Guy’s Corner

Lena has been partnering with J.Hilburn since their early days at the start of 2009. With custom made dress shirts being the foundation of the brand, the line has expanded its range—providing performance suits, tuxedos, denim and accessories. Smart collaborations with Adriano Goldschmied (AG), DL denim and Allen Edmonds mean your professional and social wardrobes are outfitted in one easy appointment.


Guy’s Corner Blog

5 Tips on Choosing the Best Gifts + 2 Ideas

Lena : December 14, 2013 6:25 pm : Custom Creations, Guy's Corner, Stories, Style Advice, Where To Shop

Are you having yourself a merry little Christmas?

In talking with friends, instead of total hysteria and stress, I’m hearing that people are actually enjoying this holiday season—relaxing and relishing in traditions.

At the moment, that’s what I’m doing. It snowed so much today that I’m pretty much on lock down, and I love it. These kinds of days are some of my favorites. It’s as if you have the ultimate excuse to chill out and no one expects much from you, because they are doing the same!

In between SVU re-runs, I’ve been on an online shopping bonanza. (Of course, trying to shop local when I can.) Mike brought to my attention a blurb in Men’s Journal that I really wanted to share…because I found it smart, useful and I do all of the gift giving pieces of advice listed, except for rule #1: Don’t Overthink It.

A quick excerpt from “Don’t Overthink It”

“Research shows that the old adage “It’s the thought that counts” is reliably true only for the person who gives a gift, not the one who receives it. University of Chicago behavioral scientist Nicholas Epley who published the findings, explains: “You know how long you stood in line to get those damn tickets and how hard you tried to pick the right seats—they don’t. Your thoughts aren’t transparent to the receiver. If you give me a mug, what I have to evaluate is the mug, not your thoughts.” The simple take away, Epley says, is to just get people something you know they want. Or use his tactic and get two gifts. “The giver does feel closer to a person whey they’ve put thought into a gift, ” Epley says, “so I give my wife one thing I think she might like and a backup that was number one on her wish list.”

The remaining 4 tips are a quick read. You can do so HERE.

And if you like this website, and know of someone that would like my styling services, see below! I’m offering holiday gift cards for men and women. So, be cool and Give the Gift of Style!

personal styling gift cards

Men's custom clothing, personal styling, casual and formal wear Detroit, Michigan


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Working Buttonholes & Babies

Lena : November 21, 2013 10:14 pm : Guy's Corner, Style Advice, Style Sessions

During a recent J.Hilburn training class, a new Stylist asked, “What is the reason for having working buttonholes on a sport coat?” (It’s a $25 up charge—and well worth it, if you’re into fashion…or want people to think you are.)

Working buttonholes are when the buttons on the sleeve of the suit jacket can actually be unbutton. If you check in your closet (or that of a man’s) you’ll most likely see this:

Grey plaid suit by J.Hilburn

Photo by Lena Porter

which is NOT a working buttonhole

this is:

Working button holes on a sport coat

Photo by

Like so much of men’s fashion, it’s the details that make a statement. It takes extra time to make the buttonholes, which means it costs more to be made and/or was custom made. If you are a guy that wants this detail to be seen, you might unbutton one or two. If you are doctor (back in the olden days—I’m picturing Downton Abbey days) then you would be unbuttoning all of them…because you are performing a surgery or delivering a baby.

Come to think of it, did the doc unbutton and roll up his sport coat sleeves when delivering Sybil’s baby? I should have noticed this!

Anyway, that is the origination of working buttonholes—allowing surgeons to roll up their sleeves for operating. (Because of course, the thought of actually removing the whole jacket would be absurd! :))

Sartorially speaking, doesn’t it seem shocking to think of how…advanced/downhill we have become? While undertaking the messiest (most germ saturated) of situations, people used to wear suits! Now, you have to beg some men to get dressed up.

Speaking of babies, this weekend I’m hosting a private group Style Session at my studio…for a baby shower!



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J.Hilburn Pop-Up Shop Now in SoHo

Lena : October 17, 2013 4:08 pm : Events, Guy's Corner, Marketing, Style Sessions, Where To Shop

J.Hilburn has a pop-up shop in SoHo! It’s only open for two weeks (and was set up in an even shorter time: three days!).

See the feature on ELLE DECOR and watch the video on the transformation of a blank canvas to a stylish space.

How fun is this chandelier?!

