Category Archives: Best Dressed

Drizzle Does Not Mean Drab


I cannot say this enough: rainy days are not an excuse to abandon fashion! When you wake up and check the weather in the morning, and see a forecast of rain, you should not automatically run to your closet and pick out your drabbest, dreariest, least stylish items and assemble them into an equally drab, dreary, style-deprived outfit. Instead, choose a stylish outfit that you would want to wear on any other day and add appropriate outwear items to shield yourself and your wardrobe from the elements.

It is important that these items are seasonally appropriate, meaning that you probably should not be wearing the same outerwear in the months of April, May, and June as you had worn in the fall and winter months. In accordance with the weather, styles change also, meaning that the lined coats and thick rubber boots that served you well facing the winter elements are generally going to be too warm and heavy for the spring months. Additionally the spring demands a different color palette, one characterized by brighter, happier colors, even on days when the weather is less than cooperative.

Here’s a bit of inspiration!

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Trend Alert: Monk Straps for Everyday

The Monk Strap shoe, a classic mens dress shoe featuring a strap and buckle closure once reserved for cocktail parties and formal occasions, is breaking into the casual realm of dressing. GQ published a great article on Monk Straps almost two years ago, and in it suggested that monk straps were already acceptable for every day wear, but, personally, I am just now beginning to see this acceptance in action, and am more frequently noticing stylish men sporting single and even double straps on less than formal occasions.

Here are a few of my favorite monks and how to wear them:

Monks

  1. Rush by Gordon Rush Leather Monk Straps: These monks are versatile for the man who lives in business-casual attire. (So, basically any yuppy) Wear these beautiful brown monks with black, navy, or khaki slacks at work. After work pair them with navy, dark green, or khaki slim cut, cuffed chinos. For an even more casual look you can wear these with a very dark, denim pant as long as you have a nice shirt and even a sports coat to go with it.
  2. Del Toro Suede Monk Strap: These monks are definitely more casual, but equally as stylish as their fancier counterparts. I love the combination of the deep red suede with the bright blue sole. However this color combination limits what colors you can wear with them. For these particular more casual monks, I would pair with them a rich slim cut denim pant, patterned sock, blue or white button down, or a navy and white striped tee. Accessorize with a brown belt, fedora, and or a funky bow tie.
  3. McCarren & Sons Cap-toe Nubuck Double Monk Strap: These monks are probably one of my favorite for the following reasons: the cut of the toe is neither round, square, nor pointy; the colors are classic neutrals that can go with just about everything; the wooden sole makes them appropriate for cocktail hour as well as work, in addition to more casual circumstances.
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The Other Half of the Red Carpet

“Who are you wearing?” are “What was she thinking?!” are probably the two most frequently heard and read statements on the night of and the days that follow a red carpet event, such as the Oscars. All the media and press attention is focused on the women of the red carpet, whether she be a nominee, a popular actress, or a supermodel wife of an actor. The variety of styles, cuts, and colors available make women’s red carpet fashions more interesting and more attractive to those who care about fashion…and selling magazines.The immense variation in the options available to women means that rarely, if ever, do you see two stars wearing the same, or even similar, looks to a red carpet event. This instills a sense of competition among female actors and guests of actors to wow audiences, instill a jaw-dropping response, and ultimately gain the title, “best dressed.”

But, when it comes to men on the red carpet, a tux is just a tux, right? WRONG. While traditionally when looking at the men of the red carpet, it seems like just a sea of the same- everyone wearing a classic black tux, providing little for the eye to digest and the mind to process and ultimately criticize. However, menswear has evolved significantly in recent decades, and there is much more available to men in terms of variation and choice, but the variation isn’t always as apparent as it is for women. For men, the variation is in the details: the fabric choice, level of sheen, lapel style, style and color of the tie, and buttons on the shirt.

From the classic look designed by Tom Ford and worn by Brad Pitt, to the dapper Navy Burberry tux worn by Frank Underwood, I mean Kevin Spacey, to the unusual shorts tux worn by Pharrel, we saw a much wider variety of men’s red carpet looks than what we would traditionally expect and than what has been portrayed by the media publications.

So, allow me to pick up their slack. Here are my favorite looks from the 2014 Oscars…

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1. Joseph Gordon Levitt looked dapper in a Calvin Klein tux with just enough sparkle to stand out.

2. Kevin Spacey rocked a navy blue Burberry tux.

3. Chiwetel Ejiofor wore an amazing classic black Rake tuxedo.

4. Michael B. Jordan embodied the modern gentleman in this sleek tux by Givenchy.

5. Leonardo DiCaprio looked totally handsome in Armani…as per usual.

6. Jared Leto was a stand out on the red carpet, wearing a white tux jacket and black pants by Saint Laurent.

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SOTU Style Digest

SOTU

While I value being an informed citizen, to be completely honest my motives for watching the address were style-driven. I like to scan the room of grey-suited bodies in hopes of seeing one or two exciting dress shirts or ties that aren’t some variation of a shade of red or blue. I like to analyze the outfits, specifically the tie colors, of the President, Vice President, and Speaker of the House. The choice of what color tie to select for important political and public-facing events such as the SOTU is a crucial decision on that day, and the color can reflect an official’s political personality, motives, intentions, and attitude towards the event.

