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Groomsmen Attire: The Ultimate Guide

10 groomsmen hands in a circle showing off embroidered cuffs on custom suits

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, and you want everything to be perfect. A big part of that is making sure the wedding party looks great. And that includes the groomsmen attire! The pictures taken will be something you cherish forever. Here is HARTTER MANLY’s guide to ensuring your groomsmen party looks awesome on your big day.

Groomsmen in elegant groomsman attire

Groomsmen Attire Tip #1

Ask yourself what look you want

First, determine what direction you want to go in. That is, do you want a more formal and cohesive look? If you want the look to be tight-knit and styled to a T, you can choose matching groomsmen attire. This is the more traditional option in wedding attire, but it’s not required. Another option is to go for a look that’s more broken up. Doing so allows your groomsmen a bit of freedom to express themselves on your big day. 

How to pull it off

Give them a general guide including the theme of the wedding, color palette, and environment your wedding will take place in. Of course, you’ll want to have them run their final looks by you before they commit. That’s because you don’t want anyone looking straight out of left field. But it can be be a lot of fun to let your groomsmen express themselves. If you do want to go this route, consider including one element that is static for all of your groomsmen. For instance, matching shoes, cufflinks, or pocket squares can really tie the whole image together.
Wedding party posing on stairs

Groomsmen Attire Tip #2

What is the style of the wedding?

Consider the tone, theme, and style of the wedding. The days of requiring three-piece suits in weddings are long gone. What is your wedding dress code? Weddings can have a wide variety of themes, tones, and styles, from beach-themed to rustic to black tie. Considering the theme, you want your party’s attire to match the tone and season of the wedding.  Obviously your guys would stick out like a sore thumb if they wore tuxedos to a beach wedding!

Consider your options for groomsmen attire that go with your theme

While you do want your group to look formal, there are a lot of options for groomsmen attire for any theme imaginable. Doing a rustic theme? Consider forgoing the jackets and dress your guys in suspenders and a bow-tie. Getting married by the sand and the waves? Try lighter linen suits. Are you a country couple? Clean dark denim, a crisp white custom shirt, and cowboy boots look great.  That is, so long as they look neat and tidy. All in all, you want your party to fit in well with the style your wedding is going for.

Wedding Photo with men in vests

Groomsmen Attire Tip #3

Coordinate groomsmen attire with your better half

So you’ve perfected the look of your groomsmen so they blend with your attire. Remember, you need to be sure their look complements your partner’s party as well. Your groomsmen don’t have to match your spouse-to-be’s party perfectly, though. So long as they have similar elements here and there, or common colors, everything will look great. In fact, you do want there to be a little bit of variety between the two parties. All in all, you and your partner’s parties say a little bit about who you each are as people. 

How to do it

The most common way to tie the two parties together is to use elements with similar colors. You can either use colors from the same family, or you can have them use a separate color that is part of your wedding’s color palette. Those same colors and will be used throughout the ceremony in other elements, such as bouquets, seating, or decor. HARTTER MANLY’s customers often match their garment’s button stitch to either the bridesmaids’ dress color, or match the tie and/or pocket square.

Wedding party with matching themed bridesmaid and groomsman attire

Groomsmen Attire Tip #4

Keep the cost of groomsmen attire in mind

Typically, groomsmen pay for their attire themselves, whether they purchase the look or use a rental service. Your groomsmen might come from a different income level than you and even each other, and you want to be sure that you’re not throwing a massive unexpected expense at them. Keep the cost in mind as you’re building your look, and get your groomsmen’s thoughts up front on what they are comfortable paying.

How to manage the cost for your groomsmen

If the party can afford it, purchasing custom suits is always best to create the vision you are going for. You can often get discounted rates for larger parties and share the cost with your groomsmen as part of their groomsmen gift. If purchasing isn’t an option, avoid the boxy brands and go with a shop that understands fit.
A wedding party in elegant groomsman attire by Hartter Manly

Groomsmen Attire Tip #5

Remember every guy is different

Your groomsmen are probably of all different shapes and sizes. You want to pick a look that is going to look great on all of them. If you are worried about the look you pick being unflattering on certain guys in your party, consider giving them the basic parameters – color, fabric, elements like tie and pocket square – and then allow them to find a fit that works for their shape. In a situation where they are all of vastly different shapes, it may be a good idea to go with the concept we mentioned at the beginning: having them all wear different things with some smaller elements in common, or go the custom fit route.

Tying it all together

There’s a lot of work that goes into making your big day perfect for you and your partner. Every single element says something about you two as people and your relationship as a whole. Dressing the wedding party is one of the most important aspects of creating a wedding to remember, and there are many different approaches you can take when crafting your look. Sit down with your guys and your better half and talk about the style and tone you want your wedding to have, deliberate a bit, and use these guidelines to create the perfect look for your big day. If you are interested in renting versus buying, check out HARTTER MANLY’s Rental Options. Happy planning!

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The Right Fit: Ensuring Your Suit Works for You

David at a cafe table

The Right Fit

Suits can be tricky: there are a lot of nuances in suit construction and fit that can make or break a look. No matter the dress code, the jacket, shirt, and trousers all have a variety of aspects that must work together for the suit to look well-fitted and neat. Today, we’re going to look at the different elements of a suit, and talk about how to determine if your pieces have a proper fit. If you are in need of a new suit immediately, check out our suit selection that we can customize to get the right fit for you. You can also read up on our guide to your first custom suit.

