Beyond the Holiday Sweater

Guys, are you feeling a bit uninspired about what to wear to your holiday parties this year? Not looking forward to de-pilling that sweater vest you wore a few too many times last year (and the year before)? Well dread your holiday wardrobe no longer, there is no need to think typical when it comes to fashionable attire this season. These outfitting suggestions are simple, versatile, and fresh. Our aim is to help you turn one or two garments into multiple outifits suitable for different occasions.

Be freed from traditional pressures, you do not have to dress like a Christmas tree to be festive. Red and green are fine colors to wear, but they are not the only colors suitable for this time of year. The colors you wear evoke a mood. Warm browns and rusts and oranges like the fireplace. Cool blues in every shade like ice and snow. Bright reds and purples like holly and wine. Neutral tans and creams like a cinnamon cappuccino. Everyone is drawn to some colors more than others. We encourage you to follow your instincts and allow us to help guide your appearance forward.

Fashion rules are both said and unsaid. Some trends come and go quickly, some trends are slower moving and last longer. Colored pants, for example, are everywhere right now. We are seeing them for spring 2013. They are fantastic, but in my opinion this trend is faster moving. However, I don’t foresee slimmer fit suits and pants vanishing anytime soon. Similarly, flat front pants and non-button down collars are increasing in production. I mention these things as you consider what direction you want your threads to move toward. What can you wear a tie with? What about pattern on pattern? Denim with a sportcoat? Consider something new this holiday season. Everything we have to offer is first-class.

To set you at ease, The Foursome is here to help you dress felicitously. How formal is too formal? What outfit suites what festivity? Below you will find seven scenarios, one or more you likely already have on your calendar. Consider each outfit a starting point, to which there is great potential for dressing up or down.  Infinity the limit.

FORMAL | For your Holiday Benefit Party

They picked over-the-top fancy, you pick the color. Renting or buying a tuxedo is not so boring after all. Select your favorite tuxedo accessories and be as distinct as you like.

Rental tuxedo by Jim’s Formalwear, $145
100% silk cummerbun and bow tie set for purchase to go with your own tuxedo, $95

Alternatives: For something seasonal, try a red vest and bow tie with a Christmas patterned pocket square.

FASTIDIOUS | For your “Invitation only” Holiday Gala 

We recommend you dress excessively particular for this event. Let them take your picture in black and white to bring out the contrasting tonal patterns between shirt, tie, and pocket square. This elegant ensemble is timeless, yet sleek and up to date. The suit is sure to be a foundation piece in your wardrobe with potential for the future.

Nailhead suit by Hart Schaffner Marx, $895
Non-iron dress shirt by Enro, $89.50
Striped silk necktie by Barbara Blank, $55

Alternatives: Wear the suit with a solid shirt and pair with patterned bow tie or a fascinating tie by Dion.

FANCYPANTS | For your Holiday Wine Tasting Party

Who said you should wear red to every holiday party? Some traditions are worth breaking. A color palette of rich blues and navy and gray create a sophisticated look while checks and dots add some flirtatious flair. The navy cashmere coat is as classic as they come and can be worn in a hundred different ways.

100% cashmere navy sportcoat by Jack Victor, $695
Grey flannel pants by Hart Schaffner Marx, $275
Blue checked shirt by Enro, $89.50
Polka dot silk tie by Seaward & Stearn, $125

Alternatives: Dress it down with a pair of St. Croix corduroys and a knit turtleneck.

FOLKSY | For your holiday work party

If you haven’t worn a sport coat with denim before, wait no longer. This outfit is the perfect example of how to do it in style. Grainy browns in the vest and sport coat paired with an extraordinary shirt by St. Croix adds a bit of blue that compliments the denim.

Sport coat by Jack Victor, $550
Vest by Hart Schaffner Marx, $125
Shirt by St. Croix, $215
Denim by 34 Heritage, $165

Alternatives: Take the coat off and admire the vintage looking vest with contrasting fabric on the back, plus you have a new outfit for date night. To dress up the sport coat, wear it with flat front slacks and a patterned sport/dress shirt.

