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

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

Change It Up Cowboy

Photo Credit: jeanshook.com

Photo Credit: jeanshook.com

Have you ever been so freezing cold you can feel the frost bite migrating throughout your body?  That was how I felt standing in line on Saturday night for a bar in the meatpacking district called 675.  Since when do people stand on line for bars?  All I could think was that they must have been giving out free blow jobs inside because the bouncer was not letting anyone in and not too many folks were coming out. We never made it inside due to hypothermia and impatience.  Although, I walked away intrigued, and I will be back.  We strolled over to Gaslight Lounge not too far away from 675.  Nice crowd, some cute men, and many of them were wearing jeans.  Don’t get me wrong, they were nice jeans and this was meatpacking.  But some men really feel they need to wear

JEANS AT ALL TIMES

Honestly, I have known some men who feel naked if they aren’t wearing denim.  I was never really one for the “nice jeans paired with a blazer or sports jacket” look but I guess it is mildly acceptable. (Downtown only of course)  I know we all like to stay in our comfort zones at times but seriously, “step away from the jeans”  Open yourself up to a world of dress pants, khakis, or dare I say corduroy?!?!  There are other textures out there. Anything, other than jeans all the time.  Everyone loves a good pair of jeans; I have even heard men say they feel that with jeans they can’t go wrong.  This is so foolish, you can go wrong my friends, by wearing jeans like they are your uniform.  Beauty, fashion, and just plain looking good is about more than being comfortable.  So get yourself over to a Bloomingdale’s or a J.Crew or an Express Men or whatever store tickles your fancy (never an Old Navy!) and get yourself a nice pair of pants!  Think about the famous scene from Donnie Brasco when Al Pacino’s character Lefty looks at Johnny Depp’s character Donnie who wears jeans all the time and says something along the lines of, “…go get a pair of pants, this isn’t a f**king rodeo!”  Jeans are allowed; they are comfy, sexy and downright American, they just can not be worn for every occasion possible.  You would not want your crush whispering, “Is that the only pair of pants he owns?” would you? Change it up cowboy!

“I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant.  They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.”  ~Yves Saint Laurent

 

Photo Credit: www.uproxx.com

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

Quick Aside: I hope it goes without saying that skinny jeans, tapered jeans, or Cavaricci jeans are never allowed, not even on AC Slater.

Hit the Slopes!

Most people dread the cold weather, but I look forward to it every year.  The colder the better I always say!  Winter time brings hot cocoa, warm fireplaces, sexy coats and lots of time for indoor activities ;).  I try to get onto the slopes to ski every year to live out my inner-most Aspen Extreme fantasies! Most years I am unsuccessful not because I don’t have time but because I can’t find a friend who knows how/is willing/has time to take a ski vacation.  So for now I’ll just look out the window and feel the cold air on my face while imaging the snow crunching and swooshing beneath my skis.  Some might think that when it comes to skiing the rule of thumb is to just dress warm and try not to fall on your a**.  But you would be wrong.  You need to know what you are doing on the slopes and when dressing in your

SKI GEAR

My jealousy was kicked into high gear Sunday morning when I was having brunch with my lawyer.  She was planning a ski trip and considering what to wear on the slopes.  I got to thinking about men and their ski attire.  Of course you need the basics: warm thick socks, snow pants, water proof ski gloves, a winter coat/ski coat, something to keep your neck warm, goggles and a hat.  Although we always strive to look sexy, the slopes are not the place for men to wear anything too tight.  For you skiers out there, you know that you sometimes need different parts of your body to move fast while making split second decisions.  Any restricting clothing can hinder you, and as much as you may not want to admit it, even the best of athletes fall down sometimes. So, everything you wear should be waterproof, warm and roomy.  As far as your coat, snow pants and gloves; Spyder and North Face are pretty reliable brands.  For goggles most men like Oakley’s or Smith’s.  WARNING: do not think for one second that you can just wear your sexy sunglasses or no eye gear at all.  Most people, myself included, learned this lesson the hard way. Less than half way down even at a moderate speed that wind will tear up your eyes so fast you won’t know what hit you. At that point you won’t be able to see and are putting yourself and other skiers in danger.  Please trust me; you must wear goggles even on the bunny slope.  Choose your ski gear according to your personality, get over to a quality ski shop and try lots of different pieces on and listen to the sales people.  Ski gear can be expensive so choose wisely and make sure you are going to like it for years to come.  (Quick tip:do not buy anything at the ski mountain gift shop, they mark it up tremendously) If you live in the New York City Area, it is worth the subway ride to

