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.

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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.

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.

Formal Attire Requested

Photo Credit: Taken by Alicia Hemerlein

There’s nothing like a good wedding!  I was in attendance at my fourth wedding of the year this past weekend.  (Needless to say I have heard Corinthians 13:4 enough for a lifetime!)  This last wedding was a ton of fun but once again my critical fashion critiquing sense was in full effect.  There is no better time than now for me to write a blog post about wedding fashion etiquette.  So here it is men who are not always sure what to wear on a wedding day, my take for men on

WEDDING ATTIRE

First and foremost you must look for guidance from the invitation and take into consideration the time of day and year for each wedding event.  I can not stress how crucial this instruction is.  Make no mistake; this is not a suggestion it is a rule.  If the invitation states that the wedding is “Black Tie ,” “Black Tie Optional,” or “Formal Attire Requested” you better put on your Sunday Best.  If the invitation does not indicate any of the three aforementioned options, you may want to ere on the side of caution and ask the bride or groom what they recommend.  (Do not call them up the day before or even days before and ask them what to wear, they will be too busy to talk to you!)  The most important aspect to consider is that you do not want to in any way upstage the bride and groom.  You need to dress appropriately and conservative.  If you show up under dressed or over dressed you will be directly insulting your hosts.  Below are a few simple rules to consider when preparing your wardrobe for a wedding.

  1. Don’t be afraid to match your date.  If your date is wearing a red dress maybe you want to wear a red vest or tie and so on.
  2. Unless you are the groom you are not wearing a tuxedo or black suit before 6PM
  3. No one wears cumber buns anymore so don’t even think about it
  4. Whether you are the groom or not, white jackets are only for the summer, dressing seasonally inappropriate is a major fashion Faux Pas
  5. While you never want to take away from the happy couple, have fun with vests, cuff links, and suspenders.  These pieces will allow your personality to shine through without making a spectacle of yourself.
  6. If you wear a silk or satin scarf with your suit, you are a real class act
  7. Never wear a short sleeved collared shirt under your suit jacket…NEVER
  8. If you get hot and want to take your jacket off or roll up your sleeves a bit at the reception, that is OK, but that’s it.  Do not take off your shirt or do anything drunk and funky like that.  Remember you will be looking at the photos taken that night for the rest of your life and the photographers catch everything!  Don’t do anything you’ll regret.
  9. Unless given to you by the hosts, do not take it upon yourself to wear a boutonniere
  10. Don’t even think about wearing jeans, sneakers, or hats, I don’t care how much you can dress them up
  11. Although I understand that servicemen have a dress uniform, if you wear it you are going to stand out and take attention away from the groom.  Save your dress blues for the next Military Ball.
  12. Other people’s weddings are never the time for you to be fashionably experimental.  You may not be invited to another event from the new couple again if you do so.
Formal Daytime Evening
Morning   suit; conservative shirt and tie. (Ascot Optional) Tuxedo   or Black suit.
Semi-formal Daytime Evening
Dark   suit or Dark Blazer with grey or light colored dress pants. Dark   suit.
Informal Daytime Evening
Sports   jacket or blazer paired with a dress shirt and slacks (tie optional) Sports jacket or blazer paired   with a collared button down shirt and dress slacks (tie optional)

The above chart is a short and simple breakdown.  If all else fails, get yourself over to a Men’s Warehouse, Brooks Brothers or even a Jos A. Bank and let the sales people guide you. And for you New Yorkers out there, check out this link.

Quick Aside:  Special thanks to RM and RJM for their guidance and input for this post

A Hot Mess

Photo Credit: Lisa Romerein/Getty Images

We are officially two days away from fall.  As I was never a big fan of the hot and sticky New York City summers I welcome the transition.  It is during this time of year that many people start stowing away their bathing suits and sandals and begin to take out the bulky sweaters and heavier jackets. Usually during this conversion of seasons and wardrobe we take inventory of our attire.  Amongst all of life’s difficult choices we need to decide which pieces stay and which go.  Anyone who lives in a minuscule studio apartment with limited closet space like me knows that a lot has to go.  Tough decisions must be made and as I already touched on in a previous post, sentimental value is powerful.  I’ll make it easy for you, what needs to go is any article that is…

RIPPED (not in a trendy way)

STAINED

FADED

TOO BIG

TOO SMALL

WRINKLED BEYOND RECOGNITION

I’ve heard a million times, “I love these pants even though they have a hole,” or “This is my favorite shirt but it has a stain on it.”  My reader Sleepless in Astoria mentioned a dislike for wrinkled or stained undershirts while commenting on “Underwear or Outerwear” SIA’s exact remark was “Ewww” I couldn’t have said it better myself.  If you have an article of clothing that has a stain that can’t be beaten, a hole that can’t be mended, or has been through one too many spin cycles, then it is time to say good bye.  And I do not care if you wear something all the time, if your clothes are a hot mess that is exactly what  you will look like wearing them.  Now we all have things that maybe we know we won’t wear again but we want to keep for sentiment’s sake.  Most men do not have too many articles of clothing like this but in case you do, decide what is important and put it in the memory box.  Never wear your sentimental clothing again.  My reader Islander505 asked via a comment to a previous post about his 1986 Super Bowl sweatshirt.  I went back and forth about this comment, but in the end I decided as long as it is in good condition and you look good wearing it then rock on!  But the second it becomes tarnished in any way it goes.  One of my college writing professors said that sometimes when there are ideas you are trying to make work but cannot figure out how, you need to kill your darlings.  The same holds true for articles of clothing.  I know it sounds odd but when you need to make room and stop dressing like you buy your clothes at the five and dime; kill your darlings.

Make It Your Own

We all have teachers that we will never forget.  One particular teacher of mine from high school has always remained in my thoughts throughout the years.  He was the type who broke the rules and all the girls had a crush on him.  He taught American Drama, directed the plays, and took long stoic pauses while he bit the edge of his glasses with one eyebrow raised.  When he took those silent moments, we waited with baited breath to hear what he would say.  I do not remember exactly what words of wisdom came after those pauses but I remember quite distinctly that he would often wear…

SPORTS JACKETS WITH SUEDE ELBOW PATCHES

This teacher of mine more than rocked this look, he owned it.  I never see anyone wearing jackets with the elbow patches anymore.  When I asked men of all ages what they thought of said elbow patches, I got mixed reviews.  Some thought it was too old school, some thought it was hideous and some agreed with me and said it needs to come back in style.  Can one pull off this look if you are not a witty, iconic, high school drama teacher?  I say yes, it has a certain charm and should not be feared.  Seldom do I see these jackets in stores so you may have to dig for buried treasures in a vintage shop or through your grandpa’s old stuff to find one. (If you find one that is plaid or corduroy then you get bonus points!)   Next time you are in the mood for the retro, distinguished “Dead Poet’s Society” look, get out the jacket with the suede elbows.  Don’t be afraid to make it your own and to be the guy who brings this look back.