How to look for the right fit

First, when trying on your suit, you want to make sure you are standing in what is called the ‘natural stance’. In such a stance, you stand straight with your feet placed slightly apart and your arms hanging loosely by your sides.

Row of suits to chose the right fit

The Right Fit: The Jacket

The jacket easily has the most elements that you need to consider when analyzing the fit of your suit. You must consider the space around the button, the collar, the sleeves, and the back panel, which includes the vents and length. The most important aspect of a jacket’s fit is the shoulders, because they act as the framework for the rest of the jacket and its drape over your body.

The Fit on The Shoulders

The shoulders should lie flat, with no ripples or lumps. Ripples or lumps are indicative of shoulders that are either too long or too short.

If the shoulders are too short, lumps appear because the edge of the suit shoulder pulls back over the the top of your actual shoulder. On the other hand, when the shoulders of a suit are too long, excess cloth hangs over the edge of your shoulder.  The excess cloth forms lumps and ripples.

As a guide, wear shoulders that are slightly wider than your own shoulders. Doing so ensures there is room for the meeting between the shoulder and the arm to rest over the dress shirt without pulling taut.

Man with suit and floral tie. The suit shows the right fit.

How Do The Buttons Fit?

Next, look at the buttons. If you’re in your ‘natural stance’, fasten at least one of the buttons. How does the jacket look when it’s stretched around your torso? If the lapels hang down and angle off your chest, the fit is too loose. If the jacket material pulls the button taut and the bottom corners of the jacket are flare outwards, it is too tight. As with the shoulders, you want no strain and no wrinkles.

The Collar Fit

Your collar is somewhat similar. If it’s too loose, it will hang back and won’t rest flat against your neck. If it’s too tight, it will bunch around the collar. You want it to rest against your neck and be closely fitted, but not too snug. You should be able to fit one or two fingers in between the collar and your neck itself. A poorly fitting collar could be because the size of the collar isn’t right for your body. Other reasons could be due to poorly fitted shoulders or an incorrect size for the back panel.

The Right Fit of the Back and Vents

Speaking of the back, the length should fall just along the curve of the buttocks. From the side view, the bottom hem of the jacket should sit right at the middle of the hand. The vents of the back panel should be sitting flat. That is, they should not pull outwards. If they do, then the fit is too tight. The sleeves come down to one thing: the amount of shirt cuff that is showing underneath the cuff of the jacket. You want there to be about half an inch of shirt cuff peeking out.

A man wearing a properly fit suit jacket.

The Right Fit: The Shirt

The shirt is not quite as complicated as the jacket, even though it obviously contains many of the same elements that the jacket does. Much like the jacket, the collar should be snug, but there should be room for one or two fingers.

The Shoulder Fit

Compared to the jacket, the shoulders of the shirt should be an even closer fit. You don’t want any over-extension at the point where the shoulder meets the arm. Therefore, it should be as close a fit as possible without being tight. That’s because if the shirt is too tight, the shoulders will bunch up.

The Right Length

The shirt sleeves should end at the break of the wrist. You can identify the break as the point where the large wrist-bone is. Stylists recommend having about a half-inch of shirt cuff peeking out from underneath the jacket sleeve. The shape of the shirt should be slim against your torso with a natural taper near your waist. For shirt length, you want enough extra fabric to easily tuck the shirt in. Not only that, but there should be enough that if you lift your arms, it won’t untuck on its own. A good guide is that the extra fabric should reach the v-shaped panel at the top of the inseam.

Man in pink suit

The Right Fit: The Trousers

The Waist and Seat

The waist of your trousers should be snug, but not tight. They should stay up on their own without a belt. The seat should rest flat against the undergarments, without pulling tight or draping too loosely. If the seat is too tight, you will have lines just under the buttocks where the fabric is stretching. If it is too loose, the extra fabric will drape down over your thighs.

How Should Trouser Legs Fit?

The fit of the legs should be straight, with a very slight taper as the pant moves down the leg. They definitely should not flair out, but they also shouldn’t end up too tight around the ankle. That is, unless you want to look like a skater wearing skinny jeans. You want the legs to taper at a slight inward tilt, but still have room for movement. The ‘break’ – or the point where the hem of your pant meets the top of your shoe – is the most crucial part of a trouser fit. You want it to just rest on the top of your shoe. It should result in a slight inward dip right above the front of the pant leg. The break should hit right where the two elements meet.

Man in blue suit standing on stairs. The suit has the right fit through the trousers

The Elements Combined

When you put all of these together, a description of the right fit seems a bit redundant, but it’s the truth: you want everything to lie flat, for the majority of the elements. If your pieces are too tight or too loose, it will cause ripples, strains, and lumps that diminish the elegance you hoped to convey by wearing a suit in the first place. Now that we’re tying it all together, these things seem obvious, but we hope that the specific guidelines we’ve put forth here will help you look at all the elements individually, so that you are left with a perfect fit, every time.

Your Perfect Fit

Ready for your perfect fit? When we make our custom suits, we alter a pattern with your exact measurements. The pattern fits your body before we start constructing the suit, which produces a suit that’s a perfect fit. Even better, our H|M Mobile Tailor calculates your precise measurements down to a millimeter straight from home. All it takes is two photos from your smartphone camera.

