1. The Holiday Party Series – Part 2: How To Dress For A Friend’s Party

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    In The Holiday Party Series – Part 1: How To Dress For The Office Party, we went over what to wear and how to act at this year’s formal or informal work party. In Part 2 of the series, we’re going to discuss how to dress for your friend’s holiday party. 

    A friend’s party is usually a more relaxed, but that still doesn’t mean it’s time to pull out the sweatpants and hoodies.

    If you’re single, the holidays are a perfect time to meet someone special – for the night, the month, the year, or for life. And showing up like the well-dressed gentleman that you are, definitely helps your chances.

    If you’re attached, your girl is going to love watching the other women ogle you from afar. I know that when someone looks at my man, I always think, “Yeah, that’s right, keep looking – he’s with me!” Any woman can appreciate a well-dressed man and they will, whether you’re attached or not.

    Topman Green V-Neck Sweater Boss Hugo Boss Jason Slim Fit Blue Striped Dress Shirt G-Star RAW - Dexter Super Sl Comfort Flacks Denim (Raw) H&M Premium Black Leather Belt Allen Edmonds Clifton Oxfords

    Topman Green V-Neck Sweater, $35
    BOSS Hugo Boss ‘Jason’ Slim-Fit Blue Striped Dress Shirt, $95
    G-Star RAW Dexter Slim SL Comfort Flacks Denim (RAW), $140
    H&M Premium Black Leather Dress Belt, $18
    Allen Edmonds ‘Clifton’ Oxfords, $295

    Throw on a dark green v-neck sweater over a crisp, light blue dress shirt. Leave the top 2 buttons undone and make sure the collar tips are tucked underneath your sweater.

    Finish with a pair of slim, dark wash jeans. Avoid jeans that have whiskering, fading, or holes because they’ll make your entire outfit look sloppy.

    Don’t forget to add a black belt (making sure the buckle isn’t too large) and black leather dress shoes to complete the look.

    Another option is to pair the above outfit with a sports coat. If you go this route, add a pocket square to finish it off. Remember: It’s all about the details.

    If you missed Part 1 of The Holiday Party Series: How To Dress For The Office Party, I talked about the thing that’ll make or break this outfit is whether you’ve layered properly. So keep those layers on the thinner side!

    Tips & Etiquette

    1. Bring a nice bottle of wine to thank the host/hostess for throwing the party.
    2. Bring a few business cards, just in case.
      You never know who you might run in to.
    3. Introduce yourself to every person in the room.
      Avoid only talking to the people you know. It’s not weird or inappropriate to go up to strangers at this party because they were invited by your friend/host, just like you were. So use the fact that you have a mutual friend to introduce yourself.
    4. Before leaving, make sure to say goodbye to the host(s) as well as the people you spoke with that night.
      In the adult world, it’s extremely rude to leave without saying goodbye.
  2. The Holiday Party Series – Part 1: How To Dress (And Act) For The Office Party

    See the full post on AshleyWeston.com

    We’ve officially entered December – the month of gifts, merriment, and parties. Since you’ve already done your holiday shopping using A Man’s Holiday Gift Guide For The Women In His Life, now it’s time to focus on the parties.

    If you’re like most of my male friends and clients, you’ll have a loose idea, at best, about how to act and what’s appropriate to wear to your work’s, friend’s, and family’s holiday parties.

    So I’ll lay it out for you in my 3 part series entitled The Holiday Party Series. In Part 1, let’s focus on this year’s office holiday party:

    Formal Event/Sit-Down Dinner

    Topman Navy Textured Slim Suit Zara Blue Twill Shirt The Tie Bar Charcoal Silk Knit Polkas Tie The Tie Bar Silver Shot Tie Bar The Tie Bar White Pocket Square (Royal Blue Border) H&M Premium Black Leather Belt Aldo Simmons Plain Toe Derby Dress Shoe

    Some companies throw serious parties this time of year, which may include a sit-down dinner at the local country club or ritzy restaurant. This type of event calls for you to step up your game. Think of this as a perfect opportunity to impress the boss and higher-ups.

