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Ask The Tailor: Wine Stains, Sockless Fashion, and Bright Colors

Yes, spring is here, and that means warmer weather (doesn’t it?), more daylight, and brighter clothes. It’s time to take the white and light blue clothes out of storage. Let’s show some panache. You remember panache, don’t you? You better.

How do I remove red wine stains from a white shirt?
-- Clark in Murfreesboro, TN

What are you doing over in the Volunteer State, getting a little crazy with the wine? Or did someone splash it on you? Either way, you have options, my friend. There are four (count ‘em, four) common household items that can help you get a nasty wine stain out of your clothing. The first is milk: simply soak the milk into the stain immediately while the clothing is still wet. The stain should be gone in an hour. The second is salt: cover the spill with table salt immediately after the spill and then proceed to brush the salt off the fabric. Next, you can use shaving cream if the stain is dry: cover it with the cream and then wash the garment in hot water. Lastly, if you have cat litter in your home: apply a half-inch thick layer of the litter on the stain and rub it into the fabric, then use a vacuum to remove it. Presto!


I’m getting married in July, is it feasible to have my suit tailored and to ask my best man to have his suit tailored as well?
-- Groom-To-Be in Alexandria, VA

Well of course, it’s reasonable to have your wedding-day suit tailored, in fact it’s preferable in my opinion. Of all days, on your wedding day you deserve to look your best. You deserve to be dashing, intrepid, and plucky. Yes, plucky. Every year at The Tailored Man, we make custom suits for dozens and dozens of grooms, and the great thing is, these suits are so carefully crafted and expertly designed that they can be worn on many occasions. It’s not a one-and-done like some garments (looking at you wedding dress). When an experienced tailor fits you for a suit for your wedding day he’ll ask you the right questions to make sure it can be worn or mixed-and-matched  with other items. That’s one feature of the tailored groom, but the other is too look excellent as you stand next to the only woman you’ll ever need for the rest of your life. Congratulations, young man, the journey is just beginning.

In a previous advice column you shared some men’s carry bags and briefcases, do you have anything also to recommend in that area? I need a new bag to bring my work with me.
-- Alex in Toledo, OH

Glad you ask, Alex. I just spied a leather bag on the shoulder of my pal the other day. I quickly had my hands on it and he told me where he got it --- Scaramanga --- a wonderful leather goods shop from the United Kingdom. Each bag has an excellent shoulder strap and a fantastic leather treatment that gives it just the right balance of “new” and “worn” that you want. Ample room too, for your books, papers, wallet, even a laptop in some models. I’m not saying facial hair will make you look even better with this bag on your shoulder, but…

Socks or no socks with loafers?
-- Dapper Doug in Murfreesboro, TN

For business functions wear the socks, for casual and after-hours deals, go sockless and don’t fret over it. Going sockless with khakis and loafers is a classic look that never goes out of style. Tip: you may want to alternate your loafers a bit more when going sockless to avoid moisture buildup. Socks are great for absorbing moisture and guarding against odor, but so is foot powder. Sprinkle a little in each shoe and slide your little piggies in.

I’m seeing a lot of patina shoes walk past me lately on the sidewalk, what’s this all about?
-- Mr. Evans in Cohasset, MA

Hard to miss them, isn’t it? The patina shoe trend for men probably started in Europe, I’m not exactly sure. But I am certain that they debuted in North America in a big way in Toronto. What are they? As reported by Spiro Mandylor for “Its All Style To Me,”: “A growing trend in men’s footwear has been the application of coloured patina treatments to the leather for a custom coloured finish.” The result is eye-popping, even for these weathered eyes. A pair won’t cost you as much as you might think --- they start at about $125, and since they’re usually made from the best quality leather, you’re getting shoes that will be walking around long after you’re gone.

What’s the difference between made-to-measure and bespoke suiting?
-- Fork Union, VA

Bespoke tailors make a suit pattern specifically for you. That’s why it requires multiple measurements and fittings. The result is a heavenly wardrobe that makes you feel like you’re cloaked in goodness. A made –to-measure suit (MTM) is designed off of an existing pattern but it’s customized to a certain set of characteristics. For example you may get a suit that is designed off a pattern for a man with a wide torso and a narrow chest and shoulders, and so on. These MTM suits can fit nicely. But they aren’t designed individually for your body. An MTM suit is a step up from an off-the-rack suit, but it’s no substitute for a well-tailored bespoke suit.

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