The Dapper Style had the opportunity to interview NYC Attorney, TV Legal Analyst & Huffington Post Contributor, Matt Semino about his life and style.
What is your usual clothing style for a night out?
Since I am mostly dressed in a suit and tie during the week for work, I try to go for a more relaxed, yet polished look for evenings out in New York City. Typically, I wear dark blue selvedge jeans in a straight leg cut which give a clean, classic appearance. I will usually pair that with a crisp white or color striped, fitted shirt and then tie it all together with sleek, black leather loafers or boots and a simple belt. Depending on where I am going, I may also wear a motorcycle style, leather jacket or a modern cut blazer to give my look some extra edge.
Some of the men’s designer labels that I look to for style inspiration include Ralph Lauren Black Label, Calvin Klein Collection, Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani and Hugo Boss. While I do own some pieces from these designers that I really enjoy wearing, I frequently just seek to achieve the same look for a lot less!
What is your work style compared to your weekend style?
As an attorney and television commentator, my style during the work week is to use classic suits as the base of a look and then play around with pops of color and texture by adding different types of shirt patterns and ties. Combined with European tailoring, this gives my conservative business appearance an updated and modern twist.
Particularly for high definition television, I think solid, brighter colored ties against basic dark blue, black or grey suiting captures the attention of viewers and is really striking without being too bold. In fact, many of my viewers frequently comment on my shirt and ties combinations. That shows me that they are really paying attention to the details of what they see on their television screens!
When it comes to the weekend, I like to change it up with different looks through the use of outerwear, shoes and sunglasses. I usually stick to the basics of dark jeans, black pants, solid color v-neck t-shirts and dress shirts which are comfortable but always can be dressed up depending on the moment. Incorporating different length leather, cashmere, or quilted jackets in vintage or military styles always allows me to add a cool, new element to a basic look. By finishing it off with a nice pair of loafers or boots and a set of aviators, I am then good to go for any afternoon out in Manhattan.
Where is a place or event that you go that you want to step up your style?
My wife Linette and I frequently attend black-tie cultural and philanthropic events in New York City where you always want to look your very best. For these formal occasions I usually go for a classic, yet modern black-tie style. To achieve this, I will typically wear a single-button, peak lapel tuxedo with a slim-cut white shirt and skinny black tie that has some sheen to it. If I want to make the look a bit more old school, I will wear a classic bow tie instead. I also think that shiny black metal cufflinks and patent leather lace-ups work fantastically with both of these formalwear styles. Those accessories give the looks that extra wow factor that I like to have for a night on the town.
Is there a style question you have always wondered about or wanted to ask?
I frequently see menswear designers successfully mixing stripes, polka dots and patterns together with shirts, ties and suits to create really sharp business looks. When I see this done right, I always want to ask the question; Are there any hard and fast rules that everyday guys should follow when attempting to mix stripes, polka dots and patterns in their business dress so they do not look ridiculous?
The Dapper Style: The best rule in style is to look in the mirror before you leave and ask yourself, “Does this look great?” We recommend that you only use a mix of 2 colors or patterns in one outfit. It is also a good idea to use scale to mix it up; for example, a large gingham shirt with a smaller stripe tie. If the scale on both patterns are the same size it looks too busy.
What is a style or type of clothes you would never wear?
I would never wear any piece of clothing that blatantly has the name of a designer or label written all over it. I truly believe that good quality and taste is recognized without ever having to wear a name all over your body!
When you travel, what are the 5 things you always have to have with you?
When I travel, I like to easily transition my style from day to night without any hassle. To make the most of my time away, I think it’s essential to be prepared for any type of setting whether it is just strolling around the city streets in the afternoon, having early evening cocktails or preparing for a fun night out. Most importantly, I always need to be able to find the best places to go and see no matter where I am in the world. To be able to accomplish all of this, the five things I always have to have with me when I travel are:
1. A great pair of dark jeans;
2. A sharp, black v-neck t-shirt;
3. A slim-cut white shirt;
4. A comfortable, yet stylish pair of black shoes or boots; and
5. My iPad.
Matt Semino is a New York City based attorney and legal analyst who reports on headline-grabbing legal news and policy topics. Matt has written extensively on high-profile trials and offers an authoritative voice on the intersection of law with popular culture and society. He has appeared as a legal analyst on MSNBC, HLN’s Dr. Drew Show and Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell, truTV’s IN SESSION, the CW Network and CBC News. His commentary has also been featured through such national media as NPR Radio, The Los Angeles Times, Forbes and Bloomberg News online.