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

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.

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.

Excess Cargo

cargo-pantsJust a few nights ago I found myself working at a charity event.  I don’t have time on this forum to explain further but I was in Brooklyn working said event and I began talking to a young man.  I was supposed to be listening and advising but I was so distracted.  This college coed was talking to me and all I could think about was the fact that he was sporting an insane amount of…

POCKETS

It was like pocket palooza.   This guy was killing me! What was he thinking?  He had so many bells and whistles going on with his jacket; frankly it was reminiscent of a straight jacket.  There were so many pockets all over his shirt that it almost looked as if someone just tossed shards of fabric together without any thought put into it.  And the amount of pockets on his pants gave cargo pants a whole new meaning.  I almost reached out and started touching this kid’s pockets to see if they had anything in them.  From what I could tell they were all empty.  When did pocket covered clothing become acceptable?  The pocket is an amazing invention.  It allows us to carry things that we do not want others to see. But this guy was just way over the line.  Two pockets on your jacket, maybe one on your shirt, and four on your pants should be the absolute maximum.  Let’s be honest unless you are filling all of those pockets, ditch the excess Cargo.  An exorbitant amount of pockets covering your body will only make you look bulky and not in a good way.  You always want to strive for a sleek neat design, not an “I just returned home from a hunting trip” look.

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