ian rileyComment

Can you spot a quality shoe? What goes through the decision making process when purchasing a shoe? Is it feel? price? fit? Having worked at Men’s Wearhouse and sold shoes to numerous customers, I can tell you first hand that quality my be an after thought. Usually the decision is made first by…

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"           Can you spot a quality shoe? What goes through the decision making process when purchasing a shoe? Is it the feel? price? fit? Having worked at Men’s Wearhouse and sold shoes to numerous customers, I can tell you first hand that quality may be an after thought believe or not for most guys. Usually the decision is made first  by price, then the best looking one in their price range and then hopefully it fits. Speaking truthfully, as the wardrobe consultant selling the shoes, I didn’t know much about quality either, I learned all about leather and shoe construction after I left MW. Those are the two things I look at when looking at the quality of a shoe. Those two will inevitably determine the look and comfort of the shoe and price is the last thing I look at. Many have associated price with quality but that’s not simply the case. There are other things worth considering that can speak to the quality and longevity of a shoe. I’ll be using one of my favorite brands,  Beckett Simonon  in this illustration.   Upper   First thing I look at is the upper of the shoe. This is the part that wraps around your foot consisting of the tos, vamp, tongue and back. Typically when it comes to dress shoes, leather is used. Let’s take a quick trip down the rabbit hole of the leather world.    Leather   This is an area that alot of people have no knowledge about, or at best, confusing. I also get confused with the terminology since so many people use it interchangably, here’s my attempt to simplify the different types.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Full Grain   This is the outer part of the hide that hasn’t been processed yet, it still has its natural look free from blemishes and scars. This tend to be the thickest and toughest part of the hide since it is exposed to the elements. What makes it so tough is the collection of collagen that the body naturally produces. Along with  the many benefits of the collagen protein, it gives the skin flexibility while also healing wounds and create new cell tissues. Being the less processed and most natural part of the hide, it can be very expensive to manufacture and is reserved to high quality products. Just as your skin may have marking over the course of your life, so does full grain. As much as some tanneries may try to avoid it, others embrace it because a “natural” look as imperfections. This is the type of leather that creates a beautiful patina over time .     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Top Grain    This is pretty full grain that has been buffed or sanded down to remove all imperfections, scars, blemishes and to give the leather and even look. As you can imagine with the top layer being heavily processed, it doesn’t have the strength of a full grain but can still be durable. It gives it a soft and sleek look can best be seen on products like jackets.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Genuine Leather   Probably the most common and what folks are most familiar with due to branding and marketing from well known companies. There is a misconception that “genuine” leather is the best kind because it has that word in it but in reality it is the least of the five leathers in terms of quality. Found on the bottom part of the hide, closet to the flesh, it isn’t as durable as the other two. It is cheaply made and cheaply priced and can be found easily at your local department stores. Some have even overcharged for this type leather because of the misleading name and the lack of knowledge of the general public.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Suede and Nubuck   Similar in nature the feel of them is what separates the two. Both have been processed but what differentiates them is where they have been buffed/sanded. For the suede it has been buffed on interior of the hyde creating these naps/hairs on the exterior giving it a very soft velvety feel. Nubuck is the opposite, sanded on the exterior which also produced naps/hair but not as long as suede. They both look alike but the Nubuck has a much rougher feel than suede. Nubuck is much more durable than suede since it is the exterior of the hide that has been treated and you can usually find these on construction boots that can withstand the harsh elements of the environments they are made for. Suede on the other hand can be seen on casual and more dressier type of shoe.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Attachment of The Outsole   This is the second part I look at in term of quality and a very important part. This is were the longevity of the shoe is determined, is it going to be a shoe you were once or twice or will it last a generation? Let's look at the 3 different types starting with the least.   Cementing     Pick up your nearest casual shoe, boat shoe, gym shoes and there is a high probability that the outsole has been "cemented" to the upper. Cementing is gluing in a nutshell. Probably better for the aforementioned type shoes of shoes but as far as dress shoes STAY. AWAY. This type of attachment doesn't last long as it can easily be detached and when that happens it isn’t resolable. It has a lifetime that is short and can't stand the test of time. Think of how easily worn out your gym shoes can be, do you want that for your dress shoes?   Blake Stitch Construction        

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Courtesy of shopalexandernoel.com  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     The other type of attachment is the Blake Stitch. With the Blake Stitch, the upper is stitched through the inside of the shoe to the outsole. With the upper wrapped around the insole, a machine stitches threads to the outsole to it. This is what you’ll find on alot of dress shoes, the main advantage is that it can be easily resoleable and the break in period are usually minimal, a much better construction than cementing but it does have its flaws. As it is, having a single stitch, water can seep through causing damage over time and as you can imagine when it is being resoled, new holes are being punching in making it less water resistant to the existing holes.  Having a shoe with a Blake Stitch is still a worth investment, all of my dress shoes have a blake stitch and I haven’t had any complaints.   Good Year Welt Construction      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Unlike the Blake Stitch, the main the difference is the upper has been attached to the outsole on the outside through the welt. Arguably most durable of the three, it can be stitched by machine or by hand so it is more time consuming and expensive with the labor cost being reflected in the price of the shoe. Multiple stitching is used to attach the upper to the welt  then the welt to the outsole. Break in period is a little bit longer than the Blake Stitch. Almost opposite to the Blake Stitch, the Good Year Welt with it’s multiple stitching makes the shoe more water resistant and is easier to resole.     Final $0.02   I learned about quality through trial and error.  “Buy cheap, buy twice” is a saying that is prevalent in my household and has proven to be true over time. I like to save money and the idea of “buying twice” or more doesn’t sit well with me, so why not save up the cash and invest in a quality product that may even outlast me. That’s not to say quality = expensive, take Beckett Simmon for example, quality shoes at a fair price. But you should make your dollar stretch and get more bang for your buck. A little research can save your pockets.  BTW to shop these Hoyt Double Monks Straps click the link below  http://bit.ly/2IRD5DI
ian rileyComment

I’ve had my eye on J. Crew chinos for the last couple months. Alot of my style friends rave about how god they are and a few of you viewers has left comments on my past videos to check them out. Well the time has come and and I have my hands on not one but….

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         I’ve had my eye on J. Crew chinos for the last couple months. Alot of my style friends rave about how god they are and a few of you viewers has left comments on my past videos to check them out. Well the time has come and and I have my hands on not one but two pairs of J. Crew chinos: 1040 Athletic Fit and 770 Straight Fit. I typically bee line to the athletic fit cut of jeans and chinos of any brand, knowing that they will fit my thighs well and give me a nice taper down the leg. But, I have also had experience with straight cut fits when athletic fits weren’t available and those fit well too. So in my indecision to get one, I got both and I’ll be doing a comparison on which one is truly the best fitting chino.   Straight Fit Chino      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     All of there chino sit at the hip, that is to be expected. The straight fit feels a bit stiff, and that’s just by standing still in it. So you can imaging walking, sitting, walking up the stairs or any movement that would require you moving or bending your legs. Not uncomfortably stiff but I can definitely feel it around my quads. Made from 100% cotton, I can see why it’s so stiff, not ideal for the fit man or any man with natural big thighs. Probably an ectomorph would have better luck with these pant but definitely not a meso or endomorph with sizable thighs.     Athletic Fit Chinos      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Compared to the straight fit, these fit perfectly. Brands really do take into account the dimensions of a athletic man when manufacturing these types of pants. Fits well around the thighs and sits well on the seat. Those are two areas that I commonly find the most problems. These chinos were made from 98% cotton and 2% elastine giving it a much needed stretch. Time will tell how this will fit after going through the laundry.   Miscellaneous Things I Noticed     Didn’t see anywhere that it isn’t water resistant so I take it that it isn’t    Fits true to size    Mid weight cotton    Straight down the leg    Waistband doesn’t stretch on either    15 3/4 leg opening     Final $0.02   I liked both with the athletic fit being the clear and obvious favorite. Only issue I had with both was the length. My inseam is about 29 and with these being a 30, I’ll either have to cuff them or have a tailor shorten it so it won’t look baggy on my shoes. My final verdict on these chinos however is that I’ll be keeping the athletic fit and  returning the straight fit. I’m just not too confident that it would loosen up, it was just a tad bit stiff. Probably exchange it for a classic fit. That 2% elastine makes a big difference for the fit man with sizable thighs.
ian rileyComment

I started realizing how muscular Michael B Jordan was when the first Creed came out. Even he admitted he went through rigorous training to prepare for the role as Adonis Johnson, the son of Apollo Creed from the Rocky movie. It seems like…

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         I started realizing how muscular Michael B Jordan was when the first Creed came out. Even he admitted he went through rigorous training to prepare for the role as Adonis Johnson, the son of Apollo Creed from the Rocky movie. It seems like he kept the muscle gain for his role in Black Panther and gained some more for the sequel Creed 2. I started noticing his sense of style outside of the movies and being that he is a fit man, I thought it would be cool to analyze it.   Casual Wear      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     When it comes to casual wear, I don’t think there is anybody in Hollywood.  He tends to lean more on the urban street wear of style. Tall people got it good when it comes the style, standing at 6 ft everything he wears fits him perfectly.    Shirts      


  

  


 
   
    
      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      
    
   

  

 




 
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     When he isn’t wearing jean, leather  and varsity jackets, he is wearing form fitting long or short sleeves that accentuate his bulging biceps and shoulders.  From his obvious choice of crew necks over v-necks, I take it he like to move under the radar with his physique, pretty much he isn’t a show off even though it’ll be hard to miss him. Even in the rare occasion you see him in a V neck, it isn’t a deep V to show off his chest and button up shirts to are button all the way up. If You got it you don’t have to flaunt it.  Through my quest to find him in casual shirts, I only came across one that he is wearing a polo and another he’s wearing a henley that are unbutton and shows a bit of man cleavage. The key to his shirt and even his sweaters is being form fitting and comfortable without being a size too tight, really showing off his physique but very comfortable. You can see his confidence within himself in the clothes he wears.   Pants      



 
   
    
      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      
    
   

  

 






  
  

     Jeans and chinos are his go to. Taking the same approach with his tops, they seem to be form fitting. Not tight. Not baggy. Just right. The form fitting nature of his pants seem to create a tapered silhouette elongating his legs a tad bit more than his torso. Not necessarily a good or bad thing, you just notice it.   Formal wear   His suits and tuxedos are truly a hit or miss. Sometime he knocks it out of the park and other times it leaves you scratching your head.   Hits      



 
   
    
      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      
    
   

  

 






  
  

     The times he’s wearing a suit/tuxedo right it is perfect and something to take pointers from. Wide lapels for his broad chest, sits well on the shoulders, drapes properly down the body, no X when the suit buttons, pants are tapered not tight (he may fair well with a single pleat pant).  All things I preach about on this blog on how a fit man should pay particular attention to these things, whoever his stylist is, perfectly executes it.   Misses      



 
   
    
      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      
    
   

  

 






  
  

     Well, then there are some suits that go against what I preach on this blog for a fit man. Thin lapels-no no. Biceps bulging through the suit- too tight, go custom. Tight on the shoulder - I know that’s uncomfortable. Extra suit accessories that don’t traditionally find on suits. Perhaps he’s just experimenting and in Hollywood you can walk down a red carpet in a tea pot costume and no one will blink. I’m a traditionalist at heart, I believe if you’re going to wear a suit wear it right, modern menswear has tainted that a bit   Final $0.02   Great actor, great casual style, formal style has potential,I’m going to continue to see how his style evolves in the coming future. I’m definitely going to incorporate some of his casual looks into my wardrobe.
ian rileyComment

It’s amazing how people absorb information. Truthfully we absorb information through our five senses but for the most part, in term of menswear it’s through our eyes and ears. For me, I learn better from watching, whether it’s a person, movie, tv show or youtube video….

ian rileyComment
        It’s amazing how people absorb information. Truthfully we absorb information through our  five senses but for the most part, in term of menswear it’s through our eyes and ears. For me, I learn better from watching, whether it’s a person, movie, tv show or youtube video. Followed closely by listening and reading. I understand some prefer reading above all, especially in environments where sound may be frowned upon or wifi is down or on long trips so I have put together a list of my favorite books, magazines, and online platforms that provide great menswear content for the readers amongst us.     



