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About Benjamin Liong Setiawan

With a decade of writing and editing under his belt, Benjamin Liong Setiawan has covered fashion from the inside. He earned his industry stripes at Saks Fifth Avenue, Giorgio Armani, Michael Kors and DKNY before transitioning into an editorial role at Surface Magazine. He has previously held the positions of Editor at Large at Racked.com and Fashion and Accessories Editor at Niche Media, where he directed menswear coverage. Benjamin holds a Bachelor's degree from Parsons, The New School for Design. Follow Benjamin on Twitter.

Color Coordinated, Part III: Sunny Side Up

We round out our color series by going to one of the most visible places. That’s right, your face. While colored frames aren’t for everyone, colored lenses are surprisingly democratic. “A hint of tint in the lenses subtly updates classic frames. They can help a guy see and be seen in a whole new light,” says Eric Jennings, VP and Men’s Fashion Director. Now is the perfect time to upgrade your sunglass game. The same rules of finding the right style to match the shape of your face applies, but getting a pair with colored lenses takes it to a whole other level. A classic wayfarer silhouette suddenly looks fresh when Super by Retrosuperfuture adds lenses that change color depending on the angle. Oliver Peoples modernizes…

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We round out our color series by going to one of the most visible places. That’s right, your face. While colored frames aren’t for everyone, colored lenses are surprisingly democratic. “A hint of tint in the lenses subtly updates classic frames. They can help a guy see and be seen in a whole new light,” says Eric Jennings, VP and Men’s Fashion Director.

Now is the perfect time to upgrade your sunglass game. The same rules of finding the right style to match the shape of your face applies, but getting a pair with colored lenses takes it to a whole other level. A classic wayfarer silhouette suddenly looks fresh when Super by Retrosuperfuture adds lenses that change color depending on the angle. Oliver Peoples modernizes the pair of frames that Gregory Peck’s character wore in To Kill A Mockingbird. New life is breathed into a style that was popularized 50 years ago by recreating them with indigo lenses and setting them in clear acetate frames.

 

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Still need a few ideas for dad? Visit our Father’s Day Gift Guide.

Color Coordinated, Part II: Wrist Wars

In the second installment of our 3 part series, we bring the focus over to area with very limited real estate: the wrist. Long gone are the days of the ID bracelet. Now there’s a plethora of options to choose from (like these from Miansai). Having a little color peek out from your sleeve or shirt cuff is a subtle way to show a bit of your own flair without having to shout it. Bracelets have an intimate quality to them. Each one can reflect a different part of your personality. Eric Jennings, our VP and Men’s Fashion Director, suggests, “Mixing different materials, items, colors and sizes on the same wrist. The more the merrier!” Feel free to stack a couple to create arm party….

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In the second installment of our 3 part series, we bring the focus over to area with very limited real estate: the wrist. Long gone are the days of the ID bracelet. Now there’s a plethora of options to choose from (like these from Miansai). Having a little color peek out from your sleeve or shirt cuff is a subtle way to show a bit of your own flair without having to shout it. Bracelets have an intimate quality to them. Each one can reflect a different part of your personality.

Eric Jennings, our VP and Men’s Fashion Director, suggests, “Mixing different materials, items, colors and sizes on the same wrist. The more the merrier!” Feel free to stack a couple to create arm party. After all, we shouldn’t take everything so seriously. It’s important to remember to have fun!

 

MORE:

Still need a few ideas for dad? Visit our Father’s Day Gift Guide.

 

 


Color Coordinated, Part I

Color has been an important theme over the past few seasons. What better time of year to embrace color than now with the lush green grass contrasting against the vibrant blue skies? One of the easiest ways to inject color into your wardrobe with minimal commitment is through accessories. Part 1 of our 3 part series begins with something so foundational as socks. While many consider it an after thought, it really shouldn’t be. Hosiery is one of those areas that is noticed more for when it’s not done right. Prime example: white tube socks paired with dress shoes. Our resident sartorial sage, VP and Men’s Fashion Director, Eric Jennings, shares his thoughts on colored socks. “For casual looks, coordinate laces and socks to compliment…

Read More..

Color has been an important theme over the past few seasons. What better time of year to embrace color than now with the lush green grass contrasting against the vibrant blue skies? One of the easiest ways to inject color into your wardrobe with minimal commitment is through accessories.

Part 1 of our 3 part series begins with something so foundational as socks. While many consider it an after thought, it really shouldn’t be. Hosiery is one of those areas that is noticed more for when it’s not done right. Prime example: white tube socks paired with dress shoes.

