Men's Fashion Tips from Andrew Davis Clothiers | Advice & Style Guide for Men, Bloomington, IN.

Men’s Fashion Tips from Andrew Davis Clotheirs

Andrew Davis Clothiers: Men's Fashion Tips

Andrew Davis Menswear Guide to Great Fashion

At Andrew Davis Clothiers Men’s store, we stay up to date with fashion’s latest trends and styles. Our expert staff can provide you with a look for any occasion whether it be for a casual outing or a major event with black tie. Find our guide to some of fashion basics below:

Why Men Wear Suits

why do men wear suitsThere’s a reason why the words “power” and “suit” go together. Square shoulders, fine fabrics, the lines and lapels of a suit are designed to enhance stature. Because when you wear a suit to work, it makes the jeans and khakis feel that much better on the weekend. A great suit is a very good investment. If you pick a classic model, there’s no reason it shouldn’t still be looking great four or five years later. [clear]

  • Because first impressions matter.
  • Because a suit hides a multitude of physical flaws, and despite your dedication and re-dedication, you don’t have Lance Armstrong’s waistline.
  • Because it’s time-consuming to match sportcoat, trousers and tie everyday.
  • Because men don’t carry purses…but they do carry cell phones, wallets, hand-held organizers and keys.
  • Because women notice. Because there’s a time for dressing well: the office, social dinners, and significant rites of passage.
  • Because khakis wrinkle, wool of any weight breathes and recovers; and even if you’re a complete slob, you almost never have to dry-clean a suit.
  • Because you should always dress better than you have to.
Men's Denim 101

denimBuying denim is first about fit, then wash, and finally brand, but mostly a good premium pair of denim should be about fit:

  • Fitting your body
  • Fitting your lifestyle

 

So when it comes to fit, be prepared to know if it is a low rise waist, a straight leg or bootcut, athletic fit or skinny that you are most comfortable wearing. There is no right or wrong, and often there is a different fit for different parts of your lifestyle.

Once you understand your personal preference in fit, you should then determine the wash, denim, weight, finish, or fabrication (ie selvedge, raw, over dye, distressing). Options in denim fill different lifestyle needs. Understanding these basics will then allow you to settle on a brand.

Keys to Selecting a Garment

selecting a garmentOscar Schoeffler, the editor of Esquire Magazine said, “Never underestimate the power of what you wear.”

The three keys to selecting a garment that suits you are COLOR, PROPORTION, and PROPER FIT.

COLOR

Choose colors that enhance your facial coloring. Clothing is the matting on a beautifully framed picture. The combinations should not overwhelm but rather accent the subject. To create the best first impression, each individual needs to coordinate the right relationship between the colors they select and their complexion.

Proportion

Proportion is the foundation of style. An experienced tailor’s dictum says, “never compromise on proportion.” Proportion is what creates the proper balance in an outfit.

Proper Fit

  • Patterns: When combining two patterns of the same design, the size of each should be as different from the other as possible.
  • Jacket: The collar should “lock” in around the neck. There should be a fullness in the blades so the jacket can drape comfortably, allowing your arms to move freely. Button stance and closure should be balanced to the proportions of the jacket. The sleeves should allow a half-inch of shirt cuff to show below the jacket sleeve.
  • Trousers: Place the trouser at your waist. The rise (from the crotch to the waist) should not be too long. The creases of each pant leg should intersect the middle of the knee and the shoe. Length is a matter of personal preference, but a break is the current style.
  • Shirts: The circumference around the neck should be comfortable. The collar style should flatter the shape of your face. The yoke should be comfortable across your shoulders. The body can be as tapered or full as you prefer.
Why Men Wear Ties

Neckties are the last great form of sartorial self-expression. Before anyone sees your car, your house or your wife’s jewelry, they see your tie. Ties can be a showcase because if you pick them creatively, they’re great conversation pieces.

Quality Shoes & Quality Care

shoe carePolish shoes before the first wearing to protect the leather and allow for an easier shine later on.

Keep shoes looking new with regular cleaning and polishing. Every leather is different and a knowledgeable sales associate can instruct you on the best product suited for your shoes. We recommend Allen Edmond’s products for Allen Edmond’s shoes.

Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row. You must give the leather the time it needs to dry from the moisture your foot has produced during wear.

Insert one hundred percent natural cedar shoe trees into your shoes to help retain shape and to absorb odor. This is essential. With each new pair invest in shoe trees.

Always use a shoe horn to keep the heel counter (the back of the shoe) from losing its stability.

If shoes get wet, insert cedar shoe trees while the shoes are still damp and allow to air-dry. Do not place shoes in direct heat.

