Resources

In less than a decade, menswear has been transformed by designers, retailers, writers and other entrepreneurs who are using technology and social media to communicate and grow.  This section highlights the individuals and companies who are making properly fitting clothing more accessible and interesting in the digital age.

Blog Directory

Modern Fellows’ list of the best men’s style blogs

News Roundup of Menswear Entrepreneurs

A curated selection of news stories covering men’s style leaders

Where to Buy American

View Modern Fellows’ list of where to buy stylish American-made clothes

5 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Guys

Posted by on Dec 10, 2015 in Advice & Resources, Entrepreneurs, Made in America, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

5 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Guys

What to give, what to get? Modern Fellows has some ideas.  From helping to brave the colder weather to providing a little escape from the everyday, here are five great gift options for guys. Think about giving a gift for — 1. Braving the cold weather It’s getting cold out there. Refresh someone’s cold weather hat and glove options. Club Monaco has beautifully textured Donegal and Leather Gloves and  light grey speckled Herringbone Gloves on offer this year. 2. A new year of work Are shirt and ties unoriginal? Not if you take some time and find something unique. Try an American-made organic cotton shirt from Tuckerman & Company, a precision-fit option from Stantt, a company co-founded by two former brand managers of Johnson & Johnson that offers 75 sizes based on 3 simple measurements and which rocked a Kickstarter launch a while back, or one of the many great finds from Richmond-based Ledbury, which is celebrating six years online. To go with that shirt, Paris-based House of Ties has a variety of options including terrific grenadines and polka dot patterns, like this simple navy tie with large polka dots. Shoes may be a bit challenging to gift, but if you’re game, startups like Paul Drish, which crafts its shoes in a Manhattan loft, Cobbler Union, and Spain’s Meermin are intriguing options. 3. Nailing those finishing touches Online direct-to-consumer retailer Everlane has found success with its “radical transparency” pricing model, and it carries a range of finishing touches from wallets to weekenders to dopp kits — but their San Francisco-made, Italian leather belt stands out in its catalog.  Jay Butler — run by longtime style aficionado-turned-entrepreneur Justin Jeffers of the Fine Young Gentleman — has curated a unique selection of men’s accessories in addition to casual footwear, including what look to be wild, supremely comfortable driving shoes.  And you can never have too many socks, particularly when companies like Unsimply Stitched and Nice Laundry are churning out so many attractive new pairs. 4. A little escapism Here in DC, the Washington Post just released its annual list of the best books of the year.  Skip the non-fiction — it’s kind of depressing to unwrap a book about ISIS on Christmas morning — in favor of some escapism.  Among the Post’s picks: Purity: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen and “the most unsettling, must-read novel this year” by Geronimo Johnson, Welcome to Braggsville. 5. Lounging around There’s nothing like slipping on a pair of lounge pants at the end of a long day.  Feel even better about it when you buy from startup Sudara, which earlier this year introduced a new line of men and boys jammies.  The socially-conscious company provides training and jobs for the women in India who make them and offers a fresh start and a place to heal from abuse.  Pair those bottoms with a comfortable shawl sweater from Bonobos, Truemaker, this melange cabin shawl collar option from Nordstrom, or Banana...

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3 Steps to Finding a Good Local Tailor

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Advice & Resources, Around DC, Custom tailoring, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

