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.)
The 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.
The 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.
The 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.
Tuck? See above.
The 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.
Guest post by Sarah Jones of Introverted Alpha
Learn exactly how to approach social and dating skills in a way that gets results.
Even though natural attraction may sound like an inherent gift — that you’re either born with or not — it is no such thing.
The truth is that like anything worth building, natural attraction is simply a skill.
I have found that when men develop a strong and benevolent sense of self, they can’t help but attract women who are a great match for them.
I’ve seen it over and over again, with men who didn’t think they could even get themselves out of the work-home-work cycle, much less attract a beautiful girlfriend.
By following the steps I’ve outlined for you below, men consistently defy the supposed odds and attract amazing women.
So how do we get YOU attracting women naturally and successfully?
Whether you want to have more light and fun dates, or whether you’re on the search for a beautiful, inspiring woman to partner with, there are three steps you need to take in order to become a naturally attractive man:
Step One: Discover Your Vibe
Since you’re in Julie’s community, you already understand the importance of how you come across in terms of your dress and presentation. That gives you a huge amount of leverage in social and dating interactions.
That said, are you aware of what makes YOU uniquely attractive as a man?
That’s something that not a lot of guys know about themselves, and yet it is the fundamental starting point for attracting women naturally.
This is because once you know what makes you a wonderfully attractive man, a few things happen:
First, you instantly have more natural confidence around women.
Second, you know what your strengths are, so you can style yourself and your conversations accordingly, all while being 100% authentic.
Third, you’re able to recognize and receive women’s respect, attraction, and eventually devotion.
Once you have a core understanding of who you are and why a woman would love you for you, you can finally discern and receive a genuine sexy romance when it comes your way.
Step Two: Develop Core Skills
Once you’ve determined what’s sexy about you, it’s time to build your core skills.
This starts with the basic skill of confidence: an assurance within yourself that gives you the strength to become more of the man you want to be every day.
With confidence comes the ability to build key social skills, dating skills, sexual skills, and partnership skills.
That’s all it is – skill-building. Your current level of skill is in no way a personal reflection on your inherent worth. It is a linear, logical skill to be developed.
This is often the biggest mindset shifts my clients experience.
Step Three: Find Your Flow
You’ll know you’re pretty well in your groove when you’re enjoying genuine comfort with yourself, others, and beautiful women.
You’ll know you’re REALLY in your groove when you’re comfortable being intimate with beautiful women and being in close relationship with gorgeous women who deeply inspire you and are deeply inspired by you in turn.
That sounds amazing, right? If you’re wondering whether you can actually do that, it would be understandable. Many men have asked the same.
I can tell you right now that after working with dozens and dozens of men 1:1 – you CAN.
You absolutely can.
Once you discover your vibe, develop core skills, and find your flow, you can’t help but attract women naturally.
Sarah Jones is the founder of Introverted Alpha, where she helps smart introverted men attract women naturally by building core skills and confidence. Learn more and download her Free Welcome Gift at Introverted Alpha.
One of my secret weapons for up-leveling a guy’s style is to mix in new colors, textures and patterns. With the cold weather upon us, now is an excellent time to do this because there are natural ways to change up your style — and do it well. Below are some of my best tips for how to do this.
How to Turn Heads
To get the women around you to take a second look, you need to change up how you dress. If others are used to seeing you in solid blue shirts day after day, and you all of a sudden show up in a purple check, it’s going to make a real difference. (Now of course, not everyone wants their style upgrade to be immediately noticeable. If that applies to you, go for a subtler change, say a switch to a blue check.) Certain colors, textures and patterns are more seasonably appropriate than others, and that’s what I’m going to tell you about today for Fall and Winter clothing. I’ll break this down for you into three main categories: color, texture and pattern.
Fall and Winter is the right time to start incorporating darker, richer colors like olive green, bright red, deep purple, royal blue, chocolate brown and rich navy. Think about these tones for sweaters, pants (like the green AG cords above), shirts and sportcoats. These are the colors we typically associate with cold weather, so it makes sense.
Thicker, heavier textures like in my client’s jacket above are also more appropriate as the weather cools down. These include flannels (for dress pants, suits, sport jackets and also shirts) tweed, corduroy, suede, quilted outerwear and thickly-knit sweaters.
In these thicker fabrics, Fall and Winter-friendly would patterns include houndstooth, windowpane, glen plaid, and regular plaid.
The beauty of cooler weather is that you get to incorporate more layers as the weather cools down, which in turn means more of these colors, patterns and textures can become part of your outfit. And as a result of that, your outfit becomes much more interesting.
