How to Match Patterns

No comments

Robert Downey Jr. Photo
Learning how to mix and match the patterns in your wardrobe is a fundamental component to dressing well.

While quality of clothing is important, being able to successfully mix and match patterns is essential to putting a cohesive look together. Just because you buy expensive paints, doesn’t mean you’re Picasso. You must learn how to masterfully use the paint in order to create a work of art. The same idea applies to style.

The secret to matching two or more patterns rests with these three fundamental elements: scale, color and design.

Scale is the most important component to combining patterns, especially when pairing two similar patterns. It is perfectly acceptable to match a pinstripe suit with a striped shirt, as long as the scale and size of your stripes are not the same. For example, a pinstripe suit with 3/4 inch wide stripes should only be worn with a shirt whose stripes are significantly closer together.

One of the simplest ways to incorporate multiple patterns into your wardrobe is through the use of color. When pairing a patterned suit, shirt and tie, color can be the common thread that links these otherwise unrelated items together. For example, a traditional glen plaid suit with a light blue windowpane can easily be worn with a light blue checked shirt. To complete the look, add a red tie with a light blue geometric pattern.

Design is the final element to consider when combining multiple patterns. When matching 3 or more patterns, it is important that they are not the same design. This will prevent your patterns from visually competing with one another. A pinstripe suit should not be worn with a striped shirt and striped tie. Instead, exchange one of the striped patterns for a geometric pattern. This will give you a more cohesive look.

Being able to mix and match your patterns is a great way to broaden your wardrobe. When you succeed, it looks effortless and when you fail, everyone notices.

Sonny BalaniHow to Match Patterns
Read More

Suit Color Theory

No comments

Suit Colors
In the professional world, the phrase dress for success is commonly utilized to signify the importance of suitable attire in the work place. It is common knowledge that what you wear speaks volumes about what kind of person you are and the level of success you have attained. What many fail to realize is that the color of your suit is as significant as brand, style, or cut.

Colorology, the science of color, explains how each color has a different energy and how those energies resonate with us in particular ways. For example, a vibrant red tie conveys power, wealth and strength. The same color principle applies to suits.

Typically, the darker the suit, the more authoritative and successful the person is perceived. Conveying a similar effect, bold stripes and patterns are associated with power and dominance.

With a variety of different hues and shades, a navy suit represents confidence, power, stability and trust. It is for this reason that bankers, politicians, and lawyers often gravitate toward this color. Navy is also a perfect color for a first interview.

Commonly associated with a sense of security and loyalty, charcoal is a customary choice for men who work with clients face-to-face. Representing authority without being overpowering, a medium charcoal suit is both strong and classic.

Brown or Earth tone suits portray a person as practical, smart, reliable and down-to-earth. Considered a less dominant color, brown suits are appropriate for small business meetings with co-workers or clients.

Regardless of what color suit you prefer, make sure you know which shade work best for you and the setting you are in.

Το πιο δημοφιλές καζίνο στην Ελλάδα –Επίσημη ιστοσελίδα. Μεγάλη ποικιλία από ρουλέτες και κουλοχέρηδες! Μην χάσετε την ευκαιρία σας με Παίξτε οπουδήποτε! Καζίνο στο τηλέφωνό σας!

Sonny BalaniSuit Color Theory
Read More

Trendsetter: The Duke of Windsor

No comments

”I was in fact produced as a leader of fashion, with the clothiers as my showmen and the world as my audience.”  – Duke of Windsor

Throughout history, notable players have infiltrated the world of men’s fashion and established groundbreaking trends that left an undeniable presence in our culture.  These godfather’s of fashion, although few and far between, brought us fitted suits, bold patterns, and even new tie knots.

The Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII of England, was one of the world’s greatest fashion icons.  Most commonly known for donning the Windsor knot, the Duke of Windsor’s dynamic sense of style influenced fashion across the world.

Standing at 5 feet 5 inches, the Duke vehemently enjoyed breaking the rules of fashion.  In an era dominated by structure and formality, the Duke was considered an innovator.   Gravitating towards comfort and mobility, the Duke referred to his style as “dress soft.”

A fan of bold fabric patterns, the Duke tweaked many of his measurements to give the impression of being tall.  He achieved this by having all of his jacket waists cut higher to elongate his silhouette.  No stranger to perfectionism, the Duke wore girdles underneath his suits and even had the pockets on the left side of his trousers cut wider to provide him with more room for his cigarette case.

With expectations of longevity, the Duke had no qualms about investing in the world’s finest fabrics.  With help from his tailor, Scholte of Savile Row, and his unchanging waistline, the Duke’s wardrobe managed to span over 60 years.

Even today, the Duke is considered as one of the most influential people in fashion history.  His innovative approach to design and style has truly made him a godfather of fashion.

Sonny BalaniTrendsetter: The Duke of Windsor
Read More

Tails to Tux

No comments

For centuries, tailcoats were considered the quintessential style for both formal and day-to-day attire.

