Shoe Review – Brown Oxfords from Charles Tyrwhitt

I don’t get down to Brisbane as much as I would like, so I can’t say much for the stores down there. but if you only experience with shoe stores was on the Sunshine Coast, you would think that the only colour of leather made is black. On the incredibly rare chance that you find a brown shoe (or burgundy, for that matter), then the poor quality alone is enough to turn you away (at least, it should be).

So, after my good experience with the last pair of shoes I bought from Charles Tyrwhitt (see the article here), I decided that the next pair of shoes I bought would be from them. Last week I had some extra cash, so I decided ‘what the heck?’, and bought myself a pair of brown oxfords.

The Shoes

Brown Oxfords from Charles Tyrwhitt

shoes

Image via Charles Tyrwhitt

The Details

  • 100% luxury calf leather upper
  • Goodyear welted providing unrivalled strength, durability and ventilation
  • Traditional leather sole with durable shock absorbing rubber heel
  • Improved insock with extra padding for comfort and added arch support
  • Breathable leather lining
  • Classic essential shoes for everyday work wear

The Price

The price is $199, but with my discount code (~$30 off), and the express shipping ($25 because I am impatient), they cost me $195.

The Material

The upper is 100% calf leather, which is softer and more flexible than the leather in the semi-brogues I bought last, which was very stiff and a little plasticky. The sole is leather, with a rubber heel. The softer leather is nice, and overall I am quite happy with the material and build quality.

The Fit

I take a wide shoe, which is another reason I don’t like shopping in stores around me; they don’t typically stock  shoes in my size. I was very happy with the last shoes I bought from Tyrwhitt, size wise, and these, while the same size on the label, are definitely a slimmer fit. They fit very firmly, and while not uncomfortable, if I could do it over, I would probably buy a half-size larger. They are not so bad that it would be worth it for me to exchange them.

Overall

I paid for express delivery, so the postage time was excellent, and I am very happy with the price, especially since it is always likely that I will have a discount code; I can definitely recommend these shoes, just keep in mind that they are pretty slim.

The Pictures

Shoe Box 2

Shoe Box 1

Shoes Front 2 Shoe Back 1

Shoes Side 2 Shoes Side 1

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How to Tie a Tie – The Only Three Knots You Need To Know

There are dozens upon dozens of ways for you to tie a necktie, and some of them are quite interesting, and fun to look at, but there are really only three knots that you need. Every other knot is completely superfluous, or, sometimes, completely ridiculous and unnecessary. The three knots that will get you through every situation imaginable (at least the ones where you are wearing a necktie) are: The Four-In-Hand, The Half-Windsor, and The Full Windsor. Which know you use depends mostly on the shape of your collar. For a point collar, you will typically use a smaller knot i.e The four-in-hand. For a semi spread collar, go with a half windsor; and for a full spread, use a full windsor. Remember, all ties should reach the top of you belt buckle (or the area where it would be), and should have a dimple.

The Four-In-Hand

image via tie-a-tie.net

image via tie-a-tie.net

Four in Hand

The Half-Windsor

image via tie-a-tie.net

image via tie-a-tie.net

Half Windsor

The Full Windsor

fb_windsor

image via tie-a-tie.net

Windsor

I highly encourage you to learn as many knots as you want, just know that these are the only three that you will ever really need.

Classic – Slim – Tailored

If I could only give you one piece of advice, one tip that would exponentially improve your appearance, then it would be this: wear clothing that fits. The fit of your clothing is more important that the quality, more important than the style, and more important than the price tag. Nine times out of ten, the $200 well tailored suit will look far better than the $2000 suit that doesn’t fit you properly. However, not all of us can afford for all our clothing to be tailor made for us; some of us have to buy off the rack clothing, and want to spend as little as possible on alterations. So, for this article on clothing fit. I’m going to explain the three types: Classic, Slim, and Tailored. Every shirt, suit, or pair of trousers falls into one of these categories, and it’s important to know which suits you best.So while this article is specifically for shirts, the general principle in the same across the board. With that in mind, please direct your attention to this image of a spectacularly well drawn shirt.

Shirt Fit

Classic Fit: The classic fit is the largest. It is typically a very square cut, with straight sides, and       full arms. It will usually have pleats in the back, and will generally have a great deal of excess fabric. Unless you have a particularly large build, I do not recommend the classic fit.