How do you plan on mixing up your wardrobe this season?
With the cold weather here (and here to stay), it’s time to consider the sweater. In case you missed it, my advice was referenced in an excellent Wall Street Journal article about how to incorporate sweaters into your look. Even if you’re not typically a sweater-wearer, don’t click away just yet. I’m not talking about the basic sweater-over-a-dress-shirt look — anyone can do that. It’s the non-typical ways to wear knits that I’m interested in. Below are 5 ways to use sweaters to add a fresh spin to your look:
1) Jacket alternative with a casual outfit a.k.a. swacket (sweater-jacket combo) – Leave the North Face in the closet and put on a a chunky sweater instead. As I’ve mentioned before, outerwear is key to pulling together an effective outfit, as it sets the tone for your look. And wearing a sweater as outerwear is a great way to mix things up. The cardigan above from J. Crew is an excellent option (similar here) is an excellent option, as is this one from Billy Reid, which is lined the same way a regular jacket is and therefore provides good protection from the elements.
2) Cardigan worn as a sport coat – In lieu of a sportcoat, wear a shawl collar cardigan like the one above from Suit Supply with a dress shirt and tie. This is a smart look for a cozy evening holiday party. You can also add a tailored menswear vest for further visual interest and warmth.
3) Vest worn over shirt and tie – This is a nice choice when it’s not cool enough for a full-sleeved sweater like in #2. Above is another option from Suit Supply which shows how to do this. The teal blue sweater paired with the rust orange pants is a solid Fall color combo. Leave the bottom button undone as you would with a regular menswear vest.
4) Sweater in place of dress shirt – This is a very sophisticated look, especially when done tone-on-tone as in the runway image above from Valentino (the model also has a grey scarf tucked into the sweater).
5) Thin cardigan under suit or sportcoat – On days where it’s not quite cold enough for an overcoat over your suit/sportcoat, throw on a cardigan as an in-between layer. If you want to try this look, make sure that the cardigan is thin and try leaving the top and bottom buttons open for a less “done” look as in the above image.
Two additional notes…
-Because wearing sweaters can get hot indoors, it’s key to dress in layers which can be easily removed and replaced. The above looks work well in this way, as they each have pieces that can be removed and added back as needed.
-Bear in mind that because knitwear has texture, it’s inherently going to impart a casual feel to your look. The less textured the sweater is, the more dressy it will be. So if you’re wearing one of these looks for work but don’t want to be too dressed down, make sure it’s a fine knit with a smooth surface to it.
Sweaters can often feel stuffy and “old,” but if you try them in new and unconventional ways as above, you’ll breathe new life into your look.
How are you wearing sweaters this season?
A few weeks ago I was joking with a friend about my shirt sleeves always swallowing my hands unless I rolled them up. He suggested a website called “The Modest Man” which I checked out and it turns out that “Modest man” is really a euphemism for, well, “Miniature man” The website features clothing suggestions for short (or “short-er ” as they put it) men, i.e. men 5 ‘8 and under.
Welll, I was ticked! Offended and hurt. Was he suggesting I was a “short man” who needed special sized clothing? Why not just tell me to shop in the “Little Boys” section?
5 ‘8 and under! What was my friend thinking? After all, I stand a full 5 feet 8 1/2 inches tall! (And if you want to be really precise, I am actually 5 feet and 9/16th inches tall, which rounds-up easily to 5 ‘9.) So, yeah, I’m actually much taller than the 5 ‘8 cut-off for men’s clothing lines for the smaller man.
But as the week wore on I kept going back to the website. When no one could see what I was looking at on my computer. And there were a lot of links to men’s clothing lines for these slighter, more diminutive or “modest men.” Unlike me.
Then I began comparing my reaction — the umbrage I was taking to my friend’s suggestion — to a similar incident last year when a different friend suggested I drop some weight and I defensively reassured myself he was way out of line since the BMI level for “Obesity” starts at 30 and I was checking in with a mere 29.5 BMI. (He turned out to be right. And I took his advice despite my initial denial.)
I kept going back to the website and finally — and very secretly — bought a shirt. Just to see (mostly out of intellectual curiousity) what the shirt would be like. Would it make me feel even shorter? Self -conscious? Ashamed? Like my feet may not touch the ground when I sat in a chair?
Actually, something very different happened. The “modestly” (or “acurately,” as I prefer) tailored shirt made me feel none of the things I feared. I just — for the first time in my life -was wearing a casual shirt with sleeves that didn’t swallow my hands without me rolling them up.