Photo: Champion Hamilton via ELLE DECOR

Photo: Champion Hamilton via ELLE DECOR

Photo: Champion Hamilton on ELLE DECOR

Photo: Champion Hamilton on ELLE DECOR

We’re still staying true to our roots with in-person style appointments; the shop allows us to gain greater visibility through foot traffic—something we’ve never had since our line isn’t available in brick & mortar stores. There’s also much to be said about how the ambience affects the way you feel about a brand and then, how much or little you decide to buy.

For example: I adore the decor inside Anthropologie. (The staff take ‘field trips’ to get inspired for their window displays.) Browsing their home furnishings and gifts, while intaking their not-too-powerful candle scents is especially lovely on a bad day. The thing is, I’m not a fan of Anthropologie clothes, but I still enjoy walking around their stores. The ambience is what provokes me to buy knick-knacks for myself and others.

On the flip side, think about a store that you’ve walked into (I won’t mention names) where it was a total disaster. Clothes in piles, long lines and maybe the music was annoying you. Even if you were excited about a particular item, chances are high you threw in the towel and left—not wanting to deal with it all.

Can you relate to either situation?

So far, the feedback has been fantastic for the pop-up shop. For all you guys that are JH customers, you’ll be proud of this space! For those of you interested in checking it out, you can make an appointment HERE or ‘pop’ into the shop at the corner of Grand & Greene St.

JH Pop Up Shop Soho Fall'13


J.Hilburn Pop-Up_Invitation




Tokyo Street Fashion Decked Out in American Brands

Lena : October 9, 2013 4:29 pm : Guy's Corner, Stories, Style Advice, Where To Shop

Do you fly Delta? If so, I recommend reading their SKY magazine; I always learn something from it. It’s published monthly, and in addition to getting ideas for your next big trip, you can also practice reading Spanish!

September’s issue was entitled “The World of Fashion” and there is one article in particular that I’d like to share.

“Some of America’s oldest and most revered apparel and footwear brands—from Allen Edmonds to Red Wing Shoes, Pendleton Woolen Mills and Woolrich—are becoming highly sought after, identity-defining style icons overseas.”

Photo: Delta SKY magazine “Channeling Style” by Adam Minter September 2013

By overseas, they mean, Japan. Fifty percent of Woolrich Woolen Mills’ global sales are based in Japan. (The other half is evenly split between the U.S. and Europe.) Apparently, the country’s hipsters are a major market for the brand. Actually, the more correct term is “wabi-sabi.”

Have you heard of this? You probably have, but do you know what it means? It means beauty in imperfection. If my grandfather saw the below pictures, he would have called it “shullabub.” (Which basically means you look like a disheveled mess—not how you want to look when walking out of the house.)

Ex: (My Italian grandfather: “Hey! You look like shullabub! Go change!” vs. One Japanese hipster to another: “Hey! Cool [vintaged leather cracked] boots! Wabi-sabi.”)

Tokyo Street Fashion wabi-sabi

The article went on to explain that the wabi-sabi concept started drawing the Japanese fashion-conscious towards American thrift shops in the ’70s. It talked about how one way to make money in the ’90s was to go to the Midwest, scour the thrift stores and buy up all the old pairs of Levi’s, haul them back to Tokyo and sell them for crazy expensive like $120 a pair.

Aside from the perfect, imperfect wabi-sabi look, there’s another reason our American heritage brands are booming in Asia; the goods are American made. I found this logic to be particularly interesting: American labor is expensive, so the mindset is that it must be of high quality. When you live in a crowded city, you show your wealth, not in your home or car (that you don’t have), but in your clothes, shoes…bar tab. Therefore, strutting around in American made boots and a vintage LEE coat, indicates that you are successful AND have a style personality.


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Your Traveling Pants: A Collaboration with Men’s Health

Lena : August 30, 2013 7:36 am : Guy's Corner, Where To Shop

Starting NOW the pant we designed for Men’s Health is available. It’s an exciting collaboration and I’m thankful to be a part of it! Read below &/or see it in the magazine’s September issue.

What is it?

A dress trouser that’s ideal for the guy who travels often—particularly internationally (there’s a concealed pocket for a passport) or who commutes by foot or bike (zipper closures so all your things don’t fall out when you stand up or sit down on a plane, in a cab, as you’re pedaling through streets etc).

It helps to SEE what it looks like. Watch the 1 minute video.

Photo: J.Hilburn

Photo: J.Hilburn

How much is it?

$225. (We’re offering special pricing of $195 through Sept. 30th)

Will it fit me?

Of course. We’ll need to take your measurements if they aren’t already on file. These are hand made for you by our tailors in Portugal, just like all of our made-to-measure J.Hilburn trousers.

What colors can I get?

Grey, Charcoal, Pebble Grey, Navy, Black, Brown and Khaki





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