BRUCE JULIAN'S BLOG

Bruce Posts all kinds of things here! Photos of new clothes as they arrive, toys he has recently acquired, store displays, the odd article about fashion trends, and much more. This area will constantly change so keep visiting to see what's going on... or even better stop in the shop and be part of the fun!

 

Basics for Business Casual Men

 

Basically, asking employees to dress business casual is a HR mistake. Let’s see… the employees want to dress casual BUT this is a business so let’s make up the term BUSINESS CASUAL. Is it supposed to mean the obvious? Dressing casually while at work. Not a bad idea except they didn’t give us any rules… they just threw it out there to get away from coats and ties. They should have taken note of the awful stuff they saw on CASUAL FRIDAY before they gave free reign of the whole week.

We are basic guys; we need guidelines don’t just throw us in the surf when we don’t know how to swim. So here is what happened: The guys went to oversized, no iron pleated khakis and an old polo shirt that wouldn’t work on the golf course anymore. Are we sure suits aren’t better? Might as well put a company logo on the polo and call it a day.

OK, now that’s off my chest, let’s own this BUSINESS CASUAL THING. There is so much fabulous looking and comfortable product in my store I’m hanging it from the ceiling. Create your own style... sounds daunting but it is merely wearing similar items repeatedly.

 

Like French Cuffs on all your shirts...let us make you a batch of sporty French Cuffs.

I have found myself wearing cotton casual pants with soft blazers or vests all the time.

Pick a patterned sport shirt you like and get 4 colors. I am a big fan of the Gingham Check, of course any check or stripe will do.

The only thing that matters is that you dress with style and have the self-respect to put into your daily dress. It goes like this, think MINOR - MAJOR. If you really want to get your style on use this credo: You can always mix patterns as long as one is small and the other is big. You will always be safe and stylish!

OKAY, please don’t forget...casual does not mean sloppy or dirty. There is no sloppy or dirty in casual. What you wear cannot be an afterthought people will see that and talk about you. Although it is casual you still need to show that there is a thought pattern to what you wear. Really, if there is just some thought into it that is all you need. Think about all the poor brain-dead dressers out there and don’t join their ranks.

 

I think it is a good idea to keep a soft, casual, unconstructed sport coat around. There are plenty in stock. I have a soft-boiled wool blazer with lining only in the sleeves, no shoulder pad, open pockets with no flap. I am stocking blue, burgundy and charcoal and they come in Small to XXL. I can get other colors and they are Black, Charcoal, Navy and Tan. A vest isn’t a bad idea either. You need something either for the weather or just to style things up a bit and both of these items do the job.

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5 CASUAL OUTFITS EVERY MAN NEEDS IN HIS CLOSET

 

1.    An unconstructed Sport Coat with a detachable Hoodie White shirt by Bruun and Stenguard Mavi Khakis. The black Sport Coat with a removeable hoodie is the cool all the time travel coat. Black $225. The white shirt by Bruun and Stenguard coms in 3 fits and 3 fabrics:

·     Contemporary in Royal Oxford

·     Slim in a twill with black button holes

·     Ultra Slim in a pinpoint

This is my second season getting these shirts from Canada. Such a fabulous shirt I bought the whole line this time. Priced at $98.50. Mavi Khakis have become a mainstay at the store. Made with 80% cotton and 20% stretch with a small 14” bottom they fit everyone, old and young alike, even those guys that don’t particularly want a slim pant like the stretch comfort. Again, I have every color they make about 12 to choose from. $99.50 to $118.

3.    Enzo casual waist length Jacket Enzo Pattern or corduroy jean Fusion Cotton Sweat Shirt I have carried the Enzo short jacket for the last 10 years. It is easy to wear and comes in 2 fabrications 2 fer $350 and 2 fer $395. The Fusion cotton Sweat Shirt comes in 3 colors and has just the right amount of faded wash. The fair price of $85. Enzo corduroy jeans come in 4 colors: Black, Navy, Gold and Burgundy. Traditional cut and easy priced at $99.50. And the Enzo pattern jean is a GREAT way to pick up your casual style. Comes 2 ways. Same price as the corduroy. So all in for your cool outfit is: $359.50! It will last you an easy 8 years so it’s $45 a season… the price of dinner.

5.    Mavi Soft Jean Blue ditsy pattern or solid Sport Shirt by me + Vest. The Mavi soft jean is AMAZING...soft with stretch in an easy cut in navy and charcoal coming in at the small price of $118. I made shirts in 2 different factories one is $99.50 and the other is $125. Both are traditionally fit sized up to XXL and about 15 patterns and textured solids to pick from. My vests come from my factory and another called simply Q. Q makes a casual vest that wears like a Sport Coat. Peak Lapel and a corduroy back. It’s like being dressed up with movement (no sleeves but just enough dress up to go anywhere) 6 patterns priced at $225. My vest is 2 patterns at $125.

