“An alligator is not a crocodile and a suit coat is not a sport
jacket.” – Steven Giles
Sport coats and suit coats are not the same.
Sport jackets are exactly what they sound like–jackets for sport.
A less-formal coat, usually styled of
bolder details, patterns and colors, made with a sturdier fabric and looser
fit, it was originally designed as a garment for gentlemen who hunted in the
The Sport Jacket today while only loosely retaining its heritage,
nevertheless is a less formal statement and does not stand in place of a
suit. However, today’s jacket may have
elevated its importance as both a refining and distinguishing fashion in an
otherwise dressed down culture.
Sport coats are meant to be worn with unmatched trousers or, with many
soft constructions, jeans. Contrast that
with a suit coat, which is a paired jacket with matching pants of the same
materials and cut to be more form-fitting.
“A suit coat should not double as a sport jacket. It’s a stylistic
mistake,” Giles says. “Plenty of pieces can be used in an array of outfits, but
this isn’t one.”
Look for a jacket with heavier wool yarns and room enough to
accommodate a sweater underneath in winter, but not so much as to hang off the
body. For summer, much lighter weights,
choosing linens, silks, cottons or any of these summer fabrics blended with
tropical wools. As with almost all other garments, Giles says, a good fit,
followed by skilled tailoring, makes all the difference.
“Fine clothing will never cause a measure of discomfort.” – Steven Giles
Fit and Tailoring are everthing
A fine single-malt scotch can linger tantalizingly on the taste buds or it can burn the tongue and turn bitter…not every liquor is right for every palate.
In men’s fashion, the same is true of fit. We are not some homogeneous race of men, identical in shape and size. To try and apply a one size fits associated with a specific fashion, to each of us as if we were is pure folly.
We, each of us, must find the style that fits us. But the journey isn’t over there, either. Fit gets the right liquor in your glass. Tailoring is allowing a bartender to customize that cocktail so it’s right for you.
“Beyond personal taste, there are the fundamentals of fit and tailoring,” says Steven Giles. “You should be able to move easily and without reasonable restrictions. Not only does proper fit and tailoring feel right physically, it’s also the key to appearing comfortable.”
Few looks are more striking than a man in a suit that seems, tip to toe, like it was built just for him. A man like that doesn’t have to work to be noticed.
“Peacockery is only attractive in peacocks. For a gentleman, a hint of color is all he needs.”
Details matter. If you’re not wearing a tie, wear a pocket square.
Part of creating a timeless style is choosing pieces that will endure the changing whims and wandering, fleeting trends of the masses. Those are most often solids rather than patterns and darker tones–navy and gray–instead of lighter.
“There are exceptions, of course, but when you’re buying a suit you want to wear for years to come, the exceptions are often those that fall quickly out of fashion,” Steven Giles says.
Which is not to say that color has no place? Instead, it is in the details where menswear often finds its life.
A complimenting tie and pocket square are a nice touch, but even without the tie, a square can be a place for colors and patterns that add contrast to an ensemble while driving the eye to the quality of the clothes surrounding it.
“Learn to fold a pocket square, nothing to formal or affected but purposeful,” says Giles. “A pocket square lets one stand out in a crowd without a garish outfit screaming for attention. It’s a gentle touch of refinement that will matter to those in the know.”
“By choosing quality first, we can build a wardrobe that covers all occasions without becoming cumbersome.”
Quantity follows quality.
It’s easy to feel the difference between a hand-worked, one of a kind garment and the sort of mass-produced clothes that seem destined to cover every conceivable shape without ever truly fitting.
“Part of what we do is curate a selection of clothes,” says Steven Giles. “With decades of experience comes a keen eye for both luxurious qualities and wear ability of fabric selections the nuances of better made and discernment of style that is both timely and timeless.”
Few of us can afford an entirely new wardrobe each season, but a well-dressed man doesn’t need a closet bursting with clothes he’ll only wear once. Buy slowly, carefully. Every garment that becomes a part of your collection should be something you want to wear for years to come.
“Over time, you will find that the essentials to your personal style stay true,” Giles says. “Investing in a piece that can be worn, washed, cared for and worn again makes sense.”
In a world that often seems utterly disposable, a well-made pair of pants, an impeccably tailored suit and a quality shirt will stay with you like old friends. They fit. They feel right. That’s a relationship worth any cost.
“Great style cannot be ignored. Doors just become a bit easier to open when dressed well.” – Steven Giles
Seasonal clothing, spring yarns, color in spring, fall in fall, year round in between
A well-dressed man has a presence about him. Clothes do not make the man–but they do enhance him. He is allowed to be himself in a way, freed from the burden of physical and social discomforts. It’s easier to be heard when people are listening, and people listen to those giving strong, visual cues of power and influence.
“Clothing is a powerful communication tool,” says Giles. “It doesn’t distract. It’s neither a costume nor peacockish. It carries with it a sense of respect–both given and earned.”
Styling is important, but it really starts with fabrics, he says. The higher quality a fabric, the more enduring it will be. Thread count matters, the touch, the feel, the drape, because at a basic level, great pieces are made of the best fabrics.
As the weather begins to chill, Giles recommends milled flannels and sturdier wools, comfortable and warm holding their shape and most importantly just, look appropriate. Usually, darker colors are used in the fall and winter, though that’s not a rule. When spring and summer return, tropical wools–lighter, more breathable–are the perfect mix of comfort and style.