Tailcoats, also referred to simply as tails, originated in the 18th Century to make horseback ridding more practical.  Designed so the front of the jacket is waist length, while the back has two long tails reaching to the knees, tails can either be single or double-breasted, and worn either open or closed.  Often made of wool or linen, tails were cut so that even when closed, a strip of the waistcoat could be seen beneath the jacket.

With the origin of the tuxedo came the death of the traditional tailcoat.  The invention of the tuxedo is credited to a man named Pierre Lorillard, a wealthy tobacco magnate of the 19th century.  Lorillard a member of high-society lived outside of New York City in a residential colony called Tuxedo Park.

While in England, Lorillard met with Savile Row tailor Henry Poole & Co., tailor to England’s Prince of Wales.   Inspired by the Prince’s distinctive sense of style, Lorillard enlisted a local tailor to make him a tailless jacket for the Tuxedo Club’s annual Autumn Ball.  Traditionally a white tie event, men were expected to dress in tails.

Despite his original intent, Lorillard wavered and decided against wearing the daring jacket to the ball.  Ultimately Lorillard’ son, Griswold Lorillard, known for being more rebellious, decided to wear the short jacket to the ball.  Griswold’s jacket was instantly admired as a fashion statement and grew enormous popularity among the guests.

In honor of his town, Griswold named the innovative jacket style, the Tuxedo.  Since its debut in 1886, the tuxedo has become the standard in men’s formal attire, leaving tails by the wayside.

Sonny BalaniTails to Tux
Read More

50 Years of Fashion

As you may recall, last month we began exploring the evolution of men’s fashion, starting with the turn of the century up until the late 1950s.  With each new decade, a new trend made its way into the forefront.  As we divulge into the second half of the century, you will notice new and improved styles and repeating trends.

During the 1960’s, men’s fashion shifted drastically.  European fashion replaced the uniformity and conservatism of the previous decade.  Suits were very fitted and far more elaborate. Paisley, polka dots and fluorescent colors quickly became the norm.

In the mid 1970’s, the leisure suit made its way to America.  Typically made of polyester, the leisure suit consisted of a shirt-like jacket and matching bell-bottom trousers.  It gained popularity for its comfort and its ability to transition from the office to the disco.

Leaving the disco era behind, 1980’s embraced bold colors and subtle patterns.  The power suit was synonymous with success and wealth. Notoriously donned with shoulder pads, tapered slacks, pinstripes, and a red tie, the power suit was a way for men to show dominance in the work force.

During the early 1990’s, business casual became the social norm.  Loose fitting jackets, sweater vests and baggy trousers replaced the lavish power suit style of the 1980s.  As the decade progressed, men’s fashion became more eclectic.

Today, men’s fashion is evolving with each new season.  Trends are far less apparent and fads shift much more frequently.  Whether it’s a navy suit with a classic cut and notch lapel, or a fitted suit with a bold pattern and peak lapel, the men’s fashion industry is embracing all styling options.  Now, more than ever, men have a variety of styling options at their fingertips.  Long gone are the days where men are forced to choose one style over the other.

Whatever generation you’re from, we can pull and pluck from the best of each era’s fine clothing to define your unique style.  Whether a three-piece suit or linen pants, your styling options are endless.

Sonny Balani50 Years of Fashion
Read More

Survival of the Fitted

No comments

To truly understand fashion today, you must look back to see how it has evolved over time.   Like Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, what’s deemed fashionable in men’s clothing has significantly changed over the last century.  War, economic instability, and social behavior considerably influenced men’s fashion from 1900 to 1950.   From tailcoats to zoot suits, this survival of the fittest approach has drastically changed the face of men’s fashion with each new decade.

In the 1900’s, men discarded the knee-length frock coat for the shorter, hip-length, single-breasted sack coat.  Typically paired with cuffed trousers and curled mustaches, this fashion trend marked the beginning of a new era.

With the end of World War I, the roaring 20’s brought a less conservative approach to fashion.   Inspired by military uniforms, men abandoned long suit jackets for colorful, high-waist jackets with narrower lapels.  To finish off the look, men sported wingtip shoes and top hats.

After the stock market crashed in 1929, the state of the economy collapsed, drastically transforming the production and style of menswear.  At the time, double-breasted suits, full-cut trousers and fedoras were staples in men’s fashion. Manufacturers tried to cut down production costs, by incorporating man-made fibers like rayon, into fabrics and limiting color variety.

Following WWII, the government placed restrictions on the use of wool.  Ultimately, this affected style trends throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s.  Men began dressing conservatively and often wore dark colors.  Flannel replaced light-weight fabric, and single-breasted suits with tapered trousers were paired with fedoras, pocket-squares, and skinny ties.

With less conservatism, more variety, and advancements in manufacturing men’s fashion has substantially evolved over time.   Like all things, what’s considered fashionable is cyclical.  Next month, find out how fashion trends from our past shaped the styles over the next 50 years.

Sonny BalaniSurvival of the Fitted
Read More

White Collar Crimes

No comments

The “white collar” man, originally coined by novelist and political activist Upton Sinclair, referred to the early 19th century salaried office laborer and their de facto uniform. Police officers wore navy. Blue Collar laborers wore chambray. And the businessman wore white shirts. Yet somehow this wardrobe staple seems to have fallen out of favor with the masses, often cited as boring and unoriginal almost as frequently as it’s associated with crime. So what is the case for white shirt today?