Heels should never wear down past the lift of the shoe. Regular trips to the shoe-repair shop will maintain soles and uppers and keep your shoes looking their best.

Bill's Khakis Care Guide

bills khakisActually, Bill’s Khakis don’t require special care. You can throw them into the washing machine or have them professionally laundered or dry cleaned – whatever’s most convenient for you, and whatever gives you the look and feel you want. But it helps to know what to expect.

Bill’s Khakis are made of pure cotton, which is one reason they’re so comfortable. Cotton is a natural fabric that breathes and responds to moisture and to changes in temperature. That’s why Bill’s Khakis will shrink. How much depends on how you take care of them, but never buy a pair with a snug fit.

If you plan to wash Bill’s Khakis in the washing machine and dry them in the dryer, you need to allow, in your original fitting, for shrinkage of about three percent in length – one to one and one-half inches – and about half an inch at the waist.

At the other extreme, dry cleaning will have minimal effect. If you plan to send your khakis to the cleaners, just make sure they’re comfortably loose and a little long when you buy them – not too loose or long to wear right out of the store, but large enough to give you a small margin for shrinkage over time.

If you wash them in your machine at home and hang-dry them, shrinkage will be a lot less than in the dryer. If the laundry washes them and presses them wet, the fabric will expand. If that’s your preferred method, you don’t have to worry about shrinkage. They will grow. In fact, if you have a pair that has gotten a bit too snug or too short, you might try having them laundered and wet pressed.

So you can treat your Bill’s Khakis most any way, from wash and wear to dry cleaning. But whatever method you prefer, stick to it. Switching from one to the other can produce unpredictable results and khakis that no longer have that great fit.

Why Should Now Buy a Cheap Suit

cheap suitPrice can tend to be a big reason that many individuals shy away from specialty retail clothing. Generally, this is done under a misguided belief that they are being economical and frugal and that clothes from specialty retailers are simply an indulgence. Truth is, if you are buying your suits and sportcoats from discounters/mass retailers, you are actually being anything but frugal. A simple formula called Cost Per Wearing (“CPW”) proves this.

For simplicity’s sake, we’ll compare a suit from a mass retailer at $200 versus a suit from Andrew Davis Menswear for $800. Admittedly, this is a wide price gap, but it’s also accurate. Further, it is a given that the suit from the mass retailer will keep its appearance and durability for no more than a year (dry cleaning will speed up the deterioration) and then it’s off to Goodwill. A suit from a specialty retailer such as Andrew Davis Menswear will, with care, retain its wearing and appearance for many years – five is not unusual.

Considering that you will wear the suit at least two times a week at 52 weeks in a year, that’s 104 wearings in a year. By the time you throw the mass retailer’s suit out, you will have paid $1.92 for the privilege each time. Conversely, by the time an Andrew Davis Menswear suit is ready for the trash can, you will have paid only $.65 per wearing. If there was a significant gap in pricing, there is an even more significant gap in the value of the suits over time.

Something further to consider is that instead of replacing a blue suit every season (as most purchasers from the mass retailers will do), you can add suits and sportcoats in varied fabrics and patterns to a wardrobe that will be a diverse and personal reflection of style.

We used the CPW theory for suits since that is a major investment, but the principles apply with varying degrees to any purchase that you make at Andrew Davis Menswear.

The Rules of Black Tie

black tieThese days there seems to be some ambiguity and confusion about when or when not to wear a tuxedo. It’s really not that daunting.

Strictly speaking, if an invitation does not say “black tie” or “formal” and the engagement is before 8 p.m., you are not required or expected to wear a tuxedo. As a rule, any event that could be deemed formal and is after 8 p.m. (like weddings) demands that you wear black tie.

If the invitation says “black tie optional”, you should opt for the black tie. This is more for you to feel comfortable than a hard and fast rule.

“Black tie optional” means either a tuxedo or a dark dressy suit is to be worn. Sportcoats/blazers are not acceptable.

If the invitation says nothing about “black tie optional” and happens to fall in the gray hours of 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., you are better off going with a black, dark blue or navy blue pinstripe suit.

There are only two occasions where you will ever wear white tie. That generally tends to be your wedding or the wedding of a friend if you are a groomsman.

Clothing Care Suggestions & Tips

clothing careAny suit or sportcoat that you purchase from Andrew Davis Menswear represents an investment on your part. In order to insure that your clothing lasts and retains its appearance, it’s worth your time to take steps to protect your investments. In that spirit, we offer some clothing care tips courtesy of fine fabrics manufacturer Loro Piana.