Slim fit: Is slimmer in the body than the classic fit, but not as slim as the tailored fit. It will also have a shorter tail than the classic fit, and will usually have darts in the back, although this varies between brands. The shorter tail can be an issue, but I have eliminated this issue by discovering the secret to keeping my shirt tucked in no matter what (more on this later). I have found that a vast majority of people who think they need classic fit shirts can wear a slim fit quite well, depending on their body shape, and the shirt.

Tailored Fit: Is basically the slim fit taken to the extreme. It will be even slimmer in the sides and arms, have a shorter tail, and most often will have darts in the back. If you have the body for it, wear it.

Off the rack dress shirts are sized by your neck and sleeve measurements (if the shirts are listed as Large, Medium, or Small, then leave the store immediately), so while these measurements should stay true between brands, the exact fit will vary. A slim fit in one brand will most likely not be the same as a slim fit in another brand. Some brands also reverse the slim and tailored fit, with slim fit being the smallest. The way I have listed it out above is the most common, but the alternative does happen, so keep that in mind.

 

I will end it here by saying that if you have any questions, or topics that you would like me to cover (either as an article or video), then please leave a comment below.

Buttoning a Suit

I have touched on this before, but now I have a picture!

Sometimes,alyays,never

Sometimes: If the jacket lapel lies flat against the chest, then button the button. If the lapel rolls over the button, like in the picture, don’t button it.

Always: Button the middle (top for two button suit) button. The only exception is when you are sitting down. Always unbutton your jacket when sitting (unless it is double-breasted)

Never: button the bottom button. A bit of history: According to legend, in the early 1900’s, King Edward VII started the trend of leaving the bottom button on his suit undone. This is attributed to the fact that he grew too large to button it. In order to not offend the King, those around him started doing the same, and it quickly spread. Now, suits are designed so that the bottom button cannot be buttoned without severely affecting the way the jacket naturally hangs.

I highly recommend printing out this picture, and handing out copies on the street corner, but that’s just me.

As for unbuttoning your suit when you sit, well, if your suit fits you properly, then it should become far too tight to leave buttoned when sitting.

Personal Styling – A True Story

Are you stuck in a rut? Are you tired of wearing the same boring things, day in, day out? Do you want to upgrade your style, but have no clue where to start? Does this sound like the script to an infomercial?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then a Personal Style consultation is for you. During a personal style session, I will sit down with you, and discuss what you are trying to accomplish (do you want to upgrade your work style, or are you just looking to fix up your weekend wear?), your budget, your personal preferences (do you prefer slim cut clothes, or are you on the more conservative side). Then, I will give you an evaluation of your body type, help you figure out what colours and proportions look good on you, and, if you are like most men, at some point I will most likely tell you to stand up straight.

Usually, but not necessarily, at some point after a personal style session, we will go shopping, so that I can personally help you pick out new clothing; because, lets face it, most men need the help. This is where the true story starts.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I was out shopping with my brother, and the conversation eventually turned to appearance. I think we were discussing his new Jean shorts (don’t wear jean shorts), and he said something along the lines of how I have never helped him buy clothes. He had a point, he listens to my style impaired sister too much, so I often criticized his purchases, but I have never really helped him. So, given that we were out anyway, I told him to go to Target, and I would help him get some clothes.

He’s just turned 18, and he is very casual, but wants to dress better. I am slowly (very slowly) breaking him of his habit of wearing singlets, board shorts, and flip-flops outside of the beach; and getting him to dress like a grown up. We walked in to the store, and after I stopped to pick up some new polo shirts, I found him with a pair of dark jeans from the clearance rack. I thought they were perfect for him, so we went to find some shirts. I got him to try the clothes on, and after a few tries, we settled on two shirts in the same style, but different colours; both look excellent on him. One in a red, and one in a dark green. The red definitely looks better on him, but we left the store with both, plus the jeans, which he desperately needed. His only other jeans were green, or red; both of which I dislike very much.

Before BlurAfter Blur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We only spent $60 at Target, $25 each for the shirts, and $10 for the jeans, and now he looks like a respectable member of society; rather than looking like he just walked off the beach. Not bad for half an hour of work, if I do say so myself.

If that is what I can do for my brother on a whim, just imagine what I could do if I was being paid.

