World Scene

EXPERIENCE LIFE’S LITTLE LUXURIES

BY DONALD CHARLES RICHARDSON

THE ART OF STYLE

Le Royal Monceau, Raffles in Paris is a very fashionable hotel. Between rushing out to glamorous appointments, modish guests dine in the restaurants, gather at Le Bar Long for cocktails, or indulge in the Spa My Blend by Clarins (which has the longest indoor pool in Paris). And it’s the ideal hotel for art lovers. Paintings, drawings and photography exhibitions are in the lobby, the rooms… everywhere. There’s even a contemporary fresco, A Garden in Paris, on the ceiling of La Cuisine. Le Royal Monceau is also home to the city’s first art concierge, who offers tours of the hotel’s treasures and organizes excursions, such as a visit to contemporary art galleries in the Marais and St. Germain areas, or a private viewing of the Henri Matisse exhibition in Pompidou. In Paris, home is where the art is.

UN JOUR EN NORMANDIE

The lovely little town of Bayeux in Normandy, near the English Channel, is home to the celebrated 230-foot tapestry depicting the Norman invasion of Britain, not to mention extraordinary cheese, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux and a landscape layered with centuries of history. A drive through the lush countryside offers glimpses of châteaus, apple orchards and the famous Normandy cows, arguably the most tranquil in the world. Naturally, you’ll want to visit the inspiring and poignant beaches and artifacts of the World War II invasion. (At Port en Bessin, right above a German bunker, notice the watchtower built by the soldiers of Louis XV.) Nearby is the 17th-century Château de Balleroy, the Forbes family home. So is Brécy, a manor house with restored Italian-style gardens laid out over four terraces. The Château de Brouay, amid-18th century château surrounded by farms, has been a family estate for six generations; you can arrange to lunch in the château or have a cocktail in the orchards. And don’t miss La Haizerie farm, where you might be invited to pet the cows before tasting the homemade lavender ice cream.

SUMMER READING

There’s a reason Twin Farms is a nice place to curl up with a good book. Set in Vermont, just north of Woodstock on 300 acres of meadows and woodlands, this quiet country hideaway was once the home of Sinclair Lewis and Dorothy Thompson. Here, many of the great names in literature gathered to talk (and probably argue) about their work and lives. Twin Farms retains its aura of simplicity and coziness. There are hand-painted murals, rich maple and pine woodwork, American folk art and rustically elegant accommodations, with king-size feather beds, wood-burning fireplaces and screened porches. If you need to stretch, there’s hiking, biking, tennis, pond swimming, fly fishing and canoeing. But why bother? Just relax and catch up on your reading.

PLUGGED IN

Even if you’re not a motorcycle enthusiast, chances are you’re going to want to tool around the countryside (or slip quickly through city traffic) this summer on the top-of-the-line bike from Evolve. The Titanium XR is all electric: no gas, no oil, no emissions. It can go up to 60 miles per hour, has a range of 100 miles on one charge and is almost completely silent. At your request, Evolve will even make coordinating accessories, such as a container sized perfectly to hold your picnic basket or bottle of bubbly.

FROM THE TOP

On warm evenings, New Yorkers love to gather at rooftop lounges. Upstairs At The Kimberly is a favorite among celebrities and fashion insiders. The view is spectacular, the lounge is never uncomfortably crowded (there’s a strict rule about the number of people admitted), and the staff is charming. Together, sommeliers Branimir Kostic and Niko Mavreas have created an extensive list that boasts a collection of spirits and wines from all over the world, including an astonishing 26 different kinds of Champagne. There are wonderful savory and sweet things to munch on (try the truffled mac and cheese or lobster sliders), and either sommelier is happy to help guests choose a wine and food pairing. Reach for the stars.

Why Choose Custom?

THE BENEFITS OF A TIMELESS SARTORIAL TRADITION. INDIVIDUAL STYLE AND COMFORT. UNSURPASSED FIT. TODAY, MORE AND MORE MEN ARE CHOOSING CUSTOM.

BY WILLIAM KISSEL

Quite simply… The best thing about custom is that it’s made just for you.

The modern suit as we know it was born in mid-19th century England. A style of men’s clothing evolved that interwove influences from the landed gentry, the military, surgeons, sports and the Industrial Revolution. Ever since, gentlemen the world over have sought to perfect it. A custom suit is not only the ultimate expression of a man’s individual taste and style; it also allows superior comfort and, of course, fit. Custom clothing has increasingly grown in popularity in recent years. Our forebears would be envious of the fabric, model and detailing options available today!

