Category Archives: Fashionable

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!

rainwear2

 

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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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Fashion Chameleon or Individual?

Growing up, I envied certain people’s ability to be anybody, any character. You know those people who can go anywhere and look like they’re a part of the scenery; they have a knack for knowing exactly what to wear to blend into any environment or setting. I used to strive to be that way. What I have realized over time is that these people might have an uncanny ability to understand what certain times and places demand from fashion, but they don’t have the ability to understand and cultivate their own sense of style.

So as I have matured and developed my own sense of self and style, I admire and aspire to be the individuals who know exactly who they are in terms of their fashion and personal style. I admire the people who can walk into any room or setting and look like themselves. Sure, they may pick and choose certain outfits or styles to suit the mood of the occasion, but they are always uniquely them. These people remain true to their aesthetic and they are comfortable and confident in their style. They are themselves, not some character or cliche.

In order to be a person whose character is themselves, and is not constantly changing, you must first develop and understand your own personal sense of style. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, and can take years to accomplish.  What you wear tells the world who you are, so keep that in mind as you get dressed each morning and in the long term how you develop your style. Part of the reason this is so hard is because until you know who you are, how can you possibly use fashion to represent that? That’s why growing up, throughout middle and high school, people were constantly changing their sense of style; as kids we don’t really know who we are, and even if we did we were too self-conscious to show it, making it impossible to have a true sense of personal style.

Good news is that if you’re reading this, chances are you’re not a tween or teen, and at this point in your life you’re either on the voyage to self-discovery or you already have a good sense of who you are as a person. Use this to your advantage when making choices pertaining to your fashion. Don’t concern yourself so much with other people, or with trying to be something you’re not, even if just for a night. What I mean by this is not to disregard completely that certain venues have dress codes and that certain outfits are inappropriate for certain settings. What I do mean is that what you wear should be a reflection of you, not of your surroundings. Develop a style that makes you feel good about yourself and the image that you’re portraying to others; be confident and comfortable being your own character.

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Trend Alert: Tropical Prints

Throwback Trend: Tropical Prints

Remember that shirt your dad wore to every backyard barbecue and pool party- the embarrassing  shirt with over-sized Hawaiian flowers, you know the one. As much as you may have tried and potentially succeeded at eliminating the painful memories and feelings of embarrassment at your dad’s summer wardrobe, there are undoubtedly reminders of the trauma nailed to the walls of your home in frames that read, “Orlando 2001”, or, “Family Vacation 1998.”  If you were, however, lucky enough to not have these experiences documented and made into a magnet for the refrigerator door, I envy you. However, those tropical shirts are hitting the shelves as a must-have summer staple. If you’re picturing a polyester oversized shirt with ketchup stains, I am happy to inform you that that’s NOT what I am referring to. What I am referring to is the ultra trendy, slightly less obnoxious, slim-cut tropical print shirts, shorts, and shoes that will decorate East Coast boardwalks all summer long. The throwback you

tropical prints

(Scotch & Soda, J.Crew, Bloomingdale’s)

How to wear this trend without being obnoxious…

Easy! Pair a tropical print garment with a more subdue complement. For example, take a floral print short-sleeve button down and pair it with salmon, khaki, navy, or chambray shorts and your favorite boat shoes or loafers. If it’s your shorts that are adorned with the tropical print, choose a classic white button-down or simple solid-colored tee. Avoid anything too bright- you don’t want your pieces to fight each other for attention.

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Shoe Shopping (On a Budget)

I was recently posed the question of what shoes I recommended at under $200, and I was totally struggling to think of suggestions to offer, which is when I realized that so many of the shoes I feature or discuss are pretty pricey and unattainable for most men. So I dedicate this post to the men who want to look like a million bucks without breaking the bank.

For this post, I’ll be pulling from stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, instead of Barneys and Bergdorf’s.

Dress Shoes:

dresshoesonabudget(Ted Baker $185, Cole Haan $198, Cole Haan $210(yes I know, it’s a little over budget, but they’re awesome))

Casual Chic Shoes:

cashshoesonabudget(Cole Haan $198, H by Hudson Houghton $170, LaCoste $170)

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It’s Raining, Men

You all know the saying, ‘April showers bring May flowers.’ You anticipate, at least mentally, that this month of the year will be reliably rainy, but I’ve noticed that mental readiness does not necessarily signify wardrobe readiness.

