Monthly Archives: November 2009

Seersucker Fabric – Where Did it Come From? Why is it Worn? Part I

Seersucker fabric is commonly associated with spring/summer clothing. The primary reason for this is that this type of fabric helps dissipate heat. The fabric itself is typically all-cotton and is striped/checkered. The word Seersucker may seem odd to you. The reason is that it did not originate from English but rather Persian. In Persian, it is referred to as “Shir o Shekar” which means “Milk & Sugar”. This name most likely refers to the look and feel of the fabric in itself. The good news about the fabric is that it doesn’t need to be ironed and the wrinkled look is why a lot of people wear clothing made of this fabric. If you’re the lazy type, this is the fabric for you! 🙂 You’ll see this type of fabric in a variety of colors but white and blue is the most common combination.

Seersucker originally came to the Western World through Muslim traders. The fabric was popular in British colonies with warmer climate. In the United States, the fabric was worn by poor individuals and this trend reversed itself when college students started wearing it regardless of wealth status. Another advantage for college students, of course, was how easy it was to wash.

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What Type of Lapel to Wear? Lapel Choices in Tuxedos.

As we discussed in a previous article about Different Types of Jacket Lapels, there are three types that are most common: Notched, Peaked, and Shawl. What we didn’t discuss in that article was when to wear each of these jacket types. In this article, we’ll analyze briefly the differences between the three types of lapels to give you an idea of how you can go about making your choices.

Shawl Lapel

The shawl lapel is mostly seen with dinner jackets. This type of lapel was originally designed to fit men with wide shoulders. This type of jacket is associated James Bond by a few circles. The shawl lapel is mostly considered to be the most formal of the 3 jacket lapels and is probably is observed less than the other two as well. As of late, some fashion labels such as Dolce & Gabbana have been pushing this look in recent times:

Peaked Lapel

The peaked lapel is more formal than the notched lapel and less common. Furthermore, this lapel is less formal than the shawl lapel and more common. Wearing a tuxedo with a peaked lapel is very desirable. This jacket was originally designed to give men with smaller frames a frame boost (makes your shoulders look wider). You can see Tom Cruise Wearing a Peaked Lapel Below:

Notched Lapel

The notched lapel is the most common type of lapel and is also the least formal of the 3 types of lapels (however, this doesn’t mean that if wear a notched lapel that your suit is not formal). You’ll typically see George Clooney wearing this type of lapel quite well:

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When Do I Take My Hat Off? When Can I Keep My Hat On?

We’ve written about hats a few times here at SuitUpp. What we haven’t done is tell you when you should take off your hat and when you can leave it on. The most interesting aspect to point out about hats is that they mean very different things to younger audiences than they do more traditional fashion lovers. In this blog post, we’ll explore some details about wearing hats and give you some excellent tips.

Traditionally, hats were not meant to be worn in front of an audience in a closed space – put differently, they weren’t meant to be worn inside. For example, if you were to walk into a department store, it would be best if you would take your hat off. Similarly, if you walked into an elevator, it would have been polite to take your hat off. However, times have since changed. This type of hat-wearing behavior is considered to be quite formal. Nowadays, younger men/women may keep their hats on for the entire day as it may be part of their outfit. In the past, out of respect for an individual you were talking to (especially ladies), you would take off your hat. If you ever passed by an individual that you knew, it would also be polite to tip your hat or take it off briefly to say your greetings and then put it back on as you walked away.

If we were to give you some tips on hat wearing behavior, we would divide up hats into two categories: as part of a traditional look or as part of a non-traditional look.

If you are going for the non-traditional look,

1) Ensure that the hat integrates into your outfit seamlessly.

2) Make sure the audience, in front of whom this style is portrayed, is accepting of non-traditional attire (i.e. don’t go to a black-tie event with a winter hat and claim that it is stylish).

If you are going for the traditional look,

1) Take your hat off when you are indoors & in closed spaces.

2) Take you hat off briefly when you greet other individuals.

Final Tip: Hats tend to destroy your hair. We call this hat-hair. If you are going to wear a hat often, it may be beneficial to you to have shorter hair to avoid the hat-hair look.

If you’re interested in reading more about hats, check out the articles below:

> The Different Parts/Components of a Hat (Hat Nomenclature)

> Different Types of Hats

> What type of Hat Looks Best on You?

