First Impressions Matter

 You are probably visiting this page because, like us, you believe that first impressions matter. In today’s world where it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate oneself from the crowd, wearing a well-cut bespoke suit one way to make sure that you stand out.


The Basics

What you wear for an interview depends entirely on what job you are applying for. What would be appropriate for an interview at a bank or a law firm, may be completely inappropriate for an interview at a start-up or a firm in a creative industry.

However, the key to whatever you wear is to keep it subtle. You may have a larger than life personality with a matching coloured sock collection (as I do) – but the point of an interview is to see if your personality fits with the culture of the firm you are applying too; and that should be the focus of the interview, not the colour of your flower pin.

Suit or Separates?

For any corporate interview, a dark suit is a necessity. Preferably dark or navy blue or charcoal grey. We would avoid wearing a black suit, as black is reserved primarily for funerals and it demonstrates that you have not really thought about how to present your self at the interview.

Striped suits are a no-go, unless you are interviewing at your relative’s bank and you would be the only one in the building not wearing a chalk striped suit. Remember, keep it simple – save the loud suits for special events once you have the job.

For those interviewing at start-ups or creative industries where the term “business casual” applies, it can be slightly tricky to decide what to wear. A well fitted blazer and pair of chinos should suffice, but note the emphasis on well fitted. Trousers that too baggy for you (because they are casual) or a jacket that is a little too short does not give the correct impression. Personally, I would go for a suit and shirt and not wear a tie.


Very simple – white or light blue. No checks, no stripes, no coloured stitching on the button holes, no excessive branding on the shirt and obviously long sleeved.

Your shirt has to be ironed the day before and make sure that your collar is ironed as well, otherwise it may hold its proper shape. Given that the first thing your interviewer will look at is your face and then move downwards, they should not be looking at a creased collar.

If you decide to wear cufflinks with your shirt, simple silver knots should suffice. I understand that you may be tempted to inject some colour with purple or red enamelled cufflinks, but for the interview keep it simple.

On key point with the shirt is to put your jacket on before the interview and take a look at the sleeves. Most individuals look at shirt sleeve length and jacket sleeve length as completely independent of each other; nothing could be further from the truth. Your shirt sleeve should end just above your thumb and then your jacket sleeve should be 1/2″ above that. It is fundamental that two lengths work together otherwise you will end up showing too much cuff or give the impression that you are wearing a short-sleeved shirt.


Always a silk tie with the traditional 5″ width. Not a bowtie. Not a skinny tie. Not a leather tie.

In terms of the knot of your tie, it depends on the collar on your shirt; if you are wearing a cutaway collar, a larger knot, such as a Windsor knot would be appropriate. For collars with a normal spread, a Half-Windsor would be ideal.
In terms of colour, again keep it simple. Any shade of blue (except neon or electric) would work well. Avoid wearing a red tie – I appreciate that you may want to go for the “power” look, but during the interview, it is the person interviewing you that has the power, not you.

Shoes and Socks

Shoes and Socks

Dark coloured shoes, black or dark brown. Oxfords or half brogues would be ideal. If you have to walk quite far to your interview, by all means wear more comfortable shoes on your commute, but make sure to change shoes before you enter the building – you may not have any waiting time before your interview to change shoes.

If you are wearing chinos and a blazer to the interview then got for brown shoes and a brown belt (belt and shoes always have to match).

Only dark coloured socks that go up to your calf are acceptable for any interview.


Other Accessories

Men’s jewellery has become very fashionable and it is understandable that you may be wearing something around your wrist. However, unless you are applying for a job that requires you to be “on trend”, I would avoid wearing any jewellery for your interview. Some people suggest that a pocket square is an acceptable addition, but personally, again unless your position is fashion related, I would avoid it.


Men’s Shirts – What Makes The Difference?

When choosing a new shirt to purchase, the options are limitless; do you purchase a ready-made shirt or do you go bespoke? What is the difference between a shirt that retails for CHF39 and one that retails for CHF400? The list goes on and on. This is a handy guide of the main components that make up a well-made shirt and will help you pick the right shirt for you.

100% Cotton

For the most of us, the basic requirement is a 100% cotton shirt. However, shirts at the lower end of the market tend to be more of a cotton “blend” i.e., having a mix of cotton and polyester or some other synthetic fibre. Poly-cotton shirts are more competitively priced and preferable in some professions such as catering or hospitality due to their durability. Yet for work and even for casual wear, most would prefer the comfort and luxury of a 100% cotton shirt.

Quality of Cotton

Assuming that the shirt is 100% cotton, there are also varying amounts of cotton that may be in any given shirt. The quality of a cotton shirt is normally determined by two factors; whether it is single or double weave and the yarn count.

