One Wrong Move

Photo Taken by Amanda Maz

Photo Taken by Amanda Maz

Most people would agree that there is a time and a place for everything.  More specifically, all wardrobe pieces will see their day at least once.  On the other hand, we all know that, much like people, you can not just match any articles of clothing together and expect them to get along.  On my way home today after a long day, I spotted a fashion faux pas of epic proportions that I actually was able to secretly take a photo of!  Everyone around me was quietly making their way home from their Tuesdays.  The man I noticed had on a light-colored blazer, (appropriate for this time of year), and even lighter colored dress shirt, black dress slacks, black leather shoes, and he was carrying a black, leather, soft briefcase.  This was not one of those situations where at first glance you do not notice the flaw.  Right away I observed that he was wearing what I am going to refer to as

THE PIECE THAT RUINED THE OUTFIT

Okay, I need to just come out with it already.  He was wearing an Ed Hardy tie.   Who does that?!?! Look, do not get me wrong, I believe men should use their ties to spice up their outfits, I am even a fan of Ed Hardy at times, but this was just disgusting.  He ruined his whole “laid back, city, working man, on a spring day” look.  To reference an equivalent, think of a newly decorated modern-day bedroom.  You take the time to pick out the perfect bedding, (nothing less than 1,000 thread count Egyptian cotton of course!), the super classy window treatments that you paid way too much for, elegant yet functional side tables, and then

Photo Taken by Amanda Maz

Photo Taken by Amanda Maz

you throw down a vintage, lime green, used, shag carpet area rug that you picked up for 5 bucks at a yard sale.  This would never happen!  It would be beyond blasphemous to say the least!  People, I caution you, do not ruin your entire outfit with one wrong move.  I hope this poor man was not going to an interview!  He would most definitely have received the “We’ll let you know” blow off.  

While I was taking stalker-like photos of this poorly dressed guy, the man sitting next to me, who was without a doubt a tourist, caught me in the act and looked at me like I was a serial killer, or at least totally nuts.  I wanted to let him in on what I was up to, but I decided it would be more fun if he went back to his hometown in South Dakota or wherever and told the funny story of the girl taking random photos of a man she didn’t know.

“A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.”Oscar Wilde

Quick Aside:  Check out this link a friend of mine told me about from GQ. Style Terms Every Man Should Know.

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Tchotchkes and Knick Knacks

Photo Credit: www.etsy.com

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

I hate tchotchkes and knick knacks.  I try and toss stuff out all the time.  We are definitely living in a society that is obsessed with stuff.  Whatever happened to less is more?  Our appearances really are true indicators of what are personal lives are like.  People who look like slob kebobs all the time are usually hoarders and those who look perfectly put together and aligned all the time are probably way too anal-retentive.  This is not an exact science but it is often on point.  So to get to the issue of the day I want to talk about the somewhat ‘off- the beaten path’ topic of

KEYCHAINS

A few days ago a friend of mine returned from a trip from Las Vegas.  He brought me back a keychain with my name on it as a souvenir.  I was grateful that he thought of me but in my typical snob manner I said, “Maybe now is a good time to go over my policy on tchotchkes….”  I’m such a bitch, I know!  I tell this story only to segue into another.  I was once on a date many years ago and it was going really well.  He was neat, clean, good on paper, paid the check, the usual.  But when it was time to leave, he pulled out a mammoth bunch of key chains and claimed they were his car keys.  I almost puked up my duck l’orange.  Although this was a few years back the guy was in his later 20’s at the time.  Yet his keychain, first of all, had way too many keys.  What are you a janitor?  Then it had souvenir key chains from every island in the Caribbean and Cancun of course.  Then there was the sports paraphernalia.  Yuck!  He had a keychain from each team he was a fan of in every sport.  I even saw a rabbit’s foot hanging off of there.  I mean taxidermy = not sexy.   And for the love of all things holy, I think I was most offended by his Honda key chain.  I wanted to

scream, “Bro! Unless you drive a Bentley, a Ferrari or the like you don’t need the key chain.”   And let’s not forget those little plastic membership cards for the A&P or the gym he probably never goes to.  Let’s just say he had everything on there but the kitchen sink. I was beyond appalled.  I remember this like it was yesterday.  If I went on a date with a guy who rocked all of these colossal key chain mistakes today, I would sneak out before dessert, however back them I was young and naïve. So, I wound up going back to his apartment with him to hang out with some other friends.  And what do you know his apartment had Nintendo, movie posters covering the wall and was an absolute and utter mess.  We never went out again and I hope he is reading this right now and knows it’s about him. Moral of the story: Keep the key chains classy and to a minimum.

