Julie Rath: Sweaters

Men's Holiday Gift: Cardigan Sweater

Question:

Hi Julie,

Happy holiday season! I hope Black Friday/Cyber Monday treated you well. I’m hoping you might be able to help me out with your amazing knowledge of the menswear market. I bought my husband Stephen a sweater at Mulberry (see photo attached) about 5 years ago (or maybe 6? or 7?) and he has loved the thing to death. It definitely needs to be replaced but I haven’t found anything else like it (Mulberry doesn’t do men’s anymore). It’s really really thick and has a high-ish collar and he raves about how warm it is. Do you know where I could find one like it? Are there any men’s luxury brands known for doing really thick classic sweaters? Thank you for any guidance you can offer!

-Jenny

Men's Holiday Gift: Cardigan Sweater

Answer:

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for your email and flattering words! It’s funny, I just got a client a similar sweater (in navy) at Barney’s today — from Shipley & Halmos. They do really nice heavy knits that look great on. Also, check out this sweater from Billy Reid, and this one from Ami Alexandre Mattiussi. Let me know how it goes!

 

Julie Rath: Your Fall Jacket Primer

One of my favorite activities at this time of year is selecting transitional  jackets for my clients. Moderate in weight, the Fall jacket falls squarely  between an overcoat or parka, and one made of light material like cotton or  nylon. The reason I like this type of jacket so much is that the stylistic  options are practically endless. Below are my top picks for Fall outerwear in 7  different categories.

Leather

Men's Style: Leather Jacket

The nice thing about this leather  jacket from John Varvatos ($1898) is that its waxed texture won’t show  scratches or spills the way a softer, smoother leather does. But at the same  time it still has a refined quality. The most important tip I can give you on  buying a leather jacket is to make sure it fits perfectly. If you  haven’t read my leather jacket guide, check it out here.

Field Jacket

Men's Style: Field Jacket

Downtown meets classic country in this great Moncler field  jacket ($1695). I love the combination of the quilting and knit fabrics for  creating visual interest.

Biking Jacket

Men's Style: Biking Jacket

I probably should’ve called this  jacket from Fay, “Field Jacket 2,” as I’m not quite sure what a Biking  Jacket is (the company’s term, not mine). Nonetheless, I am very much into this  refined yet approachable tweed wool coat which also comes in blue and gray.

Peacoat

Men's Style: Peacoat

A peacoat is one of the most versatile jackets around: you can wear it for  everything from a night out to a trip to the gym. I like this  one ($1795) from cult brand Camoshita for its elegant tailoring and  supersoft wool-cashmere blend. Bonus that this mid-gray color is universally  flattering.

Trench

Men's Style: Trenchcoat

You can’t go wrong in this minimalist pick from Jack Spade  ($595). It’s a clean and modern take on the classic trench. Wear it for dressy  or casual, rain or shine.

Vest

Men's Style: Quilted Vest

As I’ve said before, a thin down vest is a terrific layering piece. You  can throw it over or under a sportcoat/suit jacket for extra warmth  once the sun goes down. This  navy one from J. Crew ($128) is perfect because it’s thin and not as sporty  as many other vests.

Denim

Men's Style: Denim Jacket

This jacket  from Vince ($245) is a bit of a cheat, as denim is pretty lightweight. But when  layered correctly, you can absolutely incorporate a jean jacket into your Fall  repertoire. Rock it layered with a cardigan, hoody or wool vest. Bonus  tip: for a bold-playful look, try it with a pocket square. If that’s not  your jam, but you still want to add a stylistic touch, then put your sunglasses  in the chest pocket for an alternative take on the pocket square.

 

You’ll notice that my picks on a whole are simple and unfussy, which are good  things to aim for with outerwear, especially when you’re building a wardrobe. My  suggestion: keep the jacket classic, especially if it’s an investment piece.  Then you can pull in trends, colors/patterns you love or personal touches via  your accessories, like with the pocket square suggestion above, a scarf or even  a lapel pin. That way, if you get tired of those things, you can easily change  them up (which is much less painful than getting a new jacket every  season!).

What’s your Fall jacket of choice? Leave me a comment or question below. I  always love hearing from you!

