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By Manisha Solanki 

The terminology “bespoke” is derived from “bespeak”, a verb translating as to “speak for something.” However, in modern day sense, it has the more specialized meaning of giving an “order for it to be made.” In terms of fashion sense, bespoke refers to the individualized patterning and crafting of men’s clothing compared to “off-the-rack” or “ready-to-wear” clothing that is mass produced, or “made-to-measure” garments which are characteristically produced from a block of patterns and sizes.

The combination of custom fitting and higher quality manufacturing standards usually results in a higher price tag when you compare bespoke tailoring to either made-to-measure or ready-to-wear clothing.

Why Bespoke Tailoring is the Better Choice

Bespoke shirts are created from unique patterns that are created from scratch for each specific client, so the biggest benefit to you is that you are purchasing a piece of clothing that is personalized exclusively to your physique. What distinguishes bespoke tailoring from made-to-measure or ready-to-wear garments is that the buyer has complete control over all aspects of the garment from start to finish. These aspects include:

o Monogramming, contrast fabrics, mother of pear buttons
o Swiss Alumo fabrics, Italian fabrics like Monti or Albini
o Creation of the garment

It’s a known fact that the key benefit of bespoke tailoring is three fold, not because the garment is exclusively fitted to your physique, but also because of higher quality fabrics used and tailoring standard. In addition to this, higher degrees of customization and the end user’s complete involvement in the tailoring of the men’s shirt are the two key features of bespoke tailoring compared to made-to-measure and ready-to-wear items.

Most importantly, the bottom line is that custom tailored shirt speaks volumes about your lifestyle because your bespoke shirt is exclusively and uniquely yours. When you consider all the different options for the style of the shirt, it is highly unlikely that you would ever encounter another individual wearing the identical piece of clothing.

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By June Maday 

Wonder why many times you fail to impress the woman of your dreams, despite your rugged looks, while an average man wins your woman. The ideal man is what every women desires and dreams of. He should be dressed well and wear good-quality shoes, should clean his nails and most importantly should smell good.

Yes, good hygiene really matters to woman! Clean and clear is definitely a winner when it comes to wowing a woman. A good cologne or fragrance can make a huge difference if you want to impress someone special. If you smell good and fresh, you can definitely get the attention of your lady. All this makes it a very important fashion accessory for men. Even if it can make a hole in your pocket, still it is worth it right? However, it is important to choose cologne that suits your personality.

Though there are a wide range of colognes, aftershaves and perfumes exclusively for men, this has made shopping for men extremely difficult. There are colognes for different age groups and different personalities like sporty, sophisticated, easygoing, professional etc. Every other day a perfume or cologne is launched for men. So if you are new to men’s colognes or you don’t like your old cologne and want a new one then it’s time to shop for new one.

However, you should keep in mind a few things while choosing colognes for men. Colognes with strong, rich and masculine fragrances are the best choice for men. If you know about various fragrance families, you can surely find the cologne that will suit your personality.

Most of the colognes fall within the following fragrance families:

Aromatic: Aromatic notes mainly composed of thyme, mint, sage, anis, lavender, rosemary, clove and usually complimented with citrus, herbs and spicy notes. These are perfect for men who love adventurous.

Citrus: It is mainly composed of fruits like lemon, orange, mandarin and lime.

Fougère: These fragrances have sharp herbaceous notes blended with lavender, geranium, oak moss, coumarain notes.

Chypre: These are generally built on woody mossy notes with accords of bergamot, fruits, patchouli. These are rich and enduring.

Orientals: These have notes of exotic woods, spices, bergamot, resin and vanilla. These fragrances are best for mature men.

Woody: Woody perfumes could be an excellent choice for mature men. These comprises of patchouli, cedar, sandalwood

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Cool Water For Men – Cologne Review

By Antonio A.

Cool Water for men will go down in history as one of the very best fragrances for men. Its chic and superb quality of freshness and invigorating style, inspires a man to reach his dreams and attain the level that was intended for him in life. The smooth aromas of this quality fragrance creates a hint of sophistication while it allows the intrigue of romance and satisfaction into the heart. This makes a fine perfume and cologne for any occasion.

The Lavender, Coriander, Peppermint, Rosemary and Orange Blossom aromas start off with a fresh and clean scent that invigorates and captivates the soul. Then, the Jasmine, Oakmoss, Geranium and Sandalwood arrive to pride this premium designer fragrance with the correct distinction of man and all that he has to offer in this world. Finally, the Amber, Musk, Sandalwood and Cedar aromas settle in to deliver the signature that is the essence a fine Davidoff cologne for men.

I have worn this fragrance for years and let me tell you that I will continue to purchase it as it is one of my signature scents that I wear daily. It is great for romantic occasion as it will produce those memories worth remembering. It can also be worn for casual and daily use as well. It is not too overpowering at all either. Cool Water for men is a highly recommended fragrance for any man that expresses inspiration in a scent. A must get!

