Q&A

Q. What is Athleisure?

A. It is basically high performance fitness apparel used for workouts and crosses over to everyday wear.  It can be layered and used for work, running errands, taking a walk, and other daily activities.  The fabrics are wick wisking, UPF protection of 30 or more, anti-odor, breathable and quick dry.  Athleisure is lifestyle clothing that is as active as you are.  Whereever life takes you, the clothing is comfortable and works.  This category is made of high quality performance fabrics that are affordable.  The fit is contour and looks great throughout the day.  Athleisure clothing is a huge growing segment and fullfills so many men and women lifestyle needs.

Q. I wear a T-Shirt all the time, my T-Shirts are Hot and Bulky and if I wear wear my Shirt Collar open, the neck of my T-Shirt shows are there any options?

A. Pure cotton T-Shirts are bulky and can be hot.  The alternative is a blended T-Shirt made of Bamboo Stretch, Organic Cotton and Lycra Stretch.  The thickness is about half of a conventional T-Shirt, lightweight, has stretch, mosture wicking, semi fitted, anti-odor and has uv protection.  The fabric will keep you cool day and night.  If you don't like the neck of the T-Shirt showing, a high V-neck style is available.  The Bamboo Stretch/Organic Cotton and Lycra is a combination of high perfromance and comfort - the best of the latest technology.  Once you start wearing you won't go back.

Q: My Shoes never seem to last, what is going on?

A: A good pair of shoes made right and properly cared for will be the cheapest and most comfortable shoes you will ever own.  There is a distinct difference how shoes are made, the other is to be properly fit, don't wear shoes daily, store in cedar shoe trees.  We get these questions over and over and rightfully so.  You may spend more up front and is well worth it if the shoes can be recrafted.  The foundation of great shoes is they need to be made on a good welt, stitched and not glued together.  

Never buy shoes because they are the cheapest price.  The shoes will be short lived and you will wind up buying more shoes.  A couple of good pairs will be around long after the others are discarded.  The shoe on the left is 30 years old and just recrafted; shoe on the right is 8 years old and just came back from recrafting.  Shoe on left cost about $9.50 per year to own.  Cost new $285 in 1985, that is the true cost of ownership.  If you need help and would like to knowmore about good shoe quality options, please contact Bel Air Fashions.

Q: Traveling? Is your Passport and Credit Cards Secure? Is your Wallet RFID Protected?

A: First and foremost is protecting your credit card information and anything else you carry that can be scanned.  The last thing you want to have happen is somebody walk by you and scan your information and you don't even know this is happening.  Very simply someone that has a RFID, Radio Frequency Identification Device can read and capture information by the use of radio waves.  Information is stored on a tag that is attached to device or scanner.  Information can be read within several feet of anyone.  The best way to protect your credit cards, is to get a RFID Wallet, available for men and women.  Wallets come in a variety of styles, colors, leather, non leather, wide choice.  The most important feature is the RFID Wallet cannot be scanned.

When traveling and need your passport, for example, you can get a RFID Classic ID & Boarding Pass Holder that blocks RFID readers.  Everything you are traveling with will securely hang around your neck.  The case will fold and snap and everything inside is secure.  Any questions, please contact for more information.

Q: I seem to have a problem getting holes in my wool suits hanging in the closet? What can I do?

A: Nothing is perfect to completely rid moths and other insects, it is what you do that will protect your clothing. Do not store your wool garments in plastic as you will dry out the fabrics. All "natural fabrics" have to breathe, and plastic is not porous. Store in cotton garment bags. Never store wool garments long-term that have not been dry cleaned.  Body dirt, odor and perspiration are a magnet for moths, crickets and other insects. Hang bags of cedar and cedar strips. Bugs and insects do not like the scent of cedar.  Cedar will need to be changed about every six months. Doing these simple steps will vastly improve and help minimize the damage to your garments.

Q: My clothing never seems to look crisp, fit or last, what is going on?

A: Garments can only be good as the fabric and the components used to make them.  If you get dressed and don't feel dressed, chances are you didn't get what you think you bought.  There is a lot of disposable merchandise that is flooded in the marketplace.  Never buy because of name, that doesn't mean your getting quality.  

Never be in a rush to buy clothing, know your fabrics.  Feel the fabric, see if it is smooth or coarse, does it have good body or does it wrinkle and stay wrinkled.  Can you clearly see through the fabric, if so, you will have a disappointing garment.  

Don't buy clothing because it is the most expensive or cheapest, buy for value and quality.  Make sure you have good fabric, linings, interfacings, etc.  You can tell how the garment hangs on the rack, if it drapes and has a rich look, it should be good.  If it looks limp and coarse, the garment more than likely will be short lived; let alone not fit.  It is best to buy for quality not quantity, you will create a longevity wardrobe that will pay you dividends many times over.  You will feel and look good each and every time you get dressed.

Q: How do I know when it is time to dry clean my suit?

A: When a suit maintains odor, looks dirty and limp.  Clean both the Suit Jacket and Pant at the same time so you don't get color differentiation.  Cleaners should use a low abrasive solvent, low heat, and change fluid several times a day.  Water should never be mixed in with the dry cleaning solution.  Smell your clothing when you pick up your suit, if you smell nothing, your suit is clean.

