Short Sleeve Shirt Style for Men

Trend Alert: The short sleeve, button-down shirt is making a comeback. No longer just reserved for the studious, pocket-protector wearing guy, short sleeve shirts are here this season in many shapes, forms, and fabrics. Nearly every brand offers some version of this style – from Tommy Bahama linen shirts, to modern fitting Rodd & Gunn cotton wovens, to Kuhl quick-dry camp shirts with UPF 15 for your outdoor adventures.

Check out these great looks we’ve put together for summer:

Look # 1 – Lakeside Leisure

For a day that begins with a casual coffee meeting and becomes an afternoon on the boat, wear this breezy Tommy Bahama linen shirt unbuttoned to show off a coral high v-neck tee. Paired with 34 Heritage five-pocket pants in stone and Tommy Bahama Felton slip-on shoes, you are set for a day to relax in style. Don’t forget your personal writing utensil made by Faber-Castell.

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Look # 2 – Work Ready

If your office vibe is trendy and casual, muster your inner hipster and give this summer look a try. Maker & Co button-down shirt in classic gingham (we love the Corozo buttons) paired with fashion denim from 34 Heritage and your favorite nerdy glasses (these readers are from Scojo).

Fit tip: To pull off this look, find a trimmer fit shirt that flatters your shape and is not boxy. Sleeves should end mid-bicep and you should only be able to fit a few fingers between it and your arm.

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Look #3 – Party Cool

For your summer barbecues or live-music date, go for a Kuhl camp shirt layered over a pop color maize yellow tee from Tasc, offering tons of performance qualities like bamboo, UPF15, and moisture wicking. On the bottom, we love these new stretch cotton cargos from Thaddeus for the ultimate in comfort.

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To get these looks and more, visit The Foursome Fine Men’s Apparel in Plymouth, MN or shop www.thefoursome.com

BRIDGE: the place to buy denim

We are thrilled to “officially” introduce a new concept shop at The Foursome Clothing Store designed to bridge the gap between modern casual wear, versatile denim, fine footwear, and tailored clothing. At The Foursome, we look for inspiration and strive to implement new ideas that reach beyond the ordinary. The Bridge is a shop within our men’s shop that offers a new experience to menswear fanatics. It tells a story and gives out-of-the-box ideas to compliment various personalities.

Bridge Shop at The Foursome

Bridge Shop at The Foursome

Dressing up and down have something in common- they both revolve around denim. If you get out once in a while, you’ve probably noticed that denim is no longer just for weekend house projects. The world of denim has expanded in so many directions that jeans are as varied as a box of crayons. From washes to contours to fabric weight, there are a thousand ways to wear denim and surely a specific brand or two for every individual to fall in love with. Medium to dark washes in denim give a more sophisticated look that can even be worn in place of dress pants at times.

Denim in many washes and hues

Men’s jeans now come in many varieties and washes

New for us this season is Robert Graham denim with a hand and wash that is quite unique. Their signature red pocket lining with polka dots and washed-out multi-color stitching on the back pockets put these jeans over the top. Oh 34 Heritage denim, how we love you. More than any other item in our store, we recommend our 34 Heritage pants to everyone. What guy wouldn’t want to wear denim with stretch and superb quality that makes them look amazing. With a lower rise and younger man’s cut, Mavi jeans are made to fit the body well. This well trusted brand has been in the business for years. Tommy Bahama denim continues to make great jeans in a variety of washes. Their fashion denim is as current as any.

Robert Graham denim, new at The Foursome fall 2013

Robert Graham denim, new at The Foursome fall 2013

In addition to denim, our Bridge area has an assortment of five pocket pants. Like jeans with five pockets and exposed stitching, these pants have a similar look and feel but are constructed out of different fabric weaves and vary in drape. From canvas to velvety cotton to variegated blends with a bit of stretch, this casual pant is a great alternative to denim but with the same comfort and wearability. Five pocket pants could even replace a more traditional pair of khakis you have had in your drawer for a while.