Our resident sartorial sage, VP and Men’s Fashion Director, Eric Jennings, shares his thoughts on colored socks.

“For casual looks, coordinate laces and socks to compliment something else on your outfit (just don’t think too hard about it, matchy-matchy is a no!). For the boardroom, classic socks should match your trousers.” Below are hook + ALBERT and Paul Smith.

 

MORE:

Still need a few ideas for dad? Visit our Father’s Day Gift Guide.

 

 


It’s A Formal Affair

It was Sly and the Family Stone who sang, “you’re still checking each other out” and nowhere is that more true than during black tie events. Whether you’re heading to a wedding or the baccarat table, you might as well make sure that you get your formal look right, especially if you’re going to invest all of that effort. Let’s discuss the accoutrements that will help you stand out from the sea of similarity that frequently plagues these events. Adding one of these formal accessories hand picked by our VP and Men’s Fashion Director, Eric Jennings, will ensure your look is more James Bond rather than Rick James. And while you’re not gunning for any best-dressed lists, it’s still nice to be recognized.  As Sly…

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It was Sly and the Family Stone who sang, “you’re still checking each other out” and nowhere is that more true than during black tie events. Whether you’re heading to a wedding or the baccarat table, you might as well make sure that you get your formal look right, especially if you’re going to invest all of that effort.

Let’s discuss the accoutrements that will help you stand out from the sea of similarity that frequently plagues these events. Adding one of these formal accessories hand picked by our VP and Men’s Fashion Director, Eric Jennings, will ensure your look is more James Bond rather than Rick James. And while you’re not gunning for any best-dressed lists, it’s still nice to be recognized.  As Sly once crooned: “nobody wants to be left out.”

hook + ALBERT Metallic Leather Lapel Pin: $95

“Make a statement by trading in your traditional boutonniere for a metallic leather lapel accent.”

S.T. Dupont Rose Gold Lighter: $1,225

“A true gentleman is always prepared.”

Louis Leeman Gold Studded Evening Slippers: $750

“A bold take on the traditional smoking slipper, these gold studded shoes add a little bit of rock n’ roll.”

Tateossian Diamond Dust Cufflinks: $1,600

“Add some swagger to your wrists with these diamond dusted cufflinks.”

BOSS Black Round Pocket Square: $35

“The beauty of a round pocket square is that no folding is required. Just stick it in your breast pocket and you’re good to go.”

Saks Fifth Avenue Gross Grain Silk Bow Tie: $68

“This silk gross grain bow tie by Saks Fifth Avenue is my go to tie for formal occasions.”

 

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Guys: Which one of these will you be sporting at the baccarat table? Tell us in the comments.

To order any of these items call 1.877.551.7257.

 

 


Navigating the Waters

We help guys choose the right swimwear for every destination

It’s that time of the year. We’ve already sprung forward with our extra hour of daylight and now it’s time to get together our travel plans for the summer. But we’ll also need to consider what we will be bringing. No matter the locale, there’s sure to be a beach, perhaps surfing on Bondi; a pool, maybe an infinity in the Maldives; or a hot tub for that après ski soak in Patagonia. With all the swim options available, choosing the right pair can become a daunting task. Enter our resident style guru, VP and Men’s Fashion Director, Eric Jennings, who helps us hone in on the appropriate swimwear to suit every need. You knew that was coming. 2(X)IST New Core Rio Swim Briefs: I…

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It’s that time of the year. We’ve already sprung forward with our extra hour of daylight and now it’s time to get together our travel plans for the summer. But we’ll also need to consider what we will be bringing. No matter the locale, there’s sure to be a beach, perhaps surfing on Bondi; a pool, maybe an infinity in the Maldives; or a hot tub for that après ski soak in Patagonia.

With all the swim options available, choosing the right pair can become a daunting task. Enter our resident style guru, VP and Men’s Fashion Director, Eric Jennings, who helps us hone in on the appropriate swimwear to suit every need. You knew that was coming.

2(X)IST

New Core Rio Swim Briefs: I grew up on a swim team and have always loved a plain red “Speedo” type suit. 2XIST makes the best fitting underwear so it make sense that these are the best fitting swim briefs.

Vilebrequin

Solid Stretch Swim Trunks: This is what I call “beach to boardwalk.” Perfect for swimming in the ocean and strolling on the boardwalk.

