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.

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

Mind the Gap

Photo taken by Carmen Andino

Photo taken by Carmen Andino

On any given day I take several rides on the subway.  It is by far and away where I do my best people watching and fashion criticizing.  Today I was on and off a few times, uptown, downtown and back home again: always minding the gap as diligently instructed.  Lately, not just today, I have noticed what I think is a fairly newer mess of a trend.

SHORT PANTS or HIGH HEM PANTS

I do not mean long shorts or Capri pants/pedal pushers/3/4 length, or clam diggers for men( that is an entire other story of wrong doing). But pants that are just too short with a huge a gap between the shoe and the hem.  I know in this day in age socks are sexy and all the rage, but I am sorry you can not wear short pants to show off your socks, I do not care how cute they are. Stop flashing those ankles bro!  In fact, people will not even notice your socks, they are just going to whisper behind you back, “What is with that guy’s pants, why are they so short, he needs a good tailor.”  Do you really want to be the guy people are talking about in this manner?  Seriously, pants that are hemmed too short are a nightmare for you and everyone who has to look at them.  Do not let your mom or whatever other amateur you have on call hem them.  Shell out the extra money to have your pants tailored correctly.  You can walk

Photo Taken by Carmen Andino

Photo Taken by Carmen Andino

into just about any dry cleaners and ask for the alteration.  Hems speak volumes about a man.  If they are too short you look like an uptight mess who can’t even handle getting himself and his wardrobe to a decent tailor.  If they are too long then you just seem like a lazy bum who does not know how to shop for the correct size pants.  Whether you wear jeans, Chinos, corduroys, dress/suit pants or what have you, make sure the hem touches the middle of your shoe please.  When I was growing up you would be associated with Steve Urkel if you had your socks showing with a high hem…If you were a 90’s kid you know what I mean, if you don’t then just trust me you do not want that nerd look.  Cover those ankles, short pants are not cute and rather emasculating.

“‘Tis hell to a man of spirit to be contradicted by his tailor.”
– Richard Garnett

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.”