Julie Rath: How Powerfully are You Showing Up?

nls-logo

Have you ever wondered how you rate on a scale of 1-10? Fall is practically here, and the holidays right after that. Those are key times to be exuding confidence and looking your best.

If you want to get serious about your style, and be taken seriously as a result, I invite you to watch the video I made for you explaining how it all works. I’ve worked with hundreds of men worldwide, and it’s been my incredible privilege to observe how much their lives improve and what opportunities come their way when they upgrade their style.

On the same page as the video, you can also take my style quiz. It will show you how you measure up, and what you can do to get to a 10.

Julie Rath: 3 Style Mistakes You’re Making Everyday – and How to Fix Them

People often ask me – usually at parties – if I walk around every day critiquing peoples’ outfits. While I can turn my critical eye on and off, and I certainly never go up to anyone and give them my opinion unsolicited, there are certain mistakes that I see consistently. If you’re someone who cares about how he looks (and I assume if you’re reading this article, you are), read on for three common errors and how to easily nip them in the bud.

Black-Ralph-Lauren-Double-M
1) Loafers with your suit – I get it. Traveling in lace-ups is no fun. Try a monkstrap instead, like the pair above. You can slip in and out of them, and they work with a suit.

Men's Style: How Pants Should Fit2) Wearing pants that are too big in the waist – If your belt loops are pulling up when you tighten your belt like in the picture above, it means the waist on your pants is too big, and you run the risk of having diaper butt. Go down a size and your pants and belt won’t work against each other.

Men's Style Advice: Boots
3) Mismatching themes – I often see guys in preppy polo shirts or khakis wearing things that are edgy in feel (like a biker jacket or boots) elsewhere in their outfit. It doesn’t work. If one piece in your outfit is preppy or conservative, the whole look should be such. Likewise, if one piece in your outfit has an edge to it, the rest of your outfit should too. For example, you wouldn’t wear a rough and tumble boot like the one above with a pair of traditional khakis. A pair of dark jeans or slim dark dress pants would suit them much better.

Have you ever made any of these mistakes? Fess up! I’d love to hear where things have gone awry for you. Leave me a comment below, and perhaps I can offer some additional solutions.

Julie Rath: That’s What She Said, Vol. 2: Ms. Williams and the ONE Accessory to Avoid at All Costs

In today’s edition of That’s What She Said, I interview recording artist Ms. Williams on men’s style.

Click here or on the image below to watch our interview. You’ll hear her take on the matter, including the ONE accessory that makes her run the other way when a guy wears it.

Men's Style: What to Wear on a Date

 

After you’re done watching the interview, make sure you take my style quiz to see how you rate on a scale of 1 to 10.

Julie Rath: That’s What She Said, Vol. 1: Sara Davidson on Dressing for Attraction

I interviewed some of my most successful, smart, and gorgeous girlfriends to find out how important it really is to them for a guy to pay attention to his image and style, and I thought you might be interested in watching what they had to say. The first of these three interviews is with Sara Davidson, business strategist and marketing maven.

Click here or on the image below to watch our interview. You’ll hear what turns her on and off, and the one thing a guy did that completely changed the way she looked at him (and as a result she couldn’t keep her hands off of him).

Men's Style for Dating

After you’re done watching the interview, make sure you take my style quiz to see how you rate on a scale of 1 to 10.

Julie Rath: If You Try One New Thing this Fall…

One thing about Fall that gets me more excited than I probably should is BOOTS. Boots pretty much rock my world, and I’m thrilled that it’s time to start looking at what’s in stores this Fall.

Here’s why boots are so awesome:

1) Boots are a great way to distinguish your work clothes from your “going out” clothes.
2) [this one’s sneaky] Since boots often have thicker soles than regular shoes, they can give you a little help in the height department.
3) There are loads of different boot styles that allow you to create your own unique look (we’ll go over a few below), and designers are always coming up with hip new details.
4) Because boots are not as ubiquitous as, say, regular dress shoes, wearing stylish boots will set you apart as someone who is “in the know” about style.

And here are 3 great boot picks for this Fall in various price ranges:

Up to $250

Men's Style Advice: Topman BootsTopman - $100 Don’t let the buckle scare you. It’s a subtle touch that will only be visible when you’re sitting down.

