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Looking for a dress shirt…

We have a lot of guys come into The Natty Dresser looking for a dress shirt for some occasion or another, and there are a lot of choices out there. For the purpose of this blog I am going to focus on that most basic staple of a man’s wardrobe… the plain white shirt. We stock plain white shirts from Cooper & Stewart, Andrew J., and Mizzen + Main.

Cooper & Stewart – Solid basics
C&S’ Basic white shirt is a non-iron 100% cotton shirt. It comes in four different cuts; Regular (classic cut), Tailored (slim cut), Tall, and Big. We can get this shirt for just about anyone. Made in China, it is our opening price point shirt and is perfect for the guy who may not need a white shirt everyday, or even every week, but wants one that will last and look good. The C&S shirt is available in a modified spread collar, and as a button down. This shirt is available in sizes up to 22″ neck with a 39″ sleeve.

Mizzen + Main – Performance wear
Mizzen+Main’s White shirt is a 4-way stretch that basically wears like a t-shirt. The white shirt is called the Manhattan, and it comes in three cuts; Regular, Slim and Tall. This shirt is made in America – Texas to be exact, and comes with a wide spread collar. sizes range from Small to XXL in the Regular and slim, and Medium to XXL in the Tall. All are equipped with convertible cuffs so you can wear cuff links if you choose too.

Andrew J. – The Perfect Shirt!
I will say that having met Andrew in person is a treat. He is passionate about shirts!
The Andrew J white shirt comes in two cuts; trim and Regular fit. Available collars are the Wide Spread, Semi Spread and Button down. All of Andrew’s shirts have a convertible cuff and is also available with a true French cuff.  Starting this Winter it will also be available as a tuxedo shirt! The real difference in Andrew’s shirts is the fabric; Easy care cotton, which means you shouldn’t need to do much ironing, but it is also a high quality, long staple, 80 two ply cotton yarn that will get softer and more luxurious the more you launder it. Made in Turkey, sizes in these shirts range from 14.5″ to 18.5″ with an average sleeve length for each neck size.

Others…
We can also order white shirts from:
• Polifroni – in either their classic cut or the popular BLU trim fit cut.
ENRO – They have great classic non-iron, non-stain shirts.
Damon – A slightly slimmer take on a classic dress shirt with a point collar.

Plan ahead
We can get you into a shirt and have it tailored to fit you the way you want it to fit, but that takes time. The Natty Dresser is a small store so we don’t have room to stock every size, of every style, of every brand, so we may not have the size and fit you need the day you need it.

Everyday we help guys find clothing that fits. That may mean ordering in the right item, and having it tailored. If you are a pretty standard size, we shouldn’t have any trouble, but if you are bigger, taller or more athletic than average, do yourself a favor and plan ahead. maybe that means getting a shirt now just to have it hang in your closet until you need it. But when you get invited out to drinks with the boss and some big client, you will be ready and looking good!

Dress Well, Be Confident, Find Success!

Keeping Your Cool With Fabric & Color

A light grey is an excellent summer choice for a Summer wedding.

Summer has finally arrived. Are you ready for the outdoor patio parties? The summer BBQs? Those Family Reunions on the lake? The sun is out, the temperature is up, and you’re asking; “How do I
dress comfortably and keep looking sharp?” Dressing well in warm weather isn’t as hard as you might think. When buying Summer clothing, (this applies to shorts, shirts, pants, jackets…) you want to invest in garments made of lightweight, breathable fabrics. Light test: Hold the garment up and look through it. If you can’t see light through the weave, it may not be a deal breaker, but it’s not going to breath as well as one you can see through. Here are three great Summer fabrics:

1. Cotton
Almost all summer clothing will be made out of cotton, but not all cotton is the same, be sure to get one that’s summer appropriate. 100% cotton Is best. Avoid “non-iron” cotton as they will have a coating on them that makes them less breathable. There are lots of weaves and that makes a difference. Seersucker is probably the best for keeping cool, but a plain loose weave is great too. Twill weaves like denim and knit fabrics like tee shirts are usually going to be warmer.

