Sunday, October 30, 2011

Breaking Down a Basic-- The Tee Shirt

I was also considering titling this post "Why Your Hanes 3-Pack Isn't Cutting It"

I would be hard pressed to think of a piece in your wardrobe that is more of a staple than the tee shirt. Its timeless and everyone of every style and every age wears them in some fashion or another. Most people wear a tee shirt multiple times a week, and yet spend the least amount of money on them! Think about it. Shouldn't the item you wear that frequently be something to invest in? You want it to last and look amazing! There is no reason to look frumpy when walking out of your house in jeans and a tee. In fact, it can be one of the most effortless AND sexy pairings out there. I do realize that undershirts have their place. But that is what they should be used for. If the tee is at all part of your outfit--including layering, you should be wearing quality.

It is my opinion that 99% of men look best in a V-neck. Now hold up. Before you start saying things like, "I don't like my chest" or "I'm too hairy" or whatever your argument may be, keep in mind that there are many V depths out there. A lot of V necks sit right on your clavicle and really don't dip down any farther than your crew. But the shape of the neck is much more flattering. Take this Banana Republic tee, for example. The V is fairly high, the color is a nice change from black or white, and their fit is really quite good.
Banana Republic
If you've never spent money on a tee before and are having trouble wrapping your head around it, this is a good place to start. Most of their tees are around $24.50 and they have a really nice selection of basic and versatile colors. I chose this photo on purpose (instead of the one featuring the tee) because I wanted to show that even with a totally casual weekend look, the quality makes a difference. He looks more pulled together than if he had layered with a thin, cheap white tee shirt.

If you are ready to truly invest in your tees, James Perse and Theory both make a very nice mid range tee shirt, ranging from $50 to about $110. You will feel the difference in the fabrics and get longevity out of the garment. These tees are great with their expected counterpart--denim, but also work beautifully when dressed up with a suit or sport coat.
Theory Tee available at Bergdorf Goodman
Theory Tee available at Bergdorf Goodman

If you're planning to wear your tee all on its own, look for fun colors and interesting fabrics. This great tee by Drifter is a perfect example of a sexy cut that will turn heads without too much effort on your part! These tees are usually around $42-$48, but are on sale at for only $21.00 in several colors!
Drifter Tee

 If you already have your tee shirt situation dialed in and are looking for a way to mix things up, consider switching to a Henley. One or two undone buttons has a  very attractive vibe, and as shown below, they are equally as versatile as your regular tees! Get a layered look like Kellan Lutz by putting a body hugging tank under the Henley.
Brad Pitt wearing a Henley and Sport Coat

Mario Lopez wears his just like a tee

Kellan Lutz layers a tank
So there you have it! Every man should have at least two each quality solid white and black tees. Then start throwing other colors in the mix, such as charcoal, navy or burgundy. Do you already wear quality tee shirts? Who makes your favorite?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Take a Double--Cognac Shoes!

I had a friend come to visit from San Francisco this week and she arrived wearing this amazing pair of very orange cognac leather boots. They made such a great statement and ended up being quite a versatile travel shoe, working with almost every outfit she packed. We went out on the town the next day and she wore them again. She literally got compliments every 10-15 minutes on her boots. By the end of the afternoon we would start laughing when someone would ask her about them. They had a pretty basic shape, but the color had huge impact while still acting as a neutral.

She just left this morning, and ironically, as I sat down to my computer, this picture showed up on a  great blog I read called Por Homme.

Cognac shoes have been around for a long time, but they come in a very wide range of colors. To shake things up a bit, seek out a pair that is heavy on the orange tones. Besides adding some variety to your footwear, orange is such a great color for fall, but difficult for some skin tones to pull off. By wearing it on your feet you get the great benefit of some pop while not competing with your coloring. Wear them casually as shown here, or get a matching belt and pair them with a dark charcoal suit for some very classy high contrast!

This great pair of shoes from The Frye Company available on Zappos can be worn to the office or juxtaposed with some faded jeans and a sport coat for a hot Friday night look.

If you like the boot route, check out this pair by The Cool People. Be sure to show off the boot by wearing a shorter hem or rolling your pant!

**Shopping Tip**  Do not try to shop for a matching belt without having your shoes with you. As I mentioned before, there are many colors of cognac leather out there and no matter how well you think you remember the color in your head, there is a high probability the two won't match when you get home.

What do you think of this classic way to add some punch to your fall style?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rethink your DB

Double Breasted sport coats have long been thought of as the most formal or proper of jacket. It can have a very dandy feel to it. The casual sport coat burst onto the Men's fashion scene a couple years ago, as a great pairing with jeans. But we haven't seen this trend embrace the DB jacket--until now! Topman, D&G and other designers are starting to create double breasted jackets in an unstructured, relaxed construction utilizing casual cottons, linen, and other less formal fabrication. The result is an unexpected high-low mix.