Cologne Notes include:

Top Notes: Lavender, Coriander, Peppermint, Rosemary and Orange Blossom

Middle Notes: Jasmine, Oakmoss, Geranium and Sandalwood

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Couture Versus Ready-to-Wear

By Diana Pemberton-Sikes 

“What’s the difference between couture and ready-to-wear?”

It’s a question that’s been hitting my inbox a lot of late from women all over the world. They may have been reading high fashion magazines like “W” or “Vogue” or are thinking about upgrading their wardrobes, and are wondering what, exactly, the difference is between these designer categories.

Basically, it boils down to fit – and money.

* COUTOUR (koo TOOR) is the French word for “sewing.” Couture clothes are those that are fitted and sewn specifically for a client, often requiring several fittings for an exacting fit. The clothes may be specifically designed for the client, such as a one-of-a-kind wedding dress or a one-of-a-kind red carpet ensemble, or they may be part of a designer’s couture collection, which are the pieces the designer shows that are available for custom fit.

Typically, couture pieces are made of fine fabrics or feature extensive hand work (like beading or embroidery) that drive up the price to thousands or even tens of thousands PER PIECE. Because of the cost, couture clothing, which once had 35,000 regular customers during its heyday after World War II, has an ever-shrinking regular buying base of about 1,200 people worldwide today.

Couture is also known as made-to-measure or bespoke (British).

* HAUTE COUTURE (oht koo TOOR) means “high sewing,” and is the term reserved exclusively by those European fashion houses that offer made-to-measure apparel in or around Paris and belong to the Fédération Française de la Couture (which began as the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in 1868 by Charles Frederick Worth). Following strict guidelines regarding number of pieces shown per collection and number of collections shown per year, current members include venerable fashion houses like Balenciaga, Chanel, Hermès, and Valentino.

* READY-TO-WEAR, or prêt-à-porter (prêt a poor TAY) is designer apparel that’s made ready-to-wear in standard sizes and sold through boutiques, better department stores, mail order, and online. While consumers can have pieces tailored to fit after purchase, customization is not included in the cost of ready-to-wear apparel. Many brand-name designers, like Vera Wang and Carolina Herrera, only show ready-to-wear collections, but still create a handful of couture pieces upon request for influential clients.

So when you read in a fashion magazine or hear on television that designers are showing their ready-to-wear collections, you know that those are the pieces that you’ll find in their boutiques or in department stores come the new fashion season. Couture collections are those shown to high-paying clients who either go to the fashion house directly to be fitted, or who order from the designer’s “look book” and have pieces made up from the measurements the designer has on file from the client’s previous fittings.

If you like to read the society pages to see who’s wearing what, you’ll notice that socialites who can afford to buy couture often say so. The caption under a photo might read, “Jane Doe in Versace, Susan Smith in Donna Karan, and Tiffany Jones in Givenchy couture.” Translation? Jane and Susan bought their gowns ready-to-wear, while Tiffany had hers custom made.

So should YOU indulge in designer labels as your income allows?

It depends.

Yes, designer labels have a certain cachet and are associated with an elevated income, and yes, you can look like you have a lot more money than you do by buying your favorite labels at discount designer websites or at overstock retailers like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s.

But you have to be careful of the message you’re sending.

If you’re a receptionist dressing like a jet setter, it will raise eyebrows – particularly your employer’s. Your boss may wonder how you’re funding your clothing obsession. Are you living in a dive and driving a junk heap? Maxing out your credit cards? Skimming a little off the company coffers (which is how one fashionable thief was caught, showing up to work every day in designer apparel)? Whatever the reason, unless you’re very vocal about how you cleverly come by your high-end finds, your luxury image may have your higher-ups questioning your ability to handle money – and stall your career in its tracks.

Similarly, if you have a job with a typically high income (doctor, lawyer, stock broker) but are running around in discount apparel, you’ll have people wondering just how bad you are at your job that you’re not able to afford nicer things. True, illness, school loans, job losses, and other financial hardships happen, even to people with high incomes. But if you’re dressing discount in a designer environment, people will begin to question your ability -and your income will suffer. Call it human nature.

So how can you dress appropriately for your income WITHOUT raising eyebrows? By keeping the number of labels you wear in line with the amount of your paycheck.

If you have a lower income, one or two pieces by your favorite designer (like a jacket or pair of jeans) would not be out of line – provided you buy them second hand (like on eBay) or at an overstock outlet like Loehmann’s or TJ Maxx.

Have a higher income? A status handbag, watch, or pair of shoes will instantly telegraph your position. Even if you don’t care about such things, your status-y clients will, and since people talk, you may be surprised by how your business grows by adding a few of these pieces to your wardrobe.

And who knows? If you play the game right and meet your goals, you may someday find yourself seriously contemplating whether you should buy a special piece ready-to-wear, or have your favorite designer whip it up just for you from his couture collection..

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