Category Archives: About Suits

The Well Dressed Coder

A Simple Life

I’m a software engineer.  Like many others of my chosen profession, I work in a small home-office (aka Nerd Hole) surrounded by multiple monitors, glowing backlit keyboards reminiscent of Neo’s apartment in the first Matrix movie (we don’t speak of the other Matrix movies).  In this dark and comfortable environment, it’s difficult to offend the fashion sensibilities of my co-workers who, in my case, consist of an ill-tempered cat who leaves huge mounds of fur all over my basement floor.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to look my best and I have a large collection of cargo shorts from elite retailers like Target and Kohl’s.  To augment this formidable collection, I have several hundred T-Shirts accumulated over the years at various techie and software conferences.  The colors range from sensible black to a lot of colors resembling the color of mulch.

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My morning routine consists of a very meticulous process of choosing and color coordinating these garments.  Specifically:

  1. Wake up.
  2. Shower…don’t brush hair but put some goop in it so it stays strategically messed up.
  3. Grab jeans or shorts on top of clean pile.
  4. Grab T-Shirt on top of clean pile.
  5. Put on carefully chosen ensemble.

Life is good.

A Disturbance in the Force

My business partner and I have historically dabbled in more techie SaaS ventures and products.  Recently, she got her MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  This is a great school and she came out of there with a very dangerous thing known as “knowledge”, which I’m pretty sure is what got Adam and Eve kicked out of paradise.

As part of that experience, she did a semester abroad kind-of-thing in China.  She took her husband to Silk Street and got him a custom tailored suit.  Since then she’s been obsessed with the understanding that having a made-to-measure suit is critical to looking good.  The fit is way more important than who designed it or how expensive the fabric is.  Cargo shorts do not have this severe shortcoming.

Long story short, she wanted to launch an eCommerce venture to deliver these made-to-measure suits to the common man (presumably basement dwellers in cargo shorts), and after my begrudging agreement we launched 7 Regent Lane with our other partner, who actually does wear suits for a living.

Suits in the Nerd Hole

Needless to say, since she’s a girl and I’m not, I get to try out our prototypes and have a strict mandate to own and wear one of our suits on various occasions.  I’m writing this to share my experiences with my fellow codists, so here they are:

  1. Made to measure suits really do look better.  I have a few off-the-rack suits, and sure enough having one made to fit my somewhat doughy software engineer exterior gives me the ability to look presentable, even good, when meeting with the significantly more-uptight East Coast investment and entrepreneurship community.
  2. They’re comfortable.  Compared to my other suits, the custom fitted one isn’t too tight or loose in the wrong areas so I don’t feel awkward and geeky in it.
  3. They’re not that expensive.  Most of my disposable income goes to gadgets.  I’m particularly fond of camera gear and Linux single board computers.  Unfortunately you can’t wear those to formal occasions, but we were able to arrange our cost structures so we can deliver custom fitted suits at about the same price of your typical off-the-rack Men’s Warehouse stuff, but with way less polyester.

There’s no way I’m going to be wearing suits for my job every day, but I do want to let all of the other pale subterranean code monkeys know that it’s really not so bad, or difficult, to take it up a notch those times you have to actually don business attire.

Kickstart Your Wardrobe

Just a shameless reminder that we have a Kickstarter campaign going on to help fund product line expansions at 7RL.  Please give it a look if you want to give the Cargo Shorts a rest and take your significant other out to dinner at a fancier-than-normal place.

Enjoy!

7 Regent Lane’s Best Suited List

Handsome, dapper and debonair: these are some words that best describe these people.  They all did their homework (some, together with their stylists) which is why they come in no particular order.  Before I start, I’d like to point out that even though these people have people who make sure they look good in front of the camera, it is not impossible to look as good as them.  Now, let’s get started:

RYAN GOSLING

He has surely come a long way since his Mickey Mouse Club days.  I personally dig his laid back, resort style and when he suits up; he just looks so chic.  He made women swoon when he arrived at the 2011 Golden Globes in a velvet Ferragamo tux.  Now, velvet isn’t exactly what you use for a suit but he pulled it off and just looked timeless.