5 pocket pants from 34 Heritage, Rodd & Gunn, and Tommy Bahama

5 pocket pants from 34 Heritage, Rodd & Gunn, and Tommy Bahama

The Bridge showcases more than just pants. As for tops, we love our Robert Graham collection full of flavor and everything special. Made with extraordinary attention to detail from the interior woven label to contrasting cuff prints to unusual buttons hand picked to compliment each shirt. Our Italian designed Bugatchi line offers modern and colorful woven shirts that look great with denim and the like. Thomas Dean button down shirts have their own look, perhaps more subtle in aesthetic but with wide spread collars and interesting cuff combinations they are very current. Offering more casual top options, our beloved Tommy Bahama denim line adds in some great long sleeve layering pieces as well as a wonderful selection of woven shirts.

Tommy Bahama denim collection

Tommy Bahama denim collection

In menswear magazines and on the street, soft coats worn with jeans are all the rage. The non-dictionary definition of a soft coat; a soft shouldered, less structured, less formal sport coat that is both comfortable and versatile. I tell guys they can even wear them like a they would a zip-up sweatshirt or their favorite quarter zip sweater. Think of a these sport coats as another layering piece and a must have! The options abound in fit and as well as fabric. You will find them made by a handful of brands and sprinkled throughout the Bridge shop.

Flynt soft coat and Robert Graham stripe shirt

Flynt soft coat and Robert Graham stripe shirt

Come and explore The Bridge, the place to to buy denim!

– By Beth Dougherty, Inspiration and Display Coordinator at The Foursome

Men’s Spring Tailored Clothing: Subtle to Perfection, as Vibrant as you Like It

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Can you smell spring yet? Men’s fashion invigorates the senses this season. Fine lighter-weight fabrics remind us of warmer air. Beautiful subtle hue variations in threads create endless color options to accessorize with. Fresh ideas and up-to-date fashions sing like the newly returning birds. The clothing hitting our store this spring keeps getting better and better. I dress my favorite sportcoat on a mannequin and change it four days later with a new favorite suit. Choosing how to outfit each suit and sportcoat is perpetually fun. Though I am eager to introduce a few new clothing lines, mainstays Joseph Abboud, Hart Schaffner Marx, Jack Victor and Hickey Freeman all have stunning pieces this season as well.

So lets get things started with a drumroll…introducing The Foursome Signature Collection. A custom program with unlikely features and countless options. Crafting your own suit is like designing a house from the ground up. You get to have it exactly how you want it, down to the buttons. Do you have an athletic build? Always wanted a double breasted suit or a peak lapel? Ever wish you could flash a fancy lining when you reach for your business card? All the details are up to you. But don’t get intimidated if you are not an architect by trade, our skilled fashion experts will be with you in the process, from swatch hunting to measuring. The unusual thing about The Foursome Signature Collection is that you do not have to wait months for the clothing to be made. We are talking 1-2 weeks max! Its crazy. Suits and sportcoats starting at $695. Definitely sounds too good to be true. (But it is true.)

Next exciting news on the table is is a clothing line by the name of Byron. With a lengthy list of desirable features and consistent attention to detail, these suits and sportcoats are worth of a try-on. I especially appreciate the modern “British” fit and balanced jacket design. It is tailored to created some waist suppression, has a trimmer sleeve head and a slightly shorter jacket length.

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Byron boasts of its canvas construction with a floating chestpiece. Sounds superlative, right? Well I had to look up exactly what that means. In brief, there are three types of coat construction. Full canvas construction is handmade with a free-floating piece of material between the jacket’s exterior fabric and interior lining. (Takes forever to make!) Fused means it has a layer of glue or adhesive that completely binds the layers together, creating a stiffer and less natural fitting coat. Between these extremes is (old world) Canvas Construction with a (modern technology) Floating Chestpiece. The canvas provides a proper drape, while the floating (not fused) upper chest ensures a longer lifespan and more natural fit when you are on the move. One surface detail to look for is pick stitching, a simple running stitch that catches only a few threads of fabric at a time. Subtle handwork is a sign of quality in fashion.  Click here for a more extensive look at the Byron suit design.