So-NO!

I always make fashion exceptions for tourists, mostly because I feel bad for them and assume they don’t know any better.  If they are not from New York City I just roll my eyes like a snob when I see them committing fashion suicide, judge them in my mind, and assume they are from somewhere like South Carolina where fashion does not exist.  Times Square is the worst.  Always crawling with tourists and fashion disasters, therefore I try to steer clear as much as I can.  Recently, I was at a posh meeting south of Houston street and one of the men I was speaking had the nerve to wear…

DOUBLE DENIM

Yuck!  Some like to call this look “The Canadian Tuxedo.”  I thought most people with any intelligence would know that more than one article of denim, no matter what color, is a fashion sin. To make matters worse, this guy was going on and on about how he grew up on the Upper East Side.  Here I was thinking he must be from Mars to think that double denim is fashionable these days let alone in New York City and in SoHo for that matter! This look was So-NO! Yes, I was appalled to say the least!  It was a style offense of epic proportions.  I mean seriously, what planet was this guy on? ddRemember in 2001 when Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears showed up to The American Music Awards in double denim?  I would understand if you tried to forget. (See above photo) It was a nightmare when they did it and there are not too many looks those two can’t get away with.  If “The Canadian Tuxedo” looks awful on celeb royalty, you certainly should not attempt it ever in life. I do not care if you are a cowboy, a farmer, the biggest hillbilly ever or can belch the alphabet, the maximum number of denim articles of clothing allowed on one person at one time is one.

“The difference between a man of sense and a fop is that the fop values himself upon his dress; and the man of sense laughs at it, at the same time he knows he must not neglect it.”
– Lord Chesterfield

Formal Means Formal

Photo Credit: www.buzzle.com

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

Although winter and fall are my favorite seasons, this time when winter turns to spring is always quite charming.  There are those March days that are full of snow and others can be so sunny that you think you may have to put on sun block. Mostly, it is a great time for a road trip.  This past weekend I took a short road trip to New England and down memory lane.  I attended a reunion of sorts, had a blast and looked fabulous while doing it! I suppose all reunions whether family, work, or college have their dress codes.  The one I attended was pretty fancy.  I know I wrote a post regarding wedding attire already, (Please see my October 15th post, “Formal Attire Requested”), but today’s post, although possibly redundant, is on the general topic of

FORMAL WEAR

When men go to weddings, proms, bar mitzvahs, christenings, funerals, and the like, they are a little more clued in concerning what to wear.  But when the only criteria for an event is  “formal”, men try to get away with the most horrible offense of all: under dressing.  Make no mistake about it; being under dressed is the worst!  I apologize if my hyperbole is jarring but under dressing should be deemed a sin.  At said reunion this weekend it was quite clear that it was to be a formal event, yet I still saw men wearing the wrong attire.  Here is a question I pose, “Why do men try to dress as casual as possible so often?”  For most men, dressing up is rare and fun

chance to radiate charisma.  Why dull yourself down when everyone else in the room is going to look like a shiny penny?  And I don’t tolerate the, “I want to be different excuse” that is absolute bullshit and pure laziness.  Below are some observations I caught this weekend that all men should never make:

  1.  It really does not matter how nice, sexy, fancy, or expensive your jeans are.  You can not pair them with a shirt, tie, and jacket and call it formal.  (Please see my January 30th post, “Change it up Cowboy”)
  2. As far as jewelry is concerned: We’ve talked about this! (Please see my December 8th Post, “The Power of Jewelry”)   Like most things, all in moderation.  But please, if you have a nice suit on, leave the ghetto chain at home!  You would not pair a rich Merlot with your Chilean Sea Bass would you?  NO! They clash…I hope you see my point here.
  3. A sweater, (Cashmere or not) over a dress shirt and tie does not equal formal attire.  Don’t be such a hippy and put on a jacket.
  4. To segue way into my next point, you must wear, or at least bring with you, a suit jacket.  Suit pants, a dress shirt, and a tie are not enough.  This would be  equivelant to a plate of food that consisted of fries, cole slaw and a pickle.  Incomplete to say the least.  Where’s the burger?
  5. You know how I feel about funky sneakers with suits so do not even get me started.  It is time to put your grown up shoes on. (Please see  my September 17th Post, “Weighing the Pros and Cons”)
  6. Also, you are an under dressed fool if you do not wear a tie.

