Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 10.19.03 PMHey Solopreneurs!  I’m fresh (and I use that term loosely) from Hong Kong, one of the fashion capitals of the world, with a custom made suit I had made for pennies on the dollar.

Because of that I thought it would be a great time to reboot the fashion conversation I had with fashion designer JJ Collier early on in the show’s tenure.

Jessica and I talk style for about 20 minutes before I take it into the “best of” of episode on the 276th edition of The Solopreneur Hour.  Enjoy!

More About Men’s Style

Whether we like to admit it or not we are judged on how we look, on how we’re put together. If you want to be successful and hang with the successful crowd it’s important to look the part as well.

And before you think that means spending a ton of money, think again. JJ Collier, one of my best friends, joins us to talk about men can look great on any budget. We discuss the 5 basic pieces every man needs in his wardrobe, why a proper FIT is the most important aspect of anything you wear and some fashion basic rules to follow no matter the trends.

The reason I brought JJ on is because fashion is his life. He was a professional snowboarder who always had an eye for design and fashion. Even as a child he loved to draw and he was drawn to fashion, Ralph Lauren in particular! When he realized his pro career was coming to an end he dove headlong into studying fashion.

In This Episode, You’ll Also Hear:

  • What James Dean, James Bond and Mad Men have in common.
  • How JJ overcame some major self-doubt.
  • Earn your money in jeans, and spend it while wearing what? JJ answers.
  • How to make good choices based on any budget.
  • The connection between fashion and confidence.
  • And so much more…

Despite a lot of internal self-doubt, JJ sketched out his designs and got out his sewing machine. He told his wife he was going put on a fashion show with 36 pieces for 14 looks, and he was going to do it in Charlotte where they were living at the time. And he did! He held a fashion show of his custom-made pieces, took a bunch of orders and went through a hellacious 18 months following.

And doors began to open as a result. Solomon called him and wanted him to help them with their first apparel line. He politely turned them down initially, but his wife sweetly asked him to just interview with them to see if it could be a fit. So he did, and it was.

From there JJ got his feet wet in the world of fashion and went on to work with Ralph Lauren and Spyder, to name a few. He’s lived in France, and worked on 5th Avenue in New York City with his fashion idol Ralph Lauren. Today he’s part of Spyder and loves what he gets to create with them.

On this episode we explore the details of JJ’s background, how his mindset guided him from his pro athlete days to budding fashion entrepreneur and designer. We also discuss the top 5 basic pieces he recommends every man to have in his closet.

First is a good pair of dress shoes (Cole Haan, Fryy, and Allen Edmunds are good bets). Second is a good pair of jeans. When in doubt go with Gap’s 1969 Collection. Third is a cashmere V-neck sweater. Stick with solids and when you find a good brand that fits you, buy multiple colors. Again go basic: black, charcoal, white.  J Crew is a good option for a novice or visit Nordstrom Rack if you know what you’re looking for.

Fourth is a white tailored button down shirt from J Crew, Banana Republic or Gap. You’ll most likely have to get it tailored, and JJ explains how to know what fits you and what to get tailored on your shirt. And finally you’ll need a jacket like a tweed sports coat or a fitted leather jacket.

If you’re at a loss JJ suggests going to a department store like Nordstrom, have them take your measurements and then try on a few expensive shirts just so you can see how they fit. And while you’re there, find a sales person who is dressed well and has a style you would emulate. Ask them to help you find some of these pieces.

We get into specifics on how to know what piece fits properly, why you should NEVER buy pleats or flares and what sources to get your fashion advice from! Check it out on this edition of The Solopreneur Hour and we’ll see you next time.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY: What pieces do you need to add to your collection and by when will you buy them? Let us know in the comments below!

Do you enjoy this podcast? If so, could you please leave a review here. I read them, sometimes on the show, and will reach out if you leave your Twitter handle!

Selected Links From This Episode

JJ Collier on instagram
The Solopreneur Hour on Instagram too!
See JJ’s Work at 

More Men’s Style Links

Cole Haan
Allen Edmunds
j crew
Gap 1969 Collection