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

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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

Plaid Fad

Photo Credit: tumblr.com/tagged/plaid-shirts

Photo Credit: tumblr.com/tagged/plaid-shirts

Such a great Saturday night this past weekend.  I attended a birthday party for a fabulous pair of twins.  At first, I was hesitant to attend.  I could not convince any of my friends to go with me, it was all the way down town and to top it all off it had begun to rain that night.  But alas, I headed south to Delancey Street and I am glad I did because I had a fabulous time!  We partied until the wee hours at a club/bar called The DL on the lower east side.  This was one of those places with many levels, so you could look down at the crowd.  While I was scoping out the eye candy I realized I was feasting on a sea of

PLAID SHIRTS

I feel that these days plaid shirts are a real “go to” staple for men and that is absolutely acceptable.  Plaid shirts are trendy, stylish and look good on almost all men.  It is hard to go wrong with a plaid shirt as they can be worn for a dressy night out or to a casual afternoon outing. However every once in a while I see a plaid shirt that looks more like a Christmas tree skirt or the knitted blanket that has been on Nana’s couch since ’82. Sad but sometimes so true. After I started thinking about the plaid shirt phenomenon while sipping my cocktail, one of my friends at the party/one of the hottest guys there said to me something along the lines of, “What do you think of my outfit, I went with the plaid shirt/ printed tie combo?” He looked outstanding.  Men need not be afraid of wearing a tie with a print on it in combination with a chic plaid shirt.  It is often hit or miss so do not attempt this combination unless you know what you are doing.  Like I often say, just don’t go nuts.  You would not want to wear a super complicated plaid with many colors with an over bearing print on a tie.  It would not be aesthetically pleasing to the eye if you know what I mean.   Also, I have known men that go over board and wear plaid shirts so often they become known as “the plaid shirt guy”  This is not a nickname you want, so make sure to keep your wardrobe in full rotation at all times.  Check out some of the shirts at Express Men or Lucky Jeans.

Quick Aside:  Please do not confuse plaid with flannel.  They are cousins but not twins. Plaid is for sexy guys who get laid a lot, know how to dress and want to make a good impression.  Flannel is for keeping warm in front of the refrigerator and cowboys who belch out loud in public.

The Power of Jewelry

Earlier this week I found myself at The United Nations working at an event.  The UN is not in all of the tour books but I would say it is a must see.  The last time I was there I was at a protest a few years ago exercising the hippy in me.  This visit was much different because I was able to speak to several people who worked at The UN.  There were people from all over the world working there of course, and each person more interesting than the next.  Most of the men looked pretty sharp.  No surprise there since America is so poorly dressed in general compared to the rest of the world.  While looking these foreign men up and down in a subtle manner I got to thinking about modern men and

JEWELRY

When it comes to jewelry there is most definitely a double standard.  Men absolutely can not get away with wearing as much jewelry as women.  When we look back at images of the earliest Native Americans, the men had silver, gold, turquoise and then some all over their bodies.  Times have really changed.  If you are a modern day professional man who wants to look en vogue then follow the regulations below.

  1. Only wear one item, if any, on your wrists at any time.  So if you are wearing a watch that is it.  If you are wearing a bracelet, that is it.
  2. When it comes to necklaces the simpler the better and of course only one at a time.  Women do not like it when men have too much going on around their necks.
  3. If you are a professional you should not have pierced ears let alone wear earrings.  In this day in age earrings are very popular with a lot of men.  If you want to wear a maximum of one in each ear out on a Saturday night that is acceptable but do not go overboard.
  4. If you can pull it off, and I mean REALLY, only if you can pull it off, only one ring.  (This is if you are not already wearing a wedding band) Men who wear rings for fun always seem to be weird to me.
  5. Never ankle bracelets or toe rings…NEVER.  I don’t care if your ten year old niece Chloe made you an ankle bracelet out of thread when you all were vacationing at the beach one summer.  Ankle bracelets=not sexy under any circumstance.
  6. Class rings, a fraternal insignia, family heir looms, military service pins, or athletic rings/necklaces are always touching but like I often warn, tread carefully.  It may mean the world to you but make sure that your sentimental jewelry doesn’t make you look like a hot mess.
  7. Stick to only one of the precious metals at a time. For example, if you are wearing gold, make sure all of your jewelry for the day is gold. It is gaudy and tacky to mix and match.
  8. When it comes to stones, less is more.  I hope this needs no further explanation.
  9. Know your color palette, if you are really fair or have lighter reddish hair, stay away from gold jewelry or anything with a pink or yellow hue.  It will bring out your worst color features.
  10.  As far as body jewelry is concerned, if you are a professional piercer or tattoo artist or if you work behind the counter at Hot Topic then go nuts.  But otherwise the answer is no.   No one will take you seriously if you have a face so full of metal you look like you need tetanus shot!

Jewelry is a very powerful thing, and always has been in almost all societies throughout time.  If you stop and think about it, we look at a person’s jewelry and very quickly assume age, sexual orientation, economic status, religious affiliation, race, gender, marital status, wealth, etc. It is a matter a personal style and all men have to decide the direction they want to go with jewelry.  I know men who find jewelry to be a burden and never wear any; on the other hand I know men who would not take off their gaudy gold chains even if they are on the beach.  Many businesses have stipulations in their bylaws about men’s jewelry.  It usually goes something along the lines of, “modest, tasteful or appropriate jewelry only” This is a good rule to stick to not only for work but for life as well. And, remember if you are a jewelry wearer; create categories such as every day, casual, dressy, super fancy.  Only bring out your best pieces for the poshest red carpet events.

Quck Aside: Never under any circumstance purchase jewelry at a deparmtent store.  Not for yourself, not for a gift, not for your worst enemy.  Ugh I’m getting sick just thinking about cheap department store jewelry.