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.

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

A Colossal Mistake

Photo Credit: svpply.com

On any given rainy Sunday in New York City there is still so much to do.  To fulfill a longtime curiosity of mine I visited MoMA PS1 today after a fabulous brunch at William Hallet.   They had a performance today so I definitely headed upstairs to see what it was all about.  The performance was beautiful and the room was packed with ever-so-hip “Art Crowd.”  As I scanned the room I nodded to myself in acceptance when I saw a sea or chic scarves, stylish rain boots, and…wait…

LEATHER PANTS

Was this guy serious?  I thought those were banned after the 80’s.  To me, leather pants on a man at any age equals so wrong.  I do not care if you are a biker, going through a midlife crisis, into that kinky S&M look, one of The Village People or auditioning for the Rocky Horror Picture show; leather pants really rub me the wrong way. (No pun intended).  It is a total mis-use of the material.  Leather pants on men are always either too baggy or too tight.  Leather is the kind of material that does not look right when worn baggy. And if you wear it too tight, well it is just that.  We don’t make shirts out of burlap or shorts out of sandpaper because it would be a colossal mistake…just like leather pants.  When I see the catastrophe that is leather pants on a guy, my mind always reverts back to the infamous episode of FRIENDS (season 5, episode 11) when David Schwimmer’s character Ross Gellar makes a total fool of himself while wearing leather pants for the first time ever on a first date.  One of the themes of my blog is “No Fear”, however I do not think wearing leather pants is fearless it is just foolish.  When it comes to leather, unless you have the cool factor of Jim Morrison or the nerve of Marilyn Manson, stick to wallets, belts, shoes, and for some of you jackets.

Quick Aside: Leather is a lot like pure vanilla extract.  Very creamy, splendid aroma, but if you add too much you will ruin the batter.  Don’t do it Edward Scissorhands!

Working Way Too Hard

Photo Credit: http://www.123rf.com

For the most part it is women who wear the tighter clothing and men the looser.  Nowadays that is not as much the case.  I was squeezing my not-so-skinny self into a dress today that I am suppose to wear in a wedding two weeks from now and quickly realized that I looked like a stuffed sausage.  Today I was fully aware of how horrible I looked, but I began to think about how many men I see that look awful in clothes that are…

TOO TIGHT

I know skinny jeans are in, and being metro sexual, a hipster, or just trendy is en vogue but there is such a thing as your jeans being too skinny.  Why do I see so many men walking around with neck fat pouring over their collars, bulging crotches, muffin tops, practically exposed flabby man boobs, or the all time worst; bellies pouring out from under a shirt?  No one wants to date guy whose clothes are working way too hard.  Seriously, you need to try on clothes before you buy them and on that note don’t walk around looking like you picked up your outfit in the boys department.  Never ever purchase an article of clothing that is too tight while promising yourself you’ll lose weight.  You’ll wind up keeping the extra pounds and then you’ll love the outfit, squeeze into it anyway and look like a fool.  I have met so many men who hold on to clothes that are too tight in the hopes that one day they will be back to their high school weight or be as thin as they were after recovering from mono.  Dream on! It is never going to happen.  Donate the way-too-skinny stuff and move on with your life.  Don’t be afraid to buy the size that fits you and for the love of all things holy ask a sales person for help.  If you are a bigger guy, wearing clothes that are too small will only make you look larger.  If you are fit, wearing skinny stuff is ok, just make sure what you are wearing does not show us all of your goods.  If you are not sure how skinny is too skinny here is a tip; if you need to lie down on your bed, have another person assist you, or say ten Hail Mary’s before putting something on, it is too tight! Finally, read the labels.  You will be sorry if your favorite shirt becomes the victim of dryer shrinkage or washing machine damage.  There is no going back at that point, you have to say goodbye.

Quick Aside:  If you are broad in the chest and/or shoulders and have trouble finding a dress shirt that fits properly for a decent price, try Express.  They cater to this body type and have the best assortment of colors.

A Good Idea in Theory

Photo Credit: apparelnews.net

It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  Isn’t it amazing how many insane people there are, well, according to this definition?  What bothers me is how many men keep making the same fashion mistakes over and over and thinking they will at some point look chic.  More specifically…

SWEATER VESTS

Almost every store that sells men’s clothing from H & M to Bergdorf Goodman carries sweater vests.  The lesson of the day is; sweater vests are not for every man! Please don’t get me wrong, some men look amazing in them but you need to be aware of whether or not you are one of these men.   I asked a few guys what their take on sweater vests was and I got some interesting opinions.  My go-to-fashion expert said, “Sweater vests are for golf courses and right-wing political failures like Rick Santorum.”  Another guy I asked said, “I think only politicians and people with PhDs in agriculture or history wear them.”  Needless to say, both had very humorous responses.  The rule really is that if you are overweight then the answer is always no to sweater vests.  A lot of men think if they wear a sweater vest it will cover up their gut, but in reality it only makes it worse.  Contrary to the two aforementioned opinions, the sweater vest is not for any specific genre of men.  It really depends on your style and build.  I used to have a boyfriend who was not overweight and very handsome, yet he looked awful in sweater vests.  I did not believe him when he first told me this fashion fact and then he tried one on for me.  No matter what, he just couldn’t make the “sweater vest look” happen.  Looking back, I praise him for being self-aware enough to know this. So please do not continuously wear sweater vests if they do not enhance you in any way.  They look great on the hanger in the store, I know.  But much like Reaganomics or white carpeting; for some men they are only a good idea in theory.

Quick Aside: All girls love and all guys want to be Ferris Bueller ever since his infamous day off back in 1986.  But please, do not go for the “short sleeves under the sweater vest” look if you are over the age of 25.