World’s Easiest Shoe

gettyimages-505950110-1523567382.jpgIntroducing a longtime crowd favorite, the evolutionary slip-on. They are by far the simplest way to achieve effortless style. They are a great transitional go-to for men. This is an easy addition to your closet that can be worn in a variety of ways. Throw them on with your bathing suit for a carefree daytime look or with jeans for a casual nighttime look.

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Justin Bieber

 

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Ryan Reynolds

Ready to add a pair to your closet? Esquire offers up some great options here. 

Don’t Sweat it… Summer Fabrics You Need.

Struggling to beat the heat in style? Avoiding sleeveless tops, aka tank-tops, and shorts at all costs, these are the fabrics you need to know about.

  1. Cotton
  2. Linen
  3. Tropical Weight Wool

1. Enter the cult classic, Cotton. Cotton is accessible and affordable and is probably in almost all of your current items. Due to it’s naturally occurring, moisture wicking

tee.jpgqualities it creates airy breathing room between you and your garment.

Your go-to Cotton pieces:

Gray Tee

White Tee 

Navy Tee 

 

 

 

If you’re looking to incorporate cotton into more business appropriate attire, try Cotton Cashmere fabrics. I have a wide variety of options and it makes for a perfect weight for slacks or a sport coat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Linen is next on our list. Linen often brings to mind an image of an older man with a few too many buttons undone, showing off a large chain of some kind situated atop an abundance chest hair. However I’m here to tell you, if wisely selected, Linen can greatly improve your wardrobe and save you from an unwanted heat stroke.

The 4,000 year old fiber has proven it can outlast even an Arizona summer. It’s tremendous ability to absorb a fifth of its water weight is what keeps you dry. This versatile fabric is a great way to up your summer wardrobe game, it’s wide variety of patterns and it’s airy aesthetic make for a great short sleeve shirt or a pair of shorts.

Be sure to checkout my Custom Shirts service to explore your options.

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3. Tropical Weight Wool, yes I said wool, is a game-changer!  In comparison to cold weather wool, coming in at up to 18oz this wool can weigh as little as 6oz.

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This type of wool will keep you looking professional without encouraging your own personal pool of sweat to form. It also wrinkles far less than linen and keeps its form throughout a long day. This fabric allows you to wear light, neutral colored suits without looking too “costumey” or too casual.

Scabal is my go-to choice for luxury fabrics, they supply some of the best lightweight suiting fabrics for unique wardrobe options.

Be sure to check out my services and email mary@qcontrary.com or call 480.485.1680 to schedule a personal fitting or a wardrobe consultation.

 

A Seersucker Summer

Summer is here, and that means one thing for Arizonans… triple digit temps. The phrase “summer wardrobe” may not be something you’re familiar with just yet. But let me assure you, you NEED a summer wardrobe when you live in the Valley of the Sun.

I often hear about the struggle for clients to maintain professionalism without permitting a heat stroke. Luckily for them, breathability is one of my forte’s. I bring in an array of lightweight, functional summer fabric swatches for them to choose from. There’s a wide variety of fibers and fabrics suitable (no pun intended) for warm weather garb. One of my favorites and one I consider timeless, is Seersucker.

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Seersucker is a durable, textured fabric that is more crease/wrinkle resistant than most alternatives such as say, Linen. I also love the sincere versatility of this fabric, because of the uprise in men’s fashion has called for creative use of the fabric, it can be seen as an accessory, a suit, a pair of shorts or a jacket, essentially it can be utilized for just about anything. Fashion Beans claims Seersucker “slowly came to represent the ultimate leisure suit of the upper classes.”

The fabric is perfect for a no-fuss look. It provides enough color, pattern, texture to eliminate having to think about additional accessories or color choice for coordinating pieces. That being said, there are a few rules to abide by. There’s a fine line between preppy-cool and Colonel Sanders. Chris Evans perfects the Seersucker suit by staying away from stark white accessories and instead pairs the suit with darker pieces. Untitled-14.jpgTake note of Ryan Gosling’s incorporation of the fabric into a flawless business casual look. To execute this look all you need is a tailored white cotton shirt and slim fit Seersucker pants. Fit is absolutely key when considering this fabric. If not properly fit Seersucker can add bulk to all the wrong places.

Here are some easy, go-to Seersucker pieces you can add to your wardrobe:

Chino Shorts 

Baseball Cap 

Button Up 

Bomber Jacket 

Feeling ready to contemplate a custom summer wardrobe? Email mary@qcontrary.com to schedule an appointment.

 

Is Gingham Dead?

Bloomberg says fast fashion has killed Gingham, what do you think? I personally think Gingham is a timeless pattern but do feel it’s a little over saturated in the current marketplace. Are you feeling like you may need to revamp your warm weather wardrobe?

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Easy…

1. Make sure your have a jacket or sport coat with pattern and color.  Plaids, stripes, polkadots are great alternatives if you’ve outgrown gingham.

2. Custom made shirts with contrast details can be worn to the office or out for happy hour.  The weather is getting warmer and a shirt with contrasting details is a great way to show off personality and style.

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Here’s the link to the full Bloomberg article: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-10/buy-your-gingham-shirt-now-before-it-gets-uncool

Book an appointment by emailing: mary@qcontrary.com.