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Blake Stitch vs. Goodyear Welt: The Shoe Welt Types Showdown

different shoe welts Black welt vs Goodyear welt

Quality shoes are complex: they have a wide variety of construction methods for every aspect of the shoe, and these options all have their pros and cons. You may be considering whether to go with a Blake Stitch vs Goodyear Welt, or you may even be considering something else. In the shoe welt showdown, we are going to look over shoe welt types, and what you need to know when making a decision on the type of shoe welt you want in a pair.

What Is A Shoe Welt?

Put simply, the welt is the layer of material that rests between the insole and the outsole of your shoe. A shoe welt is a structural layer providing support and durability to the shoe’s construction. 

The shoe welt lays between the insole and the outsole and serves a few important purposes. The welt layer is essential in order to create extra support and water resistance. Choosing the right shoe welt type makes for a superior, more durable overall construction. 

In reviewing the Blake stitch vs Goodyear welt, you will need to be familiar with some general shoe terminology.

Shoe Terminology: Insole, Outsole, and Upper

The insole of a shoe is the layer of material your foot makes contact with when you’re wearing your shoes. The outsole is the layer that makes contact with the ground. Another term we will be using here is the upper: the pieces that construct the main portion of the shoe, the portion your foot goes into.

Custom shoes with goodyear shoe welt types

Shoe Welt Types - Blake Stitch Vs Goodyear Welt

shoe welt types diagram comparing blake stitch vs goodyear welt

There are three main varieties of shoe welt types when it comes to attachment, but we’re going to look in depth at two today. The third shoe welt type is called cementing, and it’s simply gluing the layers together. It’s cheap, easy to do, and is usually found on more casual shoes that are less well built. Here, we’re going to mainly focus on the Goodyear and the Blake welt. When comparing a Goodyear welt vs Blake welt, both of these shoe welt types are high quality. As with many garments, the more durable options speak to a higher quality product.

What is a Blake Welt (a.k.a Blake Stitch)?

In a Blake welt, the upper wraps all the way around the insole, resting between the insole and the welt layer. A single stitch pushed down through the insole passes through the upper, the welt, and the outsole. It comes to rest perpendicular to the shoe’s layers.

Blake Stitch Construction

Industrial and flexible – the Blake welt is more common than the Goodyear. It’s more common because it’s easier to construct. The Blake welt’s industrial construction method requires a specific machine and cannot be done by hand. 

Blake Stitch vs Goodyear Welt: Benefits of The Blake Welt

The Blake welt is simpler to construct compared to the Goodyear. It does require a specific machine to create, but on the whole, it is less expensive than a Goodyear welt. The stitch goes through only a few layers, making it more flexible. Because of its simplicity in construction, resoling is simple as well.

Blake Stitch vs Goodyear Welt: Drawbacks of Blake Welt

On the other hand, because the Blake welt requires a specific machine, resoling can be more expensive, despite the initial construction of a Blake welt being on the less expensive side. In addition, while fewer layers does make the shoe more flexible, it also makes it less water resistant, and in some cases, less durable. Some men say their foot becomes irritated by the interior stitching on the insole, as well.

What is a Goodyear Welt?

Most shoemakers and footwear connoisseurs consider the Goodyear to be the superior among all shoe welt types. Custom and intricate, the Goodyear welt is less common and more complex than even the Blake Welt. Overall, the Goodyear welt is more expensive to construct than other shoe welt types because the design is more intricate. Not to mention, shoes with Goodyear welts are handmade. Because of the intricate hand-construction, the welt is also more durable compared to a Blake Welt. 

Construction of the Goodyear Welt

When we say the Goodyear welt construction is complex, we mean it. There is a three-step system involved in constructing a Goodyear welt. First, the shoemaker prepares the insole by creating a perpendicular rib that extends below the insole into the welt. Sometimes the rib uses material cut and sculpted from the insole material itself, or it can use an entirely different material. The maker then stretches the upper into the shape of the toe, and presses it up against the insole rib. A second rib, made from the upper, rests next to the insole rib.

Blake Stitch vs Goodyear Welt: Benefits of the Goodyear Welt

A major benefit of the Goodyear welt is that the two separate stitches makes for an easy resole. Also, while they are more expensive to construct up front, due to the extra materials and manual labor required, the lack of necessity for a specific machine makes for a less expensive resole. While the ribs make for a less flexible shoe, it is more supportive, durable, and water-resistant.

Dark aubergine patina chukka boots with goodyear shoe welt types

So Which of the Shoe Welt Types is Right For You?

When picking a welt style, your choice comes down to trade-offs. In the Shoe Welt Types Showdown, we’ve highlighted some of the pros and cons, now it’s just down to what you’re looking for and what you’re willing to forego. When it comes to deciding between the Blake Stitch vs Goodyear Welt, keep in mind that if you’re looking for a hardy shoe that is going to last you for many, many years, go with a Goodyear. The Goodyear welt, with its durability, more involved construction process, and resoling capabilities, is widely considered the superior welt.

Our Choice between Blake Stitch Vs Goodyear Welt

Therefore, we strictly offer Goodyear welt shoes here at HARTTER MANLY. We want your shoes to last a lifetime and to only fit better with time. Like most elements of a man’s wardrobe, it’s a good idea to have a variety of options. If you’re only looking to invest in one pair of shoes now, take these tips into consideration. Head over to our store and shop our shoe collection, or book an appointment to customize the perfect pair for you.

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Wedding Dress Codes: Dress to Impress

Man in custom vest donning a custom jacket with paisley lining.

