One Wrong Move

Photo Taken by Amanda Maz

Photo Taken by Amanda Maz

Most people would agree that there is a time and a place for everything.  More specifically, all wardrobe pieces will see their day at least once.  On the other hand, we all know that, much like people, you can not just match any articles of clothing together and expect them to get along.  On my way home today after a long day, I spotted a fashion faux pas of epic proportions that I actually was able to secretly take a photo of!  Everyone around me was quietly making their way home from their Tuesdays.  The man I noticed had on a light-colored blazer, (appropriate for this time of year), and even lighter colored dress shirt, black dress slacks, black leather shoes, and he was carrying a black, leather, soft briefcase.  This was not one of those situations where at first glance you do not notice the flaw.  Right away I observed that he was wearing what I am going to refer to as

THE PIECE THAT RUINED THE OUTFIT

Okay, I need to just come out with it already.  He was wearing an Ed Hardy tie.   Who does that?!?! Look, do not get me wrong, I believe men should use their ties to spice up their outfits, I am even a fan of Ed Hardy at times, but this was just disgusting.  He ruined his whole “laid back, city, working man, on a spring day” look.  To reference an equivalent, think of a newly decorated modern-day bedroom.  You take the time to pick out the perfect bedding, (nothing less than 1,000 thread count Egyptian cotton of course!), the super classy window treatments that you paid way too much for, elegant yet functional side tables, and then

Photo Taken by Amanda Maz

Photo Taken by Amanda Maz

you throw down a vintage, lime green, used, shag carpet area rug that you picked up for 5 bucks at a yard sale.  This would never happen!  It would be beyond blasphemous to say the least!  People, I caution you, do not ruin your entire outfit with one wrong move.  I hope this poor man was not going to an interview!  He would most definitely have received the “We’ll let you know” blow off.  

While I was taking stalker-like photos of this poorly dressed guy, the man sitting next to me, who was without a doubt a tourist, caught me in the act and looked at me like I was a serial killer, or at least totally nuts.  I wanted to let him in on what I was up to, but I decided it would be more fun if he went back to his hometown in South Dakota or wherever and told the funny story of the girl taking random photos of a man she didn’t know.

“A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.”Oscar Wilde

Quick Aside:  Check out this link a friend of mine told me about from GQ. Style Terms Every Man Should Know.

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Tchotchkes and Knick Knacks

Photo Credit: www.etsy.com

Photo Credit: http://www.etsy.com

I hate tchotchkes and knick knacks.  I try and toss stuff out all the time.  We are definitely living in a society that is obsessed with stuff.  Whatever happened to less is more?  Our appearances really are true indicators of what are personal lives are like.  People who look like slob kebobs all the time are usually hoarders and those who look perfectly put together and aligned all the time are probably way too anal-retentive.  This is not an exact science but it is often on point.  So to get to the issue of the day I want to talk about the somewhat ‘off- the beaten path’ topic of

KEYCHAINS

A few days ago a friend of mine returned from a trip from Las Vegas.  He brought me back a keychain with my name on it as a souvenir.  I was grateful that he thought of me but in my typical snob manner I said, “Maybe now is a good time to go over my policy on tchotchkes….”  I’m such a bitch, I know!  I tell this story only to segue into another.  I was once on a date many years ago and it was going really well.  He was neat, clean, good on paper, paid the check, the usual.  But when it was time to leave, he pulled out a mammoth bunch of key chains and claimed they were his car keys.  I almost puked up my duck l’orange.  Although this was a few years back the guy was in his later 20’s at the time.  Yet his keychain, first of all, had way too many keys.  What are you a janitor?  Then it had souvenir key chains from every island in the Caribbean and Cancun of course.  Then there was the sports paraphernalia.  Yuck!  He had a keychain from each team he was a fan of in every sport.  I even saw a rabbit’s foot hanging off of there.  I mean taxidermy = not sexy.   And for the love of all things holy, I think I was most offended by his Honda key chain.  I wanted to

