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.”

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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.

Gifts that Keep on Giving

black giftWell, it is that time of year again.  I am the biggest ba humbug on the planet.  As mentioned in a previous post I can’t stand holidays.  But on the contrary I love giving gifts.  I like to think of myself as a gift whisperer.  Some people don’t possess the gift of great gift giving. And when it comes to gifts for men or men buying gifts there is always a challenge. Maybe you are a man getting your dad, brother, uncle, boss, best friend, or lover a gift.  Or perhaps you need to advise someone on what gift to get for a man close to you.  Either way the holidays are a good time to get guys…

FASHIONABLE GIFTS

First let me go over which items should never be given as a gift for a man.

  • Sunglasses- men must make sure they look right themselves. See former blog post titled “Shades”
  • Anything too personal- which means clothes from the waist down. Unless the guy is so clueless then in that case: dare to do it but be conservative, don’t go get a chilled out guy an expensive pair of jeans with a lightning bolt on the crotch.
  • Cologne- This is a personal choice every man has to make for himself, I don’t care if you get him the hottest new scent and he tells you he loves it, I promise it will either collect dust or be re-gifted.
  • Cheap Crap- Nothing is worse than a cheap gift, you are better off saying you couldn’t swing a gift for everyone this year than insulting someone with a gift you had to put on K-Mart lay away.
  • A fancy overcoat, he should have one already and that’s a different post.  If he doesn’t own one then he has big problems and isn’t a grown up.
  • Anything red or green/holiday colors.  People will know your Aunt Hildegard got this festive gift for you and put it under a tree not to mention these colors limit the times of year they can be worn.

One thing men get year after year is either gloves or a wallet.  These are nice gifts but tread carefully before giving them.  Find out if these are items a guy really needs.  Maybe go with a cashmere scarf instead.  Men always look like a million dollars in them but usually will not buy one for them self.  It is definitely a gift that keeps on giving.

A few more fashion friendly suggestions:

  1. Appropriate workout clothes or cold weather gear for running. This way the gift receiver doesn’t look like Rocky chasing a chicken when he is out jogging in his high school sweats. Also, it will motivate to exercise if he doesn’t already.
  2. A Puma gym bag, because stuffing your sneaks and/or racquet in your briefcase until after work is not cute.
  3. An appropriate brief case is an excellent gift as well because a man going to work in his suit and back pack from his study abroad program is also not cute…ever.
  4. Ties, belts, and cufflinks are the type of gifts that men (who wear suits) can’t get enough off.  Just stick to simple, sleek and sexy design as to not impose your taste on anyone.

Check out a few more fun ideas by clicking on the below links

Ernest Alexander Flask Set

Shaving kits from The Art of Shaving

The Working Man’s Hygiene Kit

Coach Gloves

Elliot Dopp Kit _ Men always need these bags

Artsy Cufflinks

Cashmere Burberry Scarf– a little pricey but worth every penny

Pocket Squares– You can purchase less expensive ones at a department store but I love Mr. Porter

Unique Umbrellas

Super fun eyeglass holder

Turkish Bathrobe – ahhh Heaven!

A masculine apron by Hedley & Bennett (every man I know cooks these days and all the best chefs are men. )

Just keep in mind when shopping for a gift for a man, get them something they want not something they need. Don’t condone their bad habits by for example getting them a video game, and electronics are always a cold cop-out of a gift.  And if you can get something that they will like but would never get for themself, you truly will get bonus points.

Happy Shopping & Ba Humbug!

Shades

For me, flavored coffee from Dunkin Donuts is a real treat.  This morning I decided I deserved this hot indulgence.  There is nothing I love more than hot coffee on a cold day.  As I was waiting for my coffee I observed the men around me, all wearing…

SUNGLASSES

I am truly a believer in wearing sunglasses all year long.  Your eyes are the first part of your face to age so you want to avoid those crow’s feet as long as possible.  I asked a few men I know to tell me what their take on sunglasses was.  Which are the best, which are worth the money, when to wear them, etc.  Here is the feedback that I absolutely agree with.

The sporty sunglasses you just bought for close to $200 are of good name and probably have amazing polarized lenses. Good for you. They are probably block white, or black with blue mirror lenses, and cover half of your face. Therefore, you need to only wear them when you are out on the beach, boat, playing a sport, or on patrol in Kandahar Province.

Too many guys these days think because they sprung for the awesome glasses they can wear them with their suit, or in just any situation. This is not so. If you have a facebook friend who recently got married and posted the groom’s party pictures where they do the iconic and common “let’s all line up in our tuxedos, fold our arms in front of us, and wear bulky black, shiny Oakley’s…because we are a bunch of bad-asses!!!” The shiny mirror sunglasses are OK if you are sitting at the final table at the world series of poker, if you are pitching the last inning of a no-hitter at Yankee’s stadium, or if you are Lance Armstrong. But while wearing formal wear or business wear for that matter, put on a more delicate pair of shades. The bulky Oakley’s are made in the USA and they sure are cool but not made for every scenario.

While wearing a suit, where do you put your sunglasses when you go indoors? They don’t fit right in your suit pocket. And a little etiquette here: you better take them off while inside! Even if you are dining alfresco, in many cultures, it is very rude to hide your eyes. My fashion expert learned this in Eastern Europe…the hard way.

If another pair of glasses stretches your wallet, ditch the Oakley’s and get a pair of Smiths; they are a little cheaper but just as polarized. Then you have some extra bucks to pick up a nice pair of Maui Jims which look amazing with anything and are very durable for the money. If you insist on a pair of Serengeti’s please tread lightly, it has been a long time since “Top Gun”, and the word Maverick now has a whole new meaning…just ask Sarah Palin.

 

Quick Aside:  A nice pair of sunglasses is an amazing investment and most of the time worth the money.  But, if you are anything like me and you go through several pairs of sunglasses per year due to damage, loss, or lending without return, then do yourself a favor and go for the less expensive pair.