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30 Ways to Dress Your Best

Well, we already gave you 25 Ways to Be More Handsome, but we also know you want to dress your best, right? I mean, who doesn’t—that’s why your reading Esquire. Dressing your best boosts your career, gets you dates, and simply makes you feel damn good about yourself. And we’re here to help. With this list, dressing your best is simple, just follow steps 1-30. It’s a mix of pro tips, expert advice, and good ol’ common sense. But don’t dawdle reading this intro, read on and start dressing your best right now.

1

Get a Good Tailor

Even the finest clothes need tweaks and a truly talented tailor can act as your advisor. He won’t just shorten your jacket sleeves and take in the waist (but, of course, he’ll do that too), he’ll also guide you to better style with his expert eye.

2

And Keep Your Measurements in Inches

Once you find your tailor, have him take your measurements and keep them for yourself. This will help when buying clothes online especially, but can also help fend off over-zealous salesmen in store, and it will save you money, because better fits means fewer alterations. Get to know (at least) these measurements: neck, shoulders, sleeves (shirt and jacket for both arms), waist, inseam, and seat.

3

Find a Good Cleaner

A cleaner you can trust is crucial. Knowing your clothes will come back better than you left them is great, but knowing that they’ll come back at all is even better. A good cleaner won’t shrink your favorite shirt, and will have secret tricks to get wine stains out of your Hermes tie. Once you have one, never, ever let them go.

4

And Know the Difference Between Dry Cleaning and Laundering

Good cleaners know that a fine shirt requires laundering not dry cleaning (to remove oils and sweat), and remind you that they can dry clean your sweaters after every winter to avoid moth holes while they’re packed away for summer.

5

Learn How to Iron

There’s a reason the Marines make you learn how to iron your uniform; it’s the easiest way to freshen up your clothes and make them look sharp. Knowing how to do this will also save you money, requiring you to get your shirts and suits cleaned and pressed just a little bit less each year. The trouser crease is hardest to nail, so tread lightly while learning this technique. Fortunately, modern decorum doesn’t require you to have creased trousers, but it does look sharp.

6

And How to Sew

This is the easiest way to prolong the life of your clothes, and just might save your ass when your jacket buttons pop off on a business trip. You don’t need to know how to do it all, but at least know how to close a split seam and sew a button back on. Always carry a sewing kit while you travel, and if you forget yours, most hotels will provide one for free.

7

Get a Lint Roller

This seems obvious, but a lot of men forget this step. Any dark suit, whether wool or cotton, will attract plenty of lint, cat hair, and strands of that girl’s hair you fell in love with. Give yourself a roll before you leave your house and keep one in your briefcase for emergencies.

8

And a Lint Trimmer

This one’s easy to overlook, but even the best sweaters will pill over time (except cashmere, usually), and a lint trimmer will help keep them looking fresh. Make sure you get a high quality machine, or it could damage your sweaters. For mohair, go with one of the many pumice-stone-like scrapers on the market, which won’t damage the sweater’s unique “halo.”

9

Know How to Tie at Least Two Necktie Knots

You should already know how to tie the simple, versatile, and stylish four-in-hand knot, which is all you need for most situations. But there will come a time, maybe at your friend’s wedding, when you have to wear a skinny tie or a spread collar, and adding a half-Windsor knot to your arsenal will help fill in that extra space or beef up that slim neckwear. And, you just might save the rest of the groomsmen from looking stupid.

10

And a Bow Tie for Tuxedos

In civilian life, bow ties can come of a bit pretentious (I see you Tucker Carlson), but for tuxedos, morning suits, and dinner jackets, they’re an absolute must. Clip-ons are for little boys, so at least become familiar with tying a bow tie, ‘cuz eventually you’re gonna need it.

11

Get Rid of Your Clothes From College

I know you love your lacrosse team crewneck and your J.V. basketball shorts, but you’re a man now, and these have no place in your wardrobe. Even at the gym. Set them free, it’ll feel good, trust us.

12

Use Wooden Hangers

Spending money on suits and shirts and hanging them on wire hangers is like eating caviar off a Dorito. Get some wooden hangers for god’s sakes. They’ll help keep the shape of your jackets and shirts, and look legit when you have bedroom company. Plus, cedar hangers keep the moths away and add the slightest of pleasing scents to your clothes.