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

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

Brooklyn to check out Panda Ski & Sport, otherwise take a trip over to your local Ski Barn or Sports Authority. A lot of people like to take this opportunity to wear bright colors and really goofy hats.  Colors are great and hats are wonderfully expressive but you do not want to look like a box of highlighters or an escaped mental patient sliding down the hill… like I said choose wisely.

“Using your ski jacket with its zipper-dangling pass for a night out on the town is a downhill disaster.”

In Transit

Photo by Stephen Swintek/Getty Images

Photo by Stephen Swintek/Getty Images

When taking a short trip or a long journey we all put so much effort into what we are packing and not so much effort into what we will be wearing while in transit.  I recently got home from a fabulous trip to Washington DC to visit loved ones. Great Town! I always favor air travel as my preferred mode of transportation but this time I took the bus.  For anyone who has ever driven to DC from New York you know it is a long trip.  I had a lot of time to think.  So I looked around and realized that most everyone looked like a slob.  So what advice is there to give in terms of

TRAVEL WEAR

When it comes to trains, planes, and automobiles the rules are always the same.  Just because you are traveling does not mean you can dress like an idiot.  People are still going to see you.  And like I always say by the laws of the universe the worse you look the more likely it is you will run into your boss, ex, or current crush.  Hey, maybe the good-looking flight attendant will wind up being the person of your dreams, hello first impressions!  You can always tell the sharp dressed men who are on a business trip.  They often have to dress up because they have a hot-shot business meeting to attend as soon as they arrive at their destination.  I am not saying you need to put on a suit and tie every time you get on the subway or take a scenic train ride to upstate New York, but you can not look like you just rolled out of bed and covered your greasy hair up with a hat for travel.  There was a guy like this on my bus ride down to DC.  I wanted to say, “Bro, this is a 4 hour bus ride not an overnight ride in a sleeper car on the Orient express, get out of your pajamas!”  Like I always say find a middle ground.  It is important to be comfortable but that does not give you permission to look like hell.  Here are a few extra but essential tips:

1. Always dress in layers, not a million sloppy hoodies but sweater, collared shirt blazer type layers

2. If it is summer and you are wearing sandals of some kind, carry a pair of socks, they always pump up the air conditioning during travel and your toes will freeze.

3. Never under any circumstance can you wear a track suit

4. Make sure your travel bag is sophisticated and chic.  That means no high school duffel bags, no old ass back packs, and absolutely no garbage bags.  Nothing kills a nice look more than a poor accessory.

5. If you are traveling with any expensive jewelry keep it on your person or do not bring it.  If you are wearing it or have it in a pouch in your pocket then it is less likely to get lost or damaged.

6. It is ok to travel with a neck pillow as an accessory; it is not ok to whip out one of those corny ones with a panda bear attached to it, I don’t care who bought it for you!

7. Always bring a sexy yet functional scarf of some kind.  You never know when it may have to double as a blanket, a pillow or a force field against the fat man hacking up a lung sitting beside you. Gross!

Photo Credit:  http://menshealth.com

Photo Credit: http://menshealth.com

8. Don’t forget your sunglasses.  Whether your journey is long or short your eyes may look beat by the end.  Cover them up and you’ll look super fresh.

9. Fanny packs on men= NEVER EVER ALLOWED!

Quick Aside:  No travel ensemble is complete without your own headphones and a sleep mask.  With all the crying kids and flourescent lighting these days you are a fool to travel without either one.

