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).

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 2.31.30 PM

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.

Why Allen Edmonds Shoes Are Better Than the Rest

Attention, gentlemen of Columbia, Missouri!

If you are looking for Allen Edmonds shoes, you must come see us here at Binghams. We have great selection of A.E.s, and if we don’t have something in stock, we are more than happy to put in a special order (and the S&H is free).

Allen Edmonds is the standard bearer of classic men’s shoes and we are proud to carry them. They are beloved by presidents, popes and businessmen around the world, and for good reason. Each pair of A.E.s shoes is constructed via a 212-step process, which, if you want to get technical about it, is actually a 424-step process (212 per shoe). That’s a lot of steps.

But it’s fitting, seeing as you’ll take a lot of steps in your Allen Edmond shoes. They are so well made that they wear well for years, and owners typically have their A.E.s repaired rather than replaced. In fact, many A.E.s are deliberately designed to accommodate easy repairs.

Allen Edmonds reputation for wearing well is more important now that winter is fast approaching, and soon your beloved footwear will be exposed to the elements, which unfortunately, is a fate none of us can escape. You can, however, put up a good fight by getting yourself a pair of Allen Edmond shoes.

They use only superior leathers such as calfskin and cordovan, and these materials are combined with cork footbeds to create unmatched comfort. Every shoe remains in the last (a mechanical form that has a shape similar to that of a human foot) for at least 24 hours to ensure that they hold their shape for a lifetime.

Come into Binghams today and try on our wide selection of A.E. shoes. An expert sales associate will assist you and make sure you buy a pair that fits properly and comfortably, and give you tips on how to get the most out of your Allen Edmonds shoes.

Find us here. We can’t wait to see you.

Wear Your Mizzou Pride On Your Sleeve with Custom Gear from Southern Tide

Binghams is a proud University of Missouri fan and carries a ton of Mizzou apparel customized by our friends at Southern Tide. We have t-shirts, hats and more, and we’d love to help you express your Tiger pride by outfitting you in our best Mizzou gear.

We also have sweatshirts and beanies to keep you warm in the stands this season, so stop by and pick some up.

Mizzou gear also makes for great for Christmas gifts for students, alumni and fans (it’s worth noting that 2014 is Mizzou’s 175th anniversary, so that will make your gift even more meaningful).

Here is a sampling of our great Mizzou gear:

mizzou

We have Mizzou belts, hats, polos, button-downs and more.

mizzou 2

Another shot of our Mizzou polos and pants. (We also have women’s Mizzou apparel too).

Come into Binghams today and get yourself some Tiger swag. Find us here.

(And of course: Go, Tigers!)

Gift Ideas for the Picky Guy on Your List

Figuring out what Christmas gift to get for a guy with very discerning sartorial tastes can be difficult. You know that not just any sweater, tie, or pair of socks will do. No, they have to be the highest quality and most luxurious sweaters, ties, and socks around. Understandably, this can leave you feeling like, “what on earth do I get him?”

Luckily, we here at Binghams are well-versed in the tastes of picky men, and don’t even blink when presented with the challenge of finding something for the guy who has super fine taste. We love it, in fact. And to show you just how much we love it, we’ve come up with our own holiday gift guide.

All of the items on this list are available right here at Binghams, and we’d be happy to help you pick them out.

1. A bow tie or classic necktie
Now, before you say, “how unoriginal,” consider this: a tie is only a lame gift if the tie itself is lame. Therefore, you want to get him a tie that far surpasses any you’d get at a department store. Here at Binghams, we have a plethora of ties so fine and elegant that they can make a guy purr. Some of the brands we carry are Robert Talbott, Byron, and Hickey Freeman.

Tie boxes

Just a sampling of the ties we have at Binghams

2. Fine grooming products
Great style isn’t just about fine clothes; it’s also about fine grooming. Pamper him with luxurious products from Moonshine, an exclusive line of men’s cologne, soap and aftershave balm.

Moonshine cologne

Moonshine cologne

3. Sophisticated sports wear from Barbour
Upscale sportswear (or “outdoor wear”) is the trendiest way to stay warm this season, and Binghams has today’s hottest brand for outdoor wear: Barbour. We have vests, shirts, hats and satchels that will absolutely turn heads.

Barbour vest

Barbour vest

4. A pair of Allen Edmonds shoes
Harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on a guy’s favorite shoes, so get him a pair of Allen Edmonds, shoes that are known for withstanding the elements and lasting for years. In fact, A.E.s last so long and wear so well that owners typically repair rather than replace them.

Allen Edmonds

We have a wide selection of Allen Edmonds footwear.

5. David Donahue dress shirts
A guy can never have too many David Donahue dress shirts. They are among the finest in the world and Binghams has a wide variety for you to choose from.

David Donahue

David Donahue

Did that help? If you’re still unsure of what to get him, Binghams also sells gift cards. With a gift card, he’s guaranteed to get something he loves.

We also offer gift selection services, and would love to meet you in the store and take you through all our many gift options. Call to set up and appointment at (573) 442-6397, or just come on in. You can find us 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.