Christian Ross

Vest over Sport Coat – What say you?

This one is for my wife and could have also been titled, ‘haters gonna hate.’

Yesterday, I woke to temps below 40F (which is borderline arctic for me) but wanted to make sure I was dressed properly for worship. I do not have a large overcoat (for a number of reasons but none relevant to the story) and so I donned a brown sport coat and then layered that with a orange-over-navy vest to stay warm. Almost immediately I was called to the carpet by my lovely bride about my questionable decision but I went ahead and powered through with the look.

Once we made it to the church building, I was greeted by a friend’s wife who, without prompt, mentioned she was actually digging the look. Later, with my wife in tow, I asked her to repeat it so that my wife could hear her thoughts and that I wasn’t completely delusional about my fashion choices. Instead of confirming her original statement, my wife’s friend offered up the thought that it was something she had never seen before but stopped short of mentioning her affinity towards it. Go figure.

With one other conversation had about it on Sunday, I decided it my responsibility to take it to the Internets to see how far off base I actually am on my thinking that this is an acceptable look.

vest-over-sport-coat (more…)

AFT – Personal Style Rules (2)

It’s about time to continue my list of personal style rules. The feedback from my last round was both enlightening and entertaining. Some for and some against my rules but all good conversation nonetheless.

Once again, I’m open and encouraged by your feedback and am also be interested in seeing your rules/lists as well.

  • I foresee quite a bit of debate from this one but I consciously don’t wear ties with button-down collar shirts. I have no issue with the button-down collar and have quite a few in my closet but I personally feel like it is a slightly more relaxed look than a tie deserves. And while I do my very best not to judge, it is one of the first things I notice on other men.
  • Sticking with dress shirts, when wearing a jacket (suit or blazer) I want to see about 1/2-inch of shirt sleeve past the end of your jacket sleeve. I try to keep mine in that 1/2-inch range but I do know it often sits slight shorter/longer. I have a couple of shirts where I’ve even gone as far as safety pinning up under the sleeve to keep them from being so long. Too much shirt sleeve showing though makes me think you have a jacket that’s too small and too little showing makes me think your arms are too short.
  • You should find the right fit for all of your clothes but it’s especially important when buying and wearing a suit. I applaud any man making an honest attempt to clean up and wear a suit, I just want to help us all remember that our suits from junior high are probably not the perfect answer anymore. Inversely, people can usually tell if you’re wearing your dad’s suit as well. Put it on, look in the mirror and wait for that feeling that you know you nailed it. If it doesn’t happen, adjust.
  • Speaking of finding things that you can wear well, spend almost as much time as your lady-friend does in finding the right pair of jeans. There are a thousand manufacturers and thousands of different cuts to jeans so find the style that fits you best. Pay a little extra and then take good care of them.


    • We don’t want to see your business. Too tight and/or too baggy should be avoided.
    • If the pair you’re looking at in the store has scroll-work embroidery or dragons printed on them, you’re in the wrong store (and probably need an age check as well).

Care to debate? I’m all ears: @christianross, comments below or email

AFT – Personal Style Rules

While I’ve never put pen to paper with it, I do have a mental list of rules I go through when deciding what to purchase or wear. I have to remind myself regularly that the things that grace AFT are all personal style choices and each of you has your own take. With that said, I thought it might be useful to try and pen a few of my rules in case it helps anyone else in their endeavor to put their best foot forward.

I’ve mentioned one or two before – like matching your leathers – but there are plenty more that are worth sharing in this space. I’m hoping I’m not the only one that has rules to my wear, I’d love to hear yours as well.

  • The tip of your tie should touch the top of your belt buckle. Wearing a tie down past your belt has a tendency to make you look shorter. Inversely, wearing a tie that’s too short has a tendency to make you look like a clown.
  • Speaking of belt level, your dress pants should be worn on your waist. It’s taken me a while to learn this one. Your waist isn’t around your hips, nor is it at your belly-button. It’s somewhere in between. Find it.
  • Wear an undershirt. And I don’t consider a “wife-beater” an undershirt. I’m extreme on this one, but it’s one I wholeheartedly believe in. I wear one with everything from t-shirts to formal dress. Also, no bacon neck allowed.
  • Learn how to tie a decent knot. I’m a Half-Windsor guy, but you should find one that works for your body type. And for the sake of all humanity, don’t do the Merril Hodge. Ridiculous.
  • I don’t do short-sleeve button down shirts. I’ve tried. There’s a fine line between computer nerd and Hawaiian shirt guy on this one and I don’t want to come off as either. If you are one of the few who can pull this on off, do yourself a favor and never incorporate a tie with it. You’ll thank me later.

Five should be enough to get us started, I’ll probably add more down the road. Hit me up with your personal rules either below or on Twitter, it might be something I’m missing out on.