Ask Us Anything: How Many Shirt Buttons Can I Undo?

We address--and hopefully even solve--your most pressing style dilemmas.

For most men, this is not a suitable job interview look.

Assuming you’re not wearing an undershirt, how low is too low when unbuttoning the top buttons on button-up shirts? Two buttons? Three? Four?
Assuming you’re not intending to sport major he-vage in a work environment, I say go as low as your comfort level allows. Or if that’s too vague for you, here’s something a bit more prescriptive: In casual settings when the temperature is above 75, three buttons undone is perfectly acceptable, and four is fine when you’re within a two-minute walk of either the beach or a supermodel. This of course assumes that your chest hair situation falls somewhere between Austin Powers and Anthony Weiner. If you’re at either extreme of this spectrum, keep your sternum to yourself.

Hey guys, I have a bit of a dilemma. I’m a bigger gentleman, around 6’5” and 220. I have an athletic build, similar to a tight end or good sized wide receiver. I have trouble finding clothing that’s comfortable and/or complementary to my build. What is your advice on style for a bigger gentleman?
I hear you, sir. I’m the same height as you (though my build is perhaps more “former high school jock” than “good sized wide receiver”), and when I come across an off-the-rack shirt or jacket that is a) cool and b) actually fits, it’s cause for celebration. In my teens my mom had a rule: if you like it and it actually fits, you can have it. That sounds much more generous than it ended up being in practice.

You don’t need me to tell you that being 6’5” is a fine excuse to shell out for custom suits and shirts, but if you’re looking for the convenience and cost savings of off-the-rack clothes, I recommend you try Rag & Bone. The brand is regularly available on Gilt MAN, and likely because my pal co-designer Marcus Wainwright is also 6’5”, their sleeves and trousers tend to be long enough for taller guys.

Is it ever okay for a man to wear a brooch?  I’ve been hearing a bit about this trend and would like to try it with some formal wear, but is there a masculine way to do this?
A brooch is an eye-catching piece of women’s jewelry often seen affixed to the cashmere sweaters and lapels of ladies of a certain age and station in life, and if I were hoping to translate such a quintessentially feminine accessory to a masculine context I’d be in the market for advice, too. But alas, I don’t have much advice to offer, other than to recommend that you leave the brooches to the ladies and gussy up your tux with a nice boutinnere.

Exceptions to the no-man-brooch rule made for founding members of the Rolling Stones. (Same goes for purple croc iPhone cases.)

I am heading to Scandinavia this month with seven friends, and we are going to hit six countries in 18 days. We will be out in the countryside during the week and in major cities each weekend to party and celebrate. One weekend will be spent in Copenhagen and another in Stockholm. Since we will be on the move quite a bit, I am already starting to think about packing for this trip as lightly as possible, but want to know what I should plan on wearing out at the clubs and bars in these cities. I have been trying to find information on their fashion on the Internet to no avail.
Gotta say I’m jealous. You’re headed to what just may be the most stylish part of the world right now (not counting Florence when Pesko’s in town for Pitti Uomo). Considering your ambitious itinerary, you’re right to pack light, and because those northern European nights can get chilly, you’d better think in layers, too. Amend or modify as your tastes dictate and your luggage allows, but here are the essentials I’d bring along:

–       One pair of slim-fit jeans. Go with a lighter wash so you can chuck them in the nearest ultra-sleek Swedish washer when you’ve spilled Aquavit on them one too many times. Both Shipley & Halmos and the Swedes at Acne make nice versions, and both are regularly available on Gilt.
–       A pair of slim-fitting chinos in pale blue, green, or yellow. We’re not talking Go to Hell pants here, just something with a little life beyond the standard khaki or straw.
–       2-3 colorful cotton button downs. Gant Rugger makes nice versions in colorful summer plaids, which are very travel-friendly since they do such a nice job of hiding wrinkles.
–       One pair of loafers, either penny or tassel.
–       One pair of canvas kicks from Converse, Gourmet, or the Swedes at Sneaky Steve (available regularly on Gilt).
–       An unstructured cotton blazer in navy blue or brown, which will look great with both your jeans and your chinos.
–       A fine gauge sweater. Either v-neck or crew neck will do, but pick a neutral color for maximum versatility.
–       A summer scarf for those cool Scandinavian evenings. No one does it better than John Varvatos, offered regularly on Gilt.

Drop us a line when you’re back and let us know how it went. And if you’re still looking to troll Scandinavian fashion sites for inspiration, head to Tres Bien or Copenhagen Cycle Chic.

Gents… your Gilt MANual minutes are excellent.  But I generally find them very hard to locate on your site. Cheers.
Our apologies for that. Here’s a link to the complete collection so far. And thanks for the kind words.

Wally Cleaver and 1959? The suburbs meets uptown gagging. Or how to dress like your Republican grandfather forever.
Damn, sounds like we need to find a new subtitle for our upcoming men’s style handbook.

What should I know about how to pair a suit vest with jeans and a button-down?
If 6’5” Rag & Bone co-designer Marcus Wainwright is to be commended for helping us tall guys look great, his co-designer David Neville deserves props for showing us all how to pull off the jeans-and-vest look. But I recommend you follow David’s lead and go with a T-shirt intead of a button-down, lest you be mistaken for a bartender at one of those cocktail places that has no sign on the door and requires a secret password to get in to.

How do you pull off a pair of cowboy boots?
If you’re going to die with your boots on, that’s not really the right question, is it?

We can’t do this without real questions from real guys like you. Send your latest style quandary to [email protected] and we’ll do our best to cook up a solution, either via email or published on the site.

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  1. null says:

    One pair of canvas kicks from Converse, Gourmet, or the Swedes at Sneaky Steve (avialable regularly on Gilt). Available is misspelled.

  2. Tyler Thoreson says:

    Good catch — fixed.

  3. UserName says:

    This website is great. I like it.(

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