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.

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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.

Plaid Fad

Photo Credit: tumblr.com/tagged/plaid-shirts

Photo Credit: tumblr.com/tagged/plaid-shirts

Such a great Saturday night this past weekend.  I attended a birthday party for a fabulous pair of twins.  At first, I was hesitant to attend.  I could not convince any of my friends to go with me, it was all the way down town and to top it all off it had begun to rain that night.  But alas, I headed south to Delancey Street and I am glad I did because I had a fabulous time!  We partied until the wee hours at a club/bar called The DL on the lower east side.  This was one of those places with many levels, so you could look down at the crowd.  While I was scoping out the eye candy I realized I was feasting on a sea of

PLAID SHIRTS

I feel that these days plaid shirts are a real “go to” staple for men and that is absolutely acceptable.  Plaid shirts are trendy, stylish and look good on almost all men.  It is hard to go wrong with a plaid shirt as they can be worn for a dressy night out or to a casual afternoon outing. However every once in a while I see a plaid shirt that looks more like a Christmas tree skirt or the knitted blanket that has been on Nana’s couch since ’82. Sad but sometimes so true. After I started thinking about the plaid shirt phenomenon while sipping my cocktail, one of my friends at the party/one of the hottest guys there said to me something along the lines of, “What do you think of my outfit, I went with the plaid shirt/ printed tie combo?” He looked outstanding.  Men need not be afraid of wearing a tie with a print on it in combination with a chic plaid shirt.  It is often hit or miss so do not attempt this combination unless you know what you are doing.  Like I often say, just don’t go nuts.  You would not want to wear a super complicated plaid with many colors with an over bearing print on a tie.  It would not be aesthetically pleasing to the eye if you know what I mean.   Also, I have known men that go over board and wear plaid shirts so often they become known as “the plaid shirt guy”  This is not a nickname you want, so make sure to keep your wardrobe in full rotation at all times.  Check out some of the shirts at Express Men or Lucky Jeans.

Quick Aside:  Please do not confuse plaid with flannel.  They are cousins but not twins. Plaid is for sexy guys who get laid a lot, know how to dress and want to make a good impression.  Flannel is for keeping warm in front of the refrigerator and cowboys who belch out loud in public.

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!

Totally Retro

As we grow up we see styles come and go. It is always the most fun to see a look, love it or hate it, then come to find out it is totally retro.  We see our parents wearing articles of clothing in old pictures and swear we’ll never dress that horribly, only to wind up wearing the same thing when it comes back in style.  It was only a few years ago when I saw the super cool dad of one of my gal pals wearing a …

SQUARE TIE

At the time I remember I was thinking, “What clearance bin did he dig that thing out of?”   I forgot all about square ties until just the other day.   I was assisting a friend of mine buy a black Ralph Lauren sweater for her boyfriend at Bloomingdale’s when I saw the display of ties.  They were all so sexy and amongst them I saw several square ties.  The sales associate assured me that they are back in style and very popular.  I was shocked.  After asking around to a few men from an older generation I found out that square ties used to be very well-liked and they are absolutely making a come-back.  It turns out they became widely fashionable in the 50’s and 60’s and are often referred to as flat bottom ties.  Unlike typical pointed tip ties, square bottom ties look good woven, crocheted or machine knitted. I love it!  Very Mad Men if you ask me.  Of course these square ties only look good if they are skinny.  These ties give a fun and flirty vintage look that can be dressed up or down.  In summation, square or flat bottom ties are an outstanding contribution to your attire.

 

Quick Aside:  I know I already wrote about the topic of ties once before, so just to reiterate check out The Tie Bar for all the best tie information.

Make or Break

There are a lot of things that can make or break an outfit.  It always amazes me how a certain great look on one man can look horrible on another.  Sometimes it is the smallest accessory that makes a man look like a real class act or on the opposite end of the spectrum, a real hot mess.  For today’s post I would like to explore the wonderful world of…

NECKTIES

Recently I was amidst a conversation with one of my fashion experts and he gave me some very funny and very helpful commentary about ties.  I found it difficult to paraphrase so the below 5 rules are his words and in my opinion rules to live by.

  1. Your tie needs to in some way match your shoes, your cufflinks and/or your belt.
  2. When tying the tie, the knot you know may not be the knot you need.  If your neck is fat and your face is huge, and you need the tie to snake over your stomach full of pasta, use a larger “Full Windsor Knot” if you are long in the body and face, like Barack Obama, use a “Half Windsor Knot” like he does.  It is understated and still thick and powerful.
  3. The tiny knots that were used in Molly Ringwald movies need to stay in Molly Ringwald movies.
  4. If you are fat, do not wear a bow tie!
  5. Skinny ties are clearly back. But they are not for job interviews; they are for Kanye West and “Mad Men,” or maybe a cocktail party.  If you work at an internet start up in the Silicon Valley, then by all means wear this to work. But if you wear a skinny tie, you better have a tie bar or else people will insult you to your face.

The tie is sometimes a man’s only way of showing emotion, attitude and style.  Do not be afraid to be daring with your tie design.  And as far as the knots are concerned, go online and try out some new ones.  I recommend thetiebar.  Be aware, the worst mistake you can make is having a tie that is too short. Like I stated earlier, you will look like a real hot mess.  Consider it fashion suicide.  Also, if you do not know how to tie a tie or do not even own one, you need to get over to Bloomingdale’s, buy a few and learn how to tie them immediately. Check out tie a tie easily for simple direction. I recently went out on a date with a guy and it came out that he didn’t know how to tie a tie, and let’s just say there was no second date.

Quick Aside:  Special thanks to my personal men’s fashion expert, RJM,  who contributed to this post.