Wear the Flare: Why not to fasten the bottom button of your jacket
The world of fashion has adopted some odd rules over the centuries, and many of them are based in traditions that hardly even seem relevant anymore. Why are men’s and women’s buttons on the opposite sides of garments? Why can’t I wear white after Labor Day? Why did those kids at the pier call me a shoobie simply because I wore athletic socks with Birkenstocks? I can’t wait to answer all these questions for you in future blog posts, but today, I want to address an issue that I consistently lose sleep over: Why do we keep the bottom button of suit and tux jackets unfastened?
I spend an inordinate amount of time visiting stores and undoing the bottom button on mannequins that other well-meaning patrons have fastened, thinking it was undone by accident. It’s how I get my Fitbit steps in. But why does it look so much better to leave it undone? The answer lies in early 20th Century history, all the way back to King Edward VII.
Edward VII reigned from 1902 to his death in 1910 (Encyclopedia Britannica). He was well-liked and I’m absolutely certain he did some very important political things, but ask any historian and they will unabashedly say his most important contribution to our world is his innovation of the bottom button (don’t follow up on this with an actual historian, just trust me). Ed was a man of a certain shape, and found that when he fastened the bottom button on his jacket, it bunched up and was tight around his middle. He stopped buttoning it for comfort and found that the way the jacket consequently flared out made it much more flattering. This was back in the day when fashion was dictated by the royals, and it didn’t take long for fashion designers of the day to notice what he was doing and start implementing it into their styles. They began constructing jackets to actually fit better when the bottom button was left undone. The trend stuck so firmly that they’re still following the tradition today.
These two tuxedos are brothers- constructed exactly the same way. See how much better the charcoal looks flared out with the bottom button undone, and the light gray bunches oddly around the middle?
So when your big day comes, whether it’s your wedding, an important interview, or an enchanted royal gala during which you hope to meet your one true love, show up looking stylish, informed, and flattering with your bottom button unfastened.
By Liz Preston 6/29/20
Groomsman Gifts: What to get the guys who are always there for you
It’s a longstanding tradition to give the friends and family who stand by you at your wedding a gift of appreciation. Your groomsmen are the people who mean the most to you- your sibling, your dad, your best friend, the ride-or-die family who support you through the most meaningful moments of your life. They deserve something that says “Thanks for being there for me.”
But the larger the party, the harder it may be to pick something personal and useful to the whole group. We have some suggestions to get you started!
Much of the time, your groomsman gift is something they can wear or use at the wedding. A popular choice is to engrave something like a tumbler or shot glass with the names of the bride and groom and the wedding date. It commemorates the day, but could impact the amount of future use. If you’re personalizing, consider making it about them instead of you!
Most formalwear rental shirts will come with a versatile French cuff sleeve, meaning you can wear it with the bare button or you can use a cuff link! Anyone would feel fancy with cufflinks engraved with their own initials, and they can use them again in the future! Maybe you and your groomsmen have bonded over a certain fandom- this Etsy shop sells Avengers cufflinks!
Want everyone’s shoes to match? Not renting shoes with your groomsmen suits? Get everyone a slick pair of oxfords, and they can wear them again and again to interviews, other weddings, or for super fashionable day use. If your wedding is on the fun and quirky side, color-coordinated, matching, or rainbow Converse will stand out and make awesome memories (and awesome pictures).
Everyone looks good in them, and they add a ‘cool’ factor for any look. Not only will your groomsmen be able to use them again, they can use them every single day. And you and all your groomsmen wearing their matching aviators and suits makes for a fantastic photo-op.
On a budget? Your groomsmen will definitely get a ton of use out of a new pair of socks. And because I’d never play favorites between Marvel and DC, here’s an example of themed superhero socks.
Other personalized items
There’s tons of stuff out there that you can engrave or monogram pretty affordably. Shot glasses, tumblers, Zippo lighters, bottle openers, tie clips or money clips would be awesome gifts!
By Liz Preston, 6/11/20