Follow US!

Bespoke Never Looked Better

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

The art of bespoke tailoring isn’t lost on Atlanta. Neil Balani, the owner and chief tailor of HKT Custom Clothiers, has created highly customized suiting for Atlantans since 2005, and the family-run business has offered bespoke tailoring since 1970. In fact, if you’re looking for a Savile Row-style tailoring establishment, you will feel very comfortable in the capable hands of Neil, who both understands the logistics of running a bespoke clothing brand, as well as the intricacies of how to tailor. 

Neil, How did you get into tailoring?

Back home in Malta, my dad was in the men’s clothing and tailoring business, so I saw it on the daily when I was visiting him at the shop. HKT is a bit different because we’re into making custom suits, versus just alterations. But, tailoring has always been in my life. 

Explain the process of creating a bespoke suit for a client.

First is understanding the client’s needs to get an idea of what fabric is needed and their lifestyle. We help them choose fabrics; we carry over 3,000 different types, which are all different depending on the use such as work travel or a wedding. 

We then go through the details of the garment, including the styling of the suit – so one or two button, pleats or no pleats, double-breasted or not.  Then we take body measurements to create a pattern, which we keep on file. In four to six weeks the garment will be complete for him to try where we will do a couple of light fittings to make additional adjustments.  Then it will be completed in a week.

What elements are crucial to creating the perfectly tailored suit?

The key is to understand what a client wants, but at the same time give them the advice on how a suit should fit. It’s not as easy as just taking body measurements, but consulting them on how we can design the suit to fit for their body.

Beyond suits, HKT Custom Clothiers offer custom shirts, belts, jeans, sports jackets, trousers, tuxedos, sweaters, polos, as well as a whole line of luxury men’s accessories like ties pocket, squares, cufflinks, and sunglasses.

What’s your favorite item of clothing – and why?

I love my bold sports jackets and a nice pocket square to give it that finesse. I like to make a statement, but at the same time I tone it down with nice jeans or dark colored pants to keep it in balance.

How do you keep up with trends and get inspiration for your work?

I go through our archives and take inspiration from what we created over the years. Since we’ve been in business so long, we can look back and see what we were creating in the 70s and 80s to take inspiration.  I also watch what’s happening with British and Italian fashion trends, pulling from the best trends to create our own here in Atlanta.

As a bit of Savile Row flair in Atlanta – how do you view the style of Atlanta’s men?

Style in Atlanta has really improved from even five years ago. I’m now seeing that even the youngest generation is dressing up much more instead of wearing shorts and tees to the office.  The music and film industry has also had an influence in making people dress up more. The younger man wants to stand out as a person, and from a style and business perspective, it’s upped the game. Atlanta has its own look that’s in the middle of LA and NYC, so a mix of casual street style with curated dressed up and well-designed pieces. 

What is it about bespoke suiting that makes it so unique?

Bespoke suiting is an art and a craft that is very unique in itself. It’s all about perfection and making something that is precisely for the individual, not an off the peg suit that has to be altered to try and fit them. At HKT it is a personal service as well; we get to build a relationship with our clients, and that helps us set a different standard. You really have to get to understand someone as a person to craft something so personal for them. 

Bespoke suits are also something you’ll wear for a lifetime.  We’ve had clients come to us with suits from 1986 that we made. They still fit and look great, but we’re able to update them, so they reflect today’s styles. Your return on investment with a custom suit is actually better than an off the peg suit since it will last you longer and you’ll get more wears. 

Why should every man experience having a custom clothing item made?

Everyone should experience knowing that a clothing item is made just for them, solidly for their body. It’s not going to fit anyone else. I think the custom clothing experience is extraordinary and amazing from start to finish. There is nothing better than having something that fits for your confidence. That is where guys have trouble buying off the rack clothing because the items don’t fit great and they are uncomfortable. With alterations, you can only do so much. 

What do you think is the biggest misconception about bespoke clothing?