Single weave or double weave –  Single weave (1-ply) cotton means that individual strands of cotton are woven together with other individual strands to create the fabric. With shirts made from double weave (2-ply) cotton, two individual yarns are first twisted together before been woven together. As such, you are getting double the amount of cotton in any individual shirt. The benefits are obvious in the softer touch of the fabric as well as the increased durability.

Yarn count – it is common to see a number (such as 80s, 100s, 120s etc) on shirts to denote the quality of it. The number relates to the thickness of yarn and how many threads there are per square inch. The higher the number, the thinner and finer the yarn and the more threads there are per square inch. Accordingly a shirt with a 120 yarn count is more luxurious than a shirt with an 80 yarn count.

For shirts to be worn for work (i.e.for a minimum of 8 hours a day) I recommend a 2 ply cotton shirt with a yarn count of 120; this provides the necessary luxury as well as the required durability. For shirts to be worn for special occasions (such as tuxedo shirts) a yarn count of 140 provides the additional softness and need not be as durable due to its limited use.


Quality of the cotton aside, how the shirt is put together plays a very important role in determining how long it will last you. We have all had the experience of a button falling off or a seam coming undone. One of the reasons why some shirts last longer than others is due to the number of stitches per inch holding the shirt together. Most shirts have an average of 14 to 15 stitches per inch, which by most measures is acceptable. Finer shirts, or shirts made with a little more attention, tend to have a minimum of 21 stitches per inch.

Over time, you would begin to notice that the collars and cuffs begin to fray and may even have some bubbling in them. This is due to the quality of the interlining that is used and whether the collars and cuffs have been fused together or handstitched. Fusing is a quick and inexpensive way to create them, but the result is that over time the glue may dissolve and the shirt would be ruined. Finer shirts tend to have slightly thicker interlinings which last longer after several washes and are stitched together, rather than fused.

For shirts with a stripe or a check in the design, matching the fabric pattern at the critical seams is any easy way to evaluate its quality. Brands that focus on quality use needle tables, where each shirt component is aligned individually and placed one by one on top of the other, to ensure that stripes, checks and weaves are matched perfectly at the seams.

So there you have it, hopefully a useful guide as what makes the difference in shirt price. The question is now that you are in the know, does it make a difference?

Five Ways To Improve Your Festive Style


Five Ways to Improve Your Festive Style

The festive season is upon us and to most that means numerous events and gatherings in the run up to December 31st. The majority of these will tend to be fairly formal in terms of dress code, irrespective of whether they are work related or not.

It is with this in mind that we have selected five simple touches to elevate your style. It is already a little too late to order that bespoke suit or dinner jacket, but the devil is in the detail and these details can make all the difference.

1. Velvet Bow Tie. I can hear the numerous traditionalists and naysayers revolting at this suggestion, but a velvet bow tie adds a bit of flair to every dinner jacket. As the fabric is thicker than the traditional silk, it is always best to go with a slightly larger bow tie than you may be used to. For those wanting to be classical, a black one will serve you well; for those seeking a bit more excitement, I would suggest the colour claret. A light blue velvet bow tie is not an option, regardless of which celebrity wore it recently.

2. Cufflinks. Not just for the ostentatious, cufflinks are perfect for injecting some personality into your party looks. The beauty is that you can be as imaginative as you would like; for formal events you can go with the traditional mother of pearl cufflinks or the silver knots and for more casual events you can go for festive inspired themes. However, the first step would be to create a bespoke shirt with french cuffs, before building your cufflink collection.

3. Socks. I am not talking about the usual bright red socks that have a santa or reindeer on them – I am suggesting Filoscozia Cotton socks in very unique colours that can be used to coordinate with the trousers and shoes that you are wearing. Socks are indeed the new forefront for menswear personalisation; they can be wild for particular events or have a drop of colour that separates them from your usual black socks. Personally, black socks are reserved for the most of formal events – for work its either charcoal or blue and on the weekend it really depends on your mood.

4. Lapel Pins. These do not need to the traditional flower pins that have become more common place recently. Lapel pins can be a lot more personal; professional pins can be worn for a variety of reasons and can signify a great many things.  The possibilities are limitless, but it’s best to remember to wear lapel pins appropriate for the venue or event you may be attending.  Pins touting academic accomplishment might seem out of place at a social event, but a small flower might fit in perfectly at those festivities.

5. Pocket Squares. I would recommend cotton pocket squares for day to day suits and silk only for black tie events. Again, try and avoid the Christmas themed pocket squares and invest in a couple of plain colours and a few patterned pocket squares that would compliment your suit. If you are wearing a black suit, only a white pocket square will match. For those who have gone with a charcoal or a navy blue, the options are much more numerous.

The key to remember is that above five suggestions are interchangeable – by all means do not use all of them at the same time! By choosing one or two for each event you can dress up the same suit and change the impression that you are trying to create, from formal to casual or the other way.

Have a great time!