The Suit Upgrade

I don’t know about you, but I love to talk about fashion, art and photography. In my role as resident photographer and judge on Asia’s Next Top Model and with my career as a fashion photographer I am lucky to be surrounded by things I love on a daily basis. Every month, I want to take a moment from the hustle and bustle of the fashion world and share with you my thoughts on current fashion trends for men and women, fashion designers I like, new models who are on my radar or interesting notes on fashion photography. 2

Asia’s Next Top Model Season 1 Episode 1


Wearing a suit vest on Asia’s Next Top Model Episode 4

You might have noticed that from the panel on Asia’s Next Top Model, I like wearing suits. I just feel good in a suit, especially one that is well-tailored and made-to-measure. I tend to like my suits to not be too corporate and to have a little fashion flare without being over-the-top. One of the ways I do this is simply in two little accessories – the pocket square and cuff links. The pocket square has come and gone in men’s wear and the resurgence in the last few years may very well be reflections of the popularity of the TV show Mad Men and the styling of the cast. However for me I have always liked to include a pocket square with my suits. Not so much so when just wearing a blazer but definitely with a full suit. 3

The simple white pocket square as seen on Asia’s Next Top Model Episode 2 and 3 (above and below)

Often I will go with just a simple and classic white pocket square neatly folded into a square edge that peeks out from my pocket for about 1 and half centimeters. I think this approach can finish off your look or fashion story, if you will, with a touch of class.

4 On other occasions though I use the pocket square as an element for adding a burst of color to the look. In this case I like to go with the pocket square just tucked into the pocket allowing the edges flowing out like a fountain. Technically called the Inverted Poof. (I know sounds a little funny) When going for color I honestly try a few different colors to see what is working best. My starting point though comes from finding a secondary tone from my suit and shirt choice then using a discerning eye to find what I like best. The trial and error really comes into play when I am using not only a solid color but also a color and pattern. An interesting current trend in pocket squares is squares that have two colors for piping on the edge, sometimes referred to as a rolled hem. I like the added detail as it is all in the details to me! 10

Donning a detailed pocket square on Asia’s Next Top Model Episode 9 with Michael Cinco

Two of the best pieces of advice I have been told on pocket squares are one, to always carry two. One for yourself in case of need (spillage I presume) that is kept in your pant back pocket and then the decorative square in your suit pocket which can be used in case of the need or desire to be a gentleman saving a damsel in distress. I guess if it is a guy whom needs saving you just give him the one in your back pocket! The second advice was to not try too hard (which can really apply to your whole look). If you are not getting the square quite right just put it in your pocket and keep going. Along with the pocket square I like to have my shirts with French cuffs so I can wear cuff links. Maybe it reminds of my grandfather as I have memories as a child of him wearing cuff links and me thinking he was so stylish and Sauvé like some sort of James Bond but for what ever reason I am guilty of having several pairs of cuff links and enjoy taking the time to decided which pair exactly I will match up with my suit. Besides a man’s watch, I think the cuff link is the next bit of jewelry a man can wear in making a fashion statement. I highly suggest you at least get yourself one simple pair. In my collection of cuff links, I am also guilty of having a few novelty pairs that only really see the light of day on fun or quirky occasions and don’t recommend you wear in general. Even though I am into vintage cuff links (in particular my Leica camera links) the trend at the moment is to have a bit of metal in your look and what better way to do that then with a nice pair of clean metallic cuff links with perhaps an enamel design. Often you will find me wearing a circle pair with black enamel or just a silver metal set in a geometric shape or a simple ball. 1

A close up on the cuff-link as seen on Asia’s Next Top Model Episode 8

So next time you are thinking about getting a little gift for a male friend, brother, son or husband think about giving a gentlemanly gift of a new pocket square or set of cuff links. ~ Asia’s Next Top Model resident photographer Todd Anthony Tyler is our newest blogger! Catch his monthly fashion column and weekly style photo blog here on Follow him on Twitter @ToddATyler

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