Tag Archives: menswear

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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Festival Fashion

It’s early summer which means the start of festival season. While the theme and feel of each festival is unique, there are a few things every festival has in common: music, food, and fashion. The fashion I speak of is not the fashion you see on city streets, runways, or magazines.The foundation of festival style is the necessity for ease of mobility and overall comfort, which is why you see so many people wearing looser fitting garments in light weight fabrics. Festival fashion has grown organically over the years and has inspired it’s own genre of style that speaks to the spirit of what festivals and festival culture are really about: being free-spirited and stepping out of society for a few hours, or days.

While you may see people at festivals wearing similar things (girls wearing high-waist-ed shorts, tops with fringe, headbands, flowers in their hair, etc. and men wearing tank tops, swim trunks, Bob Marley tees, etc) don’t feel the need to mimic or copy these fashions necessarily. Festivals are a  place to abandon all rules, go against the norm, and wear whatever your heart desires. Just remember to stick to comfortable,light, breathable fabrics, and strive for styles with good vibes.

festfash

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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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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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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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Fashionably British

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Don’t get me wrong I adore American fashion and American designs, but there is something so debonaire about British fashion that I absolutely adore. One of the most endearing qualities of British menswear is how true to tradition it remains; British design elements very rarely change or evolve, which is a characteristic that some may criticize, but their designs are traditional and unique from the rest of world, and quite honestly, don’t need to changes.

Their muted, neutral color palettes are neither drab nor are they attention-seeking; they are a total reflection of Great Britain’s climate and culture.  Britain’s foggy, often rainy, maritime climate doesn’t lend itself to bright cheerful colors, and the British “Keep Calm and Carry On” attitude doesn’t allow for pompous fashion and bold look at me palettes. Navy blue, hunter green, and shades of grey dominate British wardrobes, which might make one think that British fashion is dull or just more of the same, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

For Brits, distinction in fashion lies in the design: the fit, the cut, the quality. Men’s formal and ready-to-wear shirts, sports coats, and blazers traditionally slim-cut and fitted to the body, cutting in slightly at the waist. Trousers, too, are typically very slim cut and taper down the leg, which differs from traditional American designs, which usually have a straight leg. Outerwear diverges from the other ready-to-wear items I have mentioned in that the designs are typically less fitted, but remains in sync with the rest of British menswear in its color palette. Outwear is made of durable textiles, almost always lined, and designed to endure all weather conditions.

Idiot’s Guide to Buying British:

  • Knickers: Underwear
  • Gilet: Vest
  • Trouser: Pants
  • Caban: Jacket featuring a cutaway collar; usually double breasted
  • Parka: lightweight, durable coat; typically lined and meant for rainy or windy weather conditions

Here are some of my favorite pieces from each of my favorite British brands and retailers…

Jack Wills:

jackwills

 Burberry:

TopMan:

topman

Barbour:

barbour

Paul Smith:

PaulSmith

 

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Urban Meets Preppy in Mark McNairy’s Collection

Veteran menswear designer Mark McNairy, under the New Amsterdam label, has created a wicked collection that juxtaposes traditional, preppier menswear styles with trendy, urban elements inspired by the streets. The combination is totally refreshing, screams excitement, and is so in touch with millennial tastes.

NewAmsterdam

 

Here are some of my favorite elements:

1. Banded bottoms – inspired by the ultra-trendy, and very urban, sweats and joggers.

banded

2. Pattern play– placing preppy patterns on urban styles (and vice versa) to crush expectation.

 

patternplay

(All images from NY Times Runway Collections)

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Sports Coats & Blazers: A Versatile Staple

Sports coats and blazers transcend seasons and can be worn all year long and are suitable for most dress codes. Because of the wide variety of colors, fabrics, and styles available, there is no reason a blazer shouldn’t be your go-to piece year round. In the fall and early spring seasons, a classic cotton-silk blend sports coat is ideal as it provides warmth but also breathes and is not too heavy. In the summer, opt for a linen or unlined cotton blazer as it will be significantly lighter and airier, thus more suitable to warmer temperatures, than the classic lined cotton-blend coat. In the colder winter months, a lined wool blazer or sports coat is most appropriate. In terms of color, you can’t go wrong with Navy or a medium-dark grey- both of these colors are suitable for any season, any occasion. For the spring and summer, it is nice to mix things up and try lighter, cooler colors like salmon, light blue, tan, and ivory.

Here are a few great sports coats from one of my favorite American designers, Billy Reid:

Spring/Summer:

BillyReidBlazers

Fall/Winter:

BillyReidBlazersFW

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