If you smell an offensive odor, clothing didn't get cleaned properly.  Cheap cleaning process cannot only cut the longevity of your suit substantiallly, if cleaned with water and solvent at a high temperature and fluid not changed can cause the following:  Suit can shrink up to a size or more and damage the inside of the garment - linings, interfacings, padding and thread, etc.  Suit can go through a complete chemical change and not be the same as you brought it.  

The difference in good and bad dry cleaning is significant, suits are not made to be dry cleaned every two weeks if you do, you will be replacing your suit shortly.  Best you can do for your suit between dry cleanings, is wipe the dirt off with a damp compress.  Rejuenate your suit by using a steamer to freshen.  Dry clean only when necessary and you will have your suit longer.

Q: Going to a Beach Resort for a week on Vacation, taking a suit case to fit in the overhead bin on the plane, how and what should I pack?  I am tired of things falling apart soon after purchase.

A: Select materials that are easy care and pack-n-go, lightweight and durable.  Ideal fabrics will breathe and hold their shape.  Consider bamboo stretch and organic cotton short sleeve v-neck or crew style tops, organic cotton, micro-fiber/cotton/and lycra stretch pants and shorts.  Select essential colors that mix-n-match with the tops and bottoms that you are taking with you.  Pack for 3 or 4 days, if your clothing gets dirty you can wash in sink and hang to dry.  Most of these fabrics do really well.  You will pack less clothing and still have enough to wear.  If you are going to excercise, take a 3 day supply, again buy tops and bottoms that are easy care.

You don't have to pack everything you have, you will have enough clothes for vacation.  Packing to make room will be easy by folding your tops and bottoms in half the long way and rolling up into a compact roll.  You will surprised how much room you will make in your suit case.  Its all about the fabrics and the new technology, it is like everything else, give yourself plenty of time to see what is available so you can make good informed decisions, you don't want to waist money.  You can get great quality without going broke.  It is all about the quality of fabric, how the garment is made and most important how it will fit you.  Rushed purchases often do not work out and you don't get what you want.

Q: Are there differences in Custom and Made-to-Measure Shirts?

A: The answer is, yes,  The main differences for shirts, custom will use neck and sleeve, body fit, style of collar, cuffs, back of shirt plain or pleated and shirt length.  Made-to-Measure will take neck, sleeve, yoke (distance between the back shoulders), height of yoke, style of collar (7 choices - from button down, hidden button down, old school, curve spread, from close to wide spread), ( front band, back collar leaf, length of collar and regular to edge sttich). There are several pocket and cuff styles. Fit of shirt can be made to personal preference.  Collars and cuffs can be made soft to double layer fusing, choice of buttons; difference is how much is offered in made-to-measure.  A pattern is made for the individual based on neck, sleeve, overarm, chest, shirt waist, shirt length, yoke, bicep and wrist measurements -  down to the quarter inch.  Choice of made-to-measure dress and casual shirt fabrics are massive and are from the world's best manufacturers.  It is not uncommon for the body of a made-to-measure shirt to last 10 years or more.  When the collars and cuffs wear out, new ones can be made and sewn on the shirt.  Often becomes one of the cheapest shirts you will own.

Q: What do I do if I get caught in a downpour, how do I care for my wool suit?

A: Take white towels lay suit out across, lay jacket and pant out flat and let air dry? Do not use a HAIR DRYER, don't risk shrinking your garment.  When the garment dries out, take to a good dry cleaner, explain what happened, most of the time a good garment, the cleaners can bring back to almost perfect condition. Not always the case.  It really depends on the wool and the quality of the paddings, linings, thread, etc, everything used in the making up your suit.  If quality items were used, chances are your garment will be fine.

Q: What happens if I wear my leather shoes everyday?

A: Your shoes will eventually rot out inside and the outside leather will weaken and eventually blow out.  Shoes cannot be worn everyday.  There needs to be a day or two in between wearing.  Rotate shoes, they will last longer.  Shoes need to have a opportunity to dry out.  Feet sweat and moisture accumulates on the inside linings.  Eventually the linings will deteriorate and shoes will have to be replaced.

Store shoes when not worn in full block cedar shoe trees; will keep shoes blocked and will absorb the moisture.  Shoe trees will extend the longevity of shoes over time instead of replacing shoes prematurely.

Q: How often should I dry clean my suits?

A: No more than 3 or 4 times a year.  When a suit gets dirty, odor that does not dissapate, looks like it needs to be freshened up, that is the time to get dry cleaned.  Half the battle is attaining a good garment the other is not to dry clean your suits to death.  Always clean the jacket and pant/skirt at the same time, if not, overtime there will be a noticle difference between the jacket and pant/skirt.

If it is a hot humid day turn the jacket, skirt, pant inside out, leave out of the closet and let air out overnight.  Then in the morning hang back like you normally would and hang in the closet and give the garment a rest.  Treating your garments like this over time will extend the longevity of the garment.