I know I sound harsh, but the world of fashion shows no mercy.  It is the smallest mistakes that are always the most detrimental, so for your own sake and the sake of the date that has to be seen with you, don’t make them!

“A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.”
– Oscar Wilde

Silver Fox

At some point in every man’s life he will spot his first sign of age.  For some men it is extra weight for others a lack of stamina.  A man ageing gracefully is sexy and men always look distinguished as the years roll on.  One of the benefits of being a man getting older is that it never makes them look like an old washed up hag. Most all aspects of our appearance in this day in age can be altered, granting us the luxury of looking young forever.  So, the subject of the day is that of

GRAY HAIR

We all know once you spot one gray hair on your head, or anywhere else on your body for that matter, it is only the beginning.  Some men wear gray well such as Richard Gere in “Pretty Woman,” or George Clooney in “Ocean’s Eleven” or Anderson Cooper, well, all the time.  But if you are like most men who may not have the celebrity status or sex appeal of the three aforementioned silver foxes then you may want to dye those grays for a little while.  One of my boyfriends of the past had a head full of dark beautiful hair that was going a bit gray.  I suggested he dye it, and he was appalled of course!  However with my powers of persuasion I talked him into trying it just once.  I told him that if he hated it then it would grow out quickly and he never had to do it again.  The deal was fair enough so he agreed.   As it turns out he loved the new look.

When he saw himself in the mirror he was stunned to see that the short process of coloring his hair made such a colossal difference.  His exactly words were, “I just knocked 10 years right off!”  It’s so true.  Men do not have to let gray hair age them.  It is so easy to dye your hair, just get down to your local Duane Reade or CVS and buy a box of Just For Men hair dye, that is if you are not brave enough to go to the salon.  If you are not into that it’s ok  and understandable, (I am not going to lie, it is a lot of upkeep and many touch-ups are required) Like I said some men can really rock the gray sexy college professor look. However, I’d like to make one suggestion: gray hair on your head is one thing, but once it hits your facial hair it is time to shave the years away.  I love George Clooney, he had on an amazing Giorgio Armani tuxedo at this year’s Oscars that looked quite dapper, some might argue he was the best dressed man there and he had Stacy Keibler on his arm to boot! However, his gray face rug was the loser of the night.  (Please see my post from November 5th titled “Mountain Man” for my take on facial hair)  It was a shame; that gorgeous tuxedo was paired with a white old man beard.  Let’s face it, in this day in age, with society’s pressures,  can any man really afford to look older or to put it more bluntly, like they are yesterday’s news?  Do not make this gray hair mistake Gramps!  Know the difference between sexy salt and pepper and Hello Santa Claus!

“I’ve always said that gray hair looks good on everybody but yourself. To me, it  makes me look old.”~Kenny Rogers

Un-Tucked

Never_Tuck_Knits2Oftentimes when I am pointing out a no-no within men’s fashion there are exceptions.  There are, as we all know, exceptions to every rule.  But with today’s topic that is not the case.  One of my favorite aspects of wintertime is men looking fabulous in sweaters.  We all love them. (the sexy sweaters I mean ;-))  Sweaters are often thick enough to cover up the flaws of our body we are desperately trying to hide.  However, under no circumstance can a man look good wearing a

