RFID Wallets Are the Perfect Traveling Companions

If you plan on traveling this summer, consider purchasing an RFID wallet. It will keep your personal information like credit card numbers, passport info and driver’s license number safe from thieves who prey on unknowing tourists.

According to this website, radio frequency identification, or RFID, is “the technology that lets you simply wave your credit, debit, transit, identification card, passport or license in front of a nearby scanner instead of having to slide the magnetic stripe through it. It’s a fairly simple concept. The electronic scanner sends a signal that an antenna in the card receives and uses to activate the RFID chip.”

The website goes on to explain why the technology can make you susceptible to identity theft: “Unfortunately, criminals with minimal technical skills can construct their own RFID readers with a few simple supplies. These devices can steal your private financial information quickly and silently—all the perpetrator needs to do is come near your wallet with the hidden card reader.”

But you can protect yourself, and your personal information, with an RFID wallet, which is designed to shield your cards with something called a “Faraday cage,” which will prevent illegitimate reading of your RFID-embedded objects.

And now, the important part of this blog post: While RFID wallets sound cool and all, you’re wondering if such technology can also look good. (You know, like crocs—they feel like heaven but look like hideous ogre sandals).

So, we are writing this post to tell you that, yes, RFID wallets can look stylish and in fact, we carry several sleek ones in our store. Check them out:

Osgoode Marley

If one of the world’s finest makers of wallets and leather accessories produces an RFID wallet, you know it will look good. Take a look:

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Dr. Koffer

Koffer means “luggage” in German, which makes Dr. Koffer, whoever he is (nobody knows), a doctor of luggage. While we’re pretty sure they don’t offer that course at Mizzou, we are nonetheless happy that a company has put that level of dedication into their products. And, it shows:

dr koffer wallet

So, if you’re traveling this summer, come in and take a look at our RFID wallets by Osgoode Marley and Dr. Koffer. Both brands are sleek and attractive, and won’t make you stand out (that’s what your Hawaiian shirt and too many Mai Tai’s by the pool are for. Keep it classy, guys).

Find Binghams here. We look forward to seeing you.

Groom Like a Gentleman with Products from the Art of Shaving, St. James of London and Harry’s Shave System

e-shave

Impeccable personal style isn’t just about the right clothing—it’s also about the perfect shave. If you want your skin to feel as smooth and supple as your favorite silk tie, you must groom yourself like a true gentleman. But, “how does one groom like a gentleman?” you ask.

Good question. Here’s your answer: use the right products. Not just any disposable razor and $1.99 shaving cream will do. No, sir. You need tools and products that treat your face like you care for your finest suits.

Here are a few high-end men’s grooming lines we suggest (and carry in the store): 

The Art of Shaving

The Art of Shaving offers the largest variety of pre-shave oils and gels, shaving creams, soaps, and aftershaves. They come in several manly scents including sandalwood, lemon, lavender, and of course, the manliest fragrance of all: unscented. All of their products are free from synthetic dyes and alcohol, so they won’t irritate your skin.

The art of shaving

The Art of Shaving pre-shave oil, badger brush, shaving cream and after-shave lotion

St. James of London

St. James of London is like the barrel-aged fine wine of men’s grooming products. Their badger brushes and single-blade razors look as good as they make your skin feel. It seems like your great grandfather was on to something after all…

stjamesoflondon

St. James of London products in Cedarwood & Clarysage, and the Mach III Ebony razor, brush and stand set

St. James of London has a full line of creams, oils and aftershaves too, in subtle fragrances like Mandarin & Patchouli, Cedarwood & Clarysage, Sandalwood & Bergamot, Black Pepper & Lime, and Lavender & Geranium. You can also get unscented versions of their products too, but these smell so good that it’d be a shame if you went for plain.

Harry’s

Harry’s makes elegant modern razors that, in their words, “feel like an extension of your hand.” They are designed with ergonomics in mind, for comfort and control. Also, with Harry’s, everything you need comes in one stylish box: a razor, two replacement blades, shaving gel or cream, aftershave and soap. It doesn’t get much easier than this.

harrys shave setCome into Binghams today and check out all the great grooming products we have. Your wife or girlfriend will thank us, we guarantee it.

Find us here.

What’s New (and Great) About Peter Millar’s Spring 2015 Collection

peter millar spring 2015

Spring is here, gents, and we couldn’t be more excited for it. Not only is winter in Columbia, Mo. over, but also Binghams has the new Peter Millar Spring 2015 collection in the store, so you can usher in the new season in style.