CHANGE AS LITTLE AS YOU WANT… If you’re a 40 Regular and you just want a slightly different colored fabric. CHANGE AS MUCH AS YOU WANT… If you’re difficult to fit and want a flannel double-breasted suit with aubergine lining, patch pockets, horn buttons and two pairs of pants.

FABRIC
Material options include wools of varying weights and weaves, cashmeres, flannels, linens, cottons and highly technical new performance fibers. Add to that a dizzying array of patterns, pinstripes and color shades and you can create something that is truly your own.

Undeniably, the greatest draw of custom is the extraordinary variety of choices available in fabric. While stores can only buy and hang a limited amount of ready-to-wear options, the fabric selection in custom is in the thousands!

MODEL
Jacket length, pant cut, button stance, lapel width, vents, pleats, pocket style, cuffs… these are some of the many style features you can customize. Some of the design decisions you will get to make and enjoy are:

JACKET
• Model: Traditional or a
new slimmer silhouette?
• Single-breasted vs. doublebreasted
• Button stance: 2 or 3? How high?
• Lapels: How wide? Notched?
• Pocket style
• Vent style
• Jacket length
• Sleeve: Length? Working buttons?

PANT
• Pleated or fl at-front?
• Cuff or no cuff ?
• Length: where to break?
• Leg opening: how slim or wide?

LINING
From solid to paisley and subtle to wacky, a custom lining gives you the opportunity to add a splash of color or a surprise that can be your own little secret.

BUTTONS
Down the front or at your wrists? Two or three, gold or silver, blue or bone? Buttons are another fun way to make a suit uniquely yours.

COMMON MYTHS ABOUT CUSTOM

Custom is only for the difficult to fit.  While custom tailoring ensures men of every body type the best possible fit, custom is every bit as sought-after by men who can readily wear off-the-rack clothing. They choose it for the signature look they can create as well as for the extensive fabric selection.

Custom takes forever.  Not at all. Once an experienced tailor has taken and recorded all of your measurements, they are stored just for you. You simply pick out your details and your suit should be ready in 2 to 6 weeks.

Custom is cost prohibitive.  With the rising popularity of custom clothing, designers are stocking larger libraries of fabric and details and are equipped with several made-to-measure models as starting points. This has brought down costs. You no longer have to be a CEO (or royalty) to wear it!

Ask Forum: Fall 2012 Fashion Tips for Her

Q: What’s new in contemporary fashion?
Some major high-end design talents are now crossing into the contemporary arena with new divisions. Versace Collection, focused on leather this season, is on the edge with its distinctive “rock-chic” attitude. Derek Lam recently launched 10 Crosby by Derek Lam, inspired by the cool downtown girl with a fast fashion sense. Cynthia Steffe has re-emerged with her new label Cluny, which combines her signature aesthetic with a street-edge chic. Halston, the father of minimalism, influences Halston Heritage with the belief that women should dress simply by day and extravagantly by night. It’s fun to see them experimenting, combining freshness with years of experience, and making their designs available to a wider audience with more favorable price points. And of course, we’re always searching for who will be next.

Q: What are the must-have accessories this season?
When you accessorize,  try color-blocking with a two-tone scarf, or wear a printed silk one to accent darker fall colors. A great chunky bracelet or stack of bracelets is always a great way to finish an outfit. And when it gets really cold, don’t get caught without your long cashmere texting gloves!

Q: How can I get more mileage out of my outerwear?
These days, when we never know what the weather will bring, the need for versatility is especially important. Luckily, this season brings many coat options that offer warmth but are still lightweight, sleek and feminine. Long, chunky sweaters are perfect for a mild autumn day, but when the winter winds blow, there’s nothing better than outerwear that makes a statement and keeps you warm. Come in to check out the attention-grabbing leathers, or find a piece with Italian attitude.

Fur and faux fur continue to be chic and sporty in textured vests, and luxe but practical in super-light carcoats that reverse to rainwear. The quality pieces always have a modern twist, and offer multiple layers for your changing needs.

If you buy only one coat this season, make sure it’s a shaped, three-quarter length, mid-weight style that’s versatile enough in color and texture to layer with the rest of your clothing.

Q: How can I take my colored jeans from weekend to workday?
This year, colored jeans have been a hot item. (If you don’t own a pair, stop by to pick a few out!) If you’re anything like us, you’re wearing them with flats, a T-shirt and an unstructured jacket for a fun, casual look during the weekend.

