Hey gents—

I wanted to post some relatively common questions that we find or are asked (and our answers to them) in hopes that they could possibly help or inspire someone else. We’d like to make this a recurring feature and we encourage you to send questions our way; we’ll do our best to answer them.

Anyway, here we go.

What kind of hat would go well with a charcoal pea coat, without being too dressy?

Many hats would pair well with a charcoal pea coat. Not sure what you consider dressy, but every appropriate option would be more dressy than not, based on the fact that mens’ hats skew towards a more formal look… and I’m not speaking of the sporting variety (i.e. baseball cap, fisherman’s bucket hat.)

That being said, Goorin Bros. has a wide selection of head toppers and I’m sure you can find something that suits you. They have a rich history, have been making hats since 1895, and are currently based in San Francisco. What I like about Goorin is that they focus on quality craftsmanship with a nod to classic silhouettes, yet manage to keep their styles fresh and modern.

Hats are tough, since everyone’s head is a little different. It’s best to try on several and see what fits your head and face the best. Depending on how daring and dapper you consider yourself, I would go with these options to complement your charcoal pea coat:

  • The Rous fedora, with several muted colorways (here)
  • The Trump fedora, which has a nice houndstooth print: (here)
  • The Clifford duckbill in muted plaids: (here)
  • or my personal favorite, the Dagwood duckbill in herringbone: (here)

Hope this helps you in your decision.

When wearing a sweater at work, should the collar be in or out?

I’m not too sure where men got the idea that wearing the collar outside the sweater was “cool” or “acceptable”, but it most definitely is neither.

A well-dressed and knowledgeable gent will keep his collar within the confines of his sweater—standing it up nice and tall—just how it was meant to be worn. Unless you’re going to a Saturday Night Fever theme party, this is the standard.

What can I wear with a pastel yellow polo shirt? How do I include it in a winter look?

Pastels, like you said, are usually reserved for the warmer months. However, if you want to incorporate it into your winter wardrobe, try pairing your polo with earthy hues like brown, steel grey, and army green. Dark, non-distressed denim would be perfect as well.

Make sure you also consider your fabric choices. If you have a pair of slim brown cords, or a heavyweight twill pant in dark gray, that would look great.

Here are some great pant options from J.Crew:

  • dark, non-distressed denim (here)
  • classic-fit pant in a green/brown (here)

Gap even has some nice options for pants:

  • the cadet khaki (here)
  • authentic-fit cords (here)

Hope this gives you some good ideas.

I like the look of khaki pants, sneakers and a sports coat, but I can’t seem to pull it off. Any tips on how to make that ensemble look hip rather than goofy?

Great question. This is an outfit that can either exude effortless cool, or supreme schlump. It’s all in the execution. I’ll address the three articles of clothing you mentioned in particular.

No, your dingy gray Asics running shoes will not work for this outfit. The sneakers you choose should be minimal and muted in color. That means no neon hues, no Jordan logos, no rubber soles so thick they can substitute for moon shoes. Think Converse low-tops in black, navy, gray, dark green, or brown. Take a look at them here. These are a great classic shoe at an affordable price point, so go ahead and buy three different pairs.

Khaki pants:
The khakis must fit your body appropriately. The more slim, the better, but like I said, it all depends on your body type. Taller men can go with a more full cut since they have the height advantage, but if you’re around 5’7″ – 5’10” and of average weight, go for a classic or slimmer cut. Be experimental with color, but make sure it complements your sportcoat well.

Also, mind the break. The break is where your pant falls onto your shoe, and creates a horizontal crease. With a slim-cut pant, you need to have little to no break for the look you want to achieve.

If your khakis look anything like this:

then you will need to buy a shorter length or get them hemmed.


Again, fit is everything. If you don’t have much experience in buying a sportcoat and you think you know your size, I can almost assure you you’re buying one or two sizes too large. Get fitted by a knowledgeable salesperson in the store, but if you can’t trust anyone there, print this picture and remember that the fit of your jacket should resemble the image on the right. If you look in the mirror and staring back at you is the image on the left, then you need to go down several sizes.

Bottom Line:
A lot more detail can go into each of my answers, but I’m attempting to keep it general and emphasize that the appropriate fit is everything. Wearing pieces that are too big will make you look like you’re wearing daddy’s clothes… too small and the whole look will be unflattering. Be true to your body type when choosing a fit. Stick with these guidelines and you’ll be able to pull off this classic look easily.

Do YOU have any questions for us? Seriously, email them to b (at) effortlessgent (dot) com, or leave them in the comments section below. We love receiving questions and we promise to get them answered as quickly as possible.

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