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men in well fitted navy suit is attractive to ladies

Looking good in men’s formalwear isn’t as easy as just throwing on an old suit jacket, and pants.

Whether it be a well-tailored garment or an off-the-rack bargain suit, there are specific rules every guy must follow when styling his sartorial wardrobe.

Get it right, and you can become the best-looking guy in the room.

Get it wrong, and people WILL notice.

In today’s article, I’m breaking out my must-know suit styling tips to help you stand out for all the right reasons.

We’ll be covering:

  1. What Shirts Work Best With A Navy Suit?
  2. What Tie Styles Can You Wear With A Navy Suit?
    • Solid Color Neckties
    • Polka Dot Ties
    • Paisley Ties
    • Knitted Ties
    • Striped Ties
  3. What Shoes Work Best With A Navy Blue Suit?
    • Brogue Derby Shoes
    • Monkstrap Shoes
    • Chelsea Boots
    • Brown Oxford Shoes
  4. Which Watch Styles Are Best For Navy Suits?
    • Aviator Watch
    • Dive Watch
    • Dress Watch
  5. Should A Man Wear Cufflinks With A Navy Suit?
    • What Are Cufflinks?
    • How Do Cufflinks Work?
    • Different Styles Of Cufflinks
    • How To Wear Cufflinks
  6. Navy Suit Construction Essential Facts
    • Single vs. Double Breasted Suit Jackets
    • How Many Buttons Should Your Suit Jacket Have?
    • Sack Vs. Structured Vs. Fitted Silhouettes
    • Soft Vs. Roped Vs. Structured Suit Jacket Shoulders
    • Notch Vs. Peak Vs. Shawl Suit Lapels
  7. Navy Suit Construction Advanced Facts
    • Suit Jacket Pocket Types
    • Suit Jacket Sleeve Buttons
    • Unlined Vs. Half-Lined Vs. Fully-Lined Suit Jacket Linings
    • Ventless Vs. Single Vs. Double Suit Jacket Vents
    • Lapel Buttonhole

What Shirts Work Best With A Navy Suit?

stylish teacher with suit jpg

Pairing a dress shirt with a navy blue suit is a sharp, classic look for men.

The first thing you want to do is create a contrast with the navy blue color. The easiest way to do this is to stick with dress shirts in light tones. You can’t go wrong with a white or pale blue dress shirt.

In fact, I would advise buying four dress shirts as close to the ones featured in the infographic above:

  • One white shirt
  • One light blue shirt
  • One blue and white striped shirt
  • One medium-blue shirt

In addition to creating a contrast, also aim to make it subtle by avoiding any extreme patterns and stripes. Adding prints on your shirt will take away from the subtle sophistication the suit provides.

While avoiding them altogether is a bit extreme, I would advise that you exercise caution when picking patterned shirts for your navy blue blazer. Very light and faint striped shirts can work well – but these should be very thinly striped in a soft blue.

What Tie Styles Can You Wear With A Navy Suit?

#1 Solid Neckties

elegant man in suit and tie

This is the first tie a man should purchase if he’s starting from scratch. Dark blue is the safest and most versatile, but any deep, rich color is good. Dark greens, burgundies, and for some complexions, purples all work great.

Steer clear of bright colors and shiny surfaces, however. You want something smooth, matte, and refined if you’re wearing a big swath of it across your chest. Stick to that nice deep blue for the first solid tie and work from there.

The best colors to match with a navy blue suit are dark reds or shades of blue (depending on whether you’re wearing a white or blue shirt).

Take a look at the above color wheel. For most men, sticking to colors that are roughly opposite navy blue on the color wheel is the easiest way of balancing the color of your navy blue suit and tie. That means any shade between the bright red at the top of the color wheel and the bright yellow.

However, if you’re wearing a light blue shirt, pairing up a dark blue tie can also look great while wearing a navy blue suit.

#2 Polka Dot Ties

man wearing navy blue suit and polka dot tie

When you think of dress clothing, “polka dots” is probably not the first thing that springs to mind. But that’s the beauty of a dotted tie: it’s not a pattern that shows up in other menswear, meaning it’s not going to be awkwardly close to any of the designs in your shirt or suit.

(If you’re wearing polka-dotted shirts and suits, you’ve got bigger problems than a necktie can fix.)

Get something with a nice, muted background color and very fine, wide-spaced dots, and you’ve got something that’ll stand up to a suit and collared shirt just fine. Maybe you wouldn’t wear it to a top-formality board meeting, but for daily office work, it’s excellent – and it’s not clashing with anything else you’re wearing.

#3 Paisley Neckties

man wearing navy blue suit with paisley tie

Paisley is a repeating, curved design of Middle Eastern origin. The paisley figures are usually ornately bordered and filled with abstract designs and are placed against a solid background, sometimes with smaller floral figures in between the paisley figures.

This is a somewhat casual look, but it’s useful for the same reason as a polka dot pattern: you’re not echoing a design that exists anywhere else in the outfit, except perhaps the pocket square. (Again, if you’re wearing paisley shirts with neckties, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do!)

#4 Knit Ties

knitted necktie

In and out of fashion at various points, knit ties come back so often that it’s worth having a few on hand.

These are larger, bulkier ties than the more common woven versions. They have a visibly bumpy texture and, in some cases, visible gaps in the fabric. The thickness makes for a nice, hefty knot — great for bigger guys and broader faces, but tough to pull off if you’re on the skinny side.

Wear them when you want a little vintage feel or when your outfit needs some texture to break up a flat look.

#5 Striped Ties (University & Regimental)

man wearing navy blue suit with striped tie

British readers might find the idea of school ties more common than American readers. Still, they exist on both sides of the pond: colored ties with diagonal stripes, typically (although not always) in the same colors as the school’s banners, sports uniforms, etc.

An interesting quirk of these: university ties slant downward from left to right. That sets them apart from regimental ties.