Last night we saw the POTUS wearing a sky blue tie, VP wearing a muted grey-blue tie, and SoH wearing a pale green, patterned tie.

Here’s some analysis…

POTUS is obviously a Democrat so a blue tie is hardly anything to get excited about, and yet it is so exciting because if you only read or listened to his speech rather than having watched it, you would expect the president to be wearing either a red or strong blue tie and here’s why: A red tie would have been a visual signal that the president means what he says in terms of encouraging and supporting bipartisan policy and resolutions. A bolder blue tie would have represented individual strength and courage which is what the president was attempting to portray in his many remarks on executive power.  However, selecting, or having been selected, to wear a tie in that particular shade of blue signifies optimism and limitless expectation which were two prominent themes in the address.

The VP never fails to bore an audience with his horrible outfit choices and lack of style. If it weren’t for his  laugh and occasional overdrawn smile, this guy wouldn’t cross anybody’s radar, including the president. The bland blue-grey tie, which was only a few shades lighter than the suit, did nothing for the outfit as a package, and sent little if any message to the American public, other than reaffirming his position in our minds as a boring and lackluster figurehead. While the VP position by tradition has very little influence on Washington or its leadership, he does have the one duty of standing by the president and acting as a supportive figure. So what he should have worn in terms of a tie, is a light pink, gold, or pale yellow tie. Something in this color scheme would have complemented his suit, enhanced his presence on stage, and sent a non-partisan message of optimism, reiterating that of Obama.

The SoH, John Boehner, was in a different position that the POTUS and VP because he does not share their political party and consequently does not share in many of the ideals iterated by the president. With the shutdown overshadowing any accomplishments of their party, Boehner and fellow Republicans were tasked with restoring (or creating) a positive image in the eyes of the American public. Now, if you ignored the unamused expression and obvious desire to eye roll and only looked at what he was wearing, the SoH probably accomplished that. Wearing a peaceful, soothing color like pale, apple green sends a message that he and his party are ready to make peace with the Democrats and suggests a clean slate in the new year. Also, props to Boehner for breaking the mold and wearing a tie with a pattern other than stripes!

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Wolf vs Goat: A man’s man brand

More and more I have been trying to focus my energy and attention on smaller brands and shopping at local brick and mortars. I have a better experience in smaller stores and generally because these stores and boutiques specialize in one or a few things only, the quality of the products and the quality of the knowledge you receive while in the stores in better. This is also generally how I am introduced to new product lines and smaller brands. I was in a boutique in DC a few weeks ago when I came across my latest obsession…wglogo

Wolf vs Goat is a clothing brand of exceptional quality, fit, and simplistic elegance.

Mimicking its founder and designer Mauro Farinelli, Wolf vs Goat is American born-and-raised but with distinctive European influence and flavor.

I was lucky enough to chat with Mauro himself last week and here is what he had to say about…

His Story:

  • Born & Raised in America,  with Italian roots
  • Former Marine, MMA fighter, and denim connoisseur
  • Apprenticed under an Italian seamstress in ITALY
  • Got into fashion to meet “hot chicks”
  • Summers in Hungary (his wife & daughter have Hungarian heritage)

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The name Wolf vs Goat:
In short, it all stems from playful humor and pet names with an ex-girlfriend…

Mauro had this girlfriend, also a designer, and total bad-ass by his account. At the time they thought they were soul mates. (As you may have guessed by the “ex” prefix, that didn’t work out.) Mocking one-another for a reason I won’t publicize here, he started calling her “goat”, and she called him “wolf.” The pet names stuck as friends and family caught on. While the names started as a joke, they came to symbolize their contrasting design aesthetic and eventually when the company was formed, the names, the animals, became a great marketing and branding tool.

The Wolf vs Goat brand and designs:
The brand is a total blend of American and European fashion. Being born and raised in the states and going on to be a Marine, Mauro is extremely patriotic and wanted to create a clothing company that emulated that. His love of America explains, in large part, his commitment to producing and manufacturing his lines here in the United States. However, not wanting be just, “baseball and apple pie,” Mauro channeled his European roots and love of Italian and British menswear to create a truly hybrid brand. His European influences are reflected in the cut, fit, and quality of the clothes.

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Attainable luxury

Wolf vs Goat Rewards Program:
Screen shot 2014-01-14 at 9.22.42 PMFirst off, for those readers who aren’t familiar with the WvG Rewards Program, you won’t believe me when I tell you that by paying $100 once, you get 50% everything…forever. For the many non-believers, here is the proof.  This rewards program was created during the recession when stores and retailers just weren’t taking on new lines and the large majority of Wolf vs Goat’s business was coming from direct sales to individuals. Mauro implemented the rewards program to not only thank his loyal customers and  encourage their repeat business, but also to lure new customers, expand his customer base,  and ultimately grow his brand.

