Monthly Archives: July 2009

Socks 101 – What type of Socks to Wear with Your Suit

Socks are such a trivial part of your attire… right? Not exactly. It is a common misconception by most men that choosing your socks doesn’t really matter. The reality is that a mismatch between your socks and the rest of your outfit will degrade your look. If you go through the effort to dress nicely all around, might as well go the last 10% and make sure that you do a good job when it comes to matching your outfit with your socks.

The reason why many men make mistakes when it comes to their socks is that there are so many different types of socks… different colors, fabrics, low-cuts, medium-cuts, high-cuts, thick socks, thin socks, and the list goes on…  The main point to consider when choosing socks is that you should try to make sure that your socks match your shoe color as much as possible. The transition that occurs between your pant cuffs to your toes should be as smooth as possible. Since your socks are smack in the middle of this transition, you have to make sure that they fit the role well. In about 95% of cases, white color socks are a bad idea. White color socks are good for the gym but not for dressy occasions. To give you an example, if you are wearing a tan suit and brown shoes, you want your socks to be a dark brown color that will fit well in between. You can even have patterned socks that have a color combination that will match your tan suit pants and your brown shoes (i.e. a mixture of these colors). Wearing black socks here, for example, won’t be the best idea.

The easiest part in choosing your socks is the thickness of the fabric. During summer months, stick to thinner fabrick and stick to thicker fabrics during winter months. We know you knew that already but we thought we’d mention this for the sake of completeness.

The final point to mention is how to go a bit above an beyond the rest. You can match your socks to another component of your attire by having the subtle patterns on your socks have the same tint of color as another accessory. For example, if you are wearing a red tie, you might consider wearing socks that have a reddish pattern. This will make your socks really blend in with the rest of your outfit.

We should also mention that if you are heading to a more formal occasion, you should really wear longer socks so that no bare legs show while you’re there. Try to also put on socks that will stay up as tugging them every 2 minutes does not look good. Well, there we go. This should have you covered the next time you want to choose your pair of socks.

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Hugo Boss Black Label – Charcoal Rossellini Movie Suit

Back by popular demand, we have more quantities of this suit now available.

http://www.suitupp.com/products/hugo-boss-black-label-charcoal-rossellini-movie-suit

Hugo Boss Black Label – Charcoal Rossellini Movie Suit

Fabric
Super 100 – 96% Virgin Wool with 4% Elasten Spandex| Stretch
Color
Charcoal | 100% Grey/Maroon Rayon Lining
Cut
European Fit
Jacket
Three-button notch lapel, center vent, 2 interior welt pockets, Inside Boss label, Front flap, chest pocket, 4 button cuff.
Pants
Flat front trousers, zip fly, side seam pockets, unfinished hem, wool with stretch comfort. Trousers with 6 inch size difference (i.e. 40 suit comes with 34″ waist)

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Men’s Shoes 101 – What type of Shoes to Wear with your Suit

We’ve talked about shoes before at SuitUpp. It’s important that your shoes and belt go together; but, is that all you need to know about shoes? As you might’ve guessed, there are a few more things that need to be considered. In this post, we’ll talk about different types of men’s shoes and what to wear when you are wearing a suit.

Some General Tips To Consider when choosing your Shoes:

Color:

Depending on the color of your suit, you will want to wear different color shoes. Specifically, if you are wearing a black, navy, or gray suit, black shoes are the way to go. Brown shoes go well with tan suits and some shades of navy. In general, black shoes do go with more suit colors and appear more formal than their brown counterparts.

Laces:

For more formal occasions, go for lace-up shoes rather than slip ons. Closed laced shoes are also preferred over open laced shoes.If you’re wondering what the difference is, closed laces are what you call shoes that have a V shape where they get tied together. Open lace shoes have more of a parallel shape where they are tied together.

Remember that when you are wearing dressy shoes, the laces should be tied horizontally as opposed to the criss-cross pattern most commonly associated with athletic shoes.

Texture:

Try to choose smooth and shiny leather shoes over Suede and nubuck. The latter type is considered to be less formal.

Soles:

Leather soled shoes are always preferred over rubber soled shoes. Remember, you can always repair the soles of your shoes if they need it.

Socks:

Try to wear thin socks that match the color of your trousers. If you are wearing a tan suit, your socks should match the color of your shoes.

