What Should I Wear to a Job Interview? – Styleforum Guide

“What Should I Wear To A Job Interview?” is one of the most common questions we get here at Styleforum, and the answer is always rather blunt: you should wear a suit and tie. This is absolutely never wrong for an interview once you have graduated from high school. It may be that your interviewer is not expecting you to be so “dressed up,” but nevertheless it is not a mistake for you to look your best. That means wearing a conservative but sharp outfit that adds to your appearance without competing with you for attention.

A Basic Uncontroversial Outfit (though many would leave out the pocket square)

  • A single-breasted, two or three button, navy or dark gray/charcoal suit (i.e., jacket and pants made of the exact same fabric, not just same or similar color), tailored to fit you (especially make sure the sleeves are not down to your knuckles and the pants are not puddling around your ankles). If you don’t own a suit, read the Styleforum guide to buying your first suit.
  • A white, spread collar, long-sleeved dress shirt with single cuffs (i.e. not French cuffs/double cuffs)
  • A silk tie in a solid or simple pattern (pindots or stripes, for instance). Almost any color will do well with a white shirt and either of the aforementioned suits.
  • Black cap-toe shoes and black belt (or suspenders/braces instead if your suit pants take them – but this is rare on ready-to-wear suits today). Check out this thread on Styleforum for more information on black formal shoes.
  • Socks in the same color as the suit.

The above outfit is never wrong for a job interview. Nor is a job interview a time to get “creative” with your outfit, especially if you are not already well-versed in suit-and-tie-wearing, in which case you wouldn’t be reading this.

If you want to deviate from the above suggestions, you can wear a light blue shirt instead of a white one without much risk. In the United States, you can wear a button-down collar instead of a spread collar. Outside of England, in many industries, brown cap-toe shoes with a brown belt are acceptable substitutes for their black counterparts.

You can add a white pocket square in a “TV fold” without much risk, but if you’ve never worn such an item before, don’t make this the first time. It’s also fine to wear navy socks with a gray suit, gray socks with a navy suit, etc..

Avoid black socks or any kind of “fun” socks. Finally, an understated watch is acceptable jewelry, but do not wear a sports watch or a bulky and/or gaudy watch. Other than a wedding ring, this is the only kind of jewelry that is acceptable.

  • A black suit (navy or grey only).
  • An ill-fitting suit (get your suit tailored by someone experienced after purchasing). If you’re unsure about what could be tailored, read here first.
  • A wrinkled shirt (iron your shirt before wearing).
  • Shoes with square toes and/or rubber soles.
  • Scuffed or dirty shoes (make sure your shoes are well-polished – if you don’t know how to do this or don’t have the proper equipment, visit a cobbler or read this guide).
  • Bright colors or wild patterns (you do not want to be competing with your clothes for attention).
  • Buttoning the bottom button on your jacket (it’s not meant to be buttoned – never do this).
  • Removing your jacket (keep it on, with possible rare exceptions).

Here are a couple of examples of good outfits from Styleforum users. These men would be very well dressed for a job interview:


Somewhat riskier would be wearing French cuffs (double cuffs), as the cufflinks may be too flashy. Their appropriateness depends on your region and industry. Barrel cuffs (single cuffs) are always acceptable. More extravagant shoes such as wingtips fall into the same category. A suit in a subtle pinstripe or a striped shirt (with one color stripe on a white ground) can also work, but needlessly increase the difficulty of putting together a nice outfit. Any other kind of patterned suit should really not even be considered. Likewise, three-piece or double-breasted suits should be avoided.

Anything not mentioned to this point, such as wearing a sweater, a bowtie, a novelty tie, loafers, a cherry red dress shirt, etc. with your suit should be absolutely avoided. Remember, this is a job interview. You want to look professional, but with few exceptions, this is not a place to demonstrate your personal style.


If you are absolutely convinced that a suit and tie would be inappropriate, for instance, if you are told specifically not to wear a suit and tie, lose the tie before you lose the jacket. Wearing a tie without a jacket makes you look like a cell phone salesman at the mall. A professional might wear a sportcoat and trousers with no tie, but never a tie without a jacket. You will have more latitude in these less formal situations, but the same principles of keeping your clothing clean, simple, and well-fitting still apply.


Whatever you wear, wear it confidently. If you arrive in a suit and your interviewer says something like, “you didn’t need to dress up for us!” don’t look sheepish, just smile and say, “I wanted to look my best.” Finally, and I hope obviously, but perhaps most importantly, nothing is less stylish than poor personal hygiene. Get a decent haircut, take a shower, and clip your fingernails!

If you’re still not sure about what to wear, visit the Styleforum Style Advice forum and ask for help here.


This is an edited version of an article published on Styleforum in 2012 by Styleforum member Shawea.

Style Icons: B&Tailor

As I’ve moved forward in my style journey, I find myself looking toward more contemporary dressers for inspiration. There’s nothing wrong with looking at old pictures of Jimmy Stewart or Laurence Fellows illustrations, but the fact remains that those sources are finite!

That’s why I’m drawn to contemporary guys that have a bit of vintage flair, like Bryceland’s. But while they can skew more workwear, the guys at Seoul’s B&Tailor find ways to keep vintage style (across different eras) alive in an elegant and modern way.

B&Tailor and Chad Park were the subjects of one of my first blog posts that covered contemporary style. Stumbling across their account was a big moment for me, as it showed me that there was still a place for high rise trousers, pleats, and wide lapels. Started in 1980 by Jung Yul Park, the brand has already made quite a name for itself, taking fittings all over the world and even creating a casual RTW line called Chadprom, no doubt named after his son Chad. To most of my friends, they are a great source of inspiration and a bit of an aspirational goal for clothing.

It probably helps that Park’s sons Chad and Chang have worked hard to brand the company, with Chad being the face of B&Tailor, expertly shot by Chang for their Tumblr and Instagram profiles. With natural light, somber expression, and fantastic clothing, the pictures rack up engagement on all social media, presenting an almost streetwear-esque way of making clothing look cool. As the brand has grown, they’ve also included more pictures of their other staff, consistently making their associates style icons in their own right. But let’s look at how their style specifically appeals to me.