I must mention the vibrant neckwear we are seeing. Screaming with color and so very tastefully made. (not too surprising since I have been writing about the color craze in fashion these days, its everywhere.) Our London made ties by Seward and Stern will make you want to walk all over town. They remain committed to the time-honored craft of cutting and folding ties by hand, being one of the few out there to design and color their own neckwear. Geometric and organic patterns to boost your own aesthetic.

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If the idea of putting on another tie does not excite you, let me clue you into an equally appropriate alternative. The pocket square. Think of it as your new maintenance-free accessory. I am even suggesting it in place of the tie every once in a while. We have a great spring selection with interesting color combinations and patterns. It may break your own rule book but I promise you won’t be the only guy out there doing it.

– By Beth Dougherty, Inspiration and Display Coordinator at The Foursome

Limelight Shoes: A Slice of Color and Nice

Lets talk about something that will put a little spring in your step. Limelight shoes. Even if you don’t get out much, I am sure you have seen brightly colored shoes somewhere, in some way, shape, or form. I am not a trend expert but I notice things. And anyway, neon is hard to miss. We saw a splash of it in golfwear and neckwear for spring 2012 and I know there is more of to come this spring. I wrote a blog post about color when fall apparel hit. But right now I am mainly talking about shoes. The bright and vibrant shoe trend, throbbing with color from laces to soles. I did not catch much of the Olympic Games this summer but enough to notice the hundreds of athletes shod in electric footwear. Check out this article about Nike’s neon shoe ambush. It is pretty intriguing.

So I know what you might be thinking – neon colors are a blast from the past. The 80’s are over. Not interested. Or – I am not into wearing florescent athletic shoes. Fine. But that is not the only way to wear this trend. How about a pair of dress shoes with just a slice of color? A sole with a bit of hue? Brightly colored laces? If you are not walking down the fashion runway on a regular basis, then accessories and footwear are the best and most versatile way to incorporate these vigorous colors into your wardrobe. And the reason for doing so is not mainly to be trendy. It is important to maintain your timeless fashion while continually adding bits here and there to stay current and interesting. A pair of exceptional shoes is one way of doing just that.

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As I perused the men’s shoe selection at The Foursome the other day looking at our newest footwear, I noticed two specific things seen in various brands. Wingtips and color. In most cases they were together. A traditional shoe design merged with the color craze. Subtle, yet full of character. Brilliant and tastefully crafted. Allen Edmonds, one of our highest quality and most timeless shoe brands designed a brown wingtip with hot orange rims and replaceable matching laces. Also hip wingtip boots accented in red and other similar designs. Cole Haan created a dull-ish sea blue wingtip with brighter blue laces in the same color spectrum. Or how about a pair of two-toned brown saddle shoes with blue soles. Don’t be concerned about if you have something at home that matches. They are not meant to match perfectly, that would be contrived. You can wear wingtips and colorful shoes with jeans or slacks, sport shirts or sport coats. Wingtips easily dress up or down. These shoes are worth kickin’ up your heels about. That is why I bring them to your attention. For your own fashionable good. So step out a little, your spirits will thank you.

– By Beth Dougherty, Inspiration and Display Coordinator at The Foursome

Accessories Make A Statement

Accessories are often essential items but are not limited by function. They help tell your fashion story, which does not have to be eccentric but is hopefully not boring. Some accessories are worth spending money on. For example, I justify spending a little extra dough on my spectacles because I wear them everyday and they are one of the first things people notice on me. (I love scrolling through our reading glass spinner on my way through the store. Did you know Eyebob frames can have prescriptions put in them!)