Weddings are fabulous affairs, but dressing for them can be a bit tricky. The good thing is, the happy couple will almost always give you a dress code in their invitation to work with. So there’s no need to worry about showing up to their big day sticking out like a sore thumb. But what does “Dress to Impress” mean for a wedding? What about a “Black Tie Optional” or “Casual” dress code? We’re going to look at the most common wedding dress codes and tell you a bit about what they mean for you as a guest.

The wedding dress codes we will cover are white tie, black tie, black tie optional, semi-formal, dress to impress (festive), casual, and destination. Clearly, there are a lot of options that the couple can pick from when organizing their big day, and it’s important that you as a guest dress appropriately for the occasion.

White tuxedo for formal wedding dress code

The Most Formal Wedding Dress Codes

White Tie

A white tie affair is what you can expect for the Met Gala. It is the highest level of formality there is for events and wedding dress codes. For the men, there isn’t too much opportunity to express yourself or have fun picking out your look. That’s because the goal is for everyone to look extremely similar and, of course, extremely formal. A white tie dress code requires a tuxedo with tails – no exceptions – and a formal white shirt and white vest. The expectation is that you will also wear a bow tie, white gloves, and formal shoes like a pair of clean, inconspicuous Oxfords.

Black Tie

The next most formal dress code is black tie. Imagine a party you’d see James Bond himself at. Most people associate this event dress code with evening events. Black tie is similar to the white tie, where hosts expect you to wear a tuxedo. However, there are some slight differences. The main difference is that your vest is typically black as opposed to white. Another option is to opt for a cummerbund. For footwear, you’ll want to wear, for example, black patent leather shoes. While black tie attire is slightly less formal than white tie, the goal is still for the men to look as similar and polished as possible.

Black Tuxedo for Formal Wedding Dress Code

The Formal Wedding Dress Codes

Black Tie Optional

Black tie optional can be a bit confusing, considering the existence of regular black tie. The general rule is that a tuxedo is recommended, but not required. If you don’t want to wear a tuxedo, you have options! For instance, you can still maintain a high level of formality by wearing a clean, dark suit, a white dress shirt, and a dark tie. Typically your tie should be in a solid color as opposed to a pattern. This wedding dress code does leave a little more room for creativity, but is still quite formal and is typically used for evening weddings.

Semi Formal/Dressy Casual

The semi-formal style leaves a decent amount of room for options. You’re not required to wear any one particular thing, and when you’re deciding what to wear, you’ll want to consider the time of day and the season of the wedding. Semi-formal attire has a wide range of options that are appropriate, but there are a few guidelines to keep in mind. You will want to wear a suit and tie, but you can go light if the wedding is taking place during the day or in the summer, and dark if it’s an evening affair, or takes place in the winter.
HM GPG suit, an excellent choice for a "dress to impress" or "Semi formal" wedding dress code.

The Less Formal Wedding Dress Codes

Dress to Impress Wedding Dress Code

Festive light blue suit with thin black tie, an excellent option for a dress to impress wedding dress code

Dress to impress, also known as festive dress code is a relatively recent phenomenon, and can be a lot of fun to dress for. The key tenet is that the happy couple wants their guests to have fun with their looks. You’ll still want to wear a suit, but you can play with the look by wearing a fun accessories. Try a bow-tie, suspenders, a patterned tie, or a bright pocket square. Basically, have fun with this one! You have a good amount of freedom here!

Casual Wedding Dress Code

Couple at beachfront destination wedding
Casual weddings typically take place outdoors, sometimes even on the beach. You can be pretty relaxed in this wedding dress code: dress pants or khakis are all good, with a collared shirt. If you want to dress it up a bit, you can wear a tie or a jacket, but it’s not required. Bring a nice looking sweater if it’s going to be cold or windy!

Destination Wedding Dress Code

Destination wedding attire for beach wedding

You’ve been invited to a destination wedding! Awesome, let’s party! Destination weddings are every wedding guest’s dream invitation, as they usually mean somewhere tropical. If so, the weather will likely be humid and hot, and you’ll want to dress in something nice but also comfortable for the environment. Guayabera shirts are commonplace at tropical weddings. Also known as Cuban summer shirts, they are short sleeved, linen button-downs. You can identify these shirts by the two vertical pleats on either side of the front of the shirt, and the decorative pocket. Wear with linen pants or khakis for a perfect beach wedding look.

A Dress Code for Every Occasion

As we mentioned at the start of this article, the happy couple will definitely let you know what the dress code is for their wedding. Themes and styles are an integral part of wedding planning. It is important for guests to fit in with the look they are going for as well. We’ve covered seven different wedding dress codes. Take a look at suits, shirts, pants, and shoes designed by HARTTER MANLY. 

Wedding portrait. The groom is wearing a custom purple colored tuxedo jacket

With the tens of thousands of customization options, you can create the perfect look for the next wedding you find yourself attending!

Additionally, two of our top selling suits are available for rent: our royal-blue peak lapel suit, The Charlotte Spirit, and our stunning black tuxedo, The Hawkeye. Both are great wedding options for every dress code, from dress-to-impress to black tie. No matter the wedding dress code, HARTTER | MANLY has something to suit you exquisitely.

Want more pointers/tips for your wedding day? Book a free appointment with our style experts.