The future of Wolf vs Goat:
While he says he has no anticipation of ever being in Barney’s or Bergdorf’s, Mauro has no doubt that the brand will grow and expand. He wants to be in more stores and in more locations across the country. No matter how small or how large, he maintains his commitment to keeping production and manufacturing stateside. When I probed him as to whether he had any intention of creating a ready-to-wear line for women, he laughed, but then admitted that it has definitely crossed his mind and is something that is foreseeable. The only real hold up, is his commitment to high quality, stylish menswear. He says that he would never want to do anything that takes away from that so finding the balance between menswear and ready-to-wear would be crucial for him. And if/when he develops a women’s line it needs to be something that “complements but doesn’t match” the menswear line.

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From the “Made-In America” attitude of the clothes to the bad-ass persona of owner and designer Mauro Farinelli, there is nothing I don’t love about Wolf vs Goat.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces:

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Check out this article in Unfinished Man, The Manly Pink Collection by Wolf vs Goat

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TV’s Best Dressed Round 1

The absolute best dressed male TV character, in my humble opinion, is hands- down, Chuck Bass of Gossip Girl. Nobody wears a three piece suit better than NY’s boy billionaire. He is fearless when it comes to mixing colors and patterns, and the result is quite pleasing to the eye. I think the only outfit of Chuck’s that I didn’t have the utmost adoration for was his monochromatic sweatsuit when playing basketball, but this is a minor blemish on his record of impeccable taste.

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While I could go on and on about Chuck Bass, there are other characters on television who deserve some recognition for their style.

Ben Wyatt of Parks and Recreation is possibly one of the most likable characters on TV because he’s a sort-of average Joe’s hero. His style is geek chic meets casual sophistication. In at least one scene of every episode Ben is wearing some variation of a plaid button down and sweater or cardigan. You’d be hard pressed to find anybody else on television or otherwise who can rock a Harrington jacket better than Ben Wyatt.

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Menswear on the Runway A/W 2014- Part II

NAME ON the TAG: James Long

What’s to love?
Texture, texture, texture. I want to have these pieces just so I can touch them as I brush through the items in my closet each morning…As for actually wearing these garments, they are bold pieces with geometric details and are architecturally interesting so they are great statement pieces to be paired with less textured items and staple pieces.

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NAME ON the TAG: Jonathan Saunders

Why I love it?
Everything was bold and bright, which is a contrast to a lot of other menswear designers who opt for a darker, more neutral-toned palette in the colder months. Not to mention, his entire collection featured something that I take every opportunity to emphasize on my blog and model in life: MIXING PATTERNS.

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NAME ON the TAG: A. Sauvage

What’s to love? 
Sleek, clean styles in fun yet sophisticated textiles. The line takes staple menswear pieces and throws fun, bold patterns on them to make them fresh and exciting.

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Menswear on the Runway A/W 2014- Round 1

 NAME ON the TAG: Common

What’s to love?
It’s both fun and edgy, but also very WEARABLE. (This is often overlooked on the runway.) The collection is very Euro-urban…not sure that’s an actual thing, but if it were…I say this because the garments are edgy and urban-inspired but have sleek lines and European fit.

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NAME ON the TAG: Chester Barrie

What’s to love?
Exquisite fitting suits! Classic, clean lines. The designs  are chic and sophisticated and the styling is spot-on. Captivating styles that can span generations. I love it all!!

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NAME ON the TAG: Hardy Amies

What’s to love?

EVERYTHING. I’m all about classic looks that will never go out of style when it comes to menswear. These are items you can buy now and continue to wear for the rest of your life. I love the splash of bold colors throughout the collection. And I love the layering! You can mix and match all of the individual pieces to create so many different outfits and looks.

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(All photos sourced from Vogue)

More here…

http://runway.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/the-big-chill/?ref=fashion&_r=0

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Welcome to the Jungle- Animal Print for Men

animalaccessFor as long as anybody can remember women have been wearing furs and garments adorned in animal prints, and as of late this trend has become extremely population, especially among college-age women and recent grads. However, animal prints and patterns are increasing their presence among Gen-Y men as well…and I don’t hate it. Anyone who has read previous blog posts knows that as much as I love a classic suit, clean lines, and solid colors, I have a (very large) spot in my heart (pun intended) for prints and patterns as an accessory to the aforementioned solids. Animal prints are no exception.

If you’re like most men and you’re hesitant to embrace anything that may seem different, unusual, or risky, then start small and slow with the animal print trend. The easiest way to start off with this trend is by rocking it in discrete places- try leopard print socks, or zebra boxer briefs. As you start getting braver, try accessorizing a neutral palette of black, greys, browns, and taupe, with a leopard tie or belt. Then when you’ve had a few drinks or you’re feeling really ballsy go for a leopard print shoe, hat, or scarf!

Check out my Animal Accessories WishCloud for inspiration!

Should Men Wear Leopard Print?
(Spoiler Alert: YES, men should wear leopard print!)

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