Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dressing up for DeMolay

One thing I have become personally passionate about is proper dress and attire for men in professional and social situations. At Supreme Tall Cedars Class I gave a mini-lesson to one of the DeMolays and realized that it might make valuable blog post. I've often posted links to things on this blog before, but I thought I'd take a moment and write a quick primer entitled "Dressing for DeMolay."
Let's start with the basics. If you are going to a DeMolay event, you should generally wear one of two kinds of pants - khaki or dress. It's hard to go wrong with khaki pants. They go great with polo shirts and can easily be dressed by wearing a button up shirt. Alternately, you can wear dress pants which are usually part of a suit (meaning pants that match the style and color of a jacket.) You can choose which type of shirt to wear based upon many factors. I always recommend over dressing if you don't know what to wear. You'll never feel bad wearing a button up shirt when you could have worn a polo, but you'll stick out like a sore thumb if you wear a polo when button ups are required. Stick to the basics with shirts - white or light blue. Unless you know what you're doing, don't wear striped or brightly colored shirts. If you're wearing a tie, that means you should also be wearing a blazer or jacket. Use your tie to bring your outfit together. If you're wearing a white shirt, khaki pants, and a blue blazer, go with a tie that has some blue, white, or browns in it. If you're wearing a dark colored suit, then use your tie to match to your shirt. If your suit is black, a tie with a dark color in it will go well. How long should your tie be? When tied, the end of the tip of the end of the tie should be right about where your belt buckle is. I always recommend wearing a tie chain or a tie tack to help keep your tie in place. Unless you're very experienced, you should only wear a regular tie - leave the bow ties and other variations for the pros. When buttoning your jacket, remember this phrase - "Always the middle, sometimes the top, never the bottom." This means you should always button the middle button, sometimes the top button, but never the bottom button. You should only button your jacket if you are standing, unless it's double breasted (however, steer clear of double breasted suits if you can.) As for shoes, it's pretty simple. They should be leather, or a leather like material. Athletic shoes or sneakers are immediately out. If your pants are brown, wear brown shoes. If they are black, wear black shoes. It's pretty easy. Your socks should match the color of your shoes, but be darker if possible. For example, if you are wearing brown shoes, you should wear dark brown socks. You can't get much darker than black, so if you have black shoes on you, you should also have black socks on. Under no circumstance should you be wearing white socks with leather shoes. You should always wear a belt. The color of the belt should match your shoes - brown shoes = brown belt, black shoes = black belt. Now, let's talk about accessories. Yes, even boys accessorize! You should only ever wear one lapel pin at a time. Period. The lapel pin should go on your left lapel, in the button hole if one is available. If there is no button hole, you should position it about where a button hole would be if one were present. There are two trains of thought on what kind of lapel pin to wear. The first is that you wear the pin of the group you are attending that night. This shows your support for the group and your interest. The other idea is that you should wear a pin different from the group you are going to visit. Why? Because the members already know the logo of their own group. By wearing something different, you'll have an easy way to start a conversation about another cause you support. When it comes to DeMolay regalia, remember that one is always enough - one pocket item and one neck item. Jewels should be worn on the pocket, not the lapel! If you are wearing a name tag, you shouldn't wear any jewels. Always wear your highest award unless you are participating in a special event, such as a membership jewel presentation. While this merely scratches the surface of men's fashion, it's a great place to start to learn how to dress sharp! Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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