Like with Brycelands, the vintage appeal comes down to two things: the design of their tailoring and the way they choose their accessories. First, let’s explore the jackets. The jackets are cut with an extended shoulder, featuring a broad chest and nipped waist, echoing the draped figures in the 1930s and 1940s. Of course, this isn’t something new as the English have been doing that for a long time; the real charm is in their lapel treatments.

Their standard notch is quite wide (looks like it approaches over 4 inches), with a notch placed quite low compared to most brands. B&Tailor goes a step further by making the notch’s “mouth” go pretty wide (almost a full 90 degrees) yet without making it go too far into the body of the lapel. The resulting “droopy notch” not only makes the chest appear fuller but it appears to be lifted directly from the detailing on a 30s-40s suit. For their peak lapels, they maintain the width but again place the peak low. While models definitely vary, Chad and the rest of the B&Tailor crew tend to favor a peak that juts out far from the collar, recalling both vintage designs and the treatment favored by Polo Ralph Lauren in its early days. Whether it’s a notch or peak lapel, the lines are accentuated with a slightly lower lowered buttoning stance for a classic look (which is pretty 1940s to me).

The high rise is standard for B&Tailor (a trait that extends to even their Chadprom denim), which is always a sign of classic style. In fact, the rise seems higher than most, appearing to sit a little above the navel. Pleats are also a welcome sight among their tailoring, which when combined with a fuller leg, makes for an “old school” look. Most of the complaints about vintage style usually concern how baggy trousers can look, but luckily B&Tailor ensures that they are expertly tailored, done with a shivering break to prevent pooling at the ankle and a hearty cuff.

While we can talk about the cuts and designs of their suits, the real style comes in how they wear it and how they spruce it up with accessories. If you go on any of their social media platforms, you’ll see that they always prefer long collars, whether it’s pinned, a button-down, or a spread; in general, a longer collar makes for an “older look,” evoking the spearpoint collars. They match their shirts with a variety of great sevenfold ties, in foulards, abstract prints, and colorful stripes. Like I said before, wearing these with a striped shirt brings to mind the styles of the 1930s-1940s where there was a lot of similar styling. The look can be a bit bold for some (especially compared to the minimal approach from Brycelands), but they carry the look with confidence.

They also have a few novelty pieces that I feel are directly lifted from casual 1940s-1950’s styles. One example, in particular, is their Hollywood waist trousers, complete with “dropped loops”. This design, which is essentially a continuous waistband with loops placed fractions of an inch below the top, was a trend in the mid-1940s until the 1950s, worn by young men with extremely thin belts. It strikes me as particularly interesting move since most gentlemen today prefer suspenders or side tabs for keeping their trousers up.

Keeping with this casual vintage design, they’ve also done a few runs of cuban collar shirts, which have been increasingly popular during the past year. While they are technically known as cuban collars to most, I’ve always called them “loop collars” since vintage pieces have the top button fastened via a loop rather than a normal buttonhole cut into the fabric. They wear them their tailoring, which makes for a cool, sartorial-casual look that skews more vintage-inspired due to their fuller cut.

They also have a few idiosyncrasies that make their style unique; at some points, they experimented with multi-stripe vintage fabric, which was the norm back in the Golden Era (flat, plain suits weren’t common). They’ve also created cropped sweaters and jackets that are just begging to be worn with high rise trousers. Their love of turtlenecks even brings to mind some 1960s-1970s inspired looks. A big one is their latest preference for designing DBs that can be rolled to a 6×1 configuration. While these were a trend in the 1930s-1940s, it’s most commonly seen from Armani in 1980s-90s, emphasized further by their bold (power?) tie combos. B&Tailor keeps this vibe going by wearing their high waisted, light wash denim with their tailoring. Who would have thought that the 1980s-90s have a place in classic menswear?

I could keep writing about the observations that I’ve seen from B&Tailor, but the best thing to do is to look at the pictures and see it for yourself. There’s something about this brand that seems old school and yet not anachronistic at all, as they take their cues from different eras and mix them together to create such a unique look not just with the sartorial designs, but with the styling. Even Chad Park’s glasses skip around with different styles. In any case, I think they’re a good source of inspiration, not only for regular wear but for a great indication of making vintage-inspired style look wearable (and elegant) in the modern day.

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Twissic Watches REVIEW

By Nathan Flowers

It’s Really Thin.

Crazy thin. Ridiculously thin.

And I like it.

I don’t normally search out thin watches. I’m usually happy to wear a bigass Seiko diver or even my old G-Shock Mudman when I’m outdoors. But I like this watch a lot. Newcomer Twissic has jumped into the market via their Kickstarter with what may be one of the thinnest watches to make it to market in the past year.

The 316L stainless case is a scant 4.8mm thick at its widest point. The watch itself is relatively thin in diameter, measuring only 38mm, but a large dial and thin bezel make the Twissic ride the wrist like a larger watch. Our loaner units were their Enpointe model, which ride on handsome full-grain leather quick-release straps in an 18mm width.

Everything about the Twissic watches we’ve tested feels minimalistic, but also well-designed. Powered by a Swiss Ronda quartz movement (with a six-year battery life), its hands are small but highly polished and easy to read. The dial comes in an attractive black on the rose gold model, and a clean white on the stainless steel. It’s also water resistant to 3ATM, but you won’t be diving with it. It’s a classier watch, for wearing to work, or out on the town.

I’ve worn them for a solid week, and am most impressed with how lightweight they are. The Twissic seems to just melt into your wrist, and you don’t notice you’re wearing it until you go to take a look at it. I tend to wear my other watches a little loose just to give my wrist space to breathe, but with these, I don’t need to. It sits there waiting, unnoticed until it’s needed, and that’s nice.

Twissic’s Kickstarter page has all the info you’ll need to get your hands on one. You can also check out Styleforum’s Twissic Official Affiliate Thread for more info, or to ask the designers a question about their watches. For the next few days, you can still get in on their £109/$145 super early bird pricing, and to me, it’s a good deal.


This is not a sponsored post. To read Styleforum’s review policy, please click here.

