Mom: My husband knows how to wear a suit and tie, but when we go out he is stuck. His casual wardrobe consists of a golf shirt and khakis. He only cares about comfort. How can I get him to hip it up a bit?
Nancy: Let’s take a case study from a current client, an executive we’ll call Joseph:
Body type: All torso, short legs
Chest: 48”-50” span
I always start with the trouser and build from there. Joseph prefers wearing triple-pleated trousers (eek!) that are long in the rise because they are roomy and comfortable. My goal: Find a flat-front trouser (chic!) that fits great without compromising comfort, elongates the leg and boasts a short rise, approximately 11” from the waistband to the center crotch seam. Usually found in European and modern fits, a short rise is meant to sit low on the hip — or on a guy built like Joseph, right below the waist. If your man has this fit issue, try flat-front trousers by Theory and Incotex (both available at Neiman Marcus). Kens’ Mans shop in Dallas also carries a private label dress trouser that is priced right and hangs beautifully. Remember: no cuffs on a flat front pant.
Once you find the perfect pant, the rest is easy. One of my favorite looks is a stripe shirt worn over a printed tee. The Billy Reid store in Dallas has some of the best age-appropriate combinations.
When the invitation calls for “dressy casual,” opt for a sport coat over your stripe shirt and add a pocket square (aptly available at Pockets Men’s Store).
The right shoe and belt can make or break a guy’s outfit. Opt for the Donald J Pliner driving moc or loafer (Ken’s Mans Shop), which marries style and affordability, not to mention an elongated toe box — tres modern.