3 Steps to Finding a Good Local Tailor

You don’t think much about a tailor until you need one. When that moment comes, it can be a little anxiety-inducing.  Can the dry cleaner down the street do it? Would it be better to search Yelp reviews and blog posts for a dedicated tailor? How do I know if they are ripping me off?  At least, these are some of the concerns that have swirled around my head from time to time as I thought about where to take that custom suit jacket whose sleeves were too long, that tie that needed to be shortened, or those pants that needed to be let out. I have never frequented the tailor as much as I have in the three years that Modern Fellows has existed.  For most of that time, those trips to the tailor produced some anxiety — about craftsmanship, knowledge of the garments they were hacking up, their bedside manner, their proximity to home or work and turnaround time. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way — 1. Don’t trust the local dry cleaner: While dry cleaners are capable of sewing buttons or raising or lowering a hem, most are not experts in men’s suiting.  If you need a jacket’s sleeves raised or lowered, the seat of your pants taken out, or anything more complicated like reconstructing the shoulders or length of a jacket, find a dedicated tailor who has experience with men’s clothing. 2. Think convenience: This took me a long time to appreciate. I identified a great tailor — Stephen the Tailor — in Foggy Bottom in downtown Washington, DC.  I’m a creature of habit, and they did a good job, so I went with what I knew.  Trouble was their location is just far enough from work and home to be inconvenient.  The lack of proximity made me less likely to use the tailor and persist with slightly ill-fitting clothing. 3. Get comfortable with one: Try a few, but stick with one. There is scale to sticking with one tailor.  He or she gets to know you, so you don’t have to constantly repeat your preferences.  You may earn a loyalty discount. So who do I use? Last year, a new shop opened in Tenleytown in Northwest Washington, DC.  Tucked between high-end restaurant Matisse and Pete’s Apizza on Wisconsin Avenue, Louice Custom Tailors, run by Master Tailor James Jang, has been a welcome addition to the neighborhood. (See Louice Custom Tailors Yelp reviews here.) James has been in the business for four decades and sells his own line of custom suits and shirts, which are tailored in South Korea. Is he the cheapest? No, but you get what you pay for.  Also, while his prices may not be rock bottom, he occasionally handles small jobs — a pants hem here, shortening a tie there — for free (and, in some cases, while you wait). He also has the expertise to...

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13 Amazing Sites to Shop for Menswear (and counting)

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Advice & Resources, Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

13 Amazing Sites to Shop for Menswear (and counting)

Information overload is a constant challenge in the digital age.  Blogs — including this one — review product after product, store after store, and the posts just keep coming.  So who are our favorites? Here’s a list of 13 of the best sites we’ve found to shop for menswear.  1. Ledbury Richmond-based Ledbury offers an amazing selection of off-the-rack dress and business casual shirts.  While their basic whites and blues are terrific, their bolder patterns and colors — oranges, yellows, greens and purples in glen plaids, checks and stripes — really stand out and help men stand out from the everyday. 2. Proper Cloth Proper Cloth offers made-to-measure shirting online and via a showroom in New York.  Their photos pull you in, and the fabrics, customer service and enthusiasm and execution should make you stick around.  The photos, descriptions, and online community that the company has built up help to convey a ton of useful information about Proper Cloth’s shirts and help diminish the uncertainty of buying online.  Most importantly, it’s easy to perfect the fit, the fabrics are amazing, and their customer service guarantee is solid. 3. Black Lapel The great promise is that there is a company out there who can nail it, crafting a suit that – with a few adjustments here and there – fits better and is less costly than marked-up off-the-rack fashion labels.  Online custom tailor Black Lapel produces suits that feel complete, personal, and like a suit ought to fit — much more than the sum of its parts. For $500, these suits are a tremendous value. 4. Knot Standard Knot Standard feels like a classic tailor updated for the digital age.  While you’d have to pay multiple thousands of dollars for a bespoke experience on Savile Row, the style consultants at Knot Standard’s showrooms around the United States make you feel like million bucks while translating your measurements into an online digital profile that offers as close to a true bespoke experience as is possible at a price point that begins well below $1,000. 5. Proper Suit PROPERSUIT offers an impressive combination of fabrics, finishes and customization via their showrooms in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland and San Francisco, and their fully-canvassed, soft-shoulder suit feels and looks remarkable and fit extremely well following a couple of minor touch ups.  At $850 and up, these aren’t entry-level prices, but if you have the means, these suits compete with off-the-rack offerings that can run much higher. 6. Sam Hober In an era where U.S. consumers have been spoiled by free shipping and unconditional satisfaction guaranteed promises on e-commerce purchases, Sam Hober’s policies and approach are old-school, but their ties are amazing. Their grenadine ties — in a variety of weaves and colors — are particularly impressive, and it’s nice to be able to custom order a tie in your preferred width and length. 7. Unsimply Stitched LA-based Unsimply Stitched offers customers a...

