Trending Business Styles

Menswear is something that hasn’t changed much over the years.  Unlike women’s fashions which can change daily, menswear and especially business wear fro men offers much less of a regular transformation.  On the other hand one would be a fool to think that menswear has not seen several trends over the years and those trends certainly include business attire.  A man wearing a suit to the office hasn’t changed over hundreds of years and probably never will.  But how he wears that suit and the accessories he pairs with it certainly has changed over the last several decades and will again in the future.  Take a look at our latest writing about men, business, and the stylish trends that  have connected them over the years HERE.

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Book Review: Style & The Man

Alan Flusser’s Style & The Man
Style & The Man, Alan Flusser’s latest book has been released and we’ve had the opportunity to go through most of the text and dissect his advice, recommendations, and guidance.  In our previous review of Mr. Flusser’s work we stated that his work was detailed and historically accurate.  This time around in his abridged and condensed version there is still much detail and historical fact to be found, but with an added sense of humor and wit.  This was a welcomed change since discussing black tie formal wear and the appropriate measurements of one’s trouser cuff may not be the most exciting and colorful topic for most men.  Mr. Flusser injects some humor and a bit of risque connotation as he likens the sexual attractiveness of a man removing his cuff links to a women unzipping her dress.

The pocket sized book is written in a “how to” buy and wear format featuring eight segments of menswear from formal attire to packing light and right.  Flusser attempts to address the need to know facts of professional and stylish dressing while cutting out the minutiae.  While there are many aspects of the book to be applauded there are some areas where we see needed improvement.  While it is obvious that Flusser is decidedly a custom clothier in his own right, the book omits anything to do with casual wear.  Even the most dandy dressers find a need for causal wear in the wardrobe from time to time and it seems an oversight not to mention it. However, my biggest issue with the book is that in many ways it isn’t much different from his previous writings.  Although the information is valuable and timeless its pretty much the same but stripped to he bare minimums and without the recommendations for patronizing exclusive high end boutiques and shops.  I haven’t been the only one to read the book and notice it’s redundancy.  Yes, men’s style is pretty much the same as it was years ago and it won’t change in much in the future.  However, its the duty, the responsibility, and the obligation of men like Mr. Flusser and myself to create new and innovative ways to present the same information to our readers who don’t own an iPhone.  Overlooking the minor imperfections of Mr. Flusser’s latest creation, we believe he’s done an excellent job so far.  Well done, sir.

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You Speak…I Speak…BeSpeak

We recently attended the book signing and launch event for Alan Flusser’s updated and revised manuscript “Style & The Man” and his new custom menswear iPhone application BeSpeak.  We were honored and humbled to receive an invitation to this inaugural gathering of the sartorially inclined and fashion conscious.  Mr. Flusser a leading mind in menswear has a beautiful (photos below) and unassuming shop off the vaunted shopping oasis of 5th avenue in NYC.  I was able to meet with and speak to several of the top bloggers and fashion minds in the industry such as our good friend and fellow DC blogger Mr. Chris Hogan, Editor of Off the Cuff, the gents at Street Etiquette, and of course Mr. Flusser himself.
BeSpeak is Mr Flusser’s latest creation and it provides guidance for men’s business formal outfits (suit, dress shirt, tie, and pocket square). The app provides personal recommendations and fashion evaluations based on your unique physical characteristics such as skin tone, body height & weight, eye & hair color, etc. It’s like having the ultimate personal stylist at your fingertips.  The Flusser team plans to add casual wear to the menu of options in the future to enhance the custom experience.
Not being part of the iPhone crowd I’m not able to take part in the experience of BeSpeak but I was able to try it out at the event.  The system creates a personal profile for each man based on the data input.  It then recommends a color palette suitable for the man based on the aforementioned characteristics.  These are only recommendations and suggestions of what a man should wear and not how he should wear it.  The art of dressing properly is a skill that can be learned over time with patience, practice and guidance.  The BeSpeak tool acts as a knowledge guide for men who may be overwhelmed by the many choices they are presented with when out shopping.  However, it won’t give you the personal flair that each man should posses.  This can only be cultivated over time, but Mr. Flusser is certainly speeding up the process.

Chris Hogan , Editor at Off The Cuff

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Fabric Selection

The other day during my perusing I came across a suit jacket in a blend of fabrics.  The first two–wool and silk–I am rather familiar with.  The third fabric–Ramie (pronounced Ray-me) I wasn’t so familiar with and neither was the salesman trying to explain it to me.  (I’ll save my rants about incompetent salesman for another time)  So I decided to take it upon myself to research this fabric and highlight it for my readers so they can be aware of its origin and uses should they ever come across it in the shopping excursions.

Ramie is fiber of Chinese origion. It is commonly referred to as “China grass” since it is vegetable fiber.  The fiber itself is produced similarly to linen from the flax plant, resembles silk and is naturally white so it needs no bleaching.  At one point in time it was used for burial shrouds in Egypt and although it was a predecessor to cotton it is used often blended with cotton in sports jackets, sweaters, and handkerchiefs.

The fiber itself is strong and durable, extremely absorbent, resistant to mold and bacteria, has a natural stain resistance, and can withstand high temperatures if you are the type to dry clean your clothes. Ramie also has a low elasticity, low resiliency, can be stiff and brittle so it wrinkles easily, and production comes at a high cost since the labour involved in extracting it is intensive.

On the whole Ramie is a fairly uncommon fabric and it will only be seen in blends with other more commonly known and worn fabrics.  However, it should not be dismissed as a lesser fabric just because it is used less often.  For those thirsty for knowledge, now you know of Ramie and can tell the next man what to look for.

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Stain, Stain Go Away

Since our last discussion of undershirts we’ve come across a new product that may revolutionize the way men treat their tee shirts. We would like to introduce Deo-Go–a unique cleaning agent that removes those pesky deodorant and antiperspirant stains in the underarms of your otherwise clean white tee shirt.  We’ve been fortunate enough to join Ribbed Tee to introduce Deo-Go to the market.  This pump action spray targets residue build up and then dissolves the stain to restore the original appearance.

Spray the solution directly onto the stain and let it soak for awhile.  Then wash it according to the laundry label.  You do know how to wash you clothes don’t you?  After washing the garment should return to its original state.  One bottle should be enough for 10-15 garments.

While we always give new products the benefit of the doubt when trying to improve upon the pitfalls of men’s fashion, we must also stay objective.  While Deo-Geo may get the job done, at $10.50 per bottle I find it hard to beat a $3.50 drugstore deodorant which contains no aluminum (the chemical that discolors undershirts), or just buying a new pack of tees when the old ones wear out.  As always it is our goal to present our readers with the options to make their own educated decisions.  I will be trying Deo-Go myself in the near future and will give a full report on results.

Deo-Go Solution


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