The Columbia Man’s Guide to Formal Wear

With the holiday-party season in full swing, we thought it was fitting to write a post on the ins and outs of men’s formal wear.

It might seem silly to have a guide for men’s formal wear, given that dressing up has changed little, and only in subtle ways, over time for men. A black tuxedo paired with a bow tie seems like the simplest ensemble ever, right?

Well…yes and no.

Men’s formal wear is just as easy to get right as it is wrong, because when every guy looks the same, the guy who didn’t do it right stands out like a sore thumb.

So, stand out in the crowd in a good way with these guidelines from us here at Binghams:

1. Buy rather than rent.

A tuxedo or suit that was made just for you, or tailored accordingly, will always look good, even if you only wear it a few times a year. The lines will be clean and the silhouette will be sleek, neither of which you can guarantee with a rental. We firmly believe buying a tux is a worthwhile investment.

2. But…it isn’t all about tuxedos.

“Velvet jackets are very popular right now. They have that smoking jacket, vintage look that is really sophisticated and cool,” says Dave Danuser, co-owner of Binghams. For an example, Danuser references a beautiful velvet dinner jacket from Robert Talbott, shown below, on the right:

Robert Talbott velvet dinner jacket

3. It’s all about the lapels.

Well, maybe it’s not all about the lapels, but acing formal dressing is certainly all about the details. Peak lapels are classic, and look a bit more special. Visually, they broaden your shoulders and draw in your waist because of the dramatic V shape they create. If you prefer a shawl lapel—they are most common nowadays—just make sure the proportions are exact (the guys here at Binghams can help with this).

4. Proper ventilation is key.

Again, details matter here. Ideally, your jacket should not have any vents because it makes the outline of your silhouette cleaner. If, however, you’re attending a gala in the middle of hot Missouri summer, the no-vent policy may become a “guaranteed-to-overheat” policy. In this case, choose side vents. If a gust of wind blows them open, your shirt still won’t be exposed.

5. Know your collars.

When it’s black tie, always wear a shirt with a turn down collar. A wing collar is for white tie. (What’s the difference? It is generally accepted that white tie means “really formal,” and black tie means “formal.” White tie hails from the days when men wore white ties and tails.)

6. Know your way around a bow tie.

When it comes to men’s formal wear, you must know how to wear and tie a bow tie. If you don’t know how to tie this essential accessory, watch our helpful tutorial on it here.

Any questions? Binghams is always here to answer your most burning sartorial inquiries, so just stop by the store. We’d be happy to see you.

Binghams is located here.

How to Tie a Bow Tie (VIDEO)

Tying a bow tie can get some guys all up in knots. But have no fear, men of Columbia, Missouri, Binghams has made a simple, step-by-step video that demonstrates just how to fold and loop the classic necktie.

Whether you’re wearing a tux or just spiffing up an every day look, this tutorial, given by Binghams’ co-owner, Dave Danuser, will give you the skills necessary for any occasion that requires a bow tie.

The video was originally filmed for Inside Columbia magazine a few months back, but now that we have this great new blog, we think here is a perfect place for sharing this video with you.

Check it out:

See, that wasn’t so bad right? In fact, it’s super easy. Don’t worry if you don’t get a perfect knot the first time. It usually takes a couple tries before you become a pro.

Then, once you master this skill and want some shiny new bow ties to show off your talents, don’t hesitate to come see our amazing selection, which ranges from traditional to trendy. We are sure we have just the bow tie for you.

Find us here.

Why You Should Get Your Clothes and Suits Made-to-Measure

made-to-measure clothing suit and measuring tape

Binghams is proud to offer the best off-the-rack clothing for men in Columbia, Missouri, but what we do even better is made-to-measure suits and apparel. We excel at personalization, customer service and attention to detail, and helping a man make his perfect suit is our passion.

Yet, many men shy away from made-to-measure or custom clothing because they think it is time consuming and expensive.

We respectfully disagree.

You actually save time

Getting made-to-measure clothing is, in fact, a time saver. You can spend a headache-inducing number of hours at a department store trying on countless off-the-rack suits or shirts that don’t work for some reason or another. Then add the time you spend taking it to a seamstress or tailor and the duration of the time spent finding a suit is longer than that of a football game that goes into over time (we know where your priorities are, gentlemen).

Made-to-measure clothing eliminates the search for hidden treasure by allowing you to easily pick out the colors, fabrics and accessories you want all in one visit (don’t worry, Binghams has expert staff members who will help make the decision process easier). You also get all of your measurements taken in one visit, so your item will fit perfectly the first time you put it on.

The fit is nailed

A perfect fit is probably the best part of made-to-measure clothing, especially when it comes to suits. Fit is everything with a suit. Make no mistake: the nicest fabric or fanciest designer name cannot save an ill-fitting suit. Even a three-piece suit made of the finest Italian wool will look like nothing more than a grocery bag if it fits like one.