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Fall Fashion: The Ultimate Style Guide

HARTTER MANLY Fall fashion guide

Fall is Upon Us

The temperatures have begun to drop, and the sun makes a quick appearance and an even quicker exit. The leaves are falling in a rainbow of warm tones. As the season changes, so should your wardrobe – not just for fashion, but for function, as well. After all, those temperatures are indeed dropping. This guide will tell you exactly what you need to know about Fall fashion and dressing well for the season. We cover colors, patterns, fabrics, and even footwear that will have you looking and feeling your best this Autumn.


Colors Fit for Fall Fashion

In Fall, you will want your look to be made up of darker, warmer tones – much like the falling leaves. Mustard yellow, dusky orange, rich browns, and burgundies are all colors you can use to match the season. Colors that don’t quite go with this theme but can still work just as well are olive green and navy blue.

Typically, you will want your jacket and pants to match, since Fall fashion colors are typically more muted. But if you want to stand out a bit, wear a contrasting shirt and tie to spice up the look. Read our full guide on layering for the inside scoop on mixing and matching your layers.

Of course, you can mix and match, but you’ll want to keep within the general color guidelines we mentioned above.

Burgundy suit with mustard yellow accents-sitting-on-stairs-beside-sunglasses


The Fall Fashion Staple: Wool

Wool is the number one fabric for Fall styles, but it comes in a variety of knits and constructions. Most commonly used is worsted wool, which contains straight, parallel fibers that have been combed until even and smooth. It is what you will find on most traditional suits – it has a flat and even appearance due to the combing and positioning of the fibers, and creates a clean, tailored look. Another option is wool flannel. Wool flannels are made of worsted wool, but after weaving, they are brushed to create a raised texture, or a nap, resulting in a very soft-to-the-touch fabric.

A Wool Variation: Tweed

Tweed is a classic fabric in menswear and is especially suited for Fall fashion. Carded wool, as opposed to combed, is the base of tweed.  A card is a board covered with fine metal teeth. The cards run over and through the wool to separate the fibers, clean them, and disentangle them, until the material is a fine web. Next, a spinner spins the web into a continuous strand. The continuous strand, known as a sliver, is ready to weave. Carded wool is bulkier, raised, and more flexible, as well as quite a bit warmer. Because the wool is first carded, tweed has bumps and a raised texture. The texture creates a pliable surface that has a better drape.

Wool sweaters in various Fall Fashion colors

Classic Patterns for Fall

The Fall Fashion Must-Have: Plaid

The most quintessential pattern for Fall fashion is plaid, which is created by overlapping multiple bands of colors both horizontally and vertically. Plaid is a very versatile pattern: you can wear bright and contrasting colors with a wide-set plaid for a trendier look, or you can keep the color palette more monotone and keep the checks smaller for subtlety. Check out all of our HARTTER MANLY Sports Jackets to get the perfect plaid jacket for this fall season.

The Classic Fall Pattern: Houndstooth

Houndstooth is another common Fall pattern. Houndstooth patterns are two-toned and are made up of tessellated shapes: shapes that sit next to and around each other without overlap and without space in between. For an example of a tessellation, look no further than the works of M.C. Escher. The two tones used are typically similar shades and in more muted and dark colors, which makes it a perfect pattern for Fall.

The Elegant Fall Fashion: Herringbone

A third common Fall pattern is Herringbone, which looks much like the skeleton of a fish – hence its name. Herringbone is made up of parallel columns of chevrons placed in alternating directions. The detail of Herringbone is often so tiny that you can really only see the pattern up close. Comparatively, from farther distances the pattern looks more like a solid, which gives you subtle elegance and sophistication.

custom overcoat in orange

Fall Fashion Must: Shoes

Boots are, of course, a staple for Fall wear. We’re not talking about Docs, though: the boots you see in fine menswear are often lower, sitting on the ankle as opposed to the shin, and not nearly as bulky. Examples of common Fall boots are the monkstrap, the leather chukka, and the brogue boot.


With the monk strap, you can use a single for a more subtle look or go a bit more bold with a double. Single monk strap shoes are a clean, elegant style. Double monk straps, on the other hand, are a modern twist on the classic.


Chukkas – ankle-high boots with open-lacing and two or three pairs of eyelets – are stylish almost any time of year, but to really fit in with the Fall aesthetic, you will want to go with a leather pair.

Brogue Design

Brogue is not a style of shoe, but a design style usually seen on oxfords. To play up the Fall vibe, wear a pair of boots with a brogue pattern (the stylized perforations on the toe of the shoe).

Of course, if you’re not a boot guy, some traditional low-rise oxfords work just as well for Fall. Check out our collection of Oxfords to shop shoe styles for Fall.

Leather Shoes made to measure, on top of Fall Fashion leather bag

Fall is a fun season to dress for, with lots of options. These are guidelines to help you narrow it down a bit, but the possibilities are endless. With the tips in this guide, and the thousands of possible combinations you can achieve when building a custom look with us, you are now more than ready to step into Fall in looks that you can be proud of. Book a free appointment with our style experts to get to work on your newest custom piece for fall.

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The Art of Layering: Adding Additional Elements

Layered fabrics in yellow, red, brown, and grey

Layering is an art, but it doesn’t have to be complex. While we here at H|M specialize in suits and more formal wear, we want to be a resource for you no matter what you’re wearing. So today we’re going to discuss the art of layering. Here’s how to achieve a comfortable, versatile style that looks as great as it feels. Layering is most beneficial in Spring and Fall, when different parts of the day can vary in temperature. In such weather, layering allows you to stay comfortable all day long, while still looking great.