    Time to break out the tailored charcoal suit and white dress shirt. If you don’t have one, Topman makes fantastic ones for basically the price of a song.

    Topman Navy Textured Slim Suit, $420
    Zara Blue Twill Shirt, $60
    The Tie Bar Charcoal Silk Knit Polkas Tie, $15
    The Tie Bar Silver Shot Tie Bar (1.5″ wide), $15
    The Tie Bar White Cotton Pocket Square (Royal Blue Border), $8
    H&M Premium Black Leather Belt, $18
    Aldo ‘Simmons’ Black Plain Toe Derby Dress Shoes, $110

    Don’t forget the accessories: If you don’t know this by now, The Tie Bar is, hands down, my favorite one-stop shop for ties, pocket squares, and ties bars. You can’t beat the variety, quality, and price! Silk knit ties are a great way to update your current suit, especially for the holidays. Stick with a charcoal knit tie for a more conservative look.

    Finish with black oxford dress shoes and feel free to mix it up with some holiday-themed socks, if that’s your thing.

    Topman Navy Gingerbread Socks Topman Oat Fairisle Pattern Boot Socks Topman Polar Bear Socks Topman White Snowman Socks

    Topman Navy Gingerbread Socks, $6
    Topman Oat Fairisle Pattern Boot Socks, $12
    Topman Polar Bear Socks, $6
    Topman White Snowman Socks, $6

    Informal Event/Cocktails

    If your company throws a cocktail party, then you’ll want to dress down a bit because this is a less formal setting than a sit-down dinner. Since you’ll be mostly drinking and socializing, we’re going to modify the suit from the previous event slightly by skipping the tie, unbuttoning the top 2 buttons of your dress shirt, and throwing on a sweater underneath the jacket. Topman Grey Crewneck Sweater J.Crew Slim Heather Black Cotton V-Neck Sweater J.Crew Slim Heather Grey Cotton V-Neck Sweater

    Topman Grey Cotton Crewneck Sweater, $36
    J.Crew Slim Black Cotton V-Neck Sweater, $64
    J.Crew Slim Heather Grey Cotton-Cashmere V-Neck Sweater, $64

    WARNING: If you’re not careful, you’re going to look like a sweaty mess in a matter of minutes. Go to any holiday party and look for the sweaty guy and you’ll see someone who doesn’t understand how to wear layers. The key to to staying comfortable with this look, since it’s layered, is to ensure each layer consists of lighter fabrics. Definitely avoid any wool or cashmere sweaters. Instead, go for silk/cotton blends, which will keep you at a comfortable temperature all night since they’re breathable fabrics.

    Tips & Etiquette

    1. Make sure to unbutton your suit jacket when you sit down. When standing up, remember to re-button your jacket’s top button.
    2. Do your homework. If you’re not already familiar with the C-level (CEO, CFO, COO) executives as well as the Presidents and Vice-Presidents of your company, spend a few minutes finding their names, titles and pictures and create a little cheat-sheet for yourself and keep it on your phone for quick reference. You’re going to need it when it’s time to introduce yourself to them. Yep, you’re going to go up to them at the party and say hello.
    3. Make sure to have an almost empty drink in your hand and go up to the executives and tell them you’re having a great time at the party and thank them for throwing it. Immediately tell them your name and your position at the company. Let them lead the conversation, they’re probably much better at talking to strangers than you are, so all you have to do is answer their questions and have an exit strategy.  As soon as you hit a dry spot or the conversation is winding down, tell them that you’ve got to freshen up your drink and ask if they’d like one as well. They’ll probably say “No” and now you get to leave on a good note.
    4. You will adhere to a 2 drink maximum for the night (maximum 1 drink per hour) – or at least until the bosses and higher-ups have left. You’re there to impress and not make an ass of yourself. As much as everyone likes to say that this is “off-hours”-  that’s complete bullshit. People always remember and gossip about the drunk guy from accounting who hit on the marketing girl the next working day. Don’t fall for the trap! NOTE: If the boss wants to do shots, completely disregard my advice and do shots.
  3. A Man’s Holiday Gift Guide For The Women In His Life

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    Don’t be like most men this holiday season and make the mistake of giving the women in your life a gift that’s horrible, tasteless, or flat-out inappropriate. I’m talking about you, guy shopping in the jewelry section of Walmart or the perfume counter at Macy’s.

