For the Dudes

Sartorial Confidence

Whether it's to impress your wife after years of fashion failures, or to make a great impression on a first date, assembling a dapper outfit can be quite a conundrum without a few guiding principles.  Fortunately, you don't need years of schooling to show off your wardrobe skills. Just adhere to a few simple rules, and you'll be showing up with James Bond confidence for your next date.
The first layer: Start with a solid foundation. If you're wearing the same style of underwear you did in jr. high, or they’re more than a year old, it's time for an upgrade. It's not about being presumptuous of how you expect the date to go —though being prepared for the best case scenario never hurts. It's more about being comfortable in your clothes.  Men's fashion has become more tailored, so don't try stuffing those baggy boxers into slim fit slacks. Invest in a few pairs of high quality men's underwear, like these from Tommy John.  It’s hard to feel confident and put together when you’re not comfortable.  Once the foundation is in place, the next step is matching pieces. While it seems daunting, the rules can be broken down into three parts. Color, pattern, and texture.

Rule number one: Color is key. We've all seen the color wheel (no, not the spinning ball of death on your computer). The one that hung in the art room from elementary school straight through high school. It shows the relationships of all the colors, and how to pair them.  For example, colors directly opposite each other on the wheel are complimentary, so pairing them is an excellent way to look put together.  Another way to incorporate color into your wardrobe is through analogous hues, or colors that are next to each other on the wheel like red and orange.

Rule number two: Pattern-pairing. Patterns are where guys really get freaked out, so most men keep it simple by wearing solid colors and mixing in a pattern with a tie. But you can mix multiple patterns with the simple "Two of Three" rule, and it really looks kicks your swagger up a notch. Choose two of the three major patterns (stripes, repeat, and checks/plaid/windows), and apply them to two out of three outfit pieces (shirt, tie, and jacket).  Contrast is also important here. Just make sure one pattern recedes, and the other stands out. If they are fighting for attention, people won't know where to look. Check out this post on Articles of Style for a simple guide to pattern-mixing.

Rule number three: Texture matching. This is the easiest of the rules to understand. Keep similar textures together. If fabrics are highly textured, or made to look textured through color variations, they will pair together naturally. If the material is very smooth and finely textured, then it should be matched with similar items.

Now that you're armed with freshly sharpened sartorial skills, you're ready to wow the ladies with confidence befitting of the red carpet on your next date. And who knows, maybe you'll be glad you upgraded the underwear after all!

Texture Matching 

Pattern Matching 

Magnetie Neckties

Joel Paglione has produced the first reversible, all-in-one magnetic necktie. It's special stitching allows it to have two display sides so either side can be worn in front. This is great for guys, because if they dirty their tie, just flip it over and it's brand new. Also, this tie eliminates the need for a tie loop because it is reversible. It comes in 4 colored patterns, but my fav is the electric blue. At $49.95, it is worth a try. The concept is brilliant, 2 ties in one.  Find them at

5th and Jane has been live for nearly five months and we have made some really great connections. Through Twitter we have befriended the prolific and always interesting presence that is Diego Valdez. Diego is a former fashion model and believes that modeling fashion allows you to reflect your inside emotions to the outside world. He has used his years in the fashion industry as inspiration for his paintings. You can find other samples of his work at

Thanks Diego for stopping by. xo, 5th

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