Sundek

Rainbow Board Shorts: Classic southern California board shorts with the iconic rainbow on the rear. My go-to swimsuit for summer holiday.

Burberry Brit

Brinn Check Swim Trunks: I’ve always loved the Burberry check. And I look better in short trunks, so these are a great match for me!

Onia

Charles Macro Paisley Swim Trunks: I’m not a big print guy when it comes to swim suits, but I love the paisley print on these swim trunks by Onia.

 

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Guys — what kind of swim suit is your favorite for summer? Tell us in the comments.


Immaculate Construction

Tod’s Gommino moccasin takes over 100 steps to create

Tod’s iconic driving moccasin, the Gommino, was conceived out of the marriage of a timeless Italian aesthetic to the ease of daily life. A fashion classic, the simple yet refined loafer painstakingly takes over 100 steps to construct with up to 35 different leather parts that are hand cut and sewn. Certainly no detail is spared. Even the sole, which many would think of as an afterthought, has become the signature trademark of the Gommino. It is carefully arranged with exactly 133 pieces of rubber pebbles and naturally they match every shoe down to the specific shade of color. If you think that’s meticulous, each piece of leather is inspected at multiple parts of process for any blemishes. You can rest assure that each pair…

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Tod’s iconic driving moccasin, the Gommino, was conceived out of the marriage of a timeless Italian aesthetic to the ease of daily life. A fashion classic, the simple yet refined loafer painstakingly takes over 100 steps to construct with up to 35 different leather parts that are hand cut and sewn.

Certainly no detail is spared. Even the sole, which many would think of as an afterthought, has become the signature trademark of the Gommino. It is carefully arranged with exactly 133 pieces of rubber pebbles and naturally they match every shoe down to the specific shade of color. If you think that’s meticulous, each piece of leather is inspected at multiple parts of process for any blemishes. You can rest assure that each pair is crafted with the one of the highest standards in the industry.

From left: Zoe Saldana, Jon Hamm, Jessica Biel and Michael Douglas.

Don’t be surprised if you see Jon Hamm walking around in his Gomminos. Yep, Mr. Don Draper himself is a fan, as is Michael Douglas. And who can blame them? This driving shoe is so versatile, you’ll want to buy multiples and wear them to almost every occasion. Fortunately for you, they come in a variety of colors and materials, from a dark brown polished leather to a yellow stamped suede.

 

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See Tod’s in the Spring EDIT.


Meet the Newsies

Hear all about it! These new brands to Saks.com are sure to freshen up any man's wardrobe

One of the age-old spring cleaning mottos is “out with the old and in with the new.” Fortunately for you Saks.com is welcoming three men’s wear labels that are well worth that prime real estate you’ve just created in your closet. We asked our VP and Men’s Fashion Director, Eric Jennings, to chime in on why he loves Porter, Slowear, and Nudie Jeans. Porter The stats: Japanese accessories house with a cult following. Notable fans: The haute staffers at Monocle. Jennings’ take: “I use my Porter bags for the gym and the beach.”   Slowear The stats: Italian. Pronounced “slo-wear.” Under the Slowear label are four sub-brands: Montedoro for jackets, Zanone consists of wovens and knits, Glanshirt is the shirting line and Incotex denotes their…

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One of the age-old spring cleaning mottos is “out with the old and in with the new.” Fortunately for you Saks.com is welcoming three men’s wear labels that are well worth that prime real estate you’ve just created in your closet. We asked our VP and Men’s Fashion Director, Eric Jennings, to chime in on why he loves Porter, Slowear, and Nudie Jeans.

Porter

The stats: Japanese accessories house with a cult following.

Notable fans: The haute staffers at Monocle.

Jennings’ take: “I use my Porter bags for the gym and the beach.”

 

Slowear

The stats: Italian. Pronounced “slo-wear.” Under the Slowear label are four sub-brands: Montedoro for jackets, Zanone consists of wovens and knits, Glanshirt is the shirting line and Incotex denotes their pants classification.

Notable fans: Michael Williams of A Continuous Lean.

Jennings’ take: “The phrase classic with a twist is sooverused, but it’s true of Slowear. They have great colors and they make the best of the best in each category.”

 

Nudie Jeans

The stats: Swedish. The jeans are made in Italy with Japanese, Turkish and Italian denim. Nudie was organic before being “organic” was a trend.

Jennings’ take: “They are the future of what it means to be sustainable and a great example of how to do it in a cool way.”