Tommy Bahama fall jacket layered with Hart Schaffner Marx vest, vintage Stormy Kromer hat, and Lauer gloves.

Accessories might strike some as feminine. But men’s fashion has caught onto a lot of what women have been enjoying for years. Take stretch denim for example. At The Foursome, we have a hard time keeping our beloved 34 Heritage denim fully stocked because it literally flies out the door. These “stretch” jeans are slimming and comfortable, yet are made to fit men well with extra height in the back waistline and the right amount of room everywhere else. Or what about socks? (I used to collect socks from my favorite Japanese line, so I am aware of the uniqueness a pair can offer your outfit.) Between Marcoliani and St. Croix and SmartWool, men are not left out in the cold when it comes to sock fashion. Socks are no longer just essential, they make a statement.

Marcoliani Italian socks pair well with Allen Edmonds shoes

Of the many available accessories for men, scarves are on my radar these days. Without looking at statistics, I can say from observation that scarves are a hot item. Women and men are wearing them every season of the year, they range from cotton to wool to silk and their price range is just as far reaching. A scarf adds color, pattern, personality. Winter is the obvious time to grab a few new ones to spice up your collection or replace the oldies.

While dressing mannequins a few months ago, I happened to walk past an informal buying meeting with Seaward & Stearn. In addition to eye-catching ties with flair and color, I spied a collection of scarves with as much fun woven into them as you would expect from this London based company. This week I noticed their arrival at The Foursome when I first came into work. I unfolded them and put them on display immediately. Seeing a folded pile of these beauties does not do them justice, varied weaves from front to back with reverse color and a mixtures of polka dots and stripes. They feel exquisite and look sophisticated. A truly special gift for yourself or someone important.

Seaward and Stern scarves

  – Words and Photos by Beth Dougherty, Inspiration and Display Coordinator at The Foursome

Men’s Fashion: Appreciate the Details

Robert Graham Shirts

There seems to be a surprise under every cuff these days. Pattern next to pattern, contrasting colors, interesting combinations of textiles within one item of clothing. Often, the extra attention given to these garments is only seen by the wearer. But the great thing is that you can hide or expose these elements depending on your preference or mood. We are seeing this sort of thing in nearly every brand. It is evident that incorporating tasteful components into each garment is important in men’s fashion.

One benefit to these extra snippets of fabric here and there is that you get versatility. The average woven shirt now has a personality switch. Roll your cuff or unbutton your collar as you leave the office and you have a new look for happy hour. Need a shirt for date night? Loosen the sleeve and your garment becomes artful. Its simple and inspiring.

Robert Graham shirts are known for their distinct details. Bold stitchwork, embroidered fabrics paired with stripes, square buttons, bright thread throughout. You can hardly define the designs as subtle. However, they remain sophisticated and brilliant. The details define the brand. Similar in flavor, yet not quite as spicy, are our Bugatchi and Visconti shirts from Italy. Unique design work is often found hidden along the button holes, so when the top two buttons are left open the beautiful detail is seen next to the crisp exterior fabric. Purely striking.

Thomas Dean Shirts

Alex Cannon adds suede piping along the edges of their knitwear and also offers a variety of shirts with contrasting fabric details. Bills Khakis incorporates plaids and ticking fabrics to the interior parts of their deep pocketed pants. Not visible to the onlooker but definitely worth seeing when you get dressed in the morning. St. Croix gives you a reason to respect their high fashion brand by choosing incredible metal zippers, hardware, and buttons. This season we are seeing leather mixed with knitwear, along with other surprisingly beautiful combinations.

One cannot forget Tommy Bahama. I am continually amazed at their attention to detail. Every shipment seems to outdo the last. We are seeing many reversible pieces, giving you two for the price of one. More than one style of button is sometimes matched with a particular shirt. Serged hemlines, intentional unfinished edges, small patches of fabric along the sides. . . It is obvious this brand believes that little things make a big difference.

Tommy Bahama Shirts