The Art of the Scarf

The scarf is often an underrated, underused accessory in man-fashion. The great thing about a well-chosen scarf is that it doesn't just add the right texture and color to your ensemble; it's completely functional in both hot and cold weather!

Obviously, you'd wear a wool or cashmere scarf in the winter, but you can also wear a cotton or linen scarf in the summer. Winter scarfs keep your neck and vitals warm, and summer scarfs protect your neck from sunburn. Smart practicality teamed with logical functionality is always trendy.


Is Fashion Important?

I know, I know: it's a loaded question. In the grand scheme of things, no, fashion is not important - at all!

There are people in the world with nothing, who have no idea where their next meal will come from, or if they'll even get one. There are children without clean water to drink and no parents to protect and nurture them. There are young teenage boys and girls who have been kidnapped, involuntarily addicted to drugs, and used for prostitution to make some evil snake a buck or two. There are victims of natural disasters who have lost everything they had worked for and have nowhere to go. There are good people in the world with incurable diseases who will suffer for what seems like no reason at all. There are babies, unborn and born, who are abused by unfit parents who are too selfish to care for, or even consider, someone other than themselves. And in light of those injustices, fashion just doesn't matter - it's a zero!

Now, in the American, or international, business world, fashion does matter. In fact, if you look appealing in the way you dress and present yourself, you are exponentially more likely to get a good, well-paying job. Once you get that job, you will rise to higher levels if your presentation is fashionable. (Now, do keep in mind that you need a good attitude and a solid work ethic. By the way, a good attitude and a solid work ethic will trump skill and education every time!) Here's the truth: people want to do business with people who are professional - not just in their manners, but also in their presentation. It's important that someone doesn't feel embarrassed when introducing you to someone important to them. Allow them to be proud and confident when introducing you; your fashionable presentation will help accomplish this.

Also, silliness is never fashionable. Now, if you're reading this and don't know much about me, I'm actually a pastor. Shocking, right? I'm also a very silly person; and I like to joke around and have fun. But that's not at all what I mean about not being silly. As a pastor, I know that our congregants wouldn't feel confident in introducing me as their pastor if I dressed silly. If you want people to be confident in you and take you seriously, lose the Looney Tunes tie! Be someone your co-worker and your doctor alike would be proud to introduce and network with. And no one wants to partner with someone who has a silly presentation.

So, although fashion isn't important in the grand scheme of things, it may be vitally important to your success and presentation. Fair? Certainly not. Truthful? No question.


The Hairline Stripe

Shirts come in an array of colors and patterns. A shirt in a check pattern may look casual; but that same shirt in a stripe pattern may look dressy. Here's a quick glance at an elegant pattern. Meet the Hairline Stripe. The hairline stripe pattern is named for the size of the stripe: about as wide as a strand of hair. Placed evenly apart, the fine stripes in this pattern create a solid look from a distance, but an impeccable elegance when examined. The appearance of detailing is fabulous and sure to enhance your look. The best part: the shirt creates a perfect canvas for any tie pattern!


Forecast: Mid 80s All Summer Long

As we've already been seeing this year, the 80s styling is returning in full color. Although its already made a big debut in ladies apparel, it's going to hit the men's stage as well; and I predict it to be in full, neon swing this summer.

What's going to be hot?
Tank tops, neon swim-trunks, loud-colored pants and shorts, jean jackets, candy-colored watches, and sockless footwear. Knitted sock ties are going to make another big splash on the dress end; and be on the lookout for 80s style sunglasses as well.

Welcome to the summer of 2013: a fashion gateway to 1985.


Fashion Tip #364

Wear clothing that fits your body properly.

Clothing is often made with different fits and measures. For instance, the same dress shirt can come in regular fit, slim fit, and extra slim fit. Each fit is designed for a different body type. For this reason, it's often important to have a tailor or sales person, who knows the clothing your buying, direct you to the proper fit for you.

Also make sure you're buying the correct size in order to ensure a proper fit. This includes your neck, shoulder, chest, waist, and sleeve lengths. If you've been losing or gaining weight, your sizes are going change. It's always a good idea to be measured by a tailor every once in a while to make sure you're continually buying the correct size.

On a final note, listen to your sales clerk, tailor, and friends. They notice things we often overlook. If they tell you that you need to buy a bigger or smaller size, don't take it as an insult; they're just trying to help you look your best. And when you look your best, you'll feel the best about yourself.


Cute As a Button

So you've got the right shirt, but apparently don't know how to button it. Do you know someone like this? Most of us do, and, if not, you probably are that person!

Here are some quick button tips.

1. Unless you're wearing a tie, NEVER button a top button. (Some shirts have 2 top buttons. In this case, treat them as 1 - leave them both unbuttoned.) This includes polo shirts as well.

2. Never leave more than 2 levels of buttons unbuttoned. There's no need to only button your shirt up to your belly button.