Buying your first suit: a guide

By shawea

Wondering about suits and how to fit them? You’ve come to the right place. First, what is a suit? A suit comprises a jacket and pants in the same fabric. Do not buy a jacket or pants separately and then go looking for a matching piece whose fabric is just “close enough”. A suit is bought as two (or three) pieces together, in exactly the same fabric, from the same bolt. That settled, how to decide between the myriad suits available?

There are four basic areas in which to assess a suit – fabric, construction, fit, and styling. You should consider all these aspects of a suit before deciding on which to buy.

The advice in this article will be geared towards someone buying a small number of suits that he hopes will serve him well in a variety of different settings.

The suit should be made of 100% wool, no elastane, no polyester. Do not be tempted by cotton or linen or cashmere suits. They do have their place in a large wardrobe, but they are not for starter professional wardrobes.

Since you’ll be starting off with suits that you’ll want to wear year-round, get a medium-weight wool (say, somewhere between 9 and 13 oz). Most suits on the market fall in this category so don’t get worried unless the suit seems particularly thin or heavy.

The fabric should be worsted wool, meaning that it is smooth to the touch instead of feeling wooly and hairy like a sweater. An exception to this is woolen flannel, which is acceptable as an alternative to worsted in all but the most formal of office settings. The difficulty is that woolen fabric is quite warm, so if you live somewhere with hot weather, is a less attractive option. But if after 3 medium-weight worsted suits you purchased a woolen as your 4th and a lighter weight suit (with some mohair in it, for instance – mohair makes a suit wear cooler) as a 5th, you’d be better prepared for particularly extreme days and have somewhat more variability in your wardrobe. Avoid fabrics that are above “Super 120s” as they will wear out too quickly. To learn more about different fabrics check out the cloth thread.

As discussed previously, the fabric should be a solid color, at least for your first three suits. Again, you want to be ready for all suit-wearing situations. It helps if each suit goes with as many different shirts and ties as possible. Patterned suits go with fewer shirts and ties than solid suits. And there are virtually no situations in modern life where the more casual patterned suit is appropriate, but a solid suit is not.

buying your first suit guide
A solid worsted flannel is a very versatile choice, at least in cooler climates.

Further Reading: Fabric

The Cloth Thread

How to choose the fabric for your suit

The fabric you see on the outside of a suit jacket is far from the only cloth that is used in its construction. Inside the chest and the lapels are pieces of cloth that give the jacket its structure. What these pieces are and how they are attached to the rest of the jacket is the main differentiator of construction quality between suit jackets.

The guts of a fully canvassed jacket

The guts of a fully canvassed jacket

Guts of a half canvassed jacket​

Guts of a half canvassed jacket

The lowest quality jackets are made with a piece of “fusible” interlining that is glued to the front of the jacket. This results in a stiff chest and roll of the lapel. Fused jackets also may have reduced longevity, although there has been significant improvement in fusing technology in recent decades, such that this may no longer be true. Older fused jackets were infamous for having the interfacing separate from the body fabric after many dry cleanings, with awful and obvious ‘bubbling’ ruining the jacket.

Higher quality jackets are made “half-canvassed”, meaning that the chest piece and lapels are constructed with a canvas interior, which is then sewn to the rest of the jacket. Below the chest, fusible is used, but this is less problematic in the “skirt” (lower part of the jacket) than upper areas. Finally, jackets of the highest quality are fully canvassed, but most of these will be extremely expensive.

Of course there are many other ways in which one jacket can be better made than another, but the divide between fused and half-canvassed is by far the most important one, and is also highly correlated with the others. If your jacket is half-canvassed, you can be sure you’re buying at least a decent quality garment. If your jacket is fused, you can be equally sure it is of shoddy construction.

Construction quality has a loose correlation to price. Many highly priced brands (e.g. all but the highest quality Armani, Hugo Boss) sell fused jackets. Spending even $2,000 is no guarantee of avoiding a fused jacket. So you have to do your own investigation. You can employ the “pinch test” around one of the higher buttonholes to see if you can feel a third piece of fabric floating in between the two sides. Alternatively, you can ask the salesperson. It’s possible they won’t know or won’t even know what you’re asking, in which case you should not listen to anything else they tell you. But the minimally informed salesperson will be able to give you this information.

Commonly recommended brands that offer half-canvas suits at a reasonable price include Suit Supply (~$500), Brooks Brothers 1818 (~$1k retail, but frequent sales). eHaberdasher’s Benjamin line (~$500) offers fully canvassed suits which are very reasonably priced.

Further Reading: Construction

Canvas and Suit Construction

The Styleforum Working Hierarchical Suit Quality List

Suitsupply Design Your Own Program Review

eHaberdasher – Categories

Now we get to the hard part. Everyone’s body is different. Even at a retailer with a wide range of different fit types like Brooks Brothers, there may not be a jacket that fits you particularly well, no matter which size you choose. You may have to try a couple of makers before you find the one that suits you best.

Some of this misfittery can be remedied by any tailor. Almost every suit you buy will need to have the length of the sleeves and the pants changed. These are simple operations. Everyone has their own method for determining the correct sleeve length. The estimable Guido Wongolini suggest that you begin by standing straight with arms at your sides, then lift your hands so that your palms are facing towards the floor, perpendicular to your body. The jacket’s sleeves should then just rest on the back of your hand. This should result in ¼” to ½” of your dress shirt’s sleeve showing. Pants should be hemmed so that they have little or no break, if they have an appropriately tapered leg (a leg opening of no more than say 18” in circumference). The waist of the trouser can usually be taken in or let out by about 2”.

Adjusting the collar is a more complicated procedure. Your suit jacket’s collar should remain affixed to your shirt’s collar behind your neck at all times. Separation between the two is referred to as “gapping”. In a bespoke Savile Row suit, you might be able to play a round of golf without experiencing any gapping. This is harder to achieve with a ready-to-wear garment, but at least see if you can get the jacket not to gap, then walk around the room, sit down, stand up, and see if you’ve got any gapping. If gapping is a problem, a tailor may be able to fix it, but you might be going down a road with no end. Your life will be easier if you buy jackets that have no gapping problems off the rack. To examine the next part of collar fit, you’ll need a mirror or a friend for this one. Look to see if there are horizontal lines on your back, underneath the collar. If so, you’ll need the collar lowered. This is a reasonably simple, low-risk procedure. This could be accomplished by most tailors, but probably not your typical dry cleaner’s/alterations shop. It should cost around $40-50.