2. Casual Jacket by Gimos, Sport Shirt by Haupt Teleria Jean. Gimos make the best quality Italian jacket you can get. Their main push is their leather coats. They are a bit pricy, the ones I carry are $1495. I like their canvas jacket better because they show your form better. With the tighter sleeves and higher form fitting armhole you end up with a pretty sexy jacket! 2 lengths to pick from...they come in at $850. We also carry their long military style coat. THE coat of the season but we’ll get to that when it gets colder. Haupt is a German line I have carried for 15 years. Their shirts are the best in the business. They also produce a fabulous jean under the ALBERTO label. VERY European. The Teleria jean is produced by the Gimos guys and ALSO comes out of Italy. They just started importing them last season and they have been a huge success. They fit like you would expect...trim from the top to the bottom. We sometimes have to go up a size the achieve the proper and PERFECT FIT. A huge selection coming in at $179.50 to $315,

4.    Zip Cardigan Sweater + Long Sleeve Henley + Bruun and Stenguard casual pant. The zip cardigan is by Tyler Boe, a new vendor for this season. Coming in 3 color ways the fact that it is a zip cardigan is key in that the look can be dressy enough for Buddy’s Restaurant: Del Friscos (Buddy Edwards is the Maitre’ D) or casual enough for a Panthers game, $145. We have been talking about changing the name of the store to HENLEY SOUTH. I have a long sleeve Henley in every fabric they make it in:

·     Cashmere from Tyler Boe, priced at $285

·     Soft modal from TRUE GRIT priced at $115

·     A very cool light shirt weight cotton from Berle priced at $65.

The Bruun and Stenguard casual pant is pretty small at the bottom. Comes in a $150.

HOW TO FOLD A POCKET SQUARE LIKE AN ADULT

 

I buy Pocket Squares like I buy toys.

 

When I decide to carry a manufacturer, I pretty much buy everything they have. I want the entire collection represented in the store. Pocket Squares are also like toys in that I stock way too many. To me, it’s more of an obsession than a product.

With so many on hand, I often have to come up with creative ways to display them. I have two circular wire fixtures with clips hanging from the ceiling. I got the fixtures from a lamp company… they are supposed to have a light bulb in the middle and the clips would hold small toys for a kid’s room. Each clip has a maximum holding about 6 pocket squares each.

HOW TO FOLD A POCKET SQUARE (SILK):

 

1. Open the pocket square and lay it flat on the table.

 

2. Grab mid-way.

3. Push the bottom up to the top.

4. Tuck it into the pocket… with the perfect amount of mess going on.

HOW TO FOLD A POCKET SQUARE (LINEN):

 

1. Open the pocket square and lay it flat on the table.

 

2. Fold the width of the pocket, which sometimes requires folding 1/2 over.

3. Fold in 1/2 and put in the pocket (wasn’t that crazy-easy?).

BELOW IS A LIST OF THE DESIGNERS REPRESENTED IN MY STORE:

 

A STYLISH WAY OF LIFE by James Williams.  James is a lobbyist in DC, and he edges all his squares in a thick thread (the technical name is faggotting). His squares have the most panache, ranging from $89.50 to $175.

 

THE HILLSIDE. These are from Brooklyn and are made from cotton.  Some floral some thick solids and stripes. Very bohemian looking as you would expect, $29.50.

 

EDWARD ARMAH. The coolest guy in our industry, very prolific with bright silks next to subdued, double-faced cotton blend linen out of Italy, $79.75.  Edward also makes fine bow ties.

 

BRUNO PATELLI. Based out of New York City. These are my base of silk and cotton squares, $39.50.

 

PACIFIC SILK. Comes from California and does a little bit of everything in pocket squares.  I carry his pre-folded cotton squares. AKA: The simplest thing there is. Just pop them in your pocket and you are off! $25.

 

SEWARD AND STERN. Out of England, they make a quintessential pocket square as only the English would… Unexpected trim colors, lots of hunting scenes, deer, dogs, pheasants in jewel tones, etc. Good use of double-faced fabrics too, $85.

 

BRUCE JULIAN. Ahem… out of Charlotte.  I personally picked three historical pictures (Myers Park, Dilworth, and Chapel Hill) and had them printed on linen in Italy, $89.50.

 

The pocket square has been touted as the NEW TIE. So… with the demise of the traditional tie the only color we have left is the pocket square and lapel pins for personality (which is what dressing is all about). Folks get a feel for your character with the little extras, so don’t forget them!