 
   
    
      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      
    
   

  

 






  
  

        Style and The Man By Alan Flusser  - Love this little handy dandy book. A very easy read for those who are interested in classic menswear, the construction of garments, who they should naturally drape, how they should fit, if you’re looking to learn how to purchase investment pieces, this is the book for you     Dressing The Man By Alan Flusser  - SImilar to Style and The Man, this book goes into classical menswear with real life pictures to draw the points home. I use it as a reference book and go to the section that I’m curious about, not necessarily a book you read cover to cover but if you can, that wouldn’t hurt.     Esquire Magazine  - I’ll give Esquire a slight edge over GQ simply because GQ tends to lean more towards the fast fashion side of thing while, from my perspective Esquire is more classical in a modern day lens which is more my speed. They also delve into topics beyond menswear which is a nice little breather.     Well Built Style  - When Fit Man Style was just an idea I consult my buddy Brock over at The Modest Man. I wanted to know his thoughts on creating a niche and how to go about it. Through his encouraging words I suggested I take a look at Manny over at Well Built Style since he was already doing content I aspired to do. I was grateful and blown away that there was already a platform for athletic muscular men to get style ideas from. WBS is definitely worth checking out, Manny goes through illustrations, How Tos and product review all geared towards men like you and I, Fit Men.    ,6,7.  Gentleman’s Gazzette ,  The Rake  and  Sartorial Journal  - i’m lumping these three together because they all full under the luxury classic menswear. If you want to learn about the history and craftmanship of menswear, these three are the places to be. Equipped with online stores that promoted high ticketed items (a boy can dream right), they aim to teach and inspire those interested in classic menswear. Look at these as the online versions of 1 & 2.   8.  Gentleman Within  - This is a blog founded by my boy Khoi. Quite knowledgeable in the smart casual side of menswear, Khoi provides insightful information, product reviews and creative lookbooks. He is also of a modest height so if you are a fit modest man, that is one site to check out.  9. Fit Man Style - Shameless plug. DUH! ME! No in all seriousness I don’t want to create friction for my audience. As I mentioned before I know some prefer reading so I revamped my website a month ago to transcribe what I speak about in my videos. Double the work but hopefully I can follow Well Built Style footsteps and give Fit Men a place they can identify with. At the end of the day it’s all about helping you guys on your style journey, the more the merrier.       Final $0.02   In this age of technology it is much easier to find content online to read or even getting an alternative book format such as a kindle. Books in themselves are starting to look antique but people are still writing them and some prefer holding an actual book. There are a plethora of menswear experts out here who are giving their expertise and value through written word, it would be a shame to miss out on that.
ian rileyComment

Typically, men like to keep things safe and predictable. When it comes to colors those tend to be black, blue, and grey, sometimes khaki. Understandably so, we as men’s style bloggers always preach about how versatile brown and grey are, they blend well with majority colors. Well the spring is here and….

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         Typically, men like to keep things safe and predictable.  When it comes to colors those tend to be black, blue, and grey, sometimes khaki. Understandably so, we as men’s style bloggers always preach about how versatile brown and grey are, they blend well with majority colors. Well the spring is here and it’s time to ease off the dull dark colors that fall brings and get into the brighter pastel, one of which being green. Just like blue and grey, green is a very versatile color that I don’t see alot of men utilizing. Along with the color green, lightweight chinos are a great choice in the spring because of its versatility  All looks feature Banana Republic Chinos. These particular green chinos have been sold out (see! it’s a hot item) but here a  similar brand in the same shade of green    Look 1      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      V-neck Shirt     Shoe     Look 2      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Jean jacket    V-neck Shirt     Aureus Shoes    Look 3      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Sweater     Shirt    Shoes    Look 4       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Shirt - Tailor Lamb   Belt    Shoes    The Tie Bar Tie    Look 5      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Henley     Boots     Look 6       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Polo    Boat shoes    Look 7      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Print shirt     Crew neck    Shoes      Final $0.02   Spring is a great opportunity to try new colors you haven’t thought of, even your pastels.  Your confidence will exude through those colors inspiring others to take notice and give them permission to step outside of their box. The majority of folks out here tend to do something after seeing others do it (see the diffusion of innovations theory), so go out there and be a trendsetter!!
ian rileyComment

Of course, it would make sense that I do this type of post for my blog. As a Fit Man, I know that our individual body parts tend to be appropriately proportioned to our entire body, for the most part. A bigger body gent will most likely have bigger hands and feet….

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         Of course, it would make sense that I do this type of post for my blog. As a Fit Man, I know that our individual body parts tend to be appropriately proportioned to our entire body, for the most part. A bigger body gent will most likely have bigger hands and feet, and as much as we find it hard to find clothes that fit our bodies, some gents have a hard time to find shoes that fit their larger feet. The short and easy answer to that is to go the custom/bespoke route, that way you can have shoes made to your specific foot measurements taking into consideration any deformities you may have. Going the custom/bespoke route however can be very pricey and it’s hard to justify $500+ shoes for the average man. Because of this I have comprised a list of 15 off the rack shoe brands that cater to men with larger feet.     1.    Johnston and Murphy (E, EEE)       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        2.    Stacy Adams (EEE)       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        3.    Allen Edmonds (E, EE, EEE)       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


         4. Rockport (W, XW)       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        5.    Nike /  Under Armour      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        * Addidas and Reebok have larger sizes ( 14+)       6.    Propet (E, EEE, EEEEE)       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        7.     Sperry ( W, XW)       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        8.    L.L Bean (EE)       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        9.     Wolverine (EEE, EEEE, EW)       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        10.     Timberland ( W)       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        11.    Thursday Boots (EE, EEE)       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        12.    Asics (EE, EEEE)       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        13.    New Balance (EE, EEEE, EEEEEE)       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        14.    Florsheim (W, VW)       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        15.     Thorogood (W)       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        Final $0.02   From doing my result i found out that W is equivalent to EE and XW is EEEE. Most of these shoe brands have various styles within the brand from casual to dress to boots so if there is one that really resonates with you, it wouldn’t hurt to check out the other styles. Of course this list isn’t the end all be all but at least it’ll get you started on teh right foot, no pun.
ian rileyComment

Shoes are an important element in menswear. Even more important is the care of them. Shoes that are cared for properly can not only prolong its life, it can save you $$$ in the short and long term. There are many ways to take care of your shoes, you can replace the outer sole, you can replace the…

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         Shoes are an important element in menswear. Even more important is the care of them. Shoes that are cared for properly can not only prolong its life, it can save you $$$ in the short and long term. There are many ways to take care of your shoes, you can replace the outer sole, you can replace the inner sole, you can change the laces, put cedar wood shoe trees in it to restore its shape and soak up moisture, wipe it with leather conditioner to preserve the leather and of course polish it. I want to explore an extra step from polishing that can differentiate you from alot of gentlemen out there and that’s adding a mirror shine gloss to it.   Mirror Shine or “Spit Shine”      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     As with almost everything in menswear, the mirror shine or spit shine effect comes from the military. I have two brothers in the military and I’m familiar with the intense inspections they regularly go through, one being the shoes/boots have to be so clean their commanding officer (or drill inspector in boot camp) has to see their reflection on it.  But not just their shoes but all leather accessories as well. This is achieved by applying thin layers of waxed polish on the surface of the leather, preferably in a circular motion, buffing it and repeating the process until your desired shine. In modern day menswear, having a mirror gloss gives the shoe added protection but it’s also seen as a sign of a shoe aficionado who know how to care for his shoe. An easy way to stand apart from the crowd and add a subtle touch of elegance to your outfit.  What You’ll Need     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       Leather conditioner    Horsehair brush     Saphir Mirror Gloss     Water    Rubbing Alcohol    Four pieces of 100% cotton cloth( call me anal for this but I like to keep things seperate and not mix liquid/wax. So call it Cloth A for the wax, Cloth B for the water, Cloth C for the alcohol and Cloth D for buffing)    Patience. Alot of it.     Mirror Shining Process    Step 1   Remove any dirt/dust from the shoe with horsehair brush     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Step 2    Rub conditioner all over shoe, let it dry them buff it giving it a nice shine     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Step 3   With Cloth A wrapped around your finger(s), and in a circular motion, rub some wax off the Mirror Gloss container and unto to the the toe cap of the shoe slowly and softly. Keep doing this until you see a matte finish and there’s friction from rubbing     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Step 4   Dab that area with a couple spots of water then using Cloth B, then rub in a circular motion applying a bit more pressure than step 3. You will begin to see a shine coming through. Then let it sit and dry for 10 mins.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       repeat steps 3 and 4 until desired shine is achieved     Step 5   After it has dried you may notice some water streaks on the shoe. These can be removed but dabbing some alcohol on Cloth C and again going through a circular rubbing motion on that area. let it dry for 2 min.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Step 6   Buff the area with Cloth D, revealing the mirror     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     All 6 steps may be repeated to give you optimal shine. That’s why, one of the core things you’ll need in the process will be patience   DON’TS   Here are a list of things to avoid/ won’t give you the results you want.    Don’t use cloths made from synthetic fibers - as much as this goes for clothes you actual wear, it’s not advisable to used these types of cloths as the fibers tend to get loose and stuck on the wax. Not the end of the world but just an annoyance trying to pick it apart.    No square toe shoes - not a desirable looking shoe in the first place, a mirror shine looks best on round toe shoes. Won’t even recommend it for split toe shoes.    Be careful of the crease - learned this the hard way. When shining, avoid areas where your foot naturally bends and creates a crease in the shoe. This will cause the wax to crack and leave a not so flattering crease line      Final $0.02   Remember, it takes time and patience to get the shine to pop. Allocate a specific day in the week you are free and go through all your shoe, perhaps while watching your favorite t.v or Netflix show.  I have shoes I’ve been wearing for over 5 years  and still going strong because I care for them. Adding the mirror shine to it is the cherry on top of the well baked cake,or in this case a well polished shoe.
ian rileyComment