FASHIONABLE | For your Special Holiday Date Night…or Happy Hour

Robert Graham is nothing but fashion, and this outfit is fresh attire. A purple, gray, and camel colored argyle sweater with matching paisley tie will help you celebrate the season with flair. Black washed denim is something you want in your closet. These jeans have dressing-up ability.

Purple shirt by Robert Graham, $178
Paisley tie by Santorelli, $98.50
Argyle sweater by Scott Barber, $245
Denim by 34 Heritage, $165

Alternative: Take the sweater off, roll the cuffs, tie or no tie, and you are ready for the city. For a totally different look, wear the sweater with a mock turtleneck and charcoal flat front cords.

FESTIVE | For Christmas Eve Dinner with the In-laws 

Traditional but not typical. An Italian inspired Visconti shirt adds festive glimmer with silver threads woven in. Don’t forget to turn your cuffs up for a holiday worthy pattern. The red wool sweater by Raffi is a must have for your wardrobe. At a great price point, try another color and take home two.

Marino wool red v-neck sweater by Raffi, $105
Striped shirt by Lusciano Visconti, $95
Black mercerized cotton pant by 34 Heritage, $185

Alternatives: Take the sweater off and you have a new shirt for happy hour. To dress it up, wear the shirt and sweater with a pair of charcoal Zanella pants or wool slacks. You could even throw on a black sportcoat.

FAMILY | For the Kid’s School Christmas Pageant

In typical Tommy tradition, you get style with comfort. You won’t want to take this outfit off at the end of the day. These light tan cords go with anything and are full of warmth and seasonal texture. Silk Tommy shirt should be worn untucked and looks stunning with this black zip top. It is a cross between a sweater, sweatshirt, and jacket. Great detailing.

Light tan corduroys by Tommy Bahama, $128
Tommy Bahama silk shirt, $138
Black double pocket zip sweatshirt by Tommy Bahama, $168

Alternatives: For a dressed up snowy look, wear the cords with a Scott Barber shirt and cream cashmere sweater by Raffi. Or try our new 5 pocket travel pants with the silk shirt.

Join us for a special Men’s Night at The Foursome on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Our expert sales associates – your personal shoppers for the evening – will help you assemble a great holiday wardrobe. Plus, enjoy tasty appetizers from Jake’s Grille, a free shoe shine, shoulder massages and hair consultations from Sport Clips stylists, and 20% savings on your purchase that night.

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


Retire in Style

Whether you made your bundle and quit work early or you’ve taken your leave at the traditional age, retired style doesn’t have to mean a track suit and cane. Here’s how to take years off your non-working appearance.

Let’s start at the top: If you still have hair:

Do: Flaunt it, with a relatively short crop, and consider using a shampoo that brings out the best shades in your salt-and-pepper locks.

Don’t: Try to mask your age with over-the-counter hair dye, which is tricky to get just right and tends to look fake anyway, especially when your roots start showing.

If not, don’t obsess about it.

Do: Relax. Approximately 40% of all men undergo some hair loss by the age of 40, and that percentage has been driven way up by our current shave-it-bald-in-your-twenties generation. A clean-shaven head is not recommended, though, for an older man. To see how it’s done just right, check out Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s close cropped scalp on a re-run of Star Trek: Next Generation,and remember most women still find this guy seriously sexy.

Don’t: Grow your side hair long to compensate for any upper losses — this actually draws more attention to your baldness and also makes you appear a little sad.

Hair or not, pay attention to the style of your hat.

Do: Choose a moderately brimmed, small-weave straw for the summer, a wider-brimmed fedora in felted fur for wintertime. A nice, non-golfing driver’s cap makes for a good back-up option.

Don’t: Wear a cloth bucket hat any time of the year — nothing says “old guy” quite like this unfortunate furnishing.

Your shirt says a lot about you.

