

3) Keep a separate travel toilet kit with travel-size versions of all the toiletrees you’ll need for travel. Don’t touch it except for when traveling.

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Julie Rath: How to Pack Like a Pro

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Sunday Morning

jyb_musingsGet up!

If you are like me and plan on doing nothing at all this Sunday, you ought to at least have enough pride to get up early and start right away!

Anything worth doing –even doing nothing –is worth doing well.

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Sunday morning vanity conversation leading to disappointment

This morning I was admiring my recent weight loss in the bathroom mirror as my wife and I were getting ready to go out for coffee. After my proud moment of self-satisfaction, I threw on a pair of jeans and wet my hair before combing it and began looking for a shirt.”

My wife walked in the bathroom to explain how our dog Macy was just showing off to her by proudly holding a spider in her mouth before it dropped out and ran away.

Wanting to change the topic back to my proud weight loss, I pointed to myself and said, “Well, what do you think?”

“What?” Rebecca answered quizzically.

“This.” I responded smugly pointing in a circular motion to my torso area.

“What? You got water on you?”

“No!” I said flustered. “I’ve lost 28 lbs.”

“Oh.” Rebecca responded laughing. “You are acting like Macy showing off having a spider in her mouth.”

“No I’m not.” I said defensively. “I don’t think it’s the same thing at all. First off Macy didn’t lose 28 lbs and, second off, I am not holding anything in my mouth.”

“OK.” Rebecca said laughing to herself.

“Do you have water on you?” I repeated to myself under my breath. “Really?”

“Well, I’m proud of both you and Macy this morning.” Rebecca offered in a consoling voice.

Julie Rath: How to Choose a Tuxedo

Dressing for a formal event is like ice climbing: one misstep, and it’s all downhill. The reason there are so many rules to follow is that the point of formal dressing originally was that at formal engagements, men could blend into the crowd while their female companions could stand out in their finery. For this reason, if you’re having a formal wedding, it’s particularly important that you nail the details. With so many options out there, here’s your cheat sheet:

Renting vs Buying: Buy if at all possible. When you have a chance to dress formally — particularly on your wedding day — you should look your absolute best, and renting won’t achieve that. I’ve seen more ill-fitting rented tuxes than I care to recall. Yes, buying a good-quality, well-tailored tux is an investment, but it’s a very good one that will pay dividends in photos. Not to mention you’ll save in the long run not having to rent each time you need one. Renting will cost you anywhere from 25-50% of the average purchase price of a tux, so if you do it a few times, and it adds up. You’ll be happy next time you get a formal invite if you’re armed with a tux in your closet that fits you impeccably.

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Black Tie vs. White Tie vs. Morning Attire: The wording of your invitation dictates the color of your neckwear. “Black tie” (also referred to as “evening dress”) means a black bowtie, which is traditionally worn with a tuxedo. “White tie” (also referred to as ” full evening dress;” see above left) means a white bowtie, which is worn with tails. This is a very dressy look. Both black and white tie are generally worn after 6PM. A morning suit is your most formal daytime look (see above right). This is typically reserved for weddings taking place before 6PM. The morning coat (essentially a frock coat with the corners cut away — hence the term “cutaway coat”) is black or gray with a single button at the waist. Wear it with gray striped trousers, a gray or white vest, a wing collar shirt, and a tie or an ascot. Leave the top hat and walking stick at home.

The information below pertains to tuxedos.

Color and Fabric: Black is the standard, but midnight blue is also acceptable. White is typically worn in warmer climates for open-air events.  Choose something in a wool that isn’t too heavy. Chances are you’re only going to have one tux in your closet, so it should be as versatile as possible.

Jacket: The most common and versatile jacket type is a one-button, but you can also go with double-breasted (see above), which looks best on guys with broader physiques. If you wear a double-breasted jacket, a cummerbund is unnecessary. The traditional dinner jacket (a fancy name for your tux jacket) is ventless, but a you can also go for a more modern — and generally more flattering — look with double vents.


Collar: This should be either peaked or shawl. A peaked lapel (where the points of the lapel point upward; see above and below left) reads as more powerful, whereas shawl collar (which has a continuous curve; see above and below right) sends off a softer message. Unless you’re a waiter, your wedding tux shouldn’t have a notched lapel.

