Best Books On How To Start A Fashion Business Interview With Clothing Expert – Andy Gilchrist on how Men Should Dress

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Interview With Clothing Expert – Andy Gilchrist on how Men Should Dress

Conversation between Adwin Ang and Andy Gilchrist

Good day everyone and welcome to our interview with Andy Gilchrist!

Adwin:

Hi Andy, first of all I want to thank you for taking some time off from your busy schedule for this online interview. I have read the material from your CD; you bet these are very informative products. In particular, you use diagrams and pictures to illustrate. It is also a very good and quick reference guide.

My first question is Andy, what made you decide to come up with a site that focuses on men’s fashion?

Andy:

It was an extension of my natural and long-standing interest in menswear. I started on the monitor of a men’s fashion forum associated with Men’s Health magazine and liked the idea. I then decided to write a book about men’s clothes (The Encyclopaedia of Men’s Clothes), which took me two years, and the website was a means of selling the book.

Adwin:

I have read and seen the vast amount of topics you covered on menswear both on your website and CD-ROM e-book “The Encyclopaedia of Men’s Clothes”, the information really amazes me as to what I have been missing out on all these years .

Where or how did you develop your fashion sense? Any special education or courses to take?

Andy:

Some of it came from my father, who lives in the middle of Kansas (USA) and does oil exploration work. But he was always interested in men’s fashion and the quality of the different brands of shoes, suits, shirts, etc.

And quite frankly, I think it’s a bit of uncertainty!! Not being born the best looking guy in the world (not arguing!) I realized that image and appearance was important and that I needed to make myself look as good as possible in public.

Adwin:

It dawned on me that men in my country don’t really dress to impress or know their dress sense, but dress according to what they think is appropriate for the occasion.

For example: Some men would wear a polo shirt or jeans to the wedding dinner. They find it more comfortable, which of course it is

Where can we get information about the latest trends in men’s fashion? Any websites that are your favorites?

Andy:

Unlike women’s clothing, most men’s clothing (even for the most formal occasions) is extremely comfortable. Women are always looking for comfortable shoes, while men would not stand (excuse the pun) shoes that don’t fit and feel good.

There is also a worldwide cultural (or sexual) mindset that men should not dress well. They are “supposed” to be unkempt, rugged individuals. But if you study all the male species, you notice that the male is the more colorful!

It’s good to keep up with the current trends, but not necessarily to go crazy for every fad that comes along. The value of menswear is that it rarely changes fashion, as the styles have evolved over 100 years to something that suits men’s body types, activities and makes most men look good. Look at formal wear – all men look exceptionally handsome in the classic (no frills, no updates, no changes) basic tuxedo.

The “acceptable” colors for business (navy or gray suit, white or blue shirt, etc.) compliment most men’s skin, hair, and eye colors.

Adwin:

You mention the “Rule of Seven” a few times in your Menswear Encyclopedia. What exactly do we have to watch out for with the ‘7 rules’?

Andy:

Just to reiterate, there is a “Rule of Seven” in women’s fashion that also applies to men. The “rule” says that there can be no more than seven points of interest on your body at a time!

The theory is that too much visual stimulation detracts from the overall look.

Points of interest can be a watch, pocket square, bright tie, blazer buttons, suspenders, belt buckle, cufflinks, fashion glasses, facial hair, vest, anything that can draw attention to that subject.

So if you’re wearing an extraordinary pair of cufflinks, you don’t want to drown them out by adding too much other visual excitement.

When others are visually overloaded, they tend to push you away. The mistake when you have too many points of interest is that the look is loud, busy and disharmonious (not harmonious). Too many patterns make you look like a clown.

Adwin:

The section that I find most interesting is about casual wear.” YOU MUST NOT BE A CASUAL!” as you mention, many people have misunderstood the meaning of casual dress. I agree and I’ve always misunderstood it in the long run.

What are the different types of casual wear and how should we wear to address the word “Casual Wear” on our invitation cards?

Andy:

Part of the problem is that the person sending the invitation has no idea what the dress classification is, thus confusing the guests. There are 5 classifications of dressy and 5 classifications of casual, and they all depend on the occasion. It’s easy to mix them all up.