Layering Basics

There are three main rules you want to follow, which we will discuss below. We include some tips and tricks to make sure that all the individual pieces of your outfit work. Specifically, we want to make sure the pieces work for you and work together. Before we get into that, though, let’s talk about the different layers that make up a put-together layered look.

David Manly in bold blue suit with black overcoat

Shop The Look

Layering 101: The Different Layers

Innermost Layer

The absolute innermost layer – your undershirt or tank – should not be showing at all. It lies against the skin and is a protective layer. Because it is never visible, we’re not going to worry about what you wear for it. That’s completely up to you.

Shirt Layer

The next layer is the shirt layer. An outer layer typically covers up your shirt layer. However unless you’re wearing a sweater or vest, your shirt is partially visible at the center of your torso, and sometimes the collar is visible at at your neck. The shirt layer can act as a solid visual anchor – contrasting with the layers above if you so choose. More on this is discussed below in Rule #1.

Layering Formal Shirts

For your shirt layer, a dress shirt is always a good bet. It’s definitely the most commonly used shirt layer, especially in more formal settings. But dress shirts are also not your only option. Polos and Henleys are common as well, depending on if you want to go more sporty or more casual.

Layering Casual Shirts

If you’re heading out to hang with the guys or going to a casual party and want a bit more edge to your look, you can even wear a tee. That being said, be very careful when picking the tee you are going to wear. The goal of layering is to look polished, so a raggedy old sports team tee is not the way you want to go. A well-kept solid color, or a more neutral graphic tee can work if you do it right.

Middle Layer

Above the shirt layer you have the middle/jacket layer. This is most often a blazer or a sport-coat, but can also be a sweater or vest. This will be your outermost layer when you are inside. You can wear a sports jacket or a blazer, which is more traditional, but there are other options, too, like a sweater or a waistcoat. There are even more options within the sweater category: thin sweaters, thick woolen sweaters, and the sweater-vest. Sweaters are also versatile: depending on the style, they can be a middle layer or an outer layer. A thin cotton sweater can be worn under a jacket, but a thick woolen sweater can be worn as an outer layer in lieu of a jacket.

Outer Layer

The outermost layer is known as the coat layer, or simply the outer layer. This can be a peacoat, trenchcoat, long woolen overcoat … whatever type of coat you feel best in. Your coat layer should be long enough to cover all the other layers, and loose enough to fit over them yet still appear fitted. There are so many options for coat styles, and they can be one of the hardest parts of a layered look to figure out. So take some time to try things out. And when you find a style you like, invest in it and stick with it.

Optional: Shell Layer

Depending on the weather where you are, you can use an optional shell layer, which serves more as a function piece. For instance, a thin, weather-proof raincoat is a good example of a shell layer.

man with maroon overcoat and scarf

Accent Layers

If you’ve gone quite simple with your look and you still want to add another layer of style, consider accent pieces. Accent layers like hats, scarves, gloves, or jewelry can add a lot of style if done correctly. A well-made watch is a stand out piece against a custom suit. However , if you already have some very bright colors or complex patterns, avoid any extraneous pieces. If your look does have bright or complex patterns, keep accents on the subtle side. As a general rule, you want your clothing to do most of the work for you. That is, let your accent pieces be small touches that give just a bit more panache to your look.

Some Rules on Layering

Layering doesn’t have to be a pain. You can look great in a layered outfit by keeping these tips in mind and being careful about what you put together. A well-done layered outfit looks amazing and serves you well in rapidly changing weather. These tips should help you be on your way to putting together amazing ensembles in no time.

Rule #1: Patterns should be scaled by intensity

In order to have a cohesive look, avoid having patterns or fabrics of different intensities on randomly placed layers. You want to make your patterns progressive: lightest to strongest. There is no hard set rule on whether light goes on the inside or the outside – you can wear it either way. Make sure that no matter which layer your light pattern goes, the farthest layer from it has the strongest pattern, with medium intensity patterns going in the middle. 

For example, if you’re wearing a solid color shirt in a more neutral hue, you will want your outer layer to be either a brighter color or a pattern other than solid. In the middle, you could use a slightly brighter hue of the shirt’s color, so that your look gets progressively more bold, from the inner to the outer layers.

Rule #2: Use one or two bright colors as accents

This rule is quite simple: part of the art of layering is learning how to balance. Having a bright color for every layer will look loud and obnoxious. You can absolutely use bright colors when layering, but keep it to one or two of these shades and keep everything else more neutral.

Rule #3: Each visible layer should be something you can wear on its own

The core purpose of layering is to allow the wearer to shed or don the layers throughout the day to maximize comfort. Because of this, you don’t want any of your layers to be something you wouldn’t wear on its own. That’s because if you decide you don’t want that layer shown because you don’t like the way it looks by itself, it defeats the purpose. When putting on a layered outfit, stop in front of your mirror after you’ve put on each layer, analyze the look, and determine if you would feel comfortable going out in the look as it is just then. Once you’ve determined it works, add another layer, then stop again and survey the look. Do this until you have your last layer on and take one last look. Make sure everything looks great all together, and then you are ready to go tackle the day.