TUCKED IN SWEATER

Gross!  I mean you may as well tie it around your waist! (please see my January 15th post titled “Coat Check” to read about how I feel about men who tie jackets, coats, or shirts of any kind around their waists…Nerd Alert!)  In fact tucking in your sweater is not only a major nerd alert, but pretty much makes a man undateable and if you are not dateable your are definitely not going to get play of any kind in the near future.  Men do not tuck their socks into their pants do they?  So why on earth would a man ever tuck in his sweater?  Some may think that tucking in a sweater looks more neat and tidy.  Bravo to those men who do not want to look like a sloppy mess.  Those people who feel that a tucked in sweater is the cleaner look would be wrong; it just makes men look uptight and like their mother still dresses them every morning.  Most all shirts on men need to be tucked in but sweaters are an entirely different animal.  They need to be left un-tucked.  If for whatever reason you feel a sweater needs to be tucked in because it is too long, then get a new sweater don’t commit fashion suicide.  Sweaters should rest right over your belt line.  If you are overweight, tucking in your sweater will make you look worse, if you are super fit and want to show off your hot bod as much as possible then just don’t wear a sweater wear a fitted shirt.  Tucking in a sweater is a lot like putting ketchup on chateaubriand… you are ruining a perfectly wonderful thing.

Quick Aside:  Some old timers and maybe a few golf players may feel that at one time men tucking in their sweaters was “the look”  And maybe it was.  (See image on upper right.)  But now men tucking in their sweaters is just disgusting  and no longer en vogue!

“When I started in fashion, I had already adopted the sailor-striped sweater as my uniform; that way, I wouldn’t have to drive myself crazy trying to figure out what to wear.”

~Jean Paul Gaultier

Scarves, Pashminas, Infinity & Beyond

Photo Credit: vivaglammagazine.com

Photo Credit: vivaglammagazine.com

People are so dramatic about the weather.  I often pay the weather people no mind when they say to stay indoors.  I think it is most beautiful outside when the snow is falling.  On both Friday and Saturday night  I found myself outside walking.  I did not go anywhere too exciting but I noticed a lot of cool kids walking the streets as well.  While the weather is still cold and crisp I want to review all winter accessories.  So what better time to talk about the wonderful world of

 

SCARVES

First of all, you are never too cool to wear a scarf.  Just don’t let your scarf make a mockery of you.  I know we all are tempted by those hand knitted scarves we see being sold by hippies on the side of the street or at a flea market, but I caution you.  (Just for fun-see this famous clip from “A Christmas Story” where Ralphie’s brother Randy drowns in a scarf amongst other winter gear)  Unless you are a hippy yourself stay away from extra extra long scarves with crazy designs, they are excessive and

they make you look like a fool.  Plus once you arrive at your location (ie bar, lounge, restaurant, disco-tech), you have nowhere to put your wooly mammoth sized neck warmer.  Several men have asked me about pashminas for men.  First of all let’s discuss the difference. I could not find an official definition to differentiate the two so here is my personal take on the matter.  Your run-of-the-mill pashmina is usually around 5 ½ to 6 feet long with fringe on both ends, quite thin but very soft whereas a scarf is thicker, may or may not have fringe, and is meant for keeping your neck fashionably  warm in the cold outdoors.   Both items come in a variety of colors and designs of course.  I see many men here in New York City wearing pashminas.  Some guys think it is more on the feminine side.  I think you just have to be a sexy confident man to wear one.  And what about these infinity scarves?  They are all the rage these days.  I love them and even more so I love how they look on men!  Don’t be afraid to wear a scarf for fashion’s sake only.  Keep in mind that scarves are an all year item.  When spring comes you pull out the thinner pashmina type scarves.  Much like extra add-ons on your burrito, a scarf really livens things up. The bottom line is if the scarf is for warmth it is always best to go with a simple yet sexy design in cashmere.  Cashmere is often more expensive but with the right purchase you can’t go wrong. Whatever way you sway on the topic of  scarves just do not make the three following mistakes.

  1. Never wrap it around your neck a million times or too tight.  It looks awkward and will make your extra chins bulge out and no one looks good when that happens.
  2. Once you are inside you must take off your scarf if it is a thick winter scarf meant for warmth.  I don’t care if you are at one of those funky new age bars made out of ice.  You will look like you are hiding a hickey or something worse under there and that is never going to help you score with anyone.
  3. Never wear those dopey awkward scarves that Grandma Gladys knitted for you circa 1992.  I don’t care if she gave it to you for Christmas, or shaved her alpaca to make it, or she died and this is all you have left to remember her by.  Homemade crap like that is always ugly and fits right up there in the same category as ugly sweaters.

Quick Aside:  Check out this fun link on How to Tie a Scarf so you don’t look like you are trying to choke yourself.

“Know first who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.”
– Epictetus