Shades

For me, flavored coffee from Dunkin Donuts is a real treat.  This morning I decided I deserved this hot indulgence.  There is nothing I love more than hot coffee on a cold day.  As I was waiting for my coffee I observed the men around me, all wearing…

SUNGLASSES

I am truly a believer in wearing sunglasses all year long.  Your eyes are the first part of your face to age so you want to avoid those crow’s feet as long as possible.  I asked a few men I know to tell me what their take on sunglasses was.  Which are the best, which are worth the money, when to wear them, etc.  Here is the feedback that I absolutely agree with.

The sporty sunglasses you just bought for close to $200 are of good name and probably have amazing polarized lenses. Good for you. They are probably block white, or black with blue mirror lenses, and cover half of your face. Therefore, you need to only wear them when you are out on the beach, boat, playing a sport, or on patrol in Kandahar Province.

Too many guys these days think because they sprung for the awesome glasses they can wear them with their suit, or in just any situation. This is not so. If you have a facebook friend who recently got married and posted the groom’s party pictures where they do the iconic and common “let’s all line up in our tuxedos, fold our arms in front of us, and wear bulky black, shiny Oakley’s…because we are a bunch of bad-asses!!!” The shiny mirror sunglasses are OK if you are sitting at the final table at the world series of poker, if you are pitching the last inning of a no-hitter at Yankee’s stadium, or if you are Lance Armstrong. But while wearing formal wear or business wear for that matter, put on a more delicate pair of shades. The bulky Oakley’s are made in the USA and they sure are cool but not made for every scenario.

While wearing a suit, where do you put your sunglasses when you go indoors? They don’t fit right in your suit pocket. And a little etiquette here: you better take them off while inside! Even if you are dining alfresco, in many cultures, it is very rude to hide your eyes. My fashion expert learned this in Eastern Europe…the hard way.

If another pair of glasses stretches your wallet, ditch the Oakley’s and get a pair of Smiths; they are a little cheaper but just as polarized. Then you have some extra bucks to pick up a nice pair of Maui Jims which look amazing with anything and are very durable for the money. If you insist on a pair of Serengeti’s please tread lightly, it has been a long time since “Top Gun”, and the word Maverick now has a whole new meaning…just ask Sarah Palin.

 

Quick Aside:  A nice pair of sunglasses is an amazing investment and most of the time worth the money.  But, if you are anything like me and you go through several pairs of sunglasses per year due to damage, loss, or lending without return, then do yourself a favor and go for the less expensive pair.

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.

Carte Blanche

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

On any given day I’ll walk by a dozen gyms/yoga studios/fitness centers and the like.  Of course I always promise myself that one day I am going to be one of those people avidly working out day after day.  But alas, I am more the “order take-out and bitch about being out of shape” kind.  Although I do get myself to a yoga class every now and again, I don’t work out nearly as much as I should.  But there was a time in my life when I did.  Where is this rambling going?  Where else, but the topic of…

WORK OUT WEAR

In late September a reader, “Shirtless in the City” asked me about this very topic in response to my post about which clothes need to be retired and when.  He said he creates a gym pile for clothes that are no longer suitable for outings and/or work.  I will almost always say that when it comes to clothing you get what you pay for so spend your money wisely.  On the contrary however, when it comes to work out attire you don’t have to break the bank.  Just make sure you are comfortable and wearing breathable material.  But of course try to wear something that accentuates your best body features. When it’s time to sweat you still need to be cautious.  It is ok to wear and older T-shirt and a pair of worn sweats or shorts.  However, in terms of gym clothes; holes, rips, stains, and wrinkles need not apply.  Just because you are at the gym and getting sweaty does not give you carte blanche to look like hell.  And let’s be honest, what kind of people go to the gym?  Usually young, fit, sexy, tan people, (the fat pieces of crap are at home on the couch just thinking about how they wish they had the discipline to work out).  So you never know who you might meet.  You wouldn’t want to unexpectedly run into your boss or a crush looking unkept or dare I say gauche.

Quick Aside:  Please don’t wear spandex pants unless you are a runner, a cyclist or have a body that could be seen on the cover of Men’s Fitness

Tailored Accordingly

Anyone who has ever taking the subway in New York City in the morning on a weekday knows how crowded it can get.  If you are lucky, and perhaps getting on at the end of the line, you may even get a seat.  For those of you who take part in this ritual probably try to relax in preparation for the day ahead while sipping coffee and reading the paper.  Well, at least that is how they portray it in the movies right?  In reality, if I get a seat I know that I am going to get a face full of someone else’s crotch to go with my ride.  Obviously the people who were not fortunate enough to get a seat will stand so close to you and give you a full frontal view.  This happens to me all the time so I am used to it.  But the other day I was exposed to a guy wearing…

PLEATED PANTS

They were staring right at me during a morning ride on the subway.  Once again I was annoyed by a man’s choice in fashion.  I don’t know when pleated pants came about, became popular or went out of style.  I just know they have no place on a modern man.   I do not even see pleated pants in the stores anymore and for good reason.  They look awkward and they always have.  They for sure fall under the category of “not sexy.”  While I am a big fan of vintage clothing shops, I urge all men to never purchase pleated pants; used or new.  They say pleated pants give larger men or men with an athletic build more room, but I disagree.   The right pair of flat front pants should fit just fine and will look cleaner as well as more sophisticated. Just make sure you purchase the right size and have them tailored accordingly.  You want them to be fitted and sexy not showing all your goods.