 

$250-$500
Men's Style Advice: Rag & Bone bootsRag & Bone – $450 – The roughed-up suede makes them gritty and masculine, but the half captoe maintains the polish.

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Julie Rath: If You Try One New Thing this Fall…

Julie Rath: Groom Alert

I always say a groom should look dashing at his wedding, and choosing the right accessories is key to the result. In selecting neckwear for your nuptials, remember that you’re not choosing a power tie or a work tie — you’re choosing a wedding tie, and it should be celebratory. After all, that’s what the whole day is about. So give yourself permission to think outside the box and go with something you might not normally wear. You’ll still look like you, only a cool and sharp groom version of you. Below are several different categories of ties that are just right for those that are altar-bound.

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SOLIDS

Solids: Wearing a solid tie is a nice way to let your bride, no doubt gorgeous in her wedding dress, take center stage. I recommend using a shade from the wedding color scheme and/or the bridesmaid dresses. I like the three below (left to right): from Drake’s London (£95), Turnbull & Asser ($175), and to go with a more casual look — perhaps a khaki suit — this linen tie from Faconnable ($115). All three are available in a range of colors for easy coordination.

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TONE-ON-TONE

If a solid doesn’t have enough flavor, but you still want to keep it simple, try one that’s tone-on-tone like those below from Jil Sander ($165; also comes in tan) and Brioni ($195).

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METALLIC

Another easy principle to follow is matching metals to metals. So if your bride’s jewelry and your belt buckle, watch, cuff links, etc. are silver-toned, you might incorporate a corresponding metallic shade into your tie. This rule works particularly well if your metals are silver and you happen to have cool skin tone, or if your metals are gold, and your skin tone is warm. For silvers, I like this diamond-patterned tie from Sam Hober ($80) and this silk stripe from Giorgio Armani ($145). Keep in mind that the Sam Hober is on the dressy side because the pattern is small.

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Julie Rath: Groom Alert

Saul Kaplan: Cobbler’s Shoes. Do You Have a Family Vision?

We all know the story of the local cobbler who was so busy making shoes for his customers that he didn’t have time to make shoes for his family.  I have led and participated in hundreds of organizational visioning sessions but in 1998 it was clear to me that my own family needed a shared vision for the future.  I was determined and proclaimed that we would spend New Year’s Eve 1998 together as a family working on our family vision.  Under duress my wife and three children amused me and participated.  My wife found the actual document I used to facilitate our visioning session in a file.  I hadn’t seen it in ten years and the question remains relevant today.  Does your family have a shared vision?

Here is the document I used to get us talking as a family ten years ago.  Maybe the questions will enable a similar conversation with your family.

Kaplan Family Visioning 12/31/1998

Imagine it is the year 2008.  The world survived the dreaded year 2-K disaster and the Kaplan family is thriving in the new millennium.  It is hard to imagine that ten years have passed since that silly New Year’s Eve in 1998 when our dad made us stay at home together and develop a family vision.  He said it was a mental picture or image of the kind of family we wanted to be.   And like any vision it wouldn’t happen by accident but because everyone in our family wanted to achieve it and worked hard to make it happen.  Well, ten years have passed.  Let’s see how we did in living up to the family vision we created that New Year’s Eve right after dad won the family monopoly game!

Before we can discuss the kind of family we have become in the year 2008 we should start by discussing the kind of individuals we have become.  I can’t believe how far we came as individuals.  It will help us with our family vision to understand what each of us will be doing in the year 2008.  Once we have a picture of ourselves as individuals we can take a look at how we relate together as a family.

How old are you in 2008?  Where do you live?  What kind of home do you live in?

Are you still in school?  What grade (high school, college, graduate school)? Where? What do/did you study?  What kind of grades do/did you get?

photo-saulAre you working now?  What do you do?  What are you planning to do after you graduate?

Describe your personal relationships (boyfriend/ girlfriend)? Husband/wife? Kids! How about friends?  Do you have a lot of friends?

What role does music play in your life?  Do you play any instruments?  How often do you play?

How much traveling have you done?  What parts of the world have you seen?  What parts do you plan to see?

How much do you read? What do you like to read? Do you read a newspaper every day? (Maybe there won’t be newspapers ten years from now!)