A big theme of my platform is functional style. Looking fly is a by product of nuances that make up the outfit that may not be outwardly visible to the eye. In fact, comfort comes way before how you look, especially for us fit guys. A previous blog post I spoke about………

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         A big theme of my platform is functional style.  Looking fly is a by product of nuances that make up the outfit that may not be outwardly visible to the eye. In fact, comfort comes way before how you look, especially for us fit guys. A previous blog post I spoke about The Split Yoke on a shirt and how beneficial it is to men with a broad back and sloping shoulders. For added comfort there is something else we can add to the back of a shirt so that you don’t feel wrapped like a mummy. That is, pleats. Pleats have had a bad rap over the years for being old fashion but we have seen a resurgence of them in the style community in recent years, more commonly on pants, I did a video on them, you can check it out here and here. They are a functional piece on your pants and are just as functional on your shirts. Let’s take a look at how pleats on shirts works out for Fit Men.   No Pleats      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Simple enough, this shirt has no pleats in the back. Some of them do come with a split yoke, some don’t. But even with a split yoke, though it may help the shirt stretch on the shoulders and upper back, for the fit guys with a cobra back, right behind the armpits may be a bit tight with these shirts.   Center Box Pleats      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     If you think of back pleats, these are probably ones you’re thinking about because they are the most common. Right in the center of the shirt you’ll find a rectangular fold made from excess fabric creating pleats to the left and right of that fold. With these pleats it gives you more range of motion with your arms moving forward than the no pleats back. Typically center pleat can be found on more casual shirt, shirts that are considered conservative and classic will also have these type of pleats.   Side pleats      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     As the name suggests , unlike the center box pleats, these are found on the side right below the yoke. Excess fabric is folded, creating the pleat that give just as much range of motion as the the center pleats. These types of back pleats are formal in nature and gives the shirt a much smoother aesthetic as they tend to be more discreet than the center pleats.   Final $0.02   All these types of backs can come with or without a split yoke but for optimal movement and comfort ability, why not have both? Shirts usually come with one or the other but have found that my Charles Tyrwhitt and Tailor Lamb shirts come with both (side pleats to be exact). So you see how functional a shirt can be, which leads to your comfort and peace of mind and if you're worried about the pleats making your shirt baggy (it shouldn't), a local tailor can put darts in there to take it in more.
ian rileyComment

It is right about this time our warbrobes start to change, putting away heavy fabric clothing and bringing out the mid to light fabric one, still need to hold on to a jean jacket or two for those brisk spring days. One article of clothing that you will be seeing around this time is…….

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         By the time you’re reading this we are well into the spring season with the cold winter breeze on our tails.   It is right about this time our warbrobes start to change, putting away heavy fabric clothing and bringing out the mid to light fabric one, still need to hold on to a jean jacket or two for those brisk spring days. One article of clothing that you will be seeing around this time is the Henley.   This peculiar looking shirt is a must have in a Fit Man’s wardrobe. Next to the V-neck, this style of casual shirt is my favorite because of how it compliments the Fit Man’s physique..  What Is The Henley     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Ok, let’s start with the basics. What is a henley? Simply put, picture a polo shirt with no color and there you have it. Just like a polo the most common henleys have 3-4 buttons going a quarter way down the shir from the neck. Rarely you’ll see a henley with a zipper.   Sleeve length vary from long sleeve to short sleeve to 3/4 sleeve. They can be worn year round using the right fabrics for the right season and can be part of a layering look or a standalone piece.   Benefit Of A Henley     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     1)  Form fitting  - typically these shirts are form fitting around the arms but loose on the body so as a fit man with some girth, this shirt will compliment your physique  2)  Three Buttons  - similar to the V-neck, the three button opening draws attention to your face also drawing attention to your top mid chest. This opening tends to reveal more that a normal v-neck so if your have been hitting those bench presses hard,  this will show a little tease.  3)  No collar  - makes the opening around your neck a little wider showing more trapezoids than usual      Celebrity Sightings  Seems like every muscle man in Hollywood wears a Henley and for good reason.     



 
   
    
      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      
    
   

  

 






  
  

     Final $0.02  So if you are going for the masculine, rugged, bad boy look,look no further than the henley. A spring/summer time must have that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. The polo, the v-neck and the crew neck all have a place in the Fit Man’s wardrobe but as the results of a recent poll i did on Facebook shows, there is a clear winner in casual shirts.
ian rileyComment

Menswear has to be more that looking stylish right? Don’t get me wrong, everyone wants to look good in what they wear because if you look good you feel good and if you feel good you can live your life better. I believe however, that being stylish is a by product of function and….

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         Menswear has to be more that looking stylish right? Don’t get me wrong, everyone wants to look good in what they wear because if you look good you feel good and if you feel good you can live your life better. I believe however, that being stylish is a by product of function and fit of your clothes. I cringe when I look back at earlier photos of me on this style journey, I was doing the most, doing all I can to be stylish without a care in the world of function and fit. Wearing flat front pants with my big quads, taking in the side and center seam of an already slim fit jacket  so that I can have a really tapered look even if it meant suffocating myself, what was I thinking? We as fit men need to make smarter  purchasing choices and the function and fit of a garment should be major influences in those decisions. The function is the why, why a particular garment makes sense, in terms of environment, weather, occasion and of course to accommodate our physique.  The fit is a close second because once we figure out the purpose of the garment then we can worry about how well it fit us. And then be stylish. A very long winded intro but apropos to the topic of today’s blog which is Split Yokes on shirts and why they are beneficial(function) to the Fit Man.     Split Yoke? No Yoke? What Is That?   Grab your nearest dress shirt and take a look at the back right below the collar it will either look like…..     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     ………or like…….     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              courtesy of  https://textilelearner.blogspot.com   
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     The former is a shirt with no yoke and the latter, a split yoke. As you can see there seems to me a seam running a good 3-4inches at the back, cause a split of the fabric. To fully understand what it is you must first know the warp and weft of a fabric. The warp is the vertical direction the thread was woven and the weft is the horizontal direction. When pull horizontally or vertically a fabric can’t stretch but oddly enough when stretched diagonally it does.   How Is it Done?   This can be seen better on shirts with stripes or some pattern to it but two pieces of the same fabric are stitched at an angle. This is a tediuos and time consuming job done by hand that’s why most menswear enthusiasts identify shirts with split yokes to be of a higher quality.     How Is It Beneficial To The Fit Man   Other than making the patterns match the sleeve, classically split yoke were made so that the shirt can properly drape on a man’s shoulders. As far as why we benefit from that as fit men, the diagonally stitched fabrics gives the wearer a much needed stretch especially when he has a broad back (in gym lingo, cobra back) and sloping shoulders. I fit both molds because i do have a large back and my shoulders naturally slope, added to the fact I have decent sized traps.   Where To Purchase These Shirts?   My shirt collection if made up of MTM and OTR. Out of the MTM, the only one that come with a split yoke is  Tailor Lamb , which is odd because if split yoke shirts are of a higher quality then all MTM shirts should have it. With the OTR,  Twillory  has it,  Spier and Mackay  has it,  Charles Tyrwhitt  and  The Tie Bar  has it.   Final $0.02   Split yoke shirts are for me. I can still wear single yoke shirts but my preference will always be with the split yoke. If you are going the MTM route and you need more room to move, you can always add back side pleats like I did with Tailor Lamb. Charles Tyrwhitt is OTR that comes with a split yoke and back side pleats, that’s why they are my favorite shirts out of the bunch.
ian rileyComment

There is a running joke among my friends, that whoever I marry needs to understand and accept that I love shoes and probably have more than her. Snapple facts and I'm proud of it! Like most men in menswear, when I started getting my wardrobe right I let my wallet dictate my purchases. Understandable and fair, I could only ….

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"            There is a running joke among my friends, that whoever I marry needs to understand and accept that I love shoes and probably have more than her. Snapple facts and I'm proud of it! Like most men in menswear, when I started getting my wardrobe right I let my wallet dictate my purchases. Understandable and fair, I could only get what I could afford. It really helped when I worked at Men's Wearhouse where I was given a very generous employee discount and a sort of payment plan that came out of my checks. The longevity of those shoes were a hit or miss, some lasted a few month others I'm still wearing three years later. As much as I'm a collector of dress shoes, I don't have money to splurge and want them to last. So as a shoe lover I've decided to review some shoes  (starting with the Thursday Boot Loafers) to see if they are worth the purchase. Some of these shoe brands you may know, others you may not, either way I'm trying to,find the best quality shoe in the market today.    The Brogue Workshop   Alot of big name brands have the marketing dollars to have them in our faces and make them household names. So it's cool to come across, lesser known companies that offer quality products at competitive prices. In comes  Brogue Workshop , based out of Hong Kong, who were kind enough to send me a pair of their really awesome dress shoes for  review. I must say, a quick glance through their website and I was very impressed with the aesthetics of their shoes. Even more blown away by how they looked when they arrived in the mail. But enough with being mesmerized by its aesthetics, I wanted to see if this shoe was indeed a quality shoe worth investing in. Here are the categories I looked into.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Style   Winged tip with beautiful broguing all around the shoe. Broguing has its roots in Great Britain in the early 19th century when farmers went out into the field they wanted a shoe that will allow water to go through. It is a derby style shoe which means there's an extra layer of leather creating an opening on the vamp. I feel this type of shoe is best for men with a high midfoot as the closed vamp on an oxford may be too uncomfortable.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Materials Used   The upper is made from top grain calf skin which is a first in my collection and I see why folk herald it so much. This type of leather tends to last longer and the inevitable crease that show aren't as visible as its chromoxcel leather counterpart. The added component that gives it the two tone navy blue look is nubuck, much more durable that suede that will contribute to the longevity of the shoe. It has a leather bottom and leather/rubber sole stitched to the upper through a good year welt construction.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Comfort   It has a leather interior , which is expected from good dress shoe. Perhaps it is the calf skin or I'm still in the process of breaking it in but it still feels very firm around my foot. It is true to size, there wasn't any extra room or my feet feeling cramped up wearing these.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Price   Based on the price I would say this was a mid-tier shoe compared to a Beckett Simmonon and a Meermin. Honestly you wouldn't want to go lower than $150 when looking for shoes that will be an investment and last a while. Cheaper shoes tend to made from cheap products, often with a glued sole. As the saying goes, buy cheap buy twice. With this type of pricing, I see the mid tier pricing market is starting to get very competitive.  Final $0.02  Slightly lower than a Paul Evans, higher than a Men's Wearhouse brand, these  Brogue Workshop  shoes exude sophistication, simplicity and tradition.  I'm really impressed by how tough the calf skin is, in my clumsy walking I've scraped it against chairs and tables and it still looks like I just took it out of the box. The good folks over at the Brogue Workshop were nice enough to offer you guys a discount code, so if you want to check them out enter "BWNEW18" at checkout and get and additional $15 off. Though these were sent to me, I'm really looking into buying a couple more from them, these shoes are sweet!  For more photos click  here  for detail shots.
ian rileyComment