The Dry Cleaning Dilemma

Professional dry cleaners are a valuable ally in the care of your suits and sportcoats, but they should be used sparingly. It is very important to the life of the garment that it not be over cleaned by the dry cleaners. Commercial dry cleaning is a chemical process, but your clothing is made form organic fibers that were never intended to be cleaned by inorganic means. Sooner than late, if a garment is subjected to this cleaning too much over time, it will lose its texture and durability. And your clothing can, in fact, take on a “shiny” appearance due to the fabric being treated with chemicals and heat too much.

In the hands of a skilled dry cleaner, a garment can be refreshed by spot cleaning first, and then pressed. More often than not, this is all that is required for your clothing to maintain a neat appearance. The total dry cleaning process should be reserved for radical stains like perspiration and soil.

Being a Do-It-Yourself Valet

There are some simple things you can do to preserve the appearance of your clothing and reduce repeated trips to the dry cleaner.

  • Hanging a suit on a wooden hanger with formed shoulders and the pants on wooden pinchers in fresh air will, in most cases, revitalize a garment for wear.
  • You should as a course of habit not wear the same suit two days in a row. A suit is made of natural fabric and needs a chance to breathe.
  • Fabrics without a nap (most suits made of fine wool) can be brushed with a natural bristle clothes brush in all directions.
  • A suit or sportcoat with a nap should be carefully brushed in the direction of the nap.
  • Brushing out suits and sportcoats is an old technique that will effectively remove dust, pet hair and dried stains like mud.
  • Wrinkled suits, trousers, sportcoats and lightweight topcoats can be hung in a bathroom filled with steam from the shower. Make sure you keep the door shut to maximize the intensity of the steam. Hang the garments in a fashion that will insure the garment will not be soaked by excess water.

Stain Treatment

A professional cleaner should only remove stains on non-washable fabrics. Taking a stained garment to the cleaners and explaining what caused the stain is vital to successful removal. The risk of ruining a garment with home stain removal techniques is generally greater than the cure. The temptation to take matters into your own hands is understandable. But often it makes matters worse. A common “cure” is to use water or club soda to sponge out a stain. In fact, this usually sets the stain further, particularly if it is grease based, and destroys the finish of the fabric. And it goes without saying that cleaning fluids in the hands of a novice is lethal to the garment and not advisable.

Fort those determined to administer first aid to a stain we offer the following advice:

  • First try to absorb the stain with a white paper towel or cloth.
  • Simply blot lightly, being cautious not to scrub or press hardly because this could damage the fabric’s texture.
  • If the stain is grease-based, one can use the spot treatment method of 19th century English tailors a touch of gin.

Ironing

Ironing suits and sportcoats at home is a laborious process if you are to do it correctly, and it requires some tools other than just an iron and ironing board. You are far better off to take your garments to a professional dry cleaner or your clothier to have it professionally pressed. Should you push ahead and iron a garment on your own without the necessary tools, you will damage the finish beyond any repair and most often you will melt the fibers giving your suit a “shiny” appearance.

Trust us, just take it to the cleaners, or you can drop it by Andrew Davis Menswear if you’re in a pinch.

The Ultimate Accessory

tiesThe TIE

The modern necktie, it is speculated, originated when King Louis of France thought to improve his already ornate appearance with yet another yard of silk tied around his neck. Of course, the King set the trend and others followed his example. Thus began the most versatile and adaptable piece of clothing ever conceived for a gentleman’s wardrobe.

This season bright stripes are reappearing on the horizon — beautiful, bold colors such as tangerine, purplues, red, yellows, satin finishes and the ever popular Ferragamo motifs. Whether you are traditionally conservative or definitely daring, there is a tie to match your personality. Want to change the look of your suit? Simply change your shirt and tie

No longer just for formal occasions, bow ties are regaining much popularity on this side of the ocean. Scoot over, Charles Osgood! Don’t have a clues how to “tie one on?” Come in and let us show you how.

5 Easy Steps to Custom Clothing

custom clothing1. Appointment

Make an appointment by phone or e-mail to Andrew Davis Menswear. Details On Right >>

2. Taking Measurements

Our specialized staff and tailor will take your precise measurements as well as fit-affecting details such as posture, shoulder and hip alignments.

3. Fabric Selection

Select your unlimited seasonal fabric choice from cashmeres, lightweight superfine wools, and cottons to name a few.

4. Model and Details

Vents, working buttonholes, trousers with or without pleats, single or double breasted vests and shape or the lapels. Your personal preferences as well as suggestions from our professional associates will make your clothing both personal and distinguished.

5. Production

The total production time is 4-8 weeks depending upon the manufacturer you select.

Finally, your clothing arrives, you have a final fitting and as the Italians say, “finito!” You now have your custom and personalized garment.

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