“What’s New for Fall”

by Richmond Truex

You walk outside. Wham! The humidity hits you like a truck. You start to sweat in two steps. Its 90 degrees, summer in Chattanooga. Now picture this. 30 degree cooler weather. No humidity with football in full swing and you can hear leaves rustling in the wind. Welcome to fall! You will need a sweater or jacket. Come in now to see what we have new for fall 2016.

From the amazing selections in sportswear and clothing to the dress shirt and tie collection, you will not be disappointed. We have Gitman Bros. shirts this season is eager to please. Pair a Gitman shirt with Bills Khakis or Agave jeans to transition smoothly from work to play. We have additional shirts from Scott Barber, Robert Talbott and Vineyard Vines. Ultrasoft & luxuriously soft cashmere sweaters from Alan Paine and merino wool sweaters from Fairway & Greene are the perfect layering piece to any outfit. St. Croix has updated cardigan sweaters and are Made in America. The amount of color you want show or not is up to you. Have fun.

Clothing is responding to the demand for side vents and two button jackets. We still have plenty of clientele that like three button clothing. All the fun sportcoats from Southwick and Hickey-Freeman will impress and can show his personality. You must see the Donegal softcoat from Hardwick. The suits always impress and this season is no different. The soft bankers grey flannel suit from Southwick is timeless and tasty. You will have everyone’s attention when you wear this blockbuster. Not to be outdone, Hickey-Freeman has a navy and blue tic weave suit that rivals a solid navy suit. And speaking of navy, the navy tuxedo from Hickey-Freeman has been very popular.

Gentlemen, if you want to add fresh looking and updated pieces to your wardrobe, then now is the time. We have pieces throughout the store. Keep your timeless style and add something fun. You will only know if you like it when you try.

Now What Do I Do Since I Graduated? How Do I Dress?

by Richmond Truex

May is the time for graduations and Mother’s Day.  Whether its graduating from law school, high school, or college, men are unsure of how to dress for the next step.  When its an interview for the desired law firm, school program of choice or the first job, less is more.  The more modest you dress the better for these interviews.

The solid navy suit is a man’s best friend.  You may have heard this before and it is so true.  He can wear it to weddings, funerals, and interviews. Its good in some cases to wear as an optional tuxedo when the event states black tie optional.  You new graduates need to dress in the wardrobe basics.  And “What are the basics?” you might ask.  I tell every gentleman the four core basic suits are 1. a solid navy 2. a navy stripe 3. a solid charcoal and 4. a charcoal stripe.  You can add other suit colors along the way and seasonal, but these four are the best place to start.  And in the beginning to really round out your basics is a timeless navy blazer; and maybe a sportcoat.  Then shirts are very important, the basic whites and blues.  Most men stick with the ultra classic white button down.  You can even throw in a blue stripe or pattern.  And don’t forget dress trousers in khaki wool and grey- charcoal or blazer grey. With all these core pieces, gentlemen can mix and match in countless combinations; experiment with what you like.

Then we get into ties, both personal and colorful.  Each mans taste level varies without measure, but I won!d still have a fancy blue tie, yellow stripe and red polka dot tie.  These ties are core color and core patterns that look equally dressy.  And when less pattern is more dressy, where these until you get the job.

What happens after I get the job?  The classic tale of dressing conservatively goes a long way in the beginning.  Then add some color after you’ve been at the job for some time.  As you move up in seniority, you have developed a personal style your boss and colleagues have accepted.  Keep it up and dress well to impress.

Shoes are the missing key that men can overlook.  Its so important to wear great looking, comfortable shiny shoes.  Yes, polish the shoes.  Nothing looks worse than wearing a great suit, shirt and tie combination; and then the shoes are dirty.  The new norm is not shiny black shoes, but all the shades of brown.  Shiny tan, cognac, and dark brown look dynamic with all the core suits.  Save the black shoes for your black tuxedo.  Most men, however dress in black lace ups no matter the suit color.  Wear lace ups with suits and slip one with the sportcoats and blazers.

And keep adding to your wardrobe. Trousers with the navy blazer and sportcoats; year round at first then seasonal. Practice doing this over and over again to become easier.  You will learn what looks good together.  Even experiment with color, but be slow and modest. Suits in charblue and pearl grey will only further demonstrate your taste level and personality.  And by then you will know when to wear what.