scream, “Bro! Unless you drive a Bentley, a Ferrari or the like you don’t need the key chain.”   And let’s not forget those little plastic membership cards for the A&P or the gym he probably never goes to.  Let’s just say he had everything on there but the kitchen sink. I was beyond appalled.  I remember this like it was yesterday.  If I went on a date with a guy who rocked all of these colossal key chain mistakes today, I would sneak out before dessert, however back them I was young and naïve. So, I wound up going back to his apartment with him to hang out with some other friends.  And what do you know his apartment had Nintendo, movie posters covering the wall and was an absolute and utter mess.  We never went out again and I hope he is reading this right now and knows it’s about him. Moral of the story: Keep the key chains classy and to a minimum.

So-NO!

I always make fashion exceptions for tourists, mostly because I feel bad for them and assume they don’t know any better.  If they are not from New York City I just roll my eyes like a snob when I see them committing fashion suicide, judge them in my mind, and assume they are from somewhere like South Carolina where fashion does not exist.  Times Square is the worst.  Always crawling with tourists and fashion disasters, therefore I try to steer clear as much as I can.  Recently, I was at a posh meeting south of Houston street and one of the men I was speaking had the nerve to wear…

DOUBLE DENIM

Yuck!  Some like to call this look “The Canadian Tuxedo.”  I thought most people with any intelligence would know that more than one article of denim, no matter what color, is a fashion sin. To make matters worse, this guy was going on and on about how he grew up on the Upper East Side.  Here I was thinking he must be from Mars to think that double denim is fashionable these days let alone in New York City and in SoHo for that matter! This look was So-NO! Yes, I was appalled to say the least!  It was a style offense of epic proportions.  I mean seriously, what planet was this guy on? ddRemember in 2001 when Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears showed up to The American Music Awards in double denim?  I would understand if you tried to forget. (See above photo) It was a nightmare when they did it and there are not too many looks those two can’t get away with.  If “The Canadian Tuxedo” looks awful on celeb royalty, you certainly should not attempt it ever in life. I do not care if you are a cowboy, a farmer, the biggest hillbilly ever or can belch the alphabet, the maximum number of denim articles of clothing allowed on one person at one time is one.

“The difference between a man of sense and a fop is that the fop values himself upon his dress; and the man of sense laughs at it, at the same time he knows he must not neglect it.”
– Lord Chesterfield

Formal Means Formal

Photo Credit: www.buzzle.com

Photo Credit: http://www.buzzle.com

Although winter and fall are my favorite seasons, this time when winter turns to spring is always quite charming.  There are those March days that are full of snow and others can be so sunny that you think you may have to put on sun block. Mostly, it is a great time for a road trip.  This past weekend I took a short road trip to New England and down memory lane.  I attended a reunion of sorts, had a blast and looked fabulous while doing it! I suppose all reunions whether family, work, or college have their dress codes.  The one I attended was pretty fancy.  I know I wrote a post regarding wedding attire already, (Please see my October 15th post, “Formal Attire Requested”), but today’s post, although possibly redundant, is on the general topic of

FORMAL WEAR

When men go to weddings, proms, bar mitzvahs, christenings, funerals, and the like, they are a little more clued in concerning what to wear.  But when the only criteria for an event is  “formal”, men try to get away with the most horrible offense of all: under dressing.  Make no mistake about it; being under dressed is the worst!  I apologize if my hyperbole is jarring but under dressing should be deemed a sin.  At said reunion this weekend it was quite clear that it was to be a formal event, yet I still saw men wearing the wrong attire.  Here is a question I pose, “Why do men try to dress as casual as possible so often?”  For most men, dressing up is rare and fun

chance to radiate charisma.  Why dull yourself down when everyone else in the room is going to look like a shiny penny?  And I don’t tolerate the, “I want to be different excuse” that is absolute bullshit and pure laziness.  Below are some observations I caught this weekend that all men should never make:

  1.  It really does not matter how nice, sexy, fancy, or expensive your jeans are.  You can not pair them with a shirt, tie, and jacket and call it formal.  (Please see my January 30th post, “Change it up Cowboy”)
  2. As far as jewelry is concerned: We’ve talked about this! (Please see my December 8th Post, “The Power of Jewelry”)   Like most things, all in moderation.  But please, if you have a nice suit on, leave the ghetto chain at home!  You would not pair a rich Merlot with your Chilean Sea Bass would you?  NO! They clash…I hope you see my point here.
  3. A sweater, (Cashmere or not) over a dress shirt and tie does not equal formal attire.  Don’t be such a hippy and put on a jacket.
  4. To segue way into my next point, you must wear, or at least bring with you, a suit jacket.  Suit pants, a dress shirt, and a tie are not enough.  This would be  equivelant to a plate of food that consisted of fries, cole slaw and a pickle.  Incomplete to say the least.  Where’s the burger?
  5. You know how I feel about funky sneakers with suits so do not even get me started.  It is time to put your grown up shoes on. (Please see  my September 17th Post, “Weighing the Pros and Cons”)
  6. Also, you are an under dressed fool if you do not wear a tie.

I know I sound harsh, but the world of fashion shows no mercy.  It is the smallest mistakes that are always the most detrimental, so for your own sake and the sake of the date that has to be seen with you, don’t make them!

“A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.”
– Oscar Wilde

Mind the Gap

Photo taken by Carmen Andino

Photo taken by Carmen Andino

On any given day I take several rides on the subway.  It is by far and away where I do my best people watching and fashion criticizing.  Today I was on and off a few times, uptown, downtown and back home again: always minding the gap as diligently instructed.  Lately, not just today, I have noticed what I think is a fairly newer mess of a trend.

SHORT PANTS or HIGH HEM PANTS

I do not mean long shorts or Capri pants/pedal pushers/3/4 length, or clam diggers for men( that is an entire other story of wrong doing). But pants that are just too short with a huge a gap between the shoe and the hem.  I know in this day in age socks are sexy and all the rage, but I am sorry you can not wear short pants to show off your socks, I do not care how cute they are. Stop flashing those ankles bro!  In fact, people will not even notice your socks, they are just going to whisper behind you back, “What is with that guy’s pants, why are they so short, he needs a good tailor.”  Do you really want to be the guy people are talking about in this manner?  Seriously, pants that are hemmed too short are a nightmare for you and everyone who has to look at them.  Do not let your mom or whatever other amateur you have on call hem them.  Shell out the extra money to have your pants tailored correctly.  You can walk

Photo Taken by Carmen Andino

Photo Taken by Carmen Andino

into just about any dry cleaners and ask for the alteration.  Hems speak volumes about a man.  If they are too short you look like an uptight mess who can’t even handle getting himself and his wardrobe to a decent tailor.  If they are too long then you just seem like a lazy bum who does not know how to shop for the correct size pants.  Whether you wear jeans, Chinos, corduroys, dress/suit pants or what have you, make sure the hem touches the middle of your shoe please.  When I was growing up you would be associated with Steve Urkel if you had your socks showing with a high hem…If you were a 90’s kid you know what I mean, if you don’t then just trust me you do not want that nerd look.  Cover those ankles, short pants are not cute and rather emasculating.

“‘Tis hell to a man of spirit to be contradicted by his tailor.”
– Richard Garnett

Silver Fox

At some point in every man’s life he will spot his first sign of age.  For some men it is extra weight for others a lack of stamina.  A man ageing gracefully is sexy and men always look distinguished as the years roll on.  One of the benefits of being a man getting older is that it never makes them look like an old washed up hag. Most all aspects of our appearance in this day in age can be altered, granting us the luxury of looking young forever.  So, the subject of the day is that of

GRAY HAIR

We all know once you spot one gray hair on your head, or anywhere else on your body for that matter, it is only the beginning.  Some men wear gray well such as Richard Gere in “Pretty Woman,” or George Clooney in “Ocean’s Eleven” or Anderson Cooper, well, all the time.  But if you are like most men who may not have the celebrity status or sex appeal of the three aforementioned silver foxes then you may want to dye those grays for a little while.  One of my boyfriends of the past had a head full of dark beautiful hair that was going a bit gray.  I suggested he dye it, and he was appalled of course!  However with my powers of persuasion I talked him into trying it just once.  I told him that if he hated it then it would grow out quickly and he never had to do it again.  The deal was fair enough so he agreed.   As it turns out he loved the new look.

