Tips and Trends from Alton Lane...

After discovering Alton Lane's beautiful pocket squares, I've kept the DC based men's clothing company on my radar. And luckily for me, they've returned the favor. A few weeks ago, I was able to speak with one of the co-founders, Peyton Jenkins, who was kind enough to offer a few tips and trends for the Sweet Peach manly men...

Peyton quickly got down to basics and shared his insight on the four suits that are the foundation to a man's closet; Solid blue, solid gray, subtle blue pinstripe and subtle gray pinstripe. These are core suits that can be very versatile, dressed up or down and offer a great mix of tradition and style. 

If you're bored with the basic suit, Petyton has a secret tip- try sharkskin. The fabric looks richer as there is more texture and depth. Peyton, "What I love about a blue or gray sharkskin is it can work as a suit or made more casual with the trousers worn separate. Or the blazer works great with jeans as well. All of a sudden with one suit, you have multiple uses." 

The chalk stripe suit looks like a pinstripe but is more subtle. It's a bolder look that works well in the South. As Peyton shares, "It looks very purposeful-  that the man knows what he's doing." 

When I asked Peyton about trends for autumn, he had quite a few to offer. The first is color. Even as the summer ends, the brighter colors are sticking around here in the South, as we're seeing more purples, lavenders and softer pinks in the fall. Matched with something more subdued, this look can keep its cool. 

Tweed blazers are another new trend. Now, there may be memories of grandpa's old tweed jackets but today's look is more tailored. Peyton, "There are very few things as nice as a fitted tweed blazer, matched with either a dark pair of slacks or jeans." 

Pocket squares and bright socks have been obvious trends this year, but there's another fun accessory making its appearance, the tie bar. Peyton's only warning is to avoid the big gold bars and instead go for something more understated and classic. We can thank Mad Men for this trend. Thank you Mad Men....

I hadn't paid much attention to this next trend until Peyton mentioned it. Now I look for it. On all of Alton Lane's suits (and other brands offer this as well), you can opt for a different color stitching on the final button or the lapel's flower hole. It just adds a pop of color with a chance to express oneself, livening up your standard suit.  

Another trend we're starting to see are dress shoes with colored shoelaces. This offers a more playful and adventurous look and shows others you've got an eye on style. 

The last trend Peyton sees this fall are lapel flowers. Hook + Albert came up with this idea and I'm head over heels in love with it. They've reinvented the boutonniere and given all the manly men a very quick way to impress a woman. I mean, nice fabric and texture...a sweet, colorful flower on your lapel. I'm yours...

They offer two dozen options on their site. I like how unexpected and fun this is. A big thank you to Peyton Jenkins and Lindsey Becker of Alton Lane for all their time and expertise. I think we may just have to check in again with y'all in the Spring...


Photos: Alton Lane, Hook + Albert (lapel flowers, shoes) LA Times (tie bar) The Sartorialist (purple vest)    Content: Sweet Peach 


The Pocket Square

I'm a fan of the Southern gentleman, therefore I'm a fan of the pocket square. I've been seeing some great designs pop up in pockets around Georgia so I wanted to write a quick how-to guide with some links to stylish pocket squares for the summer. 

Now there are some basic rules to the pocket square. The first of which is never to be too matchy. You'll want to find an accent color, using a secondary tone from your outfit and the pattern should have a distinctive contrast to the suit. As stated by author William Briggs, "The more the colors and pattern of the jacket and pocket square are different, the more the patterns on both can match." Mix up patterns but be smart- polka dots and stripes don't do so well together.   

You also shouldn't try too hard as the pocket square should never look too perfect. These gorgeous plaid and gingham patterns are perfect for summer. You can find them through Alton Lane and Sid Mashburn.

All these looks are beautifully done. As you can see the colors of the pocket square complement secondary colors in the outfit and the contrasting pattern helps break up the mass of fabric of the suit. These pocket squares are pleasing to the eye without being overbearing. 

Billy Reid offers some fabulous vintage pocket squares. I think every guy should have at least two or three of these beauties...

I like how folded the pocket square in these top two pics, (the Rolled Hem and the Poofy Poof) and then offered a great idea on the back pocket, pocket square. As no matter what, you don't want to be without a hanky once you get in the habit. It can always come in handy and what woman in need wouldn't adore a man that hands her one? I'm liking this... See more of their tutorial here.  


 Photos: GQ; Alton Lane; Sid Mashburn; GQ; Billy Reid;    Content: Sweet Peach