How much do you write?  Does your job require you to write? Do you write on your own?  What do you like to write about?  (your mother has been encouraging me to write more…blame her….she has a habit of encouraging all of us to be better…doesn’t she…I think one of her best traits)

What hobbies/sports are you active in? How active are you? Do you exercise?  Maybe we should know how much you weigh!  Are you a sports fan?  What sports? Have the Red Sox made it to the World Series in the last ten years?  Perhaps you live somewhere else and have become a traitor and don’t root for the Red Sox any more!

What are the most important things in your life in 2008?

Now that we can picture what each of us is up to in 2008 and can admire our personal successes we can start to discuss what kind of family we have become.

OK so the Kaplan clan is alive and well in the year 2008.  Who would’ve doubted that each of us would have an exciting and positive view of the future? It’s one of the great things about our family….the fact that as individuals we are all smart, funny, ambitious and have a ton of optimism about the future.  And of course it is the humor we share with each other which makes for an “interesting” combination with our competitive spirits.   I don’t know about you but I am extraordinarily proud and impressed with the individual integrity, talent, and personal motivation that we all possess.

But…(you had to know that there was a but somewhere!) …I am not as clear on what we will be like as a family.  What will we be like collectively?  That might seem like a corny question to ask and I know you are laughing at me for doing this.  I truly believe that what our family is going to be like ten years from now will have a lot to do with the importance we place on being a family and how we treat each other NOW.

Having a vision doesn’t mean you can predict the future.  Nobody can do that.   It simply means that you have a view of what you would like the future to be like.  Once you have a clear vision you can steer yourself toward it.  It helps you know every day/month/year if you are doing the things and acting in a way that points in the direction of the vision.

Anyway, here are a few questions to get us thinking about our family vision:

How often do we see each other as a family?  Are we together for the holidays? Do we go on vacations together?

What happens when our family gets bigger? Spouses? Are there any nieces and nephews? (I guess they would be grandkids huh?  YIKES)

How often do we talk with each other?  Do you talk often with your siblings?

What is the nature of our conversation? Are we talking about our lives and what is really going on or are we doing the adult equivalent of NOTHING REALLY!

How about email as an alternative to the phone.  Are we all hooked up on line wherever we live?

OK how about something a little tougher….How close are we as a family…..really? What happens if something really great happens for one of us…. Are we all there to help celebrate?  I suppose it is fair to ask the opposite question… What happens if someone gets hurt or has something bad happens, or just plain needs our help?  Are we all there for each other?

How will we treat each other?  Do we respect and love each other?  Can other people around us see how much we respect and love each other?

And finally….How much importance do we place on family versus individual? Ultimately the importance we put on it will determine the kind of family we will be in 2008.  I am willing to sign up to whatever vision we create and to work hard to make it happen.  Are you?

Back to the Future 2009

I cried when I read this, ten years later.  Because of its personal poignancy and its accuracy.   My family is as close as ever.  We communicate incessantly by every electronic means available.  We added a new member to our family when my oldest daughter was married this past summer.  We just returned from a great family vacation.  Newspapers are almost dead and of course the Red Sox have won the World Series, twice.   Life is good.

Julie Rath: Fall Trends

As a Personal Stylist, my mission is to create outfits that make my clients look and feel terrific. Dressing well is about manhandling the rules and trends to create a look that’s uniquely one’s own.

This roundup of Fall’s menswear trends and my corresponding “real life” suggestions are meant to serve as inspiration as you figure out what works for you.

Trend #1 Military

Military Fall 2011 Menswear Trend

Military is a perennial favorite, and designers are adept at keeping it fresh each season. A major bonus that comes with it is the epaulette, which fools the eye into thinking the wearer’s shoulders are broader than they actually are. Look for jackets like Reiss’s military macintosh coat ($485) or Burberry’s wool and cashmere peacoat ($1195).

Reiss Men's Military Macintosh Coat

Burberry Men's Pea Coat

You could also go the authentic route and hit up an Army-Navy surplus or thrift store for a military peacoat. I found this handsome one (complete with arm patch and interior stencil and name plate) below for $60 at a thrift store in Connecticut last Fall.

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Julie Rath: Fall Trends

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