To the uneducated eye, regimental ties look just like old-fashioned school neckties. However, the diagonal stripes slant from right to left, rather than left to right, and British military men will recognize the color schemes of various regimental units.

Ties designed to look like regimental ties are fine for general-purpose business wear. You should avoid actual ties from official military regiments unless you belonged to that regiment at some point in your life. Only a few people will notice or care, but those people will care very much.

This is primarily a British tradition, although neckties do exist in the colors of the American military service branches (scarlet and gold for the Marine Corps, etc.). They can vary in quality from dignified to tacky, depending on how bright the colors are and how shiny the fabric is.

What Shoes Work Best With A Navy Suit?

When wearing a navy suit, paying close attention to the shoes you plan to wear with your outfit is essential.

In my opinion, shades of brown work best with navy – typically, black can have a stark contrast against navy and look a bit weird if not pulled off correctly.

As such, I recommend sticking to shades of brown for most guys to ensure that whatever shoes you wear will look good and well-balanced against the rest of your outfit.

While there are plenty of formal shoe styles out there, if I had to choose a few shoe styles that were best to pair with a navy suit, I would recommend:

#1 Brogue Derby Shoes

Find The Best Dress Shoes To Wear With Jeans jpg

Think of the derby shoe as a “casual dress shoe.” The versatility of a pair of brogued Derby shoes makes them ideal for the versatility of a navy suit. You could wear them to the office, at a wedding or more casually at the weekend.

#2 Monk Strap Shoes

double monk straps

Both the single and double varieties apply. Monk strap shoes are identifiable by their buckle and leather enclosure compared to laces. Given the lack of lacing, monk strap shoes perform better in a casual environment. Brown shades are by far the color of choice to grant you multiple pairings with trousers.

#3 Chelsea Boots

stylish boots

Chelsea boots are another semi-casual shoe that looks great with the navy blue suit. Depending on your event, suede is a great casual option, while leather will step up the blazer slightly.

#4 Brown Oxfords

Infographic Cap-Toe Balmoral Oxfords

The most formal style on this list. Oxford shoes are best reserved for more formal occasions when a brogue Derby shoe would look out of place. Sure, you can wear them to the office, but I’d only advise doing so if you’re in a position of power and authority.

Which Watch Styles Are Best For Suits?

#1 Aviator Watch

mens-watch-aviators-infographic
Click here to discover my guide on buying an Aviator Watch.

This men’s watch started in 1906 on the wrist of adventurous pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont as he achieved the first-ever powered flight in Europe.

Santos-Dumont happened to be friends with Louis Cartier (recognize the name?) and asked him to develop a watch that could act as a stopwatch in addition to telling time.

The result was a piece that featured Roman numerals and a curved dial within a rectangular case.

As aviation evolved, so did the watches. Later designs included extra-large cases and dials for easy reading at a glance, plus large white Arabic numerals on black enamel dials for contrast. Watchmakers also fitted them with chunky, onion-shaped crowns that were easy to grip when wearing thick gloves.

Long straps made these watches easy to fit over a flight jacket, allowing the pilot to stay fully protected.

In short, these watches were made as resilient as the pilots themselves.

When wearing an Aviator’s watch with a navy suit – be mindful of the strap and size of the dial. A brown leather strapped Aviator watch is ideal when wearing a navy suit to a wedding – it says, ‘I know how to dress for the occasion, but recognize that a dress watch might be too formal for some 21st Century wedding dress codes.’

Make sure the brown leather strap matches your belt’s and shoes’ brown leather!

Aviator Watch 2 jpg

What makes an Aviator Watch?

  • Men’s aviator watches feature high-contrast dials and numerals for telling the time at a glance.
  • A more oversized crown is also typical as it allows the pilot to adjust the time without needing to remove his gloves.
  • A tell-tale sign of an Aviator Watch is whether or not it has extra features for added practicality. It might come with a chronograph (initially used for timing a plane’s turns). Also, look out for time zone functions and “Whiz Wheels”: a tool capable of calculating time, fuel, and distance.

#2 Dive Watch

mens-watch-divers-infographic
Click here to discover more about the Dive Watch.

The name says it all – this watch is used for underwater diving and to monitor dive times.

The first recorded use of a dive watch was in 1926 when Rolex registered a patent for the water-resistant ‘Oyster’ watch case.

Men’s watch styles at this time leaned towards thin, elegant, and fragile models. The Oyster proved it was different. Rolex arranged for daring swimmer Mercedes Gleitze to embark on a daunting 10-hour swim across the British Channel with the Rolex Oyster hung around her neck. Not only did Mercedes successfully cross the channel, but the watch remained intact and dry inside – it kept perfect time throughout!

Today, the diver’s watch is constructed to withstand high water pressure. Domed sapphire or mineral glass is used for this as they are also durable and scratch-resistant.

These watches feature a rotating bezel so divers can time dives and monitor their air supply. The bezel is often unidirectional, only able to be rotated anticlockwise to prevent the bezel from being fatally adjusted to tell a diver they have more air remaining than they really do.

Dive watches are typically water-resistant to 660-980 feet. Higher-quality dive watches can go even deeper. They come fitted with a helium release valve to mitigate pressure build-up.

Swap out the typical rubber strap for a metal strap when wearing a dive watch with a navy suit. This will elevate the formality of the watch and help it meet the dress expectations of business environments.

Dive Watch jpg

What are the essential parts of a Dive Watch?

  • Dive watches are made with stainless steel – the best material for braving the pressures of the deep and the corrosiveness of salt water.
  • Due to the sheer hardware that goes into them, the watches are usually larger than others.
  • They use thicker crystals to enhance pressure resistance. The crystals can come in acrylic, hardened glass, or synthetic sapphire.
  • Easy legibility is a must, so these men’s watches are designed with as little clutter on the dials as possible. The minute hand is deliberately made larger.
  • In addition to that, the markers for 3,6,9, and 12 are designed as conspicuously as possible to prevent disorientation-induced readout errors. The same goes for the zero-marker on the bezel.
  • The case size makes it easy for divers to rotate the bezel, even when wearing a wetsuit.

