The suit is usually the most challenging purchase in a man’s wardrobe. But even when he’s successful in his selection, his other concern should be the elements that complete the ensemble in style. Music industry veteran Jimmy Rosemond, who is the CEO and founder of Czar Entertainment, and former Groove Theory crooner Bryce Wilson, Czar’s president, are in a business where style is tantamount to an impressive showing. In a company that handles management, consulting, and promotions for talent such as The Game and actor Michael K. Williams, Rosemond and Wilson know that paying attention to the details makes all the difference.
Dress shoes should be all leather, including the lining, says Samanta Joseph, president and CEO of Samanta Shoes (www.samantashoes.com), who launched her men’s line last June. All-leather shoes provide a polished look and ultimate comfort. “A leather lining allows your foot to breathe and prevents perspiration and odor,” she says. “Leather bottoms create a more natural form for a better walking experience.” Joseph advises checking the sole for the “genuine leather” symbol.
“I usually go with solid colors such as brown, black, and blue,” says Rosemond. Add charcoal and you complete the basics of a man’s hosiery arsenal. Choose fabrics like a wool lisle or a wool and cotton blend, as these materials don’t cling to the feet or encourage perspiration, says men’s style expert and haberdasher Anthony T. Kirby (www.antho nytnewyork.com). Motifs and patterns are great for a casual look. “Dress socks should always fit over the calf,” Kirby insists. “When you sit down and cross your leg you should never see skin.”
Wilson makes his statement by “balancing between standard pieces and stand-out accessories.” Collars provide an opportunity to experiment. “The classic moderate spread fits most men,” says Kirby. Others to consider are button-down, straight point, and tab. They should be sturdy, but not rigid, with soft collar stays. If you lose the stays (which usually happens during laundering), Kirby advises replacing them with brass collar stays, which should be removed before laundering. Fused collars are usually the result of a man-made fabric, and will bunch when draped with a tie.
There are only two options for cuffs: barrel (buttoned) or French. “French is obviously a dressier look,” says Kirby. “Gold and silver cuff links are popular, but silk knots are a nice alternative.” If you choose a button cuff, select mother of pearl buttons over plastic ones. “Mother of pearl buttons are sturdier and more durable and give a more polished look. Cheaper shirts use plastic buttons, which break easily.” What’s most important with cuffs is the fit. They should fit closely and not ride up when you move your arm.