People tend to think bespoke clothing is just way too expensive, but realistically it’s not. They think it’s something beyond their conception or are even unaware of it. But it’s really something to try in life. Once you enjoy the process, you’ll find it amazing. 

Your Own Style Consultation

Arrange for a personal style consultation with Neil. Call the store to arrange an appointment at 770-458-8662 or go online at You can also learn more about HKT Custom Clothiers and get the latest styles by following their Instagram at @hktclothiers.

By Mikey Rox


This summer’s sticky-sweet summerwear obsession is a tropical treasure trove of fruity prints, patterns, and palates that’ll make you look good enough to eat. That’s what you’re going for, isn’t it?


Novel Navels

Sink your toes into the eye-catching Sonnige Orange slip-ons, designed by lawyer-turned-artist Anny Cecilia Walt for BucketFeet, powered by enough Vitamin C to chase down the Vitamin D. $65,


Pucker Up

Show off your arm UZIs – you didn’t load those guns for nothin’ – in Bonobos’ short-sleeve Riviera shirt in this all-over lemon-wedge print that’s as fun as it is fresh. Build a fabric fruit salad with additional styles in watermelon, banana, pineapple, and avocado. $88,


Zest Man

LINK UP’s cocktail-inspired lime-slice cufflinks, painted with rich pigmented enamel in a lip-puckering green, punch up your summer wedding attire and add a spritz of flair to sophisticasual white-party looks. $95,


Low-Hanging Fruit

There’s an urban legend that says an upside-down pineapple in your grocery cart signifies you’re a swinger on the prowl, but you can skip a trip to the supermarket (if that’s your thing) in Mr Turk’s pinã-colada-in-your-pants Clyde Slim Trouser. $268,


Toe Jam

Can’t decide just how fruity you’re feeling today? Allow yourself options with Happy Socks’ Fruits Socks Gift Box, featuring four pairs of funky mid-calves in summer-ready watermelon, banana, pineapple, and strawberry. $42,


Chica Chica Boom Chic


You’re just asking for a kween to wig when you put on Swatch’s aptly named So Frutti wristwatch, reminiscent of Miss Chiquita (and Carmen Miranda before her), part of the watchmaker’s Beach Swing collection designed for fashion and function with its illustrated face, silicone strap, and three-bar water resistance. $75,


Seedless Slip-Ons

Fans of ABC’s Shark Tank may recognize chunky, customizable ISlide sandals – the shoes’ founders walked away from a deal on the Season 8 premiere – but even brand initiates will be intrigued by the watermelon Wave Gels that give the sensation of walking on water. (P.S. Ellen’s a fan, too!) $50,


Daily Rind

There’s no bitterness to Frank and Oak’s poplin grapefruit-printed shirt in dress blue that pairs just as perfectly with chinos as it does California-wash denim to create an out-to-dinner getup with zing. $60,


Planting Seed

Smash or be smashed? That is the question when you show off the goods in MeUndies’ thrice-softer-than-cotton avocado-printed briefs, boxers, and trunks that are just waiting to be inspected for freshness. $24,


Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He spends his time writing from the beach with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Twitter @mikeyrox.


By Mikkel Hyldebrandt


Traveling doesn’t mean that you have to wear those comfy joggers and throw everything into that musty gym bag. Upgrading your travel style is easy, and with the right items and smart investments, you’ll be traveling in style for years to come.


These dressy pants are perfect for even a more extended trip because they are light and the fabric stretches – it’s like wearing joggers, only these look way better.

Vuori Abrasion-Less Pants, $88







Sitting on a plane can get chilly, so always pack a zip-up that you can layer with.

Lululemon Capacity Jacket, $148








Passport, boarding passes, rewards cards, currency – all in one spot and easily accessible!

Mismo Travel Wallet, $249






A good quality suitcase will not only protect your belongings from rough handling, but it will stay with you for years.

Samsonite centric 28” Spinner, $240








A travel kit helps you limit what you bring on your trip, and keeps everything together and secure.

Mack Weldon Travel Kit, $48






For a cute little getaway, nothing beats a stylish weekender bag!