#3 Dress Watch

mens-watch-dress-infographic
Click here to discover my dress watch guide.

The Dress Watch is the most straightforward and elegant watch a man can buy. Designed to tell the time and nothing else, a dress watch is never ostentatious.

A vital feature of the dress watch is its thin casing, which allows a man to slip it under the cuff of a dress shirt easily.

In the heyday of mechanical watches, bulky models were standard because they were easier and cheaper to make. There was more room inside the case to work with. Thin watches were, and still are, proof of superior craftsmanship.

Dress watches are commonly worn with tuxedos. They represent the height of formality in watchmaking and should be worn when black tie is on the cards. However, if you swap out the traditional black leather strap for a brown one, they can be a great formal option when wearing a navy suit.

Dress Watch jpg

What constitutes a Dress Watch?

  • Out of all men’s watch styles, a dress watch’s dial is always the simplest. It has no complications apart from perhaps a date window.
  • The face is never wider than 42mm and comes in black, white, or silver. Is 42mm too small for a man? Not when it comes to dress watches.
  • Even the hour markers are simple – they’re commonly Roman numerals or simple batons.
  • Dress watches are made in precious metals like gold to reflect the occasion. It makes sense because wearers purchase them for momentous occasions.
  • The straps are always leather – usually darker in color to drive home the formal factor.
  • The only decoration on this men’s watch is a single cabochon – a polished gemstone – over the crown.

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#1 What Are Cufflinks?

What Are Cufflinks jpg

Cufflinks are tools for fastening shirt cuffs closed.

They’re an alternative to the buttons that are commonly sewn onto shirt cuffs. The defining feature is that cufflinks are separate objects: sew it onto the shirt, and it’s a button, but if it’s fully removable, it’s a cufflink.

Cufflinks come in many shapes, sizes, styles, and materials just like buttons. They usually offer a little more contrast than a button and are considered a more ornamental option, but they’re not inherently more or less formal.

how the cufflinks are constructed

A cufflink fastens a shirt by sliding through holes on either side of the cuff opening, then swinging into a locked or fixed position to hold the sides together.

The most common cufflink consists of a large head or “insert member” with a decorative front face, a post that extends from the back of the head, and a hinged toggle that swings out from the bar to fasten the link.

These are fastened by setting the toggle in its closed position so that there is a straight post descending from the underside of the head.

The post slides through the holes on both sides of the cuffs, and then the toggle is swung outward to prevent the post from sliding back out.

That holds the cufflink in place, with the front face of the insert member placed decoratively atop the buttonholes.

different types of men's cufflinks

There are dozens of variations on the basic theme of the hinged cufflink and several other mechanical alternatives. Here are some of the most common types of cufflinks:

  • Whale Back Cufflinks have a flat head, a straight post, and a “whale tail” that flips completely flat against the post. They are straightforward, and their large post and closing mechanism make them easy to use. This is probably the most common type of cufflink on the market.
  • Bullet Back Cufflinks are similar to whale tail cufflinks, but the post is a hollow frame, and the closing mechanism is a narrow cylinder of metal that nests inside the frame. To lock the links in place, the cylinder is flipped outward, leaving the frame in place as the post.
  • Stud or Button Style Cufflinks have no hinge mechanism. Instead, they have a large head, a straight post, and a smaller interior head or backing. The smaller head is tilted, worked through the buttonhole, and straightened out to lock it. Once in place, they are quite secure, and the lack of moving parts makes them very durable.
  • Chain Link Cufflinks have two heads (usually identical) connected by a short length of fine chain. This creates a slightly looser fastening than other styles, with visible decoration on both sides of the closed buttonholes.
  • Ball Return Cufflinks have a curved post with a small, heavy ball opposite the decorative head. They provide a slightly looser fastening than hinged cufflinks but a slightly tighter one than a chain. They can be expensive when made in precious metals, as the size and weight of the ball add considerably to the material cost of the item.
  • Locking Dual-Action Cufflinks use a hinge mechanism similar to the closure of a metal watchband. The entire post is the hinge: the cufflink swings open, the smaller end is slipped through the opening, and then the cufflink is swung shut once more, clipping the sides of the cuff together underneath the head. This is a contemporary style and, after a short learning curve, is one of the easiest to use and most secure styles available.
  • Knot Cufflinks are similar to chain links, with two heads connected by a short, flexible length, but they are made of soft cord (usually silk) rather than metal, and the heads are decorative knots. The irregular surface of the knotwork makes this a more casual style, particularly when multiple colors are involved.
  • Fabric Cufflinks can be almost any fastener style but have a fabric “button” on top as the ornamental face. They are a deliberately casual style.
hot to wear cufflinks

Cufflinks can be worn with either single cuffs, which look just like a regular buttoning dress shirt’s cuffs but with holes on both sides of the opening, or with doubled-back “French” cuffs. French cuffs will have two holes on either side of the opening, which should line up one atop the other when you fold the cuff back.

To fasten the cuff, the holes on both sides of the cuff opening are lined up, the cufflink is inserted through so that the post runs all the way through all the holes, and the link is then set into its closed position.

The sides of the cuff are most commonly matched up “kissing,” with the interior faces touching one another. This turns the hemmed edges of the cuff opening outward from the wrist, one atop the other.

It is not “wrong,” however, to fasten the cuff sides overlapping rather than kissing. In that arrangement, the underside of one edge of the cuff lays atop the outer face of the other edge, so that only one hemmed edge points outward.

The overlapping or “barrel” style looks slimmer and more business-like than the more ornamental “kissing” look. Neither is wrong, but the kissing approach has traditionally been considered better suited to the ornamental nature of cufflinks.

