Styling my first custom shirt!



Shop this shirt

Blue Glen Plaid dress shirt: Blank Label (Schedule a fitting in the DC location and receive a $100 Credit. Use the referral code: DCFashionFool) 

Blank Label K Street

1518 K St. NW
Suite 306
Washington, D.C. 20005

O: (781) 2363559

In late summer of this year, custom clothier Blank Label set up shop in the Washington DC area. Opting for a great space right along K Street, the Boston based clothier decided to make DC the spot for its newest location.


I have to admit I have been a little intimidated by custom clothiers. I thought that it would be overwhelming to have clothes made for me. While I love the idea of a custom suit the thought of being inundated with fittings, fabric selections and the sticker shock from the price has prevented me from really pursuing the experience. So naturally, I was intrigued when Blank Label reached out to me to check out their newest location.


The Blank Label DC space is warm and inviting and Ben who did my fitting did an incredible job of explaining the process and making me feel at ease. One time measurements are translated into a personal fit pattern. Your clothes are created based off this pattern based on you fit preferences and style choices.

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The store offers made to measure clothing in a variety of styles and options but not too many to make you feel overwhelmed. In addition the turnaround time is fairly quick. A shirt takes about 10 days where a suit or overcoat can be yours in about 2 weeks. Moreover, the price points are very reasonable costing about the same as a good off the rack suit.

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While I have yet to take the plunge and order a custom suit, I do foresee one being made for me in the very near future. However, I did order a custom shirt. True to Blank Label’s word the shirt arrived within 10 days. It’s a beautiful French cuff blue glen plaid and I couldn’t wait to style it and add it to my wardrobe.


What I love about the shirt is it arrived exactly as I ordered and was everything I’d expected. The little details Ben walked me through made the shirt all the more special. The left sleeve was adjusted slightly to accommodate my watch., the collar was monogrammed with my initials and the body of the shirt was slightly tapered because I like my fit to be a modern slim cut. A nice surprise was the metal collar stays which added a great finishing touch. I know now I’ll be back to see my buddy Ben in the near future. You should go visit him too!



Navy suit: ArmaniStriped tie: Armani (similar); Lapel flower: Hook and Albert; Monkstrap shoes: Jimmy Choo; Blue Glenplaid dress shirt: Blank Label (Schedule a fitting in the DC location and receive a $100 Credit. Use the referral code DCFashionFool  to book a fitting before the end of December – first time clients only , in store only and not valid towards garment packages)

The Spectre Look

Last week, I went to see Spectre, the latest 007 movie. While I love a good spy flick and James Craig is very entertaining, I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the incredible fashions worn throughout the movie. Many of the tailored looks were done by Tom Ford and were just a treat to behold.

Looking for a spy look of your own? Try these pieces by Tom Ford and you’ll definitely have a license to kill. For shoes, Mr. Bond usually wears Crockett and Jones but these double monkstrap boots by Tom Ford are a worthy substitution.

TOM FORD Windsor Base Extra-Light Flannel Pinstripe Three-Piece Suit, Navy • Tom Ford •
TOM FORD Basic French Cuff Dress Shirt, White • Tom Ford •
TOM FORD Stripe Pattern Silk Tie, Blue/Black • Tom Ford •
TOM FORD Shiny Metal Sunglasses, Black/Havana • Tom Ford •
TOM FORD Polka-Dot Silk Pocket Square, Purple • Tom Ford •
TOM FORD Edward Double-Buckle Boot, Dark Brown • Tom Ford •

The down puffer vest: part II


Shop my Look – Details

Gray down jersey vest – Gant; Grey plaid suit – Canali; White cotton dress shirt – Brooks Brothers; Glencheck wool tie – Gant; Black cap-toe oxford – J. Fitzpatrick

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When I look for items to add to my wardrobe, I try to think of multiple ways new purchases can be styled. It’s easy to fall into a runt and wear the same combination of clothing all the time. Often if you buy a shirt and tie together, you consistently wear them as a set not seeing the potential for other matches. Even I can be guilty of wearing the same thing over and over.


Part of the trick to developing, a good sense of style is to look for ways to shake things up in your wardrobe. Pairing pieces in different ways can add new life to clothes and give them a fresh look…. a new perspective so to speak.


That’s another reason why I’m loving my gray puffer vest because of the different ways it can be worn. In my last post, I showed you how great it was for a casual look. (A down vest for homecoming). Now here it is again over a fantastic fall suit. The addition of the vest is a perfect way to add a bit of casualness to a superb tailored look. Yet despite this casualness, adding the vest over the suit does not diminish the look. In fact it seems to elevate the look of the vest giving it a much different look than before.


I shot this look during an early morning walk through the grounds of American University. The DC campus is beautiful this time of year and the ideal backdrop to spotlight my tonal gray look. Set against the exquisite fall foliage colors, the gray is neither drab nor boring but comes across as luxurious and sophisticated.


Don’t’ be afraid to wear a puffer vest over a tailored look. It’s okay to shake thing up. Your wardrobe will thank you.


A down vest for homecoming: an outwear essential


Shop my look – Details

Gray down jersey vest – Gant ; Ribbed Cotton Zip Sweater – Gant; White cotton dress shirt –Brooks Brothers; Blue and gold striped tie – Brooks Brothers (similar); Straight leg denim – J Brand; Chukka boots – Prada (similar) M2

The puffer vest is very hot this season and it’s a great way to dress in layers for this time of the year.  It looks great and it’s functional adding just that additional layer of warmth when needed. Lately I’ve fallen in love with the gray down jersey vest by Gant, most recently wearing mine for a homecoming reunion at the University of Delaware.