Whether choosing an existing style or exploring the world of bespoke suits, the quality and the relative seasonal weight of the fabric is integral to the finished product, great style and helping build a wardrobe that will stand the test of time.
“A man who chases trends will forever be out of style”- Steven Giles
Dressing well is, in part, developing a personal style
Trends should come to you, not the other way around.
In the world of men’s clothing, there are trends–fleeting bursts of ephemera, coming and going with alarming rapidity–and there is style.
Having a personal style is a facet of knowing yourself as a man,” says Giles. “Fine clothing never goes out of style. It adapts. It endures. It is an expression of who you are at the core radiating outward for others to see.
Personal style is not stagnant. It evolves with time, as do we as individuals.
Inside the walls of Steven Giles Clothing, you are safe to explore the pieces that speak to you and find the clothing that gives you a voice that needs not yell to command attention.
Find your own style and you will have found a measure of yourself.
Dressing well is your most powerful non verbal communication tool.
Your clothing communicates — and it can have a serious effect on your ability to achieve success.
It is important to remember that what you wear doesn’t define who you are as a person, however, fair or unfair, people judge us by the way we look and that includes the way we dress. Especially in the workplace, clothing significantly influences how others perceive you and how they respond towards you.
Research shows that your appearance strongly influences other people’s perception of your financial success, authority, trustworthiness, intelligence, and suitability for hire or promotion. And, because perception is often reality, what you wear not only communicates who you are in the minds of others, but also influences your level of career advancement.
It turns out “dress for success” is much more than just a catchy motto.
Studies have shown that wearing nice clothes in the office can affect the way people perceive you, how confident you’re feeling, and even how you’re able to think abstractly.
According to Business Insider, “a study completed at Yale in 2014 that used 128 men between the ages of 18 and 32, researchers had participants partake in mock negotiations of buying and selling.
Those dressed poorly (in sweatpants and plastic sandals) averaged a theoretical profit of $680,000, while the group dressed in suits amassed an average profit of $2.1 million. The group dressed neutrally averaged a $1.58 million profit.
According to a co-author of the study, this shows that the poorly dressed participants would often defer to the suited ones, and these suited participants could sense this heightened respect, backing down less than they might have otherwise.”
In fashion there are rules that have been established throughtout time that tell us how to dress properly.
“Rules are important. Not because they can’t be broken, but because breaking should mean something.” – Steven Giles
Awareness of, rather than ignorance of the rules, is the distinguishing characteristic of dressing well.
There is a social contract by which we all should abide. These are not laws we are obliged to follow to avoid punishment, but rules for living that ensure a better quality of life for all in general.“The same is true of the way we dress,” says Steven Giles. “The clothes you choose to wear communicate with the world around you. They tell people to take you seriously. Or they tell them you can be ignored.” Being well-dressed doesn’t make you an expert on political matters or transform you into an adept conversationalist, but it’s not surprising that the people we listen to most often are the ones with enough sense of self and decorum to dress accordingly.
The rules are not meant to be lecturing or condescending. Instead, these are guidelines we share freely so that more can be included in our world. Great clothing is a celebration. Understand and observe the rules and you will find that getting dressed, going out, meeting friends, signing a contract–all these things become a little more joyful.
To help you understand and know the rules we will be posting one of the following rules each month.
Imagine an island surrounded on all sides by high cliffs. It could be a utopia, but for the lack of fences around the edge. Would the people roam freely or would they stay huddled in the center of the island, fearful of the fall awaiting anyone who roams too close to the edge? But put up barriers that lie between the people and the dangerous border–and watch them move unfettered within the island’s boundaries.
In a way, the same is true of fashion. There are rules, not to stifle creativity and individuality, but to allow a freedom within those ideas. We are not here to impose rules, but to recognize them and find our own style inside them.
It is not daring to show up to a black tie affair in something besides a tuxedo–it’s disrespectful. Wearing a tuxedo to a black-tie affair is a token of respect for the host and the event. Finding the right fit and fashion for your tuxedo–that’s something in which we can help.
Tuxedos are typically black or midnight blue and commonly worn with a formal shirt, shoes and other accessories, such as studs, cufflinks, or vest.
Tuxedos weren’t always the pinnacle of formalwear. In fact, tailcoats and full morning dress were the most common ways for a gentleman to dress up before the late 19th century when more casual, modern tuxedos were introduced. Not surprisingly, the tuxedo as we know it today originated with the British Royal Family.In 1865, Edward VII (then the Prince of Wales) removed the tails from his tailcoat and introduced the “dinner jacket” – something that could be worn at the dinner table and was less formal than tails. In 1886, The Prince of Wales sent James Brown Potter (an American millionaire) to be fitted for his new jacket style. Potter debuted the look at the Autumn Ball in Tuxedo Park, New York.
Special occasions that require a tuxedo may be few and far between, but if you think you’ll have a reason to wear a tux at least two times a year, you’re probably better off buying. Renting is great when you need an outift for a really specific occasion-like a wedding- and you’re not going to wear it again, but if you attend regular formal events or have friends’ and family members’ weddings coming up, buying a tuxedo can be an investment for the future that you’ll get use out offor years to come.
Look for our next post later this month on how to buy a tux!