It’s a better value

As for cost, Binghams has plenty of pricing options, so we are sure to have a price that fits you as well as your suit or custom shirt. Also, it worth noting that spending a little extra on clothing that is built to last will pay off in the long run.

Come see us and let us walk you through the made-to-measure process. It’s less painful than you think, we promise.

Find us here.

Show Off Your Confidence with Robert Graham, Available at Binghams in Columbia

robert-graham2

Robert Graham is perfect apparel for the man who wants to make a statement.

Now, making a statement with clothing can be tricky. There are lots of prints, colors and textures (often of so-so quality) out there, so if you don’t have the right pieces, you risk telling the world, “I’m a goof,” instead of, “I’m a rock star.”

Robert Graham, however, has all the right pieces, from sweaters to shirts to socks, which make a man look confident and sophisticated. The brand is known for its attention to detail, quality craftsmanship, and luxurious fabrics.

But, what is most appreciable about Robert Graham, however, is that their clothes show no fear in the face of neon yellow, paisley, houndstooth, electric blue or the oft-debated pink. They revel in contrasting collars and cuffs, and celebrate small details like colored zippers and buttons.

“Robert Graham is great for the guy who doesn’t just do the standard white, black or navy,” says Dave Danuser, co-owner of Binghams. “Robert Graham goes bold, but they never go over the top, so men can feel comfortable expressing their fun side a little more.”

Danuser notes that Binghams also has a Robert Graham “concept shop” within the Binghams store. This means they have the latest and best selection of looks from Robert Graham. Even better!

So, if you’ve wanted to try a brighter hue, or reinvigorate that old gray suit with a pop of color under the lapels, Robert Graham is the way to go. Come see us at Binghams in Columbia for our wide variety of Robert Graham apparel. We look forward to seeing you.

Find us here.

Take an Inside Look at What Peter Millar Fall 2014 is All About

Have you seen the new Fall 2014 Peter Millar look book yet? It’s a stunner, and we have many of its perfect fall looks in store here at Binghams in Columbia, Missouri. (After all, we are the Peter Millar’s Missouri HQ.)

For the full Peter Millar Fall 2014 look book, visit our earlier post here.

For a sampling of what’s inside, see below:

Peter Millar Look Book 1

Peter Millar Look Book 2

Peter Millar Look Book 3

Peter Millar Look Book 4

To see what other great Peter Millar pieces we have right now, give us a call or stop by the store. We are located in downtown Columbia on 9th and Broadway. See us on a map.

Allen Edmonds Shoes Available at Binghams in Columbia, Missouri

What do Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush all have in common?

Each wore a pair of Allen Edmonds shoes on his Inauguration Day.

Allen Edmonds, a world renowned, Wisconsin-based shoemaker, produces some of the best men’s dress shoes in the business, and as proof, their shoes are beloved by many presidents, popes, and high-powered celebrities.

It is obvious why Allen Edmonds is the best of the best. Their shoes last for years, and owners typically repair rather than replace their worn down A.E.’s. In fact, while President George H.W. Bush was in office, he wrote a letter to the company thanking them for a pair of shoes they gave him, but signed it saying:

“The problem is all my other pairs of A.E.’s still are in great shape; but these will be a great addition.”

In addition to their beauty and classic shape, each A.E. shoe is crafted via an exacting, highly skilled 212-step process that is a mix of machine and hand. So, technically, that’s 424 steps per pair of shoes. Definitely no pun intended.

Even better, all A.E. production happens (and has been happening since 1922) right here in America—in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

To prove how great a pair of A.E.’s are, the following video gives you an inside look at A.E.’s Wisconsin factory and shows just how their shoes are made:

We are proud to carry Allen Edmonds at Binghams and share these great shoes with the dapper men of Columbia, Missouri. Come into to Binghams today and try on our new fall selection of Allen Edmonds.

Find us here.

New Shirts from David Donahue, Peter Millar and Ike Behar for Fall 2014

It’s hard to believe it’s officially fall here in Columbia, Missouri, but we here at Binghams welcome the season change. We absolutely love fall fashion, and are ready for warm sweaters, sophisticated outdoor wear, luxurious scarves, and of course, a nice glass of scotch by a crackling fire.

But, before we open the scotch, let’s talk about new fall items we’ve gotten here in the store, namely high quality dress shirts:

We have new, low maintenance designer shirts from our favorites David Donahue, Ike Behar and Peter Millar (the latter two are both no-iron!). Here’s a little preview of each:

David Donahue

David Donahue is a world-renowned menswear designer, revered for his high quality dress shirts, ties and accessories, and providing men with what the company itself calls, “accessible luxury.”