3. (This isn't necessarily a button tip.) Always wear an undershirt - for many reasons. No one wants to see your chest hair popping out of your shirt; it makes you look dirty and creepy. No one wants to see your sweat either. And Preferably wear a V-neck undershirt; it goes with everything.

4. While we're on buttons: ALWAYS leave the bottom button of your suit jacket unbuttoned.

Follow these rules, and you'll be "cute as a button."


Travel: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Nestled along the Tennessee River and home to the largest pedestrian bridge in the world: welcome to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Famous for being an old railroad town, Chattanooga offers many sight-seeing adventures. Climb Lookout Mountain and see Rock City and Ruby Falls or visit downtown and stay at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo. Not only is Chattanooga the home of multiple colleges and universities, it also boasts a minor league baseball team, the Chattanooga Lookouts. Chattanooga is a great place for the old and young alike, appealing to all walks of life. Here are some of The Styling Refinery's favorite things about Chattanooga and places you'll definitely want to go while visiting.
Note The Styling Refinery's star-ratings next to our suggestions, and let us know your ratings.

  • Shopping
This is a styling blog, so we will touch this subject first, of course. Chattanooga has some great shopping, whether you're looking for big-name department stores or unique local shops.

Yacoubian's | ****
This is a quaint little boutique for both men and women that offers fine Italian styling.
Bruce Baird | *****
Featuring classic-American men's clothing, this haberdashery is a must-visit with extraordinary window displays.
Giorgio's | **
Selection is the key to Giorgio's. The quality is average, the style is fast, but the price is good.
Hamilton Place | ***
Hamilton Place includes the mall and surrounding plazas where you'll find your big-name department stores. There is a Buckle in the mall and a Stein Mart in a nearby plaza.

  • Dining
A city/town is as only as good as its dining; and Chattanooga has fantastic dining. Whether you're looking for a burger, a bar, or an elegant dining experience, you'll find the best of it all right here.

Broad Street Grill | *****
This ritzy eatery is pricey, but very delicious. It's part of The Chattanoogan Hotel, which is the premier place to stay downtown.
Food Works | ***
In a restored factory on the NorthShore, Food Works has some unique creations with a fine-casual atmosphere.
Blue Orleans | ****
This place is famous for its New Orleans style seafood that's always a hit.
Meeting Place | *****
Adjoining to and operated by Chattanooga's finest dining establishment, St. John's Restaurant, Meeting Place is a trendy, business-casual rendezvous (pun intended) that is all about the atmosphere.
J. Alexander's | ****
This dimly-lit restaurant is always busy with casual diners who are finely dressed. Conversation and elevator music duet together to create a fun atmosphere.
The Acropolis Grill | *****
It's all Greek here - but not really; they have excellent American dishes too. The lamb chops are amazing.
Sticky Fingers | ***
If you're looking for a hometown, Memphis-style BBQ joint, look no further. This is a traveling favorite for visitors.
Mellow Mushroom | *****
Best pizza ever.
Hair of the Dog Pub | **
The atmosphere is - well, it's a bar. In fact, you have to be 21 to even eat there; but the beer-cheese soup is worth having to be ID'd. Also, if you eat upstairs, you'll see your food hoisted by the lazy-waiter.
Cheeburger Cheeberger | ****
This is the best burger you'll find in Chattanooga. They even boast a massive burger that, if you finish, will get your picture on the wall! This 50's diner also has a real soda fountain.
Aretha Frankensteins | ***
This place is tough to find, the atmosphere is strange, and the patrons are a little weird; but they have the best breakfast you'll ever eat!
City Cafe | ****
This is the only place to get dessert. You won't be disappointed.

  • Coffee
This is an important thing you need to know about a place when visiting.

Starbucks | *****
This downtown location attached to the Sheraton is great; and, obviously, the coffee is sensational. Also check out the location at Rock City on Lookout Mountain.
Rembrandt's | *****
Overlooking the river, the art district, and downtown, this coffee shop is fantastic and quaint, with baked treats that are scrumptious.
The Stone Cup | ****
A great location in Coolidge Park on the NorthShore, this coffee house is a great place to meet friends.

  • Other Stuff
These are some other things you may enjoy while visiting.

Tennessee Aquarium | ****
Chattanooga is also home to the state aquarium. A fun ticket that will please your kids.
IMAX 3D Movie Theater | ****
If you've never been to an IMAX theater, you'll want to check this place out.
Tivoli Theatre | *****
If you want to see a live play, this is the place to go. It features a luxurious setting with a unique blend of art, song, and drama.
Memorial Auditorium | ****
If you want to see a concert, this is the place to go.
Redemption Point Church | *****
If you'll be visiting through a Sunday, this is where you'll want to go to church. Pastor Kevin Wallace, a nationally-known Church of God minister, can preach the paint off a wall. Trust me, you'll be glad you went! Check out this humorous clip with a video-over of Kevin's preaching.

If you plan to visit Chattanooga, or you're a frequent guest there, The Styling Refinery wants to hear your feedback and ratings! Enjoy your time in Chatt-town; happy travels!