ELEVATED CITIZEN

ELEVATED CITIZEN

The Art of the Rolled Sleeve

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Long sleeves add a swagger to your outfit that you just can’t accomplish with short ones—they’re stylish, flattering and are able to transition well between casual and formal events. We wear them for a variety of reasons, but regardless of why you’ve chosen to complete your look with a long sleeved shirt, every man shares a common occurrence—at some point, you need to roll up your sleeves!

It’s a very natural process, rolling your sleeves, which we don’t put much thought in to. However, rolling your sleeves can indicate many things. For instance, you may want a more relaxed appearance after work while you meet the guys for a drink at the bar. Things may get out of hand at the bar and the only indication some asshole gets prior to you decking him in the face, is the visual of rolling up your sleeves (cautious of ruining any fabric). Or, after the bar, you may need to roll them one more time to fix the sink your spouse has been nagging you about for two weeks. When situations come up—so should your sleeves.

Now, let’s be clear that rolling your sleeves does serve multiple purposes, but it also has evolved into a fashion trend, which means there is a correct and incorrect way of doing things— so pay attention!

For starters, it’s a casual look, so even though you can still look good, avoid doing this in any formal or office setting. Only do so when it’s practical or prior to doing something that could potentially damage or dirty your fabric. Next, when I say “roll” your sleeve, I’m referring to folding them. Folding will give anyone a cleaner look and will ensure that the sleeves will look good once they are rolled back down by preventing wrinkles. Lastly, make sure you undo any buttons or remove any cufflinks prior to rolling your sleeves. Make sure the sleeve is rolled up to the forearm or just above the elbow.

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Read through some samples below on how to role your sleeves based on the look you want to accomplish.

The Quickie:

The name says it all! This roll is casual and should only be utilized swiftly during brief moments throughout the day—like washing your hands or eating on the go between office meetings. This fold is temporary and not recommended for long periods of time.

               1. Make sure all of the buttons on your sleeve are undone.

               2.  Turn the cuff up just under your elbow.

               3. Fold the edge of the cuff by flipping it down into the cuff so that it’s tucked                in.

               4. Roll the sleeve up by flipping/folding it over itself.

Plain and Simple:

This roll is the most frequently used because it’s arguably the easiest.  You don’t need expert knowledge on where to fold; the length of the cuff determines the length of the role.

               1. Unbutton the cuff and roll it up 2-3 times.

               2. After each roll, flatten the fabric completely before rolling the next.

               3. Make sure that each sleeve is evenly rolled.

Business Casual:

When you’re meeting your boys after a long day at the office, this is the perfect look that says you’re ready to relax. You can still look professional, but you are able to get a little more comfort and airflow.

               1. Fold the unbuttoned cuff back 1-2 times over itself (don’t go past your elbow)

               2. Same as the “Plain and Simple”, make sure the folds are done evenly and                flattened before the next.

               3. Adjust until you feel comfortable and look damn good

Perfection:

What’s better than comfort and swagger? Nothing (pertaining to fashion). This casual role leaves a little more room for movement and gives your sleeve game an advantage over others.

               1. Fold the unbuttoned cuff backwards. Pull it up your arms until it is slightly              longer than where you want the roll to end on your arm.

               2. Take the part of the sleeve under the cuff and fold it up, towards the cuff                (make sure the roll is the same length all the way around and flat)

               3. Adjust until you are content with the amount of cuff showing.

The Italian:

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This method is proof that the minor detailing can significantly enhance your look. This roll looks excellent with dress shirts that have contrasting fabric inside the cuff.

When the contrasting fabric is exposed, the effortless look is highly admired.

               1. Unbutton the shirt’s cuff and fold it so the cuff is roughly an inch past your     elbow (you’re only folding it once, so it should be a long fold).

               2. Flip the bottom of your sleeve closest to your hand over so it creates                another fold and shortens the length of the rolled cuff. Make sure that you only      roll about an inch less than the first roll. This allows about an inch of the                sleeve’s cuff to poke past the fold, adding layer and dimension.

 

The Vest!