So what type of shoes are there?

The Oxford Dress Shoe:
The gold standard of dress shoes, the Oxford features round toes, usually with a cap, and closed lacing. Plain cap-toe Oxfords are the most formal option for business wear, and can do double-duty as formal shoes.  Oxfords with broguing along the cap’s edge, or trimming the uppers, are still formal enough for a worsted wool suit; ‘full brogues’ are more appropriate with tweed or flannel. If you own one pair of dress shoes, they should be black Oxfords; Allen-Edmonds Park Avenue’s, made in the United States, are an irreproachable selection and well worth their price.
The Wingtip Dress Shoe
The wing-tip, with a brogued cap coming to a point at the center of the top curving back and down along the sides, is suit-level in black and business casual in brown. In the United States, it is associated by many with Ronald Reagan and the eighties in general, and in any country it is going to draw some attention to itself. This is not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but it does reduce the shoe’s potential for frequent wear: while you might wear the same pair of brown Oxford’s three days a week without anyone noticing, the man who wears wing-tips more than weekly risks having them integrated into his reputation.
The Derby and Blucher
The derby is similar in shape to the Oxford, but bears open lacing. It is still appropriate for wear with a suit, and supports a khakis-and-blazer look more naturally than the Oxford. The blucher is a slightly sleeker open-laced shoe of similar versatility. Plain or with a brogued cap, these dress shoes will match a suit in formality; with more decoration they carry a blazer well. In suede, rather than smooth leather, these are among the best shoes to wear with jeans or khakis.
Boots
Dress boots bring some ruggedness to dress footwear, making them a worthy option in the winter. In addition, their slip on and off feature along with superior comfort make them a favorite among travelers and those not requiring the formality of the oxford. In the same family, but of a more regional nature, is the cowboy boot. Although men like former Texas congressional representative Charlie Wilson could pull this off, most men might want to skip on this unless they are an oil magnate.
Loafer and Monkstrap
Slip-on shoes are casual by nature. Those appropriate for business casual wear include bit loafers, with a mettle link across the middle; monkstraps, with a buckle closure; and penny loafers, with a slotted leather band across the top. Tassel loafers, which are exactly what they sound like, are accepted as business formal in some circles while relegated to weekend wear in others.
White Bucks
White bucks are Oxfords made of white buckskin, a rough leather than in reality is not exactly white. They are the traditional companion to the seersucker suit, and equally complement such summer fabrics as tan gabardine and white linen. Thus, they could be called professional between Memorial Day and Labor Day, or during whatever one considers summer.
Black Tie Dress Shoes
Patent leather Oxfords are the most formal of men’s shoes; they are standard with a tuxedo, and clash with most everything else. Opera pumps, shiny black slippers with a bow on top, are another option for formal wear.

The Oxford Dress Shoe

Oxford shoes are probably the most popular type of dress shoes. Any man should have at least one pair of black Oxfords. Round toes, a cap, and closed lacing are the characterizing elements of this type of shoe.

The Wingtip Dress Shoe

Wingtips are generally known for the W that is formed at the tip of the shoe. This type of shoe also comes with a brogued cap.

The Derby and Blucher

The Derby and the Oxford are similar. The main difference is that the Oxford is closed-laced whereas the Derby is open-laced. This type of shoe goes really well with a blazer.

Boots

If you live in a cold climate or see snow often, you’ll want to invest in a pair of dress boots. Boots generally do give you a more rugged look.

Loafer and Monkstrap

Loafers and slip ons are more casual dress shoes. They are generally acceptable attire for business; however, they are not the best choice for a formal event.

White Bucks

White Bucks are like Oxfords – except that they are made of white buckskin. These shoes are generally flashy and are more commonly worn during the summer months.

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Dressing like a President. Suits worn by Presidents Obama and Bush.

Let’s be realistic, how you dress does matter. When it comes to first impressions or even ongoing impressions, it is important to make it a point to leave a positive image amongst our colleagues and co-workers. Naturally, gentlement, your suit matters. US presidents seem to understand this quite well. As leaders of the most powerful country in the world, it is almost mandatory to dress in style to impress an image in the public’s eyes. In this post, we will talk about presidential attire and where it is procured (unfortunately, not from at SuitUpp, but we’ll talk about it anyway).