Do: Acquire quality knit tops and woven cloth shirts. If you need a reminder that you’re not at the office anymore, wear the latter open-necked, without a tie. Try selecting colors that are outside of your normal comfort zone; we guarantee you’ll be glad you did.

Don’t: For the love of all that’s holy, don’t wear a white undershirt with your open-collared shirt. If you feel you must wear a tee underneath, make it taupe, black, anything but white.

Do: Choose knits and wovens with finished hems that can be worn outside the pants for a relaxed look (and can help cover a slight paunch).

 Don’t: Go all short-sleeved on us. Some polos are nice to have around, but longsleeved shirts and knits are much more versatile, and work well with today’s layered ensembles.

Your jacket says even more.

Do: Buy a well-tailored, up-to-date dark navy blazer with plain horn buttons. And stick a folded handkerchief into its breast pocket, just to show those younger guys you know a thing or two about style.

Don’t: Hang onto a jacket left over from your office days. It’s old and tired, which means that you’ll look old and tired too.

Pants are never beneath your notice.

Do: Pair your blazer, shirts, and knits with dark dress denims for most casual and casual-dress occasions.

Don’t: Believe that khakis are your only style choice. There are plenty of easy, comfortable trouser options out there with a tad more panache. Treat yourself to a few.

Let’s end at the bottom: Take a good, hard look at your feet.

Do: Maintain at least one good pair of dress shoes for formal occasions, and keep your casual slip-ons and sneakers neatly spruced up. The latter may be canvas, but make the rest leather – it breathes better, shapes naturally to your lower appendages, and looks mahvellous.

Don’t: Opt for synthetic shoes or footwear that’s too obviously orthopaedic (try using insole inserts instead). And trust us, black work socks do not look cool worn with running shoes – ever.

Article: Aged to Perfection, by Leslie C. Smith
As featured in The Foursome Attire Magazine, Autumn/Winter 2011

Read Online: Attire Magazine Here

The Foursome Man: Well Suited for Business

A popular business rule suggests you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have. A new year brings resolve to polish up those bad fashion habits and set yourself up for a successful year in both your professional and personal life. By using a little thought and planning, you can achieve a work wardrobe that shows you care about presenting yourself in the best manner possible.

When it comes to men and the office, wearing the proper clothing shows helps you feel well suited for any occasion. Whether it be an interview for a promotion, a board meeting presentation, or a meeting with clients – when you dress like a professional you will feel like a professional.

We suggest a few general rules:

  1. Err towards being overdressed. Almost everyone has been there and knows that it’s harder to overcome being underdressed than being overdressed.
  2. Choose the right suit. A suit is the anchor of a professional man’s wardrobe.
    1. Most importantly a suit must fit correctly. If your weight has fluctuated, proper tailoring/alterations can easily make your suit wearable again.
    2. Investing in a well made suit of quality fabrics will pay off over time and will last you many years.
    3. It is important to rotate your suits to give them the chance to “rest” between wearing. It will benefit you to add a new suit into your wardrobe to allow all of your suits to last longer.
    4. There is nothing boring about a crisp and tasteful navy or grey suit. Whereas there is a place for fashion forward suits and sport coats, be sure you have the basics covered first.
  3. Accessories are what get noticed. Be sure your shirts are clean and pressed and the collars are not pilling or worn. Collar stays are necessary to give you a crisp look on point collar dress shirts. We suggest Enro or Forsyth non-iron dress shirts for easy care and great everyday wearability. Neckties and pocket squares add the finishing touch to your look and can give a pop of color and personality.
  4. Clean and polished dress shoes are a must. Shoes are often the part of a man’s wardrobe that are most neglected (but most noticed by women!). If your shoes are in good shape, take care of them with a brush & polish (we recommend Allen Edmond shoe polish that comes with a hand sponge right on the end!), replace broken laces, place them in shoe trees when not being worn, and wear rubber overshoes in sloppy weather. Shoes also need proper rotation to extend their life, so be sure you have several black and brown options in your closet. The Foursome shoe store offers quality dress shoe brands like Allen Edmonds, Cole Haan, Ecco, and Florsheim.