    Every year around this time, I’m asked by my clients to help find gifts for their wives, girlfriends, co-workers, sisters, mothers and all the other women in their lives. So instead of keeping these gift ideas to myself, I figured I’d help everybody out by showing you what the women in your life would love to receive this holiday season.

    Wife Or Girlfriend

    Pricey

    Get your wife or girlfriend a gift you both can enjoy: like this hot-as-hell lingerie set by Agent Provocateur. It’s important to a woman to feel connected to her man. What better way to feel that connection than through physical touch? It beats tickets to the Opera, right?

    L’Agent by Agent Provocateur “Elsa” Bra, $75
    L’Agent by Agent Provocateur “Elsa” Panties, $36
    L’Agent by Agent Provocateur “Elsa” Garter Belt, $52
    Agent Provocateur Seamed Thigh-High Stockings, $50

     

     

    Inexpensive

    THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS AN INEXPENSIVE GIFT FOR YOUR WIFE OR GIRLFRIEND! She’s your partner-in-crime, the Bonnie to your Clyde, and she deserves to be spoiled once in awhile. She’ll love these ‘T-Slick’ heels by Christian Louboutin.

    Tip: Order half a size larger than her shoe size, as they run a little small.

    Christian Louboutin ‘T-Slick’ Heels, $795

    Co-Worker Or Boss

    Pricey

    I’ve yet to meet a professional woman that doesn’t prefer to write things down. So get her the Rolls Royce of notebooks. With its smooth calf leather cover, gilded paper edges, and gold brass closure, you’ll be sure to win some brownie points with this sophisticated and classy notebook.

    Smythson ‘Grosvenor Collection’ Panama Notebook, $185

     

    Inexpensive

    That little, blue Tiffany & Co. box is like porn to women. We love anything from Tiffany’s, ANYTHING. These wine glasses are the perfect inexpensive gift and finally give you the chance to say “hand-blown” at work without getting slapped with a lawsuit.

    Tiffany & Co. Red Wine Glasses, $20 each (buy a set of two)

     

     

    Sister Or Friend

    Pricey

    Even if your sister or female friend isn’t a tech nerd, she’ll appreciate the cool features of this activity & sleep-tracking wristband. Unlike a gym membership, which to a woman implies many things and includes at least a few sobbing-in-the-shower sessions, she’ll actually enjoy this sleek and functional gift.

    Fitbit Force, $129.95

    Inexpensive

    If your sister or female friend is like myself or any other female I’ve ever met, then she’ll love this beauty sampler by Benefit. The set is perfect because it’ll work with any complexion or finicky makeup wearer, which is very important for a woman.

    Benefit Cosmetics Little Love Potions, $36

     

    Mother or Mother-In-Law

    Pricey

    Your mom (and you) will love the new Amazon Kindle Fire tablet. She can email, read ebooks, watch movies and video chat with the family. Best of all, it has a “Mayday” button, which initiates a video chat with an Amazon technician who can answer her nonsensical questions like “How do I move the yellow square up?” That means no frantic calls to you and 24/7 support for her. You both win.

    Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, $229

     

    Inexpensive

    Shopping for your mom, and especially, your mother-in-law, can be difficult and nerve-racking, at best. Go the safe and tasteful route, and get her this handwoven Turkish bath towel. She’ll love the high quality fabric and that it can triple as a throw, table runner, or shawl.