#1 What’s the Difference Between Single vs. Double Breasted Suit Jackets?

jacket-types-single-vs-double-breasted

A single-breasted jacket has two halves that button together at the front. This type is the more classic style and is widely available and used.

The number of buttons on a single breast jacket varies between one to four. Standard single-breast jacket styles have two or three buttons with a notch lapel.

A double-breasted jacket is more formal than a single-breasted jacket. These jackets feature four, six, or eight buttons on the front, with six as a standard. Peak lapels are a defining feature of these jackets and help to accentuate the shoulders.

A double-breasted jacket has extra fabric that folds over from left to right. The shortage of cloth during the World Wars and the popularity of single-breasted jackets with returning war veterans made double-breasted suits a rarity.

If you see one in a store – take that as a good sign.

#2 How Many Buttons Should Your Suit Jacket Have?

Infographic - Suit Jacket Buttoning Rules

The choice is between one, two, or three buttons on the front. The preferred option is two buttons on a suit jacket for most men.

  • The one-button single-breasted suit jacket: Generally used on a tuxedo. These jackets are suited to lean men and worn for black tie events. They are not versatile.
  • The two-button single-breasted suit jacket: Is one of the most classic looks in men’s fashion. This style of suit looks good on all body types. The cut of the suit makes just about every man’s frame look longer. Two-button suits are great for both social and business events.
  • The three-button single-breasted suit jacket: Because of the buttons’ arrangement, three-buttons flatter taller men. Men who like to wear waistcoats will also likely prefer the look of a three-button suit. These are suitable for formal occasions.

Rules of buttoning a single-breasted jacket:

  • One button: Always closed except when sitting.
  • Two buttons: Use the top one and leave the second button undone.
  • Three buttons: Button the center and top ones and leave the third button undone.

Never button the bottom button.

#3 Sack vs. Structured vs. Fitted Silhouettes

Suit Jacket Silhouettes

The term silhouette here refers to the shape or cut of a suit jacket.

The shape of a garment sets the tone of your appearance. There are three basic silhouettes on a suit jacket:

  • Sack or Brooks Brothers Suit Jacket: As the name suggests, it is a shapeless jacket with narrow shoulders. The jacket hangs on the body – presenting a classic shape for anyone wanting to blend into the crowd as it hides the wearer’s figure.
  • Structured Silhouette Suit Jacket: This is the most formal silhouette, influenced by the military uniform. The shoulders have inserted pads, and the waist is trim, giving the wearer an almost hourglass appearance.
  • Fitted Silhouette Suit Jacket: This silhouette suits men who are in shape. It presents a tailored fit. With minimal padding, the high armholes enhance the wearer’s posture.

#4 Soft vs. Roped vs. Structured Suit Jacket Shoulders

4 Suit Jacket shoulders type 2

If the shoulders don’t fit – You cannot alter the jacket to fit you.

It is the first detail you need to pay attention to when shopping for a suit jacket.
The construction of the shoulder should complement the build of the body. Sloping shoulders may need padding to lift the area.

A man with narrow shoulders and extra weight around the midsection requires a slightly extended horizontal shoulder area. A body with a strong V shape can skip strong shoulders to favor more balance to the overall appearance.

A good shoulder construction does not sag over the shoulder line and is big enough to allow unrestricted movements of the arms.

The Italians prefer a soft, unstructured shoulder, while the English fancy a bit of looping in the shoulders, creating a gentle bump on the shoulder line.

#5 Notch vs. Peak vs. Shawl Suit Lapels

Suit Jacket Lapel Types

Lapels should always be a reflection of the jacket’s proportions. A wide lapel on a suit jacket suits a well-proportioned man. The same lapel on a smaller man will dwarf his frame.

The lapel should extend to just about the mid-point between the collar and the shoulders.

There are three common types of lapels:

  • Notch Lapel: The top of the lapel and the bottom of the collar meets in a notch. This style is the most common type of lapel and suits a single-breasted jacket.
  • Peak Lapel: These have strong edges pointed towards the shoulders. A peak lapel is more formal and always found on double-breasted jackets.
  • Shawl Lapel: The collar has a continuous curve without a break like a peak or a notch lapel. These are seen only on tuxedos and worn at exclusive events like a black-tie night.

Suit Construction Advanced Facts

#1 Suit Jacket Pocket Types

types of pockets

A standard feature of a suit jacket is a pocket on the left side of the chest, called the breast pocket. You’ll notice in some of my videos – my suit jacket has a pocket on the right. Any guesses why?

  • The flaps on the pockets should be consistent with the size of the lapels.
  • The jetted pocket is more dressy, which explains why it fits the tuxedo.
  • The flap pocket will add a touch of thickness to the hip, while the slit pocket gives a slimmer look.
  • Angled pockets are sportier and should always have a flap.
  • Conductors or valets initially used a ticket pocket to hold train tickets.
  • A patch pocket is suitable for sports jackets but not for a formal suit.

#2 Suit Jacket Sleeve Buttons

Whether they are functional or not, a suit jacket will have buttons on the sleeve.

Four buttons are standard for a suit sleeve, while a sports jacket usually has only two. For a two-button suit – I prefer either two or four buttons on the sleeve. For a three-button – I would go with three buttons on the sleeve.

Manufacturers should set the buttons on a sleeve closely together, almost kissing each other. Sleeve buttons that come undone used to be a sign of superior suit quality.

#3 Unlined Vs. Half-lined Vs. Fully-lined Suit Jacket Linings

lining is essential part of suit jacket

A natural fiber lining on the inside of a suit jacket is a sign of quality.

Bemberg is a natural form of rayon made from cotton linter. It’s the king of linings as it’s durable, relatively inexpensive, breathable, and easy to find.

Silk is a luxury fabric and, therefore, expensive. Although sought after for suits, especially custom, I don’t recommend it. It can be challenging to clean and impossible to fix if torn (you need to replace it). It is breathable, though, so an option for hot weather.