The vest is a great article of clothing that can be used to either dress up an outfit or be the outfit! Most people are familiar with that first part, the use of a vest in a three piece suit; however vest are perfect for a stylish Spring/Summer look.

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The biggest difference between the two looks is obviously one will be used in a more formal setting where as the other will be more of a dress casual look. For formal events the three piece is pretty common and provides that extra elevated look over your traditional two piece suit.

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The most important thing to consider when rocking a vest is the overall fit—presentation is everything. To pull off this look, all elements of the outfit must coincide; meaning that the shirt and pants you pair with it must be a tighter fit as well. The vest should fit snug and should fall to your belt line. The shirt fabric underneath should not be so loose that it bunches out from the armholes or the base of the vest. Next, to bring the look together, make sure you are wearing well-fitted jeans or chinos. Yes, we are going for a more casual look, but you still want to look damn good. So, with that being said, don’t put in effort on the top and ruin the appearance of the overall look by wearing slack or baggy pants.

When worn correctly, a vest can be a statement piece for a casual outing that all your bros will envy.

It's all about the DETAILS!

Men’s professional and semi-casual styles are always evolving around the current trends pertaining to fabric, color, fit, and detailing.

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So why is it that with a multitude of options to enhance one’s style, many are still content with wearing the basic blue sports coat or standard grey suit? Let’s be clear, there isn’t anything particularly off-putting about these traditional looks, but I have found that many men are unaware of the influence that small details can have on the overall appearance of a suit or jacket. By taking the time to customize your look with subtle, yet significant, details, your style can easily be upgraded from average to elevated.

In my line of work, I have fitted many financial advisors and other types of businessmen who tell me that they want the traditional suit or jacket—it’s 2018 guys, this isn’t the only acceptable standard of professional attire anymore!

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It’s understandable that you may be hesitant about straying away from your comfort zone; but no one is asking you to wear a Cam Newton pregame suit! Start small. By simply adding a few minor elements to the traditional look, it will have a huge impact on setting you apart for others to envy. 

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 Inside Jacket Monogram

Inside Jacket Monogram

When it comes to details, our brand stands out amongst the others. At Elevated Citizen, we have the capabilities to add subtle features to the classic look, or achieve the trendiest of styles.  We can customize anything. From a minute difference in color for your lapel button, to a contrasting gun patch, EC has the options to make your suit or jacket a one of a kind.

Make it a New Year’s resolution to upgrade your style. We promise that any detail, big or small, has the potential to amplify your wardrobe and swagger. I could rant on about the endless possibilities we can create, but as the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

 

The Sports Coat and Jeans Look

I recently came across an article that claimed it is “bad” fashion to wear a sports coat with jeans. Clearly, this is just an opinion; and not one that I agree with. However; I will say that it is possible to ruin this look.

There are two main components to keep in mind when wanting to rock this style: the occasion in which you’ll be wearing it, and the fit of the jacket and jeans.

This upgraded casual look is flexible and can pair well in versatile settings; date night, bar hoping, casual business meetings, banquets, reunions… or hell, wear it for those days you just want to add a bit more swagger to your everyday look with minimal effort. Just remember, do not wear this look to a formal event!

The second component to address is the most important aspect of this style, the fit. If you are a man that prefers rocking the sports coat and jeans look, such as myself, you better make sure the fit of both articles of clothing are complimentary to your physique. To avoid looking terrible, stay away from bagging, or jeans that are too long. Ideally, a pair of “dress” jeans are the best look. They provide a more fitted look with clean lines. Also, rid yourself of the embarrassment that accompanies the outdated, oversized jackets. Scroll down a bit to the blog, “Not All Fashion Trends Come Back Around” and educate yourself on the benefits of properly fitted attire.

Lastly, let’s just say you don’t trust my view on fashion, feel free to read up on what GQ had to say about this topic…SPOILER ALERT, they totally agree with me.

Pairing a sports coat with well-fitted jeans can elevate your style without sacrificing the comfort of casual wear.

 

The Un-tucked Look

It’s hard to contest the convenience of wearing a lose t-shirt with jeans for day-to-day wear. Unfortunately, this conventional standard of outfit choice hinders style and swagger. We understand that tucking in a buttoned down shirt can feel restrictive, however, there is a solution that will elevate anyone’s appearance, while maintaining the amount of comfort as a throwing on a cotton tee.