Adwin:

Um…Andy, as you know I run a cufflinks blog. My next question is generally how should we match our cufflinks to the type of cufflinks we are wearing in terms of shirts and cuff material?

Andy:

You can coordinate cufflinks by color with the rest of your ensemble to get the harmonious impression.

You may want to coordinate the metal color with your watch and ring, so everything is gold, for example, but it’s not really necessary. Many watches contain both silver and gold and color mixing is not despised.

Traditionally, gold was appropriate for day and silver for evening, but with the advent of a more casual approach, both are interchangeable. Silver goes with blue, black or grey, and gold is best with earth tones.

Adwin:

About the care of cufflinks, how should we store them to prevent scratches and should we clean them often for cufflinks made of stainless steel?

Andy:

Store your cufflinks in a felt-lined jewelry case or use another method that prevents the links from touching each other to prevent scratching.

If you don’t have a jewelry box, simply store them in the felt-lined box they were packed in when you bought them. If they didn’t come in a box (where did you say you got these cufflinks?), try storing them in a soft cloth in a drawer.

Adwin:

As you know, there are many types of cuff links on the market. What should someone looking to buy their first pair of cufflinks look out for? Is there such a thing as the main categories of cuff types?

Andy:

STYLES of cufflinks: (from most elegant to least dressy)

The double side is a joint with two identical surfaces attached with a metal joint. You push one face through the “button” holes of the cuff. These are the most dressy. Chain Link — A chain attaches the double sided links.

Snap on consists of two separate pieces that snap together.

Push-through — This style has a bulbous or ball-shaped end opposite the flashy side that is pushed through the cuff holes. See also Silk Knots below.

Hinged Back — This type has a rod that can be adjusted perpendicular to the coupling and then opened parallel after it is pushed through the cuff to secure the coupling in place.

Stirrups are cufflinks that wrap around the shirt cuff. Some consider these garish.

Silk knots have two knots connected by and made of silk; one of the knots is pushed through the cuff hole to hold the cuff together. Silk knots are the least dressy style.

Adwin:

I have seen a few men’s cosmetics stores in Singapore, but I may be catering to a small group of people. But it seems to me that men today are more concerned about the way they dress themselves and they are more willing to spend on accessories.

Do you think menswear will continue to be more popular in the next 5 years or so?

Andy:

Absolutely. Men realize the importance of looking good for their daily life. A good impression helps with business, love life, family and all relationships (getting through airport security!!) There will be a boom in men’s cosmetics, quality and classic clothing (some with new high-tech fabrics) and a greater willingness to spend on things that make us look good.

Adwin:

Andy, having been in the menswear industry for many years, what are the common problems men face today with regards to their attire?

Andy:

The relaxed dressing era was welcomed by many men, but then it became clear that it was not so easy to put all these elements together properly. Certainly not as easy as pairing a suit (one item) with a shirt, tie and shoes and a belt to match. It is more difficult to dress in a relaxed state and look good.

Adwin:

Getting back on the topic of cufflinks, do you have any resources to recommend where readers here can get information from?

Andy:

There must be a good story or book about cufflinks out there. If not, Adwin, let’s write one!

Adwin:

From our last email exchange, you are launching your set of cufflinks, are you planning to go into customizing cufflinks for the online community? How can they reach you?

Andy:

SmartTurnout, UK, UK One of the sponsors at AskAndyAboutclothes.com agreed to design a pair of chain style cufflinks (double sided) with the Ask Andy hanger on one side and some nice blue tonal stripes on the other. (so you can wear the Ask Andy side out for Ask Andy gathering events and the other side out for everyday use. I should have some news (pictures, prices) very soon.

Adwin: Thanks again Andy! for sharing your clothing knowledge with us and look forward to seeing more of your exciting tips and cuff launches.

Take care and have a nice day!

Andy: Thanks Adwin! Really good thought provoking questions. Good luck with the great website you have started on cufflinks. I really like the layout and the information there is excellent.

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