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

Advertisements

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

2012 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Gifts that Keep on Giving

black giftWell, it is that time of year again.  I am the biggest ba humbug on the planet.  As mentioned in a previous post I can’t stand holidays.  But on the contrary I love giving gifts.  I like to think of myself as a gift whisperer.  Some people don’t possess the gift of great gift giving. And when it comes to gifts for men or men buying gifts there is always a challenge. Maybe you are a man getting your dad, brother, uncle, boss, best friend, or lover a gift.  Or perhaps you need to advise someone on what gift to get for a man close to you.  Either way the holidays are a good time to get guys…

FASHIONABLE GIFTS

First let me go over which items should never be given as a gift for a man.

  • Sunglasses- men must make sure they look right themselves. See former blog post titled “Shades”
  • Anything too personal- which means clothes from the waist down. Unless the guy is so clueless then in that case: dare to do it but be conservative, don’t go get a chilled out guy an expensive pair of jeans with a lightning bolt on the crotch.
  • Cologne- This is a personal choice every man has to make for himself, I don’t care if you get him the hottest new scent and he tells you he loves it, I promise it will either collect dust or be re-gifted.
  • Cheap Crap- Nothing is worse than a cheap gift, you are better off saying you couldn’t swing a gift for everyone this year than insulting someone with a gift you had to put on K-Mart lay away.
  • A fancy overcoat, he should have one already and that’s a different post.  If he doesn’t own one then he has big problems and isn’t a grown up.
  • Anything red or green/holiday colors.  People will know your Aunt Hildegard got this festive gift for you and put it under a tree not to mention these colors limit the times of year they can be worn.

One thing men get year after year is either gloves or a wallet.  These are nice gifts but tread carefully before giving them.  Find out if these are items a guy really needs.  Maybe go with a cashmere scarf instead.  Men always look like a million dollars in them but usually will not buy one for them self.  It is definitely a gift that keeps on giving.

A few more fashion friendly suggestions:

  1. Appropriate workout clothes or cold weather gear for running. This way the gift receiver doesn’t look like Rocky chasing a chicken when he is out jogging in his high school sweats. Also, it will motivate to exercise if he doesn’t already.
  2. A Puma gym bag, because stuffing your sneaks and/or racquet in your briefcase until after work is not cute.
  3. An appropriate brief case is an excellent gift as well because a man going to work in his suit and back pack from his study abroad program is also not cute…ever.
  4. Ties, belts, and cufflinks are the type of gifts that men (who wear suits) can’t get enough off.  Just stick to simple, sleek and sexy design as to not impose your taste on anyone.

Check out a few more fun ideas by clicking on the below links

Ernest Alexander Flask Set

Shaving kits from The Art of Shaving

The Working Man’s Hygiene Kit

Coach Gloves

Elliot Dopp Kit _ Men always need these bags

Artsy Cufflinks

Cashmere Burberry Scarf– a little pricey but worth every penny

Pocket Squares– You can purchase less expensive ones at a department store but I love Mr. Porter

Unique Umbrellas

Super fun eyeglass holder

Turkish Bathrobe – ahhh Heaven!

A masculine apron by Hedley & Bennett (every man I know cooks these days and all the best chefs are men. )

Just keep in mind when shopping for a gift for a man, get them something they want not something they need. Don’t condone their bad habits by for example getting them a video game, and electronics are always a cold cop-out of a gift.  And if you can get something that they will like but would never get for themself, you truly will get bonus points.

Happy Shopping & Ba Humbug!

Keep it Clean

There’s nothing like a good sex shop. I’ve been to my fair share over the years and today I combined two of my favorite things and found myself at The Museum of Sex on lower 5th Avenue in Manhattan. The Museum itself is informative and entertaining. Of course one of the best parts is the gift shop. While perusing the store my eyes feasted on an array of items such as dirty Mad Libs, vibrators, condom lollipops and books on the history of pornography. As I arrived at the clothing section I began to think about…

VULGAR CLOTHING

Don’t get me wrong here, during my undergraduate and graduate school days I certainly wrote several papers on first amendment rights as well as my disagreement with censorship. I believe that all people have the right to express themselves. However, while no one should be told what they can and can not wear by law we all need to exercise a little discretion now and then. People who know me will say that I wear my make up like a transvestite, curse like a sailor and have done all kinds of things that have been deemed “out of line.” But I make a point not to wear my bad habits. Even so, I do not believe that anyone should wear clothing with vulgar, obscene or overly sexual images on them. I have seen a lot of this in my day and feel it is quite gauche. You never know if there are kids around who can see you, if you are about to run into your boss or worse; your crush. Not to mention you might really upset or offend someone. Oftentimes I see teenagers with t-shirts that have crude language on them and I want to approach them and ask how their parents let them go out of the house that way. Take it from me; you will never make a good impression (first or otherwise) wearing something with crude and/or inappropriate imagery or text on it. So next time you are browsing in Hot Topic or another alternative type store, stop yourself from reaching for a shirt that says, “10 cent Mustache Rides”, “I Fu**ed a Midget, “Proud Necrophiliac” or anything similar with a distasteful design. When it comes to the topics discussed/illustrated on your clothing, do yourself a favor and keep it clean.