2. Linen

Linen has been the summertime go-to for centuries for good reason. It’s super lightweight, breathable, and absorbs moisture exceptionally well. Linen has a very distinct look to it. The downside is that linen wrinkles, but that’s part of its charm. This is the only time you can get away with wrinkled clothes.

3.Tropical Weight Wool

You might be surprised to see wool on this list as it’s typically associated with Fall & Winter. However, wool actually has a very wide comfort range and adapts to almost any weather condition. Tropical weight wool’s unique properties make it especially great for summer. (remember to do the light test). When you sweat, wool actually pulls the water away from your skin, into the fabric, and then dissipates into the atmosphere. Not only that, but it keeps you from getting smelly, because it is antimicrobial. Wool is also easy to care for too. It will actually bounce back into shape if you let it hang up in your closet — which means minimal ironing. Because of wool’s natural odor resistance and moisture-wicking properties, if you only wear the garment once a week or so, you’ll only need to get it cleaned is if you spill something on it.

Why Should You Should Be Wearing Color?

Summer is the best time to wear color. Lighter and brighter colors are especially appropriate because they better reflect that summertime vibe. The sun is shining, flowers are blooming and everybody’s happier, because of all that vitamin D. As you know, dark colors like black, chocolate brown and burgundy, absorb the heat; so you should avoid those. The lighter your clothes, the less heat they’ll absorb. So don’t be afraid to push the boundaries with your colors! That is the whole point of this season. Summer is here, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up being stylish, and that’s totally doable now that you know how to dress for summer heat.

I can’t promise you won’t sweat, but if you invest in the right fabrics, wear the right colors, and keep your outfits summer-breathable, you won’t feel like you’re suffocating. Dress Well, Be Confident, Find Success!

Pucker up for Summer

Warmer weather is fast approaching and this means two things: you will want to dress to stay cool, and you will want to look great doing it. The answer: Seersucker. Getting the right summer look can be difficult, but adding a few key pieces of breathable fabrics to your wardrobe will ensure your ability to go easily from the office, to a sun-soaked pub patio in style. And the definitive functional Summer fabric is seersucker.

• What Is Seersucker?

The lightweight, puckered cloth is comfortable, versatile and breezy in every sense of the word – perfect for all your warm-weather looks, no matter the dress code.

Look closely at the traditional stripy gathered fabric and you’ll notice the different textures of the two stripes: one smooth and one coarser in texture. This effect was originally produced by alternating silk and cotton. When washed, the cotton shrank and the silk puckered, creating the characteristic wrinkles. Today, one of the stripes of cotton is woven more tightly than the other, causing it to pucker. The benefits are twofold. Firstly, seersucker doesn’t wrinkle the way ordinary fabric might (technically it’s already wrinkled), which makes it great for travelling. Not only that, its puckering creates extra air pockets as half the fabric sits off the layer beneath, allowing increased air circulation, making it an ideal fabric to choose for hot days.” a more contemporary, crease-free alternative to linen, seersucker is available in a wide range of looks and styles. You can treat seersucker just like any other cotton or wool versions of the same garment, be it a suit, tailored shorts or button up shirt.

When wearing seersucker separates or a full suit for Summer weddings or days when the office air conditioning is MIA) keep the look current and avoid wearing a matching seersucker tie or pocket square – instead, opt for complementary fabrics like silk, linen or chambray. Seersucker shorts are a great alternative to trousers and can be styled casually or smart. They look even better after they’ve been washed a few times and soften up. They become that item in your wardrobe that’s like a second skin, a vacation essential. Seersucker will keep you cool and help you stand out from your perspiring peers. Stick to the classic white and blue stripe and it will fit seamlessly into your existing wardrobe.

Making a List…

Picking out a gift for the guy who has everything can be pretty hard. A gift for a guy who also has a great sense of style can seem impossible. Don’t worry, we have compiled a list of 10 great gift ideas (in no particular order) that will work for any guy on your list.

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Weatherproof  Briefcase

Made with a proprietary boot-grade leather that is weather and salt resistant, with solid brass hardware and a wool felt-lined shoulder strap pad for a comfortable carry. Modeled after Filson’s most popular briefcase, this bag features two internal dividers to keep tools and electronics separate. Can you say Unfailing Guaranty?

