By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
No matter what certain Mexican politicians may say, fashion is not “fifi,” and style and good taste are still key social commodities that not only help open the door to business and professional opportunities, but also reflect our personal worldviews and individuality, and make us feel comfortable in our own attire.
It is true that casual-Friday-cum-causal-every-workday has, for many, eliminated that old cookie-cutter uniform of the three-piece suit and tie, but that doesn’t mean that slouchy sweats are now acceptable attire, especially in the workplace.
Even without a tie, a nice, well-fitted blazer over a polo shirt and a pair of slacks or even a pair of slim-style denim jeans can dress up your look and make you appear more professional.
The key to looking polished is fit, and if your clothes look like they are two sizes too big for you, regardless of how comfortable you may feel in them, you are going to come off looking like a slob.
On the other hand, you don’t want your clothes to be so tight that they are bulging at the buttons or seams.
A well-fitted shirt, jacket or pants should be so comfortable that you barely notice them; they simply become a comfortable extension of your own body.
It doesn’t matter if you are going for a casual look or business chic, your clothes should fit your body shape.
If you can master the art of fit, you are halfway there when it comes to dressing in style.
The second thing to bare in mind when curating your class act business wardrobe is to think of your garments and accessories as investments, items that will reflect your personal style and good taste for years to come.
As a rule, men’s clothing and accessories tend to be more enduring than womenswear because the evolution of male fashion trends is much slower.
That means that that it is a pretty fair bet that that quality watch or classy pair of specks you purchase today will still be in style five to 10 years own the road.
So while many old adages about fashion may ring hollow today, it is still good advice to invest in quality over quantity, purchasing garments and accessories that will endure the test of time and evolve within your wardrobe as solid basics of your unique fashion style and mode.
Finally, remember that your fashion style should be a reflection of your overall style, carefully selected and curated by the one person who knows you best: yourself.
Don’t be afraid to express yourself when it comes to color and be sure to include signature pieces that tell something about you and your individual experiences and sentiments.
If you aren’t quite sure where to start when it comes to color, choose a combination of shades that flatter your skin tone and then use color-blocking accents to create a canvas to brighten your look.
Don’t go overboard and suddenly try to pull of a bright orange suit if you have traditionally been an adherent to the black-brown-and-navy cult.
Find a level of color that you’re comfortable with and start by introducing color through the accessories.
Once you have nailed down the look you want to project, start building a wardrobe that is suited to you and your personal lifestyle, that will tell the world who you are and showcase the man you want it to see, a versatile class act of good taste and breeding.
Sexist or not, the truth is that men’s clothing is a lot more telltale when it comes to exposing quality than women’s clothing is, mainly because men’s suits are more tailored and structured.
So while we females can get away with dressing-up a bargain gown we found on clearance at C&A with a classy string of pearls and a nice pair of heels, a $80 prêt-à-porter men’s suit is never going to pass for a personally tailored ensemble.
Consequently, regardless of your color and cut preferences, it behooves men to spend the extra money to get a personally tailored suit, or at least to have a quality off-the-rack suit fitted to their bodies.
A tailored suit in a natural silk or cashmere fabric can be costly, but it will make you look pulled-together and, if cared for properly (no, you do not throw your Armani blazer in the washer), will last for years.
And don’t forget that classic white dress shirt, preferably with French cuffs and cufflinks, another worthwhile investment.
As a general rule of thumb, when it comes to men’s suits, the higher the investment and the better the quality, the longer the suit will last and the better you will look.
For a real power-player suit (the kind that is going to land you that corner office or that major contract with a transnational corporation), go big and consider a make-a-statement brand like Ermenegildo Zegna, the luxury Italian design house founded in 1910 that is still run by the same family (fourth generation).
This class-act label not only manufactures its own brand of clothing — from white-tie tuxedos to casual sportswear — but also produces suits for the likes of Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Dunhill and Tom Ford.
It is also one of the biggest global producers of fine fabrics (2.3 million meters a year), with a socially ethical eye to promoting improvements in wool production around the world (so you can wear your Zegna knowing that you not only look fantastic, but that you are indirectly doing your part to promote sustainable social justice).
As it turns out, Ermenegildo Zegna has just opened a new boutique in the upscale Artz Pedregal Shopping Center in the south of Mexico City
The 200-square-meter sales space has a wide selection of formal and informal menswear, as well as ties, cuffs and other accessories to top off your look.
The elegantly distributed boutique — with its own roomy, masculine, wood-based fitting room — was designed by Zegna’s own in-house architects, based on the creative concepts of U.S. master architect Peter Marino for Zegna Global Stores, and not only showcases the line’s latest collections, but also gives historical content to the Zegna brand.
And remember, it is not just dress clothes that “make the man,” but also stylish casualwear.
Ermenegildo Zegna has just introduced its new My Claudio fully personalized sneakers, inspired by ancient Rome and defined by the brand’s uncompromised craftsmanship, with hand-threaded laces and other optional features you can customize to suit your tastes.
The shoe comes in a choice of 12 color laces, 10 different smooth calf types of leather, and three separate midsoles to create a sneaker that reflects your taste and style.