OTHER WAYS TO FOLD A POCKET SQUARE:

Images provided by our friends at pocketsquareclothing.com (Psst: We carry their fine apparel!)

 

So the left hand wall used to be where the building ended and I’m located in what used to be the parking lot of Hardee’s Pharmacy which was there in the 50’s. Being close to Myers

Park High School there was even a gang of sorts called the HARDEE RATS know for hanging around the soda fountain in the pharmacy.

Most of the suits and sport coats are hanging on that wall and behind the 40 regulars

apparently a drunk hardee rat spray painted on the wall “Doc Hardy we love

you” (misspelling Hardee)

 I had a 10’x20’ picture (below) of the Charlotte Polo team in 1925 on the outside wall.  The polo team played on the Charlotte Airport grounds located at Selwyn and Queens one stop light down.  When a plane needed to land they merely suspended play.

 

So the picture printed on cotton duck was up about a year until the goofball next door who lives in LA has been to his low end wedding store once since he opened is up at night in his dirty underwear on google maps see it and the Landlord made me take it down..it now resides in the Bicycle Store across the street BICYCLE SPORT…

so much for Charlotte history.

So here we have the 2 sections of BAR TOYS.

The top shelf is probably the most popular with the guys! So on the top left is a girl who shakes your drink for you.

Battery Operated from the 1950’s…in fact all are from the 50’s. Then below her are some  of my favorite’s…there are 3 of them (the girls with the towels)  battery operated banks.  You insert your coin and the action begins:  they lower the towel from their top and  boobs light up…the she lifts the towel from her thigh and it says “More money please.” Who doesn’t want to bank that way! Then on the other side of the mannequin is Windy.  She straddles her ash tray… push her button and she blows out your match. You can guess how this works! Then on the far right is a larger girl who is an AM radio.  Her right boob is the on off button and her left boob is the radio dial.

 

I’m actually not a sexist but after writing this copy well…..I feel like one.

 

The second picture is the best selection of Battery Operated and wind up bartenders EVER.  I couldn’t help putting Bill Clinton playing the sax in the back….He just fits.

Ah…The Stereo!  What a pleasure.  Totally the real thing.  A direct wire bi-amp system.  One power source for the tweeters and another for the woofers (the 2 boxes under the bowler on the left)

I bought it in the seventies from Wayne who had a small high end stereo store on Independence.

I had to lay it away for over a year…I got to visit it during that year though.  Naim audio..a small Irish stereo company made all the power components and Lynn Sonder produced the turntable.  State of The Art to this day.  I rotate the albums.  I have the back wall of one of my storage bins floor to ceiling albums.

Crazy Cars all were about the same size with sayings written all over the auto.

They were popular from the mid 40’s through the 50’s.  And they are very popular to me

now.  They have great action….Rodeo Joe’s car bucks and spins like a bucking bronco.

The one on the bottom shelf in the glass case in the middle is from Argentina and says “Yo Soy Parchecito"

This is my Celluloid Collection.  There is probably more……nothing like taking something too far.  I’ve got warehouses around Charlotte with Hanger Packs full of antique toys.  A Hanger Pack is how we receive suits.  It is a box about the size of a refrigerator with a bar across the top to hang the suits.  Some of the toys are still but most wind up for very intriguing action.  My favorite is the girl sitting under an umbrella in a sun chair with a goose.  She rocks, the goose and the umbrella spin around an goose quacks. I’ll have to post a video of it….I find it very relaxing.

 

So my best friend Leslie Lovell has an art gallery in Savannah Georgia (ROOTS UP GALLERY)

dealing in primitive.country art.  These are some of my favorites I’ve gotten from her over the years.  I love the Devil YOU ARE GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET was a popular phrase around the Julian household…now here it is depicted.

Here's the bar at Christmas!

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CONTACT US

2913 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28209    704.364.8686

Reach Bruce directly on his cell number at 917.517.0209

 

I travel the world to bring you the finest manufacturers that exist.  Shirts I source from Turkey mostly as they are the best shirt makers… I also have a custom shirt factory in Honduras that makes me the trimmest shirt you can find on the rack.  Jeans I get mostly from Italy and Germany.  Sport Coats come from all over the word….one of my favorites uses exclusively Italian piece goods and make a 1/2 Canvas front garment in Canada. Suits... I do a handmade suit. Navy Blazer and Tuxedo to beat the band….the suit has 4 colors in every size the feel of  a hand made shoulder is so forgiving since the stitches are done by hand they give and move with you to the point where a size down works fine.  Pocket squares… don’t get me started… talk about covering the globe... Italy, Brooklyn, California, England, Even New Jersey.  I am a pocket square junkie and I have them all.

 

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