Beard & Pre-shave Oil

Cutting your face while shaving is one of the worst ways to kick off a day, and using a pre-shave oil dramatically reduces your chances of a nick. Bearded gentlemen can benefit from it, too, since it conditions and moisturizes facial hair and the skin below (no more beard dandruff).

Randolph Engineering Sunglasses

Every guy looks good in a pair of Aviators from Randolph Engineering. Guaranteed to last a lifetime or two. Ever heard of a sunglass company guaran

teeing its frames for life? Well, RE does. The Randolph frames are built to US military specifications, and they stand by each pair for as long as you own them.

Skull & Crossbones Cufflinks

Cufflinks are back, and they don’t need to be boring. Help your guy dominate the board room with these piratical cufflinks that are sure to get him compliments.

Samuel Hubbard Founder

Designed for the active lifestyle. Superb comfort is achieved by the soft upper leathers, glove-leather linings and springy Vibram soles. The memory-foam cushioned insoles are considered the best in the industry. The performance elements of the Hubbard Founder are inspired by athletic shoes, but the look is a classic leather shoe that will be right at home in the office.

Bloody Knuckles Hand Rescue

Dry, cracked hands are like living testaments to a man’s hard work and ingenuity. And while hard working hands are to be celebrated, let’s be honest; dry, cracked hands feel awful. That’s why Duke Cannon introduced Bloody Knuckles Hand Repair Balm. Made with lanolin, it provides much-needed moisture without leaving the hands feeling sticky or greasy. Formulated to repair the hands of workers, fighters, and world champions, it is unscented so your hands don’t smell like flowers.

Classic Pendleton Scarf

A classic muffler… light, soft & warm. Woven in great colors and patterns. It’s warranted to be a Pendleton. So, what guy wouldn’t like one or more of these in their wardrobe?

 

Bourbon Cedar Cologne

A perfect warm woodsy note for the Pacific Northwest. This cologne and the accompanying soaps, lotions and conditioners will make him feel and smell great.
Made with all natural ingredients.

UGG Conductive Gloves
These fuzzy lined leather gloves come equipped with touchscreen compatible fingertips so he can stay warm and stylish without surrendering his phone.

Robert Graham RobeA plush robe should be a necessary indulgence in a gentleman’s grooming routine, and this luxurious paisley option fits the bill nicely.

No matter what present you end up with; your guy is bound to love it if it helps him achieve our motto: “Dress well, Be Confident, Find Success!”

Invited to a dinner party but not sure what to wear? …Consult the menu.

A dinner party is different than a backyard BBQ, in that there will usually be far fewer people invited.  Dressing well for a dinner party is a sign of courtesy to your host, and you’ll feel like the odd man out if you’re underdressed. The simplest way to assure you look your best is by avoiding shorts, distressed jeans, graphic tee shirts… And don’t even think about sweats, PJs or a tank top. Unfortunately, many dinner invitations neglect to stipulate a dress code so you can usually look appropriate by looking at the occasion and what’s for dinner…

When attending dinner with friends, you will want to look put together but still convey a relaxed attitude. Here are a few scenarios…

  1. Say you have been invited out to a nice restaurant to celebrate a promotion, or some other special occasion. You might try a pair of dark suit pants, a cotton dress shirt with a silk tie, a sweater and/or sport coat and a good pair of leather shoes. Dinner might start with a cocktail (old fashioned is a classic choice), to be followed up with a nice cut of meat and a glass of Cabernet.
  2. Dinner at home? When people entertain at home they want their guests to be comfortable. Cords, chinos or nice denim are all appropriate and will pair nicely with a button down sport shirt. If it’s chilly, add a sweater, and a casual jacket. Finish off your outfit with leather shoes, and socks with a splash of color. The gathering will probably involve a glass of wine that the hosts have chosen to go with whatever they are serving, always be prepared for pasta, or maybe chicken, either way you will want to make sure you use your napkin wisely.
  3. For a very casual get-together (Say taco night at a good friend’s house, or the kid’s birthday party at a pizza parlor) you might choose a flannel shirt with denim and a pair of chukka boots. Not a flannel kind of guy? How about a long sleeve Henley with a light weight cotton jacket? Beer and sodas are probably in your future here. Remember, just because you have known them since High School, doesn’t mean you should dress like you are still there.