Dressing for winter and fall weather ailments is much different than dressing for spring and  summer ailments. In the fall and winter seasons, the primary focus in terms of outerwear is warmth, although there is a need to stay dry during winter weather storms. In the spring and summer, however, the focus is to stay dry and cool, so there is an inherent challenge for designers in the creation of, and for consumers in the choice of outwear during the warmer, wet months.

The obvious key elements to choosing outerwear for the warm, wet seasons is to choose something that is both waterproof and lightweight. Another element to consider that is often overlooked when buying rain gear is pack- or carry-ability. Because of the warmer temperatures, it is unlikely that you will want to keep any type of excess clothing on any longer than is necessary.

raincoats

 

(Steven Alan, Jack Spade, Barbour, Jack Wills)

In terms of jackets, choose items like unlined, waterproof parkas and zip jackets in neutral or cool colors like beige, olive green, mustard yellow, or poppy red. For rain boots (yes, men SHOULD wear rain boots), go for a basic rubber-sole rain boot in a dark color like navy, black, grey, or green as these colors are less likely to show dirt and mud residue.  As for umbrellas, yes. Please, for my sanity and for the sake of everyone around you, use an umbrella!

rainaccessories

(Sperry, Tommy Hilfiger, Hunter, Brooks Brothers, J.Crew)

 

 

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4 Chambray Must-Haves and How to Wear Them

Chambray transcends seasons. In the fall and winter, a chambray button-down perfectly complemented your navy cords or burgundy chinos, and an effortless element of chic. And now in the spring and summer, the light-weight linen finished garments, add style and versatility to both casual wear and sophisticated ensembles.

1. The classic chambray button-down. Pair it with your favorite salmon chino shorts, and a pair of boat shoes and you have the perfect casual, ‘weekend at the beach,’ look.

JWills
Jack Wills $89.50

2. The chambray short. Great for dressing up or down. For a daytime casual look, pair with a light-weight cotton v-neck tee in solid or stripe pattern and a pair of leather sandals. At night pair with a navy or white button-down and nice clean tennis shoes for a causal look, or a pair of leather loafers for a nicer look.

JCrewSHort
J.Crew $75.00

3. The essential chambray blazer. This item takes any casual summertime look and makes it sophisticated. Pair with a tee, shorts, sandals, and a fedora for a super trendy weekend outfit, or put it over a silk blend button-down and your favorite khakis for an outdoor evening party ensemble.

ScotchSoda
Scotch & Soda $215.00

4. The printed chambray tie. I love this tie paired with a white, salmon, or light blue button-down, tucked into a pair of chino style shorts or pants in a complementary color. Nothing says spring like a floral chambray tie.

JCrewTie
J.Crew $69.50

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Shamrocks and Shambles at every age

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most notorious and sloppiest drinking days of the year. I attribute this to America’s desire to turn every holiday into a drinking day, and the fact that St. Patty’s is the first holiday of the spring season, and people are excited to come out of hibernation and raise a glass to all things Irish- from potatoes to plaid skirts.

If you’re in college, St. Patty’s means dressing up like a leprechaun, head to toe in Kelly green, adorned with leftover Mardi Gras beads, running between frat houses, or bars (if you have an ID), drowning yourself in cheap booze dyed green with food coloring and taking shots of Bailey’s so that you can claim some false sense of sophistication. Regardless of what you’re drinking, you’re drinking a lot of it – enough to think it’s a good idea to stand on a table in a kilt and attempt an Irish jig to “Danny Boy.” Luckily (pun-intended) when you wake up the next day next to a name-less girl with a smeared shamrock on her face, you won’t remember any of this…until name-less befriends you on Facebook a few days later and undoubtedly tags you in a series of blurred pictures and videos belonging to an album titled, “FRESHMAN YEAR!!”