    Turkish Hammam Towel, $68

  4. GQ: Keith Olbermann & the Importance of Proportions

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    Check out November’s issue of GQ, where I styled the massive, in personality and stature, Keith Olbermann. (My hands also make their modeling debut in the spread, as you can see in the above pic.)

    Olbermann is (for lack of a better word) HUGE. When I was on set with him, and now seeing these pictures, I was reminded how important proportions are. If you’ve never seen him in person, you won’t understand just how big he is. Even the article touched upon it:

    “Keith Olbermann is a large man. Conventional wisdom says TV adds ten pounds to people. Maybe. But conventional wisdom rarely applies to Olbermann. And seeing him in person, you realize TV makes the man appear smaller. In life—life outside the electronic box—he’s a good six feet three, with a chest that suggests a retired football player.”

    The Importance of Proportions

    When the magazine first sent me Keith’s sizes (how it always works with shoots), I couldn’t believe it. Clearly these weren’t right. From all the pictures and videos I’d seen of him, I assumed he was average-sized. Upon confirmation that the measurements were accurate, I realized that Olbermann was a master of proportions.

    Keith has consistently worn perfectly fitted suits for his stature. Couple that with appropriate-sized lapels, dress shirts with spread collars, and perfect tie widths and you’ll fool even a professional, like myself, into thinking you’re average-sized.

    Example: The image below shows Eric Stonestreet (L) and Olbermann (R). Would you guess that they’re about the same size? I’ve met them both and they’re closer in size than you’d think.

    This highlights exactly what I’m saying.

    Eric is wearing a suit with regular width lapels and a skinny tie. Notice how he looks way larger than Keith?

    To overcome Keith’s size, and what I would’ve done with Eric, I went with wide lapels, which have an amazing slimming effect on larger builds. One thing Eric did correctly was wear a dress shirt with a spread collar. Unfortunately, he should’ve chosen a wide tie (3.5″ at it’s widest point) and tied an equally substantial full Windsor knot to finish off his look, which is great for guys who are tall and/or have large torsos.

    Golden Rules For Proportions

    The width and knot of your tie should ALWAYS be in proportion with the lapels of your suit and the spread of your collar.

    Here’s a quick breakdown for your height and build:

    Tall & Slim: Regular width suit lapels, spread collar, 3″ wide tie, and half-windsor knot
    Tall & Broad: Wide suit lapels, spread collar, 3.5″ tie, and full windsor knot
    Average & Slim: Slim suit lapels, semi-spread collar, 2.5″ skinny tie, and half-windsor knot
    Average & Broad: Wide suit lapels, spread collar, 3-3.5″ tie, and full windsor knot
    Short & Slim: Slim suit lapels, semi-spread or point collar, 2.5″ skinny tie, and half-windsor knot
    Short & Broad: Regular width suit lapels, spread collar, 3″ tie, and full windsor knot

    Keith says: “Get your damn proportions in order!”  (Not really. But that’s what I imagine him saying in this picture.)

  5. Get This Look: Classic Navy Coat & Camel Cardigan

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    The perfect layered look for Fall. Navy and camel is a classic color combination and one of my favorites this time of year.

    Zara Checked Blazer - $189 J.Crew Cotton-Cashmere Cardigan, $74.50 John W. Nordstrom® Trim Fit Dress Shirt - $89.50 The Tie Bar Hot Dots White - $15 Topman Light Grey Slim Dress Pants - $50 Ted Baker London 'Crafti' Reversible Belt - $75 Persol Folding Polarized Keyhole Sunglasses - $380

    Zara Checked Blazer in Navy, $189
    J. Crew Cotton Cashmere Cardigan, $74.50
    John W. Nordstrom® Trim Fit Dress Shirt, $89.50
    Topman Light Grey Slim Dress Pant, $50
    The Tie Bar Hot Dots White, $15
    Ted Baker London ‘Crafti’ Reversible Belt, $75
    Persol Folding Polarized Keyhole Sunglasses, $380

    Photo Credit: The Sartorialist