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Interview With Clothing Expert – Andy Gilchrist on how Men Should Dress
Conversation between Adwin Ang and Andy Gilchrist
Good morning everyone and welcome to our interview with Andy Gilchrist!
Hi Andy, first of all I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule for this online interview. I read the materials on your CD; You bet they are highly informative products. Especially use graphics and images to illustrate. It is also a very good and quick reference guide.
My first question is Andy, what made you decide to create a website focused on men’s fashion?
It was an extension of my natural and long-time interest in menswear. I started on the monitor of a Men’s Fashion Forum that was connected to Men’s Health magazine and liked the idea. I then decided to write a book about men’s clothing, (The Encyclopaedia of men’s clothing) which took me two years, and the website was a vehicle to sell the book.
I have read and seen the vast amount of topics you have covered about menswear both on your website and in the CD Rom e-book “The Encyclopaedia of Men’s Clothing”, information that I am very surprised I have missed all these years.
Where or how did you develop your fashion sense? Any special training or courses that need to be done?
Some of them 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 I honestly think it’s something because of insecurity!! Not being born the most handsome guy in the world (don’t argue!), I realized that image and appearance were important and that I needed to make myself look as good as possible in public.
It occurred to me that men in my country don’t really dress to impress or know their dress sense, but rather dress according to what they think is appropriate for the occasion.
For example: Some men wear a polo shirt or jeans to the wedding dinner. They seem more comfortable, which is obvious
Where can we get information about the latest trends in men’s fashion? Any websites that are your favorite?
Unlike women’s clothing, most men’s clothing (even for more formal occasions) is very comfortable. Women are always looking for comfortable shoes, while men wouldn’t put up with (pardon the pun) shoes that don’t fit and feel good.
There is also a cultural (or sexual) mentality around the world that men are not supposed to dress well. They are “supposed” to be careless and rugged individuals. But if you study all the male animal species, you notice that the male is the most colorful!
It’s good to keep up with current trends, but you don’t necessarily have to go crazy for every fad that pops up. The value of menswear is that they rarely go out of style, as styles have evolved over 100 years to something that suits men’s body types and activities and makes most men look great. Look at formal wear: All men look exceptionally handsome in the classic basic tuxedo (no frills, no updates, no changes).
“Acceptable” business colors (navy or gray suit, white or blue shirt, etc.) complement most gentlemen’s skin, hair, and eye colors.
You mention the “Rule of Seven” a few times in your Menswear Encyclopedia. What exactly should we consider the “7 rules”?
Just to reiterate that there is a “Rule of Seven” in women’s fashion that also applies to men. The “rule” states that there should be no more than seven points of interest on your body at any one time!
The theory is that too much visual stimulation detracts from the overall look.
Points of interest can be a watch, pocket square, shiny tie, blazer buttons, suspenders, belt buckle, cufflinks, fashion glasses, facial hair, waistcoat, anything that can draw attention to that item.
So if you’re wearing a pair of exceptional cufflinks, you don’t want to overpower them by adding too much visual excitement.
When others are visually overloaded they tend to repel you. The mistake when you have too many points of interest is that the look is high, busy and discordant (not harmonious). Too many patterns make you look like a clown.
The section I find most interesting is the casual wear section.” DON’T BE A CASUAL CASUAL!” what you mention many people have misunderstood the meaning of casual dressing. I agree and I always got it wrong along the way.
What are the different types of casual wear and how should we treat the word “Casual Wear” in our invitation card?
Part of the problem is that the person sending the invitation has no idea what the classifications of the dress are and therefore confuses the guests. There are 5 classifications of elegant and 5 classifications of casual and they all depend on the occasion. It’s easy to mix them all up.
Um…Andy, as you know I’m running a blog about wife links. My next question is, in general, how should we match our cuffs with the type of shirts we wear, in terms of shirt and cuff material?
You can color coordinate the cufflinks with the rest of your ensemble for that harmonious impression.
You might want to coordinate the color of the metal with your watch and ring, so that everything is, for example, gold, but that’s not really necessary. Many watches contain silver and gold and the mixture of colors is not to be despised.
Traditionally gold was appropriate for the day and silver for the night, but with the arrival of a more casual approach both are interchangeable. Silver goes with blue, black or gray, and gold is better with earth tones.
About the care of cufflinks, how should we store them to avoid scratches and should we clean them often for stainless steel cufflinks?
Store your bracelets in a felt-lined jewelry box or use any other method that prevents the links from touching each other to prevent scratching.
If you don’t have a jewelry box, 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.
As you know, there are many types of cuffs on the market. For a person looking to buy their first pair of cufflinks, what should they consider? Are there major categories of cuff types?
CUFF STYLES: (from most elegant to least elegant)
Double-sided are bonds with two identical sides joined by a metal bond. You push a face through the “button” holes in the cuff. These are the most elegant. Chain links: A chain connects the double-sided links.
The pressure is made up of two separate pieces that are joined together.
Push-through — This style has a bulbous or globular end opposite the showy side, which is pushed through the cuff holes. See also silk knots below.
Hinged Back: This type has a bar, which can be aligned perpendicular to the link and open parallel, after it is pushed through the sleeve, to secure the link in place.
Stirrups are cufflinks that wrap around the cuff of the shirt. Some consider these garish.
Silk knots have two knots joined together and made of silk; one of the knots is pushed through the cuff hole to hold the cuff together. Silk knots are the least elegant style.
I’ve seen a few men’s cosmetics stores in Singapore, but they might be catering to a small group of people. But it seems to me that men today care more about the way they dress and are more willing to spend on accessories.
Do you think menswear will continue to be more popular over the next 5 years?
Absolutely. Men are realizing the importance to their daily lives of looking good. A good impression helps in 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 money. in articles that make us look good.
Andy, who has been in the menswear industry for many years, what are the common problems men face today when it comes to dressing?
The era of casual dressing was welcomed by many men, but then it became clear that putting all those elements together correctly was not so easy. It’s certainly not as easy as putting on a suit (one item) together with a matching shirt, tie and shoes and belt. It’s harder to dress casually and look good.
Back to the topic of wife links, do you have any resources to recommend where readers can pull information from?
There must be a good story or book about twins. If not, Adwin, let’s write one!
Since our last email exchange, you are releasing your set of cufflinks, do you intend to customize the cufflinks for the online community? How can they reach you?
SmartTurnout UK One of the sponsors of AskAndyAboutclothes.com agreed to design a pair of chain style cuff links (double sided) with the Ask Andy hanger on one side and some pretty blue toned stripes on the other. (So you can take the Ask Andy side for Ask Andy meetup events and the other for day to day. Should have some news (pics, prices) very soon.
Adwin: Thanks again, Andy!, for sharing your clothing knowledge with us, and we look forward to seeing more of your exciting tips and fist-pumping.
Take care and have a nice day!
Andy: Thanks Adwin! Really good thoughtful questions. Good luck on the great website you started with dump. I really like the design and the information there is excellent.
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