Last week, we wrote about some of the most expensive suits on the market. It seems that former President George W. Bush was not at all unfamiliar to the subject. Mr. Bush had a particular affinity for fine made suits from Oxxford. If you are not familiar with Oxxford (no, not located in Britain), it is one of the world’s premiere men’s clothing outlets specializing in tailored suits. So, how much do one of these suits cost? Apparently, the company’s mission is to use only the finest quality fabric in order to make suits that are affordable in the $2,000 to $14,000 dollar range. Oxxford is located in Chicago and has a staff of about 350 employees. It makes you wonder, how many of these suits do they actually sell? Figures suggest that they sell approximately 25,000 suits a year and make over $30 Million dollars in revenue. Impressive. It seems that President Bush is not the only person in the world who believes in investing in his clothing.

President Obama has his own unique style. If you pay close attention to his attire you will notice that what he wears on a day to day basis does not change much. Not to say that the president does not change his suit on a daily basis, but rather that he owns many similar looking suits. Hart Schaffner Marx is responsible for designing a number of Obama’s suits. Obama’s suits reportedly are in the $1,500 range. Not as expensive as Mr. Bush, but still up there. The most commendable aspect of Mr. Obama’s attire is his devotion to consistency. From his signature blue ties to his uniform-like suit choices, he tends to stick to his own well-defined style and makes a pretty clear fashion statement by doing so.

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Hugo Boss Black Label – Jam Sharp Suit

Hugo Boss Black Label – Jam Sharp

Fabric
Super 100 – 100% Virgin Wool
Color
Black | 51% Viscose and 49% Acetate Lining
Cut
European Fit
Jacket
BOSS Black on Black Stripe “Jam Sharp” Suit. Two-button notch lapel, center vent, 2 interior welt pockets, Inside Boss label, Front flap, chest pocket, 4 button cuff
Pants
Flat front trousers, zip fly, extended tab closure, side seam pockets, slimmer, more modern cut with slightly tapered leg, finished hem, virgin wool. Trousers with 6 inch size difference

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The World’s Most Expensive Men’s Suits

While this past week’s Sean John Dark Taupe Stripe Suit was truly stunning, SuitUpp was selling it for only $295. Even though the value of the suit was above $600, it didn’t even begin to challenge some of the truly expensive suits out there. So the question is, how expensive can a suit really get and how are those prices justified? In this post, we’ll guide you through a world of extravegance and high fashion.

If you’ve ever shopped in and around Madison Avenue in New York, you may have stopped over at Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana. Going straight to the most expensive product that they have, prices typically hover in the $2,000-$2,500 range. To get a made-to-measure suit, they may charge you up to an additional $1,000. Why not though? If you’re going for the best, it does have to fit perfectly. Is that all though? $3,500? You guessed it, the answer is a big No.

What you have to consider is that what you’ll likely purchase at your traditional NYC store is a made to measure suit and not a bespoke suit. Bespoke is a term not used so much in North America. It essentially means an item custom-made to the buyer’s specification. Made-to-measure typically means that the pattern is already there and the suit is simply being fitted to the buyer, whereas, a bespoke suit doesn’t come with a prior pattern. The term bespoke is analogous to the more familiar haute couture term in women’s fashion. The famous New York Designer Craig Robinson defines the difference between the two as “tradition and personality versus conformity and convention.” The Savile Row Bespoke Association in London is responsible for defining the standards for bespoke clothing and protecting its name for the large part. Savile Row is a street in London famous for its bespoke tailoring.

In the bespoke category, you’ll have to visit the likes of  William Fioravanti, Milan’s Caraceni, Kiton, Oxxford, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Savile Row’s H. Huntsman and Anderson & Sheppard. So, how expensive can these suits get? The most expensive one we were able to find was a Kiton suit that ranged from $6,000 all the way up to $30,000. At the high end, you’d get the pleasure of having Kiton’s master Taylor fly over to take your measurements. Wow.

So what makes a suit so expensive in the first place? Service, brandname, workmanship, and most importantly Fabric. If your suit is made of Super 220 Merino Wool, it might cost the taylor $5,000 dollars to purchase the fabric. So there you have it, fabric matters.

If you are looking for more information on some of the world’s most expensive suits, check out the following sites:

http://most-expensive.net/mens-suit-retail

http://www.forbes.com/2004/11/03/cx_ns_1103feat.html

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