Peter Millar’s 2015 spring collection has delivered, once again. This time, they’ve taken spring’s signature pastels given them earthier, more grounded tones, which is a color trend you can expect to see often this year.

“More organic-looking colors are going to be really popular in 2015,” says Dave Danuser, co-owner of Binghams. “Peter Millar’s spring collection perfectly encapsulates the trend. For instance, their signature gingham shirt with the spread collar looks fresh with earthier purples and greens.”

peter millar spring 2015

L to R: Oxford Pane in Parade and White, Oxford Tattersall in Retro Pink, Patriot Navy and Parade

Fabric is also big part of the PM 2015 collection. Linen, in particular, is their focal cloth, and one that is, again, on trend for the season. “Linen is a big now,” says Danuser, and he praises the way the brand has worked with it. “It’s linen, but with Peter Millar’s southern-aristocrat style twist,” he says.

Peter Millar is based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and its founder and creative director, Chris Knott, is a native North Carolinian.

Peter-Millar-Linen

Take a look: Peter Millar linen shirts in retro pink, liberty blue, parade and white.

We’ve said before on this blog that Peter Millar is aristocratic but not stuffy, and old-world elegant but modern day cool. It is the 12-year-old, single barrel bourbon, neat, of men’s casual and golf apparel. Now it’s all that with a spring twist.

To see our Peter Millar Spring 2015 inventory, come into the store today. You can find us here.

We look forward to seeing you.

Nerd Glasses are Cool Now, and We Have Them at Binghams in Columbia, Mo.

Many of the world’s greatest artists, scientists and philosophers were recognized for their work only long after they were dead, e.g. Vincent Van Gogh, Gregor Johann Mendel, Socrates, among others.

And so–though we never would have thunk it–we believe Steve Urkel belongs in the same canon of posthumously famous minds.

Yes, Steve Urkel. Yes, he’s a fictional character. Just work with us here.

It turns out the hapless, accident-prone super nerd had more style than anyone gave him credit for, namely, his glasses. They were considered hideous back then, but now, Urkel’s signature oversized lenses are nerd-chic and they are everywhere and on everyone, including Justin Timberlake, Kayne West, Jay Z, and Brad Pitt.

Don’t believe us? The proof is in the pudding.

In fact, if you think about it, Steve Urkel foreshadowed a lot of today’s trends: cropped pants, bow ties, saddle shoes, and even suspenders came back for a hot second. Food for thought…

(If only Laura could see Steve now.)

Anyway, the trend has definitely found a home in Columbia, Mo.

One brand of nerd-chic glasses Bingham’s customers love is Eyebobs, a line of eclectic reading glasses for guys who hate drugstore cheapies but scoff at frames that cost more than a mortgage payment.

Eyebobs makes classic shapes more interesting with funky colors, patterns and unique end pieces and temples (the part that rests on your ear). In fact, some of Eyebobs’ more daring glasses make Urkel’s lenses look tame. Take a look:

eyebobs 1 eyebobs 2 eyebobs 3 eyebobs 4 eyebobs 5

 

The above is just a sample of what we have to offer. Come into the store today to see our full selection. With so many different styles, there is surely a pair that captures your inner-nerd.

Find us here.

Can You Wear a Suit to Your Wedding?

bow tie

The short answer is: yes.

Nowadays just about anything goes with wedding attire, even for the groom, and it’s common for guys to opt for a suit instead of a tuxedo for their big day.

Some men say they feel more comfortable in a suit, others say that they want something they wear after the rice has been thrown. We get it. Because, let’s face it, unless you are George Clooney, who repurposed his wedding tux for the Golden Globes, it’s unlikely you’ll wear your expensive penguin suit twice.

So, here are four tips on how to sub a suit for a tux and not get kicked out of the chapel:

1. Accessorize
Elevate a suit with accessories. Add some cufflinks, a pocket square that matches the bridal party colors, a fun bow tie, and the right shoes.

2. Up the ante with the fabric
Cheap fabric means a cheap suit, even if you paid a pretty penny for it. Make sure you pick a high-quality material that looks good.

3. Nail the fit
A suit that fits impeccably is a must. It also has to be the right fit for a wedding, which is slimmer and more fashion-forward. You want to look like you’re ready to party, not go on a job interview.

4. Consider getting your suit made to measure
Speaking of fit—if you really want a suit that fits like a glove, have it made to measure. We can do that for you here at Binghams. It’s a quick and easy process that involves us taking all your measurements while you choose the fabric, color, and style. The result is an amazing suit that feels like a second skin. We have several price points for made-to-measure suits, so we are guaranteed to have a price that fits your budget as well as your suit fits you.

