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

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

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.

Everyone Will Notice

whiteSocksHave you ever walked into a friend’s home after not being there for a while and thought silently to yourself, “Wow! The place looks good.  New furniture, new window treatments, they still could use a fresh coat of paint but a lot of progress has been made here.”  This is exactly how I felt after taking a short bus ride to Harlem.  I had not been there in a really long time but they really have done a lot with the place.  I was early for the event I had to attend there so naturally I took a stroll around the neighborhood.  I wound up walking into The Studio Museum in Harlem.  What a quaint museum.  They really had a lot to offer for such a small space and I would highly recommend a visit to anyone.  As I was walking around the galleries I was amongst other art lovers and museum goers of course.  I was admiring a unique exhibition called “Harlem Postcards” when out of the corner of my eye I spotted one of the biggest fashion faux pas of all time.

WHITE SOCKS WITH DARK SHOES

You might ask how I noticed while I was admiring the artwork.  Well, a mistake this colossal is difficult to miss.  Those improperly worn white socks were glaring at me.  It really does not matter if you were late running out of the house or if all your dark socks were dirty.  White socks are for athletic sneakers only.  In fact, if your sneakers happen to be dark then you need dark athletic socks. Where do men get the nerve to wear white or light-colored socks with dark shoes? I mean, white socks totally negate the nice pair of shoes you are wearing. And do not think for one second that if you are wearing long pants that no one will notice, everyone will notice!  You know how you hear about someone who is really poor and living in a trailer yet they have a Ferrari parked outside and it just seems wrong somehow.  This is the same thing.  I found a really fun website called The Joy of Socks.  Check it out.  But to be honest, you can get decent dark socks anywhere so there really is no excuse. Don’t be afraid to express yourself with your socks, they always make for an interesting conversation piece.  Just do yourself a favor and don’t commit fashion suicide with your sock choice. Always remember what Miuccia Prada said,

“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.”

mjQuick Aside:  I know what some of you may be thinking.  “What about Michael Jackson, he rocked the dark pants + black shoes + white socks look?”  Sometimes famous people make fashion choices in the name of irony.  And let’s face it, MJ can do no wrong.  So until you are unanimously named The King of Pop, do the right thing and don’t make any foolish statements.

The Trade

Photo Credit: IFimages.com

Very few things drop my jaw.  Living in New York City dramatically decreases your shock value levels.  I have seen people eating out of the garbage, others pleasuring themselves in public, and I even saw a guy holding up a sign the other day that said, “I need money for a penis reduction.”  Yet, I walk on unscathed.  On the other hand, today was the exception.  I was stunned when I saw two guys pulling a …

SOCK SWITCH-A-ROO

Let me start from the beginning.  My very well dressed older brother is expecting a baby this Christmas.  My Mom and I decided to do a little shopping for him this afternoon at FAO Schwarz.  After that we headed downtown to grab an early dinner at one of my favorite restaurants L’Express.  We were waiting for the subway at the Union Square station headed home and that’s when it happened.  Two young 20 something guys were standing on the platform switching socks with each other.  I can not even put into words how bizarre it was, and socks of all things.  Who would want to trade someone else’s sweaty socks after a day of walking in the city in sneakers?  While shaking my head all the way home I thought about all the times I have pulled a switch- a-roo with my friends…millions!  (never socks of course)  But for a man let us make a list of when trading clothes is acceptable.  So in regards to men…

1-       It is never OK to trade worn socks and/or underwear under any circumstance

2-      If you have a big presentation at work and on your way in you spilled coffee on your shirt or pants, then you definitely  need to bribe a co-worker to trade clothes

3-      If you are at a party and someone you like or have a crush on walks in, you did not know they would be there and you are dressed like a walking yard sale, you need to pull a better dressed friend aside and trade.

4-      If you get to a family function and realize there is still lipstick on your collar from the your wild night before, you need to pull cousin Huey aside and ask him if he’ll trade with you and take one for the team.

5-      If you show up to an event under dressed, maybe you could convince a waiter to give you his tie and jacket for the right price of course.

6-      If you show up to a costume/theme party in a great costume but it turns out it was not a costume party.  You may be stuck on this one as I am sure no one will trade with you.

Whatever the case may be you want to avoid pulling a tradeoff if you can.  Especially in public!  Think before you leave your home.  Ask yourself, Do I look great, Am I comfortable enough, Will I be sorry I wore this? and so on.  There are so many situations that may be a wardrobe malfunction in need of a change up.  Just be careful, whether you are desperate or not, not every guy is willing to pull the switch-a-roo for you.

One or the Other

Photo Credit: PhotoBucket.com by aisfashionstudents

As we wind down the hazy, hot, and humid days of summer, I look back on all the good times and all the foolish fashion choices.  With much dismay I shake my head and am amazed every time I see a guy wearing…

SOCKS WITH SANDALS

Really spicy olives are my guilty pleasure and on a hot summer night I enjoy a scoop or two of pistachio ice cream.  I love socks and I love sandals but olives and ice cream belong together just as much as socks and sandals.   For those of you reading who are actively making this mistake, please cease doing so immediately, it’s not too late.  One of my ex boyfriends hated showing his feet in public, even on the hottest days he refused to wear sandals.  Looking back now, I applaud him for being wise enough to know better than to wear socks with sandals.  And truth be told, some girls are not into guys exposing their feet.  I never understood why, but I have heard this from many women.

For a quick recap/math lesson: Socks + Sandals = never ever allowed.  It is one or the other folks.  If you are going to wear socks, you are going to wear closed toe shoes.  If you want to wear comfortable summer shoes but are afraid of a chill, invest in a nice pair of boat shoes or loafers from ALDO or Banana Republic.   Trust me they are, as one of my wisest and best dressed male friends often says, “Worth every penny.”

Quick Aside:  If you are someone who thinks that wearing socks with sandals during the colder months makes up for the fact that you are wearing sandals during the wrong season, well, you may be beyond help.