Check out these links! Bose Headphones   and     Sleep Masks

“Dress up your sportswear and dress down your formal wear.”
– Luciano Barbera

Coat Check

Photo Credit: Shula Mann Photography, GQ.com

Photo Credit: Shula Mann Photography, GQ.com

Everyone had on their dancing shoes this past Saturday night at a subterranean joint called Home Sweet Home.  Corny name for a bar if you ask me.  If was a fun time had by all at this speak-easy like establishment.  While I was downing what turned out to be way too many cocktails I scanned the room for potential fashion blunders to write about.  I had almost settled on the fashion faux pas made by the idiot sitting next to me when my gal pal pointed out that a dancing fool of a man right in front of us dared to

TIE HIS JACKET AROUND HIS WAIST

It reminded me of late 80’s cult classic “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Even Keanu Reeves barely got away with this look in the film.  I laughed out loud. Fortunately the jams were pumping at a mega high volume so this clown did not realize I was almost in tears laughing at him.  This was not just a shirt either, this guy had his winter jacket tied around his waist and he was dancing like he wasn’t committing a fashion crime! I know I may say this often, but who does that?  I mean really, think about it guys, when was the last time you wrapped your jacket around your waist?  I know I can be cruel and I was also a little tipsy but I could not stop laughing/shaking my head at this character.  This is New York so obviously it gets cold in the winter and you can’t venture out without a coat or jacket of some kind. But for crying out loud you have so many options other than tying your jacket around your waist. Your first and best option is to check your coat.  However, not all venues have a coat check.  In that case find a corner, bench, chair, coat rack, hook, or anything of the like and put it down.  It’s not rocket science.  Some people fear if they place their coat or jacket down they may never see it again.  In fact my friend put her sweater down that night and when we left her sweater was gone and she wound up with an upgrade from Barney’s.  I guess a word to the wise here is, if you think there may not be a coat check, don’t wear your most expensive coat; especially to a dive.  It is not always what you are wearing but how you are wearing it that can make or break you. I do not care which celebs are bringing back the retro 90’s look or what flawed body part you are trying to cover up, just do not do it; you are not fooling anyone anyway. We don’t wear underwear on our head or socks on our hands so do yourself a favor and the next time you are considering wrapping your coat/jacket/shirt around your waist, don’t.

Quick Aside:  A few celebs have been seen sporting this look lately.  I’m warning you, it doesn not look sexy no matter who you are.  Read this article about this very subject matter. Shirt Around Waist Trend?

“Style is the answer to everything. A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing. To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it. To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art.”
Charles Bukowski   

A Cry For Help

Today I am going to try something a little different.  Every since I began this blog I have been getting tips on subject matter from everyone I know.  Some people just run an idea by me in passing and others write me entire emails about their feelings on any given subject matter.  Either way I try to take note and incorporate the ideas of those closest to me in my blog.  The below prose was so brilliant that I had to make today’s post that of a guest blogger.  The author is a young man who is by far one of the sharpest dressed guys I know.  Enjoy!
     To some, fashion is religion, to others, simply utilitarian. But when I see Saggy-pants-is-not-a-crimeyou deliberately wearing the waist of your pants around your knees, it’s a cry for help… whether you know it or not. I did some research, and you do not want to know where I went for it trust me. But I will tell you it was dark and I got my hair braided for free. But the idea of sagging one’s pants has two meanings, neither are good. The first is sociological, the idea that your pants are too big for you, might mean that you were given hand-me-downs, denoting that you come from a less than affluent  place. Urban youth in housing projects sometimes use this to show that they are “more ‘hood’ than the next guy”  Boys, you can still wear a belt and be tough, nobody has any desire to see your pants half off unless you are a fireman returning from a call. The second, is a little more rugged but equally true. The idea of sagging one’s pants is very popular in prison culture. Your pants are worn low to denote that you are “available” for lack of a better word allowing easier access to your cash and prizes. This also acts as a way for urban youth to show grit and toughness. I am channeling the Dave Chappelle character “Lysol” where he introduces himself as “my name is Lysol, and yeah, I’ve been to prison!”

jbeiberLook, in the 80’s rapstars wore a pad lock around their neck to show their badge of honor through incarceration. That was disturbing but at least it didn’t catch on. The sagging pants crap has spanned a generation and what we thought would perish with “Kris Kross” is now a fashion staple of Justin Bieber, Usher, and very confused hipsters. STOP this vicious cycle of emulating failure. If a sexual prospect (boy or girl) wants your pants down, you will know. If that doesn’t work for you, get yourself locked up, and you will have more close friends than you need.

“You’d be surprised how expensive it costs to look this cheap.”
―    Steven Tyler