The next three points of fit are crucial. If one of them is off, step away from the jacket. No tailor can help you. They are the waist, the shoulders, and the length.

These are the basics of fit, but the topic is nowhere near exhausted. A large fraction of discussions on Styleforum is based around how different garments should fit. These threads should get you started:

The Tailors Thread Fit Feedback and Alteration Suggestions
Official Fit Critique Thread
Get Foofed

Further External Reading: Fit

Most Exerent – Cover Your Ass There is a Common Misconception
How Much Can My Clothes Be Altered

Styling refers to the decorative elements of the jacket that are unrelated to fit. Number of buttons, pockets, breasts, that sort of thing. If you’re starting out buying suits, you’ll want to buy a classically styled suit. Pants can be single-pleated, double-pleated, or flat front, cuffed or uncuffed. Once you get more experience you can decide whether and in what way to deviate from what is below.

The suits that will never elicit any raised eyebrows are two or three-button single-breasted jackets, with two flap pockets, notch lapels, and dual back vents. Generally on SF two button or three-roll-two (meaning the top button is never meant to be buttoned) are preferred, but a “hard three” (roll to the top button, with the top button intended to be used) is perfectly acceptable, especially if you are tall. Lapels are of moderate width, reaching approximately half-way to your shoulders.

A "two-and-a-half" button lapel - it rolls above or through the top button

A “two-and-a-half” button lapel – it rolls above or through the top button

A three-roll-two lapel - the top buttonhole is folded over and the roll goes to the second button

A three-roll-two lapel – the top buttonhole is folded over and the roll goes to the second button

Relatively innocent deviations include the absence of vents, ticket pockets, welted pockets. If you like them, go for it on one or two of your suits. Double-breasted suits and peak lapels on single-breasted suits are dandifications. Hold off on them until you know what you’re doing. A single vent, though acceptable, is an inelegant deviation, as it creates an awkward splitting of the rear of the jacket when you put your hands in your pocket.

Here are some further readings in book form if you would really like to delve into the art of the suit:

The Suit, by Nicholas Antongiovanni
Clothes and The Man, by Alan Flusser


This article is an edited version of an article originally published on Styleforum.net in 2011.

Aloha shirt: a summer staple

As much as I love suiting, I let it take a back seat during the summer months. Sure, there are Minnis fresco suits, linen trousers, and madras button-downs, but I’ve always preferred to go bolder and casual than traditional classic menswear.  And nothing screams “casual summer” quite like the aloha shirt. It’s a unique piece that has a perfect place in a summer wardrobe, and it can be worn casually or even elevated with tailoring, if you want to go bold.

In Aloha Shirt: the Spirit of the Island, Dale Hope shares a few different stories about the origin of this American classic. One model was made in the 1920s by Gordon Young’s mother, who made sport shirts out of printed cotton yukata cloth that was normally used for kimonos. In 1935, tailor Musa-Shiya Shoten advertised RTW and MTO “Aloha shirts”.  However, the term was trademarked later in 1937 by the Chun family who sold similar shirts (also made from kimono fabric) in King-Smith Clothiers. There are other stories of course, but the main idea was that the shirt was born during a time when men were starting to opt for “sportswear” or casual dress.

Overall, it’s pretty similar to sport shirts (loop/camp/cuban collars, whatever you want to call them) in design. This most distinctive feature is the band-less collar, which results in the floppy open collar that lays flat on the shoulders of the shirt.  The garment has a clean french front and a square bottom, meaning that it can be worn tucked or untucked, adding to its casual nature. The aloha shirt retains all these features with the addition of an exploded floral pattern or scenes; later patterns would adopt more vertical, tiki-inspired designs.

I personally like the older designs that are large-scale and have some space between the designs. There’s nothing wrong with tighter, vertical print shirts, but they tend to look a bit more modern than I’d like and bit too Tommy Bahama.

In terms of material, most of the 1930s-1940s shirts I’ve seen were made of rayon or delicate voiles (in cotton or rayon); later, they would be made from cotton or polyester.

Before the tee shirt and OCBD took over as the go-to shirt for men in the 1960s, aloha shirts (and by extension, plain sport shirts) were a distinctive type of shirt in the 1930s-1950s. Images of the Beach Boys, Elvis, and Frank Sinatra rocking colorful aloha shirts come to mind instantly.

While some think that they are a bit old school to wear now, I heartily disagree. We’ve been seeing the return of camp collar shirts in general, thanks to a couple of fashion forward guys at Pitti wearing them over their jacket lapels like youth in the 1950s. We’ve also seen it come in the mainstream fashion world, being the shirt of choice of Harry Styles, rocking vibrant full cut aloha shirts to contrast his skinny black jeans and slick chelsea boots. It’s certainly something to consider if you’re feeling fatigued from your tie-less linen shirts and Friday polos.

Embracing the uniqueness of the alohas shirt is all apart of the fun. The bold florals and painted scenes are exactly what summer style is all about! When I wear an aloha shirt with tailoring, I usually opt for chinos or summer weight trousers and loafers as an updated 1940s-1950s casual look. I know that Kenji Cheung and Ethan Newton of Bryceland’s have done similar looks.

You could even wear it with a pale linen suit, using the jacket to tone down the bold print. I’ve begun to wear aloha shirts with pleated shorts and a chore coat, as it’s starting to get hotter. For those of you wary of the 1980s/Miami Vice connotations, you can always opt for the classic rockabilly look by wearing an aloha shirt untucked with selvedge denim. Maybe leave the pomade at home and go with slimmer denim and canvas sneakers to make it a bit more contemporary.

In addition to some images to serve as outfit inspiration, I’ve included a couple of places where you could pick up a shirt for yourself! They vary in price and quality, but I think there’s something here for everybody.

