Ask Alan – Spring 2009

With the demise of casual Friday, do jeans still pass muster business apparel in the office? A good rule of thumb for corporate attire is to dress in line with your superiors and never more casually than your subordinates.  Jeans are never in good taste unless you are engaged in manual labor or your boss […]


Ask Alan – Fall 2007

I see jackets with single vents, side vents and no vents. Which is most flattering? Non-vented jackets hug the hip, giving it a trim contour. But they function poorly: The back of the jacket bunches up when the wearer sits down or reaches into his pockets. The center-vented back, originally designed for horseback and long […]


Ask Alan – Spring 2007

We often hear about stylish stars from the past. Which of today’s celebrities and public figures best exemplify superior style? This is a question that goes to the heart of what I term the “paradox of modern fashion.” If the likes of David Niven or Cary Grant are your style benchmarks, I’m afraid Hollywood’s current […]


Ask Alan – Spring 2006

My suits are in conservative colors, mostly gray and navy. Can I wear brown shoes with any of them? Is there a rule here? This question has been coming up for years. In fact, in my most recent book, Dressing the Man, I reprinted an editor’s response to a similar inquiry from a reader that […]


Ask Alan – Fall 2005

Can I wear a patterned dress shirt or tie with a striped navy-blue suit? Yes, definitely, as long as you keep the two patterns different in scale, such as a narrow-striped suit and a spaced-figured necktie, or wide-striped suit with a small-patterned check or plaid dress shirt. I recommend my latest book, Dressing The Man, […]