“One pretends to do something, or copy someone or some teacher, until it can be done confidently and easily in what becomes one’s own manner.”.

ANKLE DECOR . . Socks or no socks.

By Richmond Truex

Tis spring. . . The season warm weather, baseball games, golf, and walking barefoot at the park.  You will be wearing the khaki pants, linen trousers or cotton shorts with loafers or a saddle shoe.

But will you be wearing socks?  The general rule is yes. However, there are always exceptions.  We recommend men be conservative and match the color to the trouser. This is a good rule of thumb to stay modest in dress and not be too flashy.  Then there are men that love flashy and are not modest.  Men have been wearing bright socks for some time that cover the color wheel.  Some wear a brighter shade of the trouser  ( light blue with navy or pearl grey with charcoal) or match the shirt.  The experimentation with color allows men to express their individuality and personal style.  It is an often overlooked aspect of dressing.  Half the men wear one color sock with every pant. The other half don’t really experiment with color.  Therefore, you see a small number of those choosing to try new colors and be bold.

Some people call these men dandys or an oddball for dressing well and with color.  You always remember a well dressed man, not the ordinary.  Why be ordinary?  Be extraordinary and a confident dresser who happens to like color.  And those who do know what looks good together have done so for a long time.  And these men sometimes elect not to wear socks.  This is accomplished easily with resort casual, casual or business casual.  However, it can be more difficult to not wear socks when wearing a suit or sport coat.  Few occasions call for this, unless you are in the south.  These men tell me they hate the feel of socks.  And while this may be true, a wool sock is the best sock for year round wear because of its wicking away moisture ability.

I still wear socks every day.  And if it’s too hot to wear socks, I’m usually not at work.  And that’s the point.  Socks at work only add to doing your job well and professionalism.  You’ve never seen a slob and thought they were professional.  So gentlemen, wear socks and some color.  Unless you are at the beach.  Then get your toes in the sand.

What’s new for Spring 2016?

By Richmond Truex

While the weather may be frigid and frightful outside, inside Bruce Baird, we are warming up to the warm spring. Coming are the days of 70s with cool breezes. And we have the clothes to wear from trousers and sport shirts to sportcoats and suits. We can dress gentlemen from a round of golf to a black tie event. Come in and see these incredible selections.

It’s always exciting to attend events in a brand new outfit you just added to your wardrobe. Or you just want to see what you love and want to wear from what is new. The Gitman Bros. shirts for Spring mix new colors to refresh classic patterns. The solid linens and cotton patterns are incredible pairings with a number of trousers. Bobby Jones knit shirts will redefine timeless beyond the back nine. Worn on the course or paired with a navy blazer, you are dresses well for any occasion. And you will love the color from the Scott Barber shirts. These shirts and the swim trunks will make you fit in as a member at any resort.

Men want to mix it up and have more plain front pants for added versatility. See the distinguished linen pants in many colors for your many outfits. They will look incredible paired with Crittenden linen/ silk unconstructed sport coats. Don a sportshirt or dress shirt to complete the look for the city or club. And the selection of suits and sportcoats will rival most men’s dreams. You could pick out the perfect ensemble for the dinner party or Kentucky Derby. I hope to see you soon.

The Pros and Cons of a suit:  Bespoke vs. Off the Rack.

By Richmond Truex

When men come into the store and say they need a suit, I will ask them how soon they need it?  In other words, is there enough time to have a suit made?  If the gentlemen has the time, then he would do himself a favor making a suit.  When you get a custom-fit suit, you’re buying a piece of clothing that will feel like a second skin- only better.  Tailored suits not only fit perfectly to the particular contours of your body, they also accentuate your best features while masking the ones you’d prefer to keep hidden.  And whatever fabric he chooses, he will love wearing it.  Now he can wear it to the meetings, conferences, events, parties or galas.  Another benefit of the tailored suit makes a man feel positive and confident.  And when you gain this positive confidence in your profession, you enjoy your work and life.  This attitude spills over into every aspect of your existence being human.

There are two types of suits:  Bespoke or tailored and ready made/ off the rack.  Depending on a man’s measurements, a ready made suit can be altered only so much.  And when altering is not enough, the only option is to have it made.  Altering a garment reveals imperfections in sizing someone on a proportion range.  There are limits to what can be done.  Many variables compound this fact when alterations are not enough.  Rarely does a suit fit well enough to where you just need to cuff the pant.  Many times the sleeves need to be adjusted or the collar lowered.  Have we altered enough for it to fit properly?  And if he has an athletic build, the pants may not fit.  Therefore, bespoke suits take all the guesswork out because you are measuring.