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Not Just Another Tie: 6 Stylish Christmas Gift Ideas for Men

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Advice & Resources, Around DC, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

Not Just Another Tie: 6 Stylish Christmas Gift Ideas for Men

For a unique, thoughtful present, reach beyond the mall. Modern Fellows offers its 2014 menswear gift guide. 1. Uncover an interesting accessory There are a range of startups poised to help fill a guy’s stocking this year.  Beltology features funky herringbone belts that pair well with jeans; Jay Butler sports crocodile money clips and ostrich billfolds; and the Gentleman’s Gazette shop can set you up with retro-inspired handmade boutonniere silk flowers, collar pins and bars, and grenadine ties. 2. Use a platform to find something personal While online platforms are largely targeted at and frequented by women, there is a growing selection of small batch and customizable gifts for men on sites such as Etsy — where Modern Fellows serves as a tastemaker — and relative newcomer Hatch.  The latter offers a list of customizable gifts for guys from cufflinks to a Personalized Double Edge Safety Razor Set with Shaving Brush, Blades, & Soap. 3. Arrange an online custom experience Suits and shirts can be tough sells for Christmas. Style and fit are personal and often difficult to nail even with the right collar, cuff and suit sizes in hand.  Give the gift of a custom suit or shirt experience by pairing a gift card from online nationwide made-to-measure suiting standout Black Lapel or impressive shirtmaker Proper Cloth with an accessory from their online collections, or try Knot Standard or Proper Suit if they offer fittings in your recipient’s neck of the woods. 4. Hats aren’t just for hipsters Hats are making a comeback, and Goorin Bros. is leading the way. With a nationwide network of hat shops — including one in Washington, DC — gift-givers can find everything from a fedora to more subtle flat caps and knit hats — all made in the USA. 5. A necktie, but not any necktie Some guys actually like getting ties.  Skip the Macys sale bin for Sam Hober, whose craftsmen and women can stitch a custom-made necktie from a variety of fabrics and weaves at whatever length and width you choose. Act soon, though, since turnaround takes a few weeks. If you’d prefer to order from a U.S.-based merchant, visit e-commerce newcomer TM Stock. 6. If all else fails, choose a one-stop shop Having trouble deciding? Try browsing a one stop shop like Richmond-based Ledbury or Raleigh-based Lumina Clothing for inspiration — or a gift card. For those in the DMV, Ledbury is hosting its second annual pop up holiday shop in Georgetown.  For retailers with a national brick-and-mortar presence, Nordstrom and Bonobos are good options, or have a look at British-based catalog retailer Boden, which is making a big push into the United States and has expanded its selection of menswear. Want more ideas? See these Modern Fellows guides — 7 Made-in-America gift ideas 5 gift ideas for dad and 5 modern takes on...

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A Walking Guide to the Best Menswear Shops in London

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in Advice & Resources, Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

