Q: What is Merino Wool?
A: No kidding, wool from a Merino sheep! These sheep, however, generally reside in Australia and the wool is widely considered softer and finer than the wool from other sheep anywhere in the world!
Q: What is corduroy?
A: Literally translated: Cloth of Kings. Originally, a ridged velvet fabric (today often cotton), and the ridges are referred to as "wales"; so you may see or hear a reference to a wide wale or a narrow wale - referring to the "size" of the ridges.
Q: What is Made-to-Measure?
A: In this country, Made-to-Measure means "semi-custom". Likely, several patterns already exist for the garment with the manufacturer. A full set of measurements are taken to ensure a proper fit. The measurements are then transferred to the pattern and it is cut one-at-a-time. You have the option of choosing from style to stitching to lining and with Suited To You Fine Men's Clothing, is approximately a three week process.
Q: What is Bespoke?
A: Bespoke is a formal way of saying "completely custom made". A full set of measurements is taken, a pattern is created, and you have the option of choosing everything from fabric to style to stitching among other fine details. It is a very labor-intensive process with a lot of handwork involved throughout. With Suited To You Fine Men's Clothing, a Bespoke garment is approximately a six week process.
Q: What is V-neck?
A: A T-shirt which has a neck hole that comes down in the front in the form of a V-shape and often shows a bit more chest.
Q: What is Crewneck?
A: A T-shirt with a neck hole that hugs the neckline.
Q: What is Cardigan?
A: A V-neck, open front sweater with a buttoned front.
Q: What does "black tie" really mean?
A: Code word for a completely black tuxedo with a white formal shirt and a black satin bow tie. Sometimes, a blacksatin cummerbund is added. Black socks and black patent leather shoes are considered "non-negotiable" for a black tie event.
Q: Does size matter?
A: Contrary to popular belief, size does not matter. In fact, it is more important how your clothing fits and flatters your physique than the numerical size attached to it!
Q: It is true that wool is comfortable to wear in both warm and cool climates?
A: Yes. Wool helps regulate body temperature because it is an absorbent fiber. When the air is cool, wool absorbs moisture and keeps a layer of dry, insulating air next to the body. When the air is warm, the same absorption capacity takes up perspiration and keeps insulating dry air next to the body…helping the body’s natural cooling system work better.
Q: What is the difference between a blazer and a sport coat?
A: Many times, people will refer to a blazer as a solid color coat, and refer to a sport coat as a multi-color or fancy weave sport coat (herringbone, tweed, etc.)
Q: How do I know what socks to wear with what shoes?
A: Your first choice in coordinating socks with your ensemble is to generally match the color of your socks to your trousers. Second choice, match your socks to your shoes.
Q: What should I wear to a "black tie optional" event?
A: In order of preference; a tuxedo, a solid black suit, or a solid navy suit. This is an opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd for this event and make a distinction between your "occasion" wardrobe and your "professional" wardrobe.
Q: When do I button my suit coat?
A: Simply, if you're standing, button the coat. If you're sitting, unbutton the coat. That being said, keep in mind your surroundings at the time. More often than not, gentlemen standing in a social situation do not button their coats...but as soon as you're called up on stage to accept your award, please button your suit coat!
Q: Is it okay to wear a stripe suit, a stripe shirt and a stripe tie?
A: In a word, yes. Here's one approach you might use to make things a little easier; don't match striping. For example, if your suit has a broad stripe, wear a shirt with a narrower stripe. If you take the "opposite" approach with your suits and shirts, the stripes in each will not compete with one another and choosing a tie becomes a little easier.
Q: Why is it that not all "regulars" fit me the same way?
A: Different manufacturers will vary slightly in modeling garments; sometimes it's a fashion decision, and sometimes it's a cost cutting decision. The best way to find the best fit for your body is to seek out a competent clothing professional who will take the time to measure, explain and demonstrate what is in your best interest and show you several ways to accomplish the goal.
Q: Should I buy or rent a tuxedo?
A: How many times per year do you wear a tuxedo? Figure the rental of a quality tuxedo is about $125-150. If you have occasion to wear a tuxedo twice a year, consider owning one. Not only would you have one that fits you properly, but you avoid wearing something others have already worn...many times!
Q: Can I wear a button-down collar shirt with a double-breasted coat?
A: No. This is actually sending two different style messages; a casual shirt and a formal coat. A button-down collar shirt is very much at home with a single-breasted coat (or no coat at all) while a double-breasted coat begs for a classic point, spread or cutaway collar & tie.
Q: Are white collars & cuffs "in" or "out"?
A: White collars & cuffs, in my opinion, are an enduring style and the only prerequisite on the part of the wearer is a sense of self. A colored shirt with white medium spread collar and French cuffs is one of those looks that draws attention to the fact that the wearer is confident in appearance and is not afraid to demonstrate a sense of style.
Q: What is the difference between "braces" and "suspenders"?
A: Terminology. The term "braces" originated in England and referred to the bands that go over the shoulders and attach to the trousers. In this country, they are commonly referred to as suspenders. There are those who believe that braces have button tabs which attach to buttons inside the trouser waistband while suspenders clip to the waistband of the trousers. In either case, there's no need to wear a belt!
Q: What is the right color suit to wear to an interview?
A: The suit color should be dark; medium to charcoal grey or navy blue. (Additionally, it should be both comfortable and pressed!)
Q: What is a placket?
A: Placket refers to the piece of material on the front of a shirt where the button holes are placed. It is interesting to note that not all shirts have front plackets by design. There is also a placket on the shirt sleeve above the cuff, and sometimes there is a button closure as well.
Q: How many suits should I have in my closet?
A: Two more than you wear on a weekly basis. For example, if you wear a suit four days a week, then you should have six in your closet. They should fit well and make a good appearance. In doing so, you will never be caught "short" if one is being cleaned or one becomes damaged in some way.
Q: How often should I dry clean my clothes?
A: Generally, if you wear a given garment once per week for fifty weeks, then having it cleaned twice per year is sufficient. However, if something is spilled on it, you perspire excessively or are in smoke-filled environments often, then more often may be necessary. That is not to say that you may not visit your favorite cleaner and ask them to "press only" your garment to eliminate excess wrinkling.
Q: Should I starch my dress shirts?
A: One of the surest ways to extend the life of your shirts that you send to the cleaners is to avoid (or substantially reduce) starch. Not only will your shirts last a bit longer, but they will feel softer, drape better and wrinkling will be marginally less throughout the day.
Q: I don't always remember to put shoe trees in my shoes. Are they really that important?
A: In a word, yes. Leather, like all natural fibers, needs time to "breathe" and regain its shape. Inserting cedar shoe trees into your shoes after each wearing will not only help keep them in shape, but also helps to wick away moisture. Essentially, external elements wear on our shoes from the outside, and our own perspiration wears on them from the inside. Additionally, a good rotation of shoes is essential for longevity and comfort. After all, we depend on our feet constantly-keep them happy!