13

And Cedar Shoe Trees

It’s a bit of a cliché at this point, but a pair of fine shoes really can last you a lifetime if you take care of them. The first step is to get cedar shoetrees. These things are the triple threat of shoe care: they keep the shape of your shoes intact, help prevent odor, and suck up excess moisture. All of which are beautiful (and necessary) things.

14

And a Shoehorn

Young men often overlook this (old men don’t, because they can barely touch their feet), but a shoehorn is one of the best tools for lengthening the life of your shoes. Stomping down the heels of your shoes tweaks the leather and cracks the structure of your shoe. Plus, it’s just sloppy. Instead, get a good shoehorn and slip those shoes on like a gentleman.

15

Get a Good Shoeshine Kit and Know How to Use It

Fact: women look at your shoes. Another fact: scuffed shoes will ensure you never get laid. So, get a good shoeshine kit (with wax polish, a welt brush, polishing cloth, buffing brush, and a toothbrush for details), and get those puppies in shape. Shining your shoes prolongs the life of your shoes, adds the perfect finishing touch to slick suit, and can spice up an easy-wearing casual outfit. It’s a no-brainer.

16

Get a Good Cobbler

Every shoe is going to need repairs eventually, whether that’s sewing up a popped seam or adding a whole new sole. A good cobbler is your best friend, and can also take care of your leather jackets and bags.

17

And Have Them Add Taps to Your Shoes

When you get new shoes, immediately take them to your cobbler and have them add plastic taps to the toe and heel. This will prolong the life of a leather sole by a couple years.

18

Be Honest About Your Body Shape

Look, you’ve got to work with what you’ve got, and ignoring a larger frame to try and squeeze into a Thom Browne suit is only going to exaggerate that girth. Be honest with yourself. Knowing that you have a bigger belly, a weak chest, or wide hips will only help you buy the right clothes, plus a good tailor can make alterations that minimize these problem areas. And remember, black and navy blue always lengthen and slim the body.

19

Know What Prints Work For Your Body

Once you’ve assessed your body honestly, learn what prints work for you and which ones don’t. Tall and skinny? Go nuts, everything from florals to Breton stripes to polka dots are in play. But if you’re heavier or shorter, vertical stripes are you best ally in the print game. Dip dying and ombre patterns can also help lengthen and slim.

20

And What Colors Suit Your Skin Tone

This is a bit trickier, and you may need to seek advice from fashionable friends or salespeople. Navy blue, black, and most shades of gray look good on everyone, but brighter colors can present problems. With warm, dark skin, you can pull off bright oranges, reds, and yellows that would wash out or overwhelm a fairer-skinned man. Cool, lighter skin tones work best with emeralds, blues, and purples. Experiment and ask for advice.

21

Have Someone You Trust Go Shopping With You

To that end, have a well-dressed friend that you trust to go shopping with you. Their taste and honesty will save you from yourself every time.

22

Buy Quality Over Quantity

Quality always trumps quantity, especially for big-ticket items like suits, shoes, outerwear, and bags. A $900 navy blue suit will get you years of wear, while the fused lapels on your $100 suit are bubbling after a month. This isn’t like buying a car, either. You can fix up a beater, but buying cheap clothes is akin to throwing your money in the trash.

23

But Take the Cheap Wins Where You Can

Still, there are plenty of bargains out there, especially for simple basics. Uniqlo Oxfords and Gap denim are a good place to start, with quality that far outshines their low, low prices.

24

Keep Track of What Fits From Different Brands

Once you’ve started getting everything down, keep track of what fits you from which brands. This will help all of your future shopping, and may even allow you to successfully buy a suit jacket online. Maybe.

25

Know the Trends

Even in staid menswear, trends are important. They’re just subtler and slower-moving than womenswear. Slim suits are on trend now. No one will hire you when show up to a job interview in a wide-shouldered ’90s Armani power suit. Act accordingly.

26

But Don’t Follow Them Blindly

Still, don’t follow trends blindly. The goal here is to build a versatile, high-quality wardrobe that will last a long time. Just because Dries Van Noten showed tie-dyed biker pants for fall/winter 2014, it doesn’t mean you need to own them. You don’t. Those only look good on three guys in the world and they’re all 20-year-old French models.