In order to get more versatility from your denim, dial it up a notch for the work week: pair the same great jeans with a blouse, a wedge bootie or colored pump, and add a structured blazer for a more buttoned-up look. Finish with a statement belt or necklace for one last dressy detail.

 

DRESS BY RACHEL ROY

The Merits of Made to Measure

ANY MAN WHO’S BOUGHT AN OFF-THE-RACK SUIT IN THE PAST HALF-CENTURY PROBABLY THINKS THAT WHAT YOU SEE ON THE SALES FLOOR IS WHAT YOU GET. IF THE FIT, FABRIC OR COLOR YOU WANT ISN’T IN STOCK, YOU’RE OUT OF LUCK. NOT SO FAST.

BY WILLIAM KISSEL

Thanks to the rapidly growing concept of made to measure, top fashion brands like Zegna, Isaia, Samuelsohn, Canali, Kiton and Brioni have slowly transformed the once-bland process of buying a business suit (or sportcoat) into a very personal expression of a man’s good taste and sense of style. Want a broken pinstripe on a medium-blue super 150s wool, or a windowpane check in a soft brown cashmere/silk blend? Consider it done. Looking for that hard-to-find trim-cut, double-breasted jacket and want to customize it with a lining in your wife’s favorite shade of lavender? It’s yours simply for the asking.

Just a few decades ago, the only way to have a suit made your way was to visit a custom tailor, a process that required you to dig deep into your wallet, be patient enough to sit through multiple fittings, and then wait the required six month production time. But after Ermenegildo Zegna became inspired by a concept the Japanese had developed in the early 1970s, he and other luxury suit makers found a way to speed up the process and drastically lower the cost.

Made to measure also allows stores to offer much more product than what fits on the sales floor. “When my father first started selling Zegna in Japan, he was quite surprised to see the small amount of real estate they had for retail,” explains Gildo Zegna, group chief executive at the family-owned Ermenegildo Zegna brand. “Back then our collection was very big, and he thought to himself, ‘How can I show it all?’ He found the Japanese had a clever system where they would show all the fabric swatches, like in a showroom, and let the customer pick the pattern and style. Within a few weeks the jacket was made to order for him. My father thought, ‘If the Japanese can make this work, why can’t we?’”

A hybrid form of custom suit making, made to measure cuts out the more costly practice of creating a separate pattern for every customer from scratch (as a bespoke tailor would do). Made-to-measure suits are produced from a pre-existing pattern that is later altered at the factory to meet your own physical requirements. “The difference in quality between custom and made to measure is maybe none,” offers one luxury suit maker. “The only difference is how you get through the process.” In the case of made to measure, you simply try on a jacket at the store that’s close to your size and style preference, and the suit maker adjusts the pattern for a more precise fit. 

Along the way you choose the fabric (from literally thousands of choices beyond those offered ready-made at the store) as well as the details—from working or non-working button holes, center or side vents, and the number of pleats (or no pleats) on your trousers, to the number, size and shape of the pockets and even the color of the interior lining. Need an extra interior pocket to house your cigarettes or cell phone? You’ve got it. Want mother of pearl or titanium buttons? They’re yours. Then, a mere four to six weeks later, you have a suit that fits both your budget (only about 20 percent more than off-the-rack pricing, depending on the fabric) and your personal sense of style.

In the past, only hard-to-fit men—those with sloping shoulders, curved backs, protruding abdomens or extremely large or small bodies took advantage of these suit making services. Today it’s all about choice. “Superior fit is certainly a big factor. But I’d say the larger factor is men wanting to be different and own something unique,” explains Arnold Silverstone, creative director at Samuelsohn. “It’s a particularly great service for guys who are super fit and require more than the standard 6-inch drop found on off-the-rack clothing,” he says. “A guy might be a 42 Regular on top but waist-wise he’s a 32, which is a 10-inch drop. You won’t find that combination off the rack.”

There’s one more reason for choosing made to measure: “Clothes are very expensive and most men who spend $1,000 or more on a suit want it to last from five to seven years,” explains one suit maker. “If a guy is going to live with it that long, it better have all the details he loves. And the best way to ensure that is to create it himself.”

 

Sebastian-Style

ETON’S DESIGNER BRINGS A FRESH YOUNG TAKE TO LUXURY SHIRTINGS.