Admittedly, I didn't know much about shirt collars and the how they fit in the cohesiveness of your outfit,  more importantly how it balances the structure of your face. Sure, I knew the importance of the collar spread and the right tie knot to go with it but little thought was given to the relationship the collar has with the face……

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"            Admittedly, I didn't know much about shirt collars and the how they fit in the cohesiveness of your outfit,  more importantly how it balances the structure of your face. Sure, I knew the importance of the collar spread and the right tie knot to go with it but little thought was given to the relationship the collar has with the face. One thing I love about being a blogger is you don't need to know everything and it's ok to learn things along the way while rectifying past mistakes. It also forces me to be a smart shopper because of all the research I have to do to create this content for you guys. It took trial and error to realize the first thing to consider when buying a dress shirt is it collar. Alan Flusser's book Style & The Man does  great job in articulating the relationship with a man's face shape and collar. To paraphrase, the collar's height, length and spread should always complement a man's face. A cutaway collar may not be flattering to some no matter how much in style they are. Same with a spread, narrow point, etc.  Let's take a look at a couple fit men's faces and the types of collars that work for them, starting with me.   Anatomy Of A Collar   Before we get to the examples, first let's break down what makes a collar so we can be smarter shoppers. The collar mainly has three parts: Point, Height and Spread. The point is the obvious part, the pointed tip. The height is the distance between the top of the collar band and the point. Ideally you'd want this to be 2.5 inches plus and the back of the collar,  the distance from the top to the bottom about 1.5 inches. The reason being when you tie a tie, you want the collar to completely cover the tie without any bulking or tie showing from underneath the collar, Something I've fallen victim to. The fabric of the tie will determine it's thickness so it is best to go with a larger collar to cover all ties. Lastly the spread of the collar, that is the distance between the two points. Here is where you get your narrow spread, button down, wide spread, semi spread and so forth, and these in turn frame your face.   Ian   I have a oval shaped face. I'm one of the lucky few that any collar spread can go with my face. I have every type of collar (except the club collar) in my wardrobe though I tend to gravitate towards the spread and narrow point alot.      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      John Cena   The pro wrestler has a very distinct jawline which gives him a large square face. For fit fellas with a square face, a 2.5inch + collar with a classic spread works best.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Cristiano Ronaldo   Cristiano is your typical ectomorph. Standing at 6'2, he is just a tall fit guy and his face is in proportion to his body. He has an oblong shape and he will also need a larger collar (a smaller one will make his face look longer than it actually is) with a wide spread.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Dave Bautista    The actor who plays Drax in the Guardians of The Galaxy and The Avengers seems to have and endomorph body and a round shaped face. A narrow point collar works best for round face guys, a wide spread would just make the face look more round.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Final $0.02   Some men's faces aren't easily defined, this will have to take some trial and error. Just remember that the the collar should be like a frame around a picture. The wrong frame will make the picture look bigger or smaller than it actually is and since all eyes are drawn to the picture (your face) it needs to be in perfect harmony with the frame (the collar). Whatever collar spread you choose however, choose the right tie knot to be hosted in that spread. The tie knot can also have an effect on the perception of your face. When in doubt, do the four in hand or double four in hand, these are the most versatile of tie knots and can go with any collar spread, even a cutaway.
ian rileyComment

Thursday Boots really gave me a tough choice. Didn't care much for the Derbies, I have enough of those. Oxfords are cool but didn't catch my eye. So I oscillated between between the wholecuts and the loafers, both of which I don't have. One must prevail because by the time I got to the website half of the shoes were sold out……

ian rileyComment
                  </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"          Thursday Boots . Have you heard of this company before? They have a serious online marketing campaign through Facebook sponsored posts, Youtubers and Instagram influencers. Most likely if you're following a style blogger you may have come across this brand. As the name suggests, they specialize in boots ranging from the workers boot to the chukka boot. Well a couple weeks ago, I was mindlessly scrolling through facebook and I saw a  Thursday Boots  ad for some shoes that weren't boots. On April 26th, they were going to hold a special 24 hour sale on their new line of dress shoes from wholecuts, derbies, oxfords and loafers. Makes sense for them to expand like this and the prices were attractive starting at $80 and going up to $120 and the cool part was you get to choose your price.   Choose Your Price   Really wish alot of companies would use this concept. To promote their new shoe line  Thursday Boots  gave you the option to choose your price with a couple stipulations. Starting at the lowest of $80 to can get a pair. Why so low for a good quality leather shoe? Well Thursday takes pride in cutting out the middle man and ridiculous mark ups and bringing you quality shoes at an affordable price. The only catch at that price range is there were no returns or exchanges so if you chose this you better get your exact size. Prices $81-$119 would have a $30 charge for return or exchanges, not bad. Prices $120+ had free returns and exchanges. Their boots usually range at the $119 price point which is still not bad but if you can get your right size at $80, that's a steal!!!   The Shoe + Details      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Thursday Boots  really gave me a tough choice. Didn't care much for the Derbies, I have enough of those. Oxfords are cool but didn't catch my eye. So I oscillated between between the wholecuts and the loafers, both of which I don't have. One must prevail because by the time I got to the website half of the shoes were sold out and the two I wanted only had a limited number of sizes left. So I had to pull the trigger fast, the light brown Lincoln Loafer it is then. Versatile color and season appropriate for the spring and summer.   Details      


  

  


 
   
    
      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      

        

        

        
          
             
               
                 
                      
                 
                
               
             
          

          
        

      
    
   

  

 




 
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      Let's start with the obvious, the leather. This shoe is made from Horween Chromexecel Leather made out of the Horween Leather Factory out in Chicago. This is the same factory the produce sporting leather goods such as footballs, basketballs and baseball gloves so you know this type of leather can take a beating for long time and still hold up. I opted for the vegetable tanned  Cordovan (vegetable tanned is the most traditional, time consuming and organic in the leather making process), I felt it was the most versatile of the three options they had.  As with all their shoes, these came with goodyear welt which alot of style guys would say is better than the blake stitching as far as the longevity of the shoe.  It has a rubber/leather hybrid outsole. Best to take to your nearest cobbler to see how it can be resoled when the time comes.  It's genuine leather interior has little padding in it  so if you plan on walk or standing in these for a long time, your feet will hurt.    Final $0.02   I'm glad Thursday Boots is expanding and introducing a new line of shoes into their collection. I think it's smart to start with the basics like oxfords, derbies and loafers but I'd hope they'll bring in more like the double or single monk straps or maybe bi/tri color leather shoes. I appreciate creases on my shoes however I'd like for it to appear over time, the creases on these loafer happened within minutes of wearing them. Not a deal breaker but still a little surprised to see them so early. I intend to get another Thursday Boots shoe, probably the wholecuts I had my eyes on and definitely an actual boot. Supplies will be restocked June 1st, stay on alert, they will most likely be sold out again.
ian rileyComment

Business casual. I've seen various definitions of this and others have debated about it over the years. Here's my attempt to simplify it, let's break it down. What would be considered business attire? Three piece suit, two piece suit, braces underneath the suit, button down shirt, conservative tie……..

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         Business casual. I've seen various definitions of this and others have debated about it over the years. Here's my attempt to simplify it, let's break it down. What would be considered business attire? Three piece suit, two piece suit, braces underneath the suit, button down shirt, conservative tie, conservative socks (nothing flashy), oxfords or derbies, with or without broguing. Casual attire? T-shirt, jeans, chinos, sweaters, shorts, flip flops. Usually when people speak of business casual it is meant for a professional yet relaxed environment.So let's eliminate the shorts, flip flops and t-shirt from the casual column and the three piece suits and oxfords, tie optional. So business casual is a combination of everything between a full on suit and beachwear. Something you can wear to the office and to the bar with your buddies for happy hour. Something you can wear to give that power point presentation to your colleagues and to meet the parents of your significant other for the first time. Pretty much, you don't want to overdo it nor do you want to look like a slob. Now that we have clearly defined it, let's put some looks together.   If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix It   The first template is what I call If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It. Seriously, there are not many ways you can mess up this look other than getting the fit all wrong. Button down shirt, tie, slacks and dress shoes.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Casually Cool   I get it. The restriction of a suit jacket/sport coat can really limit the movement of a fit man and make it extremely comfortable around those bulging muscle. So say you want to step up the formality of the first template but you don't want to overdo it with a jacket, you can throw on a light sweater/cardigan in there. Switch the slacks for some chinos and keep the dress shoes and you're good to go.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Slicker Than Your Average   So now you want to step it a up a bit but still straddle the line of total business wear? Ditch suit completely but throw on some odd trousers, and a sportcoat to show the difference in pattern on the jacket and pants. You can wear a tie if you wish but it's fine if you don't. Here is where we'll can add a little bit of flare: braces, an underestimated accessory in a man's wardrobe that can still elevate an outfit when the jacket comes off.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      (BONUS) New Age   Look, times are changing. Gone are the days of the three piece suit Gordon Gekko being the business wear norm. With tech kids in silicon valley running multi billion dollar companies these days, it's safe to say the business casual has changed quite a bit. This is for the guy who really is about business but wants to be casual. Brought out the chambray shirt again which is  cousin to the denim shirt. A cardigan, with of without the tie and introducing jeans, which is largely considered not business casual but I have a feeling the New Age business kid isn't trying to look like his dad and really go against the grain.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


         Final $0.02   Business casual is what I wear 80 percent of my week.I also think, what are the possible places I would have to stop by after work and how minimally do I have to change to conform to the environment, people and weather. In a world of rule of thumbs, one of my favorite is it doesn't hurt to overdress. If the event calls for you to tone down your outfit, you can always lose an accessory or two, the sportcoat/suit jacket and still have a business casual outfit. Can't necessary step it up a notch if you under dress unless you have clothes ready to go in your car. So remember, always overdress. Tone it down if you have to.
ian rileyComment

In this ultra competitive market place we live in today, companies need to come up with a value proposition that sets them apart from the rest. They come up with statements that have a clickbait effect. "Custom shirt/suit in two weeks", "Buy one, get three free", "With each purchase we'll donate $1 to save the pandas" so on and so forth. I was watching TV one day and saw a commercial for.......