Layering doesn’t have to be a pain. You can look great in a layered outfit by keeping these tips in mind and being careful about what you put together. A well-done layered outfit looks amazing and serves you well in rapidly changing weather. These tips should help you be on your way to putting together amazing ensembles in no time.
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How to Identify a Well-Made Custom Suit

Well made custom suit

Suits are always going to be an investment. More often than not in menswear, you get what you pay for. Here, we’re going to talk a bit about what it is that makes a suit worth more. Ensure you are making a worthwhile investment by learning how to identify a quality, well-made suit.

In order to identify a suit’s quality, you need to look at all aspects of the suit, including the fabric, the proportions and cut, the lining and other aspects of the construction, and the tiny little details, like the buttonholes and the seams.

First, What’s It Made Of?

With a cheap suit, you are going to see polyester or blend fabrics which, if you ask us, is an immediate quality disqualifier. Most well made custom suits use only 100% wool. Beyond looking at the tag for the fabric composition, you can determine quality by feel as well. Pure wool feels softer and more flexible than a polyester or a polyester blended suit. Additionally, you will see a better drape over your body, and the fabric is more breathable. If the material is blended, look for predominantly wool composition with a satin or a cashmere blend. Avoid polyester! Satin and cashmere blends with wool are some of the highest quality fabrics on the market. The suit’s tag might identify where the yarn comes from. In that case, look for Italy, France, England, or the United States.

fabric in neutral tones

Second, How Is It Constructed?

Standard Suit Patterns

All suit-making requires patterns. Where that pattern comes from can be a good way to tell the quality of a suit. Ready-made patterns result in one-size-fits-all construction. A ready-made pattern means the suit will never fit you perfectly even if you take it to a tailor after purchasing. Suits you find at Joseph A. Bank or Men’s Wearhouse all use the same pattern and will never have a perfect fit.

Custom Suit Patterns

High quality, well-made custom suits are bespoke or made-to-measure. If you want the bespoke look but don’t want to break the bank, consider our hybrid MTM process. We alter a pattern with your measurements, so the pattern fits your body before we start constructing the suit. This process produces a suit that’s a perfect fit. Even better, our H|M Mobile Tailor calculates your precise measurements down to a millimeter at home. All it takes is two photos from your smartphone camera.

Half Canvas vs Full Canvas Custom Suits

The jacket interlining is a great indicator of quality. Cheap suits usually have a fused interlining, which means the lining is glued onto the fabric of the suit jacket. High quality suits, on the other hand, have either half or full canvassed interlining. In these cases, the lining is sewn instead of glued. Full canvas means the whole lining is sewn to the jacket. For a half canvas suit, only the most important part has sewn lining: the shoulders and collar. Canvas provides flexibility and breathability in your suit. A canvassed jacket molds to your body, fitting better over time.

half canvas vs full canvas suit

Third, How Do the Details Look?

Sometimes you can tell whether a suit is cheap or quality just by looking at the little details, like the buttonholes, the buttons, and the stitching. On a cheap suit, the buttonholes are machine-made, and typically have fraying on the thread. In a quality custom suit, you will find buttonholes that are either hand-sewn, or are machine-made with a high quality machine, resulting in neater, cleaner stitches without fraying.

The buttons themselves are another good indicator. Cheap buttons may be plastic, and are more than likely attached with glue. Quality buttons are composed of nacre, or Mother-of-Pearl – the inner shell layer of an oyster, and are stitched on. Here at HARTTER MANLY, we use a hybrid approach. Our process utilizes both hand-sewing and high-quality machine techniques to construct the details of your suit. Combined with our customization tool, we can make your suit exactly the way you want.

As we all know, a lot goes into constructing a well-made custom suit. Some suit-makers cut corners, use cheap materials, or speed through the construction. In order to make sure you are getting the most for your money, you can use this guide to analyze a suit and know with certainty that you’re making a quality investment. Ready to have your very own bespoke suit? If so, start shopping for your custom suit to get the creation process started.

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Got The Time? How to Identify a Well-Made Watch

Gold colored classic pocket watch against dark black background. Internal watch components are visible.

Watches are, at their core, machines – small but powerful. There are so many moving parts that go into a working timepiece, which means that there is a broad window of price ranges that go along with them. Today we will look into what makes a timepiece high quality, and how you can identify a well-made watch before buying.

A hand holding a luxury watch with leather strap

First Things First

Does the watch industry operate along the lines of “you get what you pay for”? Not always. Price does not always directly correlate with quality. Above a certain price point, you’re no longer paying for superior quality. Instead, you’re paying for the brand name and the status that comes with it. For example, is a $500 watch going to be five times better than a $100 watch? Definitely. Is a $5000 watch going to be ten times better than a $500 watch? Probably not. So how then do we determine quality?

First, companies that make lower quality watches use mass production and fewer parts. With that in mind, you can assume that a $10-$50 watch is probably priced that low because of how cheap it was to make. In that instance, you can know that you’re getting what you pay for, simply because it makes sense mathematically. Generally, what is inside the watch is more important than the outer aesthetic in terms of quality, because the inner workings are what makes a watch function well. However, you are not always going to be able to see the inner workings. So we’ll talk a bit about how to identify a well-made watch simply by looking at the outward appearance.

Black and bronze watch placed on stone surface

What’s On The Outside of a Well-Made Watch?