Unusual measurements to account for in a bespoke suit include: sloping shoulders, square shoulders, chest darts, a low shoulder, and shortening the collar. Posture accounts for a head forward, flat chest or round back.  And these details come to light when first measured and sized using a fit coat.  These measurements are a guide for the coats contours.    Only making a suit can you address the critical armhole size and point-to-point.  And if the point-to-point measurement is wrong, then the whole coat is out of balance and will never drape correctly.   Often alterations cannot fix these dimples and problems areas on a garment.  A bespoke suit accounts for all the measurement details. Then upon completion, the bespoke suit will fit correctly.

Furthermore, an off the rack suit is made on an assembly line where quality is low and lacks consistency.  While a bespoke suit is constructed with better quality, materials, and greater attention to details.  The canvas used to shape the garment is of a finer quality.  This results in a better draping suit which will stand the test of time and take more wear and tear.

There’s just no better feeling than putting on a well made bespoke suit after wearing a ill tailored suit.  A well tailored suit highlights your strengths while the ill fitted cannot hide your flaws.  Once you get a bespoke suit, an off the rack suit pales by comparison.  And each time a gentleman gets a suit made, he falls in love with the fit all over again.  He enjoys utilizing it in his wardrobe; he could not bear the thought of going back from a suit he selected and fits impeccably.

And the fun will start when you are picking your details on the suit.  It offers unlimited personalization. Do I want two or three button?  Plain front or pleated pants?  Center vents or side vents on the jacket?  You can select a lining for the coat for the coat in your favorite color, or the best alternate to matching the fabric.  And you can put a unique colored button on the garment to give it a real natty look and feel.  Some of our clients don’t stop there; they’ve thought of peak lapels, outside cash pocket, and surgeon sleeves.  You can do all or none of these detail choices.  However, the more you choose, the more unique the garment and is a better reflection of your personality.

What Basics Should Be In My Wardrobe?

by Richmond Truex

A solid navy suit is a man’s best friend.  He can wear this to any event: weddings, parties, funerals, conferences, and meetings.  This is a core component to a gentleman’s wardrobe.  Mix wearing dress shirts and ties to create your own look.  A tuxedo is the second component which can be worn for a number of galas, parties, fundraisers, and balls.  And if a gentleman attends 3 or more events a year outside of the holidays, he would be a fool to rent one.  It is always refreshing to men when a tuxedo fits as well as the navy suit.  He will gain much pride and joy in the regalement of the formal accoutrements.

A navy blazer is an essential coat for a gentleman’s wardrobe.  He can wear this year round and with any pant; except navy or black.  Cotton casual trousers, linen, wool and wool flannel can all be worn with the navy blazer depending on the time of year.  Mix wearing dress and sport shirts with selected trousers.  And even a tie can be worn.  A classic look such as pinstripes should be in every man’s wardrobe.  A charcoal pinstripe or chalk stripe can be incredibly useful. This is a great core suit to add to suits for daily for daily wear: solid navy, charcoal stripe, then maybe a navy stripe or solid charcoal. Then you add a Prince of Wales pattern or a bankers gray stripe suit into the mix.  The enjoyable part is you can pick and choose what basic suits you want in your wardrobe to reflect your lifestyle and personality.

You will then need dress shirts & ties to wear with the suits and trousers to wear with the blazer.  Wear the ultra traditional white button down shirt with the navy blazer.  Other dress shirt open collared , and French cuff shirts, will come off better with the suits. And you can make a blazer look incredible with a French cuff shirts.  And then always add the colors- the ever useful blue dress shirts, pinks, purples, stripes and patterns.  Have fun trying colors and what you like, but the deadliest colors are white and blue.

The two best trouser colors to wear with a navy blazer are khaki and blazer gray. Both are ideal in tropical or year round wool fabric I can that most men will wear to the office or golf course.  A third ideal trouser is the timeless cotton khaki in a light weight or year round fabric.  For some men these are too casual, others think they are the golf course uniform.  You will then want to wear dress shoes with the suits in a lace up style.  Your slip on shoes are going to be ideal for the sportcoats and blazer.  Wear these shoe styles in the mid brown, tans, and dark brown which look the best.  Wear black tuxedo shoes with your black tuxedo only.  Try not to wear the black shoes with the navy or charcoal suits most men show this pairing.  And your belt and shoes must always match colors, no matter what.