Polyester or oil-based rayon linings are common in low-cost and mass-manufactured jackets – avoid them as they are the least breathable.

The inner jacket lining is usually color-coordinated with the suit fabric. If you decide to go with a contrasting color, it makes the suit more casual (although you can keep it buttoned, and no one will know). A lining provides a suit jacket with durability and helps to maintain its line.

An unlined suit jacket is bound to cost more than a suit that is completely lined. Why? Labor and skill – unlined jackets are rare, and the artist building the coat will need to ensure his inner stitching is beautiful as the suit jacket’s owner will be able to see it.

Advantages vs. disadvantages of each lining style

  • Unlined: Preferred in hot climates, unlined jackets are light and breathable. Keep in mind that summer jackets in light fabrics are bound to cost more than a lined jacket.
  • Fully Lined: Lining adds weight to a jacket. It also adds protection to the inside of the suit jacket. Business suits need lining. However, the extra layer of cloth holds the heat in these jackets – not the best choice for summer and hot weather.
  • Half Lined: The middle-ground for suit jacket lining is a partial lining that protects the canvas of the suit without adding much weight. Partially lined jackets have a softer shape than fully lined jackets. As with unlined jackets, partially lined jackets also cost more than suits with regular full lining.

#4 Ventless vs. Single vs. Double Suit Jacket Vents

suit jacket vents styles

Suit jackets may or may not have a vent or slit in the lower back portion. The three options for vents in a suit jacket are:

  • No Vent (ventless): Preferred by Italians, this style is more fitted. The downside is when you put your hands in your pockets or sit down – the jacket creases and bunches up in the back.
  • Single Vent: I am not a fan of the single vent suit jacket for men. It exposes their backside when they place their hands in the trouser pockets. As the least expensive option, it gives the wearer a boxy appearance.
  • Double or Two-Sided Vent: This allows for more fluid movement of hands. It gives the wearer added shape. The flap comes up when you sit or put your hands in your pockets – preventing the jacket from creasing and keeps the backside covered.

#5 Lapel Buttonhole

lapel buttonhole with flower

The one working buttonhole worth having is on the lapel.

The buttonhole on the lapel initially closed the suit jacket and buttoned it up. Now – it has found a more aesthetic purpose in sporting a boutonniere.

The boutonniere goes on the left lapel of the suit jacket, in the lapel’s buttonhole, with an opening of about 1-1.5 inches.

Only higher-end suits have a functional lapel buttonhole, with a hand-sewn lining to support the flower and a latch on the reverse side of the lapel to secure the stem of the flower.

Avoid pinning the stem to your lapel unless prepared by a florist.

A special occasion is not required to sport a flower on your suit. The only caveat is that wearing one will attract attention. Apart from funerals and solemn events – wearing a flower is going to be a conversation starter.

How you wear your suit jacket is a matter of your style, taste, and your budget. You can carry off a reasonably well-constructed suit if you pay attention to the details. Get them right, and you will be setting a high sartorial standard.

The post What Should You Wear With A Navy Blue Suit? (Styling And Accessories For Men) appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio Centeno
Title: What Should You Wear With A Navy Blue Suit? (Styling And Accessories For Men)
Sourced From: www.realmenrealstyle.com/navy-blazer-matching/
Published Date: Wed, 08 Nov 2023 13:41:33 +0000

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Grooming

VENEERS FOR A MEGAWATT SMILE

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There are many men out there who are desperate to get their gnashers sorted to get that megawatt smile, so in recent years, there has been a noticeable surge in the number of men opting to have veneers put in. This cosmetic dental procedure, once primarily associated with women, is now gaining popularity among men seeking to enhance their smiles and boost their confidence.

So the good thing about veneers is the enhanced aesthetics: One of the most significant advantages of veneers is their ability to dramatically improve the appearance of teeth; whether addressing discolouration, uneven spacing, or minor alignment issues, veneers can create a more symmetrical and attractive smile, enhancing overall facial aesthetics. This will give you confidence, but who wouldn’t want a bright, flawless smile that can significantly impact self-confidence and self-esteem? With veneers, men can feel more confident in social and professional settings, making positive impressions and feeling better about their appearance. So, when properly cared for, veneers can provide a long-term solution for smile enhancement, and unlike other cosmetic dental procedures that may require frequent touch-ups or replacements, they offer lasting results and provide value for the investment.

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And this is the big one, the cost. One of the primary drawbacks of veneers is the cost associated with the procedure. Veneers can be a significant investment, and the total expense will depend on factors such as the number of teeth treated and the type of material used. While some may consider the cost worthwhile for the aesthetic benefits, it may only be feasible for some, and remember that having veneers put is irreversible. So what is the procedure? Veneers involve permanently altering the natural teeth by removing a thin layer of enamel to accommodate the veneer; this irreversible process means that once the veneers are in place, there’s no return to the original teeth. It’s essential for individuals to carefully consider this aspect before proceeding with the procedure.

While veneers can be unique, there is a potential for sensitivity, and some guys may experience increased tooth sensitivity following the placement of veneers, particularly during the initial adjustment period. While this sensitivity is usually temporary and subsides over time, it can be a discomforting side effect for some. And what is needed for maintenance requirements? While veneers are durable, they still require proper maintenance to ensure longevity; this includes regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups and avoiding habits that may damage the veneers. Don’t smoke, and don’t bite into anything complicated!

Despite the potential drawbacks, the popularity of veneers among men continues to grow, and many men are drawn to the transformative effects of veneers and the confidence boost they provide. Whether for professional reasons, personal aesthetics, or simply wanting to feel more confident in their smile, veneers offer a viable solution for those seeking to enhance their appearance and improve their overall quality of life. As with any cosmetic procedure, individuals need to weigh the pros and cons carefully and consult a qualified dental professional to determine if veneers are the right option.