And you thought getting her to say “yes” was the hard part…Kidding.
If you come into Binghams, we’ll make finding the perfect suit for your wedding a breeze. Our expert staff and tailor will guide you through fits, fabrics, colors, and more. Your blushing bride will be even more confident in her choice of life partner (start off married life on the right foot, yes?).

Last note: Binghams can outfit all your groomsmen, too. We’ll make ‘em look so good they’ll be singing your praises each time a bridesmaid bats her eyelashes at them.

Find Binghams here.

We look forward to seeing you.

Linen Shirts Are In (Both In Style and Our Store)

Report Collection's linen shirts

Report Collection’s linen shirts, here at Binghams

Linen is the fabric of the spring 2015 season, and we are carrying the brands and styles that do it best. We just received the newest linen shirts from the always-sleek Report Collection (see the photo above), and our beloved Peter Millar, who has infused casual cool into their classic aesthetic to match the mood of spring.

But, first—let’s talk about linen as the hot spring trend.

As warmer weather graces us with its presence in here in Columbia, Mo., we crave ditching our heavy coats, structured suits and thick-soled shoes for clothes that allow for more irreverence and freedom. We are inspired to care less about formalities and to show our lighter, casual sides.

Linen embodies this inspiration. It is a natural fabric made from flax plants, which makes it lightweight but also crisp, and warm but also moisture resistant. The latter is perfect for those times when Mother Nature can’t decide on whether to be refreshingly warm or a tad chilly (ah, spring).

Linen is casual, but not decidedly. The fabric walks that fine line between casual and professional, and if worn correctly, a linen shirt can be totally business appropriate. Since leaving the office for lunch is now a welcome possibility, dress for success with a crisp linen shirt.

Our linen shirts from Report Collection are perfect for the office. They are all button downs and a few of them have contrast cuffs, both of which make them dressier. We have solids (white, yellow, gray, chambray, light blue, tan, pink and orange) if you want to play it safe, and checkered prints if you’re feeling a little more comfortable.

All of our Report Collection shirts—solid or checkered—are perfect for weekend outings and social gatherings, which makes them the ideal versatile shirt.

We also have Peter Millar’s spring 2015 linen shirts. Peter Millar is always classic, and upper crust but approachable. Their linen shirts are totally these things, but with a relaxed twist. “It’s linen, but with a southern-aristocrat style,” says Dave Danuser, co-owner of Binghams.

Peter Millar is based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and its founder and creative director, Chris Knott, is a native North Carolinian.

Peter-Millar-Linen

Take a look: Peter Millar linen shirts in retro pink, liberty blue, parade and white.

“You could wear a Peter Millar linen shirt on a yacht or in the office—they are perfect for both,” Dave adds.

Hopefully you have yachts and business on your agenda for this spring. If you do, come see us at Binghams and we’ll help you look effortlessly on point in both settings with our Report Collection and Peter Millar linen shirts.

Find us here.

Go On Guys, Show a Little Ankle…

Brightly colored or patterned socks are the hottest accessories right now and a six-pack of crew socks from the nearest big box store doesn’t cut it anymore, especially in Columbia, Missouri.

The attention now poured on these formerly overlooked accouterments is likely due to the dress-up cycle that America has been in for the past several years. “Along with cleaner lines and trimmer suits, more men are paying attention to the lesser-seen details, like socks,” says Dave Danuser, co-owner of Binghams in Columbia, Missouri.

Danuser says socks are now given attention because of the way pants are being made. “Men used to think socks didn’t matter because they were covered by your pant leg. But now, with pants being more tailored and pant breaks less severe, there is less coverage on the ankle when you sit or cross your legs.”

Well-heeled men are using this newly exposed space to convey a bit of personality and a strong sense of style, according to Danuser, and are filling it with bright blues, oranges, reds, and even polka dot, rather than the traditional black. “Wearing statement socks is one of the easiest ways to show a little personality or mood without going over the top. It also reflects a high level of personal care and attention to detail,” Danuser says.

Binghams carries several brands of socks, including Pantherella, Nigel Knox and Robert Griffin. Not only do these brands make socks that look great, but they feel great too (another reason to ditch your six-pack of itchy, slouchy Hanes).

Stop in and see our full selection of amazing socks at the store, here.