Two Palms

two palms aloha shirt

Two Palms was my first real foray into wearing aloha shirts. They are extremely affordable MiUSA at around $45 (with free US shipping) which means that they can be your gateway too! Their cotton shirts are cheaper, but I prefer their rayon ones in the vein of being “traditional”. It might take some careful perusing through their website to separate the “good shirts” from the more “dad vibe” ones, but you can’t go wrong with most of them. Surprisingly, they have pretty solid construction despite being on the lower end of the spectrum and they even take care to match the fabric on their chest pocket. The only caveats are that the cut is pretty full and the collar is pretty small compared to the vintage ones; I’m sure that you guys will find the latter more desirable since it’s easier to wear in the modern day. 

J. Crew

You’ve gotta hand it to J. Crew for making a pretty good Hawaiian shirt. They’re about $10 more than Two Palms and they only have a few models to choose from, but it’s still a good buy if you lean more toward shopping in person. Instead of rayon, these J. Crew aloha shirts are made in linen-cotton, which is a bit more wearable (and washing machine friendly) if you’re not used to the traditional fabric. According to the website, these also have a roomier fit, but I would assume that it’s slimmer than the ones from Two Palms.

Avanti Shirts 

 I always have a soft spot for shirts that display scenes, because they’re different than the aloha shirts that you normally see.  It also has the bonus effect of looking a bit more old school, lifted almost directly from the styles in the 1940s-1950s. Like the Two Palms shirts, they also feature a breast pocket that is carefully matched to the shirt.

Onia 

Onia makes a few great camp shirts and I’ve included a picture of their most “aloha” one here. It’s pretty much the same thing as the other ones, with a modest collar and a chest pocket (that again is not matched). The fabric is cotton voile making it extremely delicate (and hand-wash only), so I would say to wear with caution. It does seem ideal to wear when relaxing on vacation!

 

Gitman Vintage 

 

 I’ve gotta say that these ones from Gitman really hit the spot.  Like the Avanti ones, they have a bit more interest than the typical florals, but they also bring back the wide collar! They also do away with the chest pocket in order to maintain a clean front.

 

RRL

 

RRL takes us back to the original 1940s-1950’s manufacturing with their rayon camp shirts.  Like the Gitman ones, there’s just something so much more interesting when the prints are something more than oversized florals.  According to the official website, this particular design was based on 1930’s tattoo art, which I think is super cool. The shirt also features two breast pockets (making them similar to plain sportshirts of the era) and also opts for a modest collar.

RRL also has an indigo camp shirt with a more straightforward floral print, while Polo RL has more scenery based prints for half the price.

Sun Surf

 

Sun Surf is probably the best reproduction brand for aloha shirts, which makes sense considering Japan’s love affair with Americana. I’ve come across these in some of my favorite vintage stores, and they’re practically indistinguishable from true vintage pieces apart from the fact that the Sun Surf ones are new. Being a detailed reproduction, a lot of their prints are influenced directly from old garments; most of the time they go all out with their large-scale, bold prints. This is what makes them my favorite, since it’s a great way to get a true vintage flair that is completely different than the more standard florals and smaller scale scenes that you can find in the previous examples. They also keep the long, floppy 1940s-1950s collar and make them in the traditional rayon. You could own the character and wear it by itself or cover it up with a chore coat or casual jacket to tone it down.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a lot of places to find them other than a few boutiques, but they do pop up occasionally on Rakuten, Grailed, and eBay.

 

Brycelands 

 

Brycelands stocks a selection from Groovin High, another Japan-based company.  Like the Sun Surf ones, these are damn good designs lifted from 1940s-1950s shirts. The ones sold by Bryceland’s aren’t necessarily true aloha shirts since the prints are more geometric than floral/island based, but they still can be used for a similar look.  The shirts are made up of luxurious rayon/silk and have a wide collar, two breast pockets, and long sleeves.

Prada

 

We can’t have a proper list without a bit of luxury.  This voile shirt by Prada is really growing on me! The coloring is vibrant and leans more 80s-90s rather than strictly 1950s; think DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet. In addition to having an amazing beach scene painted on the back, this shirt is made of delicate voile and features black mother of pearl buttons. At a certain point, you’ll just have to go ahead and go all in on the price; you won’t find another one like it.

The Difference Between Fused and Full Canvas Suits Explained

by Jefferyd (Jeffery Diduch)

A few years ago I wrote a post about canvas suit construction which some of you may remember. As a continuation of the featured articles on StyleForum I thought I would update and condense some of the information to reflect current trends in manufacturing, and also to bring the information to newer members who may not have seen it.

The illustrations below show where fusible, if any, is applied for the different techniques, as well as where and how canvas is used. In-depth exploration of the various layers hidden beneath the chest felt can be found all over my blog.

First, a word about canvas.

Canvas is typically a blend of wool, often cotton, and animal hair, mainly horse and camel hair. The principal characteristics of the wool and animal hair are that they can be molded using humidity, pressure, and heat, and the fibers will retain a shape; think of how a woman uses a hot curling iron to shape her hair. Horse and camel hair have the additional benefits of being lightweight but very resilient- hair from the mane is softer while hair from the tail is quite stiff and wiry. Different types of fiber will be woven in combination with the wool and or cotton to produce various grades of canvas and haircloth which are used in combination to build the foundational structure of a coat.

In the photo below, from left to right, are haircloth, which has a lot of roll due to the horsetail strands, wrapped hair cloth which is softer and less expensive than haircloth, wool canvas, and the black item is fusible.

canvassed suit vs fused suit

From left to right: haircloth, wrapped haircloth, wool canvas, fusible.

The wool canvas forms that main foundational layer of the coat, then smaller pieces of haircloth or wrapped hair are used to build structure to the chest and shoulder, and these are covered by a piece of felt, domette or flannel to prevent the hair, which is wiry, from scratching the wearer. Sometimes the horse hair will poke through the layers, sometimes protruding out of the garment; this is an annoyance more than anything and can either be snipped away or pulled through.


 

FULL CANVAS GARMENTS

 

canvassed suit difference fused jacket full canvas

what is canvas suit

A garment which has a canvas structure running all the way from the top of the shoulder to the hem is known as a “full canvas garment”. It is very easy to determine whether a coat is fully-canvassed- take hold of the lower front of the coat and peel the two layers of wool (the front and the facing) apart- if you can feel a third layer floating between the two, that is the canvas. There were instructions floating around for a pinch test in which you pinch the chest and pinch the sleeve, but for reasons which you will soon see, this is not a reliable indicator.