This great combination from the Spring 2011 D&G runway show is a  perfect example of how to wear this look. Distressed, rolled jeans with no socks. Open collared shirt (easily could have been a tee) and pushed up sleeves all down play the formal effect of the DB design.

This fall version in grey from Hentsch Man, available on Mr. Porter would be the perfect addition to your closet. Throw it over denim and pretty much any shirt and you've instantly upped your style. Keep the jacket short for this look to help keep the feel low key.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Three Ways to Wear the Work Boot

Work boots hit the men's fashion scene a few years ago and this trend continues to gain momentum. The rise (or return) to Americana dress has propelled this footwear into the spotlight, and there are several ways to wear it. Two rules. No hiking boots allowed, and show off the boot--this means, shorter hem, rolled pant, or pant tucked into the boot. I'm going to break it down into three looks for you to try.

1. Military. The key to this version is tucking your pants or jeans into the boot. You need a fairly tall boot that laces up to get the right look. Experiment with lacing all the way up or leaving the top few loose or even turned down for a different vibe.
Hayden Christensen
There are a million versions of this boot out there. To save some dough, head to a navy surplus store for the real deal. The fashion versions range in price and often come with a zip up the side (look at Hayden's above) so you don't have to actually deal with the laces. This Cassidy Boot from Diesel is a great take on this trend that is available in 4 color ways.
Diesel Cassidy Boot

2. Grunge.  To get a grunge effect, get a boot that looks worn in, or beat them up yourself! Pair with distressed jeans and roll the cuffs a couple times to show of the shoe. In this version, Zachary is on the red carpet and paired his boots with a jacket. But a simple solid tee would do just fine. If you aren't used to going grunge, black or gray on top is a safe bet for pulling off the look.
Zachary Quinto
All Saints has the grunge feel mastered and their Spire Boot will get you the look you need. **Money saving tip: Use the SAME boot for grunge and military! What you do with the jeans or pants will change the feel completely!**

Think your style is too polished or dressy for this trend? Oh no. Suits or trousers with boots are a great look! Just find a sleeker version. It will give your business or evening wear just a little edge. There are so many things right with the look below (found on Men's Club) I could do a whole blog post about it. But the point is, this guy is wearing a double breasted peak lapel tux jacket AND and ascot! And he paired them with boots! Please note, he still rolled the pants to show off the footwear, although at the office, this may not be appropriate.
The Frye Company has been known for their boots for years--worn by celebrities everywhere. They have a "Tailored" category in the Men's section of their website that will give you multiple options for this trend. This Rand Boot was one of my favorites. Notice how if your trousers fell over the boot, and you could only see the bottom portion, it would look like a dress shoe!
Frye Rand Boot
So there you have it! Anyone can wear this look. Have fun with it and let us know what you pair them with.

Have you "Liked" Every Man's Closet on Facebook yet? We show interesting looks we find almost every day to give you inspiration in between blog posts! Click the like button at the top of this page!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Lavender Dress Shirt

The lavender shirt is an unexpected staple. Yes, staple. Every guy should get one.  White and blue dress shirts are the basis of every man's business wardrobe. But they get boring--really fast. Purples seem intimidating to people, I think because it is expected that they will be hard to work with, but its the opposite. Do you know what matches with lavender? Everything. Whether you're wearing a suit, sport coat, trousers or cotton pants (such as khakis), here are the colors you can pair your lavender dress shirt with: black, charcoal, any shade of gray, navy, blue, brown, tan, taupe, white. AND if you like contrast with your accessories, orange and green can work really well! This can take a little more skill, so either have a sales associate help you, or find a green tie that has lavender built into the pattern, so you know it works.

Adrian Grenier wears his lavender shirt on the red carpet with a navy suit and contrasting green tie. So unexpected!

LeBron James sits front row at a Ralph Lauren fashion show mixing his lavender shirt with a combination of luscious browns on top, grounded by charcoal trousers.

Once you invest in one, you won't believe how versatile this color is. It will become your new go-to dress shirt. You could even dress it down with nice jeans and a cool vest for a Friday night dinner. It is available in solids, stripes and checks for a bit of variety, and a price range everyone can afford. Check out some of my great finds:

This fitted dress shirt from Express Men is only $59.90. And if you click on this link to their website, you get $15 off of a purchase of $30 or more! So now this shirt is only $45!
Express Men $59.90

Show your stripes in this great version from Joseph Abboud, available on for $54.00! Classic with a twist!
Joseph Abboud $54.00

Or throw a check in the mix (great with your navy or charcoal pin stripe suit!) with this Smartcare shirt from Nordstrom. Wrinkle free straight from the dryer, this baby will only set you back $65.00!
Nordstrom Smartcare $65.00

So step outside of your whites and blues with a lavender shirt this season. You will be surprised at how this splash of color transforms what is already in your closet!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Plaid Pantry

Plaid pants can be a fun piece to add to your closet this season.  You can find trousers, cotton pants, bold patterns or subtle checks, any of which will bring some interest to your basics. In my opinion they exude confidence, and show that you've got a bit of kick to your personality. As you'll see in the pictures below, plaid pants are great for men of any age. Unless you are a pattern mixing genius, the key is to let the pants be the focus, and pair them with your solid staples, such as a turtleneck and sport coat. One thing is for sure....these babies are not for the golf course!