The untucked shirt is a design intended to fall at the perfect length in order to avoid the need of being tucked in. The best advice one can gain in order to rock this look is knowing the proper placement of where the shirt should end, based on individual body measurements.

The ideal length for an untucked shirt is when the bottom of the shirt hits the middle of the zipper on a pair of pants and slightly exposes the top of the pants’ front pockets.

For some, it is very difficult to find a good untucked fit. So difficult, that a company now specifically tailors to the untucked look, UNTUCKit. It is smart and lucrative marketing at it's best, designing shirts specifically for the untucked look; however, for those men who already have a plethora of dress shirts, we advise simply taking some to your local tailor and paying a few dollars to have them shortened for you. You will get the untucked look at a minimal cost.

Again, just remember if you plan on wearing your buttoned down shirt untucked, make sure it is the proper length. If it’s too long, save yourself from looking ridiculous; tuck it in!

 

 

Be Bold

Typically, men don’t feel comfortable stepping out of their comfort zone when it involves adding a pop of color to their attire. Too many of us are stuck in wearing bland, neutral colored suits that do nothing but mirror the guy next to us. Even most celebrities will be seen walking the red carpets in navy, grey or black apparel.

Why?

Why settle for bland when you can be bold? A little color and texture goes a long way in transforming your appearance, making you elite against all the rest. Now, let’s be clear, I’m not implying to go all Cam Newton with your color choices, but there are shades of colors that can be added to any wardrobe to elevate your appearance throughout the year. Seasonal trends are prevalent, but don’t get caught up in retail store’s ploy to dictate sales.

Purples and maroons are always popular. As a jacket or embellishment, these colors are going to turn heads when you walk in to a room. They’re subtle, yet eye-catching.

Flaunting the color green will make everyone around you envious of your unique, yet classy appearance. Careful though, green is typically a custom look. The varying shades can conflict with a person’s skin tone, so it would be helpful to have a second opinion of a professional prior to taking the look public. Typically hunter green and emerald is a safe bet. Stay away from olive at all costs.

So don’t be afraid to add a little color to your wardrobe. Be dangerous. Be bold. Be elevated.

Not All Fashion Trends Come Back Around

This blog is going to be short and to the point.

People always say that trends come full circle— to hold on to your clothing from a decade ago because you’ll save yourself some money for when it comes back in style. This on many occasions is true; however there are always exceptions to the rules fashion. Some things will NEVER come back in style.

To get specific— baggy, boxy, oversized suits—there’s a reason why they went out of style. I’ve already mentioned this in previous blogs, referencing low armholes and the overall fit of a suit, but I cannot stress enough how outdated this trend of men’s style truly is.

I constantly have to persuade clients to trash their ancient oversized jackets and suits. For some reason, most of them try to hang on to these ill-fitted clothes and give the excuse, “Well they’ll come back in style someday…”

NO. NO, THEY WILL NOT.

If you are one of these individuals having a hard time trashing your old suit, jacket, shirt, whatever it may be, I want you to ask yourself a series of questions. Put on that suit or shirt, look into the mirror and ask yourself:

“Does this look baggy?”

“Does this show off any of my physique?”

 “Does this make me look like a square blob?”

 If you answered yes to any of these…take it off and say your goodbyes.

The benefits of fitted clothing help both the heavier and slighter male physique. For instance, if you’re a bigger individual, excess fabric is only going to accentuate the negatives, making you appear larger than you actually are. And for you slimmer body types, you’re not doing yourself any favors by walking around looking like you’ve been swallowed by your apparel.

Now, if you’re confused or not confident in your sense of style, there’s no shame in asking for help!

To make things simple, go out and get a trimmer shirt or a jacket with high arm holes. Or for an ideal fit, get one shirt/jacket tailored exactly to your specifications. Once you compare your old outdated items with your new fitted attire, you will instantly see the difference and begin to wonder why you ever bought, let alone wore, your old clothes.

 How your clothes should look....

