Justin Bonestroo got quite a surprise on his 31st birthday when stylist Faith Brue rang his doorbell. Unbeknownst to him, his wife had called Style-Architects for a wardrobe intervention as a birthday gift. (Just what every guy wants, right?)
“Faith basically recommended I discontinue wearing about 90 percent of my professional wardrobe,” he says. “She was honest and helpful and able to explain why suits didn’t fit correctly, and why certain shirts and ties were more appropriate for someone much older.”
Now, Justin says, he still occasionally struggles with figuring out shirt-and-tie combinations that work, or getting exact sizing down, but says he feels it will come with time—and he actually enjoys finding outfits that work the way they’re supposed to.
“The confidence boost she provided me was well worth the time and money,” he says.
From the Experts Behind the Scenes
The Challenge: “As the founder and face of Bonestroo Law Firm, I have to look professional to clients and the community,” Justin told us. “I want to feel confident in client meetings and board meetings, knowing I look the part.”
Our Stylist’s Take: “Justin learned to dress in the ’90s, when everything was oversized and bulky,” Faith explains. “When he graduated from law school, he had not learned to how to buy a suit that fit properly, and he has to be wear one up to three times a week. Oversized, baggy suits make him look unprofessional and inexperienced. We put Justin in a slim-fit suit about three sizes smaller than what he was used to. He was uneasy at first, but once he tried it on, his whole demeanor changed. He’s a young, handsome guy who should dress like one!”
Dress to Impress: “Think outside the box,” Faith says. “And bring someone with you that you can trust to give you an honest opinion. It was so fun to see Justin’s wife’s face when he came out of the dressing room each time. She thought her husband was so handsome. It was really gratifying.”
Justin’s Take-away: Justin has identified his style: classic and professional at work, sporty and casual at home. “I now try on clothes before I buy them,” he says. “Historically, I just grabbed whatever looked nice on the rack and assumed it would work.”
1. The jacket should be comfortable, but fitted when buttoned.
2. Dress-shirt cuffs should show about an eighth of an inch below jacket sleeves.
3. Ties should hit the top of your belt.
4. Pants should break just at the top of your shoes, right below the ankle bone.
Where to Get it
Outfit, right: Suit jacket, $450; suit pants, $198; dress shirt, $80; tie, $60; all @ Banana Republic, bananarepublic.com. Pocket square, $29 @ Hammer Made, Galleria, Edina, 952-681-2534, hammer-made.com. Shoes, $248 @ Cole Haan. Outfit, not pictured: Norse Projects sweater, $195; Norse Projects chinos, $175; both @ Askov Finlayson, 200 N. First St., Mpls., 612-206-3925, askovfinlayson.com. Tsovet watch, $394 @ MartinPatrick3, 212 Third Ave. N., Mpls., 612-746-5329, martinpatrick3.com. Swims shoes, $149 @ MartinPatrick3. Outfit, below: Shirt, $99; polka-dot tie, $65; both from Hammer Made. Torino belt, $75 @ MartinPatrick3. J Brand denim, $198 @ MartinPatrick3. Sorel shoes, $160 @ MartinPatrick3.
We love this second outfit, which is perfect for casual Friday or a weekend date.
1. This dress shirt looks anything but buttoned up with its tiny, but graphic, check.
2. Mix-and-match prints—just keep them at the same scale to look pulled together and stylish.
3. These boots are slightly more dressed up than sneakers, but still radiate cool casual.
4. The perfect pair of dark denim can take you from day to night.