27

Stay Away From Novelty Items

Sure, you’re not wearing a fish tie to work (right?), but even more innocuous-seeming items can fall into the novelty category. Like that photo of Pete Dougherty and his tiny little trilby? Fine, but that hat’s pretty much a joke for 99% of men. Same goes for metallic shoes and a million other things, including, in some contexts something as simple as a bow tie. Be careful.

28

Find Someone You Admire and Learn From Their Style

This is simple, see someone famous you like (not Adam Levine) and take hints for how to dress yourself. Steve McQueen is a menswear idol for a reason, as are Paul Newman and Gianni Agnelli. But be honest with yourself and only take what you can truly use. Not every man can wear a bottle cap belt.

29

Don’t Over-Accessorize

See above, and don’t go nuts. Coco Chanel’s famous rule: “Before you leave the house, take a look in the mirror and take one thing off,” works for men too. If you’re wearing a bracelet to brunch, you probably don’t need a necklace too. Be subtle, be classic.

30

Be Yourself

Not to get sappy, but this is the most important rule of all. If you don’t feel comfortable in something, it will show, and you’ll only look worse. By all means, push your boundaries, but always stay true to your tastes.

Eco Chic: This Fashion Line Generates No Waste

BY CAREY DUNNE2 MINUTE READ

Every year, garment factories dump mountains of fabric scraps into landfills because it’s cheaper than recycling. Textile pollution, a dirty secret of the garment industry–which tends to waste 15% to 20% of its material–has been all but unquestioned, or at least unresolved, until only recently.
Daniel Silverstein, who launched his Spring ’14 line this week, is one of a few up-and-coming designers who cuts his clothes using zero-waste techniques. Silverstein works with signature embellishments like applique, braiding, and alternative pleating techniques to ensure that not a scrap is lost.
“I started the concept during a design challenge in my last year of school at FIT. Everyone was trying to be eco, using organic cotton. I asked, what if I make no trash?” Silverstein tells Co.Design. He didn’t win the challenge but stuck with the project anyway, starting the line 100% New York out of his bedroom. “I started making patterns differently. I think of it like cookie dough. After cutting out a bunch of cookies, you have leftover scraps in strange shapes that you use to cut more cookies. That’s similar to cutting clothes. Instead of throwing the fabric scraps away, I find ways to work with the leftover shapes. I use these parameters to help push my creativity.”

The new collection debuts under the designer’s name, not the 100% New York label. Of the looks and the shift, Silverstein tells Co.Design, “I found inspiration in different species of birds. It symbolically reflects where I am in my life–jumping off and starting to take flight, with a light, edgy but happy feeling.”

His designs were endorsed by supermodel Amber Valletta for her new eco-lifestyle brand, Master and Muse. Intricately braided netting, a print of skeletons with flowers for skulls, and a dress that resembles collaged confetti are highlights of Silverstein’s sustainable fashion-committed collection.

It’s an ethos that’s gaining popularity. Parsons the New School for Design two years ago launched the world’s first fashion courses in zero waste. Other notable designers who practice using all parts of the fabric buffalo include organic label Loomstate and Mark Liu and Zandra Rhodes in England.

So aside from buying zero-waste attire, how does a stylish individual help prevent textile pollution? “Recycling your own clothes is huge,” says Silverstein. “People throw out pounds of textile waste every year. We don’t even know we’re doing it. Instead, donate your used threads to Salvation Army if they’re wearable, or to a place that can recycle textiles if not.” The designer says locavore shopping is also key: “It’s important to buy clothes made in America. We make all our pieces in my studio in the garment district. I sit down at the sewing machines and work on my own production.”

The Ambitious RC F GT3

 

 

TEXT BY SHOGO HAGIWARA

THE LEXUS RC F GT3 SIGNALS AN AMBITIOUS FORAY INTO THE WORLD OF SPORTS CAR RACING FOR LEXUS. ENGINEER YUKIHIKO YAGUCHI EXPLAINS HOW, AND WHY

Yukihiko Yaguchi has a lot to be proud of. A chief engineer at Lexus, Yaguchi is the man behind the RC F GT3, a heavily modified version of the RC F, Lexus’s new high-performance coupe. He’s proud of the car, which will soon sit at the pinnacle of Lexus’s performance-oriented range. He’s proud that Lexus has become one of the few Japanese manufacturers to develop a vehicle compliant with the strict parameters of GT3, a grand touring motor-sport category that abides by regulations set by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), the world’s governing body for auto racing events. And he’s proud that his car is being so widely acknowledged. The RC F GT3 is the latest model in the Lexus F range, a division of cars largely associated with performance, precision and progressive technology. The range includes the widely lauded Lexus LFA, a two-seat coupe that has competed in various endurance races.