How your clothes should look....

Lastly, some of you may think that your new, slimmer/non-boxy clothing fit to tightly. Please understand that this is how your clothes are meant to fit. You have been wearing a bag for god knows how long, so it is understandable that at first you may be out of your comfort zone, but I assure you, you look damn good.

People need to understand that somethings should have never become the fashion trend to begin with. Oversized, boxy suits and jackets are one of them.

 

How Your Pants Should Fit

I went to an opera production this past weekend (which was fantastic) and I couldn’t help but notice all the well dressed, and not so well dressed individuals. Of course, there were your terrible sports coats with the abysmal low arm holes but what really annoyed me was how awful most of the men’s slacks were. It wasn’t that all their slacks were ugly or of poor quality, for most of them it was the fitting that was god awful.

Many of the men were either about to bust the button on their pants, or had their belt strapped as tight as possible to keep them from falling off their waist. What’s mind bottling (you know, when your mind is trapped in a bottle) is why someone would wear a pair of slacks that did not fit them in the waist. Even for the most common man, who knows nothing of fashion, can usually tell when a pair of pants is too tight or too loose. A proper fitting pair of slacks should fit snug in the waist, without the need of a belt but not tight to the point that it is a struggle to button or hook your pants closed.

Now, where I will not judge as harshly is the break of the pants. Most men don’t have an idea of where the pants should properly end. More times than not, I noticed the pants went on for days. Most of the men’s slack were way to long, with just folds of extra fabric around the shoes. Now there are a couple different looks a man can go for when it comes to the length of the pants. The most common is usually the half break, followed by the quarter break. Those are also the safest bet when wearing a nice pair of slacks. If you are really wanting to push the look you can go with no break. I personally prefer no break but, its important to note that if you go for that look your slacks should be trim around the ankle. Do not wear a pair of slacks that have a wide opening at the bottom of the pant legs...EVER, but especially do not if they have no break. A nice fitting pair of slacks should get slimmer as they go down the leg to the ankle.

Another common issue that arises when a man wears too big of pants is all-round bagginess. The pants will have way to much fabric everywhere. The crotch will be way to low and you won’t be able to see where his ass starts and where it ends. I am not saying you should wear a pair of nut huggers but a nice fitting pair of slacks will show off your ass. Let’s be honest, the ladies love a man with a nice ass….so show it off men!

Other, not so common issues can occur when an individual has very large thighs. Men with smaller waist but big thighs are more likely to need custom pants, otherwise they will end up having to buy larger pants sizes that will ultimately fit terribly in the waist and possibly the length.

I know this was a lot of information, so to sum it up…..you want the slacks to fit snug in the waist, have the appropriate break while the slacks themselves continue to slim as they proceed down the leg to the ankle. You want the slacks to fit well on your ass and in the crotch while not making it look like you have a wedgy. Lastly, DO NOT WEAR PLEATS!

 

 

Military Trend Setters

We are proud to support our troops for a multitude of reasons. Their contributions to serve and protect allow us all to live a life of freedom to self-expression. It’s ironic however, that one very prominent, yet underappreciated, contribution our militaries have made is to the evolution of men’s fashion.

 Second Lieutenant in the USMC "Dress Blues" 

Second Lieutenant in the USMC "Dress Blues" 

Many of the desirable elements that contribute to modern men’s elevated style aren’t “original” designs. Open a men’s fashion magazine and, if you know what you are looking for, you will see that many design features are taken from a variety of military attire.

From Medieval banquets to modern day military balls, the need for at least one stylish military dress uniform has influenced the desires of today’s “must-have” features. Interestingly enough though, many unique designs used in today’s fashion stem not only from formal military attire, but the essential safety elements of a combat uniform as well.

A couple of old school looks taken from the military uniform are WWI elbow pads, the gun patch, ammo pockets and the shoulder epaulets. These badass elements of clothing have seized the interest of trend seekers and are killing the game of fashion.

