05.07.2015
By Terry Flanagan

Jessica Cadmus ‘Whispers’ on Mens’ Summer Fashion

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Markets Media Life recently caught up with Wall Street fashion expert Jessica Cadmus, aka Wardrobe Whisperer, to glean some insights for the upcoming summer season.

MM:  Say I have multiple weddings and black tie events to attend this summer. I want to look the part but I don’t want to look or feel like I’m going to work. Help!

WW:  In high school, my best friend was something of a phenomenon:  Homecoming Queen and Prom Queen twice (yes, Junior Prom too).  She was and has remained everyone’s favorite person.  So much so that years later, in her twenties, she was asked to be a bridesmaid (often Maid of Honor) 14 times.  It stands to reason, then, why during this period she dated a guy we’ll call Matt.  He was thee quintessential wedding date.  He made certain my friend always had water while delivering toasts, he ensured the bride and groom were never without drinks, he started the dancing to fast songs, and made sure every older lady danced at least once to a slow song.  Most importantly, he LOOKED the part.  He worked for a bulge bracket firm and had a few good suits but his real genius lay in how he mixed them up.  Here is what I imagine he’d thought about as he prepared for his recurring role as Best Wedding Date in America:

1)  Identify the lightest suit in your closet first by fabric weight, next by color.  Forgo flannel and heavy-gauge wools.  For summer weddings, tropical wool would be the heaviest, but poplin would be ideal.  In terms of color, if you only have grays or blues, pick the lightest shade.  Overall, a tan poplin suit would be the sweet spot.

2)  Consider a white, broad-cloth shirt with a moderately spread collar.  It will read as clean, crisp and timeless.  Other top contenders are pink, lavender, yellow (if your complexion can handle it), and light blue (the lighter, the better).

3)  Integrate a tie that you wouldn’t normally wear to work.  Knits are my favorite for spring and summer. REISS makes a great one.

To Boot New York

Photo credit: Saks Fifth Avenue

4)  You can never go wrong, no matter what color scheme you are working, with a pair of simple brown cap-toed lace-ups.  Check out To Boot New York for the best value for your buck.  Then pair with a belt of the same color.  Other colors that are always spot on:  cognac and oxblood.

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

5)  Add a crisp white pocket square to the breast pocket of your suit jacket.  Folded into, you guessed it: a square.  Let a little peep out.  Confused?  See: Don Draper.

'Stars/Glamour ', Virgin Wool Notched Lapel Tuxedo by BOSS

‘Stars/Glamour ‘, Virgin Wool Notched Lapel Tuxedo by BOSS

6)  If you have to do black tie, don’t be a renter.  Or a hater.  Just invest in a classic, two-button, notch-lapel version like this one from Hugo Boss.  Cut your losses, it’s only $895 and a rental is going to run you $400 anyway.  Then grab your best black lace-ups and some shoe polish and shine them to their highest luster.  Distinguish yourself by choosing an original bow tie like the ones from Brackish.

Now that you know what to wear, you can start cultivating your cigar collection so you too can be the most popular guy at the reception.  And maybe win a date with my best friend.  She’s still available…

Jessica Cadmus

Jessica Cadmus, the Wardrobe Whisperer, is a former Goldman Sachs employee who is now a wardrobe stylist and personal shopper.  She is recognized as an industry expert on dressing Wall Street professionals.  She has appeared on Bloomberg’s Rewind with Matt Miller and has been interviewed by Wall Street Journal’s FINS.com.  She is ready for your style questions.  You can send them here and check this recurring column for a response:  jessica@wardrobewhisperer.com

Featured image by Micromonkey/Dollar Photo Club

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