Orange Merino Wool Shawl Sweater | Banana Republic
Blue Button-Down | French Connection
Gray Jean | Levi’s
Beeswax Desert Boot | Clarks
Brown Coat with Wool Collar | Levi’s
Although Fair Isle sweaters have been around for years, I recently started to take notice of them. What I like about these sweaters is the Fair Isle knitting, the use of various patterns, designs, and colors definitely appeal to a fashion guru like myself. While these sweaters can be a little bulky–and I dislike bulky clothing–it works. In addition Fair Isle sweaters add an extra something to any outfit and can be dressed to fit almost occasion. However, when wearing these type of sweaters try not to go over board. The sweater is already extravagant enough, so adding tons of clothing items of different colors and patters, would result in a “what the hell is he wearing?” moment.
Gray Fair Isle Sweater | Scott James
Unlike other merino wool sweaters, which can sometimes be bulky, the lightweight merino wool sweater takes merino to a whole new level. They are easier to maintain, lack the bulk, and on top of that they look really nice. However, I have a love-hate relationship with the lightweight merino wool sweater. It is so light that it hardly resembles a sweater, instead, it looks more like a long-sleeve v-neck shirt. While I commend the design, it does not do it for me. Does that mean you should not get it? No. It comes down to preference, if you like the classic look of a “sweater” then go with a regular merino wool. If you want a sweater, but without the bulk, then go with lightweight merino wool.
Gray Lightweight Merino Wool Sweater | Michael Kors
Let’s face it, dressing well cost money– a lot of money. However, the great thing about style, is that you can make your clothes suit the look that you desire. Picture this. You are downtown with your friends when you get invited to a semi-formal get-together later-on that night. Instead of freaking out about what to wear, just turn what you are wearing into an outfit that fit the occasion. Something simple, such as adding a blazer to your outfit will do the trick. Do not freak out. Instead, get creative.
Plaid Shirt | Brooks Brothers
Black Cardigan | Brooks Brothers
Denim Jean | GAP
Silver Watch | Invicta
Green Sock | L.L. Bean
Aviator Sunglasses | Ray-Ban
Brown Belt | GAP
Brown Herringbone Blazer | J. Crew
Buffalo Loafer | L.L. Bean
French Connection (FCUK) is another one of my favorite stores, the clothes not only look really good, but they are not something you will find at every other store. The clothes at French Connection incorporate its European origin into all of the clothes–from quarter spread collar button-downs to the patterns. While the clothing is somewhat expensive–think Club Monaco prices–it is made of good quality fabric. However, French Connection clothing do run big. I wear a small in button-down shirts and I have to get an extra small when I shop at French Connection–and it still fits big on me. In spite of this French Connection is a wonderful store and is great for men who prefer a classic look.
Button-Down Shirts | French Connection
Black Leather Loafer | Bass
Hawkings McGill Gray Tweed Blazer | Urban Outfitters
The time of ties being used as a “formal” accessory has passed. Instead, ties are now used as an “anytime” wear accessory. Recently, I found myself a little obsessed with ties–Express ties in particular. Made entirely out of 100% silk, Express ties not are not only made of high quality fabric, but they look pretty good as well. I recommend wearing ties that compliment your shirt, not conflict with it. Ranging from $40 to $50 dollars, Express ties are the way to go if you want to add something special to your outfit.
Silk Ties | Express
It is 2012, plain scarves are so 3 years ago. Instead, go with scarves that have personalities–pizzazz. Not only will these scarves add that extra boost to your outfit, but they look good too.
Black and White Scarf | Tovar
Plaid Scarves | GAP
Brown Striped Scarf | Urban Outfitters
Gray Tribal Scarf | Urban Outfitters
Okay, just because your feet are hidden in your shoe does not mean you should not dress them up. In fact, you should be showing those bad boys off to the world–in cool socks of course. Wear colorful socks with different patterns and designs, then show it off by cuffing your pant leg. Dressing your feet up with awesome socks will bring the right attention not only to your outfit, but to your shoes. And we do love our shoes.
