This blog is an interview with Edwards Buice, one of my Association of Image Consultant International Chicago Midwest Chapter colleagues! Edwards is founder and creative director for a clothing line called David Edwards Clothier — go to his website to look up his sassy clothes:
- that have subtle (a) pattern
- Baker floral or a Paul Smith color block tie
From His Collection
This photo (to the right) illustrates a date look from the Jaime Hemsani Summer Collection, modeled by Cory Emberton.
Today, with so many trends in menswear, selecting the right image for a date can be complex. Below is some consultant advice Edwards provides to his clients, starting with an image from the top down to the shoes.
Image Consultant Advice for Date Night
One of the first pieces of advice he gives in dressing for a date is to follow the advice of Hardies Armies, “A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten all about them.” The first step of organizing a date look is to ensure the following:
- Clothes fit well
- Clothes are expertly tailored
- Clothes are clean and pressed
- Clothes have the correct look for the social setting (casual/business casual/formal)
Edward’s first step in organizing an image is selecting a jacket; he recommends wearing jackets because he believes it gives an ensemble a finished look. Additionally, he thinks a jacket is an excellent accent piece. “However, I would not advise wearing a jacket if it’s is a very causal occasion (pub, picnic, coffee shop, etc.),” said Edwards. “I advise wearing a jacket that is going to communicate to your date I am a confident man in personal and professional settings.” If the client is not conservative, he would encourage him to mix a pattern jacket with a pattern shirt. The one- or two-button jacket is currently the most popular. There are a few three-button jackets available mainly from European and Mexican/South American designers. Edwards like double- breasted jackets; however, it should be worn with a highly stylized ensemble. Pink is a hot color for the summer season.
As Your Consultant, It’s All About the Shirt
The next step he advises is to organize a date look around the shirt. “A man can never go wrong wearing a white shirt; it always conveys a crisp and refine look,” he says. If his client prefers wearing white shirts on a special occasion like a date, Edwards advises him to buy some white shirts that have a subtle pattern in the textile to add some adventure to a look. Edwards has some clients who like to wear colorful and or pattern shirts–they are not subtle men. LOL!
For summer, floral shirts are in, and Edwards has paired a Jaime Hemsani (Mexico City designer) with a gray pin stripe two-button jacket. “The floral and pin stripes play well together,” he says.
If Edward’s client is going on a date that would require a tie, he advises that fellow to wear a tie that has color due to the summer season. He thinks either a Ted Baker floral or a Paul Smith color-block tie would be excellent choices. The ties can be paired with either a window pane or stripe shirt.
From Your Consultant, Wear Pants
The third step in organizing an ensemble is the pants. If the date is not going to require a formal look, Edwards recommends a dark, plain denim jean (no tricked out jean with holes). If the client would like to wear a more traditional style pant, he suggests wearing a tapered, plain-front pants (dark or light color). Pleated pants are back in, but Edwards is not a big fan because only a small number of men look good in that style pant. Before leaving the pants section, do not forget the belt. If the look is casual, he recommends a either a leather or cloth belt that is 1.5 inches and can have decorative buckle. If the ensemble is formal, Edwards says wear a black or brown belt with plain buckle. Width size 1-1.5 inches.
After selecting pants, Edwards helps clients select one of the most fun and personality statements of a look–the socks. If his client is not going on a date to a formal event (dress socks), Edwards recommends a pattern sock with color. “Wearing this sock style, one cannot be shy because it communicates confidence and sophistication, and will give you a snazzy, modern look,” he says. Ensure the sock colors and patterns (argyle, stripes, polka dots) have a base tone of your pants and coordinate with your shoes (look great with smart brogues, lace ups, loafers).
Finally, last but certainly not least, the shoes are one of the most important pieces of a look. “Shoes make or break an ensemble,” says Edwards. He tells clients to ensure their shoes are clean, scuff free, and if they are leather, shoes should be shined. For a casual look, a loafer or tie-up shoe as well as a designer-style sneaker (not your tennis shoes worn at the gym or on the tennis court). For the formal ensemble, Edwards recommends a lace-up shoe that is shiny.
Web sites Edwards reads for organizing looks:
Keep it sassy, men!
Beth Divine, AICI Certified Image Consultant and Personal Stylist