MORE:

See more of our curated trends and editorials in Spring EDIT.

 


Menswear Runway Report

Our globetrotting Men's Fashion Director Eric Jennings shares his top runway picks

The world of men’s wear recently descended upon Europe for the semiannual exhibition of the men’s collections at Pitti Uomo in Florence and men’s fashion weeks in Milan and Paris. Having just taken in dozens of runway shows and presentations, Saks Fifth Avenue’s intrepid VP and Men’s Fashion Director Eric Jennings distills the season to his five favorite looks. Think of it as your sartorial Cliffs Notes for Fall 2013. 3.1 Phillip Lim “A fantastic patchwork military jacket with a jacquard knit sweater.”   Paul Smith “The bomber jacket is the must have piece next fall. I love the fur lining on this bomber as well as the intarsia knit sweater, and printed shirt and tie.”   DSQUARED “Astrakhan is a runway favorite this season and I…

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The world of men’s wear recently descended upon Europe for the semiannual exhibition of the men’s collections at Pitti Uomo in Florence and men’s fashion weeks in Milan and Paris. Having just taken in dozens of runway shows and presentations, Saks Fifth Avenue’s intrepid VP and Men’s Fashion Director Eric Jennings distills the season to his five favorite looks. Think of it as your sartorial Cliffs Notes for Fall 2013.

3.1 Phillip Lim

“A fantastic patchwork military jacket with a jacquard knit sweater.”

 

Paul Smith

“The bomber jacket is the must have piece next fall. I love the fur lining on this bomber as well as the intarsia knit sweater, and printed shirt and tie.”

 

DSQUARED

“Astrakhan is a runway favorite this season and I love it paired back with denim in this look.”

 

Valentino

“I love Prince of Whales plaid and how Valentino used the black leather detail to make this look very modern.”

 

Viktor & Rolf

“I’m calling fall 2013 the the season of the coat, as I’ve never seen so much outerwear on the runways. Brown is an important new color for tailored clothing, which is why I love this head to toe brown look from Viktor & Rolf. This topcoat has a removable fur trim collar and the cable turtleneck sweater has an interesting resin coating.”

 

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Read more stories featuring Eric Jennings.

 

 


Kristian’s Countdown to 2013

Kristian Laliberte, the dapper Senior Editor of Refinery29, shares his resolutions for 2013 (and dishes on the ones he didn’t keep from 2012)

As Refinery29’s resident man about town, Kristian Laliberte has his finger on the pulse of what to do, where to go and what to buy. While this Columbia alum calls the East Village home, he has spent time in Paris studying at Archives Nationales and is currently in London while we conduct this interview. Among his favorite designers are labels such as Rag & Bone, Paul Smith, Gant, Dior Homme, A.P.C. and T by Alexander Wang. Burberry Prorsum blazer, Kenzo shirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim pants, Giorgio Armani bowtie, Charvet pocket square, Hook & Albert lapel pin, Salvatore Ferragamo belt and Gucci shoes.   Personal style… That’s such a tough one because I’m always tempted to say preppy-with-an-edge, but that’s sort of the tritest thing, ever. I…

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As Refinery29’s resident man about town, Kristian Laliberte has his finger on the pulse of what to do, where to go and what to buy. While this Columbia alum calls the East Village home, he has spent time in Paris studying at Archives Nationales and is currently in London while we conduct this interview. Among his favorite designers are labels such as Rag & Bone, Paul Smith, Gant, Dior Homme, A.P.C. and T by Alexander Wang.

Burberry Prorsum blazer, Kenzo shirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim pants, Giorgio Armani bowtie, Charvet pocket square, Hook & Albert lapel pin, Salvatore Ferragamo belt and Gucci shoes.

 

Personal style… That’s such a tough one because I’m always tempted to say preppy-with-an-edge, but that’s sort of the tritest thing, ever. I do love throwback/traditional pieces — cable knit sweaters, oxford button-downs, classic khakis — but I’m interested in more fashion-forward silhouettes and fabrications. I don’t like one completely head-to-toe look. It’s all about the mix.

Resolution from 2012 that was kept… Don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t listen to other people when you’re forming an opinion about someone.

Resolution from 2012 that’s long gone… Sleep more. Gym more. Leave the office earlier. Stop procrastinating. A LOT of ‘em!

