Updated: Jun 22
Introducing Sarah from Sartoria Lab: Your Ultimate Personal Stylist for Men
Gentlemen, get ready to step up your style game like never before! This week, we have a very special treat in store exclusively for you. Meet Sarah, the brilliant mind behind Sartoria Lab, your ultimate personal stylist dedicated solely to the sartorial needs of men.
Ladies, don't worry, we haven't forgotten about you. But today, we want to give our male members the spotlight they deserve. We understand that navigating the world of fashion can sometimes be overwhelming, and that's why Sarah's expertise is a game-changer for all the men out there who want to look and feel their absolute best.
Sarah's unique approach to personal styling takes into account every aspect of a man's lifestyle, preferences, and individuality. From a polished suit that commands attention in the boardroom to casual ensembles that effortlessly exude confidence on dates, Sarah's keen eye for detail and fashion-forward sensibility will leave you looking sharp and feeling empowered and ready to date confidently.
Sartoria Lab isn't just about throwing together trendy outfits; it's a holistic experience designed to help you curate a wardrobe that reflects your personality and elevates your self-expression. Sarah's personalised consultations ensure that every piece you wear makes a statement and suits your body type, skin tone, and personal style. Whether you're a minimalist seeking sleek and understated elegance or an adventurer craving bold and adventurous looks, Sarah's got you covered.
Gentlemen, consider this your exclusive invitation to embark on a journey of self-discovery through style. Select Connections together with Sarah from Sartoria Lab, will help you dive into the world of fashion, grooming, and all things refined, tailor-made exclusively for you via this blog.
Melinda and Jacqui are excited to share Sarah's expert advice, tips, and the latest trends designed to enhance all you mature single guys' masculine charm and leave you feeling confident, poised, and ready to conquer the world of dating with your impeccable style.😍
Welcome to a new era of personal styling for men. Welcome to Sartoria Lab.
How to create great casual outfits for dating
It’s easy to put a suit on and look great, but it’s more difficult to put together a good
casual outfit that looks like you’ve made the effort, not come straight to your date from
doing the gardening!
Did you know it takes just 7 seconds or less for someone to form their first impression of
you? You may think that sounds judgemental but we all do it subconsciously….and it
takes a lot longer to undo that first impression, so don’t put yourself on a back foot to
start with by not bothering.
Looking well put together even on a casual date, signifies to the woman you’re meeting
that it’s important to you, and that you’ve spent time preparing for the occasion.
You’ll need a few good casual outfits, for coffee dates, walks in the park, or Sunday
Brunches etc. But how to get that sweet spot of the casual look……..more dressed up than
what you’d wear for relaxing at home, but not too formal.
Well, that’s what I’m here to help with. My name’s Sarah and I’m a personal stylist for
men and I love these challenges! With menswear, it’s all about the subtle details that
make up the overall picture.
So here I’ll talk you through how I’ve put together these 3 different looks for a casual
date. You don’t have to wear these exact looks, as your body-shape, colouring and
personal taste will factor into it, but you can adapt them to suit you and hopefully, they’ll
give you a good starting point.
This is the “casualised” version of a classic business casual outfit - chinos, pale blue shirt, navy blazer and tan brogues, which no doubt you’ve worn sometime during your working life.
Chinos are a good classic to start with. Shapes change over time and though things are starting to move away from skinny when you’re a bit older, I’d stick to the modern classic of a slim fit. I’ve bought this particular brand - Incotex - with hundreds of my clients and more often than not they go back for more.
A chambray (lightweight denim) shirt is great to make an outfit more casual and I particularly like one from Officine Générale for the small details of the selvedge on the pocket and multiple stitching on the placket.
Overshirts (or “shackets” if you prefer!) like this navy one are everywhere at the moment and are actually super useful – you can put a t-shirt, a shirt or a fine knit sweater underneath, or even a hoody or quarter zip sweater. I’ve been buying these on personal shopping trips with lots of clients in their 50s and 60s and they look great. If you haven’t got one yet, it’s definitely worth trying out.
Swap your tan brogues for a pair of tan trainers, which are a bit more casual, and comfy for walking around the park on your date. Go for plain leather or nubuck (like these) or try suede, which is great for summer.
Accessories make all the difference and really help to finish off your look – it just wouldn’t be the same if this outfit had plain black socks with it would it?
Navy “Jarl” cotton blend shirt jacket – NN07 at Mr Porter – reduced from £245 to £147
Four season cotton blend slim fit chinos – Incotex at Mr Porter – reduced from £260 to £182
Cotton chambray shirt – Officine Générale at Mr Porter - £180
Brown burnished nubuck sneakers – Grenson - £225
Rasmusson mélange cotton blend socks – Nudie Jeans at Mr Porter - £10
If you haven’t bought jeans for ages, then look at updating them – the pair I’ve used in this outfit are ones I’ve bought with many clients and just recommended to my friend’s boyfriend, who’s in his 60s and they look fabulous on him. You tend to have to size down on this particular style – Slimmy (there’s also Slimmy Tapered but I prefer these) by 7 For All Mankind, as they’ve got a lot of stretch in them and come up big.
When buying jeans, don’t forget to check how they look from the back too! As we get older, our bottoms tend to get flatter, and if your jeans are a bit baggy on your rear, this will enhance it, so I’d suggest going a bit tighter - try a couple of pairs in different sizes to compare. Go for a dark blue in a slim fit and a ‘clean’ wash (ie: not too much distressing and definitely not rips!) for a classic but modern look.
