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:


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.

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


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.