Leather Tag

What’s the best thing to carry my work things around?

I received this question from a reader: I’ve always used a backpack, but I want to up my game a bit. What’s the best thing to carry my work things around? This is what I shared with them: When you are ready to move beyond the backpack, you’ve got several good options for a classy carry-all. The traditional leather briefcase is all-business and makes an elegant statement about your professionalism. If you want a slimmer profile, try a portfolio case that safely zips your most important items inside. For hands-free comfort, go with a sturdy cross-body satchel bag, made of either leather or canvas. Whichever carry-all you choose, make sure it’s ruggedly built, including the hardware, for long-lasting durability....

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Principles of the Wallet

Unlike its predecessors, the wallet of today doesn’t need to hold a myriad of tiny family photos, store credit cards, and paper receipts. However, even with all the changes in what people carry with them, wallets are not obsolete—they offer a safe home for your essentials, protecting them from the wear and tear of traveling with you each day. Choosing a Wallet When you’re selecting your next wallet, consider these points: A slim wallet will not create unsightly bulk when carried in a pocket. Top-grain leather gives long-lasting durability with premium visual appeal. Make sure your wallet has only the essential card pockets, as these add layers of cloth and leather. Keep only the essentials in your wallet; carry larger or rarely used items in a briefcase or travel bag. The color of leather is not of primary importance, but you may opt to coordinate your wallet with your belt and shoes. Wearing a Wallet The best place...

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Color and Lighting Conditions

We may think that a color is always the same, but colors can change drastically in different lighting conditions. At dawn and dusk, fabric colors will look warmer and richer. Light from a northern window at noon will give fabrics a cooler appearance. Artificial lighting can change colors even more. Incandescent bulbs give a pinkish cast, while fluorescent lights add green or blue. It’s useful to know how your ensemble will look in its intended setting. Blacks can take on a brown or greenish hue. Midnight blues can appear blacker than actual black fabrics. Planning in advance can allow you to optimize your color choices—especially for formalwear. If true black will turn to dark green, you may prefer to create your next tuxedo in a midnight blue. When selecting fabrics, view the swatches in the lighting types that will dominate during their use: consider indirect and direct natural light, as well as...

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Shoe Sole Material: Rubber vs. Leather

I received this question from a reader:When I’m shopping for shoes, are rubber or leather soles better? This is what I shared with them: Both leather and rubber soles have their advantages. Many gentlemen prefer the classic visual appeal of leather soles. This traditional choice offers an elegance unmatched by man-made materials. However, rubber soles are usually longer lasting, especially when worn in humid or rainy climates. When deciding which type of shoe sole material best meets your needs, you may find that neither is the clear winner. Instead, you may choose to own a pair or two of each, giving you options for different occasions and environments. Wear the leather soles in dressier occasions, and the rubber soles when you’ll be spending a larger portion of your time outside or traveling....

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Sophisticated Sportswear

Today’s casual business clothing is not limited to the traditional dark slacks or khakis with sport coat or blazer. Current options include sophisticated sportswear that maintains your individual style while allowing you to dress down. First, consider pairing a custom sport shirt with a cashmere or merino sweater. High-quality fabrics and fibers offer an undeniably classy look and feel to your clothing, including your sportswear. If the weather requires outerwear, a tailored casual sport jacket crafted from a heavier fabric can offer you a great-fitting outer layer. This approach works well with traditional tweed fabrics, giving you both a timeless appeal and a custom fit in your casual outerwear. Next, bring in a pair of tailored flannel or twill trousers to give you perfect comfort and style throughout the day without the informality of jeans. Custom-made trousers can be crafted to your exact specifications and taste. Finally, select high-performing accessories that coordinate with your...

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Best Way to Shine Shoes

I received this question from a reader: What's the best way to shine shoes? This is what I shared with them: Start by removing dirt and old polish with shoe cream or cleaning fluid. Remember to scrape out the hard-to-reach spots with a soft toothbrush or a nailbrush. Next, apply a leather conditioner to moisturize the leather, then use a rag to rub in a layer or two of wax. Choose a wax or cream polish that matches your shoes or let the natural tint shine through by using a neutral-colored one. Polish the wax with a brush, then follow with a damp rag for a beautiful "spit shine" look. Between polishes, rub your shoes gently with a clean cloth or brush to maintain the shine....

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Choosing Belts: Four Classic Belt Styles

Pairing a belt with clothing can be a tricky business: you want it to look perfect with today's outfit, and yet coordinate with several outfits. Each type of belt has its own built-in style. Here are five classic belt styles for different looks. Canvas- With its relaxed look, the canvas belt works well with casual-wear such as chinos or corduroys. Tans and browns work best with khaki slacks, while darker belts look best over darker trousers. Plaited- While dressier than a canvas belt, plaited leather belts are still on the relaxed end. Wear them with a sport jacket and trousers, or with your more casual suits. Black leather- A black belt with a brass or silver buckle is a perennial favorite for good reason: it can be worn any time you're wearing black shoes, whether you're wearing a fine suit or trousers without a coat. Brown leather- Brown leather belts...

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Caring for Fine Footwear

Like man’s best friend, if you love your shoes and take good care of them, you’ll be repaid with years of loyal service.  There’s a huge return on a gentleman’s investment in acquiring and caring for a few pair of fine footwear.  While they may not last a lifetime, with proper care and routine maintenance you can log substantial miles and years in a good pair of shoes. Pointers for extending the life of your loafers or beefing up the performance of your brogues: Invest in the best footwear you can afford, and re-sole and re-heel them as necessary, just like routine maintenance on your automobile.  Regular tune-ups and even re-crafting over time will restore and extend the youthful vigor of your favorite shoes.  Acquire and wear the right shoes for each occasion. Always rotate your shoes, allowing at least a day of rest between wearings.   Let them rest on a good pair...

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