“The history of the F range actually began with the IS F in 2007,” explains Yaguchi. “Since then we’ve launched several game-changing models – both concept cars and production vehicles – but this sports car definitely represents a highlight.” When the RC F GT3 Concept was unveiled at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show, in March, it generated a wealth of justified hype, and plenty of headlines. It made clear Lexus’s ambition to make its presence felt on the racetrack, where previously it had little bearing, and it proved Japan’s ability to manufacture, from start to finish, a world-class sports car.

“We’re now in the process of fine-tuning the vehicle,” says Yaguchi. “Once it’s done, we’ll start supplying the cars to racing teams to race in the 2015 season. GT3 cars can enter countless races around the world, including the 24-hour race at Nürburgring, in Germany, and the United SportsCar Championship (USCC) in the US. It’s great that many racing fans will get to see our product in action.”

Like the Lexus RC F, the most powerful V8 performance model the brand has yet developed, the RC F GT3 is full of engineering features aimed at extracting the best out of its 540-plus horsepower engine. The car will be an asset to any race team. Its purpose-built front fenders and front-end underbody treatment have been designed to minimize drag.

Its rear spoiler stands tall and wide to provide the car with enough downforce to improve stability (and therefore increase its speed) around bends. And “Lexus’s latest carbon fiber technology has been applied wherever appropriate,” says Yaguchi, “to keep the car’s weight to a minimum.” He continues: “With attention to detail in mind, we’ve fine-tuned everything from the car’s agility and handling response to the mechanics of its onboard devices. We have here a very serious racing car. But at the same time, drivers of all skill levels would be able to enjoy driving it on circuits around the world.”

Retirement Savings Milestones: How Much Should You Have Now?

By ROB WILLIAMS

JUNE 02, 2017

Key Points
  • Measuring progress toward your retirement savings goals can be a challenge.
  • We’ve developed some savings milestones you can use to see how your current savings stack up against your goals.
  • If your savings fall short of where they should be for your age, we offer some suggestions about how to get caught up.

Knowing how much to save for retirement is a challenge. And it should go without saying that if you’re not sure how much you’ll need tomorrow, then you can’t really know for sure if you’re setting enough aside today.

Unfortunately, for many Americans the answer is clearly “not enough.” A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that nearly a third of households aged 55 or older had no retirement savings at all.1 While that’s discouraging, it shouldn’t be cause for despair. Successfully saving for retirement is within most people’s reach—but it does require financial discipline and periodic checkups along the way.

To give readers a better understanding of their finances, we’ve developed the equivalent of savings milestones you can use to see how your current savings stack up against your retirement goals. We also offer suggestions for making up for any shortcomings.

What does the “average couple” need to retire?

Everyone has different expectations for retirement, but we can still apply some basic rules of thumb for working out how much you might need to save. One approach is to assume you’ll simply maintain the same lifestyle in retirement that you had while working. That doesn’t mean you’ll also need to maintain your current annual salary, though.

Imagine a married couple earning $70,000 a year—which is about average for a married household, according to Census Bureau data—that wants to retire at 65 and afford the same life that they had while working. To work out what they’ll need in retirement, they would start with their $70,000 of current income and then subtract whatever they are saving each year for retirement, as well as whatever they pay in payroll taxes, since they’ll no longer have to do either once they actually retire. If we assume they save $5,000 a year and pay an equal amount in payroll taxes, that would mean they could continue their current lifestyle with $60,000 a year.

Next, they should subtract their Social Security benefit. The average annual benefit for a couple like this comes out to about $25,000, according to Social Security Administration data. If we assume they won’t receive any other income in retirement, then their nest egg would have to generate about $35,000 (or $60,000–$25,000) of income each year for this couple to maintain their current lifestyle.

How do you determine if you’re on track?

Once you have an idea about how much income you’ll need each year to pay for retirement, you can measure how your current savings compare—which can help you decide whether you need to do more. The calculations are a little complex, so we’ve created a table showing the different “multipliers” you can use to work out where your savings portfolio should be at a given age.