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Come to think of it, I’ve never seen Ryan Gosling not look fashionable; this guy just knows how to dress up even at the airport.

ED WESTWICK

What’s a best dressed list without a British man? We all know Ed as the playboy billionaire Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl and he is known for dressing like… a playboy billionaire.  While he is not as consistent as Mr. Gosling, Mr. Westwick has his fair share of fabulous fashion moments.  Here he is at the 2012 Met Ball in a Prada suit…

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I’m missing that British flair a little but he can pull off the classic look just as well.   Don’t you just love his coat lapel?

ROBERT DOWNEY JR

I love this guy.  Aside from being a fabulous actor and playing Tony Stark/ Iron Man (sorry, I just couldn’t help but mention that), he doesn’t play safe when it comes to style.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some people who are too brave that they make themselves look ridiculous and there are men like RDJ who just understand what style is about.  Here he is at the premier of “The Avengers” in Gucci: 

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Who in the world wears a purple three-piece suit and looks good in it? Robert Downey Jr. does. Oh! He also arrived in the premiere driving Tony Stark’s Acura sports car.  This is a guy who knows how to make heads turn.

TINIE TEMPAH

This English Singer- Rapper has been making waves, not just because of his music but also because of his style.  I first took notice of his unique fashion sense in the 2011 Brit Awards where he attended (and won) wearing a White Dolce&Gabbana Suit.  First of all, white is hard to pull off and then he accentuated it with a polka dot bowtie; you gotta love a man with guts.  Then he shows up in the Lanvin Men’s Fall Winter 2012-13 Paris Fashion Week show looking like this…

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Need I say more?

ZAC EFRON

The singing leading man of “High School Musical” is now all grown up and every time he steps out he makes sure he looks his best.  Zac is the perfect example of how a man with a smaller frame should wear his suits; there is not one picture of him not looking so dapper.

#5729208 Zac Efron attends a charity premiere in Munich, Germany on September 14, 2010 where the handsome actor sported new facial hair and signed autographs. Restriction applies: USA ONLY  Fame Pictures, Inc - Santa Monica, CA, USA - +1 (310) 395-0500

That was Mr. Efron at the premiere of his movie “The Lucky One” earlier this year.  He looked so chic in his Calvin Klein Collection suit and the tie clip was a really nice touch, we rarely see them these days.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

This guy dates supermodels and he should be one himself.  The Hollywood A-Lister just looks good in anything but I love him more in a suit.  What makes him even more amazing in the fashion sense that he looks good even in those dated suits like the ones in “Gangs of New York” and “Shutter Island”; maybe it’s the confidence that being one of the highest paid actors in the world gives but this list just wouldn’t be complete without him.  Here is Mr. DiCaprio at the 2012 Golden Globe Awards:

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Whether he’s in a movie or pitching for climate change awareness he looks sharp and elegant.  I can’t wait to see him in a 1920s suit in “The Great Gatsby.”

CHANNING TATUM

Women loved a less clothed version of him in the movie “Magic Mike” but this guy looks just as good when he’s dressed to the nines.  He is a great example on how more muscular men should dress up.  Check him out in a plaid suit for the premiere of “21 Jump Street”. 

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I love how his suit is printed but doesn’t come off as pajama looking.  His look stands out but it doesn’t make him look bulkier than he is.

ANDREW GARFIELD

This guy is just full of surprises.  He surprised a lot of people in his portrayal of Peter Parker in “The Amazing Spider-Man” and he surprised everyone in the LA premiere of the movie by coming in a red Balenciaga suit.

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I love red but put it in a suit… it’s usually a recipe for disaster.  Amazingly, he pulled it off rather nicely; very well even.  It’s cute that he went for the colors of Spidey’s costume by wearing a blue shirt under his suit.  Andrew Garfield is definitely one to watch out for, not just as an actor but as a trendsetter as well.

 GARY OLDMAN

I adore this man.  He is an amazing actor (no one could’ve played Commissioner Gordon in the Batman Trilogy as well as he did) and he’s been so well dressed this year!  He’s so well dressed that I feel the need to show you two of his awesome suited up moments.