BY KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN

With DeVotchKa blasting in the background, it was hard to hear Sebastian Dollinger, conducting this interview from the studio in Sweden where he designs the world-renowned Eton shirt collection. “Yes, I design to music; it’s a big part of my life,” he confides. “I’m a DJ and a drummer when I’m not designing shirts…”

He came to designing Eton shirts in a roundabout way: since his father, Jan Borghardt, has worked for the company since 1981, it was the last thing he’d planned to do. “My dad is from Holland; he met my mom on a sailing trip to Sweden, fell in love and needed a job. He started in the Eton stockroom and is now number two at the company. I was born in ’83. I was a wild kid who got kicked out of school and took various jobs pumping gas and waiting tables. But when I ultimately took a stockroom job, I made sure it was the cleanest stockroom in the universe. My dad taught me to take pride in my work, whatever it is…”

After serving in the army for a year, Dollinger reluctantly took a job in the Eton stockroom, then gradually worked his way up. “I took the long road at Eton, determined to prove myself without favoritism. (Editor’s note: Since his dad has a different last name, few people were aware of the relationship.) I went from the stockroom to a London-based position to a sales job, where I increased volume in my Swedish accounts by 800 percent. At that point, I felt vindicated and was excited to move to a design job.”

Explaining the success of Eton, Dollinger sums it up simply: “We don’t take shortcuts; we spend on quality. We use the best French and Italian mills for our fabrics. We’ve developed a special finishing process that takes four-and-a-half weeks extra but adds luster and life to the shirts.” Other success secrets: a sophisticated use of color, pattern and detailing so the shirts are interesting but not over-the-top. “Balance is important,” says Dollinger, who also paints. “There’s a way to combine elements so it’s not screaming or in your face.”

Finally, there’s the fit factor: Eton shirts come in three different fits so that they feel custom-made. “Eton isn’t just another global brand with extensive marketing; it’s quality in every way. Plus we’re one of very few companies to specialize in shirts.”

When he’s not designing, Dollinger is out and about. “My body clock is reversed: I work late and come alive even later. I never watch TV; I’m out doing things. In addition to music (these days he’s listening to Joy Division, Demolition, The Black Keys, Muddy Waters) and design, I love writing (poetry, song lyrics), and also cosmology. I was always that strange little boy who studied the stars every night…”

The Marilyn Mystique

50 YEARS AFTER HER DEATH, SHE’S STILL TURNING HEADS.

BY ROBERT HAYNES-PETERSON

My first on-screen crush was Natalie Wood in Rebel Without a Cause. I was 16. Wood’s soulful eyes and short-sleeved angora sweaters were magical, though the film was already 30 years old. Marilyn Monroe, on the other hand, wasn’t on my radar. There was the Elton John song, and every cartoon I grew up with did a riff parodying the flying white skirt scene in The Seven Year Itch. I knew she’d been in Playboy, and that was kind of hot. But I was more interested in the current crop of celebrities undressing in my dad’s magazines: Victoria Principal, Barbi Benton, Kim Basinger.

Monroe has outlasted and outshined them all, despite having died 50 years ago in August. Last year witnessed My Week With Marilyn (starring Michelle Williams as Monroe), artist Seward Johnson’s 26-foottall cartoony homage, Forever Marilyn, in Chicago (relocated to Palm Springs in May), and a special bottling of the very popular Marilyn Merlot wine, celebrating its own 25th Anniversary. The NBC show Smash chronicles the lives of theater actors, writers and producers as they work to bring a Marilyn-themed musical to Broadway. Monroe’s image also graced this year’s poster for the 65th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival and the cover of Vanity Fair, promoting the release of previously unpublished nudes by photographer Lawrence Schiller. The other blonde bombshells of the 1950s—Jayne Mansfield, Mamie Van Doren, Sheree North and so on—haven’t enjoyed the same posthumous career.

“When you look at photographs of her, she has this ability to express herself in so many ways,” says Donna Holder, co-founder of Marilyn Wines. “I don’t think she’s this dumb blonde at all. She was just kind of a straightforward person. A beautiful person.” Why this hold on us in 2012? Contemporaries speak of an emotionally fragile, but highly canny, comic actress. In outtakes from the Laurence Olivier film The Prince and the Showgirl (the setting for My Week With Marilyn), we see an actress repeatedly missing her lines and cues, frustrating the prim Olivier. Yet we also see her vulnerability, beauty and overwhelming desire to be appreciated.When she finally gets a scene right, she nails it.