If you’re in your first few years of post-grad life, you’re probably definitely nostalgic for the scenario described above, and plan to spend the holiday at a Living Social “Irish Stroll”/ “Luck o’ the Irish” bar crawl with 800 other GenY(am I not still in college?!?)s who have the same void to fill. And let’s be honest, because you feel like you need to either keep up with your younger friends who are still in school, or want to (falsely) prove to them that post-grad life is just as crazy, if not crazier, than college life, you’re going to get absolutely Irish-style smashed whilst singing “I’m Shipping Up to Boston.” Instead of waking up with a girl, you’ll wake up with a fat Uber tab.

Okay, so this is a fashion blog, and aside from the brief references to green jumpsuits and kilts, I haven’t talked about what you SHOULD be wearing… as a real person… in the real world…with some scrap of dignity…on this festive green holiday. So, here it is: Wear something green, preferably a bright, happy green, and pair it with a more subdue or neutral color like denim, chocolate brown, khaki, white, or forest green. Instead of mardi gras beads and face paint, accessorize with green patterned socks, a belt with a clover buckle, or shamrock tie.

stpatty

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Style Spotlight: Grosvenor

Grosvenor

I usually prefer to promote designers and brands that are sourced, created, and/or produced in the United States, but I am making an exception with this Style Spotlight piece, which focuses on a luxury shirt company from across the pond.

If this is the first time you’re hearing of the Grosvenor brand, that’s because until recently their custom and ready-to-wear shirts were only available in their two store fronts in London and Picadilly, but now these luxury items are available online to preppy professionals around the world, and they’re totally worth the cross Atlantic shipping costs. When you first look at their products online, they might not immediately strike you; at first glance, they look like something you could walk into any department store and pick up…With Grosvenor, the unique quality is in the details: alternating buttons, patterned trim, complimentary colors, carefully selected fabric. Grosvenor does such a great job of creating unique color combinations that appease the eye and favor the preppy man’s tastes.

Here are a few shirts from the Luxury and Casual collections, which range in price from $140-$160, a steal considering the quality and sense of elitism that comes from owning something that is made in limited quantities and is imported from Europe, and not found at your local Macy’s.

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Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the shirts to appreciate some of the details I mentioned…

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What I love so much about the Grosvenor collections of both casual and luxury shirts is that each collection is cohesive and tells a story. This is something that is highly valued in the women’s ready-to-wear division of the fashion industry but is not stressed as much in classic menswear. When it comes to men’s dress shirts and button-downs what you find is that either a prominent menswear designer creates maybe one or two of this style shirt in a basic, neutral color, or you find a brand that creates the same shirt in 8 different colors, but there’s no motif. With Grosvenor it is obvious if you see two of their shirts together that they came from the same collection, either because of a repetition of pattern, color, and detailing amongst the designs.

In addition to excellent shirts, both ready-to-wear and custom designed, Grosvenor also offers accessories, including a wide variety of ties, several sets of crafted cuff-links, belts, and pocket squares- everything the well-dressed man needs, from the waist up, at least.

GrosvenorAcc

Visit the Grosvenor site for more information and to purchase one of their high-quality ready-to-wear shirts or have them create a custom shirt, designed specifically to suit your body and your tastes.

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Weekend Challenge: Mix It Up

If you’re one of those guys who wears basically the same thing everyday, this challenge is directed towards you! Stop wearing some variation on the same tired theme; try something different. Surprise people by failing to do what they expect of you and ultimately you may surprise yourself and find that you actually like looking different from, well, you.

Here are a few ways to mix it up:

1. Go into your closet or wardrobe and pick out something that you either haven’t worn in years, or something that you look at every morning, but think, ‘I have no idea why I bought this(or why someone bought this for me).’ Put it on, and rock it!

2. If you always wear jeans and a T-shirt, ditch the t-shirt and go for a button-down, or if you’re really stuck to your t-shirt, throw on a blazer or sportscoat and a hat to upgrade your style.

3. Find a shirt or pair of pants in a bold color or exciting pattern. Pair it with a totally different, but complimentary, color or pattern. (i.e.Striped shirt with floral shorts, Yellow chinos with a navy, pink, bright blue, or green shirt)

I’m preaching unpredictability this weekend! Break free of the routine and do something out of the ordinary!

 

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