A Walking Guide to the Best Menswear Shops in London

You have just one day in London.  Where would you go?  If shopping for menswear is your answer, read on for the Modern Fellows walking guide to menswear in London. The birthplace of Beau Brummell and the home of Savile Row, the City of London helped developed modern tailored dress and remains central to men’s fashion.  Perhaps most exciting, while Savile Row has aged and shrunk (as one does when one ages, I suppose), a new generation of entrepreneurs is opening shops across London and making the city a vibrant and exciting place to visit. Jermyn Street Begin at the east end of Jermyn Street, off Piccadilly, at the new shop by Grosvener London, for a look at their nice ties and colorful off-the-rack and made-to-measure shirts. From there, wander towards John Lobb to gaze at their stunning if budget-busting shoes; Hackett, for a more budget-friendly selection of country-inspired sportswear; Boggi Milano, for good-looking Italian-cut off-the-rack suits, shirts and ties; and Segun Adelaja, a small shop in the Princes Arcade, with a great selection of knitted and regimental ties and accessories as well as suiting. Highlight: The Left Shoe Company Ok, they’re not British, but the Finns are plenty fashionable and technology-savvy. Founded in 1998 by Finnish entrepreneurs, the Left Shoe Company, pictured above, uses a 3-D scanner and special sock to measure a man’s feet, and custom-makes a shoe from there in six weeks. Their shoes are extraordinarily attractive, and can be customized in a variety of styles, leathers, colors and soles. Already in Copenhagen, Dubai, Helsinki, London, and Los Angeles, the LSC is making a concerted push into Europe and the United States, eyeing New York as its first entrance into the east coast market. In London, find them at the Princes Arcade, several shops down from Segun Adelaja. At the far end is a well-appointed and very welcoming shop from Emma Willis, pictured below, with an impressive — though not inexpensive — display of custom shirting fabrics, ties and accessories. Along that short stretch of Jermyn Street, you will see our friends at Harvie & Hudson, the well-regarded Benson & Clegg, nice shoes at Crockett and Jones, and the likes of Turnbull & Asser, Thomas Pink, Hilditch & Key, Charles Tyrwhitt, TM Lewin, Hawes & Curtis, and Links of London. Paul Smith No. 9 Albemarle Street Time Out London named Paul Smith’s newest London location at 9 Albermarle Street one of the 10 best shops in London.  Sir Paul’s expanded store in Mayfair opened in September 2013 and carries a wide array of his men’s and women’s lines as well as furniture. From suits to ties to books, there is a lot to like in the shop, though his cufflinks always stand out. Dover Street Market London has become a global leader in pop-up shops and alternative retail concepts.  See one interesting...

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Where to Buy the Best Socks Online: Power Socks

Posted by on Jul 29, 2013 in Advice & Resources, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 1 comment

Where to Buy the Best Socks Online: Power Socks

For entrepreneurs, feet are big business. An explosion in recent years of startups focused on men’s accessories has flooded the digital marketplace with easily-accessible, sometimes-affordable and often-colorful sock options.  Modern Fellows tested out a variety of sizes, blends, and designs from several entrepreneurial sock outfits during a prolonged, record-setting heatwave affecting the east coast. This is the first of a two-part series profiling entrepreneurs who offer unique places to buy the best socks online, with an emphasis on the power sock. The power sock Wild socks may make the tech entrepreneur, but demand for colorful options is soaring beyond the digital creative class. “The power sock can make the biggest difference in an ensemble, and can say a lot about you and your sense of style,” says Tina Israni, founder of online sock emporium Zoraab.com, who started her company “to provide an alternative to the bland sock lifestyle that is all too common today.” While Swedish-born Happy Socks garners a lot of media attention — and is nearly ubiquitous these days in major department and outlet chains like DSW and Nordstrom Rack — a host of entrepreneurs are putting out impressive alternatives. OW Socks Sven Wiederholt, founder of Office Wiederholt, started making socks that “use interesting materials [and] have cutting edge designs” after coming across many quality, affordable pairs in Japan. “I always liked socks as a child, but could not find many styles for men in America,” Wiederholt told Modern Fellows. His response was to start designing in-your-face yet attractive socks, which OW manufactures in Japan and sells in America directly via its website and through retailers like Gilt, Stag, and Wittmore. OW Socks are made from a cotton, polyester and polyurethane blend that results in a medium-weight sock which feels luxurious and is comfortable all day under a dress or casual shoe. Wiederholt’s socks, which retail for about $24, rise only to the lower calf but stay up remarkably well, enabling them to be worn with a suit without worrying about showing some skin (at least for this reviewer).  While they are on the shorter end of the spectrum, OW’s balance of bright colors, interesting designs, all-day comfort and construction make them a particularly well-rounded power sock. Hook + Albert Launched by Adam Schoenberg and Cory Rosenberg to cater to “an over saturated, yet underserved” market, New York-based hook + ALBERT offers a variety of mostly cotton blend socks that emphasize pastels and unique designs.  Manufactured in Peru, the socks are a blend of pima cotton, nylon and spandex. Their textured, open weave is exceptionally light and proved highly-breathable in oppressively hot conditions, though the socks tended to bunch a bit around the ankles. Rising above mid-calf, hook + ALBERT’s socks are about the closest to a traditional dress sock among the options reviewed here.  At $30 retail, they are also the costliest, making them an attractive if somewhat expensive option (though at the...

