Misleading Appearences

Recently an old co-worker of mine that I have not seen for a few years reached out to me for some fashion help. He reads this blog and really enjoys it. (Or at least that is what he tells me.) He asked if I would go out shopping with him and said he was looking to purchase several new pieces to spruce up his wardrobe. He told me that he had not been shopping in forever so I said of course! To be honest,  the pleasure was all mine and I think I had more fun than he did. I always get a thrill out of massively spending other people’s money. After catching up over dinner at Saigon Market (great place by the way!) we headed into the concrete jungle. We visited all the usual culprits: J. Crew, Zara, Banana Republic even Nordstrom Rack.  I definitely took something away from this shopping experience that I want to share with all of you readers out there. Sometimes, no matter how much you may want an article of clothing, some apparel

 
LOOKS BETTER ON DISPLAY

The lesson here is you must try on, try on, try on! I know a lot of guys that despise trying clothes on. I sympathize. Trying clothes on can seem like a waste of time, sometimes you have to wait in a line which is always obnoxious, dressing rooms these days often leave much to be desired and let’s face it, the lighting is always atrocious!  However, we all see clothes and accessories that look like a million dollars before we try them on.  You must keep in mind that you are not an anatomically correct/perfect mannequin, that flawless folded sweater may not look so flawless on your body, the sales associate may rock those hot pants but that does not mean you will too or just because you saw an ad with the most stylish jacket on a model that probably eats celery for dinner does not mean it is going to be sexy on you. I hope you are seeing my point here, no matter how good a garment may look on the hanger it may look awful on your body so you must never assume.  As they say, “appearences are misleading” so you must try on!

Photo Credit: http://hypebeast.com

Photo Credit: http://hypebeast.com

Quick Aside:  Take a look at this fun article I stumbled upon about affordable men’s wear…Where to Shop: The 10 Best Stores for Finding Affordable Men’s Style

“Buy what you don’t have yet, or what you really want, which can be mixed with what you already own. Buy only because something excites you, not just for the simple act of shopping.”  ~Karl Legerfeld

Change It Up Cowboy

Photo Credit: jeanshook.com

Photo Credit: jeanshook.com

Have you ever been so freezing cold you can feel the frost bite migrating throughout your body?  That was how I felt standing in line on Saturday night for a bar in the meatpacking district called 675.  Since when do people stand on line for bars?  All I could think was that they must have been giving out free blow jobs inside because the bouncer was not letting anyone in and not too many folks were coming out. We never made it inside due to hypothermia and impatience.  Although, I walked away intrigued, and I will be back.  We strolled over to Gaslight Lounge not too far away from 675.  Nice crowd, some cute men, and many of them were wearing jeans.  Don’t get me wrong, they were nice jeans and this was meatpacking.  But some men really feel they need to wear

JEANS AT ALL TIMES

Honestly, I have known some men who feel naked if they aren’t wearing denim.  I was never really one for the “nice jeans paired with a blazer or sports jacket” look but I guess it is mildly acceptable. (Downtown only of course)  I know we all like to stay in our comfort zones at times but seriously, “step away from the jeans”  Open yourself up to a world of dress pants, khakis, or dare I say corduroy?!?!  There are other textures out there. Anything, other than jeans all the time.  Everyone loves a good pair of jeans; I have even heard men say they feel that with jeans they can’t go wrong.  This is so foolish, you can go wrong my friends, by wearing jeans like they are your uniform.  Beauty, fashion, and just plain looking good is about more than being comfortable.  So get yourself over to a Bloomingdale’s or a J.Crew or an Express Men or whatever store tickles your fancy (never an Old Navy!) and get yourself a nice pair of pants!  Think about the famous scene from Donnie Brasco when Al Pacino’s character Lefty looks at Johnny Depp’s character Donnie who wears jeans all the time and says something along the lines of, “…go get a pair of pants, this isn’t a f**king rodeo!”  Jeans are allowed; they are comfy, sexy and downright American, they just can not be worn for every occasion possible.  You would not want your crush whispering, “Is that the only pair of pants he owns?” would you? Change it up cowboy!