Interestingly, the popular outerwear piece is popping up in a variety of price points. (Hover over for details)

It’s nice to reminisce about the past and when I had the opportunity to go back to my alma mater for homecoming I jumped at the chance. I have so many fond memories of the University of Delaware and it was great to catch up with old friends. While the weather was overcast and the football game was lousy, it was still a fantastic day filled with great food, friends and fun.

UD1 UD2 Delaware home of the Blue Hens was started in 1743, boasts approximately 17,000 students and is currently ranked 75th by US News and World Reports for national universities. Located in Newark, Delaware, the school is the epitome of the idyllic college town yet its location affords it easy access to New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. UD3 UD4 Strolling around the University, I was amazed at the many changes that have taken place over the years yet the campus had the same look and feel as if I was still attending the school. Since I felt like I was in still in school I chose a collegiate look to go with that feeling.

M4 M5 I slipped my vest over a navy cotton zip sweater, white dress shirt and a gold and navy striped tie to support my school colors. Jeans and chukka boots completed the look and I was off for a day of tailgating and visiting old haunts. M1

Putting Ten Thousand to the test

Ten Thousand Sportswear Shop my look – Details

Foundation Shorts – Ten Thousand; Foundation Shirt – Ten ThousandShoes – Nike Zoom Pegasus (similar); Water bottle –Swell 

Working out in Ten Thousand

Although, I tend to style myself in all aspects of my life, dressing for the gym was never a concern. My whole idea has been to make it through my workout. Just get in and get out. I never really thought about my workout gear so it was a nice surprise when I was asked by the folks at Ten Thousand to try out their new workout gear. Ten Thousand sportswear in action

When it comes to my gym clothes, usually I just grab and go but then there’s always something wrong with what I have on. No pockets for my iphone, the material gets really wet after a hard workout or the clothes can kinda smell ripe even after a thorough washing. Ten Thousand claims to have the answers to these issues so I was happy to put them to the test. Working out in Ten Thousand

On a chilly autumn day, I headed to DC’s Wonderbread Factory to take Gerard Burley’s Sweat DC class. The affable instructor, more affectionately known as Coach G, teaches as high intensity interval training class, that definitely kicks serious butt. And it’s not called “Sweat” DC for nothing. Coach G is quick to say, “Sweat is is part of your normal totally body routine allowing you to look and feel good in your clothes.” Barbells are light in Ten Thousand

So with this class in mind it was time to put the clothes to the test. Let’s just say, they passed with flying colors. My gear, the foundation shirt and shorts,, easily took on the sweat and dried pretty quickly. And when I went to wash them the next day, they didn’t smell sweaty like the other gym clothes I normally wear. True to its word, the clothes were indeed breathable, quick drying and order resistant!

Ten Thousand sportswear workout Moreover I like the minimalist styling, a simple broken X on the shirt and shorts for the company’s logo is perfect. The shorts are a classic board short style which had a great fit and a zippered pocket in the back is ample enough to hold a larged cell phone. This handy feature is great because with the placement in the back, my phone was really unobtrusive during my workouts. (I also wore these clothes for a lifting day.)

Ten Thousand and Swell The shorts also come with or without a liner. My pair came with the liner but I think I’d prefer them without one then I’d add compression shorts. That way they’d be ideal for a spinning class. Hopefully that’s a hint to add compression shorts to their line up (smile). The other nice to have would be a tank top to add to the shirting option. Based on this, I give Ten Thousand a 10. Ten Thousand apparel is available online and to “define your sexy” check out Sweat DC.

Sweat DC in Ten Thousand

Fall in with layers

Shop my look/Details

White patterned dress shirt – Burberry, Burgundy plaid V-Neck Sweater – Burberry (similar – crewneck version), Lightweight leather jacket – Armani (similar in black), Straight leg denim – AG Jeans, Burdeauz loafers – To Boot New York, Sunglasses – Gant

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After a week in the Mexican sun it’s good to be back home in DC. While I enjoyed frolicking by the pool and drinking cocktails, I also love being back at home this time of year. The weather’s cooler, the leaves are changing and the fall fashions are amazing. DCFashion-Fool-in-Burberry-4 DCFashion-Fool-in-Burberry-10

One of the big trends for fall and easiest to pull off is the idea of dressing in layers. Not only does it look great but it’s a simple way to combat the every changing weather in Washington this time of year. For a casual look, I chose a lightweight leather jacket over a V-neck sweater and long sleeve shirt. Although I opted for the V-neck, a crew neck would just as nicely. Relaxed straight leg denim and loafers completed my look.

DCFashion-Fool-in-Burberry-5 DCFashion-Fool-in-Burberry-8 DCFashion-Fool-in-Burberry-13 Since it was Halloween time, I decided to brave the Exorcist’s steps in Georgetown to shoot this look, one of my favorites for fall. These iconic steps located at the base of Georgetown not only hold theatrical history, the steep 75 steps serve as a training ground for dedicated athletes and now has been officially dedicated as a Washington, DC tourist attraction. DCFashion-Fool-in-Burberry-6