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Cummerbund/Vest/Going Without: Formal dressing dictates that the waistband of your trousers should never show, hence the traditional need for either a vest or cummerbund. In general, the cummerbund is a more stylish option. If you wear a vest, your guests might ask where your organ and monkey are, and hopefully you won’t be bringing either to your wedding, so why confuse people? Either way, the cummerbund or vest should be subtle and keep its mouth shut. Now is not the time to channel your inner Elton John. If you opt for the classic cummerbund, make sure you wear it with the pleats facing upward (fun fact: this hails from British colonial days where gentlemen used to tuck their theater tickets into the pleats). Formal dressing aside, if you want to stray from tradition, this is one place where that’s ok. These days, it’s become acceptable for guys to skip the vest or cummerbund altogether. Just make sure the shirt you buy has actual buttons or a covered placket, and this will eliminate the need for studs.

Pants: Your pants never have cuffs, as that would spoil the sleek lines of your look. They should have satin banding on the sides. No belts please — your tux pants should come with side adjusters to ensure proper fit. If you still feel you need something to hold them up, you can wear suspenders in simple black or white.

Shirt: Your shirt should be perfectly pressed and have French cuffs. It can have either a plain, bib or narrowly-pleated front. It’s made of marcella cotton, which is noticeably thicker than regular cotton and has a honeycomb-like appearance. The shirt is either turndown or wing collar. A turndown collar is always sharp, modern and elegant, while a wing collar is a bit of a throwback to the 19th century and works best with white tie.

Bowtie: Always tie it yourself. If you’ve never tied one before, now is the time to learn. This guide will walk you through it. The bowtie should be black and made of silk satin or silk grosgain. If you’re more comfortable in a straight tie, it’s acceptable to wear a black one that’s relatively slim, as a more modern fashion statement (see above).

Socks and Shoes: The former should be black silk hose, and the latter either black patent leather or polished black calf skin. Shoes should be lightweight and unadorned.

Accessories: As mentioned above, when dressing formally, blending in is a good thing, and standing out only leads to embarrassment as it means you broke the rules somehow. If this feels overly rigid, and you’re itching to show some personal style, you can do so via your accessories. Just make sure you keep the look subtle and nuanced. Your pocket square, cuff links, studs, watch (which matches your cuff links) and charming personality are excellent ways to do so.

Fit: As with suiting, fit is your everything when it comes to formal attire. It should fit close to your frame with the jacket hitting exactly on your shoulders. The break on your pants can be slightly shorter than what you normally get on regular trousers.

While there is quite a bit to keep in mind with black-tie dressing, don’t let it intimidate you. After all, wearing a tux is about confidence and panache. Once you figure it out, you’ll find that a tux can be completely transformative for any man. It’s absolutely worth the work.

Julie Rath: How Your T-Shirt Should Fit

Men's Style Advice: How Your T-Shirt Should FitFor most of my clients, Summer means t-shirt time. How does yours fit? Don’t laugh — even though it’s just a t-shirt, it should fit you as well as all of the other items in your wardrobe. Below are 4 key points to watch for when determining whether to buy that next beefy-t:

Men's Style Advice: How Your T-Shirt Should Fit1) The shoulder seam should hit directly on the edge of your shoulder. When a t-shirt is too big, these seams hang off your shoulder and make you look sloppy. But wearing a shirt with the seam right on the edge of your shoulder will make you look fit and trim.

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Julie Rath: How Your T-Shirt Should Fit

Julie Rath: How to Turn Heads at the Beach

Men's Style Tips: How a swimsuit should fit

Not ready to go as itty bitty as Burt Lancaster in The Swimmer? Even if you aren’t swimming home through the posh pools of suburbia, you should still do everything in your power to look your best when hitting the beach or pool. (And no, those ballooning board shorts don’t cut it.)

Below are my tips on what to look for in a well-fitting swimsuit, and my all-time favorite brand and style:

1) Trim leg openings make very slim legs look less so, and broad legs more proportioned.

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Julie Rath: How to Turn Heads at the Beach

Julie Rath: A Rath & Co. Wedding — Sarah and Jonathan

Groom wedding styling

One of the crazy fun ways we spend our time here at Rath & Co. is styling grooms and groomsmen for weddings (sometimes the brides get in on the action too). I recently got pictures from a beautiful wedding I styled for Sarah Jenks and Jonathan Brajtbord, above, back in June. Sarah is a bridal weight loss coach, and Jonathan is a urologist — certainly a case of opposites attract in terms of her eastern and his western approach to health care, but it works. They were ridiculously happy, and not to mention all over each other, at every point in the wardrobe planning process.