As Oscar Wilde said: “You can never be overdressed, or overeducated.” Don’t worry about being the best dressed person at the party, people will notice, and they will step up their attire, at the next gathering.  You can always; Dress Well, be Confident, Find Success! Cheers!

http://www.TheNattyDresser.com

The Last of Summer’s Adventures Looking Good on the Go…

As summer draws to a close we try to fit in as many outdoor activities as possible. Whether your idea of outdoor activities is hunting and fishing, or a walk to the neighborhood park, your clothes need to work for you and not against you.

When the pavement ends, you’re best avoiding all-white looks, suede boots and anything that dirt won’t readily brush off of. Know that country walks in Oregon generally mean mud. So, your lower half should be clothed in fabric that doesn’t fear the washing machine, like a dark denim. Or earthy chinos from the brand born in the mountains… Kühl. But the mountain man look might be inappropriate if your ‘hike’ is not the Pacific Crest Trail, but just down the street to the pub to sit on the patio. In that case, a light weight trouser and a stretchy button up shirt from Mizzen + Main might be a better choice.

A Ranger backpack from Filson is great on the trail, but in town a touring bag is plenty. It’s just big enough for a wool shirt, so you can stay until after sunset, and a flask of something warming. Just in case you get lost on the way home.

When it showers in town, you’re rarely more than ten feet from a doorway. When you’re caught out on the trail, shelter is tougher to find. If the thought of a coat leaves you sweating, reach for a lightweight windbreaker or packable jacket, rolled up and stored at the bottom of your bag, if it stays nice nobody needs to know you even brought one. If you get caught in a shower you’ll stay dry while the rest of your party gets soaked.

When the skies threaten more than a brief dousing, you need something more robust. The waxed jackets from Filson have become the Pacific NW uniform for men who spend a lot of time in the rain, either looking after animals or shooting them. The brand is a classic for a reason… it has been protecting adventurous men from the weather’s worst since 1891.

Another PNW brand that is great for town or country is Pendleton. Since 1865 they have been making wool shirts, scarves and hats that are perfect for our climate. They will keep you warm on those cool late summer evenings even if you get wet. That’s why the Pendleton board shirt has been a standard for beach parties since the1950s.

Wherever you decide to seek outdoor recreation, you can still Dress well, Be confident, find Success!

 

Patterns Upon Patterns

Easy to pair – Need not be boring.
There are so many colors and patterns available in menswear today, yet we often hear guys who profess to wanting totally neutral clothing. What this usually translates to is that they have heard too many rules about how to pair, or not pair patterns and colors. It’s confusing and they don’t want to look silly. Of course, there are also a lot of men out there who are colorblind, which makes pairing colors more challenging. In either case, we can help. Whether you are looking to upgrade your casual, or business style, the sales staff at The Natty Dresser is happy to help you pair items together in a way that is not boring; and will get you compliments.

Interview Look – Help on making a good impression.
Some guys just need to get it together for an interview. Bring in your Sunday best and we can help you accessorize to get you noticed (in a good way). Be sure to bring in your shoes for a shine too.

Total Wardrobe Assessment – Your personal stylists.
Are you looking to update your entire wardrobe, but don’t really know where to begin?Start by getting rid of things you really don’t like or want (Helpful hints on how to do that can be found in the blog entry: “Spring Cleaning… Knocking it out of the closet” ) Then call us for a wardrobe assessment appointment. At the appointment, you will bring in the clothing that you love, but aren’t sure how to pair. We will start by showing you which of these items are the ones that work best for your desired look. Then we will explore ways to help you pair the items you have, and making suggestions for other items that would work to make your wardrobe more versatile.

Single Outfit Build – A start for upgrading your wardrobe.
Some guys don’t have any clothing that fit the new level of dress that they are trying to achieve. In that case, our stylists can help you put together a killer outfit that can serve as the corner stone of your new wardrobe. Once you have decided on the outfit you want, we can make recommendations on ways to expand on it going forward, so that in time you can totally upgrade your look.

At The Natty Dresser we are ready to help you achieve the look you want and need.

Dress well, Be Confident, Find Success!