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5 Thoughtful Fathers Day Gift Ideas for the Modern Dad

Posted by on Jun 5, 2013 in Advice & Resources, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

5 Thoughtful Fathers Day Gift Ideas for the Modern Dad

What to get dad for Father’s Day? It is a question that dates back at least to 1966, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation urging the official observance of Father’s Day.  While a lot has changed in the last forty years, some advertisers, books and pundits still play to the outdated stereotype of a dad as a bumbling caretaker or hapless cook.  Here are several unique father’s day gift ideas for the kind of man who parents actively, cooks enthusiastically, and dresses with a sense of style. 1. Not your father’s father’s tie. A slew of entrepreneurs are helping men add a little flair to their style with fresh ties, patterned pocket-squares and punchy socks.  Pocket squares are the accoutrement of the moment. Find some patterned gems through DC’s Hugh and Crye or Vanda Fine Clothing, a company which began life selling through Styleforum.net in 2010.   Pair with a tie from Pierrepont Hicks, founded by Mac and Katherine McMillan in 2009 “out of a desire to make the perfect tie,” General Knot & Co or Vanda.  Sock entrepreneurs like Dapper Classics, OW Socks, Unsimply Stitched, and Zkano, are making bright socks that can add a touch of personality to an otherwise understated outfit. Find a variety of accessories at digital retailers including Mind the Chap, Stag Austin and Wittmore. 2. A book for the cook. Bypass the “men don’t know how to cook” stereotype pushed by books such as Man Meets Stove, “a cookbook for men who’ve never cooked anything without a microwave,” in favor of Mark Bittman’s classic How to Cook Everything, or Esquire’s Eat Like a Man by Ryan D’Agostino.  Combine the book with a tool or gadget, like the Lodge Double Play Reversible Grill/Griddle for making the pancakes found in Bittman’s book. 3. A musical trip down memory lane. Men of a certain age will recall childhood LPs and Phish bootlegs from high school.  It’s a good bet most dads still have them lying around somewhere.  Give dad a reason to dust off those tapes or records with a cassette deck, turntable, or combination player that can convert analog music to MP3s or other digital formats. The Pyle Retro Turntable with USB-to-PC Connection, TEAC CD Player and Cassette with USB Codec, or Pyle Vintage Turntable with Cassette/CD should do the trick. B&H Photo has a useful guide for other ways to transfer music from cassettes to a computer. 4. Hard to find beer or wine. Companies like France44 and BeerShip will ship hard-to-find craft beer directly to your dad’s door.  For the wine connoisseur, online wine clubs, such as Club W and Plonk Wine Merchants, which focus on affordable bottles, and Avalon, a Northwest wine specialist, are a way to encourage a wine lover to try something new. 5. A day away or together. While some moms would ague that dads get a lot of time to themselves, the reality for many households is that men are taking greater responsibility around...