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"            In this ultra competitive market place we live in today, companies need to come up with a value proposition that sets them apart from the rest. They come up with statements that have a clickbait effect. "Custom shirt/suit in two weeks", "Buy one, get three free", "With each purchase we'll donate $1 to save the pandas" so on and so forth. I was watching TV one day and saw a commercial for  MTailor . This name sounds familiar since some other youtubers have reviewed their product. They have the eye brow raising claim of getting a custom shirt measured through your phone in 30 seconds. Now I've had some experience in the custom field and I was quite skeptical that I was going to get a custom shirt, made to my body specification without a tailor measuring me. Even better! My phone is going to do it! What? HOW?! So without watching anybody's reviews, I wanted to formulate my own opinions to see if their bold claim is true and what kinda of sorcery, I mean, algorithm they got that would customize a shirt for me without a tailor.    The Process     Shirt Specification    Save your gas money, bus pass or train ticket! Let your guard down knowing you aren't going to be heckled by a salesperson trying to upsell you. All you need is you cellphone, in the comfort of your home and quite frankly you don't need to wear alot of clothes! The  MTailor  custom shirt process starts with downloading the free app at the app store.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        Once downloaded, the first screen you'll see is the custom options from shirts, to suits to jeans to everything in between. I chose the shirt because I've been looking to a particular type, button down collar.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        Next up is the fabric and pattern screen where you choose the exact shirt you want, I opted for the Navy Dobby, a lightweight cotton fabric that would be great for this spring/summer season plus the fact that navy is one of my favorite colors.     



 
   
    
      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      
    
   

  

 






  
  

        Then you get to pick what collar spread you want and they have widespread, straight point, casual button down, cutaway and button down. I don't have any button down and with the summer coming I want to be able to wear lightweight dress shirts and not have the collar flaring out, a pet peeve of mine.     



 
   
    
      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      
    
   

  

 






  
  

     For the sleeve button I chose the one button round, I usually go for the horizontal two button but they didn't have that option. But if you prefer french cuff, they have that option too.     



 
   
    
      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      
    
   

  

 






  
  

        The next screen determines the length of the shirt if you plan on tucking it in or not, I usually tuck in my dress shirts.     



 
   
    
      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      
    
   

  

 






  
  

        And on the final screen  get to choose your button type, pocket or no pocket, the size of the sleeve depending if you wear a watch or not and whether you want contrasting collar and cuff (definitely my next shirt!). And that's it! Shirt specifications picked! All for...............$69? Wow! the next part is the most interesting.     



 
   
    
      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      
    
   

  

 






  
  

         The Magic   So you've picked out the shirt you want and how you want it. Now comes the fun part. what you'll need for this next part is your phone and a tight shirt or you have the option to go shirtless. The app then assists you on positioning the phone on the floor, at an angle leaning up against a wall. Standing back 7 feet with your tight shirt(or shirtless), it tells you position your body on a Y shape with feet shoulder width apart. Spinning slowly 360 to the left, the app records your full body image and that's how it somehow gets your body measurements. They claim to delete the video once they get your measurements so you'll have to take their word for it.     



 
   
    
      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      

        

        
          
            
                  
            
          
          
        

        

      
    
   

  

 






  
  

      The Shirt   I currently have two Mtailor shirts but I only wanted one. The reason being when first shirt came it was 99% perfectly fitted to my surprise! Whatever algorithm they got going on with that app works! Let's break down the shirt.    Collar       


  

  


 
   
    
      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      
    
   

  

 






     The 1% I wasn't happy with was the collar size. The collar on the first shirt was a bit bigger than what i'm use to. I thought about keeping it like that so I can "grow" into it but I decided to reach back to their customer service to see if they can get it fix. They were apologetic about the mishap and agreed to correct it. That was the only part that needed fixing and the second shirt came back perfect.    Sleeves       


  

  


 
   
    
      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      
    
   

  

 






        They were at a good length coming down to my wrist, allowing me to show a little cuff with my suit jackets. A shirt concern i have with all shirts but especially this one since it was not measured by someone was how well will it fit around my biceps and triceps without it uncomfortably digging into my skin. well it fits, arms folded or relaxed.    Body       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     It is cut close to the body but not too close where it is visibly tight. Tight enough tot be comfortable but not so snug that the buttons are holding on for dear life, easily in the chest area. Another fit man problem.    Back       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     No split yoke (sad face), no stretch but it was still comfortable   Final $0.02   All in all, I was impressed and pleasantly surprised. This unique way of getting measured will definitely have  Mtailor  standing out in the crowd and as Gary Vaynerchuck says "if you can start a business that saves people time and money, you're gonna win".  MTailor  is going to win with this business model. Also, if you are interested in getting an  Mtailor  shirt, they hooked you guys up with a 20% discount. At checkout just enter the code "fitman20" and get a discount on an already affordable shirt. A discounted shirt plus free shipping? A sweet combination! Please take advantage and experience the new way of getting a custom shirt
ian rileyComment

One thing I like about being on this style journey is you get to try different things. When you're are starting out your body is like a blank canvas and you're just throwing all sorts of paint colors, and drawing crazy patterns that looks cool at the moment but don't really make sense. BUt as you go along, you realize what patterns works for you, what colors show your personality, things start to look cohesive and before you know it.........

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         One thing I like about being on this style journey is you get to try different things. When you're are starting out your body is like a blank canvas and you're just throwing all sorts of paint colors, and drawing crazy patterns that looks cool at the moment but don't really make sense. But as you go along, you realize what patterns works for you, what colors show your personality, things start to look cohesive and before you know it you'll start to look like your own masterpiece. Maybe not quite the Mona Lisa, but your're getting there. Formal, casual, athleisure, smart casual, you will naturally gravitate to one way of style and that will become your uniform and create consistency in your style. You'll be known as that ________ guy. For me, there is one piece of clothing that I just absolutely love and as a fit man it just compliments my physique. Some people hate it, some people love it, but there is no debate here, I love all things Double Breasted.   The Perfect Pair: Fit Men and Double Breasted?   The double breasted suit has its origins, like most of menswear today in the military. Even today, the dress blues of service men and women across the world has the cut of a DB. It was originally called the reefer jacket by sailors because it was a thick overcoat the overlapped and kept them warm while they were out in harsh conditions "reefing" the sails. From the 1920s to the 1980s, it became very popular in menswear especially among bankers, mobsters and of course, The Duke of Windsor. Power. Sophistication. Class. These are just a few words that come to mind when you describe the DB.    Why is it a good fit for fit men?  When it overlaps, primarily held by the anchor button, it creates a nice streamline from your torso to your shoulders giving you a nice silhouette. The constricting nature of it even has the effect of hiding a bit of gut you may have. Secondly, the peak lapels on the DB accentuates your shoulders and balances your face.   Different Styles of Double Breasted   Double Breasted are known most noticeably by their buttons. The DB style is identified by how many buttons are on the outside by how many can be fasten. So 8 buttons can be seen and 3 fasten will be known as a 8 x 3 Double Breasted.   4 x 2 DB      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      8 x 3 DB      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      6 x 2 DB      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      6 x 1 DB      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      2 x 1 DB      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


         Final $0.02   I have claimed the moniker "Mr Double Breasted"  because of my love and collection (and still counting) of DBs. It is not a fad. It is a classic menswear piece that has stood test of time and will continue to do so. A very easy way to separate yourself from the crowd because alot of men don't own one let alone wear it. Hey, more for me.

A battle for the ages! Which side of history do you want to be on? Are you Team Crew Neck or Team V-Neck? Both have passionate supporters and only one will be left standing. Seriously, who knew such a common item would create such divisiveness and utter distaste for the other. I'm here to see which type best suits the fit man and I automatically go for the...........

         DISCLAIMER. Hey guys, was feeling a little bit under the weather this week so sorry for the lack of effort but I still wanted to give you guys something to chew on. Thanks!        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"            A battle for the ages! Which side of history do you want to be on? Are you Team Crew Neck or Team V-Neck? Both have passionate supporters and only one will be left standing. Seriously, who knew such a common item would create such divisiveness and utter distaste for the other. I'm here to see which type best suits the fit man and I automatically go for the V-neck which doesn't give me an objective point of view so I had to drag someone into this debate to speak on the other side. Against my better judgement, I went down to my basement, unlocked a cement bolted caged and let it out...................my twin brother Lian. Yes I have a twin, unfortunately, and he just so happens to love crew neck t-shirts. I mean, what else would you want to wear locked up in a basement somewhere. So the battle begins for which is better for the fit man, Crew Neck vs V-Neck, Lian vs Ian.   Crew Neck Presented by Lian      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     First of all, who doesn't have a plain crew neck t-shirt? I don't care what your style is, formal or casual, EVERYBODY has a crew neck shirt. So the first point is it's easily accessible, very affordable and is a neutral clothing item that can be dressed up or down.  Want to add more bulk to your perceived look? Throw that crew neck underneath a long sleeve.   V-Neck Presented by Ian      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Every muscular man knows the v-neck is where it's at! Not only is it unique looking, it's unique looks compliments the fit physique. Let's start with the obvious, the V shaped neck. Just like the open "V" of a button coat and the collar of your shirt, the V-neck balances and compliments your facial structure. Your face/head is the most exposed body part so you want to naturally draws attention to that part and having it balance with the rest of your outfit is great. Another great aspect to the v-neck is one with a slightly deeper v cut, you can show a little bit of man cleavage from those bench presses you've been maxing out on. As much you like them, the ladies like them too, just be sure to trim down those chest hairs. And finally, if you really want to wear it as an undershirt, because of the V shape you can do so without showing that you're wearing one. It's just not a good look seeing a crew neck t-shirt underneath a long sleeve.   Final $0.02   Bottom line is, it's all personal preference which one you go with, there is no right or wrong here(v-neck is better). What you should focus on is the fit on the shirt. Do you like it a little loose or fitted to show the muscles, both shirts can produce killer results. 
ian rileyComment

Former football player. Pro-bowler. Three time Super Bowl champion. Hall of Famer. Self proclaimed lip sparring champ. Overall athletic freak! If you are a fan of football (American football, that is) you are no stranger to Shannon and his contributions on and off the field. He has made the smooth transition from being a talented dynamic tight end to

ian rileyComment
                  </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"        

