Stylist to the stars June Ambrose (who’s worked with everyone from Diddy to Jay-Z to Mary J. Blige) battles celebrity fashion faux pas on her reality series, Styled By June, airing on Vh1 every Monday starting March 19. Here, the closet freak tackles your spring wardrobe woes. -Clover Hope
How can I rock cuff links that turn heads?
Well, cufflinks are used on a French cut shirt more for a formal look. One thing about cufflinks and ties, they’re like little jewelry for men. So they should really fit your personality. You see a lot of character in a man’s choice of cufflinks. Whether he’s into animals, into diamonds. I like the more blingy cufflinks. They’re great for evening. And the more textured like stone and chrome and gold hardware, whether it’s an elephant or a turtle or any kinds of those characters that you love. Vintage cufflinks are definitely good during the day with a Gingham shirt or pinstripe.
Hublot’s out of my tax bracket, but I want a nice watch. Any alternatives?
Timex always does a really classic watch. I’m tryna think price-wise. Kenneth Cole does a decent watch. But with Timex, you can always get a classic watch from Timex. It’s like the rolexes of watches. Bulky for day, evening is a little bit more subtle and laid-back leather strap. It depends on what kind of suit he would be wearing throughout the week. But also on the casual, you may be more of a sporty, rubber watch guy. Again it’s a really personal choice, but more of a slicker watch for the evening and leave the bulky chunky stuff for day or more sporty, on the move.
Any rules for donning a pocket square without looking, er, square?
I believe a pocket square should not match the tie. It’s always great to kind of take the pocket square and play around with the pattern of the shirt. It should be in contrast of the shirt. But the tones are very similar. It’s really where you kind of have the most fun. The punctuation to your suit. It also again should say a lot about your personality and character. And in terms of stripes and Ginghams or your paisleys and polka dots, there are no rules when it comes to a pocket square other than the tone should really contrast or complement.
Any particular style for pocket squares for spring that are a trend?
Just color. Pocket squares are timeless. They don’t ever go out of style. You don’t get trends with squares. But you will see a lot more pastels being introduced because there are lot more pastel suits for the spring.
What’s the etiquette on tipping my tailor?
I always think it’s lovely. It’s just like going to a barber shop. This is someone who is contouring a piece to your convenience. There’s no offense in tipping.
What’s your big tip for seersuckers? Is there any wrong way to wear it?
I think it’s one of those very casual suits. You can wear it with your polo. You can wear it with a button-down shirt.
I’ve seen dudes like Jay-Z and LeBron rocking skinny ties. How anoxeric should I go?
If you have broad shoulders, there’s a certain width with skinnies. You kind of have to balance how wide you go based on the width of your chest. So if a guy is extremely brawny up top, you want to avoid the extremely skinny retro ties. It ends up looking like a vaginal landing strip. [Laughs]. You should balance your width based on your chest size, but you know the retro tie is not for everyone. And it’s great with a notch lapel versus a peak lapel.
I usually take a toothbrush to my kicks. Any tricks for scrubbing dress shoes?
With patent leather, I’ve used Windex. You don’t want to put Vaseline on your shoes–they ruin the leather. I know it’s an old school trick people do in the last minute when they’re in a rush to get a shine. But you’re better off using like a mink oil and avoid the vaseline.
What’s the hottest spring trend that I should definitely incorporate into my wardrobe?
I think you see a lot more bold colored shirts, because I think that they reinvent your existing suits, those classic suits you already have. Adding the Ginghams and checks and all of those fun colorful shirts, is going to reinvent your wardrobe for the spring.