The following shots are from the street photography section of the Japanese site Men's Club:

Man About Town- walking shoe and trench.

Casual with a parka and work boots.

Business- Jacket, Dress Shirt, Pocket Square and a splash of pattern mixing in the sock!

See? Not as tricky as you might have thought! Original Penguin has several great pair available right now at reasonable prices ranging from $98-$165.
Koff Drop Pant $98

Looking forward to spring, I discovered the line Chicago Harper at Portland Fashion Week where they debuted their Spring 2012 collection with these pants:

So mix it up and mix it in! If it feels bold, start with a subtle check. You'll find yourself needing more than one pair!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Statement Outerwear

A lot of guys throw on a coat or jacket as an afterthought. They consider it to be a garment strictly for function. They may even spend quite a bit of time putting together a fantastic get up, and then cover it up with something marginally mediocre. Your outerwear is your finishing touch. Thousands more people see you when you are commuting or walking about town than they do while you're sitting in the office or movie theater, so make it count! A classic trench coat in black or tan is always a safe bet. But this season designers took things to another level. The outerwear IS your statement piece. Created in a wide range of fabrics, textures and colors, there are a myriad of unique coats to step outside your fashion comfort zone with. I'll start with the least intimidating.

This asymmetrical double breasted trench from Alexander McQueen is a perfect way to branch out on this trend without going too crazy. Its a safe, classic medium gray in a safe, classic wool fabrication. But all the detailing makes it stand out.

In the same vein, I found this picture on the Japanese website Men's Club of an average Joe walking down the street in a funky gray trench. Doesn't look so average, does he? This could be you!

Another "safe" bet is a leather, suede or cotton jacket with a shearling collar, like this great coat from Gucci. There is nothing outrageous here, just a bit of added interest.

Feeling a little adventurous? Outerwear is a great way to do that, because you actually get to take it off at some point during the evening, so its not quite as much of a commitment as other aspects of your ensemble. Come on, go for it!
Fur and Suede Coat- Burberry

Gray and Cobalt Overcoat- Libertine

What is your go to coat? Is it conservative or courageous? (North Westerners, PLEASE don't tell me its your precip jacket from REI. If that is your answer, you need to call me for a personal shopping appointment!)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Going Tribal

Ethnic prints have been coming in strong in women's fashion for several seasons, and now its taking over menswear. Think Native American, African, or any other region that features bright colors in interesting prints. Burberry Prosum's Spring 2012 Collection featured this trend:

If full Ikat pants are a little too much for you, try a splash of this trend in a scarf, tie, or sock. This great Ikat belt by Spacecraft has a mix of colors that will add interest to jeans and a nice tee. Tuck just the front of your tee shirt in to feature the belt. Its only $24.95 through Tactics, so you don't have to break the bank to wear this trend.

Or try this gorgeous pair of boots by Heutchy to get a subtle hint of tribal in your feet. These are very cool and classy and I would take them with nice jeans and an olive or brown corduroy blazer for a fall night out! Check out their website, they also have a great version in a shoe that would take your suits to a whole new level!

How will you wear this trend?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

(Crazy) Sock it to me!

You know that color is in. You know that showing your ankles are in (whether that means rolling your pants or a shorter hem).  So why not mix these two trends together to bring some attention down to those feet? There's no reason to wear a plain solid sock these days. There are some great lines out there creating fun socks for both casual and dressed up occasions.

Take this goofy picture of Al Roker. I came across it on one day and the first thing my eye went to was his foot! Just a simple and tame argyle can be classy yet add interest. (And please note the colored suede shoe.)

Or add some bright unexpected pop to your solid suit! They'll just catch a glimpse as you walk down the hall or when you sit down for that meeting.

Happy Socks has created a whole line of totally crazy unisex socks that work well with your jeans. If you prefer a slightly thicker sock with your dress shoe they can work for that application as well.

For a high quality dress sock with wit, check out Per Pedes, available at better men's stores and a few online retailers. Each sock is named, and they have something for everyone. If this idea feels a little outside the box to you, there are plenty of great striped or argyle options to ease you in. But if you care to get a little crazy with your footwear, this brand has what you are looking for. I found these and several more pair at
And God Created Eve Sock

Gypsy King Sock

Do you wear bright or fun socks? What's your favorite?