Denzo Leather Duffle Bag, $199







A little bit of everything you need on your (shorter) trip. Plus the products are mainly natural and smell amazing too.

Malin+Goetz Carry-On Essentials Kit, $32


Want & Need

By Mik Hyldebrandt


They may not have been jumping straight off the runway, but word on the street is these trends are what you need to be in style this spring.


Nature Boy

The athleisure and sports utility trends are getting even bigger this spring because we want to get out and be at one with nature!

Diesel J-Lapaz Jacket, $248

Zara Camouflage Jacket, $80





Old-School Footwear

A lot of fashion trends this season point forward, so it’s nice to have at least that point back. So in that sense, old-school footwear is a way of thinking forward (see what we did there).

Adidas Samba OG Shoes, $100

Vans Primary Check Old School, $60





Man’s Bags

Men are carrying bags again, so break out the man-purse again or wear your fanny pack just as long as you wear it across your body.

Topman Black Cross Body Bag, $30

TUMI Owen Crossbody, $345

By Mik Hyldebrandt


A great way to welcome the new season is by getting into a new and sexy fragrance. Traditionally, spring and summer scents have been light and aquatic, but this year the lightweights have been flanked by woodsy and masculine scents that connect you to nature and your deeper desires.


Oud Silk Mood

Maison Francis Kurkdijan never fails when it comes to hyper-elegant fragrances that stand out. Although floral at the core it has a nice, woodsy finish on the skin.

Maison Francis Kurkdijan Oud Silk Mood Eau de Parfum, $300







The inspiration was the perfumer’s family log cabin in Iceland so expect dry wood notes with touches of smoke.

Andrea Maack Birch Eau de Parfum, $135







This gender-neutral fragrance dances between sweet creaminess and aromatic woods with a little bit of smoke for added mystery.

ERIS Parfums Mx. Eau de Parfum, $150






Wood Sage & Sea Salt

Although labeled as a woman’s fragrance this wood and spice notes develop very well on male skin too and gives it a nice poignant result.

Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne, $65







The combination of fresh and green with deeper and earthy scent notes really works to create a fragrance that has all the elements of a spring fling.

Comme Des Garçons Amazingreen Eau de Parfum, $145






Tonic Ag

Fine florals, spices, and a refined base of leather make this fragrance both modern and timeless at the same time.

Ted baker Tonic Ag Eau de Toilette, $85


By Mik Hyldebrandt


Sunglasses are functional when it comes to protecting your eyes – but they’re also super cool! Right now, the trend has a strong retro vibe, but it still gives the classic a contemporary twist.


Hugo Boss Silver Round Metal, $250








Warby Parker Eastman, $95






Kapten & Son Amsterdam Mirrored Round Sunglasses, $89








Monokel Barstow Sunglasses, $109









Persol PO9649S, $310






Oliver Peoples Bernardo Sunglasses, $365

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt


The hues coral, peach, and pink are somewhat within the same color scheme and are all important for your spring and summer looks. For the upcoming season, they have been infused with grey tones to convey a softness and lightness to the color, which, in turn, looks great with any skin tone and in combination with brighter colors like yellow and blue tone as a balancing contrast.


Adidas Trefoil Washed Strapback Hat, $24








Primitive Thrashed Coral T-Shirt, $29








Vineyard Vines Longsleeve Vintage Pocket T-Shirt, $48








Mack Weldon Airknitx Boxer Briefs, $28







Blade + Blue Pocket Square, $18








MarcoMarco Coral Burnout Brief, $26








Vans Old Skool, $60








J.W. Anderson Phallic Keychain Bubblegum, $25



By Mik Hyldebrandt


It doesn’t take much to feel like you have an entirely new wardrobe. A few, choice items and it will feel like an all new you.


Photos: Shutterstock, PR



A new coat or jacket is a sure way to update your look. Look at outerwear as an investment that may not be used as much as other pieces of clothing, but will outlast many of them altogether.