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Removing Stains from Your Suit, Shirt, Pants, Jeans, etc…

What can we say… no matter how careful you are, sometimes you can still spill wine and other staining material on your suit. If you know that you are systematically clumsy, cotton clothes and robust denim are materials that you should become friendly with. Of course, it is not always possible to stick to these materials and so the good news is that most stains can indeed be removed.

Before we begin talking in more detail, please keep in mind that your tuxedo and suit should always be professionally dry cleaned. If you’ve spent your hard earned money on a good suit that you want to last, please, don’t try anything but a reputable dry cleaning shop.

dry-cleaners

Ok, now that this is out of the way, let’s talk about what happens when you stain your suit. Take for example, the day that you spill wine all over the sleeve of your suit. The first thing that you want to do is reach for the nearest Napkin/Cloth and try to soak up as much of the wine as possible and beat your sleeve to the task 🙂 Don’t use the cloth to rub in the stain but rather tap it against your sleeve and try to soak up as much of the liquid as possible. Preferably, that day, head over to the dry cleaners and tell them exactly how the stain was formed so they can do their best to remove it. Remember, the longer a stain stays in your clothes, the harder it will be to get out.

If you stain your cotton shirt or your jeans, you can also head over to the washroom and use a damp cloth to try and wash out the stain before it settles in too comfortably. If you happen to be at home and have access to dish washing detergent (the type that is used to “hand-wash” dishes), you can use that to help pre-treat the stain before your clothes go through a full wash. Tide Pens are also useful to carry around.

Word of advise… if you have a silk tie and if you spill wine on it… don’t even bother with the dry cleaners 🙂 9 out of 10 times, once your tie is stained, it’s over… washing it or even dry cleaning it will distort and discolor it… sorry guys… if you need a new tie, make sure to check out our tie collection!

In all cases, it’s better to just be careful enough and put clumsiness aside 🙂 When this can’t be avoided, please follow our tips and you should be ok!

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How Much Does it Cost to Tailor My Shirt, Suit, and Pants?

Once you’ve experienced tailored clothing, it’s hard to go back to clothing that doesn’t fit perfectly. So the question is, once you’ve picked up a suit from SuitUpp, how much do you have to spend in order to get it tailored?

While these costs will always vary from tailor to tailor, you can expect to pay between 10-20% of the suit cost. For example, if your suit cost $500, then you can expect to pay between $50-$75 – for the jacket and pant combination. Shirts will usually cost between $10-$20 to tailor. Now, percentages aren’t a good way of measuring cost. For example, if your suit cost $5,000 dollars, paying $750 for tailoring doesn’t seem reasonable – of course, suits in that price range will usually be pre-tailored so you don’t have to worry about tailoring them after purchase 🙂

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Matching Your Belt and Shoes. How Closely do they have to Match?

Take a look at all of the photoshoots that we’ve done here at SuitUpp… You’ll notice that in all pictures, we’ve made sure that our models’ belts and shoes match. If they didn’t, it would practically be blasphemy. For women, it’s the purse and shoes that need to match… and for men, of course, it’s the belt and shoes:

Now, the question is, how closely do these two items of clothing need to match anyway? The truth is that they do not need to be an exact match. When we say they should match, what we mean is that you shouldn’t wear brown with black or you shouldn’t wear white with brown – i.e. they shouldn’t be obviously mismatched. As a matter of fact, you could even wear brown and black together – assuming that both items of clothing were dark enough to be mostly indistinguishable. So, there you have it… you don’t need to obsess about extreme matches. This should give you some flexibility as to what things you can throw together to portray an interesting look 🙂

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Can I Wear a Suit without a Tie? Should I Wear a Tie?

Recently, we’ve been seeing more and more images in the media showing celebrities and politicians appearing on our television screens without the all too familiar tie. For this reason, we’re going to spend time talking about this newly arising phenomenon to address your questions about how to pull off this look properly.

Let’s Take a look at President Barack O’Bama without a tie:

obama-no-tie

Pulling off this look is actually not too difficult. Here are some tips:

1)Make sure your shirt collar is stiff – starching that collar would be a good idea. In other words, your collar should stand up proud without the supporting clutches of a neck-tie.

2) Make sure that the shirt is well-tailored such that it doesn’t hang off your body and doesn’t look like it’s two sizes too big.

3) This one may seem obvious, but under no circumstances should you button up the top-most button of your shirt when you’re not showing off a tie.

4) Confidence… an essential part of any look.

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