“I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant.  They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.”  ~Yves Saint Laurent

 

Photo Credit: www.uproxx.com

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

Quick Aside: I hope it goes without saying that skinny jeans, tapered jeans, or Cavaricci jeans are never allowed, not even on AC Slater.

In Transit

Photo by Stephen Swintek/Getty Images

Photo by Stephen Swintek/Getty Images

When taking a short trip or a long journey we all put so much effort into what we are packing and not so much effort into what we will be wearing while in transit.  I recently got home from a fabulous trip to Washington DC to visit loved ones. Great Town! I always favor air travel as my preferred mode of transportation but this time I took the bus.  For anyone who has ever driven to DC from New York you know it is a long trip.  I had a lot of time to think.  So I looked around and realized that most everyone looked like a slob.  So what advice is there to give in terms of

TRAVEL WEAR

When it comes to trains, planes, and automobiles the rules are always the same.  Just because you are traveling does not mean you can dress like an idiot.  People are still going to see you.  And like I always say by the laws of the universe the worse you look the more likely it is you will run into your boss, ex, or current crush.  Hey, maybe the good-looking flight attendant will wind up being the person of your dreams, hello first impressions!  You can always tell the sharp dressed men who are on a business trip.  They often have to dress up because they have a hot-shot business meeting to attend as soon as they arrive at their destination.  I am not saying you need to put on a suit and tie every time you get on the subway or take a scenic train ride to upstate New York, but you can not look like you just rolled out of bed and covered your greasy hair up with a hat for travel.  There was a guy like this on my bus ride down to DC.  I wanted to say, “Bro, this is a 4 hour bus ride not an overnight ride in a sleeper car on the Orient express, get out of your pajamas!”  Like I always say find a middle ground.  It is important to be comfortable but that does not give you permission to look like hell.  Here are a few extra but essential tips:

1. Always dress in layers, not a million sloppy hoodies but sweater, collared shirt blazer type layers

2. If it is summer and you are wearing sandals of some kind, carry a pair of socks, they always pump up the air conditioning during travel and your toes will freeze.

3. Never under any circumstance can you wear a track suit

4. Make sure your travel bag is sophisticated and chic.  That means no high school duffel bags, no old ass back packs, and absolutely no garbage bags.  Nothing kills a nice look more than a poor accessory.

5. If you are traveling with any expensive jewelry keep it on your person or do not bring it.  If you are wearing it or have it in a pouch in your pocket then it is less likely to get lost or damaged.

6. It is ok to travel with a neck pillow as an accessory; it is not ok to whip out one of those corny ones with a panda bear attached to it, I don’t care who bought it for you!

7. Always bring a sexy yet functional scarf of some kind.  You never know when it may have to double as a blanket, a pillow or a force field against the fat man hacking up a lung sitting beside you. Gross!

Photo Credit:  http://menshealth.com

Photo Credit: http://menshealth.com

8. Don’t forget your sunglasses.  Whether your journey is long or short your eyes may look beat by the end.  Cover them up and you’ll look super fresh.

9. Fanny packs on men= NEVER EVER ALLOWED!

Quick Aside:  No travel ensemble is complete without your own headphones and a sleep mask.  With all the crying kids and flourescent lighting these days you are a fool to travel without either one.

Check out these links! Bose Headphones   and     Sleep Masks

“Dress up your sportswear and dress down your formal wear.”
– Luciano Barbera

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.

Out With the Old

wire-hangersHello everyone!  I must begin by apologizing for being absent for so long.  It was a hectic holiday season but I am back on track.  Thank you all for being loyal readers during my blogging career thus far. Every one loves the idea of a fresh start and I have always believed that it is never too late to start over.  So today I would like to suggest to all the men out there some fashion related

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Now is the time to let go and leave behind all of our reckless wardrobe blunders and look towards more stylish days ahead.  First and foremost, you must take some time to access every piece of your clothing and I mean everything.  Look through all garments from socks to formal wear.  Get out a box for donation and get rid of anything that:

·        Does not fit (ie. items you promised yourself last year would fit you after you lost all the holiday weight)

·        Is ripped, torn, stained, stretched out, too faded, etc. (even old ratty gym clothes need to be replaced every once in a while)

·        Was a mistake to purchase in the first place (we all have impulse purchases)

·        A gift someone gave you that you’ll never wear (Thanks Aunt Lulu for this cool authentic suede vest with fringe, I can’t wait to wear it….NOT!)