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Unique graduation gifts for guys: 5 modern takes on classic presents for stylish men

Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Advice & Resources, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

Unique graduation gifts for guys: 5 modern takes on classic presents for stylish men

With graduation around the corner, here are some gift ideas for guys that put a unique spin on some old standbys, courtesy of a new generation of entrepreneurs. From a book about surviving life in the digital age to a luxury watch without the luxury price-tag, there are options for any budget: 1. Under $20: Food for thought about work and life in the digital age Under twenty bucks, a book might be best.  While you could go sentimental (Oh, the Places You’ll Go!), ultra-practical (Effective Immediately), stylish (Dressing the Man), or funny (Complete World Knowledge by John Hodgman), how about giving a book that helps the new graduate grapple with coming to terms with life in the digital age? Hamlet’s BlackBerry fits the bill, as author William Powers encourages readers to think about what it means to lead a purposeful life. Alternately, while in The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss occasionally comes across as a modern version of the overenthusiastic TV infomercial personality — think Tony Little with a laptop and shorter hair — his book contains nuggets of good advice for cutting through digital distractions. 2. Around $150: simple, classic cufflinks from a UK Entrepreneur Designer Alice Walsh created her own line of minimilist cufflinks, Alice Made This, which serve as an understated option for the guy who might not be used to wearing them. (Her Alexander Steel cufflinks are pictured above.) For a more personal touch, Royal Countess offers a number of intriguing cufflinks options, via Etsy, including circular “Charisma” cufflinks that can be stamped with the recipient’s initials. Louy Magroos is another Etsy-based option. 3. At $400: A post-backpack bag for the working man At around $450, the cognac slim portfolio briefcase from Suitsupply is a stylish and lightweight upgrade from the university backpack.  For about the same price, Saddleback’s thin leather briefcase gets high marks from Primer Magazine. 4. For $500: “The cheapest most expensive watch in the world” Launched by a couple of Brits who thought they could cut out the middle man and “marketing hype” markups associated with most luxury watches, the Christopher Ward Harrison C9 Automatic is a gorgeous timepiece and remarkable for the price, though with a watch face of 43mm, it may overwhelm slender wrists.  For half that, preppy Daniel Wellington watches, founded by entrepreneur Filip Tysander, have simple appeal and a marginally smaller watch face. 5.  From $400 to $1,000+: A killer custom-tailored interview suit Starting at around $400, online made-to-measure startups will tailor a sharp suit for the graduating gentleman.  With its focus on customer satisfaction and smart finishes, Black Lapel is a good bet.  For other options, check out Indochino, one of the largest and most established of the new breed of online custom tailoring operations; Proper Suit and Suit Supply if you live in the ever-expanding number of cities they serve; or Astor & Black and Tom James, who will come directly to your gift...

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Looking for a Special Gift for a Stylish Guy? Choose One with a Great Story Behind It

Posted by on Nov 22, 2012 in Advice & Resources, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 2 comments

Looking for a Special Gift for a Stylish Guy? Choose One with a Great Story Behind It