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Now, this is the big one: when it comes to dental veneers, the choice of materials plays a crucial role in determining the quality of the result and impacting the overall cost. Porcelain veneers are renowned for their superior quality and durability, making them a popular choice despite their higher price tag. On the other hand, composite resin veneers offer a more budget-friendly option but may be prone to chipping over time. In the UK, veneer costs typically range from £500 to £1,400 per tooth. However, this price range can vary depending on various factors, such as the location of the dental practice, the dentist’s expertise, the materials used, the number of veneers required, and any additional treatments necessary.

Ultimately, while the cost of veneers may seem significant, it’s essential to consider the long-term benefits and their impact on your confidence and self-esteem.

The post VENEERS FOR A MEGAWATT SMILE first appeared on Mens Fashion Magazine.

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By: MFM
Title: VENEERS FOR A MEGAWATT SMILE
Sourced From: www.mensfashionmagazine.com/veneers-for-a-megawatt-smile?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=veneers-for-a-megawatt-smile
Published Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2024 07:50:40 +0000

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Fabric and Formality: What Makes a Suit “Casual?”

man casual vintage suit jpg

Nowadays, largely due to the prevalence of casualwear and the prioritization of comfort and simplicity, tailoring has become an increasingly rare sight. This trend can be recognized in all sorts of settings, even those where, not too long ago, suits were often considered mandatory. Or, at the very least, heavily encouraged.

Whether for a typical day at the office, or for an elegant evening out on the town, men used to don suits for all sorts of occasions.

But today, suits and tailoring tend to be thought of as wholly “formal.” Something you really only ever wear for very specific events, such as weddings. And even then, there are those who prefer weddings with an entirely casual dress code.

But this was not always the case. For much of the twentieth century, there existed the notion of the “casual suit.” This was more or less a middle-ground of sorts that existed between formalwear and casualwear.

Today, the concept of business casual often fills this gap. But instead of the drab khakis and cheap dress shirts found on sad discount store racks, casual suits still contain all of the depth and visual complexity of traditional tailoring!

man wearing traditional 3-piece suit

Believe it or not, the concept of the “casual suit” was once well-accepted. In the past, men understood that not all tailored garments read as formalwear.

And today, many menswear enthusiasts hold by the same truths and standards, educating themselves about the history and context for the various fabrics, patterns, and colors that qualify some tailoring as timeless, casual styles.

Read on to discover it all for yourself!

The History of Casual Suiting

Like so many western menswear traditions, the origins of the casual suit (and suits in general, for that matter), can be traced to England. In this particular case, we can look to the lounge suit, born out of Scotland in the mid nineteenth century, and the arguable granddaddy of all suits.

Typically made from heavier wool fabrics, the lounge suit wasn’t actually intended for lounging. Instead, it was essentially the sportswear of that era. Used for hunting and other outdoor activities, the coats on these suits were shorter than the longer frock-style jackets worn in town for business matters. This shorter length would accommodate easier movement for sporting activities. It was all about performance!

men in Scottish hills wearing thick tweed suits and tweed caps

Of course, the construction of these garments, often seen in three-piece configurations, was still rather elegant, using rich, earthy tones and quality wool. As the 1800s progressed, and the 1900s began, the trends of the lounge suit eventually made their way from the English and Scottish countryside to dense, bustling cities.

The business suits frequently seen in the professional world kept their darker appearance and their finer, subtler wool fabrics, but adopted the shorter coat configuration of the sportier lounge suits. And thus, the modern blueprint for the suit was born.

In the United States, suits followed the trend timeline set by the British, as Brooks Brothers debuted their famous “sack suit” in 1895, in accordance to the rising popularity of shorter coats.

Frock and tailcoat demand was down! And Brooks Brothers was there to claim the opportunity. The sack suit quickly cemented itself in the American fashion vernacular, while carrying over the cultural associations of various fabrics born out of England.

Rougher, heavier wools such as tweed became a hallmark of academia and the American Ivy League, a setting in which the aforementioned “middle-ground” of formality thrived. Meanwhile, just like in England, business suits and formalwear retained their smoother, sleeker look.

You may be thinking, well, thanks for the history lesson. But how does this apply to the idea of casual tailoring today?

What History Teaches Us About Fabrics

The rich history of tailoring and the fabrics used for different occasions, locales, and eras, all point to modern contextual clues we can use to determine a suit’s formality.

In the Scottish countryside, aristocrats donned heavy, three-piece tweeds to go hunting. It wasn’t really something they wore on their wedding day, per se. Or even to do business!

You may have heard the old phrase, “no brown in town” before. While this needn’t be followed so stringently today, it did refer to the practice of brown tweed and tweed-adjacent suits being designated for countryside wear.

man in the English countryside wearing a brown tweed suit

But the lesson remains the same. A gentleman had tailoring for recreation. For casual affairs. At the same time, he also maintained a wardrobe for more formal occasions.

This path of thought can still be followed today to determine the modern-day implications for a tailored garment. Because clothing is so strongly informed by our culture, those associations are often already there whether we’re aware of it, or not.

The gentleman’s difference? He understands the association and the historical context of different garments – right down to the fabric and pattern itself.

Therefore, the casual suits of yesteryear can still read as casual today to the informed mind. Where some may still just see a suit and equate it to a fancy vibe, the casual suit teaches us that one can still be “put-together” without sacrificing a degree of elegance.

Because good tailoring is three-dimensional. It drapes. It creates interesting shapes to compliment your figure. But it can still be casual!

How to Identify Casual Suits

Now that you know the history, and how that history influences our cultural aesthetics, you’re ready to discover casual suiting for yourself! Here are some tips on how you can do this successfully.