Polo Ralph Lauren Herringbone Wool-Blend Coat, $695







Adding an accessory can instantly brighten and transform your look. Just think of how a new belt, colorful socks, or great tie can change the look of what is already in your closet.

Charles Tyrwhitt Navy Multi Plaited Belt, $65

Happy Socks Mini Diamond Socks, $12






Daresay, a new pair of shoes is probably the most transformative clothing item you can get – nothing makes you feel like new like fresh footwear.

The Rail Brysen Chelsea Boot, $110






A Different Cut

Sometimes going just a little outside your usual boundaries, will make a big difference. Case in point: Knitwear is a seasonal staple, but switch up the ole sweater for a shawl-collared cardigan for a change.

Brooks Brothers Shawl-Collar Cardigan, $98







It may not be clothing, but you still wear it on your body – and a new fragrance has the ability to envelop you in the feeling of something luxurious and new just like a piece clothing can.

Acqua di Parma Colonia Pura Eau de Cologne, $110






Bag It Up

Another item that should be viewed as an investment is your bag that will simultaneously and instantly upgrade any look.

Coach Bleecker Backpack, $695


New Stores

A really great way of changing up your style a little is to simply try out new stores. You may have your selection of clothiers, but that also means your style stays within that realm. Switching up your shopping habits can mean great things to your look!

By Mik Hyldebrandt

Fall is here, so it’s time to break out the knitwear, long pants, and jackets. This season is all about breaking up the prep boy look and making it a little bit more edgy. Here are the key trends that will take you from uptight to unconstrained.


Bomber Jackets

A jacket in a classic bomber style is the perfect outer layer for your outfit. Get in in leather or in a quilted version as a cold-weather staple.
Eddie Bauer Quilted Jacket, $199

Diesel L-Rush Leather Jacket, $898






Knitwear with Graphic Prints
A sweater is unavoidable for fall and winter but it does make the edgiest guy look like a cozy granddad – unless you up your knitwear game with some cool graphics!

American Eagle Outfitters Sweater, $50






Statement T-shirts
So, technically a good statement t-shirt has never gone out of style, but if you want to present yourself with even more of a twist, you let your tee do the talking!

Zara Man Sequined T-shirt, $30

Vision Street Wear T-Shirt, $55





From Skinny to Oversize
This is another way of bulking up for the fall season – by donning oversized clothing! Wear your sweatshirts, sweaters or jacket in a size up for some added trend to your style.

Gap Canvas Fishtail Jacket, $120






90s Influences
If you have a vintage 90s Calvin Klein t-shirt in your closet, you’re in luck because they’re back in style. If not, they are readily available.

Calvin Kleib Jeans T-shirt, $44

Tommy Jeans Cap, $49

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt, Photo: PR


Some people spend months preparing while others go for a last-minute solution. To help you deal with the stress of picking out a costume for Halloween, we thought it would be helpful first to determine what personality you are when it comes to picking out a costume. Then comes the task of choosing a costume, creating it from scratch or throwing something on last minute.



All Out

No expense spared, months of preparation, and meticulous attention to detail characterizes your choice of costume. You want to wow others at the party (and preferably go to a fancy costume ball!), but you also enjoy the process of putting together the costume and seeking out just the right props to go with it.

Storm Trooper, $899.99

Creature Reacher Midnight Howler, $329


Always Sexy

You like to be the trick and the treat! You see Halloween as an opportunity to flaunt your progress at the gym and turn a few heads at the same time. You like the idea of dressing up as a conventionally sexy character and will either invest in a skimpy costume or modify and alter a regular costume, so it fits better and shows off the bod.

Sparta Costume, $80

Sexy policemen, $50


Go Goofy

Your childish soul comes out at Halloween, and you opt for a silly costume option that will put smiles on people’s faces. A funny costume is also the perfect opening for some light-hearted conversation and a way to talk to a lot of individuals at the Halloween party.

Linguine, Sausage and Meatballs Costume, $33


Go Stealth

You love the fact that you can be masked during Halloween and people may not recognize you right away. Maybe it’s your inner superhero or undercover agent that wants out – or maybe you just like the feeling of not being constrained by your inhibitions while wearing a mask.