You should also add a great looking sport coat in a camel color, a tweed jacket, or a multi colored district check.  These additions will give versatility to your basic trousers and dress shirts. And you can. Add variety to what you already have in your wardrobe.  For those times when a jacket is too formal, wear an handsome cashmere v neck sweater.  Ultra soft for comfort and durability, enjoy these colors in a strong color palette.  And finally, add sport shirts to wear casually with the trousers or dress them up with the navy blazer.  Be careful of the patterns when you start mixing and matching.  Due to the quality in the basics, you can wear these effortlessly for a long time.  Have fun.

“Why Do Most Men Dress Like Slobs?”

By Richmond Truex

Why can’t men dress well?  Women have wondered this for decades.  And when offered every opportunity to learn, take interest and change these habits, they scoff and revert back to their uniform.  Why can’t they show up properly dressed for a job interview, family barbeque or a dinner with a client?  These questions do apply to men even when they think they don’t.  Ask a woman and she says men lack imagination.  We want to push men from their comfort zone, try new things and wake up their imagination to what is possible in dressing.

Men do lack a sartorial imagination.  And if a man cares to show any interest or imagination they are quickly branded as something other than a man.  During sweeping cultural changes, men dressing well has taken last place to him assuming new work roles and family roles.  Men have thus given up and want to be comfortable in their new roles.  And with the new economy, men have been pushed into the role of 24 hour employee where public and private barriers are collapsing.  And when men have to dress for all occasions- work, play, and in between- the clothes suffer to what is easiest to wear.

The new economy should have pushed men to become more creative and experiment with clothes.  You didn’t see principles emerge that men could learn and follow.  No new normal meant a lack of color and imagination.  And with the sense of freedom, men are stuck in this melancholy of the sameness.  But there are a few men that are choosing to dress and are taking it seriously.  These are the ones taking advantage of this vast repertoire available toady and embracing sporty chic.  This is the new balance between casual and business dress.  Sportcoats with a shirt & ties with jeans or a great looking sweater with cotton trousers and sneakers are becoming the new uniforms of sporty chic.

As a means of self expression, the clothes a man wears and the car he drives both point to the masculine impulse to show off.  So why do men know more about their car than the clothes they wear?  Both are expressions of who you are and clothes really are a better expression of your individuality.  But men learn in school, and dads, how cool cars are as compared to learning thread count and haberdashery.  To care about the way you look appears to be a more shameful vice then having problems with drugs and alcohol.  Let’s get these skeletons and demons out of men’s closets so they aren’t so afraid of dressing well.

And now, men have no excuse.  With the variety of colorful sportswear, dress shirts, ties, and pocket squares, these would easily complete and fill out the wardrobe of a cultivated, successful man.  With some instructed imagination and experimentation, men would gain experience in how to dress and can grow in matters of style.  I encourage men not to shy from the risks of dressing differently.  People notice the difference and appreciate someone making a statement.  Men need a mentor, or guide, to encourage them on how to express themselves through their clothes.

And this is the major reason of why we look to Cary Grant for sartorial wisdom.  His understated elegance exemplified his personal and public lives.  His timeless look is tried and true because there’s really nothing tailors and designers haven’t already tried once or twice.  His style took him anywhere and everywhere.  Cary Grant was as comfortable on a movie set as in his office wearing these timeless clothes.  And Hollywood exuded the modern norm where the workplace, business and social life are completely intertwined.

Style is not about dressing the right way.  Clothes express character and intelligence.  And when choosing the right wardrobe and mastering this habit, he can apply it around town, at work or out on the town.  So come in with your questions or email us.  We want to be a beacon of sartorial knowledge for men stuck in the wasteland of dismal dress.  Often, I have advised men to try this or that combination, they have received positive feedback and compliments.  This in turn gives them confidence in dressing well and a willingness to try new things – and trying new things gives one a comfort level of seeing what looks good together, what doesn’t, and what looks amazing!

 

Our Credo

By Richmond Truex

Cary Grant was not born Cary Grant, but Archibald Leach.  We look back on his life & career and he managed to be effortlessly stylish and elegant.  But how did he go from Archibald to Cary Grant? Everyone learns in life that Cary Grant is the epitome of Sartorial style.  His personal tailor dressed him and educated him in the Sartorial basics.  Then, he experimented with what he liked and dared to be risky.