When he saw himself in the mirror he was stunned to see that the short process of coloring his hair made such a colossal difference.  His exactly words were, “I just knocked 10 years right off!”  It’s so true.  Men do not have to let gray hair age them.  It is so easy to dye your hair, just get down to your local Duane Reade or CVS and buy a box of Just For Men hair dye, that is if you are not brave enough to go to the salon.  If you are not into that it’s ok  and understandable, (I am not going to lie, it is a lot of upkeep and many touch-ups are required) Like I said some men can really rock the gray sexy college professor look. However, I’d like to make one suggestion: gray hair on your head is one thing, but once it hits your facial hair it is time to shave the years away.  I love George Clooney, he had on an amazing Giorgio Armani tuxedo at this year’s Oscars that looked quite dapper, some might argue he was the best dressed man there and he had Stacy Keibler on his arm to boot! However, his gray face rug was the loser of the night.  (Please see my post from November 5th titled “Mountain Man” for my take on facial hair)  It was a shame; that gorgeous tuxedo was paired with a white old man beard.  Let’s face it, in this day in age, with society’s pressures,  can any man really afford to look older or to put it more bluntly, like they are yesterday’s news?  Do not make this gray hair mistake Gramps!  Know the difference between sexy salt and pepper and Hello Santa Claus!

“I’ve always said that gray hair looks good on everybody but yourself. To me, it  makes me look old.”~Kenny Rogers

Un-Tucked

Never_Tuck_Knits2Oftentimes when I am pointing out a no-no within men’s fashion there are exceptions.  There are, as we all know, exceptions to every rule.  But with today’s topic that is not the case.  One of my favorite aspects of wintertime is men looking fabulous in sweaters.  We all love them. (the sexy sweaters I mean ;-))  Sweaters are often thick enough to cover up the flaws of our body we are desperately trying to hide.  However, under no circumstance can a man look good wearing a

TUCKED IN SWEATER

Gross!  I mean you may as well tie it around your waist! (please see my January 15th post titled “Coat Check” to read about how I feel about men who tie jackets, coats, or shirts of any kind around their waists…Nerd Alert!)  In fact tucking in your sweater is not only a major nerd alert, but pretty much makes a man undateable and if you are not dateable your are definitely not going to get play of any kind in the near future.  Men do not tuck their socks into their pants do they?  So why on earth would a man ever tuck in his sweater?  Some may think that tucking in a sweater looks more neat and tidy.  Bravo to those men who do not want to look like a sloppy mess.  Those people who feel that a tucked in sweater is the cleaner look would be wrong; it just makes men look uptight and like their mother still dresses them every morning.  Most all shirts on men need to be tucked in but sweaters are an entirely different animal.  They need to be left un-tucked.  If for whatever reason you feel a sweater needs to be tucked in because it is too long, then get a new sweater don’t commit fashion suicide.  Sweaters should rest right over your belt line.  If you are overweight, tucking in your sweater will make you look worse, if you are super fit and want to show off your hot bod as much as possible then just don’t wear a sweater wear a fitted shirt.  Tucking in a sweater is a lot like putting ketchup on chateaubriand… you are ruining a perfectly wonderful thing.

Quick Aside:  Some old timers and maybe a few golf players may feel that at one time men tucking in their sweaters was “the look”  And maybe it was.  (See image on upper right.)  But now men tucking in their sweaters is just disgusting  and no longer en vogue!

“When I started in fashion, I had already adopted the sailor-striped sweater as my uniform; that way, I wouldn’t have to drive myself crazy trying to figure out what to wear.”

~Jean Paul Gaultier