Anyone who knows anything about men’s fashion in Middle Tennessee knows the name Jeff Loring. Since 1987, at Stitch It & Company, Jeff has been making exquisite clothes for men of all ages.

If you want that special suit for that upcoming event, a shirt that will leave everyone who sees it green with envy, or if you dropped a few pounds or added some and need your clothes altered, Jeff is the man to see. Not stuffy and never aloof, Jeff likes to work with people! He approaches his fashion craft with a sense of duty, responsibility; he says it’s a calling.

It’s this quote from Jeff that says it best: “While it is true that clothing does not make the man, what we wear and how we look refines our character.” Recently, I had the good fortune to sit down with Jeff and get this take on the latest and greatest on what a well-dressed man should be wearing.

JTT: What is the one color every man should be wearing this summer and as we move into fall?

JL: Some shade of cobalt or French blue. It is the new navy. Great for day or evening wear and appropriate for any occasion. It is also a good transition color from summer to fall.

JTT: As someone who makes his living selling high end men’s fashion, what’s the biggest fashion faux pas you see men make?

JL: No question about it! Flip flops and cargo shorts! Flip flops are fine for the beach and cargo shorts for camping, fishing, of hiking, but not for the symphony, a Broadway play, or a romantic dinner with your significant other. You are an adult, don’t dress like a 12-year-old.

JTT: Pleats/no pleats pants? Double breasted/single button jacket? What’s hot and what’s not?

JL: Pleated trousers are making a comeback. The new pleated look is a single pleat with a tapered leg. The proper trimness of the leg is important in order to keep the pleated style from looking dated.

JTT: As we move toward fall,what’s your take on men wearing white year-round?

JL: My opinion is to stick to the old rule for white, no pure white after Labor Day. Be sure the white you wear in the fall and winter months is a warmer white rather than a pure white.

JTT: Are skinny leg pants and jeans still “in”?

JL: There is a fine line between trim and skinny. A good taper is important for the proper silhouette. The proper taper is important and should fit the body type.

JTT: Shoes or boots? What is your favorite this time of year and what is the one piece of footwear that needs to be in every man’s closet?

JL: I mostly prefer shoes, but a nice trim boot is always a good addition. Everyone should have a beautiful pair of western boots in their closet, just be careful how you wear them. Every closet should have a nice pair of black lace up shoes. The classic black oxford has been relegated to the back shelf due to the resurgence of the brown shoe craze. Black is always best for evening special events and after 6 pm.

JTT: Is it OK to mix patterns with ties, shirts and slacks?

JL: Definitely, as long as the patterns complement each other. Never a large pattern shirt with a larger pattern coat or tie. Be careful the patterns work together.

JTT: Are French cuff shirts making a comeback?

JL: Every man should have some French cuff shirts in his closet. Our newest trend for our custom shirts is the convertible cuff. It allows you to have a button cuff or a cufflink.

JTT: What three things can really pull together a great look?

JL: Confidence, a proper fit, and a smile. It’s all about fit, as that is the most important element of any style.

JTT: What are the best three looks for men as we move toward year end?

JL: A beautiful three-piece suit properly fitted with a crisp shirt and tie. 2. An unstructured sports coat, nice patterned shirt and jean with a sharp pair of sneakers or espadrilles. 3. A must have piece is a beautiful leather or suede jacket.

JTT: What one piece of clothing every man must have?

JL: A must have piece is a beautiful leather of suede jacket.

You can visit Jeff and his extraordinary staff at Stitch It, located in Green Hills, at 4101 Hillsboro Circle! Check out the website at stitchitandco.com and make sure you tell Jeff I said hello.

Thanks for reading, and I appreciate all the support and comments from a growing number of readers. Can’t believe the large number of you who take the time to call, text and write.

Until next time, if you can’t be brilliant, remember you can always be bright!

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