Anyone can walk into Macy’s and pull a dress shirt and tie off the rack. This year, instead of running half-crazed through the mall, make a gift special by finding one that carries a great story with it. From stylish dress shirts from North Carolina to socks direct from Alabama, below are several unique alternatives to navigating the local department store clutching a 20 percent off savings pass, along with a nod to the entrepreneurs behind the products. 1. A North Carolina-made shirt suitable for work and play. Eric Powell was working at Deloitte when he first had the itch to start his own custom clothing business.  “It is really frustrating to walk into a store like a J Crew, see something you like, try on every size and realize that nothing works,” he told me.  In 2011, he opened his own online business, Colorado-based Ratio Clothing, which focuses on custom-tailored shirts, including casual and dual-use items that are appropriate for the boardroom and barroom.  Ratio’s shirts are made at a North Carolina factory, and the online ordering system is straightforward and simple. If you know your guy’s neck, sleeve and suit size, you can get him a great shirt, like this purple and blue tattersall, from $89. Order by November 30 for Christmas delivery, or get a gift card anytime up to the big day. 2. A hand-sewn necktie from a San Francisco school bus driver A school bus driver by day, Greg Walton started sewing because he wanted to learn how to make his own suits and shirts, but turned to ties under the tutelage of a trusted sewing instructor.  About four years ago, he began to make ties for himself and a friend’s shop.  He developed a business from there, launching Louis Walton in January 2012.  Greg designs all of his own patterns and constructs each tie by hand.  His ties, including this understated blue Japanese cotton pattern, can be special ordered in precise widths and lengths, and hover around $100. They “are a labor of love, and that love shines in his work.” 3. Incredibly soft socks from a second-generation Alabama manufacturer Gina Locklear has manufacturing in her soul.  The daughter of a textile manufacturer, she established her own sock company, Zkano’s, in Fort Payne, Alabama, even as the U.S. textile industry dwindled around her. Zkano just released a new combed organic cotton collection that features a higher thread count and thus finer and softer sock. (It’s the same principle as the thread count in sheets.) Personally, I’m a fan of the navy and grey striped pattern socks. Zkano socks for men, from $15. 4. A smoking new suit from ex-Wall Street entrepreneurs An investment banker during the Great Recession, Warren Liao decided to get out and pursue his passion, founding custom clothing label Black Lapel with business partner Derek...

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GQ is Way Off-Base: DC Men Have Already Stepped Up their Style

Posted by on Nov 2, 2012 in Advice & Resources, Around DC, Modern Fellows | 1 comment

GQ is Way Off-Base: DC Men Have Already Stepped Up their Style

GQ’s writers must not spend much time in the nation’s capital. The city has changed dramatically since however many years ago it was when the author of this month’s “Project Upgrade: Capitol Hill Edition” formed an opinion that professional men in the District favor “blousy shirts and ill-fitting suits.” It is easy to take pot-shots at Washington, but walk down K Street or around the halls of Congress, and you generally see men who dress confidently and with care. That goes for everyday professionals as well as DC’s elite. Washington Capitals don stylish shirts by innovative District-based shirting company Hugh & Crye and suits by Hickey Freeman and Ralph Lauren. RG3 looked pretty good in his GQ photo shoot. Even President Obama has upgraded his style, which was already pretty sharp, with slimmer, more fashionable suits. As Dutch-based Suit Supply, who in September chose to open its third American store in Georgetown, noted in a tweet in response to the GQ post, “some of our most fashionable clients are in DC.” What’s changed? Pranav Vora, Hugh & Crye’s founder and CEO, observes that, “living here, it’s neat to see men paying more attention to how they look.” He told me that, “the fashion dial for men doesn’t move as quickly or aggressively as it does for women, but you see guys playing with color and accessories more and pulling together different patterns and textures. It’s exciting.” Retailers have taken notice, flocking to DC to cater to a clientèle who want to look good without breaking the bank. In addition to Hugh & Crye and Suit Supply, Brooks Brothers opened its first concept store featuring its Black Fleece suits and extra-slim fit shirts near Georgetown University last year. HMX, the parent company of Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx, located its second concept store in the country, Streets of Georgetown, on Wisconsin Avenue. Major brand retailers who are trying to appeal to young, stylish professionals are well-represented in the District from Allen Edmunds to Hugo Boss to J. Crew. (See Refinery29’s 10 Best Men’s Shops In All Of D.C. for additional highlights.) “DC is becoming an incubator for companies to test if a concept works,” said Grant Harris of Image Granted. “Washington is more buttoned up than New York or LA, but there’s real demand for quality and style, and if something works here, you can be pretty confident it’s going to work elsewhere.” A new generation of entrepreneurs and custom tailors has also found a lot to like in the region, including daily deal sites such as the Daily Hookup and Living Social and new e-tailer Ikkon, all of whom are based in DC. Earlier this month, high-end, New York-based custom suit-maker Michael Andrews Bespoke opened his second showroom in Washington’s Dupont Circle. In 2011, startup Alton Lane also set up shop in Dupont following...

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