Dressing for Respect in the Workplace

I talk a lot about dressing for respect, and how clothing affects what others think of you; so I thought I might write a list of things you should do to help you gain respect in the workplace. As usual, this article is a mix between heavily researched facts, and my opinion; and as always, I encourage you to share your thoughts on the subject.

1. Dress like your boss, not the person sitting next to you. The reasoning behind this one is that if you look like the man in charge, then people will treat you like you are. I can tell you from experience that this is absolutely true. This is similar to saying ‘Dress for the job you want, not the job you have’. The idea behind this is that if you dress like something, you will start to feel like it, and when you feel better, you are more confident, and that is something people respect.

You can definately who the man in charge is

You can definitely tell who the man in charge is

2. Wear something that separates you from everyone else. If everyone else in your office wears black trousers, wear navy. If everyone else wears black shoes, wear brown (depending on your trouser colour). If no one else in the office wears a jacket, wear a blazer to work.

3. Keep your clothes neat and tidy. You aren’t properly dressed until your shirt is ironed, your suit is pressed, and your shoes are shined. Also remember that casual doesn’t mean sloppy, and that casual shirts and trousers should still be clean and pressed.

4. Just because you can wear something, doesn’t mean you should. A lot of offices don’t have a dress policy as such; but just because they are going to let you get away with wearing crocs to work, doesn’t mean you should (don’t ever wear crocs). You should always strive to maintain a professional, respectful appearance.

5. Pay attention to the little details.  It’s the little things that make up life; and when you pay attention to the small details, you vastly improve your overall appearance. People may not consciously notice your cufflinks, or your tie bar, or the pocket square,or the dimple in your tie; but they give off the subtle impression that you pay attention to the details, and those that do notice them will think all the more of you for it.

6. Be Respectful. The surest way to gain the respect of your peers is to show that you respect them; and that you respect yourself. Show your coworkers that you respect them (and yourself), not just with your actions, but by putting some thought into your personal appearance; remember that you are representing the entire business, not just yourself.

Above all else, remember:

dress better

Answering Life’s Great Questions – Should I Wear A Short Sleeved Business Shirt?

No, you shouldn’t. “But what if”-“No”. “But what about when”-“No”. Never. Let me explain why short sleeved business shirts are the stupidest idea ever.

Now, for the sake of this article, I’m going to assume that you aren’t a manager at a fast food ‘restaurant’, and that your name isn’t Dilbert. First of all, short sleeved shirts are perceived as lower class apparel – Short sleeved business shirts (SSBS’s) are for people who have to wear a uniform, people who don’t have a choice in what they wear. Fine if you are a manager at McDonald’s, not so good if you want to convey a professional image.

Second, they provide absolutely no tactical advantage over a long sleeved shirt. For some reason, people seem to think that they need to be wearing short sleeves because it’s hot, well, a few years ago there was this marvelous invention known as the Air Conditioner. The Air Conditioner is this fantastic device which regulates the temperature in a room, and I have found that most offices have them so SSBS’s are completely unnecessary; and if you are going to be working outside in the sun for some reason, (first of all, Slip-Slop-Slap) then there is a reason that people in the desert wear full body covering; it protects you from the sunlight, and helps evaporate sweat quicker, making you cooler. If, for some reason, your office doesn’t have a/c then you can roll up your sleeves. You can’t roll down the sleeves of a short sleeved shirt when it gets too cold, can you? So the argument that short sleeved shirts are cooler is completely invalid.

Third, there is a complete lack of versatility – you can’t wear a tie, or a suit jacket/blazer/sports jacket with a short sleeved dress shirt. I don’t know if I have said this here before, but you shouldn’t wear a tie without a jacket of some sort, you just look ‘unfinished’ for lack of a better word, like you left the house and forgot your jacket (that’s not to say you can’t take your jacket off briefly, just that you should have it on most of the time. A great article about this HERE); and you can’t wear a jacket because the proper (and best looking) fit for a jacket is for the sleeves to show that 1/2″ of shirt cuff, which SSBS’s don’t have.

Finally, the best, and greatest reason to not wear a SSBS is that you don’t want to look like this:

dwight

Also, if I see you wearing one, chances are I am going to call you ‘Dilbert’ at some point.

Do you agree? Disagree? Could you not care less about the topic? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on the subject, as well as any other topics you may want me to cover, or questions you may have.