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Former football player. Pro-bowler. Three time Super Bowl champion. Hall of Famer. Self proclaimed lip sparring champ. Overall athletic freak! If you are a fan of football (American football, that is) you are no stranger to Shannon and his contributions on and off the field. He has made the smooth transition from being a talented dynamic tight end to a CBS Football analysts to currently a debate champion on the Undisputed sport show with fellow analyst Skip Bayless. But as much as he is an accomplished football player and as articulate as he is with his sports IQ, this brother sartorial elegance is one to be celebrated. That boy sharp! (No pun). Seriously, I tried to find a flaw in his outfits but I couldn't. Alot fellas in media tend to dress very well but then there are those few who rise to the top without even trying. Shannon (or uncle Shannon like I call him) is one of those few. So let's break down his style and see how fit men can benefit from it.   Formal Wear.   Luckily for this section, we have quite a few examples, since he's on t.v and usually dresses up     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              courtesy of instagram @shannonsharpe84  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


       Shoulders    His suit shoulder fit perfectly! how do I know? 1) The shoulder seam ends right at the end of the shoulder as it should 2) there isn't any noticeable dent where the arm and shoulders meet. Another thing to note is the lack of shoulder padding. Shoulder pads accentuate your trap which isn't necessary in his case, he already has big ones.    Lapels    Remember one of my style mistakes, thin lapels? This is another proof that fit men with broad chests don't need to wear thin lapels. A minimum of 3.5in is a must from this point on. Thin lapels would make his shoulders seem way out of proportion than they actually are. His ties are usually on point, very conservative patterns, keeping to the rule of the width and lapel width being similar in proportion.     Jacket Length       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              courtesy of instagram @shannonsharpe84  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     Whether a sport coat or suit jacket, the length always ends at his palm when his hands are extended, as it should be.          Jacket sleeves    Remember that word 'drape'? Yep, all of his jacket sleeves drape properly on him without showing his huge biceps. Your suit shouldn't fit like a shirt and he executes it perfectly.    Pants    Having browsed through the web and his Instagram, I didn't see any pics with him standing up straight, legs shoulder width apart so I can see how they drape on his legs. Only pics I saw had him sitting down or standing up with his legs crossed so let's just work with what we have. When he's standing, crossed legged, the leg that's straight seem to have a nice tapered looked to it ending in a plain bottom with a slight break. While sitting, I didn't see any pulling that may indicate a bit of tightness to his quads. Considering that his job requires him sitting down, I'm sure he and his tailor took that into consideration when getting his pants made.          Dress Shirt       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     No noticeable pull on his big chest, primarily because he usually wears a tie but if he gives his suit details that much attention, I beleive his shirts aren't any different. So i'd like to use this segment to looks at his shirt collar in relation to his face. After staring at his pics for a while I noticed to things 1) he has a large head but it's in proportion to his body which isn't all that noticeable 2) he seems to have an oval shaped face with a strong jawline. With these two takeaways, the classic collar spread is what he usually wears and what's best for him.  Having an oval gives you a pass to wear any collar spread but since he has a large head the classic collar gives his face balance in relation to the rest of his outfit. Being that he has a large head, a pointed collar will elongate his face and a spread collar would make it look larger than it actually is. So classic collar, a four in hand or double four in hand tie knot is best, being that he has a very conservative look, he goes with a four in hand. It is important to note the point length of the collar. Depending on the thickness of the tie and the type of tie knot, you want to have a collar length that can host the tie while having it lay on your shirt. Shannon executes this perfectly.   Casual Wear      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Shannon's casual wear isn't as prominent as his formal wear. This is an opportunity for him to show his massive physique. The few casual photos show just that. Sweatshirts, sweaters all reveal his bulging biceps and his pants show off his huge quads. I would love to see a full body shot of him in some jeans or chinos or even shorts. Thus far, his casual wear seem to be restricted to sweatshirt and sweat pants, not much to analyse there, but it works for him.   Color   I've been fascinated with colors and seeing which ones best work for me. As a fellow darkskinned man, he experiments with alot of colors and I get to see which types would work one me. So far, I'm feeling the monotone looks, they give a slender look and work well with my complexion. This is an area I implore men to experiment and see what you like.   Final $0.02   Shannon is hands down one of the best dressed men on tv, and that includes all sports commentators, news reporters even movie/t.v show celebs. It is safe to say Shannon wasn't always a sharp (no pun) dresser, there are pictures of him in 6 button suits but he was being influenced in the times he was in. Nowadays, with the emphasis being put on having a perfect fit, and Shannon's bank account being able to afford him multiple custom suits, it's not a surprise he knocks it out of the park every single time.
ian rileyComment

The beauty about this style journey is you are allowed to make mistakes along the way as long as you learn from them. Once you know better, you do better. I believe part of my responsibility as a style blogger is to look back at my mistakes and expose them to the readers/viewers in hope that you all won't fall for them. The benefits are mutual.......

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"               The beauty about this style journey is you are allowed to make mistakes along the way as long as you learn from them. Once you know better, you do better. I believe part of my responsibility as a style blogger is to look back at my mistakes and expose them to the readers/viewers in hope that you all won't fall for them. The benefits are mutual. The readers/viewer get a chance to spot the pitfalls to avoid them and I get to see how far I've come and my style has evolved. A dark and disappointing aspect of my line of work is bloggers, "experts" who act like they came out of the womb wearing custom made suits and looking down on others who "aren't on that level" as if they weren't rocking square toe shoes not too long ago. I try to convey a level of humility in my advice because that was me too not too long ago committing some serious style mistakes and as a Fit Man, I've made alot of them! Here, I try to comply a list of my personal mistakes I've made over the years and how you all can avoid them. I cringe at these so bare with me.   1. The Jacket - Too Tailored     Problem       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     There's something about wearing a suit jacket, blazer or sports coat that just boosts my inner confidence. The closer the fit to the body the better it smooths out my silhouette. My first mistake was when I was working at Men's Wearhouse, I'd grab an off the rack coat at size 42 Regular which would fit just fine but since I loved that close to the body feel, I'd get it tailored some more. Against the tailors suggestions, I'd get the center seam or sides or sometimes both taken in. BIG MISTAKE. Yea, it gave me what I was looking for short term, but long term it hurt me. Structured garments like anything off the rack just ruins its authenticity and with my continued workouts, my body got bigger and jackets got tight.    Solution       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     I understood the importance of drape, have the jacket fall on your body as naturally as possible. Now, I'm a 44 Regular (chest day gains) untailored and it drapes properly, leaving the only thing I get tailored is the sleeves because I like to show some cuff. You don't need it so snug to you body thinking it will compliment you physique, it'll rather be tight and uncomfortable. So listen to your tailor, who most likely has been in the business longer than you.   2. The Pants - Slim Fit     Problem       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     I used to beeline to all things slim fit. BIG MISTAKE! I learned quick that fit men and slim fit don't go together. Especially in pants?! What was I thinking?! I know I like the tapered look but these quads wouldn't allow it. It would show an obvious pull in the front and in the seat which made my pockets flare out. All signs of a bad fit.     Solution       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Relaxed, classic fit. If I had to I'd taper the legs but I need that comfortable fit around the front and the seat. Again,drape is very important here. I don't have a pair but I am strongly considering pleated pants because the pleats give my quads that room I need.   3. The Shirt -Slim Fit     Problem       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Did you know that multiple cycles in the laundry will make your shirt and it's collar shrink? So it may feel great when you purchase it, may feel great the first couple times you wear it but eventually it will shrink and get tight on you. Not only will you feel the uncomfortable tightness in the arms and chest, an obvious way to know that a shirt is too tight is when you see the buttons pulling at the chest area. Since that is an area alot of fit men have problems with, it's best to have a shirt that fit comfortably.    Solution       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Drape! Drape! Drape! See a theme here?your clothing should rest naturally on your body and having a fit physique makes this even more important. First solution will be to ditch the slim fits and stick to the classic  fit with little to no tailoring. Remember, it will eventually shrink and you'll also gain muscle mass. Second solution, look for a split yoke in the back. Majority of the shirts out there are made from 100% cotton which doesn't stretch vertically or horizontally. This is when the fabric has been stitched diagonally therefore allowing the cotton to stretch at an angle. Third solution is a no brainer if you have been paying attention to my content and that's stretch. Find a shirt that has a small percentage of stretch fabric and it can be a game changer.   4. Thin Lapels On Jackets - Proportion.     Problem       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Thin lapels. *face palm* The suits in this modern age are going for the slimmer more flattering cut and unfortunately the lapels fall victim to the cut as well. The problem is every man's body isn't the same especially the fit men and the three most common body types we have. A suit/sport coat/ blazer lapel size should be in direct proportion to a man's chest. A lapel size that works for an ectomorph will  DEFINITELY NOT  work for an endomorph, chest sizes are totally different. Unfortunately for me, all of my jackets have a thin lapel that is not complimentary to my 44inch chest, even my custom suit one. I mentioned in that post that a drawback of that Men's Wearhouse process was there wasn't a way to increase the lapel width. Simply put, bigger chest, wider lapel. Smaller chest, smaller lapel. Mid size chest, mid size lapel. You don't even have to be athletic, if genetically you have a broad chest, you have no business wearing thin lapels.    Solution       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Measure that lapel width. For a guy like me with a 44inch chest, I need to be wearing at least a 3.5inch width lapel. It compliments my chest and shoulders. I've seen really exaggerated lapels like the ones Daniel Re wears on Instagrams. The good people over at  Oliver Wicks  wrote a great blog going into much detail about lapel width size. Where can one find wider lapel size since the regular ones are so easy accessible? Well, since the reason for a modern cut/lapel size was due to a pull away from the old school, there are vintage stores that sell wide lapel coats. This could be another reason to go custom, since they are a readily available option to resize your lapels. Brands such as Suit Supply and Oliver Wicks have ready made and custom suits with the option to go with a regular or wide lapel.   Final $0.02   Whew! Walking down that memory lane was tough but needed! No matter how much I've learned there's always someone out there is is further along the journey I can learn from. As much as you guys listen to me, I listen to some O.Gs in the game. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, we all do. One way to do something right is to do it wrong quickly and learn. Don't be too hard on yourself, use that rear view mirror to see how far you've come. It only gets better from here.
ian riley2 Comments

Since I'm the fitness space, I tend to pay attention more to what we wear outside the gym. Unless a Fit Man is working in a corporate environment, going to a funeral, wedding, holiday party or any event that requires wearing a suit, he ain't wearing one. Understandable. With spring around the corner, the weather isn't warm nor freezing.......