·        You have not worn in the last year and never will (be honest with yourself)

·        Reminds you of your ex like a crappy old T-shirt they gave you (*exception unless the item is super stylish, expensive, and/or irreplaceable like a nice winter coat, and classy pair of gloves, or a fancy leather wallet, some items are timeless and never worth giving up!)

·        You bought for a specific occasion that never happened. (I guess that Cowboys and Indians theme party is not going to be rescheduled?)

·        You thought would look fabulous and you wore it once and then it looked horrible on. (ie. Some items look magnificent on the hanger but we must try on at all times before purchase…golden rule, don’t fight it)

·        Hand-me-downs that never quite made it onto your body (I loved my late uncle Earl but I really just don’t see myself wearing his purple velvet leisure suit that he left me)

how-to-design-a-mans-closet-1You must make room now in your attire for the fresh and new.  Get rid of the crap and clear the space for the fabulous!  Make sure to gather all your gift cards from the holiday and those you may have received throughout the year but did not have a chance to use. (Some gifts cards have expiration dates so be sure to use them!) January is one of the best if not the best time to shop.  All of the stores have the biggest sales and you can make outstanding purchases at a great price.  Take inventory of all the gifts you got over the holidays that you want to exchange. Don’t worry about hurting Aunt Peggy’s feelings, she will probably never notice.  Exchange that ugly sweater for something you really want and will wear. If you keep the ugly sweater to be diplomatic and never wear it, that is a fashion crime.  And while you are tossing things out, get rid of all wire hangers.  They are also a crime.

“Looking good isn’t self importance; it’s self respect.” ~Charles Hix

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!

Lasting Impressions

Personally, Holidays are not for me.  I am not much of a birthday/anniversary person either but that is a story for another day. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not one for tradition and definitely not what one might call traditional. I just can’t stand forced celebration and mandatory gatherings.  The whole thing stresses me out.  I always just want to stay home alone in my apartment and hide under the covers during holidays, but like most people I feel a sense of obligation and often wind up going to a family member’s home so that I can roll my eyes and hope the meal goes quickly and painlessly.  So, here I present the sometimes controversial topic of…

HOLIDAY ATTIRE

I have been to many holiday meals in my day and people treat holidays differently from family to family.  The thing is guys; you have to get dressed on the holidays.  Some men feel that if they are the ones hosting the holiday they are allowed to dress down, and they are dead wrong.  If you are hosting a holiday gathering you should be the best dressed one there.  Over the years many men have told me, “I just want to wear sweats and watch football.”  This is so barbaric to me and absolutely not sexy.  As much as we want to treat holidays like any other Sunday afternoon, we can’t.  So do not just toss on an outfit from the hamper that you would wear on any Sunday afternoon.  A lot of men like to wear softer pants so that there is room for more food.  Gross! Wear normal pants and don’t eat like a pig! At the very minimum, (and I really mean minimum) you should wear a fitted sleek polo shirt and your nicest pair of jeans.  Holidays are not the time for sweats, T-shirts, and white socks.  So don’t be such a lazy piece of shit and get dressed.  For some people the holidays are the only time of year that they see family.  Make a good impression that will last all year.

Quick Aside:  Holidays are not the time to be fashionably experimental.  You don’t want people saying for years to come, “Remember that Thanksgiving years ago when cousin Joey wore that outfit that made him look like he owned a chocolate factory…hahahahahaha”  Families have a way of reminding you of your most embarrassing moments and poorest choices… FOREVER, so don’t give them any ammunition.