Fit Is King

Speaking of Proper Fit
“Fit is King.” It’s an old saying, but so very true. A well-fitted cheap suit is going to look better than an ill-fitting suit that costs much more. However, with that said; a cheap suit is going to start looking very cheap quickly. The fabrics and construction methods used in making a such a suit (the inner lining and padding is all glued into place), just won’t stand the test of time… or cleaning. So be sure to take that into consideration when buying a suit.

The importance of fit goes well beyond suits. Your casual clothing is also going to look better and last longer if it fits well. Last longer? That’s right. Well-fitted clothing will last longer, because of a couple of simple reasons…

  1. Clothing that is too large or too small is much more likely to tear along the seams, because it gets pulled in ways that were never intended.
  2. Oversized clothing is easier to get snagged on things like door handles, cabinet corners and car doors. Ending up with those annoying and virtually impossible to repair L-shaped tears in the cloth.
  3. Clothing that is too long is super annoying and ends up with damage. Pant hems fray and become unsightly, coat and shirt sleeves end up getting drug through your food, or catching on drawer pulls and generally getting in the way.
  4. When your clothing fits well you take better care of it. Sloppily fitting clothing just doesn’t seem important, therefore, you don’t worry about changing out of it to do yard work, or painting the kitchen cabinets.

Of course even clothing that you intentionally choose to do yard work and home improvement projects in is going to be more comfortable, and safer to work in if it fits well. Baggy ill-fitting clothing is a life and safety hazard around power equipment.

Beyond making your clothing last longer – well fitted clothing will also improve how you feel. When you are well dressed you will feel more confident and with that comes a better self image. People you come in contact with will pick up on your over all well being and happiness, and will be more likely to treat you better. Whether on the job or out on the town, you will find yourself getting compliments and respect from your co-workers, friends and relations.

So, what does it take to make sure your clothing fits well? Start with taking a close friend (or your spouse) shopping with you. Someone who will be honest with you about how the clothing looks. If you are of average build it should be pretty easy to find things that fit right off the rack. You don’t need to pass over a jacket whose sleeves are a little long, or whose waist is a touch to big. Those things can easily be altered by a competent alterations specialist. However, if you are not an average size, it may be harder for you to find clothing that fits right off the rack. That is where a sales clerk who knows clothing construction and how it should fit can be of great service.  Larger gents will probably find that a coat that fits around the waist may be too large in the shoulders and too long in the sleeve. These are fixable, but if you are buying a cheap suit it may not be worth the cost of tailoring. Why? Because; it won’t change the fact that it is still a cheap suit and will not hold up to repeated wearing and cleaning.

The staff at The Natty Dresser can help you find clothing that fits well and makes you look your best. With an onsite tailor, as well as two seamstresses, we are set up to do alterations and repairs of all kinds; on men’s and women’s clothing purchased at The Natty Dresser or not.  Our alteration staff is available Tuesday – Friday from 10am until 6pm. Walk-ins are welcome, but we do ask that you make an appointment for bridal gowns and formalwear.

Remember if Fit is King, you to can be treated like royalty.

Dress well, Be confident, Find Success!

 

 

Spring Cleaning – Knock it out of the closet!

Do you stand in front of your closet and wonder if there is anything in there that you want to wear? Sometimes a good purge can be liberating… But how to start? Here are a few of our favorite suggestions:

The hanger trick. This is not a quick fix, but it can help when you can’t decide whether to get rid of something or not. Turn all of the hangers in your closet so that they are hooked onto the bar from behind. When you wear something, turn the hanger around to its normal position. At the end of the year, anything that is still hanging backwards, is probably not needed.