Simplicity is certainly one. Mixing pattern and color is uncomfortable territory for most men, and the white shirt is capable of removing this ailment. The most complicated decision one will face is matching a tie to the suit, easing sartorial stress.

On top of it’s simplicity, the white shirt is non-discriminate. Skin tone, hair color, size or shape, none seem to have any influence over a wearers pulchritudinous as one is always well-favored in a white shirt. It’s difficult to imagine a more accepting article of clothing.

It’s exactly this simplicity and undiscerning nature that ought to earn the white shirt a new reputation.  This is precisely the reason why the white shirt is the exclusive choice for black tie affairs, underscoring it’s universal elegance.  The case for the white shirt should be clear, and the only “white collar” crime should be not wearing one.

Sonny BalaniWhite Collar Crimes
Read More

Blue Collar Meets White Collar

No comments

Etymology is interesting, especially when two seemingly unrelated and contrasting ideas come together. Consider the moniker Blue Collar. How did it work it’s way into our every day lexicon? As a term coined to describe a manual laborer, the idea that a simple fabric, Chambray, branded a hearty demographic makes it all the more interesting.
Dating back to the 16th century, Chambray was first woven in the region of Cambrai, France, where it became a popular fabric among agricultural workers. It was the fabric of choice due it’s exceptional ability to breathe and it’s long life span in the field.

Weaving the fabric was rather simple too, a colored weft thread was used, while the warp is unanimously white. In the field worker’s case, the color was most often a darker blue, as it tended to not show the dirt as much. Soon, the blue chambray became the ad hoc uniform for the laborer as they eventually became known as “blue collar workers.”

The Chambray shirt has found it’s way into the wardrobe ever since. While it’s great in the field, it’s perfectly appropriate for the office too. Versions of French blues, pinks, violets and whites are frequently seen. It can be worn with a tie or with the collar open. However it’s worn, it’s always perfect for a hard days work.

Sonny BalaniBlue Collar Meets White Collar
Read More

The Summer Suit

“Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!” These are words uttered by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s infamous character the “Great” Jay Gatsby. While he isn’t referring to fashions or styles of the moment, it certainly fits. This mysterious main character had a penchant for dressing well and exemplified the East coast aesthetic. Between expensive cars and lavish parties, he also donned a near forgotten look that could soon be making a comeback: The Summer Suit.

In a time when air conditioning was in it’s infancy, gentleman had to consider the fashion as well as the functionality of their clothing. That meant flannels were worn in the winter, with the spring and summer saved for lighter weight fabrics. Tropical wools, linens and cottons are certainly cooler, however only the wools provided the formality necessary for the office and most social occasions. Yet, the lightweight wools of yesteryear pale in comparison to the hand and character of today’s.

Summerweight wools from the likes of Holland & Sherry are weighing in at a mere 7.5 ounces. They embody the color palette and finesse of the standard weights between 8.5-9.5 ounces. That means that not only will it be more comfortable to wear, but it can be dressier. A dark suit made of a lightweight fabric is necessary for the office, but something in a lighter tone is a little more traditional and practical.

This leads to the penultimate summer suit: a tan or khaki pinstripe. When paired this way it becomes a quintessential summer style. It’s perfect with pastels for a country club wedding. Or wear it with saddles shoes for the Kentucky Derby. However you wear it, the tan summer suit is a nod to the days of when men dressed thoughtfully. Surely Mr. Gatsby would agree.

Sonny BalaniThe Summer Suit
Read More

The Sophisticated Suit

No comments

Sophistication: – “Appealing to or engaging the intellect”

We may think of personalities or palettes in conjunction with the above adjective, but perhaps it’s time to start associating our wardrobe with it as well. That being said, it begs the question: What is a Sophisticated Suit?

It’s one that inspires thought. Consider a charcoal glen plaid with a light blue windowpane. While this may sound eerily similar to the Modern Glen Plaid used for a sport coat, it lacks the heighten sense and bold use of color. The sophistication rests in the subtle dark pattern used for suiting, one that’s un-intimidated by a hint of color.

Although it’s defined by it’s pattern, the charcoal glen plaid can certainly be worn in an uninspired fashion.  In this sense, it serves the function of a solid suit; it’s rather unremarkable.  Yet, proving its worth and versatility, it can be made into an understated look of elegance that engages the intellect.

To accomplish that end, strive to compliment the blue in the suit.  A crisp white shirt with a light blue tie will suffice. Simply wear it with a French blue shirt. Or always be prepared to the amplify the look by exercising a pocket square in the coordinating color; consider designing the suit with a lining and push up pocket square in a complimentary tone.

However you choose to wear the suit, it is one that deserves a place in any well-dressed man’s wardrobe.  It is a small step outside of the basics, yet provides a level of taste sure to appeal to the intellect of any well-dressed man.

Sonny BalaniThe Sophisticated Suit
Read More