While watching these clips I finally understood the Marilyn Magic, and developed a new classic screen crush. You ache to protect her as much as to kiss her. Norma Jeane Mortenson Baker, that spunky kid from L.A., continues to attract new generations of fans. On Facebook, a quote attributed to Ella Fitzgerald has been making the rounds, in which the African-American jazz singer credits Monroe with expanding Fitzgerald’s fan base into the mainstream. Monroe’s own Facebook fan page boasts 3.2 million fans, over half of which areyounger than 25. I recently joined Pinterest, a bulletin board-style website used for organizing all the web stuff you want others to see. One of my “followers” on the site, a young woman of maybe 25, had two boards (categories) I noticed immediately: “Old Hollywood” and “Movies I Love.” Guess whose platinum-haired visage graced both?

A Change of Seasons

DAYS ARE GETTING SHORTER. WAVES ROUGHER. AND THAT INCREASING NIP IN THE AIR! AS SUMMER SUN GIVES WAY TO AUTUMN LEAVES, HERE ARE SOME WAYS TO ADAPT…WITH STYLE.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Sergio Kurhajec / HAIR & MAKEUP: Claire Bayley / STYLING: Wendy McNett

Roll With It

YOU DON’T HAVE TO EAT OUT TO EAT SUSHI.

BY ERIC BUTTERMAN

If you’re looking for something light to eat, few things satisfy like sushi.With properties that promote better memory and overall well-being, it’s long been one of the staples of the East. But over the last two decades, Americans have increasingly wanted to make it for themselves. The good news is, it’s not as hard as you may think—but it will require patience.

Wing Lam, owner and head chef of Zen Sushi, says making sushi rolls at home comes down to two things: practice and creativity. “It’s like anything: keep at it and [the finished product] will continue to get better,” he says, “…as long as you buy good rice!” Beyond that essential ingredient is seaweed, which forms the outside of the wrap, and then whatever you choose to put inside. It’s best to use rice that’s short and thin, mixed with vinegar, salt and sugar. To save time, Lam suggests buying the pre-made rice mix at your local Asian market (or order online at asianfoodgrocer.com).

Now for the seaweed. Ever wonder how chefs are able to wrap it so perfectly around the rice? Using a bamboo mat is their clever secret. Decide how thick you prefer your sushi rolls to be and choose your mat accordingly: the thicker the individual bamboo sticks that make up the mat, the thicker the roll will be. Cut one-half to two-thirds of a sheet of your purchased seaweed, place it in the center of the bamboo mat, and cover all except the outer edges of the seaweed with rice.

Now comes the creativity. You can put anything inside a sushi roll. However, there are certain standbys to consider. The California roll is among the most popular, containing crabmeat, cucumber, avocado and carrot. The Philadelphia roll highlights salmon and cream cheese, sometimes along with avocado or cucumber. Or make up your own! Once you’ve decided, make sure to distribute the ingredients evenly over the width of the seaweed; otherwise, when you cut the roll, some pieces may not contain any filling. Then lift the edge of the bamboo mat and begin to push it forward, rolling the contents within. Slowly open the mat and slice your finished roll into individual sushi pieces.

Even once you’ve created your roll, the product still isn’t finished. You’ll notice many sushi establishments don’t just throw them on the plate; style is almost as much a part of sushi as substance. Try artfully drizzling your chosen sauce over the plate in an eyecatching design, or lining up individual sushi pieces to form a pattern. In addition, consider the serving plates you use: smaller ones tend to accentuate the sushi’s own beauty. You can even perfect your at-home sushi experience right down to the music. Choose soft melodies to enhance the already relaxing atmosphere which goes along with eating a light and healthful meal.

“Making sushi takes skill, but don’t be afraid to try different things,” Lam emphasizes. “Some of the best flavor combinations come from experimentation.”

If Walls Could Talk

RECLAIMED WOOD TELLS ITS OWN TALE.

BY LENORE RICH

Who doesn’t love a good story? When the Coney Island boardwalk was repaired with concrete and plastic, the South American wood was “rescued” and restored, and the new owner of this iconic material now has quite a tale to tell. A hot trend in home design, reclaimed wood is available in varieties ranging from 600-year-old bog or swamp oak to remnants of historic buildings. Accent walls, flooring, benches, tables, decking—its applications are limited only by one’s imagination.