A cotton jumper or a fine knit Merino one is very useful for the Spring months and summer evenings when it gets a bit nippy - I tend to prefer crew necks, rather than v-necks, as to me they look a bit more modern. I really like the waffle texture of this one from Mr Porter, or you could look for a smoother knit or ones with minimal logos (so it doesn’t look too sporty) which you can find in nice colours at Reiss, Uniqlo and John Smedley.
Wear a white crew neck t-shirt under it, which will not only save you from having to wash it all the time but also looks cool if a bit of the white shows at the neckline and hem. When you’re trying out different colours – take them over to the mirror and look at them against your face, rather than just thinking about whether you like the colour or not. See if you think it brings the colour of your eyes out and makes you look healthy. Or if it drains the colour from your face, and enhances the shadows under your eyes then put it back and look for something else! This orange colour will look good on people with warmer skin tones – olive or golden or freckly.
I bought this exact scarf with a client in his fifties just a couple of weeks ago. It went really well with the beige jacket and olive overshirt he’d just got. Whenever I see a guy in a scarf like this, I definitely take notice, so it’s likely other women will too. It could even be something they comment on as an excuse to talk to you when you’re out and about…..bonus points! Not only that, if it’s a bit nippy, it’s a stylish way to add a bit of warmth when you’re out on a Spring jaunt and you could always lend it to your date if she gets cold.
If you don’t have any hair, investing in accessories like scarves, glasses and hats can really help to frame and flatter your face too.
A short Mac like this one is perfect for a lot of the year if you live in the UK. Great for rainy Spring days and in a pale colour like this it doesn’t feel too dark for those grey Summer days either. It could also take you through to Autumn and even beyond if you layer a quilted gilet underneath. This one’s extra cool as it’s reversible – it’s got a subtle check pattern on one side and is plain on the other, making it even more versatile.
I bought a dark green tartan one with one of my fifty-something clients pre-pandemic. I nearly didn’t show it to him as I wondered if it was too “out there” but he loved it and it looked amazing on him. In fact, he emailed me just the other day to say it’s still one of his favourite buys! Just shows, it’s definitely worth trying on something that might ordinarily be out of your comfort zone whilst shopping, and you might surprise yourself.
Chukka boots like these, are often on my shopping list as they’re so versatile – you can wear them with more formal trousers but they look perfect with jeans and chinos too. If you’re just going to buy one pair of shoes for your dating wardrobe, then make it these.
Orange waffle knit cotton sweater – Onia at Mr Porter – reduced from £100 to £70
‘Lucien’ brown leather chukka boots – Mr P at Mr Porter – reduced from £295 to £177
Cotton and silk scarf – Slowear - £175
Now I know you guys like to be practical but that doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish as well! I find one of the things missing in many guys' wardrobes is a great casual jacket. You’ll probably want it to be waterproof, have lots of pockets and look good at the same time, and the Frahm jacket shown above ticks all those boxes, plus it gets extra points for being washable.
It's a slightly longer, sleeker version of a classic Harrington style and you can see my friend David from “Grey Fox” (a 68-year-old who blogs about style for the older man) modelling it on their website. If you read the reviews too, you’ll see they’re all excellent, so no need to wear your hiking jacket on your date after all!
Jeans don’t always have to be blue – go for a 5-pocket jean style like these which look just a touch smarter than denim.
I bought this knitted polo top with a client last year and he came back to buy a couple more recently – he likes the fact that it’s a bit less sporty than a regular polo shirt as it’s a fine gauge cotton and silk knit, it doesn’t have buttons and it has a welt at the hem so you wear it tucked out.
Even though you won’t see much of it, I’d still add the detail of a nice woven belt like this one – it brings all the colours together and adds some interest – you’ll just see a
glimpse of it when you move around but it’s worthwhile adding a few of these into your collection. If you buy any of Anderson’s ones (see link below) then go one or two sizes up from normal as they come up very small!
If you don’t want to go for trainers or boots, then a pair of soft-soled shoes like these, bridge the gap between smart and casual. These are Geox, which are very breathable and comfy. Some of their shoes (generally the trainer styles) come with a removable inner sole so if you wear orthotics you can take out the soles so there’s enough room for them.
Off-white cotton and silk blend buttonless polo shirt – Suit Supply - £99
Slim fit stretch cotton blend trousers – Faherty at Mr Porter – Reduced from £140 to £98
Multi-coloured elasticated woven belt – Anderson’s at Liberty - £95
Harrington racer jacket in light khaki – Frahm – available to pre-order from £276
Taupe suede shoes – Geox - £140
I hope that’s helped you to get planning your outfits for casual dates, and here are a few notes to finish:
Don’t dismiss shops because you think they look too young - pop in anyway and you might be able to find some good classics that look modern but not silly. I’ve bought plenty of things in places like Reiss, Ted Baker and Suit Supply. Shops my clients have previously dismissed as they thought they were just for young guys.
Pay attention to the fit - I find sometimes older guys tend to wear things a bit big (making it look like you’re shrinking in old age). Everyone in menswear agrees that fit is of the utmost importance, so take a couple of sizes into the fitting room when you try something on. Also, make the effort to get things altered - cuffs on jackets/hems on trousers, maybe the seam on the bottom (if you’ve had to go up a size for the waist it can sometimes end up being too big on the bum) - it’ll make such a big difference to how good it looks.
Listen to feedback from other ladies – whether that’s Melinda & Jacqui or feedback they get from one of the people you’ve dated, or your sister or friend. If everyone says the same thing, then try not to be too proud or stubborn to take notice!