We told you we’d give Jonathan Weiss (the dude behind the infamous Apparel Chair fraternity email) an advice column, and that’s exactly what we’ve done, aptly titled “The Apparel Chair.” If you’re a young guy in college looking for a few style pointers (or if you’re an old guy reliving his glory years but hoping to do so without the cringe-inducing fashions of yesteryear), this one’s for you. Take it away, Jonathan!
I see a lot of guys wearing colored socks and laces especially when getting suited up. Are there any instances (interviews, business fairs) where you would advise not adding a little extra color to the mix? Or is this always considered stylish?
Great question. I see a lot of guys who put a ton of attention to detail from the ankle up so I’d love to clear the air about what’s going on down below.
First, laces are simple — if the shoes aren’t casual, the laces shouldn’t be colored. Socks, on the other hand, can offer your outfit a much-needed personality kick. Here are some tips for killing it in your sock game.
Do Your Research: Matching the energy of the event (or company) can go a long way in avoiding inappropriate socks. That high-growth startup or your friend’s birthday dinner will suit a fun design more than that conservative I-Banking interviewer.
Play With Design Before Color: A sock with an interesting pattern will get you into less trouble than a flash of hot pink; consider a patterned top or argyle check for that extra kick.
Having read your positions on key fashion issues, I’ve a question about double-cuffing my jeans. What cut do you recommend to pull this off? I go for cuts like Levi’s 514s, would a skinnier leg lend itself more to that style?
If you’ve read my e-mail you know you’ve come to the right guy for cuffing advice. To decide what will work best, the most important factor for choosing the right pair of jeans is body size. The 514 you usually wear fits mostly as a straight leg/slim fit jean and when cuffed will give you a relaxed look, however be careful to steer clear of these if they flare at the ankle. If this occurs, a better option would be the Levi’s 511; this skinny leg jean will give you a cleaner, more modern look. If you’re built larger (as a result of pumping iron or kegs), stick to the 514s because they will likely fit you similarly to how the 511s fit a skinnier dude. Finally, no matter your body size or jean choice, make sure you cuff with purpose, showing off those patterned socks or new oxford wingtips.
Couple questions for the upcoming season. What colors are going to be popular for the colder months, and what’s the best way to layer and keep warm without looking too bulky?
Certain colors will always work for the winter (cream, white, and black, included), but if you want to look up-to-date this season then there are two colors you should be focusing on, which I’ve outlined (along with a few rules) below.
Forest Green: This is a color best worn as outerwear or footwear (think a wool peacoat, or suede chukkas). It goes great with a nice camel color. However, remember to not put on too much green; it’s a bold color and can quickly overpower an outfit if left unchecked.
Burgundy: A more commonly seen winter color, burgundy will pair well with deep solid colors (i.e. navy) and works especially well in a cardigan. Try not to mix it with yellow or orange though; it’s a recipe for disaster.
As far as not looking bulky, remember these easy rules:
Cover Up: Exposed skin will lose you the most heat. On those extra-cold days opt for a scarf, hat, and gloves before you break out extra layers.
Lose the Puff: Puffy down jackets are the common culprit for looking bulky; consider going for a toggle jacket to slim down. The slimmer around the arms the better!
Got a style query for The Apparel Chair? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.