Black Panther Costume, $56


Last Minute

Sure, you enjoy Halloween, but it always catches you a little off guard, and you never think ahead and plan a costume months in advance – who has the time, right? But, you’re also not the guy who doesn’t partake in the fun, so you buy or borrow a fun wig last minute, do a quick rummage through your closet, and voilá: you’re a Swedish tennis player!

Wig, $5



*Fact Box*


Excellent Resources for Costumes


Costumes Etc.- High-end to last-minute costumes for everyone!

2138 Faulkner Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30324.


Gail K Fabrics Inc. – If you’re creative and want to sew everything yourself or need specialty materials.


Atlanta Costume Norcostco – High-end rentals and props for elaborate costumes

2089 Monroe Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30324.


Psycho Sisters – Second-hand costume options and vintage fashion finds

428 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307.



Find the costumes on these pages online here:

The myth of the Pink Dollar, and how keeping up with the gay Joneses is corrupting our priorities

By Mike Fleming

If you’ve been out and proud long enough, you’ve already heard that gay people are affluent and have tremendous buying power that can be harnessed for activism and marketing. But is it true, and what effect does that nottion have on our spending habits and financial priorities?

Is the concept of the Pink Dollar doing us more harm than good? With skyrocketing displays of wealth and plummeting credit scores, sorting and setting our priorities in the right direction may start with acceptance that gay affluence is a myth in the first place.

The age-old thinking goes that, since most gay men and lesbians don’t have children, and since many same-sex couples have two incomes, we have money to throw around. Like a broken clock that’s right twice a day, it could feel true on a case-by-case basis.

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that we do throw money around – on trips, cars, homes, watches, and myriad other trappings and luxuries. To compound the idea, business heads, gay rights advocates, advertising and marketing people, and LGBT think tanks love to tout the Pink Dollar and its apparent power. This summer, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce branded the “LGBT Economy” the seventh largest in the world, bigger than entire countries including Russia.

But comparing LGBT consumer spending – an overwhelmingly large $917 billion annually – to entire nations and their Gross National Products is like standing a 19-year-old twink next to a 50-year-old daddy bear and calling them the same because they’re gay. They have things in common, but they are not the same.

Pink Dollar: Fact or Fiction?
The annually updated Income Inflation: The Myth of Affluence Among Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Americans puts an even finer point on it. A joint publication of the Policy Institute of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies, it examines the economic status of a population group that is stereotyped as an economic elite insulated from discrimination by their wealth.

We are the only market segment compelled to spend based on quite the same criteria, so when we buy, we are emotionally attached to what our purchases mean. Shopping can be an extension of ourselves. Making materialism a priority in gay culture becomes a tangled web mired in personal issues.

Income Inflation calls the image of high-income gay men and lesbians “distorted” and asserts that it “has remained in force through the reliance on a limited number of marketing studies, conducted on behalf of gay business groups about their members and gay publications about their readers.”

The report compares the economic status of lesbian, gay and bisexual people with that of heterosexual people. It consistently finds that LGBT Americans do not earn more and do not live in more affluent households. In fact, according to two most recent studies it examined, gay men earn less, on average, than similarly qualified heterosexual men.

If that’s the case, and that $917 billion spending number is accurate, why are three-to-five percent of people in the U.S. spending more than some large countries? Have we bought into our own hype? Are we spending beyond our means to try and make that hype a reality?

Even if some of us can afford to spend frivolously, what about the rest of us trying to keep up with the gay Joneses?

The 2017 Gay Community Survey of readers from gay media outlets around the world — including Goliath Atlanta and its sibling Peach ATL, as well as Georgia Voice and Project Q in Atlanta — show big spending by about a third of gay and bisexual men in every consumer category, especially electronics, home furnishings, new cars, clothing, homes and major home remodels. More than half in the last year have purchased theater tickets, salon services, concerts, or fundraisers with a cover charge of $100 or more.