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The one on the top was at the 2012 Oscars.  I love the subtle details of his look, the lapel and his bowtie he is definitely one of the best dressed of the night.  The picture on the bottom was taken at the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” in New York.  He came in a brown suit paired with a blue shirt and he looked vibrant, in fact, he really stood out.  I love how Mr. Oldman is taking risks despite being a bit older.  Age shouldn’t stop you from looking your best.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

The breakout star of “The Dark Knight Rises” makes my list! For those who have seen “Inception” you have an idea on how this guy looks in a suit: he looks sharp.  Simple, clean and straight to the point are three words to describe his style.  He also rocks the three-piece suit; check out his picture from the August 2012 issue of GQ Magazine:

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You lean men out there should take a page from his book.  If you look at his pictures on the net, you’ll see how well he dresses up according to his body type and yes, young men can look amazingly good in three-piece suits; this guy is proof of that.  He’s so well-dressed now, I almost forgot that he looked like this a few years ago:

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And with that, I bid you adieu and say that there’s always hope.  Don’t let fashion misses bring you down, we’ve all had them.

 

That’s all for now!

Melanie

 

 

Suits and Your Body Type

I’m sure that at some point in time you guys have heard women say something about their body type and how they dress up according to it. Self-awareness is key to healthier you and it is also important in the way your dress. Now, before you freak out, this blog post is nothing like a trip to the shrink, after all, finding out your body type is not that difficult; all you need to do is to take a good look in front of the mirror.

My number one rule in dressing up the person is that the clothes should complement the person who is wearing them. It should in no way overpower the person or make him look ridiculous. Choosing to dress up according to your body type highlights your best features and hides certain physical flaws. When you see a suit in a magazine or on a store window mannequin it may look good but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will look good on you because of your body type. So, here are some basic pointers on what to wear for your body type:

Ryan Gosling working a light suit

For men who are blessed with good height aka tall and skinny, you might want to add a bit of weight to your look. This can be easily done by wearing suits made of heavier fabrics. Being tall and skinny also allows you to easily look good in light colored suits like khaki or grey. As for buttons, go for three, it may look restraining for shorter men but it will look good on you because of your height. Being the lucky guy you are, there is no need to make your legs look any longer than they already are, so skip those low rise pants and just go for the normal or regular rise ones.

 

If you are more muscular or on the bulkier side, the first thing you should do is

He may have aged and gained a few pounds but Alec Baldwin still looks good!

to get a suit that is in a dark solid color. While some prints and patterns may seem like an interesting choice, you are safer with a suit that is a bit more traditional. Going for a monochromatic look will make you look taller. If you really do want something that’s not that formal, vertical pinstripes will make you look taller and slimmer. Also, choose a light weight fabric for it will not add extra weight on you. As for buttons, go for two and if you think your belly is a problem area, go for a suit jacket that has a deep V neckline.

Tom Cruise definitely knows how to make himself look good wearing a suit

For men who are on the shorter side, you are best off with a suit that has vertical stripes. This will lengthen you by creating an illusion of height by drawing the eye upward. Short men also tend to look good in a suit jacket that has one or two buttons and low rise pants. Choosing the weight of the fabric will depend on your built, if you are skinny, go for suit fabrics with heavier weight and if you’re a bit bulky, go for the ones with lighter weight.

Before I end this post, there are a couple of things I would like to say: First, whatever body type you are, there is one important thing you must consider and that is the fit. No one wants to be stuck in an ill fitting suit because it’s the most unflattering thing you can wear. Second, if you are still stumped on what suit you should get, always ask an expert. They know suits inside out and they know what looks good on you.

Choosing a suit is a process and at the end of this process you will surely look good and ready to conquer the world.

That’s all for now!

Melanie

About Bespoke Suits – Norton & Sons of Savile Row

The one place everyone thinks of when one mentions custom tailored or bespoke menswear is Savile Row. This is a fascinating introduction by Alexander Lewis of Norton & Sons on what makes a bespoke, made-to-measure suit and off-the-rack suits different.