1. Fabric Is King: This is arguably the most important aspect of determining the formality level of a suit. Fabrics like tweed, flannel wool, corduroy, cotton, linen, and seersucker are all examples of fabrics that typically “casualize” a piece of tailoring. More formal suits are usually made from smooth, worsted wool.

man in flannel suit

2. Pattern Matters, Too: Usually, the bigger and bolder the pattern on a tailored garment, the more casual it’s intended to be. Look for big, bold stripes, windowpane patterns, houndstooth (often found on tweeds), and more.

houndstooth suit

3. It’s a Colorful World: Light-tones suits in shades of white, cream, beige, and light gray are usually less formal. An exception to note would be the white dinner jacket, which is the most important component of white tie attire (very formal).

white linen suit

While you don’t need to take “no brown in town” too seriously, do know that most shades of brown are still considered fairly casual. Less conventional colors, and especially anything on the louder end of the spectrum, also deformalize the overall look.

Dark suits aren’t always casual, however, as you need to take into account other aspects mentioned on this list.

4. The Devil Is in the Details: It pays to look out for the small things, as well. A less structured suit, for example, such as one with minimal to no internal padding in the jacket, is inherently a bit less formal.

Fewer than three buttons on the sleeve cuff are also often a dead giveaway, and are sometimes found on suits similar to those worn in the English countryside. Cuffed pants can be very tasteful, but they are also traditionally more casual. So are patch pockets on a jacket. The little things go a long way in identifying if a suit reads as formal, or not.

man wearing a cotton suit with a relaxed shoulder

How You Can Style a Casual Suit Today

So, you’ve learned all there is to know about the history, why it matters, and how to determine if a suit is casual-coded. Good work! However, you may still be wondering how to style a casual suit.

Maybe you’ve already got yourself a corduroy two-piece you’re itching to rock out on the town, or even a cream-colored, cotton, double-breasted suit.
Regardless of what kind of casual suit speaks to you, here are a few style tips to avoid clashing your casual tailoring against pieces that might be too formal.

1. Oxford Cloth Button-Downs Are Your Best Friend: Ah, the oxford cloth button down. Or, to its friends, OCBD, for short. Much like the sack suit, this style of shirt was popularized by Brooks Brothers, and it pairs magically with nearly any casual style suit. Tweed, corduroy, cotton, flannel, linen, seersucker, you name it – the OCBD is almost guaranteed to go well.

This is because, much like the less sleek nature of most of these fabrics, oxford cloth is typically made from a slightly more textured cotton. While some dress shirts can go well with some casual suits, it takes a well-trained eye. OCBDs have a built-in history and cultural association that allows them to just work.

oxford shirt

2. Avoid True Dress Shoes: Don’t pair your casual suit with black, closed-laced oxford shoes. Rather, consider something just a step down, like an open-laced derby shoe, leather boots, or loafers in a complimentary color.

wearing corduroy pants with brown oxford shoes

3. Appropriate Accessories: To really communicate that your outfit is casual, even to those who can’t quite distinguish the suiting formality scale, you can let your accessories do the talking.

For example, a braided or embossed belt is often considered more laid-back than a sleeker, simpler one. Or try a western belt if you’re feeling like a cowboy!

When it comes to ties, sometimes silk works just fine in casual ensembles, but something with a bit more texture, like cotton, wool, or a knit can really finalize a classic, casual Ivy League look.

braided leather belt

4. Consider a Denim Shirt: Going without a tie? With a more casual suit, that’s totally a valid option. But once you’re forging neckwear, you may as well lean into the playful nature of your outfit. A denim or chambray shirt can look brilliant under all sorts of casual suits. It works especially well with cotton, corduroy, linen, tweed, and seersucker.

man wearing a denim shirt paired with a tweed suit

5. Ditch The Pants: Well, provided you replace them with another pair of pants. The fun thing about many casual suits, is that unlike their more formal counterparts, they can be broken up into suit separates with ease.

Try combining a tweed jacket with some corduroy pants for an academic look. Or even the reverse! A cotton jacket is right at home with some linen or seersucker pants. Or perhaps pair a linen jacket with some cotton trousers!

There’s a world of possibility when it comes to casual tailoring. Experiment, and you might just find your new favorite outfit!

man wearing a tweed houndstooth jacket with corduroy pants

Well, that about concludes our deep-dive into the world of casual suits. We hope you found it informative!

There’s so much more to the deep and fascinating history of tailoring across all ends of the formality spectrum – this was really just a sneak peek!

But don’t forget, it’s the history of fashion that tells us how to best style our clothing – even in the modern day.

The post Fabric and Formality: What Makes a Suit “Casual?” appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio Centeno
Title: Fabric and Formality: What Makes a Suit “Casual?”
Sourced From: www.realmenrealstyle.com/fabric-casual-suit-formality/
Published Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2024 14:57:38 +0000

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Top 10 Black Men’s Beard Styles 2024

Top 10 Black Mens Beard Styles 2024 jpg

When it comes to beard styles for black men, there are many options available that reflect cultural importance, the latest trends, and self-grooming. They are the result of the combination of both modern influences and traditional elements. 

With the passage of time, beard styles have become more creative and eye-catching.

group of bearded black men

Choosing a right style for you might be confusing though.

But rest assured, you’re in the right place. We’re here to guide you towards the perfect beard styles that not only complement your personality but also ensure you stand out in any crowd.

These styles are designed to elevate your appearance and boost confidence in your look.

Top Black Men‘s Beard Styles For 2024

1. Full Beard Style

black man wearing full beard

A full beard style is the most common and classic beard style for African-American men. The hair grows freely on the cheeks, jawline, and chin in full beard style, making dense hair coverage.

This style enhances the virile and masculine look of black men. This sleek style suits all facial shapes, particularly diamond-shaped or heart-shaped faces.

You must be patient to attain the full beard style to the desired length. A well-groomed full beard style enhances your confidence as it can be styled into various looks, from professional to untamed appearance.

2. The Five O’clock Beard

 o'clock beard style on black man

The Five O’clock beard gives black men a classy, simple, and natural look and is characterized by a 1-2 millimeters subtle appearance after several hours of shaving.