For over a hundred years, many countries have utilized elbow pads for various military uniforms. If you can imagine, there was a lot of crawling going on in WWI with soldiers trying to keep their heads low in trenches and crossing no man’s land. The aesthetically pleasing elbow pads we now see on many sport coats were originally used to help keep the soldiers from scraping their elbows raw. So while some might take this element of design for granted, remember, soldiers had their elbows wrecked before the evolution of elbow pads became an alluring fashion trend. You’re welcome.

 Scottish Uniform Aiguillette Epaulette

Scottish Uniform Aiguillette Epaulette

The shoulder epaulets we see used in fashion today are not as eye popping or insanely huge as ones from one hundred plus years ago. The origin of shoulder epaulets goes back to the 18th century, in which they were used as insignia of rank in the military. These shoulder decorations have continued to develop to what we see today as the narrow strips of fabric that garnish the collars of men’s jackets and button-downs. A casual look can be accomplished when epaulets are paired with chest pockets with either a short or long-sleeved shirt. They are also a great feature to have with a more tailored look due to their ability to alter one’s appearance to enhance shoulder width and fullness, thus increasing confidence in posture and stature. However, of all the fashion influences evolved from military uniforms, modern shoulder epaulets are better left understated and always avoid being paired with cargo pants (unless you’re going on a safari).

 Gun patch on the right shoulder

Gun patch on the right shoulder

The realm of military fashion is continuously influencing the modern look men strive for. It’s one thing to be provided the support of freedom of expression by the military, but it’s a bonus to be given the influence for a professional or casual ensemble. Evidently, in the war of fashion, the military is an excellent ally.

Your Suit Should Have High Arm Holes!

            In the world of men’s fashion, something went terribly wrong during the 60’s. Of the multiple atrocities committed towards men’s fashion, one of the greatest, if not the greatest, long lasting disaster was the lazy implementation of lowering the armholes for men’s suits.

Since that day, most suits have been made with low armholes, meaning the armhole is larger and moves further down the body of the jacket. This then causes multiple issues with the appearance of the suit, ultimately making it look awful and cheap. Lower arm holes create a domino effect on the suit, ruining section after section. The lapels will bow out, the body will appear wider, the shoulders rise, the cuff moves down the arm and the excess fabric under the arms will appear like wings or create a pulling distortion at the shoulder.

With the design of lowering the armholes completely defiling the suit, one can’t help but ask, “Why on earth would people make and wear such a bad design?” There are a handful of answers, but two stand out as the most realistic and sensible.

1: Simply put, people are lazy and easily annoyed when it comes to the comfort of their clothing. High armholes make the jacket slightly more difficult to put on, and give the wearer a snug feeling under the arms and in the shoulder.  So rather than looking stellar in a properly fitted jacket, many would rather compromise their appearance in exchange for the slightly easier task of putting on a jacket (because it is sooooo hard to do). Those who wear jackets with low armholes have become used to the excess space and bagginess that, honestly, ruins a good jacket. Thus, if they ever put on a jacket with high arm holes they are not use to the snug feeling that comes with a good, well-fitted suit and immediately think it is to small (it’s not).

2: Lower armholes “fit” everyone. For off-the-rack retailers, low armholes allow them to “fit” more individuals in the same jacket, which makes it perfect for mass marketing. Low armholes cause the sleeves to be wider, while the lower cut provides the ability to accommodate men of a variety of shapes and sizes. The excess fabric and bagginess, given by the low armholes, allows for a fit around everyone’s arms. This ability to “fit” everyone is the likely reason the low armhole has become the current industry standard.

If you take anything away from this short blog, it is that the high cut armhole is the superior design and should be used in the suit you wear. It counters the untidy profile associated with the big baggy sleeves and ill-fitting shoulders of a lower cut armhole, while also allowing for greater independent movement of the arms. High arm holes also provide the slimmer man the ability to show case his lean physique by making the jacket fit closer to the chest without bunching.

Thankfully, within the past ten or so years, we have seen a revival of the high armhole in suits and jackets. Although it is still rare, if not impossible, to find high armhole suits in your major retail stores, they are still accessible through some brands, such as Elevated Citizen. The other alternative is spending over a thousand dollars for a custom-made or bespoke suit. So, men, throw out those old low arm holed suits and get back to looking like the classier gentlemen from earlier times.