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

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.

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

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.

Leave it on the Battlefield

One can’t help but be a little extra patriotic when Labor Day comes around. We are all thankful for a strong military that defends our country every day. I am even proud to say that I have a few members in my family that served in the military. What I am about to write I would say to my own family members…

LOSE THE MILITARY CAMOUFLAGE

This trend baffles me. Even if you are an active service member, there is no need or reason to wear the Camo when you are not working/required to do so. I know when we see little boys dressed up in a GI Joe–like fashion we find it tender, but as an adult man you need to just be a grown-up Joe. When I see furniture or clothing with too many flowers, I have been known for saying, “Leave the garden outside.” In this case, leave the camo on the battlefield. Wearing military camouflage is not cute or sexy. When you are walking by an article of clothing that is Camo and considering making a purchase, keep walking!  And if you currently own any camouflage clothing, take it to the Good Will immediately. Along the same line whether you are an active member of the military or just trying to be trendy, don’t wear dog tags, those big bulky boots, or wannabe sniper hats of any kind. Like I mentioned earlier it just isn’t cute no matter how you dress it up. Unless it’s Halloween or you are hiding from “Charlie” you need to just say no.

Quick Aside: Although men wearing camo for fun makes me sick, Pea Coats are completely acceptable.  In fact a good quality Pea Coat is one of the sexiest things a man can wear.  Check out Kaufman’s Army & Navy in midtown Manhattan for the best authentic Pea Coats.  The shop is kind of messy and the owner is beyond excentric but you’ll wear the coat for the rest of your life and never look back.