Keith Olbermann & the Importance of Proportions

I was lucky enough to style the massive, in personality and stature, Keith Olbermann for a recent GQ spread. (My hands also make their modeling debut in the spread, as you can see in the above pic.)

Olbermann is (for lack of a better word) HUGE. When I was on set with him, and now seeing these pictures, I was reminded how important proportions are. If you’ve never seen him in person, you won’t understand just how big he is. Even the article touched upon it:

“Keith Olbermann is a large man. Conventional wisdom says TV adds ten pounds to people. Maybe. But conventional wisdom rarely applies to Olbermann. And seeing him in person, you realize TV makes the man appear smaller. In life—life outside the electronic box—he’s a good six feet three, with a chest that suggests a retired football player.”

The Importance of Proportions

When the magazine first sent me Keith’s sizes, I couldn’t believe it. Clearly these weren’t right. From all the pictures and videos I’d seen of him, I assumed he was average-sized. Upon confirmation that the measurements were accurate, I realized that Olbermann was a master of proportions.

Keith has consistently worn perfectly fitted suits for his stature. Couple that with appropriate-sized lapels, dress shirts with spread collars, and perfect tie widths and you’ll fool even a professional, like myself, into thinking you’re average-sized.

Example: The image below shows Eric Stonestreet (L) and Olbermann (R). Would you guess that they’re about the same size? I’ve met them both and they’re closer in size than you’d think.

This highlights exactly what I’m saying.

Eric is wearing a suit with regular width lapels and a skinny tie. Notice how he looks way larger than Keith?

To overcome Keith’s size, and what I would’ve done with Eric, I went with wide lapels, which have an amazing slimming effect on larger builds. One thing Eric did correctly was wear a dress shirt with a spread collar. Unfortunately, he should’ve chosen a wide tie (3.5″ at it’s widest point) and tied an equally substantial full Windsor knot to finish off his look, which is great for guys who are tall and/or have large torsos.

Golden Rules For Proportions

The width and knot of your tie should ALWAYS be in proportion with the lapels of your suit and the spread of your collar.

Here’s a quick breakdown for your height and build:

Tall & Slim: Regular width suit lapels, spread collar, 3″ wide tie, and half-windsor knot
Tall & Broad: Wide suit lapels, spread collar, 3.5″ tie, and full windsor knot
Average & Slim: Slim suit lapels, semi-spread collar, 2.5″ skinny tie, and half-windsor knot
Average & Broad: Wide suit lapels, spread collar, 3-3.5″ tie, and full windsor knot
Short & Slim: Slim suit lapels, semi-spread or point collar, 2.5″ skinny tie, and half-windsor knot
Short & Broad: Regular width suit lapels, spread collar, 3″ tie, and full windsor knot

Keith says: “Get your damn proportions in order!”  (Not really. But that’s what I imagine him saying in this picture.)

My GQ Photoshoot: Comedy Central’s Key & Peele


Check out my latest shoot for GQ ’s February issue. Styled Comedy Central’s famous sketch duo, Key and Peele AKA Obama and Luther (his angry id).

During the shoot, I decided to join in and become Obama’s angry ninja 🙂


You can imagine the shoot was filled with laughter and funny jokes. These guys were awesome! My team and I couldn’t stop laughing throughout the shoot.

And loved working with photographer Dan Winters again! The last shoot we worked on was the Mars Rover/NASA team for GQ’s Men Of The Year issue.

Check out the spread in this month’s GQ featuring Beyonce on the cover.



GQ Photoshoot: The Cast of Parks and Recreation

I was home at my loft, waking up to a cup of my favorite Vietnamese coffee when I got an email from my agent that said I’ve been booked for a GQ shoot…taking place in less than 24 hours!

Prepping for this shoot was INSANE! A crazy 24 hour adventure styling 10 people, but not just anyone…It’s the entire cast of “Parks and Recreation:” Amy PoehlerAziz AnsariRob LoweRashida JonesAdam ScottAubrey PlazaChris PrattNick OffermanJim O’heir, and Retta. And this is for the GQ Men Of The Year issue.

To put this in context, a normal shoot styling 1 person usually takes 3 days to prepare.

This time, we only had 24 hours to get together as many looks as possible for each of the 10 people. For me personally, that means at least 5 options for each person…so we’re needing 50 looks now…multiplied by pants, shirts, jackets, skirts, dresses, shoes, belts, etc…hundreds of pieces I will need by 6am! THE NEXT MORNING!!!!

Luckily, I have great contacts here in LA and with a team of 4 assistants helping me pull, we were able to make it happen!

Here are some behind the scenes pics on set. We shot at the old CBS studio, home of where “Parks and Recreation” is filmed; and the concept of the shoot was classic 70’s Hollywood Squares. After my team set up all the clothes, we were astonished to realize we filled up 8 rolling racks and 3 accessories tables filled with shoes, ties, belts, pocket squares, tie bars, and jewelry.


Some of my fav looks:
I chose a sexy yet conservative Dolce & Gabbana lace top for Amy Poehler which she looked so chic in; and for me, I couldn’t imagine Aziz Ansari in anything less than this John Varvatos 3-piece suit. He has a very debonair quality, don’t you think?


We had such an amazing time on set! Chris Pratt and Nick Offerman were so funny and great to work with! Jokes were flying left and right. Amy Poehler was awesome, Aziz Ansari is just so cool and smooth. I also got to teach my favorite tie knot, a half windsor, to Mr. Adam Scott.



I just want to thank Danielle Levitt who did a fantastic job photographing the cast, and I’m SO glad everyone at GQ loved the spread. They’re truly an amazing team to work with!

Don’t forget to check out the show, Thursdays at 9:30pm PST on NBC.

Check out the spread in this month’s GQ featuring Rihanna, Channing Tatum, and Ben Affleck on the cover.