ian riley2 Comments
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         Since I'm the fitness space, I tend to pay attention more to what we wear outside the gym. Unless a Fit Man is working in a corporate environment, going to a funeral, wedding, holiday party or any event that requires wearing a suit, he ain't wearing one. Understandable. With spring around the corner, the weather isn't warm nor freezing, there is a breeze that can be chilly if you dare to walk outside without some sort of coat.  Most Fit Men I see, are rocking the same attire outside the gym that they wear in the gym and that's your sweats, hoodie, t-shirt and sneakers. No shade, I do it too but one of the purpose of Fit Man Style is to show you the options that are available for the fit man to dress well. With that being said, there is an article of clothing I don't see us wearing a lot. One that isn't as formal as a suit/sport coat, as casual hoodie, not as constricting as a leather jacket but can still give off that bad boy look if that's what you're going for. The article of clothing is none other than, the jean jacket. I see other stylish guys wear it but not so much Fit Men. It is an underrated garment that can be used to compliment a Fit Man's physique.    Why The Jean Jacket    Dressier than a hoodie and not as restrictive as a leather jacket  Cheaper than a leather jacket  Still conveys a masculine appearance  Isn't skin tight but still compliments your upper body, especially when you layer it.   Lightweight alternative to the winter coats. A stylish way to transition from the heavier fabrics.    5 Ways to Rock The Denim Jacket   1. The Bad Boy     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Rules? What rules? You live life on your own terms and your style reflects that. Here I paired the denim with a fit man must have V-neck which accentuates your jaw line, camo chino to show the bold rebel in you and white sneakers. No white after labor day? That doesn't apply to you.  2. Date Night Playboy     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Oh snap, you got that pretty young thang's number and secured a date night. You don't want to come off as the all too serious dude, wearing a suit to a first date. Nor do you want to be super casual.  Show her you put some effort into it in a nonchalance playful way. A white Tee layered with an unbutton flannel shirt and some jeans. Yes, you can wear a jean jacket with a pair of jean pants as long as there is some contrast there. Otherwise, you'll look like you got on a jean suit. Don't be that guy.  3. The Professional     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     I bet you no one at the office is wearing this type of jacket. I'm the only one in mine doing so. If you still want to have that "coat" feeling with wearing a suit or sports coat, throw the jean jacket over your professional attire and show those the old timers it's ok to break away from tradition from time to time. And to the more seasoned professionals, you'll show them young bucks you can still hang with the best of them and win cool points along the way.  4. The New Englander     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Some of those spring days will feel just like winter, you might even experience some snow storms and for us up in New England we know all about keeping warm. In this look I incorporated the turtleneck, which alot of men steer away from but it's a great layering piece for those frigid spring days. Trust me, alot of men wouldn't think of put the two together so you set yourself apart while staying warm.  5. Too Cool For School.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     This look can be worn to the work place, hanging out with friends, going to the movies, meeting the parents or just walking the dog. This is the most versatile of all the looks. The jean jacket over a sweater and chinos, you're taking this casual style up a notch. Show some effort, show that you care about your appearance.   Final $0.02   I do believe the jean jacket is underrated and not used as much in the fitness community. America and alot of the western world has a pretty laid back culture, that doesn't mean your clothing shouldn't be given any thought. Without trying too hard, people appreciate the effort and your attempt to do something different which just so happens to be stylish as well. Besides, when you look good you feel good.   
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As the new year begins I get excited like a kid in a candy store, anticipating a conference that brings together men (and women) from all walks of life to better themselves in the areas of style, fitness, grooming and business. Menfluential, formerly known as Stylecon, is created and hosted by Antonio Centeno from Real Men Real Style and Aaron Marino from Alpha M........

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        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         To see photos from Menfluential 2018, click  here.   As the new year begins I get excited like a kid in a candy store, anticipating a conference that brings together men (and women) from all walks of life to better themselves in the areas of style, fitness, grooming and business. Menfluential, formerly known as Stylecon, was created and hosted by Antonio Centeno from  Real Men Real Style  and Aaron Marino from  Alpha M  five years ago that has evolved into something bigger than its humble beginnings. This is my 3rd year attending and I had a blast! If yall recall last year, I did a post on  Stylecon  but this time around I want to do something different. I'm not being paid to do this but I do feel this conference will bring alot of value to anyone on  the fence about it so here are my top 10 reasons to attend Menfluential 2019.   1. Meet The Hosts (Antonio and Aaron)      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Courtesy of The Gentleman's Gazette  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     I came across Antonio's videos back in 2012. With him being a Marine and my brother being one as well, I figured he might be alright. I ended up loving his channel and style advice. Naturally I was introduced to Aaron through Antonio and I found his content to be different and entertaining, tackling topics others wouldn't touch like manscaping. When we watch these youtube stars, we tend to put a celebrity-like aura on them so to have an event like this where you can meet them, shake their hands, take selfies with them you realize they are just regular folks with a camera in front of them. I wanted to meet the man who inspired me to start blogging, both gentlemen are stand up guys.   2. Meet The Speakers      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Antonio and Aaron give us quite a treat for two days. The speakers and panelists are some of your favorite style youtubers, instagrammers, influencers, business owners and just a who's who in the style, grooming, business, fitness space. Any speaker that goes up has the crowd jotting notes from Dan Lok, Tanner Guzy, Brock McGoff, Ryan Magin, Alex Costa and the best part? Once they get off stage, just like the hosts, you can pull them aside and talk to them, take pictures even grab a drink with them during the socializing hours. Again, these are regular folks like you and I who took a chance on their careers. Having met alot of fellas I follow on social media, I can definitely say these guys are as personable as they come.   3. Awesome Networking   Along with the hosts and speakers, you meet like minded men (and women) you can talk to and build long term relationships with. On my first trip in 2016, I knew nobody, and I mean N-O-B-O-D-Y! I took a chance flying to Atlanta to meet total strangers not knowing how receptive they would be and I felt welcomed. Since that first trip, I have developed and maintained friendships that I wouldn't have otherwise and going back is reminiscent to an annual family reunion. Friendships are made, business cards are exchanged, partnerships are formed, that type of human connection you can't get through the internet and can't put a price on it.   4. Intimate Environment.   From what I was told, the first event had no more than 20 guys show up. By my first attendance in 2016, it was almost 200. Second attendance, almost 300. Third and most recent attendance, 400. From this point on, it will be capped at 400 and there's a couple reasons for that. 1) The Ambient studio where the event has been held for the last five years can't hold more than 400 people  so for safety and fire code reasons there has to be a limit. 2) The event being so small is the reason you can do the first three aforementioned reasons on why you should attend. If the event got any bigger, you probably won't have a chance to meet and greet  everyone.   5. Great Sponsors      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     You know those brands Antonio, Aaron and pretty much every youtuber (including myself) talks about like Tiege Hanley, Anson Belt, and Ribbed Tee? Well, you not only get to see these products in person, but you also get to meet the founders of theses brands as well. There's a good chance they are one of the speakers or on one of the many panels. Again, personable folks you can talk to with ease. If you have a business in mind and don't know where to start, these are the people to talk to. Most likely they have the answers to you questions.   6. Free Gifts   And who doesn't love free gifts? Over the years Antonio is known to get on the mic in between presentations and just ask "who wants _____?" and gives it away to one lucky attendee. The sponsors that show up often give exclusive discounts to those at the conference as well. But this year they out did themselves. Antonio and Aaron gave out 100 pairs of Paul Evan shoes on a first come first serve basis (I missed out on my size), Anson Belt left tokens in obscure places that once found earns you a free belt, Jeremy Fragrance gave out free cologne, and other small business that showed up gave out their products for free to promote themselves which is all good. You are certain to leave the conference with more than you came with.   7.  Meetups and Social Hour   The last couple years, we always meet up the Thursday night before at the Sky Lounge at the Glenn Hotel as an informal meet and greet. This year however, there were a couple meetups put together by the influencers/speakers that gave you a chance to meet them before the conference in a very casual environment. I suspect this will continue in the years to come. After the conference, there is also a social hour at the ambient studio that also allows you to loosen the tie, relax, grab a beer and just talk. This is were relationships are formed.   8. Atlanta      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     In the words of one of this generation's most astute poet Christopher 'ludacris' Bridges, "Welcome to Atlanta where the playas play...........and parties don't stop til 6 in the morning!". Atlanta is such a beautiful city so much so I stayed an extra day after the conference was over to just BE in the A. Rich with tradition, history and southern hospitality, I had second thoughts about coming back up to New England. I absolutely love that place. The people are nice, the food would knock your socks off, there are so many things to see and do I find it hard to believe that someone can stay in Atlanta and be bored. CNN center, Coca Cola Museum, Falcons Stadium, Phipps Plaza, Lennox Mall, I needed more than a day to explore Atlanta. I'll be back.   9. Food Trucks   They provide breakfast finger food at the event which is well appreciated and recently there have been a welcomed addition of food trucks. That wasn't the case my first time there, I believe I had to fend for myself. One thing I like about the founders of this event is they ask attendees what they can improve, lunch was surely an area that kept getting brought up. Up to four food trucks of different cuisines were brought and it can tempt you to go for seconds or thirds but trust me, that first round might just give you the itis. Food makes everyone happy.   10. Early Bird Tickets to the next Menfluential   All attendees and alumni of this event get early bird, deeply discounted tickets for the next year. These are usually released a couple days after the event and they sell out quick! This is a great incentive to come back, prices usually double after they are sold out. For all you're getting, this is more than a steal. It's highway robbery.   Final $0.02   Three years in a row. Already got my ticket for Menfluential 2019, year four. I know there's going to come a time when I would miss a year due to something more important (like a birth of a child) or the conference will just come to an end. Either way, I'm going to enjoy the time I have, keep going to the event, grow my business, build relationship and be the best Ian I possibly be. Aye, I've been known to make bold predictions so here we go. I don't know when, but one of these upcoming Menfluential events, I'm going to be one that stage giving a presentation or on a panel. Speak it into existence
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I believe this is a "show me" kinda post as opposed to a "tell me" so the video does most of the talking, however in editing the video I realized there were some key points that were left out so here they are.............