Fashion has skewed toward lighter, finer, and more delicate cloth weights (a trend that I see starting to reverse itself) and these fine cloths can be very difficult to handle in construction, and be very sensitive to humidity. The Japanese, whose weather drove the march toward lighter cloths but whose humidity was detrimental to those cloths, were champions of a fairly recent technique of “skin fusing” the front- a lightweight fusible would be applied to the front part of the coat to give it stability when basting the canvas to the front, and to help prevent puckering from humidity. Some western manufacturers have adopted the technique for problem cloths so it is entirely possible to come across a front which has soft fusible on it, despite it being also fully-canvassed. More on fusibles shortly.

Notice that the canvas covers the front, including the lapel- the canvas will be rolled and padstitched in the lapel, which gives a certain amount of bloom or roll to it, which can be seen in better garments.

PROS:

• Hair canvas gives a roll and support to the front that fusibles can not;
• Floating canvas will never delaminate (bubble).

CONS:

• Expensive in terms of both materials and labor required;
• Poorly-inserted or shrinking canvas will case the fronts to pucker which is extremely difficult and often impossible to fix on a finished garment.

[For more information, check out How Much Does a Quality Suit Cost?]


 

FULLY FUSED GARMENTS

 

fused suit

And now a word about fusibles.

Fusible interlinings have come a very long way over the last 40 years. A German company developed the technology whereas an interlining would have a special resin applied to it which, when heated, would melt, and if another piece of cloth was pressed very firmly against it while the resin was soft, a bond was formed and the interlining was fused (or glued) to the cloth. The early days were horrific because the resin which bonded the interlining to the front failed often, causing delamination, or that infamous “bubbling” along the front. The technology has advanced greatly and these days, delamination is very rare (which is why it’s not considered a problem to skin-fuse a full canvas garment). It can still occur, however, if the garment is improperly handled.

Once the interlining has been bonded in a special machine, care is taken to make sure that the area is never heated without simultaneously applying pressure; during construction irons and presses are used, but there is always pressure accompanying the heat. If we want to remove the interlining, however (because of a faulty application, for example), we apply a bit of steam which softens the resin’s bond, and makes it easy to peel the interlining away. Any time you subject your garment to steam without pressure you soften the bond, creating a risk of delamination, which is one of the reasons I warn people never to steam tailored clothing (there are others).

Fusible interlining (a much heavier version than the skin-fuse variety) replaces the main canvas portion of the understructure of the garment, then a chest piece made of canvas, haircloth and felt is affixed along the roll line of the lapel, and tacked into the armhole but is otherwise left floating (thus the moniker “floating chest piece”). This is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to stabilize the front and requires no skill on the part of the operator.

PROS:

• Quick, easy, inexpensive.

CONS:

• Stiffens the cloth slightly, does not provide the same type of support that animal hair does;
• No canvas in the lapel so the lapel is somewhat flat and lifeless;
• Slight risk of delamination.


HALF CANVAS GARMENTS

hlf canvassed suit how to recognize
how to tell canvassed suit fused

Half-canvas garments are becoming more and more common as they combine the advantage of both methods– a cost-saving in terms of material and labor for the application, reduced risk of distortions on the lower fronts, but the benefits of canvas in the chest and lapel, where they are needed the most. The front is fused (something, whether canvas or fusible is required to stabilize the fronts), but the fusing does not extend into the lapel area. It used to be common for the canvas to extend below the pocket, or at least to the second button, but most manufacturers now only extend it to the first button. Since there is no canvas in the lower portion, you can’t use the pinch test to determine whether a garment is half-canvas or not. When canvases were heavier you could feel down the front of the coat and sometimes tell where the canvas ended but many are using softer, lighter canvas now which is harder to detect. On finer wools, you could look for dimples under the lapel which would suggest pad-stitching, but this will be invisible on more robust cloth. In fact, the only way to know for sure is to ask a well-informed salesperson (not all salespersons are well-informed). (There are variants on the half-canvas method but for simplicity, I will consider them all the same)

PROS:

Less expensive than full-canvas, less sensitive to humidity, good lapel roll.

CONS:

Stiffens the cloth slightly, slight risk of delamination.

While purists will insist that only full canvas garments should ever be considered, there is a significant cost involved and so it is a little disingenuous to insist, particularly to newbs, that fused or half-canvas garments should be avoided outright. Someone who is just starting out his career will likely not have the means for full canvas, nor is he likely to be familiar enough with suiting in general to risk purchasing something off the internet in order to get a good deal.

[Check out this article to explore full canvas garments that won’t break the bank]

Half-canvas is a more affordable alternative, and if he is really on a budget, a fused garment makes an inexpensive first step; considering how our tastes and preferences evolve once we have been wearing and trying on suits for a while, it is perhaps wise to start off with a less expensive purchase and work up to the better makes once we have a better fix on our tastes and what fits and suits us.

Addendum

A padded lapel refers to the fact that there is a separate layer of canvas which has been gradually rolled while stitching the canvas layer to the cloth, giving this result

full canvas canvassed suit pinch lapel

A flat-fused lapel will roll a little bit, but never as much as a padded canvas lapel- compare the limp, black stuff in the photo above (fusible) to the canvas next to it.

Embrace White Pants

The reluctance to wear white past Labor Day has long been debunked in the United States. But for many men, when to wear white isn’t an issue because, save for the white business shirt, they never wear it. Which is a shame, because alongside navy blue, wearing white pants (or off-white) is just about the easiest yet most stylish things a man can do.

Why the reticence to wear white outside the realm of the dress shirt? I think for many guys, there is a deep-seated disposition toward rugged, hard-wearing clothes that they don’t have to “baby.” A very practical co-worker of mine once allowed that spending a few hundred dollars on a suit might be worth it, “if it’s going to last for 10 years.” I didn’t tell him that sometimes, the more expensive the suit, the less durable the fabric. Many men wear tailoring only when required, changing into something else as soon as they can, and I believe a large part of it has to do not just with comfort, but with this mindset. It’s the same line of thinking that I think stops many guys from considering white pants.