This type of beard style gives your face a shady look. It is given the name “five o’clock” so that if you shave in the morning, it will appear at 5 o’clock in the evening.

A man with a five-o’clock beard style looks attractive and young. This style requires you to let your beard hair grow freely for a few days; after that, you must trim it.

You can maintain this style easily by a regular subtle trimming on your face, generally after every three days. 

3. The Goatee Beard Style

Goatee Beard Style for black men

It is one of the most trending and elegant beard styles for black men now. It holds significant esteem, particularly in professional environments, where it’s highly regarded.

There is only a beard at the chin’s level, and it is named because it looks like hairs on a goat’s chin. To bring out the goatee, the rest of the face must be shaved, requiring a lot of attention.

It’s a traditional look popular among movie stars and has long been popular among black males. It is ideal for a face with a square jaw and short hair. The fact that these black men’s beard styles focus on the mouth sets them apart.

4. The Carved Beard

Carved Beard style for black men

Black men frequently adopt this beard style because it allows them to convey their sophisticated personalities more effectively.

This style elaborates patterns paired with a precisely sculpted contour. Perfecting the shape and contours takes dedication, artistic talent, and some barbering skills.

Use a razor or precision trimmer to shape the cheekbones, goatee, neck, and mustache. This is the perfect look for black males with thick facial hair. You must work on this look every day to keep it that way.

5. The Moustache

black guy with moustaches

The facial features of the mustache and beard involve the growth of hair on the chin and upper lip, respectively. It provides the face with a very subtle, clean appearance.

Depending on the wearer’s preference, the finish of the mustache can be either thick or thin. It’s best to shave clean and maintain a clean face to keep that air fresh.

This style draws attention to the longer hairs in the beard that stop at the mustache. You trim your mustache less frequently to give it more density to get this effect. If you have holes and uneven hairiness, this is perfect for you. It is because the mustache deflects attention, making the holes in the beard less noticeable.

6. The Circular Beard

circular beard

This form of beard for black guys are based on the concept of creating a thin and short beard strip along the beard. Beginning from the ears, it travels across the jawline and ends at the goatee. To become the focus point, the goatee can grow a little longer.

Starting from the mustache, everything will be rounded up to the chin beard, and then it will be rounded up towards the ear.

Black males who wish to maintain a sense of mystique while displaying a sense of maturity are the ideal candidates for this sophisticated style.

7. Bushy Beard

bushy beard style on black guy

The bushy beard style gives a bold and classy look that suits any black man. It involves thick beard hair with v-shaped corners and a distinct mustache. The beard can be trimmed to balance your looks because it covers up the lower portion of your face. It also gives you a strong jawline, which lengthens the appearance of your face.

This beard style provides more mature and sophisticated look. To maintain its shape, comb the brush in the direction of the hair you want to grow. 

8. The Stubble Beard

black guy with stubble beard

Another fantastic beard style for people who are just starting or who want to avoid sports with an 8-inch beard is a stubble beard.

This is one of the beard styles that creates a lovely and carefree look for black men. All it needs from you – is a few days a week to keep it in shape and manageable texture. In addition, the touch-ups must be completed while the Adam’s apple is at its tallest.

Any facial shape, whether oval, round, square, or elongated, looks good with a stubble beard.

9. The Sculpted Beard

sculpted beard style

It is a style of beard prevalent among people of younger age. The features of this beard are drawn crisply and precisely, and it is of a short length.

To achieve this kind of look, it is essential to determine the contours using a manual razor or a precision trimmer. In addition, it should be maintained daily.

This type of beard’s clean and sophisticated appearance is one reason it is so popular among women.

10. HOLLYWOODIAN Beard Style

hollywood beard style

Because Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale have both been seen wearing a low cheek line appearance similar to this one, the Hollywoodian got its name from them. Although specific sources will tell you that a Hollywood beard does not link to the sideburns, we believe you should allow it to connect if you can have it do so.

When the cheek lines are lowered, it helps create a more apparent jawline. When you cut the neckline, keep it high; otherwise, you will start creeping into chinstrap territory, which is only where you want to be if you are a rapper from the early 2000s.

Not only is this style designated for performers, but anybody can use it. This is not the only time that LeBron James has been seen wearing the Hollywood chinstrap. 

Factors for Selecting the Right Beard Style:

Here are some distinct factors that you have to consider before selecting an ideal beard style for you.

Face Shape

Your facial shape is one aspect that immediately influences your decision. Though not everyone has this genetic trait, an oval face shape is the perfect canvas for a beard.

Beards that round off the edges of square faces are better for them than those that add length and angles to circles.

Less is more for longer faces.

By matching your beard style to your face shape, facial hair can enhance and balance your features.

Face Features

You should also take into account the peculiarities of your face. Beards are great tools for drawing attention to or concealing particular features:

Robust Jawline: A well-defined goatee or a trim beard can draw attention to a strong jawline.

Sharp Cheekbones: You can accentuate sharp facial features with a boxed or traditional full beard.

Beard Growth Patterns

Individuals differ in how their hair develops; some men’s beards grow even, while others may have patches. Depending on your natural growth pattern, some beard styles might not be possible, so set realistic expectations.

For instance, a goatee can suit someone with uneven growth, but a full beard requires a consistent growth pattern.

Knowing your development pattern will help you choose a style for your beard that is simple to manage and style.

Personal Style and Preference

The most important consideration when selecting a beard style is your personal preferences and style.

Would you instead look polished and modern?

Would an innovative, edgy look suit you better?

Are you willing to invest more time in grooming, or is low maintenance more your style?

When you wear a beard, it should reflect your personality and bring you joy.

The post Top 10 Black Men’s Beard Styles 2024 appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio Centeno
Title: Top 10 Black Men’s Beard Styles 2024
Sourced From: www.realmenrealstyle.com/black-mens-beard-styles/
Published Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2024 08:07:05 +0000

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