Blue and White Striped Sock | Richard James
Argyle Socks | Pantherella
Multicolored Striped Sock | Smart Turnout
Orange Sock | FALKE
For some men, when it comes to applying and purchasing cologne it is like figuring out the purpose of Stonehenge–a mystery. And who could blame them, it is not easy trying to find the right scent–one that does not make you smell as if you just walked out of Willy Wonka’s factory or Yankee Candle. Nor is it easy to figure out how much cologne one should apply on themselves–Should I only spray it on my neck? Should I spray it in the air and walk through it? Should I spray it all over my outfit?–It is harder than one might think. However, there are a few important things to know when it comes to cologne:
1) Think small. The life span of a bottle of cologne is one year. Even if you haven’t gone through the whole thing, after twelve months buy a fresh one; you don’t want to wear a stale fragrance.
2) Test in increments. When shopping for a fragrance, try two at a time at the most, one on each arm. Sniff your shirtsleeve between tests to clear your palate.
3) Keep it simple. Leave spraying wrists and other pulse points to the ladies. One hit on each side of your neck will do.
4) Rotate scents. Like your wardrobe, your scent should change with the seasons. In the warmer months, wear a small amount of a lighter, fresher scent; in winter, heavier scents like musks in slightly larger doses are appropriate.
5) Spray yourself, not the air. I know a lot of men do this, hell I used to, but spraying your cologne in the air and walking through the mist is not only stupid, but a waste of cologne. By the time you walk through the mist, most of it is already on the floor and on top of that the cologne is not even touching your skin.
6) Spraying, no over spraying. You want people to remember your cologne (and you) for the right reasons, not because you almost suffocated them when they were around you. Keep the spraying to no more than 3.
Tips #’s 1 through 4 were taken from JP Mangalindan’s GQ article, How to Buy (and Apply) Fragrance, while tips 5 and 6 were written by me.
I love Express, the clothes are not only well made, but they have a broad selection to choose from. In addition, the prices are pretty reasonable for the quality of the clothes–from 100% silk ties for about $40 to coats under $300. What I enjoy most about shopping at Express is the limited quantity of clothes. In most cases once something is sold out it is not restocked. This is good because you do not have to worry about seeing a ton of people wearing something you recently purchased. For the most part I usually purchase jackets, ties, and plain merino wool sweaters from Express. When it comes to shirts and jeans I go elsewhere–they do not sell the jean cut I like (skinny) and the shirts fit weird, well on me it does. In spite of this, Express is a great store and I recommend it to savvy men who want good quality clothing at reasonable prices.
I walked into Who Are You a few days ago. I heard a lot of people talk about this store but I never thought to look into it, so when I was in Soho (NYC) I decided to check it out. From the colorful wall-to-wall button-down shirts to the signature Who.A.U varsity jackets, Who Are You definitely stays true to its California roots. The clothes are not only well made, but they look great too. In addition, the clothes are affordable. My favorite clothing item from Who.Are.U are the button-down shirts, because the fit is just right–it hugs to your body, giving a touch of sophistication.
A Blazer has the ability to make any outfit look amazing. Layering the blazer with a colored cardigan will add a unique element to the overall look. Finish it off with a neutral colored button-down shirt such as gray and a skinny jean. Sneakers or shoes can be worn, but be creative. Who says you cannot wear brown and black?
Navy Blue Blazer | H&M
Burgundy Cardigan | Urban Outfitters
Gray Button-Down | H&M
Black Skinny Jean | GAP
Brown Leather Shoe | Banana Republic
So, I was walking through Soho (NYC) and I saw this guy playing on his phone. Immediately, I was drawn to his outfit. I loved the way the colors compliment each other, it is a great example of how to mix neutral colors–yes, olive is a neutral color. My favorite item from his outfit was the shawl sweater because the twine toggle collar brought a different element to the typical shawl.