The Five Piles. Start by getting a glass of wine, this could take a while. Take all the clothes out of your closet and put them on the bed. You are going to sort them into 4 piles:

  1. Definitely keep. You don’t need a pile for these really, just put them back in that empty closet (here is where the hanger trick works best).
  2. Sentimental or otherwise irrationally loved clothing. These are going to get boxed up and put in the back of the closet so they aren’t a distraction on a daily basis. Mark the box well so you can find the item you want when you want it.
  3. Needs work. These are the things that need a button, or a hem. Also items that are too small or big, and need to be tailored. If you want to keep it but it doesn’t fit it goes in this pile. Before it can go in the closet it needs to be fixed so do it… or load it in the car and take it to your tailor. The Natty Dresser can provide those services if you need us.
  4. Donate. These are items that can still be worn by someone, but that you, for whatever reason don’t want any longer. These items should be neatly packed into a box (or boxes), and taken to your local shelter or another agency that works with people who need assistance. Locally we recommend FISH of Albany. They have an outstanding track record of charitable work.
  5. Throw away. You will know this when you see it. Clothing that is stained or faded or torn. Nobody wants your garbage, so please don’t donate it.

Professional Help. Sometimes you need an outside opinion. There are businesses out there that specialize in making order from chaos. When every attempt at doing it yourself ends in frustration or inaction, call in the Pros. Our friends at Queen Bee may be just what you need to get a handle on your overflowing closet. You can find them at: www.queenborganizing.com

Once your closet has been paired down be sure to contact The Natty Dresser for a wardrobe consultation. We can suggest pieces that you can use to freshen up the items that made the cut, into outfits that you will feel great wearing

Dress Well, Be Confident, Find Success!

What to wear to a “Semi-Formal” event

We’re not sure about you, but when we get an invitation to a “Black Tie” or “Semi-formal” function, our first thought is: Do they really mean Black Tie?

Black-tie formal wear; What it actually means: Black tie is a dress code for social functions that start after 6 p.m., and basically translates to “this party is super fancy and men should wear tuxedos – with a black tie.” Black tie is the most formal dress code you’ll probably face when to comes to weddings or galas. For women, it’s customary to wear floor-length gowns. NOTE: This is the same dress code as “Semi-Formal.” “Formal,” means White Tie and Tails.

Black Tie Optional: If you receive an invite with the term “Black Tie Optional” or “Black Tie Encouraged” it means you can opt for a suit or sport coat instead of a tuxedo, but you should still wear a tie (not necessarily black). For women, it means opting for a cocktail dress if you would like, so long as the hemline isn’t too short or the style isn’t too revealing. Essentially, ladies should choose a dress that’ll hold up alongside a room full of men in formal tuxedos, and women who potentially have chosen to wear gowns.

The best course of action when you receive such an invitation, is to reach out to the host and ask what they’re really expecting to see.

At the Natty Dresser we sell and rent tuxedos and suits for all of life’s special occasions. Drop in and see what we have to offer.

Dress Well, Be Confident, Find Success!

Wedding Style: Keep it Classic

It is easy to understand why a couple would want to make their wedding day special, and even want it to stand out from other weddings they have attended, but one thing we at The Natty Dresser always advise keeping the basics classic. Fads come and go, but the classic looks live on. This simple principal will insure that you won’t be embarrassed by your wedding photos in the future.

Have fun with the table decor, the guest book, even the toasts that are given, but make sure that the first photo of you as man & wife is one that you will be happy to have hang in the entryway of your home when you are in your golden years.

The big fad we see right now in weddings is having the groomsmen in vest and trousers with no coat. While it might be fun to take some photos like this, be sure to get some with all of the guys in coats. Why? Because every guy looks better in a suit than in shirt sleeves. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and while it looks great on a Pinterest board, chances are it won’t translate well in real life. It can be almost impossible to keep that shirt tucked in all day, and a jacket will help hide an escaping shirt tail.

Untucked.jpg  This is a real wedding photo, the uniformity is broken by
the bands
of bright white and mis-matched belts.

As a guy I can tell you that when the men in this photo saw it for the first time, all they saw was that white shirt creeping out from below the vest. The flowers on the vests tell me they didn’t have a coat to wear, and this problem probably just got worse as the day went on.

Be sure to plan for all the body types in your wedding party, not everyone will look good in an ultra slim suit, that is why there are a few styles that we carry in both slim AND ultra slim. This way everyone will look good in your wedding photos.

Bad Idea copy.jpg

Suspenders when worn with a vest should always go under the vest.

Here is another Fad that should be avoided on your wedding day… Suspenders OVER a vest. Guys, this is NOT a thing! Please don’t let her and her Pinterest board do this to you and your groomsmen.

Dress Well, Be Confident, Find Success!