And, frankly, it made me feel pretty good. In fact, it even made me feel about an inch taller, too. Not that I needed it, mind you!
After all, I am already too tall for this kind of specialized clothing. But I’m glad I didn’t let my copping a negative attitude initially keep me from eventually having an open mind –and shirt sleeves that actually fit me.
Even though I am not going to tell anybody, I am probably going to buy another shirt at some point. Maybe a sweater, too.
And may recommend the website to a friend who is 5 ‘8 3/4 –which is even taller than me.
Did you put together a great outfit today? That’s all well and good, but I gotta tell you: if your outerwear is bad news, it doesn’t matter what you have on under it. Your look is shot.
Your coat or jacket sets the tone for your look, so read on for how to bring it up to speed.
A lot of times my one-on-one clients know they need outerwear but don’t know where to start. There are a multitude of different types of these jackets, and it can be really confusing, especially if you’re shopping online (do you know what a “utility jacket” is???) To simplify your options, I’ve broken them down by length and given you samples for each. Click the links to see the samples.
Here’s what you have to choose from for Fall and Winter outerwear:
Includes: bomber, vest, leather and suede (usually this length, but they can also go to upper-thigh), denim (good for layering)
Upper-thigh length (length hits about where your hip creases when you lift your knee up)
Includes: parka, field jacket, utility jacket (has four pockets on the front), shirt jacket, peacoat, sporty shell-type jacket
Includes: raincoat, overcoat (here’s my rundown on how to shop for an overcoat)
Includes: overcoat, dressy/traditional raincoat
Of these options, it would be great if you owned one from each length category, but if you can’t swing that, try for one from each of two categories, preferably one with a dressy feel and one with a sporty feel. That helps add versatility so you aren’t wearing the same thing day in and day out.
And make sure the jacket or coat fits you properly. The seams should hit right on the edges of your shoulders, the sleeves shouldn’t go past your wrists, and it should fit trimly through the torso, but you should be able to button/snap it.
Just because you’re not a cowboy, doesn’t mean you should ignore the denim shirt. Sure, you can wear a denim shirt on the ranch, but you can also wear it to the office, on a date, out for dinner – just about anywhere. How rugged vs. fine the material is dictates how dressy you can take it. Also, dark rinses read fancier than light ones.
Here are 4 ways to wear a denim shirt in order from casual to dressy:
1) Weathered with pockets. Wear a different shade of denim on bottom for the optimal Canadian tuxedo. If you need help with the “downstairs” portion of the look, here’s my primer on how to find flattering jeans.
2) Half-buttoned over a v-neck or henley (tucked or not; only tuck in if you can do so without it looking sloppy). Try a jean-style chino or corduroy on bottom.
3) Medium to dark wash with dress pants. Throw on a fun belt to add personality to the look.
4) Dark rinse with suit and tie. For continuity, your tie should be textured, like a knit, cotton, wool or cashmere (a dressy silk won’t look right on denim). The dark buttons on this shirt make it dressier than the previous three.
Pulling off the denim shirt can be tricky, and you may not have felt confident going there in the past. But hopefully these outfit ideas inspire you to give it a shot. Denim shirts are an excellent way to add versatility to your wardrobe, and it’s a shame not to do it just because you don’t know how to pull it off. Try it, and let me know how you do!
New Year’s resolutions are so cliché, I almost can’t stand writing about them. But the truth is, when a new year rolls around, it’s nice to take stock and see what you could start doing differently. The usual suspects here are diet and exercise, and often such resolutions are overzealous and set us up or failure. So this year I’m here to help boost you up with some totally doable style-related resolutions that will require very little of your time.
Read on for this year’s top 10 style resolutions.
1) Try one new thing with your wardrobe. It can be easy to find one thing that you’re comfortable in and that feels easy to you. But it can also be really boring! Give 2015 a fighting chance and add some sort of new element to your look — maybe it’s starting to wear more color, or swapping out your logo’d/free event t-shirts for something nicer (here’s my guide for how your t-shirt should fit).
2) Don’t shop without a plan (or on an empty stomach). The last thing you want to do when shopping is make mistake purchases. And shopping without knowing what you’re looking for — or when you’re hungry — will put you on the fast track to a shopping fail.
3) Donate anything with holes or stains that won’t come out. This one really doesn’t need explaining. I’ll just say that when you wear torn-up, crappy clothes, the message you send is that you feel torn-up and crappy about yourself. This then becomes an unfortunate vicious cycle which causes you actually to start feeling that way. (Confirm with whatever charity you’re donating to what condition they will take clothing in.)