We’ll use our couple from the example above again. We know they want a nest egg that can generate $35,000 of annual income when they retire at 65 and are currently setting aside $5,000 a year. Using the multiplier in the table, we can work out how much they theoretically should have saved by a particular age if they want to hit their goal.

We start with their annual savings rate and then compare that with their age. As you can see, a couple saving $5,000 a year (outlined in green) at age 40 should multiply their annual income target by 7.5. That gives us a portfolio value of $262,500 (or $35,000*7.5). In other words, if they’ve already saved $262,500 by age 40, then they should be on course to hit their target, assuming they continue to save $5,000 adjusted for inflation annually.

At age 50, they will need to have saved $423,500 ($35,000*12.1), and so on.

Source: Schwab Center for Financial Research. This is a hypothetical example for illustrative purposes only. The table illustrates the required portfolio size as a multiple of the retirement income need at 65 for a 30-year retirement with a 75% confidence level based on current age and annual savings rate. Confidence level is defined as the number of times the portfolio taking withdrawals ended with a balance greater than zero. Annual savings increase by a constant 1.93%. Assumes an aggressive asset allocation (6.7% annual return) from age 30 to 40, a moderately aggressive asset allocation (6.1% annual return) from age 40 to 50, and a moderate asset allocation (5.3% annual return) for age 50+.

What can you do now?

If you’re saving regularly and on track for what you think you’ll need in retirement, congratulations. If not, you can still take a few steps to get back on track:

1. Increase your savings now. Albert Einstein is said to have called compound interest “the most powerful force in the universe.” There’s no way around the math. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get easier as you age. Every $100 saved at 30 has the potential to generate $34 annually in retirement. Every $100 saved at 50 has the potential to generate $10 annually in retirement. If you don’t save enough when time is on your side, you should consider doing more later to make up the difference.

Source: Schwab Center for Financial Research. This is a hypothetical example for illustrative purposes only. Assumes you save $100 at a certain age. Potential annual retirement income calculation assumes an initial withdrawal rate of 4.6%— our calculation of the first-year sustainable withdrawal rate for a 30-year retirement from a portfolio with a moderate asset allocation, assuming a 75% confidence level. While saving, we assume an aggressive asset allocation (6.7% annual return) from age 30 to 40, a moderately aggressive asset allocation (6.1% annual return) from age 40 to 50, and a moderate asset allocation (5.3% annual return) for age 50+.

2. Make savings automatic. Why do you brush your teeth every night before bed? Though we all understand the importance of proper dental care, it’s probably because you’ve been doing it from a very early age and it has become a habit. Saving is the same. Regular saving is easier if you set up automatic deposits from your earnings. If your company offers an employer match for any retirement contributions, make sure that you’re contributing at least that amount. Contributing less is like leaving money on the table.

3. Take an appropriate amount of risk. Be sure you are comfortable with the amount of risk you are taking with your investments. Can you stomach a 20% or more decline in a single year or will that cause you to abandon your plan? We generally suggest that investors who are younger should invest more aggressively than older investors. A more aggressive asset allocation has a greater potential to generate higher returns over time. If you have time on your side and are invested conservatively, consider taking on more risk—though obviously not more than you’re comfortable with.

A larger annual return will result in a larger ending portfolio value

Source: Schwab Center for Financial Research. This is a hypothetical example for illustrative purposes only. Assumes a starting portfolio value of $10,000 at 30 and a 35-year investing horizon. Does not assume taxes or fees.

4. Consider how much you really need in retirement. You may want to spend $100,000 in retirement but do you really need to spend $100,000? We think you should break your spending down into expenses that you classify as needs, wants and wishes. If you discover you’re not on track toward hitting your goal, then maybe it’s time to identify some expenses classified as wants or wishes that you could reduce or do without in retirement.

5. Create a more flexible retirement. If your nest egg falls short of what our guidelines suggest, don’t get discouraged. Our calculation is based on a retirement age of 65 and a 30-year retirement. Retiring later could allow you to save more and plan for a shorter retirement. Working longer, or working part-time in a “phased” retirement could also help you to delay starting Social Security, which could increase your eventual benefit. That would also take some of the pressure off your portfolio.

Important Disclosures

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.

All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market or economic conditions. Data contained herein from third party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.

Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.

Diversification strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets.

Investing involves risk including loss of principal.

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