When it comes to accessories, there is no item that is in fuller view of the world than your specks.
Whether they are prescription glasses or sunglasses, they do a lot more than keep you from squinting.
So here is another area where it makes good sense to splurge and get a pair of glasses that will not only protect your eyes (those cheapies you found in the tianguis for 100 pesos may look cool, but they have no UV filters, so in terms of protection, they are the equivalent of wearing nothing), but also accentuate your natural chiseled jawline.
Your glasses are an extension of your face, and frame your eyes, the one feature your most want people to focus on, so ditch the ho-hum Foster Grants and buy a pair of specks that will compliment the rest of your rakish style.
Marcolin, the international, made-in-Italy, luxury eyewear distributor with a strong focus on impecable quality and innovative trends, has just introduced its latest collection of Tom Ford prescription and sunglasses in Mexico, inspired by the vintage glamour of the 1950s and the oversized squares and circles of the 1970s, embellished in soft ombré shades.
The new spring/summer 2019 Tom Ford eyewear collection for men is characterized by bold shapes and well-defined profiles, making the models unique and immediately identifiable, with cohesive, innovative pairings in acetate and metal.A perfect balance of minimalist design and meticulous attention to detail characterize the collection.
The dauntless collection also includes three new designs for the Private Collection, featuring precision materials, such as horn, leather, gold plating and photochromic lenses.
This new collection also features an exclusive Crystal Edition model, a two-toned pilot style in silver and rose gold.
The Tom Ford semi-shield Havana acetate frames with round lenses have a comfortable keyhole bridge and wide, tapered arms that fuse contemporary style with vintage
The entire Tom Ford Eyewear Collection is handcrafted in Italy through 75 individual steps of development, and the brand’s signature metal “T” temple design is a hand-laid process.
Bags, Bags, Bags
Male or female, teenager or mature sophisticate, goth angel or bohemian beauty, we all need a bag of some sort to carry our essential must-haves around with us.
And when it comes to choosing your bag or satchel, you can expect to find everything from slouchy shoulder slings to elegantly structured briefcases.
Whatever design suits your lifestyle and fancy, make sure you choose a well-constructed bag that will hold up against the daily wear-and-tear of modern urban life.
Leather bags may be elegant, but they are also fragile, and can scuff easily, while a sturdy canvas or cloth bag usually adapts more readily to different situations and can be tossed in the washer when it gets dirty.
Cloth bags also tend to have lots of pockets and compartments for maximum storage.
The main factor in choosing your bag should be how well it suits your particular needs, and how adaptable it is to different situations.
And when it comes to bags that blend style and practicality, the Belgium brand Kipling (the ones with the little monkeys on them) offers a broad range of rucksacks, totes, duffels and carryalls that transition easily from casual attire to work clothes.
When your bag does begin o fray, change it.
Moreover, Kipling now introduces a whole new collection every single month, making updating your style without sacrificing quality or structure as simple as a trip to your local mall.
Kipling’s latest offerings, a spiffy back-to-school collection, boasts cutesy hippo backpacks (probably not your best choice for a business power lunch), tangerine orange overnighters and simple, understated, gender-neutral gray haversacks.
Kipling will be launching its new, discrete men’s collection later this month, so you should be able to find the right bag for you.
Your Pièce de Résistance
The one most enduring piece of jewelry you should always wear (besides you wedding ring, of course) is a good watch.
For centuries, timepieces have been symbols of luxury, wealth and personal taste, as well the markers of the passage of daily milestones.
Today, they are the crowning glory of any class-act ensemble.
And here is where you can really let your personal preferences prevail.
Aesthetically, functional, rugged sports models go with practically anything and can take the hard knocks of everyday wear, but classic Swiss masterpieces and one-of-a-kind, high-value, mechanical wrist art can be your biggest send-a-message accessory.
Choose a watch that you love and, if possible, try to get one that tells a story, preferably a story that is somehow related to you.
There are plenty of watches deigned around iconic landmarks, sports, historical events and even entire nations.
Late last month, for example, the Geneva-based luxury wristwatch brand Frédérique Constant launched a special limited edition of its classic Heart Beat dress watch inspired by the earliest pioneers of the Mexican Air Force and the first airplane fully produced in Mexico, the T.N.C.A. Serie A biplane. (The planes began production in 1917, and there were only 37 made, but they were used by the nation’s historic Squadron 201 Aztec Eagles, who volunteered to help the Allied forces in Philippines during World War II, and who were honored in another special, limited edition Frédérique Constant watch two years ago.)
The new Frédérique Constant Pioneros Mexicanos watches — only 200 of them were produced — come in a polished 40-millimeter stainless steel casing with a convex sapphire crystal and circular weekday and date counters, details that are reflective of the era they pay homage to.
The watches come with a selection of interchangeable straps.
On the backside of the watch, there is an image of the T.N.C.A., plus the name and number of the timepiece.
The Frédérique Constant Pioneros Mexicanos was premiered by Temposatis Watch Distributors at the upscale Berger Joyeros jewelry and watch boutique in Mexico City’s Colonia Polanco on Thursday, June 27, and is available there and at other fine jewelers nationwide.