Angles and Shapes

Sharp edges are an easy way to identify a cheaper watch. Even on hard angles, there should be a slight curve to a watch for comfort. You will tend to see slightly rounded edges on higher quality watches. You will see simpler case shapes and fewer details on the watch face in a lower quality watch. The surfaces are less polished and are less likely to be bead blasted or brushed for a smooth finish. Higher quality watches typically have hand-finishing: the beveling, engraving, and enameling are all done by hand.

Dials and Details

Cheaper watches will have flatter dials, which end up looking more two-dimensional in appearance. You’re also less likely to see hobnailed bezels or stylized numerals in a cheaper watch. Those kinds of details are more expensive and time-consuming to produce.


On a cheaper watch, you will see cheaper crystal or mineral glass as the face covering, which is more susceptible to scratching. On a well-made watch, you are more likely to see sapphire, which is highly durable and clear. In addition, you will see more complications – a term used to identify additional features of a watch – such as a chronograph, the date on the face of the watch, water resistance, and more.

Rolex deepsea watch with silver band an blue face

What About The Inside of a Well-Made Watch?

Well-made watches will typically have mechanical movements, which involve more working parts to keep the watch functioning well. These are usually more expensive because they require a large amount of time and labor to put together the small, intricate, complex mechanisms that make the watch tick. They are powered by mechanical parts that sit on a spring, with an oscillating balance wheel used to regulate time. The inner pieces of a mechanical watch are usually made of precious metals and jewels used to keep the watch parts from deteriorating.

Quartz movements are typical of cheaper watches, as they are more affordable to manufacture. In a Quartz movement, electricity powers the Quartz crystal, which then create small vibrations at a very specific frequency. The watch determines how much time has elapsed by measuring those vibrations. While they are cheaper to make, they are highly accurate and durable. In some cases, they are even more accurate than a mechanical movement.

As we mentioned above, a higher price doesn’t always mean a superior product once you pass a certain point. We’ve given you the tools you need to identify a high-quality timepiece for the next time you go accessory shopping. Use these tools to make an informed decision, as a watch is an investment – one you’ll want to make with as much knowledge as possible.

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Race Day Attire: Kentucky Derby

What to wear for the Kentucky derby

Kentucky Derby & Other Race Day Fashion

Everyone has heard of the Kentucky Derby. It’s the annual horse race where high, fun fashion is paramount. But did you know that there are two additional races that fill out the Triple Crown? The Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes are the two races that follow the Kentucky Derby, and the team that wins all three earns that coveted Triple Crown. You may have heard a bit about the wild traditions that make up Kentucky Derby fashion. Maybe you’ve even attended! But the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes each have their own dress code. Here, we’ll break it down for you, so you look great at each race.

What to wear for the Kentucky Derby

First, The Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby Theme

The centerpiece of Kentucky Derby fashion is, you guessed it, the hats. Women wear huge Summer hats in bright or pastel colors. The hats feature details such as feathers, buttons, tulle, lace, and more. But at the Kentucky Derby, the men can stand out too.

The Kentucky Derby Look

Make it bold but not too busy

You’ll see all sorts of wild and bold patterns on the gents at the Derby. There are the basics like bold stripes and plaid, but there are also more unique patterns – flamingos, margaritas, American flags, florals, and more. The key to a great Derby look that doesn’t look too busy is to have one element in a bold pattern. For instance, make a bold statement with the shirt, the jacket, or the pants, and keep the other two more neutral. They can still stand out a bit, though. Try a bright or pastel color or a more subtle pattern, but make sure it doesn’t take center stage. 

Add statement accessories

You can also have one of your accessories be in a bold pattern as well: a tie, bowtie, or pocket square. To finish off the look, put on a Panama hat and slip your feet into some horsebit loafers – but forego the socks. 

The goal at the Kentucky Derby is to stand out and make a statement. Derby fashion is definitely the wildest you’ll see in the three races, and it’s tons of fun to get dressed for.

Second, The Preakness Stakes

Fashionable custom suit made to order

The Theme

The Preakness Stakes aren’t nearly as wild and free as the Kentucky Derby, but that doesn’t mean the fashion isn’t fun. Preakness Stakes fashion is a nod to historical fashion – more specifically, the 19th century. You’ll see bowler hats and waistcoats with pocket watches on T-bar chains. Tone wise, you’ll see darker colors with more traditional patterns like houndstooth and tight plaid. Most men wear spectator shoes – low-heeled brogue oxfords, made in two contrasting colors. 

The Preakness Look

Stick to shades of brown, tan, navy, and other darker colors. Your goal is to look as similar to a Victorian gent as possible.

Third, The Belmont Stakes

The Theme

For the final race of the Triple Crown, get decked out in your best Summer gear. Light, breezy, pastel colors are the norm at the Belmont Stakes. Many of the suits are seersucker suits – suits made of a thin, puckered, cotton fabric. They usually have a thin stripe pattern, but can be solid or other mild patterns as well. Whereas the Kentucky Derby is all about going wild with your fashion, the Belmont Stakes is more relaxed and laid-back. 

The Belmont Look

Imagine you’re dressing for a nice party on the water. You can wear thin cotton suits in light, creative colors (usually pastel). The Triple Crown’s bold Derby looks and sophisticated Preakness looks are topped off with mild, cool fashion at the Belmont Stakes.

Pastel suit for belmont stakes
There’s a general theme for Race Day fashion, but each individual race of the Triple Crown has its own style and personality. You want to look race day ready for each of these events, and with this guide, you’ll fit right in. Most importantly, good luck out there. Here’s to hoping the pony you bet on takes home the prize!