    Are you daring?  Do you like to take risk?  If you don’t dare to be different and an individual, then you will dress like everyone else.  Be yourself to express that individuality.  At Bruce Baird & Co., we love to teach men, young and old, the virtues of sartorial style.  We will take what you know and expand your knowledge, encouraging you to experiment with color, pattern, and fit.

    Cary Grant was a man of character as well as a man of style.  Grant learned and developed his sense of character through his shopping experiences with his Saville Row tailor, and like those tailors, we use only the finest cloth.  The wool and lamb as our symbol, serve as a reminder to each and every customer that we are committed to selling only the highest quality men’s clothing; both in material and workmanship.

    Service is the foundation of our values and we will do anything we can to help our customers.  From personal fittings, to sartorial education and guidance, we want to help in the establishment of every gentlemen’s character.

    Elegance gives the wearer confidence and the look of someone not trying too hard.  Learn this elegance through your successes and failures of dressing.  Don’t dress like every other man, become yourself.  We look to Cary Grant as our role model for character, elegance, and style.  Find your inner Grant and develop your character.  We will assist you along this journey and in your transformation toward elegant style.

How To Take Care Of Your Suit

By Richmond Truex

What’s the biggest myth of taking care of a suit? Get the suit, suit pants or suit jackets cleaned every time you wear it.  Men get clothes cleaned too much.  I’m not talking about dress shirts or sport shirts.  The confusion stems from the suit pant or jacket being wrinkled.  They are often dry cleaned when all the garment needs is to be pressed.  We tell men to PRESS ONLY.  We can spot clean the garment and press it.

Brush the clothing with a straw brush on a regular basis to keep dust and grit from accumulating in the fabric.  This brushing can cut in half the amount of times you would otherwise clean the garments.

If you get caught in the elements, and your garments become wet, then allow it to dry naturally at room temperature.  Nothing is worse for a wool garment than when it’s wet or washing it.  The washing- not dry cleaning- will shrink the wool and washes out some natural lanolin in the fabric.  Dry cleaning washes out more natural lanolin but will not shrink the wool.  This is the reason over dry cleaning causes the suit to feel “stiff & boardy”.  The wool cannot recover from the dry cleaning processes, so less is better.

Always hang up the suit back on the hanger after wearing on a broad shoulder hanger.  If you are traveling with a suit and it is extremely wrinkled, hang near a hot shower for no longer than 30 minutes.  Any longer than 30 minutes and it will exaggerate the wrinkles.  The steam will help restore the natural moisture of fine people’s and remove those wrinkles.  One hour would become a mess.  

 

“How’s Your Navy Blazer?”

                    

by Richmond Truex

Every gentleman has his go to outfit.  Usually this includes a navy blazer with dress khakis or grey slacks and a white button down shirt.  You can vary this ensemble with other patterned pants and shirts.  This versatility of wearing a blazer makes it a staple for any gentlemen’s wardrobe.  While it may be looked on as a casual jacket, it is better to show up over dressed in your blazer than underdressed sans the blazer.

The roots of a blazer date back to the HMS Blazer uniform for all officers and sailors.  The captain would decide on the look of their crew’s uniforms.  The captain wanted to smart up his crew when he heard Queen Victoria would inspect his ship.  He made them wear blue and white striped seaman’s sedate sweaters and navy blue jackets in a short, black buttoned, double breasted, reefer-style – “reefing”  the sails reduces the area of sail exposed to the wind.  This side vented, double breasted blazer became part of the nautical  fashion inspired by Britain’s naval power and empire building.  The reefer evolved to become part of the officers dress uniform in the style we know today.

Today you can change numerous features of the blazer.  Fabric can be a 100% wool, cashmere, wool and silk, linen, and a silk wool, and linen combination.  Then you can choose 2 or 3 button model, center or side vent, linings, working buttonholes and buttons.  The buttons can be bone, engraveable, enameled, mother of pearl buttons, shiny brass, shiny nickel or coin buttons will convey the look and role of your blazer.

The navy blazer is actually the most formal jacket apart from wearing a suit. One can call it traditional and conservative. It passes the jacket required test and elevates any business casual to business appropriate.  It will take you to meetings, conferences, lunches at the club, and out to dinner.