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        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         SINCEREST APOLOGIES GUYS! I'm a new homeowner/landlord and the first week of January had me facing tenant issues( refused to key me the keys until I threatened court) and the second week I was repainting and moving furniture in so I didn't have time to actually sit and write an article which also gives me an opportunity to test a new format of consumption written word. Writing isn't really my thing, I prefer making videos but I understand some people would rather read than watch. I also understand your time is valuable and I want to respect that so merge my lack of enthusiasm for writing and the value of your time, let's try bite size written content. Let me know what you think.   Men's Wearhouse Joseph Abboud International Custom Made Process   I believe this is a "show me" kinda post as opposed to a "tell me" so the video does most of the talking, however in editing the video I realized there were some key points that were left out so here they are:   1. Where is it being made?    Well, first of they have two custom made programs by Joseph Abboud. One is JA USA and the other is JA International. As the name suggests, JA USA is made in America, in fact in my state of Massachusetts!!!! In New Bedford, just outside of Boston, Joseph Abboud has a factory were they are made. I've contacted them for access and haven't heard anything back yet. I'll try again. JA International is made in China, that was the option I went with.   2. What fabrics are available?   Everything from linen to wool to cashmere. JA International has 40 swatches, different patterns and fabrics. JA USA has 100. They do custom shirts as well, and those have over 200 swatches. All fabrics are from Italy.   3. How much does it cost?   I went with the JA international and that is the cheaper of the two. JA USA suits start at $895 which I've seen to be fair market price compared to other custom clothiers. Makes sense since American made clothing tend to be more expensive than ones made abroad. The breakdown of the JA International prices are as follows:  Two piece Suit - $395  Three piece suit - $577  Sportcoats - $295  Vest - $110   4. Fused, half or full canvas?   Fused suit jackets are pretty much off the rack. The interlining is glued top the fabric of the suit therefore not giving the wearer any flexibility in their movements. Custom made suits/sport coats usually are half canvas or full canvas. What the canvas is a horsehair interlining that is sewn in between the outer fabric of the suit and the inner lining that allows the jacket to naturally drape on your body, especially on the chest of us fit guys. The full canvas goes from the shoulders down to the full length of the jacket to the bottom which is the best option of the three and allows the most naturally drape (structure) of the suit on your body. The half canvas is the best of fused and full, starting  at the shoulders and extending down to the mid section of the coat. It covers the chest where I've had problems with with off the rack coat. The JA International only does half canvas and the JA USA does the full canvas. Full canvas is always the best one but this is more for the budget friendly shopper.   Final $0.02   Big thanks to Chris Covington who is my former manager and the man in the video doing measurements. I've been promising to get a custom from him for the longest time and I finally came through. If you are in the Western Massachusetts area or plan to visit some time, stop by his store at 344 Russell St , Hadley, Good man and he'll take care of you. I probably won't be able to take it home the day it comes in, in the video you'll see that there will have to be minor adjustments but all alterations will be free
ian rileyComment

The fashion world is becoming inundated with talking pieces: novelty tie clips, funky socks, crazy pattern ties, hell some of us just straight up peacock. And I get it, in the world we live today attention is fleeting and who doesn't appreciate a cool icebreaker. But are you seeking attention or are you separating yourself........

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        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         The fashion world is becoming inundated with talking pieces: novelty tie clips, funky socks, crazy pattern ties, hell some of us just straight up peacock. And I get it, in the world we live today attention is fleeting and who doesn't appreciate a cool icebreaker. But are you seeking attention or are you separating yourself from the pack and defining your own style? Style that tells a story, there's more than what meets the eye to quote the 80s Transformers cartoon. Fit Man Style is all about finding the right fit for your body type whether its formal or casual. Bt say, you find the right suit or have one made, a suit without a pocket square is just plain old boring. Pocketsquares are one of those stylish but functional accessories that you can have fun with the colors and patterns and also use it to wipe off dust on your glasses. Well I've stumbled across a company that is so unique at contributing to your style story that you have to see it for yourself, words can't justify the masterpieces but first a little background....   When History and Art Meets Style      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     I've seen  Rampley & Co  around Instagram and thought WOW! How the heck?!?! The elegance, the sophistication, the luxury! But I digress.  Rampley & Co  is a London based company that produce fine luxury accessories which add the needed spunk to your outfit. Just a quick browse through their website will show the fine craftsmanship that was put into these products but the one that caught my eye were there pocket squares. Their silk pocket squares depicts classic art paintings identical to the the originals.  This is made possible through their partnership with the National Museum and British Museum who hosts the original masterpieces. History meets art meets style, who would have thought you could combine all three? But  Rampley & Co  do it so well. This just awakens my inner nerd because I  LOVE  history and art and to see classic paintings like The Battle of Trafalgar by Joseph Turner and The Destruction of Pompeii by John Martin printed on a silk pocket square, it completes a sophisticated triangle. Historic printing mills in the UK are responsible for the finished product but a bit of human touch is what gives it the luxury feel.   Samson and Delilah      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     This amazing print of Peter Paul Rueben's masterpiece of the 1600s has me in awe. The details of the clothes, to the colors to the characters depict the sad story of love and betrayal, fold the square in any way and tease the onlooker with a mystery. I wish I could take a picture of people's faces when I unravel the fold, it's more than a novelty talking piece, it's art, it's history, it's serves as an opportunity to show that you are a well versed and educated gentleman. In the vulnerability of this intimate scene, Samson has literally let his hair down and told Delilah the secret to his strength. Philistines all to eager to defeat the mighty Samson, cut his hair while others wait to capture him. The story ends up tragic as Samson is taken prisoner and his eyes are gouged out, finds his way back to God and asks for one last chance to defeat his enemies.  While being mocked as he stood on display at a Philistine party, Samson convinced a child to guide him to the two biggest pillars that hold up the building. With one last push of his strength, he pushes the pillars over and collapses the entire building on the Philistines and sadly on himself. A story that started out with strength has been riddled with love, disobedience, betrayal and death. But it also serves as a reminder that God's purpose will always prevail regardless of the decisions we make. The Philistines were the enemy that God wanted defeated and defeated they were, one way or another.   Qualities of A Luxury Pocket Square   I've had cheap ones and I've had expensive ones. There is a difference! As I get more mature in all things sartorial, I'm finding out quickly it's true what they say, you get what you pay for. Just by simply touching them and you can feel the difference. This pocket square I got from  Rampley & Co  is probably the most luxurious in my collection and there are a few elements that make it stand out from the rest.    Fabric   - The majority of my squares are silk which is a great fabric to do the different types of folds but other squares come in cotton, linen and wool. Like with everything else in sartorism, stay away from polyester and stick to natural fabrics.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       Length   - If there is one thing that irks my nerves is a short pocket square. You can't do any fold with it except for the presidential fold and even then there isn't enough fabric to make it stay up in your pocket. The minimum should be 12in x 12in and can go up to 16in x 16in like the  Rampley & Co  ones. So the combination of great fabric and perfect length gives the wearer so many options on folds and the confidence that it won't droop down into the pocket.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       Human touch   - If you got the first two qualities right you will have an above average pocket square but if you desire luxury then the human element plays a role. What make this particular pocket square different from the rest I have is its edges have been hand rolled and hand stitched. This time consuming process requires the artisan to carefully roll the hem while carefully stitching it down with a needle. I have actually watched this done by my aunt who is a seamstress and the finished result gives the garment a perfection that cannot be achieved with a machine. Imagine doing that over 64 inches of fabric. Precision and patience are what are needed to create a perfectly hemmed rolled edge.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Final $0.02   These pocket squares are extraordinary! I find myself just staring at the one I have and plotting to get the next one. If the pocketsquares exude such elegance, I can only imagine what their other products are like. I'll admit, I didn't pay much attention to the edges of the pocketsquare I had prior to this one but now that my eye is mature enough to tell the difference between machine stitch and hand rolled, I'll be more discerning from now on. The price range of $90 is fair for what you're getting, remember buy cheap buy twice. Oh, and thanks  Rampley & Co  for the complimentary metal collar stays that came with the package, I sure needed new ones! If you are interested in this particular pocket square you can check it out over at  https://www.rampleyandco.com/collections/national-gallery-collection/products/samson-and-delilah    
ian rileyComment

Levi's Strauss is known for making jeans. So it should come as a no brainer that I should try them on my journey to find the best fitting jeans. In this second installment of this series I find out if these are the best fitting jeans for fit men. If you know anything about Levi's, their jeans are easily............

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"        

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Levi's Strauss is known for making jeans. So it should come as a no brainer that I should try them on my journey to find the best fitting jeans. In this second installment of this series I find out if these are the best fitting jeans for fit men. If you know anything about Levi's, their jeans are easily identified by numbers depending on the type of cut and rise you want, with the 501s being the original. I purchased the 541, their athletic fit, which would make sense for me. Now this is all personal preference, I prefer a little room around my quads but tapered leg, however if you are an athletic guy that like a boot cut , probably best to try the 517. The first one I did on  The Gap  kinda raised the bar so I wonder if Levi's can keep up or surpass it. I mean, they do make jeans so they should get it right, right? I had my eye on these jeans since that first video (you can see I even tried them on then) and I've had them for about a two weeks now so I got a good feel of them. There are three areas I look for when finding the best fitting jeans.   The 541 Straight Leg Athletic Fit      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       Rise   - The rise on a pair of pants is where it sits at your waist or rather on your body that gives the viewer a perceived waistline. Dress pants, suit pants, classically have a high rise even though modern tailoring has adapted the low rise on those pants. More casual pants like chinos and jeans traditionally have a mid to low rise. According to the Levi's website, it says the 541s sit below the waist but after wearing it, for me at least, it sits on my natural waistline. That makes it a midrise which is just like my GAP jeans. I'm 5'9 and my legs are longer than my torso with a 34 waist. That may be my advantage that's why I've never had a pair that had a low rise and sit on my hips.    Seat and Hips   - Well the tag says there's extra room in the seat and thigh..............well, there is but not like The Gap jeans. What gives both jeans the perceived room is that fact that a small percentage of it was made with elastine so it gives it a bit of a stretch. By far better than the other jeans, they definitely had athletic guys with sizable quads in mind. When I was at JCPenney, I tried the 514s (straight) and the 502s (regular taper), They had their version of slim fits but I dared not try those. The 514s had room in the thigh and seat and I would have gone for them if it wasn't for the straight leg. The 502 was unusually tight, couldn't even pull the zipper up so that was a no go.    Leg   - A little loose and a little tight aren't my thing. I like the happy tapered medium. The 514s legs were a little too loose for my liking and the 502s was just too tight. SO you can imagine what the slim fit jeans would have looked like, that's why I didn't even bother. This area is strictly personal preference. If you prefer a boot cut then go for that, is skinny jeans are your thing then there's that option as well. Brands vary in their cuts so it is advised to go to the store and try them on and see which one you feel comfortable in.   Final $0.02   All in all, Levi's makes quality, time tested jean and these 541s are a great pair. If it wasn't for the elastine I probably would not have considered it. Fairly decent price at $69.95, I was a bit disappointed that JCP didn't have more colors that the usual dark wash, light wash and black. Now, compared to my Gap jeans, which one is more comfortable? I'll have to give The Gap a slight edge because of the roomier seat and thigh, everything else was a perfect match. No complaints though, if I can find other colors is 541, I'll buy them.