Ask an Expert Clothier

The term “fashion” has come to mean so many different things in the course of modern history that there is no cut and clear answer to what is “fashionable” anymore. There are, however, some basic rules you can follow – advice for living a fashionable lifestyle, if you will.

Lapels exists not only to provide you with the latest in top-quality fashionable men’s clothing, but also to act as your personal fashion consultant. You wouldn’t take V-8 engine advice from a lawnmower salesman – don’t take your fashion advice from a department store.

Some Basic Men’s Fashion Tips

Dress Shirts – You may unbutton your top button (provided you are not wearing a tie). If you want to unbutton your collar and are wearing a tie, take the tie off. A suit or dress shirt without a tie, in most scenarios, is considered totally acceptable. If you are wearing a jacket, your shirt sleeves should show anywhere from 1/4″ to 1/2″ beyond the jacket sleeve.

Pants – Pants should be long enough to nearly touch the ground with shoes on. Pants should be worn on your natural waist-line, just a few inches below the navel. Cuffs should be between 1″ and 1 1/2″ – there is not a de-facto standard of when to cuff / when not to. The decisions is yours.

Suits – Some people think that one is enough, but no single suit can cover all bases. Navy blue, grey, and black are the three standards. A real, high-quality suit will be made of wool or cotton. Walk right past anything in a synthetic fiber. The general rule of thumb for buttoning suit coats is, “Always middle, sometimes top, never bottom.”

Shoes – Leather. Always leather. Shoes should match your belt; and the general rule of thumb is the dressier the occasion, the shinier the shoes / belt should be.

Miscellaneous Tips – Your tie should reach at least your belt. As far as accessories are concerned, less is more. 1 or 2 accessories to an outfit absolute max. No white socks – ever.

Dressing for an Interview

Interviews can be tricky. Many people think that they should dress as formally as possible, but this is not always the case. The simple rule is to dress as formal as the job you’re applying for, you don’t want to out-dress your potential employer. Solid colors, limited jewelry / accessories, and a classy brief case are good for interviews; most companies aren’t looking to hire flashy people – they’re looking to hire reliable people. Most times a single-breasted, dark grey or navy suit and a simple white dress shirt and solid tie will more than do the job.

One of the most important things people forget is that is doesn’t hurt to ask a potential employer, “Hey, by the way – what should I wear to this interview?” One simple question can help you avoid over or under-dressing for the occasion and show potential employers that you’d rather ask a question than make a mistake – a valuable trait in employees.

How to Properly Pack a Suitcase for a Business Trip

Many businessmen find that the hardest part of a business trip isn’t making deals or getting half way across the country safely – the hardest part can be looking good while living out of a suitcase. By following a couple simple guidelines, you can pack efficiently and intelligently to keep yourself looking sharp on the road.

  • Always Double-Bag Possible Spill Hazards – Nothing is worse than arriving at your hotel and opening your luggage to discover that all of your clothes are covered in shampoo. Toothpaste, soap, cologne, and any other potential spill hazard should always be double-bagged.
  • Keep Space and Functionality in Mind – Everybody knows the proper way to fit shoes together into a suitcase – but have you considered stuffing socks into the tips of dress shoes to save space and to help them keep their form? Some other tips include using a rolled up belt to keep collars stiff,  rolling clothing and putting it in a zipper bag, then compressing the air out to save space, and bringing a containment bag of some sort to keep dirty laundry separate from your fresh clothes.
  • Buy Wrinkle-Free Clothing – We provide several lines of wrinkle-free shirts and pants. Save yourself the hassle of ironing on the road and actually enjoy your business trips.
  • Compartmentalize – Keeping accessories together in small, concentrated containers (i.e. chargers & cables in an eyeglasses case) can not only grant you extra room, but you’ll also stop misplacing things.
  • Pack the Right Attire –  Make yourself a checklist for how long you’ll be staying, and what you’ll need per-day. Don’t forget little things like cuff links and tie pins. In addition to shoes, a belt to match each pair of shoes, as well as any shirts, jackets, and pants you intend to wear – you should have at least 1 per day of the following:
    • Ties
    • Pocket Squares
    • Socks
    • Underwear
    • Undershirts

Visit Us in Downtown Greensburg for More Tips

Our store is located at 106 South Pennsylvania Avenue in Greensburg – near the courthouse. For more style advice and personalized service, please stop in. We can also be reached at 724-853-7145 or through our online contact form.