Antonio Ciongoli via roseborn.com

Antonio Ciongoli via roseborn.com

Another complementary reason is that if you do venture into wearing them, you signal to everybody else that you care about clothes. I’m reminded of a How I Met Your Mother episode where Marshall asks whether he is pulling off the white pants he’s wearing, to which Ted enthusiastically affirms that he’s indeed rocking them. It was a leap for him to make, and he needed affirmation from a friend.

Sid Mashburn has said that his first sale to a lot of guys just getting into dressing well is a pair of white Levi’s. From there, their interest in clothing grows, but it starts with white pants. I can’t recall what first drew me to want to dress well, but I do remember that white jeans were one of the very early things I bought. My first pair were pure white denim from Banana Republic. Once I grew out of them, I replaced them with an off-white pair from J.Crew that I’m still wearing 3-4 times per week, 5 years later. They are my year-round staples because they go with literally everything I own.

Sid Mashburn

Overcoming the barrier to being seen as a dandy for wearing white pants is probably the biggest challenge. After all, lots of guys have no problem wearing white sneakers—but that doesn’t signal the same things that white pants do. Yet once you do jump the hurdle, you wonder why you thought it was a big deal at all.

It turns out white pants are the easiest things in the world to wear, because they go with literally everything. Swap out your gray trousers for white and your outfit becomes a lot more fun with no additional work. They can be worn very casually—white jeans paired with a navy polo, for instance—or more dressed up—white cotton twills pressed with a crease, paired with a navy blazer and pale blue shirt.

I’ve gotten many comments from both men and women who wonder how I can keep my white pants so clean. It honestly isn’t that hard. I’ve found that even sitting on the grass won’t stain them—unless it’s very wet or I’m moving around on the ground a lot. Of course, stains do happen, whether it be from carelessness on my part, sitting on a dirty chair, or any other number of reasons. And when they do, I have had almost 100 percent success removing them if the pants are machine washable. I’ve stashed Tide pens in my car, briefcase, desk drawers—everywhere—and they often solve the problem immediately. When that’s not the case, Tide detergent works wonders, as does Oxy-Clean and Clorox color-safe bleach when needed.

This is where I must make a caveat to my enthusiastic embrace of white pants—I only buy pairs I know I can wash myself. Which can potentially put a limit on dress trousers, because even if they are made from fibers you would normally not give a second thought about washing (like cotton or linen), they are usually marked as dry clean only. The reason is usually due to the irregular results the rigors of a washing machine will produce on waistband construction or the lining (if they’re lined).

That said, if they’re made from cotton or linen (or a blend of both), unlined, and the waistband is made from the same or similar fibers to the trousers themselves, you can probably wash them. Unlike with a tailored jacket, which has been put through a lot of steaming to get a specific shape out of the cloth, trousers can be pressed back into shape. I recently bought a pair of cotton-linen trousers from Spier & Mackay and washed them right away with no ill effect. I’d suggest doing so with a new, un-hemmed pair before you get them altered, in case of any shrinkage (of course, wash on cold in a delicate cycle).

If you’re not sure if you can pull off white pants, I think the Sid Mashburn introduction of white Levi’s is a great way to try them. With their multitude of fits and low price, it’s a good way to dip your toe in and see how you feel. I’m guessing you’ll love them and will wonder how you ever lived without them.

If that happens, welcome to the other side.

Casual


Dress

Pitti Uomo 94 – Get the Pitti Look

Another summer, another edition of Pitti Uomo. With the excellent coverage by Charlie (@sebastianmcfox) at this summer’s Pitti Uomo 94, we’ve got a Styleforum guy’s eye for style to show us the looks that other street photographers might overlook. Out of the “best of” pics from his time there, I’ve chosen three of dudes outfits I liked in particular, with the intent to find similar products if I wanted to assemble a similar fit for myself.

Aloha shirts—also commonly called Hawaiian shirts—are huge right now, and the Pitti crowd proved no exception to that trend. A lot of the times I’m seeing them with the collar—often a camp collar—worn over the jacket collar and lapel. It’s a look that harkens back to casual ensembles in old Apparel Arts illustrations. Whether you want to wear the collar over the jacket lapel or not, bringing the formality of your jacket or suit down with a Hawaiian print shirt might be a fun way to expand your horizons this summer. Just make sure your tailoring is made from an already somewhat “casual” fabric—think linens, cottons, blends, or textured wool.

Some options for Hawaiian print shirts

Levi’s • Brooks Brothers navy shirt • Brooks Brothers navy shirt 2

[edit: the actual shirt worn in the picture is by the brand Two Palms, available here.]

 

Tan and brown suit options

Drake’s brown linen suit jacket and trousers • Drake’s tan ramie suit jacket and trousers • Berg & Berg tobacco fresco (also comes in tan, which would work well, too)

Camoshita chocolate brown suit separates Jacket and Trousers • Ring Jacket brown balloon jacket


 

This guy’s clearly there to work, but while his clothes are obviously comfortable, I still like the accessible, layered style he’s done here. First of all, he’s wearing canoe mocs and off-white pants (he must read my blogs) in a loose fit that I’m sure helped beat the heat. Since he’s got a camera in hand (the excellent Canon 6D, which I use and highly recommend at the price point), the untucked chambray shirt makes perfect sense because moving around to get the shot, it would probably just come untucked anyhow. The loose olive linen safari jacket makes the fit feel a bit more put together and has the benefit of giving him extra storage for camera gear (and probably hides sweat—a major benefit of wearing an outer layer when it’s warm out that people just don’t think of). And he’s rounded out the fit with a Coke-bezel Rolex GMT-Master and a straw panama hat.