Details: The color scheme for the bridal party was grey and pink. We got Jonathan into a winning three-piece suit from Simon Spurr, a white dress shirt from Michael Andrews Bespoke, a pink and grey stripe tie from Billy Reid, and a pair of black Lucchese cowboy boots (the man is a Texan, after all). The groomsmen all wore gray suits, white shirts, and the same Billy Reid tie as Jonathan. The couple wanted some uniformity between the groom and groomsmen, with Jonathan standing out marginally. So we opted for a three-piece suit for him and two-piece suits for the guys. And the ties matched the pink of the bridesmaids dresses. More pictures below.

Congratulations Sarah and Jonathan! You guys rock.

Groom Styling

Groomsmen ties match bridesmaid dresses

Read more about Sarah and Jonathan’s wedding here.

-Content provided by Rath & Co. Men’s Style Consulting. Read more: http://rathandco.com/2011/11/a-rath-co-wedding-sarah-and-jonathan/#ixzz35xMtTPeZ

Julie Rath: Stain Removal Hacks

Palm Beach Men's Image Consultant: How to remove ketchup stain

As I assume your plans this summer may involve some combination of burger-eating, alcohol-imbibing, and grass-sitting, I’ve decided to share some stain removal tips to help keep your holiday fresh and clean. Below are 5 main offenders and what to do if you have a run-in with them:

1) Red wine: dab with white wine.

2) Grease: add a can of Coke to washing machine.

3) Sweat: apply a paste of 3 aspirin tablets mixed with two tablespoons of warm water and let sit for 1 hour.

4) Ketchup: (this one’s a little more complicated) a. working from back of stain, flush with cold water; b. pretreat with liquid laundry detergent and let sit for a few minutes; c. rinse well; d. apply white vinegar with sponge and rinse well;  e. repeat steps b-d a few times until you’ve removed as much as you think you can; f. pretreat with a pre-wash stain remover and launder; g. if stain persists, rub with liquid laundry detergent and soak in warm water up to 30 min; h. launder again.

5) Grass: soak in vinegar for 30 min then machine wash.

-Content provided by Rath & Co. Men’s Style Consulting. Read more: http://rathandco.com/2014/07/stain-removal-hacks/#ixzz38ftCqpUI

Julie Rath: How Your T-Shirt Should Fit

Men's Style Advice: How Your T-Shirt Should FitFor most of my clients, Summer means t-shirt time. How does yours fit? Don’t laugh — even though it’s just a t-shirt, it should fit you as well as all of the other items in your wardrobe. Below are 4 key points to watch for when determining whether to buy that next beefy-t:

Men's Style Advice: How Your T-Shirt Should Fit1) The shoulder seam should hit directly on the edge of your shoulder. When a t-shirt is too big, these seams hang off your shoulder and make you look sloppy. But wearing a shirt with the seam right on the edge of your shoulder will make you look fit and trim.

Palm Beach Men's Stylist: How Your T-Shirt Should Fit

2) The length of your sleeve should hit about halfway down your bicep. Again, this will be the most flattering to your build.

Men's Style Advice: How Your T-Shirt Should Fit3) When you pinch the sleeve edge, there should be 1-1.5 inches of extra fabric.

Men's Style Advice: How Your T-Shirt Should Fit

4) The hem of the t-shirt should hit about halfway down the fly of your pants. Any longer than that will throw off the balance of your upper and lower body (aka make you look short), and anything much shorter than that won’t give you enough coverage.

Now, it’s your turn. Try on your favorite t-shirt…how does it measure up?

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Designer Jeans

10440666_10154397471030515_4011639381858913638_nNow I find out!

I finally lose enough weight to buy a pair of designer men jeans–as opposed to “Dad jeans” –and find out almost all have a button-fly instead of a zipper. I am serious! 

What is happening to the male population? C’mon guys. What self-respecting male would prefer button-fly over a zipper? And if they did, what would the reason be?

It isn’t for practical reasons or to impress women. I am pretty sure my wife couldn’t care less about my fly stylings. Is it to impress other men like women who dress for other women?

jyb_musingsWhat happened to my gender while I was overweight and in dowdy clothes?

Surely I didn’t lose all this weight just to be able to wear a svelter pair of Dad jeans, did I?

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?

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