Whether we can actually afford it was not part of the survey. Some 14 percent of respondents, and 17 percent of gay and bisexual male respondents, say they are doing “great” financially. Another 30 percent perceive the are “doing better than most.” Together, that’s less than half.

Another third of those male respondents feel they are “barely breaking even,” and the rest categorize themselves as “falling behind” or “struggling to make ends meet.”

Overspending to Overcompensate
So why are so many of us spending what we don’t have? Is it part of gay culture, and is it fixable?

On, the entire website is devoted to gay men and their money. Bob Wheeler, the CPA, radio host, and author of The Money Nerve: Navigating the Emotions of Money, says that gay men may overspend to overcompensate for feelings of inadequacy.

If you are at an expensive dinner with friends and try to pick up the tab, the impulse may be driven by ego and not reality. Wheeler says that he had three cards declined in a similar situation before he realized his expectations were inflated by his drive to prove his wealth.

“In the LGBT community, it’s a competition to maintain appearances,” he says. “Overspending can also come from too many of us ‘living for today.’ Whether because so many of us, especially middle aged and older men, have seen the ravages of HIV, AIDS, or been abandoned by family friends or society, we may search for happiness in consumption.”

The problem of course is that, like any addiction, it takes more spending to fill the hole as time goes by.

The DebtFreeGuys host Wheeler and others in a YouTube series called Queer Money Week that helps analyze the problems and take steps to correct them. To fix our finances, experts now say, we must decide that we want to change. We must understand our feelings about money, our financial fears and dreams and learn what we really want in life.

Sources: Daily Worth, the LGBT Community Survey, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Queer Money, The Money Nerve,

Eight Signs You’re Overspending
If you need to own up to too many of these, eliminating them is your first step to solvency.

Credit Purchases
You’re using plastic to pay for an increasing number of purchases.

No Budgeting
Your lifestyle exceeds your budget, or you suspect so because you don’t budget.

You Grew Up Poor or Rich
Feeling deprived as a child could trigger you to buy, or being raised with the finer things could have you trying to maintain a certain lifestyle.

Appearances Sake
Many people live according to their presumed expectations of others and try to maintain an image that they think they “should” have.

Peer Pressure
You’re usually fine, but spend too much money with friends or colleagues because you’re too insecure to admit you can’t afford it.

Emotional Void
You can’t control many of the events in your life, but you can feel in control temporarily when shopping.

Yes Man
Some people just can’t say no. There’s a difference between surprising a boyfriend with flowers once in a while and over-indulging those we care about.

No Goals
Not understanding short-, mid- and long-term financial goals can lead many to give in to spending temptations in the moment.

This story appears courtesy Project Q Atlanta.

Just because it’s ‘in’ doesn’t mean you should be in it. Suit up in the latest swimwear that also looks great on your body type.

By Mike Fleming

Slim_BodSlim Jim

Suits that hit just above the knee, and fit snug not baggy, balance proportions and keep legs from looking too long. When it comes to color and graphics, go for it, especially horizontal.

nauticalNautical Board Shorts



unspecified-3Indigo Dot Trunk




Banzai Trunk



Dad_BodDad Bod

Size matters. Avoid anything marked ‘tailored’ or ‘fitted’ or “slim,” look for relaxed fit and waistbands, and don’t squeeze into a size that used to fit but doesn’t anymore.

unspecified-2Chubbies Midshipman



unspecified-6Small-Patterned Swim Short


unspecified-2Jakarta Mid-length Swim Shorts




Fitness_BodFitness Fan

You work hard, so you can wear most colors and styles. Bare as you dare, and personalize it with any pattern or color from showy to subtle.

unspecified-1Bulldog Swim Shorts



unspecified-5Oarsman Trunk


unspecified-7Athletic Stripe Box Cut




Fat_BodMore to Love

Solids slim you down, and roomy is better than tight. Show some leg in mid-length and shorter cuts to lengthen your profile.

unspecified-1Beach Britches





unspecified-7The Earl

Like Us On Facebook

Facebook Pagelike Widget