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Ask a Black Lapel Stylist
Bottom Button Rules

Bottom Button Rules

Q: In your post, Suiting 101: Two Button or Three Button Suit, you discuss the do’s and do-not’s of buttoning up. I wonder, do the buttoning rules apply just the same if there is a vest under the jacket?”-Kadhim A: We’re not big on rules, but we stand by the “never button the last button”...
Partial Inner Lining

Partial Inner Lining

Q: You mentioned “partial linings” in your recent post, How to Chill Out Your Summer Suit. What is it exactly and how is different from your normal inner lining? – Rick T. A:  A normal suit has a layer of interior lining material throughout almost the entire inside of the suit jacket (Black Lapel suits...
The Quick Shoe Shine

The Quick Shoe Shine

Q: “I don’t always have time to get my shoes shined when I’m on the road, got any tips for a super quick shine?”  – Bart L. A: There are several products out there that will help you give your shoes a quick once over. Toss a couple of shine sponges in your travel bag....
Bench the Navy Blue?

Bench the Navy Blue?

Q: “In your latest post, you guys talked about benching the navy blue suit in favor of some brighter summer colors. My navy blue suit is the most versatile suit in my closet, why would I set it aside for the whole summer?” – Kevin L.   A: Of course, you should still keep your Navy Blue...
Are $300 dress shoes worth the investment?

Are $300 dress shoes worth the investment?

Q: “I recently read The Compass post, “How to a Build Your Dress Shoe Wardrobe“, and noticed that some of the dress shoes featured were over $300. That seems like a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a pair of shoes. Is it really worth spending that much on a pair of dress shoes?”...
Tie Width - How Slim or Wide Should You Go?

Tie Width – How Slim or Wide Should You Go?

Q: “I just bought my first slim-fit suit from Black Lapel. Do I need to slim down my ties to match my slimmer suit? What’s a simple way to determine the width of my tie to match the rest of my suit?” – Mike E.  A: This is a common question, often framed the wrong...
How to Match Socks

How to Match Socks

Q: “When suiting up, should I match the color of my socks to my suit pants or shoes?” – Ken J.  A: As you can see from the picture above, we’re not all too serious about matching your socks to either your pants or your shoes. If we really had to choose, we’d say match...
Difference Between a Blazer and a Suit Jacket

Difference Between a Blazer and a Suit Jacket

Q: “What’s the difference between a Black Lapel blazer and a suit jacket?” – James D.  A: Not all things in menswear are clean-cut, and the difference between a suit jacket and a blazer is a prime example of this. Traditionally, a blazer meant a jacket of a solid color (usually navy or black) with...
How to Wear a Vest Casually

How to Wear a Vest Casually

Q: “Enjoyed your How to Dress Down Your Suit Jacket story. Do you have any tips for wearing a vest casually?” – Patrick N.  A:  Often we get asked about how to wear a vest with a suit and we’ve written a whole article about how to wear a vest with a suit the modern...
Surgeon's Cuffs and Kissing Buttons

Surgeon’s Cuffs and Kissing Buttons

Q: “Black Lapel, can you shed some light on working cuffs? Why should I get them and also, what exactly are kissing buttons?” – Jonas S. A: Working Cuffs (AKA “Surgeon’s Cuffs”)  When it comes a well-made suit, it’s all about the details. Why? The details can be a very heuristic tell of the suit’s...
Saving Money with Traditional Wet Shaving

Saving Money with Traditional Wet Shaving

Q: “I really enjoyed reading your guide on traditional wet shaving. But I was wondering, do you really save money using a safety razor as opposed to a normal cartidge razor?” – Jeff M.  A: Yes, while you’ll spend a little more initially acquiring the supplies, you’ll save in the long-term primarily because the costs...
Belt Alternatives: Side Tabs & Suspender Buttons

Belt Alternatives: Side Tabs & Suspender Buttons

Q: “Ever since discovering custom tailored suits, I’ve warmed up to the idea of forgoing the belt. Still, I feel a little awkward wearing suit pants with empty belt loops just hanging there. What are your thoughts on not wearing a belt on suit pants with belt loops?” – George M. A: As Glenn O’Brien once...
How Do You Tie a Trinity Knot?

How Do You Tie a Trinity Knot?

 Q: “I absolutely loved your Eldredge knot post! I’ve been looking for more unique knots like it ever since and came across something called the “Trinity Knot” which also looks really cool. Can you please have an “Ask a Black Lapel Stylist” post teaching us how to tie this one?” – Eric K. A: We’re...
How Do You Tie an Eldredge Knot?

How Do You Tie an Eldredge Knot?

 Q: “I stumbled upon this image recently of a tie knot that completely blew my mind. What is this majestic thing and how do I go about tying it?” – Alex J.   A: This mindblowing work of tie artistry is called the “Eldredge knot”. Its origins are uncertain (more on this later), but we do...
What Type of Shirt Collar Should I Wear?

What Type of Shirt Collar Should I Wear?

Q: I have an incredibly round face. In fact, back in Fifth grade, I won the Pi Day contest for having the roundest face in my class. What type of shirt collar should a guy with a round face like me wear? – James D. A: James, if you’re looking for a shirt collar that’ll...
How to Tie a Bow Tie

How to Tie a Bow Tie

Kevin needed to know how to tie a bow tie. We explained it in graphic detail (and included a video too).
Tie Bars

Tie Bars

Q: “I recently added tie bars to my sparse collection of accessories in an effort to add some flair to my looks, but I’m not really sure how to wear them. Is there a rule for where on the tie you should wear a tie bar?” – Jim K. A: When it comes to accessorizing a...