Antique redwood, originally railroaded across the country and recently rescued from now-defunct New York City water towers, is particularly desirable because redwood is no longer harvested. Constructed by barrel makers in the 1800s, these towers were used to store and deliver water to the top floors of New York skyscrapers. Strong yet light and water-resistant, this wood can be creatively optimized by highlighting the patterns made over time by water. Combining the interior, water-stained wood with exterior wood that was exposed to rain, wind and local natural elements takes the time-worn look up a notch. And owning a piece of the New York skyline is priceless

Gus Retsinas, a wood flooring specialist at Manhattan Forest Products, insists that the days of tossing scrap materials are gone. “Green is in. When a building is demolished, someone wants the bricks, someone else the wood.” Their New York showroom features a walk-in closet with reclaimed wood flooring, finished with natural oils to bring out its intrinsic color and beauty. (The treatment does for wood what hand cream does for dry skin.) Many customers, including well-known celebrities, seek this material out for “the look” as well as “the story.” Prices range from roughly $11 to $40 per square foot.

Another popular source for wood as conversation piece: the stock of reclaimed wood from the Marsellus Casket Company, famed for fine wood caskets used by notables like John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Onassis, Richard Nixon and Mickey Mantle. Established in 1882, their building was destroyed in a 2010 fire. The owners could not rebuild, much of the wood was reclaimed, and so the story lives on. “People are knowledgeable and discerning,” says Retsinas. “Many seek out a specific source or finish. Each time-worn board has its own character, thanks in part to its original geographic location. Oak from New England isn’t identical to oak from Michigan.”

When building their Santa Fe home, the Alexanders used reclaimed wood extensively. Ceiling beams were constructed from trees that died naturally and had intrinsic rustic character. Some flooring was purchased from an upstate New York mill that cut the wood before the tree was downed. By so doing, the width of the planks measures in at an exceptional 24 inches; there are also fewer seams and an undeniable originality. Old barn wood appealed to them because it had been hand chiseled. Yet another wood they selected was milled and three inches thick, providing a unique look as well as superb soundproofing.

Is leather your preference? Ecodomo’s line of reclaimed (recycled) leather comes from tanneries that produce for BMW, Coach and the like. Made from at least 70% pre-consumer recycled material, it’s shredded and bound with natural latex and bark. Versatile and economical, it can be used anywhere wood veneer is applied. Remodeling your entertainment area? Why not opt for wood flooring from a famed brewery, a chandelier crafted from antique wine barrels and a recycled BMW sofa? It’s all about the look…and the story!

Ask Forum: Fall 2012 Fashion Tips for Him

CARDIGAN BY CANALI

Q: With global warming, do I really need sweaters?

Although chunky sweaters are very much in style, light and medium weights are also trending, and these have little to do with the weather. A modern or retro-inspired cardigan, either button or zip-front, can often replace a jacket or sportcoat. Today’s trimmed-down, fine gauge knits also work well underneath sportcoats since they breathe comfortably—good news for guys who tend to run hot. Cashmeres, merinos and new blends in great colors mean lots of strong sweater options this season.

Q: I haven’t lost weight but my pants seem baggy. What’s up with that?

This season’s pant styles are narrower than they used to be: not tight but definitely more fitted (and no longer down to the floor). For fall 2012, we love five-pocket pants in cottons, wools and wool blends. When it comes to jeans, fit is all-important. If your closet is full of droopy denim, let us show you how great you can look in jeans that actually fit.

Q: If I buy only one item this season, what should it be?

We love refined soft sportcoats in wool blends and cashmeres (both solids and subtle patterns) as well as the quintessential knit blazer. These styles represent a new genre of sportcoat that blurs the boundary between sportswear and tailored clothing. They can be dressed up with a tie or worn casually with jeans: comfort, class and cool, all in one item!

Q: My expensive topcoat is looking dated. Should I have it altered?

Probably not. There’s only so much you can change with alterations, and yesterday’s long billowy coats (topcoats and trenches) are totally OUT in 2012. So give them away to someone in need and buy a new shorter, trimmer-fit overcoat or raincoat. From knee-length on up is the modern way to wear outerwear this season.

Q: What footwear do I need for fall? 

The wrong pair of shoes can instantly ruin an outfit, so don’t forget to consideryour footwear as carefully as your clothes. One must-have for fall 2012 is a pair of slightly chunky oxfords in suede or burnished leather, to add a bit of character. Think updated wingtips that are substantial enough to wear with jeans and can also lend an English sensibility to a suit. In addition, there are tons of great boot options, from rugged contemporary styles to beautiful polished dress versions, that add instant personality to your look.