Men’s Pants: Pleated vs. Flat-Front

There are two types of men’s dress pants: pleated and flat-front. Most men over 30 know the difference between the two, and usually have a preference for one or the other, but for the younger guys in Columbia, MO, the difference may be unfamiliar territory. Therefore, here is everything a man needs to know about flat-front and pleated trousers.

What’s the difference?

Pleated pants have folds or creases along the waist, whereas flat-front pants, as their name suggests, lie flat against the body. Take a look:

pleated vs flat front pants

What’s the story behind these two pant styles?

Pleated pants are created by sewing folds (pleats) into the fabric and then attaching the waistband. Pleated pants are the older of the two styles and the more traditional. Flat-front pants, which have a contouring feature called a dart that allows for the pant fabric to lie flat, rotate in and out of style. In the 1950s and 60s, clean, slim and tailored silhouettes were the prevailing look (think: Mad Men), but then they faded during the 70s and 80s when a looser, roomier fit became more popular (Hammer Pants, anyone?). Then, in the 90s, the flat-front pant staged a comeback. The flat-front pant reigns again today, due largely to the overall skinny trend.

Which style of pant look best?

Your choice of pleated vs. flat-front depends on two things: your body type and comfort level. Let’s consider both options:

Pleated: Pleated pants are roomier and more accommodating to fuller, athletic body types. Flat-front pants are great for accentuating a slim figure, but may be unforgiving on a larger body. Pleated pants are more generous around the middle and can help flatten a larger stomach or backside. They are also great for active lifestyles because they are easier to move in. Lankier men should be cautious when opting for pleated pants and be sure excessive room or fabric is not making his silhouette look sloppy.

Flat-front: Flat-front pants are slimming, snugger and are popular with trendier guys. Since there are no pleats, the silhouette is cleaner, which flatters slimmer figures. On the other hand, if flat-front pants are ill fitting, they can also emphasize a belly or other “not so favorite” area of the body. They are also a little more constricting, and may limit movement.

The best way to decide between pleated and flat-front is to try both styles on, and give them each a good test drive. Sit, stand, walk around, twist, flex—see which you find more comfortable. Also, keep in mind that alterations may have to be made with either style, because as you know, every man is different.

Which style goes best with a suit?

Pleated pants are the most common suit pant. Skinny guys will have an easier time getting away with pleated pants if worn as part of suit because the hem of the jacket will conceal any extra fabric along the waist. On the other hand, flat-front pants are all the rage right now, due to the overall slim, trim “Mad Men” trend, and can make for a really clean-cut, sharp-looking suit.

To see if you prefer pleated or flat-front trousers, come into Binghams today. We will help you sample a variety of cuts and styles, and ensure you get the best possible fit.

Find us here.

Winterize and Accessorize

Attention to detail is what makes a well-dressed man, and sometimes, the small things can make an outfit. This winter, stay warm and stylish with these must-have accessories from Binghams.

Socks

Statement socks are the hottest way to stay warm right now, so pick up a few pairs. We have beauties from RG, Nigel Knox, Pantherella and more.

Pantherella, Egyptian Cotton Turnmill Argyle

Pantherella, Egyptian Cotton Turnmill Argyle

Bow ties

Speaking of hot trends, bow ties are another popular accessory right now, and you can dress them up or down. We have tons of bow ties in the store, so we guarantee you’ll find a few you like. Also, we are happy to show you how to tie a bow tie, if you like.

bowtie

Gloves

You won’t want to bury your hands in your pockets with these driving and dress gloves by Hilts Willard.

Adam-thumbBrock-thumb

Scarves

The skin around the neck is some of the thinnest skin on the body, so keep it warm and toasty with a handsome scarf. We have several in cashmere (the luxury fabric of the winter season) and in chenille (which is made in Maine). Come in to see our selection.

Colorful cashmere scarves

Come into the store and see our selection of cashmere scarves!

Cufflinks

Cufflinks are great way to add subtle sophistication to your suit or tux, and they are great to have during the holiday party season. We especially love these by Trafalgar. (We also carry Trafalgar belts).

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Grooming products

When the temperature drops, it’s tempting to let your facial hair provide you with an extra layer of warmth. Just be sure to keep it under control with these fine grooming products from Moonshine, an exclusive line of men’s cologne, soap and aftershave balm.

Moonshine cologne

Moonshine cologne

Also try St. James of London, the aged, fine wine of men’s grooming products. There are four fragrances, shaving cream, aftershave and luxurious brushes.

collection-of-st.-james-of-london-products

St. James of London products.

For more great winter accessories and styles, come into the store!

Find us here. We look forward to seeing you.

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.