Style 101: Learn From Some of the Best

Online editorial, Fashion Beans lays out some very critical style lessons from some seriously stylish men. I use the phrase “style lessons” because “style rules” set forth by others inevitably will be broken, and often should be. These lessons should be used throughout your evolving style journey and eventually morphed into your own set of rules.  Identifying your own personal style can be difficult, inconvenient and time consuming. To accelerate my clients personal style process, I not only offer customized clothing, I also offer personal shopping and styling services.

5 key takeaways: 

  1. Age Appropriate Clothing does NOT have to = BORING
    Hitting the phase of life when you realize you’re no longer 30 doesn’t mean an immediate style downgrade. Your age does not now limit you to “dad jeans” and New Balance trainers. Staple pieces are an easy way to maintain a personal sense of style.Staple pieces I love:
    – a basic white tee 
    – relaxed fit jeans
    – a solid outerwear piece 
    -comfy sneakers
    -chukka boot -chukka boot 
    – staple pants 
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    Bruce Willis                                  Jeff Goldblum
  2. There is such a thing as “Casual Cool”
    Understanding the difference between sweatpants in public and effortless casual is key. Creating an “off duty” look is not as hard as it sounds. There’s a fine line between comfort and pajamas, look for pieces you feel comfortable in but that fit you well. Combining a casual shirt with a pair of tailored trousers is an easy go-to move.
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    Zac Effron                               John Legend
    Casual Cool pieces I love:
    -perfect jean jacket 
    – chelsea boot 
    – bomber jacket
    – v neck tee 
    – leather jacket 
    – slim fit jeans 
    – black jeans 
  3. Tailoring is insanely important
    A “run of the mill dinner suit” doesn’t scream success. Brilliant tailoring is the key to looking put together. Whether a suit, trousers or a shirt, the fit is a critical component in an accomplished man’s wardrobe.
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    Donald Glover                                       Ryan Gosling
  4. Print with caution
    Prints can bring life to your wardrobe, if executed properly. You can utilize prints in casual wear, work wear and occasion wear. A graphic tee can be worn alone or with a cool outerwear piece. Try to limit your graphic tees to band t-shirts, brand logos, sports teams or appropriate imagery, avoid off-color humor or lewd images.A power suit in tasteful patterns can up your style game in a major way. It’s subtlety makes a fashion statement without being flamboyant.Aim to stick with one attention-seeking item, you don’t need wild shoes in a print suit or a colorful jacket with a graphic t-shirt.

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    David Gandy                                  Patrick Dempsey

    Print pieces I love:
    – Band tee 
    – Brand tee 
    – Sports team tee 
    – Suit Jacket 
    – Sport Coat 
    – Print Suit 

  5. Find your uniform 
    Find pieces that you can put on without even thinking about it. When selecting these pieces think about what makes you feel comfortable, what kind of clothing represents you, what’s your budget?On the weekends are you a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy? There’s a fine line between slob essentials and effortless classics. Stained tees and light wash”dad jeans” should make their exit now, enter dark jeans and a fit tee.There is a difference between an untucked, ironed button down and a Hawaiian print shirt. Though they both require about the same amount of effort they communicate vastly different messages. My suggestion, snag some quality “wash n’ wear” pieces that you can thrown on and instantly look put together. If you find something you like don’t be ashamed to purchase it in a variety of colors.

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    David Beckham                                 Liam Hemsworth

Uniform pieces I love: 
-off duty pants 
-simple tee 
-slim fit jeans 
-easy button up 
-denim shirt 
– classic sneaker 
– regular fit button up 

Full Fashion Beans article: http://www.fashionbeans.com/article/surprising-style-lessons-worlds-best-dressed-men/

 

The Cornerstone of Your Wardrobe

wardrobe-suit-staples

There are staples every wardrobe needs to have.  These are garments in classic colors and designs that will never will go out of style.  They consist of suits, blazers, slacks, blue jeans,  dress shirts, and t-shirts.  I would encourage you to invest in a better quality of these wardrobe essentials because you are going to wear them more often.   When shopping for the staples, select colors that compliment each other.  For instance, make sure the white and blue dress shirts can be worn with the blazer, suit, slacks and jeans.

Here are a list of basics I advise my clients to have in their wardrobe:

Navy Suit
Navy Suit

Suits – A mid blue and grey are a must – you can wear to a job interview, wedding or social event.

Blazer/sport coat – I like blues and grays that are different from the suits in your closet. You should select a jacket that has a micro pattern or texture.

Slacks – Blacks, grays and blues that can be worn with your sport coats (if needed).

Navy White Shirt
Navy Check Shirt

 

Purple Dress Shirt
Purple Pattern Dress Shirt

Dress shirts – Whites, blues and purples. These do not need to be solid. Go crazy with stripes, checks and micro prints.

Blue jeans – I like the mid to darker colors because they can be dressed up with a blazer for a cocktail party or worn casual with a t-shirt and sneakers to brunch .

T-shirts – Solid white, black, and heather grey are a must, and I am not opposed to a logo or design.  You don’t want to be too boring.

Shoes – I suggest brown and black dress shoes, sneakers and a casual loafer.  When selecting shoes, think more future and fashion.  Don’t think what your grandpa wore.  It’s ok to step out of the box here.

The goal of these basics is to have pieces that can be worn all year round and be worn with almost everything in your closet.  Make sure they are tailored and fit you perfectly.

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