Kristian’s 13 resolutions for 2013:

1. Get a six-pack — third year in a row resolving.

2. Go gluten free. That won’t happen.

3. Visit Mexico City. Again.

4. Meet my future husband. (Can I resolve that to happen? Hmm.)

5. Curbing my Instagram addiction. Or maybe I’m fine with it.

6. Be smarter about money management.

7. Find an apartment with room for a big desk.

8. Stop making to-do lists that I don’t finish.

9. Moisturize before bed…every night.

10. Learn how to sew a button on pants, shirts, and jackets. I’m useless.

11. Drink more water.

12. Put my clothes out before I go to sleep.

13. Go to the gym. Kind of hand in hand with #1.

 

Photographed by KSW, Styled by Kate Lassar, Editorial Assistant Erica Johasky, Produced by Sophia Chabbott.

 

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What are some of your resolutions for 2013? Tell us in the comments or tweet @Saks!

 

 


The Measure of a Man

Ralph Lauren Black Label opens a shop at Saks complete with a Made-to-Measure boutique

With the opening of the new Ralph Lauren Black Label  we talked over the process with two experts in the menswear field: Men’s Fashion Director and Saks Insider Eric Jennings and GQ’s executive merchandising stylist Brett Fahlgren (who also has his own neckwear and accessories collection under the label Fahlgren and edits Style Ledger). SaksPOV: How is made-to-measure suiting ultimately different from something off the rack? Brett Fahlgren: It’s a special experience from start to finish: from selecting a fabric from hundreds of options and getting properly measured and fit with an expert tailor, to choosing key details like button stance and liner. Customization is important in menswear and all men should consider made-to-measure. SaksPOV: What are a few things men should consider when doing made-to-measure?…

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With the opening of the new Ralph Lauren Black Label  we talked over the process with two experts in the menswear field: Men’s Fashion Director and Saks Insider Eric Jennings and GQ’s executive merchandising stylist Brett Fahlgren (who also has his own neckwear and accessories collection under the label Fahlgren and edits Style Ledger).

SaksPOV: How is made-to-measure suiting ultimately different from something off the rack?

Brett Fahlgren: It’s a special experience from start to finish: from selecting a fabric from hundreds of options and getting properly measured and fit with an expert tailor, to choosing key details like button stance and liner. Customization is important in menswear and all men should consider made-to-measure.

SaksPOV: What are a few things men should consider when doing made-to-measure?

Eric Jennings: Made-to-measure is not bespoke. You will still be working with what we call the designer’s “block” so it will look similar to the silhouette off the rack, but it will certainly fit you better and require fewer alterations.

B.F.: Really consider what type of suit and fabric you want for this very special addition to your closet. Is it something for your wedding day, worn just a few times a year, or will it be your best suit for the office, for your most important business engagements. Whatever you determine, enjoy the process and take your time, fine-tuning and taking advantage of the many options available. And remember that when it comes to finding the perfect suit, fit is the most important element to master.

SaksPOV: What should they avoid?

E.J.: Avoid putting too many “bells and whistles” if they offer you fancy linings, stitching and pockets. Keep it sophisticated and avoid too much novelty.

B.F.: This is a very special suit that you should be wearing confidently for years to come. Don’t overthink the fabric options and decide to go bold on color pattern in order for it to stand out. You’ll be wondering several years down the road why you never wear it. The minimal beauty of a navy suit is often just right.

SaksPOV: Which body types does made-to-measure best suit?

E.J.: It’s perfect for any guy who does is not the “average” body type. For example, athletic guys have fuller chests and narrower waists.  Some guys have longer than average arms, fuller than average chests, or more girth around the middle. A suit will always make a man look better if it fits him right, so for the guys described, made-to-measure is definitely the way to go.

B.F.: Even if you’re a perfect 40 regular, a made-to-measure suit just feels differently from off the rack suits. That said, many men require a significant amount of tailoring when they make a suit purchase and MTM makes perfect sense for them. They may end up spending less on MTM vs. traditional suiting when you factor in tailoring.

SaksPOV: What are the key silhouettes that you love right now?

E.J.:  A two-button notch lapel jacket with side vents is standard. However, these days, I like the rolled to two-button jacket model.

SaksPOV: Any styling tips?

B.F: For this fall season I like to match up my gray and navy suits with a pale blue shirt and navy knit tie, a combination popular throughout Europe. It’s sophisticated but in a modern way.

E.J.: I love tweeds and flannels for fall.

SaksPOV:  Fill in the blank. A good suit should always ________.

E.J. Fit you like a glove. Period.

 

 

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Check out our menswear board on Pinterest.

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