Pets Not People

Photo Credit: oakorchardcanoe.com

It was another fabulous weekend here in New York City.  Thankfully the weather was cooperating so all the hip and happening folks were out and about.  My friends and I grabbed a late dinner at Mole on the lower west side and then we were off to The Village Tavern for drinks and shenanigans. There were so many young good-looking guys there.  It was one of my friends who noticed first that many men there were wearing…

FLEECE VESTS

What a turn off.  I know I already expressed my feelings on sweater vests but this is a horse of a completely different color.  I know people love fleece.  I am not sure where and when fleece became popular but I blame Old Navy.  I get it: fleece is soft, durable, washable, inexpensive, comes in an array of colors, and so on.  And just like anything else, fleece vests have their place, like on the slopes or camping for example. But for the most part fleece should be worn on pets not people and maybe for the occasional blanket.  Out at night in the city on the weekend is not where they belong.  It really annoys me when I see a guy wearing a nice collared button down shirt with a fleece sweater vest.  That is an incorrect juxtaposition of epic proportions.  You would never wear ripped jeans and a tuxedo jacket would you? No.  I guess the point is, do not mix casual wear with not so casual wear.  It looks awkward and fleece vests just look cheap and dingy. Put on a real jacket or a sweater for crying out loud.

Mountain Man

Last night my friends and I stayed local but had a wild post Halloween/post hurricane good time.  After a fabulous party we stopped at a local bar for a few drinks to wind down the night.  I wound up talking to a bearded guy.  I’ll spare you the details about how the night went with this guy and just ask all readers this question: What is your take on men’s…

FACIAL HAIR

I hate facial hair on men.  I feel it looks dirty, un-kept and lazy.  Some men slack off with shaving during a vacation or on a sluggish Sunday and that is understandable.  But for the most part my advice is to not be such a sloth and just shave.  I comprehend and agree with the mild stubble look and maybe an extremely groomed mustache but that is as far as it goes.  Over the years I have asked a lot of hairy faced men why they don’t shave.  They always say one of two things.  1- “It keeps my face warm” or 2, “It looks cool like John Lennon, Che Guevara, Abe Lincoln, Ernest Hemingway or even Jesus.”   Queue the eye roll.  I can’t stand when people compare themselves to others that they really can’t relate to but that’s a whole other topic.   Facial hair can be really serial killer/child molester creepy ie: Charles Manson, Bin Laden, Hitler, Stalin etc.  Even when I see Brad Pitt sporting that mountain man facial hair look I think he looks like he may as well be wearing shoes made out of duct tape and begging for money outside of the Port Authority.  So unless you are walking around with a blue ox named Babe or you are one of the stars in “Duck Dynasty” do yourself and every person you’ll ever kiss a favor and shave! And, salons are obviously for men too.  For all of you readers that are also New Yorkers check out this link. New York Magazine;Men’s Shaves. And while you are clicking away take a look at this site about What Facial Hair Says About a Man.

Quick Aside:  If you have a beard and it is going gray, you do not look more distinguished you just look old.  Get rid of it gramps.

Dashing in the Rain

Photo Credit: teddybearpages.com

I don’t know about all of you readers out there but I love a good hurricane.  It is so interesting how people react differently.  I heard of some people evacuating days prior and stocking up on food and batteries.  On the other hand I had to walk outside during the storm and saw kids flying kites in high-speed winds and others Bar-B-Que-ing on their apartment balconies.  For me, I look forward to the less desirable damp weather to check out the latest…

RAIN COATS

Now, I know when there is a hurricane, most people are not worried about looking dashing in the rain.  However, here in New York City where style is everything, you can still see some sexy looks during a dreary day.  I first noticed men’s rain gear back in 2005 when I took a trip to London.  Holy Moly do the men dress well across the pond.  All of the men seemed to dress head to toe in designer clothes at any given time.  Anyway, I digress.  For the sexiest rainy day look go for the Burberry Trench coat (black or tan).  It is quite pricey but if you invest in it now and you live in a wet climate, you will wear it for the rest of our life.  For a less expensive option try London Fog; named after the city where the men dress to kill and it rains almost every day.  Also, you may want to check out J. Crew for said trench coats.  Remember, often these items are only sold seasonally.  So you can not show up in November looking for one because they will have out all the winter parkas.  But then again you can always purchase online.  A few more points to consider…

  • While I very much respect people who work in the News Media profession they are always wearing those wind breakers in poor weather and on television no less.  Unless you are a coach, a soccer dad on the sidelines or a college campus tour guide you should not wear the wind breakers in rainy weather or ever.
  • We always look at little kids with fondness dressed in their bright yellow rain jackets.  This look is cute but it is for children and teddy bears.  Do not wear the bright yellow rain coat unless you are the Gorton’s Fisherman guy or Dick Tracy for that matter.
  • To piggy back off of the last point, all jackets made out of plastic, pleather or any other shiny cheap synthetic material are never allowed on any day.

So, the next time it pours or when the next hurricane hits, you want to think London chic and sexy Sherlock Holmes.  That guy always had it right.

Quick Aside: No one ever looked better or was cooler than Humphrey Bogart in the best rainy movie scene.  Notice his chic Trench Coat in this movie clip…Casablanca.