Off-white/stone chinos

Polo • Fujito • Brooks Brothers

 

Canoe mocs / boat shoes

Oak Street bootmakers • Sperry

 

Chambray shirt

RRL • J.Crew • Polo

 

Safari / field jacket options

Anderson and Sheppard • RRL shirt jacket • Sartoria Formosa “Sahariana”

 

Drakes linen field jacket • Ring Jacket 1 • Ring Jacket 2

 

Panama hat • Rolex GMT-Master “coke” bezel

 


This is my favorite photo of Charlie’s from Pitti, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. I like what all four guys are wearing (though white bucks on the second from the right guy wouldn’t have been my choice). Of the four, I love the casual simplicity of Andreas Weinas (far right) the most (though Maxim Lundh, far left, is wearing an Eidos Ciro suit, which I love). Andreas appears to be wearing a grayish-greenish sport coat (looks to be Orazio Luciano to my eyes), pale blue washed chambray shirt, off-white possibly single-pleat summer trousers and a pair of chocolate brown Belgian loafers. It’s exactly the kind of thing I’d wear.

 

Similar jackets

Drakes 1 • Drakes 2 • Suitsupply • Polo • Anglo-Italian green linen

 

Chambray shirts

Suitsupply • Rubinacci • Purple Label • Polo • Anglo-Italian

 

Off-white trousers

Boglioli • Eidos • Rota • Berg & Berg • Suitsupply 1 • Suitsupply 2

 

Belgian loafers

Velasca • Baudoin & Lange

Hoffman Watches – Racing 40 and Diver 40 REVIEW

By Nathan Flowers

These days, it feels like most watchmakers are following the “bigger is better” theme, with both divers and chronographs seeming to start at 42mm, and getting larger from there. With that in mind, newcomer Hoffman Watches is bucking the trend by introducing two 40mm models, which they have been kind enough to loan us for this review.

hoffman watches review

Their Racing 40 model is very handsome and feels solid, but not heavy. It has a 316L stainless case that is polished on the sides, and lugs that are machined satin on the front/back. The black leather strap measures 20mm wide, and has a machined stainless buckle. It fits well on my 7” wrist– not too large, and not too small. The Racing 40 echoes a Daytona or Speedmaster in both looks and proportions.

hoffman watches kickstarter

That said, it is handsome in its own right, and our test model stands out with a reverse panda dial in a lighter navy blue background with white under the sub-registers for the chronograph minutes and 24-hour time. Under an AR-coated sapphire crystal, hour indexes are noted by very precise dots of hand-applied lume that give off a greenish Seiko-like glow. This lume is also applied to the high-polished hour and minute hands.

hoffman watches diver

The chronograph is easy to use, and sweeps at 5 beats per second, faster than a typical quartz second hand. The pushers feel nice and mechanical, and the chronograph instantly resets to zero when you hit the bottom pusher. It’s powered by a Seiko VK64 movement, so you know it’s going to be accurate (and it has been during my testing.) Though Hoffman also offers a mechanical chronograph movement (Seagull TY2901) for an additional $199.

Water resistance is a standard 50M, though since it’s sporting a leather strap with a lizard pattern, it wouldn’t be your first choice to take on your fishing boat. However, it would be right at home when going out for beers with jeans and a button-down, or maybe a blazer in the evening. It’s a bit too much of a tool watch for me to wear with a suit, though as a forum admin and IT nerd, my suit-wearing occasions are sadly lacking these days.

hoffman watches price

Let me get this out of the way now. I am a sucker for diving watches. I dive several times a year and always take 2-3 watches out with me if I’m going to be diving for more than a few days. I also religiously visit Styleforum’s Poor Man’s Watch Thread, and consequently, I own too many Seiko/Citizen divers, like the SKX and the SRP-reissues. The Hoffman Diver 40 is right up my alley.

hoffman watches affordable sports watches

Our review model is really striking, mainly because of how understated it is– black case riding a black NATO with a black bezel and a black dial. This thing is a Stealth Diver on your wrist. The hands and the indexes both are coated in a blue-tinted Super-LumiNova that glows well for hours after charging with light. The quartz movement is silent to my ear, and Hoffman also offers an automatic option for $99. Both offer 100M water resistance, which is more than enough for most diving.

hoffman watches styleforum

The uni-directional bezel rotates smoothly, but with a solidity that you don’t regularly see on watches below $1000. Each click passes with a gentle yet firm snap. On the review model, the bezel is marked with black indexes, and arabic numerals at the 15, 30, and 45 minute spots. The zero index is the source of my only qualm with the Diver 40– it’s a glossy black diamond that doesn’t contain any lume, making it less likely to be seen well in deeper or murky water. This fits in with the darker style of our review model, so it’s definitely a stylistic choice. Hoffman also does have models with a white zero index, which I feel would be more suitable for diving. On land, the Diver 40 definitely wears well on the wrist, feeling less bulky and having a lower profile than your typical SKX/SRP.  It draws the eye without being obnoxious.

hoffman watches color options kickstarter

Hoffman Watches’ Affiliate Thread shows many color combinations to choose from (I’m seriously considering a rose gold navy diver for myself), and with a shockingly low Kickstarter 24-hour super early bird pre-order price of $169 for the Hoffman Watches quartz models, you are getting a lot of watch for the money. Frankly, both of these watches feel like they’re worth much more than you’re paying for, and even at their ultimate retail price of $425, I think you’re getting a great piece of kit at a good price.


This is not sponsored content. To read Styleforum’s review policy, please click here.

Pitti Uomo 94: The Best Outfits

Pitti Uomo 94 didn’t disappoint: slim fit suits are (finally) disappearing in favor of roomier fits and lots of pleating. Many people ditched sport coats and chose to wear field jackets, a solid #menswear trend in 2018. Aloha shirts were a hit as well, and the pairing with tailored clothing, albeit bold, looks surprisingly sharp. Are you going to be rocking this look this summer?

For the time being, enjoy a selection of the best outfits spotted at Pitti Uomo 94, captured by the lens of our talented photographer @sebastianmcfox.

pitti uomo 94 streetstyle suit best outfit men

pitti uomo 94 streetstyle suit best outfit menswear

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pitti uomo 94 streetstyle suit best outfit men look

We would like to thank our correspondents from Pitti Uomo, @sebastianmcfox and @stingwersen (owner of @vecchioanseatico).

Check out the complete streetswear galleries of Pitti Uomo 94 Day 1,  Day 2, and  Day 3 & 4.

Join the conversation on the Pitti Uomo 94 thread on the forum.