David Donahue dusty rose dress shirt and tie

David Donahue is always so crisp, so clean, so classic.

Ike Behar

Ike Behar’s line of hand-crafted, made in the USA men’s shirts are known for their excellent workmanship and classic New York city look. Of course, you need not travel all the way to NYC to get Ike Behar shirts, as we have them right here in Columbia, Missouri.

Ike Behar fall shirts

We’ve got a great selection of bow ties too, which will add to your sophisticated fall look.

Peter Millar

You probably know Peter Millar as the gold standard for lifestyle golf apparel (they did outfit the entire International President’s Cup Team last year, after all), but the company also makes high quality dress apparel for men. Peter Millar is based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and its southern, all-American feel resonates here in Columbia.

Visit us at Binghams in downtown Columbia and try on our new selection of fall shirts. Unfortunately, we can’t promise you scotch, but we can promise you’ll have a dapper, no-fuss wardrobe for fall.

Find us here.

What’s New With Coppley Custom Clothing for Fall 2014 at Binghams in Columbia, Missouri

We do all of our custom and made-to-measure suiting here at Binghams via Coppley, one of the most reputable custom clothiers in the business. Coppley, which is based in Canada, has been making fabulous custom suits since 1883 and possesses an impressive stock of more than 400 luxury fabrics from around the globe.

This fall, Coppley’s exquisite quality and extensive fabric selection remain the same, but several things are new, and we want to share them with you.

First, fits and silhouettes: Coppley Fall 2014 is a blend of traditional and modern, with fits to accommodate both older and younger perspectives. Meaning, the standard fits are generally on the slimmer side, but of course, your suit can be tailored to your preferences, should you want a more classic look.

coppley fall 2014 1

Second, color scheme: Coppley’s color palette this season is comprised of classic neutrals: black, grey, blue, and tan. However, there is an overall “greying effect” to each fabric, which adds understated elegance.

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Third, pops of color: Don’t worry—it’s not all neutrals. To craft a more compelling look, Coppley has incorporated subtle pops of color, either by blending a fabric with indigo, aqua, or cranberry colored threads, making a deep burgundy tie to pair with a brown suit, or an olive vest to go with a deep blue button-down shirt.

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Fourth, small but important details: Coppley has also added new tipover buttons, buttonholes with contrasting thread colors, elbow patches and contrast stitching which can help you create a more interesting, fashion-forward look.

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They’ve also made shorter topcoats with zip-in vests to keep you warm and stylish on chillier days.

Come into Binghams today and see our Coppley Fall 2014 selection. We look forward to helping you craft a suit that fits you to a tee, both physically and personally. Find us here.

Get the Perfect Fitting Slim Suit at Binghams in Columbia, Missouri

young man in a skinny gray suitAs you’ve probably noticed, suits have been getting trimmer over the last several years. Some say the trend was inspired by the AMC award-winning TV show, “Mad Men,” which featured dapper, though often politically incorrect, ad execs in the crisp, clean-cut suits emblematic of 1960s business fashion. Others attribute the trend to the dress-up cycle America has been in, also for the past several years.

Whatever the reason, we are liking the trimmer suits.

The lines are clean and the silhouettes are flattering. Too much extra fabric around the waist or a really deep pant break can look sloppy, or worse, make you appear 10 pounds heavier. (Seriously, want to lose ten pounds instantly? Get a suit that fits. But that’s a topic for another time).

“Everyone is making slimmer suits now, both in the middle and in the shoulders,” says Dave Danuser, of Binghams. “It’s a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon.”

Since slim suits will be around for a while, Danuser urges men to embrace a closer fit. “You don’t have to go super skinny,” he advises. “There are plenty variations of the trim suit, so there is something for every man.”

Two brands that Binghams carries that come in trim fits and look custom made are Byron and Betenly.

There are many great off-the-rack slim suits on the market, but if you really want to nail the slim fit, Danuser says to get a custom made suit. “When you get a custom suit made, you know it’s going to fit you like a glove. There’s no better way to nail the fit than a custom made suit.”

Binghams in Columbia, Missouri offers custom and made-to-measure suiting, and does so through Coppley custom suiting, which offers tons of fabric choices so you can get a slim suit that not only fits, but perfectly expresses your personality and style.

Also, despite common misperceptions, the made-to-measure process is simple. Binghams’ expert tailors take all your measurements while Binghams’ sales staff helps you choose from hundreds of fabrics, accessories, and style options (don’t worry, the staff help make all the choices manageable). “It is easy, and we have numerous pricing options, so we can definitely make a suit and a price tag that fits,” Danuser says.

For a great fitting slim suit, come see us at Binghams in downtown Columbia. Find us here. We look forward to seeing you.