4) Take your oversized clothes to the tailor. This is an instant, low-cost (at least compared to buying new things) option for upgrading your wardrobe. Stay tuned for an upcoming post about how to know what’s worth tailoring.
5) Think before you stink (a.k.a. avoid strong aftershaves). This one was on last year’s list, but I had to include it again. I did a lot of traveling in 2014, and one of the biggest conclusions I drew is that there’s an Old Spice epidemic in the US. Nearly every morning flight I took, I felt as if I might become asphyxiated by the scent of the man sitting next to me. Trust me, just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean others can’t either. Ask one or two lady friends with good taste to tell you honestly if any of the product smells you’re wearing are offensive. And if the initials for any of said products are O.S., drop it like it’s hot.
6) Wear a watch. I get it, watches are no longer necessary since we all use our phones these days. But if you’re not wearing a watch, you’re missing out on an excellent opportunity to distinguish your look. Above is a serious arm party courtesy of one of my clients. You don’t need to break the bank when adding a watch to your look, however. There are plenty of good choices under $200 (including this one for $185 from Miansai). Choose something that resonates with you personally and that you’d feel good wearing — not what others would expect you to wear.
7) Make sure you have one suit that fits you like armor. Chances are, sometime in 2015 you’ll have a wedding, funeral, or job interview you’ll need to attend. And you’ll need a great-fitting suit for those situations — one you don’t have to think twice about. Often such events spring up out of nowhere, so it’s to your benefit to have a suit ready and waiting in your closet. And if you think you can get by with that old boxy one from ten years ago, think again. There are few things less flattering on a man than an ill-fitting suit, and there’s definitely no way to disguise a poor fit.
8) Buy flattering jeans. Most new clients I meet are in need of a jeans refresh. Even if you have a pair that was flattering when you bought them two years ago, chances are at this point they’ve stretched and faded, and it’s time to replace them. If you’ve never had a pair of jeans you feel great in, it’s time to add that to your wardrobe. Here’s my guide for how to find flattering jeans.
9) Lose the square-toed shoes. These were cool in the 90’s. But the 90’s is not now. Do yourself a favor and get them out of your closet so you aren’t tempted to wear them.
10) Take your dress shoes to the shoe guy for a cleanup and to be resoled. This is another low-cost way to refresh things, and in fact a good cobbler can make your shoes look almost new. If you don’t already have someone you use, look on Yelp or other user-review sites in your area for one with high ratings, or ask any well-dressed guys you encounter where they take theirs.
How many of the tips on this list are you able to implement? I guarantee that even if you do just 3 of them, you’ll be in great shape, and you’ll feel that much better about yourself.
Wishing you a very stylish 2015!
I have never worn a scarf. Ever. In my entire life. But I wanted to today. I have one. In fact, I have three. I just never get around to ever actually wearing them.
I am embarrassed to admit this but when I see other men wearing scarfs they seem to be tied or folded a certain way and I don’t know how to fold or tie a scarf properly.
Besides, just wearing a scarf makes me feel like I am being a bit of a dandy. And having to fold it a certain way —and knowing how to fold it—is just more dandified than I am comfortable with.
But I wore one today anyway. To my car, at least. Just around my neck. No folding. I don’t know how, remember? I just wanted to keep my neck a little warmer. And finally to see what wearing a scarf feels like.
By the way, it feels very bulky and didn’t seem to make a huge difference on my neck.
But I am glad to have it in the car now. And can use it to clean up a coffee spill since I don’t have any napkins and like to drink coffee in the car.
Of course, I still have two other scarves in my closet that I could still one day wear if I ever learn how to fold or tie a scarf. And have extra napkins in my car.
I have been wearing a scarf today for nearly 40 minutes even though I don’t know any of the fancy ways to tie or fold it. Like men wear them in magazines and upscale coffee shops.
So far, I am happy to report, it has kept my neck warmer and has not caused a statistically significant drop in my masculinity.
One thing about winter 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
Topman - $100 Don’t let the buckle scare you. It’s a subtle touch that will only be visible when you’re sitting down.
Rag & Bone – $450 – The roughed-up suede makes them gritty and masculine, but the half captoe maintains the polish.
Officine Creative – $690 – These boots are made from a gorgeous glossy cognac buffalo leather and will look great with both your jeans and dress pants.
Have you ever worn boots before? If not, I’d love to hear why. Leave me a comment below.